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Gentlemen Adventurers : Chapter Four : The Middle East, 1840


Session 020: Dark Discoveries, July 1840

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The Party

ArnoldTodgersHamelton - DaveF
GladstoneArchiboldThynne - TimE
LadyElsbethMacBeth - CathyE
WallaceTiffinSmythe - PeteN


After seeing the impressive tomb and it's contents Hamilton agrees to assist HowardVyse with his further exploration and Howard's demeanor visibly relaxes. Lady Macbeth asks for a further chance to look around the temple, and the whole party, with the exception of Gladstone who is guarding the entrance, are given http://www.tytherleigh.com/Alarm/images/pillarsm.jpg+left a second, detailed guided tour by the eminent egyptologist. Despite the parties' concerns about him he does exhibit a good deal of knowlege on the subject and shows them many interesting and amazing objects and hieroglyphs .. Elsbeth takes a particular shine to the finely wrought gold bracelet of rubies and emeralds that is worn by the main mummy at the end of the burial passage. After a short period demurring Howard agrees that if they are to get more 'diggers' and others down here is is best of the most valuable and mobile objects are 'cataloged' and held in safe keeping by the 'team'.

About this time Gladstone, still carefully on watch is hailed by a germanic voice asking for 'Mr Vyse'. A fellow egyptologist from a nearby dig, Richard Lepsius, has hear that Howard is having problems and has popped over to check everything is ok. Gladstone has the presence of mind to aks Elsbeth to cover her 'trinket' before it is seen. Richard has a pleasant cup of tea with the party and, assured that all is in hand returns to his excavation near Giza inviting the oarty to visit his dig whenever they wish.

Mustafa Abu rustles up a rather pleasant meal, and the whole party except Wallace retire to the fresh air to discuss further plans. Wallace, with Howards' approval, and another round of warnings not to touch anything, spends some time meditating in front of the mummies at the bottom of the burial passage. http://www.tytherleigh.com/Alarm/images/coated-mummy-pharaoh.jpg+right. He soon becomes aware that 'nothing's happening' that there is no especial power or focus here and investigates some more. Spotting something behind the main mummy he very carefully moves it to reveal that there is a broken spear trap behind it - with the spear obviously having struck someone here and being broken off. This might explain the pool of blood that is currently soaking into the dusty floor here. A quick check of the bodies behind the alter confirm this sort of wound. He has just enough time to restore the mummy's position before Hamilton and John return. While doing this he notices that the mummy is 'too light' and appears to be a well decorated fake, possibly to distract grave robbers.

Returning after luncheon Hamiton, Howard and John explore the temple further, examining and documenting the painitings and hieroglyphs which cover the walls. Wallace confronts Howard about the trap and Howard admits that the trap was set off, fightening the native diggers etc. who fled and he and the slower ones were trapped by the falling stone block at the temple entrance, where another of the natives was wounded. Discussing the mummies further Wallace points out that they are fake and Howard once again congratulates him on his observation, Hamilton, listening to the conversation about the mummies being fake is drawn back to his notes on the hieroglyphs in the entrance passageway, which he had thought he missunderstood when trying to work out who's tomb this was. Re-examining it he reads it as;

    The false god Mastabashepseskaf keeps Nephren-Ka on his right.

Rushing back to the end of the burial passage Hamilton puts himself in the position of the 'main' mummy and looks back at the widened end of the passage - indeed it is rather 'inelegant' and lacks the detail of carving and effort that a true tomb might expect. He taps on the right hand wall (when looking back) and finds it to be plaster over stone. John and Wallace follow his lead and take pick-axes to the wall and after a few hours work have revealed a 5'x3' stone block set in the wall and plastered over - a secret passage! Wallace takes no chances and mutters a spell to avoid curses and bad-luck under his breath as he works - John is disparaging saying he sounds just like the native diggers!

A long night of digging ensues, while Lady Macbeth and Gladstone keep watch. Gladstone, hiding out in the ravine while Elsbeth 'hold the fort' with Florence and the loaders, hears something early in the night and sees a shadowy figure moving at the top of the raving cliffs - he shoots and bags a wild dog! Later however he becomes aware of someone moving with exquisite care +down+ the ravine. Before he can investigate he, and Lady macbeth both hear multiple people coming up the raving with a little less care. There is movement at the corner of the raving and Lady Macbeth takes a pot-shot starting a noisy and difficult exchange of fire where neither side can really see the other. Gladstone does not join in and instead watches for the more sneaky attacker. Eventually his patience is rewarded and he sees a shadowy figure slip behind a rock just a little way up the ravine and start to prepare something. Taking a difficult shot in the gloom Gladstone surprizes the sneak who flees.

Meanwhile the sustained firepower of Lady Macbeth and 4 loaders (3 proper loaders & Florence) aided by Howard Vyse and the camel staff drives off the lower attackers, leaving the ravine ringing with the echoes of gunfire and the smell of cordite. Gladstone investigates where his man was working and finds a satchel which he brings into the light to reveal it contains two hand grenades!

About midnight the underground crew come up to report that they have broken through the passage blocking rock and discovered the passageway beyond is backfilled with sand - they will need proper diggers and equipment to move it all. Hamilton asks why Wallace was so superstitious about the dig and Wallace recounts the tale of Nephren-Ka. Also known as the Black Pharaoh, the last Egyptian pharaoh of the Third Dynasty, and the dreadful curses and bad luck that beset grave robbers.. a perfect midnight frightening tale, told in the mouth of a cave around the fireside.

In the morning it is agree that Hamilton and John should go to Cario to get native diggers, equipment and guards. The party conjecture that Richard was behind the attack, but John indicates that his guess is 'Lescluze' ...

Walace + Gladstone find boot print

Hamilton finds dying attacker and hears 'blue green man'

Hamilton visits Richard and Embassy in Cairo to warn of CountVladimirIvanoff

Party clear tomb of 'pinchables' and blast blocking stone clear

Diggers arrive and start clearing passageway

Wallace dreams of men falling

to be completed

Richard Lepsius (1810-1884) German Egyptologist - active nr giza at time, student of

   Jean-Franšois Champollion - translated rosetta stone
     prominent french tutor & egytologist

Jean-Baptiste de Lescluze (1780-1858) Belgian shipowner - obtainor/middle man for collectors





Lovecraft references Nephren-Ka. Also known as the Black

Pharaoh, the last Egyptian pharaoh of the

Third Dynasty. Nephren-Ka began a worship

of Nyarlathotep and birthed the ideas that

later gave way to the Starry Wisdom that

swept through Egypt and the world. he built a

dark temple around it, committing

sacrifices to the Haunter of the Dark in

exchange for the creature's limitless

knowledge. It was this exchange that

ultimately brought Nephren-Ka’s reign to an

end. Such were his deeds that his name was

struck from the monuments and other


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Edited January 13, 2007 8:25 pm by HowardT (diff)