The Haunted

Time moves on
...always forwards, never backwards
 

Timeline

  • 16 June 1903, Henry Ford (A Machinist and Engineer) forms the Ford Motor Company to manufacture Automobiles.
  • 17 December 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful man-powered airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
  • December 1903, The world’s first nickelodeon opened showing a silent film called The Great Train Robbery the name was used as it cost 5 cents or a nickel to watch the movie or live vaudeville acts.
  • 02 January 1905, Japanese troops capture Port Arthur from Russia, a blow to national morale and causing further discontent within Russia.
  • 22 January 1905, The massacre of peaceful demonstrators in the square before the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, on Bloody Sunday helps trigger the abortive Revolution of 1905.
  • 08 February 1905, Cyclone hits Tahiti & adjacent islands, killing some 10,000 people.
  • 11 February 1905, Pope Pius X publishes encyclical Vehementer nos.
  • 03 March 1905, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia agrees to summon a ‘consultative assembly’ and concedes other points including an edict of religious toleration, relief for Jews, and the cancellation of certain debts.
  • 04 March 1905, Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in for a full term as President of the United States.
  • 13 March 1905, Mata Hari introduces her exotic dance act in Paris.
  • 01 April 1905, “SOS” first adopted as a morse distress signal (· · · – – – · · ·) by German government.
  • 04 April 1905, Earthquake in Kangra India, kills 20,000.
  • 12 April 1905, French Dufaux brothers test helicopter.
  • 07 June 1905, Norway dissolves union with Sweden (in effect since 1814), and Norway achieves full independence.
  • 08 June 1905, US President Theodore Roosevelt sends identical notes to Japan and Russia urging them to negotiate and end hostilities, offering his personal services.
  • 29 June 1905, The Automobile Association is founded in the United Kingdom.
  • 01 July 1905, Albert Einstein introduces his theory of special relativity.
  • 05 August 1905, First meeting of the Russian and Japanese peace commissioners takes place in US President Theodore Roosevelt’s home at Oyster Bay, New York.
  • 05 September 1905, Russo-Japanese War – Treaty of Portsmouth: In New Hampshire, a treaty mediated by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt is signed by victor Japan and Russia. Russia cedes the island of Sakhalin and port and rail rights in Manchuria to Japan.
  • 02 October 1905, HMS Dreadnought is laid down in the United Kingdom, revolutionizing battleship design and triggering a naval arms race.
  • 05 October 1905, Orville and Wilbur Wright’s “Flyer III” flight 38.5 km in 38.3".
  • 13 October 1905, A railroad strike, begun on October 7 (October 20), swiftly developed into a general strike in most of the large cities across Russia.
  • 30 October 1905, October Manifesto: Tsar Nicholas II of Russia is forced to announce the granting of his country’s first constitution (the Russian Constitution of 1906), conceding a national assembly (State Duma) with limited powers.
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A Mysterious Land - End
the wrap up
 

Experience rewarded: 4


The current total is here.

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Escaping the mysterious island
even more dinosaurs
 

Taking the ship!

Pirates and giant sea creatures do not mix, suffice to say, most are killed or panic and run. There is little defense aboard the ship so our heroes easily seize control and begin the voyage down the river. The first mate, Jubal, a hulking black men swears allegiance to Lee, the new Captain of the ship. Based on their accents and languages spoken, Lee and Silas surmise the pirates to be from various eras of the past.

The surviving prisoners, 2 beautiful women and two handsome men seem almost alien. They are tanned and wear little clothing. They are all in amazing shape and speaking among themselves, a language no one recognizes. It is first female who takes the lead and speaks to the heroes, in flawless English! She introduces herself as Astra.

"Silas and friends, yes, I know who you are. None of you were meant to come here. This island is a fracture between two worlds, yours and mine. Think of it as a portal that is soon to close. And it must close! We are survivors of what you call Atlantis. Long ago our race ruled this world. Benevolent at first, but even we became corrupt. There were those among us who believed themselves to be gods. They dabbled in dark magicks. Blood magicks that turned them, they became creatures who sustained themselves on the blood of humans. They were the first Vampires."
"Unable to counter this vile magick, our people destroyed themselves by sinking the mighty Atlantis below the ocean. A small portion of our people survived by opening a gateway to another dimension. We lived apart from your world now and thought the evil was destroyed. We were wrong. Some of these ancient Vampires escaped the Fall of Atlantis, fleeing to human lands and entering a deep sleep. But they managed to pass their curse onto humans, albeit in a lesser form. This is where your Vampires come from."
"We have kept watch on your world, seen the rise of evils that were spawned by our arrogance. They have grown strong and now seek the sleeping Vampires. If they find them, if they awaken them, your world is doomed. You have with you the first key to locate the ancient tomb. You must find it first, you must put and end to our mistakes."

The Storm

As she finishes speaking, Jubal sounds the alarm. A great storm approaches! Soon the river rivals the oceans as great waves throw the ship about like a little toy. Several of the crew are thrown over board before the order is given to lash themselves to the ship. It is the only way to survive the fierce storm. The sky is dark, storm clouds overhead, lightning flashing across the sky, and great waves slamming over the ship. Everything goes dark…

Everyone slowly awakens still tied to the safety of the ship, with the bright midday sun baking down upon the deck. The last thing they remember is a massive storm tossing the ship around so violently that they feared for their lives. Before they can collect their thoughts, a scream pierces the air as a long serpentine neck reaches over the side of the ship and snatches a crewman right off the deck, giant teeth slicing cleanly through his rope bindings. The ship is under attack from a Plesiosaur, a prehistoric sea monster!

 

Gunfire and magic blasts drive the creature beneath the sea. Suddenly the ship lurches to the side as it is rammed hard knocking some of the crew over board. You can hear the screams of the two crewmen being attacked by the creature. Eventually the creature is killed, the body rolls over and sinks, its blood spreading across the surface of the water like thick red oil.

The impact from the blow breached the hull and the ship is taking on water, it is going down, no way to save it. Although the ship is deep into the great lake, you can just make out a hazy shoreline in the distance! Visible to the rear of the ship are two large shadows slowly circling, the blood in the water has attracted two more hungry Plesiosaurs.

The ship struggles towards the shore, the little wind filling the sails as it draws closer to shore, but it will not make it. And to ensure the end of the ship, everyone stumbles as the ship lurches hard from another mighty blow from the water. There are two lifeboats, our heroes and Astra board one and the remaining crew lead by Jubal on the other.

Both lifeboats proceed toward the shore, the second is falling behind. Before the heroes can react, the second lifeboat is thrown out of the water, spilling the crew into the water. All you can do is look on with horror as the Plesiosaur feast on the men. Your lifeboat slides up on the beach just as another Plesiosaur snaps it jaws, breaking the back of the boat. But you are safe…

the Escape

Astra leads everyone away from the water, deeper into the jungle. It is not far, she says, we must get to the ocean. There you must escape. The portal is closing and you have to be on the other side!

Lee and Kitty hear something following them, expecting the worse, they are surprised when a bloodied Jubal comes upon them. He is the only survivor from the second lifeboat. He looks at Lee, I pledged my life to you Captain, he says, I had to find you.

Soon they arrive at the edge of the jungle. Beyond lies a beach and what appears to be the ocean. It is curiously nighttime now. They can see on the shore a small camp, several men around a fire speaking German. Kitty is able to interpret, they are grumbling about the Captain taking most of the men ashore, deep into the jungle. Some sort of treasure they must acquire.

Remaining behind are the men at the beach and a few aboard the submarine there in the cove. And the heroes then discern a vessel floating just above the water about 100 yards off shore. It is truly a submarine as described by Jules Verne! Silas also realizes that the men are garbed in uniforms of the Night Watch. The enemy.

 

Astra says she must leave them. She and her people will head back into the jungle as the time is near. The portal is closing and the two worlds will once again be separate, as they should be. She kisses Silas and disappears into the jungle. There is a crackle of energy, like electricity in the air and Silas knows she is gone. He is back in his world and they have to save it. They need to seize that vessel!

the Submarine

A simple plan works best sometimes. Kitty distracted the men around the fire, lured them behind some rocks where they were promptly dispatched. The boat to the submarine is next, knock on the hatch and throw the officer overboard as he opens it. From there, drop down, secure the latch and go about securing the sub.

Joining our heroes aboard the secured sub are the cook and an engineer. One is a Swedish cook, Dagmond Pather, and the other a Scotsman, Mickey Donaldson. Neither are particularly loyal to the Night Watch. The cook was shanghaied and just wants to open a restaurant in London, across the street from his rival. The Scotsman is an engineer of sorts who helped build and test the submarine. He worked strictly to access the tech and of course the money.

So the return trip to London is easily managed. The submarine is left to the hands of the military and the Scotsman (now and employee of Silas') is contracted to the military to help study the technology. The cook (another new employee of Silas') now has a restaurant across from his rival's in the heart of London and a nice front for Silas and the other heroes to hold meetings with potential clients.

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Exploring a mysterious land
after the crash
 

The Crash

Our heroes have lightened the load, throwing things overboard, climbed the balloon and chipped away ice, and a break through the clouds reveals a mountaintop that the balloon crashes into, damaging the balloon badly. It tumbles out of control! Suddenly a a large flying reptile attacks the remnants of the balloon, entangling itself and panicking. The heroes slice the ropes, freeing the basket and it falls into a river below.

The air is still cold, the water cold, the basket drifts slowly down the river. Soon they notice shapes on either side of the shore following them. After a bit, they realize they are apes walking upright like men. Some of them are wearing bits of armour and even have weapons. They have a look of intelligence about them. It looks like a few white apes are leading the others, they even seem to be speaking some sort of guttural language. The river is about 500 yards wide at most points so the spears and rocks thrown by the apes are no threat yet.

The current is getting faster and the river bank is rising upwards, up ahead the river narrows to pass through a rocky canyon. The apes get excited and some rush ahead, trying to beat the basket to the canyon.

The river is forced down the narrow canyon at great speed. Every few seconds a spray of white water crashes over the basket. Silas is doing all he can to steer the basket and keep it away from the canyon walls. The spears and rocks from the apes come close to hitting the heroes. One of the apes actually leaps into the basket!

All can hear the low roaring sound coming from up ahead. Mist conceals the end of the canyon. The basket picks up even more speed as it races towards the heavy spray. The ape aboard the basket panics, trying to climb out, managing only to get tangled up in netting. As the waterfall draws close, the heroes spy a huge boulder forming a small island in the middle of the river. They leap to safety as the basket plummets over the side.

From the rock atop the waterfall can be seen a magnificent vista. They are on the edge of a vast escarpment stretching to the left and right as far as the eye can see. Hundreds of feet below the ground is covered in a thick blanket of green. The river tumbles down into a deep blue lake; this wide lake feeds another river that winds off under the heavy jungle. Far off in the distance and ocean or sea is just visible. Pterodactyls screech out as they dive and chase along the cliff face.

Far below there is a ruined circular building by the shore of the lake. From the columns it looks a lot like an ancient Grecian temple. A set of ancient steps have been carved from the rock of the escarpment. The elaborately carved steps head downwards along the cliff face. There are at least two switchbacks on the climb down.

The Temple

The ruined building is a round structure and is visibly decayed by the passage of centuries. The white marble is chipped and cracked by the powerful roots of trees from the jungle edge hundreds of feet away. The now missing roof was obviously once supported by rows of carved columns. The white marble shines brilliantly in the continuous midday sun.

On the wide stairway leading up to the temple is the body of a man. He is dressed in rugged clothing suitable for the jungle. The man died from a gunshot in the back about a month ago. He has a backpack and off to the side is a rifle. In the backpack there is a first aid kit. There is a map showing a 100 mile route to the coast of a large ocean. There is a date marked for five weeks from now. Another note indicating that if the rendezvous is missed, they will return in 6 months.

Inside the temple is an elaborate circular patterns set in the floor. A number of large golden rings marked with Greek numbers and letters have been set flat into the weathered floor. Other symbols are engraved into the marble floor surrounding the rings. The rings will pivot. Pondering various astrological signs, occult signs, and mixed up legends and lore, Silas rotates the rings through various combinations until success!

There is a sudden grinding sound that makes the earth shudder, a flock of terrified birds burst from the undergrowth, massive trees sway. As your eyes are drawn upwards you see the waterfall part like a massive curtain to reveal a giant statue hundreds of feet tall previously hidden behind the impenetrable wall of water.

The 200 foot high statue has obviously been carved from the cliff face itself. It depicts a bearded man wearing a classical Greek or Roman toga, reclining on throne with an arm resting on a stream-gushing amphora. Between his carved sandals there is square opening with steps leading up to it.

Inside the Tomb

What happens inside suggests a new story idea for Silas, some sort of archaeologist hero outwitting traps within a tomb to uncover an ancient treasure, perhaps he will find the time to write it up some day.

The journey through the tomb is a series of wet tunnels and death traps, all overcome by our heroes:

  • A pit trap with whirling blades of death at the bottom.
  • A corridor with stone walls that ram into each other on a pattern
  • A 30' wide shaft, 2 chains hanging the length, about 10-foot apart, the corridor across the way about 60' up.
  • Ending in a giant stone door embedded with six dials, each with nine symbols. A sort of combination lock.

The Chamber

It stretches out for at least a hundred feet. Utter darkness within, torchlight reflects off a vast reservoir of still, black water within. Running alongside the edges of the reservoir is a narrow path leading to the other end. Not much can be seen, just a faintly glowing green light.

Lee rushes carefully to the other side. As he nears he sees a large 10' statue of a seated man similar to the one under the waterfall. The statue is of a green marble like stone that almost seems to move under the lights. Resting in the statue lap is a large green emerald, carved to be an exact replica of a life-sized human hand. It glows faintly in the darkness.

Silas and Kitty enter the room, staying back near the entrance. That is when the rooms erupts in water and swirling tentacles from a giant octopus attacking from the depths of the reservoir! Gun shots and magic blasts seem to have little effect on the giant creature, a creature Silas detects is kept alive via strong magic. As tentacles lash out for Lee, he grabs the emerald hand and races back to the others. When he first touches the hand he feels a shiver as some strange energy runs through him. At that moment, the octopus stops attacking and dives deep into the water.

As Lee rushes back to his friends, they all hear a grinding, then the ground shakes and there is a roar of rushing water! All the traps have reset and the tomb is closing, filling back up with water! But time is not kind and our heroes are sucked into the water at the bottom of that great shaft and they are pulled through a tunnel. As they breath their last, they are suddenly shot out of the tunnel to the surface of the lake outside! They are free.

As the heroes pull themselves from the lake they can only stare in awe as the waterfall slowly reforms to once again protect the ancient statue and its secrets behind hundreds of tons of crashing water. As they pick themselves up they realize they are surrounded by dozens of armed pirates. The leader points a gun at Silas and says:

"I believe you have something that belongs to me."

Towards the back of the ruffians appears to be several figures tied together like prisoners. One of them, a beautiful women dressed in furs seems to be listening intently.

Just as the heroes prepare to fight, the water behind them erupts in spray as the giant octopus surfaces and begins grabbing the pirates.

The female captive beckons the heroes, asking in English to be freed, she will lead them to safety. She and the 6 other prisoners race off towards a bend in the river. As they round the bend, they see a pirate ship moored in the river. There are a few guards posted who seem to be reacting to the sounds of the battle with the octopus, they seem unsure of what to do.

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A Mysterious Land
a journey in a balloon

After you help destroy an elder god and elder creature, how do you follow that up? Easy, get trapped on a balloon that no one really knows how to pilot then suffer under the power of Mother Nature.

At first our heroes are enjoying the respite as they drift leisurely across the Egyptian desert. But the heat and exhaustion from the fight lead them to sleep a bit; after all, what could go wrong?

When they awaken, there is no land in sight, they have somehow drifted out to sea, and in the distance there is an ominous looking set of storm clouds. And they are heading right for them!

They have never experienced a storm such as this, and they hope they never do again. The balloon feels tiny and insignificant as it is tumbled about and thrown across the sky, powerful wind and rain batter them hard and thunder echoes around them and flashes of lightning light up the sky. They have faced all kinds of monsters and felt fear even, but as the tiny vessel is besieged by the power of nature, they feel fear like never before. They can see neither sea nor land, nothing but raging clouds and storm tear about them.

Time loses all meaning while lost in the storm. But the storm does come to end…and an eerie calmness follows. They are far out to see, that much they can determine. It is cloudy and foggy most of the time and it grows bitterly cold! Dressed for the deserts of Egypt, they begin to suffer from the effects of the biting cold. It is hard to move, they are losing feeling in their limbs, and they are growing sleepy. But they fight on, they must, they must resist.

Kitty is the first to notice anything, the clouds begin to part and she can see the ocean below. There, in the distance, land! A land covered in ice! Far below the ocean is covered in ice, giant icebergs drift about the ocean, crashing into each other. If they can only reach land! But the ocean is drawing near, too near! Ice has frozen atop the balloon; the weight is dragging them down to the frozen sea below! If they cannot lighten the load, free the balloon of the ice, they will never make land. They will crash into the freezing water below, dragged under water and die! What will they do? What can they do?

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The Night of Thoth - End
the wrap up
 

Experience rewarded: 4


The current total is here.

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Night of Thoth, it
...must be stopped!
 

Back to the Desert

Working with Saleem, the team identify where they are heading. It would be a five-day hard ride, not enough time to do anything when they arrived. This leaves the balloon. The cousin can make repairs and have it ready to go by the following afternoon. Saleem has a list of supplies to gather: 2 barrels of oil, a shotgun and box of shells, and a dozen grenades. Saleem will have to pilot the balloon himself, the cousin refuses to go along, mummies were enough for him.

The Tomb

The tomb of Oannes is located at the far end of a small, dead-end valley. The valley is two miles long and no wider than one hundred yards across. The cliff walls rise to a height of 500 feet. The temple was built into the cliff side, to conceal the tomb within and allow human worshipers to continue to honour Oanness.

 

At first, there appears to be no way inside, what would normally be an entrance is solid rock. But as the sun sets and the constellation of Orion rises in the east, the last rays of sunlight strike the face of the tomb. A single beam is centered on the stone-blocked entrance. With no smoke, noises, or other effects, the alcove is filled with a deep red light coming seemingly from within the rock itself. After a few seconds, the light fades and where once was a wall of stone, now stands a darkened entrance to the tomb.

Some initial findings inside the tomb:

  • The main chamber is vast, filled with 72 pillars supporting a raised platform, atop the platform stands an altar to Oannes.
  • Standing before the altar are two statues of seven-foot-tall fish-men. Lee realizes he did indeed see one of this creatures back in the bay.
  • Off to the left is an Oracle Room, within is a stone statue of Oanness. The sea demons would perform a ritual, leave an offering, and ask the oracle a question.
  • From the entrance chamber are two doors on either side which lead to the actual Shrine. Seated upon a throne of gold is a 30-foot-high statue of a fish-man creature, this is Oannes. It is extremely life-like. Standing on either side of the statue are rows and rows of wooden statues of sea demons. They are turned as if facing and worshiping the throne creature.
  • They follow a long corridor to a door leading to steps that venture deep into the bowels of the earth. The feeling of evil that rises from the depths is so strong that the heroes quickly shut the door.
  • The treasury room, with far too much treasure to ever be taken away in one trip. Digging about the piles they discover a chest with a false bottom. Inside is a brooch of the Eye of Horus. It is some sort of protective amulet.
  • In most of the rooms there are wall carvings telling the stories and histories of the sea people. Silas sets up his camera and takes photos of everything he can. He focuses especially on the map room, a detailed map of the world, including the continent of Antarctica with no ice covering. The level of detail surpasses most current maps!
  • The boat chamber, a full-sized boat built in the classical Egyptian style. It is still seaworthy, a bit old perhaps. It faces a large hole in the wall. A perfectly cut opening that descends into inky darkness below. Steps are carved alongside the ramp leading downward. Far below can be heard the faint sounds of rushing water. There is also a mighty roar of some sort of beast, a terrifying roar. Our heroes leave this be for now.

the Mummy Chamber

At the bottom of some stairs is a room filled with a dozen decorated sarcophagi. The symbols denote these as the remains of the high priests of the sea people. Lee is too curious and manages to open one of the sarcophagi. He is immediately attacked by the mummy that springs up out of it. From the other sarcophagi come tumbling other mummies. 12 mummies are occupying the room going after out heroes. Four are hanging back preparing magic spells and the other attacking.

Poor Saleem is grappled by a mummy that rips his body in two! Two converge on Kitty and the first is battling Lee. As Silas prepares to fire bolts of power, one of the mummies succeeds in conjuring a swarm of flesh-eating scarabs that flow around Silas to attack him! He suddenly feels the power within the ring he purchased and it creates some sort of barrier that prevent the scarabs from hurting him. He finishes his spell and blasts one of the mummies back into earth!

Kitty is doing her best to blast away at the limbs of the mummies but she knows her bullets are not very effective. They are driving her and Silas back into the hallway. Another mummy finishes a spell and the entire room and hallway are engulfed in a sandstorm, no one can see anything, well, the mummies can see. But all is not lost, Lee calls on the spirits and channels a wave of holy energy that blasts from him in a circle of power. Most of the mummies are destroyed outright as he power flows out and renders them to dust. Silas is able to finish off the remaining two.

Back to the Boat Room

Silas may never be able to say why he had a sudden desire to go back to the boat room, climb through that opening and march down the long stairs to the waters below. But he does it, and his companions follow. Even with their torches visibility is tough, it is some sort of dark magic if fighting the light. Half way down the stairs, Silas stumbles and kicks a rock. As it tumbles down the stairs, it echoes across the vast chamber, sounding louder than it should, then splashes into the water below. They freeze in their tracks, daring not even to breath, watching the ripples across the surface. The ripples subside and nothing happens. Just as they breath out in relief, a loud roar resounds throughout the chamber and a giant beast rears out of the water. Standing easily 60-feet tall, a head like a giant squid, massive tentacles ring its mouth, it stands upon two legs like man.

It roars again and begins charging up the stairs. Suffice to say, our heroes run like hell!

As they haul ass towards the entrance they can feel and hear the creature tear into the tomb. It is too large for most of the doors so it is tearing the walls apart as it charges through the tomb. Walls are collapsing, ceilings are crumbling, and the ground is shaking, the tomb is falling down around them!

When they reach the Shrine of Oannes, the 30-foot figure atop the golden throne is struggling to move. The time foretold is now and Oannes is awakening! Kitty and Lee skirt by the collapsing wooden statues but Silas is not so fortunate. He is pinned when several fall across him, trapping him. He yells to his friends to get to balloon, leave him! Of course they don't listen. As they struggle in vain to lift the statues, Oannes begins to stand, shaking the ground even more, he turns and spies the heroes, his arm extends and he points at them!

Suddenly the walls burst apart and the giant creature charges into the room tackling the first thing it sees, Oannes! The elder god and elder beast begin a fight to the death, bringing the tomb down around them. Luckily the battle tumbles the statues away freeing Silas. The heroes make it out of the doorway just as it collapses behind them, forever sealing the two mighty beings in their struggle to the death.

But now the cliff face and temple begin to collapse as well. Hurriedly preparing the balloon our heroes launch into the sky as the entire face of the cliff crashes down, burying everything in rubble, of the temple and tomb there are no signs, no one will ever know what lies buried beneath.

The balloon rises into the sky, caught in the winds, drifting to who knows where? For now, our heroes are safe.

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Still the Night of
 

the Antique Shop

Mr. Leo Schuler' shop specializes in old and rare books and antiques. Silas is practically drooling upon entering as he spies all of the old books. He sees many that are worth hundreds, if not thousands of dollars and books that any museum would die for. There are also statues of various gods, Egyptian, Roman, and Greek, vases, and miscellaneous jewelry.

They have a pleasant conversation with Schuler, who is still visibly upset over the death of his friend. Buried in the collection of items recently purchased from Hutchinson is a small gold ring with a scarab engraved on it. Silas offers a 100 pounds on the spot and buys it. It is almost if it is calling to him. He then notices a scroll lying on the counter, its title is in Latin and translates as "Dark Truths of the Egyptian People". It is extremely old, well worn, slightly discoloured from the sun, and written entirely in Latin. It is five or six feet in length if completely unfolded. Obviously Silas purchases this as well.

It is a long night back in the hotel room as Silas reads and translates this scroll. He is sure it holds a vital clue! What he learns:

  • It reveals the location of a temple supposedly inhabited by a fearsome monster and built by the Sea People
  • It agrees with known history, an army of the Sea People did invade Egypt. It is claimed they came from the great western sea beyond the Pillars of Hercules. Kitty immediately says "Atlantis?" when read this part.
  • A great cataclysm destroyed the armies of Sea People, perhaps the eruption of the volcanic island of Santorini?
  • Silas also knows that Oannes is often depicted as being half-man and half-fish.

A balloon ride

The following morning, Saleem, introduces them to his cousin, owner of a balloon. Saleem knows of this ruined temple mentioned in the old journal and will guide them there. Soon they are aloft and travelling quickly over he desert. It is a pleasant journey, the weather is good and the winds at the higher altitude keep everyone cool and comfortable. By the cousin's reckoning, they are just about 2-hours away when Kitty spots something behind the, following them, and drawing closer.

Soon enough they spy a winged fiend swooping in for the attack. It is trying to destroy the balloon! Saleem and his cousin might be a bit panicked but our heroes appear nonplussed, yawn, another winged fiend…

Kitty blazes away with her six-guns and Silas blasts it with magic bolts. Within minutes the beast is destroyed and as its body plummets to the earth below, it dissolves into dust and fades away.

The Temple

The area looks deserted and much of it is buried in the sand. A smaller building can be seen to the rear and a pool of water stands in the middle of the site. The design is mostly Egyptian but there are hints of something else in the construction. Silas and Lee both realize the pool was used as a ceremonial pool for bathing before entering the temple. The cousin remains outside with the balloon, and after bathing (out of respect for the sight) the heroes and Saleem enter the temple.

Inside is dark and gloomy filled with pillars supporting the ceiling, allowing more space on the walls for writing. The writings on the wall tell how the Pharaoh Rameses III defeated the Sea People by commanding the gods to cause earthquakes and floods to drive them from Egypt. The Sea People are drawn in careful detail, appearing to have scaly skin and big bulging eyes. Silas and Saleem remain in this big room searching while Kitty and Lee head out back to the smaller structure.

Within the smaller structure the walls are bare, no writings, only a heavy trapdoor in a corner. Together they lift the trapdoor to discover below a chamber, perhaps twice the size of the one they are standing in. The chamber below is filled almost to the rim with bones, some look human! This bones have been placed here over a large period of time. Lee digs around and pulls out a skull similar to the fish skull back at the museum.

Meanwhile, back in the main temple, Saleem and Silas are about finished searching when Silas catches a glinting from behind a portion of the wall. He chips away the wall to reveal another golden pyramid. The final piece of the puzzle.

Everyone in both rooms hear the scream of terror from the cousin outside. As they rush out to aide him, they see him pointing to dozens of mummies slowly approaching from all sides. There are too many of them to fight! And Lee and Silas both remember that the touch of a mummy can be deadly, it can cause mummy rot!

Everyone races for the balloon, the cousin already aboard and preparing for lift-off. They just need to loosen the secure lines to get away. Kitty, Saleem, and Lee manage to free their lines and jump into the basket. Silas is not so lucky. As he reaches the line, the balloon shoots up at an awkward angle, connected by this one line, it entangles Silas up. He is desperately trying to free himself and the line so they can lift off! Kitty is blasting away at mummies, trying to keep them back, the gunfire seems to have little affect however. She changes tactics and shoots the last lien free of its tie-down. The balloon shoots up in the sky, Silas clutching the rope perilously. But one mummy was close enough to land a solid blow and Silas immediately knows his has been infected.

Safely in the sky and returning home, Silas lies at the bottom of the basket feverish as the effects of the mummy rot begin to set in. Lee pushes everyone aside and kneels down beside his new friend. He closes his eyes, concentrates, and whispers something, his hands begin to glow and a wave of healing energy flow over Silas, curing him of the disease.

Safely back in their hotel room, a nice dinner under their belts and a few stiff drinks, Kitty begins to translate the pyramids' message.

Far to the west, in the depths of the great marsh we call home, there lies a great river valley. At the end of this valley is a monument of stone carved in memory of the god who rules in absence. On the Night of Thoth, when the stars are right, the sun shall strike with its dying breath the unopenable portal and reveal the truth that lies within. The chains that hold the mighty One who is named Oannes shall shatter and he shall be released upon the undeserving world.
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The Night of Thoth
 

Death in Alexandria

Our heroes receive a message from an old acquaintance, Anwar El-Tayeb, concerning the death of an American Professor of Egyptology and asking for their help. Tickets to Alexandria are enclosed. Before setting off, Silas asks for any local contact information via the Chimera Club. He is told to look for a local dragoman, Saleem Naziz, highly recommended and lots of contacts.

 

The Greco-Roman Museum

They are taken to the local museum to meet up with Anwar and the museum director, Professor F. Breccia. Whilst being lead back to Breccia's office, the heroes notice a wall decorated with scenes of a battle. An army of Egyptian soldiers is being beaten by an army of bipedal figures wearing what looks like fish scales as armour.

The caption below, written in Arabic, French, and English, is titled "Army of Rameses III defeats the invading Sea People". Kitty remarks that it appears to be labeled wrong, clearly the Egyptians seem to be losing in this picture.

Introductions are made in the office, Professor Breccia was an old friend to Proffessor Hutchinson and was saddened to hear of his horrible death. Anwar explains that Hutchinson was conducted one of many of his normal digs but was also working for Anwar. Anwar explains briefly about the Golden Pyramids. He had one being shipped in but unfortunately the boat was sunk during a freakish storm. Hutchinson was using his expedition as a cover to dive in the bay and try and recover the pyramid.

Anwar needs to return to Cairo for pressing business but the heroes have the full confidence and aide of Professor Breccia and his museum services. Anwar leaves the professor to escort the heroes down to the basement, where uncatalogued artifacts are stored as well as the belongings of Professor Hutchinson. During the walk, they ask Breccia about the wall mural and the legends of the Sea People.

"They were a race who came from the western ocean and were amongst the first soldiers to wear what later became known as scale mail armour."
"They are always shown with this armour on, even in scenes that do not involve warfare. There are even rumours or legends that suggest they were survivors from the collapse of Atlantis. Aside from that, they seemed to have been effectively wiped out during a natural cataclysm many millennia ago."

The Basement

Much of the stuff in here is junk or badly damaged but there are certainly gems to be found among the large unorganized collection. Ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian artifacts lie side by side. A most unique find in the collection is a rather strange-looking fish skull. It is most definitely some sort of fish but it is larger than a man's and an unknown species. Breccia explains it was discovered washed up on the beach of a nearby chain of small islands. Breccia points to a box of Hutchinson's belongings then leaves back to his office, boring clerical work awaits him.

Within the box are pottery shards, ancient coins, and a cloth-covered object. Unwrapping this reveals a Gold Pyramid, like the one seen in Scotland and the missing pyramid lost at sea. There are notes written about the pyramid explaining that the missing pyramid at sea should be of the same shape and size. The outer surfaces are dotted with hieroglyphs. Kitty can read most of it but realizes it is only a portion of a larger message. Without the other pyramids, the entire message is unreadable.

"Skull" Island

The dragoman, Saleem, is able to arrange a trip to the island where the Fish Skull was discovered. After a 3-hour trip, the boat captain brings them near the shore, pointing to a vague strip on the beach.

"It was found over there. This island is cursed because the people who lived here before turned from Allah and began worshipping the old gods."
"I will wait here offshore, you must get back to the boat before nightfall, I will not remain here after dark…it is evil…I do not wish to die, I have many children and grand-children who depend on me."

The heroes spend several hours searching the island, is isn't very big but overgrown with plants and debris. Kitty finds a portion of large stone sticking from the ground. It looks like it has been worked by man. A few more hours clearing away the dirt reveals some sort of crude altar, weathered from age and adorned with crude carvings across the sides. It is old and weathered, clearly buried here for a long time.

The carvings show men with fish heads dancing around a gigantic man-fish figure. Lee and Silas think it might be a representation of Oannes.

Diving for Clues

The group first meets with William Franklin, an archaeology major in his final year, he was the main assistant to Professor Hutchinson. He is found at the hostel where the remaining members of the dig team reside. They have only a few days left before they return back to the states. After the death, the Smithsonian sees no reason to carry on with the dig. At least for the rest of this year.

William provides little insight beyond what the heroes already know. The professor was liked and well-respected. He was looking forward to this season's work, convinced he had discovered Cleopatra's palace complex under the eastern harbour water.

He accompanied every diving team we sent down. It was…perhaps three weeks into the work that he began to act strangely. He seemed nervous, always looking over his shoulder. If anyone asked, he shrugged it off to just being tired, sleeping poorly he said.

I was working ashore that fateful day. The professor and three others went out as a normal. The next thing I know, the boat has raced home with the professor's body. He was killed by a shark according to the police. The police cleared us off and shut down the dig. So we are finishing up reports and cataloging before heading home.

Silas searches the professor's suitcase, finding nothing of real interest. According to William, the police returned most of the professor's pieces to the museum. Although the professor did sell a few minor pieces to Mr. Schuler, he might know more if you ask him.

The trio then set out on the original boat with the crew from that fatal day. The police may have shut down the dig, but as Saleem points out, the cannot stop tourists from spending a day out on a boat. The Arab crew seems to be enjoying themselves, having quite a laugh at the expense of the local police. Their captain explains there are NO sharks in the Mediterranean. And talk of fish-men make them laugh harder. Silly superstitions he says.

At the sight of the last dive, it is Kitty and Lee who don dive suits and go below. Silas elects to remain on the surface, comfortably aboard the boat. It is murky water they descend into, lots of sand kicked up making visibility difficult under the water. There are clearly signs of some sort of ancient construction buried in the sand. It looks a bit like Greek or late Egyptian. Towards the end of the dive, Kitty notices a strange glint though the murky water. Swimming over, she digs up another Golden Pyramid, perhaps the one lost from the sinking ship. It does look like the remains of a ship can be seen dotting about the area.

As they begin the ascension back up, Lee is startled as he passes over the remains of a toppled pillar, a sea-demon suddenly emerges from the gloom. It stops a few feet short of him, it seems to be as startled of him as he is of it. After a moment, it darts back into the water, lost to sight. Almost like a dream, like it didn't happen.

Safely ashore and back in their room, Kitty studies the two pyramids together. It seems to make a bit more sense to her now. Something about a tomb in the marsh to the west and the Night of Thoth. But without the third piece, she can get anymore specific.

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Tong of the Black Scorpion - End
the wrap up
 

Experience rewarded: 3


The current total is here.

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