Monday, 5 April 2021

Escape from El Khatrass

        Professor Loft looked at his watch, it would be a long twelve hours before he could make his escape.

         Quickly he checked the door, Yes, his Jailers had been careless again, and left the key in the lock, The old newspaper and teaspoon trick would get him out of the room. Then creep quietly down the stairs and out of the front door, down the street, then a quick walk to Shepherds Hotel, where he knew his daughter would be staying.

        From beneath his mattress he pulled copies he had made of entries in the Scroll of Sven that he had been required to translate for his captors.

       The page they wanted showed an illustration of a buried chamber between two Sphinx statues. Each looked identical to the well known one by the great pyramid, but he knew of no location where two such statues had ever stood.

      Within the chamber was shown a Rams horn trumpet and what seemed to be a parabolic bronze mirror.

     It had taken a great deal of effort to decipher the text,  although written in Greek, it made no sense. Only when he realised that the language was Aramaic did he begin to unravel the mystery.

     The tale told of 'The Voice of Ra' and seemed to describe something of great power, The power to move mountains or to destroy them.

     There were further references to 'The Tongue of the Winged Serpent' and to 'The Giver of Light'    but directions and distances were given in 'Ells'.

  Other pages showed what appeared to be The Golden Fleece, An unknown Archipelago, and a strange goblet covered in swirls and triskelions of script.

    He would need to gather a team of experts to help decipher it all:

    Professor Compani  would have been his first choice but had disappeared  in Africa some ten years previously.

    Hamilton and Mumford would be good choices, or Gruber and Pechlivan, Young Denyer perhaps. There were others too.

  As soon as he was free he would gather a team together to decipher the mysteries.

   Many hours later, when all was quiet, The last ladies of negotiable virtue had gone home and the early morning workers had yet to rise. He made his move.

   The door to his room gave no trouble, and with his few belongings and the precious document, he crept down the stairs.

   No sound disturbed the silence as he reached the front door, Soon he would be able to breathe the fresh air of freedom.

   Locked and bolted, no sign of the key. He turned and made his way to the back.

As he passed a closed door he could hear snoring, stopping to listen he could make out at least two people within.

  Taking even more care, he made his way to the back. Again locked, with no sign of a key.

   This had always been a possibility, and Plans C,D, and E had already been made.

   Quietly back up the stairs, he entered his room, gathered the knotted sheets and made his way to the roof hatch.

    His heart in his mouth, he unbolted the hatch, wincing as it squeaked open.

    He paused for a while, but no sounds came from below.

    Out, onto the roof, quickly to the parapet, he looked down judging the distance to the ground and looking for somewhere to anchor his homemade rope.

  The only possible anchor was someway from the edge of the roof, looking down he would have to drop the last six feet or so. He would have to risk it.

  Struggling slightly, he had spent too much time lately in dusty archives and not enough out in the field, he managed to clamber down. With a last look round he dropped, hoping against hope he would land safely.

  Standing and dusting himself off, he was relieved to be unharmed. Quickly and quietly he made his way towards the river. He would wait by the Cafe Citron, until his old friend Abdullah arrived for his morning coffee, then make contact with Clara and plan their next actions.

    As the sun began to rise, Cairo looked cleaner than he remembered it.

The game was played out with pencil and paper, using mechanisms borrowed from Black Ops and simple decision making formulae. ie left 123, right 456. With only two exceptions the professor defied the odds, but a recitation of he threw a 6 when needed, followed by a 2 when needed hardly makes for a riveting tale. He will henceforth be known as "Lucky Loft"

And will need all of that luck in the next episodes.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

Thats my pyramidion !

continued from here

It is dusk and still no sign of the daily finds lorry. With the pyramidion packed and under guard, Diana Jones checks in with the armed guards. Most of the diggers are just about to go home - a couple will stay to help guard the site.

The agents of the 'rule of 6', approach the dig site ...
The antiquities robbers move up behind the temple ...
The  'rule of 6' agents move fast and take out the sentries by the dig building.. a couple of them open fire on the diggers...
The diggers react, opening fire - hitting one of the interlopers...
Meanwhile the antiquities robbers are quietly moving round and up into the temple ...
The  'rule of 6' agents move fast and come up behind the diggers guns blazing ......
the antiquities robbers make their move, over the low ruined wall and up to the crate holding the pyramidion; Diana Jones comes to help the guard.. shots are fired ...
Diana Jones and Reg Butler find themselves in a crossfire, the rest of diggers and guards are all down
Diana and Reg make a hasty retreat to the top of a low sand dune as a gun battle starts between the antiquities robbers and the 'Rule of 6' agents..
the antiquities robbers get ready to load the crate onto the their lorry ...
Dian and Reg, take pot shots from the top of the dune taking out a couple of the opposition...
The gun battle peters out, the antiquities robbers have won and have got the crate on the truck; Diana and Reg fire on them as they slowly move away ...
the antiquities robbers move away at speed ...
and are soon off down the road ....
Diana and Reg now open fire on the remaining 'Rule of Six' agents who are now beating a hasty retreat into the desert...

Diana and Reg make their way to the dig site to check how everybody is, most are badly wounded - a couple just knocked out; they go up to Sid al Bunzi to get help.   The pyramidion is gone, at least they have the photographs of it and rubbings of the inscriptions to study.....


Game mechanics ...

with 3+ parties involved, used playing cards for initiative/action

Spades - the archaeologists and their guards

Diamonds - Rule of Six agents

Hearts - Antiquities stealers

Clubs - diggers and civilians

on card activation party moves fire and start combat; other parties can turn/defend themselves and return fire but not move. A run of cards gives advantage to one side, but can act against them if another run of a different suit comes up.  In the game the Antiquities stealers got the better cards..

Sunday, 7 March 2021

The pyramidion is found ....

Continued from here

After they had removed some rubble and as they dug away the sand, the tip of the pyramidion was seen - hastily they dug away the remaining sand - there it was - the 'Giver of Light'...

The pyramidion was eased out of the ruined building and a crate made ready for it...
The pyramidion was packed in the crate ready for pickup by the daily lorry which took the major finds back to Cairo.  It was late in the afternoon and the lorry had not arrived - it had overheated a mile or so on the other side of Sidi Al Bunzi.. a faulty hose would need to be fixed ...


Word on the discovery of the pyramidion soon reached other interested parties in Sidi Al Bunzi; a dubious antiquities dealer instructs his men to obtain it ....
A group of men from the 'Rule of Six' have moved up the Wadi Al Swere and are about to make their move to take the pyramidion for their own nefarious purposes...

to be continued

Saturday, 6 March 2021

At the Dig Site ...

Between the settlement of Sidi al Bunzi and Wadi El Swere are the ruins of the temple of Amun built by Amenemhet I; not far from the temple an archaeological excavation led by Dr Diana Jones is in progress .... they are searching for the pyramidion of Senusret I - known as the 'Giver of Light'.


Reg Butler (dig foreman) had gone for a short walk before the work of the day to see Wadi El Swere and the desert beyond...

As Reg headed back to the dig site, Dr Diana Jones and her assistant John Hadley had left Sidi al Bunzi and were walking to the dig site...
They passed by the temple of Amun ...
and on to the dig site where she checked in with Harry Robson on what was planned for today ...
They went to see the their new area of interest, a small building nearby the temple, the diggers were getting their instruction  ....
Diana Jones felt more secure now with the men sent by Colonel Polkington guarding the dig site ....

to be continued ....

Sunday, 21 February 2021

The view from the Window

 Professor Loft stood, balanced precariously on a chair, upon a table, looking out of the attic window.

From his viewpoint he knew he was somewhere in Cairo, near The Museum of Antiquities, Craning his head he could just see the steps of St Geralds.

     Even as he watched he could see a series of suspicious characters lingering there.

   Perhaps they were not truly suspicious, it was indeed a renowned meeting point, but after the past few days his feelings of paranoia were high.

      Two fiendish Orientals, could one be the nefarious Dr Wu?

A lone man, his dress reminiscent of a Leprechaun.

He was in fact known by that title, well known to the police  that is  as a latterday Raffles.

The next to appear reminded him of the Sterling brothers, or was it the Lewis Twins, something like that. Talking to El Masoudhi of the Museum of Antiquities.

Even the French were here.

And the Chinese in the person of Colonel Wang and his daughter Tsu Tsi.

A Medical convention was obviously taking place nearby.

Some poor demented soul with delusions of adequacy.

The Japanese ambassador.

A couple who he thought looked like his daughters old school friends; Diana Jones and her sister.

Definitely trouble. Klaus von Wittemheim and his military advisors.

That man again.

Another Mis matched pair. Russians perhaps.

Obviously a school trip, a girl from his daughters old finishing school St Geraldines.

Is it?

Yes it's Clara, she is safe and free. Now he can make his escape.

To be continued.......

In Warmer Climes ...Cairo

Outside an annex of the Eyptian Museum in Cairo. Dr Diana Jones and Professor Rodrey Bilton, were in conversation...

Rodrey: Nelly is sending some men to help guard the dig site today.
Diana: That is a relief, I think we are close to finding it.
Rodrey: What about the telegram from Clara ?
Diana: I have to go out to the dig. Can you and Nelly meet them and see what you can do to help them ?
Rodrey: Yes of course.
Diana: If all goes well at the dig I may be back in Cairo soon and I can help as well
Rodrey: Good luck at the dig, bye.
Diana: Good bye...

As Diana Jones walked across to a waiting car....

a  journalist from the Daily Gazette intercepted her and asked how close they were to finding the the pyramidion of Senusret.  She fobbed him of saying they were just doing a routine investigatory dig at the ruins of a temple founded by Amenemhet I, but had not found anything of significance.

She walked over to the waiting car,

"Sorry for the wait Joe,  can you take me to the Excelsior, 
I'll change there then we can go out to the dig site"..

Friday, 19 February 2021

Seeking some assistance.....

Aware they were being followed, the Sterling brothers had arranged for doubles to lay a false trail; the bait was taken and the men who were following them were led into a trap (see here).


At Somington aerodrome, a quarter of an hour after their doubles left; Kit Campion and the Sterling brothers slipped out the side of the passenger terminal to a waiting taxi ...

They set off at a leisurely pace, once they were sure they were not being followed they turned south ...

Half an hour later they passed through Snodbury, a little way out of the town they turned off the main road up towards a large country house, the residence of the traveller & adventurer - Sir Ray Landsmith..

Come in gentlemen, you are expected...
They were shown into the study, introductions were made, after a bit of a chat Sir Ray offered them some tea and cake..
   A bit later on the conversation turned to more serious matters. They discussed the 'Rule of Six' organisation's activities and the spate of disappearing linguistics & archaeology professors; the current information available to them pointed to the conclusion that they had some special project in progress in Egypt. 
   Sir Ray said he was unable to investigate or assist them personally as he was soon to leave for the far east to investigate the activities of the inscrutable Mu Fanchu. He did however give them some reliable contacts in Cairo who would be able to help them  - 
Dr Diana Jones (archaeologist and adventurer), 
Professor Rodrey Bilton (of the Egyptian museum), 
and Colonel Nelson ('Nellie') Polkington.
  While Sir Ray went to find his butler to arrange for them to stay the night, Kit and the Sterling brothers discussed travel arrangements ..........