Rick feels that the Valley of the Kings is not our goal, or rather the cult’s goal, and Somerfield agrees. The City of the Dead must be where the action is going to be. We set up a quick camp outside the ruins to sleep and our men finish in the morning, and start our search for any obvious evidence of activity, rather than stay in the modern city only a mile or 2 away on the river.
We feel this is where the enemy wishes to peform whatever ritual it is they are doing with the heart. Either Mundabi, Billy or Sebastian are always in charge of guarding Kareem with several guards day and night. Our leaders take 4 hour shifts in order of Sebastian-Mundabi-Billy. Sebastian not too happy about his role, he’d rather be out doing dashing things, but we tell him guarding of Kareem is of the utmost importance and Rick and Somerfield have the archaeology/history expertise that will be necessary in the ruins.
So, the 2 of them, Billy and Fritz, with a unit of 5 guards, and the Savatore sisters begin the search. We pass by temple of Seti I first, then several smaller grave sites. Somerfield “These are from the 10th through 17th dynasties” Rick “Surely are. Later than we search for though.” Come to a fork Somerfield “According to the schematic, forward will be Thutmose III and Ramses II, off to the right is the Temple of Hatshepsut, Mentuhotep, tombs of 11th dynasty. Also a tomb they thought was of Akhenaten but was not. Any strong feelings on one way or the other?” Rick “Rule of the Dark Pharaoh was long, and there’s much after that period. Hatshepsut’s area is of no use, we need to start from Amenhotep II to the Colossus of Memnon.” We proceed to the area and start looking for any obvious recent activity first. After the search, we are absolutely sure nothing is there.
Evening, back at camp Sebastian recommends we go to town for a drink and think. Plus, perhaps the cultists are hanging out in town. Fritz takes a guard rotation on Kareem, and Rick, Sebastian, Billy, the Salvatore sisters, Somerfield go to town. Bigger than a village but not a city. We go to one of the more prominent dancing club/taverns and sit for coffee, and ask around subtely about newcomers in town recently and any recent offseason work in the City of the Dead since nothing major has been going here for months so activity would be suspicious. Unfortunately, no activity recently. A dancing girl begins flirting with Rick, awkward in front of the sisters but Rick remembers them messing with him on the Queen of the Nile so gives it back to them by flirting back. The sisters not happy at all, but neither was Rick! Francesca not happy at all, but Maria flirts back with the girl to. The girl pays no attention to that, further flaming the friendly fire, and asks Rick upstairs for coffee. Rick asks if his friend can join, she says “No” Billy “What are you talking about I can’t join” Rick “I was talking about Maria” Billy “Oh yes, of course(trying to laugh his mistake off)”. Rick goes up and says to Billy in his tongue “Be on the lookout for trouble.” Upstairs Rick tries to ask her the ?‘s but she is more interested in something else, having dropped half her silks and starts kissing her. Rick offers to pay for her time but politely backs away. What Rick doesn’t see, obviously she has impressive breasts taking his attention, is the assassins she has successfully drawn his attention away from.
A ratty streetlookin’ person walks by and nonchalantly slips a note to Billy, its in Arabic so he hands it to the others. Somerfield can read it “I have important information for you, meet me outside in 10 minutes”-signed Sons of Re. Billy “Rick won’t be done in 10 minutes” (HA!). Billy and Somerfield go out leaving the other 3 to keep an eye out inside.
Outside we meet the man who says “Is it true you have the undying heart?” Billy “I can’t answer that question, that kind of information would be privy to only Rick Rathbone but he is upstairs questioning a possible source of info”. Another man comes out from around the building corner and says “Your friend is in grave danger, they must realize he is a key to keeping the heart from being destroyed. You must rescue him.” Billy “Let’s go men!” and they rush upstairs…
Where Rick feels a sudden terrible pain in his back, struck-5 by dagger. The girl then goes to grapple Rick but fails, then Rick (card)trips the assassin and withdraws 10’ drawing pistol on the way and fires on the assassin-6 to alert the others now at the bottom of the steps. The assassin stands up and moves to Rick, drawing another dagger on the way. The chic throws a dagger at Rick-4 who fails poison save for 4 str damage, and Rick misses a punch. The assassin attacks with both weapons and hits once-3. Chic pulls up her dress and draws a dart which misses Rick and hits the wall, sizzling. Rick hits-6 and the assassin hits once-5. Chic draws another dart and fumbles it, sticking her leg-2 and fails poison for 6 str damage leaving her at 2. Rick misses another punch and assassin hits all three-15 total. Door bursts open with Billy in the lead, Rick in the corner fisticuff’s vs daggers. Billy (mistaken ID card) is assumed to be another cultist for a second by the assassin who has his back to the door by screaming “in the name of ankh amun”. Assassin says “Help brother” without lookin behind and is caught flatfooted and flanked by the charging billy who hits with kukri-9 who loses a round by the shock of the turn of events. The girl has dragged herself into the far corner. Billy crits-18 DEAD. Rick “Thanks Billy”. Billy pulls out pistol on chic “Shall I kill her sahib” Rick “No I wanna question her” and pulls the dart from her leg. “What’s all this then woman” in arabic, she answers “soon I will be with my master but he will be here to rule, and you all will be in eternal torment.” Rick"never going to happen. We have thwarted your allies before and will again." Her “No, my lord Amun will be here. Once he was defeated but never again. The others from the brotherhood will come to kill you. No matter how many of us you kill, we will not stop. You and your dog of a sikh will die.” Salvatore sisters get rough with her but she won’t talk. Suddenly she pricks her finger with an unsees poison ring and starts coughing. A few seconds later dies. Rick makes his secondary save with an action point. We take the daggers and head back downstairs and meet the Sons of Re outside. They say the daggers are the weapon of the cult’s trained slayers. Rick “What assistance can you all give us.” Them “No direct assistance, we are a small sect. Guidance and that is all”. Rick “We are searching for what they are doing and exactly where they are doing it, and how to destroy the unmentionable thing.” Them “In that case, speak to the Princess.” Rick “What princess?” “We can say no more, speak to the princess who is reborn, and look for the sign of Amun, for when you see it you know you will find the place.” (They must mean Isabella Fortiscue is the reincarnation of Nefertiti!) Rick “In the city of the dead?” “Yes, and know the cult is already here and ready to perform their ritual.” Rick “Do they have the other jars?” “We believe they do.” Rick “But not the heart.” Them “Without the heart Amun will not return, until they find another one.” Rick “We have a man in our custody named Satekh Kareem.” “We know of no such man. Know that we will watch from the shadows and provide what aid we can.”
Meanwhile back at camp, Fritz took duty on Kareem. A sound is heard by a guard who says I will check on it. “Halt, who goes there?” Fritz preps the ol’ big .50 and a shot fires into the darkness. A voice yells “Ow, ah, why did you shoot me?” The guard who fired comes back helping a digger who claims to have went out into the desert to do his business and was shot. Fritz does not trust him. Guard “I’m sorry I shot you”. The guard takes him away to see to his wounds. Fritz raises his guard, and soon after hears movement in the darkness. Wind? Animals? Just too on edge? He raises his carbine, keeping his big .50 in reserve. A volley fires from the darkness, bullets miss Fritz and a guard, but another guard is hit twice but minor. The guard who took the digger away runs back with rifle ready. Fritz yells to take cover and fire at the shadowy figures now somewhat visible in the moonlight. 2/3 guards hit-8,7, Fritz drops one-16. Yell from the guy who ran from medical tent as the digger he took in came from behind and stabs him-4. The guard turns, using his rifle to club at the traitor. Mundabi awakes to the gunfire and begins to gather several more soldiers. 5 rifles from dark miss, Fritz drops another-21, our clubber hits-5 but all guards miss; Another volley from the enemy misses Fritz twice. Traitor hits our clubber-4 and ours does same back; 1 guard hits-11, Frits hits-11. Their volley, seems like 3 now, drops 1 soldier and misses Fritz. Our clubber hits the traitor hard, our guard misses, Fritz hits-10. Their shots miss, our guard misses as does Fritz with a jam. He drops it and raises his .50. They miss our guard twice, Fritz hit-7. Mundabi and 3 more guards arrive. The guards fire and miss. Fritz misses, Mundabi rushes into Kareem’s tent and sees 2 guys cutting Kareem free with daggers. They rush to the attack but miss. Their rifles hit our guard once-2. Mundabi stabs-17 with his spear DEAD, Fritz hits-20 DEAD. Our guards fire, hitting once-7. Clubber and traitor still rolling around in a dirty fight. In the tent, they miss Mundabi who also misses. Their rifles miss our soldier, who fire back with 3 hits-8,3,12 killing one. Only one left in darkness. Our clubber crits the traitor DEAD. Mundabi hits-18 DEAD. Kareem now 2 rounds out the back of tent, and Mundabi chases calling out Kareem is gone. Fritz starts to swift-track him and succeeds! A few hundred yards out, we catch sight of him in the moonlight from the top of a small dune. He seems to split off in 3 directions. Mundabi “Magic?” Fritz fires at the center one and hits-20 dropping him. He fires at the right one at, hitting-26 dropping him. The other gets away. The second guy is a cultist, but the first is indeed Kareem who is alive. Fritz binds his wounds on his 3rd try, keeping him from dying at -8, whew. Mundabi says there are 3 sets of tracks, there were 3 men it was just hard for us to see. Our dropped soldier stabalizes on his own, and Doc Bryce looks after him. Fritz and Mundabi take Kareem back to camp.
All back at camp now, and we need to talk to Isabella. First thing in morning we see her, taking bust of Nefertiti with us. She tells the story of her life: has dreamed about ancient Egypt since a child. At times she will slip into a trance, a ‘fit’, and would speak in a language no one else around her knew. Later, a professor witnessed it once and ID’d it as ancient Egyptian. Also does so in English at times. She has allowed these dreams to dominate her life. She married Edward because of his interest in archaeology, and swayed him to Egypt more than any other." Bryce says he can hypnotize her and she agrees. He succeeds and tells her to let the other person within her take center stage, the Queen. She starts speaking in Egyptian. Bryce “Ask her whatever you want”. We explain we are facing the followers of Amun, and she knows, so she is aware of what is going on. Tell her what Sons of Re told us, and ask her to expound. “They are not seeking a temple, but a tomb. The body of Amun is indestructable so we buried his body here and his undying heart in Amarna”. We tell her we have the heart, which Isabella did not know of. “Without it all they can raise is a hollow man, a semblance of Amun.” Rick “Good, much weakened then.” Her “Still powerful nonetheless, but not so as to conquor the world. Either way could wield magic.” Rick “So regardless we must stop it.” Her “You must destroy the heart.” Rick “Where?” Her “They can find another vessel even w/o the body. The heart is the key. Destroy it and he can never return. The tomb is in the City of the Dead, not the valley. The tomb of Amun is hidden in the wall of the cliff, the sign of Amun will show the way. Find the temple of Hathor. The rising sun will reveal the entrance to the tomb on the cliff.” Rick “How do we destroy the heart?” “You must find the tomb of Khmet Amun and the daughters of Set.” She does not know where it is, but it is not here. It was after her time, and hidden in the desert to the west. In the old days there was an oasis." Rick “Ah, we already search for the Gorge of Osiris near a particular oasis. Do you know that name?” “Yes, that was known before my time. It will be near the same oasis. Do not go to the gorge, only evil dwells there.” Rick “What kind of evil, and why?” “The evil there is the Set Rehotep. Not a god, nor a man yet some of both.” Rick “And that has no tie to Amun, or the Dark Pharaoh?” “The set rehotep rose to power in the 7th dynasty. Some say he was a worshipper of the DP, some say he was an aspect of the same god. He was defeated and lies in a guarded tomb, guarded by warriors of Osiris. No one must enter the gorge. Nothing but evil can come of it. Tell my husband and son that I love them as much as Isabella does and I will miss being with them.” Rick “Why where are you going?” “I had a hand in Rick and Somerfield getting together because I needed warriors. My task is complete, and now I go to the afterlife forever” and she is gone. Bryce wakes Isabella up “I feel sad, like part of my soul is missing.” We explain all Nefertiti said and she cries. We stress the information she has revealed has been of vast importance. She has blank spots in her memory, remembering almost nothing of Egypt, like a dream. She was vaguely aware, sometimes saw her body from the outside, remembers maybe half of what has happened. Rick realizes he missed his chance to get together with Nefertiti on the boat.
So, who goes for the Tomb of Amun? Kareem says he can be of service, “I can see we can not defeat you but the master is patient. If we fail in this time his servants won’t fail the next. He is unforgiving and my failure is my end.” Rick “A loyal cultist shouldn’t think like that.” Kareem “I’m in this for the power. I’ll burn in hell.” Rick “Exactly what you deserve. You’re not convincing me.” Kareem “I can show you where the tomb is.” Rick “We already know that.” Kareem “Well I can be of other assistance. I can get you past all the traps.” Rick “Like we would trust you to tell us where a trap isn’t. I should make you eat the heart.” We do not take him with us of course.
Next morning, before the rising sun, we set out from camp for the Temple of Hathor. Sebastian, Zakir and the Salvatore’s along with most of the guards are left to watch over the Heart of Amun and Kareem. All guards are to stay at a distance from the heart, forming a perimeter. Rick, Somerfield, Mundabi, Billy, Fritz, and of our guards reach the temple. As soon as the sunlight hits it a certain way we see the mark of Amun. The entrance is dug in at an angle at a cut so that it is impossible to see but up close. The sign shows the location. However, we see 2 cultists guarding the entrance. Rick dispatches Billy and Mundabi to surprise them. Billy will come from below, and Mundabi makes his way wide around a flank and above them, ready do drop down upon the fiends. We hear faint chanting from inside. One guard turns away, looking inside while the 2nd walks into the tomb. Billy is closing in, and the guard hears a noise from above (Mundabi). He looks upward and Billy moves in unseen and unheard, putting the guard in a vicegrip of a necklock from behind-13, silencing him for the moment. From above, the black form of Mundabi falls upon him led by the point of his spear-23 DEAD. Somerfield below “Quite the team of savages the 2 of you have, I do say.” The rest of us begin making our way up quickly.
Within the entrance is a 20′ × 40′ long entryhall, followe by a large room with an altar at the far side. Behind that is a smaller room.
At this point, back at camp, one of the sisters hears a loud thumping from the tent housing the heart. She gets Sebastian who investigates and finds that it is the heart beating louder and louder. He gets all guards at a greater perimeter, but facing inward to the tent “If anyone walks toward the tent, even one of you, shoot them dead. The only reason any of you would do so is if you are being controlled and at that point you are better off dead. That’s an order”.
Just in the hallway is the guard who walked in along with a few more. A priest holding a sacrificial knife stands behind the altar, upon which lies naked woman next to a mummy! A few more men stand on the altar’s raised platform, with about a dozen cultists on the main floor between us and the altar. The priest prays for the spirit of the great god Amun, in ancient egyptian, for his lifeforce to leave the heart and enter into the heart of this sacrifice. The other missing jars from the tomb of Amun are there!! They are attempting to transfer the heart of Amun’s essence to the woman’s, then put all the organs w/in this mummy as the physical vessel for Amun’s return!! GOOD GOD!
At the camp, Kareem begins frantically struggling at his bonds and the guards watching him see him die instantly, blood leading from his orifices as his heart explodes. The heart beats louder and louder, the guards surrounding it more and more on guard!
The girl on the altar now struggles in pain. We reach the door as a guard in the entryhall turns and sees us “Infidels!”, but we have the drop on them. Fritz (card) gets a free shot and fires the big .50 over the heads of the guards, through the large opening into the room and blows the head off of the priest: crit-33 DEAD. Rick fires and hits a guard in the hall-9, one guard hits-12, 2 of our guards hit another in the hall-9, 2 others combine-10 on another, Billy charges one in the hall-12, Mundabi hits with a leaping charge at the other guard from outside-25 DEAD. Then the general melee begins, and the girl on the altar rolls off behind it, hiding.: Fritz hits one of the priests on the platform-25 DEAD, Rick fires-13 DEAD and moves toward the room, Billy hits with his Kukri again-11 DEAD and moves into the main room, Mundabi fired upon but missed. The cultists attack the closest men, Billy and Rick each hit by 2 men: Rick hit once-3 (saves vs poison), Billy once-5 (saves vs poison). Others from the room fire upon us past there own men: 2 miss Rick but hit one of their own men-16 DEAD, Billy missed twice also and one hits their own man-7. Our 6 guards fire hitting one guard-4,10 DEAD; hits another-6,8 DEAD. Somerfiel stands waiting behind the guards at the entryway, Mundabi leaps past 2 of the cultists in the, both missing him, and makes another leaping charge at the first one in the main room-20 DEAD; Fritz fires again, hitting a cultist in the room-26 DEAD, Rick pulls out his machete and hits-8, Billy strikes another while trying to make his way into the room with Mundabi, crit-20. More of the cultists now in the fight: A cultist moves to the altar for cover and fires at Fritz, as the girl screams thinking he is coming for her, and hits-5, Mundabi surrounded by 4 = miss, hit-5, hit-7 (saves twice vs poison), miss; Rick surrounded by 2 = miss, hit-9 (saves vs poison), Billy hit twice-5,9(saves twice vs poison); our guards fire: 2 hit one on Billy-10,6 ; 2 others hit two on Rick-14 ,crit18 DEAD. Mundabi hits-12; Fritz fires at the one who shot at him-12, Rick hits-5, Billy (card) makes a slick parry on one villain who hits his own man-9 (saves vs poison, then hits another-12 himself. Billy missed, Rick hit twice-15 total(saves both), Mundabi hit only once-5(saves poison). The cult rifleman on altar misses Fritz. One of our guards hits a cultist on Rick-10, the others miss. Mundabi (card) autocrits-26 DEAD. Fritz hits altar rifleman-18 DEAD, Rick hits-6 DEAD and moves into room to help Mundabi. Billy fighting two hits-7. 2 cultists on Billy hit once-9, 2 of 3 on Mundabi go for him and miss, one turns to Rick-miss. Billy makes a move to the side to open a lane for our guards, one hits and one crits-20 total DEAD, two others hit the other on Billy-20 and Somerfield fires his .38 and hits the same one putting him deep into wound points. Mundabi hits-15, Billy kills the last one him that was just hit by Somerfield and guards, Fritz kills one on Mundabi, Rick hits-7. 2 are now left and one says “Do not take them alive brother” and stabs self in the heart, the other slices own throat. Rick makes it to chic at altar first “Are you ok?” Fritz “I kill everybody up there and he gets to the woman again!” Mundabi makes sure the downed priests are truly dead, as Billy approaches the mummy with kukri raises to chop it up. Rick “No wait! That’s just a random mummy that was convenient to use as a vessel. It’s not evil itself so we can take it back, it’s a valuable find.”
The woman is Egyptian, very sensuous features and quite muscular for a female as if she has spent much time outdoors. Rick speaks arabic to her, asking who she is. But she speaks with a slight accent which Rick can not place, perhaps upriver near Khartoum but still not exactly so. Rick gives her his jacket, since she’s nude, and sends Billy running for clothes from Lady Isabelle so she can walk out of the tomb clothed. Her name is Bebet Den??(french), and Egyptian mother who died at birth of her sister Chafu and a French “papa” who was kind of an entrepreneur. Little of this little of that: ran old decrepid steamer on Nile a bit, tomb/treasure hunter for a while, owned market in Alexandria… She and her sister have lived most of her lives on the Nile. “I can’t quite place your accent, where are you from?” “Grew up in Khartoum, and learned French before Arabic.” That could be it, and she drawls some vowels longer than I have ever heard. Rick doesn’t believe that’s the cause though. She says her and her sister are budding archaeologists. Rick “Where is Chafu and your dad now?” “My sister is in town, hopefully safe. My father died 2 yrs ago, his boat wrecked and he was eaten by alligators. No one knows for sure what happened it was just him. We owe 1000 pounds for the lost cargo and his drinking debts.” Rick “What are you hear looking for?” “That’s none of your business,sir”. Rick “We just saved your life, I think it is.” “We are looking for the tomb of Re hotep. Through a series of fortunate encounters we found a map that we thought would lead us to a place that itself had a map to the Gorge of Osiris. The owner might be ‘looking for them’. Her and sis frequent the bazaar, where they found an old scroll mentioning something called ‘the dark Amun’ that can only be destroyed in the temple of Khmet. She made contact with an interested party who abducted her at their meeting and put her on an altar to cut her heart out. Take me to the place you are stayihg and I will show you more.” Her clothes arrive and we have her take her to town. She is staying with Wilhelm Crodwell. Rick “Ah, Crodwell” who Rick knows well enough. He is a competitor of Rick’s, and not to friendly of one. Her “You know him? He’s the most famous archaeologist in the world.” Rick “Second most. He’s the most famous thieving archaeologist in the world.” Her “We hired him to help us, and he is providing us room and board.” Rick “Of course, he has an estate in the town here. I thought he was on a dig elsewhere.” Her “He came back, just in time to help us.” Rick aside to Fritz “convenient.” She offers to take us to his house to show us her map and all that. She says her map leads to crypt of Khmet Amun, and there they will find out how to get to Gorge of Osiris. We tell her we seek Khmet as well, and she says “Perhaps Wilhelm and yourself should join forces.” Rick “I don’t know about that, but he’ll get a kick out of me walking into his house (sarcasm).”
Somerfield will supervise the packing up of mummy to take back to Cairo, unfortunately it is unidentifiable. Rick “It could be important in and of itself. Some day there may be some technology to match it to a tomb. Besides that, it’s a mummy and mummies are a draw for the pulic”.
We accompany her to Crodwell’s estate, bought with the wealth of black market deals and smuggling more than anything else, such disrespect for local gov’t. She knocks for she has not the key, but the door is suspiciously unlatched and pushes slightly open from the knock. She calls in “Chafu, Chafu?” Rick draws his Thunderer bought in NY after his meeting with Somerfield, Fritz his Kopesh, Billy his kukri and Mundabi his Simi. Steps to left and right go up to a balcony, one door out of foyer. Rick calls for Crodwell, still not a sound anywhere. Inside, under balcony is a pool of blood and a man draped over the railing. She ID’s it as the houseman. By the decor, Crodwell has been doing well for himself. We go up to the body and Fritz says it has been cut with a long curved blade. We enter her room from the left of the balcony, one of 7 doors. Window to front and side of house, sisters if next door and no answer at the door. Billy leads way into an identical room, empty. Chafu is older sister and Babet is very worried. Nothing seems missing. She says the next door is always kept locked, and Mundabi/Fritz bust it open but looks like a storage room for cleaning supplies. Next room is the library and we all go in, the largest room in the house. Inside are 3 dead servants, somewhat torn by something sharp but not realy sharp, long tears of skin wrap around their bodies, like a dull-razored flail. There are a few places where it seems a few books are missing, most shelves are full or full to a bookend but for those places. Next is master bedroom and we bust in, finding room empty and in perfect order but for an indentation on the bedcover as if something heavy had sat there very recently. Rick carefully looks around as he approaches the bed, seeing small round indentations within the larger one. Someone put a backpack here and packed it full. Rick “Why bring books, if he packed books, from library to pack here rather than pack them in library?” There is a cluttered bookcase here. Babet says he kept all her books and maps locked in his desk for safekeeping. Billy busts it open and it’s dead empty. Chafu is crushed “You don’t understand we need this money!” Fritz “Money?” Rick “What money?” Babet “The treasure…from the Gorge. We found a map to a treasure map, authentic.” Rick “So you are treasure hunters and you need the $ to pay papa’s debts.” Babet “Maybe we can form a partnership?” Rick “Maybe”. Mundabi goes to bottom of staircase to stand guard. No sign of struggle or violence in bedroom. 2 empty guestrooms next, the second has marks like someone dragged a chain across the floor. Rick looks at Fritz, worried look on his face. They smell a slight nasty odor. Fritz “Looking more and more like a Kiton”, Rick nods in the positive “Chain demon for sure. Someone must have summoned it.” Mundabi tries to track the dragmarks of chains, but there are too many crisscrossing. Rick “It was lookin for something, it ranged all over the place.” Back at the bed where the pack was made, no chain dragmarks like elsewhere so it is unlikely it packed anything up. We go back downstairs to 1st floor. We start at left and work our way through the rooms. Mundabi gets all doors open ahead of us, looking for dead or wounded, as we start on the first. It is Crodwell’s den, on the wall is a large scale map of much of Egypt. Dotted lines all over, some are recognized tombs, some unknown ones he must have raided. One goes into desert west marked “Gorge of Osiris?”, to south of gorge is “Tomb of Khmet?”, arrow between 2 says ‘must find one to find the other, is the key here?’ pointing to Khmet tomb. Mundabi finds bodies in kitchen, ALL the other servants, all killed. Send Mundabi and Billy ahead to basement, keeping door open to call for help if necessary. The rest continue to search this floor. His elephant gun, winchester and 2 pistols missing. Rick "Seems like he got outa here prior to the trouble.
Basement is a large storage room, tools-firewood…, and a winecellar with some fine bordeuxs. Large square area w/o dust in one corner as if a trunk had been there, another next to it contains safari clothes.
Just then a female voice cries out from the front door, it’s Chafu, but she runs away. Babet runs after her. 2 doors in basement, one locked and we bust it in: tool room and workshop including a set of lockpicks, crowbars, hammers… tombraiding gear. His main site work-kit is missing. Next room is a pantry full of drygoods but has another locked door. The savages bust it in and find several small chests, 4 open and empty. The other has small change money and several idols/artifacts. It’s the room he keeps his illgotten gains before he sells them.
Upstairs going uneventfully, next room a gallery with several suits of armor on dummies. Boiled hippohide armor and weapons on walls. “Look at this beautiful headdress. Looks nice and you’d think it should be worth a thousand pounds, unfortunately it’s a fake like much in this room. Poor Cantwell back home has been duped by this criminal I’m sure.” Suddenly we hear voices in the foyer coming in and footsteps going all over the place, it’s the local cops pointing a swagger stick at us “You’re under arrest, all of you are under arrest. I am lt. Haroun of the police and you are under arrest for murder and trespassing.” Rick “Easy sir, we came here with Babet, and we killed no one.” Chafu is with Babet. He asks Babet who says “I’m not sure, are you the men taking us on your expedition(ooh, the bitch.” Rick “Yes, that’s us.” She ID’s us. We explain we moved none of the bodies nor disturbed evidence. We only looked for survivors. We introduce ourselves, and he has heard of Fritz before. “Your reputation precedes you, sir. I’m sure you have nothing to do with this. You know Wilhelm is one of our most illustrious citizens.” He says we can’t take any of the artifacts from his house, and Rick says that’s good, you wouldn’t have gotten them from him. Now Egypt can righfully get them all. The lt. won’t believe Crodwell was a thief though, they think him an upstanding citizen and professional. HA!
Dining room table has plate and food, so he must have packed and left suddenly. Chafu had been gone since early morning asking around town for her sister. Sometimes she does stay out all night and comes home looking like she hasn’t slept all night.
While cops are downstairs and getting body from balcony, we get into the library for a quick search. Rick knows Crodwell is the type who buys many more books than he gets around to reading. Also a lot of false books to make it look better than it is, including a fake Necronomicon, 2 year old fake of ancient book of the dead scroll….Examining the room, we notice the alignment and size of the rooms leaves an empty cavity tween the library and the adjacent room. A bookcase slides, so easily found by Rick he’s sure Crodwell thought it was ingenious, and inside is a room. Fritz takes the first look in and sees 3 sarcophagi standing on end. Rick examines and says they are actually authentic! There is a click and all 3 open, revealing undead mummies on the attack! Fritz retreats from room “Come on Rick, leave them!” Rick retreats and Billy/Mundabi quickly shut the door. Rick “Good call, Fritz. If those cops see this there is no telling how they would react. Hopefully they can’t get out of that room themselves” and shuts the door to the library just in case. Just then the secret door starts opening. Fritz fires and hits-14 the first one out and it keeps coming. The second one comes right at Rick who hits with his Thunderer-5. The third attacks Mundabi missing 2 claws and a bite, eyes burning red. Mundabi misses. Rick hits-8 just before it reaches him, and Rick draws his machete. Fritz his big .50 fires again-25 putting it on its back; Rick thinks that was too easy, and call out “2 of them are ghouls!” Billy teams with Mundabi and hits-5. Rick is bit by the slam of the actual mummy-6. The other ghoul hits Billy with one claw-4 paralyzing him. Mundabi misses again, fumbling. Rick steps 5’ back and fires-10, Fritz hits the ghoul on Billy/Mundabi-20; Rick missed by the slam, Mundabi bit and clawed once-7 total. Rick hits with machete-7, Mundabi recovering his fumble, Fritz fires again-miss. Rick missed again, Mundabi bit-7; Rick strikes-4 DEAD, Mundabi hits-15, Fritz hits Mundabi’s-27. The lt. and a few men rush into room just as it ends. We rush them into the room and shut door. Lt “Those can’t be what I thought they were. Those could not have been mummies.” They insist they must be people wrapped up disguised as mummies. The lt. wants to check them, and we convince the lt. to do so alone. When he investigates the bodies of course he sees the rot inside. “Look at the face of those 2, they look inhuman.” Fritz ID’s the two with the rotting faces “Once when I was in a village near Mumbasa there was a witch man supposedly bringing men back from the dead.” Mundabi “Heard about that rumor.” Fritz “Yes, and I shot one of them and killed it in one shot. I’d swear it looked just like this. Look, you can see maggots in there too. It’s not just dried up and desecated like a mummy, it’s rotten flesh.” Rick “Look to be ghouls for sure then, but this one here (that Rick was fighting) was only a zombie, not a true mummy. Like all in this place they were fakes.”
We check out the coffins in the secret room with the Lt. Rick checks out the hieroglyphics, which are a tough read, very archaic(require ling check), but he gets it: “Servants of Re-hotep, chosen of Set buried under the protection of Khmet Amun priest of Set until such time as they shall rise again to serve the master.” Rick “So if he still had the question marks on his map, he either didn’t update the map yet (unlikely) or he found these at a completely separate site.” Each have a name upon them: Emmerit the chained on one, the other 2 each say ‘daughter of Set’. The chained demon! Fritz “These that we fought were replacements. Not the original inhabitants.” So is Crodwell a Set cultist? Rick doesn’t think so, enemy or not. We ask around and find out he came back from the western desert w/o porters and assistants. Came back with 3 crates a few days ago on a wagon. This morning he suddenly showed up at the caravan sare, hired some porters and headed off west again. The sisters still say they do not know where his latest dig was. The sisters say they fortuitously got here same day he did. Yeah right! Babet “We need to leave and leave now. Get your expedition together and let’s go”.
We make haste to camp, telling Mundabi and Fritz to try to pick up his trail into the desert and track him while Rick, Billy and Zakir organize things quickly. They take 1 hour to find his trail after a couple hours to provision. Somerfield is leaving north for Cairo. Rick “See you in Cairo or London old friend.” Billy talks to his guards, and several offer to replace our wounded men to keep our # at 20. The Fortiscue’s are heading back for Cairo as well. Sebastian “I think you need my help, but unfortunately I have a couple of errands for the crown. When you are ready, take these with you (couple homing pidgeons). These will get word to me. Send them when you are ready to leave for the gorge and where you leave from and I will join you if I can.” Rick “Thanks for all of your help, Sebastian, in guarding Kareem and the Heart.” The Salvatore sisters wish to go to the tomb with us. The have a great distrust for Babet and Chafu. When Isabella and them first see each other, there is an instinctual tension and dislike that is obvious. They stay away from each other. In private, Isabella can’t explain, but suddenly it was as if she were back in Egypt for a flash, just an instant. They are enemies of the pharaoh, don’t trust them." Rick tells the Salvatore’s “I could use you with me even more now. I trust you 2 and I could use you to help watch my back. I don’t trust them as far as I can throw Mundabi.” Rick and Fritz discuss the evidence on the coffins in private: Babet and Chafu are likely the daughters of Set returned to life, straight out of the coffins!
It takes us only into the next day to prepare enough of our expedition for a small advance party, and Zakir stays behind to unpack and organize further for a full dig/treasure recovery which will leave the next day along with Akhmed the animal handler, 10 soldiers and Doc Bryce. They will follow behind us with the main caravan. A hired runner who will travel with Rick and Fritz will link the two groups. During the day Rick runs into Hobbes, a photographer he has used before, as well as being newly trained in the cinematograph. Now we have someone to document the expedition again, but in both photo and film. Rick and Billy will go on ahead, Billy following Mundabi and Fritz’s trail and Mundabi acting as a runner in between, with 10 soldiers, 3 camels drivers, 5 porters, 5 servants, Babet and Chafu, the Salvatore sisters. Spending time with them, it is obvious that although Babet is the younger she is the dominant sister.