Alexandria.   Posted by The Keeper.Group: 0
Alexander Hussein Mahfouz
 NPC, 223 posts
 Expedition facilitator.
Mon 7 Sep 2015
at 10:31
Re: Alexandria
In reply to Prof. Ralph T. Fulty (msg # 12):

A robed bedouin bumped into Ralph, stopping him in his tracks. The man's face was hidden under cloth but something about the eyes looked familiar. The man loosened the veil across his face and his identity became more clear.

It took a second for him to realise it was the Egyptian man he'd met back in London, Alexander Mahfouz. Alexander led him aside to where they were out of the flow of traffic to the ticket windows. "Mr. Fulty! My friend. I wasn't sure it was you who sent the telegram, so at first I stayed incognito to surveil those getting off the ship. Then I followed you here, mainly to see you were not followed. I don't believe so, at least to the best of my ability. Please, let us get tickets on the next train. An express, that leaves in an hour. We shall be in Cairo in time for supper."

Bidding the porter to follow, he led Ralph up to one of the windows, unwrapping his turban and face covering as he went. Speaking in Egyptian to the ticket-seller, he bought two first-class tickets on the Cairo express. "There. We shall be quite comfortable. Are you hungry? Do you need to wash up? Tea and dinner will be served, of course."
Prof. Ralph T. Fulty
 player, 81 posts
 Archaeologist
 University of Wisconsin
Tue 8 Sep 2015
at 00:05
Re: Alexandria
Both a little amazed and relieved, Professor Fulty followed his old friend Alexander, as he led him to where the tickets were sold. It was certainly of great benefit to have a native speaker in this foreign land. It was also encouraging to know that the telegram had in fact arrived, and was received.

"Why certainly, my dear friend, I am certainly a little famished. A few hours of reprieve before we travel on would be nice, and would certainly give us time to catch up a little, as well as converse a little of what has happened in recent times... Of course, with a little caution."

Alexander Hussein Mahfouz
 NPC, 224 posts
 Expedition facilitator.
Fri 11 Sep 2015
at 07:06
Re: Alexandria
In reply to Prof. Ralph T. Fulty (msg # 14):

Outside, in the heat of the crowded train platform, Alexander led Ralph to the first class rail cars. They climbed the removable elaborately painted wooden steps that were placed to assist passengers in boarding the train.

"We will have time on the train to catch up. First, some drinks in the club car."

They had a private car to themselves and that's where their carry-on bags were stored. In the first-class cars the passage swarmed with various staff and some well-dressed travellers, some Europeans but mostly wealthy Egyptians. As they waited for the conductor to take their ticket, they caught up. (As Ralph went through the following, he was the one who related this to Alexander.)

Basically, the main thing that had happened in England was the uncovering of an Egyptian-themed cult, the Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh. The Brotherhood had been using a club, the Blue Nile, to regularly kidnap victims in London for sacrifices. The Blue Nike kidnappings, and in fact similar crimes all around the UK, had been carried out by Tewfik al-Sayid, a spice dealer for Cairo and a regular Egyptian guide for the Penhew foundation. The new director of the Penhew Foundation after Lord Penhew's alleged death, Edward Gavigan, had been the leader of the Brotherhood in the UK and Tewfik had been operating under his orders.

Finally, the group, along with some allies, had mounted an assault on the cult's HQ in Gavigan's Essex estate, al-Misr House. There, all the cultists present for the sacrifices had died (although Tewfik had escaped). The cost was high. Howard Lampton and Phil Webley had been earlier kidnapped by the cult and had been sacrificed. There was nothing they could do. Major Storm and Perkins' brother had been killed by some kind of fantastic flying beasts summoned by the cultists. Imram Singh disappeared in the battle, likely spirited away somewhere unknown by Tewfik al-Sayid. Their police allies had helped cover up the carnage with coincidental stories of traffic and boating accidents.

A great deal of cult-related material had been recovered. Books, statuettes, scrolls, artefacts (a mirror, powders, ankhs, etc.). As well, they had bought an odd painting of some kind of African ceremony.
Prof. Ralph T. Fulty
 player, 82 posts
 Archaeologist
 University of Wisconsin
Sat 12 Sep 2015
at 07:01
Re: Alexandria
Having concluded in relating the details of the past to Alexander, Ralph turned his thoughts towards his companions, "Alexander, I imagine that you have connected with my companions here in Egypt, right? How fares things for them? Did you have opportunity to let them know that I was coming? Originally I was heading to Ireland before removing myself home, but my heart told me that my friends would need me here."
Alexander Hussein Mahfouz
 NPC, 225 posts
 Expedition facilitator.
Mon 14 Sep 2015
at 08:58
Re: Alexandria
In reply to Prof. Ralph T. Fulty (msg # 16):

"Your friends are here. They are staying at my estate on the Boulaq el Gezirat, an island on the Nile that is the home of the upper class. I have many loyal bedouin that keep a close watch.

"Your companions are currently following up on a lead. Your coming will be something of a surprise, as I decided not to tell them of your telegram until I could verify it was you. I think they will be happy to see you!"

He ordered tea to be brought to their cabin, as well as a hookah pipe.

"On second thought, our private cabin is comfortable enough. I shall have food sent here. There is no need to visit the lounge car, unless you prefer?"
Prof. Ralph T. Fulty
 player, 83 posts
 Archaeologist
 University of Wisconsin
Mon 14 Sep 2015
at 12:29
Re: Alexandria
Ralph was glad to hear that his friends had arrived safely and were under Alexander's watchful care. After his friend had made arrangements for tea, he sensed a note of caution in his asking about whether to stay in their cabin or head into more common space, "Well, maybe it would be nicer for us to just get our refreshments brought to our cabin."
The Keeper
 GM, 1348 posts
 Tony Stroppa
Wed 16 Sep 2015
at 08:43
Re: Alexandria
In reply to Prof. Ralph T. Fulty (msg # 18):

There were several jolts. A whistle blew and the train began to pull out of the station. Outside was a massive throng of people on the platform, both passengers waiting for other trains, railroad staff and workers, countless beggars, touts, tour guides, and food sellers. Smoke drifted by the window as they began to pick up speed.

A conductor came by and collected their tickets, followed by a waiter for their drink orders.
Alexander Hussein Mahfouz
 NPC, 226 posts
 Expedition facilitator.
Wed 16 Sep 2015
at 08:59
Re: Alexandria
In reply to The Keeper (msg # 19):

"Gin and tonic. Beastly hot, eh?"

He looked fairly comfortable in his burnoose, but it was rather hot due to the inability to open the window on account of the sparks and cinders from the engine.
Prof. Ralph T. Fulty
 player, 84 posts
 Archaeologist
 University of Wisconsin
Wed 16 Sep 2015
at 12:32
Re: Alexandria
"Thank you, I will have the same as my friend."

It was quite different being in a foreign land where the sting of prohibition need not be felt.

"Why yes, my friend, quite different from England at this time of year. Though I must say I am glad for the change. It helps the blood to move. One can even feel a little alive."
Alexander Hussein Mahfouz
 NPC, 226 posts
 Expedition facilitator.
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 00:59
Re: Alexandria
In reply to Prof. Ralph T. Fulty (msg # 21):

Alexander laughed as the waiter left.

"Yes! Wait until we are in the desert. Have you been in the desert, Professor?"

This message was last updated by the player at 00:59, Mon 21 Sept 2015.

Prof. Ralph T. Fulty
 player, 85 posts
 Archaeologist
 University of Wisconsin
Sun 20 Sep 2015
at 07:54
Re: Alexandria
Ralph laughed as Alexander asked his question, especially being addressed as Professor by his old friend. "Why, of course, though not for many years. In my younger years, I did participate in some digs here in Egypt. There are certainly some interesting sites of antiquity here in your land."
Alexander Hussein Mahfouz
 NPC, 227 posts
 Expedition facilitator.
Mon 21 Sep 2015
at 19:15
Re: Alexandria
In reply to Prof. Ralph T. Fulty (msg # 23):

"We had some trouble on the way here.

"As you might not know, we travelled here by aeroplane! A novel concept. Mr. Falcon has a couple, and aircrew. We flew in the passenger plane from Paris to Marseilles. From thence to Rome, then Ceylon and finally across the Mediterranean.

"While in Paris we stayed in a magnificent hotel. Dr. Weston received a novel from some American chap named Hemingway that was in the War. He liked to drink in the bar there. Quite good, really, if short, you should have a read."


The drinks arrived, Alexander sipped his appreciatively.

"We got into a spot of trouble in Rome. When in Paris we had heard odd stories of people who were having vivid nightmares. All sorts of people, some sensitive types like artists and musicians, but mainly others who are mentally unbalanced or even mad. Very intense dream activity for a short period of time. Then the dreams just stopped. Some of the group went to investigate the local asylums and found that the dreams had happened there as well, then stopped. The Count visited the Secret Vatican Archives to examine their ancient and restricted materials. He was attacked by criminal ruffians! In the Vatican Library itself! Chased through the catacombs, he and Perkins managed to escape. At the pensione where we were staying, a band of black shirted thugs, fascists, attacked, believing JM and the others were pederasts. They managed to escape to the airfield. They say that Mussolini has gotten the trains running on time there, but one wonders where the trains are heading? And at the airfield, I was helping battle a fire that had mysteriously broken out.

"All in all, very exciting. We almost didn't escape Rome with our lives!"

Prof. Ralph T. Fulty
 player, 86 posts
 Archaeologist
 University of Wisconsin
Tue 22 Sep 2015
at 05:31
Re: Alexandria
Listening to Alexander's report of the past time since they were in England, he remembered how on his way here, he had a few troubling dreams himself, though nothing that he could really remember.

"Odd you speak of dreams. I know I had a few troubled nights around the same time, though nothing that I can remember. Could it be only a coincidence?"

After hearing of the trouble in Paris and the Vatican, Ralph felt a sense of caution of what could be ahead for them in Egypt. "Well, it seems that maybe there is somebody keeping abreast of our movements, in spite of our best efforts towards secrecy. Have you encountered any trouble since you've been here in Egypt?"
Alexander Hussein Mahfouz
 NPC, 227 posts
 Expedition facilitator.
Wed 23 Sep 2015
at 02:26
Re: Alexandria
In reply to Prof. Ralph T. Fulty (msg # 25):

"One or two of our party had dreams at that time as well. Some ancient island rising from cyclopean depths? A huge monster roving an accursed city on it. Some kind of bat-winged abomination of a man? Like that statue you found in the cultists' lair in England. But a figure of tremendous size. Rising to the surface and being set free."

He looked out the window as they left the environs of Alexandria and began the trip south along the Nile towards Cairo. The banks were dotted with villages and towns, and lomg lines of palm trees. Fishing boats and cargo vessels were spread across the great and famous waterway.

"Once here, our friends began to investigate the disappearance of the Carlyle expedition. Some information was gained. Many of the foul cultist artifacts you found in England at the Penhew Institute and associated locations can be traced to a seller, Faraz Najir. He describes having men steal them on order from Roger Carlyle's agent, Warren Besart. These items were stolen from Omar Shakti, a very wealthy and powerful man. Also rumoured to be a wicked cultist of a dark, ancient evil... the Black Pharaoh. Who's Brotherhood you destroyed in England, yes?

"There is another archaeological mission being sponsored in Egypt right now by the Penhew institute. The Clive Expedition. They found a mummy inside a sarcophagus in one of the pyramids at Giza. Then is was mysteriously stolen. Sarcophagus and all, before it could be moved! When they explored inside the pyramid chamber, somehow they "lost" time. Just vanished. Those left outside on guard said they were gone for six hours, but they only remember at as an hour passing.

"I think today the others are looking into Warren Besart. As well, a researcher left the Clive Expedition, Jan Vanhuillen or something like that. He is still here in Cairo."

This message was last updated by the player at 02:26, Wed 23 Sept 2015.

Prof. Ralph T. Fulty
 player, 87 posts
 Archaeologist
 University of Wisconsin
Wed 23 Sep 2015
at 00:07
Re: Alexandria
A sense of foreboding was in the air, as Alexander related the similar experiences of his companions. Somehow, even though he didn't remember his dreams, a faint sense of horrific recollection swept over him as he told about the ancient cyclopean city and horrible being rising from the sea... This sense of recollection and foreboding affected the way he heard the details of his friends' doings in Cairo.

"Oh, yes... I remember that letter amongst Jackson's belongings...  Yes, the letter from Carlyle from that shopkeeper in Cairo. Another expedition organised by that pernicious Penhew Institute can only spell more trouble. What of this sarcophagus that is stolen?"
Alexander Hussein Mahfouz
 NPC, 228 posts
 Expedition facilitator.
Wed 23 Sep 2015
at 09:09
Re: Alexandria
In reply to Prof. Ralph T. Fulty (msg # 27):

"We have heard disturbing things about it, my friend. Allah preserve us!

"It was reputed to be the sarcophagus containing the mummy of Queen Nicotris of the Sixth Dynasty. She was an adherent and priestess to the Black Pharaoh, who died earlier. Her sarcophagus was considered lost unto time, until the Clive expedition claimed to find it hidden in Menkaure's pyramid, the smallest at Giza."


http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/QueenNitocris.html

"The night it was discovered, the guards disappeared. Then it was found vanished in the morning. There is no way it could have been removed intact as it was carved from a two ton block of marble. It might have been disassembled, but I don't fancy many could have done that in a few hours time with leaving little or no trace. Not possible.

"But Sir Clive seemed to not be perturbed by this fantastic theft of such a prize find. Instead, they have just moved their digs south to Dashur."

Prof. Ralph T. Fulty
 player, 88 posts
 Archaeologist
 University of Wisconsin
Sun 4 Oct 2015
at 04:56
Re: Alexandria
Now the name of Queen Nicotris was rarely spoken of in Archaeology, though the Professor had definitely heard of her name in certain journal articles he had read over the years of his studies. Only vague allusions to her found in certain portions of classical literature gave any clear indication of the belief in her existence. The thought that some relic connected with her could have been discovered would certainly be quite a great occasion for the knowledge of ancient Egypt.

However, her connection to the "Black Pharaoh," and to his ancient and sinister cult, only then to be connected once again in the contemporary time to those who had been uncovered in their hideous occult activities was frightening. The thought of what the disappearance of such an artifact! What could it mean? How could such a thing be explained by the rational mind? The Professor was dark and brooding for a moment after his friend had finished recalling the event.

"Oh, may Allah preserve us indeed, my good friend!" Ralph exclaimed after his silence. "I am afraid, that as you are obviously alluding to, that something quite sinister could be afoot here. With what our eyes have seen, no mere rational explanation of the sarcophagus's disappearance could suffice to put the soul at rest."
Alexander Hussein Mahfouz
 NPC, 229 posts
 Expedition facilitator.
Fri 9 Oct 2015
at 08:29
Re: Alexandria
In reply to Prof. Ralph T. Fulty (msg # 29):

Appetisers arrived as the sun began to sink over the desert in the western sky. At this point, the train was passing by endless irrigated agricultural land, fed by water diverted from the boundless and ancient Nile. Numerous towns passed by but they rarely stopped. The train car ride was smooth, the carriage rocking gently as they click-clacked along southwards towards Cairo.

He nodded as he sipped his drink. "Indeed. I saw heard about the fantastic beasts that caused so much death up at the cultists' mansion in Essex, al Misr house. Which, as you know, means "Egypt" house.

"It's possible that the marble sarcophagus could have been broken up by tools and the pieces spirited away. With the police guards killed or abducted there would have been privacy enough. Cleaning up all fragments and spreading new dust and sand would not be impossible. If there was a hidden or undiscovered exit to the pyramid, all the better.

"But it simply doesn't make sense. Robbers might damage an artefact while stealing it, there would be no point is breaking it up completely into fragments. It's just a lot of marble rubble at that point. An intact or even damaged sarcophagus might still fetch a handsome price. Just all very queer, I should say."

Prof. Ralph T. Fulty
 player, 89 posts
 Archaeologist
 University of Wisconsin
Mon 12 Oct 2015
at 12:47
Re: Alexandria
Ralph calmed down over the appetizers. The horrors that had first been uncovered in New York, and then London, together with the loss of the lives of some of his dear friends, had certainly made the Professor more unstable of late than he had ever known himself to be. Usually, he had a calm and mild manner, though warm.

Watching the scenery change out of the train window, he lost himself in the endless farmland, with the occasional town that they passed by. "Well, my friend. I am glad to be here, anyhow. I know with all that we've experienced thus far, that we need each other more than ever. Hopefully, when we arrive in Cairo, our friends may have found out more to share, and together we can tackle this mystery."
Alexander Hussein Mahfouz
 NPC, 230 posts
 Expedition facilitator.
Tue 13 Oct 2015
at 21:03
Re: Alexandria
In reply to Prof. Ralph T. Fulty (msg # 31):

Looking out the window, Alexander noted that the sun had almost disappeared behind the palms lining the farms to their west. Lights were appearing in the farmer's huts and collections of  buildings that they passed as the shadows began to stretch. The conductor came in and lit the lamp that provided the light for the cabin.

"The sun has almost set across the western desert. We should be in Cairo soon enough, perhaps an hour. We will find out then."
Prof. Ralph T. Fulty
 player, 90 posts
 Archaeologist
 University of Wisconsin
Wed 14 Oct 2015
at 23:52
Re: Alexandria
Ralph continued to enjoy the appetizers and beverages, as the dusk descended. "I will be glad, my friend, when we see the others." Aside from this brief comment, Ralph settled into a repose.

Finally, as their destination was rapidly approaching, he felt quite tired from his travelling. The duress of considering what lay ahead, though mostly subconscious, had taken a toll on the Professor. He was hoping that the night ahead for them in Cairo would be restful and uneventful, though nothing could be taken for granted.
The Keeper
 GM, 1354 posts
 Tony Stroppa
Sat 17 Oct 2015
at 09:00
Re: Alexandria
In reply to Prof. Ralph T. Fulty (msg # 33):

Night had fallen, barely, when they arrived at Misr Station, the terminus for lines connecting Alexandria to Cairo and the city's main rail station.

They pulled up inside the station, steam hissing and brakes squealing. With some words by Alexander, Ralph's bags were piled on the endless-seeming platform. The huge building smelled of coal smoke, train grease and the crowds the thronged it.
Alexander Hussein Mahfouz
 NPC, 231 posts
 Expedition facilitator.
Sat 17 Oct 2015
at 09:01
Re: Alexandria
In reply to The Keeper (msg # 34):

"This way, Professor. We have a motor taxi waiting." He engaged a uniformed porter to help move Ralph's luggage from the platform through a side entrance.
Prof. Ralph T. Fulty
 player, 92 posts
 Archaeologist
 University of Wisconsin
Sat 17 Oct 2015
at 12:12
Re: Alexandria
Ralph followed after Alexander to the taxi.
The Keeper
 GM, 1355 posts
 Tony Stroppa
Wed 21 Oct 2015
at 09:32
Re: Alexandria
In reply to Prof. Ralph T. Fulty (msg # 36):

Darkness had fallen. They loaded up the taxi and, unmolested by the crowds of passengers, sellers and beggars that thronged the train station, departed by taxi.

The city was lit by the glowing fires of countless oil lamps in windows, and by electric street lights, at least on the main boulevards along which they travelled. They passed new and old buildings, mosques, apartments, government buildings and museums in the centre of the city. Traffic began to thin out after dark.

They passed over the dark Nile waters on a bridge to what seemed to be an island populated by palaces and estates, all walled and lit up from within. Eventually, they reached the gate of Alexander's mansion. It was modest, compared to the other mansions nearby. It was of standard Arab layout, with a white building surrounding a courtyard with shade palms, but also with a high-walled yard in back containing a garage and garden.

Alexander led Ralph inside and to the rear patio, where his friends and companions awaited.