Stargate: 1889 13 September 2012
w/ Lady Cecile Featheringstonehaugh (“Fanshaw”), Adelaide “Addy” Edison, Capt Edouard “Ed” Roche, “Martha” Mbali (Zulu) [out sick], Major Alexander Lycoll Marquisse of Waterford (& his Indian batman), Seamus O’Rourke [out sick] & Emmeline Kelly O’Rourke (& her dog, Rowan)
The feast went late into the evening. The officers do most of the talking, following the Tribune’s lead. I was a trifle distracted and made a poor conversationalist, I fear. I have no idea what Captain Ed is discussing, but one of his partners looks a trifle disconcerted. Cecile is grilling her supper partners about myths and legends, from what I can tell. Something about a war between Set and the evil Osiris, but Osiris’s wife took revenge and devastated Mars. If it weren’t for Nephthys, all would have died, as she created the canals which saved them.
According to Cecile, that flips the Egyptian version: with Set killing Osiris, Isis bringing him back, etc.
The Major droned on about the Royal Family and Divine Rule. It’s not my place to instruct them on democracy, but I did find it a trifle tiresome. Andar Pul seemed interested in alliance with the Empire; they need food, water, weapons, and orichalc. Major took a picture of himself with Andar Pul with the new self-developing plate, one for us and one for Andar Pul.
A new Canal Martian arrived, wearing long red robes with an amulet with Set’s symbol. He spoke to Andar Pul in Canal Martian, too fast for me to follow. They went aside to talk.
After their discussion, Andar Pul returned with the newcomer looking a trifle put out. Andar Pul introduced him as Ged Morra, the High Father (aka high priest) of the city. It’s too late for us to go to the temple tonight, but he’s brought temple guards to ensure our safety and well-being. He’ll escort us to the temple in the morning. He recited a short prayer; Cecile said it’s in Coptic and from the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Eventually the meal ended and we retired. There were noises coming from Captain’s room. Very odd. I managed to examine the lights and the platters and carafes. The lights appear to be an electrical current running through an orichalc crystal and there’s orichalc in the dishes. Fascinating.
There was also some noise from the city; I’m not quite sure what it is. At least it was only intermittent. Later, I found Captain Ed found some information from one of the officers. Apparently, some smugglers and other undesirables were being attacked or were attacking.
The next morning Captain Ed revealed what he learned from his…partner of the evening. After breakfast, Ged Morra and the red-robed guards showed up to escort us to the temple. The spears have a heavy end to counterbalance the point, and the blade is oval-shaped.
The buildings are more horizontal than in Erebus, and all appear to be stone. Some of them have green or blue horizontal bands of metal; apparently decorative. The roads are paved, in a lighter stone than the buildings. The deeper we penetrate into the city, the better repaired. The locals, civilians, stopped and stared as we went by.
The architecture changed, to look like Egyptian, perhaps mixed with Grecian, including arches. When we arrived the priests did…something. Cecile occasionally answered them. It all looked very ritualistic.
Then they offered us clear, clean water and hors d’oevres. Cecile wandered off and I had to chase her down to translate. She was too distracted; luckily the Major managed to fill in, without offending. The priests expressed great interest in the horses and Rowan. One offered to help exterminate Pancakes; apparently it’s a vermin.
We’re being watched, probably by the priests. We were eventually taken to a large courtyard. There’s a splashing fountain and surprisingly lush foliage. Oddly, very little of it is green. I had to drag Cecile and she protested all the way, until she saw the carvings in the courtyard.
I had to keep my eye on her until she realized that we’d be staying in rooms off the courtyard. The horses and other mounts were taken aside, to some sort of stabling I suppose. Mrs. O’Rourke would know.
Interestingly, the army guards were all male but the temple guards include women and the priests are evenly divided. How enlightened; despite their slavery.
Cecile said that we should take rooms on the second floor while the soldiers took the first floor. Major’s batman and Eleanor may stay with us on the second floor. The soldiers have piles of sand to sleep upon while we get couches, with some kind of hard, well, pillow seems less than ideal description of something so hard.
The High Father came to take us to see the Nomarch. It didn’t take quite as much persuasion to pull Cecile along. They took us to another, larger, courtyard. There’s a large round table with another table circling it ¾. We were seated at the inner table with most of the priests on the outer ring. A young-seeming Canal Martian stood, introduced as Pell Than. He’s in standard Canal Martian clothing, not the red robes of priests or priestly guards.
Note of clothing: male Canal Martians soldiers wear pants but civilians wear kilts.
Pell Than continued the discussion of the previous night, with actual items of trade and thanked the High Father for hosting the discussion. Captain Ed and I brought up America, and I don’t think they quite understood. Pell Than is amenable to an Embassy in his city. It took some time to describe, without going into overcomplications, but we finally managed. Cecile, Mrs. O’Rourke and Martha wandered off.
We were fed a hearty lunch and negotiations continued. Captain Ed, the Major and I talked about trade and other matters.
Cecile was looking at the carvings and reported that she thinks she found some data regarding the home symbol. But it was incomplete. But she has enough information to know what to look for in other temples.
Cecile returned to her room and Eleanor told her of a visitor. A Hill Martian, dressed in dark robes, greeted her. The Hill Martian is one of the ones we rescued; one who helped nurse Mr. O’Rourke to health. She’s Enna Thex and came to offer her services. Since she was freed by us, she feels that she belongs to Cecile. She’s trained in the arts of defense.