Stargate: 1889

Meepsor Leaders
September 13, 2012

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.

Arriving in Meepsoor
Goodbye Barax and Hello Canal Martians

Stargate 1889 16 August 2012
w/ Lady Cecile Featheringstonehaugh (“Fanshaw”), Adelaide “Addy” Edison, Capt Edouard “Ed” Roche, “Martha” Mbali (Zulu), Major Alexander Lycoll Marquisse of Waterford (& his Indian batman), Seamus O’Rourke & Emmeline Kelly O’Rourke (& her dog, Rowan)

Cecile learned that all the nice things the caravan has been doing for us has been to ‘pay’ for the tribe members we freed as they are considered our slaves. No way to refuse without insulting them; they also gave us money. The money is common metal with precious metal bonded, in platonic solids with a hole in the center. I took apart a corner and found a bit of orichalc involved in its creation. Some of the coins were a stick of metal. The quality of the metal and the size is what determined the value of the coin. Coins were from Calla Moralin. Sticks were from the other big nation.

Interestingly, the orichalc is slightly different here than it is at home. It seems more plentiful, too. While the others are busy trying new cuisine, listening to stories and whatever else they’re doing to amuse themselves, I am studying the metal.

Mrs.O’Rourke found a new pet; a lemur-like lizard. And she bought a new antelope to go with the one she captured earlier. The lizard eats plants, and Scotch. He goes quite flat to flee. She called the lizard, ‘Pancakes’. One of the locals gave her a mating pair of gashants, too. The locals seem quite impressed by the horses and Rowan; nothing local has nearly the much fur. Oddly, considering how much cooler it is here.

We took advantage of the market to see the local trade goods. The weapons are primitive; spears, bows, swords, with the occasional crossbow, etc. There was even a bow using pulleys. I have seen them theorized, but had never seen one. Some of the art and some of the items, while primitive, appear to be copies of more advanced technology. Mrs. O’Rourke bought samples from the herbalists and took lessons from one of them on a bit of the local herblore; something analogous to laudanum.

Interestingly, their wagons have leaf shock absorbers. They have forges to work the metal and only do major metal working in the cities. The Major and I both bought one of those pulley bows. How intriguing. I bought a local blanket; it gets quite cold at night.

The market ran four days and we stayed the entire time. Our original hosts, the Barrex left before it ended.

We followed the canal. Where it hasn’t been filled by sand, the canal is made of a porous, glass-like material that is very difficult to sample. I finally had to shoot it to get a chip. It has no signs of tool marks.

We were two days into the three day journey to Meepsoor and we found damp sand in the canal. Not much farther, we found plants; patches of brambles. It’s a major canal and, unless my tools deceive me, a mile wide. There are smaller canals that branch off of it. In places, we spotted the remnants of broken bridges and the in other places the canal narrowed to a mere few hundred feet. We finally found one mostly intact bridge to use to cross the canal. By all appearances, it was constructed to permit passage of some vehicle under it.

One of the soldiers saw movement in one of the brambles. It was not a very big bramble patch, only a few feet high. Mrs. O’Rourke went to investigate with the Major covering her. She spotted three beasts, partially concealed by the foliage. From her description, they appeared to resemble, 6-legged unicorns. They were half-heartedly nibbling on the brambles. She stated her intention of trying to tame them. She said their mouths appear almost atrophied; like their diet is mush, rather than brambles. The trio of soldiers behind her kept their rifles ready, just in case.

Mrs. O’Rourke offered the beasts varied foods, they seemed most interested in the mushy fruit she found. Mr. O’Rourke spotted some flattened grass, with a dead gashant. Suddenly, one of the unicorns, for lack of a better description, pointed at one of the soldiers. It charged a soldier, soon followed by the other two. The first soldier was gored quite thoroughly. Mrs. O’Rourke yelled, “Don’t kill it!”

Mrs. O’Rourke managed to get the one with a bloody horn to back off. The remaining pair of soldiers fired into the air to scare off the beasts, successfully.

The physician rushed over at the sound of gunfire. Mrs. O’Rourke noticed that the unicorn’s horn was no longer bloody; apparently the blood was sucked into it. Dr. Medino managed to patch up the soldier. He’ll have to be carried for a couple days. He’s also anemic.

According to Mrs. O’Rourke, the unicorn, a female, has a horn with tiny perforations and it sucks blood and other liquids through. It also secretes an anticoagulant. The Martian name is glashgar. The trio of gashant corpses all had one hole each and were exsanguinated. The animal mashed up plants with her teeth and sucked the liquid with her horn.

By the end of the day, we saw open water in the bottom of the canal. The next day, as we approached Meepsor, some damage to the canal spilled water into the neighboring sand. The canal is a hundred feet deep in the center, with shallower edges.

This city is more horizontal than Erebus. There are a few towers and minarets, but mostly low buildings. They are made of a pale yellow stone with stripes of metal. The stone is finely worked but different than that of Erebus. The structural details are similar; door shapes, windows, etc. The outer parts of the city are in poor repair and some debris has been piled into makeshift walls.

The canal runs straight into the city and there are boats in it. They don’t leave the city by much. The locals are paler and stand up straighter. They also have three fingers and the lump on the back; although theirs is less pronounced than that of the Hill Martians.

Suddenly, some of them appeared over a hill. They are holding guns and yelled, “Halt” in trade Martian. The guns are definitely local manufacture. The Major said that they’re bluffing because their guns have no holes. The guns have an odd glowing bulb on the tip. How…intriguing.

They asked where we’re from and Cecile told them, ‘not of any city with which you are familiar.’ They asked anyway and we replied, “Ireland, England, United States of America.” One leaned over to the speaker, “They’re obviously mad, but they’re not High Martians.”

Cecile told them, “We came seeking knowledge, and potentially trade. We’d like to visit the temple.”

They assumed we were spies and were willing to take us into the city, but only if we gave over our weapons. The weapons are quite interesting. I wonder what makes them glow.

We discussed matters in English. We are quite unwilling to disarm and only half of their weapons are glowing. Capt Ed tried to persuade their captain that in our culture, to give up our personal weapons was an affront worse than death.

As he was starting to explain matters, another Canal Martian rode up on a gashant. There’s a compromise, we remain outside the city while he sends words to his commander. The new Martian is wearing robes and looked a little surprised by us. He pulled the Commander aside and they had a short argument.

He approached us and genuflected, “Welcome, Holy Ones, to our city.” He is a priest and ‘recognized’ us as Priests of Set. He arranged for us to have quarters on the edge of the city. It’s a little rundown but at least it’s shelter. They offered food and drink. They avoided the glashgar and poked the High Martian a couple times until Mrs. O’Rourke stopped them. One of them whispered, “They’ve tamed a High Martian.”

Eventually, a higher official arrived. He wanted to make sure our accommodation was acceptable; it’s clean at least. He told us the Tribune will arrive soon, so we won’t have to wait long.

While we waited, Mrs. O’Rourke asked for some food for the glashgar. They bought in a couple small, ill gashants. She was a little reluctant, but they couldn’t afford any younger animals and had no slaves. The leader offered us a guard but Mrs. O’Rourke, after a look at the guard who’d poked the High Martian, declined politely.

More Martians arrived, setting out a table in the courtyard. They decorated and laid place settings. The goblets were of a reddish glass and had a pale yellow wine that smelled faintly of peaches.

Another guardsman, this one obviously a leader as his uniform was more elaborate and quite splendid. He’s a noble of some sort. His silk robe is a deep red with metal wires forming a pattern; much like the High Martian leader but in a better condition.

Welcome to Andar Pul, Tribune of Meepsoor. The soldiers stood at attention at his entrance.

We let the Major take the lead. Mr. O’Rourke did the introduction. He sort of stumbled over “Her Majesty’s army”, which Andar Pul echoed when he welcomed us, the Peace of his Table, etc. The Major echoed and they exchanged swords.

The Priest gave a blessing over the meal and we put the weapons among the packs and soldiers. We are civilized and don’t bring our weapons to the table.

We ate in silence during the first course. It’s a fragrant soup. It’s heavily spiced, just like the food among the Hill Martians. The wine is very nice. It’s very light.

After the first course, conversation opened over the odd course. Somewhat like some soy bean dish that was heavily sauced.

Major was trying to discuss our origins, without giving away our extraplanetary home. When he mentioned the Sea of Dust, he was quickly asked about the Grey Waste. He denied that as our origin, to their relief.

Major revealed our purpose to be diplomatic and possibly for trade. The Tribune said that we’d meet Nomarch the next day and the Priest had offered us lodging in the temple.

The lights on the table look somewhat electric lights, but they appear to be solid, glowing crystal. The light did not flicker or stay the same color, it revolved through the entire light spectrum. The plates stayed warm and the carafes stayed cold. How..interesting.

Meepsoor is an independent city. It was part of the Calla Moralan Empire, until the canal burst. Erebus was deserted and the Empire abandoned Meepsoor. Surprisingly, the city survived just fine without the Empire.

2 experience

Making Friends
meet new people and make friends with them

Stargate: 1889 19 July 2012
w/ Lady Cecile Featheringstonehaugh (“Fanshaw”), Adelaide “Addy” Edison, Capt Edouard “Ed” Roche, “Martha” Mbali (Zulu), Major Alexander Lycoll Marquisse of Waterford (& his Indian batman), Seamus O’Rourke & Emmeline Kelly O’Rourke (& her dog, Rowan)

We learned that the flying Martians are called High Martians and the ones who had been enslaved were Hill Martians.

We dragged one of the High Martians back into the caves. Mrs. O’Rourke woke it up so Cecile could question it; to learn the location of the enslaved Hill Martians. Mr. O’Rourke volunteered to wake it up, but Mrs. O’Rourke said she wanted it to wake up here, not in the afterlife. Oddly enough, it had no idea where the rest of the enslaved are; ‘they go down into the caves and come out with metals.’ When ordered, they bring food. However, it knows the location of the High Martian King; go out the door and fly straight up, he’s at the top of the highest tower. It soon becomes obvious, it’s oblivious to the underpassages used by the Hill Martians. If a slave vanishes, they push another slave out a door, so they fall to their deaths.

Apparently, we’ll need to take all of the slaves, or at least, as many as possible. I wonder if any of the Hill Martians know anything of that interesting dust.

We turned to the Hill Martians to lead us to their fellows and they know a non-flying route to the throne room. They don’t encourage us to go there; it’s a good way to get killed. They took us anyway. Apparently, we’re priests and we’re doing Set’s bidding. What?!

Mrs. O’Rourke noted that the High Martians do not rely upon their wings to fly; it must be something internal. She reconsidered her earlier dissection of one; there were some unidentified organs. She took a look at one of the recently deceased; and it seems that there are organs that shift liquids between them. It appears that shifting the liquids enables them to fly. If they got hit there, it would disrupt their balance and possibly their flight. I examined the liquid and it appears to orichalc, suspended in liquid and it’s magnetic. Fascinating. It’s possible the locals have boats that float on or above the flowing dust; perhaps, relying on magnets. I had to explain magnets to Cecile, she was never strong in the sciences. Mrs. O’Rourke took the organs so we could test it on the sand once I have my lab and tools again.

The throne room is a cavern with one entire wall missing and open to the sky. The floors and walls are covered by assorted pelts; including some that look like Hill Martians. I wonder what they use to tan the hides?

Oh, apparently the king is arriving. He’s quite a bit larger and taller than the others and has presence. He starts barking….something at us. Cecile barked back. He looked uncomprehending, so she barked louder. And slower.

Capt Ed is behaving oddly and perhaps is running a fever since he’s unfastening his coat. Capt Ed is suffering seizures of some kind.

She tried to rephrase it. The king’s clothing is quite lovely fabric; silky, but doesn’t fit him properly. Perhaps he took it off someone else and it wasn’t properly tailored to fit him. Apparently, he asked if Cecile is the leader. He agreed to fight her; if she wins, we take the Hill Martians. Cecile nominated her champion to face him, Martha. The king declined and wanted the Major, since he has the proper nobility.

The Major pulled out a glove and threw it at the king’s feet. The king was baffled and Cecile had to explain it to him. They are to fight to unconsciousness, or something like that.

The other Martians drew a circle, about 10’ diameter around the two duelists. It’s the starting point. The Major pulled out his shotgun and fired it. At first, the king appeared to be shaken, but he shook it off and charged forward with his halberd. That halberd hit the Major quite hard, but the Major shook off the worst of it. Too bad the king hit him a second time. Fortunately, the Major is even tougher than he looks.

The king swung the halberd around for a third time, hitting just as hard. Finally, the halberd swung past Major Lycoll, instead of into him.

The king grew overconfident and missed again, but followed up with a solid blow. Major shook off the effects of the blow, regaining his feet.

Cecile yelled encouragement and the Major erupted into action. He fired his shotgun to hit the king again, catching the Martian in the face. A mob of Hill Martians erupted out of a tunnel and attacked the High Martians. How unexpected. The king screamed, “Dishonor!” and swung wildly. His backswing however was much better aimed and struck the Major. The Major gritted his teeth and held on.

I deployed my parasol, and it started sparking correctly. It worked in the lab, let’s see if it works in the field. That halberd wielding despot only landed one blow and not as well this time. Martha smacked a High Martian, knocking him aside. Mr. O’Rourke shot another High Martian, stunning him. There’s no sign of any females. Major Lycoll shot the king in the head, finishing the duel, with a dead king. Mrs. O’Rourke stabilized the king. Apparently, he wasn’t completely dead. The High Martians flew away.

We took the Hill Martians and left. They said the High Martian females are in the birthing caves. Mrs. O’Rourke really wanted to see those. The Hill Martians bowed to us and apparently were praising Set, an Egyptian God. According to Cecile it shows communication between our world and theirs.

They also identified the assorted pelts on the walls. One of them was killed by the king himself, a Vronag Vesh. Apparently, it’s a fearsome beast. Major got the king’s silks as the spoils of the duel. It’s quite light and functions as well as a buff coat.

The female High Martians look like males, but with mammaries. They are tending eggs by natural hot springs. Mrs. O’Rourke asked Cecile to convince one of the females to come with us, and bring an egg or two. None of them proved amenable, apparently. Mrs. O’Rourke did some sketching.

The Hill Martians want us to go with them to their tribe. They are the Barrex and live elsewhere. The city name is Erebus. They are quite willing to let Mrs. O’Rourke take their picture. They claim ‘the ancestors’ built the city. Erebus was built after the deserts and abandoned when the canals dried up. They apparently displeased Set and that’s why the canal dried up. They were wicked people and were Canal Martians. We left The Cebrenia Mountains. Oddly enough the area of flowing dust is called, the Sea of Dust. The Grey Martians are beyond the Trinaria mountains.

There’s also Typhon Beasts. Green Martians are feral Typhon Beasts; algae in their fur turned them green. They wander in the wastes, the Falin Reaches. We are apparently priests of Set, as opposed to Servants of Set. They warned us against traveling east, that’s where the Grey Martians are; they do experiments on other Martians. That intrigues Mrs. O’Rourke. Typhon Beasts are large, grey-furred creatures that live in the jungles beyond the Falin Reaches. They have triangular ears and long snouts; humanoid.
Set Beast

The Hill Martians looked at some hidden signs and found where the caravan was headed. Capt Ed entertained, or perhaps was entertained by, some of the Hill Martians, both male and female. How….educational?

Mrs. O’Rourke and the physician tended to the wounded. The Martians packed the wounds with algae, to prevent insects from laying eggs in the wounds. Mrs. O’Rourke took samples of the algae.

We found the caravan; wagons being pulled by very large animals. They resembled nothing so much as crocodile crossed with a hippo but with legs like an elephant. Some of the Martians are riding a beast called gashants. They have almost no front legs and are upright, like a chicken. Both seemed quite friendly. The big ones are slow but tough enough to be unafraid of anything but the very largest predators.

Our friends introduced to their chief, or as they called him The Ultor; his name is Estex Fren. He plans to hold a Feast of Thanksgiving in our honor. The caravan Martians are much hardier than the ones we rescued.

Experience 2

Higher into the Mountain
Fighting through the Mountain

Stargate: 1889 (5 July 20120
w/ Lady Cecile Featheringstonehaugh (“Fanshaw”),Adelaide “Addy” Edison, Capt Edouard “Ed” Roche, “Martha” Mbali (Zulu), Major Alexander Lycoll Marquisse of Waterford (& his Indian batman), Seamus O’Rourke & Emmeline Kelly O’Rourke (& her dog, Rowan)

Mr. O’Rourke had recovered his senses, somewhat. He noticed that a local was trying to tend to him, and he noticed there were others around the edges, watching with something akin to reverence. It reminded him of an audience attending a sick priest. At one point, he thought he heard gunfire.

Meanwhile, we turned a corner and there were more winged Martians. A trio of guards opened fire, followed by another trio of guards and Captain Ed; leaving six winged Martians dead. I fired my parasol pistol, followed by another trio of guards. After that, a single, staggered Martial remained.

Mrs. O’Rourke took a moment to collect samples of their jewelry and accoutrement for later study. We continued to look for her cousin.

We found ourselves on a balcony to the air, and look, there’s javelins. Too bad they’re coming straight at us. One found Mrs. O’Rourke and another one found the Major. One bounced off Cecile’s corset boning. Martha kind of laughed when the lance bounced off her. A javelin chipped the wall next to Capt Ed. I got lucky as the javelin point just scraped my ribs.

There are winged Martians clinging to the ceiling throwing them. There’s another really big one, which is quite noticeable when the strap on his javelin quiver breaks. A trio of soldiers fired at the Martians, and one fell to the ground. Another trio of soldiers fired, wounding the Martians. Martha threw a spear and hit the biggest one. A trio of soldiers fired into the mass of Martians. Mr. O’Rourke definitely heard gunfire and tried to get up, to seek the source. He did find some weapon-ish tools, a pick. The big Martian pulled out a double-bladed halberd and attacked Martha. Both blades struck her, but she’s quite tough and only one really hurt her. Of the 10 original, 2 were dead and 2 were wounded. They sent javelins through a few soldiers. The Martians flew off the ceiling and began circling around above us. One of them threw at Capt Ed. A couple Martians came down to attack soldiers hand to hand and another one stabbed the Major in melee. Capt Ed shot at a flying Martian, killing two of them; Mrs. O’Rourke reminded everyone that she’s still seeking a female specimen. Captain Ed fired again; killing another and wounding the fourth. A trio of soldiers followed the Captain’s lead and shot the flying wounded one and killed one in melee and wounding another. Mrs.O’Rourke threw off the effects of her wound as Rowan bit the nearest Martian. A pair of soldiers shot the Martian attacking Major Lycoll and the big one. The Martian attacking Major Lycoll died and the final shot finished off the big one. Unfortunately, that’s when their reinforcements arrived, flying through the entrance. Mrs. O’Rourke shot one. A pair of soldiers fired but only one hit; luckily he killed that one. I fired my parasol but missed.

The remaining nine Martians attacked, throwing javelins. Three soldiers fell down, and a javelin narrowly missed Cecile. One javelin hit my corset. Another javelin struck Martha, wounding her again. The last javelin went wide of Captain Edouard. Mr. O’Rourke spotted a Martian flying ahead of him, so he put the javelin in the Martian’s back. Dishonorable, but understandable. Capt Ed killed another Martian and wounded yet another. A trio of soldiers finished off the wounded one and finished off another one. The Major fired his shotgun and killed three more. Soldiers fired, wounding another one. Cecile went off to find Mr. O’Rourke and Mrs. O’Rourke sent Rowan to help her, and a soldier went with her, as well. A pair of soldiers took aim and fired at the last two incoming Martians; killing both of them. Mrs. O’Rourke followed after Cecile and the soldiers.

Immediately, after turning a corner, we found a Martian, who lifted his halberd and fell; with a pickaxe in his back.

Unsurprisingly, an alarm went off. I reloaded my parasol. We took a moment to gather the wounded to check them. Two of them were only walking wounded. Mr. O’Rourke handed javelins to the wingless Martians who had followed him. We considered leaving, but it would be dangerous to meet the winged ones out in the open, instead of in the caves.

2 experience

Invading the Mountain
Explore distant worlds, meet new people, and kill them

Stargate: 1889 21 June 2012
w/ Lady Cecile Featheringstonehaugh (“Fanshaw”),Adelaide “Addy” Edison, Capt Edouard “Ed” Roche, “Martha” Mbali (Zulu), Major Alexander Lycoll Marquisse of Waterford (& his Indian batman), Seamus O’Rourke & Emmeline Kelly O’Rourke (& her dog, Rowan)

Seamus O’Rourke has fallen ill and is delirious (player couldn’t make the game)

Mrs. O’Rourke went looking for a cave entrance, accompanied by Rowan. She followed tracks to an outcropping that was hiding an opening in the cliff. The tracks appeared to be both Martian humanoid and bestial. She also found more Martian insects for her collection.

Behind the outcropping, was a collapsed cave entrance. The soldiers began clearing the rubble, Martha heaved the larger ones aside. After a few minutes work, the way was opened.

The entrance was wide enough for three soldiers abreast (10’) but not quite as tall. Major took the lead. I followed him, holding my parasol and chalk. I marked the way, so we would be able to follow the route back. Martha, Capt Ed, and a couple squads stayed behind to guard our retreat route (Martha’s player wasn’t feeling well, so her husband took her home) and the captive High Martians|Martian. Mrs. O’Rourke had the most marvelous device; an electric torch. I must examine it closely. Although, perhaps, not right now.

The cave forked, to a partial cave-in. The tracks went the other way. The Major and a soldier climbed to the top of the cave-in to see what was visible, just past it. He reported another cave, about the same size, that turned sharply to the right.

We continued on and found another branching fork. This one was not collapsed. Mrs. O’Rourke said the tracks went both ways, but more to the right. The dust is also deeper. We went the less traveled route. The sand grew ever deeper, past our ankles, and occasionally even thigh deep. According to the others, it’s quite like the sand of the sandy ocean. Fascinating. It ‘splashes.’

From the back, there was a “Sir? Erk.” Looking back, the man went limp, dropped the rifle and collapsed; revealing a giant scorpion. Oh. Dear.

The Major shot the creature, and appeared to penetrate its carapace. A trio of soldiers fired soon after, another shot careened off its shell. It skittered toward them. Its tail spiked toward the major, ripping his jacket. Mrs. O’Rourke fired at it, but her round ricocheted off. Rowan bit a claw; his teeth scraping off the shell. Another trio of soldiers fired, and one of the bullets penetrated. I put up my parasol and fired a shot, another ricochet. Of the next trio of soldiers, two rounds hit and one left a crack in the shell.

Major shot another round, and ichor flowed from the creature’s shell. The next two shots finished it off.

The soldier was not dead, merely poisoned. I say, merely, but that is serious enough. He was very tired, but capable of walking. The dead creature appeared in all respects to be a normal scorpion, save its size, which was much like that of a bear’s.

Mrs. O’Rourke was doing something to it. She said that she extracted its poison sac, as it may be useful later. We spotted another tunnel to the right, still deep in dust. We retraced our steps to firmer ground and took the branch.

Major Lycoll noticed that one of the tunnels lead to a shaft, one that went up. He looked up it and it was unnaturally straight, although the walls were rough. It could be climbed, with gear.

Meanwhile, Cecile resting in amidst the other ‘slaves,’ thought she heard something like a gunshot. The flying Martians favored throwing weapons, not firearms. Every once in awhile a flying Martian would come into the tunnels, bark orders and then leave. After some thought, she considered the noise might have come from the tunnel the nonflyers warned her against. One whom she had befriended tried to pull her back, and she motioned that she had no plans to go further.

I thought I heard vague noises up the shaft. Mrs. O’Rourke said she definitely heard people, probably Martians, working.

We found a tunnel to the dusty lake that forked off our route. As we continued, we found another shaft up. According to Mrs. O’Rourke, more people were working at the top.

It looks like our only clear route is up one of the shafts. Since it’s closer, the one we are currently under is the route chosen. Major Lycoll said he thought he could climb up and then rig a hoist to pull Mrs. O’Rourke, Rowan and myself.

He went up with a soldier and they tied off a rope ladder. One of them hauled up Rowan, since a dog is not really suited to climbing a ladder.

Capt Ed rejoined us (thanks to Skype). The tunnel above inclined upward. We kept our eyes open for more scorpions, or bat analogs. The tunnel leveled off until it opened up to a huge crevasse. There is a narrow ledge on either side; one that narrows as it proceeded. It was not evenly narrow, but it was never very wide.

The Major eyed the distance, took one end of the rope ladder, gathered himself, ran, and jumped over it. He grabbed the edge with his fingers, gasped a moment and pulled himself up. Rowan started growling, which caught our attention; in time to see a scorpion scuttle away.

I pulled my parasol and let loose a shot, wildly. A trio of soldiers fired and all three hit, although only one of them did anything beyond marking up its carapace. The scorpion skittered over to the Major and grabbed him in one pincer. The Major, held over the crevasse by the creature, pummeled it. A trio of soldiers fired, cracking its carapace. Another trio fired, and one shot hit the Major while the other two shot the arachnid. The shot hit the Major’s shoulder. The next trio fired a round, and all three hit; continuing to crack the shell. Another shot hit the Major from the next trio, but it hit one of his straps. The next shot penetrated the scorpion’s eye, killing it. The Major grabbed the ledge as it let go him.

Meanwhile, Cecile perked up. She heard gunshots, definitely gunshots. As well as English voices. She moved toward the voices, trying to explain to Botto, her newfound friend, that her companions were nearby and she was moving toward safety. She managed to convince him to let her go, but he stayed behind. She kept a wary eye, since she heard gunfire, there must be something to shoot.

Major Lycoll tied the ladder to the scorpion’s corpse. At this end, the soldiers hammered spikes into the stone to which to fasten the other end. After some time, we all crossed. It was not secure footing.

The tunnel got quite steep. It ended at another shaft. Looking up, Major Lycoll spotted Cecile’s face. He inquired if she were in a safe location; if so perhaps there’s time for a spot of tea.

With a bit of assistance from Cecile, Major Lycoll got the rope ladder up and we ascended. Per the English assistance, we stopped for a spot of tea.

We heard something coming around the corner. Cecile instructed us not to shoot the nonwinged Martians; they’re friendly. It was the one she called ‘Botto’ and his wife. They put down their clubs, knelt and then genuflected and started chanting.

What has Cecile been telling them?! Major Lycoll shook their hands. She is able to communicate with them somewhat.

The unwinged Martian barracks have carved ladders, out of the walls themselves. The flyers seem unaware of the extent the unwinged ones have burrowed between levels. There’s only about a dozen ofr them, we should be able to take them with us.

I reloaded my parasol and we fetched Mr. O’Rourke from the upper caverns. We all went. I told Cecile all about the lake of dust we found farther down. We turned a corner and there were a quintet of the winged types, one of which was quite large. Mrs. O’Rourke said, ‘I already have one dead specimen and a living one. I don’t need another one, unless it’s female.’

Captain Ed pulled both pistols fired at the big one, spraying it with bullets. It fell back against the wall, smearing it with blood as it collapsed. The shots from a trio of soldiers took another one out of the combat. The next trio of soldiers killed a pair of them. Another trio of soldiers killed the last one.

I wonder if the other Martians heard that.

2 experience

We Meet Martians

Stargate 1889 7 June 2012
w/ Lady Cecile Featheringstonehaugh (“Fanshaw”), Adelaide “Addy” Edison, Capt Edouard “Ed” Roche, “Martha” Mbali (Zulu), Major Alexander Lycoll Marquisse of Waterford (& his Indian batman), Seamus O’Rourke & Emmeline Kelly O’Rourke (& her dog, Rowan)

The Martians attacked, flying down like flying squirrels, but with halberds in their feet. One blade sliced across the Major‘s jacket but he fended them off. Mrs. O’Rourke‘s horse reared up to fend off the creatures. One of them sliced through her jacket, enough to draw blood and managed to hurt her. Soldiers shot at one of them and brought it down. I managed to avoid two of the beasts, but the third one almost sliced my arm off. Apparently, up on the mooring deck, Martha and Capt Ed were also attacked and also took injuries. Well, Capt Ed did. Apparently Martha was too tough for them. Mr. O’Rourke was by himself and got badly hacked up, as all three of his attackers sliced into him.

More soldiers fired at the pair of Martians still attacking Mrs. O’Rourke, but only two had decent aim. Their aim was excellent though, as they shot another two down.

Soldiers continued to fire at attacking Martians. Mrs. O’Rourke’s horse grabbed one in his teeth and dragged it from the sky. Mrs. O’Rourke pulled her gun and shot another out of the sky. Capt Ed pulled out a pair of pistols and fired off two shots, managing to ground another Martian. Two of them sliced up my jacket, and me. Two Martians still attacking Capt Ed proved their mettle as one of them hacked across his torso. He twisted to avoid the blow, using his pistol to deflect it so it landed on another Martian, cutting it into two. Two of the ones attacking Martha were so demoralized, they completely missed her. The last one landed a blow on her metal arm, making a ringing noise, but not hurting her. Mr. O’Rourke braced himself (spent bennies & made two vigor rolls to survive, and did remarkably well), shaking off the effects of his wounds to shoot down another Martian. The Martian who hit his left arm knocked him and grabbed him to fly away. Maj Lycoll spotted the two Martians around the mooring point and shot one near Martha. Soldiers fired, following his lead, and did the same. Soldiers fired to assist me, trying to drive off the Martians and wounded one. Soldiers on the mooring point shot and killed the last two who had been attacking Martha. The rest of the soldiers in the temple fired, killing another one. Soldiers in the city hall fired at the Martians carrying off Mr. O’Rourke ,{Maj: How can the British save you again? Seamus: Stop! Or I’ll say stop again!} killing one.

Mrs. O’Rourke pulled her rifle and shot the last Martian up at the mooring point. Capt Ed looked out over the edge, looking for more Martians to shoot. Surprisingly, one of the Martians attacked a soldier, who managed to parry the blow. A Martian picked up Mr. O’Rourke and flew off. {GM as soldier: Don’t shoot, you might hit the Irish. Maj: Don’t shoot, you might miss the Irish.} The other Martians flew off. Mrs. O’Rourke stabilized one of the Martians.

I came out of the the temple, and the doctor came to my aid. There’s no sign of Mr. O’Rourke. Mrs. O’Rourke gave me a couple of pills, and I feel much better.

They were flying north, to the mountains. Cecile was noting their route, the mountains appeared to be cut at a 45 degree angle with a wedge taken out of it and balconies carved out of walls. They flew onto one of the balconies and barked at her. She thought it might actually be a language. She saw another one fly in with a bleeding Mr. O’Rourke. They were both shoved into a tunnel. {Maj: ha-ha. They tried to get a breeding pair. Cecile: They’re going to be mightily disappointed, then.} Cecile could not convince them to help her move him, and she was not strong enough to move him herself, without doing him further injury. Their captors barked louder down the tunnel and more Martians, these without the wing flaps, came out. A pair, male and female, picked up Mr. O’Rourke and carried him inside.

Once the guards left, the additional Martians (wingless) inside began to talk. Their language sounded vaguely like Coptic. {GM: When they worship the Norse goddess of the dead, they speak Helacoptic} They treated Mr. O’Rourke’s injuries. Cecile began writing in Coptic, trying to communicate with the Martians; ‘not an animal, greetings, etc {GM: please, there’s a tradition here, ‘take me to your leader.’}

Mr. O’Rourke eventually woke up. He was quite startled by the individual standing above him. Mr. O’Rourke groped his chest, “Oh, please, tell me they didn’t perforate me flask.” Meanwhile, Cecile was managing to communicate, roughly, with the Martians.

They told her, they are in a kragg, belonging to the Haaken. They themselves are barrax; slaves to the winged Martians. The winged ones brought in something that could, laughingly be called food. Cecile theorized it originated as some kind of fungus.

Eventually, one of the winged ones came to investigate the two new, odd, slaves. Cecile was taken out with the other slaves to work. They left Mr. O’Rourke since he was unable to do much in his condition. He spent his time observing the captors and slaves. He discovered hidden stairs to get from level to level, apparently unknown to the fliers. Cecile noticed that the levels go down very far, although the slaves apparently didn’t. She spoke to the slaves about this and they communicated something dangerous being lower down. She did see some animal waste.

Somehow, Mrs. O’Rourke managed to communicate with the one she captured. He indicated that her cousin and Cecile had been taken to the mountains to the north. She ‘convinced’ him to guide us.

We left one squad of soldiers barricaded in a building, along with the wagons and Mrs. O’Rourke’s creatures.

We traveled toward the mountains for hours, and we noticed some figures flying around the mountain’s southern tip. They look much like the ones who kidnapped Cecile and Mr. O’Rourke. Apparently, Mrs. O’Rourke was very convincing. Evening was descending as we approached. It was getting cold and while uncomfortable, it was not fatal.

2 experience

1st day on Mars

Note: Strength considered one die type higher for purposes of carrying.

When last we left our valiant explorers, Capt Ed had been grabbed by a large tentacle and was shaken by the experience. Mrs. O’Rourke and Martha were with him.

The tentacles reached out from under the sand and grabbed Capt Ed. They began pulling him under the ground. Martha jumped in throw her spear into the writhing attacker. Her spear pinned the tentacle to the sand, narrowly missing Captain Ed. Mrs. O’Rourke told Martha, “While that was warranted, something to keep in mind is that I have a chance to calm it down next time.” Then she pulled out her pistol and shot at the tentacle. Rowan ran over to snap at a thrashing tentacle and her horse reared up and kicked out at it. As it tried to pull Capt Ed under the sand, he managed to scramble free. He pulled his own gun and shot at it. Capt Ed gritted his teeth, pulled his pistols and hit it with one of them. The trio of soldiers opened fire, too, spraying the air with lead. A trio of soldiers still by the pyramid shot the tentacles and then Major Lycoll shot it. I heard some screams and shooting from outside. Major Lycoll was saying something inspirational and stirring.

Martha saw some blue stuff coming up out of the sand from where her spear was stuck into it. She pulled her spear out and it was coated with blue. Mrs. O’Rourke took a step back and got a good shot, with her merciful bullet. Rowan snarled and snapped while Mrs. O’Rourke’s horse danced around and landed on it with both front hooves. Mr. O’Rourke pulled out a pistol and took another chunk of flesh off the beast. Capt Ed shot his Colt Peacemaker, whittling away at it. Trio of soldiers, taking heart from Maj Lycoll’s words blasted away at the beast and the tentacles stopped writhing.

Mrs. O’Rourke told us that she would appreciate the chance to calm and capture animals. She took samples and in her professional opinion it’s a solitary, sessile, ambush predator. The biology appears to be copper based.

The others pulled it out of the sand and it was a large, tentacles; about the size of a rhino. It had no eyes, dry skin, internal carapace, and only six tentacles.

The light dimmed fairly early. Mrs. O’Rourke treated Captain Ed’s sucker wounds. While they were busy at that, I realized the pedestal is some kind of device to control the stargate. However, apparently, we’re missing the last symbol needed to return home.

After sunset, the sky turned dark blue. How unexpected, after the pink sky of the day. The temperature got very cold; very desert-like, or so I’ve heard. A tiny moon was visible in the night sky. Mrs. O’Rourke kept busy doing something to the creature’s remains. Surprisingly, the compasses work and the other navigational equipment seem to work as well.

Some of the soldiers were entrenched at the entrance while Cecile and I studied, per our respective specialties. I asked Cecile, during her studies of the symbols on the walls, to keep her eyes open for the missing symbol.

The next day, the sun rose in what we’ll call the east. Maj Lycoll said it was a 12-hour night.

Mrs. O’Rourke estimated the city in the distance was about 60 miles away and would probably take two to three days to reach. She recommended we start early in the morning, to spend as little time as possible in the open at night. There are still no clouds in the sky. The city is northeast, with mountains behind it. To the southeast was a dune sea, that was apparently moving. There’s another mountain range more northerly.

The atmospheric condensers were struggling to produce. Apparently, the air is extremely dry. Fortunately, we did bring extra water.

While Cecile and I were busy studying, the scouting party went out to look around the area. Mrs. O’Rourke went looking for more life forms. Maj Lycoll took his sporting rifle. Martha took her spear. It’s doubtful that she really needs anything else.

We looked for more rooms, but only found that one large room with columns, footed on one end by the stargate. It opened out into the desert.

Mrs. O’Rourke said there was a paucity of plants and anything larger than insects. She did find a couple lizards near the temple, but little else.

Surprisingly, Mr. O’Rourke found a moving hieroglyph. I may have underestimated his intellect. There are circular panels that as they turn form new hieroglyphs. I called Cecile over to see if anything looks familiar. She pointed out the form that would say ‘opening’. When she did so, it moved back and to the side. Inside, a series of lights, soft and apparently electric, along the floor illuminated the way.

A side room was revealed. Cecile grabbed a torch and we entered. There’s a couple statues of some pagan deity (Nefitis) and large stelae filled the rest of the room. Each one had six glyphs. There’s a least a couple dozen of these stelae.

Mr. O’Rourke was saying something behind us. I have no idea what he was mumbling about. Apparently, there’s a mummified body. It’s of no concern, it’s dead after all. Mr. O’Rourke said the body had some oddities, but most notable was the large gaping hole in it. And he found some kind of firearm with it, which he promptly concealed.

The soldiers carrying the body attracted the Mrs. O’Rourke’s attention. She was quite pleased with the discovery. According to her, it’s obviously not human. Its features more elongated and its ears had frills, eyes with second eyelids. However, it’s approximately human-sized and looking at the genitalia compatible with humans. Something hot burned the large hole in its chest. It’s also mammalian and been dead a hundred years.

{O’Rourke: imagine, arming the Americans as they march across Europe, burning Britain.
Maj Lycoll: Poor Yank, he doesn’t realize there’s an ocean in the way}

The strip of lights appear to be orichalc, glowing. Cecile and I want another day to examine the secret room so Mrs. O’Rourke, Capt Ed, Martha, and Maj Lycoll wanted to go look at the ocean of sand. Martha diced with the soldiers while Mrs. O’Rourke looked at the body. She packed it up for storage and transport to take home.

The next morning the scouts left extra early to get to the beach. They theorized it would take them about half a day’s light to get there. Halfway there, one of them spotted a structure, slightly off their route. The structure was the size of a decent-sized merchant ship.

It appeared to be a grounded ship, stuck point first in the sand, except the bottom doesn’t look like it’s suitable for water. It would be very unsteady in the water and had no rudder. A couple outriggers were equipped with propellers. It had the structure of an airship, but no attachments for the balloons or other flotation devices.

They entered through a hatch on the deck. In the middle, they found complex equipment. Capt Ed said it was very sophisticated machinery. They found the controls but there were some kind of missing fuel cells. There was a miniaturized analytical engine affixed to the controls.

They reached the ocean of sand and saw waves of sand washing up against the sandy beach. The moving sand tingled and the compasses were moving erratically.

{Maj Lycoll: obviously, the sand moves the propellers of the ship which powers it and it uses sails to guide it. Obviously.}

They all were picking up static electricity charge the longer they stayed. The sand rolled in waves as far as the eye could see. Mrs. O’Rourke took some samples of the sand. It reacted to motion like water.

Martha had to open her arm to get the dust and sand out of it. They returned to the pyramid.
{comments about Cecile’s dust ionizer, to keep the dust out of her tea, It’s only civilized.
Kelly: I’m Irish, I don’t have to be civilized.
Maj Lycoll nodded agreeably.}

Mrs. O’Rourke handed me the bottle of sand. Fascinating. She also said something about some airship.

Each grain appears to have its own static charge, repelling the other grains. Since, they never touch, they slide like satin and silk.

The next day, we left for the city. Major Lycoll had to convince Cecile it was better for her to pack her things rather than have ‘the lads’ pack it.

On the second day, we say a herd of animals in the distance. They look a bit like very skinny antelopes, with goat horns. They look quite starved, although grazing on some kind of brambles. Mrs. O’Rourke suggested there might be a water seep there. She asked us to wait while she got close enough to capture one. Some of them bounded off as she approached, but she got close enough to get a harness on one. She bribed it with food and it calmed and walked alongside her. Unlike antelopes, they had broad paws with vestigial claws. Like antelopes, they’re herbivores, but oviparous. The poor private made to tend it; the musk from it made quite a stink.

The seep was slow, but enough to restock a little of the water supplies. Mrs. O’Rourke collected samples of the vegetation. The plants stored water in their roots. The roots could be shredded to harvest the water. However, the water had to be well strained, as one private proved by trying to grab phantom butterflies all afternoon.

We reached the city by sunset. It’s in ruins and deserted. It had two spires on two plateaus, separated by a desert-choked canal. It’s been deserted for a couple hundred years. One set of spires were red stone with blue veins while the other were milky quartz with coppery veins. There’s ten feet of sand on the roads.

Cecile said it appeared the people had been gone for a couple hundred years. Mrs. O’Rourke said there’s life, wildlife. There’s a pigeon equivalent. The city is in excellent shape, considering how long it’s been deserted. There’s signs of advanced technology and that canal looked carved, not natural. Capt Ed said he saw mooring posts on some of the towers. He climbed in through a window and climbed up toward the top of a tower with mooring posts, with some soldiers and Martha to keep him company. Martha and Maj Lycoll spotted defensive fortifications and whoever left, left in an orderly fashion. Cecil says the city was a few thousand years old, and in remarkably good shape. She found some writing to copy and take notes. She also found docks near the canal. Maj Lycoll found signs of recent occupation, as in the past few months. He found boot prints, animal prints, and camp sites. He asked Mrs. O’Rourke to take a look at the animal prints to identify them. She said the prints were lizard-like, bipedal and very large; horse-sized. She guessed that they were mounts. Cecile said there appeared to be a temple in the center of the southern plateau (milky quartz buildings), and apparently set out like the temple at Karnak, but with statues of Set.

And the prints seemed to be less than a hundred individuals and headed east out of the city. They may have been following the canal. The desert was less harsh, the closer to the mountains. They also found quadruped prints, corral, bones and broken harness. Some of the quadrupeds might be the antelope-like but others were rhinoceros-sized.

While the Major and Mrs. O’Rourke were looking around, Rowan started growling.

At the top, Capt Ed found mooring ropes, in remarkably good shape. He also found smaller skiffs. They had no power supply and were weathered. They had been in a shelter and each could hold 2-3 people. He figured out most of the controls, even without power.

Rowan looked up and growled. They saw four figures flying/gliding down. They had their arms out and were holding halberds in their feet.

Cecile was grabbed by one and lifted into the air. More landed on the mooring platform with Martha and Capt Ed to attack.

2 experience points

It Begins (May 10, 2012)
1st, meeting

Stargate: 1889 May 10, 2012
w/ Lady Cecile Featheringstonehaugh (“Fanshaw”) (& her secretary, Eleanor ), Content Not Found: adelaide-edison, Captain Edouard “Ed” Roche, “Martha” Mbali (Zulu), Major Alexander Lycoll, Marquisse of Waterford (& his Indian batman), Seamus O’Rourke & Emmeline Kelly O’Rourke (& her dog, Rowan)

At Revelstoke Castle in Shropshire, and some interesting individuals arrive [everyone other than the Major and myself. The Major’s lancers have been drilling in the courtyard. And Cecile, along with [[:Dr. Catherine Langford]] is one of the new arrivals. How lovely.

General Allen Baldwin is the commander of the castle [think Sean Connery in Man Who Would Be King]. Once everyone the General was expecting has arrived, we are gathered in the library meeting room. Major Quinn was the recruiter of the British individuals [balding, almost 40, sideburns to mustache] and Colonel Falconer, recruited the Americans [burly, outspoken ~50 year old Texan]. Maj Geoffrey Boothroyd (the quartermaster) is also present. Maderu is the Generals’ Aide (Evie’s mentor in The Mummy), Major Wyndham, Dr. Clive Trevelyn and Dr. Catherine Langford are another four individuals at the table. Finally my uncle and Nikola joined us. Gregory Mitchell, representing the Vanderbilt family and finally Charles Babbage in his life-chair.

{joke about Capt being a Captain again, ‘so we can shoot him, right?’} {joke about Tesla shooting looks at my character ‘shocking’, ’keep up with current events}

General Baldwin began the briefing, reviewing Littlefeld’s archeological discovery about 20 years ago in the Sinai Peninsula; one that was kept secret. Writing and artifacts were found that indicated extra-terrestrial origin. They had to be excavated and removed to England, due to the French’s construction of the Suez Canal.

Using Uncle‘s kinetoscope, they showed images of the Gate. The British have been studying it ever since. Recently, breakthroughs have been made. It creates an opening through the ether to another similar device. Apparently, some of the individuals are less familiar with science than I expected. They didn’t even know that light travels.

There are 39 separate glyphs and it takes 6 glyphs to activate it. They appear to be related to constellations. Cecile’s research may be the key to unlocking the activation. Major Lycoll objected to sending ladies. Cecile made appreciative noises but made him aware that she is quite prepared, as she has been on expeditions before. Major Quinn told Lycoll his role was to protect the academics.

{Buckaroo Bonzai reference}

We went to the basement to see the Gate. Cecile sent her servant, Eleanor to get her latest notebook. Capt Ed went to look at the Gate; looks like stone, feels like metal, doesn’t scratch.

I am trying to explain the gate and the Tesla coils to Martha and Ed. Surprisingly, they almost understood. Until Ed made a reference to shoveling coal.

Dr. Wyndham began inserting the cards into the Babbage Engine and the Tesla coils powered up and the Gate rings spun. The glyphs activate one by one, until all 6 were lit. And then nothing.

Dr. Langford reported they’ve been trying the glyphs randomly and tried the ones found in Sinai. Cecile brought up a recent find., one made by another archeologist.
Capt Ed brought up trying to use a 7th symbol. Cecile examined the notebook of the previous attempts.

Capt Ed tossed a scrap of charcoal through and, no surprise, nothing happened. Cecile brought out a sketch of an amulet, it has a 7th symbol on the back. It has the same 6 attempted on this date.

We took out a plaque corresponding to the 7th symbol. Capt Ed took it and shoved it into the Babbage Engine. The entire gate lit up and whoosh of light and energy came out of the gate. It hit part of the curtain wall, dropping a stone on Tesla’s foot. The Gate was filled with a shimmering layer of light.

Tesla’s ankle is broken so I’ll be chief scientist on the expedition. Ed stuck a broomstick and pulled it back out. Martha stuck her hand into it. She said it went completely numb and couldn’t feel a thing. I can actually see the etheric fluctuations. How fascinating.

Dr. Medino will be the physician for the expedition. We’ll be leaving day after tomorrow. No one is going through until the expedition is ready. Capt Ed wants to go through now to test it. He’s fishing with a rope and hook, until the hook got stuck. Major Lycoll sent for guards, just in case. Finally, the hook just wouldn’t come back.

When the gate is shut off, the rope was cut; cleanly. Important safety note: be completely through before the gate is shut off.

The next day I had to stop researching long enough to do some packing and preparations. There’s 10 of us, the dog,and 21 troops, and the physician. There’s five wagons to hold everyone’s gear.

The Major and some of his troops lead the way. Mrs. O’Rourke and Capt Ed followed them. The Major and Mrs. O’Rourke rode through. I stumbled and fell when I made it. We’re covered with rime, which melts. The gate is one way, as proved by the hook sitting in front of the gate. Capt Ed tried to toss the grappling hook and it just fell to the other side, but not through the Gate.

We’re in a large stone room and it’s warmer than Castle Revelstoke. There’s an old slanted table with a red dome in the center. The table is covered by glyphs.

Major rode out the door and said there’s a desert with a pink sky outside. We’re in a pyramid; a temple to Set, Lord of the Red Earth and the Egyptian name for Mars.

Mrs. O’Rourke, Rowan, Capt Ed and Martha went outside to take a took, and Major Lycoll sent 3 soldiers with them. Mrs. O’Rourke was collecting lichen and insect samples. Capt Ed smashed an insect and Mrs. O’Rourke yelled at him. He was quite startled and didn’t notice the tentacles, until they attacked him.


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