A River In Egypt Part Two

HollyhockGod: My point is: You're in Egypt, yes?

HollyhockGod: Which has just been surrounded by a sea of completely insane weather.

Sarck: Of course, hence why I said it's egypt.

Sarck: You make no sense

* Sarck is now known as ViktorWalters.

HollyhockGod: Making it problematical for you to leave and impossible for basically anybody else.

Laurelynne: Problematic for all of you, maybe.

ViktorWalters: Not for me, really

HollyhockGod: True. It's mostly a problem for other people.

Edith: Hi.

ViktorWalters: Hi!

HollyhockGod: So, the city of Luxor!

Laurelynne: Next stop, the City of the Dead?

HollyhockGod: Once a fantastic ancient city of decadent splendor, now a decayed relic.

HollyhockGod: No, but that would have been a good idea, too.

HollyhockGod: Incidentally, is one of you logging?

HollyhockGod: This computer doesn't have it on.

OShuva: I'm logging.

HollyhockGod: Good.

HollyhockGod: In any case, what you see before you is a poor, unimpressive example of a city in the modern Middle East.

HollyhockGod: The only buildings of any consequence are additions made by the people of the various UN nations that oversee the country's government.

* Panzeh has signed off IRC ("ChatZilla [Firefox]").

HollyhockGod: They at least look respectable and new, but none of them match the rest of the city or each other.

HollyhockGod: Right now, most of the people are indoors with the windows and doors barred owing to the high winds and risk of sandstorms.

HollyhockGod: Out in the distances, you can see scars and pockmarks in the earth where the various foreign archaeologists have torn through the land in search of treasure.

HollyhockGod: Only one of them seems to be occupied, although you can't see by what.

HollyhockGod: In fact, by "what" seems to be the best question, since it looks very odd indeed.

HollyhockGod: The lights that are burning there are in a multitude of colors, and you see flags and pennants waving.

HollyhockGod: Not at all what you'd expect of the Westerners usually present here.

Laurelynne: What sort of flags, national ones?

* MrsSeawaffle has signed off IRC ("There are too many heroes already in the world and yet only one Rincewind, and I owe it to the world to keep that one alive").

HollyhockGod: Difficult to say: long, colored pennants of many different sorts.

HollyhockGod: It's right on the edge of your vision at this time.

HollyhockGod: Now, the lights are starting to shine up into the sky, and, possibly through some mirrors you can't see, reflecting beams back down to the earth.

HollyhockGod: They form a moderately powerful searchlight, which begins to roam up and down in all directions, apparently at random.

ViktorWalters: As a note, I'm gonna go under my usual cloak of boredom, and cloak anyone who wants it.

Laurelynne: "Every story has a beginning, and this seems as good a start as we shall have here, so let us proceed."

Laurelynne: I'll decline the cloak of boredom, and turn invisible instead.

HollyhockGod: And the rest of you?

Edith: "Maybe later, I think."

ViktorWalters: "Then I shall bore like the wind!"

Edith: "But we should probably ask someone who's there before wandering over."

Alan: Alan is starting to dislike business trips.

HollyhockGod: Will you look for information first, then, or plunge on in?

Edith: I say infomation. Is there anybody who monitors archeology here, or is it just a crapshoot?

HollyhockGod: Not a crapshoot so much as a buffet.

Edith: Ah.

HollyhockGod: There's technically a Director of Antiquities, but nobody cares because they just smuggle everything out anyway.

Laurelynne: "Normally I would agree with you about researching the situation, but we are pressed for time."

Alan: "I'm willing to agree on that. The sooner we finish this business the sooner we get away from this poor weather."

HollyhockGod: Also, I should mention that Alan's divination from before is listing that dig site as the best point of call for you.

Edith: "As you will."

HollyhockGod: So, any other actions you'll take on the way?

ViktorWalters: Which are the most boring sites?

ViktorWalters: Divination of Boredom, highest without taking a DMP hit.

Laurelynne: My guess is the ones where there are no active digs going on.

Edith: You can do major divinations for free with Domain 5.

ViktorWalters: thought so

HollyhockGod: Boring is subjective, really.

HollyhockGod: But I'd say the one people are at is least boring to anyone.

HollyhockGod: And the other ones are abandoned and quite boring.

HollyhockGod: In fact, more abandoned than you might expect.

HollyhockGod: Where is everybody?

ViktorWalters: Evacuated?

Laurelynne: Well, wherever they are, Laurel is on her way to the dig site.

Alan: Alan will be going along with Man-Laurel.

Laurelynne: :P

HollyhockGod: You set out across the desert, as unobtrusively as possible. For some of you that's a lot.

HollyhockGod: Nevertheless, the great spotlight, whether by coincidence or not, begins to sweep in your direction.

Alan: Also, if everything's evacuated and an apocalyptic weather system has surrounded the area…

Laurelynne: Yes?

Alan: I was going to say Alan was going to go straight home, but nah.

Laurelynne: I would be right there with you, brother.

Alan: As for the spot light, someone might want to do something about that.

Laurelynne: You could make it so unlucky that it won't spot us.

ViktorWalters: I'm extremely boring!

Alan: Yes, we know.

Alan: Problem is, can that light be effected?

HollyhockGod: You never know until you try.

Laurelynne: It has a spirit I'm sure.

HollyhockGod: The question is, is the light self-operating or is someone on the other end?

HollyhockGod: And if there is someone, is there a pattern or is it random?

ViktorWalters: You could go mythic and attempt to persuade it with riches beyond it's belief. That's worked for you so far, right?

OShuva: Hush, child.

Alan: I could always pull its heart out without thinking twice about the consequences.

Alan: Ok, so attempt to alter the beam of light's luck.

Alan: Hopefully it won't be the Power of Light or some nonsense.

* MrsSeawaffle has joined #forum-nobilis.

* MrsSeawaffle has left #forum-nobilis.

Razzen: (gotta go afk for a little while, sorry)

HollyhockGod: OK, you fiddle with randomness.

HollyhockGod: The beam makes a sudden dip and passes over you.

Edith: Were we highlighted or did it go over our heads?

HollyhockGod: It missed you.

* Edith breathes again.

Alan: "Are you alright, Miss Edith?"

Edith: "Quite, thanks."

Alan: We'll probably continue to proceed then.

HollyhockGod: All right. Do we want to wait for Razzen?

Alan: Up to the others. Seems like a good idea.

OShuva: Seconded on the good idea.

ViktorWalters: thirded

ViktorWalters: Hey, cool

ViktorWalters: it's my birthday

ViktorWalters: \o/

OShuva: Happy birthday and things along those lines.

HollyhockGod: I congratulate you. Total years=?

ViktorWalters: Enough~

ViktorWalters: I'll give you a hint. Birth year ends with 91.

HollyhockGod: How existential!

OShuva: I - I can remember '91

ViktorWalters: I suppose

OShuva: I was in primary school.

ViktorWalters: Hah

ViktorWalters: Things happened that year. Some of them were apparently worthwhile.

HollyhockGod: It's possible!

HollyhockGod: I was five in '91.

OShuva: �dith Cresson became premier of France.

ViktorWalters: I don't really remember much of anything 'til around '96, or '95.

OShuva: I should totally steal that accent.

HollyhockGod: May as well.

HollyhockGod: I also advise more spontaneous oddity.

HollyhockGod: Just to amuse me.

ViktorWalters: Pocket watches and canes and tophats!

OShuva: I have a pocket watch.

ViktorWalters: Viktor is dressed with Victoriana and suchlike

Razzen: (back, sorry about that)

ViktorWalters: he has very grandiloquent clothing, I guess.

ViktorWalters: Just, you know, for fun.

Razzen: (and, ah, I was 14 in 1991)

HollyhockGod: I was thinking it would be amusing if Viktor tried to develop unusual personality traits, but failed.

ViktorWalters: He does

ViktorWalters: I thought that was known

Edith: It's only been a few days since his last act of wantom arson.

ViktorWalters: Did I leave that out?

HollyhockGod: I'm not sure that you've actually done one yet.

ViktorWalters: that was supposed to be part of his whole half-finishing-stuff-thing

HollyhockGod: Something really strange would be awesome, like an obsession with bodybuilding or something.

HollyhockGod: Ah, well.

Edith: Puppets!

ViktorWalters: I'll work on a long mustache soon

ViktorWalters: No, not puppets

HollyhockGod: Thanks to Alan's entropic interference, you manage to approach the dig site without interference.

ViktorWalters: Taxidermy

HollyhockGod: It's large, more akin to a base camp than a proper dig, since no digging is going on yet, but there are lots of tents, lights, and people.

HollyhockGod: Everybody's wandering around, looking busy, carrying things, setting up camp.

HollyhockGod: The colored pennants that are flying everywhere have apparently all been homemade spontaneously, since all of them are different and most of them are clumsy.

HollyhockGod: But they seem to bear the device of a spotty snake.

HollyhockGod: Or maybe a bikini model. Honestly, they look like they were sewn with two left feet.

HollyhockGod: As you pass into the outer edge of the lights, a warning bell tinkles, evidently set off by your presence.

HollyhockGod: People stop and look at you, but don't seem very concerned.

HollyhockGod: In the distance, there is the sound of something like the tone of a bell, pleasant and melodious, going on without ever stopping.

HollyhockGod: The sound approaches nearer.

HollyhockGod: Care to do anything?

HollyhockGod: In spite of everything, you can't feel very tense.

HollyhockGod: The general feeling in the air is less "Release the hounds!" and more "Oh, Bob's come for dinner. Toss another shrimp, etc." Not that that's infallible.

Edith: I take a few testing steps backwards. This isn't really my proverbial scene.

Edith: Also smile nervously.

HollyhockGod: A light comes speeding across the camp, at about the speed of a golf cart.

HollyhockGod: Actually, it's a set of glowing lights, spiraling around each other and moving like a tornado, albeit an immaterial one, towards you.

HollyhockGod: "Heathen foreigners!" it cries.

HollyhockGod: "Know ye that this spot is curs-ed! Now ye shall be transformed into the misshapen semblances of- oh, wait, it isn't intruders, it's cousins. My mistake."

HollyhockGod: "Greetings, Sovereign brethren!"

* Mode change "-b *!n=1.142.09|htidE#1.142.09|htidE.*" for channel #forum-nobilis by HollyhockGod.

HollyhockGod: Hm, what did I just do?

HollyhockGod: Stupid tiny keyboard.

Razzen: You unbanned Edith.

Edith: Yay.

HollyhockGod: Now that it's close, you can see that the figure is made of tiny letters and numbers that form some kind of highly complicated mathematical equation which is written on light and looping around itself.

HollyhockGod: If you squint really hard, it looks almost like a very vaguely humanoid scribble, and it speaks with a pleasant manly baritone and an English accent.

HollyhockGod: "I hadn't expected extra guests, but we have this place almost as good as home by now. Please, come to my tent and make yourselves comfortable."

HollyhockGod: "Though we have not met, I know you by reputation and the aura of distinction that pervades your being, oh Sovereigns of Raemiel. I am E'jah C'mi'cl, Duke of the Crucible, and the operator of this expedition."

HollyhockGod: I think he is bowing, but I'm not sure.

Edith: Probably ought to curtsey, then.

Laurelynne: I'm debating whether to turn visible or not.

Alan: "A pleasure to meet you." Alan of course is smiling because that's what he does to be cordial and all that.

ViktorWalters: Viktor is boringly cordial. Just because I'm boring doesn't mean he doesn't kinda sorta notice me, so I should be nice.

HollyhockGod: E'jah gives out various commands in some strange vibrating language, and various functionaries run up with palanquins to carry you off to the large tent.

HollyhockGod: Five, each big enough for one.

HollyhockGod: E'jah takes the red one, and allows the rest of you to choose: black, blue, white, and grey.

ViktorWalters: Grey!

Edith: Blue, I think, but I'm tentative with the thing.

Laurelynne: I'm not going to take any since I want to see if E'jah really knows I'm here or not.

HollyhockGod: I'll assume Alan isn't walking.

HollyhockGod: The four full palanquins drive onward to their destination.

HollyhockGod: The last one remains still.

Laurelynne: I take it that's a no.

Alan: (Sorry, getting distracted)

HollyhockGod: It's hard to say what it means.

HollyhockGod: He might have just guessed that you might be here, since Raemiel is known to have more than three Estates.

HollyhockGod: Are you going to walk behind them, then?

Laurelynne: Up to a point, but Laurel isn't interested in BSing, she wants to see what's really going on here that would attract the Crucible to this place.

Laurelynne: *isn't interested I mean

Laurelynne: (damn dangling participles)

HollyhockGod: So, what will you do, then?

Laurelynne: Break off from the group and divine for that strong sense of sorrow I felt earlier.

Laurelynne: But do go on ahead without me.

HollyhockGod: Hm, the exact location of the sorrow is impossible to pin down. All that you can trace is the concept.

HollyhockGod: That is, it's attached to the concept of the pharaoh, but not the actuality of him.

HollyhockGod: Either way, the rest of you are escorted into a large tent.

HollyhockGod: Inside, it's more like a Georgian mansion than a tent: cool, dark, mostly inlaid in mahogany, and full of shelves and shelves of books.

HollyhockGod: E'jah escorts you all to a small circle of chairs around a tiny fire, where another gentleman is already seated.

HollyhockGod: "Ah," says E'jah. "Allow me to introduce my partner in this venture: Dr. Savan."

Edith: How many chairs, out of interest?

HollyhockGod: The Doctor stands and politely greets you all in his calm, grave voice.

Edith: "I believe we've already met."

HollyhockGod: Three chairs, but more are quickly pushed up to make five.

HollyhockGod: "And it is truly excellent to see you again, Domina, along with your Siblings."

HollyhockGod: Dr. Savan announces, "Crucible and Chaos are currently at work on a business venture of mutual interest in this area. I hope we do not intrude on any matters that will inconvenience your august selves."

Edith: "The hope is mutual." - this is awkward.

Edith: Probably ought to take a seat, though.

HollyhockGod: "Yes," says E'jah happily, evidently not feeling awkward at all.

HollyhockGod: "It's really quite fascinating."

Edith: "Oh?"

HollyhockGod: "I've done some research into the ancient Egyptians, and I've become quite fascinated by their culture."

HollyhockGod: "So different from Western society, and so different from the sad, sandy wretches who live in their place today."

HollyhockGod: "But, of course, my studies could only go so far, as all of the ancient Egyptians are dead and their culture is gone."

HollyhockGod: "Or so, of course, I would once have said. But my powers will not be balked by a little thing like the grave."

HollyhockGod: "I determined that the simplest way to get what I wanted was to restore that culture to the modern world, and I decided to make it so."

HollyhockGod: "All I will require is a sufficiently large collection of ancient relics, and I shall be able to impose the traits, memories, and personalities of the ancients on the current residents. Slowly, of course."

HollyhockGod: "Dr. Savan is assisting me on the dig, and separating the country from the rest of the world for a short span to minimize the attention any changes may attract.

Edith: "Ah, that'd explain the weather."

HollyhockGod: "But enough about my humble work. Can it be that you, too, are here as students of the past?"

Alan: Alan looks like he's just been kicked in the gonads by a dynamo.

Edith: The social aspect of, um, aspect, so often ignored…

Alan: "Ah yes, we were rather interested in inspecting a certain tomb, but it seems you have come here before us."

Alan: "It is most fortunate that you have already started working on unearthing it. Might I ask how you have gone about it?"

HollyhockGod: "Truth be told, I have no particular interest in any specific tomb."

HollyhockGod: "I simply require as many ancient objects as possible, preferably untouched for thousands of years."

Alan: (Quick, someone bring him Edith's underwear drawer!)

HollyhockGod: "Still, if you seek a particular tomb, I have no objection to aiding you in your search. It would be simple common courtesy."

HollyhockGod: "Indeed, we shall have plenty of time- my preparations have all gone without a hitch!"

Edith: (Quick, someone dig up Alan's spine!)

HollyhockGod: This statement is, of course, followed by the sound of a deafening crash in the distance.

Laurelynne: Of course.

Edith: (Hmm, obscentity or no obscenitiy…)

Edith: "What was that?"

HollyhockGod: Laurel, you're outside, so you can see that an enormous pillar of ice is materializing out of the ground in the middle of a cluster of tents.

HollyhockGod: Reflected in the jagged facets, you can see the bony, expressionless face of an extremely old woman.

Laurelynne: Lovely.

HollyhockGod: Although she does not move, she conveys the impression of extreme rage.

HollyhockGod: A voice emanates from the icy tower: "Duke of the Crucible, before you continue with your work of desecration, I would have words with you."

ViktorWalters: (oh, dear)

HollyhockGod: And with that, I'll close for the night.

Laurelynne: All right, but before all of that I would like to be able to go back and divine for the cause of grief at the concept of the pharaoh.

Edith: (Hi Katriana!)

Laurelynne: Or did I already do that at the last session?

HollyhockGod: Same as before: you can see that it's tied to the concept of the pharaoh, but you can't get any data on the man himself.

HollyhockGod: It's not a usual reading, even different from trying to divine a Noble.

Laurelynne: So I would be safe to presume that it's at the loss of the concept of the pharaoh.

HollyhockGod: Nobles would just give you a "OUTSIDE COVERAGE AREA" message.

HollyhockGod: Yes, something like that.

Laurelynne: But I can't see what caused the loss?

HollyhockGod: No.

HollyhockGod: All that's left is the name, or, rather, the title.

HollyhockGod: Kas-en-ephet means "Burning-Brightly-One."

Laurelynne: Hmm.

Laurelynne: Did we do any reading on what recorded history says about this guy?

Laurelynne: Or at least who succeeded him as ruler?

HollyhockGod: He's known to come in between two other pharaohs, of greater than usual boredom.

HollyhockGod: Not really much information there. Just enough to confirm that Ancagallon didn't make him up.

Edith: A session went by without me burning MP. How rare.

Laurelynne: Well I can't think of this without thinking of Akhenaton.

ViktorWalters: indeed

Laurelynne: So I'll have to sleep on it, and maybe tomorrow we can get Katriana to, ahem, chill out long enough to do some exploring.

HollyhockGod: I hope we can continue this story soon. I'm enjoying myself.

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