Morning called before the Prince of Thoth. He is sending a diplomat, Thyratis, to Syrtis Major via caravan. Umatek et al ask to go along, as that is their destination as well. The caravan will go straight west to Meepsor, then south to Syrtis Major. 40 day trek to Meepsor. Travel 4 hrs, break for 4 hrs midday, travel 4 hrs, then 12 hour camp.
Sergai stays with us too. Percy likes him because he’s a noble, hates him for being a socialist, and ambivalence toward him wanting to everthrow the tzar.
Pennyworth and Gilhooly stay with us.
4 Rhoomit Breers with drivers and connected wagons.
All our soldiers.
Commander Wiiso of Thoth royal guard accompanies Thyratis with 10 troops under him.
Plus 20 assorted servants, drivers for the breers, the caravan master Iliisor, teenage errand runner Quumbobpa Diliascophus Iknaradomuus (who is great great great grandchild of the overthrown former king of Thoth supposedly) whom LP hence we take to calling Quimbi, etc.
We buy 4 gashaunts, for LP, Covey, Brutus and an extra that Martin, Gerald, Gilhooly, and Pennyworth will rotate. Covey will spend a lot of time on the wagons so he can research. LP rides upon the Rumit breer a lot for the high vangage point.
We also buy a camp’s worth of the cheapest crap tents we can find. LP has an idea to set up a faux camp many nights to draw in ambuscades.
Off we go. 2 or 3 scouts will be about a mile ahead, a few half mile. Flanks only half a mile. Brutus will be from 1 to 2 miles ahead of the forward scouts.
LP spends a lot of time with the Martians on the trip, going native.
1st thru 5th days: nothing happens.
Day 6: a scream from a martian attendant, running off into the desert screaming.
Covey “What’s going on back there!”
He reaches the top of a dune, throws his arms up and topples over. LP rushes back, the doc goes for the downed Martian with Martin and Gerald.
He’s stone cold dead.
Doc finds that is leg is massively swollen.
Martin “Bit by something?”
Fang marks in ankle.
Couple natives who followed start dancing, but actually avoiding biting “Sand viper nest!”
Everyone on the ground frantically starts to try to mount or get on wagons!
The diplomat is beatiing them down with his cane.
The Brits with boots “thank god we have boots” and start jabbing at any they see.
LP “Fast ahead! Move now! As many w/o boots, on animals or wagons!”
We make it through. Looking back, we see the things writhing all over the body.
Next night: LP wakes up with feeling something is wrong, his tea cup rattled next to his bed, he swears. Its pitch dark, draws his revolver from under his pillow.
One of the sand vipers is in his bed!
It bites, but its at his hand and hits the pistol instead breaking a fang!! He hammer it with his pistol grip. Donning his boots he calls out for all to stay in beds, do not move! Snakes abound!
Finally, a search reveals there is only that one.
LP “Assassination attempt. Broadstone, kill all the martians.”
Covey calms LP down, but, the attempt was made. Someone who knew how to handle them grabbed a snake and brought it back.
Asking around reveals no information.
LP “Martin, how do you feel about sleeping under my bed?”
Martin “In the sand? Not good.”
Covey says that is essence is a good idea. After sleep, one of us should sneak into his tent to keep watch and rotate. We can put a carpet under the bed. LP wants to rotate the Celts. Martin and Gerald are convinced its a good idea. Covey adds number 1 to the rotation.
Day 12: Brutus spots bodies lying in the sand ahead. He carefully approaches. 1 is a man wearing safari garb, vest and frock coat over it, and top hat. Other is a blonde blue eyed girl in tattered skirt and blouse.
They are alive! but near death. He waters their lips, trying to revive one. They need out of the hot sun. He positions the mounte tween them and the sun and keeps slowly hydrating them.
The scouts catch up then the caravan. The doc gets them on stretchers and to his medical wagon and begins working on them.
Brutus follows the tracks from where they came, finding a dropped canteen, machete, rifle, etc. Comes to a massacre sight where a small caravan was wiped out. Desert raiders are the culprit, he’s sure. They rode off away from our line of march. He follows their trail, and they are just ahead, only a few dunes away. It’s only about a dozen, small fire, white man staked to the ground fire tween his legs. They are going to burn him up slowly.
Brutus lies down and starts firing. He drops the first one nearest to the white. 5 of them start looking around as another drops from Brutus’s new rifle. All of them drop to the ground. 5 fire muskets in return. More musket and bowfire as Brutus wounds another.
Another falls dead.
Last 2 musket men fire, the rest but 2 who stay to guard the prisoner mount up to charge. Brutus ducks, sets his top hat on his spear to bluff them and moves down and around.
By the time they get up top, Brutus arrives at the 2 guards below! He kills both in consecutive rounds. The mounted are charging down, and Brutus readies to defend.
It’s now 1 on 7!
Once they are down to 4, they break and run for their mounts. He picks up his rifle and drops a wounded. The other 3 take off across the flat desert. He starts firing as they flee. He drops 2, then its the mount of the last and he is thrown! The gashaunt continues fleeing and Brutus catches the downed desert dog taking him prisoner. Dragging him back, the tell the dog how he’s going to eat him from the feet up unless he has something interesting to tell.
“I know nothing!”
“Well, better think of something.”
He says they were just as looked, only raiders who hit an opportunity.
Brutus sets the man free. In Venusian he says to Brutus “Hail and well met traveller, far from your home.”
He takes his pistol off of one of the dead and puts a bullet in the captives head.
“Mighty white of you to save me.”
He sent away the 2 whites that Brutus recently found.
THey return to the caravan with 7 gashaunts, including the one Harry rides. Cpt Harry Towers. Of his majestey’s fusilliers.
Percy is happy to outrank him, as a major.
Stationed on India, fort on Venus, commanded the guard to archaeological expedition into the swamps there where he learned the lizard man language. Harry has a stiff leg, stabbed in a skirmish there severely. He was mustered out for the injury. Bored living onpension in ENgland so came to Mars. Became guide, bodyguard, whatever here on Mars. He was hired to this dead caravan by professor and his daughter into the desert looking for the lost temple of gold.
Gilhooly “Did you say gold?”
Martin “Temple to what?” He says the prof. will tell us about it when they are revovered enough.
We camp here.
By nightfall the professor is up. He is an old professor of Rathbone’s? His daughter (picture Susan George) also was close to Richard as well (ahem).
Percy “Does this have anything to do with Seldan?”
He has a piece of pottery with a map to the lost tomb of Seldan 25th.
Covey “How close are we, by your reckoning?”
He already thought he knew but he was off. He needs an expert to look at the data and correct his mistakes. He will accompany us to use the heliograph to contact Rathbone on earth in hope that he can come to Mars.
LP is very excited by this prospect.
Covey and Amanda strike up conversation, and as the caravan goes on soon feel as kindred spirits.
Midnight: piercing scream rips through the camp. Covey charges out, seeing a tale just going into the tent. He charges in finding a steppe tiger stalking, Amanda screaming in fear.
“Good god, man!” He kicks sand up at its ass so it turns its attention on him, then backs out, it following.
As it is about to pounce on Covey and rip him apart, a drunken Martin and Gerald who were passing nearby come from tween the tent. Martin gives it a swift kick. It turns on him now.
Martin “A giant cat!” It bites and rakes the Irishman
Covey runs into his tent for his saw sword. LP and No. 1 arrive next. Then Broadstone! in quick succession!!
Drunk Gerald almost falls over missing do drunkenly.
Covey returns saw sword in hand and we cut it down together.
Covey goes in and checks on Amanda, none the worse for ware but for frightened.
We find 2 guards dead, waterskin poisoned. One throat cut, must not have drank.
Martin and Gerals says some of the scouts were up drinking. We search but find no bloody knife.
Day 15: reach oasis!!
Large pond, we rest the day and night here. Amanda goes to take a bath out of sight w/o telling anyone. Soon, we hear her screaming. We rush to her again finding a Green Coco wrapped around her, in the water. Its like a python!
We jump in the water. Martin grabs it just under its head, keeping the bite at bay. It starts wrapping around him. It releases her, and she drags herself out into the mud. They grapple back and forth as Covey cuts at it with his blade. Brutus arrives soon after and leaps into the fray. They finish it off. Covey rushes to check on Amanda, again. She’s ok, again. He accompanies her back to her tent and stays with her for a while, again.
He remains the gentleman, though. She tries to get him to ‘punish’ her. Covey is a bit perplexed at first until he finally catches her implication.
He excuses himself “Well, we’ll talk about things tomorrow.”
Day 18: midmorning.
Noise like a rifle shot in the distance, then a thundering coming closer toward us.
Brutus ahead hears a shot behind him. Rides back to see a huge herd of Eegaar, like Martian antelope going right toward the caravan.
Soldiers line up at front to fire into them. It turns the herd away.
LP “Free food.”
A scream of fright from behind. Ont of the Breers bolted, throwing its driver. It then stepped on him, running from the shots as fast as it can go. In the haudau is Amanda, wailing for help.
Covey and Percy charge after it, mounted. LP is able to get onto the gashaunt and pull it to a stop just short of a dropoff. A Covey looks up, LP gives the ride a quick jerk to the left so that she drops off right into Covey’s arms.
Covey is starting to get exhausted of this.
She is simply a danger magnet.
Once back, we have to find who started the stampede. Again, no answers, no one saw anything.
Day 19: night.
On Sergai’s and No. 1’s duty:
No. 1 catches a funny but familiar odor on the wind: high martians!
He warns the others quickly. Suddenly they drop out of the sky, spears in their feet, going for all awake in gangs.
Frederick and O’Bannion go down at B post. It was a ferocious initial strike by the enemy on them. Frederick was put down fast. O’Bannion put up a valiant fight with multiple crits in defense, but was finally brought low and bled out.
One other private just in neg.
Around this are is our closest point to Shastapsh.
To the SW, LP sees a dust trail in the distance coming in our general direction.
LP “Brutus, end that scout.”
Cpt Tower accompanies him.
They see 3 mounted men in Shapshapsh garb. Brutus lines up on one with his new sniper rifle and hits. Tower chases on his mount and catcvhes one, engaging
Brutus mounts up and chases the other an cathes up quickly to the other 2. One turns to fight him but the other continues on. Brutus breezes past him, who then continues on to double on Tower, for the runner and catches him!
Cpt Tower finishes off his first opponent then his 2nd as well!
Brutus is having a devil of at time fighting mounted but kills him.
They return to camp.
Back at the camp, we know the enemy regiment may be around somewhere if those men are a patrol. A decision is made that we can’t sneak the caravan through. An idea is to drag up a large swath of dust to stir up a dust cloud that will draw the enemy that way.
O’ Malley volunteers. Hung as well, and half a dozen soldiers with a Sgt. Brutus goes as well, and Cpt Towerm who is in command.
We make north with the dust cloud. Brutus lags behind to watch for the enemy so we can stop the ruse and flee as soon as necessary.
Brutus sees 2 dust clouds, of about the same size. They may have split up. Both is coming for us in 2 different columns, SE and SW. He estimates about 150 per group. Brutus rides to report but over a sand dune ahead, an enemy cavalry squad appears blocking his path.
Brutus lets forth a mighty whoop and charges! They are so shocked to see a lizardman riding a martian mount and charging them unabashedly they break and scatter.
He cathes up to us and reports the 2 columns. We continue leading them away until nightfall, covering about 15 miles. Using the cover of night, we circle back, Brutus accurately leading us to the caravan.
Still on our way. From high ground in the early afternoon, we see the 4 regiments of the company searching in different directions. One has picked up our trail and is about an hour behind us. A few small patrols scattered about the area as well.
Brutus needs to cover our trail!! To start next session.
We race ahead, the Cpt moving us tactically. We gain at least a half hour on them. We gain another hour and half from Brutus’ wilderness skill, then we make fast for the caravan and make it without incident.
We are in Meepsor’s patrol area at this point.
Covey says we need to travel enough to let them catch us at night. Set up our fake camp to draw them in, and then ambush them within.
Prof “Good show, general Covington!”
We set up in a rocky path, line the sides, set Martin, Gerald, No. 1, and Phat in the camp to make it look good.
They wait for dawn to attack, we have started cooking to make it look like we are preparing for everyone else to wake up.
3 volleys, our melee masters in the camp with a gattling gun, and the unexpected amount of dead makes them panic and flee!
Back on the road and we run into a Meepsor patrol!
12 days travel there including today.
We wire to Sirtis Major for a pick up by the British!
Back to Sirtis Major.
Grant is there to meet us with our ships!!
The Prof sends a message via heliograph to Rick about the lost tomb.
We start working on logistical deals for the future rail line, working on ship, etc. Lots of late night partying over our recent victories.
Few days later:
Prof receives note from a Martian scholar friend Teegok Quuglaani asking the Prof to meet him in the silk merchant square, bazaar district, at noon.
The prof brings the Cpt along, Martin and Gerald and Gawain are bored so they go along too.
Prof says Teegok is an eccentric old martian, white unkempt hair, spends all his time indoors.
The bazaar is hopping. Prof sees the old martian wave from across the square, who waves then hobbles over with his cane. He orders us some sour Martian beer at a tavern.
Found very old book in an abandoned building, with references to tomb of Haataneethra I. Anc king ruled over area combinign Parhoon and Gorovaan pre Seldan. No tomb has been discovered pre Seldan before! From it and clues he feels he knows where the tomb is and made a map. Tried to get funding but its half way tween the 2 cities north of canal in Astusapi highland. A land of the High Martians, very dangerous. He wants to know if the Prof wants to sneak there with a small expedition.
The captain does not like this idea of trying to sneak through such territory.
It’s a dangerous proposition. Martin thinks we should ask LP to find some local Brits who have operated there and ask them if this is feasible given its dangerous.
Martin requests the Prof and the Cpt. stay with this guy, see the books and other info on his own and keep a general eye on this old guy, make sure he doesn’t do anything rash.
Across the bazaar, a man with a basket on his head runs into Minsk, basket falling on Minsk. He apologizes. Teegok starts talking about how we are going to be rich beyond our …..Gasp! then he falls dead. People are looking down horrified.
The prof tells Minsk get the guy who ran into him, they start grappling.
The rude canal Martian puts his fist up to fight. A bystander has reached down to try to help the prof. He slips his hand into the prof’s pocket and takes off down the road!
The prof draws apistol and another man smackshis arm down!!
Back at the bar, we hear a commotion. Martin gets on the bar and sees the man running away, and the whole scene at the murder.
Prof yells for Mink “Get the one with the map. It means everything!” as he gets grappled.
Martin moves to cut the same man off.
Gawain Martin, Gerald makes for the Prof.
The runner kicks a fruit cart over but the Cpt leaps over the entire cart, clearing it.
The runner cuts quickly out of the square as Martin and Gawain clear a cart of their own.
Gerald is met by the man formerly on Minsk. Gerald stops, draws his revolver, and shoots him dead.
The runner is chased down a side street, the Cpt ahead of Martin and Gawain.
The professor breaks the grapple, Gerald fires and hits. The attackers pulls out a flintlock and fires at Gerald. The weapon breaks as he fires. Gerald hits him again. Prof grabs his gun from the ground and hits as well DEAD.
Stupid old flintlocks.
Searching the body, Gerald finds the map! The guy grabbed something else!
Prof “Great, but where’s the f&$^$*$ map!?”
Gerald “Is this it?”
The chase continues.
Minsk “You can’t outrun Justice!”
Minsk almost gets him, but he just barely pulls away into another square where he cuts a Roomit Breer as he passes. It turns and sees Minsk, attacking! But Minsk dodges! He stops to try to calm the Breer, yelling for Martin and Gawain to continue!
He leaps atop the animal at the exact spot and calms it down expertly.
On Martin and Gawain go, the latter deftly sliding under a wagon that Martin rushes around. Out of the bazaar they follow, Minsk now behind.
Martin finally cathes up and the guy turns with a knife!
Martin and Minsk knock him out.
We drag his arse back.“You’ll never get that map, I swallowed it.”
Martin pulls his knife and licks the blade.
Back at the bazaar, Gerald shows us we still have the map. Martin does not have to cut him open.
Authorities are there. They want to arrest him for murder and take Gerald and Prof in for questioning since they used firearms.
Gerald and the Prof get off easy.
Minsk gets extra recognition for saving people from the Breer in the bazaar.
All is settled.
Prisoner says they were hired by a man in a black cowl, canal Martian.
A gold coin was on each attacker. They date back to time of Seldan! Prof’s eyes light up!
Pennybaker “You know how much these are worth!?”
We look at map more closely see page 11 adventure.
Teegok has died, he never woke up.
Pennybaker and Gilhooly are in. Serai are in too. All for the thought of treasure.
Hung agrees too. Prof’s daughter and Grant’s niece insist on going too, much to Grant’s chagrin.
The professor starts makes a detailed list of supplies we need, while he studies Teegok’s tome and other notes.
Martin is going too. As will Gerald.
We search Teegok’s house, the book is in Parhooni.
End day 3, Professor has figured out the info in the book.
Gerald will fly us to Parhoon, where we will store the ship.
Few days into all this, an arrow flies out of no where adn hits a woman next to the Cpt. Minsk leaps behind a barrel, and sees the assassin who meant to him on a balcony nearby.
2nd shot crits a martian running by DEAD.
Cpt fires back with his revovler crit DEAD! Falling off balcony to the ground.
Minsk inspects the body. Nearby British soldiers gather, Minsk explains the situation.
This assailant has he same gold coins the other attackers had. The authorities kept the others, Minsk keeps this one.
About 2 weeks to get even this small group organized and funded and hired. Rick and Fritz we are not. They could do this in a few days.
Goodbye dinner, all PC’s.
We make fun of the Prof and Minsk who don’t like the spicy food.
A martian at the bar loudly orders a bottle of his favorite wine, which he specifically ordered. Glasses are poured for us, too. We refuse to drink.
The guy raises his glass “To the Queen!”
Only Gerald drinks as did the guy and his buds.
Prof “No offense I just don’t drink” with his other glass in front of him.
Martin drinks “My gut can take anything.”
He pours another round to his success, he just closed a big contract.
Both who drank feel feverish and dizzy.
The martians who drank start grasping at their throats and dropping dead, including bartender and the orderer. The British in the place who had some are doing the same we are.
Covey “Start gagging them so they vomit it up!”
Minsk takes off for medical help.
Martin and Gerald hurl, and it passes soon after.
Its a couple blocks to nearest doctor who he returns with.
Some Martians are saved, the group at bar drinking fastest all die.
Authorities come and are horrified. We are delayed another day for an inquest.
Makava root was the poison, grows in west hills of mt range where we are going! Fatal to Martians, only makes humans ill. Its rare, so that knowledge is rarely known.
Also, they can’t figure out where the inkeeper purchased it in town, but shipping company records show that while transported here it was found that the seal was broken on the cask. Innkeeper took it in anyway, figured it was just jostled off.
Lastly, found 2 antique gold coins in pocket of the teamster who offered the wine to everyone.
He probably was only hired to make sure the humans drank the wine.
They killers probably thought it would kill us.
Martian boy comes to Prof’s door with a message, given to him by a very tall martian is a cloak, paid him in one of the coins.
The prof tells the boy to open it, and hold it up as Prof reads it. See pg 21 adventure.
He goes to see the rest of the group.
Fly to Parhoon.
There, we hire diggers and look for a boatman to hire boats.
Professor, Martin, Gilhooly, Pennyworth, Sergai, Gerald, Amanda, Annabelle, Hung, Brutus, 1 squad (8) british regulars.
Dozen digger/bearers will be hired in Parhoon; Hill Martians.
Archie while using the lamp of Nostradamus, sees something he lets all the groups know about: see Red Sands pg. 58.
Prince Umatek the Undaunted; fiance Franciosa Dorliak the Beautiful (both ride gashaunts); handmaided Jonah Callahari; advisor Malkorakora
Nigel Pennyworth: a rogue, think Cain in Man Who Would Be King
Shamus Gilhooly: think Connery; rogue; he’s Irish!!
Cpt Harry Towers
Prof George Nightengale and his beautiful intelligent daughter Dr. Amanda Nightengale (flaw Danger Magnet; 2 action pts).
L160 (costs him L100/month for his lifestyle)
Fast 3/gnsl 7
plus 7/2 melee
plus 12/7 range, 13/8 with gattling pistol and super revolver (2d8)
1 regular pistol and winchester
close combat shot, defensive position, lightning shot, sharp shooting, wpn focus gattling pistol and super revolver, adv firearm, deadaim, double tap, far shot, pt bl shot, prec shot, skip shot, imp dam thr, evasion, uncanny dodge.
esc art 5
curr ev 2
russian hist 5 (but always wrong!, thinks all were invented by Russians, etc)
Special Move: if facing foe up close, tumble tween foes with both guns out and unloads.
English (r/w), Parhooni (speak only)
Cool and stoic presence, theft and violence just business, not cruel, no remorse for killing but pleasant demeanor. 5’9", 150lbs.
Martian Elite Guard
Fast 3/tough 3 heroes
toughness, imp thresh,
1 has 6 wnd dam; 1 has 10 wnd dam; 7;5;3.
Tough 2/Strong 1
+5 melee bayonet (d6 plus 3) and bolt action 6 round rifle; 21 fat/15wnd
Point Blank Shot
Tough 3/Str 1
+6 melee bayonet and rifle
Str mod 2
33 fat/16 wnd
Point Blank Shot; imp. dam. thr.
Tough 3/Str 3
+8 bayonet and 7 rifle
48 fat/16 wnd
Wpn Focus bayonet and rifle; Point Blank Shot;
Str 1/Tough 1/Ded 3
Toughness, pt bl shot
Fst 3/Ded 4 Hero
Imp. Dam. Thr; pt bl shot; Dodge
He’s an alcoholic. Perfect!!
An older man, 10th level. Ordinary Ded 5/Sm 5.