Session Summary #1 -- "The Eye of Ra" Back to Campaign
The Eye of Ra
Deadlands Session Summary #1 (Group A): The Eye of Ra

In the city of Alexandria, on the northern part of Egypt where it meets the Mediterranean Sea, a Nazi agent by the name of von Buhren was searching for an artifact known as the Eye of Ra. A local tomb robber, Rashad ibn Mossad, had revealed to him that it was located in the ruins of a shrine to Bast that was buried under the city due to one of several earthquakes that had hit it in the past. Some adventurers in the area caught wind of this, through their varied contacts, and cobbled together an expedition to try to beat the Nazis to the prize ... though at the time, most of them had no idea exactly what the Nazis were after, or exactly where it might be found, and they hadn't any strong ties to each other.

The group started in the basement of a tenement building, where, with the aid of some loyal retainers in the service of Peter Linten, an archaeologist with the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, they knocked a hole in the floor (and distracted the landlord enough so that he wouldn't realize this), providing an entrance to the ruins of an early Coptic Christian church built in what was previously part of the Caesarium - a temple built by Cleopatra in the 1st century BC to honor Mark Antony. Earthquakes had caused the Caesarium and various other structures to be buried, and the Alexandrians simply built over them. Surprisingly, despite considerable flooding, quite a bit of the structure was still intact, if unstable. The adventurers started off by lowering down a lantern on a rope, and the faithful guide Salla headed down first to check for traps and other hazards. Once he found that the way was clear - though the floor was unstable in places - he gave the word, and the others made their way down and began to explore the surrounding area.

A British adventurer, Nigel, was almost crushed by a falling statue, but was saved in the nick of time by a daring and heroic dash by Salla. They then proceeded to investigate the altar, and found a trap door. Although a female archaeologist by the name of Arcadia was certain that opening the trap door would result in flooding of the chamber, that was not the case, and Nigel discovered a bronze crucifix by rummaging around in the stagnant water in a flooded hole.

Meanwhile, Linten - along with a French acrobat by the name of Roland Girond and an antiquarian by the name of Hiram Warcroft - inspected a doorway with quite a bit of silt forming around it, and determined that there was some trapped water behind the door ... and that it would be best left closed for the time being. Others looked about, discovering that the submerged church had been used in later times as catacombs, as the dead had been laid to rest in various alcoves. One of the other doors was blocked with debris, and Linten set one of his loyal retainers - Achmed - to work clearing the way.

A dispute broke out between Arcadia and Girond, as he had taken it upon himself to go up and untie the rope that provided the only known means of exit. As an argument ensued over whether to leave the rope or have the two retainers in the basement tie it back again, the English big game hunter, Reginald Farthingham the Third, opened another door, letting loose several giant bats. They attacked the hunter, and Girond produced some flash powder, which he used to drive off the bats, whereupon they started flying for the hole in the ceiling. Salla rushed to Reginald's aid, but the floor was unstable, and he broke through, falling into some water ... but was pulled out by a helpful Nigel. Linten and Salla pulled out swords and cut down the bats as they flew past, while Reginald dealt with one or two bats still in his face, and Linten's cat went into hiding. Girond investigated the bats' chamber, finding a hole leading to a vacant lot nearby - a possible alternate exit from the catacombes.

Reginald was wounded, and Warcroft suggested that he sit down and rest ... while Warcroft helped bandage him up, then played a few hands of solitaire nearby as Reginald recuperated, and the others resumed searching the area. Amazingly, Reginald discovered that he had only suffered a few scratches after all, and was hardly wounded in the least. This prompted Linten's suspicions, as he had already been suspicious of Warcroft's motives, and he surmised that Warcroft was some sort of spellcaster, though he did not share this supposition with anyone else.

Achmed reported that he had finished clearing away the door, so the group converged upon a newly opened chamber. Linten investigated a coffin with Egyptian markings, and was suspicious that there was no name actually inscribed on the crypt. He offered appropriate prayers, then opened it up, discovering a cat figurine "guardian" inside, and a map of the catacombes on the underside of the lid, showing the location of a buried shrine of Bast. Linten then replaced the figurine and the crypt lid, and the group crawled through a narrow passage in search of this shrine.

The exit from the passage was less than dignified, as part of the floor began to break way, spilling Salla into an underground stream (while the acrobat, Girond, made a perfect landing on his feet). Salla helped the others down into the underground "cavern", where the adventurers discovered numerous ruins of structures of Greek, Egyptian and Roman origin. Despite a bit of distraction by the various features, the group formed up again and headed on, discovering a gateway leading into part of a ruined shrine of Bast. Linten wished to give blessings of Bast upon those gathered, and Salla and Girond accepted, while the others declined. Although Nigel and Reginald had also declined, Linten seemed especially drawn toward questioning the motives of Arcadia and Warcroft, but they only reaffirmed their decisions not to be subjected to "blessings" from Bast.

The group then entered a chamber with several metal discs on the floor, and pressure tiles with hieroglyphs indicating the cardinal directions, and four sealed jars - one in each corner of the room. An inscription indicated that the way to proceed would be to demonstrate knowledge of three of the titles of Bast, by "putting them together" somehow. Salla, remembering his previous adventures obtaining the Mask of Anubis, warned the others about the jars in the corners, believing them to be containing explosive fluids. Linten's cat, Pakmet, however, seemed not terribly concerned, and took one of the jars as a perch to clean himself and take a nap.

As Arcadia approached the pool in the center of the chamber, however, a spectral cat formed from the water. Nigel, a "doubting Thomas", fainted upon seeing this, whereas Reginald just saw an opportunity for a great trophy to put on his wall. The cat demanded that Arcadia should not be allowed to proceed further. Arcadia felt herself losing control, and gave in ... as the spirit of Anubis transformed her into an "avatar" form of Anubis. A tense confrontation followed, in which "Anubis" demanded that his "follower" be allowed to proceed ... and Reginald sized up first the cat, then Anubis as a possible target and trophy. Linten ended up using a miracle of "Cloak" to create an area of darkness in the area, as Girond was also seeking to attack Anubis ... but at last an agreement was reached, and the spectral cat vanished, while Arcadia resumed her normal appearance and self-control. Nigel was revived only after all the strangeness had passed, thus not witnessing the appearance of Anubis and still managing to keep his "doubting Thomas" mindset intact.

Statue of Bast The group then puzzled over how to open up the door to the Shrine of Bast, and tried several combinations, until at last they managed to open the door and move on. They discovered, however, that some Nazis had already entered the shrine, and were in the process of checking for traps. The group proceeded to use this opportunity to make an attack. Warcroft surreptitiously used his strange powers to step into one shadow and out of another, appearing on the opposite side of the chamber outside the main shrine room. Salla threw a jar of what he thought was explosive fluid into the room with the Nazis, but it failed to detonate, and turned out to only contain ... ointments. Before the startled Nazis could even manage a shot, however, the group sprang into action, as Nigel and Reginald picked off the head officer and the Nazis under cover of a smoke bomb thrown by Girond, and Salla led the charge into close combat. Warcroft used his arcane powers again to levitate an orb out of the chamber - which turned out to be the Eye of Ra, the objective of the quest - so that the Nazis could not acquire it. The retainers fled, though Reginald shot one of them in the back as he ran away. The other escaped.

Arcadia snatched the Eye of Ra out of the air ... but was carried along by it, as Warcroft's control of it was fairly strong. With the explosion of the smoke grenade, however, Warcroft's line of sight - and thus his control - was cut off, and Arcadia proceeded to run off with the Eye of Ra. Linten pleaded with Bast to intervene, and the guardian cat from the puzzle room came out of the pool again to hinder Arcadia's progress. The others converged on the scene, where Warcroft used his powers to wrench the Eye of Ra out of Arcadia's hands and over the pool of water. Arcadia made as if to surrender ... but then while others were distracted, she made another leap for the Eye of Ra. Salla, however, cleft at her legs with his sword to stop her, and she fell short of the mark. (Nigel, amazingly, was back in the chamber with the Nazis, keeping guard on those that hadn't been killed, and thus missed the whole supernatural display.) As Reginald, Girond and Salla prepared to attack Arcadia/Anubis, and Linten made off with the Eye of Ra (temporarily changing into the form of a cat to do so), Anubis seized control over Arcadia again, and used his powers to disappear in a puff of smoke, thus bringing the standoff to a quick conclusion - and making it seem as if Salla had dispelled Anubis in the process.

In the aftermath, with the Eye of Ra gone, Rashad ibn Mossad having fled the scene, and Nigel having the captured Nazis under control, Girond surreptitiously rifled through the dead officer's uniform for papers. Nigel took the Nazis off to be dealt with by his superiors, while Girond made certain to deliver these papers to HIS superiors. Reginald, alas, did not manage to bag any big game (unless one counts giant bats). And Warcroft, having done his part in thwarting the Nazis, and no longer needed, quietly slipped off to his shop to go about the business of selling several very interesting photographs of ancient ruins to interested museums.

Is this the last we will hear from the mysterious Arcadia/Anubis? Will Rashad ibn Mossad return to cause trouble for our heroes? What will the secretive Mr. Linten do with the powers of the Eye of Ra? Will the Nazis make further attempts to acquire mystical artifacts for their Fuhrer? To find out this and more, don't miss a single exciting episode of DEADLANDS 1936!

Session #2

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