The party decided to kill the Byakhee. Reginald approached it with his Holland & Holland elephant gun, while Billy used his camel to hold the lassoed horror down. As Reginald took aim, it launched itself from the ground, trying wrench free. Reginald blasted its left arm and wing, and also took off the back of its skull. It dropped, and Reginald fired again, making sure it was dead. It melted into an execrable ooze that ruined the last twenty feet of Billy’s rope.
The party then headed west for the oasis of Mogharah (now, Moghara Lake ), where they found the lake dry and the well nearly so. Gabriel went down the rope, and fell the last eight feet. He dug out the well, they refilled their water sacks, and then had a choice — head south and then east in a roundabout way until they reached the Nile and went downriver to Cairo, or head northeast to the old Greek monastery and the east to the Nile and upriver to Cairo. The monastery was closer, so they headed east, though they were not sure it was still there. The map they used was quite old.
They followed the escarpment east, and first Billy and then Gabriel were knocked unconscious when their camels fell on the various declivities they had to cross. Their wounds were stabilized, but Sir Reginald took them a day out of their way in the wrong direction before his error was discovered.
They finally reached the Paromeus Monastery, where some thirty monks resided. The monastery was very old, having been established in 335 AD. The monks took in the adventurers and over the next few weeks healed them. Those who were able-bodied helped on the monastic farm.
Before they left, Adrian Galanis, an ancient monk, called them to him. “You have encountered great trials and will face greater still in your journeys. You have suffered much. One comrade died in Europe, at least in spirit. Another fell to his death. A third was carried off by horrors untold.” They recognized the deaths of Endeavour, Roger, and Joyce. “And a fourth burned to death in his home.”
“Wait, what?! Who is the fourth? Are you talking about Jonathan Putnam?”
“I don’t know the name, but he lived in Boston, yes?”
The party was shocked to hear of Putnam’s death in this manner. The old man continued, “You must persevere, and you must succeed. If you fail, the world will end and only the faithful will be saved, and only in the next life. To aid you, we give you these three sacred items. This bag (a small leather bag) will hold anything you put in it. When you wish to remove things, just call for them, but never put anything living in the bag. Only call for the things you put in the bag, for though the bag has been used before and contains many things, some of those things are tainted and unholy.” He gives the bag to Reginald.
“Next, the bone pipe (a small tube) can be used to call for help, but again, use it only when you have to, for its use is dangerous to the profligate.” Billy reaches forward, and the monk gives it to him.
“Finally, we have the holy hand grenade. It is very old, so it may not work, or it may go off with little provocation. Handle it carefully.” He very specifically gives it to Gabriel, as he believes that particular and exceptional sinner is the most expendable.
The party then headed east to Wardan (وردان), where they caught a ferry up the Nile. They took their doughty beasts with them, rather than selling them in the famous Imbaba camel market. Once in Cairo, Ray used half of his remaining cash to finance an expedition, purchasing camels and supplies, and hiring guides and twenty-five diggers. The party telegraphed Putnam, but received no answer. They were also joined by Dr. Annabelle Stewart, who had been sent by Putnam two months ago to aid the party with medical assistance.
Together they returned to the tomb without incident, and dug their way in. A clay crocodile greeted them at the entrance, and as they proceeded further in, they found two more. Continuing, they found two large doors with the tomb seal broken. They opened the doors and found Nophru-Ka’s tomb. Inside was a huge basalt sarcophagus, various funerary objects, and four Sobeki (crocodile-headed guardians) statues, and a partially mummified body in modern Arab clothing.
As the forward members entered the tomb, two of the clay crocodiles burst open, revealing mummified human guards with mummified crocodile heads sewn onto them. Ray was watching the rear, and was the only one not surprised (though Billy knew this was going to happen). He attacked, and got in one good punch with his brass knuckles before a spear entered his chest and his legs were clawed to bits. He died quickly and bloodily. Reginald, Annabelle, and Angie formed a firing line and shot the creatures to pieces, while Billy held a light and Gabriel slipped into the tomb to investigate. Gabriel noted that the dead man had been shot in the back of the head, and removed a number of coins from his pocket. Then he began to read the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the back wall.
The party searched the tomb and found a secret compartment with several scrolls. All but one crumbled at their touch. Gabriel read the last one, and learned Dismiss Dhole as a result.
The party stayed at the tomb for 2 weeks. The sarcophagus was too heavy to lift, but the tomb was a safe space to avoid the nightly Byakhee attacks. Gabriel translated the hieroglyphics, which told the tale of the death of Nophu-Ka. Angie worked to restore the sanity of two of the characters. And Reginald noticed Gabriel flipping a coin and grabbed it. It turned out to be a Yemeni coin, and Gabriel admitted robbing the dead man. The party resolved to return to Cairo to conduct library research on G’harne and Yemen.
Here’s the figures for the Sobeki statue and mummy.