Heart of Oak

20160109

We are under way in the Amazon after having spiked the cannons

  • Our new plan is to head east and try to complete our mission at the pyramid
    • We’ll skim along the coast in the shallows and be cautious about the weather
    • For food, we’ll fish and keep eyes open for any lush areas along the coast where we might find something edible
    • All hands must pitch in, but we’re able to keep things going
  • The first day and night are uneventful
    • The crew is holding up, but the journey is tiring and we’re on meager rations

The following day

  • About midday, Archibald cries out, “Oy! There’s a bloke up ahead, waving at us!”
    • Blackeye sees what appears to be a Bedouin on the shore, who oddly (for a Bedouin) appears to be suffering from sun exposure
    • The “Bedouin” calls out hoarsely, asks who the captain is, and then asks for safe passage for his knowledge
    • The man confirms that he is Fawlks and asks us for a gentleman’s agreement for safe passage
  • Thor sends a boat out to collect Fawlks, who runs off when Thor refuses to provide his word
    • Drake helps us track Fawlks, because we believe we’re too inept to follow the obvious footprints in the sand, ourselves
    • We catch sight of Fawlks and Max runs off after him, with Thor sending a couple additional marines
    • After trying to get away and realizing the futility, Fawlks stops, turns around, and waits for the marines to capture him
  • The group walks Fawlks back to the shore
  • We return with Fawlks to the Amazon, whereupon Blackeye punches Fawlks in the face
    • Fawlks accepts the light punch as if he’d been slapped by a woman
  • Fawlks discusses his disposition with Thor
    • Thor refuses to agree to anything with Fawlks
    • Fawlks is tied to the mast and gagged
    • Thaddeus insists upon tending to Fawlks, both in body and spirit

In the morning

  • Aside from Thaddeus continuing to administer to Fawlks with water and preaching, the day is uneventful

On day 4 of our trek

  • We untie Fawlks from the mast and take him to the captain’s quarters to question him
    • Fawlks again insists that we must release him in Alexandria before we reach the pyramid
    • He will only provide the information to find the treasure on his terms
  • Thor explains to the crew that only the officers are to meet with or feed Fawlks
  • Plan is to take Fawlks with us to the pyramid and assess the quality of his information at that point

The days pass relatively uneventfully

  • On Sunday, we stop for an hour so that Thaddeus can preach to us
    • We have a beautiful service under a gorgeous blue sky, and the crew enjoys some respite from the daily grind
  • Come late afternoon, we spy what appears to be a large port city in the distance
    • We’ve reached Alexandria!
  • As we approach the port, we notice a number of masts poking out of the water in the harbor
    • These appear to be smaller sunken ships, not large warships
    • We see an Egyptian port that is part of the harbor, and we see a French flag flying over it
    • We see no ships in the harbor flying French flags
  • We try to give this harbor a wide berth and we continue onward
    • As we travel farther, we see some more ship masts protruding from the water
    • At Abu Qir, we see a very large number of sunken ships
      • On the shore, we see encampments and batteries all flying French flags
      • One of the ships is sticking sufficiently far out of the water that we believe we can identify it as a French ship
      • We’re hoping that this is Nelson’s work
  • We proceed toward an entry point for the Nile

The following day, we approach the mouth of the western branch of the Nile

  • The Nile appears to be a bit lower than we’d expected, but we believe we could start into the river here
  • We begin down the Nile
    • It seems that we’re really close to our minimum draft
    • We move through the river for a couple miles, until we reach a point where the Nile appears to be blocked by a dam of dirt
    • A couple seaman and a couple marines check it out in a rowboat
      • The “dam” is actually hundreds of horses and men
      • Reginald heads out to inspect the carnage and doesn’t recognize the uniforms; perhaps they’re Egyptian
  • Drake, Thaddeus, Vico, Charles, Robert and Archibald remain behind to guard and maintain the Amazon
  • The remainder of us, including Fawlks, proceed up the river in two rowboats
    • Farther down the river, we see the remnants of another great battle
      • The archeologists claim that the dead look like Momlocks, a warrior class
    • The day is waning and we beach our boats on the east shore
  • We discuss with the archeologists our plans for obtaining the treasure and Fawlks’ claim to have “knowledge”
    • The archeologists remark that he may refer to the “fabled traps” and that they’d like any information he has
  • Later, we notice fires in the distance, but the night is uneventful

In the morning, we continue on our quest

  • After an uneventful day, we again pull over to the east side for the night
  • Thor goads Fawlks about nearing the end of our quest and that we’re within arm’s reach of the treasure
    • Fawlks replies that he fears he will only be enriched by the experience

The following day

  • We hear the cacaphony of Cairo and see the smoke of civilization
    • Unfortunately, we see French flags flying everywhere
    • The city seems to have taken some battle damage
    • We see French soldiers at the gates and patrolling the neighborhoods
  • We backtrack a bit and hide the boats in a copse of trees in the delta and wait until after noon to get started
  • After strapping our barrel of water to a couple of oars, as carrying handles, we head off through the desert
    • The farther from the Nile we get, the fewer villages we see
  • By about midnight or 2:00, we believe we’re in the general vicinity of the ziggurat
    • Thor decides that we’ll camp for a bit and find the pyramid in the morning

In the morning

  • The group is a bit grumpy and feeling unrested after only a handful of hours of sleep
  • We see our destination valley in the distance
    • There are a number of goat trails leading into the valley
    • We can finally see the ziggurat
      • Near it, we spy a handful of tents and a number of people milling about
      • Upon closer look, there are a few among the 10-15 men wearing French uniforms
  • The Plan:
    • Francis Dickens, a seaman, will guard Fawlks with the two archeologists
    • The rest of us will attack the camp by the ziggurat
  • We make it down to the bottom of the valley and believe we were successful in avoiding notice
  • The battle ensues!
    • Reg and a marine get solid hits on one of the French soldiers
    • Max takes a nasty hit from the French, but continues on like a charging bull
    • Some of our valiant crew continue to charge, while the marksmen spend ages reloading
    • The rest of the battle is pretty quick and it ends before the marines can get off a follow up shot
    • All the French soldiers are down, and the civilians surrender and lie down on the ground
  • The tents are searched, but we find no other people
  • Max heads off to collect the rest of our crew, while Reg, Thor and Blackeye bind our prisoners
    • One of the French civilians claims that 30-40 others, mostly soldiers, are inside the pyramid
  • Blackeye scours the tents for information related to the pyramid or treasure
    • Finds money, chocolate, pipes, tobacco, really good wine
    • Doc Thompson also finds wine bottles and sets out to empty them
  • Blackeye and Reg head to the top of the pyramid and find an opening, but there’s no confirmation that anyone is inside
    • Blackeye remembers that the number of cots in the tents matches the number of captured Frenchies
    • Upon confirming the lie, they return to the group
  • We proceed to the east side to open the “secret door”
    • Blackeye kicks Fawlks in the nuts… multiple times
    • The archeologists seem to find the right spot and begin manipulating the “key” device
    • After hearing an “unlocking” sound, they pull on the “key” and the door follows
      • Dust and “smoke” pour out before they finally get the door fully open
      • Inside, we see that the torches are already lit
      • There is a fairly wide corridor that heads straight ahead, numerous markings decorate the walls
    • The hieroglyphics inside tell about the unknown (to us) conqueror of Egypt buried here
    • The archeologists continue heading down the hall as the rest of us evaluate the torches
      • We notice the archeologists seem to have disappeared while we were considering the torches
      • Following the path down the hall, we don’t find them
      • Upon returning to the entrance, we discover that the door is now closed and won’t reopen
      • We start back down the hallway in the direction we originally had been heading, marking our progress along the walls
  • We come to a 4-way intersection
    • At the intersection, we hear some kind of “skittering” sound, coming from each hallway
    • Thor calls out, and from the south hallway a screaching sounds seems to answer us
    • Thor attempts to mark the direction whence we came, but every corridor we see shows the trail markings that we made
      • Reginald checks his compass, but the needle is not maintaining a direction
  • Blackeye interrogates Fawlks, who claims that we’re lost and he can find our way
    • Blackeye removes the bag from Fawlks’ head
    • Fawlks looks around at the hieroglyphics and tells us which direction to take
    • Fawlks changes our direction numeous times, often when we hear the screaching sound down the hall
    • We eventually come to an area where the hall opens up to a larger room, with multiple exits
      • In the center of the room is a 3-4 foot black, stone statue of a cat
    • Fawlks asks Max to head to the other side of the room
      • Max successfully makes his way to the other side of the room
    • Fawlks begins to lead us across the room to Max
      • A big, black claw reaches down from above the doorway, slashes into the side of Fawlks’ head, and pulls him toward the ceiling
      • Max sees only a large, shadowy creature across the room from him
    • Reg grabs some torches to hand to the crew and then leaps through the doorway to join Max and Blackeye by the statue
    • We see what appears to be a giant, black cat hanging out on a ledge that circumscribes the top of the room
      • The large feline seems to dislike light and attacks the one torch, destroying it
    • We ready firearms and Max again thrusts a torch in the air
      • The torch illuminates the wall, showing a corridor opening in the wall above the hallway whence we came
      • A similar “cat corridors” exists above each of the exits from this room

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Raylek

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