Here's a webtool that does it for you: http://www.braingle.com/brainteasers/codes/playfair.php You do need to know, or work out, the code word but there may have been some hints.
The Armitage Files, now with added Ennie Award.
One thing about that though: how does the epiphany aspect fit in? It would seem likely that Darcy was not a full blown initiate of the BBP, he was being brought forward. At the last he would be shown a final truth which would shape how he chose. What happened next? I get the feeling from his writing he would have been unwilling to be a pawn of an evil group, particularly such a palpably 'Un-English' one. I think he would have chosen against them and, as with any newly awakened figure not with them, he would have been against them and thus a danger to be eliminated - which I think is the tenor of the message. This is a crux point for him and them and he chose poorly (at least as far as they were concerned). So I still wonder whether Dyse or BBP people killed him? I think the phrase 'dispatch him' is pretty clear, true Dyse might have got to him first, or he may have killed himself when he saw the TRUTH but maybe they are just the bad guys.
Having said which, if the Bull House does refer to the sacrificial temple of Mithra and given the BBP's standard method he may well have been killed by someone else first as otherwise it seems likely he would have ritually murdered at a Brotherhood meeting. In which case I quite like the idea that Dyse killed him before the choice properly came about - partly because I am feeling quite guilty about blaming Dyse so heavily and it would be nice to think I was at least partly right...
I sort of wonder whether we had been incredibly dozy all along. He belonged to a magical Brotherhood with an international membership. I note they never told us the name of the Brotherhood...I might re-read the Guide thinking about Darcy as an active member of the BBP but the message seems to be against that possibility. Also I wonder how it came into Darcy's papers? And could he have cracked the code? Did he know about the danger and that was why he tried to get the truth out?
I really need to re-read the Guide, and I might just go back to the horoscope now this has been revealed.
Edit: I think what I am arguing is that the BBP did not know about the Seal working and the danger that they might is what led Dyse to end Darcy. That would put the current state of play as follows -
BBP trying to work out what Darcy knew and who killed him and why.
Dyse trying to complete the working to her Dee-led theories but under Noden's command.
The IPC trying to conduct their own magical working to calm the magical flux- possibly without real Mythos knowledge, they may be trying a straight magical working not a binding, thus their ritual may not be as effective as Dyse's as Dyse has Dee's Necronomicon knowledge and Noden's guidance, although the IPC were talking to Norwegian sailors so they might just know something - whichever, they are probably using more modern methods with their Enochian, again in which case they might be off as there was little real understanding of the original Keys post the Dawn fiddling with them and Crowley re-inventing them.
Darcy's Brotherhood - unknown, how much do they know? How scattered are they? How are the rest of them linked? Time to re-interpret Merlin's prophecy perhaps?
And where does Edward Alexander Crowley fit into all this?
Last edited by Bookman; 9th January 2012 at 03:11 PM.
Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam; E Luce Ad Tenebras.
Ah - the true lords of the occult underground of London rears their ugly heads.
This does present some levels of complication. Darcy's untimely demise doesn't fit the MO of the Brotherhood at least from fiction/Chaosium's sources - although it does seem kind of silly to box-in the methods of a millenial old cult.
I think the BBP would have been perfectly happy if Darcy had come aboard, and who knows, maybe he did/would have except that someone took him out of the game. Drowning though, I wonder if you were also on the right track with the Shi Fan? They do a lot of work out of the docks, it would be child's play for them to remove a troubling new agent for an old foe by means of water. Just off the top of my head it reminds me of the first Fu Manchu with police agents turning up dead in the water missing fingers. I won't spoil it for anyone who doesn't know it but it is a particularly nasty little trick. Beware Death by Drowning indeed Mr Eliot.
I know I am slightly flogging an increasingly comatose horse but I still think Dyse, the IPC and perhaps the Great Beast himself have a part to play somewhere. I think too much has been made of them and hinted at for them not to be involved in some way. I also think her experience in Blackheath may well have promoted her from Pawn to at least Bishop (Priestess?), whether white or black might depend upon on which side of the board you are seated. I also think Dee, Megapolisomancy and the rest are too neat in terms of the map pieces for me to want to disregard everything just yet, although equally it will have to be re-ordered to fit this turn of events.
Yeah, actually the more I think about it the more I really don't think the BBP were guilty. Darcy may well have stood up to them anyway but I think they were actually hoping he would prove worthy and be a useful initiate.
Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam; E Luce Ad Tenebras.
All we've done is confirm another actor on the board - although to what extant its involved in the Calls or the Dee working is unknown. I'm inclined to think that it does have something up its sleeve - after all this is one of Nyarlathotep's favorite cults with the uber-occult Egyptology angle and all.
As for the rest, beyond Dyse i'm not sure. Crowley may simply be the Big Red Herring. Yes he looks impressive, he has name cache, but maybe his role is simply that he knew all the right participants in the drama.
That or he's really Nyarlathotep.
But in any event, its still kinda hard to clear up who might be "active participant" vs. "occult bystander."
If the Si-Fan is involved - well this would be a Pulp Dream come true wouldn't it? Mystic war for London with deathless Atlantean sorcerer and his horde of Dacoit followers fighting off centuries old Egyptian cult worshipping a dark god.
I suddenly feel like i'm watching a Hammer Horror film.
Edit: I am slightly off having read a little around it, Michael Gough apparently played Arthur Holmwood in the 50s so I need a new role for Cushing..
Last edited by Bookman; 10th January 2012 at 09:59 PM.
Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam; E Luce Ad Tenebras.
In the light of the Cipher and the potentially greater significance it gives to "classic" Cthulhu, I've been mucking around with my Megapolisomantic Map of London, and eventually found a rather neat Pentagram centred upon the Temple area (somewhat to my irritation, as Templars are the village bicycles of occult conspiracy). Whether it has any significance beyond my own fevered imagination is another question.
Some points which occurred to me while doing so:
The large number of "Brothers" of Darcy's brotherhood who have, in the best Cthulhu tradition, gone mad and/or died while investigating strange prophecies, sites, etc suggests that Darcy may not have been the only failed recruit to the Black Pharoah's cause. Perhaps they were behind the drowning after all.
The Enochian Calls seem to consistently cover sites closer in to Central London than the Aethyrs; suggesting either that they are an older working (giving credence to the "the sigil expands to keep up with London's growth" theory) or possibly reminiscent of the game of Go (where what matters is who surrounds the other player) - in keeping with the "magical rivalry" theory; suggesting that the more Crowleyian Aethyrs have encompassed the Call sigil, which in turn encompassed the City/Tree of Life Sigil.
The perfect 0 to 1 non-correspondence of Sigils (apart from the Tree of Life covering the City proper) to entries in the Liber Fumo has irritated me in the past, but now I think it may indicate something more:
If the back-story is that the map and sigils were found in Darcy's possessions, it suggests that either Darcy or Greville deliberately excluded all those sites from the final form of the Liber, which was intended for the Brotherhood; suggesting in turn that Darcy may have wised up to what was happening. Recall that the cipher message was found in his handwriting, even though it is about him, and in his notes on Piccadilly, where the old Temple of the BP is - even if he hadn't decrypted it, he got hold of it somehow, suggesting he was aware that someone was conspiring against him in that location. Furthermore in his possession when he died was a copy of The Sussex Manuscript, a flawed English translation of the Necronomicon; which would have given him the keyword to the cipher and a bit of Cthulhu Mythos awareness. Darcy may have started to play a bit of a double game with his own Brotherhood and may not have been as naive as his writings sometimes seem.
A very tentative bit of evidence in that direction is the indirect suggestion (in Greville's Introduction and Darcy's horoscope) that Darcy was homosexual (in his younger days at least) - by no means uncommon in young men raised in the homosocial environment of british boarding schools and colleges. I mention it in this context because if he was a practicing homosexual in adult life in 1930s Britain, it indicates a capacity to successfully hide his motives, inner self, etc from others; and also gives another motive for the police not to have investigated his death beyond a cursory level.
Brainstorming DG/COC things without you would be like trying to hunt badgers with a borzoi. - Panchakahq
Stepping away from "in-world" game logic for a second and looking at scenario design - issues start to crop up.
Mainly the "i've got two really powerful occult conspiracies" hanging around. If they were working together in unison on a project like the London Working, it would stretch the boundaries of logic to allow a handful of investigators overturn their actions.
The only context where this might work and be an entertaining story is if they were at each other's throats (and if you re-read the Kathulos' entry, you'll notice that is a distinct possibility). It would give the players a "lesser of two evils" situation coupled with a chance of "last minute betrayal."
Furthermore - if you look at the L'mur-Kathulos/The Scorpion entry one can see the dreaded "Pulp" sign. I'll take correction from any member of Pelgrane's staff, but it has always seemed to me and my players that the defacto setting for ToC has been Purist, with Pulp elements being the equivalent of an overlooked condiment.
But hope remains - really it comes down identifying the roles of the rest of the sordid cast. Ms. Dyse or Mr. Crowley or some other character may be the opposite force(s) to the BBP. Or not and we may yet see the banner of the Scorpion...
In the mean time....
Have my copy of Howard's "Skull-Face". Time to go practice my best Christopher Lee impersonation.
Veiled reference of the true state of affairs perhaps?
Just a quick post, I had actually got my copy of the Guide back out now we had a different angle and will post something longer but this I do remember:
This might not be the precise text in the Guide. It is from the Prophecies of Merlin from Geoffrey Of Monmouth's Historia Regum Brittaniae Found HERE. I recall Darcy interpreting it to be the Masons, the Community of the Inner Light and his own order. I do like the idea that he was wrong in his thinking and that the consuming group which gives succor to foreign agents is actually his own Brotherhood attracting people from Arabia, the Middle East etc. and he has the right idea but his own position blinds him to the reality. As I say, I shall post more once I have had a chance to go through the Guide again. Then next in my reading purchases will be geared towards the BBP I think, I have been reading up on Crowley so far. Fascinating chap.Then a Tree shall spring up on the top of the Tower of London. It will be content with only three branches, and yet it will overshadow the whole length and breadth of the island with the spread of its leaves. The North Wind will come as the Tree's enemy, and with its noxious breath it will tear away the third of the branches.
The two branches which are left will occupy the place of the one ripped off: this until one of them destroys the other by the very abundance of its leaves. This last branch will fill the place of the other two, and it will offer a roosting place to birds come from foreign parts. To birds native to the country it will seem harmful, for through their dread of its shadow they will lose their power of free flight. The Ass of Wickedness will come next, swift against the goldsmiths, but slow against the wolves' ravenous appetites. In these days the oaks shall burn in the forest glades, and acorns shall burgeon on the lime trees' boughs.
The Severn Sea shall flow forth through seven mouths, and the River Usk shall be boiling hot for seven months. Its fish will die because of the heat, and from them serpents will be born. The baths shall grow cold at Bath, and its health-giving waters shall breed death. London shall mourn the death of twenty thousand, and the Thames will be turned into blood. Monks in their cowls shall be forced into marriage, and their lamentation will be heard on the mountain peaks of the Alps.
Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam; E Luce Ad Tenebras.
However, he could have written it in such a manner to start dropping subtle hints to any new cannon fod- i mean Brothers who had been recruited.
I did wonder about a line of Greville's in the intro. He says that certain things were left out because the field work was incomplete. Was that the real reason? Did Greville have something to do with modifying the Guide? It is interesting how little real Mythos stuff is present in the Guide. There are some mentions of creatures but less sign of Mythos use as you might find in other sourcebooks for instance. This might be because he is simply an occultist rather than a Mythos scholar but he does own a copy of the Sussex Manuscript and may or may not have enough to have worked out the keyword to the Cypher. It is interesting to speculate what he might have mentioned that was removed. Might Greville be connected? Something makes me think not, or at least, he is not BBP, but then that might depend for what the Guide was intended.
If Darcy wrote this simply as a Guide for visiting brothers, as the opening letter suggests, Greville might well have removed dodgy passages in order not to give people inaccurate information. Darcy was simply producing a guidebook with no ulterior motive. He stumbled across everything else by accident and that got him killed. Greville tidied it with an innocent desire to avoid publishing wrong information to ensure that make sure Darcy's reputation wasn't damaged by mistakes. Unfortunately this removed the evidence for how he died - barring the crucial coded message.It is worth remembering that Darcy stumbled on this towards the end. If anything did not have full research it may well have been the most recent work and that may very well have been the stuff he was finding out about the Great Work. This would fit Taavi's feeling about the lack of any cross reference between entries and locations.
Darcy might have written it as a method of bringing new members into the BBP and at their behest. This seems unlikely though. He seems confused about the nature of the epiphanies he was having for instance rather than explaining them as something others should seek out. He also seems concerned to warn his Brothers about the war which would be strange if it was indeed the BBP involved in it. This is the option that feels most off to me. Darcy was not a full member of the BBP if the timing relating to the cypher is to be believed so it would be very unlikely he was writing a Guide for the recrutiment of people. Likelihood then is that this was first intended to be a Guide to London, then slowly during research Darcy discovered the TRUTH or at least got a glimpse of it and started research. Then he was killed, by whom we are unsure, and Greville removed the crucial details because of their lack of research.
But what if something else was going on? What if Darcy had discovered the plot and was trying to get the information out? The opening letter could well have been written earlier on and then used to give a reason for publication. Now in this instance it might well be that Mr Chessover was trying to get the manuscript for the BBP. It may also be that he is simply a slightly distasteful bookseller who knew of Darcy's collection and got a bargain from an unsuspecting relative. So what of Greville in this case? One might think that he was looking to get the information out to honour Darcy's legacy, he might also have been doing so in order to try to help Darcy's Brothers, he may also have been doing so to try to help catch his killer. Now that might demand that he know that he was killed. Equally and more disturbingly, he is the only person we know admitted to having changed Darcy's manuscript. Mr Chessover certainly did not get it or we would probably never have know about it. Did Greville take out the important parts and then send it out to try to get more of Darcy's Brothers to recruitment stage?
I believe the dj copy mentions the war and the strangeness, so it seems that 'purpose' of the Guide was to bring that to light. It would seem odd that any publisher (Greville) who was working for the Brotherhood - or indeed any of the forces involved - would leave that in, although there is a lack of real mention of the BBP but plenty of evidence against other forces so it might be a chance to spread lies about other participants.
Thinking more properly about it there is no way the BBP would have allowed it to be published with their code still in there. Greville is far more likely to be a friend of Darcy publishing his work to try to gain something for his friend after his death. It is quite possible that elements of the Work were removed because Darcy had not finished researching it at his death but I don't think they were removed deliberately and I also don't think that Greville is one of Darcy's Brothers reading the intro. He may just be an innocent caught up in everything else.
This still leaves the crucial question about the presence of the cypher amongst Darcy's papers. Had he decoded it? Had he started investigating the contents when he was killed? I suspect he had discovered the war first and then possibly broke the cipher at the end which may have hastened his death and possibly led to his wanting to publish the Guide to warn people. Greville may have removed these details when he published. Mr Chessover may well have been sent to find the papers - it is telling that he mentions sale to a 'foreign' gentleman. So who did kill him?
Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam; E Luce Ad Tenebras.
A sudden thought just hit me.
A certain article in Unspeakable Oath 18 by a fellow seeker not a million posts away looked at the Black Pharaoh himself. It suggested that the BBP might be seeking the elements neccessary to resurrect their dark lord. It also suggested, although for Akenahten, that he was outside time (like Joseph Curwen) and the upsurge in interest in Egypt was a part of shaping our time to receive him again.
What if we have been looking at this all wrong? What if it is not a London specific threat, like Byatis, but rather something which has been bought here? The BBP forms in 1815 in London. Why are they still so heavily based in the City? Yes, there is trade with Egypt and Britain has close links and all the rest but what if there is something else? Perhaps certain items have been bought back to London which they need for their own ends? Perhaps the City Seal is still to deal with Byatis but what if the new working is re-ordering the Seal. Now instead of sealing in the energy it is being repurposed to draw it out in certain ways? What if the BBP has been using their Work to reshape and control the magical energies of London (along with the Egyptian fascination) to affect the magical atmosphere of the City creating a situation in which their Master can return?
Darcy has discovered their working and was trying to find a way to stop it. He became aware of the BBP via the coded message and perhaps other things. He was searching out the working. Now why would the working have Enochian on it? Surely the BBP would work in Egyptian magical terms, or at least straight Mythos ones? Perhaps the markings on the map are not the BBP's ones but rather someone else's efforts to close them down. This would explain why it was in an English magical system. Someone got access to Dee's Necronomicon and used his Enochian system to try to override the BBP. Now two people in this story know about Dee. One, that we know of, has access to a version of the Necronomicon.
Option 1: Darcy found out, he is trying to shut down the psychic vortex. He has the right idea from the Sussex MSS but he knows that is not enough. He knows about Dee, perhaps he knows about the Dee translation. He follows up in the British Museum Library and gets access to the translation in Ashmole's files. Using this he attempts to put something together. This is the fractured material Greville deems as work in progress and cuts out of the published Guide. Darcy may have started the Guide legitimately but then right at the end he becomes aware of the TRUTH and stops doing the occult tourist thing. This must be close to the end as he says in his letter that he is aware of those following him and who do not want it published but not who they are or why. Most of the Guide must have been ready to go when he discovered the awful reality. By then it was too late. Most of his papers vanished with Mr Chessover, on whose behalf we don't know. Greville saved the MSS. I believe Greville's introduction, although I am willing to be shouted down. I honestly think he tried to make it viable for a larger audience and hoped to do right by his friend but if only we could get our hands on what was left out. Now the Guide is out there giving hints but only in the map was the reality, unfortunately that has been scattered.
Edit: Maybe what Greville found that needed more work was the map, perhaps with some notes, perhaps not, he realised this was unfinished and made little sense and would not appeal to the wider audience he mentions so doesn't bother putting it in. It is too large and uninteresting to most anyway. He dumps that out of the book along with the notes surrounding it. This would also explain the lack of correlation between map and guide. Darcy had not had time to make proper entries so there was not enough for Greville to edit together and what little there was got left out.
Option 2: The other person we know with a...first hand knowledge of Dee is Miss Dyse. She has been trying to get protective items returned. She has been arguing with Crowley, the man with one of the best knowledge of Great Works and Enochian and the Cabbalah in London (although if he was responsible for the deaths in the mummy's curse the he may well be BBP helping get the paradigm ready for the Pharaoh's return). She realised something was wrong, perhaps Dee told her, and she started investigating. It is her map of the Work - possibly trying to redraw theirs as above, or maybe it is her own working to stop whatever they are doing. In this case Darcy may have been stumbling around the edges not quite discovering the TRUTH until too late. He was killed - maybe by Dyse as a BBP agent, she may have wondered why he was sniffing around or maybe by the BBP when he tried to get out from under them - and Greville published the Guide as above. In this case she may still have been possesed by Nodens on Blackheath (having awoken him as Herne the Hunter) and Nodens is using her as a tool to protect London, almost certainly for his own reasons.
Now the gold and silver lines - perhaps they are both the same working but what if they are still different? THe silver one connects to the City I believe. What if that is the BBP working trying to gather spread the power and the gold one is someone elses and connects in to diffuse and dissipate that energy safely? The Calls have been placed over the pair of workings to make them work together as one working even though they are technically seperate. So the protect London party redraw the working using new sites and then make them one with the unifying calls. It would be interesting to see if locations on the silver lines connect to levers related to rebirth, resurrection, Egypt etc. or if the other ones lead to protective sites.
In the meantime, what of the IPC? Maybe gold and silver are Dyse and the IPC's efforts and the Enochian has been put on by Darcy to fuse them into one for extra effect? Maybe the City seal is the BBP Work after all? I still think there is too much about Dee and Evelyn's plan of the City and other elements to totally reject all of that just yet. Thoughts? Is there a terrible plan afoot to bring back Nephren-Ka himself in the centre of London? If so that is definitely the kind of thing which would get the Scorpion to come out of hiding.
I have just ordered the book on Crowley and the Mummy which might offer more grist for the mill. I shall go back to the Guide again with this kind of thing in mind.
Last edited by Bookman; 15th January 2012 at 10:37 PM.
Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam; E Luce Ad Tenebras.
In 1922 Howard Carter discovered the Tomb of Tutankhamun.
Well there is a little more to it than that.
Theodore Davis, an American lawyer and amateur Egyptologist, had the license to dig in that part of the Valley of the Kings. He had been actually been digging around the eventual site of the Tomb but had been unable to find it. After he chose not to renew the license Lord Carnarvon took it over and Carter set to work. They had been digging for a while and patience was wearing thin when Carter’s water-carrier ‘fortuitously’ fell across it.
That seems a little easy for me. Who was this ‘water-carrier’? Was he an agent for the BBP? Did he deliberately reveal the entrance to Carter to ensure that the relics went principally to Britain rather than America? If this is the case, why did it happen at the moment which it did? Carter had been digging in the right area as well I believe. Was their a significance to that moment? Was it that the time was right for the return of Nephren-Ka?
Reports did claim there was an inscription on magical bricks protecting the Tomb which spoke of confusing the way – this would seem to have happened to Theodore Davis as he was unable to find the entrance even when digging only 6ft away from the entrance at one point. (There were magical bricks inside but no curse outside contrary to popular report). So did Carter really just find it by accident or did he need someone who knew to pass him by the magical field of misdirection?
After the Tomb was opened strange fates began to befall members of the expedition and those who had seen the tomb. Well, probably not but let’s face it, that would just be boring and have nothing to do with the BBP, so let’s assume that the mysterious deaths really were mysterious.
One intriguing argument is that the Curse originated earlier with strange stage show. One researcher (Dominic Montserrat) believes that the tale of the mummy's curse actually originates during the 1820s with an English author and a bizarre theatrical striptease act where state mummies were unwrapped. The show, which took place near London's Piccadilly Circus in 1821, seems to have inspired a little known novelist named Jane Loudon Webb to write a fantasy book called, "The Mummy". Now whose old temple was on Piccadilly?
Re: Piccadilly it struck me that Darcy had put the cipher amongst his papers relating to Piccadilly – the cipher mentions the Old Temple site on Piccadilly – so he is likely to have cracked the code. Where did he find it and how did he identify the key phrase? What else did he know about the BBP to guess the word? Why is that not in his Guide? Is this evidence of tampering and if so by whom?
Let’s look at some of the deaths. Lord Carnarvon is quite clearly the victim of poison. If this were the Shi-Fan I would accuse some terrible insect unknown to Western Science, or perhaps the blowdart of a Dacoit. Unfortunately it is not. This does not rule out a poisonous attack however, or a magical attack manifesting through a mosquito bite.
Ali Kemal Fahmy Bey – 23 year old Egyptian Prince who claimed Pharaonic descent was shot by his older French wife in the middle of a terrible thunderstorm. The event happened in the Savoy Hotel on Embankment under the shadow of…Cleopatra’s Needle. He and his wife had been to the dig site.
Lord Westbury threw himself out of his window leaving a note which spoke of ‘horrors’. His house was full of artefacts - interestingly one of his servants was found to have started small fires because he was disturbed by them. His son, Captain Bethell, Carnarvon’s private secretary, had died not long before seemingly in his sleep at the Bath Club – poison again no doubt.
Wallis Budge was an English Egyptologist, Orientalist, and philologist who worked for the British Museum and published numerous works on the ancient Near East. He died of 'old age', seemingly peacefully at his home.
Weigall was an English Egyptologist, stage designer, journalist and author whose works span the whole range from histories of Ancient Egypt through historical biographies, guide-books, popular novels, screenplays and lyrics. At the tomb of Tutankhamun he saw Lord Carnarvon joke as he prepared to enter the tomb, and is reported as saying 'if he goes down in that spirit, I give him six weeks to live'.
Hugh Evelyn-White was a Professor of Egyptology who shot himself in a taxi – the most curious aspect of his suicide was the letter he had on him which included the intriguing phrase 'I knew there was a curse on me, though I had leave to take those manuscripts to Cairo. The monks told me the curse would work all the same. Now it has done so.'
And any number of other suicides, killings and, most interesting, strange diseases.
My theory is this:
This is not a megapolisomantic working using the City; this uses the artefacts which people brought back. The shift in magical energy awakens the artefacts. Borrowing David Morgan-Marr’s excellent suggestion in one Irregular Webcomic: the movement of artefacts across the world forces a commensurate movement of the world’s ley lines (the artefacts were originally the nodes along the ley lines so as they move the lines bend with them). Through this movement of sacred artefacts to museums alternate nodes are created and this fractures the original magical lines of power and redraws them. This creates a nexus of sacred lines pulled out of their original patterns and moved across the world which aids the new owners – this is part of the reason for the strength of the British Empire. The accumulation of other nation’s power in London allows the British government to control their people.
New shrines are thus formed through the accumulation of objects and their quasi-adoration by new owners and visitors and in turn the artefacts impart visions and concepts of Egypt which help shape public perception to shake the paradigm to allow the return of Nephren-Ka. Through them then the BBP is able to affect people physically and mentally. The murders serve several purposes – ritual, revenge, warning, to cover up the thefts of certain crucial objects and to shape belief.
As more murders happen people’s belief grows and creates a feedback loop in which more power is granted to the BBP and the paradigm weakens. In this case the working is to stop them – what was the original one for? The first seal was to shut up Byatis however it was not totally effective hence the Ripper plan. The later ritual uses it as a linchpin as to do otherwise would be to break the Seal – equally bad. They use it to focus energies which are then dissipated along the tube lines. The Needle is used by the BBP like the Eiffel Tower in Eco – it is a broadcast site beaming their signal across London. It is the ultimate symbol of ‘stolen’ artefacts and so anchors their new lines of power. Bey died (possibly to serve an agenda as well, why waste a death?) because Marie Marguerite picked up echoes of the signal and given her situation with an Egyptian Pharaoh…He may well have been seen as a threat – pro-European, a wastrel, Mohammadean or a symbolic second king figure challenging the avatar that is Nephren-Ka. This might also explain the vision of the figure leaping into the Thames – perhaps people were seeing Darcy’s future death as part of the sendings from the BBP? The image was meant to drive Darcy to his end but it was such a powerful aspect by then that others saw it as well.
As the Curse theory took root people began to donate their artefacts to the Museum to get rid of the curse from themselves so if there were BBP people there they could sift through looking for the pieces they needed. They use the old British Museum station to get in and out at night and to come and go without being seen (see below). Who is their man there? Is that why Budge had to die? Did he identify their man?
One thing which this network could do is trigger the ‘epiphanies which Darcy had – is that what caused Lord Westbury’s horrors?
The thunderstorm on the night of Bey’s murder was caused by magical overflow. One possibility with the Needle as conductor: the energy which built up discharged from the Needle and caused the murder. Did they intend to kill him? Or was it just a random discharge?
The servant of Lord Westbury who started fire may have picked up some of the power being sent to Westbury. That would suggest that it was the artefacts which the BBP were using and other people could pick up on the effects as well if they were sensitive.
In an interesting tie-in with the BM. British Museum station was apparently haunted by an Egyptian ghost – hints of the ritual? Echoes from the artefacts above? The beginnings of the manifestation of Nephren-Ka? An emissary of the BBP astral travelling or summoned to this realm? An enemy of the BBP trying to stop them?
In April 1935 two women apparently disappear from Holborn Station and someone writes strange unidentifiable (really? Maybe just no one admitted to knowing – Enochian?) symbols on the tiles. Did this really happen? If so is it linked to the ritual? The BBP? Is Nephren-Ka feeding? Does the Seal cover British Museum effectively?
This would not be the first time there were stories of mysterious deaths linked to the British Museum’s Egyptology department. There is also the story of the mummy-case of the Priestess of Amen-Ra. Much of this may well be fiction (or not, who knows…) created by W.T. Stead (who died on the Titanic) but the claim is that everyone involved with this mummy died. It was also suggested it was being carried on the Titanic. Maybe this was an earlier BBP mission?
There is a heavy death rate in ’34 amongst Egyptologists – were they the only ones who could identify or stop what was coming? High proportion were British – putting aside a possible BBP nationalist agenda and the fact that many of the top scholars of the time were British (outside of the Egyptians and the BBP’s people) so their numbers would be disproportionately represented, is it the British ones because that is where the ritual is to take place. Perhaps the coming of Nephren-Ka in London is also meant to break the British Imperial hold over Egypt? Thus the British ones were in the right places to see what was happening, or to identify agents in the Museum and other places – is the Petrie Museum full of good guys? Did they lose anyone that year?
Budge translated ‘The Book of the Dead’ so he would have knowledge of Egyptian sorcerous workings relating to returning from the dead. His work influenced everyone from Blavatsky to Sir James Fraser so he shaped the occult background of the world. Budge was interested in the paranormal and believed in the reality of spirits and hauntings. Budge had a number of friends in the Ghost Club (British Library, Manuscript Collections, Ghost Club Archives), a group in London committed to the study of alternative religions and the spirit world, and told his many friends stories of hauntings and other uncanny experiences.
As well as Budge and Weigall Francis Llewellyn Griffiths, first Professor of Egyptology at Oxford also died, he does not appear to have gone to the Tomb. So how would the curse affect him? It wouldn’t. So his death was concealed beneath the idea of the Curse. His papers were edited by his wife Nora MacDonald, herself an Egyptologist. She died in 1937 and in 1939 the Griffiths Institute was set up as part of the Ashmolean (oh, Ashmole again…) I wonder what was in his papers that they both had to die? Well Howard ‘Tutankhamun’s Tomb’ Carter’s Diaries and Journals went to the Institute. Cecil Mallaby Firth died in 1931, he was spending his time excavating the Pyramid of Djoser built by? Imhotep. Yes, that Imhotep.
Flinders Petrie did not die until 1942, he was mainly involved in Palestine and Jerusalem so perhaps his work at Luxor did not worry the BBP. However he did found the Petrie Museum so who knows. Perhaps it was because he was out of the country? Fascinating story of his death – he left his head to science to test its high intellectual prowess. However WWII caused it to be delayed and it was thought lost but has now apparently been found in London.
Several Egyptologists (Ahmed Moussa, Geoffrey Martin, Donald Redford) were born in 1934, there must have been something in the air.
So what is significant about 1934? The working. So why the earlier murders? Camouflage. They built up a perception of a ‘Mummy’s Curse’. People look for patterns, if several prominent Egyptologists all died someone would ask why. Instead the Curse gives a reason and such a ‘stupid’ rather than ‘rational’ one that people no longer want to look for connections because anyone suggesting a conspiracy will look just as looney as those suggesting a Curse. The murders act as revenge as well and they help the BBP get access to the artefacts and relics as they hunt for the pieces of Nephren-Ka and they help guide and shape the mindset of the public to produce the right conditions for his return.
One final thing: the Golden Dawn had an Egyptian theme – their temples were named for Egyptian deities and they used Egyptian themes to their rituals etc. – and they had Enochian knowledge (although debased) – perhaps they were on to something and so they had to be destroyed. I seem to recall someone suggesting that Crowley deliberately infiltrated and ripped them apart, perhaps he is in league with the BBP? Equally was the Dawn involved and did Crowley infiltrate them to stop them? Was that why Dyse was so pissed off? He knows but won’t help.
So given that: Rollo Ahmed – he was Golden Dawn and claimed Egyptian background. Is there more to him than we had suspected? He owned something called The Papyrus of the Undying – might that be the final element for resurrecting Nephren-Ka?
Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam; E Luce Ad Tenebras.