In the years following the Great War, the MI-13 section of the Directorate of Military Intelligence enjoys a silver age. Commander Fredrick Ramsey is casting the section’s nets ever wider, across the colonies of the British Empire.
That empire is crumbling. In March 1919, violent protests erupt in Egypt, following the British High Commissioner’s decision to preserve the Protectorate in Egypt and Sudan by exiling three popular nationalists to Malta. Thousands are killed.
The PCs are a small team of MI-13 agents caught up in the confusion. They watch the daily demonstrations and strikes with trepidation. The agents themselves, after having been doted upon for weeks, are now openly reviled by some of their servants. Testing self-proclaimed psychic talents is almost impossible under these conditions.
The agents’ flimsy protection is their cover story, in which they are academics preserving the heritage of the nation. If none of them can actually speak Egyptian Arabic and read hieroglyphics, they are accompanied by 24-year-old Raymond O. Faulkner from Sussex, a Great War veteran and amateur Egyptologist.
Arriving at Girga in late April, the PCs hear that administrators loyal to the British are being killed, one by one. Hardly anyone left in the city can or will speak English. The murders are gruesome, and suggestive of Predynastic Egyptian divination or appeasement of the gods. Bodies do not last in the desert heat.
Intelligent locals have found fragmented texts on ancient stones used in the construction of modern buildings. They are adamant that the British not steal these steles away to some foreign museum, but reading them is permitted. The PCs find the assassin and the ritual used to entice it, described in detail.
Over tea, the Egyptologist PC (or Faulkner) can tell the others that the so-called Cannibal Hymn, comprised of two of the oldest known religious texts in the world, is not about cannibalism at all. The existing German translation is quite mistaken. The god-eating Pharaoh of the hymn is not a god or man, but something older.
That night, the PCs are attacked by their servants and a degenerate serpent man who was at one point a nomarch of This, also known as Thinis, a lost city near Girga. The aim is to avenge the loss of loved ones by killing the PCs, safeguarding the national treasures of Egypt and the serpent man’s stasis chamber in the process.
If Faulkner survives, he goes on to complete a sanitized translation of the Pyramid Texts, as he did in reality. The British Protectorate is dismantled in 1922, giving Egypt its freedom. After many tribulations, MI-13 transforms into PISCES.
This was an entry in the 2013 shotgun scenario contest, written by Viktor Eikman.