Operatives of CROSSBOW

Operation Fatal Secondment

Locate and Reconaissance: Uganda

In which the team face ninjas and dragons and gods, oh my!

Location: Lake Victoria, Uganda
Primary Mission: Locate the site of Abramovich’s 1898 expedition on the shore of Lake Victoria. Uncover and breach the second vault mentioned in Abramovich’s report and recover any artefacts from within
Secondary mission: Complete the mission with minimal costs.

Associated Intelligence Files

  1. The Codex
  2. Gregori Abramovich
  3. British East Africa Company
    1. William McKinnon

Briefing

Extract from the Abramovich File:

Disaster! For the past six days a large detachment of troops attached to McKinnon’s British East Africa Company have been engaged in manoeuvres near the shore of the lake, and it has become apparent that the purpose of these manoeuvres is to remove us from the dig site, by fear if possible and by force if necessary.

We have already sent away all we can of the finds, which by now must be safely, if that is the word, in German East Africa, or else taken or sunk within Lake Victoria. Were the dig complete we would gladly go, but we hold out for the single purpose of concealing the second vault, that the British crows shall not profit from the works of a Russian bear. God willing, I will yet return and discover what lies within the second vault.

Results of partial decoding of the Abramovich Codex by Dr Eliot Milton:

The Codex is of apparent pre-Dynastic Egyptian origin, but in fact details much older rites than any previously recorded. The majority of the text is both enciphered and written in a corrupted or possibly primeval dialect of the pre-Dynastic language of the southern Nile region, although certain hieroglyphic sections resemble much more recent scripts.

The Codex tells of a War in Heaven, fought between the brother gods of a primordial Ogdoad. Of these gods, four were slain in the War and their bodies falling became the Earth and everything on it. The account concludes with a quatrain which can be loosely rendered into verse as follows:

Four gods in the heavens,
Four gods in the grave,
Three gods yet to fall
For the power they crave.

The later section of the Codex appears to describe detailed rites for the summoning of certain spirits in the form of the Egyptian gods, but the cipher for those sections eludes decryption as yet.

Incoming Black Box signal

Sender ident: Excalibur

Analysis of Abramovich file and transactions of the British East Africa Company at the time suggests that the expeditionary force dispatched by William McKinnon were only successful in ransacking the primary vault already explored by Abramovich. Letters from a mysterious sponsor report considerable anger at the failure to recover any notable artefacts.

Stirrup Base will provide you with transport and logistical assistance to seek out the original dig sight on the Ugandan shore of Lake Victoria. Coordinates of the site are fairly certain and lie within the suburbs of Jinja, the second city of Uganda.

Based on the presence of a hostile force in St Petersburg, suggest that you anticipate resistance.

Priority mission: Locate and open the unexplored vault.

Urgent: Funds will be released for the purchase of land and dig licenses, but please take all necessary steps to minimise costs.

Report

Part 1
The team traveled to Cairo and researched the history of the Abramovich expedition, building up a satellite image map and a painstaking model of the dig. This led them to an island in Lake Victoria and an abandoned complex of buildings.

They quickly located the first vault, and used a ritual casting to locate the second.

They camped out overnight, but towards dawn they heard a noise from the shore, and Georgie discovered a group of ninjas attempting to sabotage their boat.

Part… others
The team disabled the ninjas. In the morning they met another group of archaeologists, led by Sir Charles Foster-Foulks and his wife, Lady Stephanie, who offered support (including manpower to clear the entrance.)

They entered the vault, a web of traps, and discovered a room full of eggs which hatched into small, vicious dragons. Locking these in, they explored further, leaving the Foster-Foulks party at the entrance. Further in they uncovered a temple, where Milt found a golden falcon. Continuing, they discovered a shrine with a distinctly un-Egyptian god-statue, guarding a hidden tomb.

They removed the contents of the tomb – a sarcophagus and a chalice – to HQ, but one of the statue’s swords was taken.

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