The journal is an inventory item that grants a +1 bonus to occult rolls to use the rituals it teaches and to assess the workings of the cults of the god. To read the indecipherable portions of the book, the character must succeed at a Languages roll which can be extended indefinitely, each roll requiring a week of study, and an instant occult roll upon success to make use of a feature. Features that can be so used are marked with an *
Simply reading the journal from beginning to end grants the players character one dot of occult.
Diary of Elijah Lockheart
June 23rd, 1866
From the Cambridge society in Cairo where I met with Professor Goddard, a fellow of that institution but a yankee like myself, we trekked nearly three days south along the Nile until we came to the necropolis of Karnak. The professor and I get along like great pals since we’re both New Englanders sent to Cambridge for our educations in archaeology. I never studied under the professor myself but his student Professor Higgins was an instructor of mine who we traded stories about for some hours as we began the journey by boat. I spent most nights staring off into the purpling haze imagining Elizabeth’s dresses. The evenings here are like the end of all days rolled into one, it’s like I’m seeing the first and last days that ever were or will be rolled into one perfect dusk every night. It was in the ruins of the Ahkenaten complex that the professor and I set up our camp, so absolutely convinced was he that we’d make the greatest discoveries here. Most of the artifacts in the majority of the Karnak complex have been taken over the centuries already, but it was the hope of the professor and I that in this heretic’s temple complex there might be some remaining treasures to bring home to America. Can’t leave the British Museum collection completely unchallenged. The professor assures me of the character of the digging crew, though I am uneasy around the digger chief, an Arab named Karim.
June 27th, 1866
The good professor has taken ill, and I’m to continue the overseeing of the investigation. The professor himself will remain at base camp to assess the value of any objects we find when we bring them back to him. Karim speaks some English at least, and has said that the ruins are cursed even by the Egyptians. When I asked why, he explained that Ahkenaten the Heretic King only ever worshipped one god. It’s typical of course that the savage mind would belittle a belief in the one true god, and perhaps a great shame that Ahkenaten wasn’t properly appreciated in his time. The idea of a Christian king in the land of the Nile gods is provocative, and I continued the work for the day with a renewed vigor. I admit that several of the diggers seemed to be annoyed with my sudden interest in Ahkenaten’s temple. The temples complex that can be seen itself is fantastic, the colonnades are gone of course but from the walls one can see the dimensions that it would have measured. Standing in these places make me feel like the pharaohs of old. Perhaps one day when I have conquered Elizabeth as the fertile valley we shall return to Egypt and stand over my dominions as emperor and queen. She was a vision when she stood on the balcony that night of the alumni dance. Perhaps the only vision that could draw me back to America after seeing some of the splendid ruins of Karnak.
~there are several pages wasted to scribbling, most of them look like failed and rejected love letters. Elijah reiterated the draft again and again, confessing sin after blasphemous carnal sin. Apparently he was quite the ladies man in Boston, confessing here to bedding no fewer than 45 women whom he names. The pages are wrought with the agony of an addict, and yet there is no holding back as might be expected, Elijah seemed perfectly assured that whoever read the diary would accept his failings as things of the past~
June 28th, 1866
Professor Goddard explained to me that Ahkenaten was not a believer in the true faith after all. I was somewhat disheartened by this, after all, discovery of Christianity predating the church of Paul would fundamentally alter the understanding of Christendom as we know it. That would set my reputation for life. I’ve written home to father to explain about my great interest in Ahkenaten, and while the professor insists that there’s no chance that we will find a Christian church at Karnak, I remain hopeful that we may indeed discover at least a jewish cult in the Egyptian royal house that would corroborate the story of Moses. While I dropped off letters, of course I also sent one for Elizabeth. I will eagerly await her response for I have resolved myself that I cannot wait to return home to propose to her properly, so I have written her for her hand. Since this journal is to be a memento for her to peruse in our golden years, I will record here:
For all the adventure and great treasures of the world, the greatest of my possessions remains your faithful love. I have toiled in the sands of Egypt as the Israelite and prayed in churches built on ground trod upon by Moses himself. I write you because I can’t forstall the urgings of my heart any longer. I know that you are a prudent and careful woman, and that you know me well to be a reckless and impatient man, and it is my hope that you will overlook these failings and consent to be my wife when I return to America with my fortune.
July 2nd, 1866
I’ve found it! Or at least I’ve found something more interesting than another column or solemn slab of stone, we’ve discovered a subterranean section of the Ahkenaten complex! The entry is sloping and was revealed after the digging crew went to the local watering hole to take their water. It’s actually strange that this passage has never before been discovered by other expeditions, but nonetheless I am glad for the opportunity that their carelessness has afforded me. The professor is still taken to bed, but eagerly devoured my description of the tunnel and the notes that I brought back from my brief foray within. There was a distinctly musty odor in the tunnel and irritatingly enough, Karim now tells me that several of the digging team refuse to work any further and are returning to Cairo. It’s a setback, but whatever their superstitions lead them to believe, I’m convinced that within this tunnel we’ll at least discover the tomb of some rich pagan or perhaps my church. It’s still my greatest hope that the church will be beneath. Perhaps we shall marry right here in Egypt, why if this expedition is fruitful there’s no reason why I shouldn’t remain and oversee the whole project, I’ll send for Elizabeth and we’ll marry here, in the church of kings.
(*The following pages recreate the glyphs found in front of the great stone door. They are alien and decidedly not Egyptian. Your character learns the Mark of the God ritual if you have one or more dots in either Cult or Reality Blasphemy.)
July 3rd, 1866
Karim and the diggers have continued to work on a great stone door that blocks our further progress into the tunnel. We encountered the door about fifty yards into the tunnel, and found it impossible to move by any means. The diggers refuse to actually touch the door with their hands, using cloth or gloves to insulate themselves. I have no such halal compunctions and have taken rubbings of the door. The professor has grown more ill, such that I expect I shall have to send him back to Cairo to recover. Being Americans, I understand his interest in spending the holiday here with me, so I have agreed not to send him back until after the fourth. While I continue the dig, he will recover under the ministration of doctors and begin translation of the hieroglyphs we found on the walls of the tunnel, which he has identified as a mortuary gallery. The heathen beliefs of the Egyptians dictated that the dead required an instruction guide to reach their strange underworld. The book of the dead as it is called is likely what is written on the walls, and the professor’s work will no doubt consume him for some time.
While digging through the door, we happened across a stele that contained a number of the strange hieroglyphs on it. I read what I could of these peculiar marks, since they seemed to be more phonetic than the normal hieroglyphs which I confess I cannot read at all despite a number of hours of study. When I finished them, I realized I was alone in the tunnel. Stupid wogs must have wandered off.
(*You can learn the Primal Shudder ritual if you possess two or more dots of Reality Blasphemy or Cult)
July 5th, 1866
Today, I’m going deeper into the complex at last, Karim and the diggers worked through the night, and Karim himself insisted on returning to Cairo with the professor. Superstitious wogs. I’ll go on myself and claim the prize their minds are unable to grasp. I’m starting to feel a sense of certainty that in the temple complex I’m going to find the temple of the one true god that I had postulated earlier. Once the fellows at Cambridge see what I’ve found here, my reputation will be secure and Elizabeth and I can travel Europe giving talks on the treasures of Egypt.
The diggers refuse to go any further into the tunnels, I assume that their heathen faith forbids them digging into the past that might reveal the falsehoods of Islam. The truly faithful can dig as far as we want and be sure that we will find a truth that will not discard our beliefs. Before I progress further into the temple, I shall stop here and record the hieroglyphs found on the walls of the tunnel beyond the great door:
~There are a passage of pages, perhaps 30 or 40, in which strange glyphs are replicated in new patterns, side notes scrawled in a strange hand suggest different uses and meanings for the new collection. In addition to the glyphs, the new section also adds a number of illustrations that show a single sun-god, the Aten. The Aten in the images however is somewhat distorted, the sun rays take on a tentacle appearance and the god is manifestly more carnal than radiant in scope. The Egyptian divinity known as Aten is here redefined and given the name of K’Drgh. *You may add one dot of Cult Follower K’Drgh or Reality Blasphemy K’Drgh for each point of Humanity you sacrifice at this time.~
Bastard wog diggers. They poisoned the professor. I know it now because they poisoned me, I can taste it in the water. My canteen is fouled so I’ve discarded it. I daren’t say a word to them about it because they’ll surely kill me now that the barge for Cairo has already gone. If I can make it to the nearest camp, the Chatterly expedition maybe, then I should be safe… Damned headache from the poison. Is it cyanide or? I don’t know at all, I’m no assassin. If I should fail to reach the Chatterly group then I’m sure the diggers will destroy this journal, but if it should survive, Elizabeth, know that I love you and that I never stopped trying to come back home to you.
Made it to the Chatterleys, didn’t mention the poison, got some water from them, feel better. Eric Chatterly and Ronald Owen are here from Cambridge, they’re conducting a standard architectural survey. Ronald tells me that their medic can handle things, said that the diggers weren’t looking after me properly and laughed. Idiot.
July 7th, 1866
I made a show of dismissing the diggers and getting them on the barge back to Cairo today. The Chatterly group has agreed to let me stay with them for a few days while I complete my inspection of the temple complex. I’m still staying on my own at the old base camp near the temple, since I see no reason to go to the trouble to take down all of the tents and haul all of the equipment to the Chatterly camp in the blazing noon, but I took breakfast with them and thanked their medic before I fired the men. Ronald came in with me to look at the walls and he was baffled, told me that the markings here weren’t any Egyptian hieroglyphs at all. It’s already then enough of a discovery to make a name by, yet I’ve just got to know what’s in the deepest part of the complex. Tomorrow, I’ll ask Ron Owen to come with me and we’ll go down in with torches.
(The following passages are scrawled haphazardly, as though the writer could not see clearly by whatever- if any- light he was using)
Got away in time. They’ve come back the bastards. They pretended to leave and came back in the night. I’m sitting in the temple, I realized it was the one place I’d be safe: the murderous bastards don’t want me to make the discovery that will disprove Islam, but they won’t dare come into this holy church of God either. Should have stayed with the Chatterley group. I can hear the heathens whispering in their mongrel tongue outside, I’m going to go deeper into the temple before they take it upon themselves to venture in a little.
(The following passages and illustrations and glyphs are nigh-indecipherable. They go on for sixty pages. The rituals Elder Tongue, Babbling of Horrid Voices, Perverted Desire, and Baleful Tribulation of the God can be learned by study of this section if you have two or more dots in Reality Blasphemy K’Drgh or Cult Follower K’Drgh. *You can learn a ritual from the book for each successful roll, or use the book to cast the rituals by rote, if you do so, you do not gain the equipment bonus of the book.)
Several sections are torn out of this area, the final page in the diary remains, with a few simple words left on it.)
Ronald found me thank the true god. I swear I Shall never again go prodding around in the desert, I’ve completed this pilgrimage.