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Descent Into The Demonastery

Page history last edited by Michael 3 months, 1 week ago

back to Brethren and Cistern or the Index

 


Friday, May 17, 1935

 

     Yesterday Our Heroes had arrived in Istanbul, and immediately begun their investigation of the "ancient archive" described in a book stolen from the Louvre by Lotta's pirate gang.

 

an ancient book

     A 15th Century book, mostly about the sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade (1204 AD). The book includes a map of the city in the 12th Century showing an ancient library and an unknown treasury. Neither of these are located where the Defenders of Truth's monastery is at, by the way. Language:  Byzantine Greek.

the phrasing implies those are two different places, hmm

not the map from the book, but a modern map of medieval Constantinople;

the entrance we found to the underground area was near the Mocius cistern

 

     We had engaged in a fierce battle underneath the city, and had come back up to the surface within the cemetery near the Eastern Orthodox church of Saint Mary of the Life-Giving Spring. It was in the Balikli neighborhood, about five hundred yards outside the Gate of Silivri.

 

The church was originally established by Emperor Justinian in 580 AD; the current building was built in 1835.

 

 Again:  the left-hand red cross marks the Church of the Life-Giving Spring

 

     Anyhow, we'd made our way back to our hotel, and today -- bandaged and cleaned up, with the date confirmed from today's La Gazette -- we decided to pay a call on the monastery and church. We took a cab from the Pera Palace Hotel, and paid the driver to wait. 

     We were at the church around 11 a.m., and saw that a funeral was in progress. One of the monks told us that a regular service would be held at 4 p.m., and we could "look at the icons" after the service. We thanked him, strolled around a bit, and headed back into the "good" part of the city to do some shopping, etc.

     Qua Lin Worthington and Nora Cullin decided to visit the Grand Bazaar for herbs, candles, medical supplies and other items. While walking back towards the Pera district, they heard screams and gunfire; many people were running away from the commotion. The two ladies pushed their way towards the commotion, and saw several uniformed men -- soldiers or policemen -- firing rifles from behind cover towards a dingy hotel. Men inside the hotel were shooting handguns at the authorities, and had thrown at least one petrol bomb. A few bodies were sprawled in the street; sirens of police-cars and ambulances were growing louder. Hanging from a balcony was a flag, clearly placed there by the insurgents -- robin's egg blue, with a rayed yellow sun on it!

 

 

      The women recognized its general form (Nora had spent time as a prisoner of Pierre Boule's organization). The flag didn't have the usual facial features, and was otherwise sort of crudely-made, but very much recognized as the same general symbol.

     The insurgents were yelling in Turkish, "Free the emirate! Follow god's law! Women should know their places!" Qua Lin and Nora decided to leave the scene and return to our hotel, where they told their companions about the odd incident.

     Around 4 p.m., we took two cabs to the Greek cemetery outside the walls, and paid the drivers to come back in a few hours. We entered the church and stood through an hour-long service, with about thirty older Greek worshipers. The officiating priest, Father Tanju, stank nearly enough to be noticed over the heavy clouds of incense.

     After the service, we spoke with the junior priest, Father Ilker, who knew some English. "Impressive ... nice icons." With a bit of persuasion, he gave us a two-hour tour -- more descriptions of iconography than we had ever heard in our lives. Within the actual well-chamber around the Holy Spring was a an icon of Saint Anne, Mother of Mary -- the artwork itself wasn't very large, but including the frame it was about three feet wide and four feet tall. The mass of beliefs and legends around St. Anne included possibly three separate marriages (the first marriage being the one which Mary came from); the third marriage produced a daughter, Salome -- not the daughter of Herod the Great.

 

The name Salome wasn't rare among the Israelites.

 

     In any case, Saint Anne is the patron of dozens of occupations, situations, conditions, communities, etc. Her emblem, at least according to Father Ilker, was a red or green door.

     We purchased a few vials of holy water ...

 

"This is about as holy as water gets."

 

     ... and thanked the priest. We didn't think it was quite time to "push" him about the tunnels we'd explored.

     We returned to the hotel about 8 p.m.; the lobby clerk told Fred Willoughby that the British Consulate had called for him. Calling them back, Willoughby learned that the Embassy in Ankara wished to speak with him -- a bus-load of British school children, along with their teachers and chaperones, had been kidnapped a couple of days ago in eastern Turkey. The First Secretary's wife had been one of the chaperones; his daughter had also accompanied the tour group.

     Willoughby told his companions the shocking news, and called the Embassy in Ankara. Speaking with the First Secretary, Peter Jenkins, he learned "the names of Clive White, Algernon DeLacy, and Victoria May" had come up as being experienced in methods of investigation, and they hoped that Willoughby might know where they were.

 

"They happen to be here in the room, Mr. Jenkins."

 

     The kidnapping happened on the 15th, near the city of Bitlis, not far from Lake Van; a set of demands had been found at the abandoned bus; and the Turkish authorities were not likely to rescue the children. A set of demands had been left by the kidnappers, requiring that the British relinquish all of their bases and colonies in Muslim countries around the Mediterranean, and that the Turkish government give up control of Kurdistan and all other eastern provinces.

     We agreed to help in any way that we could, and said we could probably catch a plane in the morning to Ankara -- Mr. Jenkins told us that a plane had been "laid on" by the Turkish government, in fact.

     We packed our belongings, and Victoria May bought a Turkish-English dictionary, and a book on astronomy/astrology.

 

Astrology in Turkey

     During the Ottoman period, astrology and astronomy were combined as ilm-i nücum ("star science"); both astronomers and astrologers were called müneccim. Given the lunar nature of the Islamic calendar, determining the dates of eclipses, timetables for Ramadan, the solstices and equinoxes, etc. was often within their purview. 

     Strict Muslims may object to predictions based on the stars. Turkish astrologers often add "Only Allah knows" to their predictions, to avoid some of the religious criticism. 

     Traditional Turkish calendars would be published at the beginning of the year -- around March in the Gregorian calendar. 

     With the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1922, astrology lost all official status, and is not viewed favorably by the central government -- no newspaper will publish an astrology column, for example. 

     Reading a traditional Turkish astrology book will be hard to do with just a Turkish-English dictionary; also, a lot of them were printed using Arabic script, rather than Latin characters.   

     French-language texts on "Western" astrology are available from booksellers; theses two are modern works likely to be available:

 

  • Langage Astral, published in several editions from 1919 to 1930, written by Paul Choisnard. A very practical work, with charts and tables. If you want to calculate (Western) astronomical information, this is a good text. The author's approach is "scientific", so not as useful for mystical musings.

  • If a collection of every vague prophecy, allegorical meaning, Ptolemaic rule, dubious historical reference, etc. is what you need, then try Traité d'astrologie pratique, published in several editions from 1912 to 1927 (3 volumes). The author, "Julevno", was a hellenist and Latin scholar. 

     

 

Saturday, May 18, 1935

 

     At about 9 a..m. we were at the Yeşilköy Airport, with all of our luggage. A Junkers tri-motor in Turkish State Airlines markings was waiting for us, with Turkish air force pilots. The flight of 230 miles took just over two hours; at the Ankara airport we were met by a couple of limousines which whisked us to the British embassy. After identifying ourselves, we were taken downstairs to a meeting-room, where the First Secretary met us, along with Sir Percy Loraine (the Ambassador), a naval officer named Percival Smith, and a "Mr. Jones".  Willoughby introduced us around -- though he kept Qua Lin's name to just "Qua Lin" -- and explained that these were all skilled, dedicated and trustworthy investigators.

     Mr. Jones had some "code phrases" for Ms. May and Major DeLacy (some sort of secret instructions from their agencies) and gave us more information.

 

  • Most of the abductees had been students and instructors at two Kentish public schools Greyfriars (for boys) and Cliff House (for girls), and were on a holiday trip. The students were all between 10 and 12 years of age. Several teachers accompanied the group, including the music master from Greyfriars. Mrs. Jenkins, and the Jenkins' own children, had joined the group in Turkey. The group's itinerary had been:  arrive by railway at Bizrbakr, several days in that town (looking at a museum, ancient mosques,  and Roman-era ruins), then onwards via bus to Bitlis and Lake Van, and crossing the lake on a ferry to the ancient city of Van. 

 

"Hmm, my school would have considered a trip to France quite exceptional."

 

  • When the bus was attacked, several people were killed, including two British subjects, both staff from Greyfriars: Mr. James, a master, and Dr. Fisher, a physician. Other casualties were presumably guides, the driver, guards or other local staff. 21 British subjects were abducted. The bus had been left abandoned on the road a few miles from Bitlis.

  • The Embassy clearly did not expect either cooperation, investigation, or fortunate results from the Turkish government, and in fact advised us to avoid any contact with the Interior Ministry. The government of Turkey was firmly set on declaring that Kurds or Armenians were behind the kidnapping, and that a forceful military response was the only acceptable option.

    • However, the head of the police at Bitlis, Inspector Orta Elyas, was known to be competent and willing to cooperate. We were given a letter of introduction.

    • Mr. Jones also advised us to be watchful for Soviet influence or agitators. The Turkish government was laying all the blame on Kurdish separatists, however.

  • The list of demands had apparently been written in blood on a shirt.

 

     We arranged to borrow a powerful wireless set from the Embassy, along with a small truck to carry it, and other incidental supplies (maps, food, water, etc.); we would be traveling by rail the next day to Bizrbackr. 

 

Wireless Set No. 1

     Introduced in 1933, this short wave transmitter-receiver set requires 6 volt DC power (from batteries or a vehicle). It's 20 inches long, 12 inches high, and 8.5 inches deep, and weighs 45 pounds (not including batteries). It can send and receive voice signals, but has longer range when used with a Morse sender. The usual antenna is a telescoping vertical rod.

     6 volt lead-acid batteries each weigh 3 pounds. One of these will power the radio for "most of a day" if listening only.

 

    Our truck was loaded onto a flatcar at the railway station, and placed under guard. 

 

Sunday, May 19, 1935

 

     The flatcar with our truck was attached to a "night mail" train, which departed at about 2 a.m. bound for Alexandretta. Our flatcar, and us, were detached from the mail train at Islahiye, and placed on a slower train bound for the small city of Bizrbakr.

 

This is known as Diyarbakir by the 21st Century.

 

     We arrived at this city around sunset. Bill Davis and Algernon DeLacy did a bit of bar-hopping, hoping to learn useful information.

    

Monday, May 20, 1935

 

     We did some investigation of the school group's activities at Bizrbakr. They had spent several days in Bizrbakr, visiting an old mosque, some Roman-era ruins, and the city museum. The imam at the mosque complained about the behavior of the schoolchildren, and the general failings of modern Western civilization; however, he was considered a bit dotty, and only had a few dozen followers.

     With our truck, and a rather down-at-heels rented automobile, we followed the unpaved road towards Bitlis and Lake Van.

 

red is rail travel; blue is by truck or automobile; green is on horseback                  note the town of Hastur

 

     The road wound into the hills; from Bizrbakr to Bitlis was 127 miles. However, 3 miles before we reached Bitlis, we came across the abandoned bus -- still sitting in the road where it had been ambushed five days ago. There were many bullet holes in the bus, but Mr. White noticed that by looking through the Mica Goggles there were other "blast marks" invisible to the naked eye. A few barricades, used to stop the bus, were seen; spent cases in 8mm and .303 caliber were lying on the ground.

     The kidnappers had attempted to disguise the tracks of many horses and the schoolchildren, but after two hours of searching we determined they had gone southeast. Past where the tracks had been covered, there were many hoof- and foot-prints, headed east.

     We suffered a flat tire in the last mile or so before reaching Bitlis, and our truck limped into the city after sunset.

 

Bitlis, Turkey

     Population 25,000 in the mid-Thirties. It is the capital of Bitlis province (population 58,223 in 1935), and is 10 miles west of Lake Van, in the steep-sided valley of the Bitlis River.

     The city was once an important part of the Kingdom of Armenia. From the 13th Century to the 19th Century, it was part of a Kurdish emirate.

     Before the Great War, one-third of the population were Armenians, and two-thirds were Kurds, with a very small ethnic Turkish population. However, the effects of the war, and several massacres and deportations, have reduced the Armenian population to nearly nothing; immigration from Greece and the Balkans has increased the Turkish-speaking population a lot.

     During the war, the city was occupied by Russian forces for five months.

     The castle, and many of the city's buildings, are notably ancient.

 

     We parked near a closed garage, and took ourselves into the largest hotel. A policeman in the lobby was nice enough to take a message from us to the chief of police, who showed up a quarter of an hour later. He was in fact Inspector Orta Elyas, and we introduced ourselves and (in a private dining room) gave our reason for being in Bitlis. He told us, "My concern is the insurgents -- this is the first time they have been so brazen. They are usually not so well organized."

     Major DeLacy told the inspector, "There was a disturbance by insurgents in Istanbul this week."

     Bill Davis mused, "Why this moment to act so publicly and aggressively?" Nobody could give a reason ...

     Two pairs of the local policemen had been sent out on horseback on the 16th to locate the kidnapped Britons, east and west from the site of the attack; neither pair had reported back, and Inspector Elyas was concerned.  We disclosed that the kidnappers had in fact gone east from the site of the attack. Nobody had been buying supplies in the city, according to the inspector.

     At our request, Inspector Elyas sent two policemen to see to the truck's repair (more likely, to bring the garage mechanics back to their garage).

     Army troops would be arriving in a day or two, and would be spreading out across the area. The inspector noted, with some regret, that the troops would not take any sort of precautions to save hostages, nor would they show any restraint in attacking Kurdish camps or communities. We asked the inspector to delay the troops, if possible, since the hostages were at risk.

     He was able to provide us with riding and pack horses, and a laissez-passer; we might be accompanied by some "cadet" auxiliaries (if they showed up in the morning). We exchanged radio frequency information, including times to listen. A dozen or more Turkish Mauser rifles or carbines were provided, all in 8mm caliber, along with plenty of ammunition, slings, pouches, etc. Mr. Davis took charge of those, for cleaning and inspection.

     An ancient Crusader keep was located east of where the attack occurred. This castle, north of Aladana and west of Anadere, might be the kidnappers' lair.

 

Tuesday, May 21, 1935

 

     The auxiliary troops were not present in the morning; we had already been dubious about their value for our mission, and departed without them. We rode over hills, fording streams, following traces of ancient roads, and passing small hamlets, all day. 

     In the evening we heard a curious whistling roar, a rather flat note persisting for about 30 seconds, and then a flash behind the southern horizon. Those of us who had visited the "Long Bow" dimension thought the sound reminded them of the Martian spacecraft; we were also reminded of sounds we'd heard at the Czechoslovakian factory.

     A faint rumble was felt a while afterwards, from far away.

     We made a radio call to the embassy, to advise them of our findings; they told us of a strange tidal wave in Alexandria.

 

A week or so later we learned of strange meteors -- actually spacecraft fragments -- striking the Red Sea

and Mediterranean on this night; they caused tidal waves which damaged ships

in Egyptian ports, and in the Suez Canal.

 

Wednesday, May 22, 1935

 

     We rode further east, into a wide desert plain. At about 4 p.m. we saw some structures on the plain, along with rusty railway equipment, and the Crusader castle on a hill about 5 miles away.

     The nearby structures were a masonry railway stop; three weather-beaten freight cars stood beside the station. There wasn't any sign of recent travel on the narrow-gauge tracks -- in fact, the locomotive was tipped over on its side -- but the tracks had certainly seen use in recent years. We decided to wait until after dark before approaching the castle -- the plain was many miles wide, and very flat. We tied up our horses in the shade behind the station buildings, prepared a meal and a pot of tea, and readied our gear.

 

"This is to be a sneak attack, White -- don't go blowing that trumpet and spoiling it."

"Honestly, Willoughby, you of all people should know me better than that. This is a bugle."

 

      After dark, we could see a pen and some campfires on the "left side" of the ruined fortress; on the right side, a strange oscillating, bright blue light flashed randomly from the top of a tower.

 

the hostage "pen" was atop the buttressed area on the left

 

     We carefully crossed five miles of desert, under the light of a waning gibbous moon. Our field glasses showed two wandering guards, smoking cigarettes while walking with slung rifles; four guards around the "pen", with their rifles stacked; and no visible guards atop the tower.

     As we watched, we saw a young woman being dragged from the "pen" towards the tower by two guards. Those of us using Mica Goggles stared intently and said, "Those fellows aren't human -- they are eight feet tall, wearing armor, and have glistening skin!" The woman was probably the British school nurse. We could hear the tall "men" cackling maniacally as they dragged the poor woman to some terrible fate. There was only one other adult hostage left in the "pen" as far as we could tell.

     The pen had some barbed wire around the top of its wooden slats -- this top wire glowed strangely when viewed with the Mica Goggles. We quickly planned our attack -- no time to lose! White would free the prisoners in the "pen", and start bringing them to the railway station if possible (that would be our rally point if we had to leave quickly). Nora Cullin gave him a pair of wirecutters from her tool bag.

     We scrambled as quietly as we could up the scruffy slope where the ancient masonry had collapsed; as we drew level with the top, Clive White crept to the left, and the rest of us headed right, around the tower wall.

     The entrance to the tower interior was a gate wide enough for two men riding abreast. It led to a small inner courtyard with three doorways; Victoria May, Bill Davis, and Major DeLacy each moved quietly to a door, while Qua Lin Worthington and Fred Willoughby kept watch from the gateway (one looking in, one looking out).

     The gate DeLacy investigated gave him a shock; with a bright flash, he was flung across the courtyard, striking the wall near Bill Davis! We all froze, but apparently none of the kidnappers noticed the flash. DeLacy's right leg was broken, but Qua Lin used her mystical Asian healing skills to knit the bone together in an instant.

     Victoria May gestured to us -- her "doorway" was closed only by a hanging blanket. We followed her into the dark fortress, with only the faintest shielded light from our electric torches. Ominous chanting could be heard from somewhere deep in the vaulted depths of the castle.

     The main room on the level we entered at was being used by the kidnappers as their barracks. Beds, boxes, and crude cooking equipment stood randomly about. Two men were sleeping on cots; with a nod from DeLacy, Willoughby delivered a vicious butt stroke to the head of one, as DeLacy cut the throat of the other.

 

Later:  "Well, I certainly share his sentiments, but it wasn't what I expected."

 

     Narrow steps led down in curves, interrupted by landings and some rubble. The chanting became more clear, and more clearly non-human in part. One of the languages was Stygian.

     Deep in the millennia-old bowels of the castle we stepped quietly into the doorway of a round chamber; a circle and strange glyphs had been painted onto the floor. Within the circle was a red stone slab, large enough to support a prone person -- and in fact the skimpily-clad form of a young British woman was seen upon it! Kneeling at the edge of the circle on the near side were four or five Turks or Kurds, chanting in Turkish or Kurdish; on the far side were three other fellows, changing with guttural, bestial voices in Stygian, and some other, demonic language. That further trio were (viewed by Bill Davis and Major DeLacy through Mica Goggles) actually some of the eight-foot tall monsters.

     Against the far wall was a strange stone cube.

     Another fellow, in European clothing, stood within the magical circle; he had a robe on over his suit, and a strange crown with two tall horns rising from it. He was chanting in Akkadian. In one hand was a tome he was reading from; in the other hand was a yard-long, black curving horn, held with the point aimed at the woman's flawless breast!

 

Intermission

 

     Clearly the man with the crown intended to drive it into the woman's heart. Bill Davis' ray gun spat ... rays ... towards the man in the crown -- but bounced from some magical protective shield formed by the circle! The beam came back at us and hit Nora!

     DeLacy also shot at the crowned priest (who may have been the music instructor with the student group); the man staggered, and dropped the black horn. The horn fell point-first ...

 

  • Good News:  the horn missed the nurse.

  • Bad News:  the red stone exploded like an aerial bomb when the horn touched it!

 

     We were all flung backwards, peppered with fragments of the stone, and covered in gore. All of the evil cultists, and the nurse, were killed instantly. Qua Lin Worthington might have been killed as well, but Victoria May spread her wide black wings around the Chinese doctor, protecting her from damage.

     Stunned by the explosion, we frantically looked around in the dark for each other. Willoughby noticed one of the Turks wasn't dead, and put a bullet in him -- his magical disguise faded, revealing an eight-foot tall monster. The dead monsters turned into noxious black foam.

     Bill Davis, Nora Cullin and Qua Lin used healing magics. By the light of a surviving flashlight we could see a great scar in the rock floor ...

 

"We were lucky the vaulting didn't collapse on us."

 

      ... with the black horn being the only undamaged thing in the middle of the chamber. Stumbling backwards, Willoughby heard noises on the stairs -- more villains coming to investigate. Two came down -- slain by Nora's sword and Bill Davis' rifle -- and then two more -- Algy calls out to them in Turkish, luring them downstairs, where they fall to a fusillade of avenging gunfire!

     We staggered up the stairs from the charnel house we'd made.

     Out of the tower, we heard a bugle call and saw Clive White herding a score or so of children, and a British woman (Anne Perkins), down the hill towards the plain -- he'd succeeded in his part of the mission. It was just as well it was night-time -- we looked quite grim, covered in gore, with our clothing in tatters from the explosion.

 

"Best to stay away from the kids a bit -- you're quite a sight."

 

     Fred Willoughby, Qua Lin Worthington, and Nora Cullin joined Clive White in shepherding the former hostages to the railway stop. The villains had a corral of horses, which we took to carry the schoolchildren.

     DeLacy, Bill Davis and Victoria May stayed behind to investigate the tower further.

     From the castle's walls, DeLacy's group saw about a thousand yards away the only two survivors of the kidnappers, running across the plain. Major DeLacy took careful aim with his rifle and fired a single shot -- a miss. He shook his head and re-slung his rifle.

     Within the tower the kidnappers had a shortwave Marconi transmitter and a small electrical generator. An odd bio-mechanical "tendril" was attached to the radio. Our Heroes snagged some frequency lists, times for listening, etc., and used the radio to contact the British embassy in Ankara, advising them with a code-phrase that the children had been rescued.

     DeLacy carefully wrapped the Black Horn in a blanket, tied tightly with ropes, and gathered all of the least-disgusting blankets from the barracks. The "black cube" in the ritual chamber had also been a bio-mechanical device, now broken and oozing.

     Also in the kidnappers' barracks were flags -- Armenian, Soviet, Turkish, "French Foreign Legion", and one of the flags seen being used by insurgents into Istanbul. The stars in the flag's design were recognized as being within the constellation Ophiuchus; the team took that one, and left the rest to burn.

 

 

 

     After searching the barracks, Our Heroes spread petrol from the fuel supply in all the levels of the tower and set it on fire. Within a few minutes, the tower was sending up a fine column of smoke and sparks.

     At the train station, one of the freight cars held steel drums of water; we used some of it to clean off the worst of the gore drying on our skin and clothing.

     Much of the rest of the night was spent caring for the children, leading them in song to raise their spirits, and removing fragments of red stone from our flesh. The surviving woman was in fact Anne Jenkins, the wife of the first secretary ...

 

"I don't know if you remember, Mrs. Jenkins, but we met at the Portuguese embassy in Paris several years ago ..."

 

     ... none of the other adults had survived. Her story of the kidnapping made it clear (to us, at least) that the music teacher had been conspiring with the kidnappers. He might even have been the man wearing the crown and holding the Black Horn!

 

Thursday, May 23, 1935

 

     With almost three dozen horses, and a lot of scared children, we headed west after managing a sort of breakfast. The journey was quite tiring.

 

Friday, May 24, 1935

 

     Late in the day, a few miles from Bitlis, we met a group of 25 Turkish soldiers, sent out to destroy the kidnappers.

     At Bitlis, the British children were cleaned up, given a healthy meal, and put into beds. Our Heroes felt the need of much the same treatment.

     Radio news broadcasts revealed that an Italian cruiser, damaged in the Red Sea by the strange meteor incident, had also been attacked by strange aircraft.

    

Saturday, May 25, 1935

 

     A bus was sent from Bizrbakr, arriving late in the day. The police inspector posted guards, in case more kidnapping attempts were made. 

 

Sunday, May 26, 1935

 

     After thanking Inspector Elyas, we boarded the bus with the children and Mrs. Perkin, along with a few Turkish soldier, and drove to Bizrbakr.

 

Monday, May 27, 1935

 

     We boarded a train at Bizrbakr, bound for Ankara.

 

Tuesday, May 28, 1935

 

     The British Embassy was pleased to see us arrive at Ankara this day. They asked some of us if we'd care to accompany the children back to England -- we politely declined, and also regretfully couldn't attend a congratulatory dinner at the school.

     Some research in local libraries, some careful investigations, and listening to shortwave radio broadcasts, revealed a few things:

 

  • Boulle's flag was based roughly on that of a Seljuk emirate in the area of Lake Van.

  • The "meteor fragments" which caused massive damage in the Mediterranean all landed in the seas -- none on dry land. The cities of Suez and Alexandria had been heavily damaged, with many people killed.

  • The Black Horn is very magical, and very powerful.

  • No mention was made in Turkish media (newspapers or radio) of the kidnapping.

  • More detailed accounts of the attack on the Italian cruiser reminded us very much of Lotta's pirate gang.

  • The constellation Ophiuchus is sometimes called the "Thirteenth Sign".

 

 

  • Ophiuchus perhaps had connections to the Stygians -- note the snakes on their coins.

 


Comments (1)

Michael said

at 5:24 pm on May 21, 2020

Good idea by White -- leading the children in song.

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