Sahara Desert, thirty km SW of Mourzouk
April 19th, 1893
The evening air is still yet cool. Your bodies are awash with sweat from the hours of hiking it took to reach this forbidden place.
For nine days, Second World magazine has had you positioned in North Africa, undercover dredging up a story of the region's nomadic tribes. You've garnered some amazing photographs of Berbers, raiders, and reddish dust storms. It's been a sweaty, turbulent ride, but educational.
However, it is not why you are really here.
In the dead of night, you stole into local estates, paid off old men to comb through libraries buried underground, ancient parches pages written in Latin, Arabic and Greek. Somewhere in those pages lurked the key to a mystery. A foreign enigma. An extraterrestrial presence!
Long ago, aliens secreted themselves on Earth. Everyone knows about the blue-skinned Lunite warrior women. Some even live on Earth long after their race left the Moon. Jovians, whalemen from Jupiter, invaded and were defeated over a decade ago. But the Lunites left clues, clues that not only did they have more influence on the history of mankind than they admitted, but that there were other beings here in the past.
Theo Mason, owner of the magazine, bird lover, obssessor of the bizarre, has spoken with the Lunite warrior MG'latsoh (MEG laht-so, lit: 'remember crystal) on her deathbed. She spoke of a chalice used by the Lunite empress BH'neepht during the time of traveler Ibn Battuta. She said the empress travelled with him, and fought the Bedouin and Berber and more.
Her final words, "...on...chalice...map of...the Zerestry...to Battuta"
Zerestry: The Lunite term for an astro-geographical map. If found, and utilized, it would possibly pinpoint the location of Lunite artifacts, maybe buried orb ships, and other alien species.
So here you are, in the dead of night, clues gathered, librarians paid off, hush hush...in the desert. After wandering, you come to the ruins of a Roman city. columns jutting out of sand, a viper slithering off into the dark. Here, the Chalice of Battuta lies, supposedly (according to one text) in an iron chest beneath the ruins of the coliseum seats to the northwest. Daunting?
Perhaps. But you've got shovels, maps, water, and paranormal talents no one else possesses.
However, on arrival, standing atop hill of sliding sand, you notice an obstacle.
A campfire in the ruins. Shadows of men. Sounds of digging. Others are already here.
Did the librarians talk? Was someone eavesdropping on you conversations back in Mourzouk or Be Abbas?
Too late to worry about now. The only real question is...
...what do you do?