The Curse of Nineveh

A Tragic Night

Contains spoilers for 'The Curse of Nineveh'

Friday, 6th of February, 1926

The investigators are summoned to a meeting with Theodore Rayburn-Price at the Wentworth Club. He reveals that he has become aware that an invitation only auction is to be held at Sotheby’s on Wednesday, 11th of February, and it seems that one of the lots that will be available for purchase may be the Horn of Alu that is associated with the Nineveh dig. He can arrange for the investigators to attend the auction to purchase the Horn on his behalf, or if they wish to purchase it themselves, he will gain them an invitation on the condition they will allow him to examine the Horn as soon as possible after purchase. The investigators agree.

Wednesday, 11th of February, 1926

The investigators attend the auction. They make the acquaintance of a number of other individuals who are also present – there a number of esoteric objects available for purchase, and those who are there to bid are similarly interesting (and in a number of cases accompanied by bodyguards).  They meet an exotic lady named Mafalda Violette, an American playboy named Archibald Judge, and perhaps most notably an upper class twit named Odie Mortimer who Miss Elan Gwynne manipulates into purchasing a number of the artifacts on her behalf.

The investigators are successful in their bid for the Horn, in part due to the assistance of Miss Audrey Leicester of the British Museum who was also there for the Horn. She agreed to assist them in exchange for a promise that the Horn will eventually be returned to the care of the Museum – but she is prepared to wait for this to happen (her own resources alone, not being enough to make a purchase).

As the investigators leave, they are ambushed by a number of apparently Arabic men. A Mister John Marsten (who had been attending the auction employed as a bodyguard by the now, at least temporarily impoverished and unable to pay his bills, Mister Odie Mortimer) comes to the investigators assistance. After a short battle involving both guns and knives, the investigators prevail although Mister Marsten and Miss Sharpe are fairly seriously injured. Police arrive and after some hours accepting the evidence that does point to the fact that the investigators were acting in self defence, allow the investigators to leave. They hasten to Mister Theodore Rayburn-Price’s home at the Vale of Heath, Hampstead (North London) to deliver the Horn for his examination.

Thursday, 12th of February, 1926

They are invited to stay at his home while he will examine the artefact. He agrees to allow Sir Malcolm to be present while he does so, but only on condition that whatever happens – even if he fears Rayburn-Price to be in danger – he will not interfere in anything that happens. The investigators all sleep – including Sir Malcolm. They are troubled by nightmares, but worse comes when they are woken by the screams of Rayburn-Price. Only Sir Malcolm sees the bull like apparition that appears and chases Rayburn-Price from his home into the parkland outside. Attempts to pursue are stymied by a strange mist. And by the time Rayburn-Price is found, he is dead, impaled on a tree, having apparently gouged his own eyes out.

His housekeeper, Agnes Gill, who remained locked in her room on his orders throughout all of this informs the investigators that Rayburn-Price had told her that if he ever died in unusual circumstances, the investigators were to be contacted and asked to clear his home of suspicious and possibly dangerous artifacts before the authorities are called. She asks them to do this, and then suggests they leave before she calls the police. There will be no evidence they were ever here.

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Dreadnought

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