CH2-09 Malta - everyone together.

A chance occurrence in London's Heathrow Airport leads to a desperate search to find answers to terrible lost knowledge.

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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:25 am

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"We already sent Maria emails," says Liz, "but she never replied. I agree, we're not ready to go to Albania yet, but when we do we ought to use our false identities. That means we should fly back to the UK first, which we'll want to do anyway to look up Westerlund. We have enough computers that a few of us can read electronic copies of the thesis. We should stay on Malta until we've finished studying it, though, in case we need to follow up on something here that's revealed by it. Besides, we wanted to relax on the beach, and we can do that while we're reading. Just don't get any sand on my laptop."
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby royya » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:50 am

It is to dangerous for me to return to the UK now Liz ... although I'm not a suspect yet, the police wants me for questioning in something I'm to terrified to understand and the Verbetoi wants us dead, we can't just fall to their hands again ... not to speak arriving to Heathrow airport where the whole nightmare began.

Jacob turns to Albert as he picks a copy of the thesis.

They are not just simple criminals Albert ... I think a murderous cult is more appropriate name for them. A cult worshipping something we don't understand. I think Gossham found what it was and paid with his life, the maltase fragments are only a ritual artifact for the cult in a ceremony we probably not familiar with.
We are holding the tip of a trail to understand what they are and a step from revealing their secrets so we are next in the killing line. We must proceed to Albania.
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby ghill » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:32 pm

Liz and Andy read the paper becoming increasingly absorbed in its contents.

Spoiler:
The thesis is that the Verbetoi are a the last remaining remnants of a civilization which predates our own. Gosshamm ballparks this "Hyborian Age" as being around 10,000 B.C. (most archaeologists would mark this as the start of the Neolithic period in the development of human technology) although he later mentions it could be as late as 32,500 B.C. The Verbetoi first appear in Malta when it is a larger mountain chain, some Maltese fragments are examples of their written texts, but many others are from later neolithic cultures who were simply copying the patterns of their texts without understanding. At some point the Verbti (the tribal name is Verbetoi) moved to Illyria (modern day Albania) where they re-established themselves.

History/Archaeology or a Hard Idea success roll: The ideas are well formed, the evidence and arguments well-structured and well presented, but they are not conclusive. The archaeological evidence particularly is open to a great deal of interpretation without specific sites or artifacts he can highlight in Albania and Malta the thesis remains unsupported.

Succeed any of the above take 2 SAN loss + History or Arch check and +2 C.Mythos
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby BenTheRat » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:04 pm

Clay looks over at everyone being studius, "yea, I'd rather go fight one of those fireballs, I'm going to take a tour around the place see if I can spot anyone watching us."
Clay heads outside and takes a walk around the block seeing if he notices anyone who looks like he's been watching the place.
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:07 am

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"Not all of us are cut out to be nerds," says Liz as she plunges into the thesis.
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby ghill » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:16 pm

Clay heads outside, after walking the block he's confident there isn't any kind of surveillance on the hotel/hostel.

OOC:   Guys, you might want to consider the time passed, those who wish to read the thesis find a means to do so - either via a laptop phone or other device or via the simple expedient of taking it to a copy shop - and you may consider the thesis read. if you do read it please read the entry here. However,please do not consider this the be all and end all if you have further questions please ask.  
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:38 am

Spoiler:
Is there any indication of where the Verbetoi came from before they showed up in Malta, or why they left Malta?
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby BenTheRat » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:23 am

After 2 days of playing food delivery man, and copy guy, I see them put it down.

"Well, hope that was worth it, anything worth while in all that?" Clay asks.
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:13 am

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"Gosshamm's theory is that the Verbetoi are all that remains of a very ancient civilisation far older than our own," says Liz, "in what he calls the Hyborian Age. He places it around 10,000 BC, but later on he says it could be as far back as 32,500 BC. When they came to Malta, it was a larger mountain chain. Some of the Maltese fragments were by them, but others were copied by later cultures without understanding what they meant. Eventually they migrated to Illyria, to the area that's Albania today. He makes a well-organised case, but he's lacking key pieces of evidence to prove it. What evidence he does have is open to interpretation, and he'd have needed something more conclusive from Malta and Albania."
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby ghill » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:50 am

Spoiler:
were a nomadic people, their savage forefathers members of wandering clans on the banks of the Nile river. Over millennia the blood of the Verbetois' forefathers was mixed with the blood of more advanced cultures to produce a fierce, hybrid people who established a series of city-states. These proto-Verbetoi served their more powerful neighbours, providing savage mounted warriors to at least one empire of the time to violently suppress domestic disorder in vassal states. Gosshamm described the proto-Verbetoi as being polytheistic in nature , dividing their worship among a number of gods. His most amazing claim, however, was not just that he had identified an ancestor for the modern Verbetoi - the Atahath, a small clan, known for their copper and gold-smithing as well as horse breeding - but the very event that created their tribe.

The Atahath were refugees, seeking a hiding place away from the constant fighting that plagued their existence and chose the haunted ruins of the long-dead city of Yb - also known as Tal'ib, the "city in the waste", and the only source of water to be found in the area of the Western desert of Shem known as 'The Waste'. Decades later when they left the safety of Tal'ib, they worshipped only one God - 'Verbti' and named themselves after him.

The land the Verbetoi returned to was inhabited only by nomadic tribes. No cities remained; successive barbarian invasions had leveled them, leaving only ruins. The damage wrought by waves of barbarians, however, was as nothing to the terrible convulsions of the Earth that were to come. As the Pleistocene Age gave way to the Holocene, a massive polar shift occurred causing devastating geological upheavals. The Pillars of Hercules were breached and the Atlantic Ocean poured through, flooding the Mediterranean basin and the Verbetoi homelands, forcing them northwards.

Their movement towards Illyria seems to a simple issue of seeking new pastures or better lands for their horses.
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby ghill » Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:00 pm

Greg shifts in his seat. "When i was doing triage at the hospital for the first time, the chief surgeon said we had to be like police detectives when we saw the patient and ask ourselves the 5 W's.

Who did it happen to
What happened?
When did it take place?
Where did it take place?
Why did it happen?

I guess that is four W's and an H isn't it? Anyway the point is if we can start answering some of these questions maybe we can start working out what happened."
Greg pauses long enough to take a sip of his drink.

"So we know Gosshamm and anyone who has read the thesis seems to have been killed, but I don't think them being killed is 'Whats happened", them being killed is as a result of something else happening. Is there anything in the Thesis which might cause that?" Another sip of drink. "Also we keep talking about the Verbti, but from what I've read the Verbti are like an ethnic minority in Albania right, they can't all be violent criminals right, I mean aren't there several thousand of them, its not us versus a small army is it?"

OOC:   Just trying to push things along, for those who have read the thesis - which as I've said is anyone who wants to (just go here and read the spoiler) In answer to Greg's question there is nothing obvious which would seem to justify killing someone.  
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:51 am

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"Well, they haven't killed everyone who's read it yet," says Liz. "We're still alive, but it's not for lack of trying on their part. I can't see anything in here that would prompt them to kill. I mean, the existence of an unknown advanced civilisation is a huge deal, but I can't see it producing this kind of reaction. Maybe it's more like Gosshamm was getting too close to learning something he hadn't found out yet, and this thesis was pointing him in the right direction, so they took preemptive action. I don't think all the Verbti are like that. Elira and the other girls we rescued weren't. Well, maybe the older one might have been. It could just be certain families or clans within the larger group. What did that chap call it, a 'fis'? Sort of like an organised crime family, I guess. The rest of the Verbti don't mess with them and let them do their thing, maybe pay protection or something, but I doubt they're all willing to kill for them.

"Gosshamm said the Verbetoi's ancestors were nomads who originated around the Nile, and that their blood was mingled with that of more advanced cultures. They had several city-states. They hired out to powerful empires as mercenaries and did stuff like putting down rebellions by vassals. They started out as polytheists, but something happened with one of their ancestors, a clan called the Atahath. They were good at working copper and gold and breeding horses. The Atahath were fleeing the constant warring in their area and hid in the haunted ruins of a long-dead city called Yb, also called Tal'ib, the city in the waste. It was the only source of water in that area of the Western desert of Shem called 'The Waste.' They stayed there for decades, and when they left they were monotheists. The one god they worshipped was called Verbti, and at that point they named themselves after him. When they returned to their old lands, there were only nomads. All the cities had been destroyed by barbarians. Then there was a massive polar shift that breached the Pillars of Hercules and flooded the Mediterranean and the Verbetoi homelands, which had been dry before then. They fled north and eventually ended up on Malta. When they left Malta for Illyria, it was just to find better lands for their horses. They seem to be big on horses. That would tie in with the horse tattoo."
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby BenTheRat » Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:04 am

Clay's eyes glazed over about 2 minutes into it. "Wow, so really old stuff, people worship some really weird god, moved to Malta. Got it." Clay shakes his head, "so did it really help us? whats the next step?"
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:37 am

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"Well, I think at least some of us should go back to the UK and contact Westerlund in person," says Liz. "If that doesn't produce any new leads, then we'd have to go on to Albania and look for Maria Dimachi."
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby carnage_lee » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:18 am

OOC:   Am putting together a post.. it's quite involved ... bear with me.  
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby ghill » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:29 am

Greg looks at Andy "I can almost see the cogs whirring, you got something to say Andy?"
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby carnage_lee » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:39 pm

Andy Wade

Andy looks up from his note-taking, "I was just trying to get everything into some kind of order.." he shows the page on his pad, some kind of time line and lots of notes and lots of crossings out. "I just thought if I wrote down all the things that I could remember you guys telling me about what happened before the fight at Mathers' place that it might... " he shrugs "somehow fit or start to make sense..."

Andy plonks his pad of the coffee table so that everyone can see it "So, if we start here.." he points to a section marked 'event zero' with the tip of his pen "this.. the murder of Adrian Gossham is the key event but looking at things this whole mess stretches back almost two years when he started his new research..." Andy spends the next few minutes explaining what he's written down.

OOC:   I've created a spreadsheet that summarises all Andy's work:

viewtopic.php?f=192&t=5266  
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby carnage_lee » Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:20 pm

Andy Wade

OOC:   Following on from the previous post.  


".. and seeing all that information in one place a few questions jumped out at me. And I dare-say that guys can help fill in some of the blanks. So I think we need to do the following." he flips over the page to reveal xx lines written in capitals.

CONTACT MARIA DEMACHI

FIND OUT WHO ACTUALLY FUNDED GOSSHAM AND WHY

HOW DID THE VERBETOI IDENTIFY MATHERS AND GRUNDY?

"I'm sure there's other things we have to consider but these things jumped out at me and I think they're important. It seems to me that Maria is the only person 'alive' that has the latest version of Gossham's paper... the one that has his 'proof', that's the key to all this."
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:39 am

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"Wow, nice work!" says Liz, impressed. She looks through her own disjointed notes. "You're so much more organised than I am. I can answer your question right now about who funded Gosshamm. Shauna told me it was Kush nderton, a charity dedicated to preserving Albanian culture and heritage. They provide grants for archaelogical work and for studying Albanian heritage, history and culture. Their contact address is through a solicitor's firm, Redrupp and Vosper. The trustees are John Redrupp, Claire Vosper, and Alex Rudaj. They earned about 500,000 quid from donations and gave almost all of it out for their chariatble activities. I got all that from Google, but I think we ought to learn more about them."
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Re: CH2-9 Malta - everyone together.

Postby carnage_lee » Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:21 am

Andy Wade

Andy adds the details of the charity. "That's great Liz thanks for that, I think that's an important detail, there's something that's puzzling me though. You told me about the emails that you found on Gossham's laptop, there were two to someone who seemed to be Gossham's benefactor but the tone of the messages was a little 'mysterious' the words were ... not 'vague' exactly but... well anyway those messages weren't addressed to any of the trustees and that email address is very cryptic. Seems to me there's something 'fishy' there. We also should try and find out how the Verbetoi knew that Mathers and Grundy had copies of Gossham's paper."


Andy flips back to the page with the three questions... "Does anyone have anything to add?" he asks.



OOC:   Details about the charity are on the sheet (some details are added as 'notes' which can be accessed by hovering over the cell.
There's a tab on the spreadsheet labelled 'Things to do / Objectives' which distil the info down into actionables.

From the emails Liz lifted it appears that MD knew who also had copies of the thesis. MB (0121233@hotmail.com) had a copy (sent 18th July) - AG told MB he was going back to Albania - AG's email to MD hints at trouble in Albania (was that due to MB - they knew that AG was going to be there) - that message tells MD that TM and CG had copies too. Unfortunately that seems to point to MD as being the 'leak' - however it would have been simpler to keep AG in Albania, I think it's more probable that the emails to MD were read by the Verbatoi or someone working for them. It also occurs to me that Shauna would probably know who had copies of the paper - she could be the mole too. It's also possible that the MB knew who had copies.

Did we pinpoint the date of the fire at AG's cottage - we agree that was an attempt to destroy any 'evidence' to support AG's work - if so then that becomes a key event? Was it before or after the emails to the MB?


If this were a 'LaCarre' story we'd feed info back to the suspects and see who bites.  
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