The Al-Mekek Inheritance

Since Zadkul's murder Cairo has been in mourning. Negotiations between the Wafd party and the British have been put on hold while everyone reflects. Maibib has risen within the Wafd but has not emerged as clear leader. Still with time life resumes and people begin to think on happier events.

The day of Mirriam and Darb's wedding comes round. Relatives and neighbours gather, the women ullulating in the traditional fashion. A feast is being prepared in the garden. The kin turn up as does Lady Cephelene and Samuel. Mirriam's father congratulates himself on picking Darb out for Mirriam. The ceremony is simple and passes uneventfully (inspite of Ramon's feeling that it wouldn't). The guests offer up gifts for the couple: Ramon has brought lingerie, cat nip, a grooming brush and a leather wallet with a secret pocket for Darb; Defanuh presents his and her matching revolvers in a nice wooden case; Lady Cephelene gives an ancient statue of Hathor (a cow), the Goddess of marriage and love; Sarah brings a wide variety of nuts. Finally Darb has a present for Mirriam too - a moorish statue of a hawk that has been in the family since his Spanish ancestors defeated the Moors. They retire to the garden and eat before finally the happy couple disappear off upstairs. The guests leave and Ramon marvels at the lack of eventfulness.

In the morning Mirriam looks over the hawk statue. Intricate gold work on the feathers, diamond eyes, gold covered perch, the ends of which... seem to unscrew! Heh Darb. Gosh. Inside the hollow perch is a scroll of parchment with arabic written on it

Awake - Kadashkada
Find - Kadashdesaq
Return - Kadashmenar
Sleep - Kadashshmoo

Could they be commands for the bird? Kadashkada! The hawk flutters, stamps it feet and regards them. What is it supposed to find? They hide the newspaper and try - Kadashdesaq newspaper. It takes to the air and flies out of the house off towards the citadel. They make it return and sleep and debate what to do.

Mirriam and Darb turn up at the temple to show Ramon and Defanuh the bird. They suggest releasing it from the top of the temple and everyone comes along. The bird flies, it is easily visible as its golden wings reflect the sunlight, and it lands somewhere in the Christian tombs area. With constant recalls and find instructions they finally find the place it has flown to. A small, dark entry to a tomb with an old inscribed cross over the door. In the Shadows the tomb is complete and undecayed.

Within the tomb are 8 graves with stones afixed to the walls, an altar and a grid of carved letters on the floor. The tombs are for Hospitaller knights and were all buried in 1169AD: Percival Mclaren, Richard Bunan, Edward Tulderts, Rupert D'Angelais, Charles Osrich, Luke Portier, John Fulard, and Matthew Olterman are the buried. The grid of letters is less revealing but surely significant for something. They find the Christian names of the buried amongst the grid pattern but nothing more revealing. Defanuh notices that above each tomb is the surname (um.. yeah really.. ooops) of the buried with each letter set in such a way that it can be pushed as a button. A frenzy of pushing in many different orders follows (some based on the grid of letters) but nothing happens.

They discuss the edibility of bats after a few fly down from the roof. Perhaps the hawk can help witht he puzzle. They awake it and send it to find but it flies out and away. A new site? A well in the medieval city with a carved cross and an E on its side. A letter trail! Next the hawk leads them to a women's steam bath at the back of which, between large gossiping women, Mirriam spies a cross and an A. Next a crumbling minaret has an R at the top. A rug salesman is distracted whilst a D is found in his shop and in a nearby saucepan stall a cat knocks saucepans flying revealing a W. Finally Defanuh and Ramon dig through a pile of old rubble and unearth a piece of stone marked with a D.

Edward - they track back and re-examine the letter grid. More button pushing to no avail. Back to examining the grid around Edward in detail - ah ha! From the final D of Edward is spelt DEUS which can be spelt in his surname TULDERTS. The sound of shifting weights is heard in the wall and the grave stone rises revealing stairs down.

They enter with a lantern, pausing to discuss why Ramon didn't ask for Salilea's hand in marriage. The chamber below is empty but there is a long Latin inscription on the wall

Fellow brother of St John. Our gains from Islam are pushed hard.
We prepare to withdraw but before God we swear we will return.
In our haste we must abandon here our most holy charge: the
body of the angel Raphael, turned to stone by infidel ifrit
in the taking of Cairo, not to be restored until a monkey brings
order to Eygpt so balance may be restored by the loss of
balance. We entrust this most holy relic to God's protection
until our return. Bow down before Heaven with humility.
Simon of Jerusalem
Knight Hospitaller of St John
1169 AD

So that's where he came from. That monkey! They search the room and find a small silver pair of scales. The lost balance and perhaps something Raphael should have back. And the sword? No.

They go to see Ib's. He is interested in the balance and suggests it has something to do with perception of value and judgement. With time he will find out more and let them know. Lady Cephelene when told wonders whether Thoth's collecting habits might have got the better of him and perhaps they should reclaim the scales. They give Ib's a week and then he grudgingly returns the scales as requested.

Raphael is writing Communist leaflets in the party headquarters. He's a little worried Defanuh has come for revenge for the fist laid on him in the scuffle when Zadkul arrived but no. They give him the scales and he's very happy and grateful to have them back. They discuss politics and Raphael admits communism might be a little extreme and certainly hitting people is. Raphael wonders if he should seek the suggestions of a Rabbi. The kin offer their own views on social justice before departing.

Time presumably will show whether Raphael will act less erratically now.