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Jewel of the Cat Goddess EP 1: The Temple of Bastet

The Professor, as an old man, recants the tale of a younger Charles and The Professor embarking on a quest to the middle east to find a gem long sot after by the Whateley family. The gem is the fabled Jewel of the Cat Goddess, a yellow gemstone said to be able to heal all wounds, but the quest and the party undertaking it carries many secrets.

To listen to the audio drama, play the video below

The Script: Jewel of the Cat Goddess Ep 1 - The Temple of Bastet

Jewel of the Cat Goddess
Episode 1: The Temple of Bastet

FX: ETHEREAL MUSIC

ORPHEUS (THE HOST)

Are you familiar with the story of eons and stars? It is a story that spans time and space, a story that could start at any moment, a story that could start anywhere. For this mere modicum of the complete saga, we must travel to the future to hear a tale from the past. We join Professor Johnatan Whateley as he does what some old men do so well, and even more, do so very poorly, and that is, tell a story from his youth. Our venerable Professor is at Ultima Verbi, the only bookstore left in Arkham, reading from his latest, and, with any luck, the last book of his life, disappointingly called, Just Whateley. The man is gaunt and old and the audience even more so, but retirement to a man such as this might as well be death… and nothing scares an old man who’s looked death in the face more than the prospect of seeing it again.

FX: ETHEREAL MUSIC FADES OUT AND ROOM NOISE AND SMALL AUDIENCE FADE IN

PERCIVAL TAYLOR
(Very salesman style owner of the bookstore)

Welcome to Ultima Verbi, the last refuge of the written word in Arkham. Tonight’s guest speaker is Professor Johnathan Whateley, renowned archeologist, occultist, and philanthropist. While the man may not need any introduction for those with knowledge of mystic lore, for the rest of you, The Professor has been connected to many a story throughout the history of our area. Some with positive outcomes, others that the mainstream considers to be quite dubious, but to us, the learned in the ways of the real world, The Professor is a hero. Discovering new truths and keeping us safe from the terrors of the beyond. Without further ado, your raconteur for the evening, your fabulist of veracious fables, friend to Ultima Verbi, the last refuge of the written word, I give you, Professor Johnathan Whateley.

FX: SPARSE CLAPPING AS PAPERS ARE PLACED ON A PODIUM AND A MIC IS ADJUSTED

THE PROFESSOR
(Friendly, to the crowd in the bookstore, speaking uncomfortably at first)

Thank you, Percival, that was an… unwarranted and energetic introduction, and thank you all for coming out this evening. I will be signing copies of the book after the reading and answering questions if you are interested. One advantage of a small attendance is that it looks like I’ll be able to sign all of your books. Tonight I will be recanting the Jewel of the Cat Goddess, the fourth chapter in the book. Probably not verbatim, just a bit from the page and a bit from the old memory.

THE PROFESSOR (CONT)
(Starting to lose himself in memory)

I have lived a life of stoicism. Or so I have thought, my late friend… my best friend, Charles Caldicott Charters, My dear Charles… (trailing off)

THE PROFESSOR (CONT)
(Collecting himself)

Charles always told me that my own impression of myself was a lie, and I would like to believe him. The mere idea of sharing my stories with the world would have been a joke to me, but ever since Charles, and before Charles, my sweet wife, Nora… Since they passed it has been my goal to live life not just for myself, but for them as well. It’s not that they want their stories told, I just assume they enjoy laughing at me from up there somewhere.

THE PROFESSOR (CONT)

Well, enough of the melancholia, let us proceed with the adventure.

FX: PAGES TURNING BODIES ADJUSTING

THE PROFESSOR
(reading)

There are many out there that blindly believe what I have written, there are even more that will logically deny it, but I assure you that I am the most honest man that has ever lived and, at the same time, the most depraved of liars. Somewhere between the top and the bottom of my words lies the truth of it all.

FX: PAGE TURNS

THE PROFESSOR
(clears his throat first, then reading)

Chapter four… Jewel of the Cat Goddess… It may be hard to believe that I was once a younger man. We all take that sight for granted, we see the venerable and the crippled, and we see them as old, we know they were young once, but do you really picture the face?

THE PROFESSOR
(talking)

This story begins when I was fresher-faced than I am now, my dear Nora was still alive and Charles served us and our family well as my assistant, chauffeur, and overall adventure companion. I was the newest in many generations of the Whateley family to pursue the darker secrets that the world had to offer. Some Whateleys sought power, others’ freedom, others’ money… and they all succeeded, leaving my generation with all three. So I sought all that was left, obligation. An obligation to my family name and an obligation to my father’s legacy.

THE PROFESSOR (CONT)

It was this obligation that led Charles and me on a quest to Egypt, deep into the western desert, to find a jewel, the Jewel of the Cat Goddess, Bastet.

THE PROFESSOR (CONT)

Many of my family’s quests were generational, this one was no different. It started with my great grandfather first hearing the tales of the Cat Goddess’s jewel that could restore vigor to even the most gravely wounded. Next, my grandfather learned to translate the hieroglyphics on scrolls and tablets to learn how and where to look. When age took my grandfather, my father combed the sands of Northern Africa looking for the way, and he found… found it in a map at the depths of an ancient tomb. He and the map made it home, but my father never recovered from the trip. So, I was left with the map, the knowledge, the resources, and the duty. I was honor-bound to my ancestors’ vaingloriousness, an affliction I too had inherited.

FX: FADE IN THE SOUNDS OF THE STREETS OF CAIRO

THE PROFESSOR (CONT)

Charles and I landed in Cairo and prepared our party for the adventure ahead. First came the money, then the train, there’s always a train involved if you’re in the east, then the caravan of camels. It was myself and Charles, a company of men led by a Mulazim, a lieutenant in the Egyptian army, and our guide, Abdul Alhazred, known in the company of locals as Abdul the Mad Arab.

FX: FADE OUT THE SOUNDS OF THE STREETS OF CAIRO THEN FADING TO BLOWING SANDS IN THE DESERT

THE PROFESSOR (CONT)

I’m not entirely sure he was Arab. Being an American, and young at the time, my only real guides to a person’s ethnicity or creed was their skin tone, their name, and their language. Abdul’s skin was dark, as was common in that part of the world, but his language? He spoke many, but he spoke them all with a slight accent that I could not place. He was adept at every language our party spoke, yet it was generally agreed that none were his native tongue. I’ve no problem trusting a man different from me. In fact, I pride myself on being a good judge of character. I did not trust him because of his eyes. Every time we spoke he was two sentences ahead in his eyes, every dune we saw he saw two dunes further. I looked at him as a man with his own agenda, and nothing is more dangerous to a mission than when one man has a separate agenda. While I did not trust him, he did what he said he would do, he got us to the entrance of the Temple of Bastet. The wind was sharp and the grains of sand stung our skin as we gazed upon a long wall with a large stone door in front of us.

FX: WIND AND SAND BLOWING

CHARLES
(Yelling over winds)

Professor, How will we get inside? Should we blow it open?

THE PROFESSOR
(Talking to Charles)

No Charles, that could take much more down than intended. We will have to investigate further. Send a group north up the wall and a group south and see what we discover,

ABDUL

Here Professor!

CHARLES

Professor, Abdul has found something.

THE PROFESSOR

What have you found?

CHARLES

My god, it’s like a keyhole, in the stone?

THE PROFESSOR

Astonishing, rimmed in metal even, iron maybe? How is this possible?

CHARLES

We could try to pick it or pull it open with the caravan?

FX: BACKGROUND SOUND FADING OUT

ABDUL

No, here, look

THE PROFESSOR
(narrating to the audience)

…Abdul said to us, pulling an iron k ey from within his dark cloak. The key was a simple key, not European, but of normal design in the teeth, but the bow of the key was long and flat, with strange markings unlike any hieroglyphs or form of cuneiform I had ever seen. Abdul twisted the key in the lock and there was a loud echoing click, followed by appurtenant gears and clicks echoing through some cavernous space hidden beneath the sands. We worked together to heave the door open, but much to our surprise the stone wall slid to the side easily, almost deliberately.

FX: BACKGROUND SOUND STARTS FADING BACK IN

THE PROFESSOR
(Talking to Charles)

My god Charles what have we discovered?

CHARLES

It looks like we have discovered what we sought, the Temple of Bastet, but I warn you, Professor, Abdul seems very eager to enter, I’m going to follow behind so I can watch both your back and his actions.

THE PROFESSOR

Good man, Charles.

THE PROFESSOR
(yelling to the company)

Light the torches once inside, it’s going to get dark fast!

FX: THE WINDS AND SANDS SOUNDS FADING AND ECHOS ON VOICES GROWING AS THEY ENTER THE UNDERGROUND TEMPLE

CHARLES

My god, is this even Egyptian?

THE PROFESSOR

I’m not sure, the walls are covered in hieroglyphs but nothing I recognize, there is a sharpness to them. It’s hard to decipher if they are pictographs or runes? Look at this one, at one moment it appears to be some form of sharp-edged letter, at the next a mountain and a stream maybe?

Abdul

They are very old.

CHARLES
(suspiciously)

And how do you know that, Abdul?

FX: BACKGROUND SOUND FADING DURING NARRATION

THE PROFESSOR
(narrating to the audience)

Abdul did not answer Charles. He just looked away and carried on. As I said we were younger then, and none more so than Charles. Fresh from the military, he was a hardened body with a keen mind, not a person one would want an altercation with. He was an Adonis. We delved deeper into the tunnel, what started out as oddly large soon grew to a massive hallway, easily 50ft across and several men high with gold ornamented pylons, columns, and statues; with vibrant paint and intricate detail. Finally, the hall opened up to the temple’s court, lined with massive columns that ten men could barely wrap their arms around, and sided by lavish sitting areas. Beyond that, the hypostyle, with urns, bowls, and deteriorated fabrics lining the walls, and beyond we could see a faint light coming from the Sanctuary.

THE PROFESSOR (CONT)

The Sanctuary room was vast and bare, with a single beam of light shooting from its vaulted ceiling casting a glow upon an altar with a single yellow jewel. Flanking the altar were lines of cat statues stretching out, large to small, lions, tigers, jaguars, all the way down to cats no larger than the common house cat.

FX: BACKGROUND SOUND AND ECHO FADING BACK IN

THE PROFESSOR
(talking to Charles)

It’s more than I could have imagined. It’s more than anyone could have imagined. The eye of Bastet.

CHARLES

Professor, we should set up camp outside and then investigate further. We don’t know if there are traps or how structurally sound this place is.

THE PROFESSOR

Yes, Charles, good Idea.

THE PROFESSOR (CONT)
(yelling to the company)

You men there, let’s get camp set up and supper going, then we can start planning the excavation.

ABDUL
(muttering to loud)

Finally, It is Mine!

FX: BACKGROUND SOUND FADING DURING NARRATION

THE PROFESSOR
(narrating to the audience)

As we turned our backs to leave Abdul grabbed the jewel. We turned to see him throw what appeared to be some kind of glittering sand from the arm of his cloak into the faces of the company men closest to him and they instantly fell to the ground with shouts of pain as Abdul made a dash for the exit.

FX: SOUNDS OF MEN IN PAIN THEN THEY GO QUIET

THE PROFESSOR (CONT)

The men writhed in pain and went quiet. Charles and I went after Abdul, up through the hypostyle and the court.

FX: SOUNDS OF MEN FIGHTING IN THE BACKGROUND

THE PROFESSOR (CONT)

Behind us the men who’d fallen to Abdul’s spell started to rise and attack those that were unafflicted. The beam of light flashed brighter and darker as the hole above started to open, allowing the desert sands above to start filling the sanctuary.

FX: SOUND OF WIND BUILDING AS THEY APPROACH THE EXIT

CHARLES
(yelling to the Professor)

Keep Going, Professor.

FX: BACKGROUND SOUND FADING DURING NARRATION

THE PROFESSOR
(narrating to the audience with intensity)

I chased on, catching up on the heels of Abdul, Charles right behind me, and several of the men behind him. Behind them a snarling mass of twisted soldiers with dead eyes and bloodied hands and mouths. The sand was pouring in from behind us, and blowing in from the entrance burying our feet deeper and deeper with each step. I dove and grabbed Abdul’s feet tripping him down into the sands, the jewel flying from his hand toward the exit,

FX: BACKGROUND SOUND AND ECHO FADING BACK IN. SOUND OF WIND BUILDING AS THEY APPROACH THE EXIT

ABDUL

Nooo!!!!!

FX: BACKGROUND SOUND FADING DURING NARRATION

THE PROFESSOR
(narrating to the audience with intensity)

Spitting sand from my mouth I crawled over his pleading body toward the jewel, Abdul got to his feet in pursuit but was immediately stopped by the force of Charles hitting him in the back of his head with the butt of his rifle. I tripped and crawled trying to get to the quickly closing exit when I felt Charles’s titanium grip grasp my shirt collar and drag me out of that collapsing tunnel. Charles threw me into the sand by the caravan of camels and turned back to help whatever men he could, but it was too late. Their cries were abruptly silenced by the collapsing of the sands into the temple.

FX: BACKGROUND SOUND FADES OUT ENTIRELY

THE PROFESSOR (CONT)
(collecting himself from the intensity)

It took three days of steady riding for us to return to the city, but little did we know that acquiring the jewel was not the quest. The quest to keep the jewel, and our lives, was just beginning.

FX: ETHEREAL MUSIC

ORPHEUS (THE HOST)

The meager crowd at the book reading stared on in awe. Some believed, most did not, but all wanted our dear Professor to continue. As the evening weather outside started to howl, of course, our hubristic and entitled Professor obliged them. But, for that, you’ll have to return for the Next Episode of the Jewel of the Cat Goddess as the Professor and Charles fight to stay alive against The Cult of Sekhmet.

FX: ALL SOUND FADES OUT. END EPISODE.

Jewel of the Cat Goddess The Temple of Bastet

The Music

Continue on to Jewel of the Cat Goddess ep 2: The Cult of Sekhmet

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