August 25, 2015
In a Cairo that Never Was and Never Will Be, there are a thousand stories to tell. As ornithopters flit and flutter about overhead, their shadows fall across the ancient, stone forms of the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids. Mad professors wage secret wars by night with mechanical assassins, while societies, secret and ancient, struggle against one another with cunning and magic, with poison and cold, hard steel. Sky smugglers, lovers, air pirates and spies seek rendezvous unseen and undisturbed, as jewel thieves and tomb robbers ply their dangerous trades. Bounty hunters stalk their criminal prey while defiant rebels meet with black-market arms dealers to trade gold for the guns, powder and clockwork soldiers they need to continue their struggles. The mercantile and warrior airships of the Great Powers float lazily overhead while their sea-going sisters traverse the Canal. Airshipmen on leave partake of liquor and hashish in smoke-filled cafés only to wake to find themselves conscripted by Barbary air pirates. Meanwhile, behind closed doors, their breasts adorned with henna and perfume, pagan priestesses frolic and twirl in frenetic, Bacchanalian rites, sharing their flesh in sensual revels to the goddess Bast far from the accusatory gaze of a fanatical Mohammedan priesthood. These are the stories of Cairo By Gaslight.