Note - individual players do not receive the entire script, only their own lines (and, as cues, the words which immediately precede them).
A passageway in Pharaoh’s palace; then the General’s room
1. Princess: Why hello, Mistress Architect, has the General called you too?
2. Architect: [to Princess:] O most reverend lotus flower of the gods, sister to Isis and Nephtys, protectress of the widow and the orphan: in truth, his lordship the General did summon me, but the wherefore is unbeknown to me.
3. Princess: My goodness, you foreigners don’t half talk funny. But here comes the Soothsayer. He will surely know, for he knows all things. [to Soothsayer:] What ho, wise one, are you also on your way to the General?
4. Soothsayer: Indeed I am, my discerning and inquisitive Princess. It’s most troublesome, most annoying. I was just entering a state of mystical rapture, in which prophecies of the utmost importance were speeding towards me. And just as I was about to deliver them, to unfurl them into words - pah! The wretched General has to go and interrupt it all. And now - oh, by the gods! [turning away from the Embalmer, whom you dislike]
5. Embalmer: [with obvious dislike] Well well well, if it isn’t our savvy old Soothsayer! Complaining about being interrupted! If your previous predictions are anything to go by, I’d say you were stopped just in time! You’re bad enough with small things, with important ones you could be truly calamitous. [To Princess and Architect] But good day, Princess, and you too, Architect. I take it we are all heading to the same place. Does anyone know the why?
6. Architect: We are at a loss, Master Embalmer. We are in the thickness of our perdition. I was hoping I might have been called to receive compliments on my work. In my native and faraway Assyria, when one is summoned before the powerful, it is always a good and healthy thing. But here ...
7. Soothsayer: Tut tut, the old darling isn’t that bad. Let’s see what he wants. [knock].
[They enter the General’s room]
[If you want to know what they will hear from the General – you’ll have to pay the game!]
General Nakhtef: Pharaoh’s dependable chief of staff, and a man of vast experience, he has a brilliant record of leading armies from the battlefield. The rumour that he wants to become Pharaoh himself? Well, exactly – just a rumour, of course!
Princess Tefnut, the Pharaoh’s daughter and Daddy’s darling (though there are rumours of Mama drama). Surely the lovely Princess is far too ditsy to plan a successful murder?
Pharaoh’s Architect, Shalluru: freshly imported from nearby Assyria, she is always busy with calculations, and does not have time to get involved in court intrigue. At least, that’s what she says ...
The Chief Embalmer, Pakep: embalmers already have more than enough corpses on their hands without committing murder, thank you very much. And in any case, Pakep never wanted to be an embalmer to begin with. His real talents lie elsewhere ...
The Soothsayer: Shefty by name, and shifty by nature, the Soothsayer divines the will of the gods, and predicts the future. Alas that his own future looks so uncertain as he finds himself reluctantly dragged into a matter of murder!