Subsubsection: 6 August 2015 (The Sewers of Khartoum) Up Subsection: Fire over Khartoum Subsubsection: 30 September 2015 (Solomon Beguin) 

16 September 2015 (Masquerade Ball)

Diamond and Thorfin return to the souk to find someone who can make a suitably impressive costume for Diamond, and some armour polish for Thorfin who will be going as himself. They pick up several extra masks just in case. David and Stephen will wear evening dress, and look around a little to find somewhere that can tailor in a gun-shaped pocket without asking too many questions. The clothes will be ready for collection the next day.
That evening, they go out looking for gossip. There’s apparently a jewel thief who has society matrons in a flutter (though nobody’s admitting to have seen him); there’s muttering that the Sisters of the Serpent might be back, and although nobody really wants to talk about them, it’s clear that they’re a religious organisation for women who believe in sacrifice, ideally of other people.
At lunch with Pahor Osman the next day, he confirms that there was no work scheduled in that part of the sewer. Selim Hassan wouldn’t have an assigned work area; he might supervise a crew on a major project, but he’d spend most of his time on paperwork. His chainmail leggings were still in his office.
The group turns up at the ball, fashionably late. Thorfin’s weapons are polished (he’s left the crossbow behind); the others sneak in guns in their costumes (in Diamond’s case by obviously having nowhere to hide anything). Diamond dances, Thorfin talks with the band (they wouldn’t mind him singing, but he doesn’t know any of the standards), and David and Stephen stand aside and watch.
The lights go out, and there’s shoving and screaming. Someone calls out “The Fire Opal!” in a deep but petulant voice; Thorfin’s just able to see that it’s one of the people costumed as mummies. David moves towards the hall, and suddenly emerges from a zone of darkness. This starts to dissipate, and Diamond spots and flies to an open window; there’s no sign of anyone outside, though.
In the next day’s paper, the man who lost the Fire Opal is identified as Alak-Begam. Apparently the nameless jewel thief got it. The group wonders about how to attract him (“…with jewels?”), and considers using the false Signal Fire, though with possibilities stored in it it’s probably too valuable.
 Subsubsection: 6 August 2015 (The Sewers of Khartoum) Up Subsection: Fire over Khartoum Subsubsection: 30 September 2015 (Solomon Beguin)