|“||Oh, don't think of me as heartless. It's shriveled to the size of a walnut, but I still have it rattling around in here somewhere.||„|
Säid is a character in the Funcom MMORPG The Secret World. A three thousand-year-old mummy "living" in 21st century Egypt, Säid is a member of the Kingdom, a crime syndicate of fellow mummies ruling the country from behind the scenes; and a contact for players once they reach Egypt. In addition to serving as a questgiver and a temporary source of information, Säid also plays an instrumental role in the events Issue #6.
The KingdomSäid has almost no memory of his past: he recalls that he was a prince, but he has no idea of what. He vaguely remembers the typical pageantry and pomp of the royal courts, encounters with the the Cult of Osiris, regular dalliances with girls in Abydos, and the general details of the era he lived in, but other than that, his memory from the time before his death is a total blank. Even his original name is unknown to him, the Trade Prince only having adopted the name "Säid" in absence of anything better to call himself. It's not known how common this amnesia is among other mummies, but according to Egyptologists Arun Singh and Montgomery de la Roche, none of them seem to have any difficulty remembering their past lives - and de la Roche himself bemoans the fact that long-held theories have be rewritten to accommodate these past lives. To date, it's not known if Säid's memory loss was caused by something that occurred before or after his death.
One thing remains certain however: like all future members of the Kingdom, he was rich. Every single member of the crime syndicate was a merchant, a high priest or a noble, all possessed of wealth and influence throughout the land. Like much of Egypt - and the pharaohs in particular - they obsessed over the possibility of life after death, and paid handsomely to ensure that they would receive the best possible treatment in the hereafter: they were entombed with their very best furniture and possessions, along ushabti servants to do their bidding in the afterlife, and many ritual protections to ensure their safe travel to the next world. However, something went horribly wrong - and in a way, horribly right: instead of being transported to the afterlife, their souls remained in their bodies, hibernating for several decades until they had gathered sufficient strength to animate their embalmed corpses.
Like all of them, Säid arose from his tomb to find himself without the afterlife he'd been expecting, marooned in an unfamiliar time with unfamiliar customs, and trapped in a hideous undead shell. Like many of the Kingdom, he felt horror and confusion at his state of being; however, as the resurrected mummies began banding together, they realized that they could still build a comfortable afterlife for themselves. After all, they were men of great financial talent, and the notion of profit was just as valued as it had been in their breathing days - if not more so. So, gathering the funerary treasures they were entombed with - and quite a few others from the nearby tombs - they set out to take Egypt by storm. Over the next few centuries, they built up a vast criminal empire spanning the country, with trading partners throughout the Secret World. Even in times of turmoil and uprising, they still maintain at least some control over Egypt's government - in no small part due to the fact that the mummies of the Kingdom are almost impossible to kill.
As of the 21st century, the Kingdom have wholeheartedly embraced the age of Internet banking, and exalt in high-tech toys like smartphones. A few members, Säid included, have also brushed up on their skills to activate the various magical artifacts they deal in and have picked up magic as a simple business skill.
Today, the Kingdom have expanded their operation to profit from gambling, prostitution, civic planning, and mundane smuggling; however, they still maintain their original and most profitable businesses - excavation rights and supernatural contraband. They have exclusive control over Egypt's near-untapped wealth of magical artifacts and supernatural sites, and will happily lease these commodities to the highest bidder. Partnerships with museums, archaeologists and members of the secret societies are very common, and members of the Kingdom are happy to accept invitations to bars and restaurants if it means an opportunity to brag about their breathing days and make Egyptologists look stupid.
The Tokyo Disaster
As time went on, however, Säid fell victim to a very common problem among the Kingdom: fearless arrogance. Being effectively unkillable, Säid grew overconfident in his belief that nothing could touch him, and with no fear or humility to restrain his greed, he began making extremely reckless deals. One of these was with a global faction known as the Brotherhood of Phoenician Sailors, popularly known as the Phoenicians: well-known as purveyors and collectors of rare magical artifacts, they had also acquired an unpleasant reputation as mercenaries, smugglers and pirates; for good measure, they required Säid to sign a contract in blood. Closer to home, he also made a bargain with an emergent local group known as the Cult of the Aten, agreeing to provide them with weapons both mundane and magical.
For his part, the immortal Trade Prince didn't see any danger in these alliances: after all, he was already dead - the worst was already over, as far as he was concerned. He didn't even stir from complacency when the Phoenicians requested a particular sample of Third Age technology. Leftovers from previous iterations of our universe, operating on physics that no longer exist, the technology of past Ages is beyond priceless: to date, nothing of the First Age exists outside Agartha or the Dreaming Prison, and the last formal attempt at an invasion of the former ended in catastrophe; in Hell, artifacts of the Second Age still dominate the landscape, now key of Eblis' attempts to invade Earth; and on Earth itself, only artifacts of the Third Age have been found, and they are jealously sought after by just about every single secret society on the planet - with good reason. The humans of the Third Age seamlessly merged magic and machinery within their technology, fusing the life force of the universe to intricate engines of clockwork gears, creating almost godlike feats of science; mobile cities, casual spaceflight and even time travel were realities to these long-lost exemplars of humanity.
Despite being well-versed in the power of Third Age relics, Säid nonetheless provided the Phoenicians with a particular dangerous item known only as a Class 1 Device: a source of immense power, the Device was also notoriously unstable without its protective ark. Assuming the Purple People were merely going to use it as a generator of some kind, Säid closed the deal, collected his fees and thought no more about it.
Unknown to him, the device was not being used as a power source at all: the Phoenicians had also made a bargain with the Cult of the Morninglight, a death cult dedicated to the worship of the Dreamers and their apocalyptic release from captivity. Having been manipulated by certain higher-ups in the Orochi Group since their creation, the cult was eager to secure its independence by any means necessary - and had decided that a suicide bombing was the best course of action. Having ordered the Class 1 Device from their allies among the Phoenicians, they smuggled it into Tokyo, modified it until it was compact enough to fit inside a sports bag, and sent it off to Orochi Tower via the subway in the company of their chosen "Messenger." Though the resulting explosion failed to destroy the tower, it tore a rift in reality and unleashed the Filth upon Tokyo: Kaidan district was immediately infested, the subways almost overflowing with the Liquid Voice of the Dreamers, and the plague only continued spreading from there - despite the best efforts of Masao Tanaka.
Back in Egypt, Säid realized his mistake as the news of the Tokyo Disaster spread; worse still, the Cult of the Aten also began showing their true colors as well, celebrating the Disaster by unleashing the Filth into the water supply of al-Merayah and recruiting the infected citizens to their cause - and using the weapons Säid had provided them with to eliminate any who resisted. Ashamed and appalled at his failure to anticipate such chaos, he resolved to bring an end to the disasters his ill-conceived partnerships had wrought.
As such, despite being cut off from the best of his hedonistic delights and confined to the balcony of the ghoul-infested Hotel Wahid, Säid has chosen to remain near al-Merayah, providing aid to both the players and the Marya resistance fighters in a desperate attempt to correct his mistakes and - hopefully - erase the Tokyo disaster from his resume.
Events Of The Game
Black Sun, Red Sand
Though players technically have the option of meeting him at any time once they visit Egypt, Säid is technically first encountered in the main story arc "Black Sun, Red Sand." Investigating the Atenists gathering near al-Merayah, players follow the mysterious supplier Berihun out of the temple and into the streets, where he eventually meets with Säid himself. The cult emissary wants another shipment of weapons from the Kingdom, but the Trade Prince politely declines the bargain, having had more than enough of the Atenists' destructive tendencies; Berihun automatically assumes that Säid must be afraid of either the Marya or the Council of Venice - only for Säid himself to wearily point out that the Cult of the Aten has become a dangerous liability to his businesses and can no longer be trusted.
At this point, the conversation turns hostile: though Säid is able to dismiss the first of the cult emissary's threats, Berihun is able to successfully unnerve the ancient mummy for probably the only moment in the entire game - specifically by informing him that, while Säid cannot be killed, he can still be made to suffer for all eternity; there aren't many means of inflicting pain on the mummies of the Kingdom, but Berihun knows them. Waxing grandiose on the power that the Cult of the Aten has unleashed upon the world and the incoming attack on the Marya camp, he warns Säid to choose his allegiances carefully, and leaves. Shaken, the mummy lights a cigarette - and then reveals that he knew that the players were eavesdropping on the conversation all along, indicating that he was keeping Berihun talking solely so they could learn his plans.
With this aid, players are able to come to the rescue of the Marya camp, and eventually move on to preventing the rise of the cult's founder and prophet, Pharaoh Akhenaten.
Banishing the Arbeh
From this point onwards, Säid is no longer an essential part of the story arc. However, he still appears as a contact for side missions: at present, he has a standing arrangement with the Illuminati in particular, but will deal with anyone who can make themselves useful to him. In the mission "The High Cost of Dying," he secures the players' help in dealing with a creature known as the Arbeh, a locust god - "Not a capital G-God," as Säid stresses, but a nuisance nonetheless. At present, the entity is is holed up just outside of town in an abandoned tourist attraction built in the style of an Atenist temple; however Säid first sends the player to a nearby tomb containing an artifact that can be used to depower and destroy the locust god. Once players have successfully retrieved it, Säid directs the player to the temple and shows them how to use it: with his help, players are eventually able to overwhelm the Arbeh's defenses and eliminate it once and for all.
Said justifies this good deed with typical self-interest and equally typical dismissal of any good deeds on his part. As far as he sees it, this arrangement is a simple business transaction that just so happens to coincide with the greater good - a win-win for all parties: the players get to remove a potential threat to their goals - be it saving the villagers of al-Merayah or just wiping out the Atenists - and Säid gets to carry on doing business in the area without needing to worry about crossing paths with a belligerent minor deity.
The mission is also a good way for the players' chosen faction to procure Säid's services and ensure stability in the region. The playable factions of the Big Three are far more reliable than the Phoenicians and less inherently violent than the Atenists, so Säid is more than willing to take them on as new clients.
From Carthage To Cairo
During the Issue #6 mission "From Carthage To Cairo," an explosion somewhere in al-Merayah sets the players on another trail of clues, leading them to another meeting between Säid and one of his clients - in this case, Tanis, a representative of the Phoenicians.
At present, the Phoenicians are treading carefully around the Atenists, for though they are a threat to their business in the area - having already stolen several truckloads of artifacts they had recently gathered - they may also have access to artifacts that the Kingdom refuse to touch, making them potential allies. Tanis appears to at least partially agree with this sentiment, for although she ended up in hot water over the Atenists' past thefts, she has apparently met with Berihun in the past to discuss an alliance.
For the moment, Tanis is only interested in ensuring that Säid abides by his contract and hands over the next consignment of artifacts. Unfortunately for Tanis, Säid is no longer interested in doing business with the Phoenicians: he hasn't forgotten how their last major bargain led to the events of the Tokyo incident, and the Trade Prince doesn't much appreciate the Phoenicians cutting deals with a death cult behind his back. Not wanting to make enemies of the Big Three or the Council of Venice, Säid ends their partnership and makes to leave - sarcastically remarking that Tanis should get her ass insured as he does so. Enraged and desperate to uphold the contract less she lose even more face within the Phoenicians, Tanis goes so far as to shove a gun in the ancient mummy's face; for his part, Säid is not impressed, casually pushing the gun away - reducing Tanis to bargaining with everything her organization might have to offer. However, Säid asks for something that the Phoenicians have long since run out of: honor.
He leaves, contemptuously remarking, "You've made your sarcophagus - now lie in it." Moments later, Berihun appears next to Tanis; preying on her fears of losing her place among the Phoenicians, he draws her into a new alliance.
As such, the mission proper is spent in partnership with Säid, ensuring the survival of his agents across al-Merayah as the Phoenician-Atenist alliance lashes out at them.
The Last Train To Cairo
After a long absence from the game, Säid plays a major role in the events of Issue #6: here, players have been investigating Atenist activity in the region, and - after being imprisoned by Abdel Doud and forced to fist-fight their way through the prison - a dying Marya contact informs them that "it" must be contained and that only Säid can help stop it. Still relaxing in his position atop the Hotel Wahid, the Trade Prince gloomily reflects on how he thought the Atenists would never be able to acquire top-caliber weaponry without his help, before explaining that he'll need the player's help with something before he can help them: during the Roman occupation of Egypt, back when Säid was still finding his feet as an undead merchant, he took a fancy to a rare and precious artifact known only as the Ancile of Mars. However, it was being held by yet another cult of Sun worshipers - this time the Roman cult of Deus Sol Invictus - and was beyond Säid's reach at the time. However, as a personal favor for his efforts in sabotaging the Atenists, the Trade Prince would like the Ancile retrieved and delivered to him - and he has the perfect means of ensuring the players can do so.
He provides the players with access to a powerful example of Third Age technology, a working Time Tomb: essentially a time machine, the Time Tombs were locally-made replicas of Agartha's more obscure branches, allowing for transportation backwards through time to a point no earlier than the Tomb's construction. Säid also provides the player with a manual to avoid disastrous temporal anomalies, along with an ancient Roman coin - so as to ensure that the Tomb knows exactly when to travel to. Though the journey proceeds relatively smoothly, extracting the Ancile from Sol Glorificus 329 AD proves more difficult: to avoid paradoxes, objects taken from the local time period must be replaced with objects with similar properties, and as the manual makes clear, objects can't be brought forward in time through the Tomb. Eventually, the players are able to replace the Ancile with a forgery and smuggle the original out of the city: burying the priceless artifact at the foot of the as-yet unfinished statue of Mars, players then return to their own time, where the now-finished statue leads them straight to the hidden Ancile.
Unfortunately, Säid reveals that someone must have gotten to Sol Glorificus ahead of them, for the Ancile is yet another fake. However, he seems satisfied, and informs them of what they need to know - information he was able to secure in the players' absence: the Atenists have acquired another Class 1 device and are getting ready to ship it to London in preparation for a major attack on the Templar headquarters. Worse still, they haven't bothered to equip it with the protective ark, meaning that the device could explode en route. So, first order of business is to acquire one of these arks - leading the player on a thorough search of the ancient ruins beneath al-Merayah: here, they uncover the remains of an ark, long past repair; fortunately, they also discover another Time Tomb. Thus, the mission is established: once again, players have to go back in time, replace the ark with something similar but useless, and bury the real ark where it can be found back in the present.
To that end, Säid provides players with one of the few artifacts that could give the Time Tomb a destination - a golden scarab amulet, one of the few personal possessions he retains from his days among the living. He can't remember where he got it or how, but it must have been important to him for some reason or another. Brushing off sensations of deja-vu, he sends the players on their way.
Transported back to 1887 BCE, players find themselves in Thinis, the ancient capital from which al-Merayah was built - itself built from the relics of a Third Age metropolis. Creating a replica ark, they substitute it for the real artifact, which they promptly bury in a safe place outside the city. However, when they return to the Time Tomb, they find it being inspected by a richly-dressed stranger: the man's face is unfamiliar and his language untranslatable, but it's clear from his voice that this is none other than Säid's younger self. Conversing with the players for a time, he then ushers them into the Time Tomb - only to pickpocket the golden scarab just before the door shuts behind them.
Returning to the present, players uncover the functional Ark where they buried it almost four thousand years previously. However, the Atenists have loaded the Device onto a train en route for Cairo; assuming the jostled device doesn't blow the train to Kingdom Come, there's a boat waiting for it in the harbor, ready to ship it to the sight of the next Tokyo Disaster. Securing the aid of Marya driver and explosives expert, Nassir the Boom-Boom Man, players arrange to intercept the train before it reaches Cairo; Säid tags along, ensuring that Council operatives are ready to secure the Device once the train stops - though Nassir's habit of comparing himself to Rocky Balboa and Säid to "wrinkly manager man" clearly gets on his nerves.
Eventually, the players are able to reach the front carriages, eliminate the Atenist leader Abdel Doud, and stop the train. While the Council operatives remove the device, Nassir celebrates, much to Säid's exasperation. For the most part, Nassir's attempts at keeping the ancient mummy's spirits up fall flat, up until Nassir jovially warns Säid that any attempt to betray the Marya will result in him being killed "many times." Säid reluctantly accepts their friendship... on the condition that he gets to be Rocky on their next outing.
- During his "conversation" with the player, Human Säid can be heard referring to the Time Tomb as a TARDIS.