Guide to the Larp


Welcome to the guide to the Larp “Sahara Expedition – In Search for the Unknown”! Here you will find all the information you need to participate and enjoy this incredible experience. If you have any doubts or questions after reading it, please contact us!!

Living document

This guide may be updated with new content in the coming weeks. Whenever this happens, we will communicate this on our channels (Facebook, mailing list, WhatsApp, Discord).


The setting of the game is inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu cycle. However, we reject his racist ideas and claim a modern approach to a fictional universe that is everyone’s heritage. We will present a critical interpretation of the Cthulhu Mythos and 20th century society. Madness will not be the stereotypical representation of existing mental disorders but will be connected to the cosmic horrors typical of the setting. The larp is not a celebration of the colonial season and exoticism. On the contrary, it will be respectful and written with the maturity we put into each of our works.

General Info

Sahara Expedition is about the daily life of an expedition in the desert, the tasks each must perform to find the legendary Zerzura and the traces of the previous Jefferson Expedition.

It is the story of adventurers in search of a hidden and ancient truth, confronting their fears and ambitions. It is a human story about desires, power, mysteries; the story of a legendary quest, both within and outside ourselves.

Location: Douz, Sahara Desert, Tunisia
Meeting Point: 10:00 Tunis Clock Tower for the bus transfer towards the oasis of Douz
Partecipanti: 78 per run


Day 1

10:00 – Meeting at the Tunis Clock Tower and Departure for the oasis of Douz by bus
Dinner and overnight stay in a 4* category hotel

Day 2

10:00 – Workshop (Hotel) and Prologue of the Larp (Hotel)

Day 3

10:00 – Larp (Hotel + Desert)

Day 4

Larp + final party in the desert

Day 5

Departure to Tunis Clock Tower (expected arrival 7 p.m. approx.).
(OPTIONAL) Additional Tunisia Tour

Extend your trip and discover the wonders of Tunisia. We have great options.


Keep in mind that there may be inconveniences and mishaps beyond our control (traffic, road works, various unforeseen events). Also, as most of the participants will be taking intercontinental flights, check-in at the airport can take several hours. For this reason, we recommend, if possible, booking flights that leave at a convenient time.


Prior to the start of the larp, a series of workshops are planned with the aim of:

  • Becoming familiar with the game themes and setting.
  • Getting to know the other players, especially those you interact with most, and agreeing on how to interact with the various characters.
  • Understanding how to play your own character.
  • Learning the metatechnics.
  • Clarifying any unresolved doubts.

The workshop will be an important opportunity to agree on the rules of the game and have a few tryout interactions.

Game Experience

This larp focuses on the life of a caravan, the daily hardships, the tasks each must perform and the aims of a momentous mission. A human story of desire, power, hate and love. The story of a gruelling quest, within and outside ourselves. We will live the life of a real expedition in which everyone will have their own role and duties: soldiers, politicians, artists, explorers, scientists, adventurers and more.

We have chosen to bring the dimension of exploration to life as something concrete and real, not just as a ‘fake’ backdrop, like a cardboard set. Technical challenges, research, caravan movements, scientific research missions and much more will be an integral part of the gaming experience. A larp we imagined as real, deep, exciting.

Choose your own gaming experience

In Sahara Expedition you will find different game experiences depending on the character you choose and the Institution to which they belong. Some narrative lines will be more interpretive, others more investigative, others more practical or action-oriented – although there will be no actual combat.

You will be able to choose whether to throw yourself into daring research or engage in social play. In addition, conflicts and friendships between characters will animate the game, adding emotional depth to your play. Larp is based on three basic strands: Expedition, Psychological Horror and Intrigue & Relationships.

The Expedition

An important part of the gaming experience concerns the daily life of the Sutton-Gudrian archaeological expedition, immersed in the extraordinary scenery of the Sahara Desert. The expedition will consist of five main institutions that will take care of various tasks necessary for the success of the mission.

Each character will have one or more tasks to perform that will be impactful to the success and survival of the expedition (no actual experience is required for the tasks). Each character is an essential piece of the mosaic. During their tasks, characters will have the opportunity to interact with other participants, to face and solve puzzles, to explore the fascinating desert setting, and to show off their character.


Every day, the caravan proceeds on its journey on foot with the help of camels to carry the luggage.

It will not be a very long and exhausting walk, but expect to march (and play during the march) for about an hour on the first day and about 2-3 on the second.

For this reason, we recommend that you wear comfortable clothes and shoes (see the chapter on costumes).

See the Expedition section for further informations. 

In short:

  • The daily procedures of the expedition are a fundamental part of the game experience.
  • They are designed to increase immersiveness in the scenario and setting and allow you to explore relationships with other characters.

Cosmic and Psychological Horror 

In Sahara Expedition – In Search for the Unknown the horror and supernatural elements are treated in a nuanced manner, just like in the tales of the Cthulhu cycle. Our approach to horror is more intimate and psychological than splatter or visual. You won’t find monsters to fight, but a horror that comes from afar, too big and fearsome for fragile human minds to comprehend.

The atmospheres we love in the stories related to the Cthulhu Mythos are those in which horror becomes cosmic and in which, through the courage of a cultured professor, a shy librarian or a curious adventurer, we are shown the true texture of reality, in which our entire conception of the world is turned upside down. Think about it, the protagonists of these stories are never heroes, they are people who have to come to terms with the narrowness of their condition. They are almost always destined to die, go mad or achieve a victory that they know is ephemeral.

This is exactly the feeling you will find in Sahara Expedition. The style inspired by Lovecraft’s most mature and terrifying works (The Colour out of Space, The Mountains of Madness, The Call of Cthulhu, The Mask of Innsmouth). A realistic, profound, exciting larp.

In short

  • Cosmic and psychological horror, not splatter or visual.
  • The characters are fragile and human. There are no heroes.
  • Victory against cosmic horror, in the long run, is impossible.
  • There are no monsters to fight.

Intrigues and relationships

In Sahara Expedition you will find different game experiences. Without risk of spoiling the surprise, we can say that the larp will have intrigue, mysteries, puzzles to solve and choices to make, linked to the characters’ past and present.

You can always choose to throw yourself into daring quests or engage in social play. Furthermore, conflicts and rivalries will animate the game, adding emotional depth to your daily routine. Each character will also be linked to different social groups, the Circles, which will help you relate collaboratively with other players by increasing the possibility of being the master of your own story, accepting others’ cues and offering your own.

See the Circles section for further information.

In short

  • The main story is related to the expedition, but there are many others.
  • Participating in Circles will help you interact more deeply with other characters. It is essential to collaborate with others in order to uncover secrets and share information.

What you will not find

In Sahara Expedition you will find no fighting, no physical confrontation. These themes are far removed from the stories of the Cthulhu Mythos we want to tell. There will be no monsters to fight: this is not a live-action version of the role-playing game ‘The Call of Cthulhu’.

In Sahara Expedition you will find no real scarcity of water or food. You will always be able to eat and drink enough (and plenty!).

Sahara Expedition is not a competitive larp where you can win or lose. The aim of the game is to experience a wonderful story together with other people. There is no competition, no winner. Just people creating a beautiful narrative together.

In short

  • This is not a competitive larp.
  • There will be no fighting or physical confrontation.
  • There will be no shortage of water or food.
  • Collaborate with other participants in the creation of the story.

Game Style

We have put together a short list of tips. Playing by following these tips will help you have a better gaming experience!

Play Generously

Give space to the others, help them in the development of their story arc.

Play On The Details

Enjoy those little details that can make your larp great: a glance during a task at hand, a clandestine meeting behind a dune at midnight, a gesture of understanding…

Make The Wrong Choices

Imagine you are a character in a Cthulhu Mythos tale. You would not be a fearless hero, but a ‘normal’ person in the face of unbeatable cosmic horror. Madness and death may be your destiny, and that is perfectly fine. The design of the game or your story line may lead you to make choices that are rash, harmful or that you would not make in real life.

If this is the case, do NOT fight it, there is no horror story without protagonists doing the wrong thing. Remember that THERE IS NO WINNING in this larp. The best thing you can do is to follow your character.

Follow The Game Pillars 

Outside of the life of the Expedition, the moments of horror, and the intrigue and relationships between the characters, there are NO OTHER game pillars.

This is not the kind of larp where you can create other game poles (sabotaging the expedition, hiding artefacts, running away).

Follow the Game Rythms

The day of the Expedition has rhythms and appointments marked by the procedures and decisions of the Mission Command. They are meant to ensure both the development of the narrative and the development of social relationships. Procedures are an obligatory and vital part of the gameplay, they serve to regulate the functioning of the Expedition and to make it move forward. Remember that no skills are required for any role, all procedures will be explained during the workshops. There will also be free play in which you can express your character and their relationships.

We hold a few principles dear:

  • Sahara Expedition is a great shared narrative, a story that you create TOGETHER with other players, NEVER AGAINST.
  • Listen to the other players.

In short

  • Make the wrong choices, follow your character and the feeling of the tales of the Mythos. Winning is not an option.
  • Follow the game: expedition life, investigation and horror.
  • Follow the game’s rhythms and procedures and participate in what happens during the day.


Our events are safe and inclusive. We believe in a community that embraces diversity and rejects any form of discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, physical ability, and any other aspect of people’s identity. There is no room for verbally or physically abusive behaviour at our events and anyone behaving inappropriately will be removed.

Sahara Expedition is an accessible and inclusive experience, but also an opportunity to address important issues. We believe that every character and every story should have a connection to the reality that surrounds us, with its lights and shadows. And we believe that larp can be a safe space for exploration and reflection.

That is why in Sahara Expedition you will not only find all the typical themes of the Cthulhu Mythos but also a critical reflection on the horrors of 20th century human history. Oppression, discrimination and persecution of the different and minorities are part of the background of some characters. It is up to each player to decide to play on these themes if they find them interesting and appropriate to their sensibilities, or to keep them muted if they do not feel comfortable with them. These themes are geared towards providing a deeper and less stereotypical experience of the setting and may under no circumstances be used to impede anyone’s play.

For this reason, for example, it will be perfectly normal to have a woman as head of the Legion or LGBTI+ and BIPOC professors. A part of the workshop before the game will be dedicated to this topic and the calibration of the themes. Furthermore, the typical madness of this fictional universe (the Descent) will not be a stereotypical representation of existing mental disorders but will be connected to the abysmal horrors of the setting.

During the event a Safety Team of experienced, reliable and empathetic people will always be available to offer assistance and to support you in managing your emotional wellbeing and to provide practical advice on how best to develop your gaming experience.

During the event you will always be able to stop and find a quiet space in which to relax.

There will be game mechanics to emotionally and physically protect all participants. In addition, part of the initial workshops will focus specifically on this. Moreover, during the entire stay in the desert, there will be qualified medical personnel on hand to assist with any medical needs. If you have any doubts or questions, please contact us.

For the good of the game and the participants, the organisers also reserve the right to remove players whose behaviour is disturbing or annoying. In this case the player will be accompanied to the hotel where they will be able to stay at their own expense until the end of the game.

In short

  • Any gender discrimination will not be part of the game dynamics. However, discrimination and persecution outside the Expedition may be part of the background of some characters.
  • During the event there will be a safety team to offer support and back you up.
  • There will be specific mechanics to opt out of situations where you do not feel comfortable during the game (these will be shown in the workshops).


The year is 1934. Europe is swept by the cold current of totalitarianism and the horror of World War II is slowly brewing, while that of World War I, the Great War for our characters, is still in the eyes and in the flesh of many. These are years when spiritualism arouses much interest and the study of the stars and the paranormal has not yet fully given way to the hard sciences.

Diary of Prof. J. Jefferson
Arkham, Massachusetts, February the 26th, 1932

What happened today is unbelievable. It had been years since the last time anyone tried to tidy up the basement archives of the old Miskatonic Archaeology Museum. A thankless job that few would have wanted to carry out. Thanks to some students willing to help, a few days ago we began to make an inventory of the finds kept down here. It’s material of little or no value, to be honest. Useless junk even for this small space that the headmaster insists on calling bombastically “Archaeology Museum”…

During the inventory of the artifacts kept in the basement archives of the small archaeological museum of the Miskatonic University, the archaeology professor Jeremiah Jefferson identifies some ancient clay tablets whose existence had never been recorded. The findings, which bear numerous engravings in characters that resemble cuneiform alphabets and others never seen before, are immediately transcribed and analyzed by the same professor.

It is almost certainly a very ancient material even if the dating remains uncertain, as well as the origin. Historians, epigraphists and archeologists interviewed by Professor Jefferson are divided: some claim that the alphabets may come from North Africa, others from Mesopotamia. Unfortunately, the initial enthusiasm soon gives way to disappointment and frustration. No one can decipher the ancient writings, even professors of other universities who came specifically to study the artifacts.

Diary of Prof. J. Jefferson
Arkham, Massachusetts, July the 6th, 1932

I must admit my failure. I have been trying for weeks to decipher this tablet, but without success. It must be cuneiform, but by heaven nothing I know about such writing seems to make sense when applied to the translation of this artefact.

And equally unsuccessful has been the help I have sought from fellow lecturers in Ancient Languages here at Miskatonic University, Prof. Price and Reed. And yes, they are among the country’s leading experts.

If I fail to grasp its meaning, this tablet will be destined for a dusty archive, yet the seal of Zerzura, the legendary white city hidden in the sands of the Sahara desert, affixed to it, suggests to me that this text could be the key to unimaginable mysteries, discoveries of historical significance.

I know, I feel it, that this is the beginning of something greater that will take me afar…

Just when the tablets seemed to be destined to fall into oblivion, Professor Jefferson managed to crack the code on one of them. According to Jefferson himself, who never actually disclosed how he had the intuition that served him to decipher the text, the tablets are written in a code that uses a mix of cuneiform characters together with the principles of a rudimentary alphanumeric encryption.

Diary of Prof. J. Jefferson
Arkham, Massachusetts, July the 8th, 1932
I knew I was close, terribly close. I have worked ceaselessly for I don’t know how many weeks, sleeping little or nothing at all. The decryption key … it came to me, at last! The way … no, I didn’t think it was possible. This goes beyond explanation, beyond imagination!

Even if only one of the tablets is actually translated, the text turns out to be a real treasure. The discovery is sensational and the hype reaches the universities of half the world. Even the popular press reports the news: it is in fact the first documentary trace of Zerzura, the legendary white city of the desert.

The Miskatonic Herald, August the 2nd, 1932
archaeology professor J. Jefferson of Miskatonic University made an incredible discovery. He argues, and apparently his eminent colleagues agree, to have deciphered an ancient tablet, part of a series of several that still remain undecoded. The tablets are believed to provide important indications about the mythical city of Zerzura. For our passionate readers who might be unfamiliar with African archaeology or mythology, we want to tell something about this, so far mythical, city.

The legend of the “lost” city of Zerzura has enthralled travelers and adventurers since the beginning of the 19th century, while explorers and archaeologists from all over the world have searched for it unsuccessfully; well, at least so far!

The only piece of information about the city comes from a well-known Arabic story that locates it in the Sahara desert. Among hundreds of chapters magically suspended between reality and myth, the book “Livre des perles enfouies et du mysté précieux” published in 1907, reports the story of a father who tells his son how to find the immense treasures kept in a city lost among the sands of the desert. Its name is “Zerzura”. A “shining city”, a “white city”.

Professor Jefferson is certain to find the legendary Zerzura so he begins to set up an expedition to the location indicated by the tablet: Tunisia. The mission, known as the Jefferson Expedition, is organised within a few weeks with the meager funds that the professor manages to raise. Both the professor and the Miskatonic University are eager to get to the ruins of the legendary city first. So once preparations are completed, twenty-one specialists, almost all belonging to the Miskatonic University, leave Arkham for Zerzura on December the 20th, 1932.

Diary of Prof. J. Jefferson
Boston, Massachusetts, December the 22nd, 1932
Many things are to be done before we set sail. The steamer has been carefully loaded with the material needed for the expedition. The morale is good, I would say very good. Within a few weeks we will leave this sea for another, far more dangerous. A really unusual Christmas. Ad maiora!

The press follows the story and soon the expedition reaches a certain notoriety even among
non-experts. The crew reaches Tunis and then Douz, the “gateway to the Sahara”. From there,
on foot they march south-east. But from this moment on, information becomes uncertain…

Many have tried to account for the fateful events that led the expedition to vanish into thin air. It seems that Prof. Jefferson, who was extremely jealous of the information he had on the city of Zerzura, was determined to make a stop at the well of El Gebir, an ancient and desolate place located in one of the most inaccessible areas in the entire sea of sand.

What is certain is that neither Jefferson nor the other thirty members of the expedition, included ten locals who helped them on the journey, ever returned. No trace of them has ever been found.

The Miskatonic Herald, February the 5th, 1933
We regret to inform our readers who have been following the story of the so-called Jefferson Expedition that no news has been heard from Tunisia for several weeks now. According to the travel forecasts made by Professor Jefferson himself before departure, by this date the crew should have returned back to Douz.
Unfortunately this hasn’t happened so far and the local police have declared all members of the expedition as missing. Just this morning, in a brief press release, the President of the Miskatonic University grievously declared: “We believe in the great qualities of Professor Jefferson and in the competence of the other members of the expedition. We are aware that these are hard times, but we are certain that eventually we will receive a telegram from Douz informing us of their safe return”.

On February 19, the Tunisian police brigade appointed to search for the missing expedition finds a survivor: one of the local workers hired by Jefferson named Feisal. The man is in critical conditions. He is found barefoot, with his clothes torn and stained with blood. His gaze is hallucinated while his lips, swollen and dry for the scorching heat, murmur disconnected phrases.

His health is severely weakened due to the lack of food and water, and his psyche seems hopelessly compromised.

Feisal is taken to the nearest hospital where he’s interrogated by the police. Unfortunately, the man is unable to communicate intelligible sentences. Days pass and weeks go by but his conditions do not improve. Finally he is hospitalized in the Tunisian psychiatric ward where he is still today.

Over time the hope of finding more survivors begins to fade. Soon the extent of the tragedy
becomes clear.

The Miskatonic Herald, March the 11th, 1933
Today is a sad day for the world. We know how passionate our readers have been about the Jefferson Expedition but, unfortunately, after more than a month of researches and no contacts, we are faced
with a fateful reality. It now seems clear that the Expedition must have suffered a terrible fate, although perhaps no one will ever know what really happened. Only the fearsome Sahara desert knows the truth.

The failure of the Jefferson Expedition is a hard blow to the Miskatonic University in terms of money and reputation. The media pressure, the interest of the public and of scholars around the world show, in fact, no sign of abating. On the other hand, the concern for the fates of the explorers and the charm of the undiscovered legendary city made a lasting impression into people’s imagination and into the ambition of academics and institutions. This is why the idea of a new expedition has now become the main interest of different international organizations.

The Miskatonic Herald, March the 23rd, 1933

Those of our readers who were passionate about the search for the legendary Zerzura and the ill-fated Jefferson expedition that disappeared into thin air in the sands of the Sahara long ago will be delighted. It is breaking news that a new expedition is being organised that will set off with the dual objective of finding the traces of the lost previous expedition and the mythical “white city”.

The world’s most important research institutions will be involved in this expedition. The Royal Geographic Society, the W. Isynwill Foundation, the Legion and the Miskatonic University. The name of the expedition will be Sutton-Gudrian, in honour of two great scholars. Women and men contemptuous of mystery, the whole world looks to you with hope and pride!

The Sutton-Gudrian expedition, better equipped and more skilled than the previous one, will arrive in Douz on January the 3rd, 1934, and from there it will head towards the Well of El Gebir.
With the eyes of the world upon itself, it will then move towards the unknown.

In short

  • Prof. Jefferson of Miskatonic University found some ancient engraved tablets in the basement archives of the Archaeology Museum of the Miskatonic University

  • For a long time no one has been able to decipher them, nor to understand
    their dating or origin.

  • After months, Prof. Jefferson declares that he has managed to translate a part of it: they talk about the mythical city of Zerzura.

  • The Miskatonic University organizes the “Jefferson Expedition” to go and search for the ruins of Zerzura.

  • Prof. Jefferson’s intention is to reach the ancient and isolated well of El Gebir as a first stop. But a few days after the departure no one has any news of the expedition which seems to have mysteriously vanished into thin air.

  • After a few weeks a survivor is found, one of the labourers enlisted on the field: Feisal is shocked and unable to communicate a single meaningful sentence. He is hospitalized in the asylum of Tunis.

  • The Royal Geographical Society (leading), The W. Isynwill Foundation, the Miskatonic University and The Legion organize a new expedition to recover the survivors of the Jefferson Expedition and to track down the legendary Zerzura. The name given to the new expedition is Sutton-Gudrian.

  • All members of the expedition will meet in Douz and then proceed to the well of El Gebir, the only known stop on the Jefferson Expedition’s itinerary. From there they will proceed towards the unknown.

The Expedition

The Sutton-Gudrian Expedition is the result of a great organisational and economic effort. One institution alone could never have had the funding and know-how necessary for such an ambitious undertaking. This is why the expedition is the result of a collaboration between several Institutions.

Institutions and Departments

Each Institution has its own “way of being”, its own distinctive trait, which is also summarised by the motto of each one. Below is a brief description of the Institutions that are part of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition.

Roles and Tasks

Below you can read some information about the disciplines of the characters in Sahara Expedition. These are the “jobs”, the roles that each member plays within the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition. They are designed to make the experience as immersive as possible, to live intensely and realistically the routine of a real expedition. The tasks are only part of the experience. They are fun and stimulating activities within everyone’s reach. You don’t have to be an expert to perform them. Each task will be explained and rehearsed in the pre-game workshops and we will provide you with all the materials you need to perform them.

The full protocols will be published later and will contain detailed instructions on how to perform your task.

Each Institution is divided into two or three Departments that deal with specific areas. The collective goal is the same for all: to find Zerzura and bring home the survivors of the Jefferson Expedition, and each department makes an essential contribution, using its own specific methods to achieve these goals.


Miskatonic University

Motto: Ex Ignorantia ad Sapientiam

It needs no introduction. Miskatonic University is the university based in Arkham, Massachusetts, and most of the academics participating in the expedition come from the ranks of this university.
The determination and scholarly ability of its professors will be decisive in gathering information about the archaeological and historical-linguistic aspects of the expedition.

The departments of which Miskatonic University is composed are three:

  • Department of Archaeology
  • Department of Literature and History
  • Department of Natural Sciences

Department of Archaeology

Miskatonic University

Applied Archeology

The Archeologists of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition are all specialized in the study of past civilizations and cultures through the search, analysis and documentation of the material traces they have left behind. They work in harmony with many other colleagues, drawing support from Carographers, Historians, Cryptologists, Linguists, Biologists and so on.

They are expert scholars and people of action, hounds on the hunt for remote traces that might reveal the secrets hidden behind a simple artifact. Where others only see a pottery shard, they glimpse the mysteries of an entire people.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, the Archeology department meets to discuss they work ahead. The head of department illustrates the tasks of each member of the team and creates work groups, deciding who will head out on research and excavation missions outside the base camp and who will stay behind to analyze any findings.

Depending on the route set for the day, the Archeology department meets either after lunch or before dinner to discuss the day’s results, exchange important information and share theories on new discoveries or finds. Each member reports the hypotheses and conclusions they have formulated as they relate to the search for Zerzura.

Life Drawing

Life drawing artists within the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition are expert pratictioners of the figurative arts, able to depict real subjects with swiftness and precision, both in synthesis and in detail.

Their task in the Expedition is to support the Archeology department in the documentation of archeological surveys, and especially in the study of new findings, be they archeological or natural. They cooperate with the Photography team for this endeavor, as well as other members of the Documentation department; while technology has brought a new level of fidelity to the representation of reality, what these artists do is capture the essence of a subject, understand what about it is essential to its depiction on paper and what is simple background noise.

For this reason, their contribution is essential to correctly classify any artifacts, as well as to illustrate life in the base camp. Proper documentation will be of vital importance when it comes to telling the world about the extraordinary discovery of Zerzura.

Daily Tasks

Every morning after breakfast, Life drawing artists meet with the rest of the Archeology department to discuss the day’s business. When necessary, one of the artists may remain in the base camp to help other team members in cataloguing new finds. If this is not the case, both artists will follow the excavation team and document their work. Their task is, in fact, to enrich the travel journal of the expedition with vivid images of life in the camp, when time allows it.
With every new finding, fossil or artifact, the artists are called in to quickly sketch the item as well as its surroundings. The Documentation department then steps in to complete the illustration.

Such images are an essential basis to later produce official illustrations for every find; as such, both the first draft and any later additions must be accompanied by detailed notes and measurements. At the end of the day, the artists must record everything in the travel journal, so that any interesting observations may be preserved for the future.


The Paleontologists of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition are experts in the study of fossils and fossilized traces of biological activity.
Their duty is to support the Archeology and Natural Sciences departments; they cooperate with Biologists and Geologists to research, retrieve, restore and study all traces of past life within the Sahara Desert.
Given their attention to detail they can support their fellow archaeologists in the study of protohistoric inscriptions.
When it comes to the search for mythical Zerzura, Paleontologists in the Expeditions are interested in studying variations in the climate and landscape of the Sahara Desert, as well as the behavior of living organisms during different geological eras, so that they may find the way that once led to the White City.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, Paleontologists discuss the day’s tasks: one of them follows the Archeological team’s excavation efforts, while the other goes searching for traces and detritus of biological origin- perhaps even extraterrestrial- with the Natural Sciences team.
While the Paleontologist working with Archeology helps in the current dig site by assisting with retrieval and cleanup of fossil finds, the one working with Natural Sciences sifts through the sands of the Sahara desert in search of micrometeorites together with their colleagues in Geology and Biology.
If necessary they can support the study and decryption of ancient documents such as papyrus or clay tablets.

Once excavations and surveys are over for the day, the Paleontologists meet again to discuss new information, together with Biologists and Geologists if need be, sharing all new finds and relevant theories, so that they may proceed with in-depth study and cataloguing.


The Paleoethnologists of the Sutton-Gudrian Expeditions are experts in the comparative study of present and past civilizations in all their facets: customs, social systems, economic relationships and religious beliefs, political structures and interactions between a culture and its environment.
This is accomplished both by studying direct sources and by reconstructing a culture’s history from various testimonies; but practical archeological studies are essential as well.

Their duty within the Expedition is to shine light on the civilizations that existed around Zerzura as told in ancient texts, to gauge whether the descendants of those populations are still alive and traceable, and thus contribute to the search for the White City. Due to their cooperation
with Archeologists, Anthropologists and other scholars of the Archeology, History and Literature departments, Ethnologists represent a point of convergence for information, and they will be essential to finally reconstruct the bigger picture of the civilization that flourished
within Zerzura.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, the Archeology department meets to discuss the work ahead and split into different teams. While a Paleoethnologist leaves with the day’s excavation mission, another stays behind to analyze previous findings and any information contained within the Jefferson tablets.

Ethnologists have precious volumes at their disposal, containing the history and culture of local populations, which must be studied in depth to look for similarities between their habits and those reconstructed from the tablets and other findings. Finding what you seek is quite the difficult endeavour, when one does not know where to look. And like any other explorer, Paleoethnologists seek one thing and one thing only: Zerzura.


The Excavation technicians of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition are the chiefs of operations regarding all surveys and excavations; they also function as the Archeologists’ assistants when studying and researching new finds. These experts are the first to handle a new artifact to clean
it for study, and they are tasked with maintaining a coherent catalogue as well.
Their tasks are both physical and intellectual, as they cooperate with Paleontologists, Paleoethnologists and Anthropologists to study ancient civilizations, and to look for clues that lead the Expedition ever closer to lost Zerzura.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, the Archeology department meets to discuss the work ahead. The head of department assigns tasks to its members and splits them into work groups: some depart to survey and excavate any interesting locations, others stay behind to analyze previous findings.

Excavation technicians handle excavation missions or inventory duties at base camp, depending on team needs. Those who work on the field must give quick notice of any new find, intervene to salvage the artifacts and prepare them for further study. They must also update the digsite catalogue. Meanwhile, technician stationed at base camp must assist Archeologists, Paleoethnologists and Paleologists with cleaning finds and fossils, recording any interesting details and theorizing about discovered artifacts.

Department of Literature and History

Miskatonic University


The Anthropologist of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition is an expert in the social, cultural, artistic and spiritual practices of human civilization, specializing in an outlandish field: the study of human remains and burial artifacts. As detailed in their publications on the matter, they can
deduce much about the beliefs, customs and traditions of a people by looking at their tombs and burial methods.
They work with the Cartography department to define a “model of structural gravity” (a distance system based on the frequency of exchanges between communities) that may aid in locating ancient Zerzura, as well as the Archeology department for the study and analysis of found artifacts.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, the Anthropologist meets with other members of the History and Literature department to discuss the day’s work. After listening to their colleagues’ reports on their current assignments, the Anthropologist must join any outgoing excavations led by the Archeology
department, to assess in person the condition of found artifacts and of the archeological site, be it a tomb, a dwelling or a place of worship.
Depending on the route set for the day, the entire History and Literature department meets either after lunch or before dinner to discuss the day’s results, exchange important information and share theories on new discoveries. Each member reports the hypotheses and conclusions they have formulated as they relate to the search for Zerzura.

Ancient Philology

Philology is the study of ancient texts to reconstruct their original form through comparative critical analysis of the source materials; through various methods, it seeks to interpret the texts as accurately as possible.
Within the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition, philologists devote most of their time to the study, translation and interpretation of the cuneiform tablets found by Professor Jefferson, as well as decrypting and dating any inscriptions found during archeological excavations.They thus readily
cooperate with Paleocryptologists; however, unlike them, they seek to comprehend the inscribed tablets on a deeper level, by trying to fill in the blanks left by the text itself. By consulting other ancient sources, they delve into the information given by the tablets and search for clues towards Zerzura from a historical and geographical standpoint

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, Philologists meet with other members of the History and Literature department to discuss the day’s work. Each member of the team illustrates their current assignment, and specifies whether they will cooperate with other Departments or handle their work autonomously.
Philologists are a pillar to the whole department, as they represent the meeting point for information shared between different disciplines. More action-oriented Philologists may choose to participate in subexpeditions away from the base camp, as long as they find a good reason for their presence to appease the mission leader.

Depending on the route set for the day, the entire History and Literature department meets either after lunch or before dinner to discuss the day’s results, exchange important information and share theories on new discoveries. Each member reports the hypotheses and conclusions they have formulated as they relate to the search for Zerzura.


Some paleontologists of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition specialize in Paleocryptology, meaning the translation or ancient and unknown tongues, or the interpretation of prehistoric sign system that are believed to represent a form of language. They work to decipher and date the cuneiform tablets found by Professor Jefferson in the archives of Miskatonic University.

During the Expedition, they are also available to study any inscriptions found by archeologists, or anything else that might help reconstruct the history, culture, and location of the mythical city of Zerzura.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, Paleocryptologists meet with other members of the History and Literature department to discuss the day’s work. Each member of the team illustrates their current assignment.
When their support is not required for a subexpedition away from base camp, they devote their time to studying and translating ancient tablets, consulting with other scholars to better comprehend their writings.

Depending on the route set for the day, the entire History and Literature department meets either after lunch or before dinner to discuss the day’s results, exchange important information and share theories on new discoveries. Each member reports the hypotheses and conclusions they have formulated as they relate to the search for Zerzura.

Ancient History

The Historians of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition employ their knowledge of ancient peoples’ texts and cultures to extrapolate useful clues about lost Zerzura. They specialize in the exegesis and interpretation of Erodotus’s body of work, particularly his writings on the Lost army of Cambyses, the Persian soldiers who, according to some sources, actually reached the city of Zerzura. Scholars of ancient history work to study the cuneiform tablets found by Professor Jefferson, and to date any inscriptions found during archeological excavations.
By consulting ancient texts they delve deeper into the information hidden within the tablets, and search for information about the mission’s goals from a historical and geographical standpoint.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, Historians meet with other members of the History and Literature department to discuss the day’s work. Each member of the team illustrates their current assignment, specifying whether they are going to cooperate with other departments or handle their business autonomously.
Depending on the route set for the day, the entire History and Literature department meets either after lunch or before dinner to discuss the day’s results, exchange important information and share theories on new discoveries. Each member reports the hypotheses and conclusions they have formulated as they relate to the search for Zerzura.


The Theologist of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition is a scholar of religious doctrines and deities in all their forms; specifically, they have devoted years of study to ancient civilizations and their rituals of worship. They are also an expert in practices aimed at driving away so-called demonic
or evil presences, whose most complex iterations are rites of exorcism.
Their approach to spiritism is certainly different and more orthodox than that of the Parapsychology department, but dialogue with their more outlandish colleagues is a fine source of interesting discussion topics. The Theologist’s expertise makes them a point of reference for the faithful, and their ordainment as a pastor means they are available to celebrate religious functions and sacraments. The hardships of the Expeditions will be many, and faith will be essential in the search for lost Zerzura.

Daily Tasks

Before breakfast, the Theologist sets some time aside for a morning prayer, and invites others to join them whenever possible. They then spend the morning studying and assisting the History and Literature, Parapsychology and Archeoastronomy departments, discussing their hypotheses about the religious and ritual life of the ancient citizens of Zerzura. They also make some time to listen to the faithful’s confessions and celebrate a short mass for them before dinner is served.

Department of Natural Sciences

Miskatonic University


The Biologists of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition study all phenomena related to living organisms and their life cycles.
Their duty within the Expedition is to contribute to the efforts of the Natural Science Department in searching for meteoritic samples, while at the same time studying the flora and fauna of the Sahara desert, with support from both cartographers and experts in ancient history.
In particular, Biologists must track down and record any signs of life, especially all available traces of the lost Jefferson Expedition, as well as much more ancient living beings in fossil form.
Geologists and Paleontologists support them in this endeavor. Biologists also assist Geologists and the Outdooring department in hydrogeological surveys of the territory.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, Biologists meet with other members of the Natural Sciences department to discuss their approach to the survey of the terrain surrounding the base camp (or any subexpeditions, if necessary).
Afterwards, they join the Geobotany and Paleontology experts in order to form teams and scout the nearby territory. The specific duty of anyone with an interest in the lifeforms of the Sahara Desert is to document local flora and fauna, to look for signs of past (fossil) or recent (Expedition) organic activity. Upon their return, Biologists devote their time to analyzing their findings and classifying any organisms they have found in the desert. Furthermore, in case a meteorite or other extraterrestrial residue is found, Biologists are tasked to analyze and eventually date any organic matter contained within.


The Geophysicists of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition are scientists devoted to the study of physical phenomena related to the Earth’s atmosphere, surface and inner core.
Their duty within the Expedition is to contribute to the search for terrestrial or extraterrestrial minerals, with the assistance of other experts in the Natural Sciences department, and to study the phenomena and regulating mechanisms of the Sahara Desert, particularly dune formation
and sand movement. Through the study of meteorology, they can assess weather conditions and inform the Expedition’s choices in travel routes. Furthermore, they help Chemists analyze inorganic matter through radiometric dating.

Daily Tasks

In the morning, Geophysicists evaluate weather conditions and make predictions before planning any daily activities, such as geological surveys.
After breakfast, they meet with the Natural Sciences department and meet with other members of the Natural Sciences department to discuss their approach to the survey of the terrain surrounding the base camp (or any subexpeditions, if necessary). They must coordinate with other departments to form teams to scout the nearby territory, as detailed in the Department protocol.
Their specific task during the Expedition is to assess the physical conditions of the territory, particularly any variations in the local geomagnetic field. Another point of interest is the study of the wind’s influence on desert dunes; this analysis may be performed both during scouting missions and once back at base camp. During the afternoon, Geophysicists must also assist the rest of the department in the study of any interesting finds.


Geologists are experts in Earth sciences, and specifically study the structure and evolution of the Earth’s crust.
Within the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition, their task is to contribute to the search for extraterrestrial mineral formations together with other members of the Natural Sciences Department, and to study the makeup of the Saharan landscape, especially from a geomorphological and petrographical standpoint. They also search for fossils and analyze them with the assistance of Biologists and Paleontologists.
Finally, the Geologists of the Expedition support the Outdooring department in their search for water, a vital resource for the success and survival of the Expedition, by means of hydrogeological surveys.

Daily Tasks

In the morning, Geologists meet with other members of the Natural Sciences department to discuss their approach to the survey of the terrain surrounding the base camp (or any subexpeditions, if necessary). Afterwards, they join the Paleontology and Outdooring teams to split in
groups and scout the nearby territory.

Their specific duty is to perform on-site geomorphological and hydrogeological surveys by gathering terrain samples. In the afternoon, they analyze their findings and meet at the end of the day to discuss their results. Geologists are also the best prospectors in the Department; they are thus tasked with directing their colleagues’ efforts to explore the area, so that no important clues are left uninvestigated.
Together with Biologists and Paleontologists, Geologists also take an interest in fossils, and they are able to contribute to their study by following their colleagues’ directions.


The Mineralogist of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition is a scientist specializing in the study and classification of minerals based on their chemical makeup, crystalline structure and physical features.
Their duty within the Expedition is to study the minerals of the Sahara desert, be they Earthly or extraterrestrial; in particular, they are looking for nesosilicates generated by the impact of meteorites in the desert. Some oral accounts of Zerzura claim that its streets are paved with “fine green glass”, or in other words, meteoric silicate. The Mineralogist also assists their colleagues in Geology with granulometric and petrographic studies of the terrain.
They are also good judges for the value of any found artifacts, and can advise Mission Control on the matter, so that the sale of items unrelated to the Expedition’s goals may net a larger profit.

Daily Tasks

In the morning, meets with other members of the Natural Sciences department to discuss their approach to the survey of the terrain surrounding the base camp (or any subexpeditions, if necessary). Their role in such surveys is to gather any found minerals, especially when located near interesting artifacts.

The Mineralogist then spends the day cataloguing and studying their finds, and assists their colleagues in the analysis of any found meteorites. They share these duties with their Geologist colleagues. When not busy with the specifics of mineralogy, in fact, they mostly work with the Geology team, being a specialized member of it.


The Legion

Motto: Courage and Honor

They are an international paramilitary force with many operational missions in the desert and in hostile territories behind them. They are adventurers capable of getting out of the most complicated and desperate situations thanks to their great experience in the field.
Although they have a dubious reputation as mercenaries and opportunists behind them, their contribution to the expedition in terms of support will be crucial for everyone’s survival.

The Departments of which the Legion is composed are two:

  • Department of Outdooring
  • Department of Medicine

Department of Outdooring



instrumentation. Technicians are tasked with maintenance, repair and refinement of the entire Expedition’s gear, as well as maintaining radio contact with vanguard missions, in order to ensure the safety of the whole group.

The role of Technicians is crucial: without them, it would be impossible to make adequate use of the Expedition’s equipment without succumbing to critical failures that would put their usefulness in jeopardy. All scholars of the Expedition are well aware of this, as they make extensive use of the instrumentation at their disposal.

Daily Tasks

In the morning, Technicians perform a routine gear check to assess which instruments require maintenance in every department. Once they have identified the main issues, they form a chain to sort, diagnose and repair each piece of equipment.

When all defective gear has been gathered, a recently conceived standard procedure is enacted to ensure a swift repair. During the established hours the radio technicians will have to put the expedition in radio communication with the General Command in London


Support figures within the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition are soldiers enrolled in the Legion. Their expertise lies in defense tactics and escorting groups through difficult territory, particularly in the desert. Their devotion to duty is absolute and unconditional. They know the survival of this Expedition depends on their ability to safeguard the civilians that constitute its bulk.

Although they are people of action, they also know how to carefully assess a situation before making their move, and they always keep the Legionnaire’s code of honor fresh in their minds. A code they repeat each night, like a mantra.

Daily Tasks

Members of the Legion gather after breakfast for a roll call, and to receive the day’s orders.
Their leader briefs everyone on the current situation and main issues, then assigns tasks to each Legionnaire.
This being mainly an escort and scouting mission, the leader divides people among the Expedition’s various groups, so that they may gather useful information and guarantee the group’s safety.

This data, supported by the leader’s own sources, must be recorded in the mission log. Another daily activity is patrol duty.
After lunch, another briefing is held to share updates on the Expedition’s progres and reassign tasks where needed. The evening roll call and repetition of the code of honor constitute a convivial moment, and a chance to reinforce team spirit. Afterwards, Legionnaires are assigned to guard duty for the night. In case of relocation or subexpeditions, the Legion will enact a travel protocol to safeguard the moving caravan.


Every mission needs guides to guarantee a safe journey and a quick route to the destination: within the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition, Scouts are the ones to fill this role.
Scouts are tasked with keeping the group safe, protecting it from natural dangers, and preparing to face adversities when avoidance proves impossible. Scouts need to determine where, when and how to travel in safety, and they do so through orienteering, weather prediction and resource management.

They are responsible, expert professionals, and the civilians of the Expedition should always follow their directions on where and how to move, but any experienced Scout knows that their wards often put their thirst for discovery before any other concern, becoming a danger for themselves and for the group as a whole.

Daily Tasks

In the morning, Scouts meet with the Expedition Leader to share updates on the day’s route and to assign guides to any planned subexpeditions. Afterwards, they may consult other experts in the Expedition to better prepare for excursions or for the relocation of the base camp.

Scouts have a few fundamental duties to guarantee the group’s survival: they must always know where the North is, without relying on a compass; they must keep track of weather patterns; they must always be aware of who is going where and when on any given day.
At the end of the day, Scouts must gather to discuss any issues that may have arisen, and how to face them going forwards.

Department of Medicina

The Legion


Members of the Chemistry team of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition work to support their colleagues in the Medicine department, by supplying them with the pharmaceutical compounds, drugs, and herbs required to treat illnesses or injuries. Their job is to deduce what substance may be appropriate for each diagnosis given by medics and to keep the reagent storage under surveillance, to ensure minimal loss of precious components.
Besides pharmaceutical compounds, Chemists endeavor to support other departments whenever there is need to analyze a sample, to evaluate its internal composition (organic or inorganic) and discover its secrets and connections. The deepest bonds are, after all, a matter of chemistry.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, Chemists meet with their fellow department members to organize the day’s tasks. Afterwards, they take stock of the chemical storage, prepare their tools, and evaluate any requests made by other departments before taking on the day’s duties.
Once the ordinary tasks are settled, they remain available for any requests of chemical analysis from the Natural Sciences department, as well as keeping an eye on other daily activities. For security reasons, both everyday preparations and any experiments are to be carried out within the dedicated field laboratory.


Members of the Infirmary team within the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition work in support to the Field Medicine and Psychiatry teams, by handling the practicalities of treatment and assistance to the ill. They are the wardens and masters of the field hospital, and they monitor the health of other expedition members, as well as perform first aid in case of emergency. They also support the psychiatrist in carrying out tests and routine tasks.

As such, they are both altruistic and efficient, ruthless professionals of action, ready to act even in times of crisis. Members of the Infirmary team follow scouting parties beyond the confines of the base camp, offering first-level medical and psychological support and first aid whenever necessary, even stabilizing gravely injured patients to get them back to camp in time for a lifesaving surgery. The psychophysical health of the Expedition is of utmost importance in pursuit of
lost Zerzura.

Daily Tasks

The members of the Infirmary team meet with the rest of the Medicine and Psychiatry departments right after breakfast, to assess the situation of the field hospital as well as the general health of the Expedition, and establish priorities for the day’s operations. Afterwards, they assist medics and psychiatrist during daily appointments and update patient files, all the while administering necessary drugs on the Psychiatrist’s advice.

Nurses who take part in field missions must accurately stock first aid bags with anything they might require. In extreme environments such as the desert, being prepared is being alive. Saving a life might mean saving the entire Expedition.

Field Medicine

Members of the Field Medicine team look after the physical health of the Sutton-Gudrian expedition, especially when it comes to diagnosis, major medical procedures and field surgery.
With the assistance of fellow members of the Medicine department, they will assess the general health of the Expedition and apply preventive measures and tests to avoid viral outbreaks.

In extreme cases, they may petition Mission Control to enact emergency and quarantine procedures to safeguard the rest of the Expedition from a certain threat. Medics are a vital piece of this mission’s puzzle, and they must watch over a crucial step: getting to Zerzura is important, but getting back safe and sound is even more so.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, Medics gather in the field hospital with other members of the Medicine department to assess the patient situation. Each member of the Field Medicine team explains their current cases to their colleagues and assists Nurses in updating the patients’ files with new developments.

Once this first briefing is over, they visit any remaining patients and then patrol the camp to assess the health of the Expeditions; they prescribe drugs whenever necessary, or demand people to report to the field hospital for in-depth analysis. After lunch, Medics gather again to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment given during the morning. They may be asked to support field missions outside the base camp, to watch over their members’ special needs or to guarantee a higher rate of success.


The Psychiatrist of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition takes care of all aspects of their patients’ mental health. Psychiatry is a delicate field of medicine, requiring both medical prowess and empathy, as well as a sure knowledge of the mind: they are a medic for the soul. The extreme environment of the Expedition and the trials its explorers will be subjected to may take a toll on even the most grounded minds.

Thus, the Psychiatrist must never underestimate signs of psychic distress: left untreated, they may have disastrous consequences on the individual and on the group as a whole. For this reason, Mission Control and the entire Medicine Department must be informed of any suspicious symptoms, so that they may react swiftly and treat (or temporarily isolate) potentially dangerous subjects before they hurt themselves or anyone else- or even worse, compromise the search for ancient Zerzura.

Daily Tasks

The Psychiatrist meets with the rest of the Medicine department to assess daily tasks at the beginning of the day, then analyzes troublesome cases and requests any tonics or medications needed to treat their patients. After this first briefing, they remain available to members of the Expedition who request their assistance, or visit subjects deemed unstable by Mission Control or fellow colleagues.

In the afternoon, barring any specific emergencies, the Psychiatrist advances their studies by working with the Parapsychology department, although their feelings on the matter may be ambivalent: they hold some fascination for their practices, sure, but they also know that such parascientific chatter might be a smokescreen for simple parlor tricks.


Royal Geographical Society

Motto: Knowledge is Power

The long-standing British geographical association has a solid background of ambitious expeditions by explorers who have entered into legend.
Its cartographers and expertise in managing expeditions into hostile territories will be crucial to the success of the expedition. Furthermore, the command and logistics of the entire mission is managed by them.

The Departments of which the Royal Geographical Society is composed are three:

  • Department of Cartography
  • Department of Documentation
  • Department of Mission Command

Department of Cartography


Archeological Cartography

The Archaeological Cartographers of the Sutton-Gudrian Expeditions specialize in mapping dig sites and ancient places, as well as reconstructing the original layout of archaeological sites.
Their duty is to assist the Archeology department with surveys and excavations by keeping notes about the location of possible finds, and consequently drafting an archaeological map of the territory.
They are also able to deduce the topography of an ancient city based on nothing but vague clues and a few scattered remains: for this reason, their experience could be the determining factor in the search for a city such as Zerzura, whose fate is shrouded in mystery.

Daily Tasks

The first thing an Archaeological Cartographer does in the morning is gather with the rest of the Cartography Department to establish priorities for the day, particularly which maps need to be focused on.
They then leave to join the Archeology department in their survey missions. Archaeological Cartographers must mark every new find on a map; they must thus set up a datum as a reference point and use it to measure the distance from found artifacts.
When needed, Cartographers may assist the Archeology department in the actual excavation, as well as offer their expertise in theorizing about the sites’ functions and structure. Determining which finds and which points of interest are worthy of marking on a general map of the territory
is a matter for discussion with the Cartography department.


The Geobotanists of the Sutton-Gudrian Expeditions are tasked with mapping the flora of the Sahara Desert. They are cartographers specialized in the study and representation of plants, their distribution, and the quality and characteristics of the soil they inhabit.
Their duty is to draft a map of the plant life in the territories crossed by the Expedition, with particular focus on the species encountered, their age and their density. By working with Biologists and Ancient History scholars, they attempt to reconstruct the wider picture that could help the Expedition locate the three green uadi (valleys) described in the legends surrounding the mythical city of Zerzura.

Daily Tasks

The first thing Geobotanists do in the morning is gather with the rest of the Cartography Department to establish priorities for the day, particularly which maps need to be focused on.
They then leave to join the Archeology department in their survey of the territory surrounding the base camp. Geobotanists are tasked with assisting Biologists in particular, and work with them to take note of the distribution of plant life on the territory. They also assist in the analysis
of the soil.
Back in base camp, they mark the plant distribution down on a vegetation map. They might also support colleagues from other Departments in recording the location of interesting areas or items. Determining which finds and which points of interest are worthy of marking on a general map of the territory is a matter for discussion with the Cartography department.

Geographical Cartography

The Geographical Cartographers of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition are experts in surveying and geodetics, working to study the measurement and representation of the Earth in order to map uncharted territory.

Their duty within the Expedition, with the help of the Outdooring and Astronomy departments, is to draft a map of the Sahara Desert, the widest expanse of uncharted land on Earth. They are also tasked with keeping track of the Expedition’s route, as well as any subexpeditions leading away from the main course. Finally, Geographical Cartographers must carefully record the location of artifact findings and other points of interest outside the domain of more specialized colleagues.

Daily Tasks

The first thing Geographical Cartographers do in the morning is talk with the Astronomy department to get updates on the current position of the camp, calculated through nightly measurements.
Afterwards, they meet with the rest of their Department. They discuss the day’s business, particularly which maps need to be focused on, then move on to actual work. They move to observation points in company of the Department’s Illustrators, set up their plane tables and begin charting.

Geographical Cartographers are also tasked with preparing a first draft of the day’s route correction, so that the Expedition stays on track at every leg of the journey. Whenever their help is needed, they may also assist other Departments in marking down the location of findings, artifacts and other points of interest.


The Illustrators of the Sutton-Gudrian Expeditions are experts in technical drawing, particularly when it comes to landscapes and architecture.

Their duty within the Expedition is to aid their fellow Cartographers in documenting the journey through the Sahara Desert, by producing panoramic sketches of the landscape that complete their mapwork. Moreover, Illustrators assist Geographical Cartographers in mapping
and tracking the route, and the History and Literature department in visually representing the architecture of Zerzura, or what little the Expedition may glean about its ancient glory.

Daily Tasks

The first thing Illustrators do in the morning is gather with the rest of the Cartography Department to establish priorities for the day, particularly which maps need to be focused on.
When this meeting is over, Illustrators prepare their equipment and help Geographical Cartographers set up the tools they need for mapmaking.

They then follow the Cartographers to whatever sites need to be mapped and illustrated. Their help is essential to accurately gauge distance; once this is done, they can begin sketching the landscapes for future illustrations.
Illustrator can also come in to assist the History and Literature department with technical drawings of architecture.

Department of Documentation



The Actor of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition is an expert practitioner of the dramatic arts; through their movements and words, they are able to convey the stories and feelings that they witness on this journey. Their duty within the Expedition is to be the face and narrating voice of the documentary produced by the Royal Geographical Society: “In search of legendary Zerzura”.

That of the actor is a job unlike any other: their very body and voice act as a vessel to the world for the marvels and struggles of the search for Zerzura, and this entails a certain responsibility, as well as the unavoidable duty to live every events with an open heart. This is the only way to be able to burn the strength and emotion of this journey, a once-in-a-lifetime experience at its very core, onto the film. As they understand the unique, specific character of these conditions and learn about every aspect of this search in the Sahara desert, they know the only way to
recount this Expedition and its events is to experience them in person, digging their hands into the sand of excavations, mapping out the caravan’s route, training with the Legionnaires: they must always be first in line, their body and mind in complete service to the quest for Zerzura
and the public cheering for it.

Daily Tasks

In the morning, the Actor follows a variety of disciplines to awaken their body and mind. They may find a place within the Legion’s daily training sessions, or meditate with the Parapsychology department, or convince someone else from the Documentation crew to practice with them.
After breakfast, the Actor joins the general meeting of the crew to discuss the day’s shooting schedule. As the crew readies the props and tools for use, the Actor prepares their own: their voice, through diction and vocal exercises, their memory, through study of the screenplay, and their communication skills as a whole.

The Actor is more than a mere reporter, they are a protagonist among the protagonists of the Expedition, and it is therefore vital that they experience caravan life to the fullest, so that they are able to capture it on film. During shooting, the Actor brings life to the script prepared by
the screenwriter by following the Director’s guidance, and remains available to shoot at any time.
When otherwise unoccupied, they can devote their time to the search for Zerzura, by talking to the rest of the Expedition and finding the best way to tell this adventurous tale. Perhaps they will even be the first to cross the gates of the mythical White City.


Just like any other cinematographic product, the creation of a documentary calls for the unifying vision of a Director. They are tasked with bringing the film to life, both from a technical perspective and from an artistic one, and they are often the mediator between aesthetic needs
and financial restraints dictated by the production. The Director of the Documentation Department of the Royal Geographical Society drafts the day’s storyboard, determining how each scene is shot and what each frame should contain, then moves on to orchestrating the actors’ efforts, giving them all the guidance they need to perform.
The Director works in synergy with their Assistant and closest collaborator, who handles the logistical planning of shootings and the organization of the set, giving a physical body to the Director’s vision. The Assistant Director must study the storyboard, follow each phase of the preliminary work (from reading the script to supervising the crew, from preparing the actors to surveying the sets). They also function as the production’s “alarm”: they keep the time and make sure that each day of shooting goes exactly as planned. The Director and their Assistant are both set on ensuring this documentary shows the world the extraordinary adventure that is the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition.

Daily Tasks

At the start of the day, the Assistant Director summons the entire crew for a short briefing, detailing what scenes need to be shot before nightfall. Of course, the timeline of a documentary wishing to follow the Expedition in real time cannot be anything but flexible, but this requires a strong organization: if something unexpected happens, the entire machine must be ready to start documenting it in mere seconds.
If everything goes as planned, the Director and their help can then move on to drafting the production schedule: scenes, times, locations, props and other resources must be carefully listed.
Afterwards, the Director begins creating the storyboard, a proper graphic representation of the shooting angles in chronological order.
When the time for shooting finally comes, the Direction works to orchestrate the crew’s efforts, providing a constant flux of instructions about the framing of each scene, the lights and the sounds, and of course the performance of the speaker as well as any other members of the Expedition involved in shooting.


The Screenwriter of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition is the mind behind the cinematographic documentary financed by the Royal Geographical Society. They are born from cinema, yes, but their curiosity has flourished into a dedication towards truth: they aim to produce a most objective account on this dangerous, controversial mission.
The Screenwriter is also one who tells stories through cinema, however, so the choice of how to frame the Expedition’s tale is a crucial one. They are a great admirer of adventure, and they wish to be the first to document the discovery of mythical Zerzura; but they know that they did
not set out for the desert to write a romantic flick. They must describe what happens in loving, truthful detail, even if it leads them to clash against the Expedition’s financers.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, the Screenwriter of the documentary holds a meeting with the rest of the crew to plan the day’s shooting schedule. They must work closely with the Director to decide which scenes deserve shooting, and they are ready to coach the Speaker on their lines and delivery. During the shooting, they must remain on set to quickly alter the screenplay whenever need be.
When the cameras are off, they spend their time reviewing the narrative sequence of the scenes and assess the state of the documentary, in order to gauge whether more scenes are necessary to tell the story as accurately as possible. Some tales are worth telling, and the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition will certainly be one of them.

Mission Control



The Consultant is tasked with smoothing over every imperfection in the complex mosaic of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition. They know the ins and outs of the caravan’s structure, and this allows them to ensure demand and offer of knowledge and services between its various Departments meet in the middle. The Consultant ensures each operative team possesses the right equipment and human resources to work. They step in to suggest transfers and cooperations between Departments. They have ears and eyes in every corner of the camp. This means they know exactly where to act in times of crisis.

The Consultant acts as a bloodhound for the Royal Geographical Society, sniffing out lacking performances and ineptitude within its organization. They verify that each member of the Expedition works towards the common good, gather information and ensure that each professional profile is assigned a fitting task. Human resources are like a tree: one needs to nurture the fruitful branches and cut off the rotten bits.

Daily Tasks

The Consultant’s first task after breakfast is to join a general meeting, listening for problems that need addressing. Afterwards, they compile a list of the most urgent issues and offer the head of each Department their assistance and expertise in troubleshooting or conflict resolution.
The Consultant’s approach should be free of any prejudice towards their coworkers.

When their vision of the general situation is clear, the problem solving phase begins: they suggest new approaches to the heads of department.
During the afternoon, the Consultant compiles a report and singles out Departments or Institution that merit further investigations and in-depth Audits.

Expedition Leader

The Expedition Leader is tasked with guiding the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition towards its final destination. To accomplish this feat, they must make bold choices and safeguard the complex array of Institutions that make up the caravan. Their duty is not limited to monitoring supplies and equipment: they must also evaluate human resources and chart the course of the journey.

The Expedition Leader is the main field representative of the Royal Geographical Society. They thus have the honor (and burden) to keep the Society updated on the advancement of the mission.
They are assisted by Mission Control in doing so: an eclectic team of experts, standing by the Leader’s side in their difficult task. Knowledge is power.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, the Expedition Leader calls for a General Meeting with a representative from each Department of the Expedition. They chair the meeting with the support of their Secretary, as well as the other members of Mission Control if need be.

For the rest of the day, the Leader is tasked with supervision and coordination. After the General Meeting, they consort with Mission Control for an operative briefing: they identify urgent matters and decide how to act on them.

This accomplishes several goals: evaluating whether all members of the Expedition are working towards the common good; deciding how to employ available resources, including time; keeping track of the morale and the social dynamics of Expedition members, so that each decision is made swiftly and for the benefit of the mission. The duties of the Expedition Leader go from accurately reporting on its advancement and discoveries, to periodically meeting with other pillars of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition. No detail can be left unexamined.

International Relations

The Secretary of Embassy is the chief diplomatic figure of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition, whose political finesse safeguards the mission’s health. Their duty is to mediate relationships with local tribes and representatives of foreign nations that the Expedition may encounter on its journey. They are also the official mouthpiece of the Expedition, as they know and understand most European languages.

They are also a messenger and a confidant, gathering letters from the rest of the world and delivering them to their recipients within the Expedition. They assist and occasionally replace the Secretary in receiving and transmitting radio reports to and from . A good guide can find an oasis
in the desert, but it’s up to the diplomat to ensure they are welcome to drink its waters.

Daily Tasks

In the morning, the expert in International Relations sits in the General Meeting and updates Mission Control on the diplomatic status of the mission, as well as any problems tied to the current territory.

They have a say in choosing the best route on the way to Zerzura, as they are well-versed on the political chessboard of the region. For the rest of the day, they study their next move and write letters to regional political leaders to secure safe passage for the Expedition and avoid trouble
with local tribes. Must be present during daily radio communications with London Command in case there are problems related to both local and international geopolitics. In the evening, they consult once more with the rest of Mission Control to make executive decisions about the mission.


The Personal Secretary supports the Expedition Leader in their delicate quest to coordinate the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition. They also keep track of the logs redacted by other Departments for the benefit of Mission Control. They take scrupulous notes about the discoveries and knowledge
unearthed by the Expedition to update the Records of the Royal Geographical Society.

Their goal is to know exactly where the missing piece of the mosaic might be hiding at any given time.
The Personal Secretary also has the vital duty to transcribe and safeguard all incoming and outgoing transmissions. They handle the mission’s radio, tuned to the short-range channel of the support caravan and the long-range channel of the French colony. There are two kinds of people in this world: the successful ones, and those who don’t have a good secretary yet.

Daily Tasks

The Secretary’s first activity in the morning is gathering mission logs from the other Departments.
They then catalogue the documents redacted by other members of the Expedition within the records of the Royal Geographical Society. Afterwards, they sit in the General Meeting of Department representatives, chaired by the Expedition Leader.

The rest of the day is spent aiding the Expedition Leader in the many tasks under their supervision, filtering the requests from other Departments, handling the archives of the Society, and already knowing the answers to tricky questions.

Head of Internal Security

The Head of Internal Security (H.I.S.) of the Royal Geographical Society is tasked with monitoring the people and environment of the Expedition, controls and inspections, surveys and interrogations whenever necessary. They must then study gathered intel to formulate an action plan that ensures the individual protection of important figures within the Society, as well as the safety of civilian members of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition.

They are also a skilled consultant, tactician and investigator, with the authority to withhold items or resources as evidence in the course of their work.
Their most vital duty is to gather security reports from the Legion’s Support unit: the Head of Security must analyse the accounts and complaints about security breaches or theft made by civilian members of the Expedition, and personally solve disputes.

The Head of Internal Security is under the direct authority of Mission Control, and they must constantly coordinate with its members as well as offer their expertise.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, the Head of Internal Security consults with Mission Control to learn more about the current situation.
Immediately after, they must find the head of the Legion’s Support Unit to gather security breach reports for future analysis.

The Head of Internal Security must take part in a General meeting chaired by the Expedition Leader, moderated by their Secretary and the rest of Mission Control, and attended by representatives of every Department of the Expedition.

For the rest of the day, the Head of Internal Security will attend to their personal tasks, devoting their time to the individual and collective security of the Expedition and interfacing with the head of each Department to offer their professional expertise.


The W. Isynwill Foundation

Motto: Beyond the Veil

The W. Isynwill Foundation has been involved in parapsychology and the investigation of reality with “alternative” and experimental tools and techniques for many years. Their long experience in the field and the undoubted successes they have achieved have granted them a fair reputation throughout the United States.
Despite this, many remain sceptical of their methods. However, their scientific and para-scientific background is indispensable to give the expedition an extra edge.

The departments of which The W. Isynwill Foundation is composed are two:

  • Department of Parapsychology
  • Department of Astrology

Department of Parapsychology



The Clairvoyant of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition is a parapsychology expert researching the possibility of extra-sensory perception of objects, places and events, things that are invisible, hidden or distant in space and time.

Their task is to cooperate with the parapsychologists in the team to point other experts in the Expedition (such as archeologists, philologists and guides) in the right direction. They direct their efforts through divination of cards. For instance, the clairvoyant might perceive images that will tell them where to set up a dig site, or where to direct a subexpedition to find proof of the Jefferson caravan, or even a trace of ancient Zerzura.

Daily Tasks

The first task of the Clairvoyant each morning is to take note of the night’s dreams in their journal. Morning meditation will help translate dream images into meaningful information. Any interpretation must be noted down as well. Afterwards, a short training session with Zener cards should always follow. This helps the Clairvoyant focus, so that any following divination becomes clearer and more easily understandable.
The Zener card test may also be employed to evaluate the clairvoyance and/or telepathy potential of other Expedition members.

After training and depending on the day’s route and schedule, the Clairvoyant devotes their morning or afternoon dowsing in search of the Jefferson expedition, either with a pendulum on local maps or outside, with a dowsing rod. Upon request by other members of the expeditions,
they might also analyze artifacts or other objects through psychometry or a cristalloscopy mirror.
After dinner there will be a mediumistic session in which all the members of the Parapsychology department (mesmerists, hypnotists, telepaths, clairvoyants, astrologers and spiritists) usually participate. The expert of Spiritism acts as a master of ceremonies by setting up a special
space and by reminding all the various steps of the session. The other colleagues will offer their expertise in the attempt of a contact with what is hidden beyond the veil.


A Hypnotist is, before everything else, a scientists. Their studies have brought them to see beyond the naivety of stage mesmerism, and they are well aware that hypnosis is, at its roots, a psychosomatic phenomenon based on suggestion.
Within the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition, the Hypnotist may use their skills to treat patients affected by grave physical or psychical symptoms, even when doctors and psychiatrists have given up on them. There is more: hypnosis may convince someone to reveal their deepest secrets,
rekindle their buried memories, open the doors to their subconscious, alter their behavior, or become malleable to others’ will.
Only the bravest (and most unhinged) Hypnotists dare go beyond, experimenting with journeys through the astral plane or trying to master oneiromancy, the art of directing one’s dreams.

Daily Tasks

Being well aware of the incredible power of suggestion on the human mind and the real world, every respectable Hypnotists begins their day by repeating their mantra three times. Each has their own version of the phrase, but the most popular version simply recites: “Day by day, in
every way, I’m getting better and better.” According to the principle of the Dominant Effect, the same mantra should be repeated whenever it feels relevant, at least ten to twenty times each day.
Once energized by the mantra, the Hypnotist should devote their morning to perfecting their technique by operating self-hypnosis or applying hypnagogic exercises to their colleagues. They may draw from their repertoire, or search for new material on a reference text. The Hypnotist
regularly takes appointments, so they should always publicize the techniques they have mastered and the therapeutic results they can achieve. During the day, they may hold hypnotic session on request, to alleviate physical, psychical or psychosomatic symptoms.

The Hypnotis also evaluates other Expedition members on the Trance Scale, trying to pinpoint the most susceptible hypnotic subjects for in-depth psychic exploration and astral plane journeys.
The subjects are tested with simple hypnosis exercises and their reactions are accurately recorded and catalogued. The Hypnotist must always be available to the colleagues of The W. Isynwill Foundation, to handle emergencies or difficult cases: where all other methods fail, a deep hypnotic induction will certainly take effect.

At sunset, when other members of the Expedition are enveloped by sleepy tranquillity, the Hypnotist may take on their more outlandish experiments. Away from prying eyes, they can try to make contact with otherworldly beings, with the ancient past, and with the deepest, most inaccessible depths of the human psyche, the dark reaches where nightmares sleep. This is a dangerous path, but one that promises rewards beyond imagination.
After dinner there will be a mediumistic session in which all the members of the Parapsychology department (mesmerists, hypnotists, telepaths, clairvoyants, astrologers and spiritists) usually participate. The expert of Spiritism acts as a master of ceremonies by setting up a special
space and by reminding all the various steps of the session. The other colleagues will offer their expertise in the attempt of a contact with what is hidden beyond the veil.


The Mesmerist is an individual of many talents. Years of study and practice have gifted them with the ability to find and easily manipulate the universal vital fluid that permeates all elemental components of our universe, and thus all living beings.

Within the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition, the Mesmerist employs their skills to heal the afflictions of the body, mind and spirit of their fellow adventurers, venturing where official medicine dares not reach. The Mesmerist normally operates upon request by the patient, but part
of their humanitarian endeavor is to actively look for signs of magnetic weakness in the people surrounding them. They draw from a variety of techniques to remove these afflictions, from simple twin magnets to the laying of hands to vibrational therapy, for which they may benefit from the aid of their Hypnotist colleague.

Their ability to find even the weakest traces of Lebensmagnetismus in artifacts or in the very ground make them a precious asset: together with the Clairvoyant and other parapsychologists of The W. Isynwill Foundation, they will steer the search for the lost city of Zerzura and for the Jefferson expedition in the right direction.

Daily Tasks

Each morning the Mesmerist spends some time exercising to perfect the most useful, most complex technique passed onto them by the founder of the discipline, Mesmer himself: the removal of Obstructions. Once this is done, the Mesmerist proceeds to magnetize water through the Baquet ritual, then devotes their time to diagnosis and treatment.

The Mesmerist usually sorts their appointments according to patient requests, to devote enough time to each of them. Mesmeric applications are useful not only to heal bodily maladies and afflictions of the soul (tremors, convulsions, belly aches, insomnia, hysteria, paralisis, catatonia, melancholy, and many others), but also to alleviate pain, favor restful sleep and improve physical performance. They strengthen focus and aid with clarity of mind.

For the most complex cases, the Mesmerist may request assistance from the Hypnotist, when the patient requires a deeper state of trance.
In the afternoon, when the vital fluid can finally flow without obstructions, the Mesmerist consorts with the Clairvoyant and works with the diapason or the dowsing magnets in order to find magnetic traces of mythical Zerzura, or the more recent fluid trails left by the lost Jefferson
After dinner there will be a mediumistic session in which all the members of the Parapsychology department (mesmerists, hypnotists, telepaths, clairvoyants, astrologers and spiritists) usually participate. The expert of Spiritism acts as a master of ceremonies by setting up a special space and by reminding all the various steps of the session. The other colleagues will offer their expertise in the attempt of a contact with what is hidden beyond the veil.


Spiritists set themselves apart for their innate connection with the immaterial, and are capable of crossing the threshold of physical reality. Although some orthodox scientists believe them to be charlatans, they are meticulous scholars and tireless investigators.

Within the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition, they put their keen sixth sense and ability to contact the spirits of the deceased in service of the search for Zerzura. They also possess a strong capacity for empathy with living souls, with whom they often talk about their departed friends or family members. The Spiritists selected for this Expedition follow strict rules and intense training, such as deep meditation, to purify their perceptions and empty their minds, so that they may welcome whatever comes from “beyond the veil”. Although their discipline is strict, they may run the risk of going well past the limits of their earthly existence, and to walk the line
separating life from death.

Daily Tasks

The Spiritists rise at dawn to practice deep meditation after a glass of fresh water to awaken their bodies. After breakfast, they meet with the parapsychology department to coordinate daily tasks. In the morning they may devote their time to the study and interpretation of the book of spirits, or begin interviewing fellow Expedition members about their dearly departed: family members, friends, or individuals perished in violent circumstances, whose souls might be looking for appeasement, or for contact with the world of the living.

After dinner there will be a mediumistic session in which all the members of the Parapsychology department (mesmerists, hypnotists, telepaths, clairvoyants, astrologers and spiritists) usually participate. The expert of Spiritism acts as a master of ceremonies by setting up a special space and by reminding all the various steps of the session. The other colleagues will offer their expertise in the attempt of a contact with what is hidden beyond the veil.


The Telepath of the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition is an expert in the transmission of thought: they are able to communicate through the mind, without employing any other sense or tool.

They follow an ancient Indian school of thought, according to which communication happens through an immense networks, each person a knot in its tapestry; this net envelopes the universe, everything is connected to everything else, and the Telepath knows how to tap into this
connection. Like other disciplines in the Parapsychology department of The W. Isynwill Foundation, Telepathy is a practice on the border between matter and spirit; for this reason, some skeptics of Miskatonic University regard it with suspicion.

But the Telepath has experienced their own potential, and they believe in their ability to understand and interpret the deep thoughts of those they interact with, discovering aspects of the subject they themselves might be unaware of. Within the great collective mind the most important secrets lie hidden, and Zerzura may well be one of them.

Daily Tasks

After breakfast, the Telepath begins the workday with personal exercises of sensory cleansing: deep breathing, meditation, focalized listening. An isolated, pure environment such as the desert should make such practices even more effective. Afterwards, the Telepath may consult with the head of Parapsychology to be assigned a partner for extrasensory experimentation: breath synchronization, inner focus, visualization and finally the transmission of signs, emotions, and complex messages.

In the afternoon, or whenever necessary, the Telepath puts their abilities at the Expedition’s disposal: they might try to assist psychologically or emotionally unstable subjects, by divining the deep feelings broadcast by their unconscious minds, or work to uncover the information kept
secret by dissident members of the Expedition.

After dinner there will be a mediumistic session in which all the members of the Parapsychology department (mesmerists, hypnotists, telepaths, clairvoyants, astrologers and spiritists) usually participate. The expert of Spiritism acts as a master of ceremonies by setting up a special space and by reminding all the various steps of the session. The other colleagues will offer their expertise in the attempt of a contact with what is hidden beyond the veil.

Department of Astrology



Archeoastronomy is the study of astronomical knowledge possessed by ancient civilizations, and of its ties to society, religion and rituals.
Within the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition, Archeoastronomers cooperate with the Archeology, Anthropology and Theology departments. Through direct observation of the night sky and the study of astral maps, they reconstruct the configuration of stars in past eras of history, looking
for alignments and conjunctions that might be connected to relevant astronomical phenomena (meteor falls, comets, supernovae, and so on). Through Ephemerides tables they search for significant data that might shine light on the mysteries behind Zerzura and its exact location.

Daily Tasks

In the morning, Archeoastronomers meet with other members of the Astronomy department to discuss tasks for the day. The head of department confers with the heads of Archeology, Anthropology and Theology, then assigns some colleagues to aid other departments and others to work autonomously. Afterwards, every member of the team illustrates their current projects to the rest.

Depending on the route for the day, all members of the Astronomy department meet either after lunch or before dinner to discuss the results of their studies. Each member reports the hypotheses and conclusions they have formulated as they relate to the search for Zerzura.


Astrometry experts analyze the measurement, positioning, distance and movement of stars and other celestial bodies.

Within the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition, they work with Archeoastronomers and the Archeology department. They study star maps or any ancient stone carvings they might come across to calculate the position of stars during a particular astronomical phenomenon (such as an eclipse, comet, meteor fall and so on). This helps them look for alignments or astral conjunctions that might be related to it. With a sextant, an Ephemerides table and a watch, they are able to accurately
assess their position in the desert. Their measurements might reveal significant data about the location of ancient Zerzura.

Daily Tasks

In the morning, Astrometry experts meet with other members of the Astronomy department to discuss tasks for the day. The head of department confers with the head of Archeology, then assigns some colleagues to aid other scholars and others to work autonomously. Afterwards, every member of the team illustrates their current projects to the rest.

Depending on the route for the day, all members of the Astronomy department meet either after lunch or before dinner to discuss the results of their studies. Each member reports the hypotheses and conclusions they have formulated as they relate to the search for Zerzura.

Radio Astronomy

Radio astronomers study celestial phenomena through the measurement of radio waves emitted by physical processes in outer space.

Within the Sutton-Gudrian Expedition, they employ a coherer to pick up variations in the electromagnetic field, or gravitational waves caused by significant cosmic events, such as supernovae or the formation of wormholes.

Daily Tasks

In the morning, Radio astronomers meet with other members of the Astronomy department to discuss tasks for the day. The head of department confers with the head of Natural Sciences, then assigns some colleagues to aid other departments and others to work autonomously.
Afterwards, every member of the team illustrates their current projects to the rest.

Depending on the route for the day, all members of the Astronomy department meet either after lunch or before dinner to discuss the results of their studies. Each member reports the hypotheses and conclusions they have formulated as they relate to the search for Zerzura.


The Astrologist of The W. Isynwill Foundation holds deep knowledge of the heavens and the mysteries hidden in the void between the stars. They are the heir to a millennia-old complex of
beliefs and traditions, allowing them to comprehend how the positions and movements of celestial bodies can influence on human affairs both collective and personal.

They leave the cold, aseptic study of astronomical charts to their “scientist” colleagues: their goal is not to catalogue every star or planet in the sky, but to read the messages sent by the stars and with their help to predict the future.
By compiling star charts and daily horoscopes, they help each Department orient their research in the right direction, foreseeing dangers to the mission and ways to circumvent them. Even
individuals may draw a great benefit from consulting the ancient lore of astrology: Islamic and Babylonian sapience might tell one whether the time is right to finally set out to do what they have always wanted, or how to improve their physical and mental health through the appropriate diet. The discovery of lost Zerzura is written in the stars.

Daily Tasks

In the morning, after breakfast, the Astrologist redacts a general horoscope for each sign about the coming day, and makes it public so that all members of the Expedition may consult it at their need.

Afterwards, they draft a star chart to know whether the skies are favorable towards a certain undertaking, eventually advising the responsible parties on how to prevent misfortune. In the afternoon, they devote their time to long-term research. Knowing that the Expedition, like any other corporeal and incorporeal entity, is influenced by the stars, the Astrologist can deduce its universal birth chart: by determining the layout of the stars at the “birth” of each group or department and the planetary influences on its existence, they can accurately predict the immediate future of the Expedition, and perhaps even change its course.
After dinner there will be a mediumistic session in which all the members of the Parapsychology department (mesmerists, hypnotists, telepaths, clairvoyants, astrologers and spiritists) usually participate. The expert of Spiritism acts as a master of ceremonies by setting up a special space and by reminding all the various steps of the session. The other colleagues will offer their expertise in the attempt of a contact with what is hidden beyond the veil.

The Circles

Even an expedition as demanding as this one is not all work. A trip is always an extraordinary moment of encounter, where passions, interests and even vices intertwine, bringing together in the same tent even people who, judged on the basis of their duties, would seem to have nothing to share.

The Circles are groups of people united by something, a shared experience, a hobby, common interests. Something that goes beyond the work routines that everyone carries out during the expedition. It is an additional, transversal network of relationships based on the character’s interests or past. In each Circle you will find characters from different Institutions.


Club Roulette

For the adventurous members of Club Roulette, even the gamble of the expedition is not enough: they seek the thrill in every moment. Members of this circle meet to play cards or dice. They throw the most diverse challenges at each other and bet on everything, even on the unexpected events of the journey and on their own lives.

Speakeasy Union

For the refined members of the Speakeasy Union, the labours of the expedition should be forgotten with a toast: the journey can be a party. Members of this Circle meet to sip a drink or hint at some dance moves. They exchange songs and stories from their respective countries, enjoying life in the face of difficulties and risks.

The Silver Key

For the reserved members of the Silver Key, the search for Zerzura represents the last step on the path to enlightenment: opening the door to every mystery is their calling. Members of this Circle meet to share knowledge and thoughts that elsewhere would be considered bizarre. They exchange myths and arcane knowledge reserved for initiates only.

Society for Research

For the determined members of the Society for Research, reason and the scientific method are indispensable tools: keeping them lucid and sharp is a duty. Members of this Circle meet to share their experiences and expertise. They exchange cutting-edge theories and studies, often conducted in person and yet to be verified.

Lions Club

For the esteemed members of the Lions Club, the world keeps turning even while they are in the desert: business never sleeps. Members of this Circle meet to discuss the future, both that of nations and that of their respective companies. They exchange proposals for further collaboration and personal ambitions, in the most exclusive of Circles.

Socialist Party

For the passionate members of the Socialist Party, the fire of politics burns even hotter than the desert sun: the party needs them. The members of this Circle meet because there is an ideology to unite them and together they know they can make a difference. They exchange experiences of struggle and discuss how to ensure respect for all workers, in the expedition and beyond.

Great War Veteran Society

For the hardened members of the Great War Veteran Society, the war is still too close an echo: recalling it is simply unavoidable. The members of this circle meet because, whether they have been enemies or allies in the past, they are bound together by the most traumatic of experiences. They exchange war anecdotes, sing songs and listen to each other.


In Sahara Expedition we will use some narrative tools that we have designed specifically for this event. They are called “meta-techniques” precisely because they allow you to reflect on the story and intervene in its unfolding in a direct way, carving out a specific space for your character in the flow of events.

Their purpose is very simple: to go straight to the point of the relationships and emotions that interest you the most. They will be explained in detail during the workshops that will be held before the start of the game, but it is useful to start familiarising yourself with their potential.


Sahara Expedition is divided into five chapters plus a prologue, each lasting several hours. They are intended to make the action more dense and emotional by emphasising turning points in the story and helping you to evolve the story and your character. They will serve to simulate the passage of time, deepen interpretations and help you understand themes and interactions. They will be creative pauses from which to start again with greater intensity.

This metatechnique will be deepened during workshops before the start of the game.

Descent (Into madness!)

Dealing with the Cthulhu Mythos comes at a cost. The Descent is the narrative tool that tells how your character gradually loses contact with reality. At a certain moment your character might “lose control” and start to behave a little… crazy.

On your character sheet you find a section where you are given hints on how to interpret your character’s descent into madness. It is different for each character, some will relive past traumas, others will behave strangely…

As the story and chapters progress, these steps of descent into madness will be unlocked, and you can choose to “go down a step” as soon as the Descent Spark occurs (you will also find this in the character sheet), or wait and start going insane later.

We recommend that you link your Descent to the way you play your character. Remember, Descent is a track designed to help you. If you prefer to stage your Descent in a different way to what is in your sheet, you can do so, the important thing is that you remain true to your character. If you have any doubts, please contact us.

This metatechnique will be explored in depth during workshops before the start of the game.


You will be playing in a particular, unique environment, and it is important that in addition to an evocative and charming costume, the clothes must also be practical, especially footwear.


Mild Climate

Although in the imagination the desert is hot, in reality this is not always the case. We purposely chose periods when the temperatures are mild and range between a minimum of 14 °C and a maximum of 26 °C. So it’s super comfortable!

Let’s avoid clichés

An exploration mission may bring to mind images of Dr Livingstone or typical Berber clothing. Keep away from the obvious solutions so as not to make your character a stereotype. No tropical (colonial) helmets and no ethnic clothing.

Clothes and accessories must tell the story of the character, their life, their personality, and remember that each Institution has its own colour.

Colours and Materials

Being able to recognise who is in front of you at first glance will be an added value to your gaming experience. It is possible to trace the Institution a character belongs to from the initial of their name, which is identical to that of the Institution itself, but it is not always easy to remember so many names: this is where costumes come in, allowing you to recognise a character’s affiliation at first glance, from their colour and style.

The colours indicated do not necessarily have to be dominant in the character’s costume: the fashion of the time, especially for men, tends more towards neutral tones. The important thing is to manifest the colour of one’s own institution in at least one accessory and to avoid the colours of other institutions as much as possible.

  • Miskatonic University – Red
  • La Legione – White
  • Royal Geographical Society – Blue
  • The W. Isynwill Foundation – Yellow

Institutions – Styles

The style of the characters’ clothing is not so much a constraint as it is a matter of shared taste that each person can interpret in their own way.

In the list below you are given a concept to inspire you, while following the descriptions of each institution we will proceed with a series of pictures and practical examples to achieve the desired result (feel free also to consult  the gallery of the previous runs to get an idea).

  • Miskatonic University – Academic
  • The Legion – Military (Jacket and hat will be provided by the orga)
  • Royal Geographical Society – Practical/Technical
  • The W. Isynwill Foundation – Extravagant

Miskatonic University

The characters of Miskatonic University come from a formal and privileged background.

Adherence to etiquette and professorial style is important, so it is not uncommon to see them in the desert wearing jackets with patches, classic trousers, cardigans and waistcoats, as well as shirts or blouses, also with cardigans and jackets, as well as with skirts and high-waisted soft trousers.

Ideal accessories for showing off the colour red are ties, bow ties, fedoras and caps, or scarves and cloche hats.

The Legion

Legion members follow a less strict protocol than a national army, but still a form of uniform. A white jacket and hat are provided by the organisation, while it is customary to wear a white shirt and white trousers, either long or knee-length, with white or neutral coloured socks underneath.

In their case, accessories do not serve to show the colour of the institution, also because they are mostly made of leather or similar: belts, holsters and saddlebags, as well as white scarves.

Royal Geographical Society

The characters of the Royal Geographical Society know well what kind of business awaits them and they undoubtedly choose substance over form.

It is easy to recognise them by their light-coloured shirts with rolled-up sleeves with zouave trousers and work jackets or long coats. They usually avoid the constraints of ties and bow ties, preferring blue scarves and foulards, as well as braces and fedora or panama hats.

The W. Isynwill Foundation

The characters of The W. Isynwill Foundation are often eccentric and do not hesitate to show it off. Some dress elegantly in tailcoats or long dresses, others combine bold patterns, others display tabards or old-fashioned overcoats.

Handkerchiefs, headdresses, even exotic ones, as well as pendants or esoteric symbols if appropriate to the role, are the ideal accessories for flaunting the colour yellow.

Evening (Gala) outfit

If you wish, you can bring a change of dress for the gala (evening). The fashion of the time dictated a straight dress with barely noticeable or directly formless shapes as women’s clothing. Gloves were mandatory. Often the neckline was not on the breast side, but towards the back. All had a decoration on the head, such as a ribbon, a bow or a small tiara for the wealthy.
Men’s clothing was an elegant black suit and, for those who wanted to make their social detachment felt, a white waistcoat and matching white scarf.
It was not uncommon, however, to find women dressed elegantly as men.

The Explorer Kit

We have designed an “Explorer Kit” containing some clothing accessories that are suitable for all Institutions and characters and provide a nice (and comfortable) addition to your costume.

The Explorer Kit includes a traditional Saharan cloak (Bournous) that is used in every season, beautiful to look at and perfectly “explorer-style”, with an embroidered Sutton-Gudrian expedition patch and a Shesh, a “long scarf” also typical of the desert that can be used as a headdress or as a neck warmer.

The Shesh will be provided to each player in the colour of the institution to which their character belongs. It is delivered directly at the game location. The Explorer Kit is made by Tunisian artisans, the production chain is non-exploitative and fairly remunerated.

img-9get your explorer kit (coming soon)
take inspiration from the gallery



Before the start of the larp you will receive a form where we will ask you to indicate the 7 characters that intrigue you most in order of preference. Once your preferences have been gathered, we will cross-reference all the indications in order to assign you your favourite character. When the casting is complete we will inform you through the larp channels (Discord, email, WhatsApp, Telegram and Facebook).

There are no less than 78 characters to choose from, each one special and unique. We have written and designed them with great love. But we know that reading them all can be challenging, so here are some tips for making your choice.


Let yourself be inspired, follow your instincts. If some archetype intrigues or stimulates you, then make a note of it. It is an excellent starting point because it contains the essence of the character in a single sentence.


Some characters have had complicated and perhaps painful histories. Take a look at the character triggers to see if you want to discard some of them because you prefer not to deal with certain issues.

Institution and Department

Each character belongs to an Institution and a Department, and will have specific tasks within the Expedition, which will give you a general idea of the type of game the character proposes.

Remember that you do not need to be an expert on your character’s task: the procedures are designed also to allow anyone to perform a task in a functional and credible manner!


Each Circle provides a certain experience of playing outside the Expedition activity hours. In addition, people in the same Circle often share certain interests and relationships.

Read the full sheet

When you have narrowed down the shortlist with the criteria of Archetype, Institution and Circle, then read the whole character. At this point you can go deeper.


All characters are freely playable in relation to gender and have been written specifically with this in mind. So you can rethink the relationships on the character sheet according to the gender you prefer to play.

We imagined a world in which each profession and social role was also open to women. We chose to disregard historical allegiance in favour of an inclusive game open to all. This means that gender discrimination and misogyny will not be themes in the game. However, this does not apply to other types of discrimination linked to other identities and stigmatised characteristics: you will find evidence of these in the individual triggers of the characters who are victims.

Transparency or Spoiler?

Character sheets are “transparent” and public, which means they have no secret parts. Why? Because Sahara Expedition is a choral story that is built together, never against. Although secrets and conflicts will not be missing, they are always part of the fiction and rely on your interpretation and ability to create stories. With this choice we believe we make this point even more central. We also don’t want to put players in the position of choosing a character they don’t know everything about, the characters offer different experiences depending on the themes they are related to. We want all our players to know the nature of a character before they can choose them.

If you prefer to know only the bare minimum about your character, you can avoid reading the character sheets of the characters to which yours is related. This way you can keep some “mystery” about certain aspects of the character’s life.

Fill in the blanks

When we designed the characters for Sahara Expedition, we wanted to create a structure that would ensure a stimulating experience integrated into the story. But we also wanted it to be free enough to allow everyone to “fill in the blanks” and make their own interpretation unique. In addition, having room to customise your character will make it easier for you to feel comfortable in their shoes. The parts that you find written in the character sheet should be considered “immutable”, but anything that you do not find in the sheet (e.g. what you did at a certain time in your life, what your favourite food is, etc.) you can decide for yourself.

Get to know the character

The characters in Sahara Expedition are deep, multifaceted, each one unique in its own way. They are characters of their time. That is why you will find quite precise historical, social and political references in many of them. When you encounter these themes, we advise you to delve deeper, perhaps by searching in books or on the web, so as to really understand the essence of the character. Try to understand what they are passionate about and why, in what atmosphere they grew up. This will give you a very strong push to interpret them and will immerse you even more in the mood of the 1930s.

go to the characters page (coming soon)

Go to the page containing all the characters. To log in, you will be asked for a password that we have sent you by e-mail. If you have any doubts, please contact us.

The Character Sheet

In Sahara Expedition there are no minor characters, each one has its own specificity, each one is a fundamental piece of the mosaic. There are no extras, only protagonists. Each character has their own generalities, collected in two documents, with their objectives, their tasks, their beliefs, their ways of being.

Each character’s sheet consists of two main documents:

  • Presentation Letter
  • Personal Diary

Presentation Letter

Imagine this letter as the application that the character sends to the commission that is preparing the expedition in order to be admitted to participate.

It is a kind of curriculum vitae written by the character’s own hand in which they express why they want to participate in the mission, their strengths and weaknesses.

Within this section you will find several fundamental parts.


During the larp, only the characters’ surnames will be used. The initial of the surname is the same as the Institution to which it belongs. It is a little trick that will help you in the game to understand who you are dealing with:

M > Miskatonic
L > Legion
R > Royal Geographical Society
T > The W. Isynwill Foundation


It is a short sentence that sums up the main character traits.


Here you will find a short list of themes involved in the character’s story that may be sensitive. This way you can tell at a first glance if that character has to do with themes you would rather not deal with.

Brief introduction to the character

A short section telling the character’s background story and what they will contribute to the expedition.

A quality for which they stand out

Something good, a character trait that positively distinguishes them.

A defect for which they stand out

An angular aspect of their way of being, a character trait that distinguishes them in a negative way.

The greatest ambiition

It is what drives the character in the story and in the expedition, a goal, an objective that motivates them even when everything seems to be going towards the worst. The reason why they get up every morning.

Position in the Expedition

At the bottom right of the presentation letter you will find a short insert summarising some important data about the Explorer:

  • Role: the profession they are to perform
  • Professional task: their main task
  • Institution they belong to: the institution they are employed by
  • Department: the sector in which they are engaged
  • Circle: Circles are groups of interest and relationships, each character is part of a circle.

Travel Diary

The travel diary is as public as the rest of the character sheet, but you can imagine it as a place where the character shares their confidence. In each character’s travel diary you will find different parts of the character sheet.


The recounting of the most significant things from one’s past life, a brief history of it.

The trauma (something has changed since that day)

A transitional moment in the character’s life that acted as a watershed.
A day from which nothing was the same. For some characters it can be something painful, for others a revelation, for others yet another kind of event.

My open questions

They are questions, doubts that the character has to answer. They are food for thought and insights for your character.
Something to start from and be inspired by in order to make the character take on greater consistency and to make them special and unique. In general, answering YES makes the game more interesting for your character. Something for the character to act on or during the game, something that requires a solution.

My connections

These are the people with whom you have unfinished business. They can be professional or personal issues, they can be hatreds or loves, rivalries… In the expedition there are many networks of ties: Institutions, Departments, Circles and individual ties.

Descent (into madness!)

In a workshop before the start of the game we will try to put this mechanic into practice.

In short: between chapters, if your character has suffered events related to their descent sparks, they will go down one level in the descent (maximum one step per chapter). In any case, we imagined this technique as a tool in the hands of the player, as a cue, rather than an ironclad rule.

It is not certain that all characters will reach the last step of the Descent, some will stop at the first, others at the second. It depends on your interpretation and the sparks that will occur during the game.

Descent Sparks

They are related to the Descent, basically things that can make the character’s mental state degenerate. Some characters are more sensitive to some things, while others are more sensitive to other things in relation to their personal history. This aspect of the Descent will also be explained in more detail during the workshop before the game begins.


What to bring

Food and accommodation from your arrival in Douz is included in the registration fee. Regarding your stay in the hotel, the standard kit that you find in every hotel (sheets, blankets, pillows, pillowcases and towels, soap and shampoo, hairdryer, etc.) is included, whereas for your stay in the desert they will not be available.

We therefore recommend that you have with you:

  • Your game costume (see Costumes).
  • Personal belongings (towel, toothbrush, wet wipes, etc.).
  • A sleeping bag.
  • one backpack with a maximum capacity of 50 liters, consistent with the 1930’s style for the desert part of the game.
  • OPTIONAL: A second elegant game costume for the prologue scene.

Travel documents

To travel to Tunisia you need:

  • Passport.


All hotel rooms are doubles, while the tents accommodate between 2 and 8 people (depending on the tent). It will be possible to recommend a roommate for the overnight stay in the hotel, using the form we will send you later, and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.


The food will be cooked by the hotel staff and the camp chef. Vegetarian and vegan options are always on the menu. If you have any allergies you can report them in the form we will send you.


During the desert expedition, you may only carry a backpack with a maximum capacity of 50 litres and your worn game costume. The backpack must be “in style” and we advise you to keep it as light as possible. The rest of everyone’s personal luggage will be left at the hotel and will not be accessible during the days when we will be in the desert.