Modern Egyptian tree

This depicts the relationships between the principal characters in The Seventh Scroll. Information about the characters is below the graphic.

Georgina Lumley

Royan’s mother. She worked at the British Embassy in Cairo where she met and married Royan’s father, a young Egyptian officer on the staff of Colonel Nasser

Duriad Al Simma

A tall, slightly bowed man with silvering hair. Educated at universities in England and the United States, he is the director of the Department of Antiquities in Cairo. After his first wife died he thought she had taken the sunlight with her, until he met his beautiful second wife, Royan.

Royan Al Simma

The second wife of Duriad Al Simma. A Coptic Christian, whose bloodline runs back to the time of the pharaohs, she feels a peculiar affinity with the ancient Egyptians. In her early thirties, she is slim, alert and vibrant with thick, curling dark hair and shapely legs. Royan’s English mother worked at the British Embassy in Cairo where she met and married Royan’s father. He was a young Egyptian officer on the staff of Colonel Nasser. They had divorced while Royan was still a child. After an English schooling, she went to universities in England and the United States, However, through her love for her father she looks upon herself as more Egyptian than English. She met Duriad when she became his assistant at the Department of Antiquities on returning to Cairo after university. The last thing her father had done before his death was to arrange their marriage, an old-fashioned arranged Coptic marriage, which her modern training made her want to resist. Her breeding, family and Church were persuaded her to accept it.

Sir Nicholas Quentin Harper

Duriad’s first choice for sponsor for the Ethiopia expedition. He is around forty with the tanned and weatherbeaten features of an outdoor man, with green eyes under dark brows. He has a wide expressive mouth. His great-grandfather was awarded a baronet as for his work as a career officer in the British colonial service. Nicholas too served in Africa and the Gulf States. He speaks Arabic and Swahili fluent and is a noted amateur archaeologist and zoologist: he had made numerous expeditions to North Africa to collect specimens and to explore the more remote regions. He has written a number of articles for various scientific journals and has lectured at the Royal Geographic Society. When his elder brother died childless, Sir Nicholas inherited the title and the family estate at Quenton Park. He resigned from the army to run the estate and supervise the family museum, founded in 1885 by his great-grandfather. It houses one of the largest collections of African fauna in private hands, and its ancient Egyptian and Middle Eastern collection is equally famous. He has a wild, even lawless streak, and is not afraid to take risks to add to the collection at Quenton Park. He is resourceful and has a network of friends and admirers across the Middle East and North Africa who he can call on for help. His wife and two daughters were killed in a car accident on the M1, he was driving and blames himself.

Atalan Abou Sin

The Minister of Culture and Tourism, and Duriad’s superior.

Nahoot Guddabi

A sallow skinned man with coffee-coloured stains beneath his dark eyes and dense, dark wavy hair. He is the nephew of Atalan Abou Sin, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Duraid’s ambitious deputy at the Department of Antiquities.

Sir Oliver Bradford KCMG

The British ambassador in Addis Ababa. He doesn’t take kindly to troublesome tourists. When he discovers that Nicholas owns Quenton Park, which he has read about in 'Shooting Times', he becomes affable and solicitous. He plays tennis with Mek’s contact, Colonel Kidane.

Lady Bradford

The Ambassador’s second wife. She is thirty years younger than her husband, with a pronounced London accent and an even more pronounced common streak. She has made herself an expert on the genealogy of the English aristocracy.

Geoffrey Tennant

Military 'Attache' at the British Embassy in Addis Ababa and an old friend of Nicholas.

Jali Hora

Abbot of St Frumentius Monastery.


A boy monk who takes to Royan. He is an acolyte of the deacons and the Abbot. He speaks Arabic well as his mother is from Massawa, on the Red Sea. He seems to have a special empathy with all the creatures of the wilderness, and knows every path and game trail. He is an excellent guide.

Jannie Badenhorst

The 'Al Capone' of the Mediterranean, his main employment is smuggling alcohol into Islamic countries. He is bulky figure in greasy brown overalls with a rich South African accent. With his son, Fred, a pilot for Africair, he owns an air transport company based in Malta, a stable island country, close to most destinations in the Middle East and northern Africa.

Gotthold Ernst von Schiller

A wealthy and powerful man who made his fortune from metal and alloy refineries. He exudes an air of confidence and command. His jaw is firm, his nose prominent and his gaze penetrating. He is short but walks with a light, athletic tread, more like a man of forty than seventy. Once he was a man who loved food, wine and cigars, but now his pleasures are of the mind. He places a higher value on inanimate objects than on living creatures, either human or animal. He loves order and control. His wife, Ingemar, is an invalid, and his assistant has replaced her in his life. After his Egyptian antiquities, his most treasured possessions are the pornographic videos in which she used to star.

Jake Helm

The foreman of Pegasus exploration base camp and Von Schiller's right-hand man in Ethiopia. He dresses in khaki coveralls and a soft bush cap. He is a short, chunky man, and speaks with a Texan drawl. He is strong, both physically and mentally and follows orders without question or qualm. Von Schiller has come to rely on him.


An assassin.


An assassin.

Colonel Tuma Nogo

An officer in the Ethiopian army military commander of the southern Gojam region. He savours the thoughts of great riches.

General Obeid

The Commissioner of Police, head of the Ethiopian police force.

Inspector Galla

Herr Reeper

Utte Kemper

Von Schiller’s private secretary and communications expert. She is forty, slim and blonde, with slanting green eyes over high cheekbones, and resembles the young Dietrich. She orders and directs the details of his life from his medicine to his social calendar. No one meets him without her prior arrangement. When she first met von Schiller she had a senior position in the technical section of the German national telecommunications network and moonlighted as an actress – in pornographic films. There is nothing she would not do for von Schiller, or allow him to do to her.


Blonde, feminine dynamo who runs Global Safaris, a company that arranges hunting and fishing expeditions to remote areas around the world.

Nassos Roussos

Hunter who works in Ethiopia for Global Safaris.

Boris Brusilov

A Russian with ginger hair and pale blue eyes. A puckered white scar runs across one cheek to twist and deform his nose. He speaks bad English, and not-much-better French. The only hunter in Ethiopia who will take on Nicholas and Royan at short notice for the first expedition. Some people say he is ex-KGB and was one of Mengistu’s bunch of thugs. (Mengistu was the ‘Black Stalin’ who deposed then murdered the old Emperor Haile Selassie, and in sixteen years of despotic Marxist rule had driven Ethiopia to its knees.) Gets very drunk on vodka in the evenings then beats up Tessay, his wife.

Woizero Tessay

Daughter of Alto Zemen. She sets up the safari for the first expedition and is an economics graduate from Addis University.

Alto Zemen

From one of the noble families of Addis Ababa, a blood relative of the old Emperor Haile Selassie, father of Woizero Tessay.

Mek Nimmur

A commander of guerrillas and a Christian. Of medium height but imbued with such an air of authority that he seems taller. He is square and chunky, with the beginnings of a dignified spread around the waist. His features are refined and handsome, with dark, intelligent eyes. He had fought side by side with Nicholas in the days prior to the Falklands war, Nicholas as a covert military adviser, and Mek as a young freedom fighter opposing the tyranny of Mengistu.

This depicts the relationships between the principal characters in The Seventh Scroll. Information about the characters is below the graphic.