A little Retcon.
The opening of the outer doors sends a swirl of sand and dust from off the tomb's floor as the musty scent of stale air assaults your nostrils. The walls of this antechamber bear several etched carvings and hieroglyphs written in ancient Osiriani, while carved faces, about shoulder height, adorn each of the four corners of the room. A large stone wheel roughly 10 feet in diameter, engraved with a spiral pattern, along the southern wall blocks further access to the tomb.
The hieroglyphs, along with the engravings, depict the life of the tomb's occupant, Akhentepi, a former military commander of the troops garrisoned in Wati before it's downfall during the plague. The hieroglyphs nearest the wheel warn "The tomb of Akhentepi is well defended and those who defile it tempt the wrath of the gods" while another advises "The only thing the Lady of Graves despises more than the grave robber is the unsuccessful grave robber. Turn back while you can!"
The spiral pattern engraved on the wheel is the symbol of Pharasma while two of the carved faces in the corners depict the goddess herself.
Two of the faces, opposite those of Pharasma, depict Anubis the ancient Osiriani god of burials and mummification.
Cautiously (taking 20 on perception) Kyrus eases into the room, examining the walls and floor as he does so. When the others join him, he takes the time to examine the room, racking his brain for clues about the tomb's occupant. Kn religion: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Recognising the spiral sigil of his Goddess, Pharasma, on the wheel and her likeness on two figures on the wall, he drops to one knee and offers a prayer to the Grey Lady for the group's success in the day ahead.
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Marius enters the tomb's antechamber and begins studying the walls, reading the hieroglyphs and examining the engravings. When he gets to the ones closest to the wheel he lets out a little chuckle "Well, it appears this tomb belongs to someone named Akhentepi. He seems to have been some type of military commander of the city's garrisons back before the plague decimated it." he points to the writing on the wall in front of him as he continues "This one states that the tomb is very well guarded and we risk angering the gods if we "defile" it, while this other says that the only thing the Goddess Pharasma hates more than a tomb robber is an unsuccessful one and we should turn back while we still can."
He turns to face the others as he shrugs his shoulders "So, should we go back home?" he asks with a smile.
Caius strides into the antechamber and looks around as his companions examine the chamber.
"A military commander...perhaps fortune does smile upon us." he says with a smirk.
He then moves to examine the stone wheel. "That looks quite heavy."
Kyrus arises from his prayers, frowning. Looking at Pharasma's wheel, he says "What's the ancient hyroglyphic for 'deja vu' ? I have the most strange feeling I've been here before..."
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Akbari read the hieroglyphs, frowning in thought a bit. He let out a small sigh at the religious warnings. While he didn't like being thought a grave robber, it was true he supposed even if he did have the legal right to do so. Ah well, the seal had been cracked and the tomb was open.
"No sense in going back now. We've only just begun and if we don't do this, someone else will now that it's open."
He slowly looked around, eyes alighting on the wheel. "Can anyone make sure that it's not trapped before we mess with it."
After finishing deciphering the hieroglyphs, Marius will assist Dr. Hibbins with examining the stone wheel for traps
Peception (trapfinding}: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
As Kyrus cautiously enters the tomb he notices a layer of sand and dust covering everything in the room, a layer which has not been disturbed in years, perhaps decades. Pausing before the stone wheel he genuflects and whispers a brief prayer.
Dr. Hibbins and Marius search the the wheel and neither can find anything that looks like a trap. The wheel itself is roughly roughly ten feet in diameter and about six inches thick and weighs several thousand pounds. Upon closer examination the wheel itself is set in a track that would allow it to be rolled out of the way although it might take several men to move it. Fortunately there is enough room between the wheel and the wall for up to four people to attempt to move it.
Stealth: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Perception (Akbari): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13
Perception (Caius): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Perception (Dr. Hibbins): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Perception (Kyrus): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Perception (Marius): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Perception (Rashim): 1d20 ⇒ 13
Engrossed in your own business you fail to hear the telltale clicking of claws on stone as something enters the tomb, through the open doors behind you, until the creature strikes at Caius.
(1=Akbari, 2=Caius, 3=Rashim): 1d3 ⇒ 2
Attack roll (claw): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Despite being caught unawares the creature's claw misses Caius and snaps shut on empty air. Turning to face the unexpected threat you see an odd looking scorpion standing in the doorway. The creature is about three feet long with a tail and stinger equal to it's length. The scorpion's carapace is translucent, allowing you to see it's internal organs.
Initiative (scorpion): 1d20 ⇒ 19
Initiative (Akbari): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Initiative (Caius): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Initiative (Dr. Hibbins): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
Initiative (Kyrus): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Initiative (Marius): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Initiative (Rashim): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Group A, scorpion, Group B
Group A (Caius, Dr. Hibbins, Kyrus, and Rashim) are up. You can go in any order (no need to wait for someone with a higher initiative to go before you).
When Rashim finally notices the scorpion, he practically jumps out of his skin. "EGHA!" he lets out a strangled yell as he dances away from the thing. Why did the first thing we encounter have to be a bug? I hate bugs! No scorpion has any right to be that big!
After he moves away, he focuses on the horrible, pit-spawn-of-hell, oh-god-it-was-right-next-to-me scorpion, and a small rock near his feet suddenly lifts off the ground and goes shooting toward it.
5-foot-step to get out of melee range
Standard action to use telekinetic blast
Attack, PBS: 1d20 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 4 + 1 = 18
Damage, PBS, bludgeoning: 1d6 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 4 + 1 = 10
Caius feels something graze past his legs and turns to find a massive scorpion behind him.
He quickly draws forth his rapier, spins about to face the creature, and assumes a fencing posture; darting to the creatures flank.
"What in the Nine Hells?"
He then thrusts his rapier at the foul creature.
Rapier: 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 7 + 2 = 16
Damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Kyrus wrinkled his nose in disgust at the giant scorpion. As part of his training at the temple he had been exposed to the sting of small sand scorpions; the venom could in some people trigger strange hallucinations and facilitate Pharasma's gift of prophesy for the chosen few. For Kyrus it had just hurt like hell. Now was his chance for payback...
move action 5' northwest, free action draw two kukri, attack
In a fluid silvery blur he drew his long knives from his waistband and sought to sever the creature's head from its thorax:
Kukri#1: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22 damage: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Kukri#2: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22 damage: 1d6 + 0 ⇒ (2) + 0 = 2
a chance at a double crit - that's the way to start an AP!
Crit confirm #1: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5 damage: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Crit confirm #2: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5 damage: 1d6 + 0 ⇒ (5) + 0 = 5
Recoiling in horror Rashim quickly manifests his power as he launches a fist size rock at the scorpion. The rock solidly strikes the creature between the eyes as Caius' rapier slips between the joints in the scorpions carapace to pierce the soft cartilage underneath.
Kyrus' reflexes take over as he draws his twin kukris and strikes the creature in the unprotected joint where it's head meets it's body, each kukri slices deep into it's thorax as it collapses into a heap, slowly bleeding out from it's multiple wounds.
Engrossed in his study of the stone wheel Dr. Hibbins turns to face the threat from behind as he draws his weapon. As the creature succumbs to it's wounds he recognizes it as a Ghost Scorpion, a smaller cousin of the more dangerous Giant Scorpions of the open desert, so named because of it's translucent carapace. The creature is mostly a nocturnal hunter who searches out cool, shaded places to wait out the heat of the day.
Cautiously, with weapons raised, Kyrus peers outside the tomb door, checking to see if there are further armoured horrors approaching the group.
Assuming there are none, he cleans his blades on a cloth, and cross-armed, calls to those investigating the wheel; "Doctor, Marius: can you open the tomb? Does the wheel turn?"
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Marius strokes his chin in thought "It'll move. Might take two or three of us to move it though, it probably weighs a couple of tons or so." So saying he takes position alongside the wheel, waiting for others to join him.
Up to four people can fit between the edge of the stone and the wall. You could also hammer pitons into the wheel for extra handholds for additional people to help move it. Once open though, only two people can fit between it and the wall to push it closed.
Caius sheathes his rapier and steps forward to help move the wheel.
"After we open this, should we perhaps close up the entrance, to prevent other hostile scorpions from surprising us later?"
"Good plan. There might be other predators, too. We are in an ancient city of the dead. Ok - count me in" Kyrus puts his back to the wheel and starts pushing, if that is what is agreed.
Str: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Un. Im. Pressive.
It takes a combined Strength score of 28 to move the stone, so the three of you can easily roll it out of the way.
Caius, Kyrus, and Marius struggle with moving the wheel but once they overcome the initial inertia the wheel rolls easily revealing a 10 foot opening into the room beyond.
This stark, barren chamber is completely devoid of any ornamentation like in the first room. A 10'x10' shaft lies in the center of the room, disappearing into the darkness below. A single piton is hammered into the room's floor and a length of rope dangles over the edge of the shaft.
"Interesting..."Kyrus ventures forward to the edge and peers down. He also looks carefully at the rope and piton. If the first room was covered in a layer of dust not disturbed in years or decades, how old is this rope? Is it safe?
"We need some illumination here, " he mutters. Pulling up the rope, he estimates its length, then casts 'Light' on it every 10 foot or so. Lowering it down into the hole, he ought be able to see the length of the shaft clearly all the way down.
"Who fancies a climb?"
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Kyrus pulls the rope up, which ends after only about 5 feet or so appearing to have been cut. The remaining rope is dry-rotted and crumbles as he handles it.
In other news: you can only have one Light spell in effect at a time. Casting a second spell when the first one is still active causes the first one to end.
The fight was over almost before it began, so quick did his fellows react to the scorpion while Akbari was looking at the wheel from only a short distance away. He whirled and began drawing a weapon only to see that need was gone. He gave a little grunt and walked over to look over the scorpion, large as it was.
When the wheel was moved and more was revealed he gave a nod to Kyrus. "Does anyone have a torch we can drop down the hole to see how far it goes and if any unpleasantness be at the bottom? I have only the everburning torch and just in case that would be a waste."
you can only have one Light spell in effect at a time.
Well that makes sense I guess. Then Kyrus will cast it once, on a copper coin, and drop it down the shaft.
"This rope was cut. If there's a body at the bottom, I wonder whether one greedy tomb robber cut it to avoid sharing his spoils...?"
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After the coin drops, Rashim turns to Kyrus and says "Can you do that one more time? I can control it some on the way down."
After taking a lit coin from Kyrus, Rashim will focus on the lit coin in his hand, until it floats out of his hand and begins to move slowly down the shaft. It goes in circles near the walls, hesitating near anything of note. It comes to a stop either at the bottom or approximately 110 ft down, whichever comes first.
Using basic telekinesis, which has Medium range due to having the Extended Range infusion. Gives us a little better control with it. If it reaches 110 ft and still hasn't hit bottom, have it pause for a second and then I'll release it so we can watch it drop the rest of the way.
Caius takes a length of rope from his pack and moves to the edge of the shaft. He kneels down and ties the rope to the piton in the floor, taking a moment to test that it is in the ground solid, before grabbing the rope and letting it fall down the shaft.
Silk Rope (50 feet).
He then peers over the edge and takes a moment to give the shaft a quick scan.
Darkvision 60 feet.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
I believe only Kyrus has the light spell and if he casts it again the first one will wink out. But I have a plan.
Marius will cast Dancing Lights and slowly send the glowing spheres of light down the shaft.
Akbari pulled his everburning torch out of his pack and then set it in his pack and tied it there, so it would shine over his shoulder and head, and illuminate around him without needing to be held. He pulled out his own rope and got ready to tie it off to the one Caius had brought out if they needed that much.
50ft of Silk Rope as well. Grappling Hook and Pitons if we need.
Caius tests the piton and although it appears to be slightly rusted it is still firmly hammered into the stone floor. Before Marius casts his spell, Caius peers over the edge of the shaft. With his enhanced senses he can make out that the shaft opens into some sort of room below. The rope dangles just at the opening, with the floor below that.
Marius lowers his dancing lights slowly into the shaft until they, combined with the still lit coin on the bottom, illuminate the entire length of the shaft for all to see. The shaft itself is roughly 50' long and opens into another room whose floor is an additional 10' below the opening.
The stonework of the shaft is made with such incredible precision that, even after the passage of time, there has been no shifting of stone to provide any discernible handholds with which to climb down.
You would need to tie the two ropes together to reach the floor of the room below, with plenty of rope to spare. It's a DC:5 Climb check to descend the shaft using a rope until you come to the opening at which point it becomes a DC:15 check (there are no walls to brace against). You can move at 1/4 your speed with each check, or at 1/2 speed by taking a -5 penalty. It will take 8 checks (7 at DC:5, 1 at DC:15) to reach the bottom, or 4 (3 DC:5, 1 DC:15) at half speed.
You can 'Take 10' if you wish.
Caius, pulls up the rope and coils it, then helps Akbari tie the two ropes together. Before dropping it back down into the impending shaft.
DC 5: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6 = 6
DC 5: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8 = 8
DC 5: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22 = 22
DC 5: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12 = 12
DC 5: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9 = 9
DC 5: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7 = 7
DC 5: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16 = 16
DC 15: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14 = 14 +Derring-Do: 1d6 ⇒ 4 = 18
He then cautiously slides his way down the rope.
"Well doesn't this look fun..." He mutters to himself as he descends.
"Should I go next?" Kyrus steps forward and wraps the rope about himself before sliding down the shaft rather faster than Caius. When he gets to the opening, he lets go, and attempts to land with feline balance.
take ten on three checks at half speed (12 vs DC10) then Acrobatics to avoid damage from a ten foot fall: Fingers crossed: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14. That's a fail, so non-lethal damage: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Dusting himself down after a less-than impressive landing, he draws his blades as he casts his eye round the room beneath...
Marius follows the others down the rope, taking his time, making sure his feet are firmly planted before moving lower and lower. Once he makes it to the opening in the ceiling he dangles a bit before lower himself to the floor
Climb check: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Marius will take 10 on the first set of Climb checks and then roll for the last 10'.
Rashim begins to make his way down the rope, managing to handle the climb easily enough until he gets down to where the room opens up. Then, not really trusting his climbing abilities, he attempts to intentionally let go of the rope and manage the rest of the fall.
Take 10 on the first set of half-speed climb checks, then going to try to intentionally fall the last 10 feet with an acrobatics check to ignore any damage from that 10 feet.
Acrobatics: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
Doh! Since it is still an intentional fall, though, I should just take 1d6 of NL damage
NL Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Rashim doesn't disengage from the rope as well as he'd hoped, and his fall is not at all graceful. However, he still manages to land on his feet, even if it does hurt; he quickly hides the wince of pain he has on landing. He then looks around.
Akbari watched as the others made their way down. He stayed to make sure the rope stayed firmly attached and the rest had made it safely before he started his own descent. The first part was smooth-going with the shaft walls to use for aid aside from when he first swung down in to the shaft and nearly fell. Once out of the shaft, it became trickier, but he managed to make it down.
Climb DC 5: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Climb DC 5: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Climb DC 5: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Climb DC 5: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Climb DC 5: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Climb DC 5: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Climb DC 15: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
One extra DC 5 check for the 1st one that failed above: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
As the half-orc Alchemist reaches the floor you get a good look of your surroundings. A pair of ornately carved stone doors stand along the west wall of this room. The carvings, each a mirror image of the other, face each other and depict a young man dressed in padded armor holding a scarab shaped shield in one hand and a khopesh raised aloft in the other.
A desiccated body lies in front of the set of doors. A rust colored stain mars the floor, leading from the center of the room to underneath the body itself.
The body is that of a male Human, or Half-elf, who has mummified over time. Both of the bodies leg have been fractured, as if from a fall from a great height, and the poor, unfortunate soul managed to drag himself over to the doors before bleeding out.
A search of the body reveals that most of it's gear has rusted and rotted beyond use. You do however find a pair of usable pitons and a hammer along with three flasks of Alchemist's Fire which somehow, miraculously, survived the fall and did not add further injury to insult
The doors themselves are unlocked and, although heavy, can be pushed open.
DC:10 Strength check to open.
Kyrus bends to examine the body. Heal: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26 "It appears to be as I thought - one thief robbed another, and left him here to die." Realising the potential hazards of drawing too close a resemblance between treacherous tomb robbers of the past, and the party he was working with today, Kyrus fell silent. He sneaked a look at his fellows. How well do I know these people? Would I, could i trust them with my life? It is indeed possible I could have to...
Squaring his shoulders he decides to confront the issue. "Gentlemen - this unlucky fellow before us shows that not only do tomb robbers face danger within, but also occasionally from those at their side. I swear on my honour and my word that I will stand by each of you, and defend your body with my own, if you treat our venture with respect and risk your all for our success. If we face peril beyond those doors, we must do so united in purpose, or risk" here he kicks the desiccated corpse "ending like him. What do you say?"
He looks round the gathered group intently, searching for any hint of dissembling in their responses...
Caius looks up from staring at the corpse at Kyrus.
"Hmmm...I hadn't really thought of it like that." He says as he strokes his chin.
He then looks at each of his comrades.
"I mean...I was planning on betraying all of you for a larger pay off..." He says with a sly grin.
Using Social Panache.
Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13 +Social Panache: 1d6 ⇒ 3 = 16
Caius frowns slightly as Dr. Hibbins speaks.
"I suppose your right Hibbins."
He then smirks a little as he continues, "Just a little dark humor to make light of our discovery. I swear to honor the Sand Scarabs and gain the trust of each of you as we continue our expeditions in the name of fame and riches."
He then makes his way to the door and takes his time searching it for harmful traps.
Take 20 on Perception for a total of 27.
Rashim laughs, a hearty belly laugh, at the discussion at hand. "Don't you think this is something we should have talked about before entering the old tomb? And everyone being all serious about it!" He just laughs and laughs, before finally getting himself under control.
"Sorry, sorry, I'll be serious too. Yes, I swear on my honor and my word and even on my favorite vest, may it be forever rent in twain should I lie, that I have no intention of screwing myself over by turning on any of you. I mean, I wouldn't anyway, but seriously, I'm here with a group because I can't handle all the threats of the tomb by myself, and were I to betray one of you I don't think the others would take it well. With that out of the way, shall we move on?"
Akbari cast a slightly baleful look at the two jesters as they made their comments. He did, however, give a nod to Rashim after a moment's thought. "Yes, before would have been better. However, I assumed by signing up together for this, that was a stated pact of honor to work together in this. If I was incorrect, then I am disappointed." It sounded like he was disappointed in himself rather than the rest for not catching that before.
"I am in this together with all of you. I will do my best to help keep you safe. Should you fall, I shall do my best to carry your remains from here to see proper burial and rites. If anyone has any special wishes in case of death for their remains please let them be known now before we go further."
There was a small pause as something occurred to him. "Despite my words, understand that I hope we all make it out of here alive, and I'm going to do my best to ensure that happens."
Having said his peace he moved to open the door.
Strength check: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
sense motive, Caius: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Kyrus watches the responses of the others with a serious face. He nods in appreciation at the serious responses from Akbari and Dr Hibbins, whilst noting Caius' dismissive response and Rashim's pragmatic, transactional answer. He pauses, then turns away to search the desiccated corpse at his feet.
As he does so, he considers the insights his provocative prod had revealed. Our little group appears to have a mix of morals as well as skills. I had Caius down as a more righteous man than he appears; Rashim, too - his response suggested mercenary inclinations. And Marcus stayed silent throughout. Right now, we are more like the chaotic street gangs of my youth, than the disciplined cloisters of my temple. It will take a moment of crisis to reveal our true natures. Until then, I'll withhold my judgement of them close to my chest.
He smiled to himself Besides, I only swore loyalty to them on my honour and on my word; Pharasma knows how little they are worth !
Searching the body he discovers the robbers gear - a hammer and a pair of pitons, plus three flasks of Alchemist's Fire. "Guys - I can't believe these survived his fall. Dr Hibbins, I believe you have some knowledge of chemistry - are these still viable?
Kyrus takes the hammer and pitons, and one Alchemist's Fire. Anyone else for the other two?
Marius mulls over Kyrus' words carefully before responding "When I was a Pathfinder we all had our own "interests" when we were on a mission but we knew that the success of the mission had to come first." He add with a smile and a laugh "Don't worry. If I were going to kill you all it wouldn't be until all the treasure in this tomb was safely topside. Until then you're all safe.'
Marius will take one of the Alchemist's Fire as well.
Caius carefully studies the set of doors but can find nothing indicating it's trapped. Akbari steps up and pushes the stone door apart, revealing a long hallway with another set of stone doors at the other end. The walls of the corridor are adorned with bas-relief carvings of great armies, armed with spear and shield, doing battle as generals direct the combat while other leaders, mounted on chariots ruthlessly overrun their enemies. The stone doors depict the same man as before, still holding his scarab shield, only older now and riding in a chariot. His outstretched arm points at his mirrored image on the adjacent door.