Akbari cleaned off his blade. He looked at Kyrus and tilted his head. "Do you wish to go alone? Or shall I accompany you?" He didn't sound like he minded going in, but would prefer Kyrus not get in over his head (or anyone in the group for that matter). "We are a team, so if you would prefer not to go alone...."
"Umm...well yes actually, I would value your assistance. You know the expression, 'once bitten, twice shy'. I wish I could be done with verminous insects attempting to feed upon me. "
It appears that the warpriest's confidence has taken a knock from the day's events...
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Marius will keep watch over Kyrus and Akbari from the safety of the landing while he absentmindedly looks around him.
Perception check: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Kyrus and Akbari descend the stairs and find a network of tunnels, far too small for anyone of them to navigate, burrowed through the unworked stone.
Marius, distracted by the goings on at the bottom of the stairs, doesn't find anything unusual in his surroundings.
Anyone else who is overseeing the foolhardy adventurers can make a Perception check as well, if they want to.
Caius turns to the other set of doors only to find that they have already been opened and are awaiting further exploration.
Caius strolls up beside Hibbins, ready to assist as needed.
"So Hibbins...what brought you into the crypt breaking business?"
"More or less the same.", he says with a smile.
"I was sent to Wati to oversee a business venture for my family House Jeggare. After a few nights of misconduct with the locals I found myself selling of the family warehouse to pay off my debts...now I'm here."
"Well there's sod all down there but burrows. And given my history with insects so far, " Kyrus scowls at himself from within his hood, "There's no chance I'll be peering too closely into them in the hope of finding lost treasure." He peers curiously round the other door, which the rest pf the party had opened; "So, what have you ladies found whilst I've been down those stairs? Anything interesting?"
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Caius chuckles lightly as Kyrus walks over talking. "I don't blame you comrade. Not sure yet we were waiting for you to finish up with the tunnel."
He then looks to Kyrus. "We were just discussing how we all got stuck in this mess. What's your story?"
Caius and Hibbins push open the doors to reveal that the stairs continue to descend to yet another set of double doors. Moving cautiously they move down the stairs and open these doors onto a large octagonal chamber.
In the center of this room, on a raised platform several inches off the ground, lies a gold trimmed sarcophagus. On each corner of the dais stone pillars reach to the ceiling above. Flanking the platform are a pair of humanoid statues with canine heads, each holding an ankh in one of it's crossed arms. Four torch holders are built into the northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest walls respectively. In the northern wall another pair of stone double doors lead from this chamber.
Caius chuckles lightly as Kyrus walks over talking"We were just discussing how we all got stuck in this mess. What's your story?"
Kyrus sighs, and looks sideways at Caius. "Officially I'm here in the Half-Dead City to complete my training, as a way of adding real-life skills to my warpriest training at the temple. By honestly, I think my superiors just wanted me gone. I was a disruptive influence with the other acolytes, so dispatching me far away served my superior's needs." He sighs heavily, "My faith in the Grey Lady is strong, but my faith in her clergy is weak. For example, this lottery - how does despoiling ancient consecrated tombs serve Pharasma's grace? I can but follow my orders for now, but it tests my obedience most sorely"
Peering over the shouldders of the others, Kyrus looks into the room. "Are they animate? he asks, swinging his knives, almost willing for a fight against undead foes to scatter more troublesome thoughts from his mind.
Kyrus continued to peer into the room over the shoulders of the many people ahead of him. "What's happening? Why are we not moving in? Is anything happening in there?" he asked hopefully...
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Caius looks at Kyrus. "Well the churches loss is our gain, my friend." he says with smile.
Caius steps forward cautiously into the chamber taking a look around, while gripping the hilt of his rapier.
Rashim also steps into the chamber. "This looks both promising and unsettling. What could possibly go wrong? Trapped, you think?" He begins to study the platform and the statues.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Kyrus cautiously follows them into the room, kukris held at the ready. He keeps to the back of the room but maneauvers to the right, trying to get sight of any threat lurking at the rear of the room.
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To aleviate the tension whilst the party everso slowly edge into the tomb to identify any dangers within, Kyrus starts to whistle. Then, realising this might draw dangers to them, he stops.
"I'm getting fidgety with all this waiting", he says."This adventuring lark is much slower than I expected. Anyone fancy a game of paper kukri stone to pass the time?" He puts his hand behind his back, then whips it out, displaying...
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Marius enters the room and begins searching the southwest wall for secret doors and or traps.
Perception check: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Akbari enters the chamber and following Marius' lead begins to search the southeast wall for secret doors and or traps.
Perception check: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17
Hibbins, Rashim, and Caius inspecting the dias find nothing unusual about the platform (except why something that's only supposed to be a "few inches above the floor" according to the module has a 5 foot ramp leading up to it). Rashim finds that the statues are similar to the ones in the mirrored chamber upstairs.
The satues are of the ancient Osiriani god Anubis, patron of the dead and guardian of tombs.
Marius and Akbari both come up empty in their respective searches.
Considering you have to drag the sarcophagus up on rollers, you would need a long gently sloped ramp as well.
"Had to be buried with something, I don't know why we haven't found all his good stuff before finding his tomb. No wife, no servants, not even a cat." Hibbins will travel the length of the western wall keeping an eye out for traps while moving to the far door. "Maybe they placed it all back beyond that door, but that would just be odd."
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25 26 for traps
Caius follows Hibbins as he searches around the tomb. "Perhaps your right, even if it is strange, that treasures await behind those doors." he says with a sly grin.
Caius assists Hibbins in searching around.
Perception Aid Another: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26
So Hibbins gets another +2 to his check.
While the doors are not a trap in and of themselves, they are part of a more elaborate trap and are rigged to open should anyone step foot upon the dias or, for some reason, the 5 by 10 foot area in the center of the western wall.
Upon Hibbins finding the trap, Caius backs away to watch from the "safety" of the wall, leaning back against it.
"I'll be over here then. Not much I can do about that. Though the trap could be indicative of treasure at least." he says with a small shrug.
Rashim, hearing the dais is trapped, goes over to join Hibbins, inspecting his work. "Trapped, huh? Always fun. You think that'll do the trick? You might try propping that piece up..."
Disable aid another: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
If the disable device check comes out as theoretically OK, I'll double-check to make sure it is disabled
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
And be obliviously happy with the results, apparently...
Knowing that traps and mechanical hazards are not his area of expertise, Kyrus retires to the eastern side of the room with Caius to await developments. Leaning in a crouch against the wall, he pulls a whetstone from his robes and methodically runs it along one of his blades, humming devotional prayers under his breath as he does so.
Marius will cast a spell upon himself and call upon his family's luck before coming over and working on the pressure plate along with Hibbins and Caius.
Disable Device (luck, guidance): 1d20 + 6 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 6 + 2 + 1 = 10
Rendering what little aid he can, he refreshes his spell and steps back to examines the trap with Caius.
Perception (luck, guidance): 1d20 + 5 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 5 + 2 + 1 = 26
Before Caius can step on the pressure plate Marius holds out an arm to stop him. Kneeling down he points out to the other two an area that they seemed to have missed "If we'd have stepped on that it would've triggered the trap."
Raised from his religious reverie, Kyrus looks up at the others' trap-finding efforts with a raised eyebrow and a look of some concern. "How are you getting on over there?" he calls, getting back up to his feet and commencing some gentle warm-up stretches, "Are we good to get going again?"
Caius takes a step to safety after Marius stops him.
"Many thanks. I hadn't seen that. I'll be thankful once we are done with this place."
Alright, I'll give you this one, but from now on whoever responds first is the primary on the check any other subsequent rolls will be considered as an "Aid Another" check.
As Dr. Hibbins takes another go at the pressure plate, he and the others around him hear a tell-tale click. Everyone barely has time to register so much as an "Uh oh" as long dormant gears begin to spin and whirl.
Thinking quickly, Rashim kicks a handful of rubble into the gears, grinding them to a halt before anything untoward can happen.
Okay, you've disabled the trap along the western wall but you still have no idea why it was placed there. There is also a trap on the dais that needs to be disabled before you can examine the sarcophagus.
After Rashim jams the trap, Marius gingerly steps on the pressure plate and examines the blank wall in front of him "Why put that trigger over here, seems like an odd place for it? I wonder what they were trying to protect?" he muses
Perception check: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
As Marius searches the western wall Akbari moves alongside Kyrus and begins searching the wall behind him.
Perception check: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
Both men shout out "I've found something." at the same time. Indeed they have. for upon closer inspection they can see the minute cracks in the stonemasonry that form the outline of a set of double doors, one along each wall.
Alarmed, Kyrus steps back from the wall. He remains nervous of his reliance on his allies' trap-disabling abilities. It's not his forte and the thought of falling to a trap designed many hundreds of years ago by a tomb-architect long since residing in Pharasma's halls is preying on his mind...
Caius watches with interest as the group deals with the traps.
"Well done comrades. So what shall we deal with first, the dais, or this hidden door?"
Kyrus ponders Caius' question. "I'd prefer to know what's at my back before we go further," he suggests, "if there's a secret door here it's likely either the true location of any burial valuables, or the release for something unpleasant if the dais is messed with. I'd rather find out which, first.". He turns to the others "What do you think?"
Dr. Hibbins carefully examines the trap on the dais (I Suppose) and determines that anyone stepping foot on the platform would cause electricity to arc from each of the pillars on the corners, electrocuting anyone approaching the sarcophagus. Furthermore the doors along the southern and the recently discovered secret doors along the western wall would slam shut, if opened, and bars would lock these doors in place before the northern doors would open, releasing whatever is behind them.
As Hibbins, Marius, and Rashim examine the dais Kyrus stares transfixed on a spot in space, a look of horror on his face. Concerned, Akbari shakes the warpriest's shoulder to snap him out of it. Coming out of his fugue Kyrus grabs Akbari's arm "My village" he stammers "It was a vision from The Lady herself, a portent of things to come. My village was destroyed. My friends and family slaughtered by creatures with metal skin and multiple arms. They killed everyone. The Lady wants me to return home and try and prevent this." He looks at everyone in the room "I have to go, NOW!" he says with a wild look in his eyes.
Once you return to the surface Kyrus makes a beeline for the Grand Mausoleum as several small children swarm around Akbari, shouting in Osiriani "Grandfather, Grandfather. Come quick" Kneeling down to listen close Akbari then stands up and wipes off his pants "It seems my Father is close to death and is calling for me. I must go and see to him. I'm sorry but you'll have to continue without me." with that he lets the gaggle of children lead him off into the city.
Marius turns to the others "Well, I'll be." he says removing his hat, before shrugging "Let's say we head to a bar and get something to drink while we figure out our next move. First rounds on me." Marius, leading the way, heads towards the Tooth and Hookah, a local watering hole.
Caius follows Kyrus out of the tomb and says his farewell. "Go help your people my comrade, I wish you the best."
He smiles upon seeing the small children rush to Akbari. "Farewell comrade."
Looking to Marius. "That sounds good to me after dealing with what we have." he then follows Marius to the Tooth and Hookah.
With Marius in the lead, the four of you make your way to the Tooth and Hookah. The shadowed coolness of the inn's common room is a welcome relief from the noonday sun beating down outside. As your eyes adjust to the sudden gloom of the interior you can make out several groups of people, many of them you've seen before in the marketplace. Some of them can be seen huddling with the local merchants, haggling over trinkets retrieved from the necropolis while others seem to nursing their wounds by applying copious amounts of alcohol.
Settling into an open table you begin to discuss your problem as you scan the crowd. You notice several patrons who seem to be unaffiliated with any of the other adventuring groups. A small hook-nosed man dressed in robes, who appears to be more interested in the goings on between the merchants and the other adventuring groups then in anything else, sits at the bar while a young woman with long, braided black hair sits nearby, a smallish hawk sits perched upon her shoulder. A tattooed Kelish man sits alone at a table, a shield almost as large as he is leans against one of the chairs near at hand.
Marius approaches the bar to order another round of drinks and begins to talk to the bartender, who points out several patrons, including the young woman and the Keleshite man before returning to his work. Standing there Marius begins to chat up the man in robes, who's eyes never leave the tables where money is being exchanged, before being brushed off by a somewhat rude gesture. Returning to the table Marius sets the round down before saying "Well, I guess he's out." he points to the bartender "Jamal has pointed out several newcomers to town who might fit the bill. Adventuring types, as opposed to the merchants trying to buy their finds. Let's say two of us go and talk to the shield bearer while the others go and talk to the bird lady"
Caius watches with slight amusement as Marius is brushed off, as he returns to the table Caius smiles.
"Yeah, i guess you can't win over everyone." he then listens intently as Marius lays out the plan. "Sounds good to me, dibs on the bird lady." he says as he stands and drains his wine glass.
He wanders across the room to the bartender and raises two fingers. "Wine please." he says as he slides a piece of gold onto the counter.
Then proceeds towards the table the young woman is sitting and slides into an open seat placing a glass of wine before her and sips from his own.
"The names Caius of House Jeggare." he says with a devilish smile.
He nods towards the perched hawk. "That's a fine hawk you have there, miss. I'm looking for some talent and you and your friend look to have potential."
Merutep smiles, her sparkling white teeth a contrast to her sun-bronzed skin.
"You're a bold soul, sir," she replies, accepting his glass of wine. "I like that. I've never been one to waste time." Her brown eyes sparkle as she speaks.
"I am Merutep," she says, extending her hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Caius of House Jeggare." She eyes Caius as she takes a sip of her wine.
"Talent?" she asks, leaning closer. Clearly her interest is piqued. "You're not a native of Wati. Tell me, are you here for the Lottery?"
|Aya the Kite|
The hawk leans over and brushes against Merutep's ear. It cocks its head at Caius and then turns back to Merutep, squawking loudly in her ear.
Merutep flinches at the noise, then laughs, ruffling the feather on the birds head.
"Yes, yes, of course." she turns her eyes to Caius. "This is Aya," she announces grandly.
|Aya the Kite|
Caius smiles at the compliment. "It's a pleasure to meet you Merutep." he then nods his head towards the hawk. "And you as well Aya."
He then nods in agreement. "Aye, not a native, I'm from Korvosa. Myself and my companions are part of the lottery. A pair of our group left us for personal reasons and we've been scouting talent to join us."
Caius drains the rest of his wine and leans in. "So then Merutep, does that peak your interest, and more importantly what could you bring to the table?"
Rashim looked slightly crestfallen when Caius chose the bird lady. He looks slightly grumpy, and says "I guess I'll take shield boy, then." He finishes his drink with a flourish, throws the cup into the air, and begins to walk away, keeping an eye on the cup until it gently brings itself down back onto the table, without a single wobble.
He walks up next to the man with the shield, sizing him up. "Your look says you are a fellow Kelesh man, but your shield begs otherwise. How do you move that thing around?" He says this with a grin, bowing his head ever so slightly in greeting. "I am Rashim, of the Sand Scarabs", he says, indicating the group from which he came. "We are looking to replace a couple members of our crew who had to leave suddenly. Big man like you, big shield, you look like you might know your way around a fight. You looking to make your way into the tombs?"