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The Pact Stone Pyramid (Inactive)

Game Master Pact Stone GM

A Pathfinder Module, converted from 3.5 to the Pathfinder system, with a party of level 7.


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Male Human Cleric/8

Okay, so is consensus yes on the wall? I think I will go ahead and cast that, getting as thick a wall as I can at the back edge of the illusion.


Halstadt Morgrym wrote:
Hal listens to Xerissa's explanation to goad Ghukan into investigating the pile of, well watever it is. Assuming he says he will go Hal will accompany him. If they are undead I would like to be close by to turn them. If it is some other enemy I would like to be close by to burn them. Either way, I would like to be close by, Hal will not send others to do his holy work...

-

Just so I have it right, is that what Xerissa is trying to do? Send Ghukan to the mystery pile ahead of everyone down the corridor?


Male Human Wizard Level 8 - Conjurer
Donkor Sooron wrote:
Okay, so is consensus yes on the wall? I think I will go ahead and cast that, getting as thick a wall as I can at the back edge of the illusion.

Sounds good, especially if we (the dwarves, I should say) can also rig a trap of some sort (maybe even in combo with one of Xerissa's bombs--ooh, the thought of Soan taking an unexpected blast is heart warming). Though if we should be moving out of the entrance hall quickly, then maybe rigging a trap later is more appropriate.


Donkor Sooron wrote:
Okay, so is consensus yes on the wall? I think I will go ahead and cast that, getting as thick a wall as I can at the back edge of the illusion.

-

The Water Seer strides to the rear of the party, at the edge of what is now the illusion of a collapsed entrance shaft filled with a cascade of rubble. With a prayer to the Mother of Souls on his lips, Donkor slowly runs his hand along the granite wall covered in hieroglyphs on his left-hand side. The ancient text on the wall begins to blur and run together as though stone were a dripping liquid. Like a child's finger painting, Donkor pulls the soft malleable liquid from the wall and begins to smear it over the empty space.

Impossibly, the liquid rock is suspended in the air, enabling Donkor to stretch it and smooth it to the four corners. A few moments later the priest's creation is complete.

The corridor is sealed off by a sheet of granite, as every bit as hard as it was before.

As the entrance becomes lost to you, entombing you within the pyramid, you can't help but feel a twinge of dread.

OOC: I may have missed it, but did Donkor finalize where he was putting that light spell?


Moonpate and Donkor only:

Technically, by my count, only Moonpate and Donkor actively attempted to disbelieve the falling rock illusion which means they are the only two which can actually see through the false cave in.

As Donkor is putting up his stoneshape wall, Moonpate and Donkor observe the following:

The guards have pulled back from pyramid. They have now been stationed to guard the entrance. That is to say, their backs are to you and they are instead warding off the crowd, defending the Exemplar's great prize. There are also a handful of soldiers lying on the ground, slowly rising to their feet as they come to their senses. It appears as though they were stunned from the shock wave of the collapse - a feature which did not occur on your side of the phantasm.

There is still quite a crowd. In particular, several brothers of the Shrine of Horns have come near and appear to eye the entrance hungrily. They remain outside the ring of the Exemplar's guards.

Of greatest interest, the monk with the body scars has arrived. You do not recall seeing him prior to your entry into the pyramid. From his gesticulations, he appears to be sounding the alarm to the Exemplar. At the same time there seems to be an argument. The Sand Sage is clearly counseling the Exemplar against whatever the monk is proposing. The monk gives off the impression of a kettle close to boiling over, but one with its lid still on.

At that point, Donkor's wall goes up and you do not get to see how the dispute plays out any further.


Male Dwarf Fighter 5/Rogue(Trapsmith) 2
stats:
Hp's: 77; AC 23, T: 12, FF: 18; Perc. +12; Fort: +9; Ref: +8, Will: +7

As Donkor finishes closing them within, Breach breathes a sigh of relief. "Alright! Now that's more like it! Nothing like the underground, I always say. Now, just in case somebody somehow finds their way through, we can leave 'em a little welcomin' gift." He says, grinning wryly.

As Breach has Craft(traps) on his skill list, I guess he would be the one to set the trap? Or does somebody else have it and he can just aid another? I really have no clue on how to go about setting traps. I never play pc's with that ability due to the fact that I just don't want to mess with it. So, whatever you cats can come up with will work for me.


Male Dwarf Cleric 8

Hal has a few Thunderstones that can perhaps be rigged by the entrance. Hal would not let our new Osirian leader approach that mound alone...


Male Human Cleric/8

Sooron fills the rest of the party in on what he and Moonpate saw through the illusion. Everyone feel free to read the last spoiler tag. I think I'll keep the light spell on myself for the time being, I can always move it later. I'll cast it on my Periapt of Faithfulness.

I'd say go to town and lay all the traps you can there boys, now that we've seen the alarm being raised, it won't be metagamy to start covering our butts!


Breach Shattershield aka Javell wrote:
As Breach has Craft(traps) on his skill list, I guess he would be the one to set the trap? Or does somebody else have it and he can just aid another? I really have no clue on how to go about setting traps. I never play pc's with that ability due to the fact that I just don't want to mess with it. So, whatever you cats can come up with will work for me.

-

In fact, I think the original concept for Breach was intended that he was more of a veteran wily type, who was quite into setting up traps and pre-planning ambushes. I'm not sure he ever quite got there under any of your predecessors' direction (myself included). I blame Hurgah and Karek as bad influences who have too much fun hitting things.

In any event, Breach is indeed quite capable of this. Basically you describe generally how the trap works, and most importantly what equipment is used in the trap. We don’t require a technical diagram. I roll off-screen, as Breach would not know for certain if the trap was a dud until it is actually set-off.

Feel free to spread your wings Javell and attempt something you have not done before. But no pressure, if you are uncomfortable you can defer to others – or perhaps the party can focus on the imminent death ahead of them instead of worrying about its flank.


Halstadt Morgrym wrote:
Hal has a few Thunderstones that can perhaps be rigged by the entrance. Hal would not let our new Osirian leader approach that mound alone...

-

I believe Halstadt has two Thunderstones. Yes, it should be possible to place them such that if Donkor's wall were broken the stones would fall to the ground and trigger - perhaps Breach could assist with that.

Is there still an intention to collapse a section of the corridore?


Male Dwarf Barbarian (Breaker) 8

Karek, ever the skeptic, reaches out to confirm the existence of this granite wall. After giving it a good tap with his knuckles, Karek nods grimly, and hastens to his spot at the front of the line. He's not the type to let his "commanding officer" walk into danger alone, even if they don't speak the same language.


Male Dwarf Cleric 8

If we are all marching on the suspicious mound in force I will take my place next to Mithril Scarab in the marching order. FYI Hal does have one Light spell left.


Male Dwarf Barbarian (Breaker) 8

Karek is still interested in collapsing the corridor - alright, when isn't he into breaking stuff? With the hole covered, at least for now, we should devote our time to our immediate surroundings. Once we ascertain a temporary safety, we might try collapsing the tunnel to further discourage pursuit.


Female Elf Druid 5 (desert)/Rogue 3 (spy)
Pact Stone GM wrote:
Just so I have it right, is that what Xerissa is trying to do? Send Ghukan to the mystery pile ahead of everyone down the corridor?

She wasn't, but maybe she should! She was just trying to smooth over the problems Hurgah was pointing out. I don't how long that will last, but hopefully my lucky roll will buy us some time. It's all good to me. If using Ghukan as a trapfinder is objectionable, I am cool with others going instead, they are probably more capable. But don't send me in, Xerissa doesn't have the hit points or AC for that job. She's more of a hang in the back and rush in like the cavalry girl. She'll stay back at Donkor's wall for now.


Female Elf Druid 5 (desert)/Rogue 3 (spy)
Moonpate wrote:
Sounds good, especially if we (the dwarves, I should say) can also rig a trap of some sort (maybe even in combo with one of Xerissa's bombs--ooh, the thought of Soan taking an unexpected blast is heart warming). Though if we should be moving out of the entrance hall quickly, then maybe rigging a trap later is more appropriate.

Sounds wicked. Xerissa does not have the delayed bombs class ability, so she's supposed to have to throw all her bombs. But I do have the Master Alchemist feat and she’s supposed to be a total MacGuyver so maybe she can give Breach some component parts when mixed together make one of her bombs. She has an alchemist’s kit. Maybe partial damage? Add that on top of Hal's thunder stones and we've got the makings of a decent trap. Half the component parts are on the thunderstone and the other half are in a divot in the floor or in a bowl, so it’s triggered when Donkor’s wall breaks. What I don't get though is how the trap works if we're just going to collapse the ceiling anyways. Seems like we might do one or the other. I'd be cool either way.


Male Human Wizard Level 8 - Conjurer
Xerissa Auraraun wrote:

What I don't get though is how the trap works if we're just going to collapse the ceiling anyways. Seems like we might do one or the other. I'd be cool either way.[/ooc]

I think Donkor's wall and some traps will be enough of a signal/gotcha. I am not crazy about actually collapsing the tunnel behind us. That feels like it would be potentially too permanent, though I understand that the dwarves have no problem with such circumstances.


Male Dwarf Fighter 5/Rogue(Trapsmith) 2
stats:
Hp's: 77; AC 23, T: 12, FF: 18; Perc. +12; Fort: +9; Ref: +8, Will: +7

Between Xerissa's idea and Hal's thunderstones, that sounds good to me. Like Xerissa said, though, if we're going to collapse the ceiling it's probably not plausible to do both.


Ghukan is going on about something. . .

Osirion speakers only:

Ghukan is trying to get some semblance of organization amongst the useless turds surrounding him. He appears to be trying to send Karek and Halstadt up ahead to scout with instructions. He laments that he is surrounded by illiterates who are incapable of reading the walls which obviously must contain important information.

Then when Donkor seals off the rear of the entry shaft by weaving a powerful magic, Ghukan turns a shade of white.

Osirion speakers only:

"You're no guard!" he says to Donkor. "What in the desert's name is going on here! What sorcery is this?!"


Xerissa Auraraun wrote:
Sounds wicked. Xerissa does not have the delayed bombs class ability, so she's supposed to have to throw all her bombs. But I do have the Master Alchemist feat and she’s supposed to be a total MacGuyver so maybe she can give Breach some component parts when mixed together make one of her bombs. She has an alchemist’s kit. Maybe partial damage? Add that on top of Hal's thunder stones and we've got the makings of a decent trap. Half the component parts are on the thunderstone and the other half are in a divot in the floor or in a bowl, so it’s triggered when Donkor’s wall breaks.

-

I think that's reasonable. Working with Breach, Xerissa thinks she can make that happen. With her feat, it will take her ten minutes to prepare and Breach will need that same amount of time to rig the mechanics of the trap. We'll say the effect will be one of Xerissa's bombs at full effect (her choice, but I think I can guess) plus Hal's two thunderstones. The components will cost Xerissa one of her daily uses of her bombs, which logistically doesn't make sense, but I think it's a fair way to balance this, otherwise the party's next move is to place such a trap every ten feet.

Another smooth over, but perhaps we could say that at Breach's direction, Donkor uses the last of his stoneshape to craft the necessary divots and holes Breach requires. That way he can make all the pieces fit together perfectly and be very difficult to detect.

I'll make the roll.


So it sounds like Breach, Xerissa, Donkor and Moonpate (their concept man) are working on the exploding alarm device. Hurgah is standing by acting as a guard.

Karek, Halstadt and Gandel are going to slowly advance on what looks to be the bodies ahead. The Scarab will trail behind them ten feet back or so. She looks like she's getting ready to fire off a spell the second something jumps out at her.

Ghukan is left behind in the middle, gesticulating this way and that.

Any corrections?


Male Halfling Bard (Archivist) 6 / Pathfinder Delver 2
Xerissa Auraraun wrote:

Xerissa,who is disguised as a male slave BTW, so I can't utilize her total hawtness here, explains to Ghukan that the exemplar provided us with a number of gifts to help us better serve her. One of them was some magical lighting. She will also hint that the exemplar gave us secret instructions. The idea is if she can plant that seed, maybe we can refer to them later to nudge this guy where we need him to go.

Xerissa's Bluff check: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Ghukan the Unfairly Conscripted wrote:
"You're no guard!" he says to Donkor. "What in the desert's name is going on here! What sorcery is this?!"

Gandel replies to the Osirion officer in his language.

Osirion speakers:
"Please calm down, Suhere. By now you should realize that we're not mere slaves. We're an elite taskforce of crack explorers, soldiers, and archaeologists serving the Exemplar. She doesn't trust the Asmodeans to honor their agreements, and is concerned that they may attempt to get some of their own people into the pyramid first and steal the treasures of the Four Pharaohs which are rightfully Hers."

"The Sand Sage, through his auguries, has determined that the ideal number of people in our party to ensure success when we enter the pyramid is ten; however, through some misadventures on our way here we lost one of our number. The Exemplar graciously granted us Her permission to recruit the best and the brightest of Her soldiers to fill the empty spot in our ranks. To that end She agreed to stage that little episode in the Golden Tent a few days ago - to allow us to gauge the performance of Her guards and soldiers. We've been hidden throughout the camp and dig site since then, observing all of you. We informed Her yesterday that we had found the one man who hands-down was the best of the best - you. The Exemplar agreed, saying that She had been eyeing you for some time now for promotion. So you should feel honored, Suhere - you are the foretold key to our success! For the glory of the Exemplar!"

DC 10 Bluff check to Aid Xerissa: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19


Male Dwarf Cleric 8

Hal will have his holy symbol of Angradd at the ready. Just in case we are dealing with undead.

His other hand will be pointed at the mound ready to release a jolt of Angradd's holy fire if need be. Just cause I like to burn stuff...


Gandel strides over to Ghukan. Whatever he says to the man appears to be rather effective. The soldier appears to calm down considerably.

I've treated that as a separate Bluff, rather than an aid, as it is quite the expansion and Xerissa is now busied with making an explosive. However, Gandel's approach definitely handled things. Way to jump on that.


For those who speak Osirion and care to listen to Ghukan:

"Well. . . well it's about time somebody filled me in."

"Glad I could help then."


Cool tangent alert!

I’m not sure if this was deliberate or a very bizarre coincidence, but there is actually a kernel of truth to what Gandel just told Ghukan.

A generation ago, there was once a well-known Chelaxian Osiriotologist named Imivus who strongly believed that an expedition into the famed Veinstone pyramid required a delegation of exactly eleven persons, no less, no more. Anything else was courting disaster. It wasn’t entirely clear why.

You might recall Karek had mentioned the number 11 before as one of the two mathematical figures that appears in Ascension architecture. (The other number being 56, a number Halstadt has inquired about a couple of times due its appearance in Donkor’s vision but now we’re really digressing.)

Based on the above, I’m going to assume Professor Trapspringer must have come across some of Imivus’ work in Absolom’s archives. Xerissa’s father, the sage Auraraun would also have likely read some of his work.

Incidentally, Imivus disappeared. Approximately 57 years ago. That would have been 56 years from the year Donkor Sooron claims to have walked away from the Veinstone Pyramid as the sole survivor.

[Insert Keano “woah” here]


Halstadt is now within 30 feet of the pile. Hurgah appears to be quite correct. The pile is actually three bodies, each fresh enough to have been killed very recently. One of Gandel’s mystic lights hovers overhead allowing you to see that the corpses wear the same garb that you have seen on the camp labourers. You suspect the broken weapons scattered in the shaft a few feet away deeper into the shaft may have belong to them: a pair of shattered spears and a bent sword.


Male Dwarf Cleric 8

Hal turns to Gandel, "Do you see any traps my friend? Take a look before I approach and inspect the bodies". Hal would also like to take a look and see if there is any sort of tell-tale stonework that would give away a mechanical trap, Hal is a Dwarf and should at least have a chance of spotting something of this nature.


Male Dwarf Barbarian (Breaker) 8

Karek will inspect what he can as well, on high alert for whatever killed these guys.

Also, only three? Haven't, like, 14 been sent in already?


Halstadt Morgrym wrote:
Hal would also like to take a look and see if there is any sort of tell-tale stonework that would give away a mechanical trap, Hal is a Dwarf and should at least have a chance of spotting something of this nature.

-

Halstadt does not see anything in the granite that suggests a trap to him. Though three fresh dead bodies provides a hint that perhaps not all is well.

Also, as a dwarf, Halstadt is acutely aware that the shaft continues to have a slight downward slope. In addition, unlike the humans (or halfling or half-orc) Halstadt's natural sense of depth alerts him that if he travels much further down the shaft he will fall below the level of the sand outside the pyramid. That is to say, he will soon be "underground".


A hypotehtical if I were to take the liberty of having Karek voice his last comment aloud:

Karek Kogan wrote:
Also, only three? Haven't, like, 14 been sent in already?

-

"Yeah," says the Scarab from behind him, her voice weak as she tries to find her courage. "There were at least a dozen slaves that were sent in over the past two days - in two separate waves."

She too notes this is only three.


Karek Kogan wrote:
Karek will inspect what he can as well, on high alert for whatever killed these guys.

-

Karek is no medical expert, but he knows a crushing when he sees one. These men have suffered from some kind of blunt trauma, the kind that breaks your bones but leaves no mark on the skin.

Those little tiny hairs on the back of Karek's neck that stick up whenever something's wrong are waaay up.

The entry shaft continues forward in a perfectly straight line, past the bodies, beyond the limits of the dwarf's darkvision.


Halstadt Morgrym wrote:
Hal turns to Gandel, "Do you see any traps my friend? Take a look before I approach and inspect the bodies".

-

Once Gandel returns from handling Ghoukan, he has an opportunity to give the shaft a visual inspection. If there is a trap, he doesn't see it.


Male Dwarf Cleric 8

Hal will approach the bodies then and inspect them to confirm the cause of death.

Heal 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14


Male Dwarf Barbarian (Breaker) 8
Halstadt Morgrym wrote:

Hal will approach the bodies then and inspect them to confirm the cause of death.

Heal 1d20+8

Karek will keep step with Hal, looking out for the priest as he goes about his work. He grips his Earthbreaker tightly, silently vowing that whatever did this - if it is a thing he can crush - will soon meet a similar fate.


Morgrym CSI

Halstadt Morgrym wrote:
Hal will approach the bodies then and inspect them to confirm the cause of death.

-

OOC: Wow! Even with minimal training (1 rank) with that Wisdom score Hal is quite an accomplished physician.

There is not one drop of blood here. Something very powerful wrapped around the waist of all three of these poor saps and crushed their rib cages. The first two were quick, their rib cages crushed in many places. The last one was probably done very slowly, slowly tightening in a form of abdominal strangulation until the victim finally passed out and suffocated. Hal notes the purple tongue inside the jaw and the way that the eyes rolled up into their sockets.

The obvious suspect is a boa constrictor, one of a very large size. But what kind of snake declines to swallow its victims? No, it can’t be that simple.

In any event, there does not appear to be anything Hal can do for the victims now. He can’t even give them a burial. (Angradd is probably more the cremating type anyways...)


Female Elf Druid 5 (desert)/Rogue 3 (spy)
Pact Stone GM wrote:

Cool tangent alert!

I’m not sure if this was deliberate or a very bizarre coincidence, but there is actually a kernel of truth to what Gandel just told Ghukan.

A generation ago, there was once a well-known Chelaxian Osiriotologist named Imivus who strongly believed that an expedition into the famed Veinstone pyramid required a delegation of exactly eleven persons, no less, no more. Anything else was courting disaster. It wasn’t entirely clear why.

You might recall Karek had mentioned the number 11 before as one of the two mathematical figures that appears in Ascension architecture. (The other number being 56, a number Halstadt has inquired about a couple of times due its appearance in Donkor’s vision but now we’re really digressing.)

Based on the above, I’m going to assume Professor Trapspringer must have come across some of Imivus’ work in Absolom’s archives. Xerissa’s father, the sage Auraraun would also have likely read some of his work.

Incidentally, Imivus disappeared. Approximately 57 years ago. That would have been 56 years from the year Donkor Sooron claims to have walked away from the Veinstone Pyramid as the sole survivor.

[Insert Keano “woah” here]

Sole survivor my ass. My Daddy's not dead!!!!!


Female Elf Druid 5 (desert)/Rogue 3 (spy)
Pact Stone GM wrote:
Xerissa Auraraun wrote:
Sounds wicked. Xerissa does not have the delayed bombs class ability, so she's supposed to have to throw all her bombs. But I do have the Master Alchemist feat and she’s supposed to be a total MacGuyver so maybe she can give Breach some component parts when mixed together make one of her bombs. She has an alchemist’s kit. Maybe partial damage? Add that on top of Hal's thunder stones and we've got the makings of a decent trap. Half the component parts are on the thunderstone and the other half are in a divot in the floor or in a bowl, so it’s triggered when Donkor’s wall breaks.

-

I think that's reasonable. Working with Breach, Xerissa thinks she can make that happen. With her feat, it will take her ten minutes to prepare and Breach will need that same amount of time to rig the mechanics of the trap. We'll say the effect will be one of Xerissa's bombs at full effect (her choice, but I think I can guess) plus Hal's two thunderstones. The components will cost Xerissa one of her daily uses of her bombs, which logistically doesn't make sense, but I think it's a fair way to balance this, otherwise the party's next move is to place such a trap every ten feet.

Another smooth over, but perhaps we could say that at Breach's direction, Donkor uses the last of his stoneshape to craft the necessary divots and holes Breach requires. That way he can make all the pieces fit together perfectly and be very difficult to detect.

I'll make the roll.

Coolness. I will take an explosive bomb please. Wider area and I love the auto catch fire. No save. Props to Moonpate for the idea.


Female Elf Druid 5 (desert)/Rogue 3 (spy)
Gandel wrote:


Gandel replies to the Osirion officer in his language.

** spoiler omitted **...

THIS was cool. I nominate Gandel to babysit Ghoukan instead of Xerissa. Xerissa will aid him next time.


Male Human Cleric/8

Sooron offers to Speak With Dead on one of the corpses if everyony ethinks it would be a worthwhile expenditure of the spell this early on. Can we tell from the orientation of the bodies if they were trying to run back out of the pyramid when they died, or were they heading in?


Male Human Wizard Level 8 - Conjurer
Donkor Sooron wrote:

Sooron offers to Speak With Dead on one of the corpses if everyony ethinks it would be a worthwhile expenditure of the spell this early on. Can we tell from the orientation of the bodies if they were trying to run back out of the pyramid when they died, or were they heading in?

Let's look for any glyphs or traps first, then maybe consider use of a Speak with Dead. Then again, it could be that these victims triggered something that we no longer have to worry about (says the guy towards the back of the line). Might be worth saving the Dead Guy Blues spell for later.


Male Dwarf Barbarian (Breaker) 8

Wouldn't be a bad use of the time that the trapmakers are giving us. Who even knows if we'll find the bodies of the other 9 (est.)? Hopefully, this will let us be prepared for what killed these guys.


Male Dwarf Barbarian (Breaker) 8

Also, we do hope to rest soonish. At least I do. Though that may not be feasible.


Moonpate wrote:
Let's look for any glyphs or traps first, then maybe consider use of a Speak with Dead. Then again, it could be that these victims triggered something that we no longer have to worry about (says the guy towards the back of the line). Might be worth saving the Dead Guy Blues spell for later.

-

I'll be getting rather liberal here, but it sounds like Moonpate leaves Donkor's exploding wall and joins Halstadt, Karek and Gandel at the three bodies.

From there Moonpate also searches for traps. Like Halstadt, he lacks the trapfinding class ability, but the wizard's knowledge of the arcane could prove useful. However, after completing a visual inspection, like Gandel, he too doesn't see any sign of wards (or mechanical traps for that matter). There is plenty of corridore in the blackness ahead though that he has not reviewed.


Male Half-orc Barbarian (Invulnerable Rager) 4 / Sorcerer 1/Dragon Disciple 3

Being of little use in trapfinding, Hurgah moves up with Moonpate, but focuses on keeping watch and being ready for trouble.


Donkor Sooron wrote:
Can we tell from the orientation of the bodies if they were trying to run back out of the pyramid when they died, or were they heading in?

-

I missed this question, sorry.

It sounds like Donkor also leaves Xerissa and Breach at the 'explosion wall' and heads to the fast-growing group gathered around the three corpses.

Heal check/CSI check:1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16

It looks like the bodies crumpled to the ground. Sooron's best guess is they were suspended in the air, crushed and then dumped on the pyramid floor. As such, it is impossible to tell which way they were headed when the attack befell them.

It sounds like Donkor got a mix of responses on his speak with dead proposal. Let me know if he proceeds or saves the spell.


"X" Marks the (Exploding) Spot"

Breach runs his string across the wall in an “X”, affixing it with tiny hooks from his masterwork toolkit. In each corner a jagged thunderstone hangs in suspension, while the center of the wall holds a single glass orb loaded with a grey-blue liquid. If any significant part of the wall breaks, both the thunderstones will careen together, smashing the orb between them. The liquid will cascade to the floor, where Donkor has fashioned a small divot, which has been concealed to appear as a simple crack. Inside it lies Xerissa’s inert black ‘boom’ powder from Alkenstar, carefully laced with a dehydrated but concentrated supply of alchemist fire. The combination should be as bright and hot as it is loud. Completely concealed by two inches of granite, the set-up should be very hard to detect on the far side of the wall. Particularly as it is impervious to magical detection.

The contraption is though, necessarily, somewhat visible on the Dune Squad’s side. Another vulnerability is if the wall were jostled hard enough in just the right place, but not actually breached, the explosion might be triggered prematurely, but even then it should serve as an impressive warning beacon.

Finally finished, Breach steps back to admire his handiwork. He only wishes he could be here to see it when it goes off.
-----
Perhaps he’ll get to enjoy it vicariously via a cut scene. . .

Looks like the alchemical trapsmiths are all done. Is there anything further anyone wants to do? (I.e. collapse a section of the shaft, speak with dead, anything else I have missed) or shall we have the party advance down the shaft in the default order?


Male Dwarf Barbarian (Breaker) 8

Awesome! It looks like we're ready to go. I'm fine with not collapsing the tunnel. Speak with Dead is the only outstanding option we may want to try, and that's left up to the Soroon.


Speaking of disturbingly uninvited cut scenes. . .

[Cut Scene]

[Less than an hour ago. . .]

All speech translated from Osirion with convenient subtitles.

The three guardsmen found their path suddenly blocked. The man suddenly materializing in their path was both impeccably dressed and immaculately clean. The soldiers recognized him instantly. His yellow turban and dark beard identified him as none other than the Sand Sage, the right hand of the Exemplar. No doubt their sudden race for Master Camp had caught the attention of one of the diviner’s infamous scouting eyes.

“Excuse me,” the Sage said casually, “I believe you have something to report?”

“Yes great sage!” said the first. “Absolutely. Thank goodness you are here for I fear dark magics are at work! I don’t know how, but there may have been some kind of a cover-up, a switch with the Exemplar’s volunteers.”

“Oh?” asked the Sage, though he seemed rather unsurprised. “Whatever do you mean?”

The second guard jumped to the aid of the first, trying to provide a more cogent explanation. “Well we had the first group in the tent, you see. Then a second group came. . .”

“And the Okaro ordered us to swap em,” supplied the third nodding vigorously.

“So we did,” continued the second.

“Only when the Exemplar’s guards came to collect them,” said the first, “They were the first group not the second!”

“The originals he means,” said the second.

“And the Okaro is gone!” added the third. “I’m not even sure he was an Okaro – maybe an imposter!

“We were on our way to report it. There doesn’t seem to be a need to guard an empty tent anymore.”

The Sand Sage let out a long sigh. There was no question, his headache was not going away anytime soon. He longed for a properly brewed tea, such a rarity out here in the field.

“Soldier,” he began, “I don’t think you heard my question. Please try again.” He traced his hand through the air and affixed the soldiers with his stare. “I had asked you whether you had something to report.”

“Yes great sage!” said the first. “Absolutely. The volunteers have been successfully transferred to the dig site.”

“Anything else?” the Sage inquired carefully.

“No sir,” said the second.

“No complications?” he probed a final time, “Nothing out of the ordinary?”

“No sir.”

“Excellent. Then perhaps you ought to return to your post at the Emerald Tent.”

The Sage watched the guards depart, headed back to the slave camp, in far less a rush than when they sallied forth. Once he had watched them leave, the Sage concentrated, watching instead from the dozens of eyes he had positioned throughout the camp. Once he had compiled that information, he then turned his gaze several minutes into the future dissecting a number of possibilities and probabilities.

Yes, he had best return to the dig site at once. Things were unravelling quickly.


Male Dwarf Cleric 8

Love those cut scenes!

Hal reports his findings on the cause of death for these poor soldiers. "Crushed by a tentacled beastie, it would appear. We have fought creatures before but in less confined spaces than this. We should be extra careful as the thing could come from literally anywhere around here. It will be difficult to see if this shaft has side tunnels until we are practically on top of them".

Hal leaves the Speak with Dead option up to Donkor's discretion. While it could be helpful to get a description of what killed these men it could also be helpful later on in the Pyramid.

Hal turns to Gandel, "Master Gandel your breadth of knowledge on all things ancient is quite vast any chance you have ever heard of a description of the inside of this place?"

Hal turns to the Soroon next, "You have actually been in one of these structures before, does the layout look similar or completely different?"


Halstadt Morgrym wrote:
Hal turns to the Soroon next, "You have actually been in one of these structures before, does the layout look similar or completely different?"

-

Donkor's knowledge in potential answer to Hal's question:

The Veinstone pyramid had a square entry shaft, very similar to this one. It turned out to be extremely long. Perhaps this one is as well, though Ahn'Sehlota - from the outside at least - appears to be a smaller pyramid.

Like this pyramid, the Veinstone pyramid also had dense hieroglyphics on the walls. Donkor remembers Master Auraraun was quite delighted with the finding. The characters on these walls appear much larger than Donkor remembers.

Hopefully the similarities end there.

The terminus of the shaft was guarded by a terrible mummy, much faster than the shambling creatures in Osirion's campfire tales. And when it struck a man in the heart, he exploded into a dust, leaving the clerics unable to resurrect him.

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