Dien's Entombed with the Pharaohs (Inactive)

Game Master dien

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Yeah, Shaggar's not in the swarm on the start of his turn, he's good.


The flail cracks over and over against the floor of the room, pulping bits of undead flesh. Ultimately there is nothing still moving in the room except for yourselves. Lyrian glances at the carnage and is unable to find anything still needing an arrow, even.

End combat

Rosalia is relieved things are over. She picks a bit of inert muscle tendon off her body with distaste and flicks it to the ground. "Well. That was fun," she mutters. "I would like to return to civilized countries now. By which I mean, places with baths."

Lonicera is similarly relieved. "Erm. I think I might have said the name that triggered that. Sorry...?

Perception DC 20:
In the mostly-red pulp decorating the floor, you see a small glint of metal-- it looks to be a ring, that was on one of the fingers of the dismembered body.

Shaggar spares a moment to survey the destroyed swarms - making sure no bits are still creeping around. Satisfied that the threat is ended, he sheathes his axe and stalks quickly from the room before more traps can be set off. He spits out residual pharaoh bits and wipes the organ goo from his flail as he goes.

As he's leaving the room he steps on something in the bloody slush, stops, and retrieves it from the gore - a ring. He wipes it clean and hands it to Rosalia as he leaves. "Perhaps this is magic, Sayyidah."

Shaggar drops the mic like a furry gangsta'. "I'm OUT, beyotches."

Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30

Male Musetouched Aasimar Bard 6 (archaeologist) - HP 45/45 (-1 Wis) - AC 21/T: 15/FF: 17 - Perception +13 - F: +3/ R: +9*/ W: +5 - CMB: +6 - CMD: 21, Speed: 30, Init. +4

Lyrian is studiously not looking at the ring. Or anything else. :-)

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The air of the tomb seems somehow... lighter, a bit more fresh, perhaps. Sound seems to travel a bit easier on the ears, as if the pressure had changed when climbing a mountain and one's hearing had just adjusted.

Rosalia brushes emphatically at her clothes and skin, trying to be sure she is rid of any icky bits. She looks up when Shaggar speaks...

...Shaggar, as you wipe off the ring, you notice the signet features... a circled rune! Fortunately for you, it's one you've already seen (the rune of subjugation). When that's explained to Rosalia, she grimaces.

"I haven't seen that one yet, and I'd prefer not to until we're well out of here. Let's just stick it in a pouch for now."

Lonicera says, "So.. are we leaving, then? I know I'm in no position to make demands of you all, but... I'd really like to see if I can get out that door yet, or if I'm trapped here..."

HP 54/54 NL 1 :: AC 23 T 18 FF 16 :: CMD 23 :: F +8 R +12 W +4 :: Initiative +6 Perception +12 (-4 sight-based/+2 traps) :: Google Doc

With the pharaoh bits pulpified, Javi does his own fair share of wiping at his hands and clothes. ”The sewers have nothing on this place, if you ask me. Give me a good romp through a city’s filth any day.”

He looks at Shaggar and the ring, ”I’m with Rosalia on this one. Why would you even look at it at this point?” When the massive gnoll looks over, Javi gives a ’better you than me' shrug. On the other hand, Javi is quick to follow Shaggar halfway out the exit.

He pauses near the door.

”I’m for leaving,” he responds to Lonicera, and then shoots an annoyed look at Heldar. ”If you’re going to double-check my work anyway, I’m more than happy to go cool my heels while you handle it. Save me the trouble of seeing any more runes, anyway. I don’t think I’m cut out for un-life as a subjugated mummy … too boring.”

I updated Shaggar's position on the map yesterday... pretty much heading for the exit. :D

Shaggar pockets the ring which holds no additional danger from him. His voice sounds from down the hallway where he waits scratching the hyena's ruff. "I see no gain in remaining here... and I won't be testing myself against the runes that may be hidden behind the brick wall."

The gnoll is silent for a moment. "Lonicera, you have kept your word and been very helpful. If you can't make it past the doorway, there is another path out which I can show you. One way or another, you won't be trapped here."

Male Half-Elf Oracle (Dual-Cursed Oracle) 7 || Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +14 || - hp 51/51 Spell slots: 3rd (3/5) - 2nd (7/7) - 1st (6/8) - 0 (at will) || Channel (1/8) || Energy Body (7/7)
Javi the Wasp wrote:
”I’m for leaving,” he responds to Lonicera, and then shoots an annoyed look at Heldar. ”If you’re going to double-check my work anyway, I’m more than happy to go cool my heels while you handle it. Save me the trouble of seeing any more runes, anyway. I don’t think I’m cut out for un-life as a subjugated mummy … too boring.”

"I wasn't double checking your work Javi, and I don't think my actions were at the root of the jars exploding" - Heldar sighs, shrugging the matter away, and clearly not intent on pursuing the issue any more - "Nevermind. I have nothing more to add to this discussion. We do as you prefer"

Without another word, he channels life energy to heal his companions.

Channel: 4d6 ⇒ (4, 4, 5, 6) = 19

Channel: 4d6 ⇒ (1, 3, 6, 3) = 13

Male Musetouched Aasimar Bard 6 (archaeologist) - HP 45/45 (-1 Wis) - AC 21/T: 15/FF: 17 - Perception +13 - F: +3/ R: +9*/ W: +5 - CMB: +6 - CMD: 21, Speed: 30, Init. +4

"Yes, agreed Lyrian. "It's time to leave this place...with our pockets stuffed with gold. Come on, let's first gather all we can and then go to the top and see if we can get Lonicera out that way."

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Rosalia nods her thanks at Heldar for the healing, and picks her way carefully out of the mess, grimacing as her feet slide on wet organic goo. In the hallway, she takes a moment to prestidigitate herself clean, as well as anyone else who wants to be de-sprayed.

"Since we're right by the original exit, let's see if she can get out by that first?" Rosalia suggests. Lonicera nods eagerly.

It takes all of a minute for the quick walk to the end of the long, upward-sloping hall. Lonicera bites her lip as she approaches the invisible wall-- sticks her hand out-- and sighs with relief as she is no longer physically barred from exiting. "Oh thank all gods," she murmurs, and turns a sheepish smile on the others.

"Well. That puts me a bit more at my ease, though I'm reassured to know you found another way out, my new friends. Allow me to help you with further gathering of valuable items...?"

It is, perhaps, the most tedious bit of the journey so far, but also the most rewarding in a literal sense. The Pathfinders and honorary Pathfinders make a circuit of the floor, discovering in the process that Julistar and his team had pried most of the gems off the riddle-statues and placed them into the same pile as the Pathfinders had originally placed the scarab scale mail and other goodies.

It takes time to transport the various bits of wealth from the entrance to the desert floor-- time, and a lot of ropes, as well as letting the more durable bits of the treasure slide down the slope of the pyramid wall to collect in a little heap on the desert floor. The brightness of the sun outside seems almost alien after so long of the cold and the dark. The only remaining tension is the slight wariness of not knowing whether Scepter will leap out at anyone from behind a pillar, but there is no sign of the man.

Shaggar has just proposed another check of the upstairs, to grab a few more of the scrolls from the Pharaoh of Numbers' library and, admittedly, to look at the golden egg once more, when...

"...did everyone feel that?" Rosalia says uncertainly. "Like... a tremor?"

"...it's just the golem climbing again," Lonicera says.

"No," Rosalia says, frowning. "That was just ten minutes ago. This is something else--"

Lonicera sucks in a breath and grabs the nearest person's arm, pointing at the wall. "I can see through it!"

Indeed-- the walls around you seem to be... flickering. A few seconds later they resume solidity.... but a minute later, they do it again. And again.

"I thought you said we had hours and hours left," Lonicera says, shouldering her pack and starting to jog towards the entrance. Rosalia is close behind her, grim-faced.

"If this damn tomb has taught me anything, it's that the pharaohs were cheating bastards," she says darkly. "Come on, everyone-- I don't think we want to be in here when this thing goes back to its 'home'..."

By the time the group is back at the entrance, the rumbles, and the flickering, is becoming more frequent. The looong stretch of your six-ropes-knotted-together descends the three hundred feet to the valley floor.

"I can't make anybody else fly!" Rosalia exclaims. "I've used that spell up for the day, and then some! Let's see-- with Rook and Hatyah, that's... eight of us-- dammit, I can only get seven of us with feather fall!"

"Then we better start climbing," Lonicera says, pale-faced, and starts trying to rappel down the side of the pyramid.

Anybody doing anything in particular other than just speed-climbing down?

HP 54/54 NL 1 :: AC 23 T 18 FF 16 :: CMD 23 :: F +8 R +12 W +4 :: Initiative +6 Perception +12 (-4 sight-based/+2 traps) :: Google Doc

"That's dumb," Javi says quickly. "You have the spell .. use the spell. Hatyah can't even climb, for Sarenrae's sake. I'll climb down, and I'll drop when I get near the bottom." He looks over at Shaggar, "You better catch me, you big, hairy bastard."

When the team doesn't do as asked, Javi's face gets serious .. the most seriousest you've ever seen from him. "DO IT!" he barks like a little drill sergeant, "JUMP OUT OF THIS GODS-DAMNED PYRAMID RIGHT NOW!"

Then he winks, "I'll be right behind ya."

How do you want to handle the climb checks? One big block?

HP 54/54 NL 1 :: AC 23 T 18 FF 16 :: CMD 23 :: F +8 R +12 W +4 :: Initiative +6 Perception +12 (-4 sight-based/+2 traps) :: Google Doc

And since it's basically just a series of rolls, I'd be completely fine if you make the rolls and narrate them as you see fit. Nothing like some good speed repelling from a vanishing pyramid to get the heart pumping.

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Rosalia sticks her tongue out at Javi. "I can cast it when we fall, it takes less than a second," she counters. "That way I can exclude whoever has the least distance yet to fall!"

A second later she says, "....actually, if I pick up Rook, that-- should-- work--"

Snatching up her cat one-handed (Rook yowls in protest), Rosalia shouts a word that seems to make everyone's legs feel lighter and brighter. "Okay! NOW we jump...!"

Realized that Lyrian has feather fall too, so even if Rosalia can't carry her familiar to spare it the falling damage, y'all would be fine.

The team scrambles partially down the side of the increasingly translucent and insubstantial pyramid. When their feet start sinking through the green stone, they leap out, into space....!

It is an extremely surreal moment, as time seems to slow down due to the gentle pace of one's fall when under the effects of this particular spell. Beneath them, the vast bulk of the stone pyramid shudders and ripples, like it were made of so much green water; then it flickers out of phase with the desert gorge. From their aerial perspective, the group can see, for one stomach-lurching moment, a vertigo-inducing image...

It seems like an infinite gulf of cold emptiness stretches between you and the Other, though it is at the same time as close as your fingers reaching out to touch it. It is a cracked and blasted and frozen landscape, marked by deep chasms and labyrinthine gorges. The earth is the color of a purpling bruise, and the sky is a bilious orange. Creatures flying on leathery wings, with long tails that are studded with dozens of miniature faces, crane elongated, toothy heads towards you over the gulf. On the landscape below, the earth seems to teem-- with what you realize are multi-legged creatures, the size of your hand, swarming over the ground towards you--

And you see a long, long road, set between pools of an oily blackness, bounded on either side by broken and eroded statues... and at the end of it, a titanic figure of black marble, seated as the pharaohs of old, but his hands rise from his thrones in paroxysmal claws... and his eyes open, burning with a cold white light as he looks across the void towards you, towards Javi and Rosalia in particular--

--and then reality, blessedly-sane reality, reasserts itself. The pyramid vanishes. The blistering heat of the Osiriani desert takes over from the foul chilling gusts of that Other place. The group hangs in the air, drifting slowly, slowly earthward.

Rosalia trembles, clutching her cat tight to her for the long seconds before her feet touch the sand.

Shaggar is silent for a moment, staring at where the titanic figure was. "If the Pathfinders mount a journey there - I'll decline the honor." He quickly sets about packing all the treasure onto their camels and setting Hatyah to watch the small pyramid where the other half of Julister's group was trapped. It's too much to hope they were crushed out of existence.

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Shaggar wrote:
He quickly sets about packing all the treasure onto their camels...

About that...

When you go to the cliff alcove where you left your camels, you find the leather hobble cords cleanly severed. There are camel tracks leading away, though a thin breeze is quickly blowing sand to obscure them.

Lonicera comes jogging up, a little out of breath. "I went to where we tethered our beasts-- they're all gone... I don't suppose I can share a camelback with you, back to civilization? --oh. Ah, no camels for you, either?"

Shaggar holds the slit tether like an accusation, wondering if Scepter did the cutting. He snarls loud enough to raise the hackles on Hatyah's speckled neck. Treasure meant little to him but he'd been rather fond of that one particular camel and her loss pained him - for practical and personal reasons.

He examines the sand for clues as to how long the camels have been gone and if they were at all trackable and recoverable. Had they been directed to town on the relatively hard-packed road? Or were they set into the deep desert where the loose sand made catching up to them difficult to impossible?

Survival (Tracking): 1d20 + 15 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 15 + 2 = 33 in Deserts
Knowledge: Nature: 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 11 + 2 = 27 in Deserts

Dick stole my camel! I claim the right of gnoll vengeance! :D

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It looks as though the camels sort of scattered in all directions, probably helped along with some swatting on their furry butts. The three camels each seemed to take a different tack going out. However, Shaggar knows that camels are herd animals by instinct, and in time the three will no doubt wander back together again, banding together for survival against any predators out here.

Given that this is a fairly steep-walled gorge, it's entirely likely the camels are still within it, perhaps further down and out of sight-- you doubt that camels who were just slapped and let to run would voluntarily go back up the steep, scree-heavy trail that you descended to get here.


With a sharp yip, Shaggar calls Hatyah over and - like a herder with a trained dog - the packmates speed off to track down and round up as many camels as they can in a reasonable amount of time.

Let me know if you need any rolls for that effort. Otherwise, narrate as you wish to keep the action moving.

HP 54/54 NL 1 :: AC 23 T 18 FF 16 :: CMD 23 :: F +8 R +12 W +4 :: Initiative +6 Perception +12 (-4 sight-based/+2 traps) :: Google Doc

Javi stares into the empty air in front of him for over a minute straight.

”He looked … right. At. Me.” His tone is disbelieving, but picks up as he looks over at the crew, ”And did you see the …” he makes flying gestures, ”… with the faces? On their TAILS? And those … “ his hands make crawling gestures, ” … things?”

Shaggar wrote:
Shaggar is silent for a moment, staring at where the titanic figure was. "If the Pathfinders mount a journey there - I'll decline the honor."

Javi looks sideways at Shaggar, and his usual grin reappears, ”I don’t know. There could be some fun to be had there.” The grin melts, ”Then again … he looked right at me.”

As Shaggar and Hatyah set off to reclaim the camels, Javi strolls over to the strewn-about “artifacts” (loot), then gives Rosalia a friendly smile. ”The spell was a good call.” He shrugs and winks at her, ”I still say I could have made the climb.”

Male Musetouched Aasimar Bard 6 (archaeologist) - HP 45/45 (-1 Wis) - AC 21/T: 15/FF: 17 - Perception +13 - F: +3/ R: +9*/ W: +5 - CMB: +6 - CMD: 21, Speed: 30, Init. +4

"And you'd be talking to that pharaoh-thing right now," says Lyrian, less light-hearted than usual. He shudders.

"Let's go find those camels."

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Nothing stirs from the pyramid where you last saw the group of Chelish soldiers. Should any investigate that black archway, there is no sign the squadron was ever there, save for a small black smear of charcoal in one corner of the chamber beyond.

It takes about an hour of picking their way through the gorge, but the group manages to find their camels, further down the canyon, placidly nibbling at some brown desert sage that manages to survive in the shadier spots. They've been joined by four other camels, so your little herd has grown. Shaggar's friend rewards him with a happy, cameline spitting.

The sun is lowering, casting long shadows, but by unspoken agreement, nobody considers making camp down here in the gorge. Together, the group begins the climb up the slope, nearly everyone wishing to get up onto the plateau and put some distance between themselves and the site before making camp.

There is no sign of Scepter, but no doubt he is out there, well on his way back to civilization by this point. Whether he has enough of a lead to evade the long vengeance of determined individuals such as yourself is a question that, alas, is the province of another tale...

By the light of the fire, Lonicera empties her pack to better index all the treasures she took from the rivers of gold. She sputters in dismayed shock when the bulk of what she pours forth from her pack is.... sand.

"But-- but-- argh!" she says, gripping her hair in frustration.

Rosalia, who has been largely silent ever since they reached the outside, laughs a little, tired and frayed. "We still have much of the wealth we took," she points out, indicating the robe and the pearled necklace, the saddlebags filled with scarab mail, the jewelry they stripped from each Pharaoh's corpse. "And we live. For me, today, that's treasure enough."

HP 54/54 NL 1 :: AC 23 T 18 FF 16 :: CMD 23 :: F +8 R +12 W +4 :: Initiative +6 Perception +12 (-4 sight-based/+2 traps) :: Google Doc

Javi smiles as he looks across the fire at Rosalia, "Yah. And in a few months ... maybe years, I'll be able to get a good night of sleep without having nightmares of that guy." He shrugs, "Still, who can say they've seen what we have? That's gotta be worth a bit of gold, too, eh?"

Shaggar chuffs... perhaps in amusement at Lonicera or possibly in agreement with Rosalia. He sets about emptying the sand from his own stuffed bags, "Now, we have less weight to carry." He pats the greatest treasure from the haul - the skeletal dragon's skull - in silent agreement with Javi's opinion.

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The night is broken after Shaggar's pronouncement by a sound of a cheering crowd. Everyone starts for a moment until they remember... Smart.

"Oh, you made it out too," Rosalia says, and sighs. "Well... we'll have a noisy trip home, won't we?"

"my chariot is full of eels."

Lonicera looks torn between further anguish over the loss of all that gold, and bemusement over chariots-of-eels. She sighs, and tosses her empty sack down to the sand. "I suppose we take the wins where we can, in this life..."

Rosalia nods, standing up and stretching her back, staring into the star-filled sky overhead. "I wonder which one is Aucturn," she mumbles, then shakes her head to clear that thought away. She gives Javi a tiny nod, then moves towards her bedroll, though who knows if she'll truly sleep, that night.

Male Musetouched Aasimar Bard 6 (archaeologist) - HP 45/45 (-1 Wis) - AC 21/T: 15/FF: 17 - Perception +13 - F: +3/ R: +9*/ W: +5 - CMB: +6 - CMD: 21, Speed: 30, Init. +4

Lyrian looks up the night sky and decides he's happier not knowing. He snorts in sudden amusement as Smart quotes him.

"You know what I'd give a fistful of this gold for?" he said, "A real bath, with real water. Throw in a flagon of ale and a pretty girl and you can have the whole lot."

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"I'm with you on that one," Rosalia's voice says wearily, from the vicinity of her bedroll. "Prestidigitation only goes so far..."

Though the team posts their standard watches, wary of Scepter or other desert threats, nothing disturbs their rest.

The travel of the next few days is leisurely, compared to the race to reach the pyramid ahead of Julistar's team. The extra camels-- which Lonicera confirms belonged to her group-- are sold at a handy profit in Nemhep by Lyrian's haggling, while Javi goes off to settle a debt with a small token of his esteem to the lady who advised him earlier. That done, the group turns their trail north, following the slow and winding course of the Sphinx downstream...

Rosalia busies herself each night in identifying and cataloguing the treasures they've retrieved, with some assistance from Lonicera and Lyrian. Lonicera, for her part, is making a hobby of trying to get Smart to mimic her not-unpleasant singing. However, Smart seems to want little to do with her (possibly due to her having shoved him in a sack, earlier), and spends most of his? its? time around Lyrian.

After several days of steady, but relaxed travel, the metropolis of Sothis, and the great Black Dome, once again loom on the horizon...

In the crowded common room of a tavern known as the Dung Beetle, a woman in white robes pays for a round of the best date wine in the building. Her mouth cannot be seen, but the corners of her eyes crinkle with pleasure as she looks your group over.

"Well, my friends, I am pleased to see you all return alive... with an addition or two, it seems. I imagine you all have a tale to tell..."

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Lonicera was offered employment by the Pathfinder Society, but declined, saying she would rather make her own way in the world. Several years later, some gilt marriage invitations show up at the Absalom lodge, inviting Lyrian, Heldar, Rosalia, Shaggar, and Javi to her nuptials to a duke of Taldor...

Rosalia swore to never return to the lands of sunburn and sand. The Brevoy swordswoman took missions in the northern parts of Avistan for a number of years, distinguishing herself, and ultimately becoming Venture Captain of a Restov lodge. Rosalia still, occasionally, has nightmares of a man with a kind smile.

Lyrian was commended for an excellent report on the recovered antiquities of the tomb of the Four Pharaohs. The Society was especially interested in his acquisition of a 'friend'-- the unusual creature known as a clamor. By careful interrogation of the creature calling itself Smart, the Society was able to piece together much lost history surrounding the reign of the four Pharaohs. Lyrian is a commissioned agent in good standing, and the Society has most recently dispatched him to investigate Thassilonian ruins in the north...

Heldar was also commended for his excellent report and his theological insights into the nature of the Stranger. Word of his skill at healing spread among fellow agents, and the half-elf is in much demand by teams going into dangerous situations. Most recently, he was contacted for a sojourn to the Worldwound itself, where the hordes of demonic armies will surely make his gifts valuable to his fellow agents...

Javi was offered employment and further training by the Pathfinder Society, who commended him on a job well done assisting the three Pathfinder agents in the field. An experienced field agent named Kyra extended the offer to him, and suggested that the path of Saranrae might lead to the Grand Lodge, for the sun shines even there... Javi told her he'd think about it, and Kyra said to leave a message with her at the temple of Saranrae in Absalom, if he ever decided to say yes.

Shaggar was similarly offered membership in the Pathfinder Society. For now, the gnoll is content to stalk the desert sands, unwilling to leave the lands he knows so well for foreign territory. He has unfinished business with his old pack, and until the day that is settled, he and Hatyah hunt the dunes like two shadows.

The Mithral Scarab was able to inform you that Scepter was a former Pathfinder Society field agent, and that he left Society years ago after stealing a valuable relic-weapon... which you have now recovered. The Scarab says it is called a 'wand rifle,' and it has been returned safely to the Grand Lodge for study.

Scepter is still at large.

Thus officially concludes our adventure! I'll mark it inactive in a few days' time. Thanks again, kids.

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