Kosei observes Zilchus for a while as he drinks and relaxes watching the river. The Garundi asks Florence and Stelle "The stars of Osirion seem to sooth him. Why is it he seems always angry? Does he miss this Ben or he lost someone else my friends?"
Suddenly remembering something he bought a while back but he has forgotten to use, Kosei produces a pink rhomboid stone from his belt pouch and leaves it free at his head height. The stone automatically starts orbiting his head and Kosei's eyes bags immediately seem to recede and his face takes a more healthy color.
"The stars of Osirion seem to sooth him. Why is it he seems always angry? Does he miss this Ben or he lost someone else my friends?" Kosei produces a pink rhomboid stone from his belt pouch and leaves it free at his head height.
Anubis wolfs down the meat provided to him by Ptemenib, breathing occasionally between bites. He glances up at the stone the Garundi orbits around his head, then at the lone figure Zilchus by the river.
The stars of Osirion sooth everyone, as does the water of the River. Perhaps it is Zilchus who has lost himself -- and it is the essence of his individuality which he seeks to find within the River.
He inhales the last of the meat, then belches satisfactorily before slaking his thirst at the water bowl. He circles near the front of the hearth three times before settling down for a nap -- confident that Zilchus is safely watched over.
Stelle turns the pyramid Crocodile tooth key in her hand over and over thoughtfully. What if WE could fly the Mother Pyramid?
Now is not the time.
She hefts the Crocodile Egg Zilchus brought back from the Afterlife. I wonder how big the Crocodile in this mummified egg can get... Is it supposed to help us take over the Mother Pyramid someday?
She looks at Zilchus, sitting by the River.
"He is near enough to our camp, I will watch over him."
Zilchus sips and drinks, seeing no reason to stop this perfectly enjoyable sit. The river, of course, is great to stare at. That he has a quiet and warm drinking companion with him makes it all the better...so what if Annie can’t talk, still really good company. And he has a few more jugs of applejack.
And the stars too.
This is a good place to sit.
Zilchus alternates between scratching Annie and sipping ‘jack.
Kosei nods to Stelle "Better my friend. I have seen many men like him end in the river after the hangover" the Garundi smiles wide with his teeth in disarray.
Seeing things are controlled, Kosei goes to sleep "Perfect, let's have a nap. We can go back to the harbor and continue our travel tomorrow morning my friends"
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"The stars of Osirion seem to sooth him. Why is it he seems always angry? Does he miss this Ben or he lost someone else my friends?"
"Um...I don't really know," Florence confesses. "Zilchus hasn't ever said a whole lot about what his life was like before all of us met. It's stupid but it's hard to imagine him being like...well, like a typical person. Being a child, growing up here in Osirion. Instead it's almost easier to just think that there's always been a Zilchus, already grown, never aging, forever fighting and raging in service to his Great Crocodile."
She laughs sadly and shakes her head. "Maybe that speaks more poorly of me than anything. There's been so much to happen that it's easier to just focus on the present and what needs to be done instead of asking questions about the past. But friends are supposed to care about those things too, right?"
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After a good night’s rest, the party assembles on the docks of Wati. Abdur is there, along with a half dozen or so of his crew, loading odds and ends onto the Jharna. ”Never can be too prepared. Also, I found a couple maps.” he hands two tightly wound scrolls to the captain, Florence. One is a map that covers the area between here and the Slave Trenches, more or less, and the other a map of the Trenches themselves. (Check out Roll20 to see the map of Hakotep’s Khepsutanem (more commonly known as the Slave Trenches).)
He hugs each of you in turn, ”Good luck my friends, and I will ensure the Pharasmin’s guard your crashed pyramid, though I doubt Ptemenib would let you down. Be safe from evil.” …and with that you’re off, traveling up the Crook river once more, on your 200 mile journey to the Slave Trenches of Hakotep!
You pass the town of Ipeq about a day and a half into your journey, bypassing it for now in some haste to reach your objective. River traffic slows considerably in the coming days as your boat sails against the current to your destination about a week after you began. Leaving the river behind, you take the dune boat into the desert and, after getting turned around once or twice, finally see obelisks up ahead in the distance as you close in from the Northeast, having slightly overshot your mark.
How do you want to approach? Anything in particular you want to cover during the week? It’s about mid-afternoon on Arodus 16, 4714, a Starday.
Zilchus struggles awake, blinking away the sleep, an empty jug of 'jack between his legs. He looks around, both up and down the river.
Now that was a good sit.
He slowly gets to his feet, wiping sand from his buttocks, legs and body before just giving up and disrobing for a full bath in the morning sun. He uses the river's water to clean away the pains and excesses of yesterday, the blood, the bruises, the drool, and the dog smell.
That was a good sit. A really good sit.
He dresses quickly, after drying off in the morning sun and marches back to town. He goes to see his uncle and see about unloading some of the gear that he had been carrying.
He pauses before the doors to the Wati, collecting himself before entering.
"Uncle? Abdur? Are you here? Have you heard about the pyramid?" Zilchus enters and begins to unload the gear from the battle in the sky. "Abdur, can you help us sell our goods? Might be that I have some new needs before we go back out."
Zilchus arrays what he has been carrying.
"Have you seen the others? They might have more. I should go find them."
Doing a quick looting/selling/shopping before continuing.
Kosei is happy Zilchus takes the initiative of dealing the goods selling stuff. The Garundi is happy too the ship is able to move through the river without further delay, very much willing this Flying pyramids stuff is shortly completed and he can leave the Guardian's life soon enough to find a proper wife.
The man takes the long trip opportunity to better met his companions. He invites Florence and Stelle to prepare baklava. He tries to learn more from Nidhi profiting any opportunity to listen her music "Dear woman of the Stars. How is it you decided you liked music?" With Zilchus he attempts to approach the man by offering him to have some drink based on peyote cactus while watching the sun disappear in the river's horizon during dusk.
Once the mark is, more or less, reached, he offers to help the group fly to the northern building were the search is supposed to begin "We can anchor here and then I can cast a wind walk to help us approach and survey the trenches"
"Seems like a good a way as any to go about it," Florence remarks on Kosei's plan. "I know we're running some risk of anything on the ground seeing us but it'd be really helpful to have a birds-eye view of this place so I'm willing to risk it."
I'm happy to backfill a little additional selling/shopping. Off to Discussion!
As Zilchus was too drunk, we'll step back a bit for a quick visit to Abdur. We'll return to the desert shortly and the possibility of wind walk...
As you approach Milki, Abdur meets you outside, such is his exuberance. "My friends, you are well I see! I so worried when the pyramid came crashing down that it might be the end - but you are made of sterner stuff. Well done!"
He escorts you inside and past the throng of folks looking to say hello, shake your hands, and otherwise wish you well. He leads you back to his cramped office and has drinks brought, though just coffee, tea, and little cakes as it's early in the day (I'm presuming you see Abdur in the morning).
Once everyone is settled in, and refreshments have been served by his multitude of servants, he announces, "You must tell me everything! I spoke to Ptemenib last night, so I know some of the details, but he was not there - YOU were there. Tell me, how did it feel to be turned to stone? How did you survive the crash? Tell me everything." he entreats.
Zilchus roots around for a stiffer drink than coffee and begins to explain what happened in the flying pyramid of doom and pain.
”...so...if the other pyramid is equally as dangerous, we’re going to need some more and different solutions. Something for stoning. And mind control, maybe? I dunno.”
Zilchus finds what he’s looking for and sits on a stool. He waits to hear what others want to say to Abdur.
"You must tell me everything! I spoke to Ptemenib last night, so I know some of the details, but he was not there - YOU were there. Tell me, how did it feel to be turned to stone? How did you survive the crash? Tell me everything." he entreats.
Stelle takes coffee and gingerly helps herself to cake."Stone? I was turned to stone, just after taking out a Mummy, I guess. Maybe the one flying the thing. Or, maybe that pyramid was jettisoned by someone else after the mummy was killed... being stone was nothing. Total unawareness. I'm guess it was dumb luck that we survived. The others would be a better source of commenting on that part."
"Kosei was turned to stone as well," Florence adds with a grimace. "So that was everyone but Zilchus and myself. It was just luck that I still had that scroll in my pack so I could bring him back..."
"I guess at the very least, we should invest in more of those scrolls...I'm sure they won't be cheap but I'd rather be poor than a new decorative piece in one of Hakotep's pyramids!"
Zilchus takes a drink of something, not really caring as long as it is kicked a bit.
”Yeah. And how are we doing on them wands of curification? I don’t have to tell you how much I bleed and bruise, and them wands are good for fixing the physical damage,” Zilchus mentions. ...but the wounds remain inside. Zilchus drinks again, trying to forget the hurt of wounds of that ‘healed’.
Abdur listens intently, and asks many questions - eager as he is to hear your exploits. "Amazing friends, well done! That's one general who won't be pestering the living anymore!" he laughs loudly, his voice echoing in the small crowded room.
"So, what can I get for you?"
If you're buying group items, I need a specific list with prices. I'm not going to guess, research, and price things for you. :) As for individual purchases, it depends on the group items, but you should be getting 15kgp or more each unless you do an uneven distribution.
Stelle is 10kgp behind the group, and Zilchus is some 70kgp ahead of Stelle - and the unbalance is being reflected in combat too I notice. Let me know if you want to even things out a bit or what the plan is. Totally up to you lot - just let me know what you want to do and I'll work out the math.
"We still have several of the minor wands left," Florence says, pulling them out of her pack as proof. "And this scroll of Heal, as well. But that's all that I'm personally carrying around in the way of curatives, not counting my own magics."
"We have not had that many problems aiding ourselves to heal wounds my friends. But you are the expert adventurers, I am just late arrival to the job my friends" Kosei shrugs and shows his empty hands and full stock of scrolls and wands hanging from the inside of his tunic "I am packed but I can help you carry stuff smart as the books of glorious Osirion history my friend Florence"
Kosei carries already a CLW and CMW fully charged, and a scroll of restoration handed by the party
"Of course, one of those heal scrolls would be of great use, in case we need them my friends"
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Abdur smiles his knowing smile, and steps in to help, as he is want to do.
”My friends, how about this?” He shows a list that he jotted down during your conversation: Wand CLW (x2), Scroll Heal (x2), and Scroll Break Enchantment (x2) ”That should set you up nicely for the adventure ahead!” he exclaims.
He then pours over the items you have brought him, making notes as he goes. He sets the helm of brilliance aside in a special sale pile, ”For Stelle.” and tallies it all up.
I added a little extra for Stelle to push her up a bit to the group, and the divvy looks like this:
- Stelle: 29,544gp total
- Everyone Else: 17,044gp each
If that’s OK with everyone, next let me know what you may want to purchase individually.
Abdur sits in his little chair, ink-quill at the ready, listening for your desires.
"That will be wonderful," Florence smiles once the first round of buying and selling is taken care of. "Hopefully we won't be gone very long to these Slave Trenches but just in case...well, it's always good to be prepared!"
Added my thoughts in Discussion re: the healing supplies we already have. Currently working but I'll try and get a list of anything Flo might happen to buy for herself within the next 24 hours or so.
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Zilchus steps forward, but not before finishing his drink and grabbing another to keep him going through the morning. He steps up to watch what Abdur was writing down. He leans on a stool as he watches.
"I need one of them pearly thing," Zilchus holds out his hand as if he was holding a pearl between his thumb and pointer finger. "They are about yay big and hold all the power of the Rushing River within them! They are marvelous little pearls, you know the ones, don't you?" Seeking PoP 4.
Assuming Abdur can get what he needs, Zilchus moseys over to a place near the food and begins to nibble on fruit while others think about what they need.
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Florence scoffs. "You and Anubis have been 'pulling your weight' since the day we met you on Muminofrah's barge! If it weren't for the two of you and Zilchus standing up at the front the rest of us would've been ripped to shreds a long time ago. So don't worry about pulling anything except muscles, okay?"
With the funds divided up and a few extra healing supplies purchased Florence considers her own personal share and what to do with it. "Hmm...make that two pearls," she requests of Abdur. "I'd like to purchase another one myself. They're amazingly versatile bits of magic!"
"Oh...and hmm...maybe some new boots or slippers but I'm not sure just what, exactly..."
Florence will pick up a Pearl of Power (3rd) for 9,000 gp as a definite purchase. Any suggestions on some fancy footwear for a witch?
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Kosei smiles at Stelle "Don't worry my friend. You strength its not measured by the pounds above your feet but by the resolve of your heart beats!"
After the shopping and sharing of the different items found by the group, Kosei is also ready to go.
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Nidhi feels better after talking to Ptemenib, but doesn't think an ioun stone is flashy enough to suit her tastes.
He tries to learn more from Nidhi profiting any opportunity to listen her music "Dear woman of the Stars. How is it you decided you liked music?" [/b]
There seems to be no better topic for Nidhi to talk about at length but herself and the local taverns. "My grandmother and I sang in her shop. But, it wasn't until I started sneaking into taverns that I realized I had talent." Nidhi smiles, looking a bit guilty. "Most places in Midwife recognized my face, but with a bit of makeup, I was able to sneak into a few taverns near the port area. Not the safest place for a 14-year-old to be, but I was curious and I always suspected Grandmother protected me more than she needed to."
"Looking back, I think some of them might have known. But I always offered to sing in exchange for a drink so I think they found me entertaining enough." She shakes her head, smiling. "I blame my dad. He was always encouraging my bad behavior. Grandmother always called him a scoundrel."
Nidhi stands and pushes in her chair. "I'm not sure if I can face Grandmother. I know she's probably worried, but I... I think we should just go ahead towards the trenches. I feel like I need to accomplish more before I see her again." Nidhi looks ready to depart.
Florence looks around and nods. "Yeah, come to think of it I guess I'm ready to go too once Abdur is able to return with our order."
She glances down at her feet. "Besides, it'd take me way too long to shoe-shop and we don't really have a lot of time to waste if Hakotep is sending flying pyramids after us."
Kosei listens to Nidhi's story attentively "You were brave in your youth my friend. I can understand how difficult it is to face your relatives, but that only says you care about them. And that is good my friend. Tradition and family gives us an anchor to what we are, and something to fight for" the man looks far at the horizon as the ship sails over the waters while he talks with the singer "In the end though, they cannot live our lives for us. It is given to us as the light of the stars and the sun, and we are responsible for taking the decisions on how we use that spotlight. Well done to spend it on what you are good at while you still defend your family against those hordes of undead. They will finally understand my friend, I am sure you are doing right, lollypop Nidhi"
For the remainder of the trip through the river, Kosei keeps talking without rest. And the day they reach a close spot to the trenches, he casts wind walk on the party "Let me help you fly through Osirion like white clouds over the desert. We can complete our approach over the trenches in this way, and perform a quick inspection of the current state of the place my friends"
Perception: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (18) + 20 = 38
”Ahhh, a flying carpet is it? Well then.” Abdur collects the lists of everyones needs, ”Why don’t you go have an early lunch, and a few drinks, and I’ll see what I can produce by this afternoon!”
In the miraculous way of things, Abdur is able to produce what you want in record time having already, to a degree, anticipated your needs. No problem with any named purchases - Nidhi is flying, Stelle is much stronger, Kosei is somewhat more understandable, while Zilchus and Florence are pearled.
You travel upriver, as previously discussed, and again reach the Slave Trenches of Hakotep.
- - -
The Slave Trenches, once known as the Khepsutanem, are one of the most awe-inspiring sights in all of Osirion, but their relatively remote location and the powerful nature of their guardians and wards have kept them from being significantly explored. As you approach, they seem to stretch to either horizon. It’s hard to see from here, but this sprawling collection of trenches and earthworks forms a maze-like set of hieroglyphs measuring nearly 17 square miles in area.
You are still a few miles from the Khepsutanem, when you temporarily ‘dock’ the Jharna in a shallow ravine in the sand and take to the air via Wind Walk becoming as wispy as the very clouds themselves. The first thing you learn is that flight is hard up here. Very hard. You find the area above the Trenches is filled with a wild blowing wind (Windstorm 50-60mph winds). You must make Fly DC 20 checks or be blown with the wind hither and yon. You find by climbing higher, you’re able get above it all for a bird’s eye view however (above 200’ or more).
The trenches vary in depth from only a few feet to over 50 feet, but for the most part average about 30 feet deep. Likewise, the width of the trenches varies throughout the earthworks, but on average, the trenches are approximately 50 feet wide. Each trench is lined by a row of obelisks; these stones are in varying stages of erosion, with some of them having worn down to little more than lumps.
The darker black marks on the map are Sekrespheres - particularly tall monuments of polished stone rising amid the trenches. Strangely resistant to the erosive effects of sand and time, these white polished menhirs are impossible to miss, particularly at dusk or dawn, when the suns’ rays strike their sides full and flare with reflected light.
The orange circle to the west is a fifty-foot-diameter disk of gray basalt which sits at the center of a circular plaza of yellow-orange stone, surrounded by a curving trench. The disk (image) is adorned with faint hieroglyphs, but for the most part its surface seems to have been worn smooth by the elements and the passage of time. Very little sand has gathered upon the disk, as if the wind specifically sought to keep the slab clean.
You learn further that the map you have of the Slave Trenches gives an overview of the entire network, but many of its elements are not proportional. The impressive size of the Slave Trenches means that many of its features - in particular, the trenches, obelisks, and Sekrepheres - would not be visible at the scale depicted on the map, and so these features have been illustrated at a much larger size to highlight their positions within the Slave Trenches. As a result, this map should be used to show the relations and distances between various points of interest in the Slave Trenches rather than as a tactical map.
When viewed from above, anyone capable of reading Ancient Osiriani can read the central hieroglyphs formed by the trenches. Reading from west to east, the hieroglyphs could be roughly translated as, “The Sun and Sky are bound to the Stones below,” but reading from east to west, the most accurate translation becomes, “Let Earth call down and bind the Sky.”
It's late in the afternoon of Arodus 16, 4714.
Zilchus readies for his wallet a bit too late when Stelle looks for loans. He makes the long slow reach and makes an act of being disappointed when others get their first. ”I’ll help you next time, Stelle, don’t you worry.” He finishes his drink and is ready to consider moving along.
* * *
Zilchus looks over the Slave Trenches, seeing what he can see and reading what he can read. He puts his hands on his hlps as if trying to decide something.
”I guess there really is no starting spot, huh? We don’t really know what might be where, huh?” He wraps his weapon cord around his wrist, casts his usual magics and walks to one point. Moved Z’s big head on map.
”Let’s go hear. I want to see one of the round thingies up close. You all coming?”
"Sounds like a good a place as any to start," Florence nods agreeably. "If they're important then we can just work our way around to each one. And if not then we can go look at that huge disk next!"
Apologies for the slow posting; am currently out of town but will be back home this afternoon~
Before taking the air Kosei casts longstrider and greater magic fang on himself.
"The architect told us the first step of the ritual has to be done within a complex on the northern side of the earthworks called the Tekramenet friend Zilchus!" Kosei jumps after Zilchus becoming a cloud himself and following the warrior "But we can start here too!"
CL 13 (Concentration +20); only 10% misschance while deafened
Level 2 (7/day + 1 pearl of power II)
produce flame - D
barkskin (10 min/level)
frost fall (Fort 19)
delay poison (1 h/level)
2x stone discus (no SR)
stone call (no SR)
Hand: see invisibility (CL 5; 50 min)
You descend to the Slave Trenches traveling difficulty through the maelstrom of air above the Khepsutanem to land near the Southwestern most trench. At the surface the air scarcely moves, and the heat seems quite unbearable - somehow hotter than the surrounding desert. But you need only climb a few feet in the air to get your hair mussed, and anything 20’ or higher is making fly checks.
As you get close to the nearest obelisk, you realize it’s emitting a soft telltale hum. These stones are in various stages of erosion, but the nearest seems strangely more structurally sound than some of the others in the area. That said, it too is well worn, and any hieroglyphs that might have once been carved on its surface have long since worn away.
Detecting magic reveals strong conjuration magics.
- - -
The trench nearest you is about 20’ deep. You think it’d be about a DC 15 climb check to manage the walls, but you can descend further as wind as you wish. I assume you are not yet solid for now as you flit about.
The air in the trench is quite still indeed and you find yourself catching your breath in the stillness. Looking into the trench, you see a white sea of some sort lining the bottom of the trenches, making the depths gleam ever so slightly. Closer examination reveals the trenches are filled with the bones of the slaves who died building them!
In an almost fluid fashion, the Khepsutanem’s depths are filled with countless bleached bones, sunburned by the desert. In some areas the piles very nearly reach the rim, while in others the stone bottom of the trench can be seen clearly. It is clear however, that this is not a benignly built structure, but rather one built by a Pharaoh mad with power and evil.
Kosei passes by close to the white bones "This is the work of a psychopath rather than a pharaoh my friends. So much life of the sands scarified to the ego of a simple person. It makes me very sad my friends. Very sad"
Unable to understand the magical auras, Kosei simply observes this area of the trenches.
Perception: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (19) + 20 = 39
Kosei is surprised to find no desert creatures in the immediate area. Sure, the desert is perhaps less full of life than a jungle, but if you scratch the surface, you can find all manner of creatures. Normally.
Kosei looks around and finds nothing. No lizards skittering among the rocks, no birds sharpening their beaks on the bones, not even the hum of insects - just the hum of the obelisks.
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"The architect told us the first step of the ritual has to be done within a complex on the northern side of the earthworks called the Tekramenet friend Zilchus!"
”Each of the Sekrepheres is associated with one of the gods of Osirion whose teachings, in one way or another, influenced Hakotep’s work at the Khepsutanem. They must be activated in the following order: Horus, Ptah, Isis, Ra, Khepri, Osiris, Sobek, Maat, Sekhmet, Thoth, and finally Set. Once you’ve activated all eleven in this order, the Sun Disk can be used to call down Hakotep’s pyramid.” Stelle quotes the architect.
"I swear I saw the mummy's grin widen somehow as he said that last bit!" She sheepishly holds out a small notepad and rasps, "Look! I wrote it all down!"
"This is the work of a psychopath rather than a pharaoh my friends."
"Do you mean the Architect, Hakotep, or both?" She calms Anubis down, as he seems unsettled by the shifting winds in wisp form -- or possibly the bones. Or even possibly the total lack of life about this place in general aside from himself and his companions. "Why do we want to land this thing again?"
Zilchus nods as he listens to the suggestions and good inputs of the team. He doesn’t have much to add, but does long for his natural form.
”So, where do you think we’ll find that first Sexosphere, Stelle?” Zilchus has no idea, but clearly Stelle had been thinking while he had been watching the river go by. ”I think we want to land it because if we don’t, then bad things will happen no matter what. I dunno, it’s all very confusing. Ben...Ben could explain it.”
Moving on the map, randomly, but happy to follow another as needed. Whatever works.
As you move through the trenches, you find that about half of the obelisks emit that humming and are still ‘active’. As a result of this humming, the entire region is suffused with a barely audible droning.
- - -
As the party moves Northeast, toward the area Kosei suggests, you stop at the first Sekrephere, the black mark on the map near Zilchus. Stelle reminds you the order needed to turn them on while Nidhi and Florence follow along quietly.
Each Sekresphere is a particularly tall monument of polished stone rising about 15’ high amid the trenches. Strangely resistant to the erosive effects of sand and time, these white polished menhirs are impossible to miss, particularly at dusk or dawn, when the suns’ rays strike their sides full and flare with reflected light. Though they seem to be unaffected, it feels even warmer, though also windier, near the Sekresphere.
You know that each of these monuments is a focal point for the elemental energies that suffuse the Slave Trenches. As you travel around, you’ll learn that all 11 Sekrepheres look nearly identical, save that each is crowned with a carving of the head of a different god of old Osirion. The one you happened to be nearest is for Sobek, representing the power of elemental water in this case.
Detect Magic reveals strong evocation and conjuration magics.
- - -
You don’t seem to be able to activate the Sekresphere from here - or at least there’s no obvious method to do so.
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"So, where do you think we’ll find that first Sexosphere, Stelle? I think we want to land it because if we don’t, then bad things will happen no matter what."
"It's Sekresphere," Stelle says, rolling her wispy eyes. "NOT Sexosphere. Maybe you need to spend more time with Muminofrah on her barge or something."
After a moment, Stelle shrugs and guides Anubis northwards. "Let's see which god of old Osirion the most northern one is crowned with."
Drifted on map.
DM + Kn. Arcana (DC 25): 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (19) + 21 = 40
DM + Kn. Arcana (DC 25): 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (9) + 21 = 30
DM + Kn. Arcana (DC 40): 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (8) + 21 = 29
As the group travels around, Florence takes the time to try and analyze the magical auras that come from some of the obelisks. "Mm...the intact obelisks seem to have elementals bound to them," she points out. "So far I've detected air, earth, and fire elementals...but no water elementals, at least not yet."
The magics coming from the Sekrespheres are harder to puzzle out, leaving her shrugging helplessly. "I'm not really sure what these auras are about; they're evocation and conjuration but that's about all I can figure out."
Florence stares up at the carving of Sobek, a thoughtful expression on her face, before drifting to follow Stelle and Anubis. "We're supposed to activate these in a specific order, right Stelle? If that's the case then we're at the wrong one; we need to start with Horus. Maybe if we start there we'll be able to figure out how to actually activate it?"
’Seksysphere? Sekretaphere? Skeletaphere?” Zilchus struggles with the name despite Stelle’s help, but he’s trying. He’s not sure why he’s having a hard time with this one.
He circles the Sobek sekresphere, and decides it must be a good one.
”You say this one is for Sobek, do you? Well, it’s very nice! Very strong, I can tell,” Zilchus says though he can’t tell at all. ”This is probably the best one, I’d say.”
Zilchus looks around, hoping someone else knows what to do with it.
”Well, let’s go find Whore-us,” Zilchus quips, no fan of any deity that isn’t Sobek.
Moved on map to next sexysphere.
Nidhi has taken to alternating walking and cruising on her new carpet. She's currently sitting, hovering just above the group, feeling quite opulent. The carpet and her rod make her near-death experience as a statue almost worth it. It's only out of her own sense of duty and concern for her home that's she's here now.
"Can I just say: this is a weird looking place. It's like a maze but with corpses." Pharasma, may my fate be favorable.
"Mm...the intact obelisks seem to have elementals bound to them," she points out. "So far I've detected air, earth, and fire elementals...but no water elementals, at least not yet."
Nidhi lays back on the carpet, letting her legs dangle off the edge. The tips of her toes barely brush the ground. "There are elementals?" Nidhi covers her face with her arm. The sky was bright. "If there are fire, air, and earth elementals, there is obviously a water elemental. I mean, a pyramid has four corners. It only makes sense." The bard seems quite sure of this.
She sits suddenly up from her floating perch to stare at Florence. Is she going to be okay if we run into that fire elemental? Nidhi looks like she's about to say something, then: "I haven't fought elementals before, but I don't think they have ears. There won't be any charming them with my honeyed voice." Nidhi smiles her bardic smile, flashing her white teeth. She didn't feel confidence but faking it helped her gain some semblance of hero's bravado. She was a bard, after all.
Knowledge (Planes): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12
Nidhi tucks her feet under her legs and lazily drifts over by Kosei. She takes out her bow, pointing it at the depiction of Sobek.
So, is the map to scale? Or are the party members supposed to be a lot smaller?
The party floats North - speeding along maybe 10’ up to avoid the obelisks, but not much higher so as to avoid the high winds. The group is still wind walking Nidhi - unless you are choosing to solidify now and follow, much more slowly, on your floating carpet. While in wind form, the party is moving at 600’ while the carpet moves at 40’. However, it does take a few rounds to solidify and you can’t make attacks until you do so there’s a definite trade off.
I’ll say Zilchus gets the party to drift East a little (to avoid splitting the party quite yet) before heading North with Stelle and Florence leading the others. That Sekresphere is of Maat, representing the power of the stars in the heavens above. When you arrive, the most Northern is Horus, representing the power of elemental air.
Though Nidhi makes a strong argument for water elementals, none have been found so far on your journey. Also, as a reminder, the map is not to scale. It’s about 5 miles or so across at its widest point so the area is pretty large. The structures drawn on the map are also not to scale, having been enlarged so we could see them rather than the dots and lines they really are. The map shows your ship (where it says ‘You are here’). That’s actually where the Jharna is currently ‘docked’ relative to the rest of the Slave Trenches.
The sun is beginning to set, and you’re all surprised for the moment as all of the Sekrespheres flare in the dying light. They seem to dance in the sun as the winds themselves seem to pick up around them and the whole Khepsutanem warms as one last defensive maneuver against the cold of the desert night.
- - -
Florence gasps with surprise as the Sekrespheres light up, warming the area. "Oh! Wasn't expecting that," she admits as she looks around. "Sunset already? I didn't realize how much time we spent traveling today. Should we rest somewhere close and then start fresh in the morning? Pretty soon most of us won't be able to see anything at all down there."