GM Euan's Mummy's Mask (Inactive)

Game Master Euan

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Osirion Map - Wati City Map - Tephu City Map


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HP 59/66 | AC 18 Tch 13 FF 15 | CMD 24 | Fort +7 Ref +7 Will +4 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | MF 2/6 used | KO 1/1 used | Buffs:

"There are two bodies to bring. I do not feel like leaving this one here, in the Necropolis. We already had to fight the lady in purple twice..."


HP: 75/117 l AC: 12 (16 w/Mage Armor), T 12, FF 10 (14 w/Mage Armor) l CMD 21 l F +14, R +11, W +14 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 4/6, L3: 0/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 4/5, L6: 3/4, L7: 3/3, L8: 2/2 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +25, Kn. Local/Nature/Planes +22, Kn. Religion +13, Spellcraft +25, Swim +7, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Death Ward, Mage Armor / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

So startled is she by Zilchus' sudden outburst of anger, that Florence actually takes a step back from her companion. "I didn't realize you felt that strongly about matters of faith, Zilchus - especially where Pharasmins are concerned. I figured all you cared about was the Ruby Prince and his will. Seems I was mistaken." Though she still agreed more with Ben than Zilchus on the matter of Ptemenib, she couldn't help but feel a new sort of respect for their extremely-opinionated friend.

I guess there's more to Zilch's inner workings than I thought.

Willing to let the matter drop for now, Florence turns her attentions to helping the others haul the two bodies back to Wati. "I think between the rest of us we can manage the other body. Maybe two of us to carry and the other to keep watch behind us."

"Oh and while I'm not really sure - Ben probably knows more than I do - I think trying to just break the Mask would be a very very very bad idea," she points out. "There'd probably have to be some sort of ritual or other process to do it safely."


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The party gathers their things, and some of the fallen, and heads back up the ramps and stairs and into the bright sunshine of the morning. You move, fairly quickly, to the tunnels. You still see undead, but they seem more aimless now, somehow less threatening and more like the undead things they are - without life, without purpose. An army without a general. You kill a pair of ghouls on the way back, and a small group of zombies/skeletons - but nothing threatening to your power.

You surface in the Bright River Brickworks where the guards, seeing you carrying bodies out, give you respectful nods. You travel across the city without incident and to the church of Pharasma. The priests quickly relieve you of your burdens (Ptemenib and Nebta-Khufre) and take you to Sebti’s antechamber to wait.

You don’t wait long however, before Sebti herself strides into the room, summoned from somewhere in the temple. ”Please, join me.” she escorts you into her office and coffee is brought along with some light pastries. When you’re alone, she continues, ”I understand you found Ptemenib’s body. Thank you for returning him to us. What else did you find? Was he on the right track? Or was this a waste? Who is the other body? He looks somewhat… familiar.”

Please feel free to continue to role-play if you wish as you walk back to the church.


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Stats:
HP 73/73 | AC 14 Tch 14 FF 10 | Fort +7 Ref +18 Will +14 | Init +3 | Bardic Perf 39/day | Never Fear RING | Perc +19 | Dis Dvce +22 +5 | Diplo +23 | Sense Motive +19 | Perform +27
Neutral Human Bard/14
Prof. Benedictus Dickens wrote:
"I understand your reasons, Zilchus. But I do not agree with them. We have different points of depart. Your argument is based on faith and revelation, mine on pure reason. I believe…

Nidhi genuinely tires to hear Ben out, but her eyes start to glaze over after it’s apparent Ben has a point to make. She momentarily tunes back into Ben’s lengthy explanation (something about ” as Themas Aquinus defines an unnecessary sacrifice”) before quickly tuning out again. Ugh, too much. Nidhi’s brain starts to hurt so she turns her attention to stare at Cahal’s muscles.

Cahal un’Din wrote:
Finally, as the argument calms, she will say: "The mask was hidden. I suggest we honour that part and hide the mask again. It's location would die with us. Unless we can use the mask to reverse the infection. You think that can be done?"

Reverse the infestion? Nidhi had forgotten all about the risen undead. ”We shouldn’t just hide the mask again.” Nidhi sighs and collapses to the ground like a damsel. She raises the back of her hand to her forehead: ”I will take one for the team.” Nidhi leans her head back another couple inches. ”I will become – ugly!” Nidhi reaches for the mask and cleans it with water from her canteen and a cloth. ”No one will ever love me with a mask like this. I will be cursed into a loveless-life like the phantom of the theater house. Have you heard the tale of the phantom? He too wore a mask.”

Nidhi, now wearing the Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh, stands up to her full 5’6” height and collects the dirty sheets she’s plundered from Nebta-Khufre’s bed. ”Did we explore all of the upstairs?” The mask’s metal feels cool and heavy against Nidhi’s face. Nidhi remembers the masked muscular man who’d been leading the Silver Chain. I wonder if he’d notice me now. Nidhi touches her necklace. The onyx and silver holy symbol of Pharasma feels cool like the mask. Pharasma, is this my fate? Is this what you see in my destiny?

----------

Nidhi cheerfully hums a tune as the party returns to Wati. "I think I'll finally be able to face grandmother. I've been thinking about what I want to do when this is all over. First, I'm thinking about buying her 3 or 4 chickens.” Stuffing comes to the front of Nidhi’s mind and she frowns for a moment, remembering. I won’t be replaced by some chicken. ”Then maybe I’ll purchase some exotic fabrics. Pretty blues and greens."

I haven’t seen grandmother since we chased after the Silver Chain. I wonder what she’ll say when she sees me. Nidhi tries to smooth down her hair that’s escaped her braid, but it’s difficult with the mask. Nidhi also hadn’t bothered to clean her blood from the white fabric of her traveling cloak. The fabric will probably be permanently stained from how long my blood’s sat. Nidhi remembers how the zombie-like crocodiles bit into her flesh, throwing her body like a ragdoll. She hurries to stand closer to the party.

----------

Before exiting the Necropolis into Wati, Nidhi casts Disguise Self (1 hour, 10 minutes) to look exactly like herself except without the mask and without the dried blood on her traveling cloak.

Disguise: 1d20 + 10 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 + 10 = 33 (Will Save)

GM Euan as Sebti wrote:
”I understand you found Ptemenib’s body. Thank you for returning him to us. What else did you find? Was he on the right track? Or was this a waste? Who is the other body? He looks somewhat… familiar.”

"Sebti the Crocodile," Nidhi bows, adding a grand flourish with her hands. "I'm truly honored to be in your presence once again." Nidhi straightens: "We believe this person," Nidhi gestures to the corpse of Nebta-Khufre, "Was responsible for all of troubles in Wati. He used necromancy to raise and control the dead. Now that he's dead, the risen are no longer his puppets. The dead wander aimlessly in the Necropolis with no objective. With no grand scheme."

"As for Ptemenib, he was a great service to Wati and its people. He helped achieve peace by confronting Nebta-Khufre's lair." Nidhi pauses for a moment. Wait - what was Sebti's subordinate's name? Nebta-something? (Nakht Shepses) "My only regret is not arriving sooner to save him. I wish I knew exactly what happened so I could recount his heroic tale in more vivid detail." Nidhi bows again. "If you are interested, I will happily tell the tale of brave Zilchus, savior of Wati. And let us not forget the beautiful yet fierce Cahal, forever faithful to her family." Nidhi starts to get into the dramatics of her introduction and her eyes flare with excitement. "Or the lovely and kindhearted Florence, who is a master with all sorts of herbs and medicines. Or the scholar, Prof. Benedictus Dickens, who shall write of our adventures so our tale may be read through the centuries to never be forgotten! Both Florence and Ben, foreigners to Wati, have both risked their very lives - no, souls to protect people they've never met. Never seen! And I, Nidhi Aashirya, an ordinary person - a tailor's granddaughter - who's risen to the task of protecting Wati and it's people."

Perform (Tell Interesting Story): 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (11) + 17 = 28

"I think it would be best to tell the citizens of Wati what really happened. Perhaps we should celebrate with a parade. A ceremony honoring the sacrifices made with lots of muscular women to hold the banners and throw flowers." No ulterior motives here. Nidhi stares straight-faced at Sebti as she makes the suggestion.


Nidhi, I regret that I can only offer +1 favorite for that last post.

Zilchus carefully unloads the body of Ptemenib to the Pharasmins, taking a lot of care to honor the man's sacrifice.

"He died in service to his faith. Honor him so."

* * *

Nidhi Aashirya wrote:
"If you are interested, I will happily tell the tale of brave Zilchus, savior of Wati. And let us not forget the beautiful yet fierce Cahal, forever faithful to her family." ”

Zilchus' back straightens uncomfortably as Nidhi begins to sing his praises. He has never been comfortable with that. When Nidhi finishes, Zilchus steps forward to offer some advice to Sebti.

"Ptemenib should be giving a hero's recognition, if you Pharasmoo--uh, Pharasmins have any such offering. He helped us getting situated to find this...this...Mask..." Zilchus looks at Nidhi, hoping she will offer Sebti the Mask despite his earlier hesitations.


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HP 59/66 | AC 18 Tch 13 FF 15 | CMD 24 | Fort +7 Ref +7 Will +4 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | MF 2/6 used | KO 1/1 used | Buffs:

Cahal looks proudly at Sebti while Nidhi tells of her heroics, then stiffens when Zilchus mentions the mask.

She gives a deadly look at her friend, but her sight cannot kill. Yet.


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Nidhi puts on the mask, and immediately feels… different. More somehow than what she was. She seems to stand a little straighter, talk with a light lilt, and move more fluidly. She seems altogether more regal. She wisely disguises the mask as you walk the streets.

Sebti listens to Nidhi’s story and, clearly impressed, speaks, ”Ahhh, Nebta-Khufre, I have met him.” she thinks a moment, ”He’s the scion of a wealthy family in Tephu who have long claimed a divine gift of speaking with the dead - an ability that gained the family untold wealth and power, particularly under the rule of the Keleshite sultans. When Khemet I seized the title of pharaoh and cast out many nobles loyal to the former regime, the family managed to survive, though their fortunes were severely diminished.” she shakes her head, ”The idle rich. So he set off the undead pulse causing all this mischief? We’ll see to it he won’t be doing that again - unless you have plans for the body?”

The ”As for Ptemenib, we’ll take good care of him. He has died before and found his way back to the living. He may do so again. Did you find Qasin at all?” she asks with a somewhat mischievous smile.

”By all means, let us see this mask, if you would be so kind. What do you know about it?”


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Stats:
HP 73/73 | AC 14 Tch 14 FF 10 | Fort +7 Ref +18 Will +14 | Init +3 | Bardic Perf 39/day | Never Fear RING | Perc +19 | Dis Dvce +22 +5 | Diplo +23 | Sense Motive +19 | Perform +27
Neutral Human Bard/14
Zilchus Lyghtlode wrote:
"if you Pharasmoo--uh, Pharasmins"

Nidhi narrows her eyes at Zilchus.

GM Euan wrote:
”As for Ptemenib, we’ll take good care of him. He has died before and found his way back to the living. He may do so again"

"WhaaaAAAAaaat?!" Nidhi can't help but exclaim: "Does he pay the ferryman?" Nidhi's superstitious side is intrigued.

GM Euan wrote:
”By all means, let us see this mask, if you would be so kind. What do you know about it?”

”Honorable Sebti, I haven’t had time to clean up before seeing you. Please forgive my appearance." Nidhi first dispels her illusion, revealing her crazy (now helmet) hair sticking out at all angles and her filthy traveling cloak. Ugh. She’s going to see me with this ugly, ugly thing on. "An illusion spell seemed like the best way to hide the mask from the public." Nidhi unbuckles the leather strap of the mask’s headband and lifts the headgear off her face. She hands the mask to Sebti, bowing again.

"I want to make it clear that this mask in no way reflects my own preferences when it comes to fashion." Nidhi waits for some sort of acknowledgement before continuing theatrically: "We were one of the lucky groups selected by the lottery and sponsored by Abdur Raqeeb al-Shabazz. On our third site, The Church of Nethys, we discovered a secret chamber in the basement of the building. The room was coated in a layer of dust except for an empty bust. There was a lingering aura of necromancy that permeated the empty room. Then, at the auction, we were suddenly attacked! By the undead!" Nidhi wiggles all of her fingers in the air for effect and her various bracelets jingle. "And what reanimates the dead? Necromancy." Nidhi speaks as if she's just delivered some big plot twist.

"Things only grew stranger from there. Ptemenib was kidnapped by the Silver Chain - which was infiltrated by this hot guy wearing an ugly mask like this one (but it wasn't the right mask.)" Nidhi is counting off her fingers. "Cahal's house was attacked by a mummy that almost killed her little girl. Choking hands overran the Market and killed grandmother's chickens. Looters were robbing innocent merchants - like the owner of the tea shop we saved." Nidhi arbitrarily points to Florence like she's willing her companion to remember or chime in. "Abdur's food stores were nearly empty so we had to transport supplies through the streets of Wati. I was nearly killed by a mutated psychopomp that was skipping from one material plane to another. Oh! And we met a beautiful dragon." Nidhi claps her hands together and looks dreamily into the distance. Continuing normally, Nidhi explains: "eventually we found Nebta-Khufre's hideout. He was a sick, disgusting man who decapitated his own grandmother and reanimated her head just to prolong her suffering. He wanted to make an army of undead so he could. Rule. The. World." Nidhi speaks each word clearly, making sure Sebti understands how serious the situation really was.

Nidhi shrugs, "but it's all over now. We killed Nebta-Khufre. Wati is safe. Everything will return to normal now."


Oh man, Nidhi, you're on fire. I have nothing else to add, but wow... /me slowly backs away, bowing.

Zilchus' eyes goggle at Nidhi, but he says nothing. He is unable to form words in the face of Nidhi's orations.


HP: 75/117 l AC: 12 (16 w/Mage Armor), T 12, FF 10 (14 w/Mage Armor) l CMD 21 l F +14, R +11, W +14 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 4/6, L3: 0/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 4/5, L6: 3/4, L7: 3/3, L8: 2/2 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +25, Kn. Local/Nature/Planes +22, Kn. Religion +13, Spellcraft +25, Swim +7, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Death Ward, Mage Armor / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

Florence likewise finds herself a bit speechless after Nidhi's evocative and energetic recounting of their tale. "Uh...yeah, pretty much what she said," she offers a bit lamely.


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

Benedictus decides to give up on the argument with Zilchus with a simple shrug.

I cannot fight a battle of reason with someone who is refusing to use reason, and instead resorts to irrational factors such as faith. I suppose I overestimated his good sense until now. He's just another blind zealot whose mind is clouded by the obscure concepts of a faith he adheres to but he does not understand. Credo quia absurdum.
There's no point in keeping this going.

***

At the meeting with Sebti the Crocodile, Ben lets Nidhi her spot to shine, not having to add anything to what she has wonderfully recounted.

I would have said something less, though. I still don't trust this Sebti...or anyone else outside our party, if it comes to that.

***

"I confirm everything my friend just said. I just want to add that the mask stays with us.

_________________________________
With my wishes of a happy new year to everyone, I would like to inform you guys that this is going to be my last post for this year. With the celebrations for the new year approaching, and the way we live them in Italy, it is very unlikely that I will be able to check in tomorrow too. I will resume my usual posting on January the 2nd.


HP 59/66 | AC 18 Tch 13 FF 15 | CMD 24 | Fort +7 Ref +7 Will +4 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | MF 2/6 used | KO 1/1 used | Buffs:

Cahal feels more and more uncomfortable as Nidhi reveals... Well, way too much. For Cahal, knowledge is power, and to survive in the arena, it was best to let your enemy know of your tricks only when you dropped him using them...

Nidhi seemed to trust Sebti, but Cahal would have preferred to go to the Osirian priest instead, though they were not officially responsible for the Necropolis.

Should they trust Sebti? Well, now the die was cast. Sebti had the mask in her hands.

Hearing Ben declare that the mask stays with them, the brawler tenses subtly, preparing herself to pounce, should Sebti try to keep the mask for herself.

Happy New Year everyone! To another great year of gaming!


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet
Nidhi Aashirya wrote:
"WhaaaAAAAaaat?!" Nidhi can't help but exclaim: "Does he pay the ferryman?" Nidhi's superstitious side is intrigued.

"My understanding is he never gets that far." Sebti says levelly looking at Nidhi.

Nidhi has some trouble unbuckling the mask, surely it’s just unfamiliarity and not the mask refusing to come off. But eventually it does come off and you pass it to Sebti. She handles it with care, admiring its beauty firstly - for it is a beautiful mask. ”This is amazing.” She listens carefully to all that Nidhi has to say.

Nidhi Aashirya wrote:
Nidhi shrugs, "but it's all over now. We killed Nebta-Khufre. Wati is safe. Everything will return to normal now."

”Well certainly now that we know how the undead came to be and that the mask was coordinating them in some way it’ll be easier. We know how to battle undead, but were having trouble coordinating against these. Seems there was an actor in place fighting us at every step.”

”But I don’t know about normal.” she adds, ”I know nothing about this forgotten pharaoh of yours. Hakotep I isn’t in any of the books on pharaohs we have. Who was he? Why is his mask so powerful? And who is this cult of mask wearers? What do they want with the mask - and do they know you have it? Weill they be after you for the mask?”

She shakes her head, ”No, I think perhaps you are not done. As much as I would have you stay and help us with the undead that remain, I think you should see where this mask leads you. Go to Tephu - research there and see what you can learn. Please.” she entreats at the end.

”The church will sponsor you, so no fees from the library, and it may get you deeper access - our churches work together well enough.” she says of the Nethysians who run the library there.

Prof. Benedictus Dickens wrote:
"I confirm everything my friend just said. I just want to add that the mask stays with us."

”OH yes, it’s quite clear. Everything you obtained is part of the Ruby Prince’s edict. You were investigating the Necropolis on behalf of the church as well. So both institutions are clear about the ownership of that mask. It is yours so long as you want it.”

She hands the work of art back to Nidhi. ”So what will you do? Will you continue to help us?”

Happy New Year!!


Sebti wrote:
”OH yes, it’s quite clear. Everything you obtained is part of the Ruby Prince’s edict. You were investigating the Necropolis on behalf of the church as well. So both institutions are clear about the ownership of that mask. It is yours so long as you want it."

Zilchus seems taken aback by the first truly *reasonable* and wise pronouncement by a Pharasmin that he's ever heard. He smiles, greatly pleased that there is *finally* some deference to the Ruby Prince amongst the Pharasmin ingrates.

"That is good. Good. That's as it should be." Zilchus suddenly seems much more relaxed and less defensive about everything.

He even offers a smile.

Sebti wrote:
”So what will you do? Will you continue to help us?”

He looks to and fro at the party, still smiling from the nice comments from Sebti.

"I, for one, am inclined to continue to help...but I'm not sure what about? Sure, there might be thieves who wish the Mask, but that is true of anything of such power. Is there something I'm missing? Might be that we instead try to capture one of the cultists and ask them some pointed questions." Zilchus looks at Ben to see if he can explain further or better.


HP: 75/117 l AC: 12 (16 w/Mage Armor), T 12, FF 10 (14 w/Mage Armor) l CMD 21 l F +14, R +11, W +14 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 4/6, L3: 0/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 4/5, L6: 3/4, L7: 3/3, L8: 2/2 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +25, Kn. Local/Nature/Planes +22, Kn. Religion +13, Spellcraft +25, Swim +7, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Death Ward, Mage Armor / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

"Of course I'll still help - and some of us have been to Tephu once already so at least we'll know our way around a little bit," Florence agrees. "But as far as catching one of these cultists, wouldn't anyone that's left have fled by now? Not the city I mean, but that sanctum."

A thought occurs to Florence, an uncomfortable one. "But if they know we have the Mask now, then they'll probably come looking to take it back like they tried to take it from Nebta-Khufre. We'd better be careful."


Stats:
HP 73/73 | AC 14 Tch 14 FF 10 | Fort +7 Ref +18 Will +14 | Init +3 | Bardic Perf 39/day | Never Fear RING | Perc +19 | Dis Dvce +22 +5 | Diplo +23 | Sense Motive +19 | Perform +27
Neutral Human Bard/14
GM Euan wrote:
She shakes her head, ”No, I think perhaps you are not done. As much as I would have you stay and help us with the undead that remain, I think you should see where this mask leads you. Go to Tephu - research there and see what you can learn. Please.” she entreats at the end.

Seems like we’ve been roped into this for the long haul. ”If this is my fate, may it be kind. Pharasma’s blessing to you and to us.” Nidhi touches the silver and onyx pendant hanging around her neck. I can’t let the others get all the glory.

”When do you want to us go? I wanted to return home to see my grandmother. Then, I had planned to buy some more arrows.” Nidhi tilts her head and places a hand on her hip.


HP 59/66 | AC 18 Tch 13 FF 15 | CMD 24 | Fort +7 Ref +7 Will +4 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | MF 2/6 used | KO 1/1 used | Buffs:

Cahal eases as Sebti recognizes their claim to the mask. As much as she would prefer the mask be hidden forever, she realizes it also could help her in making the city safe again.

"Hmm... I just want to know my family is safe really, but I guess now it is, in a way. Yet you say there might be something lurking under the surface. I see no harm in making sure this is not the case. I'll go then and help." Cahal states, speaking out loud at first, but then becoming more and more resolute, her eyes fixed on her friends, not on Sebti, as though her oath is more to them than to her.

Before they leave, however, she'll insist on checking out on her daughter, and will make a short side trip to chat with the Osirian priest and keep him informed.


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NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

"Performing research about the mask? Count me in!"

Unsurprisingly filled with scholarly enthusiasm, Ben looks like a child who just received the promise of a wished gift. "And that will be the chance to expand my arcane arsenal as well, which is quite lacking at the moment. So guys, prepare to spend at least a few days in the Great Library of Tephu, amidst dusty tomes and forgotten lore! Can you imagine something better than that?"


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Zilchus Lyghtlode wrote:
"I, for one, am inclined to continue to help...but I'm not sure what about? Sure, there might be thieves who wish the Mask, but that is true of anything of such power. Is there something I'm missing? Might be that we instead try to capture one of the cultists and ask them some pointed questions." Zilchus looks at Ben to see if he can explain further or better.

”A good plan. It may be that someone high enough in the organization can tell you what they’re up to.”

Florence Corvina wrote:
"Of course I'll still help - and some of us have been to Tephu once already so at least we'll know our way around a little bit," Florence agrees
Nidhi Aashirya wrote:
”When do you want to us go? I wanted to return home to see my grandmother. Then, I had planned to buy some more arrows.” Nidhi tilts her head and places a hand on her hip.

”You could take the evening ferry.” Sebti suggests. ”That will give you the day to make any purchases you need to make, and visit your grandmother. Longer than that, and I imagine you’ll be roped into helping out around the town, and I think the research is more important.”

Cahal ud'Din wrote:
"Hmm... I just want to know my family is safe really, but I guess now it is, in a way. Yet you say there might be something lurking under the surface. I see no harm in making sure this is not the case. I'll go then and help." Cahal states, speaking out loud at first, but then becoming more and more resolute, her eyes fixed on her friends, not on Sebti, as though her oath is more to them than to her.
Prof. Benedictus Dickens wrote:
"Performing research about the mask? Count me in!"

Sebti is pleased at the parties decision. If anyone mentions Cahal’s growing illness, she’ll cast the spells required to heal him, free of charge this time. ”But do be careful. I can’t always extend the credit of the church.”

”Please keep me informed as to your progress and I wish you luck and strength in your work ahead!” She dismisses you and you find your way out of the still busy church and into the streets in front. It’s not quite mid-morning, so you have most of the day to accomplish whatever you wish. You can take the evening ferry to Tephu, or tomorrow, or whenever you’re ready.

Remember too, Abdur knows the owner of Purusha’s Inn, a Nefera Purusha in Tephu. It’s a popular place, so you should get rooms early. He already gave you a letter of introduction which you didn’t need to use earlier.


HP 59/66 | AC 18 Tch 13 FF 15 | CMD 24 | Fort +7 Ref +7 Will +4 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | MF 2/6 used | KO 1/1 used | Buffs:
Prof. Benedictus Dickens wrote:

"Performing research about the mask? Count me in!"

Unsurprisingly filled with scholarly enthusiasm, Ben looks like a child who just received the promise of a wished gift. "And that will be the chance to expand my arcane arsenal as well, which is quite lacking at the moment. So guys, prepare to spend at least a few days in the Great Library of Tephu, amidst dusty tomes and forgotten lore! Can you imagine something better than that?"

Cahal shrugs Ben's comment and says: "I might spend time near the Library, if you all don't mind..."

Receiving healing, Cahal says: "I thought I was fighting it off, but this is much safer. Was I in any real danger? I mean worst than being forced not to get in the Library to carry heavy and smelly tomes back and forth at Ben's pleasure?"


Zilchus now more relaxed, seems very inclined to be flexible with the plans of others...especially since he has so few.

"Yes, let's make time to visit family and children and uncles. I'd like to report to Abdur, let him know that the flow of undead should be lessened. And maybe figure out a way to let people know that we still seek the mask," Zilchus ponders as he thinks that only the people in this room know of the Mask's recovery.

He stops on his way out, turning to Sebti.

"Might be, Sebti, that you let it be known that the Church still seeks a mask much like this one. Would be better for us if everyone thought we failed in our search...amongst those who would seek the same." Zilchus offers, hoping Nidhi can keep the mask secret and protected.

As they walk out, Zilchus will sidle up to Ben.

"Ben, I worry for the Mask and those who might try to take it. Maybe I'm being paranoid and the more I think about it the more I think we should probably just destroy the Mask...but we can wait until we do a bit research first. My point is that if there is anything you can do, magically, to help protect us and Nidhi as we travel and sleep, please do. I'll die defending her, you know that, but I can't be awake all the time," Zilchus says to Ben. "Would you make that a focus of your research as well? How to protect what others would steal or take by force?"


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Stats:
HP 73/73 | AC 14 Tch 14 FF 10 | Fort +7 Ref +18 Will +14 | Init +3 | Bardic Perf 39/day | Never Fear RING | Perc +19 | Dis Dvce +22 +5 | Diplo +23 | Sense Motive +19 | Perform +27
Neutral Human Bard/14

Nidhi equips the mask again and casts Disguise Self before leaving Sebti’s office. She uses the same illusion as before, hiding the mask and making her traveling cloak clean.

Disguise Self: 1d20 + 10 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 + 10 = 37 2/5 1st-level spells

Zilchus Lyghtlode wrote:
"Might be, Sebti, that you let it be known that the Church still seeks a mask much like this one. Would be better for us if everyone thought we failed in our search...amongst those who would seek the same." Zilchus offers, hoping Nidhi can keep the mask secret and protected.

That’s an awfully intelligent thing for Zilchus to say. ”Yeah, let’s pretend we failed at recovering the mask. I don’t want to be attacked by some crazy cultists.”

”I’m going to purchase some arrows and visit grandmother. Let’s meet up at the docks later.” Nidhi waves at her companions are melts into the crowd of people at Sunburst Market. She purchases a variety of different arrows (see spoiler) and considers buying chickens but isn’t pleased with the selection. I’ll just give grandmother the money.

Nidhi’s purchases:

30 Blunt arrows to overcome bludgeoning DR -3gp
20 Cold Iron arrows to overcome cold iron DR -2gp
20 Silver Blanch arrows to overcome silver DR -10gp
10 Ghost Salt arrows to hit incorporeal creatures (-200gp)
10 Adamantine arrows for those tough cookies (-600)

Gold Trail:
Starting gold: 250g, 2g, 66s, 97c remaining
Keeping MW Longbow (Line 12)
Keeping 100g Pharasma necklace (Line 14)
Line 19 of TS: 100gp
Purchased coil of rope: -5gp
Line 30 of TS: 190gp
Purchased 40 arrows: -2gp
Line 49 of TS: 108gp
Keeping Scroll of Charm Person (Line 76)
Keeping Scroll of Invisibility (Line 77)
Keeping Ring of Sublime (Line 98)
Line 109 of TS: 4,390gp | Page 43, Post #2118
Purchased Darkwood Longbow: -2,230gp
Purchased 40 Cold Iron Arrows: -4gp
Line 129 of TS: 974gp
Keeping Lapis Lazuli Bracelets (Line 134)
Keeping Jangling Gold Bracelets (Line 143)
Line 144 of TS: 839gp
Keeping Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh (Line 154)
Purchased 30 Blunt arrows: -3gp
Purchased 20 Cold Iron arrows: -2gp
Purchased 20 Silver Blanch arrows: -10gp
Purchased 10 Ghost Salt arrows: -200gp
Purchased 10 Adamantine arrows: -600gp
Give 5gp to grandmother for new chickens: -5gp
_____________________________
Total remaining: 3,542gp

I feel like Nidhi helped by a wand of cure light wounds (6 months ago or so) or did we take it directly from the party gold?

Also, does Nidhi owe Florence money for a ferry ride? I’ll have to check back.

Nidhi leaves Sunburst Market, walking leisurely through the streets until she arrives in front of a small two-story shop with a hanging sign that reads “Aashirya’s Tailoring.” The white shutters are closed on all the first floor windows but the upstairs are open. Nidhi tries the front door but it’s locked.

Concerned, Nidhi follows the cobblestone path to back of the building and notes the dead chickens are chocking hands have been removed. The dagger that’d previously been stuck to the side of the coop is also missing. Nidhi uses her house key on the locked door and enters.

Jharna’s Shop:
Jharna’s shop is comfortably cool compared to outside and smells exactly how Nidhi remembers. Nidhi hears soft clucking as Stuffing bobs her head, crossing to a pile of fabric on the floor. Nidhi walks over to the pile and spots a brown egg snuggly wrapped in the middle. ”Grandmother?” Nidhi leans on the banister and calls upstairs. Nidhi waits anxiously for what feels like an eternity before Jharna responds: ”Nidhi dear? I’ll be right down.”

Unable to wait, Nidhi bolts up the stairs, taking two steps at a time. Nidhi rounds the corner into the bedroom. She sees the older woman fitting clean sheets on both beds. Jharna turns from her work and the two woman embrace. The hold each other in silence until Nidhi moves her head, bumping into Jharna’s.

”Ouch. Child, has your head gotten harder?”

”Ah! Sorry grandmother.” Nidhi ruefully takes a step back and closes the upstairs shutters. Nidhi lights the oil lap and stands theatrically in the middle of the bedroom. Jharna gasps when Nidhi drops her disguise spell. Nidhi fumbles with the leather straps, hurriedly trying to remove the mask: ”I have so much to tell you but we’re leaving again tonight!”

Jharna cuts her granddaughter off: ”Oh, Nidhi! Your cloak!” Jharna tisks. ”Take those blood-soaked clothes off and let me wash them. You caught me as a good time – I just filled up the bath.” Jharna closes the curtains for some additional privacy as Nidhi obliges.

Nidhi sits in the wooden tub in the kitchen, soaking off all her dirt and grime as Jharna scrubs at her cloak. Jharna flutters gracefully around the kitchen with uncanny speed for a woman her age, grabbing this and that. She fills a smaller bucket with soapy water and some grainy substance that reacts in the water. The bucket of dirty clothes pops and fizzes as Jharna works the liquid into the fabric. Meanwhile, Nidhi chatters away, speaking of Shardizhad, the psychopomps, and Nebta-Khufre's lair. Jharna wipes her hands with a dishtowel before zesting an orange and sprinkling the peel into Nidhi’s bath.

Nidhi sighs and slips deeper into the water, her story forgotten. ”Thank you grandmother,” Nidhi closes her eyes and smiles at the luxury of bathing. Jharna opens a cabinet and pulls out a glass for scooping water to pour over Nidhi’s head. The older woman massages soap into her granddaughter’s scalp, washing away layers of sweat, dust, grime, and blood. ”If your hair’s any indication, you’ve been just about everywhere in Wati,” Jharna pretends to sound exasperated but is secretly proud of her granddaughter. ”Mmh, what?” Nidhi grows sleepy from the message.

Jharna laughs and stands, returning to the bucket of soaking clothes. ”If you want to take a nap, I should have your cloak clean and dry by the late afternoon.” Nidhi nods sleepily, lazily pouring water over herself.

--------

Some time later, Nidhi wakes from her bed to find she’s been holding the Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh like a teddy bear. Nidhi wipes a bit of drool from the metal mask before getting up to opening her dresser. She picks a pale blue skirt that caresses her ankles and a plain white cotton shirt that ties together at the top. Nidhi props her small mirror against the lamp as she brushes out her hair and braids it into one thick strand, tying the end with the blue silk ribbon her companions had gifted her. The green ribbon is secured to her necklace carrying the house key.

Downstairs, Jharna’s set the table with a variety of Nidhi’s favorite comfort foods including flatbread and honey. Nidhi’s traveling boots have been polished and sit neatly by the door. Her cloak is draped over Jharna’s desk as her grandmother does some finishing stitches to the fabric. Nidhi’s heart overflows with love as she recognizes all the work Jharna’s done for her while she’s slept. As if by magic, her traveling cloak is its crisp white again which looks as new as they day Nidhi received it. A tear slips down Nidhi’s face, ”oh, Grandmother. Thank you! I love it!”

Jharna’s sun-weathered face crinkles into a knowing smile. She waves her hand as if dismissing Nidhi’s praise. ”I love you too dear. It’s the least my old bones can do with you saving Wati.” Nidhi picks up the traveling cloak to examine it.

Nidhi squints, starting to recognize some of her grandmother’s work after (growing in levels) adventuring. ”Did you use a mending spell for the bite marks?” Her grandmother smiles slyly and avoids the question, ”you should eat something before you go.”

Nidhi ignores her grandmother and steps on a stool to admire herself in the shop’s three mirrors angled in a U shape. Still amazed, Nidhi presses: ”but what about all the blood? Did you use magic on that?” Jharna frowns, ”no, that was vinegar, baking soda, and a lot of elbow grease. Come, my dear. Come. Come.” Nidhi is pulled from the mirrors and finds herself sitting in a wooden chair. Jharna piles her granddaughter’s plate with fruit, dried meat, and bread before taking a seat across the table. Stuffing clucks and ruffles her feathers before dipping back down into her nest.

Nidhi narrows her eyes, ”That reminds me,” she digs into her coin purse and pulls out 5 gold coins. ”Since things are starting to calm down, you should buy some new chickens.” When Jharna moves to reject the coin, Nidhi wraps her hands around Jharna’s own, ”I insist.” Usually sharp-tongued and witty, today Jharna is softer and showing more emotion. Perhaps it was the ordeal all of Wati just experienced, the fear that her granddaughter might not return, or maybe a mixture of the two.

The two women stand after sharing a meal and embrace again. ”Try not to stain your clothes red again. I already have enough work around here,” Jharna teases. Nidhi returns the banter: ”As long as Stuffing is back outside when I return. This place is starting to stink!” Nidhi sniffs her own clothes but it relieved to find them smelling fresh.

Before leaving Jharna's shop, Nidhi stuffs the pockets of her traveling cloak with apples and garlic cloves before equipping the mask. She casts Disguise Self again. Her disguise spell only makes her appear without the mask but everything else looks the same.

Disguise Self: 1d20 + 10 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 + 10 = 30 1 hour 10 min. 3/5 1st-level spells

Nidhi waves down her companions at the dock and poses with a hand on her hip. She angles her body so her polished leather traveling boots peek out from under her clean and crisply white traveling cloak. Her jangling gold bracelets and her lapis lazuli bracelets clink with every movement. Her onyx and silver holy symbol of Pharasma is hung prominently around her neck, resting inches above the blue silk scarf tied around her waist. Nidhi knows she looks as cool as a cucumber and smells like her orange peel bath. Ahh, that afternoon nap really helped me feel refreshed. "Hello, everyone!" Nidhi calls out cheerily, waving one arm up in and air, making her bracelets jingle even more. Look at me! See how much I've been pampered by grandmother! ...Wait... can they tell with this spell? Maybe I should drop the spell to show them? Wait. No, that would be a bad idea. ...I wonder what they did. "What have you all been up to?" Nidhi tilts her head, an easy smile showing on her lips. Nidhi feels relaxed.


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Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

Sebti nods at Zilchus. "I shall keep your secret, and leave the search alone for now, though I may tell one or two in the church hierarchy of course so no undue resources are spent on the project."

Nidhi:
No need to roll every time for the disguise check. We can assume a take-10 if you wish, DC 30 is tough to beat!

You did 'chip in' for a wand, but it came out of group funds. No need to reduce your cash. No one paid for the ferry rides if I remember right. I think I hand waved it.

Beautiful post by the way! Nice touch with grandma. :)
- - -

Elements of the party meet with Abdur (at least Zilchius) who is standing guard outside Milki as usual these days. He rejoices at your news, and looks forward to the time when he doesn't have to pay for the extra protection. That said, with all the extra business, you suspect he's doing OK out of the deal. Still, in the early days there was a lot of free food and drink... :)

Abdur helps you catalog the items you don't want and finds buyers throughout the day while you do more pressing things (or even just lounge!).

Party Divvy of 3,610gp each and the purchase of a CLW Wand (750), a Scroll Remove Blindness/Deafness (375), and a Scroll Restoration (800). Make sure someone carries, and tracks, the group items so you don't lose track of them.


HP: 75/117 l AC: 12 (16 w/Mage Armor), T 12, FF 10 (14 w/Mage Armor) l CMD 21 l F +14, R +11, W +14 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 4/6, L3: 0/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 4/5, L6: 3/4, L7: 3/3, L8: 2/2 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +25, Kn. Local/Nature/Planes +22, Kn. Religion +13, Spellcraft +25, Swim +7, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Death Ward, Mage Armor / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

For lack of any better ideas, Florence decides to tag along with Zilchus to see Abdur - and to pick up one or two extra things that she hoped would prove useful in the coming days. After helping to go through the items to be put up for sale, she quickly confers with Zilchus before presenting her requests: a minor rod to extend the duration of less powerful magics and another wand to use to armor herself - and perhaps Ben, if he wished it.

It might not last as long as if either of us had cast the spell ourselves, but it would definitely give us a little more flexibility on preparing other spells each morning.

While his mistress helps to wheel and deal, Bynx takes the opportunity to relax in the warm patches of sun nearby, happy to have some time out of his carrier for a change.


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:
Zilchus Lyghtlode wrote:
"Ben, I worry for the Mask and those who might try to take it. Maybe I'm being paranoid and the more I think about it the more I think we should probably just destroy the Mask...but we can wait until we do a bit research first. My point is that if there is anything you can do, magically, to help protect us and Nidhi as we travel and sleep, please do. I'll die defending her, you know that, but I can't be awake all the time," Zilchus says to Ben. "Would you make that a focus of your research as well? How to protect what others would steal or take by force?"

Ben listens to Zilchus without looking at him in the eye. Then, he offers a huge smile. "Now I recognize you! Of course, I will do everything I can in order to protect both Nidhi and the mask...but I don't think we should destroy it, not now at least. I plan to stay at the Library a little longer than strictly necessary in order to learn more spells that could be useful for us in the future...including one that will keep Nidhi and the mask from being magically located. Just give me a few days at the Library, and you will see."

For lack of better ideas too, Ben follows both Zilchus and Florence to Abdur.


HP 59/66 | AC 18 Tch 13 FF 15 | CMD 24 | Fort +7 Ref +7 Will +4 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | MF 2/6 used | KO 1/1 used | Buffs:

Cahal tags along. All that gold makes her head spin, and she falls for the biggest item she can afford. She feels so strong, she spends her time lifting things and people, laughing, punching into walls, then apologizing.

"This is amazing! I'm now not only stubborn as a bull, but strong too!"

She also thinks back to the flying wizard and buys a few small weapons to take care of that problem more effectively than catching then legs mid air, though that had worked out after all.


Zilchus relaxes at the Milki with a bottle of wine, cup in hand, waiting for the others to gather. He spends his time speaking with Abdur and the staff, talking about what has happened, but leaving out pertinent details of the Mask.

"...and that's where we found Ptemenib, dead. Dead as a doornail. He had thought to go almost almost alone into that pit of death. And he died, Abdur. We rescued his body. I carried it back myself while fighting off zombies and ghouls. He rests how with Sebti. She says he may walk again, but we'll see about that." Ziclhus takes another sip of his wine, not putting too much weight into the words of Pharasmooks.

"You have one of them belts that I wanted, Adbur? Like the one that Cahal has on?" Zilchus asks between sips of wine.

* * *

Eventually, Zilchus will finish his report (and his wine) and will turn to the gathered party.

"Let's rest up here tonight? Tomorrow, we're off to do research? On the morning ferry?" Zilchus asks, already ready to get deeper into his cups. He slaps down another coin and begins to open another bottle of wine.

Zilchus will drink and grouse and tell tales for the rest of the night before slumping off to bed.

In the morning, he will ready for the ferry.


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

GM Rolls:
1d20 ⇒ 11

”Of course Zilchus, I’ll see to it.”

And so the party whiles away the day and rises early so as to catch the ferry to Tephu! You arrive in the library-city by midmorning, fresh off the boat.

Like most Osirian cities on the banks of the River Sphinx, Tephu is hot, dusty, and perpetually busy. Its streets are full of hawkers and peddlers, well known for their stubbornness, sham charm, and inability to hear the word no. You are immersed in this world as soon as you step off the ferry - you’re offered everything from savory minced lamb, limes, olives, mint tea, and water to carpets (some of which the sellers claim to be “magic” carpets), camel hide leather goods, hookah pipes, pesh, pots and pans, and even camels and dancing girls and boys. The propositions don’t stop until the you are well away from the docks, and even then there is a straggler here and there.

You don’t see Faatin el-Abood as you enter the city, but he took some finding before. Do you head to Purusha’s Inn now, or straight to the library? Sebti gave you a scroll to present to the librarians there.


HP: 75/117 l AC: 12 (16 w/Mage Armor), T 12, FF 10 (14 w/Mage Armor) l CMD 21 l F +14, R +11, W +14 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 4/6, L3: 0/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 4/5, L6: 3/4, L7: 3/3, L8: 2/2 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +25, Kn. Local/Nature/Planes +22, Kn. Religion +13, Spellcraft +25, Swim +7, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Death Ward, Mage Armor / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

Later that night after retiring to her room, Florence makes a surprising - and embarrassing - discovery as she's digging through her pack. She pulls out the scroll she'd purchased from Abdur ages ago and hadn't done anything with. In fact, she'd even forgotten that she'd bought it in the first place.

Yeah, I could never do what Ben does...did?...does for a living, she sighs, shaking her head. But now that she'd found it, she'd put it to use...

Spellcraft (Add Obscuring Mist to Familiar; DC 16): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (11) + 12 = 23

...and after about an hour or so, she smiles as she watches Bynx eagerly chowing down on what looks to be a gray, pasty sludge that she'd concocted out of the ashes of the scroll.

"Let's uh...keep this to ourselves, okay Bynx? I think Ben'd have palpitations if he knew we were burning scrolls in here!"
_______

The next day, Florence enjoys the trip to Tephu just as much as she had the first time she'd come here with Ben and Zilchus - though she enjoys the constant barrage of goods and services, some legit and some less so, much less.

"I SAID I'm not interested! Go peddle to someone else!" she snarls at what must be the sixth person to approach her and turns to the others with an exasperated expression. "Can we please go get our rooms first before we head to the library? These crowds are making me a nervous wreck!"


Stats:
HP 73/73 | AC 14 Tch 14 FF 10 | Fort +7 Ref +18 Will +14 | Init +3 | Bardic Perf 39/day | Never Fear RING | Perc +19 | Dis Dvce +22 +5 | Diplo +23 | Sense Motive +19 | Perform +27
Neutral Human Bard/14

Nidhi will take 10 for her disguise. 1 hour 10 min. 1/5 1st-level spells

Nidhi isn’t bothered by the mass of sellers peddling their wares in Tephu. She ignores most of them, but pauses at a few food stands. She reaches for a meat kabob to only drop her hand a second later. That’s right. I can’t eat anything with this mask on. Nidhi pines over all the delectable food as cooking smell waft cruelly under her nostrils. More sacrifices than I’d anticipated.

Florence Corvina wrote:
"I SAID I'm not interested! Go peddle to someone else!" she snarls at what must be the sixth person to approach her and turns to the others with an exasperated expression. "Can we please go get our rooms first before we head to the library? These crowds are making me a nervous wreck!"

”I’m fine with that,” Nidhi calls over the crowd. I probably need to reapply my spell.


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

At Milki, Ben uses his spare time to scribe a scroll, then joins his friends and enjoys some relax. There are too many things going on in his head for him to be too chatty, so he mostly stays silent, his mind drifting to all the recent events and analyzing them in search of a way in which he could have made things better.

***

The next day, Ben is filled with scholarly enthusiasm.

As always, when I get to see the Library!

His mind is focused on Nebta-Khufre's precious tome.

I plan to study it extensively, although from what I've seen most of the spells contained in it are necromantic. I need to perfect my mastery of that school of magic, but this might not be the right time to do so...I think I will just keep the book and study it, and save the necromancy spells for later. I'm sure I will get to that, sooner or later.

More to follow...


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NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

One of the small, brown seeds dashed out of the wooden bowl in which it was being grinded by an unusually hesitant hand. That hand was used to write complex arcane formulas in precious parchments with elegant calligraphy, but for some reason it was now unable to perform a quite simple task such as mincing some seeds in a bowl.

I guess I will need to make it double…

Benedictus West Dickens, Osirionologist and wizard of some renown, was frightened at the idea of performing a simple act of kindness for a friend. The reason was simple enough, but still difficult to admit. Even to himself.

♠ Ben’s tonic ♠
It had all begun when Mr. West Dickens, his adoptive father, had brought him some curious seeds from one of his trading expeditions in Osirion. Among the innumerable curiosities and souvenirs his father was used to give him as a gift upon returning from one on his travels, those seeds had immediately stricken a chord in Benedictus’s heart because of their strange form, similar to that of a dried flower, and their pungent smell.

Ben spent innumerable hours performing research in his father library as a child in order to understand the name and properties of those seeds, but his efforts had always been vain until the day in which – when he was already a young student at the University of Egorian – Ben accidentally chanced upon an old manuscript from a Qadiran alchemist which mentioned a variety of seeds very similar to those Ben had hoped to grasp the name and proprieties of for the whole duration of his childhood. In the manuscript, only few annotations were reported: the seeds, whose denomination roughly translated to “sandbeans”, were said to have relaxing effects on both mind and body, but also that a wrong dosage could easily result in poisoning, inducing a comatose state. That was also the main reason why the seeds were not regularly used in natural healing.

But Benedictus was too eager to discover the true properties of the seeds to simply give up. As with many things his father had gifted him with, he had the tendency to try and make them part of his life as much as possible, as though that could help him not to forget the man who saved him and granted him a comfortable existence. As a result, Benedictus spent hour after hour in the University’s alchemical lab, experimenting with the seeds. With time, he came to a discovery: if mixed with minced vines of Corentyn vineyards and a minuscule dose of pesh, watered with a few drops of black tulip and then left to dry for an hour, the resulting mixture could be dunk in hot water not unlike a teabag and produce a concoction which had incredible relaxing effects. Not only it instantly cured any effect of anxiousness, but it also helped to improve the mind’s ability to concentrate for a few hours. Ben made extensive use of that which he came to call Ben’s tonic during his studies, in part to fight his natural anxiousness and in part to improve his learning skills. To a great result.

♠ The Streets of Tephu ♠
The din of vendors and peddlers in the streets of Tephu causes Ben to grow a little nervous.

Hey, what about going directly to the…

“Florence” wrote:
"Can we please go get our rooms first before we head to the library? These crowds are making me a nervous wreck!"

Ben does not complete his phrase, which clearly implied reaching the library immediately as a way to take shelter from the chaos of the streets.

Yes, let’s make a quick stop to our rooms, that will help,” he readily agrees with Florence.

Man, if she even convinces you to delay your visit to the Great Library of Tephu…

♠ Purusha’s Inn ♠
Ben’s tonic was finally ready. A double dose. One for him, and one for her. He drank his own from a clay cup, in order to relax himself. A simple act of courtesy could cause a lot of anxiousness in an enamored heart. After drinking his tonic, however, Ben felt immediately better. He mustered his courage, took a long breath in and left his room.

*Knock. Knock.*

Ben knocked twice on Florence’s door, his heart pounding quickly.

Imagine if I didn’t drunk my tonic…

I…It’s Ben.

When Florence opened the door, Ben felt his anxiousness immediately leaving him, his nervous smirk instantly turning into a smile. Only at that moment he realized that the hot cup he was holding in his hands was actually very hot, as though sense returned to him only after seeing her.

This…This is for you. You t-told us that you were feeling a bit nervous because of all those peddler on the streets and I thought, you know, I thought…

As usual when he was with her, Ben ended up getting mixed up with words. Nervously scratching the back of his neck, Ben smiled and offered the cup to Florence.

I call it Ben’s tonic. It helps relaxing the nerves. I was used to take it very frequently back at the University, especially when I had to do exams or to give lessons to students. And it always helped me. Don’t worry, it is not addictive! I…I even drunk one before coming here.

Ben is way too smart to ignore that his words revealed perhaps too much. Suddenly blushing, the Osirionologist clumsily smiles, his hands trembling a bit.

Hope it helps,” he hastily excuses himself out before turning away and walking clumsily through the corridor, his face red with embarrassment.


HP 59/66 | AC 18 Tch 13 FF 15 | CMD 24 | Fort +7 Ref +7 Will +4 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | MF 2/6 used | KO 1/1 used | Buffs:

Nice post Ben!

Cahal is relax when she boards in the morning. She had spent a nice evening with her daughter and everything seemed to fall back into place. Soon, she'll be able to cash back her equipment, buy a nice house, and settle as a true family.

Soon.

For now, she decided she would enjoy the journey. Yet, the waves made short work of her and she soon fell asleep in a shadowy spot on the deck.

Rested. perhaps too rested, she stepped into Tephu, only to be assailed with more vigour than she could take. The contrast was too much. The noise, the smells, the aggressive bantering, AND the touching...

A man put his hand on her buttocks, only to find his hand twisted beyond recognition. He fled in pain, and after that, Cahal decided to play frontliner for the group, using quick and subtle jabs and kicks to make a path for her friends, as peddlers fell left right, back and forward, in a chaos of insults.

She smiled when they reached the inn. It had been a good day after all...


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

Attracted by the sights and sounds (though Cahal’s muscles keep the worst at bay), you walk right past Purusha’s Inn before doubling back. A very fine establishment, you see an open air restaurant sheltered by reed fronds, and cooled by large ceiling fans, turned through what looks like a complex system of pulleys presumably by slaves in some other chamber. Currently the early morning air is sufficiently cool and the large panels aren’t turning.

You walk into the restaurant and are immediately met by a tall gaunt man. He seems to almost topple he leans so far one way or another at the waist. ”How may I help you today, for you are clearly travelers - recently come from the ferry perhaps?” he guesses based on the time.

You explain yourselves, and provide Abdur’s letter of introduction and immediately you are recognized as ‘special’. He insists you have some coffee and tea with scones, ”On the house, for Abdur.” while your rooms are prepared. Two substantial rooms are made available to you, one slightly larger for the men, and a cozy neighboring chamber for the ladies. The rooms are indeed very fine and comfortable, and the urge to take a nap is fended off by the recent coffee and tea, though the party does split up to freshen themselves briefly (and give Ben an opportunity to share his special tea).


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Zilchus happily picks up the meat popsicle that Nidhi drops uneaten. He brushes off any dust and enjoys the meaty goodness, tearing off a piece with his teeth.

"Oh yeah, street meat is the best," Zilchus grunts as he enjoys the free food. He eats as he walks, not minding the hawkish vendors as much as others, and he buys nothing.

* * *

Zilchus checks out the room(s) and sips of the coffee, but not the tea. He is somewhat pleased that the trip to Tephu has proven uneventful. He hopes that they are free of those who would want the Mask.

"So...Ben? When do we start studying? I ain't no good at books, but I'll keep watch. I'd like to finish quickly here so I can stop worrying about the thing."


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NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

Assuming this conversation takes place in the men’s room, which as a matter of fact is occupied only by Zilchus and Benedictus. If that’s not a problem, I would like this to happen after the scene with Florence.

Ben finds that talking to Zilchus about the recent future helps him clear his mind of all the embarrassment it acquired while speaking with Florence.

I don’t know, pal,” says Ben letting himself fall on the bed, belly up. He sighs. He seems distracted. He is actually fiddling with the small pouch containing the diamond dust, appreciating its consistency under his fingers.

I can understand your will to make it as quick as possible, but I’m right on the opposite side on that. I need as much time as possible.”

Ben yawns, then lazily stands up, walking to the desk on the top of which he has place Nebta-Khufre’s spellbook. He grabs it, and throws himself on the bed again.

See this? I would like to study it. And learn as much as I can from it. It can benefit us all, anyway. Also, I need to make a few researches on my own about new spells I want to learn. You know, warriors train, and wizards study. Without that, I could not make any progress in my arcane process of improvement.

Ben stretches, and lets out another sigh. “Of course, we will be researching about the mask at the same time. I believe three, maybe four days will suffice, depending on what we find, and how difficult will be for us to find something. Anyway, we start today, of course!
But only after a little nap.


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

hahaha! Yes, the women have the larger room, I twisted that up in my head! Silly DM...

Also, it's mid-morning when you get your rooms. Still time for at least a half day's researching and a few hours left over for other studies, etc.


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

Post edited according to the GM's remark.


HP 59/66 | AC 18 Tch 13 FF 15 | CMD 24 | Fort +7 Ref +7 Will +4 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | MF 2/6 used | KO 1/1 used | Buffs:

In the ladies' room, Cahal claims the better bed by throwing her kit on it as she steps in the room. The kit lands on the bed, but bounces wildly, as the brawler misjudged its quality and knocks a nice delicate oil lamp on the floor. Thankfully, the lamp was not lit and Cahal hurries to pick up the lamp, though she fails to notice the deep stain left by the oil on the red and green carpet.

"So, are you all going to go and dig through books? I don't think I'll be of any use. By the old gods, I think I'm just going to stay here and relax. The tea is good..." She purposefully avoids looking at Nidhi as she talks.


Ben wrote:
"We start today, of course."

"Good. Because the sooner we start, the sooner we finish," Zilchus rises and begins to pull Ben up from the bed. "Let's go. C'mon, let's go and get this over with."

Zilchus isn't feeling particularly patient today. He moves over to pound rap politely on the door to the women's room.

"Let's go. Those of you who are going to the library, we're moving out. Let's go, let's go. Nidhi, we'll need you with us, obviously."


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

"Oh, come on Zil, let me take a nap! Only a few minutes! I promise...And also...I...I'm a bit embarassed right now, and I don't know if I'm ready to meet with the girls straight away," complains Ben.

Eventually he will give up on Zilchus' insistence though.

"Besides, what's the matter with all this hurry? Do you realize that as soon as this will be over, we will have to split ways, do you?"


Stats:
HP 73/73 | AC 14 Tch 14 FF 10 | Fort +7 Ref +18 Will +14 | Init +3 | Bardic Perf 39/day | Never Fear RING | Perc +19 | Dis Dvce +22 +5 | Diplo +23 | Sense Motive +19 | Perform +27
Neutral Human Bard/14
GM Euan wrote:
He insists you have some coffee and tea with scones, ”On the house, for Abdur.” while your rooms are prepared.

Nidhi stuffs her pockets with scones from the table, planning on devouring them all in their room. Her stomach feels like it’s practically eating itself after watching Zilchus eat a meat kabob in front of her. I need to come up with some kind of system. Nidhi sits impatiently at the others sit leisurely while their rooms are prepared.

Nidhi waits to see which bed Cahal picks so she can claim the one closest to it. Nidhi struggles with the leather straps keeping the mask on, but finally manages to pull the headpiece off. She also takes off her traveling cloak and silk scarf. ”Finally,” Nidhi runs her hands down the top of her head to feel the imprint the mask left on her hair. ”Do you think they would deliver meals to the room?”

After emptying the pockets and folding her cloak over a chair, Nidhi sits down with her pile of scones and an apple. ”I,” Nidhi begins, ”had assumed Ben would do most of the work. I’m not really a book person. Nidhi uses air quotes. ”…Maybe I can sweet talk some local into doing the research for me?” She leans back on her hands and tilts her head at Florence, ”What about you Florence? Do you like to read and do that kind of research?” Nidhi doesn’t remember if she’s asked Florence this before.

When Ben comes to knock on the door to speak with Florence, Nidhi gives a wink and thumbs up to the already flustered Ben (while Florence’s back is turned.)

-------

Zilchus Lyghtlode wrote:
“Nidhi, we'll need you with us, obviously."

Nidhi equips the mask and her traveling cloak again before reapplying the disguise spell. (Take 10. 2/5 1st level spells) ”Ugh, this is going to be so boring!” She gives Cahal a forlorn expression, wishing she could stay behind too. Nidhi groans inwardly as she follows the others to the Great Library of Tephu. At least Ben’s been looking forward to this trip.

At the entrance, Nidhi pastes a wide smile on her face: ”Greetings! We’re here to use your beautiful library. Perhaps you’ve already heard from Sebti herself: we’re here on behalf of the Church of Pharasma to conduct important research.” Nidhi touches her necklaces when she mentions the church. ”My name is Nidhi Aashirya and these are my companions: Florence, Benedictus, and Zilchus.” (Is Cahal coming to the library or no?)

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (2) + 15 = 17 Ouch. Only +13 if not counting mask)

Nidhi tilts her head, places a hand on her hip, and uses her other hand to motion towards Ben. "Ben is our scholar. He knows what we need to research." Nidhi turns to Ben, waiting for him to take the lead inside the library.

Nidhi looks around examining the shelves and various people. She's more interested in the people than the books.

Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15


HP: 75/117 l AC: 12 (16 w/Mage Armor), T 12, FF 10 (14 w/Mage Armor) l CMD 21 l F +14, R +11, W +14 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 4/6, L3: 0/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 4/5, L6: 3/4, L7: 3/3, L8: 2/2 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +25, Kn. Local/Nature/Planes +22, Kn. Religion +13, Spellcraft +25, Swim +7, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Death Ward, Mage Armor / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

Earlier, Settling In at Purusha's

After having claimed the remaining bed with a shrug of her shoulders, Florence allows her pack to fall to the floor with a soft clattering sound and flops down, staring up at the ceiling.

"Ahhh...it's so nice to just have a little quiet, even for a few minutes," she sighs. "And I know there's not really any book people here besides Ben and I guess me, sorta," she responds to Nidhi's question. "I like to read about things that I think are interesting...so in that sense, I guess I do like research. But I don't know that I could do what Ben does," she continues, still gazing up at the ceiling. "Scholars have to study and research all kinds of things, sometimes even things that don't relate very much to the things that they're really interested in. I guess it's their equivalent of grunt work...you slog through the boring stuff starting out and then if you stick with it you get promoted and start getting to the good stuff." Of course she wasn't entirely certain that that's how academia worked, but it seemed like a reasonable assumption to make.
_______

Breaking this up into two or three smaller posts for readability's sake!


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HP: 75/117 l AC: 12 (16 w/Mage Armor), T 12, FF 10 (14 w/Mage Armor) l CMD 21 l F +14, R +11, W +14 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 4/6, L3: 0/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 4/5, L6: 3/4, L7: 3/3, L8: 2/2 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +25, Kn. Local/Nature/Planes +22, Kn. Religion +13, Spellcraft +25, Swim +7, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Death Ward, Mage Armor / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

Slightly Less Earlier, Tonic Time

*Knock. Knock.*

Florence raised her head from the pillow with a mixture of confusion and irritation on her face.

Who in the world could that be?

It hadn't even been an hour since they'd been shown to their rooms and already there was someone wanting something or wanting to check on her and the other girls? She sighed and rolled off the bed.

"I'll get it," she calls over to Nidhi and Cahal, both busy settling in and making their spaces in the shared room as homey and comfortable as could be managed. After all, they'd probably be here for several days - why not arrange it to their liking?

Ben wrote:
“I…It’s Ben.”

Upon hearing Ben's voice on the other side of the door, Florence relaxes a little and smiles wanly. She should have known. Of course it was Ben, because of course Ben would want to head to the library as quickly as they could since they still had most of the day ahead of them for research. He was probably just coming to make sure they were all ready to go, or would be soon. But upon opening the door she's quite clearly surprised to see Ben standing there not with his gear, but with a steaming cup in his hands.

Ben wrote:
“This…This is for you. You t-told us that you were feeling a bit nervous because of all those peddler on the streets and I thought, you know, I thought…”
Ben wrote:
“I call it Ben’s tonic. It helps relaxing the nerves. I was used to take it very frequently back at the University, especially when I had to do exams or to give lessons to students. And it always helped me. Don’t worry, it is not addictive! I…I even drunk one before coming here.”

Florence's initial surprise quickly gives way to genuine appreciation as she carefully reaches out and accepts the offered cup. "Why Ben, I wouldn't have thought you one for tonics," she smiles. "But I guess it makes sense since scholars put in long hours just like a farmer or a soldier would. And maybe this'll help balance out the coffee from earlier, which I really shouldn't have had in the first place but I couldn't resist. Thank you!"

Ben wrote:
“Hope it helps,”

She's just about to take a sip, expecting that Ben will want to hear her thoughts on the tonic firsthand, when he suddenly excuses himself and hurries back to his shared room with Zilchus. "Oh, um...I'm sure it will. Thank you again!" she calls after him before gently closing the door. Not wanting to risk a spill, she takes a seat at the small table situated by one of the room's windows and has a sip. And then another, bigger sip. Though the taste was ever-so-slightly bitter to her tongue, it was less so than some teas or coffees she'd tried.

Wow...this is good!

And there was even a hint of something sweet and milky, something like...

Is that tulip?

So preoccupied is she with the taste of the tonic that it takes her a moment to register a small, probably inconsequential detail that had at first escaped her notice.

Huh. He didn't bring any for Nidhi or Cahal.
_______

One more to follow!


HP: 75/117 l AC: 12 (16 w/Mage Armor), T 12, FF 10 (14 w/Mage Armor) l CMD 21 l F +14, R +11, W +14 l Remedies (8/8) l L1: 3/6, L2: 4/6, L3: 0/5, L4: 2/5, L5: 4/5, L6: 3/4, L7: 3/3, L8: 2/2 l Init +6 l Senses: Perception +8
Skills:
Craft: Alchemy +22, Diplomacy +13, Fly +15, Heal +17, Kn. Arcana/History +25, Kn. Local/Nature/Planes +22, Kn. Religion +13, Spellcraft +25, Swim +7, UMD +14
Female Human l Active Conditions: Death Ward, Mage Armor / Bynx: AC 22, HP: 47/47

Present, The Great Library

"Don't worry, I'm sure with all of us working together we'll find what we're looking for without any problems," Florence cheerfully whispers to Nidhi, knowing how much she dreaded being stuck poring through dusty books for hours on end. "Then we can be on our way and go...um...enjoy the sights? Have a good dinner? Take a long nap? Whatever strikes your fancy!"

She felt great. Ben's tonic really had worked wonders; the walk from Purusha's to the Great Library hadn't troubled her nerves at all, even though the hustle and bustle was the same as it was when they'd arrived in Tephu that morning.

I'll have to ask Ben what he puts in that tonic! It did the trick, just like he said it would.

As they go through the usual rigmarole of setting up inside the library at one of the many tables, she takes a moment to catch Ben by the arm before losing sight of him among the shelves. "Hey Ben, I just wanted to let you know that that tonic did help. I feel a lot better now," she beams. It had been such a little thing, really, but for some reason the thoughtful gesture had brightened her day in a way that she hadn't experienced since leaving Cassomir and left her with a warm, fuzzy sort of feeling towards her friend.

"And now that I feel better, I'm ready to get to work! Where do you want me to start?"


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HP 59/66 | AC 18 Tch 13 FF 15 | CMD 24 | Fort +7 Ref +7 Will +4 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | MF 2/6 used | KO 1/1 used | Buffs:

Cahal tags along, albeit somewhat reluctantly at first, but then she gets into it. She even smiles as she trips a peddler going for Nidhi with a some silver spoons and he curses at her mightily: "Bla, bla, bla..." she says, ignoring the man.

Once there, she says to Ben shyly: "They have books about fighting? With drawings?"

During the day, she'll be bothering them with what she is reading, asking them to pretend to attack her this way, or that way, so that she can try some of the techniques in the books. The library's silence gets broken by shouts of pain, as she manages to work out the description into a technique. Otherwise, she'll pace through the alleys, use bookshelves to train, chase cats, and go fetch coffee and snacks for everyone.


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NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

Purusha’s Inn

I’m glad it helped,” shyly smiles Ben to Florence. “I’m also glad you enjoyed it. You’re actually the first one to taste Ben’s Tonic, except me of course…

OK, another embarrassing thing to say. C’mon Ben, now stop talking!

The Great Library of Tephu

Ben would have stopped Nidhi’s introduction, if only he had the time. The Professor actually finds a little embarrassing to be introduced by someone else into a library where he has performed research twice already. In any case, Benedictus is not so concerned with formal matters and limits himself to shrug with a shy smile to the librarian.

We are here to perform some researches on a delicate subject,” explains the scholar with calmness, “we have a formal authorization of the Pharasmin Church to access any part of the library our inquiry will require. The Church also generously offered to cover for our entry fees.

With the important matters settled, Ben lets out a sigh of relief and turns to his companions. “I will coordinate the research, if you all agree.

If he obtains consensus, the Osirionologist ensues. “The very first step of any research consists in understanding where to look. In technical terms, we call this a “bibliography”. In other words, we need to consult any book that could potentially contain noteworthy information for our purpose. We don’t need to go through the entirety of the books, however. It will suffice to check the summaries and indexes at the beginning or at the end of the books. Sometimes there are thematic indexes known as “Index Rerum Precipuarum”. If there’s one, look there first. So much for general instructions. Now let us turn to details.

Ben calls the attention of the librarian once again. “My good sir, due to the peculiar nature of our research, we could really benefit from a small private room, if you have one at your disposal. As I am sure you will understand, we need to keep the results of our research from prying eyes. Our research is extremely important for our whole kingdom, so please be clement with us.

Whether or not such a room is available, Benedictus chooses a moment in which no one can hear him and addresses to his friends. “Good, let us now turn to the details. Since one should start somewhere, I propose we start from the Forgotten Pharaoh and his age. Find all the books mentioning him or the period during which he lived and reigned. Cahal, I’m sure there will be plenty of books about combat, and almost all of them are illustrated. Anyway, I’m also sure you can help us with the research despite that’s not your cup of tea. At least in the initial stage of the research. But do as you will, Cahal.


Roll20 Map - Treasure Sheet

Overlooking the Plaza of the Bright Horizon in Tephu’s Old City, the library’s outer sanctum is one of Tephu’s most prominent landmarks and can be located with ease. The high blue dome of Tephu’s Great Library, topped with shining gold pinnacles, towers over the surrounding buildings. Huge columns rise from immense footings along the edifice’s sheer walls.

You enter the library and approach a large, ornate desk lit by a magnificent lantern seemingly made of water which stands in the center of the entrance hall. Statues of enigmatic sphinxes sit in each corner of the room, their gazes an impossible mixture of pleasure and defiance. Archways in three walls open into larger spaces, the chambers beyond drowning in books, ledgers, librams, scrolls, clay tablets, tomes, and other more obscure forms of record, held in countless shelves and cabinets. The smell of old books is almost overpowering.

A curator (image) looks up at you and smiles politely, ”How may we help you today?” to which Nidhi and Benedictus respond.

”I’m afraid Sebti has not contacted us. Perhaps, did she give you a letter?” and you remember the letter Sebti gave you for the librarians. Turning it over, the woman examines the scroll carefully before breaking the seal of the church of Pharasma. She reads the contents and shares it with her neighbor behind the desk. They nod in agreement and the first woman turns back to the party.

”You are welcome as Sebti’s guests. You are to be afforded access to the library free of charge so long as you are working on her project. You’re on your honor here as she doesn’t mention what the project is.” she grins. ”But I’m sure anyone Sebti vouches for is honest, no?”

”Please let us know if you need assistance.” to which Ben responds in the affirmative and lays out his needs. (oh they are both woman behind the desk today) "I'm sorry, we do not have private rooms, but research here is sacrosanct. If you find anyone rummaging through your things, simply let us know and we will deal with it." she says with seriousness.

The party members who have been here before know that the arches to the east and west lead to lesser libraries, but also the card catalogue - such as it is. The library is vaster than the attempts to catalogue it so you often find hidden gems as you research. These areas are also somewhat public, and conversations ensue - the admonishment for silence being lifted here (though Cahal’s shout of pain gets some dirty looks).

You make your way to the main thrust of the library. This breathtaking chamber is a vast, pillared hall soaring upward to a great dome overhead, an airy vastness appropriately painted with stars and clouds. A ring of columns runs around the perimeter, supporting a gallery at the base of the dome. Countless shelves divide the chamber, rising so high that ladders are needed to climb them. These shelves are in turn separated by a bewildering variety of boxes, cabinets, cases, and chests. Littered among these towers of knowledge are benches, reading tables, huge desks for spreading maps, and elaborate displays. The flickering light of lamps and lanterns mingle throughout the space.

You begin with the lower stacks.

I need a Knowledge History* or Knowledge Nobility* check please. One person should lead the research (I’m presuming Benedictus as he suggested), but others can assist - speeding the process and improving the knowledge gained. Further, if you clear a DC 15, please roll a 1d4 (Benedictus may roll a 1d8). You may make knowledge checks untrained, and receive a +2 bonus from the catalogue.

Cahal, you can do your own research if you wish. Closest is Knowledge History I think, but you also get the +2 bonus and can research untrained.


NG male human (Garundi) diviner 10 | HP: 62/62 | AC: 14 [17] (13 Tch, 11 [14] FF) | CMB: +5, CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +7, W: +10 | Init: +16 | Perc: +14 (+16), SM: +1 (+3) | Speed 30 ft | Special abilities: prescience 10/10 | foretell 10/10 | Active Conditions:

Knowledge (history) check: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (7) + 16 = 23 (add +3 if the check regards Osirion or its people)
1d8 ⇒ 6

Can I use prescience on this check? I can see Ben foretelling the research is not going as intended and quickly change the method, but I leave it to GM's decision. If yes, see the following roll.

Knowledge (history) check: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (19) + 16 = 35 (add +3 if the check regards Osirion or its people)


GM Euan wrote:
A curator (image) looks up at you and smiles politely, ”How may we help you today?”

"How you doing?" Zilchus leans over the desk to answer, unleashing a smile of dazzling mediocrity and shining overconfidence...already looking for a way to pass the time whilst others are researching stuff.

1d20 + 0 ⇒ (1) + 0 = 1 Diplomacy - Oh man, just Ben'd. It's my fault when she comes back from the dead to try to kill us all.

* * *

As he probably struck out with the curator for today, Zilchus will both keep guard as he tries to help research things.

1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23 Know (History) + 1d4 ⇒ 1
1d20 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 2 + 1 = 5 Know (Nobility)

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