OP pls nerf 5 (or: We're almost done with these, I swear)

Mummy's Mask

Valerias, an Immortal so ancient She has long since forgotten her mortal life - if She ever had one, gazed upon the figure prostrating herself before Her in the grey void. The woman was strikingly beautiful and not a little vain.
"Come now, Ranya, don't you get tired of being on your knees?" Valerias asked.
"Only for some people, Lady; never for You." Ranya took the hint and lifted her gaze.
"If all goes well you won't be my servant anymore."
"But always in your debt, Lady Valerias."
Valerias took on the aspect of an ancient Nithian noblewoman, Her face solemn. "This is your final trial, Ranya. You have accomplished amazing things in your life but you have always had your friends by your side. Now you must stand on your own, accomplish everything on your own. Mistakes made will be yours alone to suffer. Bad fortune yours alone to bear. Should you fail this then all you have striven for, all you have done in your quest for Immortality will be for naught."
Ranya thought briefly about her past. Decades in service of Valerias, growing from a slip of a girl to be Her most favored servant this generation. Her life as the lithe and sneaky gnome who helped recover the Eversummer Orb. Another life as an elf who killed Zargon and removed the horn so it could not regenerate. Yet another life as the gnoll in the harsh Broken Lands, claming Soul Crystals for Valerias. Even events that she recalled as little more than distractions were greater accomplishments than many legendary heroes could claim.
"I will not fail You," she said after a while.
"Do not fail yourself," Valerias corrected.

The grey void in which the two floated turned into a green land full of bronze-skinned people laboring under the sun, creating vast monuments of stone.
"This is Nithia, at the height of its power. Nithia was the most powerful culture to spring up after the Great Rain of Fire. They eclipsed even Taymora and were powerful enough that Alphatia considered them equals or nearly so."
The vision changed, showing flying pyramids, floating barges casting destructive beams of power that flattened entire towns in one blast, swarms of summoned elementals conquering lands for their masters, legions of soldiers, uncountable numbers of laborers and slaves, and powerful spellcasters ruling over all.
"It looks like Thothia," Ranya said. "Why have I never heard of this kingdom?"
Valerias divinely beautiful face grew sad. "They were corrupted. So thoroughly corrupted that they were in danger of going the same way as those beings you know as the Carnifex."
Ranya gave a polite shudder. Her face showed nothing but serious attention to what her Immortal but privately she wondered if this was really as dire a thing as Valerias seemed to think.
Valerias fixed Ranya with a stare. "Do not think that the emaciated creatures you faced were any good indication of the Carnifex at the height of their power. As powerful as you and your friends are, they could defeat you."
The scene changed to show utter devestation. Ruins of cities with their stone buildings melted to glass, vast swathes of previously fertile land reduced to dust by powerful spells, uncontrolled elementals rampaging throughout the land, hordes of fugitives burned alive by maddened wizards. All the while, sinister shadows in the corner of the eye seemed to be watching, trying to creep in. Over it all, a hooded figure laughed in glee.
Ranya nodded, chastened.

"Make no mistake, Ranya, the Nithians were powerful and headed in the wrong direction. The corruption of their last pharaoh by Thanatos was bad enough but things were getting worse. Those of Us old enough to remember the Carnifex were unwilling to let their blasphemy happen again, so We destroyed Nithia and erased almost all traces of it. We cast the Spell of Oblivion so that all memory of it would vanish from those who knew of Nithia at the time and everyone thereafter, so no one could learn of even the hints of the blasphemous secrets. Thothia was merely a distant province of Nithia, one that was innocent of the crimes of the parent nation. There were Those who argued that Thothia should suffer the same fate as the rest of Nithia but some of Us argued mercy. The merciful faction won, leaving it an orphan country, easily absorbed by Alphatia."

Ranya frowned. "I seem to remember Thothia in the grip of a rather unpleasant Immortal and her daughter."
Valerias laughed. It was a laugh that would bring tears of wonder to a deaf person. "Ah yes, the little spider. She has not forgotten the humiliation she suffered at your hands. Be wary of her. But as cruel as She is, She is not as bad as the Outer Beings the Carnifex worshipped. The path which Nithia began to travel would end in something worse than what I showed you."
"I think I have bigger Immortals to worry about. Like Alphaks." Ranya looked smug rather than worried. "Anyway, what do You want me to do?"
"That, my dearest little Ranya, is something you will have to figure out on your own. There's no point to a test where I tell you everything." Valerias smoothed Ranya's hair. "I wonder what you'd look like as a dwarf..."
Ranya's eyes widened in horror. "A dwarf? NOOOO!"
"And it's time for you to learn how the other half lives. Don't worry, you'll have a wonderful beard."
Ranya felt her breasts vanish and a weird fleshy appendage appear between her legs. Her face sprouted in long, coarse, very itchy hair. "NOOOOOOOOOOO!"

general info:

We're baaaaaack.
Solo play this time around as Ranya faces her final trial on her path to Immortality. No help, no aid, no hirelings, just herself facing down every threat all by herself. This can be tricky, but becoming an Immortal shouldn't be easy (we're looking at you, Rafiel and Benekander).

Ranya now has the memories of all her previous lives and all her old skills from four different classes. She starts at 1st level as she is trying to reconcile four lifetimes of memories, integrate four different skill sets, and relearn four different sets of muscle memeory into a fifth body. Unlike how I normally do things, levelling will happen as we go rather than after a rest, so she may conceivably level up in the middle of a fight and suddenly fight better.
I will post Ranya's stats once I have a complete write-up.

In any case, she will have full BAB, all good saves, base 12 hp per level, and all skills she has put ranks in in previous lives count as class skills and get a rank every level. This may end up with her getting some more skill ranks than she had originally, but it will likely not matter much since it will probably only be things like Perform that benefit.
I am concerned that none of Ranya's lives invested in Climb or Disable Device, but I am old school enough to allow cleverness to handle traps instead of requiring skill rolls. We'll see if that works.

Ranya's player is physically incapable of playing a character who hasn't maxed Charisma. Even if Charisma is basically useless to whatever class he's playing, he will put Charisma as his best score. Also very fond of playing women. Playing a race that not only doesn't give a Charisma bonus but actually gives a penalty is torture. Making it a male character is just icing on the proverbial mudcake. And I can justify it in universe and out of universe.
*evil GM laugh*

Character creation of any sort with this player goes something like this:
Player: "I'm basically done with character creation. We can start playing."
Me: "Have you remembered CMB and CMD?"
P: "Um, no."
M: "Have you calculated skill bonuses?"
P: "Getting there."
M: "attack bonuses?"
P: "I know what bits go into it."
M: "And you've remembered X modifiers to Y score, right?"
P: "Oh right, forgot about those."
M: "Gear?"
P: "thinking about it now."

Still, we managed to get started this session.

Changes from canon.:

Mummy's Mask is pretty easy to adapt to Mystara, far easier than the other APs I've butchered. We have Nithia, the ancient faux-Egyptian powerful kingdom and its modern descendant Thothia to stand in for Osirion. Flying ships/pyramids/cities are nothing new. Nithia has a lot of undetailed history to shove the events laid out in the AP into, and the worst excesses of Hakotep are still minimal compared to the last pharaoh so I don't have to worry about this eclipsing official history.

Why, if Hakotep isn't so bad, is someone as powerful as Valerias taking a personal interest in this?
It boils down to two things. 1. the Spell of Oblivion, which leads into 2. Immortal politics.
There are a few ruins and hints of Nithia lying around, especially in the Alasiyan desert, site of current state of Ylarum and center of the former Nithian empire, and to make sure that whatever bits and pieces of Nithia that escaped Immortal destruction (and self-destruction) would not inform people at a later date, the Spell of Oblivion not only wiped all knowledge of Nithia from the planet but continues to do so. People may find ruins and hints of an ancient civilization in the desert, but they soon forget about it, remembering only the desert. The Spell isn't perfect, as proven by Haldemar of Haaken's discovery of what he called the Nithian Enchantment, but it has done a pretty good job for the past couple thousand years.

An ancient undead who is a powerful spellcaster may prove immune or at least resistant to the Spell, and in any case having Hakotep rise and bring a bunch of flying pyramids out from nowere to start conquering the Known World, even if he can't quite remember why he should be doing it, is bound to cause people to wonder where he came from and why he looks Thothian despite no records of him in the histories. Better to just nip the whole thing in the bud rather than cause a huge uproar that might cause more people to start thinking about Nithia. The various Immortals who agree to this intervention see what sort of assets they have in the area and try to nudge things in the desired direction. The Immortal whose servants pull it off will get some small measure of prestige. Valerias has managed to argue in favor of letting one of her pawns followers do the job. This cost her some minor favors but if Ranya manages it Valerias will have gained by having guided another person to Immortality in her Sphere and having said Immortal as an ally to call upon. Of course, other Immortals may secretly send their own followers to do the job, for various reasons.

Ranya came to consciousness, finding herself walking out of the dawn towards a walled city. The air was already warm and the sounds of a waking city soon filled the air. The architecure and locals made it clear she was in Thothia, though this particular city was unknown to her. Unsure of what she was supposed to do here she looked around and noticed the stage in the town square and large numbers of what ccould only be described as young adventurers. With her practised eye she didn't find any of them particularly impressive and figured only about half of them might have the luck and skills needed to survive even a small fight.

Needing information, Ranya struck up a conversation with a merchant selling breakfast. Getting some bread, hummus and nuts with honey to get him talking, she found out about the opening of the country's graves to graverobbers. The merchant was torn with disgust at the violation of the dead and belief that the pharaoh can do no wrong. Ranya was unfamiliar with the epithet "Ruby Prince", and the last pharaoh she encountered, Ramenhotep XXIII, was an ancient vampire (a change from canon) who sold out his half demon-spider wife and her Immortal mother to Ranya and her friends in a powerplay. That connection might be worth looking into down the line.

When the lottery starts Ranya gets in line and is assigned her tombs. The clerk recording who goes where gives her (I should say him now) a funny look since he's alone, but says nothing. When the gates to the necropolis are opened and the hopefulls rush in, Ranya is instantly stymied by the front door of Akhentepi's tomb. He neglected to get a crowbar so he rushes out to the market and gets one, to the jeers of some of his fellows. "U forgt a crwobar? LOL noob," or something to that effect. Ignoring the actual noobs he makes his way in to the tomb and is again stymied by a door. While straining to move it and failing to find any mechanism to do the job for him, the ghost scorpion attacks. He takes a few pinches but dispatches it easily enough with his sword. In frustration at being unable to get through, Ranya pulls his laser pistol and just blasts the stone door until enough of it is destroyed that he can move it. He attaches his own rope to the piton and descends, hoping to find enough stuff down there that he can make some form of ladder to climb up to the end of his rope when going out.

He doesn't bother to check for traps until he triggers the first one, luckily avoiding any damage. Then he starts looking for them. He makes his way to the trophy room where he is attacked by the little dolls. Their high AC convinces him to put away his sword after a couple failed attacks, pull his laser pistol and shoot them. He takes a little damage in the struggle, but the small, very dry wooden dolls don't put up much resistance to an average of 16 points of damage.

At this point we have to call it a night. There were a few interruptions in addition to the usual late start, but this time around it was mostly on me. So far Ranya (who may take another name for this life) seems reluctant to do any looting and is focusing entirely on trying to find out what he is here for. This is in one way admirable, but it may leave him severely undergeared later, at least as severely undergeared as someone with his ridiculous stats, a magic laser gun and an already paid-for Ancestral Relic can be.

Hooray! When Ranya becomes Immortal, run through the adventure that has them investigating the deaths of other would be Immortals. It has some hilarious art.

The session was spent in the dungeon. Ranya clears the rest of Akhentepi's tomb with little trouble. The sandling is the worst opponent, able to hurt him quite badly before going down. Fortunately, he has a lot of channels - double fortunately since he rolls poorly on the healing rolls. The swarm trap tested him sorely since he's without any area effect damage, but the 2 round duration made it little more than an annoyance despite a moment of panic. The mirror trap makes everyone laugh when he casts Comprehend Languages to see what the hieroglyphs mean. Making his way through secret doors requiring Disable Device is solved with his gun, making the air hot and dusty and requiring him to wait for the stone to cool before passing.

Thinking better of his earlier reluctance to loot, he takes everything not nailed down. He spends the night in the tomb resting and looking through the writings found.

Character Sheet:

Race: Dwarf
Classes: Cleric, Rogue, Witch, Gunslinger (mysterious stranger)
Level 2

Rolled: 10,13,13,15,17,18
STR 15 (+2)
DEX 18 (+4)
CON 22 (+6)
INT 18 (+4)
WIS 24 (+7)
CHA 22 (+6)

HP: 36 Current: 32
AC: 15 = 10 + 4 (Dexterity) +1 (dodge)
Flat-footed AC: 10
Touch AC: 14 = 10 + 4 (Dexterity))

Speed: 20ft
Initiative: +6 (+4 DEX, +2 Reactionary)

Fortitude: 11 = 3 (Base) + 6 (Con) + 2 (Rat Familiar)
Reflex: 7 = 3 (Base) + 4 (Dex)
Will: 10 = 3 (Base) + 7 (Wis)

BAB: +2
Melee: +4 / +6 (finesse weapons)
Ranged: +6

CMB: +4 = +2 (Strength) + 2 (BAB)
CMD: 18 = 10 + 2 (Strength) + 4 (Dexterity) + 2 (BAB)
Flat-footed CMD: 14 = 10 + 2 (Strength) + 2 (BAB)

Miraculous Laser Pistol +1
ATK: +7. DMG: 2D8+1 Fire, Range 100 critical 20x2.
ammo: infinite

Short Sword

Tharyan, Gnoll (Broken Lands dialect), Darokinian, Elven (Alphatian, Thunder Rift), Ethengarian, Oenkmarian, Alphatian

Defensive Training (+4 Dodge bonus to AC vs Giants)
Hardy (+2 vs Poison, Spells, and Spell-like abilities)
Stability (+4 to CMD vs Bull Rush and Trip)
Greed (+2 Appraise on non-magical goods)
Stonecunning (+2 Perception to notice unusual stonework and hidden doors)
Darkvision 60ft
Hatred (+1 on attacks vs orcs and goblinoids)
Weapon Familiarity (proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any dwarven weapon as martial weapon).

Charming (+1 Bluff or Diplomacy if target is or could be sexually attracted to you)
Calistrian Prostitute (+1 Sense Motive and Diplomacy for gathering information)
Ease of Faith (+1 Diplomacy)
Reactionary (+2 Initiative)

Fly at will
Invisibility at will

Channel Energy 1d6
Domain: Charm
- Dazing Touch
Domain: Healing
- Rebuke Death
Spontaneous Healing

Deed: Deadeye
Deed: Focused Aim
Deed: Gunslinger's Dodge
Grit (Charisma modifier)
Lucky +1

Finesse Training
Sneak Attack +1d6
Rogue Talent: Stand Up

Familiar: Rat
Hex: Slumber
Hex: Healing
Patron: Deception

Ancestral Relic
Extra Channel
Extra Hex: Healing
Point Blank Shot
Selective Channeling

Acrobatics +9 = 2 rank + 4 DEX + 3 Class
Appraise +9 = 2 rank + 4 INT + 3 Class
Bluff +11 = 2 rank + 6 CHA + 3 Class
Craft: Alchemy +9 = 2 rank + 4 INT + 3 Class
Diplomacy +12 = 2 rank + 6 CHA + 1 Trait + 3 Class
Fly +9 = 2 rank + 4 DEX + 3 Class
Heal +12 = 2 rank + 7 WIS + 3 Class
Intimidate +11 = 2 rank + 6 CHA + 3 Class
Knowledge: Arcana +9 = 2 rank + 4 INT + 3 Class
Knowledge: Dungeoneering +9 = 2 rank + 4 INT + 3 Class
Knowledge: Geography +9 = 2 rank + 4 INT + 3 Class
Knowledge: History +9 = 2 rank + 4 INT + 3 Class
Knowledge: Nature +9 = 2 rank + 4 INT + 3 Class
Knowledge: Local [Thunder Rift] +9 = 2 rank + 4 INT + 3 Class
Knowledge: Local [Broken Lands] +9 = 2 rank + 4 INT + 3 Class
Knowledge: Nobility +9 = 2 rank + 4 INT + 3 Class
Knowledge: Planes +9 = 2 rank + 4 INT + 3 Class
Knowledge: Religion +9 = 2 rank + 4 INT + 3 Class
Perception +12 = 2 rank + 7 WIS + 3 Class
Perform: Acting +11 = 2 rank + 6 CHA + 3 Class
Perform: Dance +11 = 2 rank + 6 CHA + 3 Class
Perform: Oratory +11 = 2 rank + 6 CHA + 3 Class
Perform: Singing +11 = 2 rank + 6 CHA + 3 Class
Profession: Courtesan +12 = 2 rank + 7 WIS + 3 Class
Ride +9 = 2 rank + 4 DEX + 3 Class
Sense Motive +12 = 2 rank + 7 WIS + 3 Class
Spellcraft +9 = 2 rank + 4 INT + 3 Class
Stealth +9 = 2 rank + 4 DEX + 3 Class
Use Magic Device +11 = 2 rank + 6 CHA + 3 Class



Caster Level 2
Patron Spells (Deception): Ventriloquism

Acid Splash
Detect Magic
Mage Hand


As you see, even after all these weeks the character isn't finished. A bit annoying but we can live with it.
A few notes on certain things .
The decent ability scores are from Arlynith's Staff of Wishes being used to increase everyone's abilities. HP are a flat 12+Con per level - she's been through a lot and knows how to take a punch.
The laser pistol was a little souvenir Ranya picked up when she visited the City of the Gods, a.k.a. the FSS Beagle. She spent a Miracle or two fixing it up to become magical and never run out of ammo. When petitioning Valerias to serve as her sponsor for Immortality, Ranya rolled quite well on the 'impress your patron' roll and was granted a minor magic item. Since she never really got to use the gun otherwise, she's a gunslinger, and she spent a lot of money fixing it up, I felt it was acceptable to choose that as her magic item.

Ancestral Relic was a campaign feat the PCs started with and while she has fully enchanted it as a 20th level character, I felt that was going a bit too far for a 1st level character (especially with Tomokato later having a +5-with-lots-powers bow for the next campaign), so I said the Relic can only impart abilities of the HD they are. So basically another free magic item but it is one they have already paid for and is technically part of their inherent stat block since it comes from a feat. In this case it's Ranya's holy symbol which was imbued with stat boosters, starting with Charisma.

Lastly, the sharp-eyed among you (probably only Phillip reads these now) may have noticed the little bit saying Invisbility and Fly at will. These were gifts from the Immortals in the wake of Twilight Calling, i.e. stopping the Carnifex from excaping. When Ranya got them at 20th level they were a neat little bonus but nothing particularly noteworthy compared to everything else she had and could do. We assume these will come in handy at these lower levels.

Ranya's player remarked he'd played 1st level characters who felt significantly more fragile than this.

As you may have gussed from previous reports, not much happened last session. Player was extra late coming to session and had constant interruptions by phone calls and kids. The joys of being an adult. All we managed to do was roleplay the meeting of the various adventuring parties in the tavern, and the trip to the Erudite Eye. I skipped Pentheru's house because this AP, like most, has a lot of needless combat, so in interests of moving the story along and not having the other players spend too much time doing nothing, similar cuts will be made along the way.

Velriana tried an unconvincing lie about how she was interested in the SotEE for family history reasons, and Ranyar didn't believe her. For her part, Velriana didn't believe Ranyar's claims that he couldn't remember the name of the place he was assigned. The rest of the adventurers were mostly bland. A discussion on religion with a cleric of Al-Kalim was nixed by other party members, but he homed in on Sigrun Firehair, a young skald from the Soderfjord Jarldoms and got her attention by recounting a number of of his low-level adventures from previous lives. Ranyar has some trouble getting used to the idea that seduction has to be done entirely differently these days - can't waggle her ample bosom and looking too young and coy just looks silly on a dwarf however charismatic he is (translation: a poor roll, the first of many this session). In short, he failed to score with Sigrun, but she she just laughed it off instead of getting creeped out.

The ambush by the thugs was dangerous. Though he noticed the thugs before walking fully into their ambush he rand was entangled by a net and couldn't hit anything due to the penalties. He took a few blows to the face before recalling he had Fly, and managed to fly up, making his one good roll of the session on Strength to yank the rope out of the hands of the trapper. He still took a few stones to the face (I changed the bows to slings since that made a bit more sense for rather poor thugs) and flew out of range, spent several rounds healing, rolling poorly. The thugs were a bit unnerved when the dwarf just flew up and hung there apparently doing nothing despite their pelting him with rocks, but they lost said nerve and ran when the laser gun started hitting them.

From here on Ranyar had Fly and Invisibility active. The session ended just as he got to the SotEE since there really wasn't any point in starting on it only to end the session 10-15 minutes later.

Ranyar enters the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye, a temple to Ra(thanos) in the Mystaran take on the AP. The skeletal jackals do not notice him and he channels once to destroy them easily. The zombies in the nearby acolyte rooms are tougher and while they don't make any saves against Ranyar's channels they do tank two due to very poor damage rolls. Ranyar finishes them off with his gun, and clever movement means they only manage to attack him a handful of times and miss every single one.

The agarsh div was a bit more challenging with Ranyar missing several attacks do to averting his eyes to avoid the gaze attack, and the div being immune to fire meant Ranyar had to use his standard crappy gun. He spends a lot of grit on this but the div's DR soaks much of the little damage Ranya managed to inflict. For his part, Ranyar makes all the saves against he div's abilities and his high AC protects him from the claws. Ranyar finally uses his Slumber hex and the div goes down. The div makes his save against coup de grace, though, and a few comical rounds pass with the div trying to dimension door out of there but failing his defensive casting rolls and Ranyar missing the div with his eyes-averted attacks. The div finally managed to escape and runs off to try to find less dangerous foes. Since Ranyar was mostly invisible and flying, the ahkhat has basically no reason to attack him and would have trouble finding him if it tried. The huecuvas pose no threat and are dispatched easily. In the basement Ranyar notices the secret door and goes inside and one-shots the necrophidius. Hearing the shot, the Scorched Hand cast a few buffs and carefully make their way up the hall towards Ranyar, actions readied.

Invisible again, Ranyar sees the incoming group and determines they are probably hostile and most likely responsible for the thugs who attacked him outside. Thus he strikes first, casting Web. Readied actions from Velriana and Azaz interrupt the spell and combat ensues. Ranyar deals a lot of damage with his gun but Khelru keeps the party on their feet. Ranyar tanks everything they can throw at him and good saves and AC means he avoids most damage and hindering spells. Azaz is the most dangerous with his auto-hitting Magic Missiles and Ranyar is thankful for his seventy-odd hit points. Eventually Ranyar prevails, killing Idorii and reducing Velriana and Khelru to negatives. Ranyar stabilizes the two unconscious attackers and interrogates the now snivelling Azaz. Ranyar then loots the bodies, living and dead, and heals up Khelru and Velriana and tells them to go away and never bother him again. Khelru and Azaz swear thruthfully to his and Velriana swears untruthfully, something Ranyar picks up on. Even so, he lets her go.

This session was pretty decent as far as they go. The usual dealys and interruptions, but not as bas as last week. Next session, which may be as early as Friday, will cleaning out the rest of the Sanctum and gathering loot and moving on to book 2. I noticed at the end of the session I made two rather big mistakes over the last couple sessions. The first is that xp should be divided amongst Ranya's classes when determining advancement instead of four classes advancing on a single track. Back to milestone levelling, probably.
The second mistake was not using the Scorched Hand's consumables. Ignoring the fact that I ran Serpent's Skull recently I'm so used GMing level 20 characters that I forgot that low level consumables can be useful in combat for low level characters. In this fight they would have made things far more dangerous for Ranyar.

Some of you more familiar with Mystara may question the choice of Rathanos as replacement for Nethys. Mystaran Immortals and Golarion gods rarely have good equivalents among the other side, especially with Mystara lacking gods OF things and instead having gods with interests IN things. Rathanos is definitely interested in magic but so is Pflarr, and both were big Nithian Immortals. Rathanos is also notably sexist, believing that women should be subserviant to men, so it can seem odd that I would choose Velriana to be a follower of Him instead of Pflarr. Two reasons. The first is that Rathanos is a bigger Immortal than Pflarr and more interested in accumulating power than mere knowledge, which fits Velriana's personality. The second is that good sense and rational actions of self-interest are rarely found in people outside of very immediate and concrete situations, and Velriana just chose to ignore inconvenient truths. Khelru, as a priest of Rathanos, rationlized letting Velriana lead the group by telling himself he would gradually indoctrinate her in proper feminine behavior rather than hitting her over the head with it.

Not sure if Rad would fit the bill since they are big on Glantri.

Rad is mostly unknown by mortals outside of Glantri, since he's faily new and has little interest outside Glantri in general and the Radience in particular. Even in Glantri he's a bit of a sore subject, what with their misotheism.

Alphatia (the Immortal, not the country) is also a bad fit since she's not terribly interested in stuff outside of Alphatia (the country, not the Immortal). Technically Thothia is part of Alphatia but it's always been the odd bit out.

Rathanos was already established as a major deity in Nithia (see the HW splat), and I had already introduced Ranya & co to an old Rathanos temple back when we ran Talons of the Night. Since he's an Energy Immortal and interested in magic, he seemed the best fit to fill in for Nethys

We played on a Tuesday for once, with no other players around to help. Picking up where we left off, Ranyar questions the Scorched Hand survivors a bit more and makes them promise to not interfere with him anymore. While Khelru and Azaz eagerly and honestly agreed to this, Velriana's mutterings of 'fine, OK, I won't bother you any more' rang hollow. Ranyar let her go anyway. Velriana might not have been honest but she's not dumb and knows she will need more muscle to take down Ranyar than she has right now. Being a very nice person, Ranyar also let the Scorched Hand keep their gear, though he takes the loot they have accumulated so far. It is his by law, after all.

I decided earlier that the Scorched Hand had cleaned out the rest of the Sanctum before Ranyar came so we could move on to book 2 without delay but the player expressed interest in robbing yet another tomb, so we did the Pentheru house bit, which I had previously decided to skip.
The next day, rested and recovered, Ranyar goes to his last tomb. I left out the haunts because haunts aren't really something I've introduced to my game previously and the origin of the haunts in Pentheru estate seemed so mundane that if that was all that is needed to make a haunt people on Urt shouldn't be able to see their own nose for masses of haunts. Being invisible and Flying helps get the drop on lots of encounters so nothing was remotely challenging Ranyar until met the sandman. He failed the save against the sleep aura but since he was invisible the sandman couldn't CdG him, and Ranya woke to a bunch of damage. He made all his other saves and lasered the elemental to death.

The div on the second floor was a pain. Ranyar made all his saves, but poor attack rolls on his part, the div being immune to laser fire and having decent DR, and a nat 1 with his other pistol, meant Ranyar spent many rounds doing basically nothing. The vargouille showing up didn't help matters. Still, good AC, lots of HP and a stout sword as back-up (and my house rule that feinting is a move action instead of a standard action) won the day. The Pentheru estate was looted and Ranyar is now ready to sell his loot at the auction.

Ranyar gets ready for the big auction, delayed a couple of days due to the number of things coming in that need to be organized and prepared for display. During this time he determines to learn more about his purpose on Urt. The most promising lead he has so far is the statue of Hakotep (unnamed) and the indication that a powerful magic item was stolen from the SotEE just before he got there. He decides to visit the Grand Mausoleum in hopes of finding some history books that might shed light on the subject. Pharasma's faith and clergy is replaced with the Thothian death cult and its monastic order. Said monks are less than pleased with the orders to open all the graves but cannot disobey the pharaoh. Ranyar gets past the surly guards with a Diplomacy roll of 37 (not bad for 4th level) and manages to talk to Sebti herself. Sebti is not particularly interested in Ranyar's questions is convinced to allow him to peruse some writings they have on the history of the city and country in general. This proves to be a dead end, with such texts as he was allowed being obviously written/edited by the Powers What Is to tell a preferred version of events. No mention of the temples or faiths in the city, presumably because of the official misotheist stance of Thoothia. No mention of which pharaoh this statue could be of, nor why there was such a dire warning about not messing with whatever was hidden in the Sanctum.

Annoyed at the lack of evidence but undeterred, Ranyar feels he's on to something. Perhaps more clues will show up at the auction. Until then, he spends his time talking to people in town, getting them to tell him old stories and myths. Apart from some vague things which may be remnants of Immortal religion, but the stories of pharaohs are too bland to be of any use, nothing but retellings of obviously official stories about how Someone the Nth took to the field of battle defeated this-and-that enemy or did thus-and-such to perform some miracle for the country. No hints about whoever might depicted be in the Sanctum, unfortunately.

The auction comes and Ranyar mingles and talks and tries to drive up the price of his goods, something he is well equipped to do. I don't bother running the auction in too much detail because soon something interesting happens. Without warning Ranyar stiffens, feeling as though someone stroked icy (or possibly burning) fingers over his soul. No one else seemed to notice this but Ranyar spends a bit of time scrutinizing the rest of the guests for signs of a culprit. He garners some strange looks in return. When the zombies finally break in Ranyar does what Ranyar does best - goes forth and rolls poorly. He needs two channels and a bunch of laser blasts to take out the zombies while I roll rather well and the zombies reduce him to half hp before going down. He then heals up the injured attendants. Though his Witch's healing hex is generally of limited use to him in a solo game, it really shines in this part of the adventure when there are a lot of people with minor injuries to heal.

When he observes the scaffolding outside collapse he runs out to help. Getting the dowager and her granddaughter out is a bit harder for one person than a party, and his decision not to waste time trying recruit others to help proves fatal for the grandaughter, to the grandmother's despair. Strength being his dump stat - if 16 can be said to be a dump stat - has for the first time this adventure lead to failure. To be fair I rolled rather well on the damage rolls. Had I rolled more averagely Ranyar probably would have managed to save both. In any case, Ranyar escorts the heartbroken old lady and the corpse of her daughter further in the Canny Jackal, blasting open the locked door and impressing on the owner and her flunkies the need to watch out for this venerable dowager.

Ranyar then flies back to his inn to gear up and finds it locked and bolted. His demands to be let in are met with silence so he flies up to his room and starts blasting his way through the wall since the window is too small to climb through. The people in the inn obviously try defending themselves and some unkind words are exchanged as well as pots and pans and a few knives. Ranyar starts off by going full Karen :"I've payed for this room, you can't keep me out," but relents and manages to defuse the situation by admitting blasting his way in was probably excessive and pays the innkeeper for the busted wall, haggling him down to a fair price - even in a zombie uprising and in the midst of a home invasion some people will try to profit. The others in the inn babble about 'the end of the world'. Ranyar scoffs and says "End of the world? This isn't even a wightpocalypse, much less rampaging akvan divs. I've seen both of those things and this is nothing in comparison. Just relax."

Ranyar then flies out to see what went on in the rest of town. He flies back to the Canny Jackal to see how the old lady is getting on, defeats the mummy and moves on. He then finds the old sorceress trying to defend her zombified husband from the mob and interferes, to everyone's annoyance. He rolls poorly on his Intimidate roll and fails to convince anyone to listen to him. Tiring of the lack of progress he Webs the mob and lets the old lady and her zombie leave. Turning invisible he follows her on the chance that she's part of the cause of the current trouble. He spies on her for a bit but to all appearances she's just a batty old lady who has some wrong ideas about her recently deceased and reanimated husband. Seeing no point in trying to convince the lady of her husband's zombiness or leaving them for an inevitable accident to happen, Ranyar just snipes the corpse through the window and leaves.

Ranyar's last encounter for the session is the corpsewagon with its hints at mummy smuggling.

Changing the Pharasmin clergy to the death cult monks will help explain why the zombies are a bit of a bother - they can't just be channled to death. OTOH it means the summoning of esoboks and whats-his-name's plan is harder to explain in universe, so I'll probably just end up ignoring that bit and letting Ranyar figure things out on his own.

I know the ka pulse is unnoticeable by PCs in the original run but Ranya is getting close to Immortality and is getting a bit more sensitive to extremes of Sphere influence. In the same manner Othariel is pretty sensitive to temporal shenanigans, Ranya is getting sensitive to massive changes in the status quo.

Last session of the year. Arranged earlier that day, got started late, spent some time chatting, ended early. Still we got in a few encounters.

With the immediate area queit Ranyar spent some time scouting out the rest of the city to see what was happening. The necropolis was understandably full of undead but since they mostly wandered around aimlessly and the gates seemed to hold, he left them for the time being. I dropped the encounter with the priest due to the general lack of clergy here and more interesting things to do. He flew over the Asp section of town and took out a few wandering groups of zombies. Since he flew and used ranged attacks we didn't bother to play these encounters. The esoboks were slightly more problematic. He would have taken no damage since he can fly but had to tank a little to try to save the bystander. He failed his K. (religion) roll to identify them, but did note that they were most likely summoned and the fact that they were eating the zombies rather than just killing them. In any case, he saved the poor lady and got her to safety, feeling happy that he finally managed to do something that people didn't hate him for.

The encounter with the Eye-Taker was even less challenging but slightly creepier. I had one of the victims on the street survive for Ranyar to talk to. A healing hex woke him up and he immediately started wailing about his lost eyes. When the bailiffs came to investigate the noise they all died to a single channel and Ranyar was out of range. The survivor was not and was nearly killed in the blasts. Ranyar did manage to save him and then take out the nasty judge with no effort. He looked through the courthouse and wondered if the eyes arranged on the judge's table were part of some nasty ritual but could not see anything that indicated that. He then holed up in a room in the courthouse, bemoaning the lack of comfortable furinture to sleep on. Low-level adventurers have to endure all sorts of hardships. Once they hit a certain level they have better options, like teleporting home for the night, conjuring magnificent mansions out of thin air, or in Ranya's case, Plane Shifting to her luxurious demiplane with every conceivable amenity. Being able to do that means you fall out of practice with slleeping on the hard ground.

Despite correctly identifying the bloody bones he neglected to take any precautions to prevent him from rising again. He's in for a surprise next session. He also forgot the poor eyeless survivor outside.

And that was enough xp to level to 5th, so some time was spent updating the character sheet and we called it a night.

First session of the new year and we are off to an amazingly normal start: late start, kids interrupting, etc. Old One-Eye put himself back together and upon finding the door to where Ranyar was sleeping to be too difficult to open stealthily, decided to mete out justice elsewhere. Ranyar woke refreshed and ready to do more to save the town, realized that he'd forgotten to take care of the bloody bone sproperly and felt rather foolish. The weather was miserable, with a heavy mist coming in off the river combined with strong winds and sand/dust layering everything with grime and grit, appropriately enough for a gunslinger. Most of the city was fairly calm at this point. There weren't a lot of undead in the living part of the city and people's efforts to clean things up has helped immensely. Ranyar isn't the only adventurer in town and while many are fairly mercenary, killing undead in hopes of a reward instead of doing it out of the goodness of your heart still gets the job done. Plus there are guards, ex-adventurers and various other folks with some useful class levels. The locals were still mostly holed up in their homes, with a few people starting to leave despite the foul weather.

Necropolis is now pretty much the only area with any undead activity remaining, but there is a lot of it. The mindless undead, though worrying, were less of a threat than the smarter ones. A few ghouls and mummies made their presence known and started organizing. There was some internal strife as they tried to determine who was boss, but once that was handled groups of undead started trying to tear down the gates or climb the walls. The city guard were nearly overwhelmed and the undead were only thrown back thanks to the aid of various adventurers and low-to-mid-level locals. Ranyar was particularly useful with Fly at will and a laser pistol with infinite ammo and good range. He flew over taking out any intelligent undead he could find, spending hours at this. Luckily there weren't any really powerful undead animated by the ka pulse.

Once the undead hordes seemed to have been severely reduced and the intelligent undead re-deaded or in hiding, Ranyar lands to talk to other adventurers. He is swarmed by grateful locals and envious adventurers, but gets little useful stuff other than pats on the back and a big breakfast/lunch. No one else knows why the undead have suddenly animated and few people could shed any more light on the masked characters that seem an important clue. During this exchange of information a panicked raven lands at Ranyar's feet and starts babbling in Thothian. Ranyar doesn't understand Thothian but casts Comprehend Languages, gets the gist of 'please come help him', and follows the bird to the abandoned brickworks.

Ranyar scares off the sentries at the door and sneaks through the place and manages, naturally, to find Ptemnerib while avoiding all encoutners. He rescues the poor guy and gets him out unnoticed. Ptemnerib is very grateful and extra grateful when he is escorted home. Despite being half dead and exhausted he invites Ranyar in but is visibly relieved when Ranyar declines and heads back to the hideout of the Silver Chain. By this time the SC have noticed their captive is gone and are discussing their options. The hyenas smell Ranyar and everyone is on alert. Ranyar shows herself and tries to talk to the people. Ranyar does not believe Ekram's claims that he knows nothing of the masked people, though the rest of the Silver Chain seem to be honest in their claims that they are not connected in any way. Sadly, the player has this thing he does where in a standoff he will have his characters talk and keep taking steps forward as if trying to sneak up on people and get in range without being noticed or intimidate them or whatever. NPCs have a tendency to notice this and usually tell the PC to knock it off. Then when PC finally takes a step too far and violence occurs the player gets surprised that this happened.

Anyway, the fight was annoyingly long with many low rolls all around, but Ranyar won. Ekram survived the laser pistol and after the rest of the SC had run away was healed up to answer more questions. Ekram refused to answer question, instead delivering a rather hammy threat about the Forgotten Pharaoh consuming Ranyar's soul, then activated his Troth and blew up. Ranyar evaded. Ranyar then looted the place. The hidden funary masks and maps of the Necropolis were useful tips, and he drew the correct conclusion that something interesting was kept in the SotEE, something both the Scorched Hand and the masked cultists were after but neither had found. Ranyar now has another lead and a name: Hakotep. Next session Ptemnerib wil suggest they visit Sebti and see what can be done.

Things will be interesting when Ranyor encounters a certain barge dwelling noble.

Indeed, and I am looking forward to it.
Just one potential hiccup: since Sothis is replaced with Edairo (capital of Thothia) and Ranya was already in the big library in Edairo, he might just decide to sneak in and avoid most of book 3.

Edit: forgot that the Great Library is in Tephu, not Sothis.

The next day Ranyar and Ptemnerib meet for breafast and share information. Ptemnerib has little to share other than that the Silver Chain are an old problem in town and the masked people are a new unknown. While following up on a lead on the mysterious masked men, he had to defend himself against some undead and then was ambushed by the Silver Chain when he got near their hideout. He never saw any masked figures during his captivity so he is uncertain about the relationship between the two groups. In any case, he suggests meeting Sebti that morning to share information. The weather is still pretty bad outside, windy and dusty but with less moisture to cake mud on everything. The living half of the city is mostly quiet but there is a small, noisy mob of people outside the Grand Mausoleum, clamoring to get in. Ptemnerib is permitted inside and he vouches for Ranyar. Inside they pass rooms full of dead people being processed and come to the main office. Inside Sebti and Nakht Shepses are arguing about the best way to proceed.

Sebti is nominally in charge of the city and wants to keep collateral damage as low as possible and now that the undead seemed to be reduced and restricted to the Necropolis they can take their time and do a slow, thorough, minimally invasive search and destroy. Shepses, speaking on behalf of himself and a few of his compatriots, argues that a hard, fast removal of undead will result in less death and destruction all around than potentially dragging things out and waiting for something similar to happen again. The summoning of specialized anti-undead outsiders will be maximally effective with the least amount of danger to anyone doing the work.
While Ptemnerib and Ranyar's arrival puts the discussion on hold for as long as it takes the two newcomers to relate their experiences the last couple of days, Sebti and Nakht continue to disagree about fruitful lines of inquiry and options to pursue when Ranyar again feels an ice-hot ghostly wave brushing his soul. Again, no one else seems to notice. Soon after a worried acolyte sticks his head in the door and says that the dead in the preparation rooms have animated.

Having learned their lesson after the last time, the prep rooms have been reinforced and the dead firmly bound in shrouds and rope, so the room is full of wriggling corpses, but corpses that can't really hurt anyone. The remnants of detroyed undead, also gathered and deposited here since last time, make a grotesque sight of re-reanimated body parts crawling around. Shepses sighs Fireballs the room and puts out the rest of the fires, to the monks' horrified cries. Cue another argument. Ranyar manages to convince the others that the Forgotten Pharaoh, probably named Hakotep, needs to be investigated. The others are dubious since every pharaoh they know has been called Ramenhotep, but have little better to suggest and those mysterious masked men are very suspicious, so Ranyar gets unrestricted access to the library. After a few hours of study he can find no obvious gaps in the pharonic lineages nor any reference to the name 'Hakotep'. While conceivable that some pharaoh may have been called Hakotep when younger and taken the name Ramenhotep when he came to power, there was no evidence of this. In desperation, Ranyar heads out to the Necropolis again to kill some more undead. This time around he decides to just explore the larger buildings in the Necropolis in hopes of finding clues.

He heads to the Cenotaph of the Cynic and promptly loses half his hit points to the emperor cobra in the first room. Inside he strikes up a conversation with the resident lamia. She claims ignorance of the undead but mentions she saw a couple of masked figures in the past week or so. Her cute little guard is one of them, she says. Ranyar is very interested in getting answers but his own replies are not particularly informative. Eventually, conversation runs dry and the lamia Suggests that Ranyar come over to her and make himself comfortable. Ranyar's Will save is good enough that only a nat 1 will fail, so he says no. Combat is a long, drawn out affait with Ranyar zooming around in the air and making every Will save, while hitting nothing with his laser but Mirror Images in return. Eventually he makes a silly mistake that gets him in touching distance of the lamia, and he is touched twice and drained of total of 8 Wisdom. He manages to reduce the lamia to negatives and is surprised to see the guard seem genuinely upset at the sight. Sorely wounded though he is, he channels and gets the lamia back on her feet. A few more questions and some honest but less than helpful replies, and he leaves. Somewhat later he realizes that the guard was probably charmed, and he could have used his Slumber hex instead of trying to blast through with his laser. He blames this lapse on his lost Wisdom.

The rest of the day is spent in fruitless search of a Restoration. Though Immortal worship is no longer illegal in Thothia, and there have been underground cults of worshippers for centuries, public acceptance of it has been slow. What few divine casters there are around are in great demand at the moment so finding any form of Restoration fails. The next day, with hit points and Grit, Ranyar returns to the lamia, knocking on the front door this time. The guard announces his presence and Ranyar is invited in. The lamia reclines in the middle of the main room. Ranyar notices the sound of something large on the upper balcony but doesn't check it out and instead asks if the lamia if she has a Restoration available. She says she does (Ranyar's reduced Wisdom and poor rolls means he fails to see through her obvious lies), and she calls for a servant, one Ranyar hasn't seen before, to come with the magic potion. The girl comes with a fancy jar on a platter. Ranyar should know that Restoration doesn't come in potions, but doesn't think of this, and instead allows the girl to stroke his head, draining another 4 Wisdom, leaving him at half his normal score. Despite a six point penalty to his Will saves he still makes the save against a Suggestion to throw away his weapon. Cue more attacks with Ranyar losing another three Wisdom and the disguised lamia finally going down but not dying to a Lightning Bolt. Slumber hex takes care of the guard and the two lions.

That was the session, and hopefully we will see a little more progress next time. After the speed at which he went through the first book I thought we might get this thing done quickly. I should know better by now. Anyway, a mysterious masked man to interrogate next time, if Ranyar can prevent him from explosing.

I made Shepses a wizard instead of a cleric since, as previously noted, Thothia is basically misotheist. Though Things have happened in recent years so it isn't illegal any more, the reintroduction of Immortal-worship is going to take a bit more time to filter up through the power structures of Thothian society. Despite her youth Sebti is old school enough to be skeptical of Immortal worship and would unlikely be friends with any. Hence Ptemnerib and Shepses are wizards. I also changed the charmed guard in the Cenotaph to be a FP cultist. The player was getting a bit lost without leads, which is mostly my fault since I entirely forgot to bring up the elegaic compasses as a place to start.
I think he also has forgotten/didn't catch that Thothia was a Nithina colony, and anything before 1500 years ago won't exist in the records. I may have to write things down for him. One of my greatest flaws as a GM is failing to convey information properly then expecting players to have read my mind.

Note: It appears I have pulled an [Arlynith's player - name redacted to protect the guilty] and gotten Ptemenib's name wrong. Arly's player is notorious for getting basically at least half the names in the game wrong unless exposed to them over many years. I will blame my inability to read on bad influence from him.

Another muddled session with a lot of time wasted. Still, Ranyar managed to befriend the charmed Forgotten Pharaoh cultist and convince him to spill the beans and take him to his leader. Bob the cultist takes Ranyar to the Pyramid of Arithmetic Bliss, the last place he was to investigate before he was charmed by the lamia, and they find the remaining cultists there. The cultists have been trapped here since the second zombie outbreak, staying very quiet to avoid attracting the attention of the mummies and allips in the place. Ranyar manages to befriend these too and covince them of his desire to join their super secret boy band. He gets a little more information about the cult, like that they are looking for the Forgotten Pharaoh's death mask, and a more general picture of the CotFP. In short, the bottom rung at least is the usual culty mix of disaffected and/or powerless people given the opportunity to feel special and the promise of nebulous power in the future.
They also scratch a few locations off Ranyar's To Investigate list. The cultists are rather hungry and thirsty and Ranyar rushes off to find them some food, which cements his place in their good graces. His Wisdom is now 6, so clearing out the rest of the Pyramid seems like a good idea. Ranyar kills one mummy but is then paralyzed by fear. Fortunately the remaining mummy doesn't see the need to CdG him and Ranyar was only paralyzed 1 round. Invisibility and Fly save his neck.

High on avoiding this near disaster he goes to the allips. He recognizes the sound they make before they notice him, makes his save in spite of his Will score being 9 points worse than normal, and recalls their Wisdom damaging touch. He still thinks taking on incorporeals alone sounds like a good idea. It would have worked, too, if he had managed to roll averagely on his channels. Unfortunately, he rolls badly and even his impressive touch AC cannot hold the allips at bay for more than a couple of rounds. The allips reduce his Wisdom to 1 and even in this confused state Ranyar realizes he should run. Luckily he has Fly active and therefore moves faster than the allips. He escapes, but the allips run straight into his new cultist friends, who had been a bit worried that their new dwarf friend was maybe a little overconfident in taking on the nasties in the temple on his own. The last Ranyar sees of them is them screaming and running away.

The next day is spent trying to track down Restoration. His last attempt failed, but this time he is lucky enough to find a scroll. Due to extreme demand, the seller wants 2000 gp for it. Ranyar has little alternative but to pay the exorbitant price. Ranyar's player is generally bad at dice rolls, be they real or virtual, and again this kicks in. First he needs several attempts with UMD to pretend he is wise enough to use the scroll, then he fails the caster level check, then he rolls a nat 1 on the Wisdom check to avoid a scroll mishap. I had originally intended that there be only one Restoration scoll available but out of pity I allow him to find another one. This time he seeks out someone with more Wisdom to manage the casting. He tracks down the two remaining members of the Scorched Hand who had promised to stick around and help him. They have been doing their best to aid Wati against its undead and been lucky enough to survive. After a false start and a near catastrophic failure, the cleric of the group manages to use the scroll and Ranyar is now wise again. In gratitude he gifts the two with a Cloak of Resistance +1 each. Ranyar has now spent 6000 gp and two days getting his Wisdom back to normal.

The next day he returns to the Pyramid and finishes off the allips, who were each only a single channel away from dying. Not finding his cultist friends (they decided to self-destruct rather than be killed by the allips) he decides to look into the places on the map they had not yet visited. Despite all three - the ghoul market, the Observatory and the glassworks - being in a straight line in that order from where he is, he decides to visit the glassworks first, bypassing the other two. He makes nice with the dragon inhabiting the place and convinces her to show off her hoard. She protests when Ranyar tries to investigate he lair for secret doors. He departs and turns invisible and comes back, entirely forgetting about dragon senses.

Understandably, Shard takes this invisible intrusion as a hostile act and blasts him with her breath weapon. Fun fact about Mystaran crystal dragons is that their breath weapon is shards of cold similar to a white dragon's but on a failed save the target's gear is turned to crystal. Ranyar makes his save and starts blasting. It doesn't take long for the dragon to suffer enough damage to run off screaming in pain and begging for mercy. Feeling a bit bad, Ranyar searches the place thoroughly but finds no hint of the mask and leaves the loot untouched. I may have to place some extra loot in the final showdown.

That was the end of the session. Writing it down it seems like we got more done than we actually did. Strange how that goes. Ranyar is still a good ways away from level 6, so I may have to go to milestone levelling soon.

Bonus session on Friday. Milestone levelling enabled.

Ranyar left the glassworks and headed towards the Observatory of Truth and Wisdom. He was in the process of investigating the place when Meret-Hetef and the remaining Forgotten Pharaoh cultists made their appearance. One of them was the last surviving member of the three Ranyar had befriended the previous day. Though the survivor initially blamed Ranyar for the death of his friends and Meret-Hetef accused him of being the cause of Iffek's death, Ranyar's impressive Diplomacy and Bluff rolls prevented things from getting out of hand. The two groups decide to team up and check out the Observatory. Technically Ranyar has to complete his final adventure on his own in order to ascend but I don't think coming across a few people and coincidentally working toward the same thing for a bit really counts as being in a party. Had he intended to make this a more long-lasting relationship or doest his on a regular basis, things would be problematic.

The first floor of the sepulcher is cleared handily, and Meret-Hetef and her minions gaze enviously at the laser pistol. Ranyar is pretty sure MH is not 100% convinced of his profession of devotion to the FP but she is obviously more than happy to have a powerful person go first into the dungeon and deal with the nasties.
Nothing much bothers Ranyar until he encounters the sceaduinar, at which point he takes a negative level. Fortunately it isn't resistant to fire and he found the Death Ward scroll earlier. He rushes through the rest of the dungeon to the final confrontation in hopes of making it through before the Death Ward expires. The cultists rush in when they see the object of their quest and are paralyzed by the mummies. The mummies easily kill the cultists, but not before MH cast Cat's Grace on Ranyar. Ranyar is distraught to learn that Nebta Khufre has cast fire resistance on him and his minions and Stoneskin on himself: he will have to go into melee and chip away at the Stoneskin by hand to avoid wasting ammo on his normal gun. The mummies are a non-issue as far as Ranyar is concerned since he can fly and they cannot. Several tedious rounds pass where Ranyar makes every save against NK's spells and Ranyar slowly removes the Stoneskin. Eventually NK falls and Ranyar claims the Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh, and doesn't even have to worry about what to do with the cultists.

The next couple of days are spent trying to identify the mask and its properties before moving on. Much of Ranyar's frustration in the final fight could have been fixed if he bothered to prepare Dispel Magic. For some reason, the player never does this on his own. Despite having been shown time and again over many years how useful it is to have DM available, he never prepares it unless other players order him to. We have yet to get a good reason why this is. Ah well, a short sword with Dex to damage worked just fine.

Shorter session than normal. Took even longer to get started and Arly and Tomokato's players dropped by to say hello, so some time was spent chatting with them. Also a little downtime for Ranyar, fully updating to 7th level and spending some loot. Using the alchemists' lab and clockwork tools he found in the necropolis and an old forge, he created a +1 revolver and ammunition for it. "But Bjørn, Ranya's past life had a wheellock pistol, used red steel-based smokepowder (which is unavailable in Thothia) instead of black powder, and certainly shouldn't have the skills to make a revolver! Why are you allowing this?" I don't hear you cry because readers will not know to ask this. Don't worry, it sorta makes sense. The Gunsmithing feat is b++~*#*~ since you don't need to make Craft checks to make guns and ammo. It also allows you to create more advanced firearms, at the GM's discretion. Ranya visited ancient Blackmoor during the time of rapid technological advancement (well before the Oopsie) and met someone with an interest in guns. She spent some time investigating firearms, and these firearms were about proper revolver level of technology. They didn't have vermeil but made more traditional propellants. Ranyar is rather smart, so I figured it would be OK to let him make these things. He's getting close to being an Immortal, after all.

Ranyar also spoke to Sebti and Ptemnib about his adventures, but ommitted to bit about the mask. The esoboks run rampant through the necropolis, but since the living bit of the city is pretty much undead-free the locals don't experience much discomfort other than hearing the occasional nasty noise in the dead place. Making sure the local library doesn't have any useful information, Ranyar decides to head to the great library in the capital of Edairo. He was there once before with the whole Night Spider thing, and does not relish going up against the rather unpleasant monks who run the place again. Last time she had Arlynith's powerful magic to cloak them, now she will have to make do with her piddly Invisibility. Still, it seems the lead he has. Flying to Edairo is faster than taking boat, so he does that.

Edairo has seen a bit of a renaissance since he was last here. Last time it gave the impression of being ancient, in moderate repair, and unchanging. Now there has been a spurt of growth. New buildings popped up, much renovation of existing things, and more people bustling about. Apparently the Ruby Prince's plan to boost the economy by taking goods from the dead and putting that wealth into circulation has worked. The royal palace is much the same as it was last time, possibly a bit shinier, but the library has changed drastically. The formerly bunker-like small building is gone and a massive new, imposing structure is in place. There are also a lot of people wandering in and out of it, unlike the restricted access that it used to have. Ranyar goes in and starts reading. A major issue with the adventure so far is that Ranyar doesn't speak Thothian. Most locals speak Alphatian to varying degrees but being unable to speak or read the local tongue has been a challenge. Now Ranyar has the Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh. Choosing Intelligence as the boosted ability, he now has access to more languages, one of which is Nithian, the tongue spoken by Hakotep and parent tongue of modern Thothian. With his decent Linguistics score and a bit of work, Ranyar can puzzle out most stuff in Thothian, and can save the Comprehend Langauges and the Tablet of Languages Lost for the tricky things. He does get a few dirty looks while he roams around the library with a fancy funeral mask on.

The monks running the place are more like guards than librarians, and are quite unhelpful to Ranyar's requests for aid. Even so, he finds out the public library is limited in its contents. The last time he was here they found older and more secret works. These are nowhere to be found now, and the big sealed and guarded door indicates that there is more to be found in the stacks. Being told he can't get in, Ranyar does what any self-respecting adventurer does, what Ranya has done most of her life, and ignore the social path and try to sneak in. Finding the right way to do it takes a bit of effort, but Invisibility and Dimension Door and make it possible. Once inside the first sub-level, Ranyar enters the Spiral library, slightly redesigned to be less annoying to the GM. The guardians try to stop Ranyar and manage to wound Ranyar fairly heavily before going down. Now Ranyar is feeling the pinch of damage reduction, and decided to drop his laser pistol in favor of a short sword so he could sneak attack regularly (Improved Feint is nice) to help bypass the ceustodaemon's DR. He does this and with some impressive rolls manages to exhaust most of the KP in the library in one go. He then goes to sleep in hopes that no one will come and find him. He wanted to go outside but was unsure if he could get in as easily the next time.

At this point we end the session. Next session will hopefully see him get through the rest of the library and make his way out to the desert. So far it seems we will not get to see Muminofrah, which is a shame. On the other hand, this means Ranyar is powering through the adventure fast, which is good. I decided to keep the library design of the AP rather than use the old Edairo library from M5 mostly because the original was way too small for a proper library. I rationalized this by having the Order of Death, at the Ruby Prince's encouragement, consolidate their libraries and expand their remit, hence the public nature of the uppermost level. To house all the texts a new library was built, using magic to get it done "cheaply" and on time.

No Muminofrah? Bummer. Might be good for some laughs so you should move her around some. :)

I plan to have her give a cameo if Ranyar doesn't just stay in the library before heading out to the desert.

Short session yesterday. Despite starting on time, at least by our standards and with minimal interruptions throughout, we only finished the Dark Depository. Ranyar took a brief trip outside to get food and find a place to defecate. On his way back in he nearly bumps in to a monk who is looking very puzzled and calls out a name. Ranyar hurries to the senter of the spiral archive where a trap door in the floor is located and descends to the Dark Depository. Here he avoids most traps and spends a day reading in the first room he enters. He takes is about to take a nap when he hears the less than stealthy approach of a group of four monks. Having had run-ins with this order on his previous visit to the old library which used to be here, he has no qualms turning invisible, pulling both guns and start blasting. He fells three of them before they know what hit them but he misses on his last shot. The surviving monk makes his morale check, punches Ranyar (who makes his saves against stun and Deadhand style), then dies to Ranyar's next attack. Hoping to get this done quickly, Ranyar rests, wakes, explores some more, fights the mummy golem, turns the sarcophagus it was in into a coprophagus, and reads some more.

He fails to notice the zelekhut trap and is nearly killed in the ensuing battle. The shadow mastiffs are a non-issue since Ranyar can fly and they can't reach up to him, but the zelekhut hits hard (and I roll well), can fly, and regenerates. After some heavy hinting from me and another player, Ranyar abandoned the battle and ran. Fortunately there is a tight squeeze of a tunnel he could fly through but the zelekhut was too big to get through so he played hideaway the last few rounds of the summon's existence, blasting the mastiffs at the tunnel. This done, more reading and another encounter with a larger group of monks when he was resting but one which he survived thanks to fly, invisibility and a lot of damage with his guns. He finished his research, go some hints about people investigating Hakotep, some trying to find his tomb, and the existence of the Vault of Hidden Wisdom. He makes his escape, leaving behind the very heavy iron 'scrolls' and manages to bypass a very larg group of monks coming down to find out what is going on in their library.

Next session, trying to find the VoHW, which might very well introducing Muminofrah.

Changes: I didn't see any point in not having the Spiral Archive and the Dark Depository be part of the main library, just with restricted access. The Vault of Hidden Wisdom is now placed under the royal palace, since it contains the most closely kept secrets of the Ramenhotep dynasty.

After narrowly avoiding the monks in the library, Ranyar returns to his rented room and rests. The next day he decides to see if can find any hints about the Vault of Hidden Wisdom. Fortunately his Diplomacy is very good and he finds an old man who used to work in the royal palace. While Ranyar gets the feeling he wasn't a particularly nice sort (you couldn't be while working for the royal couple for any length of time), he at least has some useful information, including the fact that the Vault is somewhere in the palace. The old man didn't know precisely where because he was never highly placed enough to go into that part of the palace.

Ranyar turns invisible and heads out to scout the palace. She was there once before as Ranya and she and her friends were actually entertained by the pharaoh but Ranyar suspects introducing himself now would be a Bad Idea. Just as he's turning to leave he spies a procession exit the palace. Her gloriousness Muminofrah has decided to enjoy the evening on her pleasure barge. Ranyar talks his way on board and gets to know the lady. There isn't any point in rolling any rolls because Ranyar leans fully into the seduction bit and can at worst roll a 21 on any related rolls. Also he has Profession (Courtesan) from his days as Ranya and this is probably the first time he's gotten to use it. Muminofrah was played up to be the spoiled, thoughtless, somewhat cruel character she is but Ranyar handled her masterfully. He inviegles an invitation to the palace the next day. That night he is informed by the landlord at his inn that he is not welcome there any more. It seems no less than two groups of people came looking for him: some weirdoes and the monks. He finds another place that is unaware of his status as a Person of Interest and hopes to remain undisturbed the rest of the night. He is lucky.

During lunch the next day Ranyar is encouraged to take part in the chariot race she has planned the day after. The pharaoh and his consort are not in town, for which Ranyar is grateful, so all he has to worry about is the local sycophants sending ugly looks his direction at the way Muminofrah fawns over him. Ranyar does well in the chariot despite having no ranks in Handle Animal or Profession (driver), and I assume the AP writers fudged the rules on those skills just to make the scene work. Still, a +8 bonus to Charisma checks means he does pretty well on HA. The only roll he failed was beating the poor camel enough to make it up the stairs fast enough. Ranyar doesn't win (because I had misread the rules) but does come in a solid second and even so impresses Muminofrah. She is infact so enamored that she tells the monks to shove off when they come looking for Ranyar to answer a few questions about a break in in the library.

He gets his few days in the Vault and easily dispatches the opposition. Now to tell you what sort of dice roller the player is, he has made exactly one critical hit with his guns so far in the campaign, so naturally he rolled three 20s in a row on attacks against the theletos, which are immune to crits.

The library is big but he reads the entire thing in two rolls. Good rolls and large modifiers help. He finds tantalizing hints about an architect/engineer/itemcreator called Chisisek in an ancient document so old that it still bears the redactions made be the Immortals when they wiped knowledge of Nithia from the world. While he is unfamiliar with the locations mentioned he makes an educated guess that they would be in modern day Ylarum, and prepares to head there. He buys some stuff with the money left over from the adventures in Wati. I level him to 9th despite the book assuming that 9th level comes about some time in the hexcrawl to the tomb (with Fly at will he will most likely avoid most/all of the non-essential encoutners) and he learns Teleport. Unsurprisingly, Ranya visited Ylarum at one point so she can teleport there instead of taking a boat ride. Two castings later, he's ready for the next stage of the adventure.

We end the session there. Perhaps we can finish this book next session. Now to bone up on Ylarum's culture and geography. I've made some notes but that was a few months ago. Ranyar leveled up a bit early but this session we got finished with Edairo and didn't have to end the session as early as we normally do. Now he should be ready for non-stop action.

We're baaack!

At least for one session. RIFTS is on hold while GM is busy with some stuff. Interestingly enough, Ranyar's player has been busy since our last Mummy's Mask session, so this is the first game in two months for him. The usual late start, some time spent just talking, and looking over the newly leveled Ranyar (who, unsurprisingly was not completely updated last time). Once this was done we got to the meat of things.

Last session Ranyar found an oblique reference to a certain Chisisek a 'crafter' of apparently great reknown in his time. The text was scoured of most references to Nithia but Ranyar noticed on a brief description of where Chisisek's tomb was placed, somewhere in the "Sphinx Crags". With little else to go on, he deicdeds to follow this lead. Ranyar teleported from Edairo in Thothia to West Portage, both on the Isle of Dawn, and from West Portage to Tameronikas, the southernmost city in the Emirates of Ylarum. Ranya and her friends visisted Tameronikas some years ago when they were on their way to Alphatia from Thyatis and needed a place to sell some loot. Ranyar spends a little time reaquainting herself with Ylari culture and customs and is surprised to learn that one of the emirates is called Nithia and is inhabited by a slight, dark-haired, ruddy-skinned people which sound very similar to the people in Thothia. He is even more surprised when he realizes that he actually knew about the emirate of Nithia but just didn't connect it to the ancient empire of Nithia. He ascribes this to the Spell of Oblivion working its magic.

After acquiring some supplies he heads up the coast to Surra-Man-Raa, the largest city in the emirate of Nithia. The city is not particularly impressive to someone who has visisted places like Thyatis City or Sundsvall, but it is still bigger than the capital of Arlynith's realm or Stormhold, new capital of the Thunder Rift. There aren't many foreigners in town. Most of the ships are either local fishing boats or Ylari traders, and even other Ylari are rare sights. Ranyar sets about trying to find someone who might know of the Sphinx Crags. His Diplomacy score is around 20 so getting people to talk isn't a problem. He soon gathers a small group of people, a mix of guides and scholars, and they fall to arguing about where, precisely, the Sphinx Crags would be. They eventually narrow it down to a few probably locations, most likely here in Nithia rather than some other emirate. Ranyar uses a Commune and gets confirmation that he is on the right track.

While in town preparing for the trek through the desert he finds a number of interesting items. At first glance they are old, worn, not particularly impressive pieces of jewelry and knick-knacks but they all unmistakeably have Old Nithian design about them. When questioned, the various sellers admit there are ruins about the country but every time they are asked about details, such as where the ruins are, who built them originally, and basically anything else, their eyes seem to grow confused and they get side-tracked by something else. Ranyar suspects initially that the locals are just being secretive, but after getting the exact same reponse all over town he concludes that the Spell of Oblivion is stil in effect, and rather than just wiping people's mind and leaving an obvious gap, it also prevents people from thinking about Nithia in any meaningful way. Ranyar assumes he was given special dispensation by Valerias to be allowed to remember and think clearly on the subject.

A trek through the desert is a lot easier when you can cast Fly at will instead of having to hoof it over badlands and sand dunes, and Ranyar easily clears two hexes per day instead of one per two days. Initially he heads in the right direction and I briefly wonder if Ranyar will make it to Chisisek's tomb without seeing any encounters. I am quickly disabused of this notion when instead of making a straight line he starts going in a spiral pattern which, if continued, will see him investigating basically every other hex before he finds the right one. The only encounter this session was the cultists and their fire drakes. Ranyar tries to talk to them and they would have been terse but otherwise harmless had he not introduced himself. All cultists of the Forgotten Pharaoh have been warned of Ranyar after the surviving cultists in Edairo assumed the strange dwarf in town was the one behind the sudden silence from their compatriots in Wati. These cultists were suspicious but did not think it likely that Ranyar would have made it here from Thothia in such a short amount of time, and concluded it was more likely this was some other dwarf - Rockhome is one of the neighbors of the emirates, after all. When Ranyar gave his name, they realized their mistake and attacked.

The drakes do significant damge to Ranyar, some 120 points in one round thanks to a lucky crit and some AoOs. Ranyar defeats the drakes and proceeds to take out the cultists, who are stuck attacking every third round thanks to their heavy crossbow and casting True Strike (they feel that they need TS to have a reliable chance of hitting Ranyar, which they are not entirely wrong about). The cultists do get in a few hits but Ranyar is far more than they can handle and go down. Ranyar is surprised to see the Troth of the Forgotten Pharaoh in action when he tries to interrogate the cultists that had merely fallen unconscious rather than died. He didn't bother to wait until the next day and try a Speak with Dead, feeling more than justified he is on the right track when he found a bit of masonry with Chisisek's name painted on it in the cultists' belongings.

The session ends just as Ranyar encounters the gnoll slavers.

Hilarity ensues!

Back again, RIFTS put aside.

We left Ranyar just as he was making a roundabout path to the tomb, and he had run into the gnoll slavers. Some talking, some shooting, some teleporting to get the slaves to the nearest safe town and back to hex crawling. The Singing Storm was left alone since Ranyar didn't really feel the need to murder some random beast with no warning. The roc similarly was left undisturbed though the nest was looted for dropped valuables. The thriae suffered a bit worse. I reimagined them as being more like vespiform versions of thri-kreen rather than humans with wasp-butts. This may have been a mistake because Ranyar Dimension Doored into the hive and announced his presence and seemed surprised when the thriae attacked. He killed two guards and then left. I've noticed that the player has this strange tendency to sneak in to places he shouldn't be, drop try talking, and gets surprised when people think he's hostile. Occasionally he does have his characters approach from an acceptable distance but not nearly as often as one would expect.

Anyway, this time he made a more or less straight line to Chisisek's tomb, only a few ditherings along the way. Once there, thanks to being invisible and flying, he ignored the temple and the guards and went straight into the tomb. Still without Disable Device, he at least noticed the trap and flew over the trigger. Dimension Door got him past the locked door into the tomb, and the stone golem died to a storm of laser fire before it could do anything. The clockwork golem in the treasure vault managed to injure and grapple Ranyar before dying. Now he's going to spend some time ivnestigating. Unbeknownst to him, Jamirah has heard some noise in the pyramid and since the cultists in Thothia have warned the rest of the cult about Ranyar, she spends some time gathering her minions for an attack in the pyramid. This will take a few minutes and will have to be done next session.

With only a little bit left of Book 3 I figured I would need to prepare Book 4 for this session. I know, I know, I should know better by now.

Having dispatched the golem guarding the treasure chamber, Ranyar assumes he will have a few hours to do inventory and research. Little does he know that Jamirah, whom he bypassed earlier heard his fighting the first golem and summoned her forces for a shock attack. Ranyar barely has time to draw his gun and become invisible before the desert giant comes running down the corridor towards him. As expected, the giant dies to a flurry of bullets before it could do anything to Ranyar. The cultists rush in and, being Hasted, manage to attack him, even if only one hits. The two lesser lamia move in but Ranyar made his saves against their charms (by now he will fail most saves only on a 1, possibly a 2). He tries to Dimension Door out of combat but fails his concentration check to cast defensively. Luckily for Ranyar I roll poorly enough that only one attack out of everything hits him. Had even half hit him he might well have died. On the second attempt he manages to DDoor out. From then on the combat is tiring and annoying but heavily in Ranyar's favor since he can fly and turn invisible at will, and the cultists can't. Some clever tactics by the cultists can't make up for the unfairness of the situation and though they get a few licks in, the outcome is dead cultists and living Ranyar. We spent a long time on this combat because it was tough enough I didn't feel comfortable just handwaving a win for Ranyar, but not quite dangerous enough to be particularly exciting. Once again, Ranyar's player could not roll a single 20 on all his attacks. There were a few 19s and and no 1s either. I cannot remember if his gunslinger life ever picked up Improved Critical. So we have a 10th level gunslinger who has never once crit'ed an opponent. It's kinda sad.

After healing himself up he heals the surviving cultists in hopes of interrogating them. That plan literally blows up in his face, reminding the player of the Troth of the Forgotten Pharaoh. He then commences to loot and identify stuff. The very kind GM switched out the Scarab of Mummy Defense with Chisisek's Toolkit - a magical minor artifact infused with some of Chisisek's spirit that grants ranks in Disable Device to whoever uses them. The rest of the treasure was used to power up his revolver so it too has endless ammunition (yeah yeah, not technically possible on firearms and should take ages to do but Ranyar is close enough to Immortality that he knows a few cheats and shortcuts) - dual-wielding pistols here we come!

After this he explores the little shrine near the pyramid. He is very surprised to see the shrine appears to honor both Horon (Ixion) and Set (Thanatos). This particular combination must have been the work of some deranged religious philosophy and might just hint at why Nithia went as bad as quickly and thoroughly as it did. He notices the sleeping area for the cultists shows ten human-sized bedrolls but he only faced six in combat. This is entirely because Jamirah sent those 4 off to warn the main cult the moment she suspected Ranyar was here and not because I had forgotten they existed when setting up combat. Totally.
He frees Tetsiurah, who is properly grateful and introduces herself and her mission. Ranyar does not admit to graverobbing but only mentions he is interested in finding the cultists of the Forgotten Pharaoh. Tetsiurah is thankful that he will do that and return Chisisek's corpse to her care. Ranyar is told to go to the Sightless Sphinx. He doesn't know the way but does know that four cultists are missing from this place and assumes they would go to the SS. Having a decent tracking ability and Fly he should be able to catch up to the cultists fairly quickly, even if they have a day's head start.

At this point he leveled to 10th and rests.

We started on Book 4 yesterday. Ranyar headed out, trying to track the four fleeing cultists. He neglected to choose Survival as one of his skills in is reincarnations, and he's suffering for it. Still, he has a decent Wisdom, even if he only just now used his Ancestral Relic to enhance it by +2, and managed to follow them to where they met up with the manscorpion scout. The baykok had ambushed and killed them, but is dispatched by Ranyar with minimal effort despite the first attack roll of the session being a nat 1 (the first of very many this session). At this point he lost the trail.

Looking at the map of the desert I was afraid of a repeat of last hex crawl from book 3. This time he missed one hex in an otherwise straigt line, bypassing all the other encounters on the map. This made me happy because we don't have to waste time on useless stuff. It also meant that he leveled to 11th after having one whole encounter in his 10th level career. This was done fairly quickly, thanks to Othariel's player having gotten all the relevant information ready beforehand. Choosing a few spells was the most time-consuming aspect of levelling. I had considered letting him stay 10th a bit longer but decided to follow the AP's assumptions about what level one should be where. This was a good idea since it turned out he really needed the extra SA and channel dice, and the two Heals he had prepared.

He bypasses the manscorpions parked outside the Sightless Sphinx and goes in, teleporting right next to a Forgotten Pharaoh cultist. The cultist doesn't notice him, and Ranyar flies off to find an invisible person's worst enemy: a closed door. He decides he has to kill these cultists and starts blasting. The noise attrats the attention of the other guards in nearby rooms, and they come in. He turns invisible and flies through the now open door further in and triggers the trap. The summoned hieracosphinxes don't see him but do see the FP cultists and attack them. In the confusion Ranyar moves further in and comes to the room with the Ereshkigal Ranivorous cultists (now gnolls instead of maftets) and the entombed bodaks. He dispatches them easily and attracts the attention of the rest of the critters. A long running battle ensues with reinforcements coming. When he finally eliminates them and releases and kills the bodaks, Heqet (now a gnoll zombielord instead of human) bursts through and attacks Ranyar. Userib and his entourage come and more confusion takes place. Ranyar uses the opportunity to slip away out of sight.
That was it for our extra long session.

The evening was plagued with a significant number of nat 1s on attacks, a total of 11 or 12 throughout the evning, and several more on skill rolls. He did manage to get a few 20s, being the third-fourth-fifth times he's managed that since the character started. Improved Critical helped turn a few 19s into crits as well. Considering the number of 1s rolled we were concerned about the few saves he had to roll, but everything went fine.

I had considered replacing Ereshkigal with Zugzul, an ancient Blackmoorian deity some fanon has placed as a Nithian Immortal popular with the corrupted Magian Fire Worshippers. Instead I went with Ranivorous (Yeenoghu by another name), who was headed towards Immortality in the later stages of the Nithian Empire) and assumed the Sightless Sphinx was an older structure his followers took over and vandalized/redecorated at some point before the fall of Nithia. The nice maftets would have been hutakaan living in the desert and Userib and his gang would have been transformed into gnolls by Ranivorous when they were corrupted. Since Ranyar didn't meet the maftets/hutakaan, that particular bit making the AP work for Mystara wasn't necessary.

Next session, more dungeon crawling, possibly meeting the FP. Once that is done we have to make a choice: do we end the quest for Immortality there since Ranyar is 12th level and has technically stopped Hakotep from coming back to life, or do we finish the AP? The latter is more satisfying in that you get to face down Hakotep and his mummy hordes. The former means we can get on with the other players. We'll burn that bridge when we come to it.

Safely out of immediate danger, Ranyar listens to the sounds of Userib and his gnolls getting unfriendly with Heqet and focuses on Ligash. The gnoll unnerves him a little and he fails to answer two of the riddles. The gnoll is easily subdued and sounds of even more combat from the rooms outside draw Ranyar's attention soon after. He peeks out the door and sees Forgotten Pharaoh cultists + manscorpions and the gnolls + vrocks in combat.

Unbeknownst to Ranyar, the FP cultists further in the Sphinx had noticed his entrance and murder of their fellows, and followed him. When they saw he was attacking the gnolls, they quickly decided to use his presence in an attempt to eradicate the gnolls and demons, rallied and made their entrance just after Ranyar had DDoored away last session. The gnolls are victorious in this confrontation but lose a few of their number, including Userib. At this point Ninurset comes out to see what the fuss is. Ranyar is upset to see him because he also sees Ranyar. Our intrepid dwarf decides the best defense against such a beast is a good offense and fires a full Rapid Shot TWF salvo into the glabrezu. DR and Fire resistance just manage to keep the demon on its feet, and it gets up a Mirror Image in panicked response. The surviving gnolls and vrocks pile in and tear up Ranyar, and Heqet's spells and the SLAs of the demons still do nothing since Ranyar saves on a 2+. Surrounded and taking damage, Ranyar manages to injure his opponents a little but soon has to beat a retreat and manages to escape and find a safe place to sleep outside the Sphinx.

The next day he goes back and continues exploring the bit of the Sightless Sphinx he had started on and notices all the corpses from the previous day are gone. It turns out they were animated by Heqet and used as guards. Ranyar, trying to carefully sneak around, soon runs up against the bane of all invisible creatures: a closed door. A zombie set on guard bangs a big gong and alerts the Ranivorous cultists of someone coming. What follows is a very frustrating fight for Ranyar. When the enemies come Ninurset and Heqet are well protected with Energy Resistance and the demons all have Mirror Images, which are 100% effective at soaking shots. The vrocks try using Telekinesis to disarm Ranyar (succeeding once, but the gun is retrieved quickly) and the dwarf's shockingly low AC for an 11th level fighter (24 with Mage Armor) is surprisingly effective at stopping attacks, stopping at least half of the incoming attacks despite basic chances being well below that. Ranyar's spells fail against SR every time, and the gnoll cultists have evasion, making his big damage spells useless. Even with my poor attack rolls Ranyar would not have survived if he hadn't had a lot of HP. He teleports around a bit, heals up, the enemies come after and at the end of the session he had manged to kill the two surviving gnoll cultists, leaving Heqet and the demons unscathed, and himself down to single digit hit points just barely manages to Teleport away.

The player was frustrated by this encounter and felt like he was basically useless up against an overwhelmingly advantaged opponent. I pointed out that this was something like a CR 15 (possibly 16) encounter which he not only survived but managed to reduce in difficulty. Plus, looking at it from the POV of the enemies this one little dwarf is a ridiculously tough cookie. He flies and teleports like a mage, has very dangerous weapons which make short work of anything they hit full on, he avoided the Sneak Attack from the flanking gnoll cultists which drastically reduced their damage output, he tanks damage like the toughest fighter, ignores all spells cast on him, and can heal himself of all the damage they inflict, and despite action economy vastly in their favor they didn't manage to stop Ranyar at all. Put like that, Ranyar's player was less unhappy with the situation.

As usual, after the session I think of all the more optimal combat choices I could have made but which I didn't think of at the time, choices that most likely would have spelt doom for Ranyar, but I rationalize my incompetence with dumb claims like "despite being very smart the demons were faced with an unknown and Ninurset played it safe by letting his minions do the work". Ranyar was also fairly clever/lucky with positioning on the battlefield, making it impossible for the glabrezu to reach him much of the time and thus avoided taking too many full attacks from it. Last week's rolls were an anomaly, and my previous prediction that Improved Critical merely means he will never roll a 19 on attack rolls again was proved right yesterday - not a single critical threat all evening.

Extra session on Monday since we have way too many a few public holidays in Norway.

On his third attempt at investigating the pyramid Ranyar is slightly stronger (+1 level) and manages to penetrate somewhat deeper. He runs across one of the shadow demons, who screams a warning to his fellows. The shadow demon is a tough cookie, with DR and fire resistance and a s@!~-ton of bad rolls messing things up for poor Ranyar. He spent five rounds hitting on only a single attack per round, which gave the glabrezu and remaining vrocks time to buff before teleporting in. This time Ranyar is a bit more clever with his running around the Sphinx, cleverly positioning himself to prevent the glabrezu from getting full attacks. Even so he is reduced to near single digit hit points on two occasions. Fortunately for him, he has pulled the combat towards the east side of the sphinx and gotten the attention of the surviving Forgotten Pharaoh cultists and their allies. He uses the ensuing battle to escape and listen to the two kill each other. Once both sides are engaged properly and weakened, he steps in and cleans up the rest. For the first time since he got here, quiet reigns in the sphinx and in his mind. While he heals up and takes a breather he has time to investigate the nagging feeling in the Mask. It has been pulling toward something here for a while but he has been to focused on other things to investigate it. He correctly assumes the part of Hakotep's soul trapped in the mask is trying to find another part of him but cannot determine the exact direction. As it turns out, he doesn't need to. Following his usual pattern of Always Go Left in a structure he quickly bypasses the rest of the SS and finds his way to the chamber of the Forgotten Pharaoh. Thmei and the last few disciples have gathered here, the two surviving manscorpions having thrown down their arms and run.

Combat is what you would expect: guns and flight vs non flight. FP and Thmei toss so many spells at Ranyar it's embarrassing for them that he saved them all. Embarrassingly, I had forgotten that the FP had Fly, which he should have cast from the start to send the melee folks up to Ranyar. I excused myself by claiming it was intentional because he felt no one could withstand such a barrage of spells unharmed. Making slightly up for generally poor attack rolls this session, Ranyar failed exactly one save out of dozens - a Stunning Fist which made him drop his guns. The disciples quickly snatched them up and Ranyar despairs at having to win the rest of battle on spells only. He is gently reminded he has a sword and Greater Feint and a lot of Sneak Attack. With this he quickly dispatches the rest of the enemies. The main damage came from Scorching Ray, which was pretty successful. The monks used their patented Flurry of Misses to deal only a little damage, hitting on basically one attack each round if lucky.

With the FP taken out and all the interesting enemies dead, I rule he clears the rest in a cut-scene since the chances of him taking significant damage are so minimal and we've already spent three sessions on this place.

Ranyar did take the Forgotten Pharaoh alive, correctly guessing she was possessed rather than Hakotep returned, and tried to figure out how to save her. Despite me hinting strongly at some variant of Trap the Soul, he finds Exorcise (updated from 1e). This works but sets the ib free to rejoin the rest of Hakotep's corporeal and spiritual remnants. Had he used Trap the Soul to keep the ib bound, the quest would have ended here in success and Ranya would be an Immortal now. Ah well. A few more weeks of this should be doable.

In any case, he loots the Sphinx and finds a Greater Restoration for the poor host (whose name I have forgotten and would change to something more Ylari in any case). He returns the hapless woman to her family and is celebrated as a hero and given a feast and many gifts and proclaimed as a treasured friend of the family and promised eternal friendship for him and his kin. Thge poor woman remembers very little of her time as the Forgotten Pharaoh, images and impulses mostly, and even less of her time exploring the desert and finding the ruin where the Heart was kept - the Spell of Oblivion working its magic, Ranyar surmises.

Rescue and return done, Ranyar returns to the Sphinx and interrogates Chisisek's remains before returning them to Tetsiurah.

Last Wednesday we fist had visitors from abroad, which lasted until early evening, and the rest of the session was spent leveling Ranyar to 13th - a little harder to do now because he technically only reached 12th in three of his classes. I could have been a dick and said he will only advance as a cleric from now on, but that didn't seem particularly fun. Ranyar also thought to himself "Hmm, I've had 5th level spells a while now, I wonder if I can visit my demiplane?" So he tried and was gratified to find he could. There he found all his old gear neatly spread out on the floor of his mansion with a small ceramic bowl in front of each item. He quickly deduced this is basically a vending machine where he can pay to regain his old gear. He is happily reunited with his Otherworldly Kimono and Belt of Physical Perfection +6, but this drains him of funds. Yes, technically this is requiring him to pay twice for things but I felt there had to be limits to what sort of stuff he just gets to have. All this was so we could get right into the action this session; guess what didn't happen! Go on, guess.

Once we got through some spell choices and what not (inluding Deadman's Contingency and Teleport Object to a friendly church being now a staple part of his prepared spells), the session proper began.

Then comes the bit where I drop the ball. I had thought about the introduction of the Isatemkhebet and the Five-Pointed Sun and felt it didn't quite make sense. Surely if Hakotep wanted to capture the PCs quickly he would go where they were last seen, the Sightless Sphinx. He would probably also want to take possession of Chicisek's corpse to prevent questioning (or further questioning if he can't recover it before the PCs get it). Going to Wati seems silly because it's quite far away in this version of the game and Hakotep wouldn't assume the PC would go back there. His best bet now is to awaken his generals and get them to just scour the lands of present-day Ylarum and find the PCs that way rather than send them to a dust-hole in a distant colony that Ranyar was spotted in once. Not to mention if a giant flying pyramid starts attacking an Alphatian province, it won't take long before Alphatia responds, and the Five-Pointed Sun doesn't have the strength to stand up against that. Sure, it might take a couple of weeks before they get their act together where the undead Nithians could run rampant over a backwater province, but Hakotep, though powerful and slightly megalomanic, is clever enough to realize he should act a bit cautiously at first until he can marshall his strength properly and find out who the major players are in this accursed later age. I had changed around a few minor details about Hakotep, Chisisek and the Pyramids and the Slave Trenches. For instance Pyramid Power (yes, it is called that) is an established fact of Nithian life to power great flying machines of war so they didn't need to steal flying tech from another city.

All this is to say that I got a bit sidetracked when handling the Speak With Dead questions Ranyar posed and ended up not giving him the useful information about the Slave Trenches. Part of this was that he kept a line of questioning assuming that this was a tomb stuck in one place and ignoring for a bit the presented facts that Hakotep's pyramid was a seat of power and could fly. Some of this was the assumption in the AP that the PCs would naturally ask the right questions. Most of it of it was me not following the implicit guidelines properly and having Chisisek just spew all sorts of information at the drop of a hat.

I had originally intended to just skip the 5-P Sun and have someone like Tetsiurah give him a hint in the direction of the Slave Trenches, but it ended up being a good way to bring some action to an otherwise frustrating start to the session. The flying pyramid came down quickly and quietly and Ranyar decides to investigate. He sneaks in, manages to pull the Voices of the Sun and despite taking some damage defeats them handily - it seems we had made some errors when calculating attack bonuses for TWF guns and Ranyar's attack bonuses should have been four better than we had been assuming. This, plus Debilitating Injury and Ranyar's new revelation that he is pretty good at dealing damage even without his guns means his damage output is suddenly significantly improved. It also helps that he rolled more crits this session than all others so far combined.

He clears three levels of the 5PS, handily avoiding the worst encounter - the Mural of Opposition, which might easily have spelled doom for the intrepid dwarf - and ignores all other traps and kills the mummified gorgon before it could act. We call it a night just as he enters the last level.

Ranyar clears the last level of the Five Point Sun, killing the mummy-general Isatemkhebet (sp?) before she can do anything of note. She tried to get him to submit but he aces the saving throw, then she wastes an action trying to summon the gorgon Ranyar killed just a few minutes previously, and finally she's blown away with a nice collection of hits with some crits. The rest of the encounter deals a good 200 points of damage to our hero but poor attack rolls on my part and at least one crit a round on Ranyar's along with some good positioning meant he was not in a lot of danger.

He decides to leave the power source of the 5PS alone and easily identifies the scrivener wall, since Othariel has a portable version she uses to keep tabs on her kingdom when she's out adventuring. I had written out the visible conversation between Hakotep and Isatemkhebet to give to Ranya's player, and it included a host of derogatory epithets for the dwarf, including 'worm', 'hairy fly dropping', 'dung eater' and (the one I am particularly proud of) 'epitome of inadequacy'. He is predictably offended.
Now Ranyar does something which I really should have seen coming. Using his knowledge of ancient Nithian granted to him by the Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh, he writes on the wall. "O pharaoh, I have defeated the filthy dwarf and taken him prisoner as you have commanded, but he damaged to power source of the pyramid and it will not fly. How shall I deliver him to you?"
"Fool! Imbecile! How could he cripple such a valuable asset? Remain where you are and I will come to you!" , comes the reply.

I ruled that Ranyar had to use Linguistics since this was not in person and the bluff would be entirely linguistic, so more of a forgery than anything else. Linguistics was not one of the many skills Ranyar learned during his lives, thinking it vital to max Bluff, Diplomacy and Sense Motive each time. Sadly Hakotep doesn't have Linguistics either and fails to see through the bluff and so in his eagerness will come in blindly without the rest of his generals.

One thing that many APs, including this one, struggle with is they assume the PCs will follow a very specific path and not jump off on some in retrospct obvious detour or short cut. Sure, I could have ruled that Hakotep just doesn't trust the response and will stay hidden, but that doesn't really make sense. Hakotep is very vain and assured of his own power, so he doesn't think Ranyar is that dangerous in a straight-up fight. He also isn't trapped, like the original. He has been recovering his generals and their armies and is busy preparing for a full-on invasion. Second, he thinks all modern living beings in the former Nithian empire (i.e. Ylarum and its neighbors) are very inadequate in their skills and performance, and trusts to the undead minions of his day. So what if the Forgotten Pharaoh and her tiny cult failed? They were weak living beings, but his personal troops are stronger and can easily overwhelm the troublesome dwarf. He is very inclined to believe that it really is Isatemkhebet on the other end of the Scrivener's Wall.
Third, he REALLY wants his ka back, and is inclined to believe anything that will return it to him quickly. Not, as the AP originally has it, to become reborn so he can escape (he built his pyramid as a mobile command fortress, not a sepulcher, and loyal subjects made off with his remains and went aloft when a suprise group of adventurers tried to re-kill him) but because he doesn't want a part of his soul at the mercy of someone else. He's undead and a proud follower of Thanatos so he has no use for life, but an entreprising wizard or cleric might find some way of weaponizing it against him. So he assumes his aunty-general did what he told her to do and is hurrying to remove a potential weakness of his and punish the dwarf who dared sully his soul.

Ranyar has now bypassed the whole Slave Trenches bit and jumped straight to book 6 and is still only 13th level. We use the rest of the session to level to 14th.

Ranyar waits for Hakotep's pyramid to come down. It comes out of the morning sun, silent and deadly, shining bright and only the barest breeze of displaced air to accompany the shadow it casts across the sightless Sphinx and Five-Point Sun as it lands. Ranyar hides in the 5PS.

I had wondered how he would do this. Had he used some illusions, disguises and his prodigious bluff and acting skills, he could likely have made it quite far into the pyramid, perhaps all the way to Hakotep, without firing a shot. This was what I expected him to do, based on basically all of the player's previous actions. As it was he just waited. After some 15 minutes Ain-Mekh's illusion appears and in a thundering voice demands that general Isatemkhebet presents herself and the Mask. A few minutes later with Ranyar still hiding, she repeats the demand. When nothing appears, Ain-Mekh disappears.

Hakotep is now aware that his general failed and Ranyar is there. Still, he is closer to his mask than before and wants to lure Ranyar in. He deems that opening the doors will be too obvious a trap, so he leaves his pyramid locked to see how Ranyar will proceed and hopefully drain him of some resources before Hakotep's minions gang up on the blasted dwarf. The scorpions deal a little damage but TWF guns with full sneak attack deals a lot of damage and the dwarf proceeds.

Getting into the pyramid turns out to be tricky. I didn't want to use the various patron fiends as presented in the AP because it wouldn't really make sense in Mystara and definitely not in line with what I have presented of Nithia so far, so I just changed it to be that calling on Thanatos would work. I thought I had done enough work building up Thanatos as the BBEG behind Hakotep's rise and Nithia's fall so when the doors all say "Call upon the One to whom the Pyramid is dedicated", Ranyar's first instinct would be to call on Thanatos. Instead he tried many various invocations to Hakotep.
He eventually got into the Water crypt by throwing water on the door, invisibility and flight meant he bypassed the mud elementals and didn't need the services of the off-brand marraenoloths. He ignores the room barred by the iron pillars, figures out the statue puzzle, and after getting a surprise hit on the fish div, takes a crit that halves his hit points. A full round of blasting doesn't quite finish off the nasty and Ranyar would have died on the second round of combat had I not realized last second that I had already factored in the div's rage bonus to attacks and damage when I wrote down the stats and was adding them again in my head when attacking now. This meant one less hit and some less damage all around, which was enough to keep Ranyar on single digits. On his second round he managed to kill the div very dead and healed up. He investigates the rest of the water crypt but doesn't release the banshee and her attendants, then he triggers the false pyramid trap, then he goes and destroys the real pyramid.

All the while Hakotep's minions are scryed on. Hakotep cannot directly scry on Ranyar but he can see the results of his minions' actions and infer a lot of things from that. The control pyramids are that - control pyramids. Nithia, unlike Osirion, didn't need to steal flying artifacts from other cultures, and all the flying pyramids of Hakotep's generals are self-powered. The elemental pyramids in Hakotep's pyramid are master control devices that allow Hakotep and his most trusted minions to assume direct control over the pyramids in the case of a general's death or defiance. So now Ranyar has unwittingly allowed a bunch of powerful undead to have complete control over their flying pyramid-warships. If/when Hakotep is defeated, Ylarum and northern Thyatis may have some trouble with undead warlords fighting over who gets to be the next pharaoh and rebuild their ancient glory. That's a problem for other adventurers, however.

After doing more stuff at the entrances to the other crypts, like throwing lots of sand on the Earth door or a torch at the Fire door, I spell it out that a) the pyramid isn't a burial place but a command fortress, b) Hakotep isn't interred here, c) The text says 'dedicated to', d) Hakotep was a devout follower of which Immortal...?

One of my major failings as a GM is the problem that hints and clues that I think very naturally should lead to certain conclusions often get missed, forgotten or ignored by players. I should know by now to spell things out in detail and repeat myself because the players don't spend as much time thinking about the game as I do and can't really be expected to read my mind. Still, Ranyar managed to open the door to the Earth crypt and got past the first hidden door and got swamped by the scarab swarms. Thank goodness for the Wand of Korolam (old school item that is basically staff with 50 charges, CL 20 and a ton of useful spells like plenty of evocation), which meant he could blast them. Ranyar has been very lucky with his saves so far. It helps that he can basically only fail on a 1 but even so most of his 1s have been reserved for attack rolls. The only recent exception to these low save DCS was the div's poison which because of multiple hits eventually got to a DC of 31, meaning Ranyar needed a 5+ to pass, and he actually failed one!

That was it for the evening. Perhaps we can finish this next time now that Ranyar knows how to enter the crypts. Here's hoping. Stay tuned, my one reader.

Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

Perhaps we can finish this next time

I don't know why I said this; this will never happen. At least two session, probably three. Maybe four.

Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

Perhaps we can finish this next time

I don't know why I said this; this will never happen. At least two sessions, probably three. Maybe four.

The Earth crypt went swimmingly, inappropriately enough. The hamatulas would have done significant damage with their Scorching Rays but Ranyar had the Ring of Elemental Shroud (fire) which kept him hale and mostly hearty. The time loop didn't puzzle him because he's already time traveled a bit and experienced such things before (though he did wonder at the purpose of said loop).

After killing the handmaiden devil he leveled to 15th and decided to rest. Fortunately his new Rogue's Edge was Perception and he heard the incoming enemies a mile off. All the remaining enemies that could fit in the small tunnels in the Earth Crypt - bar Hakotep, his queen and their general - came after him. They piled in and started filling him with arrows. Stormbolts and quickened channel killed everything but the nosferatu and ecorche (I flubbed EVERY SINGLE SAVE for the enemies), and the nosferatu had no way of reaching a flying enemy and ran away, leaving Ain-Mekh to die to gunfire. Ranyar looks at his mostly full spell list (primarily missing a couple of Heals and a Protection from Energy and Resist Energy) and reconsiders the need to sleep. By all means, those would be nice to have but he doesn't feel it safe to sleep here, and he doesn't want to risk the pyramid leaving if he goes somewhere else. He presses on.

The Fire crypt was now mostly empty so Ranyar just flew in, auto-noticed and disabled the traps, and destroyed the control pyramid, looked a bit around but didn't bother to mess with the rest of the place and flew out.

The Air crypt was handled fairly easily. The Thunderbirds were still there and did enough damage with their rays to hurt Ranyar, but they couldn't take it as well as they could dish out. The sphinx and lightning elementals hurt Ranyar some more but ultimately Ranyar prevails. The shaft below to the innery sanctum is now open and Ranyar pauses for a moment before heading down

Probably last session next Wednesday.

We played today instead of Wednesday, which was good because the last fight took its sweet time.

Ranyar was suddenly 17th level (because the gods, i.e. the GM, realized he should probably be that instead of 15th) headed down the shaft in the Air Crypt and quickly went through the central power center (no ghost here because no need to steal aeroflot infantilisms from other cultures) and finds his way through the teleportation column. The Dark Plasma Ooze eats a Destruction and Cold Ice Strike to the face ('facing'?) and runs away instead of trying to attack. The rest of the Sanctum is empty, though Ranyar shudders at the black-green stone statues of ienffable and cosmic-horrory monsters in Nefruset's area.

The final battle had Hakotep, Nefruset, the nosferatu general, the chariot general, the hollow serpent, the bonepoweder ghoul and his witchfires and the neshmaals, making it a ca. CR 23 encounter, though with the action economy disparity and amount of touch attacks it should probably be a notch or two higher.

Ranyar was woefully underbuffed but started off with his newly regained Conflagration, a favorite of Ranya's Sadly, he rolled poorly and failed to injure any of the major players who were all buffed with Spell Resistance from Nefruset. She had also buffed everyone with Protection from Fire and Resist Fire.

A long, drawn out combat of attrition followed. The second Conflagration got through but Ranyar was taking lots of damage - good saves only help so much against Fort partial damage). Eating five Boneshatters to the face at once followed by Horrid Wilting was the worst single round had (75d6+16d8 points of damage), but he just managed to stay alive and heal up.

Slowly but surely, with lots of teleporting around and flying out of range, Ranyar whittled down the enemy until only Hakotep was left. He grew angrier and angrier as the fight progressed and Ranyar was running out of healing, having used Mass Heal, three Heals, a bunch of quickened channels, three Teleports, three Named Bullets, two Conflagrations and more. Death Ward was king against the neshmaals and hollow serpent.

Long story short, Ranyar brought down the undead pharaoh, planted the mask on Hakotep, brought him back to life and killed him for good.

Standing over the corpse of the dead pharaoh, Ranyar pauses to catch his breath. The Mask he had worn for what seemed like a long time now looked empty, almost dead. No surprise since Hakotep's ka was now gone, leaving it a valuable but entirely mundane object. Ranyar had never been tested this sorely in all his lives. He had faced worse than Hakotep but always with his friends at his side, their strength and teamwork overcoming the most dire of circumstances. When he had died before - and that had happened on occasion - he could trust Othariel, Arlynith or Tomokato to bring their friend back to life. This time, and it had been very close. Only his lifetimes of skills, experience and an almost supernatural understanding of the little secrets of the world allowed him to win against these undead monstrosities and their Outsider aid.

Ranyar sat down to get his breath back and closed his eyes. When he opened them again he saw Her. Valerias. His patron, his god. Though Ranyar had met with Valerias on several occasions already, making him the only living priest of Valerias to have that honor, She had always come to him in some guise. This time She showed Herself in all Her glory to Ranyar. Instinctively, Ranyar fell to his knees and averted his eyes.
"Oh, Ranya, still up to this whole 'I'm not worthy' thing?", She said teasingly.
"Um, yes."
Ranyar looked down and saw he was still a dwarf. Something had to be done about that. He changed himself back to Ranya, getting a flash of pure joy at the now hairless face and regained breasts. Ranya then looked at her clothes and even with her Otherworldly Kimono on, an item which was beautiful enough to shame no one on the planet in its opulence, she felt insufficiently fabulous in the presence of Valerias.
She changed that too, to the most exquisite outfit she could imagine.

"Rise, Ranya. Look at Me."
Ranya obeyed. Valerias was dazzling in a way mere human senses couldn't properly perceive.
"You are now an Immortal. How does it feel?"
Ranya thought about it. "Mostly the same as when I was human. Or a dwarf, I guess. I still feel utterly insignificant compare to You, my Lady."
Valerias tutted. "I am no longer Your master, Ranya.You are not My equal, but You are no longer beholden to Me."
Ranya frowned. "I know this was what I was aiming for but it feels very weird, somewhat sad, not to be Your priest anymore."
"We can still work together. In fact, I hope we will. You are young and there is much You must learn. I hope you will accept some guidance. The Multiverse is bigger, more complicated and scarier than You have imagined so far."
Ranya, still unable to avoid acting shy and sexy whenever the opportunity arises, tries to look young and innocent. "Please teach Me, Lady Valerias."
"You know I can see through your act, right? Don't worry, My dear. For quite some time now You will always seem young and innocent to the rest of us Immortals."

Thanks for reading.

Hooray! Thanks for posting!

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