As per usual, the party went to the priest’s lottery and got their latest assignment. Today it was believed to be a temple of Nethys. The group headed out, and as they passed through the necropolis on the way to the temple, things were quiet…almost too quiet. They were soon ambushed by a group of Wati street thugs from atop the surrounding ruins.
Two threw nets over Tamarie and Tekkit, and four others opened fire with bows. Gruff ran across the street toward a building with two of the thugs. Gruff began to climb the wall, and a thug shot him with an arrow. Gruff pulled it out and yelled “Let’s see how ye like it when I slay ye with yer own arrow, ye wee booger!”.
True to his word, Gruff climbed up and stabbed the archer to death with his own arrow as his buddy fled into the streets. Gruff wounded him with a parting crossbow shot to the left ass cheek.
Meanwhile, Tamarie cut herself free from the net with a dagger and was then hit with a tanglefoot bag, forcing her to began slicing herself free again. Tekkit cut most of his net away and then Rowe finished the job before running up some stairs after the nearby net thug. Just before the paladin could reach his target, Tekkit’s bow-shots brought him down along with the other net thug across the street. Rowe jumped off the building, face-planting next to Tamarie, who he freed. Gruff and Rowe began closing in on the remaining two thugs, and they surrendered.
The gang members begged for their lives, offering what gear they had in exchange, as well as information. The thugs reveal they were specifically hired to ambush anyone approaching “some old temple down the way” and stop interlopers from entering the site, but they don’t know why, and frankly, they don’t care. They don’t know the name of the person who hired them, but they can describe her, a woman in a big purple hat with a big white feather and bosomy. The party spared them and took their gear. Tamarie demanded they cry and give up their pants. The thugs ran off into the necropolis and the party moved on quite confident in who has hired these spoos.
The party reached the temple, and entered. Once inside, 6 recently created undead jackals charged out to be quickly slain. Gruff took two of the skulls to make a jaunty mask for himself.
Tekkit inspected the ground and found that the sand had recent footprints of a group of at least four people that had passed through within the last 24 hours. Furthermore, it was noted that the temple is in remarkably pristine shape and so was everything that was bolted to the floor or walls—everything else, the door, hung art, etc. shows the ravages of time.
Tamarie scouted ahead through some nearby rooms. She didn’t want to open a certain door, so Gruff did it. On the inside he found a granary dome. The dwarf put his ear against it to listen, and a hand lashed out, slamming his head down into the granary.
The party engaged the creature as it faded in and out of the temple structure while demanding they get out in ancient Orisani. When they wounded it too badly it retreated. Next was a room containing a pair of acolytes crying out “Look what has happened here! Help us!” in ancient Orisani. They stank of eeeviill and decay however, and the party wasn’t really fooled by their daytime illusions. Death to the undead ensued.
The party moved on through an arch into what seemed like the main chamber, a massive cathedral-esque hall ending in a black tiled floor with a statue of Nethys. A pool glowed with magic in the center and after various scans Tamarie, a follower of Nethys, tried drinking it, and gained a boost to her spellcasting powers. Tekkit refused to drink, since it devoted to Nethys and he was a worshiper of Pharasma.
The party began to leave, when a spectral hand approached and touched Rowe, cursing him. The party chased after the hand and behind the statue of Nethys the party found Shargah Katun.
The extremely irritating faceless monster fought for a moment before teleporting away. The group ran into a nearby library looking for it and found a secret door. Tamarie opened the door and a flying scroll leapt out, wrapping around her face.
Eventually the party wrestled it off her and struck it down, heroically defeating a piece of paper. Inside the hidden room was various valuable scrolls and historical documents, including an interesting tablet from Pharaoh Djederet II, the leader who founded Wati 6000+ years ago.
As they read, two doru divs appeared in the room along with a spectral hand.
The party fought through them. Tamarie kept it to herself, but the same voice that spoke to her in the mansion whispered taunts in her ear. Shargah reappeared, and cursed the entire party as he dimension doored around the room. Finally, his irritating rampage ended when he attempted a cursing glare against Gruff and got his head caved in.
The cursed party limped in stops and starts of action and inaction back to town to get the various curses removed.
Nobody coming up with better ideas, Tekkit excuses himself from the rest of the group at the Church entrance and tracks down one of the Elders. Being familiar with the Church, and Inquisitors receiving a bonus to Tracking, this task is completed in a manner with proptness that is satisfactory to Tekkit, but annoying to the Elder who was hastily trying to come up with something better to do than address whatever concerns the uneducated brute might have this time.
“Tekatt, have you come once again to advise the Elders on how to best use their resources to garner knowledge from the Necropolis when your own efforts were lacking? Or do you not even have simple rubbings for us today? Speaking of which, it is still ‘today’; surely you have not fully examined your most recent assignment.”
Tekkit looks at the floor, a movement that seems to take him twice as long as normal. "Some urchins stopped us from seeing to our important tasks as quickly as we wanted. While we were able to dispatch them, doing so was no small effort. When we did get to our site, we were attacked with magics that prevented us from doing much else. We came here is hopes that the Church could remove the curses that affect us so we can get back to the Necropolis.
‘Important work being impaired by Urhcins’, oh how I know what that is like. Leaving his inner musings, the Elder addresses Tekkit. “While I might be inclined to simply help out your group of… people, such decisions require a panel and one cannot be called any time soon. I’m so terribly sorry, but you and your group will have to pay full cost for those services much like everyone else.” Upon seeing a questioning look on Tekkit’s face, the Elder corrects himself, “You, as a tithing member of the church, get your usual discount. But I believe the books show that your tithing has been a bit lax. The cost to get your tithing straight is probably more than the discount you would otherwise receive. Just pay full price and I’ll convince the scribes to show that you are in the Church’s good graces.”
“Y…yes, Elder, I shall do so. Much of the problem that we had was against magical being and objects. Perhaps the Church would be so kind as to assist me and my party in procuring magical weapons, even on a short-term basis, to aid in our tasks…”
“Tekatt, you really do seem to think of this Church as your servant. We are not some street guild waiting to make loans to you. Our relics are for study by learned members of the Church. We do not make a habit of giving, or even loaning, our precious items to treasure seekers. No, you are not above anyone else; if you need items enhanced in the future, you will provide those items and the required compensation to perform the task. Maybe I’ll have to get the scribes to take a closer look at your tithing to see where else you have taken liberties.
“Now, I’m sure it never crossed your mind, but there must be a reason that street thugs would be in the Necropolis now trying to get in your way. It is bad enough that the government is allowing people like you to violate the sacred area. Tell me all that you know of them while I have some of the newly ordained clerics see to your group’s ills. It will be good for those children to get their hands dirty and deal with the populace.”