Mummy's Mask

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall

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The party known by 15076×2-30152×1=имя found a hidden door and solved the necessary puzzle to open it. Inside they saw a mummified dire crocodile. Decent preparation meant that the beast was immediately slain. The final blow went to Yimir. In the next room a half-fiend divine guardian gynosphinx named Areshkhesbed was also met in battle and slain by Tekkit.

After they finished, a sentient, Lawful Good dodo bird named Tev showed up suddenly and became Rowe’s familiar.

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Finally done with the Sightless Sphinx, the party used a magical device inside to teleport back to Tephu. They brought with them heaps of treasure and in Rowe’s case, a heap of corpses.

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The party spoke to the remains of the architect who had built the Forgotten Pharaoh’s pyramid, Chisissek. Chisissek told the party that the Pharaoh had corrupted Chisissek’s Shory-based flying city designs and used the awesome flying pyramids for evil after killing him.

Chisissek told the Keine Namen Force they could bring down the Pharaoh’s pyramid by interfering with the elementals used to power it. The task had to be done in the correct order, which was based on the entire pantheon’s names. The party went shopping and Rowe paid to have all the maftet cultists the party killed resurrected and also Serethet. Serethet was grateful, and despite her nonfunctional powers, she promised to aid the party. Yimir and Gruff also had to leave the party on business of some sort. Fortunately, Grimm and his scorpion took up an active role again.

The general peace was soon interrupted. Sendings from Ptemeni, the priest the party met ages ago in Wati, said that Wati was under attack from a flying pyramid. (Not the one the party was hunting) A mummy general was threatening to destroy the city if the party was not offered up as a sacrifice. Flying undead and bombardments had already begun. The party didn’t much care for the insult and teleported over to Wati with Serethet.

The party arrived to find themselves in the chaos of Wati, the unluckiest city since Tokyo.

Since her powers were nonfunctional, the party left Serethet (and Tev) behind to help out were they could on the ground as they flew invisibly up to the flying fortress.

Four undead harpies stood guard at a landing platform. The party chased them back into the structure. Rowe was caught in an acid trap, but Tekkit quickly finished off the escaping monsters and Rowe’s acid resistance stopped any damage.

The party found a dubious hidden map. It said the correct way to the group’s destination was to the right, and a deathtrap was to the left. The party made a rubbing of the map and then went to the right. They were almost dropped into a pit trap connected to a door. Not finding anything useful, the party went left. A key found on one of the harpies was used on a portal. It opened up to another hall. The party moved in and Rowe was dropped in a tarpit. With Grimm’s magic flight, Rowe escaped. A black pudding jumped in, and was promptly encased by Grimm’s mud spell. Tekkit then finished off the festering ooze.

The next room was very unusual. A massive stained glass display depicted various animals standing at attention. Grimm sent in a T.rex to scout out the room. Fortunately, the beast was dismissed in time when the party realized that the glass was surrounding a variant Mirror of Opposition that had targeted Grimm. An evil twin would soon emerge and begin hunting Grimm to murder him and steal his life

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Since the party had the advantage of forewarning, they waited just out of range and smacked the clone down as soon as it emerged. Grimm was slightly disturbed by the experience.

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Wrapping up the dungeon

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On Serethet:

The young girl named Serethet always knew that her destiny lay in the priesthood of Nethys. A native of Sothis, she was a curious child with a quick intellect and a giftfor putting seemingly disparate pieces of information together. Her parents saved and scrimped in order to send her to a school in the city run by the priesthood, and there Serethet thrived.

When Serethet was 17, tragedy struck her family. Her mother died suddenly of a wasting disease and her father, in his grief, spent the family’s savings on an elaborate funeral for his deceased wife, leaving Serethet without the funds for her final year at seminary school. A friend in her class recommended that Serethet sign up for an expeditionary year-a sort of internship where insteadof learning in a classroom, she could pay her tuition by serving on an archaeological dig for the church of Nethys. Desperate to stay in school, Serethet signed up for the expedition, though she was never an overly athletic individual.

Serethet proved to be an asset on the expedition, and her knowledge and intuition were a great help to its leaders. She made several valuable discoveries as the team excavated an ancient ruin in the Osirian desert, including uncovering a stone scarab engraved with arcane formulas developed by a researcher over 3,000 years in the past. Powerful emotions stirred within Serethet at the sight of the piece of Ancient Osirian history resting in her hands, of the knowledge that could have been lost forever now brought to light. She took her vows and entered the priesthood immediately upon returning to school.

Serethet rose quickly in the ranks of the priesthood. The expedition had awakened afire within her, a passion to merge exploration and action with academia. She embarked on anumber of expeditions over the next 10 years and made several important archaeological and historical discoveries, though it was the discoveries themselves that fascinated her, and she never sought fame or recognition for her work.

In retrospect, it seems inevitable that Serethet’s curiosity would lead her into danger. Her years ofexperience lent the priest a confidence in her own abilities that sometimes led her to make wreckless decisions. When Serethet first descended into the record rooms below Azghaad’s Spire, she moved slowly, checking for forgotten traps and wards and examining items thoroughly before disturbing them. As she progressed without incident, however, Serethet grew bolder and failed to take every precaution she could. When she saw the heart of Hakotep, wonder and curiosity overwhelmed her.

Without thinking, she picked up the relic and was instantly lost, possessed by a fragment of the soul of the Sky Pharaoh Hakotep I. Serethet’s consciousness was replaced with that of Hakotep’s-or more accurately, with his ib, the embodiment of his emotions, thoughts, will, and intent. Serethet became the Forgotten Pharaoh-neither Serethet nor Hakotep, but a confused amalgam of the priestess’s memories and knowledge with the pharaoh’s thoughts and desires. The Forgotten Pharaoh is clear on what she wants to do and why (find the Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh and reunite the scattered fragments of Hakotep’s soul so the Sky Pharaoh can return to life) but that knowledge is overlaid with confusing memories and misguided motivations. Sometimes she thought of herself as Serethet, assisting a powerful force in her mind, and sometimes as Hakotep, making use of the vessel he now inhabits.

In general, the Forgotten Pharaoh thought of herself as the woman Serethet, but she could quickly change to Hakotep, especially in times of stress.

Serethet’s true self is all but lost, replaced by Hakotep’s ib, and the only way to separate Hakotep from Serethet is through death. However, if Serethet’s body is brought to theSanctuary of Nethys in Tephu or the Temple of the All- Seeing Eye in Sothis, the priests there can begin research on bringing the cleric back to life.

A simple raise dead spell cannot restore Serethet’s shattered soul, but a complex religious ritual culminating in a resurrection might be successful. If the PCs are interested in helping, the priests of Nethys might ask them to seek out specialized arcane reagents or a powerful magic item to be used in the ritual.

If Serethet is returned to life, she is grateful to the PCs for helping to free her from Hakotep’s influence. However, her actions have left her bereft of her connection to her god, and she remains an ex- cleric. A quest of atonement, likely involving the recovery of ancient knowledge from a dangerous area, is required for Serethet to regain her clerical abilities. She may turn to the PCs for help in this endeavor as well, and might even ask to join the PCs on their excursion into Hakotep’s pyramid to regain her status and seek her own vengeance on the Sky Pharaoh.

Back in the present, the party left to clear out the rest of the sphinx as they had promised Erayu (the Morgan Freeman looking winged guy at the nearby camp whose nephew had gone crazy and was leading a band of cultist in the sphinx).

Assuming that the party would have proceeded down the nearest unexplored hallway they soon bash their way through an obvious roadblock of quickly laid/shaped stone (dwarven nuts tingle).

As soon as they pass through the newly opened hallway, Gruff’s nuts tingle again and he quickly discovers a secret door into a chamber that is 50’ high and has viewing slits into the adjacent room. Assuming they look in and perceive and then open the other secret door entering the chamber you see an ancient grand temple. “Dust and fine sand cover the floor of this grand hall , as if decades, maybe even centuries, had passed since any living creature set foot here. Sconces carved into the stone walls hold the withered stems of ancient torches, their blackened heads coldand crumbling.

Here and there, yellow bones molder among the drifts of sand. At the far end of the hall , a narrow staircase leads up to a raised platform. The front of the platform displays hideous images of lion-headed figures, ferocious sphinxes, and horned demons tearing screaming mortals apart. A white stone statue of a faceless demonic sphinx with six legs glares down from atop the dais.

The sphinx’s wide dragon wings spread to either side, forming two flat altars stained with the blood of countless sacrifices. On the curved wall behind the sphinx, the fragmented remains of thirteen humanoid skeletons have been pinned upside-down against the wall with rusty metal spikes. A tarnished oval mirror hangs flat against the wall above the middle skeleton.”

Upon entering the room, four angry advanced spectres swarm Sir Rowe and viciously attempt to slay him and make him, in turn, a spectre, but knowing you guys, you hand them their spectral asses quickly and move on.

The raised area of the temple with the dias is searched and treasure is found worth noting is a ceramic tile with the image of a coiled snake.

Moving south and left, the party met a spectral hermaphroditic paladin named Lady Sophronia.

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Sir Rowe successfully diplomacizes and the ghost is now friendly and through conversations you learn that during the battle between the Sarenites and the cultists of Areshkagal, a powerful paladin died in this room, slain by the glabrezu demon Ninureset. Lady Sophronia presented a shifting array of masculine and feminine qualities in daily life, but adopted a priestess’s raiments when performing holy duties to honor Sarenrae. She was a talented and well-respected warrior among the templars, and her death was greatly mourned. Since her death, Sophronia’s spirit has lingered in this area, wandering the empty halls of the Sightless Sphinx in search of the demon who killed her, but unable to find him.

Because of Rowe’s diplomacy, she chooses to ally with the group. Sophronia can offer little in the way of direct assistance to the PCs, as her movement is limited to the rooms in which she fought
and died, but if the PCs engage any evil creatures in those rooms, Sophronia can manifest and assist in the battle. She also knows much about demons and cults and can help the PCs with her Knowledge skills.

Lady Sophronia also volunteers her healing abilities to the PCs if needed, and offers to keep watch over the PCs while they rest, making this chamber a safe retreat in the otherwise dangerous Sightless Sphinx.
If the PCs inform Lady Sophronia that the cult of Areshkagal is on the rise once more, or that Ninureset is present inside the Sightless Sphinx, she flares in furious anger. Her apparition takes on a red tint and appears lit from behind as if by flames.

“My greatest fear has come to pass. This, then, is why I have remained here all this time. I always thought my talents would be needed again. The cult must not be allowed to rise. With your assistance,
perhaps I can make another strike against this nest of vipers corrupting the land.”

Although she cannot leave the area of her death to personally face Ninureset, Lady Sophronia offers to imbue one of the PCs’ weapons with divine power using her divine endowment ability.

Crossing the hall reveals: “A rich, earthy smell pervades the tendrils of steam that drift through the air in this room. The eastern wall of this long chamber is a sunken pit of reddish mud. Lazy currents ripple through the mud, with an occasional slow-forming bubble rising to the surface.

Three stone carvings protrude from the wall behind the mud pit at evenly spaced intervals above square recesses about the size of a human hand. Tiny hieroglyphs decorate each carving.”

As you enter the room, you are attacked by elder mud elementals, but quickly defeat them (especially with Lord Sophronia’s healing).

Gruff’s balls tingle and a secret panel in the floor is discovered, but no matter what is attempted it remains sealed. The smarter ones among you notice that “each of the carvings on the east wall displays the same hieroglyphs-prayers to the demon lord Areshkagal-but a successful DC 20 Perception check allows a PC to notice that one small hieroglyph is different on each carving. The left carving displays the hieroglyph for “four,” the center carving the hieroglyph for “two,” and the right carving has no hieroglyph at all in that space.”

Recovering the treasure and moving on to search the rooms reveals “Small rooms containing four bare wooden cots with legs carved to resemble lions’ paws. Above each cot, a niche cut in the wall serves as a shallow shelf, adorned with a carved figure of a snarling sphinx looking out into the room.”

Eventually, an advanced shadow demon named Sargota attempts to magic jar possess a player, but as an immediate interrupt, Sir Rowe succeeds at transferring any failed saves to himself and as he is empowered with protection of evil the domination automatically fails and battle ensues.

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Having legitimately failed (we rolled to see what would happen) to dominate you guys would quickly gain the upper hand and smite the evil bastard into oblivion. Lord Sophronia’s spirit would finally be at peace and as she fades away she leaves behind ghost touch armor and sword.

I will arbitrarily say that you clear rooms K19 and K20 before leaving the area. K19, just south of the mud elementals’ room, you find: “A round stone disk hovers two feet off of the sandy floor in the
center of this room. A golden glow radiates from beneath the disk, giving it the appearance of floating on a luminous cloud. The image of a snarling sphinx stretches its engraved wings across a stone door in the western wall. Beneath the sphinx’s outstretched wings, hordes of tiny, twisted demons are carved upon the door.

Both the floating disk and the stone door have moderate transmutation auras. The glow beneath the disk sheds dim light in the room. The door contains no handles or other visible mechanisms to open it and weighs over 1,600 pounds. If a living creature weighing at least 100 pounds stands on the floating disk, the door slides upward into the wall and reveals the chamber beyond.

When the creature steps off the platform, the door closes again. The only other way through the door is by breaking it or lifting it with brute force, which requires a minimum Strength score of 26.”

I’ll assume you guys figure it out or bash it down.

A round stone platform sits in the center of this room, its edge traced with graceful runes etched in silver. A bas-relief of a female head wearing a pharaoh’s headdress, its blank face emblazoned with a spiky rune, decorates the wall opposite the platform.

The lower third of each wall is inlaid with countless clear crystals, forming a rough and dazzling perimeter around the room. A stone door exits the room to the east. This chamber provided a means for the cultists of Areshkagal to teleport into or out of the Sightless Sphinx.

The platform here is exempt from the Sphinx’s protective wards that block extradimensional travel and has a strong conjuration aura. Anyone standing on the platform can use dimensional travel spells such as dimension door, teleport, and greater teleport normally.

Up to six Medium creatures or one Large creature can stand on the platform at once. The carving on the wall represents Areshkagal, as does the rune on the carving’s face.

The cultists used the bas-relief as a memory touchstone, allowing them to accurately picture this room
when teleporting in. The stone door to area K19 cannot be opened from this side. Cultists returning to the Sphinx using teleport had to do so at designated times, when another cultist would be available to stand on the floating disk in the antechamber to open the door.

The PCs can use this chamber to teleport out of the Sphinx and return to a city to resupply or heal,
but they must leave someone behind to open the door if they wish to come back via this route (they may of course destroy the door or find some other way around this limitation).

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A large clay statue of a cat-headed humanoid stands in the northeast corner of the room. Such variant clay golems, called panthereons, were popular guardians during Osirion’s First Age.

The original cultists of Areshkaga placed this panthereon here to guard against incursions into the sphinx via teleportation. The panthereon attacks any creature entering the room, whether through the door or the teleportation platform, unless the creature strongly presents an unholy symbol of Areshkagal The panthereon pursues intruders throughout the Sightless Sphinx, and fights until destroyed.”

Again, knowing you guys, it is probably destroyed in less then six seconds. Leaving the possibility to telport in and out of the sphinx now very easy.

Moving on: “A withered heap of wood and tattered cloth in the corner of this chamber is all that remains of a bed. Wooden frames hang on the walls, holding brittle and faded sheets of pa pyrus that seem on the verge of crumbling away.” Treasure is found.

Entering into the next room: “Remarkably well preserved wooden racks line the walls of this room, but the scrolls slotted into the racks have fared less well over the years. Most are little more than bundles of brittle papyrus barely held together by rotted ribbons. Here and there, however, an intact scroll or carved scroll case juts out from the smoothly curved racks. In the center of the room, warped and withered chairs surround a flat stone table.”
In this room you are attacked by a powerful oracle cultist named Thmei.

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She attempts to get the drop on you via invisibility, but between Tekkit regularly casting true seeing and detection of evil, she really doesn’t stand a chance and with her surprise round gone she could do some damage but isn’t as tough as what you have already faced. Therefore, I’ll count her as dead. There is some treasure which I have sent on to Michael, but of note is another ceramic tile marked with the image of an armored warrior.

You are now done with the eastern end of the sphinx and therefore I would assume make your way back over to where you stopped on the western edge. You pick up over in the octagonal room: “Four doors exit this octagonal room. A symbol is engraved in the wall above each doorway-a shield to the north, a skull to the east, an eye to the south, and a blank female face wearing a pharaoh’s headdress to the west.”

Sticking with tradition, you guys head to the left. You end up moving slowly and cautiously down the hallway: A golden glow emanates from the vaulted ceiling of this hall, giving the illusion of warm sunlight shining down. Low stone walls create a path through the center of the hall between ornate statues pl aced along the way. Carved from the same yellowish sandstone, the statues depict humanoid figures in regal dress, their expressions proud and haughty. Stone crowns and pharaonic headdresses sit upon their brows, and stone robes adorned with bits of jewelry that glitter in the light bedeck them.

On the southern side of the hall stands an immense statue of a golden scorpion that appears to have been crushed. The scorpion’s carapace has been cracked from some mighty blow, and its claws are twisted and shattered.

The walls that line the path are only 2-1/2 feet tall and provide cover, but they also impede progress; crossing one requires 2 squares of movement. The ceiling is 50 feet high in this chamber. The “sunlight” shining down from the ceiling is a permanent image that produces normal light in
this chamber.

The 23 statues in the room, one for each of Areshkagal’s riddles, depict influential priests of the demon lord’s cult. Close examination reveals something subtly wrong about each statue. For example, one figure’s eyes are oddly spaced, and the tip of a forked tail shows at the hem of another’s
robe. A few of the statues just seem subtly warped, with no such overt signs of wrongness.

The golden scorpion represents Areshkagal’s hated sister, the demon lord Aldinach. The statue is actually the gilded carapace of an immense black scorpion. Areshkagal’s
cultists placed the scorpion’s carcass here as a trophy in honor of Areshkagal and an insult toward Aldinach.”

In this room are another advanced shadow demon and several cultists. It could not bypass Rowe’s immediate interrupt and therefore no one could be possessed which would have made things interesting if I could have gotten Gruff. All that being said, you would dispatch it relatively quickly and move on. There is some treasure.

The ceiling of this vast hall arches upward to a height of almost fifty feet. The ceiling has been painted dark blue, and tiny lights twinkle in the darkness like countless stars. Near the center of the room, pillows overflow from a shallow pit. A polished bronze shield lies atop a round stone table rising from the center of the pit.

Beyond the pit, a white stone statue of a six-legged, faceless sphinx faces the room. On either side of the statue, long brass poles stretch from floor to ceiling.”

Here another mini-boss battle takes place but not anything rougher then you’ve already faced so you would dispatch them without too much difficulty.

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He’s nuts and no amount of talking and diplomacy will stop him and you’ll eventually have to put him down. After you wipe him and his group of maftet crazies out you collect various bits of treasure but of note are a chest with royal thriae larva and a ceramic tile depicting a roaring sphinx that was hidden elsewhere in the room.

Backtracking to the rest of the western portion of the sphinx reveals cultist maftets and vrocks for whom you are now overpowered and you quickly wipe them out. Treasure is recovered.

Pressing on, the last room of the sphinx proper. “A short corridor extends beyond the door, ending at a crackling sheet of lightning that blocks the end of the hallway. The smell of a summer storm fills the air, and the sizzling of the lightning makes normal conversation impossible near the barrier.”

If someone can cast dispel or use some of Grimm’s scrolls the lightening may be bypassed. Otherwise, it cannot and you’ll have to duck and doge and take some damage. Not too deadly. But, I’m glad you’re not using the ironman suit as it would be destroyed here and Grimm would be very sad.

Moving on to the final known room: “A wide square stone platform stands in the center of the room. Shal low stone steps lead up to the platform on each side of the square. A stone slab hangs from the ceiling on thick iron chains, mirroring the platform on the floor, but with a ball of green fire at each corner. Beyond, the massive stone head and shoulders of a sphinx protrude from the far wall. The carving st retches from floor to ceiling, and its face is a featureless mass of jagged edges and chipped stone. Life-sized carved images of kneeling supplicants on the walls ring the chamber, facing the sphinx.”

Entering the room, you see a pitiful looking little girl chained to the dais. She pleads with you for help….but….Tekkit with true seeing, sees a glabrezu.

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I’m quite sure battle ensues. It is in fact a Glabrezu demon and with smites and no surprise you guys will blow him up. Unless, of course, Tekkit doesn’t tell you and lets you foolishly agree to trade a wish for its freedom…yeah, anyway…he casts some annoying gravity spells to make you fall-up on spikes,etc. And then there is no treasure in here.

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Deaths and Returns

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Those Who Are Without All Nomenclature returned to town to rest. While they were there, Team Riddle happened upon a pair of adventurers who were eager to join them.

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They were Cog Tosh the human ranger and Yimir the human-dragon-orc-sorceror-flame oracle of Chaldria.

The group returned to the Sphinx. In the first room was a pair of unarmed scorpionmen relaxing in a pool. Some sort of dark shape was in the water with them.The party immediately convinced the surprised scorpions to go away peacefully, hoping they would simply leave. The party then looted the room and poked at the rock before moving on.

Next was a room with a pair of monks. As the party charged, Rathos the crocodile man attacked.

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Rathos let out a frightening shriek as a monk stunned Cog. The party rallied behind Gruff however and defeated him. So ended the tale of Rathos, who wished to be the mightiest warrior for a hundred miles and became a monster.

The next door was kicked down by Gruff, then kicked again by Rowe, and then kicked again by the dwarf and the angel knight simultaneously.

Rowe walked in to scout out the room and a horde of monks, giant scorpions, and scorpionmen charged out. 4 crossbow bolts bounced off Rowe. Yimir then revealed that he was cut from the same cloth as Tekkit as he blew away half the room in a pair firealls and left the rest for the party to clean up.

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Among the enemy dead were the two scorpionmen the party had spared earlier. The party then entered a room with shifting images of Sekmet on the walls. Gruff stepped in first and given a horrible curse for all of two seconds before Rowe lifted it. Some of the others fell to the curse and were cured in the same way. The curse seemed to be caused by images of Sekmet that the Forgotten Pharoah cult had defiled. In the next room was a banshee.

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The banshee burst out of a wall and screamed. Cog Tosh and Rowe dropped, but Yimir was able to save Rowe, unfortunately at the cost of Cog’s life. Gruff was made afraid as the banshee clawed at him. Rowe then crawled over and badly burned her ankle with Lay on Hands just before Tekkit finished her off.

The party then looted and rested before getting back to work. They also looked around the dungeon with scrying pools in Ratho’s room and moved on. Rowe brutally diplomacied the scorpion leader Rublia into submission before the group came across a massive scorpion. It was promptly annihilated by Tekkit.

The party then entered the semi-final chamber. Inside was Serethet, the unwilling host of the Forgotten Pharoah.

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The party charged. Yimir lit up the room in a torrent of fireballs as Rowe and Grim charged. Before the party could finish her off, Serethet launched a prismatic spray that badly hurt Tekkit and left Yimir a scorched statue. Rowe then struck her down.

As she died, Hakotep’s ib abandoned Serethet’s body. The masked cult leader fell silently to the ground, the life drained from her body. Her golden funerary mask tumbled from her face, revealing her ordinary human features frozen in an expression that’s equally defiant and terrified. From her open mouth slipped a glowing, ethereal winged heart that soars up toward the ceiling and passes through it, vanishing from sight.

Wearing the Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh, Tekkit felt a slight mental “tugging” as the winged heart soars away, as if something within the mask wants to join the heart in its flight.Rowe identified the spectral winged heart as an ib, a piece of the soul in ancient Osirian tradition. Embodied in the heart, the ib was considered an individual’s seat of emotion, thought, will, and intention. The No-Names then found the coffin of the Architect they were looking for as Grimm showed up out of breath just as the dust settled. “What’d I miss?” Grimm quickly turned Yimir back to flesh and healed him the rest of the way back to full. He then told the party that he was tired from his long trek through the cursed earth and that he was going to curl up in the pharoah’s sock drawer and take a long deserved nap.

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A Weird Door
The last song of Tamarie

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Heqet the zombie lord cast summon monster to call a babau. Fortunately, Tekkit shot that down. Another burrowing undead joined in the fight as well. The Nameless Ones began to regret their life choices as well placed blows failed to hurt Heqet. The zombie lord then cast Blasphemy. Only Gruff managed to resist the paralyzing blast, and Rowe absorbed twice the effect to save Tekkit. The resulting clash was one of the deadliest in the group’s career and Tamarie was killed in battle before Gruff could smite Heqet.

The party returned to the maftet camp after that. The riddling prisoner was taken away to cure his insanity (And there was much rejoicing) as Tamarie was revived. (Yay.) Tamarie felt shamed by her deaths and decided that if she died again that day she wasn’t coming back.

The party walked through a crypt and were attacked by bodaks.

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The first two posed a threat, but then the party learned their patterns and methodically exterminated them. Five insane maftet cultists attacked during this time. Rowe only managed to save one.

In the next room was a pair of Forgotten Pharoah cultists who spotted Tamarie scouting. And then a fight broke out. Rowe charged a cultist, who responded with a flurry of blows. Rowe then knocked the monk unconscious with his own unarmed strikes. The monk then burst into flames. As the party moved to finish off the other one, a squad of scorpionmen and giant scorpions flooded into the chamber.

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Shockingly, the monk managed to survive a shot from Tekkit, only to be killed by Gruff after Rowe took a Stunning Fist meant for the dwarf. Tamarie was badly wounded by scorpion venom, but managed to kill one as the group finished off the rest. The party then moved on into a fateful, yet meaningless chamber.

Tamarie went in first to do her usual routine of finding traps. This time however, it was no easily dodgable explosion, but a trigger that summoned three Hieracosphinxes.

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Before the party could finish them off, Tamarie was torn asunder. True to her word, she didn’t come back, leaving Tekkit all alone in the world. It was a sad day.

Tragically, the sphinxes had no loot. The next room held only a brief fight with some more monks and scorpions. The party was now behind the sealed and riddle-warded main door. They decided to break out in order to use the Iron Tam suit. Gruff took the first swing with Rowe’s flail, and narrowly managed to avoid a Weird death. Rowe is immune to the worst of the Weird however, and so took up bashing the door with the aid of some bolstering magic. Despite all the Weird, Rowe bashed the door down. Nothing Weird about that.

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Na na na na Iron Tam!
Sessions 17&18

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The blinding light of the birds was so intense that Gruff was blown away into the horizon and Tamarie got her class abilities rearranged. She turned into a gunslinging rogue. Despite this, the party won the day. Tekkit’s increasingly and immensely deadly arrows were instrumental. During the fight, Rowe showed his new power to turn into an angel.

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They the found the crown they were looking for and returned it to Zereletan. Zereletan gave the party a choice of rewards from his stash of magic items and the party chose a mysterious metal triangle.
The party went to explore the desert to the north. They next found an obelisk standing in the desert.

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At the base was a burnt corpse. The party detected the trap on the obelisk and Tamarie tried to disable it. She wore it down dodging lightning bolt after lightning bolt from failed attempts to disable before eventually stopping it. The party used it to give their weapons lightning powers for a week. The corpse was a merchant who had fallen afoul of the seemingly pointless trap.

Next up was a ruin full of winged cat people called maftets. Tam took the lead on diplomacy and the group went to meet their leader, Erayu.

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Erayu told the party that he knew where the Sightless Sphinx was and he would tell them if they cleared out their stolen fort for them. The party agreed and headed out.

On arrival, Tekkit and Tamarie tried to sneak up to the fort. They were soon spotted by a demonic creature on the walls and attacked with a wall of fire after an attempt at diplomacy failed. A second demonic creature and a sand drake joined the battle.

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Rowe flew in, Tekkit unleashed an onslaught of arrows, and Tamarie used her new pistol as the group battled and eventually was victorious. The party looted. Among the drake’s horde was a strange triangular rod that Tamarie & Co claimed. The party searched the fort and found a trapdoor in the first room they checked. The party went in and was attacked by a huge earth elemental inside.

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Tekkit was unable to get around its damage resistance so the elemenal killed Tamarie and brutally beat Rowe before the party retreated. The party returned to the maftet camp. Tamarie was raised and a long while was spent planning for the rematch. Finally the party returned to the temple and this time took down the golem. Tekkit had learned what arrows to use and Rowe kept it busy by healing himself as fast as he was injured.

The party went through the door the elemental had been guarding. It was a temple to Sekmet. Tekkit had See Invisibility up, so he spotted a Shaitan monk named named Picasi.

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Picasi attacked the party and repeatedly knocked down the party members before finally being driven off by Tekkit’s arrows. The party looted the room.

The party then went upstairs and into the fort’s tower. Inside was the monk and an initially invisible efreet named Kixexa.

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After a fight that could have been much more dangerous had the party been more reckless the genies were defeated. The party returned to Erayu and told him that the fort was free for them to use again. Erayu thanked them and told the Nameless ones where the Sightless Sphinx was. He also sadly warned them of insane maftets from his tribe. Before going to the Sphinx the party decided to do other things. With much difficulty the party managed to identify the triangle and the rod as the battery and CPU of an unknown automation. Perhaps Hark the robot would soon have a friend.

The party then decided to go to the “symmetry garden” depicted on a map. They saw a maze there with a golem in the center and a cave. The group went in the cave and swiftly saw the sapphire serpent.

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With wretched winged wrath, wyrm would wish wanderers woe. Tempestuous thunder thrown through terrible teeth traumatized Tamarie to torpor. Proud paladin powerfully pummeled pugnacious predator preferentially. Accurate archer abrupty annihilated arrogant aerial aggressor.

Then they healed Tamarie, and Rowe held Tekkit out of reach so he could kill the golem without difficulty.

The party then finally decided to go to the Sphinx. The party passed through some rocks on the way. In the middle stood a bronze golem.

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Tamarie approached and found a hatch in the back. She opened it just as three cultists attacked. Tekkit arrowed two of the cult as Tamarie placed the rod and triangle into slots in the machine, which was full of controls on the inside. It was a mecha that was now controlled by Tamarie. She chased down and attacked a cultist before the group killed him.

The group marched off and arrived at the Sphinx. It was a titanic structure made to look like a black and monstrous sphinx. There was a massive shadow on the side so the party visited that first. It was full of the scorpion people they had been looking for. The group almost caused a disaster but soon met the leader and returned the dead scout’s corpse. The leader was grateful for the return of his nephew’s corpse and agreed to let the party go unhurt. He did warn them that the members of his tribe inside the Sphinx were less sane then he was.

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The group approached the dungeon. The large doors were inscribed with a riddle and a depiction of planets. Riddles are annoying though so they quickly found a side entrance and used that instead. Tamarie was forced to park her mech outside due to the small entrance.

The group entered and walked through some creepy cult stuff before meeting a male maftet who demanded they answer a riddle. After he was beaten unconscious they moved on into some sort of altar chamber. A burrowing undead attacked. It cursed Tamarie and was backhanded to death by Rowe. They who have no name opened a nearby door and met an undead who afflicted them all with a cliffhanger!

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It's 10pm. Do you know where your corpses are?
Return of the Bard

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The party made it to the valley of the pyramid they were searching while following footprints of the cultists. They were searching for the remains of Chisisek, the architect who built the Forgotten Pharoah’s tomb. A giant and a pair of cultists tried to stop the party outside. Unfortunately for them, Tek unleashed a spray of vicious arrows and Gruff mopped up the survivors. Several cultists tried to reinforce, but were slaughtered. Jamirah the lamia cult leader also emerged to fight the party.

She wounded Rowe as he charged but was also overwhelmed. The party entered the tomb and saw two lamias who were tormenting a cultist.

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The cultist died defending the monsters as the party wiped them out. The party looked around the open interior of the tomb and saw a gynosphinx imprisoned in stasis nearby. After a bit of debate the party freed her.

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Once free, she said that she was the daughter of the sphinx who used to guard Chisisek’s tomb. The party convinced her to take them to his tomb so they could stop the cult. They got inside and saw a massive clockwork golem.

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Despite attempts to reason with it, Chisisek’s machine had to be destroyed. The party did research around the tomb and found that the Forgotten Pharoah’s tomb was actually a massive flying pyramid. To find it the party would need to track down Chisisek at the Sightless Sphinx cult base. The friendly sphinx told the party that it was “to the north”. The party headed off to comb the desert.

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Suddenly, Tamarie unexpectedly appeared. She told Grimm that he had urgent dwarf business back home and took his place in the party. After she was welcomed back the party began searching the first section of the desert. They found a souleating baykok undead feeding on a dead scorpionman.

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The baykok was surprisingly tough, but the party brought it down after a brief chase. The party then used a magic item to speak to the dead scorpion. Its name was Decarti, and it was a scout for a nearby tribe. Its people’s burial rites meant that it wanted the party to inform the rest of its tribe, who were also to the north.

Next was a ruined temple to Sarenrae. (Neutral Good deity of healing, redemption, battling evil and the sun.) Inside was a man named Zereletan. Zereletan declared that he had claimed the temple and that he was studying it. He refused to even speak with Tamarie. This was because he hated women and not simple forewarning. Rowe diplomacized Zereletan but lost progress when Zereletan asked why they allowed a woman to follow them. Rowe’s claim that she was the leader nearly got them kicked out. Eventually They Who Shall Not Be Named accepted a mission from Zereletan to find a crown he had lost in a nearby river to the north.

The party traveled out to the river. Standing in the water were four golden ibis birds. They seemed like they might be agressive, but Tamarie attempted to tame them. The attempt failed and the birds attacked. They radiated searing light that blinded Tamarie and Tekkit while Rowe and Gruff resisted. The birds circled around the party and the two sides charged into battle.

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It looks like you're trying to solve a mystery
Would you like help with that?

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The party found that they needed to go to the Vault of Hidden Wisdom to find the next clues about the Mask and Forgotten Pharoah cult. As they left the Dark Depository, a pile of bones in the entrance chamber came to life as a bone golem and attacked.

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It was defeated by the party. Gruff’s new power to send magical swords after those who wounded him helped greatly. The party emerged back into the daytime streets. The party glimpsed a man running across the rooftops and rushed to investigate. A squad of ninja-like assassins was on the rooftops of the nearby buildings and attacked the Nameless Ones. As the ninja squad was killed off, Rowe managed to take a couple down nonlethally with his paladin powers.

Unfortunately for the captives, Grimm had just learned the Speak With Dead spell. The spectral questioning revealed they were hired by an unknown client through the local assassin’s guild.

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Before the party could continue their search, they were invited to a meeting with Muminofrah. She continued her “affection” toward Tekkit and promised the party the services of an engineer to help with finding the Vault of Hidden wisdom. (Since the temple clues had said that the Vault was located at a place where the shadow of a nearby building is cast.

The party then went to a nearby island to meet with the engineer. They were instead suddenly attacked by a huge group of cultists accompanied by a leader and an evil sphinx. As the party fought off and killed the cultists, they burned away to dust as they died. Grimm spoke to the sphinx and found that it had been charmed into service.

The party later returned to meet with Muminofrah again. The obstructive governor Deka was in attendance. The party was asked to provide entertainment. Anyone who failed to badly would be thrown to the crocodiles. Grimm was tossed in, but Rowe volunteered to be next and succeeded with a engaging sermon. Grimm tried and failed to give Deka a curse that would cause her to burst into flames when she tried to sleep.

The party got the actual engineer and soon went to go find the Vault of Hidden Wisdom.

The party found it in a ruined building. They walked into it and found a room with a immobile clockwork servant standing the center of the room.

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The party heard more constructs approaching. The group defeated them and studied the room. They also managed to activate the clockwork servant. It reactivated and helped the party with searching through the library. Gruff happily named it Hark and it joined the party.

In the next rooms, the party fought undead lynx and theletos outsiders. They learned that the next step was a pyramid out in the desert.

Muminofrah invited the party over again. When the party arrived, they saw her kissing another man and sailing away from the dock. Scans indicated a charm spell in the area. The party attempted to dispel it and save their useful pawn. It turned out the man was the charmed one. Muminofrah restored the spell and sailed away, hopefully to never be seen again.

The party took a ferry to an expedition into the desert. The first thing they met was a group of extremely confident gnoll slavers with prisoners and pet hyenas.

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The gnolls refused to free their slaves and attacked. They were routed and mostly killed in a single round. Some were captured. The party escorted the slaves to the place where the ferry had dropped them. Grimm decided to scry on Deka. He found her reading reports on the party’s activities. They went back out into the desert. Next they found a field of eroded people who had been petrified by basilisks. The basilisks were all killed and the party found two people in a cave who could still be restored. They were adventurers. One was sent to take the slaves back to town, and the other offered to help the party find the pyramid they were after. The party accepted and went with him. They fought some cultists with flame drakes.

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Rowe advised the group to spare the drakes, and they found that the drakes had been charmed as well. The group approached their destination and found giant footprints in the sand.

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Bureaucracy and library permits
Flight of the naked dwarf.

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The party awoke after resting to find a note from Tamarie left near Tekkit.

“Dear Minions,

I have receive word of my sister’s demise in a strange lost city named Saventh-Yhi. The Pathfinder Society has dispatched me to discern the truth of her death and learn more about the uprising in this lost city. Fear not, for I know that I will be with you in your thoughts and dreams. You have served me well and deserve to show your affection for your chosen leader. I will continue to advance in my skills so as to be of assistance to the party upon my return. Please try to stay out of trouble without me.

Tekkit, my love. Stay strong. Perhaps you can finally propose upon my return. Sir William, please keep the No Names safe until my return. I am entrusting them to your care. Grim and Gruff please do keep out of trouble. I know that you may not be able to see it coming but look to my dear Tekkit for advice. He has a good eye for spotting dangers. I will expect full reports on this Cult upon my return.

Cheers,

Tamarie"

The party then quickly covered their tracks and moved on to Tephu to see the Great Library and research the Mask Grimm now used. The party made sure to scan the ferry captains available to make sure and find a truly Good one to take them. The ferryman proved his worth when he simply went through some crocodiles instead of trying to scam the party for an alternate route like the others did. Once in Tephu, the party was immediately recognized as outsiders with money. They were swarmed by merchants offering wares such as exotic foods, fine clothing, addictive drugs, and child slaves. Grimm took a free sample of a drug called Pesh.

The party went straight to the Great Library. Once they got inside they were informed that they could only enter the inner parts of the library by paying a fee. If they didn’t they could only browse the public sections. Most of the party was angered by the high price tag but Rowe paid it and they went in. The party then spent the day on magically buffed reading. It was apparent that the area had little information and what the party needed had been moved. The acolytes told the party they needed permission from Governor Deka An-Keret to get into the inner sanctum with the good information. The party went to the governor’s home and tried to get a meeting. One of the women working for her said she would try to get the party a meeting. The frustrated adventurers went looking for a place to stay the night. They were directed to the Shifting Sands inn. The night passed without incident and the party went bright and early to the library.

The party noticed the acolytes opening the doors with a specific pattern to the key turns. That day’s research only turned up an inscription with a picture of the Sky Pharaoh in some sort of control chamber with floating crystals. The woman they had met yesterday apologized and said that the governor had been too busy for an audience today, but she would try again. The party rested and did the same thing the next day. The library yielded information saying that some scrolls the party needed were in the inner sanctum.

The party seemingly had a lucky break as the assistant told them they could see the governor today. The party went in to speak. The party explained their purpose in Tephu and the governor quickly declared she couldn’t possibly let them in to the inner sanctum and ordered them out. At that moment a slave entered. The slave told Deka she had to go meet Muminofrah, right hand of the Ruby Prince. After Deka left, the party diplomacied the slave. She said that her master was Muminofrah and warned the party that Muminofrah was said to have a habit of feeding the people who displeased her to crocodiles while being generous to her friends. The party followed the slave to Muminofrah’s pleasure barge. The guards at the dock tried to stop the party but Rowe talked their way in.

The party went in and got a meeting.

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Muminofrah was immediately taken with Tekkit and bid him to sit next to her as the party explained their request. For Tekkit, Muminofrah agreed. Deka was there as well. She seemed angry and frightened that the party had gone over her head and would now be allowed in. Gruff made sure to let her know about it on the way out.

The party returned to the library with the credentials. They then descended into the Inner Sanctum after being warned of fiends and invisible stalkers inside. At the entrance there was a demonic custodian. He told the party he would slay them if they stole anything and possibly even if they didn’t. He also told the party his name but it was immediately forgotten and replaced with Paul.

The party passed Paul the demon and found a scroll listing the monsters inside. They then met a veiled woman wearing a huge collection of rings. She introduced herself (and was immediately renamed Betty) Betty asked if the party had any rings for her. Gruff gave her one he made on the spot from his jaunty hat. The party got her to lead them to a massive room where books were stored around a walkway over a deep pit. Betty seemed nervous as she left. Grimm cast fly and other spells as the party began research. They found that day that the scrolls they needed had moved. The party eventually turned to leave. On the way out they asked Betty why she was nervous and if there was anything they could do to help. She seemed reluctant to answer the party and eventually threw back her veil to reveal her medusa face.

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Everyone survived the initial attack of petrifaction. Tekkit was nearly turned to stone but the Hand of The Honest Man around his neck saved him. The party then killed her instantly with a retaliatory salvo of attacks. The party informed Paul of the incident after taking all her valuables. Paul went over and tossed her body in the pit. Paul then added her name to a list written in Abyssal.

The party went to rest. That night Rowe went out and began to use his paladin powers to cure the sick people he came across. The next day the party returned to the Inner Sanctum. Gruff asked Paul if he ever got bored down there and offered to play cards. Gruff accidentally offended Paul and the idea was dropped. The day’s research turned up of the Sky Pharaoh resorting to desperate measures in ancient times, a tale of the Nethysian sect of the Order of the Blue Feather and more evidence of missing scrolls that had been moved to a still-lower and scarier basement called the Dark Depository. Before leaving, Grimm decided to check the pit. He just found numerous skeletons, some in acolyte robes.

The party left and rested again. Rowe took to going around Tephu and curing people every night. In the morning they got a message telling them to meet with Muminofrah. In the morning they went to her. She said that a chariot race was about to take place in Tephu and wanted Tekkit and company to participate. She offered golden jumpsuit uniforms for the party. Grimm decided to just go naked instead. Tekkit wore it and the others simply wore it over armor. The party asked her about the rules and Muminofrah laughed that there were no rules beyond winning.

The party was given camels and chariots. Tekkit and Grimm took a single chariot while Gruff and Rowe rode in separate ones. Grimm remained naked. The party looked nervously at their lack of relevant skills. Grimm calmed the angry camels to make them more obedient to commands. The party took off through the chaotic course in the city streets. Eventually a force of Forgotten Pharaoh cultists charged in on a chariot and tried to ram the party off the road. The party knocked them aside instead. The party raced on. All but Rowe dodged a chamber pot dumped from a high window. After some more twists and turns cult snipers attacked with crossbows. Everyone was hurt, but the poison on the bolts failed to affect anyone. The party continued on. Grimm decided to use his Eagle Eye spell to gain a panoramic view to locate the leader. He flew out and created an area of mud to blind them and trap their chariots. The cult made a last attempt to shoot down the party from the crowd as Tekkit won the race. The party was allowed to keep his camel and chariot and they went to meet Muminofrah. She began kissing Tekkit and asked him to stay with her. Tekkit “sorrowfully” explained that he needed to stop the cult first before he could make “selfish” decisions. To stop the cult, he explained, he would need access to the Dark Depository. Muminofrah granted the party three days there.

The party rested and went back to the library and then got into the Dark Depository/subbasement. It was dark, dank and dangerous. The corpse of a acolyte was nearby. The first door in there had an explosive trap. Grimm told Rowe he thought he saw some sick peasants in another room and cast animate dead on the acolyte. The skeleton was sent in and it triggered the trap. Rowe returned and saw a fallen undead.

The party moved on and explored. They saw four doors with faces themed to various emotions. A heap of bones was spotted. It was a bone golem but it didn’t go active while the party was down there. The dwarves spotted a secret door and the party went through. The party found more secret doors, along with research. This area was used for storing dangerous knowledge. Records detailed the Mask’s powers and mentioned an attempt by the Blue Rose to contact the Sky Pharoah’s spirit for guidance. The party returned to the inn rather than stay the night down there. Rowe went off to help people again and Tekkit found a thong on his bed. A note from Muminofrah said she wanted him to wear it the next time they met.

The party decided to go in the “fear” door this time. The party all spotted a spinning blades trap in the entrance. Tekkit saw that it was only an illusion though. The party went in. They soon found a room full of scrolls and three shadow mastiffs.

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The party killed them and did the research. They found a scroll of confessions by Nethysian inquisitors. It contained a transcript of an inquisitor torturing a cultist who had been involved in stealing the Sky Pharaoh’s heart and mask. The cultist said that the mask was in Wati (and now in the hands of the No-Names) and that the heart was in the Orsirion capital city of Sothis. He also said that you needed to go to Azghaad’s Spire to find it. (Also something about a clue I can’t remember.) The record said that his body had been stored in a nearby crypt. Grimm opened a small window with Stoneshape for a Speak With Dead spell. A mummy golem was inside. It couldn’t move though so the party killed it effortlessly. Grimm spoke with the cultist’s corpse that was also in there and learned the same information. The party returned to the inn.

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Finally, the Mummy's Mask
End of the zombie plague

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The party faced the double doors. After Tekkit cast some light spells and Grimm tagged Rowe’s flail, the party ventured forth and passed through a hallway that led to a round chamber. It was full of curtained alcoves and had another set of brass double doors on the far side. Another door was dominated by a statue of Pharasma in the center. Before the full party entered, Tamarie spent an hour detecting traps. She didn’t find anything but the party was still suspicious of the statue. When are statues ever not a trap?

Rowe went ahead and respectfully poked the statue. Shockingly it remained inert. Tekkit made a small offering to the statue of his deity and the group began checking behind all of the alcoves before deciding what to do next.

The party started with a door in an alcove. Inside was a short hallway leading to a top-of-the line mummification chamber. Tamarie began detecting traps and suddenly there was a shriek.

A ghast barbarian leapt out and paralyzed Tamarie. The ghast’s stench sickened party members as it dropped Tamarie. The ghast ran about the hallway, biting people and hurling them into each other. Grim was paralyzed, Rowe was dropped, and Tekkit hurled against the statue. Grim and Tamarie recovered, so they healed Rowe as Tekkit weakened the ghast with arrows. Rowe stood up and finished off the ghast.

The party retreated back to the top of the observatory to rest. Someone had been infected by disease so Tekkit gave Delay Disease to everyone so the party didn’t have to deal with it for 24 hours. The party then went back to the circular statue room and went through another door. That one led to a room with many books and two Gentle Reposed corpses of women placed on a bed as if for burial. After taking a few books the party left. Back in the main chamber, the group decided to go through the double doors. As soon as Tamarie touched them a loud scream was heard from behind the party. A crypt thing attacked and teleported Tekkit away.

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The rest of the group successfully resisted the creatures attempts to teleport them and it vanished after being struck by Rowe.

Tekkit reappeared in a dark chamber with pits on either side and a pool in the center. Statues of deities lined the walls. The exits were stairs to a set of brass double doors and a similar pair going the other direction. Tekkit cast Protection from Evil on himself and prayed to Pharasma. The inquisitor noticed that the pool was for purification and decided to wash in it. After taking a bath he decided to go up the stairs.

At the top he heard his friends and Tamarie on the other side. Tekkit banged on the door to call for help. The group tried to go through and found that it was Arcane Locked shut. The group was deciding on the best point for Rowe to begin tearing the wall down when Tamarie pulled out the potion of Knock she was carrying for just such a situation. The door was opened and the group went to explore the room Tekkit had “discovered”.

Grimm realized that the silver rods he had taken could be placed in the pool to make it produce holy water. The party took six jugs of it and decided to go look at something else instead of going through the door. The party went back to the statue chamber and down the dark stairs.

At the bottom was a massive room. The floor was covered in sand and an incredibly detailed miniature replica of pre-Half Dead City Wati. Towering up sixty feet from the center was a representation of Pharasma’s Spire from the Boneyard plane on the spot where the Grand Mausoleum is in the real Wati.

Tekkit spotted something evil perched atop the spire. Rowe flew up with a spell from Grimm and found a gargoyle or gargoyle-like creature sitting there. He and Tamarie tried to talk to it. The gargoyle simply sat there and sullenly refused to talk. The party eventually decided to just leave without taking any of the loot/bait.

The party decided to return to the double doors. Once again, Tamarie touched the door and a monster attacked. A nearby statue of Anubis animated and swung a whip inches from Tekkit’s head.

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The statue began whipping various party members creating bleeding wounds that resisted magical attempts to close them. The statue had regeneration along with damage reduction that adamantine could pierce. Of course, Tekkit had some ready to go and blasted the statue nearly to death. Rowe smacked it one more time with the flail and it collapsed. The statue continued to roll back together. Rowe continued to smash the bits of stone apart as TamTam poured holy water over them.

Eventually they stopped moving and Grimm dumped half of it in one pit and half in the other. The party decided to rest again. Tekkit cast Keep Watch so nobody had to actually sleep. Rowe cured everyone since someone had a disease. The party returned to the last door.

The party buffed up and opened it.

That room contained a large pyramid surrounded by statues of Pharasma and a floor covered in dissected remains. A pair of mummies and six zombies stood before their master, Nebta-Khufre, who commanded them to the attack.

Nebta wore the golden mask the party had heard of and he was the original cause of the whole outbreak. The zombies moved forward and the first two to approach were struck down by Rowe. The zombies left a corridor for their mummy superiors who charged in. The party was undaunted by their fear aura due to the knight’s aura of valor. Nebta cast a spell that briefly turned the floor to lava before re-hardening it.

This snared Grimm and outright killed two zombies. Nebta began to fly back and threw a pair of lightning orbs against the group. The remaining undead tried to continue attacking but one of the mummies was annihilated by a Smite Evil and the others were arrowed by Tekkit. Rowe was wounded and fatigued by a ray from Nebta. Rowe was bolstered by his allies and then charged through the air to smite Nebta. A brief but tense battle took place between them. Tamarie helped Grim escape, but the lightning orb was about to kill him. Tekkit asked for a fortune hex, and Grimm decided to grant it rather than try to avoid his imminent shocking death.

Nebta was about to win a close victory over Rowe when suddenly Tekkit’s arrows lanced through his eye and heart. Nebta floated down into the sarcophagus and the orbs faded away. The party looted and claimed the Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh.

It was a powerful artifact, and for now Grimm would use it. The party returned to the Grand Mausoleum. A ritual was preformed there that slew all the remaining undead. There was some debate, but ancient laws required that the No-Names be allowed to keep the Mask. Owning it essentially gave them the status of Holders of the Mask. In turn, this effectively put them in charge of Wati. There were celebrations and the group was told that they should go to the Great Library in Tephu to research the Mask and look into it’s history. Before leaving the group spent some time in Wati buying and selling since the markets were finally open and fully functioning again. There was much rejoicing.

There were also some changes to the team’s roster. Gruff returned from his dwarf business wielding new wealth and experience. Tamarie, with her new 20000gp share, decided to go track down her sister Juliver.

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Upstairs, Downstairs

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As the party prepared to enter the Sanctum, Tamarie suddenly began to feel sick. Fortunately, Rowe promptly cured her with paladin powers before anything could happen. The party went down the spiral stairs into the dungeon and at the bottom was a reflecting pool flanked by statues of Anubis. There was treasure in the pool and the party was pleasantly surprised to find it was unguarded. The treasure was some bracers of armor and a set of silver sanctifying rods that Grimm took.

The party moved on cautiously into the next room. It was a massive chamber with tiled floors and a vaulted ceiling towering above. Alcoves lined the walls and a desecrated altar stood in the center. The party walked in. Tekkit had his Detect Evil up and found extremely strong auras of evil in the room just as twelve zombies emerged from the alcoves and charged.

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Grimm buffed and enlarged Rowe as battle began. Two charging undead were intercepted and slain by Rowe as Tekkit shot and Grimm cast. Tamarie brought down a pair of zombies. After about eighteen seconds of zombie fighting a pair of masked cultists entered the room behind Tekkit.

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The cultists shouted something about how they rightfully deserved “the mask” and released a blast of fire that wounded the party. At this point an evil bard joined the battle and began throwing thunderstones to hinder the party. Grimm was stunned repeatedly by the blasts and just stood there for several rounds staring off into the space. Tekkit engaged in a close quarters fight with the cultists and was briefly dropped by them. Rowe brought him back up with his last Lay on Hands and Tekkit fought the cultists from the ground as Tamarie tried to distract the cultists with stabs and insults.

The party began shifting to battle the newcomers as Rowe fought the eight or so remaining zombies. Tekkit brought down the cultists by breaking their legs and making them fall on their own knives. After being Misfortuned by Grimm, the bard began casting a summoning spell. Grimm charged and attempted to disrupt the spell with a punch. Unfortunately Grimm missed and the bard summoned a trio of fiendish dogs. Tekkit injured the bard with arrows, so the evil musician fled back into the tiled room.

There Rowe stood with four hitpoints left over a heap of broken zombies. The paladin charged and tried to smite the bard down, but he dodged past and jumped through a nearby door. On the way the bard triggered a trap to bring a pile of rocks down to cover his escape.

The fiendish dogs were then all quickly slain and the party went back up to the observatory to rest. Tekkit cast spells to keep the party from having to sleep and the night passed without incident. The party went back down to where the rocks had fallen. After digging through, the party went in. The party passed through a highly decorated chamber and entered a forked hallway.

The party decided to turn left. Near the end of the hall a piercing shriek was heard just before a pack of undead attacked. Five bestial festrogs charged around the right end of the hall and a pair of skeletal champions came around the other. A screaming mummy head named Neferekhu in a cage was carried on the back of one of the skeletons.

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Tamarie charged the festrogs with her spear and held up two of them as the other three went after Grimm and Tekkit. The festrogs bit down on their victims and drained blood. Tekkit dropped one of the festrogs. Rowe bashed through the guards as Neferekhu threw spell after ineffective spell at the paladin’s saving throws. Neferekhu switched tactics and blinded Tekkit before Rowe defeated the guards and smashed the head and cage under his flail. The tormented, disembodied head whispered a thank you as it died. The festrogs were finished off and the party searched the various uneventful rooms on the current floor.

The party took the next staircase down to the next level. Below was a large room with blue tiled floor. A large set of double doors stood at the other end. Grimm spotted a secret door off to the side so the party went off and opened it. It was a storage room containing magic items. Tamarie went in to pick up a magic coin off the floor. When she tried, the tiles began launching off the floor at her. Tamarie was blown out of the room. She reentered the room to disable the trap. Receiving some magic assistance from the party, Tamarie began singing to herself to inspire competence; Tamarie dueled the floor and won. The trap was broken and the room was looted. Tamarie kept that coin.

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