Reign of Pharaohs

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

When you gaze long into the Abyss

Summary: the companions continue to explore the Tomb of Akhentepi. Besides his chariot, Akhentepi’s scarab shield is also located, guarded by doll constructs. Va’var has a staring contest with a mirror and loses, and the word “Thief” is inscribed on his forehead.

Details

Although time has taken its toll, the chariot is of interest. It appears to be the favoured light chariot of Ahkentepi depicted in his military campaigns. One things is obvious, it will need to be deconstructed and removed from the crypt in pieces. Before investigating the chest, the abutting corridor catches your eye. The short hallway is adorned with several masks, some of which are familiar from earlier depictions.

The corridor leads into a similar sized area that appears to be a trophy room. A table dominates the northern wall, it displays a three-dimensional diorama with tiny stone and wooden statues engage in an ancient battle. A weapon rack on the opposite wall contains several shields of differing design as well as various weapons. There are several small chests and an urn opposite the entrance.

As you begin to search the weapons rack, 3 of the tiny figures on the map table animate and attack the group. The wooden dolls prove difficult to hit. Captain Beefheart and Alice provide ranged support while Va’var engages in combat. Alice, fearing that the dolls will overrun Va’var and attack her and the good Captain, casts entangle. Although this seals the fate of Va’var, as he is struck down in melee, it stops the dolls from engaging the other companions. Captain Beefheart and Alice are able to best the dolls from a safe distance and revive Va’var in the aftermath of the battle.

The crew investigates the weapons rack and locates several items of note – a scarab shield that matches one borne by Akhentepi, as well as several masterwork weapons including a khopesh and spear. The shield is confirmed to have magical qualities. The remaining chests hold some gold as well as papyrus records that you believe would be valuable to the local temple or Osirionologist.

A rest is in order and the group returns to the room with the chariot. The door that enters the room is easily secured. Before you rest, the remaining chest proves too much of a distraction and the Va’var must investigate before bedding down. It is locked, but with a little outside of the box thinking and a piton, Va’var is able to jimmy the lock. To his dismay, the chest is trapped – a poisoned blade returns Va’var to an unconscious state. Within the chest are two potions of cure light wounds as well as a dark, viscous potion that you are unfamiliar with. There are also several “books” containing manuscripts of the military campaigns that Akhentepi engaged in. Va’var is tended to overnight and the group wakes the next morning well rested.

The companions push on through the foyer to the remaining unexplored door. It opens to a chamber that has doors to the west and east. A massive mirror adorns the southern wall flanked by two statues. The statue to the east depicts a tall, gaunt woman in a flowing, hooded gown holding an hourglass. You recognize this likeness as the goddess Pharasma. The statue to the west is that of a jackal-headed man carrying a scepter in his hand. You are unfamiliar with this figure.

Alice is first to gaze into the mirror. Besides herself, the likeness of Akhentepi materializes, bronze skin contrasted with a ceremonial robe and headdress. He appears stern and disapproving and Alice immediately disengages. Curiosity killed the cat, however, and Va’var is next. He gazes into the mirror but chooses not to disengage when Akhentepi appears. A staring contest ensues. The mirror shatters and Va’var is pushed back with force. A searing pain shoots across his brow – an inscription appears on his forehead, the symbol for thief. This is of concern to the group as grave robbing is frowned upon by the temple as well as locals. Va’var covers his forehead with a head band.

The companions venture first to the east. The stone doors open easily into a rectangular chamber. Pillars line the wall and are interspersed with stone jackal heads. A stone altar sits at the eastern edge of the room. Alice notices tracks in the dust and throws a piton behind the altar. Two solifugids, small translucent spider-type creatures, skitter into view. The group has the jump on the spiders and makes fast work of them. An investigation of the altar reveals this room to be an embalming chamber. The jackal figure is assumed to have some importance in the embalming/burying process.

The doors to the west lead to a descending hallway. Halfway down the stairs you can make out small holes and borrowed tunnels on the southern wall. Earth and sand have spilled over the collapsed masonry, covering the stairs with dirt and rubble. Stone doors engraved with a golden scarab, its wings open beneath a gold sun, are opposite.

Alice throws another piton down the gradually descending corridor. As the piton bounces down the stairs, a snake-like form of earth emerges from the sand and snatches the dowel in its jaws and disappears again. Alchemist fire follows. This time, when the elemental form appears and swallows the fire, a great bellow buffets the group. The large snake-like form closes on the group.

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