Reign of Pharaohs

The Scroll is Mightier than the Sword

Its fun and games until someone loses their head

Summary: the companions explore the main floor. Within the library, they locate an ancient document that makes reference to a lost relic. A guardian scroll challenges the group. A set of tracks leads to the basement and the companions follow.

Details

A little bit of rest never hurt anyone. The companions wake up well rested and decide to double back to explore the east side of the complex. They first investigate the south-east corner of the building. The large space is split into two rooms – a kitchen area with tables, cabinets and a stove, and a mess hall. The cabinets contain nothing of interest.

The next room is occupied primarily by a small shrine upon a raised dais. Two waist-high amphorae abut the platform. Stone benches stand to the south of the dais. A fetid odor permeates the room. The companions surmise that this area “housed” the undead that were recently bested. Exploration of the room yields several ceremonial tools, including a silver chalice and ritual knife.

The last area on the east side of the complex appears to be some sort of baptismal pool. The large basin is tiled and empty, save for a foot or so of murky water. A vaulted ceiling above depicts images of celestial beings. The room also features four columns that stand beyond the pool, each carved to represent one of the four primal elements. A ring of hieroglyphs encircles the base of each pillar identifying each element.

The east side completed, the group crosses the sanctum to continue their exploration on the west side. Situated directly across from the sacred pool is a library. Rows of stone shelves fill the crowded room. Most of the books and scrolls once stored here have disintegrated over time, but a few volumes engraved on more durable materials endure. Numerous scroll tubes litter the floor amid the remains of ruined paper and papyrus. Amongst the debris, Va’var locates an unrolled scroll discarded on the floor. It describes, in Ancient Osiriani, how scholars of the Osirion’s First Age, those with magical gifts, could alter elementals into new forms. The text later describes the concept of an ahkhat, an elemental being that can be “bound” to a building through a keystone. This keystone is generally bound in the foundation of the structure and is often concealed by secret doors.

The companions locate the tracks of several persons throughout the room – coupled with the scattered papers, it appears that a group of people had rummaged through this area in the recent past. Carrma locates a movable panel in the western wall as she investigates the room. The panel is locked, but does not appear to be trapped. With a little bit of finagling, the panel shifts to reveal s hidden collection of scrolls. One of the scrolls begins to unravel rapidly, and attacks Carrma as she attempts to extract the hidden articles.

The scroll rises into the air and unfurls, showcasing razor sharp edges. It darts around the room slashing the companions in quick succession. The group bares down and engages the scroll in melee. The scroll proves a worthy guardians, and attempts to bleed the companions to death. The trio of Va’var, Carrma and Bojangles, with ranges support from Captain Beefheart, eventually overwhelm the scroll. It folds into an awkward state and falls to the ground, unmoving for the moment.

Carrma extracts the small treasure trove from the wall. The are various historical documents as well as scroll tubes and a wand. Lastly, in the very back of the wall, Carrma finds a stone tablet. The scrolls and wand are distributed, while Carrma reads the table to the group. She notes the following passage to the group:

BY ROYAL ORDER OF PHARAOH DJEDERET II

The High Priest of our Blessed Temple shall take this relic to our new city where the Asp and Crook join and ensure it is never discovered. Treat it with reverence. But conceal it with your most trusted secrets and valuable treasures. Do not attempt its destruction. Do not be tempted by its powers. Let our scandal remain forgotten until this obscenity can be undone.

After some discussion, the companions soldier on. A stone door, temporarily locked before meeting the cunning likes of Carrma, leads to a small chamber to the west. The sparsely furnished room contains a bed frame and lacquered end table, as well as a wooden desk that is partially collapsed against the far wall. A quick once over yields nothing of note.

There are doors to the south and north. The southern door is unlocked and leads back to the dormitory where the group camped the night before. Carrma opens the northern door and notes, via markings on the door, that it was unlocked recently. She steps into a short, narrow passageway. A cleverly hidden wall scythe shoots out from the wall, striking her in the upper body and very nearly decapitates her. Fearlessly, and without thought for her own well-being, she continues down the hallway to another door. This one also opens easily, and Carrma notices similar markings as the prior door, as if is was recently unlocked.

Stepping through the doorway, the group enters an octagonal chamber that is empty save for a large metal chest. A series of hieroglyphs denotes this as a chamber of preparation – equipment is not required below and is meant to be stored in the chest. Giddy with anticipation, Carmma opens the chest to find it….absolutely empty.

A set of bloody tracks lead from the room to a set of stairs. The companions descend to the basement level without delay. The stairs end at a similar style chamber, this one lined by black tiles on the floor, walls and ceiling. A stone bench sits against the side wall of the octagonal room.

A passageway leads south to a separate black-tiled room. This chamber is dominated by a large statue, carved in the likeness of Nethys. Stone doors lead to the east and west, each emblazoned with the black-and-white mask symbol of the god of magic. As the companions enter the room, the statue silently animates and swings its massive quarterstaff at the nearest target.

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