Sunday, April 3, 2016

Mummy's Mask, part 5

4/3/2016
Session 9
Character level: 4th

Previously: The Ruby Scarabs realized that someone else must have been in the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye while they were pursuing the Scorched Hand. Someone turned the dead jackals into undead, was injured by the trap on the staircase, and took the headdress from the secret room. But when the Scarabs shared this information with the priests at the temple of Pharasma, the priests knew nothing about the shameful secret referred to in the letter from Pharaoh Djederet II that they had recovered from the hidden chamber. 

The party members received 453 gold pieces each from the treasure they had recovered at the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye.

As the date of the auction of relics approached, the Scarabs sold off some of the mundane items they had acquired from the Scorched Hands. They also worked with the Canny Jackal auction house preparing the items they wanted to sell. Many visitors from the capital city of Sothis were expected to come for the auction, as well as patrons from Wati's sister city Tephu. When they realized they had failed to pick up any of the books or scrolls from the library in the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye, they persuaded the the priests of Pharasma to allow them to return to the Necropolis one more time.

While Uto spent some time with his mentor, the rest of the Scarabs returned to the Necropolis. The guards at the Gate of Dawn warned them that there had been more activity inside the Necropolis over the past two days. On the way to the Sanctum, Kaa and Sula noticed a small figure hiding from them. Kaa called out and tried to convince the being that the Scarabs meant no harm to it, but the ceature ran into a nearb building. At the same time, several ghasts appeared and attacked the Scarabs. Both Kaa and Sula were badly bitten but managed to avoid being paralyzed by the ghasts' attacks.

After slaying the first two ghasts, the Scarabs saw that several skeletons and another ghast had the small being pinned down inside a ruined building. They swiftly destroyed the skeletons and ghast, then offered healing to the odd-looking creature. Kaa realized that the creature spoke Undercommon. It managed to communicate in broken Common, introducing itself as Ioki and telling the group that it was trying to find others of its people who had come up from their subterranean home. The Scarabs tried to convince Ioki that being in the Necropolis at night was even more dangerous than during the day, but he insisted that he would be safer in the darkness and departed to find a hiding place until nightfall.

The Ruby Scarabs arrived at the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye without further trouble and recovered a quantity of books that they estimated were worth at least a thousand gold pieces. They returned to Wati safely, then went to the temple of Pharasma to have the priests cure the ghoul fever that Kaa and Sula had been infected with by the ghasts. Afterward they visited the Canny Jackal and added the books to the items to be sold at auction.

After their final foray into the Necropolis, they also viewed the items to be sold that had been brought out of the Necropolis by other treasure-hunting bands. Kaa and Sula were both attracted by a crocodile headress and a magical cloak of crocodile hide, and agreed that instead of competing for it they would try to acquire it, then decide who would own it.

The auction proceeded normally, with the Ruby Scarabs' items bringing them each 1,400 gold pieces. Kaa and Sula won the crocodile headress and cloak, which Kaa ultimately claimed for his own. But as the auction was wrapping up, Uto began to feel that something strange was happening. He warned one of the guards and cast a detect undead spell, which did not find any haunts in the area.

Kaa also noticed that the priest Ptemenib had left before the auction finished, and that he behaved as though he was following someone. Kaa decided to follow the priest to see what he was doing. But shortly after he left the Canny Jackal building he lost track of Ptemenib and had to return to the auction house.

Back at the Canny Jackal, Uto warned his companions of the strangeness he'd felt. Moments later there was a loud boom as something struck the doors. Then the doors burst open and zombies swarmed into the auction house! The patrons began to flee, along with many of the guards and the leader of a group called the Four Lanterns who had reporedly been traumatized by encounters with undead in the Necropolis. The Ruby Scarabs rushed toward the doorway to block the zombies from getting into the building.

Azzaria looked outside and saw an ox cart overrun by zombies smash into a pillar in the marketplace, toppling the pillar and spilling a collection of severed thieves' hands onto the ground. As soon as the severed hands landed, they came to life and began to scramble toward the Canny Jackal.

Sula summoned the magic of her newly-acquired spear to combat the zombies, and Nyema rushed inside to aid her master. Both she and Nyema were badly wounded by the zombies, but were healed of some of their injuries when Uto channeled positivie energy. Azzaria stepped outside to the aid of some of the auction patrons who had tried to flee but had become trapped under a collapsed scaffold.

Abruptly most of the zombies and dismembered hands melted. The Scarabs didn't know what had caused this. But Kaa heard screams from a back room and ran into a storage area to help. He found some of the auction patrons who had gone to hide there being menaced by a female mummy. He shouted for help as the mummy started toward the exit from the storeroom.

Sula and Nyema tried to block the doorway to prevent the mummy from escaping, but Sula was paralyzed by the mummy's aura of despair. Nyema remained by her side to guard her. Kaa then used his ki power to direct a scorching ray at the mummy, which caused her to charge him. Nyema bit and clawed at the mummy as it moved away from her. Kaa blasted the mummy with scorching rays two more times until she collapsed into dust. Outside the Canny Jackal, the sounds of the disturbance moved into the distance.

Loot acquired:
1,853 gold each
crocodile headress
cloak of fangs

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