Monday, April 18, 2016

Mummy's Mask, part 7

4-17-2016
Session 11
Character level: 4th

Characters:
Azzaria – bloodrager (nagaji)
Igby – inquisitor (human)
Kaa – monk (tengu)
Sula & Nyema – druid (suli) and animal companion (lion)
Uto – shaman (half-orc)

Qasin the psychopomp led the Ruby Scarabs to the burnt-out remains of an old brickworks near the waterfront. It was nearly dark by the time they arrived. Kaa scouted the ruined building and heard several voices from within. He attempted to use the magic in his gloves to distract them and make the people inside think that the Scarabs were zombies approaching. But one man emerged from the building and spotted the rest of the group waiting outside. He told them to leave. When Azzaria questioned him and demanded to know where Ptemenib was, it became apparent that he knew who she was talking about. Kaa then warned that he saw another man threatening with a hand crossbow. When a second man with a hand crossbow was spotted, a fight began.

The man who had come out to talk withdrew into the interior of the structure. Kaa burned the first crossbowman with a scorching ray. Igby moved in to face the second crossbowman, and Sula and Nyema joined him. Azzaria attacked the man who Kaa had burned, wounding him so badly that he surrendered. Kaa then scorched another of the men. That man moved to stab Nyema, but missed. On a second attempt he managed to connect with the lion, using a punching dagger. Sula and Nyema then attacked the assailant. After both of them injured him he fled. The third man also surrendered to Igby.

Once the Silver Chain members had surrendered, the Scarabs stripped them of all of their armor, weapons, and equipment. One of the prisoners told the Scarabs that Ptemenib was being held in an underground area beneath the old brickworks. He estimated that there were half a dozen men in that area. He also explained that the Silver Chain gang had been able to dig a tunnel into the Necropolis to accomplish their grave-robbing. Under further questioning he revealed that the gang had recently come under new leadership, and the new leader had brought in some masked people he described as ‘zealots’. He knew little about these people, or what had happened to the gang’s previous leader. After he showed the Scarabs where to find the stairway leading down, they released him.

Kaa unlocked a well-secured door to gain access to the stairs, but he didn’t discover a trap on the staircase until a pit opened up beneath him. He was able to avoid falling in, and to reset the trap and jam it so the rest of the group could pass safely over the pit. Despite this noise and the creaky stairs, no one came to investigate their entrance into the underground lair.

At the bottom of the staircase they came to a chamber full of sump wells, where overflow from the river could be redirected during flood season. Ptemenib was in one of the currently dry wells. He appeared to have been badly beaten, and at first Kaa feared he was dead. But after the tengu climbed down into the well he was able to rouse the priest and help him climb out. The Scarabs then decided it would be best to return to the temple of Pharasma so Ptemenib could be healed.

Ptemenib’s fellow priests healed him of his injuries, and he then asked the Ruby Scarabs to return to the Silver Chain lair. The Scarabs also wanted to pick up whatever loot they could take from the thieves, so they borrowed the handcart the troubled woman had used to transport her undead husband and went back to the brickworks. On arriving in the stairway, Kaa detected that someone had done something to the pit trap he had jammed. The group continued downstairs, this time turning right instead of left toward a large room. Kaa threw his expensive new hat into the room and someone inside shot it with a crossbow bolt. Kaa rushed inside, followed first by Igby.

Inside the room, the Scarabs saw numerous crates, urns, and bales of goods that the Silver Chain gang had stolen or smuggled. Kaa faced a red-robed figure wearing a golden funerary mask, while Igby attacked the wielder of the crossbow who had shot Kaa’s hat. Kaa stunned the masked figure. Sula and Nyema then entered the room, as well as Azzaria. A second masked figure appeared and touched Azzaria with a shocking grasp spell. Igby then called upon the gods and his sword burst into flame. The crossbowman threw a flask of alchemist’s fire at Igby but missed his aim, after which he fled through an exit on the far side of the room. Just as he was about to escape, Uto cast a spell that left him immobilized in the doorway.

Suddenly Azzaria heard an urn shatter on the other side of the storeroom, and she saw something that looked like a cluster of internal organs rising off the floor. She approached to attack the gruesome aberration. Sula had summoned fire to her hand and threw it at the thing, but it seemed to do little harm. The second masked figure, a woman, had moved near to where the organ creature was and had collapsed due to the wounds Azzaria inflicted on her. Now the organ thing descended on her, ripping out her intestines and incorporating them into itself!

After absorbing new organs into its body, the horrible thing lashed out with trailing entrails at Azzaria, Kaa, and Sula, then moved away from them. Kaa and Sula were injured by its blows and felt weakened. Igby meanwhile had run after the man who fled. Finding the fellow unable to move, Igby killed him. Kaa, Sula, and Nyema attacked the organ monstrosity, with little success. Igby joined them in trying to destroy it. Uto cast a spell to prevent the masked man from dying so he could be questioned later. The organ monster then moved to slam into Uto.

Two men and a hyena appeared through the far door. The hyena lunged toward Igby, and Uto cast a spell on it to calm it, but the spell failed to affect it. Sula then sent Nyema after the hyena and the lioness slew it. The men then fired their crossbows at Nyema. Meanwhile the horrid monster attacked Sula. Igby ran to engage the two newcomers, while Uto healed Sula. Sula hurled her last handful of flames at one of the men and directed Nyema to attack the creature. The creature then grappled Kaa. Azzaria, Sula, and Nyema all attacked it again, and Kaa struggled free of its grasp. The monster fled toward the door through which the Scarabs had entered, and Igby struck the final blow to kill it, while Kaa finished off the last of the Silver Chain men.

The party members searched the bodies of the fallen masked people and Silver Chain members, and came away with a significant quantity of armor, weapons, potions, and magic items. They also examined what was in the storeroom, though that proved to be mostly mundane items and some mummified corpses. After they had completed their examination of the storeroom, the Scarabs found a door that had been boarded up. A passageway led to another door that was also blocked. Kaa was concerned that there might be undead imprisoned on the other side, as the door showed evidence of only recently having been blocked. But he heard no sounds coming through the door.

The team then approached a door that lay beyond the sump wells. This door was unlocked. As they entered the room beyond, they found themselves facing another masked man, this one holding a glowing red sword. The man immediately ordered his two companions to kill the Scarabs.

One of the man's two female comrades cast burning hands at Azzaria, Sula, and Nyema, but it had little effect. The other woman touched Azzaria with shocking grasp. Kaa acrobatically moved past his friends to stun one of the women with his fist, while Sula attacked one woman with her spear and Nyema clawed at the other. Uto killed one of the women. Their leader withdrew further into the chamber. Azzaria pursued him and killed him.

After the masked man died, Uto was able to identify his glowing red blade as the Natron Fang, made of mineral salts that would allow it to overcome mummies. Kaa uncovered the secret door leading to the tunnel that connected with the Necropolis. In a chest in the room, the Scarabs found jewelry and gems worth thousands of gold pieces, as well as a magic haversack. A small chest held priestly vestments like those worn by Ptemenib. In one crate were four triangular stones representing the four elements, but these were not magical and no one knew what purpose they served. Finally, they found on the leader's body a note advising him to work with the Silver Chain gang to help him find a mask that would facilitate the resurrection of Hakotep. The note also mentioned the Sky Pharaoh, who some of the Scarabs thought was the same person as Hakotep. The note was signed Meret-Hetef, a name no one recognized.

Loot acquired:
Leather armor +1
5 hand crossbows
5 punching daggers
masterwork thieves tools
5 antitoxins
5 silver chains worth 50 gp
5 potions of cure light wounds
5 flasks of alchemist's fire
4 flasks of holy water
5 climber's kits
5 saps
5 sunrods
5 crowbars
2 spellbooks: cantrips (all), mage armor, shocking grasp, burning hands, disguise self
2 potions of undetectable alignment
2 scrolls of whispering wind
5 flasks of oil of taggit
5 daggers
10 darts
2 shortswords
2 cloaks of resistance +1
 2 sets of thieves tools
2 brass masks worth 25 gold each
8 gold pieces
6 turquoise worth 10 gold each
Natron Fang sword - +1 kopesh, ovecomes mummy's DR
amulet of natual armor +1
5 jars of ancient honeyed wine
3 kegs of saffron worth 150 gold each
Tin bird with 3 bird feather tokens
Gems and jewelry worth 3,765 gold

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