We spend April 29 resting and partying in celebration as well as pulling out and packing the last of the loot.
30 April is spent packing the remainder of the expedition and Zakir leads it out late that afternoon. Already provisioned from the oasis, he will drive hard, cutting the corner to Aartuat, then down the Farnoc road through Farnoc and to Thebes.
(It takes him 4 days to reach Aartuat, and 8 to reach Thebes).
Sebastian leaves with the expedition, saying that if he can procure and airship he will follow our path out to pick us up. We plan on crossing the desert ourselves, cutting the corner straight to Thebes from the oasis. Zakir and Rick calculate about 6 to 7 days for the party to return.
Bryce stays with us, as does Sala and his men, Tarr and Feather, and Spalding
We stay to finish our duty to the Bast cult.
Over those 2 days:
Rick goes to see the Bast cult and Ama. Ama says she must now show him what is on the walls heading to their sacred archives. It is a stairway going down, the middle of the steps worn from centuries of footsteps up and down. What they wish to show him is upon the walls, relief and writings they have never been able to pull meaning from. Rick gets to work and spends the morning working on it.
An assassin of Set killed the terrible priestess, not the Bast cult. However, the mightiest warrior of the sect, also her lover and personal bodyguard named Abu-Re, took there most devoted followers into those ancient passageways. For either 5 years or months, Rick is not sure,
(Rick found translation of the history of siege of Troy, turned out it lasted for 10 months not 10 year; have not brought that to public)
preparing the tomb. Body mummified in the embalming room we have already found, he killed anyone at temple who objected and tried to stop him, and created a ‘living mummy’. He bound mummies and lords of mummies to obey her. These he created from volunteers/chosen (unclear) to serve her in death as in life. Then a final step, the last of his followers mummified him so that he could serve her for all eternity. As the exited they set all the traps where they drank poison and died, leaving the temple abandoned until the current cult came closer to modern times.
Rick “Still, how to find her in there.”
Ama “There was a lowly scribe named Sinuay who had studied long and hard, and was touched by the gods so that he knew things. He lived at the same time, the only one left after the suicides. He left a treatise that told everything he knew which was unfortunately crumbled into dust long ago.”
Rick “So that’s useless.”
Ama “Except, part of it was copied by the priests of Osiris at the temple here at the gorge. They were returned when the origins of our sect took up residence here. I have a scroll that contains at least part of the information from Sinuay. But, it is written in hieratic which we do not know.”
Rick “I do, quite well.”
They bring the scroll from the archives and give it to Rick.
There are those who forsake all of eternity to exist amid the splendor of this life. Other bodies are preserved as husks to allow there ka to enter the afterlife. Other bodies are given the semblance of unlife through arcane rituals to move as if alive. Other bodies have unlife, a tiny portion of the spirit ka is left behind to animate the mummified bodies. These are Lords of Mummies, more powerful because the force is strong in them. But these bodies are prepared with mighty spells and the spirit ka is bound to it for all eternity. The mummies thus created are lords of the udnead. All of the lesser obey them. The ghoul, the walking dead, the wight, and the moving bones, and even lords of the mummies obey the LIving Mummy. For they have given the most to become the most powerful. And woe to you when the living mummy wakes from it’s long slumber. For then the earth will tremble in fear. For none can stop it unless these secrets be known. And therefore this message is left within the waiting place of such a one to help end its evil existance. Some of the mummies are ighty warriors, but others are weavers of mighty spells. Beware the magic of this creature, because they are not living weapons have little impact upon them. If you would make your weapons more effective you must coat your blades and arrows with a coating made form one part of those same leaves which gave the fiend life, crushed and mixed with 3 parts of dust from a destroyed mummy. To this mixture one must add blood from a living person of the race of slaves who worship the one god to make the paste.
The paste is only effective on weapons which penetrate the body of the Living Mummy. The bodies of mummies are brittle inside. Weapons most effective are weapons which pound its insides to dust. All but the most powerful of mummies fear fire, for it can consume them totally. I Sinewa the priest who has forsaken the gods of my people to worship one who is to come leave this statement: May the blessings of the sun god be with you.
Ama “What do you think.”
Rick “We have to make the paste with Rehotep’s dust and Fritz’s blood. That leaves where to find which leaves.”
Ama “Perhaps the pictures on the staircase.”
Rick Tarr double check it and sure enough, they are burning leaves at one point in the process. Rick and Tarr . Tarr recognizes them as an extinct Tana tree, gone for thousands of years."
Rick calls Ama and the priestesses.
Ama “Oh yes, we have plenty of those. Those are the sacred leaves.”
Ama allows Rick and Tarr to explore the corridors further, and Tarr comes across a relief of the making of the paste with hieroglyphs accompanying. Rick gets to work deciphering it, and its very mystical. A meeting of Rick, Tarr, Khansu (their arcane lore) and Fritz (his religious knowledge is helpful here) pieces together the proper ritual creation of the paste. It will require maybe 6 or 8 ounces of blood. Tarr still feels there must be a special way this needs to be done. Khansu says it is a ritual close to the Jewish god. For he is the god of life, and holds unlife to be unseen. The other gods tolerate it.
Fritz “If you’re going to do a blood sacrifice for Yaweh, there is a certain general prayer to go with it to shed that blood for God. We do need a bronze dagger, or even copper.” No problem there, we have such artifacts from all of the tomb loot.
1 oz will coat a blade, 1/10th for a bullet.
From the scribe’s information, we know to apply it to slashing and piercing weapons. So we want to make enough for Billy’s khopesh, Mundabi’s spear, and Rick’s khopesh and machete, and the rest for bullets.
So, Fritz says the prayer as he draws his blood into the bowl, Khansu mutters arcane words as he kneads the blood with the leaves and Rehotep dust into the paste. It creates 20 ounces of paste. That will cover the 4 melee weapons vs the priestess at least, then the rest in bullets and potential use in melee verses the mummy lords and lesser mummies.
Feather suggests we take a lot of the ammo breaking down bullets to create some primitive hand grenades. Sala’s men get to work, making 15 that do 2d6, but they weigh 1lb each.
While this is going on, Ama visits with a new find from Sinewa’s papers (see DM drawing): A crude drawing of the subterrainean passages! From it, Fritz and Rick decipher where they have been before. It seems we passed some potential secret doorways along the way which we need to find to reach wherever the undead lair is. Also, it has a tunnel to ghouls labelled (damn it); and one to ‘lizards and death’ (Hmm).
Rick, Fritz, Billy, Hobbes, Mundabi, Friday (carrying half the paste), Spalding,(with med. wounds), Tarr (carrying half the paste) and Feather, plus Sala and 4 of his men. Spalding, still hindered though he has healed from his heavy wounds quite quickly, refuses to stay behind.
We apply the paste to a bunch of bullets before we enter.
Bright and early, 5am, Rick leads the way in and down.
We take materials with us to make more paste if necessary.
By 6:00am we are 5 miles in, moving at a brisk pace to the pit room.
Note: Our general order in corridors is Rick in the front, Billy 10’ back and to a side, Fritz 5’ back and to his side, Friday 10’ behind Fritz; Tarr, Hobbes and Friday in the center; Mundabi, Feather and Spalding watching the rear with Sala and his men ahead of them.
Tarr after 6 miles “This is a good place for some breakfast.”
Rick “We eat on the move.” Fruits and vegetables from the Bast valley.
Tarr “Positively uncivilized!”
Rick “That’s the way we do things.”
Feather “But not unexpected from you, Rathbone. We understand you my good man, once you get moving it’s difficult to stop you.”
Mundabi “Rick is a man moving ever forward when things are happening. He’s not one to stop in Mombasa for a month for tea before he ventures into darkest Africa.”
Rick “I do still love my tea; and a drink and cigar.”
We continue to the circular room we visited before, with the pit in the center. Searching yields absolutely nothing.
Hobbes “That’s odd.”
Feather “What’s out next step.”
Rick “There has to be something. The hole.”
Secret stairwell going down.
Tarr “How did they ever excavate this so long ago.”
Rick leads the way, and decides to search the steps with a magnifying glass in detail. He notices that the stairs sound like there might be a cavity underneath.
“They move or shift in some way.”
On the right wall at the top steps he finds a faint crack. Looking closer he notices a hint of white, something stuck in the crack. He touches it.
“It’s soft, like material.” He is able to pull it out. “Ah! Linen mummy wrappings.” Now to find out how the wall opens. It does not push from. There are no handholds disguised as imperfections with which to pull, nor does it pivot on its center vertical or horizontal.
“There’s no hinge, so part of the wall must slide into itself. Help me push the extreme left, perhaps it will pivot.” Nothing. “Maybe on the side of the steps, near the floor. Something you can hit with your foot. And if it opens out, one would have to be on the top step to activate, because it would open across the next 2 steps.”
Sure enough, he finds a small projection!
He kicks it in and the wall pops out on the right, then slides into the wall on a slight angle toward the left on a slant all on its own.
Tarr “Amazing. A mechanism thousands of years old, at the push of a button. Arcane maybe.”
The opening is at an awkward position, raised from the steps but for the top one., yet off to the side of it. You would have to haul yourself up from the 2nd/3rd step, yet they seemed suspicious already.
Rick inspects further, and below the doorway a very small ledge is now projecting just an inch perhaps.
Rick “It must be a platform that slides out.” Along the side of the top step are tiny grooves, where such a ledge would slide through on its flank support. On the far side are small indentations now open, and tiny projections like pegs on the would be platform.
Feather “But why are the steps still hollow?”
Rick “The steps must be a trap. Drops you into a pit most likely.”
There is no obvious way too pull out the platform.
Tarr “Maybe something else around here changed, too.”
Pushing on the next step now, there is a slight give. Rick has Mundabi jam it hard with the butt of his spear and the steps collapse flat, making a slide into the depths. However, another tiny projection on the wall is new. Pushing that in releases the platform, but it only comes out 2/3 of the way before it malfunctions and grinds to a halt from age. Walking onto the platform, we stay close against the wall to keep the weight where there is the most support and round the corner into it.
Almost immediately in the cavity, by his carbide headlamp, Rick sees steps going down. He leads the way followed by Fritz, Feather and Spalding assisting Sala’s men in the rear.
Sinewa’s map is certainly not 100% accurate. Some things like the steps are marked only as if hallways. So some things may take a little figuring out.
The steps don’t go far, perhaps why they are not marked. It leads to a passage that goes about 4 miles where it turns right. Travelling for another hour and a half, now 11am. Getting close to tea.
Now turns left to stairs going up, and up and up and up for about a mile. A little rumbling in the ranks.
Rick “Just hold on men, there may be a room at the top.” At the top, to the left is a metal door with latch.
Hobbes “I don’t like that we are going toward the ghoul tunnel.”
Fritz listens at the door, nothing.
Rick “Everybody get back.” He is about to turn the latch when he stops and inspects the platform, seems fine. Now he pushes the door open into darkness, 2 eyes glaring in the light before he raises his lantern. It’s a huge cat, saber tooth, on a raised circular dais in the center of the circular room. It looks either fake or taxidermy. All around it along the edge of the dais are mummified cats, staring up at the big cat as if in awe. Door left and right, identical to the one through which we entered. We begin to enter. No writings on the dais, Rick has Fritz and Mundabi skirt the wall right, Billy with Rick along the left, making their way to the doors. The walls are plaster though. Spalding and Feather stand just inside the doorway.
Rick to those 2 “Keep you eyes on the cats. They may come to life.”
Rick orders a stop and complete quiet to listen, no noise. Rick moves to the dais, calling Tarr to meet him. Inspecting for writing and symbols, we find nothing, and nothing comes to unlife.
Spalding “Seems there’s nothing supernatural here for once.”
Calling Sala in, Rick orders him to start carefully peeling plaster while the rest of us stop for tea. Clearing the plaster reveals strange writings Rick and has never seen before as well as arcane symbols and writings. Also, among many things we don’t recognize are objects that look like space vehicles as well as a stylized and grandiose representation of a Pharaoh’s court, he wearing the crowns of upper and lower Egypt; but pharaoh has a tentacled face!
Sala, “Egypt was ruled by a tentacled pharaoh?”
Tarr “Not necessarily from what Rick is teaching me. There was no recorded pharaoh with tentacles certainly.”
So this is a mystery, like much all that is on these walls.
Although Rick “This could be Stygian, in any case Wilkerson at Miskatonic is going to love this place.”
Lots of pictures of lizard and snake like men. Also, perhaps a deity that is a huge snake, with arms that are snakes as well!
Rick “Some kind of super Set? A Stygian ruler?”
There is obviously no way to date these things currently, but Rick is certain that this also goes into the past far before ancient Egypt.
Tarr “It was surely covered by the Bast cult, but they didn’t write on it.”
Sala “Probably this Abu Re had much more important things to concern himself with at the time than art.”
Feather “Yet they must have felt that what was already here was wrong to leave in view.”
Hobbes gets pics of what we clean off.
After tea, Feather “If we’re worried about these cats coming to life we should destroy them.”
Fritz “I agree.”
Mundabi knocks one off the dais with its spear. As soon as it hits the ground, it starts to animate. At defense of 20 they are amazingly hard to hit, and Mundabi misses it. Then all begin to animate. Fritz fires at one-7 (after DR and half damage) but it is almost in pieces. Billy slashes one-8 DEAD. Spalding fires-4.
Sala retreats his men out the door we entered through.
Insert Battle pg 21 top 1:22:16
Through the left door into a room with no other exits. In the middle, a stone block with a sarcophagus atop. Everyone starts to enter, Rick inspects the center, the name of Horemheb inscribe. Underneath it says ‘Protector in death as in life of his priestess’.
Hobbes “That’s not his bodyguard.”
Fritz That was Abu…"
Rick “Abu Re.”
Mundabi “Nothing mentioned a Horemheb.”
Backtrack to the right room to get the lay of the land around us, which also easily opens to a small platform and steps going down.
Tarr “We should assume every mummy in here is undead.”
Feather “What’s the plan.”
Rick “We slide it open in opposite directions top and bottom, so it still rests on top. Be ready to fight. Dowse it in oil and light it. I’ll have the torch ready.”
Feather “I suggest dowsing it immediately rather than waiting to see if it comes to life.”
Sala and one of his men stand ready with the oil, Rick torch, Mundabi at the head and Fritz at the foot slide it open as Billy is ready with blade. The others stand back ready to fire. Peering in with torch, Rick sees the mummy, then its eyes open and the oil sprays. Rick drops the torch in and steps back as it ignites-8. The mummy leaps up to grab the lid and smash us with it! But it fails its str check and falls back into the coffin, the slab crashing back atop.
Rick “Stand back, watch it burn. As soon as it stands hit it!”
The pasted shells of Fritz-9 an 5 paste; Spalding-4 and 6 paste; Feathers bullet hits and does only 10paste. The paste now does 2d10 as it has build up! Billy fires rifle-3 and 17 paste.
The mummy picks up the slab again and tosses it at Tarr-10 and Feather-17 KO’d to negative 4. Mummy burns for 7 with a supernatural roar.
Spalding misses with his 2nd barrel as does Fritz. Billy’s shot hits-2 and 16 paste. Now all hits do 3d10. The fire does 6 more and it collapses destroyed. Tarr administers to Feather and he is able to get up with 1wp left. He now must continue on with heavy wounds!
The steps going down on the map are not these steps. We take the steps for now, goes 50’ and takes a right, now in the right direction.
Mundabi “This SInua’s map very crude indeed.”
As Rick reaches the bottom step, there is a clicking sound. Spalding, in the rear with Sala and his men ahead of him, tells Sala to stay.
“I hear something back here I’m going to check it out” and runs back into the circular room. Mundabi starts quickly making his way from the front to Spalding. Spalding sees a secred door has opened in the room and several mummies coming so he high tales it back, closing door behind him.
To Mundabi “We’re cut off and mummies heading this way.” They come back and report. Sala’s men line up at bottom ready to fire as soon as they see the first mummy. They are packing pasted rounds.
Insert Battle restart pg 21 45:38
We continue along corridor some 100 yards to another set of steps down 1/4 mile where the corridor continues 6 miles. We eat lunch on the move down this corridor. Now at least 1:30. T section, to left a passage, to right steps down. It looks like the steps, unmarked on map, should lead to ghouls.
Rick goes down a few steps and sniffs, smells like ghoul for sure. There is a x on the map at this intersection, which has meant a room thus far but no room here. We take the left passage. About 4 miles later turns left.
Rick pointing out the map to Fritz “Either we’re still in here and there is an unmarked passage going left, or we are at the marked left here and the straight path is the unmarked path.”
2 more miles straight, to 2 miles of upward steps. We rest for a short bit before taking the steps.
The passage left is 20’ wide though, while the one we have been in is 10’. Rick steps in and the light immediately reveals a 10’ wide double door 15’ high, far sooner than the map indicated the tomb. Hieroglyphs are present, along with lots of relief. The excavation here is more primitive as you enter this wider passage, so the Bast cultists cut the existing older passage to be larger.
There was a seal on the door, which is broken.
Mundabi “Because it’s getting out. This mummy goes a long way each time it wants to get out of here.”
Spalding “It does only come out once a month or so.”
Hobbes “Even if t has another, secret way out behind here we are well into the canyon walls nonetheless.”
Rick translates the top The hall of pleasures. Upon the doors by the seal in large glyphs Thieves and villains beware, beyond lies death for those w ho would attempt to desecrate the living chambers of Sekhmet. These are the chambers in which she will dwell during her undeath.
Rick “We know there is still her and Abu Re, her bodyguard. And Sinua implied other lesser mummies. Be ready.”
Hobbes “Hopefully her and Abu Re are all that remains.”
Rick “The question is should we paste our weapons now? The melee weapons?”
Billy “Do you think we are truly near her?”
Rick “Looks like we are unless this is a trick, but the excavation of this hall is a bit much for a trick.”
We paste Kholan’s sword, Rick’s machete and khopesh, and Mundabi’s spear as well as more rounds.
Sala to his men “Be on guard men.”
The doors have handles, but checking closely Rick sees that the ground is dustless, traffic regular and recent says Billy. The right door has loosened over the years and scrapes the floor so leave it so as not to make too much noise. Mundabi pulls the left open, Rick standing with a bullseye lantern beside Billy at the ready. Fritz’s .50 trained behind them.
In the light we see what appears to be people as far as we can see.
Rick pauses putting a hand up at Billy to stand ground “Bullocks.” He doesn’t believe it. Walking in, he can then see they are motionless statues, though very lifelike representations.
Rick “Everyone can breath.”
Billy “In my experience these always come to life. We should destroy them all.”
Rick “No, I think we’re all right.” He waves everyone in behind him, saying to fan out a little. Feeling a couple statues, Rick finds they are of plaster and terracotta, and the room is well lit not as lifelike as they seemed initially.
The room (see DM sketch) is quite large, wider than deep. The atmosphere of the scene is one of a great party and banquet of dancing girls, people drinking and eating, playing the game sennett, intimate moments on couches. The side walls recess into semicircular alcoves at their middle. In the center of the room is a large rug that was once of high quality, of cats and people living in harmony, flanked by fountains of Bast statues with only a trickle of water coming from them now. At the center of the far end off the room is a dais with a large statue of a great cat, highly lifelike. On the nearest part of the right wall is a closed doorway, still sealed. In each alcove are rows of warriors against the walls. The alcoves are otherwise full of the statues of cats and people playing together.
Fritz “Breaking it?”
Rick “Let’s check the statue yet.” Nothing strange about it, and a search reveals no secret doors.
Sala “You’ve had problems with stone statues coming to life before, Richard. Do we smash it?”
Fritz “Billy wants to destroy as much as possible down here, I think.”
Billy “I never trust these things now.”
Rick “If it is going to animate we aren’t going to be able to just break it. It will just animate once we hit it anyway. Best to leave it alone for now. Make sense?”
Billy is apprehensive.
On the right side Fritz sees that several statues are knocked over, especially in a few more crowded clusters. Rick comes over to see, and 7 in total are found. They have been knocked completely over. Rick starts to inspect them.Rick has a hunch there is a secret door at the top of the recess where there is a knocked over statue close to the wall.
Feather "Are we going to break the seal on this doorway and open it?
Rick “I’d like to check this wall out.”
Spalding “What makes you say that?”
Rick has followed the general path of the fallen statues from the entrance to the top of the alcove where there is a fallen statue right beside the wall. “I have a hunch there is a secret door right around here.”
Searching, he finds one! To the right of the statue on the ground. A sound of sliding and grinding gears as the wall pulls out a few inches then stops.
Rick exclaims in triumph!
Finding a catch in the wall, it pulls open revealing a corridor.
We refresh our drinking water at the fountains. Rick is still suspicious about the position of a couple of the fallen statues, being quite out of line to the entrance but decides to keep going for now.
2 miles and steps lead up to a dead end but of set stones.
Rick looking around “There are few dead ends. Only secret doorways and deathtraps. Everyone get back.” He searches, finding the dust well disturbed up to the dead end. Checking the end wall closer, finds grooves and false mortar in the shape of a square opening. He and Fritz push and a 4’ wide x 4 or 5’ square slides inward about 2" but then stops. At the top, he sees a crack into a likely cavity above. Checking the botton, there are ground out holes in the floor so as to life from the bottom. He figures it might be lighter than it looks but calls Billy and Mundabi to lift, Rick ready with light.
It’s not lighter, but it is counterweighted. We hear the clicking as they lift. Behind is a passage 8’ wide, 8’ high, 20’ long before opening into a room. We start moving in, Rick left Billy behind, Fritz right Mundabi behind. On the left, the floor starts giving way, splitting downthe middle. Rick and Billy jump right and barely make it. The pit is 4’ wide and 12’ long. Billy kneels at the floor and sees that at the 12’ mark, the dust is far more prevalent on ahead on the right side but clearer on the left ahead of the trap. So ahead of the trap, the other side of the hall falls in. You can go up the right side then must walk to left side to be safe.
Rick “Good spot, Billy. Direct everyone as they come in.”
Rick and Fritz lead the way into the room, trapezoid in shape, Mundabi next. There is a table against the left and right walls, and one in the middle, all running parallel to each other. They have loot on them! A bit past the middle table is a sarcophagus. Rick and Billy approach it. On the wall behind is a warning not to disturb the rest of Sekhmet, priestess of Bast. Friday and Sala’s men watch our rear just in case. The lid is not sealed, has definately been opened. Rick searches for secret doors, checking the floors for disturbances but finds nothing obvious, while the others watch the coffin. Tarr and Hobbes are just at the end of the corridor where the room opens, the others move into the room.
Fati of the sticky fingers, one of Sala’s 3rd lvl men here, passes Tarr trying to be inconspicuous.
Tarr “Hold on there, man.”
Hobbes moves to stop him as he picks up a statue off of the middle table “Fati, get back in line. Sala’s going to have you!”
Sala begins moving up the corridor, angrily. There’s a whipping coming. Sala is a professional, and does not suffer actions lightly. Hobbes grabs the statue and puts it back.
Rick “Put that back exactly where it was, Hobbey.”
Fati suddenly screams, clutching hand and arm (that which touched the statue) “Oh god, the curse of the old gods is on me! The curse of the mummy! AH EEEE!” falling to his knees in pain then onto his back.
Rick “Tarr see to him.”
Hobbes grabbing his arm, but not in such bad shape as Fati “What’s the matter with my arm?”
Hobbes “Wash it off, wash it off!”
Rick “See to Hobbes first!”
Tarr dowses Hobbes’ hand and arm in water as Sala does the same to Fati. Hobbes take 2 str and 1 con damage, Fati 2 of each. Their right hands will be useless for a few hours as it will be swollen.
Mundabi “Maybe just what Fati needs to cure those sticky fingers.”
Sala to his men “Anyone else want to pick something?” then slaps him across face with a backhand “Now you learn boy!?”
Fati “But sir, I am crippled forever.”
Sala “Maybe, and you deserve it and worse!”
Fati “I can’t use my trigger finger.”
Sala “You had better hope you don’t have to shoot then.”
Tarr checks the statue, and the gold is missing where it was touched with wood underneath. Everything is the room is fake treasure. We set lighting up around the room.
We prepare to open sarcophagus. It is not sealed. We slide the lid as we did the last mummy, Fritz and Mundabi opening. There is more of the poison on the lid. Fritz’s gloves protect him and Mundabi saves but can feel minor pain from it. Tarr washes his hands off. After a minute, he starts to shiver a bit but shakes it off.
“I Mundabi the Masai will not be tainted by evil spirits of ancient Egypt.” Rick, who also has gloves, pushes with Fritz instead. Inside is a beautifully adorned mummy, without a deathmask. A couple seconds later, the eyes open. Feather unleashes a heap of oil onto her, Billy and Mundabi ready attacks as Tarr tosses the torch into the coffin and it lights-9. Fritz grabs his rifle, Spalding readies a shot.
She opens her mouth, followed by an inhuman roar.. The flaming mummy grabs the lid as she stands and picks it up. Billy’s AoO hits-8/7paste and his readied action-10/8 paste; Mundabi stabs-6/10 paste; Hobbes starts the cinematograph. She burns for 18 more and crumbles to death into the coffin.
Hobbes “There’s something happening here!” as the tables and sections of the floor directly underneath are raising. Underneath, in a cavity, we see 2 heads slowly raising underneath each. Hobbes grabs the camera and moves back into the corridor.
Rick “Grenades, now!”
From the point of view of the entrance, Rick moves to the middle and rolls one in-17/8, Billy follows and stands at the ready. Spalding rolls one to the left-5/11 and Feather the right-10/10. Mundabi readies to charge to the left as Fritz moves beside Feather.
Insert Battle pg 21 bottom 1:13:07
Sala brings all his men in, ordering them to touch nothing. We leave a couple men at a time to watch the corrider back.
Getting to evening now take a breather in this room and have tea. Rick begins searching for secret doors in the meantime while he sips, starts on the floor and wall behind her coffin. He then moves left.
Tarr approaches Rick “Rathbone, do you believe this was her?”
“I’m not so sure. It was too easy. I’m fairly certain she will be with Abu Re.”When he gets to the end of the first angled section section he finds one!
Feather to Rick “We’ve really been moving in here. You thing we should stop for an extended rest and enter that secret passage in the morning?”
Rick “My first thought is to keep moving unless anyone protests.”
Tarr to the PC’s “You are all walking alacrity.”
No one protests so after a rest we shut the secret door we entered. Checking this side of it, there are handholds on this side to pull it down, but only on this side.
Spalding “So someone had to be in here, alive and trapped, in order to close it.”
It comes down harder than up so Fritz and Mundabi do it, then has to push to click it in place.
A small platform before steps spiraling downward.
Feather “Are we taking everyone from here or leaving some behind?”
Rick “Everybody comes” but his question makes Rick think of “but we should take only an advanced group down the steps first.” Thanks Feather.
The 4 PC’s find a 10’ wide hall to the bottoom which turns to the right at about 30’ into darkness. We call everyone else to start down. About 100’ down it ends in a door, but half way down Rick notices an askew part of the wall. It is a secret door. We move to the actual door first. Here, Rick pauses, spidey sense tingling. He orders everyone else to back off.
Rick “I don’t know why but I have a bad feeling about this.”
He sets down a lantern as well as turning on his headlamp. The door looks copper or bronze colored, hinged on this side at the right, handle on the left.
Rick “Looks like it opens out.” No writings around it nor in the hallway anywhere.
It just looks odd to Rick, so he pulls out the magnifying glass. Sala comes up and joins him at the door. They both notice, at the same time, that the ceiling has a groove running along all 3 sides of the ceiling all the way back to the secret door then crosses the hall. He runs down and gets a couple ment to boost him. So far as he can tell, nothing is holding the roof up.
Rick “There’s got to be something holding it.”
Sala “From above.”
Sala “There is surely something funny here, trapfinder.”
Probing and scraping the thin space between the door and wall he figures it out. The probing scraped the color off of the door, revealing bedrock beneath. Also, the door thin space between door and surrounding wall does not go all the way through but hits solid instead. The door is fake. The handle is a metal shaft though, and does go into the stone. No doubt the ceiling crushes all underneath as soon as one turns it.
Spalding watching “How does he know? How does he find these things?”
Billy matter of factly “Because he is Rick sahib.”
The secret door pushes in and slides to the side. Corridor 40’ to steps, but at 20’ there is an opening to the right.
Rick “This place is amazing. What possible use could this complex have originally been.”
Rick begins to wonder if we are on the wrong track. What if the Bast cult never came down here. They would have set off the trap if they did most likely.
Rick “I’d hate to keep going to nothing, but we can’t not find what we’re looking for.”
Tarr “Unless they made it.”
Sala “I assure you the craftsmanship here is of the Bast cult quality, not the masterful work of before.”
After this few minutes of thought and talk, we continue.
The opening 20’ down the hall leads to another passage with short flight of steps. At the bottom is a passage of short steps leading to a hall full of red sandstone rubble as far as we can see and a long corridor continuing past that hall. That leads to what is a trap. It splits straight and north but both turn toward each other at 20’ and meet. Rick smells a trap out, pressure plates just around each turn which drop blocks to trap anyone reaching the corner forever there.
Going back up the first steps there are stairs to the left and a straight corrider ending in a T. Atop the steps there is a dead end with centuries old pallets that was a rest area for diggers. The T goes right to steps down and the left turns at 10’ to steps down.
Hobbes “This place is absurd! We should capture Abu Re, imprison him in an Iluminati sub basement, and let him suffer for eternity.”
We go right, which then turns right to a dead end. There is an altar to Gast and real treasure! Rick notes that it must be checked for poison later. We go back to the other steps and it goes for a bit before a couple turns leads to steps into a large are with sleeping pallets and a table. Sitting there are 5 skeletons in priestly garb and one in priestess dressing, slumped onto the table, the food and drink they were eating in front of them. The hands of 2 are entwined.
Rick "They closed the area off, this is their last supper then they drank poison is my guess.
The final hall in this area leads to a room that is essentially a pit with a 3’ ledge skirting it all the way around, and a few stone bridges crossing it. On the opposite side is a corridor out. The 20’ pit is full of 5’ wooden spikes.
Rick "Would have been impossible to get anything heavy across here.
Sala confirms this is again Bast craftsmanship.
Tarr “They must have dug it out afterward.”
We decide to retreat now for an longer rest. It is very late into the night. We retreat to the octagon room, clearing the fake treasure and using table wood for small cooking fires. The rest passes uneventfully. Our rest is short however, only some 5 hours at most. Being in here so deep and so long has played with our bodies sense of time somewhat. That and Rick’s alacrity keeps us going.
We go straight to the pit room. Rick inspects this end of each bridge, checking underneath and stomping on the first couple feet. Seems solid. After considering risking a bridge or the ledge himself first, he thinks for a few moments.
Rick “Stakes are wood, probably weak.”
Tarr “Yes. What are you planning?”
Rick “I’d say, 5’ tall on average.” They are spaced extremely close together, tons of them.
Tarr “To anyone falling, almost certain death. You’d be implaled far down the shafts. Tips look barbed as well.”
Fritz “Spearheads look diamond shaped. 4 edges, all barbed too.”
Tarr “More damage coming out than going in.”
Rick considers the possibility of the whole room being a trap, just to make people walk across in hopes enough fall to weaken numbers.
Tarr “So, what were you thinking?”
Rick “I’m thinking we have plenty of rubble in that passage back there. Let’s bring up enough small boulders up into this room to hurl them over the edge here until we bust up a patch just below big enough for a person. Then someone goes down and cuts us a path across.”
Sala forms everyone into a fire brigade line to bring boulders up efficiently. Fritz is lowered down with Mundabi’s orinoko club and crushes a path across.
Spalding “Now we can try to cross over the path.”
Rick “Don’t even have to.”
Feather “We walking across the bottom?”
Tarr “How are we going to secure a rope to the ceiling to lower us and climb back up?”
Rick “Don’t have to.” He gets a rope from Billy, ties it into a lasso, and whips it around the edge of the bridge, putting the end through the lasso and tightens it around the stone bridge. “We go down this. On the other side we’ll toss another up and over, secure it the same way, and climb out.”
Spalding “You want to figure out what the trap in here is?”
Rick “Not at this moment.”
We get across and up with no issues.
Corridor goes 40’ before turning north for 20’ to a 4 way. Straight is a door, left 20’ and turns north, right 40’ and turns north. Checking the 2 turns first, the left ends in 10’ at dead end with a sarcophagus there.
Rick “Odd.” As soon as he steps around the corner the lid is slid off and an angry mummy starts to climb out.
Rick “Billy, I need you!” as he backs to the corner. Billy appears instantly, Fritz not far behind.
Rick “No guns, no noise.”
Insert Battle bottom pg.21 2:57:00
Now the right passage, it turns a few times ending in another sarcophagus at a deadend. We leave that and turn back. As the group r everses, we hear a click and from the dead end another mummy begins to come out of the coffin and a secret door opens at what is now our front revealing 2 more! Mundabi, Spalding and Feather are at the front vs the secret door mummies; Billy, Rick and Fritz vs the coffin mummy.
Insert Battle bottom pg.21 3:06:15
Back to the straight corridor and the stone door. It pushes open into a large octagonal room, piled with treasure from the era of Sekhmet the priestess. There is a statue in the center of Abu Re, holding some kind of tube in his hands. We move in and around carefully, our lanterns casting an eerie glow about the room, the shadows of the treasures dancing along the walls as if monsters lurk around us.
Rick moves to the tube and looks through. There is a crosshairs in it, so Rick directs Hobbes to the spot on the wall and he marks it with chalk. Searching the spot close up with his glass, the mortar is fake and if you were to push the 4 stones tilt in.
Rick “This seems almost too easy.”
Rick gets Mundabi’s spear and pushes on the spot, opening a door right beside it. Rick peers into a hallway. Around us we hear a series of clicking, and from each wall a sliding spot of the wall opens with a mummy behind each!
Insert Battle; start of pg 22 octagon fight
We rest and make more paste, which we have run out of after this last fight. Through the secret door and shortly to a room, 1 exit at opposite end. A table sits in the middle, ancient artifacts on it from Sekhmet’s day including gold. The walls are plastered over again, Sekhmet age writings. Very likely more Proto History relief underneath!!
Rick starts peeling plaster off, and is immediately momentarily blinded by the flash of light from beneath.
Pyramid, the sphinx, people in Egyptian garb. Rick says the details are all wrong. Pyramid has big eye at the top of it. A head dress looks familiar, in an archive of Miskatonic, shown to him by Wilkerson who claimed it was a statuette from the Proto History, a priest of Stygia!! This priest is performing a sacrifice atop the pyramid. Thousands of years before Egypt.
We will clear this off on the way out.
Down another corridor to a metal door, latched. We open it into a 30′ × 30′ room, 2 other doors lead out. Room is empty. When the first couple of us step into another corridor a click and the door slams, the room begins to spin on a central axis, then stops. It splits the party. Serious trouble here!!
Mundabi and Spalding together are accosted by a mummy in armor leading a couple others.
Another group opens their door and gears grind again, things shift after all doors slam shut.
It takes almost a minute for Rick and Billy to straighten things out and realize how this is all working, making it to the mummy battle.
Insert Battle, pg 22. 0:43:00
Rick thinks this is a dead end as far as the Bast cult and Sekhmet. There is no way they built this, nor any way they would have brought their funerary procession this way. We get everyone together and backtrack.
The 3 mummies were guards under the Cpt of the Guard, came out of a secret room just to themselves, with treasures and their sarcophagi!
There must be some secret way we missed. Back in the treasure room Rick gets lucky, seeing something amiss with the floor underneath the table, the exact size of the table, leading to steps leading down into a rough hewed passage.
Down, straight, and up. We find the way around the spinning room. We leave the door leading to it alone. The Egyptians carved this out in order to bypass it.
Continuing on, no sound at all still, to a false door dead end. To its right, Rick quickly finds a secret door to a long corridor, one passage to right also down steps.
Tracking the disburbed dust and such, they pass multiple halls to another false door dead end. Again, secret door to its right.
Spears fire out at him, Rick hits the deck as the pass over his head. A block of ceiling drops on Fritz behind him, barely missing smashing his legs as he jumps.
Behind the secret door is solid rock. It was entirely a trap where Rick now is separated from the others.
The others take 20 to find a release catch. Eventually, after an hour, Hobbes finds it.
Tarr “I think the first secret door on the right of the false door was just to set us up for this one also on the right.”
Down real passage now to a stone door. Ahead, we find a Proto History door that had been ripped off. Then, a loud screeching sound like mechanical then momentarily a glow ahead of us in the room just beyond the torn open door.
The floor is covered with 10′ × 10′ stones in a checker board formation. Globes in the ceiling are glowing. The screech is now the hum of electricity. 10 copper points on one wall point across to 10 metal discs.
2 plaques, one in Aklo Rick does not know, another in Hieratic, a cryptic clue of the rooms workings.
Tarr is amazed at the technology. Repeating this is impossible for thousands of years ago. Using static to create electric bolts.
We get across quite easily actually, and through the door on the other end. The hum shuts down behind us.
Following a winding corridor to a door, scribed w/ Egyptian as the tomb of the high priest of Sekhmet. Bast is crossed out, and in its place…..SET!! She was a traitor, the tortuous witch. Worshipping Set in secret.
Within, beautiful ancient room from 800 years ago. This is it, the final confrontation.
We see 3 beautiful women before us.
The middle one, in lovely accented English “WElcome, I am Sekhmet. Welcome to my abode.”
We begin to enter, Rick and Billy leading the way. She points to delicious looking food and drink, beckoning us to sit and enjoy. She claims it has been the mummies, not she, who have been terrorizing the Bast cult. That she has indeed changed her allegiance to Set, and that is why Bast through her priestesses has sent us to destroy her. She has no control over the mummies out there. No one does. “These are my people”. Abu Re, she says, created them all to protect her. She calls him out, and a massive muscular Egyptian man joins us saying he had no idea they would begin attacking, that they care nothing for the people of the world, but also have no animosity toward them either.
She claims she tortured until Set showed her the error of my ways. Yeah, right!
She says Set has showed her that such a gift of causing pain should only be used to further the right cause.
She insists the we need not fight. Turned to worship Set after her internment by her love. He administered the poison to her, to bring her back, and see the great of the darkness of Set.
Rick “Then someday he will do evil.”
She actually confirms this. But tries to use the ‘a baby who will grow to be a monster is still only a babe". As if she is the baby. We don’t go for that.
Her flesh is cold to the touch as a mummy, no blood courses through her veins.
“Unlike lesser mummies, we can still feel pleasure and emotion.”
They have chosen the path of darkness.
Her “There is no persuading you? You choose to fight?”
Rick “All your mummies did was attract the wrong people, us, to enter here to destroy you.”
He admits that is his mistake.
They say they slept for hundreds of years before awaking. When? The time of the great war between men and evil has arrived. All the forces of darkness are being called for it. “Perhaps someday you and I will meet on the battlefield. But that day is not yet.”
She begs us to stay, feast one last night in peace, and then go.
She conjures out of thin air more fruit.
They are too powerful for us, she insists, her power beyond our comprehension. She calls Re Hotep a fool. She has no secrets stacked against him, no weaknesses. We can not win.
She asks for one last prayer “and then we fight”.
Fritz’s star of David around his neck begins to get hot. He pulls it out, and she and Abu Re hiss in fear “Get it out of our sight!”
She and Abu Re vanish, the illusion of the other 3 women does as well and the now rotted mummies attack.
Insert Battle 2:21:00 pg 22
Most of the mummies are burned up. Sekhmet and Abu Re Rick orders them alone readied to carry out. They will be great research on undead mummy creation and powerful dust for making more anti mummy paste.
We are very beat up. Sala failed a Threshold save to neg 1, couple people are down, few others just into would points. We spend the rest of the day and night resting here and eating their food/drink.
Another day of full rest. By evening though, everybody, even those injured, are just too eager to get out of here to stay here any longer.
We begin our march out. It will be straight through, with frequent short rests and a couple hours in each of the 2 main plaster rooms with the Proto History material underneath. We deplaster them completely, taking many rubbings and full pictures.
2nd room contains high and/or low Aklo! Johnny will give me a certain percentage depending on my roll. He has the translations. As we take it down further, Sala’s men get nervous as one wall glows slightly reddish. The scene is like a montage, which seems to waver at first. Stygia, other cultures architecture likely contemporaneous with it; Structures are falling in ruins, huge red orb in the sky, lots of flames, causing great destruction. Rick’s first thought is Cthugha. There is low Aklo script.
Looking closely at the scene causes Rick a sanity check which he makes. In the red, it becomes clearer. He begins to see outlines, like continents. It comes to look like an alien planet. A sound in his mind screams faintly in fear “The Red Eye of Azathoth!”
Clearing the last wall, Rick finds more script. He suspects it may be a cursive Aklo, like Hieratic is to Hieroglyphs. He breaks some of it down (Johnny has this file). Positive proof many of the gods of myth were real kings and princes and queens and such of Proto History! The numbers 11 and 56 may be there, and important. Still need a copy.
Fritz says that in Jewish Kabala numerology, these are not significant. But they share a mystic relationship. 5 and 6 add up to 11. The number of ways to express 11 in positive integers is 56. It’s an ‘abundant’ number. 56 is the eleventh abundant number.
Lots of pictures and rubbings taken including all the script!
Rick says he has heard of some formula, in arcanology, called the Last Theorum, that these numbers may have something to deal with. Understanding it drives one mad. Sounds apocalyptic. The key to understanding it lies in 2 specific numbers. If this is all true, we may have the 2 numbers!
About 20 hours later, we exit into the Bast valley!
We rest all through the remainder of May 4th and all of May 5.
Evening we move out, leaving the epic Gorge of Osiris behind. At least, for now. For without doubt Rick wants to return for the some of the full archaeological dig.
We are led across the desert by 3 Omar’s Riders, cutting the corner as planned to get to Thebes rather than following the caravan’s route south to Farnoc then East to Thebes.
We leave any few arcane rounds from Tarr, and extra paste we have, with Omar’s Riders.