The Explorers of Down Cthulhu

Tomb of Rehotep Day 1

We arrive late in the day, May 2nd. Rick orders preparations of the diggers for the next day.

May 3rd

Bright and early, we go to the tomb entrance en force. Being the sabbath, Fritz is unavailable for danger so he stays back at the temple reading the Torah. Mundabi stays there for now too. Feather and Billy join Rick. Sala’s men are now healthy enough to fully participate to a man, and they lead the other 20 diggers. Zakir comes along as well.
Tarr is not going to be coming in for the forseeable future, as he will be spending his time creating 7 magic bullets per day. The first day will be for the Big .50, the second for the elephant gun.
Billy climbs to the ledge again, and we find it as we left it. By luchtime the outer slab with the previously translated writing is removed. Wanting to preserve the historic writings, Rick has the diggers take turns sledging spikes into the perimeter so as to break off chunks at the weak poit of the edge, loosening it so that the slab sits loose in place. A lever and pulley is set up by Sala and Rick. A strap is secured around the door and it is carefully pulled out and back, then lowered to flat to the ground. More Rehotep-is-awesome hieroglyphs here as well, and his presumptuous cartouche again. Rick does not want to ruin this slab either. A short tunnel leads to the final plug, with more ‘Rehotep-is-awesome’ hieroglyphics and Rehotep’s presumptuous cartouche. It is removed the same way in only 45 minutes. A platform elevator is begun by Sala to later begin lowering things we find in the tomb.
We break for lunch. Rick studies the writings, mostly Rehotep PR. But, a worker fooling around out at the far right of the ledge runs for Rick, saying he thinks there is writing around the corner on the rockface runs, but it’s a sheer drop. Rick feels the area blindly and there are surely feint chisel marks. By pearing around carefully, he thinks it’s Coptic but he’ll have to be out in midair to work on translating it. Rick has Sala set up a tripod with block and tackle attached to a harness Rick will be sitting in. They swing him out and he begins deciphering it. It is difficult to read, as it has been exposed, but with some tricks of the trade he makes most of it legible. After a couple hours he gets this:
It was written here by the Resistance, a group who’s HQ was the great library of Alexandria . When it was burned down, they were betrayed and destroyed. Survivors spread around the known world starting many secret cults, which later grew into the Iluminati, Watchers, The Illumination… 90% of their Mythos knowledge was destroyed in the fire. Each group split the remaining writings. It warns to not go into the tomb. Rehotep is still in there. He could come back more powerful than ever with the use of 9 phylacteries of his essence. He is trying to lure people in with them, but he also needs the life energy of heroes. This confirms what we already know of the relics and the pics of us in Khmet’s tomb. It calls him a vampiric-lich, in our words. A great wizard had attached a holy relic to each of the phylacteries, creating an affinity tween them. Each of the relics can detect it’s linked phylactery. The descriptions match our 9 holy relics exactly. The relics were also given magical powers by the Egyptian gods opposing Set. Each will give the carrier a strength when facing Rehotep, which it details in symbolic terms.
All other main characters but Fritz and Tarr are assembled. Tarr is enchanting 7 bullets a day, the first seven of today are for Fritz’s Sharp’s .50. At 4:30 in the afternoon we’re ready to go in.
Billy “Should we go in without Fritz?”
Rick “Yes. It’s already late enough I don’t plan on going too far anyway.”
The hallway is 15’ wide and goes left and right. Rick peers with a bullseye lantern each direction. To the left it ends about 60’ away, to the right the end is in the dark. He steps in first, followed by Billy and Mundabi and Atmu. Hobbes, Khansu and Sebastian wait just outside the entryway. The hall has bright murals and writings all over it. 12’ high and 120’ long. A feint wind and a distant giggling laughter, halfway tween a hyena and insane person, is audible. Directly across from us is a statement from Rehotep. Rick reads it intently and feels all he says are metaphor’s and clues of what is to come. A mural of Rehotep concorting with all manner of demons and monsters…
There is a recess to the left and right of this one further down each side, and the hall opens at each end. At this central mural is a lifesize painting of Rehotep, a maligned gate behind him. Hieroglyphics blow speaks of lies and doom. The recess to our left is 5’ wide, 10’ high and 2’ deep. The rear has a mural of a door with carved demons. The opposite mural is a duplicate of the other.
At the end to the left hall is a block of red granite with his cartouche and a curse for continuing beyond it. To it’s right is a dark green slab w/ cartouch and curse.
To the right end of the hall is gray granite slab speaking of stooping low. To its left is another slab of different color and curse ‘go down into death’. Rick gives each one a close examination, comparing each curse to the central inscription. The murals may be true demon gates. He matches curses with the slabs, one a maze, one a burning trap of some sort, one unyielding… Behind each of the 4 slabs is likely nothing but a death trap. No secret doors are found, but the central mural is not rock but plaster! Rick calls for picks, and puts Billy and Mundabi to work. At their first swings the break through easily to empty space behind, but the plaster is an ambush. It is made of 6" poisonous dust, spewing forth a yellow cloud of poison (burnt othur fumes)! Luckily, only Rick and the 2 savages are in range and all 3 (Rick with From the Jaws of Defeat) make the save for it is amazingly deadly.
Rick to the others “Get back!” so they do and we follow. We flush our noses and throats and after waiting about 30min for it to settle we find a 10’ space with another wall behind the plaster. That wall has inscription: Rehotep speaks as if we have already tried all his traps before finding this.
Rick “Heroes 1, Rehotep 0.”
These walls are also plaster. Rick starts more carefully. He places the blade of his machete and pounds carefully, and the plaster falls off safely…no poison. We bring diggers to clear all the plaster. Behind is a limestone plug. We send them back out and put Sala, Billy and Mundabi to work with sledges and picks. Reflex saves all around as the 4" wall collapses but doing no permanent damage. It reveals a lintel doorway to a chamber. Floor is smooth stone and walls/ceiling of plaster, 30′ × 20′. 4 pillars 3’ wide, at the corners, are painted to be of bone crushing a plinth of humans. The tops carved into grinning skulls. (Feather will say “can you imagine what those will look like in the British Museum?” Rick “British or Cairo museum, the will be impressive”). The diggers start clearing all the plaster and rock from the plug as we near the room.
12 wooden sarcophagai are here, 4 along each wall other than the entrance, each of the 12 with 6 small jars by them. 2 great doors across from us shot a huge thrown with a giant black skeleton seated upon it, crowned by a gree/putrid purple(like bruises,burst vessels) headress like the crown of the pharaoh’s but not red/white. The dust shows no sighn of activity and the walls depict all sorts of evil by demons, Rehotep and monsters. The ceiling is of devils and monsters gazing evilly upon the party (very minor sanity checks all around for the room).
Rick “Maybe this is more for the Iluminati rather than the public.”
We examine the room in detail. The jars are 4 canopic, plus 2 of plain pottery. Some of those 2 are empty, some ancient grain and such for the afterlife. Khansu examines them but finds them and their contents to be nothing special.
Atmu “Do we want to open the sarcophagai?”
Rick “No.”
Rick takes 20 on a search around the perimeter of the room, finding a secret door at each side ofo the chamber. He opens the left first and he and Billy continue alone, af 5’ wide passage that turns at 15’. 20’ further it opens into a small room. The entry is flanked inside by lifesized statues of Set and Rehotep. The room has no exit, and is full of treasure: coffers, scrolls, jars, gold artifacts!!!
He opens the right one , which is on a pivot. As soon as Rick goes through it closes. Billy tries to open it how Rick did and avoids getting a needle trap. Rick finds a lever on his side and it opens the pivot. Billy steps through and it slams shut again. Rick opens it and the 2 continue. The way is identical to the other side, but for a curse on the wall and seals and cartouches of Rehotep. More treasure, this one a great socio-archaeological find. We have diggers spike the pivot open.
We bring everyone to the right but the statues are only that. Lots of good stuff, like Tut’s treasure type stuff but much higher quality!! Boo yah!! Rick takes 20 on each room but nothing elset to find. It’s almost 7PM now so we exit.
SEbastian “You want to leave guards here overight?”
Rick gets Sala and the diggers started on unloading the treasure down the cliff as Hobbes takes pics. The coffers contain gems and jewels!!
Rick spends a few hours on the Resistance inscription to reveal the holy relic powers, but it also reveals his strengths and weaknesses:

  1. If you look into his eyes he will own you: charm/domination
  2. He wields the magic sword of Set
  3. His wounds close: regen/fast heal
  4. His skin is of stone, only wood/clubs can wound him: DR/wood. Stakes?
  5. Beware Utat Nabu: henchman of Rehotep, a vampire
  6. Beware the living mummies in the tomb
  7. Beware the rats and bats: swarms most likely
    Mundabi will be fashioning stakes and clubs for us in down time.
    With the threat of a vampire, no guards will be left at the tomb. Luckily Rick decided to keep the slabs intact. The inner one is put back in place, and Sala’s men plaster it well around the edges, sealing it airtight.

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