Missouri Pathfinder Adventures - Mummy's Mask

Session 5 - The Rest of the Family
Not All is Peaceful beneath the Earth...

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The party had found all they could in the manor home known as the House of Pentheru, and now turned to the family crypt to offer up its secrets.

Unnerved but calm about the strange happenings during the night, the group proceeded into the crypt, where they found an altar that had remnants of burial shroud and wrappings upon it. Finding nothing else, they proceeded down the main stairway.

In the preparation room, they found little but a long-unused preparation table and two large brass urns. They quickly discovered another adjoining chamber, and noticed some strange remains. A mummy appeared to be discarded in an alcove – when the party investigated it, however, they were set upon by a tomb guardian – an ubashki swarm! This roving band of undead cats attacked Urwadi before being dispatched. As they dealt with the ubashki swarm, an ubashki lynx appeared and bit deep into Saineth, causing the ranger great harm.

Urwadi and the others chased after to help, but Vex was caught battling a strange beast – it resembled the mummy they’d found, but its body was covered with a sticky, viscous skin that weapons held fast onto. Shortly the party surrounded the creature after it knocked itself prone, and it was dispatched.

Searching the rest of the tomb allowed the party to find Pentheru the Younger’s resting place. he was protected by a Mummified Guardian that terrified Alhazred, but they soon recovered the frazzled alchemist and collected the treasures of the young Orisiani nobleman.

The party successfully explored the entire House of Pentheru, grounds, and crypt. The party is now level 3.

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Session 4 - Ghosts of the Past
The House Crawls

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The party regrouped in the first floor’s ruined atrium. They spent time searching the lower floors for treasures and found an adamantine flail in the granery (next to some unsettling skeletal human remains, the handiwork of the scarab swarm that lived there.)

Searching further still, Vex located a silver anklet, a silver vase, a tarnished silver serving tray, and a small gold ring. Touching it caused her to witness a ghostly scene from the past, where two young lovers planned to escape the city of Wait and the Plague of Madness, a fate that they succumbed to, in time.

The party located a headless corpse in the 1st floor privy. Alhazred deduced that the body’s head had been pulled off forcefully.

Also on the first floor, Jgisk located a small cache of coins that one of the house’s guards had secreted away in the compound.

Heading upstairs, Alhazred located another headless body, this one wearing a wedding ring. The party investigated several rooms, including an office, where Saineth located a bronze key hidden in a desk. Urwadi chased down some movement, but was unable to locate the source of it – in doing so, he found a hope chest with a fragile wedding dress, some small pieces of jewelry, and some makeup, as well as a painting of the room’s previous inhabitant, a young Osiriani girl.

Alhazred located some small items and a small laquered box that contained an ancient Osirion boardgame.

Jgisk located a false dresser in the master bedroom and a bronze chest hidden behind it. He took several poisoned bolts to the face before unlocking it, revealing gold ingots with the crest of the ancient pharaoh. Inside the same room, Pili found a headband that made him feel more intimidating.

As the party continued to explore, Saineth was confronted by a flying, flapping creature that resembled a head with winged ears. It shrieked at him and caused the others to come running. Saineth struck it with his shield against the wall, causing it to fall to the floor, where Urwadi handily dispatched it with his spear. Another creature appeared and attacked Alhazred, who retreated and fired at it with his crossbow. Soon this creature was struck down as well, and the party understood it to be a foul creature called a Vargouille.

Saineth then reported a silhouette of a man running out of the house’s front door. The party chased after him to the western side yard, where Saineth encountered a giant whiptail centipede. He retreated, only to have the centipede strike him with its long, sinewy body. He crumpled to a heap on the front stairs. The party rushed in to try to aid him, with Pili risking his life to get close enough to heal the downed man. He then retreated, pleading with Saineth to stay down.

The centipede, sensing a rare meal, shoved into the house. Urwadi intercepted him and struck out with his spear. Alhazred threw a bomb next to it, and Jgisk shot at it with his crossbow. Anu and Vex rushed along he outer wall to come up from behind.

Alhazred summmoned a tiny stirge to drink the beast’s blood. It latched onto the centipede and drank heavily, weakening the beast.

Urwadi kept stabbing with his spear as the centipede moved into the house. Suddenly out of danger, Saineth stood and attempted to strike the beast from behind. The whiptail’s namesake wrapped around his ankle and knocked him down again.

Anu leapt up the stairs and bit heavily into the centipede’s back, as Urwadi struck the beast one final time with his club. The centipede fell.

The party then chose to stay within in the House of Pentheru, having drained themselves of resources. When they found the small outbuilding on the western side of the house, they discerned it to be a tomb and chose to explore it in the morning.

During the night, strange things happened. Alhazred felt compelled to enter the tomb himself. Anu stopped him and noticed a black-robed figure walking into the tomb. The party, sans a sleeping Pili, went to investigate. Pili woke and was compelled to dance and sing and make a lot of noise. Urwadi snapped him out of it with a few slaps.

The group chose to investigate the tomb, with Jgisk and Saineth flanking the building, awaiting any other robed characters entering the tomb. As they waited, Jisk was attacked by a strange flying creature. He managed to escape the ratfolk after being gravely wounded by bolts.

And the tomb yet beckons…

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Session 3 - The House of Pentheru
Home is Where the Haunt Is

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The party began by letting the priests of Pharasma inspect the various artifacts they recovered from the Tomb of Akhentepi. While they were impressed by the chariot and gold records of Akhentepi’s military career, they were most excited to see the notes and records that were safeguarded by Vex. After an excited discussion and some smooth talking by the young summoner, the priests pooled their gold to procure the notes for the temple, rather than let them be sold to a private collector.

The party then took their remaining wares to Pasha Neko, who took an immediate liking to the chariot and gold military records. The party joined the Blackfoot Sand Cat Clan in a celebration over the rest of the day and late into the evening. Guided by Pasha, the party left early the next morning to meet a supposed buyer for the rest of their goods.

The buyer, told by Neko to the party, worked out of a half-sunk wagon in the corner of the marketplace. When they arrived, the party came face to face with Madame Zoestra, a gypsy with a sharp tongue and a withering gaze. She purchased the remaining goods for a flat 500 gold.

The party then went to a gathering of adventuring parties at the Tooth and Hookah, meeting the Dog Soldiers, the Sand Scorpions, and others. All seemed to be slogging through the necropolis.

The party then set out to the House of Pentheru for their second assignment.

When the party approached the gate, Vex (and Anu, her eidolon) Alhazred, Blind Pilli, and Urwadi heard a woman screaming, and the gate began to crash and rattle violently, spooking the adventurers into running back down the street. After catching back up, they found Saineth andJgisk being menaced by an enormous Death Dog. The party struck back at the worm-filled creature, and Anu bit one of its two heads off, tossing it almost back into the street as the beast died.

Proceeding forward, the party investigated a dry well, and Saineth was beset upon by skeletons that rose from their slumber in a servant’s hut. Surrounded, the duelist was being clawed mercilessly until Alhazred hurled a bomb into the room, killing the skeletons instantly (and scorching Saineth.)

Jgisk, not to be outdone, opened the room with the domed roof to find an old granary – but where the grain had been thousands of years ago, now a swarm of scarabs lived. They flooded out, biting at Jgisk, Saineth and Alhazred. Retreating (with the rat ducking into the granary,) the group hulred magic and bombs at the pests until they were roasted.

Entering the house from the eastern side, Urwadi discovered an ancient pool and a still-functioning spigot that produced clear, clean water. Further into the house, he discovered the foyer and atrium, where a strange spirit proclaimed herself the house’s protector. As she spoke to Urwadi, she moved closer and struck out at him – missing and frightening the cleric. When she retreated, she apologized and claimed she was frightened – but knowing the jig was up, the creature revealed its true form and attacked.

Urwadi was quickly joined by Vex and Anu, as well as Saineth, and the trio struck the sand creature mightily, with little effect. Their battlecries caused Pilli to enter the house from the northeastern side, with the halfling and his dog padding through the remains of an ancient kitchen. They came upon the battle and tried to effect it as best they could, but the little halfling’s flail, though true, did little to dissuade the beast, and his sling was ignored.

Vex attempted to cast Acid Splash, but the beast’s movements caused her to misfire the spell, burning herself. Jgisk trundled in from the eastern yard as well and began firing bolts into the sandy creature.

The sand beast shifted into the sandy flooring, hiding from the party temporarily. When he appeared at Pilli’s feet, he struck the halfling and knocked him cold. With the oracle asleep, it turned its gaze upon the ratfolk rogue, and knocked hium out as well.

Fleeing (as Anu’s bite and claws were ineffective) Vex came upon a strange room, where six skulls sat in six silver chalices on six silver plates. They levitated in the air and followed her movements as the battle against the sand creature continued.

Urwadi struck again and again, shifting to his spear, back to his club, and back to his spear again in an attempt to find the monster’s weakness. Settling on the club, he bashed the creature after it knocked Saineth out with a hard punch. With a triumphant battle cry, he leapt into the fray again to help Vex. Jgisk, Pilli and Saineth soon woke and joined the battle, and soon the beheaded spirits were quelled.

And still, the house beckons…

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Session 2 - If It CAN Go Wrong...
Triumph in the deep

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The party continued their adventure through the Tomb of Akhentepi. Examining the trophy room, they discovered an ivory chest and several other containers, as well as a diorama of Akhentepi’s warriors battling an unknown foe.

Three of the warriors in the diorama were tomb guardians and sprung to life. Urwadi dispatched them handily with his spear. The party discovered a light steel shield in the shape of a scarab; a well-crafted spear; a khopesh; and a composite shortbow.

Along with the armory, the group found a chariot and a collection of papers detailing the exploits of Akhentepi and his armies. A locked chest proved dangerous, but Jgisk avoided the trap and found more documentation and some potions.

Descending deeper into the tomb, the group encountered a swirling mass of sand that took the form of a snake. It struck down Urwardi, but was chased off by the remaining party members. Rendering aid to Urwadi, the group pressed on into a chamber of Pharasma.

In an adjoining room, Vex discovered a secret door. The rest of the team discovered a grand mausoleum, containing large Anubis statues and a grand golden sarcophagus.

After some effort, the rest of the party helped Vex and Urwadi open the secret door. They traveled through the small passage and were attacked by mining beetles after the secret door slammed shut.

After the beetles were defeated, the party struggled to open the secret door on the other side of the passage. Finally opening it, the group found a secret stairwell and another entrance to the grand mausoleum.

Splitting up, Vex, Urwadi and Alhazred explored the stairwell while Blind PIli and Jgisk explored the mausoleum. After a short look around, Pili and Jgisk encountered an insidious deathtrap. Water flooded the room as the doors sealed. The rat attempted vainly to open the sealed doors as Pili climbed atop the coffin to avoid drowning.

As Pili and Jgisk battled for their lives, the others discovered a room full of grave goods. Examining a wall that Vex found interesting, Urwadi was enveloped in a swarm of magical cockroaches. The party ran back up the stairs while Alhazred threw bombs, scattering the cockroaches handily.

The halfling and ratfolk were neck-deep in water as the trap appeared to malfunction and begin draining. The Anubis statues dropped their ankhs, which crackled with electricity that scorched the unlucky pair. Vex, Alhazred and Urwadi attempted to open the doors with no success.

As the water finally drained from the room, a curious Pili decided to investigate the sarcophagus – it swallowed him whole as Jgisk frantically looked for the release lever to open the doors. As the halfling began to suffocate, the wet rat managed to scramble up the Anubis statue and actuate the hidden switch to open the doors.

Shortly afterwards, the party ran into the room and dispatched the sarcophagus. As Pili climbed out of the wreckage, the tomb became still, at last.

The Western Wind Trading Co. LLC had fully explored Akhentepti’s grand tomb.

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Session 1 - Enslaved
The Leer and the Lash

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Introduction:

The sky was not always this way; it was once an ever-present ally, watching, illuminating, and warning. It was a benevolent spirit that protected those beneath.

That benevolence is a forgotten taste on cracked lips, and the great sun now beats down upon you with no reprieve, as the coarse gravel underfoot cuts and bruises, slickening the sand with blood and tears. The leer and lash, and the song of chains are all that exist to you, now.

One by one you came under the shackles of the rat-men. By force, by trickery, by coercion and lies, you were dragged to the dunes, never to be seen again by friend or family. Lost to the wastes, lost to time, lost to all. You have begun to forget. You are beginning to lose yourselves. So strong you were, so strong you were…

The looming dunes and ancient tombs bid you a prosperous and healthy stay; the pyramids call out from the distance, promising glory and riches beneath the shifting sands, but are unmoved by your neglect; they wear years as one wear fine cloaks, and they shall endure even without your enthusiastic looting. The jagged mountains of Katapesh lie like silent, still flames on the horizon, as your band moves ever eastward, ever deeper, ever closer to the famed slave-markets and the hooting laughter of the gnollkin. Darkness lies in this direction, and like moths to a flame, you drift ever closer to being consumed, unable to look away.

The rat-men are a cruel lot who speak with the lash – and the lash speaks freely. Cruel in their wholesale slaughter, the peddling of slaves as if no more than cattle…and crueler still is the great rat that leads them; merciless and foul, Sla’Var the Ruinous they call him, and for each of you, the name- and pockmarked face – strikes terror in your heart.

The buzzards sing their death-song; the scorpion bides its time. The wind howls on in chorus. The sand will slash and grind.

Your freedom dies here.

Welcome to Osirion.

Introduction:

The party found itself in chains at the beginning of this adventure. Alhazred, Blind Pili, Jgisk Quietfoot, Saineth and Urwadi were all shackled together with other male slaves in a chain gang. It was clear after a short while that there was little hope of escape, and that their captors intended to take them to Katapesh, presumably to be sold on the lucrative (and legal) Katapesh slave markets.

The separate female slave line carried an enclosed, box-like litter that puffed smoke every so often. This litter contained Vex, who for reasons unknown was under heavy containment.

During the night, the party’s slave caravan was attacked by catfolk, who set upon the ratfolk with claw weapons and javelins. During the fighting, a black panthress catfolk, Kiara the Black Wind, freed the slaves and broke open the litter to rescue Vex. Sla’Var attacked in response, and the panthress was consumed by the powerful flames of a well-aimed wand as she defended Vex.

The ratfolk were routed as the slaves began taking up arms from fallen ratfolk. Sla’Var escaped and the party was taken to the encampment of the Blackfoot Sand Cat Clan led by Pasha Neko, who offered them food, supplies, and equipment in exchange for their service as treasure-hunters in the newly-opened Necropolis in Wati.

Jgisk managed to pilfer a garnet and several gold pieces from a traveler, and summarily sold the garnet to a naive dwarven female, claiming it to be required to clear his father’s name. He managed to charm another dwarven female into purchasing some fine wine that he’d acquired, gaining her eye and favor.

The Tomb of Akhentepi

The party, now known as the Western Wind Trading Company LLC, were assigned the Tomb of Akhentepi by the priests of Pharasma, and descended into the depths after Vex revealed her Eidolon, using its otherworldly strength to open the tomb’s doors and roll away its protective stone seals. While the party was busy with the spectacle, a ghost scorpion wandered in from the desert and struck Pilli. The scorpion was dispatched handily by Urwadi’s spear.

The party encountered a trapped hallway that fired wickedly barbed darts into the corridor; Alhazred was momentarily incapacitated, and the party rushed to his aid. In an adjoining room featuring a statue of Pharasma and Anubis, Alhazred’s forehead was branded with ancient Osirion hieroglyphics (reading ‘Thief’) by an enchanted mirror for lingering too long – which he summarily broke with his crossbow.

In the burial preparation vault nearby, Saineth was gravely wounded by a massive scarab beetle, and Vex’s Eidolon miscalculated his powerful blows against the beetles, and the shock of his otherworldly attack damaged him gravely, causing him to disappear and return to his home plane until the dawn, when Vex could summon him again.

Examining the other side of the tomb, the party encountered a chariot and trophy room.

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In The Beginning...
Seven years ago, Pharaoh Khemet III, the Ruby Prince, formally opened Osirion’s ancient tombs and burial sites to foreign explorers. Khemet III understood that adventurers who’ve traveled great distances in search of treasure typically do not return from whence they came to sell their discoveries. Instead, they typically sell or trade what they do not keep as quickly as possible at the closest civilized community with an economy strong enough to absorb an influx of valuable antiquities.

The Ruby Prince’s policy has attracted not only explorers to the desert nation of Osirion, but also countless scholars, private collectors, special interest groups such as the Pathfinder Society, and financial interests from all across the Inner Sea. A minor industry has sprung up just to support visiting explorers, and an even larger infrastructure has come into being to serve foreign investors and traders. Every opening of a major site has heralded an economic boom for the local area and for Osirion as a whole.
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