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    Default Mummy's Mask - The Half-Dead City (IC)

    Mummy's Mask


    Chapter 1 - The Half-Dead City



    Oathday, 17 Rova, 4715 AR

    The bustling desert city of Wati is near bursting with excitement. Adventurers from every corner of the Inner Sea region have assembled here beneath the hot Osirian sun to explore the tombs of the city’s necropolis, waiting only to be assigned their first sites for exploration. Surrounding the participants, the public has gathered to observe the ceremony as well. There is a festival-like quality in the air, and numerous street vendors are hawking goods and refreshments to participants and spectators alike. Some merchants have even brought what can only be considered adventuring gear to sell as last minute convenience items to explorers, while others advertise that they’ll buy recovered treasures and antiquities from those who visit their establishments.

    In front of the imposing edifice of the Grand Mausoleum, an immense awning has been erected between decorated pillars in the market to provide shade for the priests of Pharasma overseeing the lottery. Beneath the awning, two urns sit atop a table elevated a few feet above the ground on a wooden stage constructed for the event. The high priestess of the Grand Mausoleum, Sebti the Crocodile, sits behind the table, while two acolytes confer with her at either side.

    For days, the talk of the city has been mostly about the upcoming lottery, and the numerous adventuring groups it has drawn from far-away places. Under the already scorching morning sun, they stand in small clusters near the stage, made up of multiple nationalities and races. Most keep to themselves, but some teams engage in quiet conversation with other teams, mostly speculating about what they’ll likely face in the necropolis.

    The ceremony begins when the high priestess of the Grand Mausoleum, Sebti the Crocodile, rises to her feet and looks over the crowd. Sebti seems surprisingly young to hold such a distinguished position, but she has a confident air of authority. When she raises her arms to call for silence, the crowd quickly becomes quiet.

    "May the Lady of Graves bless you all, your families, your children yet to be born, and your ancestors in their graves."

    The High Priestess traces a wide spiral in the air with two extended fingers, finishing it over her heart.

    "Many centuries ago, it was by the blessing of Pharasma that our city and its necropolis were consecrated, the victims of the Plague of Madness finally given proper rites, the living freed from the curse, and Wati's hope for the future renewed. Since that time, people have returned to Wati and made it a great city once more, and the necropolis has stood as a memorial to the dead and to the curse that befell them.

    By order of our Pharaoh, the Ruby Prince, the Begetter of the begotten, Lord and Protector of the Land, Master of the Celestial Monarchy, the Forthbringer, Khemet the Third, the necropolis of Wati will henceforth be open to exploration, under the supervision of the church of Pharasma. As decreed, I am tasked with ensuring fair and just distribution of access to the tombs, making the process impartial and subject to the dictates of fate, in keeping with Pharasma's supreme will."

    The young priestess pauses, watching the audience with a steady, piercing gaze.

    “Let the lottery begin! Although many of you have requested specific sites to explore, we must leave these matters to fate. The Lady of Graves is a far better judge of destiny than we of this mortal sphere. The gates of the necropolis will open at sunrise tomorrow. Use this evening to prepare yourselves for the task ahead. Let these rules guide you in your endeavors in this holy place:"

    Her voice doesn't seem to rise, but somehow, it sounds even more clear and definitive now.

    "Remember how this came to pass."

    Most of the crowd repeats, in a murmur: "Remember how this came to pass."

    "Every slave’s hut is a memorial."

    Again, the people repeat Sebti's words in a subdued voice. "Every slave’s hut is a memorial."

    "Honor the departed."

    "Honor the departed."

    "May you go with the Lady’s blessing.”

    With that, Sebti returns to her seat. The two acolytes accompanying her each draw a wooden token from one of the urns on the table. The one on the left checks the token, consults a document in his hand, and calls out:

    "Marrn, for the Dog Soldiers!"

    A halfling, clad in chain mail and carrying an almost comically large battle axe, approaches the priests and gives them another token. Having thus verified the adventurer's identity, the acolyte on the right gives him a document, and shows him a large map laying on the table. After exchanging a few words with the priest, the halfling returns to his group, rubbing his hands in anticipation. Then, the priests call out another name.

    A few groups get summoned and processed in similar fashion. Then, the priest announces:

    “Lehasti Gesmeha, for the Relic Knights...”

    And so, our story begins.
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2019-07-15 at 07:48 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    "May you go with the Lady’s blessing.” .
    Grekka shudders. By the gods, that was creepy. Pharasmans! Somehow, the last comes out as an oath.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    "Marrn, for the Dog Soldiers!"
    As the halfling takes the stage, Grekka fixes her eyes upon him. When he turns around to return to his company, she releases the breath she hadn't known she was holding and shakes her head gently. Her gaze falls to the sand somewhere in between the party and the risen platform, where it stays, until...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    “Lehasti Gesmeha, for the Relic Knights...”
    Oh hey, that's you! With a shove harder than intended, Grekka sends her companion stumbling towards the stage. Heh. Sorry! Get us a good one, yeah?!?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerbink View Post
    By the gods, that was creepy. Pharasmans!
    Lehasti gives the half-orc a wry smile and shrugs.

    Oh hey, that's you! With a shove harder than intended, Grekka sends her companion stumbling towards the stage. Heh. Sorry! Get us a good one, yeah?!?
    Catching herself, the tanned paladin turns to give her half-orc companion a look with a raised eyebrow before turning and drawing herself up to her full height. As she ascends the short stage, she turns and lifts both palms toward the sun and raises her face towards it with closed eyes before giving a slight bow. She turns to present the token to the acolyte. And where will the Relic Knights be sharing the light of the Dawnflower? she says, with a broad smile. As the acolyte begins to look up from her examination of the token, Lehasti adds ...with the Lady's blessing, that is. apologetically.
    Last edited by JWallyR; 2015-02-17 at 12:05 PM.
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
    Morevek for Wrath of the Righteous
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask (IC)

    The acolyte looks at Lehasti rather quizzically, and opens his mouth to answer, but then, thinks the better of it after casting a glance at Sebti. The High Priestess' pointed look clearly indicates that the time or place for debates on preeminence between gods is not here and now.

    "Ahem... Yes... The Relic Knights", he says, looking at a list while the other acolyte checks Lehasti's token against his own. "You are to explore the tomb of Akhentepi. You can find it... Right here", he adds, showing a point on the large map on the table.

    "Here is a sketch for you." He gives Lehasti a smaller document with a simplified version of the map, with the tomb clearly marked, and a few lines of text on the back.

    "This is the first of your three assigned locations. When you are satisfied that you are done exploring the tomb, come to the Grand Mausoleum for a review of your findings. The second location will be revealed at that time. May the Lady bless your efforts."

    He turns to his colleague, expecting him to draw the next token.
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2015-02-17 at 02:58 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    "You are to explore the tomb of Akhentepi. You can find it... Right here",
    Vershab watches the proceedings with a mixture of subdued excitement and detachment. He smiles at no one in particular when he hears his team name called and says, "Akhentepi...hmmm..." a little too loudly to be entirely to himself. As Lehasti returns to the the assembled party he reaches for the map purposefully and takes it to study.

    Spoiler: Knowledge Checks
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    Based on the topic these values may vary. I will just roll them all and leave it to Gwynfrid to decide which rolls matter:

    To identify the name Akhentepi
    Knowledge (Arcana) (1d20+9)[20]
    (History) (untrained) (1d20+5)[19]
    (Nobility) (untrained) (1d20+5)[25]
    (Religion) (1d20+12)[27]

    To chart our course to the tomb
    (Local) (1d20+9)[19]
    (Geography) (untrained, using the map if applicable) (1d20+5)[24]

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    Grekka raises an eyebrow at the ceremonious actions on the raised platform. As Lehasti returns to the group, she meets the woman with a piercing gaze. Did that acolyte say anything? It might be important- they're hiding something. At the very least, I've been trying to get them to let me join a patrol for months with no luck at all! Everything about how the Pharasmans are orchestrating this feels wrong, somehow.

    Spoiler: OOC EDIT:
    Show
    Gwyn, for clarification, may I share?
    Gwyn rolled sense motive for me off screen: Grekka's getting bad vibes from the pharasmans.

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    Calathon

    Cal stands with his hands behind his back, casually observing the crowd since he is usually among the taller members of any crowd. On the outside, it would appear that he is calm and collected and just taking in the scenery while the names are called and the lottery results divvied out. He's dressed in standard arid environment fare: a simple robe with a traditional hood drawn up over his head. More to the point, the loose clothing serves well to hide the many scars that people's eyes seems to always be drawn to.

    He seems oblivious to most of the questions and conversations around him as he is busy instead scanning the crowd for anything of note or interest that he can share with the rest of the Relic Knights. A smile creeps over his features as he thinks on the name of the group, then he remembers how he met Grekka and casts a quick glance her way. The smile falters as he remembers the paralyzing fear caused by the flame and the danger he put the laborers in. Focus, Cal, he silently chides himself.

    He resumes looking around the crowd, trying to pick out the name of any other tombs that people have been assigned, their plans, if anyone is paying attention to them, and just anything else that might seem out of sorts.

    Spoiler: Rolls
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    (1d20+8)[10] Perception check for listening
    (1d20+8)[28] 2nd Perception check, just in case you need one
    (1d20+2)[12] Sense Motive check


    When the Relic Knights' name is called, he completely misses it, he is so focused on his task. As soon as he realizes that Lehasti is on her way back, he blinks and excitedly awaits their assignment. Would it be some long lost Pharoah's tomb? Would it be a legendary site of historic significance? Or maybe it might hold just the right things to make Minnothet turn a tidy profit. Whatever the case, it'd be well worth the effort!

    His mind started churning over the thought of stepping into a long forgotten tomb. What will it smell like? What time period will it be from? Would it have architecture and design from Kemthet II's rule? Or perhaps the subtle curves more indicative of.... his thoughts drift off again, now wildly speculating on the many facets of Osirion history that their upcoming delve might uncover. Of course, a casual observer would note that Cal simply has a far-off, unfocused stare and a strangely lopsided smile (thanks to the one side consistently being turned down due to the scars).

    He almost rocks back and forth excitedly on his feet when Lehasti rejoins them. Anxiously, he clasps his hands together and asks, "So, where are we off to?"
    Spoiler: More rolls
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    When Lehasti indicates the name of the site, here's the obligatory Knowledge check:
    (1d20+9)[15]
    Carrion Crown: Dice | IC-2 | Doc
    Ruins of Azlant: OOC | IC | Doc
    ~~~~~
    Calathon - Mummy's Mask

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    "Ahem... Yes... The Relic Knights", he says, looking at a list while the other acolyte checks Lehasti's token against his own. "You are to explore the tomb of Akhentepi. You can find it... Right here", he adds, showing a point on the large map on the table.

    "Here is a sketch for you." He gives Lehasti a smaller document with a simplified version of the map, with the tomb clearly marked, and a few lines of text on the back.

    "This is the first of your three assigned locations. When you are satisfied that you are done exploring the tomb, come to the Grand Mausoleum for a review of your findings. The second location will be revealed at that time. May the Lady bless your efforts."

    He turns to his colleague, expecting him to draw the next token.
    Lehasti looks from the acolyte to the papers in her hand and back, opening her mouth with a questioning look before seeming to think better of it. With her free hand she makes a fist and holds it to her chest while bowing shortly first to the Sebti and then to the acolyte, and then turns to take the steps back to the floor of the area.

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerbink View Post
    Did that acolyte say anything? It might be important- they're hiding something. At the very least, I've been trying to get them to let me join a patrol for months with no luck at all! Everything about how the Pharasmans are orchestrating this feels wrong, somehow.
    Lehasti stops, looking at the hulking half-orc with surprise. After the momentary confusion, she places the documents in Vershab's outstretched hand before answering, They said little, aside from the name of the tomb. I would be lying if I were to say that I see eye-to-eye with the Lady of Graves and her servants, but aside from a certain... customary stiffness, I felt nothing untoward. Besides, she continues with a thoughtful expression, if I were they, I might feel a certain reservation about letting less-prepared parties than us seek their fortunes in the necropolis! She grins at Grekka.

    Quote Originally Posted by CleverDragon View Post
    "So, where are we off to?"
    Turning to Cal, Lehasti says, They called it "the tomb of Akhentepi". While I was never a great study of history, the name sounds... royal, to an extent. At least we haven't been tasked with the excavation of a peasant's hut! She chuckles congenially.
    Last edited by JWallyR; 2015-02-18 at 10:27 AM.
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
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    Gundwolf for Carrion Crown

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    Vershab examines Lehasti's document, a single sheet of paper. On one side, he can see, under the title "By leave of the church of Pharasma - Permit to explore and recover artifacts : Akhentepi's Tomb", a simple but effective sketch of the Necropolis, with the location of the tomb clearly marked.

    On the other side, he finds an explanatory text:

    The Rules

    Remember How This Came to Pass
    The Plague of Madness was unleashed upon the city of Wati while several churches were engaged in infighting. This rule is a reminder that the Necropolis remains a holy place, and those who engage in needless conflict and banditry are not only criminals, but accursed.

    Every Slave’s Hut Is a Memorial
    Every structure within the Necropolis is a testament to the people who lived and died in the city. Explorers must not desecrate or vandalize standing structures and tombs, but preserve them as the memorials they were intended to be. Some structures may be trapped or decrepit, but willful and unnecessary destruction will not be tolerated.

    Honor the Departed
    The dead are to be treated with dignity and respect at all times. If the interred need to be disturbed to recover an antiquity or relic, they should be returned to their resting places carefully. It is understood that the ancient dead are often brittle, but there is no need for the contents of a sarcophagus to be summarily dumped on the ground. This rule does not apply to the undead or other abominations.

    Failure to comply with these rules can result in, but is not limited to, expulsion from the necropolis, a ban on continued exploration, seizure of recovered valuables, and arrest and prosecution by Wati's authorities.


    For anyone native to Wati, those rules are nothing special. Everyone knows respect for the dead and the Necropolis are basic tenets of Pharasmin faith, with particular emphasis here in Wati, due to local history. The Voices of the Spire are tasked with enforcing the rules, which they do zealously, even though their small numbers mean their power to do so is not without limits.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    The group has until the next morning to finalize preparations. Unless you have something complicated in mind, I'll put up a new map and a post to describe the tomb next. That should be later tonight.
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2015-02-18 at 11:39 AM.
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    After reading the documents and noting the location on the map Vershab looks past Cal and says, "I don't recognize that name and need to buy some last minute tools. You should do the same, godfather. I have some coin that you can use if you think what you buy can help us. Then we can meet at the entrance in the morning and go explore!" As he speaks at the end he gets excited and says, loud enough to be a distraction to those around him, "I hope we find some undead! That will be so exciting!"

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    Grekka shrugs, neither recognizing nor caring who died in that particular tomb. She turns to face Lehasti, seeking a similar spirit. As long as we can purify the place, I'm happy enough. -Though making some coin would be nice, too, she adds with a widening grin.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOne7141981 View Post
    As he speaks at the end he gets excited and says, loud enough to be a distraction to those around him, "I hope we find some undead! That will be so exciting!"
    Suddenly Grekka's face turns very serious. Oddly, I think I agree. Perhaps for different reason than you, but none the less, we may both get more than our wish tomorrow morning. Come on then, I need to burn off some steam before we try to rest tonight. Tomorrow is a big day! She leads the way to her favorite tavern- where she met Andres those years ago- First round's on me, Relic Knights! Only then does she turn to see whether her allies followed.

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    Vershab's small, excited outburst causes a few heads to turn, but no real questions, as the various exploring groups get back to their own plans for preparation. Maybe one of the more seasoned adventurers allows himself a knowing smile at the young upstart's enthusiasm, but that is all.

    Meanwhile, Grekka, oblivious of being followed or not by the group, goes through the now dispersing crowd towards one of Wati's favorite watering holes - the Whispering Stone, no more than a few minutes walk from the Mausoleum.
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    Calathon

    When Lehasti informs him of the name of their site, his face registers a look of surprise. "Akhentepi??" he asks, clarifying the name and pronunciation. "I...I have no idea!"

    Try as he might, who or what or when Akhentepi is or was eludes Cal's memory. As everyone else in the bazaar begins to depart after the announcements conclude, Calathon stands there with a pensive look on his face. His left hand strokes his chin thoughtfully as he begins to mutter, "Hmmm, it almost sounds like it could be related to...no, no. Too early for that name structure. Well, it could possibly be from the second dynasty, in which case...."

    As Vershab indicates his intent to purchase gear, he snaps out of his reverie. "Hmmm, you make a good point Vershab. Let...me...check..." he says, rifling through his belt pouch, counting his available coin. "I'm a little short and I think it'd be a good idea to finally invest in a proper set of lockpicks. There'll likely be more than a few locked doors and possibly traps along the way, after all. Do you have...say, seven or eight gold scarabs to spare? I think that should do the trick," he says, referring to the name the Osiriani use for gold coins. If his godson hands him the coins then, he pockets them and smiles lopsidedly. "You know, I wouldn't be surprised if we see more than our fair share of undead there. It is the necropolis after all," he chuckles and pats the young man on his shoulder.

    When Grekka mentions going to the tavern, he gives it a little thought. "I'm...not sure I'll have time. I want to look into this Akhentepi person or place a little more. I'd prefer to know what or who we'll be dealing with and what best to look for. Then, I need to do a little shopping," he pauses and then nods meaningfully, "but I can meet you and everyone else later after I'm done and share some details of what I find - if anything - if you're all interested."

    With that, he first heads to the Canny Jackal to ask Minnothet what she might know about Akhentepi and who or where might be best to look if she doesn't. Afterwards, he makes his way to the marketplace to purchase a set of thieves tools and one or two other things before making his way in the dwindling sun towards the tavern to rejoin his friends, if they're still there.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show

    Gwynfrid, let me know how you want me to handle the research into Akhentepi, whether it's a modified Know - History roll, Diplomacy (gulp!), or what-have-you.

    Also, with the extra funds that he (theoretically) receives from Vershab, he purchases a set of thieves tools.
    Carrion Crown: Dice | IC-2 | Doc
    Ruins of Azlant: OOC | IC | Doc
    ~~~~~
    Calathon - Mummy's Mask

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    Calathon easily finds an amiable seller willing to part with a "most excellent toolkit for the cautious underground adventurer", as she puts it, among the many people eager to do business with budding explorers. Evidently, the gathering for the lottery is a prime opportunity for profit, as the two dozen or so teams that received an explorer's permit are stocking up on everything from crowbars to mapmaking equipment, all the way to a pamphlet titled "Enbethep's guide to resolving tricky labyrinths".

    He then goes to visit Minnothep. The Canny Jackal's owner isn't aware of the name Akhentepi, and recommends a quick visit to the Grand Mausoleum. There, a young acolyte is busy searching the archives at the behest of adventurers fresh from the plaza, who've been lining up in the hope of learning what might await them in their assigned lots. It takes a bit of waiting to get an answer. The Church's records go very far back, and are fairly well organized, but the search isn't really successful.

    "I'm sorry, there is nothing. I would surmise he died during the Plague of Madness, or earlier still. And he didn't have any surviving descendants. You see, a lot of our records from before the foundation of the Mausoleum have been lost, especially during the dark times after the plague," he adds apologetically. "If a man was important enough to have a tomb built, we surely would have his name here. So, he must predate the Mausoleum."

    Spoiler
    Show
    The plague was well over 2000 years ago (see the history of Wait in the OOC 1st post).
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2015-02-19 at 07:28 AM.
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    Lehasti gives Vershab a tolerantly reproachful glance in response to his excitement at the prospect of undead, and nods (somewhat less seriously) at Grekka's remarks. I have little doubt that we will encounter the restless dead, so your curiosity and knowledge will be most useful. She turns to address Calathon, saying, Should you find yourself short of coin, I am happy to lend what I am able. I would think it more likely that we may find valuables locked away than that the mindless undead should prepare snares for the unwary, but always better to have and not need, than need and not have!
    Grinning enthusiastically at Grekka, Lehasti makes to follow her to the tavern.
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
    Morevek for Wrath of the Righteous
    Gundwolf for Carrion Crown

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    Shying away from both Grekka and Lehasti when they speak, in spite of their smiles and humor, Vershab laughs a little too loudly as he gives Cal ten gold coins. He then follows Grekka to the tavern, buying a couple of folding and collapsible tools on the way from the square. "What are we going to do in a tavern?" he asks, his brow deeply furrowed. "There will be so many people there - why would we want to be there too?"

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    Grekka's expression mixes confusion and disbelief. It's a tavern. I want to go there for exactly the same reason all of the other people who will be there want to be there! I need to unwind so that I can actually sleep tonight! Otherwise, I'll be up all night, anxious for the morning to come, so I might as well entertain myself first, eh?

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    At this time in the morning, the Whispering Stone isn't very busy, although a few inveterate players are already throwing their intricately decorated sets of bone tokens in what appears to be an overly complex game of pure luck. Others are sipping tea, smoking hookahs that bring a variety of sweet fragrances in the air, or discussing the matters of the day while idly contemplating the famous Stone Lips, the most prominent feature in the middle of the bar's central open air space.
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2015-02-19 at 10:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerbink View Post
    It's a tavern. I want to go there for exactly the same reason all of the other people who will be there want to be there! I need to unwind so that I can actually sleep tonight! Otherwise, I'll be up all night, anxious for the morning to come, so I might as well entertain myself first, eh?
    Nodding as if he understands Vershab says, "Oh, so people drink to get sleepy? That seems more expensive than going and working or exercising to get tired...Is the entertainment you mention observing the slurred speech and uninhibited behaviors demonstrated by the patrons when they imbibe the depressant?"

    The more he speaks the clearer it is that the thin, pale man has never frequented bars or taverns...

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    Grekka sighs, and turns to Vershab. Something like that. Listen, what do you do for fun? I'm as ready to go tomorrow as I expect to get, so I've little to do today. I'd rather spend the day pleasantly- none knows what the next day holds!

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask (IC)

    Lehasti chuckles at the thin man's confusion and Grekka's disbelief. Vershab, many come to a tavern to spend time with friends, to relax after a hard day's work, or to celebrate special occasions. Although the love of drink sometimes leads to excess... her eyes drift to the participants in the gambling game... Sarenrae teaches temperance in all things, so it might do you good to tear yourself away from your studies and see how the common folk live! Here, let me buy you a mug of sweet hibiscus cider... you might find the light taste to your liking! She smiles at Vershab and moves to address the tavernkeeper.
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
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    Calathon wanders the marketplace a little longer after purchasing his thieves tools. He has lived in Wati for several years now, and he's surprised at just how busy it is and how many budding adventurers are excitedly haggling for new wares and discussing their adventures to come. In time, he meanders his way to his favored alchemy supply merchant. "Ah, good day my friend! Looks like you're no less busy than the rest of the markets," he chuckles and gestures to the influx of customers in his stall. "When you have a moment, I just need to purchase a few vials, some catalysts and a little fresh water."

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show

    All I'm doing here is "restocking" my alchemy gear, the equivalent of a spellcaster's component pouch I would guess, even though the class doesn't actually have a mechanic for supplies needed to craft bombs and such.

    I wouldn't mind if you actually created an NPC that Calathon has consistently used over the years, that way my character is fleshed out a little further.I would like to note that Cal would make an attempt to find a vendor that was not tied to Malakeh (or his business) in any way, but that doesn't necessarily mean he was successful.


    While waiting, he looks over the set of lockpicks and similar tools, studying the angles, curves, hooks and gauges of the tools to best mentally inventory what he can and cannot handle later. He's blissfully unaware of the stares of strangers at his hideous scarring, so focused on his tools that he is. Afterwards, he hangs around to casually chat with the vendor a little longer, feeling strangely comfortable around someone with a similar trade as he, and thanks him/her for their time.

    Later, when at the grand mausoleum, he silently marvels at the huge temple/administrative center. I will never understand the need to make a god's place of worship so...immense or detailed! It's not like they visit or anything. A king's tomb or residence, however? That I can understand...

    When the acolyte assists him, he nods, "Ah, that makes sense. I hadn't considered the Plague of Madness' effect on the historical records! That makes it so much more exciting to rediscover the old ways! The names! The decor! The wrappings they may have used or the embalming fluids and other alchemical sciences they used! I must remember to m...." he pauses as he realizes he's rambling on and primarily just talking to himself. With a smile that looks more like a scowl, "Ah, sorry for my exuberance! I'll let you get back to...um...attending the others."

    That accomplished, he meets up with the others at the tavern. He instinctively puts the hood of his robe back up in places like this, where the alcohol and uneducated masses gather and gain bravery in their intoxication. He'd been beaten and bullied a few times from people's fear of his countenance that he just figured it was easier to not attract the attention in the first place. He eyes the gambling and slightly shakes his head sadly. He briefly ponders just how many days of food or residence people have given up on the hope that luck...whatever that was...would pay for even more, only to discover they had less in the end.

    Spotting the others (however many there might be by this point, some couple hours later), he sits down with them. "Well, I'm sorry to say that I didn't find much. Akhentepi is from before the Plague of Madness, so there are no records of him or her! We'll be the first to step foot in that place in maybe two thousand or more years! I'd say that is deserving of celebration in and of itself!" He then orders a small glass of the least alcoholic drink, whatever that may be, but has the gleam in his eyes that clearly indicates he thinks he's "letting his hair down".
    Carrion Crown: Dice | IC-2 | Doc
    Ruins of Azlant: OOC | IC | Doc
    ~~~~~
    Calathon - Mummy's Mask

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    Grekka doesn't let herself get inebriated, but is relaxedly sipping her third ale when Calathon returns. Ah! My blisterry friend! Fine out 'nything essiting in the mausolum? I've found th' bottom of two mugs, so far. She holds her first two fingers up, as a visual aid. I should be close to a third, now... I think it's around here. Somewhere.... She makes a show of searching under Lehasti's drink and the table as Calathon takes a seat.

    Quote Originally Posted by CleverDragon View Post
    "Well, I'm sorry to say that I didn't find much. Akhentepi is from before the Plague of Madness, so there are no records of him or her! We'll be the first to step foot in that place in maybe two thousand or more years! I'd say that is deserving of celebration in and of itself!"
    SNNK Grekka fails to stifle a laugh into less than a snort as Calathon places an order with the wandering barmaid. You aren't gonn' get much done wit'tat! Hmmmm.... With a contented smile, she slowly lets her eyes close, and takes another sip of her mug.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWallyR View Post
    Here, let me buy you a mug of sweet hibiscus cider... you might find the light taste to your liking!
    Vershab smells the drink carefully, his face a mask of doubt and confusion. "Are we celebrating something? And if we are, why are we drinking a mild poison? I don't understand..." He shakes his head but takes a deep breath, his nose still over the liquor, coughs violently for a moment from the (mild) fumes, recovers, and holds his nose for a moment as he drinks a small sip. As the drink flows into his mouth and down his throat he releases his nose and takes a good deal of time thinking on the flavor, aromas, and such, his eyes looking into the distance. "I don't understand, but this doesn't taste too bad," he says after a moment. "When do I start to enjoy the taste? Is there a method to drinking this that doesn't make my throat burn? What about..." his questions continue nearly inexhaustibly as he slowly nurses the unfamiliar liquid.
    Last edited by DarkOne7141981; 2015-04-15 at 05:33 AM.

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    "Aww, a young, brilliant lad like you shouldn't be shy about experimenting!"

    The fast-talking, mildly teasing voice belongs to the short, rotund matron that Greeka knows as the The Whispering Stone's owner and chief barkeeper, Teht Blackblossom. "And what do you mean, a mild poison? The cheek! Learn that here, we're brewing only the best and healthiest of beverages!", she continues, a wide smile on her good-natured face, only slightly altered by a mischievous gleam in her green-greyish eye. She continues, winking in Grekka's direction, "with the exception, of course, of our Very Special Old Amber, which is indeed poison for the faint of heart, but I'm not one to lie on the merchandise, am I? I do reserve it for only the heartiest, thirstiest throats. You wouldn't want me to waste it after all!"

    "But enough of that, I see I'm going to make you blush next. May I suggest our pomegranate wine? It is appreciated by all, foreign or local, for its mildly astringent taste and lightness." She fusses all over Vershab, offering a variety of drinks, not willing to give up until he finds something he likes.

    "Say, what brings you to my humble place?", she asks Lehasti... "Didn't I see you somewhere? Oh, wait, I know! At the lottery, this morning, am I right? So you got your hands on one of these coveted explorer's permits!"
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2015-02-21 at 06:48 AM.
    DM in Mummy's Mask I, II, III | Kamorkas in Curse of the Crimson Throne | Avatar courtesy of Neoseph7

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask (IC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    "Aww, a young, brilliant lad like you shouldn't be shy about experimenting!"

    The fast-talking, mildly teasing voice belongs to the short, rotund matron that Greeka knows as the The Whispering Stone's owner and chief barkeeper, Teht Blackblossom...

    She fusses all over Vershab, offering a variety of drinks, not willing to give up until he finds something he likes.
    As the woman continues to push various drinks on Vershab he tends to freeze, his discomfort obvious but hard to handle. He tries each drink offered, finishing only the sweetest and least biting of the drinks, though he doesn't speak again to answer any questions about which drinks he likes.

    His social paralysis is most noticeable by the stone-faced expression and often clenched jaw, a grimace-like smile occasionally shining through (mostly when Miss Blackblossom has stepped away to attend to another customer)...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    "Say, what brings you to my humble place?", she asks Lehasti... "Didn't I see you somewhere? Oh, wait, I know! At the lottery, this morning, am I right? So you got your hands on one of these coveted explorer's permits!"
    Grinning widely, Lehasti stands and crosses her fist over her chest in the familiar martial salute. Indeed, I had the honor of representing our...many-talented band in accepting a commission to bring light and life into one small part of the Necropolis. As the Healing Light allows, we will bring rest to the restless dead and begin the work of reclaiming the Old City for the living! Seeming to catch herself preparing for a sermon, she gives a short bow and returns to her seat. In the meanwhile, Grekka here is giving our less-worldly friends the beginning of an education in the fine arts of wine and ale, so that the excitement of the morrow does not keep them up all night. Her eyes twinkle as they flit to Vershab and his almost academic study of the beverages being foisted upon him.
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
    Morevek for Wrath of the Righteous
    Gundwolf for Carrion Crown

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    "Aye, if you can cleanse the necropolis of all the undead, that will be a deed of legend! From what I heard, nearly all groups who want to go there do so in the pursuit of coin, not fame. Something much to the dislike of my good friend Sebti the Crocodile, or so I gather. Anyway, here's to your success!", Teht says, pouring another glass of her famous pomegranate wine.

    Turning to Vershab, she adds, "... And don't let these get to your head, young master. You will need all your wits in the morning!" Toning her voice down, she adds in a conspirational whisper "Also, don't worry if you don't like drinking; you'll always be welcome here whether you drink or not. Please don't tell other patrons though..." Her twinkling eye winks at the pale, awkward youngster before she moves on to serve another table.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Fireday, 18 Rova

    After turning in early the night before, the newly minted Relic Knights proudly march towards the necropolis' gates, arriving there well ahead of sunrise. Amid the crowd's whispered comments of excitement and wonder, the exploring teams, an oddly assorted bunch of all races and all walks of life, many carrying gleaming weapons, get ready to take on their assigned lots. The clerics of Pharasma fuss about, gathering all the would-be adventurers, making a point of asking to see their permits at least two or three times in a somewhat disorganized fashion. At long last, with an awed "Aaah!" coming from many open mouths, the great Gates open wide, an event that hasn't happened in at least two centuries, if the records are to be believed. Groups come forward, show their permits one last time, and enter; some with a deliberate pace, some half-running in excitement, some betraying slight nervousness at the prospect of confronting the great Necropolis that holds so many of Wati's dead.

    Finding the tomb, as planned, is no hassle. It stands near the north-eastern end of the Necropolis, very close to the high wall that wraps the city of the dead in its 20-foot tall stony embrace. It is a rectangular stone mausoleum, sitting alone in what appears to have once been an actual cemetery. The trunks of a few dead trees poke out of the sand around the tomb, and a hot breeze whistles through their desiccated branches. A set of massive stone double doors is affixed to the northern side of the structure, beneath a facade bearing the likeness of an Osirian man. Windblown sand is heaped around the crypt, partially burying the doors that lead within. The name of the individual interred within the tomb is engraved upon the doors in Osiriani:

    Akhentepi
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2015-02-22 at 07:55 PM.
    DM in Mummy's Mask I, II, III | Kamorkas in Curse of the Crimson Throne | Avatar courtesy of Neoseph7

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    Closer examination reveals that not only the tall doors are devoid of handles, but no hinges are visible either. One can only surmise that they are inside, hidden in the stonework, so that the doors can only open outward. Furthermore, there are telltale traces of mortar along the seams and jamb that has since crumbled or been chipped away, indicating that the doors were meant to be sealed permanently and not intended to be opened again. Calathon's sharp eye finds signs of a crowbar or similar tool having been inserted between the doors at some point.
    DM in Mummy's Mask I, II, III | Kamorkas in Curse of the Crimson Throne | Avatar courtesy of Neoseph7

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask (IC)

    As the gates to the Necropolis open, Lehasti raises both palms to the sun and bows slightly, before marching confidently through the gates. Once inside, she readies her heavy flail and gestures for the godfather-and-son duo to point her in the direction of the tomb.

    As they reach the tomb, she whistles at the structure's comparative size and workmanship. Seeing no obvious method of entry, she gestures to Calathon. What do you make of it?
    Last edited by JWallyR; 2015-02-22 at 09:39 PM.
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
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