The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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    Mummy's Mask


    Chapter 2 - Empty Graves



    Fireday, 23 Lamashan, 4715 AR

    The Canny Jackal is a prestigious auction house and art gallery, located at the edge of the Sunburst Market, in the heart of the city of Wati. This is where the Relic Knights have been invited to participate in one of the most sought after social events of Wati. For the first time, the most precious and fascinating artifacts among those recovered from the recent exploration of the necropolis will be on display, and available for purchase to the highest bidder. Following their exploits in the exploration of the Tomb of Akhentepi, the House of Pentheru and the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye, and, not to forget, the sensational arrest of a rogue exploration team, the Relic Knights are among the first to receive an invitation. It doesn't hurt that their friend and former team member, the alchemist Calathon, happens to be also an antiques expert in the employ of the Canny Jackal's proprietor, Minnothep. An astute businesswoman, the matronly Garundi lady has made sure (by way of lending them advance money on the future proceeds of their sales) that the group would sell the finest of their acquisitions at her house rather than through the hands of any other merchant.

    Along with the Relic Knights, other exploration permit holders are joining tonight - Lehasti and Grekka recognize Marrn, the leader of the Dog Soldiers, Naadhira, the Everlight cleric from Qadira, Sigrun Firehair of the Daughters of the Desert, and even their onetime half-elf ally, the leader of the Sand Scorpions, Black Kiss, barely recognizable in an elegant, flowing silk dress matching her dark purple lip and eyebrow make-up.

    All adventurers are dressed in their finest tonight, hoping to strike the best impression on potential bidders; some of them, obviously more used to desert travel and rough-and-tumble taverns, look rather awkward in this setting, especially the halfling, Marrn, who looks positively embarrassed in the fine leather tunic and short breeches that replace his chain mail for the night. Vershab also notices someone he knows well: Lempteph, the Pharasmin priest and chief curator and recorder of most teams' exploration reports. Minnothep welcomes the cleric with great deference. On the side, Calathon explains that the Grand Mausoleum is also suffering an embarrassment of riches, having spent the past several days accepting percentages of adventurers’ proceeds as payments for healing and magical services - and occasionally confiscating items from adventurers who didn’t show the proper respect to Wati’s honored dead.

    Minnothep's other hosts are private parties coming to bid on items recently brought out of the necropolis. This is a sample of Wati’s richest collectors and historians, from local nobles to representatives from An, Tephu, and even Sothis. Calathon is able to offer a few tidbits of gossip on some among the happy few attending the event:

    - Baketra: One of Wati’s richest and most notorious gourmands, she’s keen to sample forgotten treats or liquors, or purchase ancient artwork to decorate her large dining room.

    - Basif Iosep: A wealthy, half-elf coffee merchant and avid document collector, rumors have it that he's hoping to uncover records about his human heritage.

    - Djat Masakhet and Intef Karam: Representatives of Wati’s temple of Nethys, the Sanctum of Silver and Gold, looking for unique magic items and lost temple records. Calathon says they requested to be introduced to the Relic Knights, having heard of their discoveries in the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye.

    - Khammayid Okhenti: A young scion of the noble Okhenti family, newly returned from his studies in Oppara and eager to find expensive weapons to impress his friends.

    - Manaat Heshwah: The humorless representative of a Sothis trading house, keen on acquiring furniture, housewares, and pottery.

    - Maru Meshhoten and Namaru Meshhoten: An aging dowager and her granddaughter, looking for jewelry, clothing, and scandalous books and scrolls.

    - Menya the Whip: Rail-thin and sharp-eyed, this ambitious young armorsmith is attending the auction in order to meet prospective clients and partners, though he’s also looking for a curious centerpiece for his new armor shop.

    Spoiler
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    Should you need a reminder on the adventurers the group met in Chapter I, I recommend taking a look at page 13 of the first IC thread.

    Please note that at an event like this, everybody is supposed to be dressed for the occasion. This rules out armor, shields and large weapons, obviously. A light weapon is permissible, provided it isn't overly conspicuous. Anything more obvious than that would be highly inappropriate.
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2019-07-15 at 07:49 AM.
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    The lights and fire from the scones dance across his well oiled forehead. Having just shaved himself, his body and head glisten with oil in the light of the torches. Anyone who gets near notices the pleasant smell of lavender.

    In a somewhat unusual turn for the dwarf, he hears a black tunic with red embroidery along the edges. A red sash with blue runes written on it ties at the waist. On its back is a stylized cave with runes encircling the design. The ensemble is completed with a pair of dark maroon sandals.

    Spoiler: Dwarven
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    The embroidery is a prayer to the Dwarven God Torag.


    Taking a moment to overview the room, the normally cloistered dwarf's eyebrows' furrow as he seeks out his companions. Finding Lehasti and Grekka, he greets them with a grim nod.

    "I'd rather be back in the Temple of Nethys..."
    Last edited by Untarr; 2016-03-19 at 08:04 AM.
    Spoiler: Characters
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    Aurora Pelleas Paladin Wrath of the Righteous
    Erik Armstrong Alchemist Reign of Winter
    Menedes IX Tombguard Zen Archer Monk Mummy's Mask
    Yen Witch Rise of the Runelords
    Domino Unchained Rogue Rappan Athuk

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    "What do you mean, I can't bring my sword!?" Grekka demands. Lehasti's patient expression yields none to the outburst. With a grim and dour expression, the half-orc places her weapon of choice back in the chest wherein most of her adventuring gear lies. With an expression daring her more refined companion to object, she straps her rapier to her side. Otherwise unarmed, and completely unarmored, Grekka makes her way unhappily to the auction.
    Quote Originally Posted by Untarr View Post
    Taking a moment to overview the room, the normally cloistered dwarf's eyebrows' furrow as he seeks out his companions. Finding Lehasti and Grekka, he greets them with a grim nod.

    "I'd rather be back in the Temple of Nethys..."
    Grekka grunts in agreement. "At least there we knew who was going to stab us in the backs..." she responds with a scowl. As quickly as it came, the scowl evaporates, as Khammayid Okhenti walks up, inquiring after the Relic Knights. With a smile mixing concern and propriety (accomplishing neither, exactly) she nods. "We are they."

    As the man describes his interest in weaponry, Grekka grins. "Oh this?" gesturing to her rapier. "It's nothing. Cayden Cailean himself would smite me where I stand were I to venture about completely defenseless, though, I suspect like yourself, I prefer somewhat heavier implements." As surprised as anyone at her fondness for the young man, Grekka leads him away towards Minnothep, and the spear of the watchful guardian.

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    The evening keeps all its promises, with a beautiful starry sky and cooler temperatures replacing the stifling heat of the day. Tonight, the Canny Jackal is offering cheese-stuffed figs, hard-boiled peacock eggs, onion bread, onion-stuffed squid, fresh and dried fruit, spiced wine, and a sampling of 2000-year-old honey recovered from one of the tombs. The nobles and antiques collectors enjoy the treats with the blasé air of those long used to such luxuries, but the reaction of some adventurers is rather different. Marnn, for all the battle-hardened halfling that he is, looks at it all with awe, and makes a beeline for the buffet as soon as the table is set, raising a few eyebrows in the audience as he starts stuffing his face with unabashed glee.

    That enthusiasm is matched, in a different way, by Khammayid Okhenti, the young noble, when he sets his eyes on the spoils Grekka presents to him.

    "This scarab shield is beautiful! And this spear! To think these were forged by our ancestors twenty centuries ago... And in such good condition, too. Mistress Grekka, you have to tell me all about how you came into possession of such gems! Was it in this sanctum of Nethys I heard about?"
    The young noble may have hinted at just a little bit of coolness when he was introduced to the half-orc, but it is all gone now as he focuses on what she has to show.
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2016-03-08 at 08:51 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post

    "This scarab shield is beautiful! And this spear! To think these were forged by our ancestors twenty centuries ago... And in such good condition, too. Mistress Grekka, you have to tell me all about how you came into possession of such gems! Was it in this sanctum of Nethys I heard about?"
    Grekka takes full advantage of the young man's interests, elaborating and expounding upon the weapons with such fervor and academic accuracy as would make Vershab proud. "Well, yes and no. See, the scarab shield here we found in the tomb of... of.. Ahhkk... That's right, Akhentepi! That is, some noble or whatnot from before the Plague of Madness! We think he might have carried the shield, personally! I dashed into the room..." For perhaps the first time ever, Grekka's audience seems genuinely as interested in the details she has to share as she is in the sharing.

    Grekka makes it a point to retrieve one of the Canny Jackal's fine glasses, filled to the brim with spiced wine- interrupting her history lesson long enough to offer a toast to the heartily-eating Halfling. "To danger, treasure, and the good life to follow!"

    "Now, the spear! You should have seen the guardian we had to kill to get that thing!!"

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    Soon enough, Grekka finds herself the center of a gaggle of wide-eyed people, listening to her every word, certainly not something she's used to. Ooohs and aaahs punctuate her story, and among her audience she notices the bright readhead, Sigurn, nodding enthusiastically.

    "I wouldn't have thought your friend would be this expansive. She's quite the saleswoman all of a sudden!" Menedes turns his head to find himself next to an approving Minnothep. The frail-looking woman gives him a wink. "See, that's a guaranteed way to make the bids go up!"

    At the other end of the room, Marrn, still holding a wine cup and chomping on a skewer of fried, spicy squid, comes to greet Lehasti. "Hi there, there's som'thing I like to show you first. I figured this got to interest you..." He takes her to a table where various tomb goods are exposed, and among them, a square wooden box, all lacquered and decorated with scenes of battle. "For our third lot we got a shrine to Ptah. I hear that's a god of the ancient times of your land here. Patron of metalworkers, smiths, inventors and all that. We found a few things left there, prob'ly by worshipers of his. Artisans and the like. Some of them offered pretty slick examples of their work... But none like this one. See!" With a conspiratorial tone and a flourish, the halfling opens the box. Inside are a great many metal pieces, none longer than a finger. "This is, believe it or not, a falchion. Nifty way to carry a hidden weapon, except here it's broken, right? But that's not all...."

    The halfling warrior takes the pieces and begins to swiftly assemble them on the table. Soon, a falchion does take shape. And, with a click of the last piece, the blade is complete. That's when it begins to shine with a soft, reddish light.

    "Yep, 'tis magical. Behold!" With another flourish, his raises the blade over his head, and bright flames run along the perfectly curved, sharp edge of the 2000-year old falchion.

    Spoiler
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    Puzzle Falchion
    Price estimate: 4000gp. CL15 (mending, magic weapon, flame strike)
    This special falchion needs to be assembled, just like a puzzle, by its owner, as quickly as possible, for its magic to function. This action takes about one minute, the puzzle not being very difficult. If the weapon is assembled very fast, its magic manifests more strongly. Roll a Dexterity check. If the result is 12 or less, the weapon behaves as a +1 falchion. If the result is 13 to 19, the weapon becomes a +1 flaming falchion. If the result is 20 or higher, it becomes a +1 flaming burst falchion. Any additional properties fades after 24 hours, after which the falchion is just a regular +1 weapon. The owner can disassemble it, with a simple twist of the falchion's guard, and reassemble it later, but new attempts will not change the result unless 24 hours have passed since the last one.
    The falchion has only hardness 5 when submitted to a sunder attempt. However, it is gets sundered, it isn't broken, but simply disassembled: It's possible to put the pieces back together, provided none goes missing. The falchion cannot be reassembled unless all pieces are present.
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2016-10-29 at 06:19 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    "I wouldn't have thought your friend would be this expansive. She's quite the saleswoman all of a sudden!" Menedes turns his head to find himself next to an approving Minnothep. The frail-looking woman gives him a wink. "See, that's a guaranteed way to make the bids go up!"
    "She does seem to find her niche in bragging about herself, doesn't she?" Menedes says with a wry smile. "You are Minnothep. I do not think we have been introduced. I'm Menedes Tombguard IX." He responds with a respectful bow towards the woman.

    "Tell me, how does someone like you become in charge of all this?" he waves around his arms, indicating the auction house and its various delights.
    Spoiler: Characters
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    Aurora Pelleas Paladin Wrath of the Righteous
    Erik Armstrong Alchemist Reign of Winter
    Menedes IX Tombguard Zen Archer Monk Mummy's Mask
    Yen Witch Rise of the Runelords
    Domino Unchained Rogue Rappan Athuk

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    Oh, the main thing is to be passionate about these old treasures, you know. That's the reason to go everywhere to find them, to catalogue them, restore them, collect them... The rest is just about getting to know the right people, the one moneyed enough to keep the business running. Then, if they like the items you show, they bring their friends. Next thing you know..." The mistress of the house just waves around, showing the expanse of the Canny Jackal's main auction hall, the dozens of excited people gathered around the exposition tables, and the busy servants catering for the crowd.
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    "The commitment to detail and passion for this is apparent. I share your enthusiasm for such items."

    Menedes pulls the mug to his face to take a sip.

    "I come from a long line of Tombguards. We are tasked with protecting, clearing, and restoring tombs that we find. While it is a little odd for me to be removing objects from a tomb, I can see the value in it.

    These things should be shared, so that we can learn from our past. We face the same choices as our ancestors, it would do us well to see exactly how their decisions affected us today.
    "
    Spoiler: Characters
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    Aurora Pelleas Paladin Wrath of the Righteous
    Erik Armstrong Alchemist Reign of Winter
    Menedes IX Tombguard Zen Archer Monk Mummy's Mask
    Yen Witch Rise of the Runelords
    Domino Unchained Rogue Rappan Athuk

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    ""Honor the dead, serve the living..." There is, indeed, much to be learned from the ancients, and it would be a disservice to all of the people alive today if we ever decided to stop digging, stop trying to understand the way of our ancestors."

    The frail woman turns to the Pahmet, and gives him a deliberate bow. "I am glad to find myself thinking along the same lines as you do, Master Menedes."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Untarr View Post
    "I'd rather be back in the Temple of Nethys..."
    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerbink View Post
    "At least there we knew who was going to stab us in the backs..."
    Lehasti lets out a peal of ringing laughter. "My battle-seasoned brother and sister in arms, fearless against ravenous undead and the treacherous living alike, set back upon their heels by a dinner party. Will wonders never cease!" She finishes the thought with a theatrical expression of shock, followed shortly by a wink down at Vershab, whose stiff posture hints at his discomfort with the impending social occasion. He gives an obviously forced smile at the paladin, who stands proudly in robes of bleached linen underneath a red tabard emblazoned with a golden sunburst. "Come, friends, tomorrow will bring new challenges, but enjoy the fruits of our labors for a night!"

    Chuckling as her companions are drawn their separate ways, the paladin turns from the buffet to receive Marrn's greeting, her congenial smile being quickly replaced by amused interest as the weapon is assembled, followed by wonder at the flames running along its length! "May I?" she says, extending a hand to the halfling and stepping away from the buffet line (and her forgotten plate). After marveling at the flames, the paladin weighs the weapon in her hands before striking a martial pose; looking appreciatively at the weapon, she finds an empty table nearby above which she twists the hidden catch, causing the weapon to fall apart once again. "I must say, I'm not one for puzzles, but the wielding of such a weapon, cleansing the foul with its fire... it has a certain appeal. Tell me, she says as she helps to collect the pieces and return them to their box, "How fared you and yours in the City of the Dead?" She returns to collect her plate, looking down to the halfling with interest.
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
    Morevek for Wrath of the Righteous
    Gundwolf for Carrion Crown

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    ""Honor the dead, serve the living..." There is, indeed, much to be learned from the ancients, and it would be a disservice to all of the people alive today if we ever decided to stop digging, stop trying to understand the way of our ancestors."

    The frail woman turns to the Pahmet, and gives him a deliberate bow. "I am glad to find myself thinking along the same lines as you do, Master Menedes."
    "I wonder though, if we should be building our own tombs. Placing objects in them so that one day, millenia from now, our descendants will have the same opportunity as we have here." The Ouat takes a bite of bread before washing it down with another swig of his mug.

    "Or maybe not a tomb, but certainly something that could withstand time and calamity."
    Spoiler: Characters
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    Aurora Pelleas Paladin Wrath of the Righteous
    Erik Armstrong Alchemist Reign of Winter
    Menedes IX Tombguard Zen Archer Monk Mummy's Mask
    Yen Witch Rise of the Runelords
    Domino Unchained Rogue Rappan Athuk

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    Grekka relishes the moment, as surprised as anyone to find as much attention focused on herself as is. Given the events of the past several months, she has plenty of material to touch on without growing tired of the near-captive audience. Whether due to the nature of their exploits, or some happy twist of fate, she manages to hold their attention, for the most part. Only when the auction is underway does she allow the new activity to claim dominion over her enraptured listeners. Happier than she's been- perhaps ever- Grekka finds her way back to troupe, to watch the proceedings with allies at her sides and back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JWallyR View Post
    "I must say, I'm not one for puzzles, but the wielding of such a weapon, cleansing the foul with its fire... it has a certain appeal. Tell me, she says as she helps to collect the pieces and return them to their box, "How fared you and yours in the City of the Dead?" She returns to collect her plate, looking down to the halfling with interest.
    "I've always been an axe guy meself. And this thing is a little large for me... But I gotta say, I found it tempting. Mind ya, we earned it the hard way! This ol' shrine to Ptah was deserted, and no wonder - the traps there were deadly, and complicated. Good thin' I got two lads on the team who are top notch for taking things apart!"

    At one point, just as she's tasting from a really excellent spiced wine - nutmeg and cinnamon - while talking to the halfling, Lehasti feels a sharp, brief shot of pain to her forehead. The sensation quickly recedes, leaving only a dull ache behind. Looking around and not noticing anything untoward, the paladin resumes her conversation, after noting Vershab's presence next to the exhibition tables. The arcanist has quietly, if not subtly, left a group's conversation and is presently busy examining all the extraordinary antiques on display, obviously finding the company of tomb artifacts a lot more interesting than that of living humanity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Untarr View Post
    "I wonder though, if we should be building our own tombs. Placing objects in them so that one day, millenia from now, our descendants will have the same opportunity as we have here." The Ouat takes a bite of bread before washing it down with another swig of his mug.

    "Or maybe not a tomb, but certainly something that could withstand time and calamity."
    "An intriguing idea, for sure..." Minnothep continues her chat with the ouat for a few instants more, but soon excuses herself to talk to her other customers. As he's left alone for a while, Menedes observes the audience, listening to tidbits of conversation, and noting the excitement in the most eager collectors, contrasted with the poker-faced attitudes of some more experienced buyers who don't wish to reveal interest too early. He overhears a group's discussion: “Rather nice to see the Pharasmins on board with this auction. At least we’ll know these relics are real. You can’t trust the veracity of just anything up for sale, no matter how old it looks. A group calling themselves the Silver Chain took me for a fortune on a ‘Second Age’ chest last year. It looked ancient enough, but it turned out the damned thing had only survived a house fire in An.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerbink View Post
    Grekka relishes the moment, as surprised as anyone to find as much attention focused on herself as is. Given the events of the past several months, she has plenty of material to touch on without growing tired of the near-captive audience. Whether due to the nature of their exploits, or some happy twist of fate, she manages to hold their attention, for the most part. Only when the auction is underway does she allow the new activity to claim dominion over her enraptured listeners. Happier than she's been- perhaps ever- Grekka finds her way back to troupe, to watch the proceedings with allies at her sides and back.
    Idly browsing the items that are up for auction tonight, Grekka notices an interesting polearm. The center of its crescent-shaped axeblade is attached to a socket at the top of the haft, while the lower point of the blade attaches further down. The blade is very long, almost as much as the haft, elegantly curved, and reflects the light with an amber sheen under some angles. As she quickly casts an orison to Cayden Cailean to verify the presence of magic, Grekka hears something being said behind her.

    “Some of the adventurers who went into the necropolis didn’t fare so well, from what I hear. They say the Sunrise Fellows were betrayed by one of their own, and some shady lowlifes ambushed the Scorched Hand while they were trying to leave the necropolis.”

    Spoiler
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    This is a +1 fire-forged steel bardiche.
    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2016-03-18 at 09:45 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    ...“and some shady lowlifes ambushed the Scorched Hand while they were trying to leave the necropolis.”
    Grekka's interest in the polearm melts in an instant. She turns around to face her unknown accuser with death in her eyes.

    "I don't know who's spreading these lies, but the Scorched Hand tried to infiltrate our assignment. Even so, we were content to leave them be, until Velriana attacked us." The Half-Orc snarls with a disgusted expression. "She shouldn't start things she wasn't prepared to finish," she adds with a raised eyebrow.

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    Grekka finds herself facing two groups of three of four people engrossed in conversation, and she's unable to immediately pinpoint which person was spreading false rumors about the Scorched Hand's demise, or even which group was discussing that subject. When she blurts out, the various nobles, collectors and merchants in front of her visibly recoil in alarm, many of them not understanding why they're being addressed in such a brutal fashion.

    "Er... Er..." one of them attempts to say, ineffectually.
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    "And if you don't believe it, go ask the Pharasmins. They interviewed and interrogated the remaining members of the Scorched Hand after our fight in the Temple of Nethys. Even after violating the rules of the lottery and attempting to rob us of what we found through force, we managed to subdue them with minimal deaths."

    Menedes takes a drink of his ale again. "Furthermore, if showing mercy on those who attack you qualifies a person as a shady lowlife, well then, I'd hate to know what that makes the people who instigated the attack."
    Spoiler: Characters
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    Aurora Pelleas Paladin Wrath of the Righteous
    Erik Armstrong Alchemist Reign of Winter
    Menedes IX Tombguard Zen Archer Monk Mummy's Mask
    Yen Witch Rise of the Runelords
    Domino Unchained Rogue Rappan Athuk

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Empty Graves (IC)

    "I'm sorry, was I talking to you? I have no idea who this Scorched Hand thingy is - ghastly name, if you ask me."

    The Garundi nobleman ostensibly turns his back on Menedes and resumes his unrelated conversation with equally well-dressed men - something about the finer points of Osiriani ceramic decoration techniques in the period preceding the Plague of Madness. The ouat notices the other small group of people yelled at by Grekka quietly dissolves, each one discreetly walking away from the loud half-orc and the bald, serious-looking Pahmet.

    Meanwhile, two newcomers, a middle-aged man and a younger woman of Garundi origin by the look of them, approach Grekka.

    "Excuse me, Mistress, would you mind a few words with us? Djat Masakhet is my name, and this is Intef Karam. I understand you are one of the Relic Knights who recently uncovered the mysteries of the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye?"

    Grekka notices the symbol of Nethys, prominently hanging from a finely wrought silver chain.
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Empty Graves (IC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    "I've always been an axe guy meself. And this thing is a little large for me... But I gotta say, I found it tempting. Mind ya, we earned it the hard way! This ol' shrine to Ptah was deserted, and no wonder - the traps there were deadly, and complicated. Good thin' I got two lads on the team who are top notch for taking things apart!"
    Lehasti's broad smile is marred by a sudden wince at the pain in her forehead. After blinking and shaking her head as though to clear the pain, she clears her throat theatrically at the halfling. "Quite the bouquet on this wine... a little more striking than your common tavern ale." She winks conspiratorially before excusing herself, rubbing her temple with the heel of her hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmerbink View Post
    "I don't know who's spreading these lies, but the Scorched Hand tried to infiltrate our assignment. Even so, we were content to leave them be, until Velriana attacked us." The Half-Orc snarls with a disgusted expression. "She shouldn't start things she wasn't prepared to finish," she adds with a raised eyebrow.
    The aggressive note in Grekka's voice seems to cut through the noise of the crowd, and Lehasti turns to search for the half-orc near where she had last been enthralling listeners with an only modestly exaggerated version of their exploits. Frowning in sudden disapproval mitigated not at all by the lingering headache, the paladin makes her brisk way over to where Grekka and Menedes seem to be glowering at nobody in particular. Just as she is reaching the pair and opening her mouth to speak, she is preempted...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    "Excuse me, Mistress, would you mind a few words with us? Djat Masakhet is my name, and this is Intef Karam. I understand you are one of the Relic Knights who recently uncovered the mysteries of the Sanctum of the Erudite Eye?"
    Blinking away her confusion at the rapidly changing social circumstances, Lehasti steps forward, clearing her throat, and addresses the newcomers. "And pardon me, in return! I am Lehasti Gesmeha swordmaiden of Sarenrae, and along with these two and a somewhat... distracted scholar and magician," she stands to her tallest, spending only a moment searching for the slender arcanist before moving on, "I am honored to introduce us as the Relic Knights. You understand correctly; we were assigned to investigate the Sanctum by the lottery, and would have been just as happy- no, much happier- to bring what knowledge and reclaimed treasures we found back to the proper authorities without incident. Unfortunately, as I am sure you have heard, we were placed between the proverbial rock and hard place by the leader of the Scorched Hand." The paladin shakes her head sadly for a moment. "Bad business, that. In any event, how may this lowly servant of the Dawnflower be yours as well this eve?" The paladin bows graciously toward the pair, awaiting their response.

    Spoiler: Actions
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    Diplomacy to improve their opinion of the group: (1d20+10)[29]
    Last edited by JWallyR; 2016-03-17 at 10:59 PM.
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Empty Graves (IC)

    Quote Originally Posted by JWallyR View Post
    Unfortunately, as I am sure you have heard, we were placed between the proverbial rock and hard place by the leader of the Scorched Hand."
    "Only you could describe someone almost killing us as a 'rock and a hard place'" Menedes retorts with a roll of his eyes.
    Last edited by Untarr; 2016-03-16 at 07:32 PM.
    Spoiler: Characters
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    Aurora Pelleas Paladin Wrath of the Righteous
    Erik Armstrong Alchemist Reign of Winter
    Menedes IX Tombguard Zen Archer Monk Mummy's Mask
    Yen Witch Rise of the Runelords
    Domino Unchained Rogue Rappan Athuk

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Empty Graves (IC)

    Quote Originally Posted by JWallyR View Post
    "And pardon me, in return! I am Lehasti Gesmeha swordmaiden of Sarenrae, and along with these two and a somewhat... distracted scholar and magician," she stands to her tallest, spending only a moment searching for the slender arcanist before moving on, "I am honored to introduce us as the Relic Knights. You understand correctly; we were assigned to investigate the Sanctum by the lottery, and would have been just as happy- no, much happier- to bring what knowledge and reclaimed treasures we found back to the proper authorities without incident. Unfortunately, as I am sure you have heard, we were placed between the proverbial rock and hard place by the leader of the Scorched Hand." The paladin shakes her head sadly for a moment. "Bad business, that. In any event, how may this lowly servant of the Dawnflower be yours as well this eve?"
    Lehasti's gracious words and elegant prestance strike quite an impression. With a polite bow, Djat replies, "we are most honored to meet you, Lady of the Dawnflower. Intef and myself serve Nethys, and ever since we heard that the Sanctum was to be on the list of places open to search in the Necropolis, we have been hoping for a chance to meet the brave explorers. Students such as ourselves couldn't let such a chance to learn pass! We regret that other followers of the All-Seeing Eye decided to take a more, er, brutal approach to the matter. We certainly don't condone any of their actions! This Taldoran character, Velriana, didn't even pay our temple the courtesy of a call or even to let us know she was visiting Wati." The priest's distaste with the most sorry aspects of the story is apparent.

    "Anyway, all is well, since it were honest adventurers who prevailed. I understand you found much of interest, including a veritable treasure of a library! At the auction, I'm hoping to acquire some of the artifacts and documents you recovered. But, it you would be so kind as to tell us more about it, we would be greatly grateful."


    At this point, Vershab, who was silently brooding on the sidelines, happily steps into the conversation. He forgets to introduce himself, but that doesn't seem to be a problem at all, as the scholars quickly recognize one another and launch into an enthusiastic discussion of the Sanctum's magic pools, the historic importance of the Tablet of Languages Lost, and so forth. Asked about the inscriptions on the temple walls, Vershab produces a scrupulous transcript, which he barely needs as he seems to have memorized the majority of the most interesting writings. As if it were perfectly natural, they obliviously slip into Ancient Osiriani at some point, leaving the onlookers to marvel at the lures of intellectual pursuits.
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Empty Graves (IC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    ...But, if you would be so kind as to tell us more about it, we would be greatly grateful."
    "I'm afraid I haven't the keen mind for- Oh! And here's our scholar now!" The paladin interrupts her own response as Vershab steps forward to share the details of their findings with the pair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Untarr View Post
    "Only you could describe someone almost killing us as a 'rock and a hard place'" Menedes retorts with a roll of his eyes.
    Noting the complete distraction of Vershab and the pair of newcomers in their discussion of a mutual interest, Lehasti turns to face that of the skeptical dwarf. "I'll take that as a compliment, my dour friend. Just as your light foot serves you well on unsteady ground, a gentle word is sometimes key to navigating a thorny conversation." With a conspiratorial wink, the paladin turns, attempting at first to listen to the dialogue; however, the forays into Ancient Osiriani leave the Paladin smiling confusedly until it appears that the conversation has concluded.

    Clearing her throat gently, the paladin addresses the pair, "I hope that Vershab here was able to shed some light on our findings, gods know that his mind is sharper by far than mine for such things." The paladin gives a theatrically rueful smile before continuing, "Is there anything more that we can do for you? Though I worship The Everlight, I bear no ill will for those who choose follow The All-Seeing Eye, little though my simple mind can understand the mysteries of Nethys."
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
    Morevek for Wrath of the Righteous
    Gundwolf for Carrion Crown

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Empty Graves (IC)

    The talk of magic pools and hieroglyphs quickly bores Grekka, and she turns away even before a dead langage gets to dominate the exchange. As she looks around for the rumormongers who were smearing her a moment before, she finds Sigurn Firehair coming to her, a big smile on her round face.

    "Grekka! Ever since we met at the Tooth and Hookah last month, I've wanted to hear more about your adventures... I heard you had this unpleasant Hypaxes woman put to jail for interfering with your exploration. How fascinating! Would you mind telling me more?"

    Quote Originally Posted by JWallyR View Post
    "[COLOR="#FFA500"]Clearing her throat gently, the paladin addresses the pair, "I hope that Vershab here was able to shed some light on our findings, gods know that his mind is sharper by far than mine for such things." The paladin gives a theatrically rueful smile before continuing, "Is there anything more that we can do for you? Though I worship The Everlight, I bear no ill will for those who choose follow The All-Seeing Eye, little though my simple mind can understand the mysteries of Nethys."

    "Ill will? I certainly wouldn't hope for anything but the best relations between our two faiths, you know... Having different interests in life drives us all to different gods, but there is no reason why this would be anything but peaceful. Yes, for the hierarchy of our own church, magical ability is important. But I would never dream of carrying such thinking over to the mundane world. Besides, we need strong and courageous people like you, if we are to recover knowledge from dangerous places like the Dead City..."


    The tall paladin's gaze wanders above the Nethys clerics' heads at that point, and in the corner of her eye she notices Lempteph, the Pharasmin priest, leaving the premises after a brief talk with Minnothep.

    "... This woman, Hypaxes, may have been of a different opinion. Our church isn't really a united organization, and has few tenets pertaining to mundane life. I view her as a common criminal, while she might have thought her actions justified somehow. The All-Seeing Eye knows all this... But there's no way of knowing if he cares. In any case, his guidance to us is about knowledge only. What we do with it is our own call."
    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 - Empty Graves (IC)

    Menedes remains near Lehasti, paying attention to the conversation whilst still consuming his mug.

    Spoiler: Actions
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    (1d20+8)[9] Sense Motive
    Spoiler: Characters
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    Aurora Pelleas Paladin Wrath of the Righteous
    Erik Armstrong Alchemist Reign of Winter
    Menedes IX Tombguard Zen Archer Monk Mummy's Mask
    Yen Witch Rise of the Runelords
    Domino Unchained Rogue Rappan Athuk

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Empty Graves (IC)

    The excellent, but highly bitter taste of the ale must have concealed an unexpectedly high alcohol content, because Menedes feels sightly dizzy. Whatever the cause, he can't focus enough on the two Ancient Osiriani speaking clerics' demeanor to get a good sense of their state of mind.
    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 - Empty Graves (IC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    "Grekka! Ever since we met at the Tooth and Hookah last month, I've wanted to hear more about your adventures... I heard you had this unpleasant Hypaxes woman put to jail for interfering with your exploration. How fascinating! Would you mind telling me more?"
    Grekka's face takes on a grim and pitiful sham of a smile- devoid of actual humor, and only thinly resembling the expression she's seen Lehasti use to such effect. She begins her response with a snort. "Horrid excuse for a human is lucky we only put her in jail. All we wanted to do was leave and report our findings to the Pharasmans, but she waltzes into the place out of nowhere and expects us to forfeit all of the findings! We even offered to just leave and let the Pharasmans sort it out, but she decided she'd rather shoot Lehasti with some sort of magical force, so we responded in kind. Worst part is, one of her lackeys ended up paying for her stupidity instead of her. Poor sod didn't deserve it, but if it was them or us, that ain't a hard call, you know?"

    Grumbling, she snatches another drink from a nearby waiter. Without bothering to see what it is, she downs the cup and unceremoniously dumps it back on the man's tray. "Ain't had enough to drink to wanna talk much about it, yet..."

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Empty Graves (IC)

    Lehasti nods sagely at the newcomer. "Indeed, it takes all kinds to keep the world spinning. Not all who are called to the service of the Dawnflower are blessed with Her wisdom, nor all with the fire of Her courage and passion, but we all serve where our various gifts lead us. Please," the paladin inclines her upper torso in a brief, but gracious bow, "count upon me as your friend, should ever you need my aid. The clergy at the temple will always know how to find me." Smiling broadly, the paladin excuses herself, looking for signs of new trouble surrounding Grekka's boisterous speech...
    Lehasti Gesmeha and Azkin for Mummy's Mask
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    Gundwolf for Carrion Crown

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Empty Graves (IC)

    Sigurn looks intently at Grekka for a moment, before she responds to the despondent half-orc.

    "I understand. The ways of my people are warlike, with many a conflict resolved in blows, or left unresolved with a blood feud. Some of our best stories begin with the most unnecessary conflicts. Oh well. Let's drink to winning, at least!"

    While she happily keeps Grekka company when it comes to drinking, the pale-skinned Ulfen woman is glad to find a more talkative conversation partner in Lehasti. An avid listener, she asks many questions, and ends up freely admitting that she has the first few stances of an epic about the Relic Knights already planned in her mind.

    After half an hour or so of social mingling, drinking spiced wine, sampling delicate olives and fine onion bread, and boasting either about antiques acquisition or ancient tomb crawling, Minnothep and her servants deftly usher the attendees to their seats, and begin with the business of the auction. Soon, the richest collectors vie for the treasures on display. The shrewd owner of the Canny Jackal manages the proceedings with sharp competence as she successfully goads the audience into bidding ever higher sums of gold. Soon, the Relic Knights see with great satisfaction that the goods they offered for sale are acquired for hefty prices, all the more so when Minnothep introduces each sale by recounting some of the more brilliant exploits that presided to their recovering of the items. On the other hand, Lehasti and Grekka begin to worry about how much they might need to bid in order to purchase the weapons they had a eye on earlier in the evening... The auction thus progresses at a brisk pace, and to the satisfaction of buyers and selling alike, for about an hour.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, let me now present the astounding Chariot of Akhentepi! This fine piece of craftmanship, straight from the pre-Madness era, was painstakingly taken apart so it could be unearthed from the deep underground tomb of its owner, Commander Akhentepi, leader of Wati's defending garrison in his day. This is the largest and most precious piece of the collection recovered by the Relic Knights from this especially deep tomb, protected by many deadly traps, and..."

    ...Minnothep is interrupted with a loud BANG!

    The offending noise is a frantic pounding, coming from The Canny Jackal’s main front door. As a servant moves to open the door, it suddenly collapses, reduced to splinters, and a horde of walking corpses makes their horrid entrance, their flesh rotting off their bones as they shamble in, arms outstretched, hungry for the blood of the living. A second door shatters, and another group of undead horrors stumble forward. The first one strikes the unfortunate servant with its rotten fist, and the poor young maiden collapses with a cry of pain. Another servant, a middle-aged, gentle halfling, stands stupefied in terror at the onslaught, and is stricken as well.

    Pandemonium erupts in the auction room when the customers and servants alike realize they are subject to an attack by zombies. Yelling in terror and jumping in panic in a ruckus of falling chairs, the crowd instinctively recoils away from the incoming horde of the dead.



    Spoiler: Beginning of round 1
    Show

    The surprise round is over. Two servants are unconscious.

    Initiative
    Menedes (1d20+2)[9]
    Vershab (1d20+7)[27]
    Grekka (1d20+5)[6]
    Lehasti (1d20+1)[12]
    Zombies (1d20)[6]

    Group's turn, in any order.

    Please remember that no one is wearing armor, and only light, small weapons can reasonably be brought to such a gathering.

    All squares with furniture (H4-I9, K5-M9, E12-G13, H11-I11 etc) as well as the steps to the stage (H3-I3, O3-P3) are difficult terrain. The stage is 4ft higher than the main floor.


    Last edited by Gwynfrid; 2016-03-19 at 09:48 AM.
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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Empty Graves (IC)

    Menedes hand instinctively reach behind his back and find nothing but air. "Blasted!" As the stout Oaut moves towards the zombies, his skin seems to crack and harden, almost taking on the appearance of the stone his people originally hail from. "Someone get me a bow!"

    Spoiler: Actions and Rolls
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    Standard: Use 1 Ki-Point to Activiate Barkskin for +2 NA for 40 minutes
    Move: As Close to Z1 as possible. I'm not sure what is what as far as terrain and movement are concerned. Looks like that would be J,10


    Spoiler: Menedes
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    Menedes IX Tombguard
    M LG Pahmet (Dwarf) Zen Archer Monk, Level 4, Init 2, HP 46/46, DR SR 9, Speed 30
    AC 20, Touch 17, Flat-footed 18, CMD 22, Fort 7, Ref 6, Will 8, CMB +5, Base Attack Bonus 3
    (+4 Wis + 3BaB + 1MW + 1WF) Adaptive Longbow +1 (See Inventory) +9 (1d8+3, x3)
    (+4 Wis + 4BaB - 2 Flurry + 1 MW + 1 WF) Flurry (Bow Only) (See Inventory) +8/+8 (1d8+3, x3)
    Improved Unarmed Strike Fist (-) +5 (1d8+2, x2)
    Bracers of Armor (+1 Armor, +2 Dex, +2 Deflect, +5 Misc)
    Abilities Str 14, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 19, Cha 8
    Condition Barkskin: +2 Natural Armor
    Last edited by Untarr; 2016-03-19 at 10:37 AM.
    Spoiler: Characters
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    Aurora Pelleas Paladin Wrath of the Righteous
    Erik Armstrong Alchemist Reign of Winter
    Menedes IX Tombguard Zen Archer Monk Mummy's Mask
    Yen Witch Rise of the Runelords
    Domino Unchained Rogue Rappan Athuk

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    Default Re: Mummy's Mask - Empty Graves (IC)

    Grekka completely fails to note the significance of the loud noise. Only when his "talking" companion audibly gasps does she look up from her drink. As soon as she sees the zombies, however, the fun and games are over. With the briefest of glances back towards the stage and the displays of auction lots there, she sees what she hopes to see: the bardiche she looked at briefly earlier lies on the table.

    Without a second thought, she dives for it. Unceremoniously, she shoves past Sigurn, knockinging over tables and chairs, she takes the stairs in a single leap. Almost under her breath, she mutters, "Cailean, this would be a great time for some help! Custodia contra malum!" Now on the stage, she hollers over the din while she grabs the polearm. "Back! Back! Everyone, GET TO THE STAGE!"

    Spoiler: Grekka, round 1
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    Grekka Cailean
    M CG Half-Orc Inquisitor, Level 3, Init +5, HP 29/33, Speed 30
    AC 18, Touch 12, Flat-footed 16, CMD 18, Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +8, CMB +6, Base Attack Bonus 2
    Fireforged Bardiche +1 +9 (1d10+7, 19-20/x2)
    Cestus +7 (1d4+4, 19-20/x2)
    Short Spear +7/+5 (1d6+4, x2)
    Breast Plate, (+6 Armor)
    Abilities Str 18, Dex 14 10, Con 14, Int 9, Wis 16, Cha 7
    Condition Blessings (Agile Feet, Holy Strike: 5/5 remaining
    Fervor: 4/5 uses remaining
    Sacred Weapon: 5/5 rounds remaining
    Spells: 3/3 divine favor
    1/1 protection from evil
    1/1 lesser restoration
    1/1 weapon of awe

    Move: to the stage: (K/3?)
    Swift: use fervor to cast protection from evil as a swift action
    Move: pick up +1 fireforged bardiche

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