After spending some time with Farak, we return to the Necropolis to a fairly simple building with a tower in the middle. Astronomical markings, and mosaics of celestial events decorate the walls. Prayers to Pharasma in ancient Osiriani decorate the moldings. Nefru-Shepsis, the priest who brought Wati back to what it is today put this building aside for the resting place of loyal civil servants. Pieces of star charts of similar make to the piece we got from Unwrapped Harmony litter the place. A spiral of tiles in the middle is identified as the holy symbol of Pharasma.
Bashum says “This observatory is actually dedicated to Thoth, The God of the Moon and Wisdom, and Maat,the Goddess of Celestial Order, not Pharasma. This temple has absolutely nothing to do with Pharasma.” Bairn, approaches the mosaic on the floor saying the mosaic does not look right, it’s a secret door, but he can’t figure out how to open it. Zahi finds an odd thing written in the prayers on the wall, that he thinks maybe stating the phrase outloud it will open the door.
All who live must pass through the doorway of death to face her judgement.
He states it out loud in the center of the spiral, and it drops down into a staircase. Zahi takes the lead and descends into a large, vaulted chamber flanked by jackal-headed statues and over-sized pillars. A reflecting pool, filled with shallow water lays in the center of the room Four sets of double doors stand evenly spaced between the statues on the opposite wall.
Bash recognizes the statues of Anubis have been moved here from another temple. Hiroglyphs on the wall tell about the Shepsis history and specifically the history of Nephru-Shepsis and the founding of Wati. Charr notices a magical aura in the pool which he focuses on it reveals a conjuration aura. Charr directs Regan to dig it out. Regan pullos out a set of bracers and several silver funerary rod. Zahi, Bairn and Bash say the rods were most likely put into the pool to sanctify it.
The doors are bronze. They are not trapped or locked. They open into another large vaulted room with many curtained niches. An altar covered with an unpleasantness lays in the center of the room and several zombies mill about the room and are chained to the wall. And then they see us. We try and lead them out of the room, but they don’t come.
And then three cultists come down the stairs. A female voice calls out, insert text here, and starts to summon things. After a minute, we take her down.
In the room with the zombies, we discover the altar has been desecrated. Inset in the top is a blackened and partially melted seal bearing the heraldic crest of the Shepsis family.
While Regan, Zahi and Bash clean the seal in the consecrated pool, and set it bacl on the altar. When they do, the edges of a hidden panel are outlined in light. Inside is a shield engraved with a phoenix and whipporwills, which Zahi identifies as a caster’s shield.
Two sets of double doors stand to the north. Deciding on the left, Zahi finds no traps. The doors lead to a hall running east-west, with double doors to the north. Statues of morrigna psychopomps stand in the corners of the hall, and a mosaic of stars and constellations depicting the river of souls is inlaid on the floor.
Zahi steps into the room and immediately notices a trap, afterwhich he pushes down the arm of the closest statue and then moves to the northern doors. Zahi opens the doors, into a hallway running east and west. The corridor turns to the north with two sets of double doors to the west and one to the east.
Listening at the first set of doors, Zahi hears some animalistic noises. Opening the doors to a long narrow burial chamber, we interrupt a pack of festrogs fighting over a corpse. Charr throws down a grease as Regan and Bashum rush in, and they fall down rather quickly.
Moving to the central room, we find three animated skeletons guarding a mummified head in a gilded cage. One of the skeletal champions picks up the cage and starts swinging it around like a flail as the head shrieks “KILL THEM!” As we rush in, the head screeches out a spell. After a couple seconds, the skeletons lie dead again, and a couple more rounds, the head is smashed to bits as is the cage.
Scrawled into journals across the table, are words of her life and death. Before and into death, she has had visions of the mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh. Her grandson, Nebta-Khufre, cut off her head to try and harness his power. He has raised undead as his bodyguards, has a mumia-addled thug, and a shadowed mentor.
Heading around the hall, we find stairs going down, and two more rooms. The middle room contains another library, containing the records of every death in Wati since Nephru-Shepsis arrived. A hidden panel in the wall above the table contains a scroll of death ward. The table is also worth a lot also.
The outer room contains sarcophagi and mummified creatures; cats, horses, oxen, etc.
Going down the stairs, into a room tied with blue tiles. As we enter the room, tiles rise up out of the floor and strike us. The next room, an octagon with a large statue of Pharasma holding a dagger and a sprig of medicinal herb used in childbirth and some sarcophagi, along with several curtained alcoves. Zahi detects no magic.
First alcove – nothing. Second alcove – corridor to another room. Third – sixth alcove – nothing. One of us accidentally brushes against the doors, and a skeletal figure with glowing red eyes steps out from behind a curtain.
…and Bairn and Regan disappear…
The creature rushes at Zahi, clawing a huge gouge out of Zahi’s shoulder.
30 silver funerary rods.
Bracers of Armor +1
scroll of expeditious retreat
scroll of death ward
wand of invisibility (11)
magical +1 leather
magical +1 buckler
2 lapis bracelets 35gp
lesser book of extended summoning
gold funerary mask
caster’s shield (Bairn)
cedar tables worth several thousand gold.