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Pathfinder - The Mummy's Mask - Boss Fight

The Covenant of Wati have located the source of the Necromantic energy currently erupting from the Necropolis - somewhere underneath the Observatory of Truth and Wisdom.

Zenobia: Expect combat- the kind of people who set off necromantic geysers that run all week are generally not the kind of people you can reason with. I’m not saying it’s IMPOSSIBLE- it’s just not very likely

Zenobia OoC : Down down deeper and down. Bit odd for an observatory, unless they’re installing a neutrino telescope.

Chamber of zombies and desecrated altar - how to lure all the zombies close enough to get them all with a single Channel Positive Energy?

Nemat: Din-dins! Come on! Juicy adventurer meat here!

The reconsecrated temple can also provide holy water, if a suitable donation is made - large amounts of silver.

Zenobia OoC : I get the impression we are about to cure zombism with a homeopathic preparation of monatomic silver and holy water.

We’re interrupted during zombie decapitation by the arrival of a gold-masked figure and a few minions.

Meret-Hetef: You fools! The mask belongs to us! We are the true heirs of the Sky-Pharaoh’s legacy!
Zenobia OoC : I suggest she gets as far as the second ‘o’ in fools, when Nemat, who was waiting by the door for just such an entrance, blats her.

The minions have much higher initiative then their boss.

Zenobia: They probably have much better situational awareness, because they’re not wearing a mask.

Meret-Hetef turns herself invisible.

Zenobia: So she cast Disillusionment on herself. And we’re about to disillusion her about other things too.

After Onka’s application of 50,000 volts to Meret-Hetef and the minions, the former head of the Silver Chain and the surviving cultist promptly surrender.

Zenobia: I don’t think they were fully invested in the whole ‘cult’ thing.

Zenobia: We’ll be back to collect you shortly, but bare in mind that any information you can give us will ensure your cases are considered favourably by the cult of Pharasma.
Asrian: And increase the chance that we actually come back for you.
Zenobia: That too. I was more focusing on the future of their immortal souls.

We explore further, and hear a woman screaming. Screaming stuff like “What are you doing, why did you leave me here, you never give me any respect!” all in Modern Osiriani. Nemat peeks around the corner wearing one of the burial masks. He’s spotted. “Oh, and now he’s sent his minions to collect me! Well, hurry up, wretch, take me to my grandson!”

It’s a severed human head, in a birdcage.

Nemat: Another poor wretch to put down.
The Head: What?! Who are you?! Guards! Deal with them!

She has her own skeletal minions.

Zenobia: I’d rather not use Channel Positive Energy to kill all the undead. She might be worth interrogating.
Nemat: I don’t care, I don’t want to listen to that voice.
GM: Neither does the bad guy. That why he stuck her in here.

The head tries to permanently demoralise Asrian with a curse, which bounces off with zero effect.

The Head: Imagine gnolls naked!
Asrian: .... have you MET my girlfriend? Was that supposed to demoralise me? Exact opposite effect I’d say.

The undead don’t last long.

The Head: Just end it already! I’ve been a head for decades and my grandkids don’t visit!
Zenobia: Would you like to tell your grandson this in person, honoured grandmother?
The Head: And then you’ll end me? Deal! The little bastard will be downstairs, wearing his ancestor’s mask!
Onka: *bludgeons the head to a pulp*
The Head: Tell the ungrateful brat I’ll be waiting for him in the afterlife!

Nemat is traumatised - not from any spell or anything, but just because the room is carved with a COMPREHENSIVE record for Wati going back some 2000 years. And he doesn’t have enough paper to take rubbings of them all.

Asrian: We can come back later.
GM: As long as the bad guy isn’t a Load-bearing boss

Following the directions of the shrieking head, we discover that there are even deeper levels under the observatory, but unlike the temple dedicated to the old pantheon above, theses ones have defences designed with the new pantheon in mind. Somewhat peculiar - perhaps we should actually interrogate captives more thoroughly. Still, there are also more undead, which is no surprise at all. And teleport traps, which ARE surprising, and not good.

Zenobia OoC : And the worst thing is I can’t even interrogate this thing to find out what it did with my girlfriend.

Onka: I must be carrying the Wand of Invisibility then.
Nemat: Yes. Zenobia’s backpack is full of books.
Asrian: And I need to watch my weight.
Onka: … no comment.
Zenobia: Lucky for you.
Asrian: Yes. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Scimitar Enema’?

Combat vs. high level undead after a teleport trap splits the party is nasty. A well-preserved corpse is merely suspicious. Zenobia cautiously checks for cause of death.

GM: She be dead.
Zenobia: Like that means anything, down here.

Apparently she was a temple prostitute of Callistria, who died of exposure in the desert, and had Gentle Repose cast on her remains. Asrian collects her belongings for return to the nearest Callistrian temple, and decapitates the corpse, just in case.

Nemat: Callistria is the goddess of trickery, lust and vengeance.
Zenobia: Got it - ‘Don’t Piss Off The Callistrians.’

We also find Mr. Gold Mask’s diary and notes. It has all the details about his plan and motivation we could hope for. Apparently there are bits of the Mad Sky-Pharaoh in the possession of various competing groups across Wati.

Zenobia: Helpful text-only monologue

Nemat: So that explains that. We may have accelerated his plans a bit.
Onka: ‘Damn those adventurers and their gnoll companion’
Nemat: Ow.
Onka OoC: We’re missing a fifth to make the Scooby Gang
Nemat OoC: Wait, does that make me Velma?!

A bit later, after some in-Zenobia’s-opinion-unwarranted body image issues from Asrian, we buff each with potions and spells and kick in the door for the final boss.

GM: Nebta-Khufre has been waiting for you.
Zenobia: He would have been annoyed if we just rested up in the anteroom.
Nemat: ‘come on, I haven’t got all the time in the world’
Onka: ‘Yet.’
Nebta-Khufre: At last, the Covenant of Wati have come to face me!
Zenobia: We’re famous.
Nemat: Well, ‘famous’ is part of the word.

Onka: How nice of him to stand still and talk as we walk up the stairs to kill him.

Admittedly Mr Gold Mask does Fly up out of reach and turn a large part of the floor into white-hot obsidian spikes, but that was probably counterproductive because Nemat promptly Dispels his Fly. The fight continues, at length, with Zenobia taking serious damage from the minions - the boss is not in much of a state to do anything.

GM: ‘stop hitting him, he’s already dead *sob*’

Zenobia: If whatever is in that sarcophagus sits up now, I will be a bit cross.

It doesn’t, but killing Nebta-Khufre also ends the fountain of Necromantic energy over Wati, and prevents the resurrection of Wati’s founder as a powerful undead minion.

GM: And no it was not a load-bearing boss.
Zenobia: Yay for archeology!

Zenobia: Now we can go back and collect those prisoners we left tied up.
Nemat: Oh yeah! I’m glad one of us remembered.

The Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh is a pretty potent item, and only gets more so the longer you wear it.

GM: One legend about it says it can raise hundreds of undead over a wide area:

Zenobia: I think we can safely say that isn’t a legend anymore.

Just as well we don’t have to inform the Pharasmaens or Nethysians about what we found, since it seems likely that we’ll need all the bits of of the loony sky-pharaoh to finally usher him on to the afterlife, and his cult want the bits to raise him again. Assuming the Forgotten Pharaoh and the Sky Pharaoh are actually the same person. Time to head to the libraries of the capital! After we’re helped Nemat loot every library under Wati.

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