Onka’s player: You lost me at ‘cursed’
Zenobia OoC: How did the session I missed go?
Asrian: Quite well. We had to go through a chariot race for Muminofrah, but that got us permission to enter the Dark Depository, where we found the information we were searching for. Unfortunately, we've also found out that more info is available at a different and hidden section, the location of which can only be discerned by watching from the top of a particular tower at dawn at midsummer. Sadly, said tower no longer exists. However, we figure we can get the location from the city model we saw earlier. We then had to fight a Bone Golem, which was a complete comedy of errors but we got out in one piece.
Onka OoC: We miss our good luck gnoll
Zenobia OoC: Aw, shucks. So… you kept sending me off on shopping trips whenever you needed to get another ‘favour’ from Muminofrah?
Zenobia: *plaintive sigh*
Nemat: Oh look, there’s some bottled musk for sale in the markets.
Nemat: To help Zenobia regain her girlfriend.
Onka and Asrian were assigned to the camel-chariot, since Zenobia was being kept preoccupied, and Nemat is at a penalty for anything that doesn’t involve books.
Nemat: Do you know how embarrassing it is to be a follower of Wadjet and be bad at Handling Animals? We’re a snake cult!
Zenobia: To be fair that’s a very specific animal.
Onka: Let’s hope there are lots of them.
Nemat: Blistering Invective! ‘You suck at being Ninjas! You surprised someone, stabbed them in the back, and MISSED!’
GM: Why do I keep sending these poor goons after you?
Zenobia: Because we’re not well-known enough in this town, yet. If somebody sent assassins after us in Wati, they’d be demanding danger money.
GM: True. And they’d be sniping you from a distance.
Still, a couple of them survive long enough to variously surrender or run away. Nemat Shackles the smart one and strolls off in pursuit of the one who tried to flee.
Nemat: If Zenobia was here I might spare him, in deference to her faith, buuuuut -
Zenobia: ‘But this is valuable reading time he’s cutting into’.
Asrian OoC: Zenobia, how good is your Intimidate?
Zenobia OoC: Let me check - Oh. Apparently I’ve been working so hard to not frighten people that I’ve got into the habit of seeming harmless.
Nemat: I’m not a nice person. I was going to suggest Zenobia try ‘Tell us what we need to know or I’ll eat you’.
Asrian: Zenobia eating somebody isn’t what I’d call intimidating.
Zenobia: *blushes bright red under her fur*
We do discover that whoever sent them ensured they can’t spill the beans, even if we use Speak With Dead - they’ve had their tongues cut out.
GM: You think I’d make this easy for you? I mean you could try True Resurrection and Regenerate on their tongues, but-
Nemat: No matter - we can find somebody to teach Onka Detect Thoughts.
We consider handing the survivors over to the authorities. It will be interesting to see what happens to them - if it was the city Governor that sent them, it’s unlikely they’ll still be around tomorrow.
Zenobia: ‘They were killed trying to escape’
Still, literacy is widespread in Osirion. They can always write their confessions out.
Nemat: I’m wondering if I should be good cop or bad cop.
Asrian: I was going to cast Honeyed Tongue on myself.
Nemat: Done. *heads back to the one that surrendered* This is eating into my reading time - I have better things to do than chase your friend halfway across the city and get back here to find out you’re being uncooperative!
They don’t know who commissioned the murder - more basic operational security. Nice to know that somebody out there is competent. Pity it’s the assassins.
Zenobia: So, did I miss anything?
Asrian: Well, there were ninjas.
Zenobia: Oh? I hope you gave them a chance to surrender.
Asrian: Technically, yes. Also, could you break out the healer’s pack? Being stabbed in the kidneys hurts.
Onka: Healing and don’t forget the back rub.
Selling off loot to avoid Death by McGuffin.
Nemat: You’re a bard, you know this stuff - if we keep the Golden Camel, one of us will get our head bashed in with it.
Nemat knows the spell Ears of the City - a stupidly useful first-level spell, available to most spellcasters, that makes a joke of Gather Information checks. Combined with Speak with Animals you can use it in the middle of the wilderness too. We just need to find somebody that knows the height of the now-demolished Tower of Ra’s Glory. Ramat Glyphkeeper the Third, a retired dwarf architect old enough to have firsthand experience of the tower, will do nicely. And using the spell means nobody will KNOW we came out of the archives asking about the tower. Just as well the spell only lasts a few minutes - Inquisitors are stupidly OP enough as they stand.
Asrian: The city wants its ears back.
Zenobia: Imagine an artefact that makes the spell permanent.
Nemat: Do Not Want. DO NOT WANT. Nethys did that, ended up violating Schrodinger’s Uncertainty Principle and had to become a god. And STILL went insane.
Asrian: Ramat Glyphkeeper?
Ramat: Yes? What’s up?
GM: What Up? Does that work for dwarves?
Zenobia: ‘What’s down’
Ramat not only knows the height of the tower, he built the thing. And still has the plans. Some geometrical calculations ensue - the shadow points to a nondescript bathhouse on Wadjet’s Walk.
Nemat: Well, if that’s not a sign I don’t know what is.
Peanut Gallery: Unless somebody built a rather tall bathhouse in the interim.
Nemat OoC: Godammit.
Anyway, at least we have the location of yet another secret library - how many secret libraries does this town have, anyway? Is there a guidebook? At least there won’t be any living guardians - but could be any number of traps, undead, or constructs.
Nemat: Is anybody else suspicious of this chest sitting in the middle of the entrance hall?
Zenobia: Maybe it has the Visitor badges in it?
Nemat leaves a scrap of coloured cloth hanging out of the chest when we press on.
Nemat: Anybody that isn’t suspicious of chests left like that, and gets distracted by something colourful, deserves whatever happens to them.
We find a journal that speculates that to allow the Sky Pharoah to pass on to the afterlife, somebody has to reassemble the various parts of his body and soul. Of course, it also speculates that you could bring him back to life if you had all the bits, too. We also learn the identity of the Sky Pharaoh’s chief architect, and the designer of his flying pyramid, and that he was killed and entombed to protect the pyramid’s secrets. No doubt we’ll be raiding his tomb at some point too. Especially if the fresco commemorating this early attempt at copyright protection is where we think it is. Even though we already know what they’re using for Cease and Desist lawyers.
We trigger the trap carefully, using long ropes.
Asrian: Rocks fall, nobody dies.
The location of the architect’s tomb is indeed described, in some really obscure hints, but it’s Onka that figures out that it’s referring to a particular stretch of wilderness. It’s still an area where Sphinxes are known to live, which is handy for Nemat’s ongoing plan to become Judge Dredd. There’s also design elements portraying some kind of vast weapon, used against a city of figures with their own weapons of black fire.
Nemat: I’d better copy that down - it might be important when we need to shoot down a pyramid.
As it turns out, we aren’t the only people down here. Although the other people have eight arms, sixteen hands, and no heads between them..
Nemat and Zenobia: What the **** is that?
Apparently they’re some kind of entity from the Outer Planes, but it’s not at all clear what they are doing down here, or how they’re reading the scrolls and books with no eyes. But it does seem a bit upset about the damage we did to the ceiling, and we keep getting telepathic flashes of burning libraries. And potential fates.
Zenobia: Falling out the sky towards a very distant ground?
Asrian: ****ing genies!
Onka: Dying in bed?
Zenobia: That’s not too bad.
GM: Death by Snu-snu.
The other guardians prove straightforward enough to bluff too, given that Nemat really is an Inquisitor servant of the old pantheon, a genuine researcher, and we don’t intend to remove any artefacts or irreplaceable tomes from the library (we don’t mention the ceiling).