Jeshura: Hakotep's lapdogs! All of the sky pharoah's underlings will die a thousand times over before I am done!
Nemat: In the name of Wadjet BE QUIET!
Zenobia attempts to Banish her, helped by the fact that Onka was still wearing the Mummy’s Mask, and Banishment is assisted if you are wielding something the target hates, fears or opposes.
Nemat: Just grab Onka by the back of his head and push him forward!
Although there IS an anguished scream from somewhere to the south as Jeshura vanishes. Onka suspects she got got by an anti-teleportation trap. She’s still out there somewhere, but not in this chamber.
Nemat: That’s frustrating, but funny.
Zenobia: A problem for Future Zenobia.
It turns out that being released from a sarcophagus after a few thousand years, and a few seconds later being magically stuffed into another cell, has broken her. She throws herself on our mercy. We do our best to talk her around to our point of view.
Zenobia: Before… before I became what I am today, I was a monster. Of a race of monsters. My kind did... Unspeakable things. But through Sarenrae I was given a second chance. And in redeeming myself I have found true friends, a true chance to build, to protect, and to heal. We seek to cast down the works of the Sky Pharoah - if you help us do that, it will go a long way to purging yourself of your past sins.
Nemat makes her swear an oath to assist us, and disables the enchantments on the cell, and Zenobia helps her to her feet.
Zenobia: Come sister - we have much to do.
GM: So now you’ve picked up another GM NPC for me to worry about - well done.
Zenobia OoC: The subtitle for this campaign should be How To Win Friends And Influence People.
Admittedly, Zenobia’s fiancée is a bit put out. Not only because of her own personal history with Divs.
Asrian: If she ever takes your pants down I’m cutting off everything you’ve got.
Zenobia: … fair enough.
It’s probably really unfortunate that Jeshura resurrected herself in the form of a Pairaka back before she got stuck in the sarcophagus - Pairakas are an embodiment of corruption and disease that sabotage the relationships and links that make up a community. They specialize in manipulating human sexuality and taboo desires. There are going to be soap opera shenanigans in the near future, even with Jeshura’s magical oath to follow the path of redemption. At least she was a close associate of Hakotep I back in the day, so her insider knowledge is going to be invaluable. While Asrian is working on a series of magically locked doors, Zenobia helps with Jeshura’s modesty with some spare clothes, and Nemat’s Sleeves of Many Garments. Although given that Pairakas have a permanent Shape Change going, to conceal their grotesquely diseased natural form, it probably isn’t strictly necessary.
Then we get spotted by a bunch of patrolling animal-headed constructs.
GM: Jeshura thinks very hard about betraying all of you, but doesn’t.
Onka: I’m sure our leader would spot an illusion.
Nemat: Wait, what? Since when was I the leader? When was this decided?
Onka: Everybody that wants to vote Nemat as leader, hands up.
Zenobia: I thought we were an anarcho-syndicalist collective.
The floor is one room is suspiciously covered in sand. Zenobia attempts to prevent any surprises by repaving the entire room with Stone Shape.
Nemat: AHAHAHA. That’s brilliant - Zenobia, re-tile it.
Onka: ‘Why do we hear tiny screams?’ ‘Oh, that’s the elemental under the floor’ ‘Help Meeeee’
Helpfully, the next bunch of burial chambers include plenty of evidence of the moral character of those interred. And plenty of quite nasty traps to disable as well.
Asrian: I’m starting to feel less bad about violating their final resting places.
Although, since Asrian is the one attempting to disable each trap, Zenobia is rapidly developing an anxiety disorder.
Nemat: That’s the equivalent of eating the seat of someone’s soul.
Onka: Pretty bad then?
Nemat: The blackest of necromantic acts. So we’re not doing that.
GM: The option is still there.
Nemat: The option is still there for me to beat you around the head with my morning star.
Onka: So what I’m hearing is ‘Don’t Get Caught’.
Unfortunately one of the chambers is such a challenge to the wit and sensibilities of half of the party that we linger a little too long, despite the angles of the room being distinctly non-euclidean.
GM: I’ll give you a choice - do you want to face more animal-headed constructs, or Hounds of Tindalos?
Zenobia uses another Stone Shape to trap the regenerating monsters in their alcoves.
Asrian: And now they’re stuck in there forever, or at least until some future archeologist says “I’ve read there were animal-headed constructs in this tomb, but clearly they are mythical - pass me that sledgehammer.”
Zenobia: We might want to paint a warning on that wall.
Nemat: No-one will pay attention! Do we? Well, we do, usually, but not ALL the time!
Onka Summons a pair of Aurochs to trample the surviving construct flat, which admittedly isn’t out-of-character for an Auroch or for that matter most large herbivores, who really don’t need an excuse.
GM: The Black Djinn stands and greets you politely.
Zenobia: That makes a change.
Black Djinn: I’ve been waiting for you, tomb-robbers - is it time for our final battle.
Onka: All together now -
All: We’re not tomb-robbers, we’re archeologists.
Black Djinn: Either I will slay you or you will slay me - I accept either resolution.
Zenobia: I DO have one more Banishment saved up for today…
Nemat: Option Three it is then.
Unfortunately, since she’s Bound to the complex, she ain’t going anywhere. Worse, since Black Djinn hate religion and especially hate good gods, Zenobia is right at the top of the list of ‘People To Be Bisected’. Happily Asrian and Nemat are willing to throw themselves in the way, with Onka and Jeshura in the rear ranks - just as well, since some of the prayers Zenobia can wield would do bad things to the half-orc and the Pairika.
Onka was born in the jungles south of Osiria, and is familiar enough with the ruins of the Shory cities there to note something odd about the Djinn’s model city - the skyline is wrong. Nemat gets very excited, and uses the Automatic Cartographer to make a copy, and runs out to consult Tef-Naju. He doesn’t recognise it or the puzzle. Jeshura, on the other hand WAS a Shory, and instantly realises what needs to be slid around to make the model match reality. Some rather valuable stuff is revealed, although hopefully we won’t need to use the Oil of Life that was in the cache as well. Some stairs leading to the Sun Disc activation area are also convenient to hand. Nemat is quite glad he can put the maps we’ve been making away - they were getting a bit large and awkward. We can finally activate the Slave Trenches! Arcane electricity flickers and dances through the complex and between the hundreds of obelisks!
Asrian OoC: We finally have the Iludium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.
But it looks like it will take a while for them to warm up. After well over 24 hours of running around, trying to set up the complex before it all shuts done again, we can finally level up in time for the Final Boss Fight. Asrian casts Restful Sleep on the party to ensure we’re all at our best for when the pyramid arrives.
Zenobia: Time for Snuggling!
GM: Near sunset, you see a pyramid flying towards your position, over the dunes. It’s quite a bit larger than the last one. And the moment it has line of sight, it opens fire on the Sun Disc.
Zenobia: Well, crap. *dives for cover*
Onka, on the other hand, can use Nemat’s suggestion of the spell Wall of Split Illumination to stop the beam. It doesn’t stop at least four Ossumentals from sweeping in from the rest of the Slave Trenches. This is less than ideal. They are powerful, difficult to destroy, and intent on smashing the Sun Disc before the pyramid smashes itself on the ground. Happily, Zenobia and her teammates are capable of some useful new prayers and spells now. Such as Sunbeam, which against undead is practically an anti-tank laser cannon, if you used one against ranks of infantry.
Zenobia: The Dawnflower is with us, today :)