Preservers of Immortal Lore - Mummy's Mask Adventure Path

Empty Graves (Act 1)

Your purpose revealed?

Roll for Initiative!

When: 15 Rovah (Toliday), 4715
Where: Wati, the living city ending at the Grand Mausoleum

Our story so far…

The band of intrepid adventurers embarked on a mission to rescue one of the Priests of the Church of Pharasma, Ptemenib, from the clutches of the Silver Chain Gang (SCG) early the next morning. After a good night of rest – punctuated by the frequent howl of assorted undead at the nearby gates, and a light breakfast, they hit the road with a final destination of the Bright River Brickworks in The Veins district of the living city. On their way they managed to dispatch a group of esoboks that were attacking a trio of zombies. By themselves, the zombies were not much of a concern, nor were the esoboks, except that a local baker Liri (I did not give her a name previously) was caught in the middle of the fray. The zombies wanted her meat and the esoboks preferred the meat of the dead, but the esoboks were not above creating dead from the living in order to meet their desires.

After cleaning out the Bright River Brickworks and rescuing Ptemenib, the PIL discovered that someone else had a vested interest in uncovering the source of the recent undead uprising. A competitor. Based on the response from their local leader, Ekram Iffek, the competitor was not likely to be someone to aid the PIL in their endeavors, particularly after the PIL killed Ekram unceremoniously in his quarters. Furthermore, it would seem that Ekram had sent notice of what was occurring in the city (PIL’s presence, or just general information could not be determined) through the use of a bird feather token. Perhaps support would arrive through the entrance to the smuggling tunnels in the back of Ekram’s quarters it would appear the SCG (or someone) had recently used?

Ptemenib is the local SCG authority, so his information is likely as true as can be. He explained that Ekram was a recent infiltration into the SCG, and unlikely to be an actual member of the gang itself. This information squared nicely with the response of the two captives accompanying the PIL back to the Grand Mausoleum, as well as the apparent desertion of others at the docks and the presence of several cultists that Ptemenib did not recognize. The letter from Meret-Hetef found on one of the cultists merely sealed the deal. Indeed, it would seem that Ekram’s position of leadership was obtained by killing the existing leader (to whom the gang members owed their true loyalty).

Upon arrival at the Grand Mausoleum the PIL were treated not to accolades (though Ptemenib and Qasin were extremely thankful themselves), but an argument between Nakht Shepses, the leader of the militant wing of the church known as the Voices of the Spire, and Sebti the Crocodile, leader of the church itself. It would seem that Shepses intended to launch a wave of psychopomps on the city to manage the dead. Sebti, the wiser of the two, quickly pointed out that doing so will only serve to increase the level of panic in an already frightened populace. The PIL, she said, were making a difference ALREADY! After a few rounds (presumably officiated by Ptemenib), the PIL stepped in and offered to help even further.

Shepses reluctantly agreed, but on one condition… they must beat his best warrior in combat. “No problem” Meera retorted, right as Ajin Ra Baqa, a tall, skeletal creature with wings wearing a vulture-like mask and carrying a scythe – eerily similar to the grim reaper himself, teleported in with a few of his cohorts… “Fine, more esoboks” shouted Bumi, “Yeah, but, what the hell is that thing!” Lux replied. “Just a vanth,” Shepses said with a sly grin, “Good luck.” Given the tattered state of the PIL at the time, Shepses allowed them an opportunity to prepare for the battle, and, with a little help from Ptemenib and some well-timed luck, they managed to defeat the vanth and his esoboks (though Shepses did revive Ajin before his death, as he would have any PIL members that fell).

“Find the source of this uprising!” came the immediate response from Sebti, with an obvious sigh of relief. Of course, Shepses was still in shock over the defeat of his champion, as evidenced by his jaw hanging down for several moments after the battle ended. His only response was “but, but, but…” followed by a rather sincere apology. His greatest concern is the safety of Wati, and if the PIL are the best agents for the job, then so be it. He is not so proud that he cannot admit this.

After these events, your Panic Level is “Unsettling Times.” The events that unfolded this day, through the battle with Ajin, leave us near dinner time (say 4:00 p.m.), so further adventuring will require a night of rest, though there are some planning discussions that likely need to occur, perhaps over dinner at the church (probably not as fancy as at the Canny Jackal, but better than you’ll find at the Tooth and Hookah). Note that even though you did manage to drop the panic level, the economic effects are not immediate: it is late in the day after all. Shops will be open tomorrow (16 Rovah, Wealday), with purchase prices only slightly modified (110% to buy, 45%/90% to sell). I will post treasure in the forum. When we start back up, I’ll explain what is happening next.

Comments

FYI, everyone is now 5th level at 17400 XP. Granted, XP really doesn’t matter much from your standpoint, but it does matter for my tracking since you will not always level when the AP says you should level.

Just so everyone can see, here are my comments regarding downtime (edited to reflect decisions from above):

You are welcome to take downtime buuuut, every day you do nothing costs you an additional 1d4 panic points (every day with activity is only 1 point). The panic level is currently at “Unsettling Times,” which is a good thing. I would recommend at least 4-8 hours of scouring the living city daily (during any downtime) for random encounters, each of which can potentially offset 1 point of panic. If you go out at night, encounters occur more often. We can work out an online resolution mechanism if you’d like, that way we don’t have to deal with all of the encounters the first thing when we start back up.

For example, If you did 4 hours every evening, you could get a couple cheese encounters in (I have a table) and spend 8 hours crafting, researching, or whatever during the day, as well, plus drop panic by a point (or at least stay even). Note that I have a limit to the amount of panic you can actually reduce this way, which is up to you to figure out. :)

The Priests of Pharasma, particularly Shepses, will get antsy the more time you take, and may call you into action sooner rather than later.

Empty Graves (Act 1)
 

Handout from Bright River Brickworks:

Your sect’s efforts have been exemplary so far, but there is much yet to be done. The necropolis of Wati will soon be opened, and we might find clues that have lain hidden for too long. Transportation and means of communication will be provided. A gang of grave robbers called the Silver Chain should provide you with the cover and resources you need to continue the search. Once you arrive in the city, infiltrate this Silver Chain and bend them to His divine will. Move quickly. Once the Pharasmins open the necropolis to explorers, we run the risk of outsiders finding the mask first. Succeed, and Hakotep’s moment of resurrection will soon be at hand. I do not need to tell you how much I would loathe expressing the Sky Pharaoh’s displeasure should you fail.
—Meret-Hetef

Empty Graves (Act 1)
mtakatz

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