The Tomb - Myth-Weavers


The Tomb

 
The Tomb


JourneyThe moon is waning, while the comet strengthens. Already multiple of its tails are visible, making it a blazing silvery flail among the stars. By the time of the new moon, it will be at its brightest, and then gradually fade as spring approaches. For the week or so around its closest approach, it is said that existing magical wards will be destablized while new ones might be strengthened if laid down carefully. No doubt mages all over are planning to take advantage of this, but surely Hargreave's intentions are among the most sinister. If the group's investigation is correct, he may be planning to pierce the tomb's defenses and establish his own, to be safe and undisturbed for the foul rituals he has planned.

The group rests overnight beneath the grim omen, with most of them taking a shift at one point or another. They might feel extra wary in anticipation of the scorpionfolk returning, but no attack comes. There is a disturbance on Black's watch, but it turns out to be a pair of coyotes fighting over a freshly-killed snake. That's as eventful as the night gets, perhaps to the group's surprise.

The air seems restless as the group makes the final leg of their journey. Dust devils whip up frequently, some of them rather large, but ultimately harmless. It seems another sandstorm might be in the making, like the one not so long ago that forced the group into the cavern where they met Nasri. Fortunately if it should come to pass, they plan to be underground soon in any case.

Within half an hour, they see a large rock formation jutting from the desert, the location of the eponymous tomb of the Shemura line of priestesses. With the ground up until then relatively flat, the group is able to trudge over to this formation while it is still morning. They approach to find the tomb nestled among the crags.


ArrivalThe entrance is understated. True, there are an imposing set of double stone doors twice the height of anyone in the group. But they are not ornamented in any way, and the building itself is totally nondescript. From what the group has researched, they should be expecting the place to be an underground maze rather than an aboveground palace for the dead. This certainly fits so far. Above the doors are some runes in the Dwarven alphabet. They are not too badly faded, and the individual characters can be made out easily, but the language is not one anyone in the group knows.

Abrecan is able to track the scorpionfolk and the two accompanying scorpions here. It helps that they each walk on six legs, leaving tracks similar to a much larger group. So it certainly seems like the group has found the right place. It will be a relief to get out from the desert sun and the stinging sand carried by the blustering wind. But the group will surely find other unpleasantness enough to make up for that, and more, underground. Between the scorpionfolk who seem to call this place home, and the necromancer they suspect to be hiding beneath them, they may expect more than their fair share of trouble before they see the light of day again.

The tomb awaits.

Standing looking at the tomb, "Battling Scorpionfolk in there will not be easy."

Abrecan looks at Hugh and nods thoughtfully. "They were surprisingly formidable in combat. Their poison was the least of our worries, it turned out. I have never met any foe with more attacks. Multiple arms, feet and a stinger. We would do well in taking on as few as possible at a time."
He looks at the entrance again. The dwarven symbols were easy to spot, but he never did learn to read, and gives him no clue as to what they could mean. The subtle elegance and engineering and the facade could suggest dwarves had part-taken in the construction, and this cheered the fierce dwarf up a bit, even if it had been inhabited by scorpionfolk and various undead.

"We should proceed with caution. They know we are coming and the place is probably laid with traps."

Nasri comes hobbling up at the rear of the group, using his staff to guide him along the dunes and rocks. As they queue up outside the massive doors, he takes the time to cast his daily mage armor before speaking.

"Have any of you been trained to search out traps? I certainly haven't," he says. "We may actually find the tight quarters to our advantage - the scorpionfolk are quite large,
and their charges are dangerous. We can choose chokepoints and break their attack lines. They will almost certainly be fortified, however, as this is their home,"
he adds grimly.

He then peers up at the inscriptions above the door with an interested expression. He pulls out a scroll, pronounces the arcane syllables, and his eyes briefly flash with rapid columns of different letters and characters as the scroll vanishes in a puff of smoke.

"These inscriptions, and others we find inside, may be useful," he says. Then stares up at the tall doorframe, stretches briefly on tip-toe and reaches an arm out, then comes back down on flat feet, looking a bit sheepish.



"Erm," he says, "could someone give me a boost? I need to touch writing in order for the spell to translate it."

Dice Roll: 1d20+3z
d20 Results: 7 (Total = 10)
Decipher Script attempt (10)

"Huh..."

The Bastard peered up at the symbols and shrugged.

"Tricky thing about traps is, which ones have already been set off by these yobs an' which ones ya wanna keep around in case things go pear-shaped?" He mused thoughtfully. "'Cause, ya, those buggers are big -- but manual dexterity an' fine manipulation probably ain't their forte. Which means we don't wanna crack a trap that then lets the enemy waltz in behind us without a care in the world..."

Varrik agrees to help boost the goblin, creating a ladder out of his shapesand for him. "There you go Nasri. What does it say up there?"

The Lyric Thaumaturge stands idly by, examining the ruins and trying to recall what,if anything he can about them from his studies.



"We'll find a way, everyone has a weakness," Shane said as they approached the doors, confident they will prevail. "What is it Nasri? Any warnings?" His eyes poured over the ancient construction, hoping a clue could be found in the writings.

"Ooooh!" Nasri says as Varrik creates the shapesand ladder. "How nice. Very handy," he comments, as he scrambles up and runs his slender fingers over the inscription, allowing the magic to flow through the writings and make them comprehensible.

Black isn't able to make any sense out of the symbols. Fortunately, Nasri's magic translates their meaning to him as he brushes his fingers across.

THE SUN BLAZES NO LESS FOR HAVING SET, BUT RISES ELSEWHERE BEYOND OUR SIGHT. IN THIS WAY THE SOUL PERSISTS IN DEATH, TO WANDER IN THE ENDLESS NIGHT.

HERE ARE INTERRED THE REMAINS OF THE LINE WHO TAMED THE DESERT, WITH THEIR FAMILIES AND SERVANTS ALSO. KNOW THAT THEIR POWER ENDURES AND SHIELDS THEM IN THIS JOURNEY.

ENTER FREELY TO PAY RESPECTS, BUT IF YOU PUT THEIR WARDS TO TEST, YOU WILL JOIN THEM WITH THE REST.

Nasri reads out the words as they are revealed to him, finding himself naturally falling into the rhythm of the verses and finishing the last line with particular emphasis.

"'Enter freely to pay respects...'" he quotes thoughtfully. "We should keep that in mind, especially. We're here to stop Hargreave, but we're also protecting something sacred, even if it's not our own. We might be able to get some help from the tomb's magic if we're respectful...and if Hargreave hasn't already dismantled whatever magic they left."

He climbs down from the ladder and squints at the door. "Even if it's not trapped, it's probably at least watched. We should be prepared to come in fast and hard," he says, gripping his staff. Then, he glances at his much larger and more heavily-armed companions, and sidles to the back of the group. "After you, of course."







 

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