6 Pharast, 4715 – Day 1: The Tomb of Akhentepi: 0850
The group descends a set of stairs to another set of double doors. These doors are unadorned but open easily. On the other side is the first truly elaborate room the group has discovered. A brightly painted chariot sits in the center of the chamber. On the wall beyond the chariot are two stone columns, a large canvas is stretched between them. Tacked to the canvas are several animal skins – antelopes, great cats, and crocodiles – all faded and deteriorated with age. A white lacquered chest trimmed in gold inlay sits in the corner while in each corner of the room is small stone shield molded into the masonry at shoulder height. Farek points out that they are torch sconces. An open doorway leads out to the east.
Farek uses his knowledge of engineering to determine that the chariot was brought down in pieces and assembled in the room until completed. It is not in any kind of condition to use as a vehicle in its present condition, but it might be possible to restore it which would bring it some significant value. He says that he could maybe do it over time with his mend spell on each individual component and then reassemble them, but if they could find someone capable of casting make whole it could be restored more effectively and in a much shorter time. The group makes a note of this item to report to Hatoom for their benefactors to determine if recovery is worth the effort.
Next the group inspects the chest and finds nothing out of the ordinary, but it is locked. Elsin and Xenya both check for traps, but find nothing. However, Elsin finds the poison blade when it springs out as he tries to pick the lock and slashes him across the hand. The blade cuts deep and almost severs a couple of fingers. Elsin can feel his head throb as the blade was poisoned, but due to the age of the poison, he is able to shake off its effects and immediately casts cure light wounds to restore the damage. Because of the sprung trap, Elsin does not pick the lock. Farek is about to try and smash open the chest when he is stopped by Janisa who points out that the chest alone is a valuable piece of treasure. Elsin attempts to pick the lock again and is successful this time.
The short hallway is lined with four funerary masks along the northern wall, each one depicting a different face and visage as if looking down on the party in judgment. Farek identifies the first two as Pharasma and Abadar, however he is unable to identify the last two. Janisa notes that the third is her deity Sekhmet but does not know the final mask. After quickly searching for traps, the group cautiously advances down the hall into a second room which seems to be dedicated to Akhentepi’s military prowess.
Along the northern wall sits a table with a three-dimensional diorama of a battle between two armies. Along the east wall is a rack which holds three shields, one which Janisa points out spells the name “Akhentepi,” marking which soldiers represents the forces of Wati. A second shield appears to match the other set of soldiers, but no one is able to identify their origin. The first two shields are made of wood, but the third one is made of steel and shows no sign of decay or rust. Janisa uses detect magic and states that it does radiate a faint conjuration. It is also unique in that it is scarab-shaped like the images of Akhentepi at the underground entrance doors. Along the southern wall is a weapons rack with a shortbow, khopesh and a spear, none of which indicate magic but two appear to be of superior craftsmanship.
As the Scarabs study the weapons four tiny wooden soldiers animate and attack the party. The first soldier is able to hit Farek and give him a very minor nick of a cut before the party is able to retaliate and quickly dispatches of the small animated constructs. Afterwards, the party is free to collect all the treasure in the room. Inspecting the chests, Janisa is able to translate most of the scrolls and documents, discovering the story of Akhentepi’s mistress as relayed in the ancient documents. Farek takes the perfume-filled urn after finding out it is filled with nard and the group plans to split all the monies found, but leaves the chest here for the moment so they are not weighed down as they continue the inspection of the tomb.
The party returns to the upper room where the portrait of Akhentepi hangs and decides to investigate the southern double doors. As the first set, the doors open to steps leading down to a second set of doors and the party descends and opens them. Inside the party finds a 20 × 20 room with double doors to the east and west slightly ajar. Xenya notices a set of tracks in the dust between the doors. She investigates them and is able to determine they were made by some form of vermin and warns the party to be wary of creatures in the area.
As Xenya explores examines the tracks, Farek inspects the most dominating feature of the room, a massive mirror stretched across the southern wall, flanked by two statues which the party recognizes from earlier as Pharasma and Anubis. As Farek examines the reflections in the mirror he notices that beside the reflection of the party members, the reflection of Akhentepi is also present, as if standing next to him. However there is a slight difference as each reflections is altered so that no matter what expression the member wears, the image in the mirror always shows them as stern and dour. He mentions this and Janisa comes over and notices the same. As they stand there they both begin to feel a sudden headache but are able to shake off the effect. Janisa uses her detect magic spell and senses a faint illusion and transmutation effect on it. She warns everyone to avoid the mirror and the entire group moves to inspect the eastern doors.
Beyond the open doors sits a rectangular room lined with stone columns, mounted stone jackal heads are interspersed between the columns. At the far side of the room is a stone altar which appears to have not been used in centuries as a layer of dust coats nearly everything. Xenya notices the tracks she saw in the other room leads behind the altar and gives warning to the group and everyone makes preparations. As the Scarabs carefully approach they hear a skittering sound just before a pair of camel spiders attack. Although small, the two solifugids put up a determined fight and one latches onto Farek and delivers a rending attack which lays Farek unconscious. After the creatures are finally killed, the three other party members come to Farek’s aid and Xenya pours a cure potion down his throat which revives him.
After a short rest to recuperate and bandage wounds, the party moves out and returns to the mirror room to inspect the other set of doors, no one giving an eye to the mirror as they move carefully past to the doors hanging ajar. After a quick inspection for traps, the group pushes open the doors to discover a long flight of stairs which descend to another set of doors. Halfway down the stairs the group notices the collapsed southern wall leaving a large pile of sand and debris on the stairs. The party begins to follow the stairs down when Xenya and Janisa both call out a warning that the sand pile is shifting, something is alive. The group takes up defensive positions and are prepared as a sandling rises up to strike. Farek hits the creature with a create water spell which slows it down while the others attack. Xenya unleashes a flurry of blows and destroys the creature before it has a chance to slip away back into the earth. With the staircase cleared of the danger, the group proceeds to the base and pushes open the doors.