We returned to the Desert of Desolation and I3: Pharaoh to find our intrepid band of heroes continuing to explore the temple outside the Tomb of Amun-Re. As they stood staring at the exit that led directly to the tomb, they noticed Kilos Battlebrand and Finias Jinx had gone missing. They decided the two most likely wandered off and resumed exploring the temple. (Their players were absent.) After exploring some cubicles that appeared to be sleeping quarters for the dervish with whom they’d already dealt, our heroes came across another priest in the throes of worship. He was prepared for the noisy, “infidel defilers” and cursed Nallon before falling to their blades. Fortunately, Bunny was prepared for such an eventuality and was able to remove the curse before it actually caused harm.
They looted the priest’s body and continued their explorations, finishing back where they started. Once they were sure no secret door was left undiscovered, they moved outside and walked the steps up the pyramid to the Tomb of Amun-Re. Two more dervishes were standing guard at the tomb’s entrance and demanded to know why the PCs were there. They did not accept the excuse that they were just sight-seeing and attacked. Our heroes made short work of the dervishes and stepped into the tomb. Inside, they found a series of secret doors hidden behind statues of Amun-Re that lead to rooms with more secret doors and so forth until they found what appeared to be the actual crypt itself. The sarcophagus they found within was already opened and the lid broken. They found writing on the wall, which, when translated, read:
Here lies the true tomb of Amun-Re
Know that ye have arrived too late
to plunder my ransom for Heaven’s Gate
After a small amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth, they realized that since the tomb had to be despoiled in order to break Amun-Re’s curse and the land was still under the curse, this was obviously not the correct tomb. They explored a bit more, finding two rooms which were essentially great shafts leading to some sort of underground water source. They wisely decided not to descend into the shafts and continued exploring, heading into two small corridors near the entrance they initially dismissed because of their small size (the corridors were barely wide enough for them to explore single-file). After the first corridor turned out to be a dead end, Bunny threw caution to the wind, threw her arms up and ran screaming towards the other side. To her surprise, the room was filled with dervishes, praying before a very tall statue of Amun-Re holding a large, lit brazier. Naturally, they heard her coming and all turned to stare at her when she arrived.
Since no one appeared aggressive, a conversation began and the PCs learned that the dervishes were waiting for their leader to return. He followed instructions in a book to this room and had not been heard from since. Wikki investigated the statue holding the burning brazier and found the fire gave off no smoke and emitted no heat. On a hunch, he walked into the flames. They flared up and he was gone. This had the effect of spooking the dervishes and they backed away. Bunny followed, screaming in agony as she disappeared, causing the dervishes to flee. Annastasia and Nallon followed Bunny and Wikki into the fire.*
*I might be misremembering the order, but you get the point.
Once everyone walked into the fire, part of my brain said “Cackle evilly and tell them they’re all DEAD.” I purposely did not reveal what happened after the first PC walked into the fire, so I could’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for my meddling conscience! Plus, it would’ve been a serious Dick-DM move to do that just because Gen Con made me want to run about a dozen non-D&D games (as it always does). At some point, I should finish up the Star Wars game so I can switch to something else for our off-night RPG.
We discussed and formalized the plan to NOT repeat adventures with each edition. Instead, if I started a series (such as this one, or the Saltmarsh series), I would run the next adventure in the series once we switched editions. U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh was aborted due to the PCs burning down the adventure locale, taking all the clues to lead them to the second part of that adventure with it, so I will repeat that one for AD&D, but other wise, I4: Oasis of the White Palm won’t get play time until we reach AD&D and U2: The Danger at Dunwater won’t be played until we hit Pathfinder. This will help minimize metagaming since some players will remember what they’re supposed to do (particularly in situations like we found in this session where the correct solution was to walk into the flames). It will also help stave off boredom.
The next DoctorStrangeroll game will take place on Friday, September 14th. I will likely continue I3: Pharaoh. As I indicated in an earlier post, the game closest to Halloween (Oct. 26 most likely) will be Call of Cthulhu. There will be much insanity.