Friend in Peril – Jafo the Dervish
Still in the Palace cellar…
Bobill was able to haltingly converse with the Dervish in the Flan tongue, learned his name was Hadj and he had been imprisoned two weeks; he encountered the humanoids only, but knew there were humans involved and had heard them coming and going through a door in the next room. He described the location of the tomb complex and agreed to let the adventurers escort him to the Dervish hideout, where they were surrounded; Hadj vouched for the party and went inside. A short while later the Iaseda, the same cleric that the party had encountered earlier in the desert, emerged from the ruin and conversed with Rebamac. He revealed that they were trying to prevent a group of spellcasters from entering the Tomb of Kings, and the adventurers responded that their aim was to remove the curse from the Spring of Athis, and that involved destroying the evil in the Tomb. The Iaseda considered and decided to not interfere with the party’s ambition, but insisted on having a dervish accompany the party. This dervish, Jafo, travelled the half-mile or so with them to the Tomb of Kings, on the west side of the hill. At one point the party opted to go back to the wagon to rest – they like doing that a lot, but I’m sure it won’t draw any attention.
The Tomb of Kings
approaching the Tomb from the south
The party found itself standing outside a huge edifice carved into the side of the sandstone hill, over 60’ high and 500’ wide, with a long, 250’ double-collonaded processional entryway featuring larger-than-life-size statues of mighty and fabulous animals drawing chariots of kings.
a front view of the entrance to the Tomb complex
Passing through this imposing passage, they entered an echoing vast chamber, evidently a viewing area for the nobility laid in state, complete with 30’ high pharoah statues and giant smiling sun bas-reliefs. 70’ directly ahead, between columns, was a wide hallway, and at either end of the 150’ wide chamber a wide passage led north or south. Exex and Paddy carefully searched for traps in the area, and finding none, Exex cautiously explored the forward passage. As she stepped past the columns a cracking sound echoed and four halberd-weilding statues emerged from the stone columns and attacked! They were defeated, though Garath, without a magical weapon, took noticeably longer to vanquish his; when the statues fell they left behind a pile of greenish-blue dust and fragments, and when brushed away each revealed a valuable topaz.
Rooms off the left side appeared to be preparation rooms, with stone tables, pots and urns, and heiroglyphics. Paddy and the fighters moved into the right-side room, wherein four black, jackal-headed figures in ancient bronze plate and bearing bronze khopeshes animated and attacked while making hooting sounds. Rebamac moved in to help, leaving Chees, Exex, Bobill and Jafo in the hallway. The next round, Jafo’s scream alerted the spellcasters to danger – four huge, hawk-headed hounds bounding into the hall! One of the beasts tore apart poor Jafo, who tried defending himself, as the others each ferociously assailed a spellcaster. With a great leap Darmok was in the hall to help fend off the hounds, and eventually all opponents lay dead, the jackal-men withering into dessicated husks.
Finding the room empty, the characters proceeded further east down the hall, coming to a diamond-shaped room flanked by two levers and slots. Exex discovered a semi-circular trackway across the threshold floor, and pulling the levers up or down caused the room to rotate a quarter-turn. The triangular key recovered from the Palace fit snugly into the left slot; they left the room alone without entering, figuring that a second key is needed for the room to operate properly.
Everyone then headed back into the reception hall to the north passageway, and discovered side rooms were used by humanoids, most likely, so caution was observed as another large chamber was approached. Failing to surprise, gnolls intending to ambush the party found themselves on the recieving end of some pointy things, though a second line of the critters did get to hurl their javelins – as they turned and ran, five gnolls fell to a Sleep spell. Further gnolls and a Flind leader fought the party with hit-and-run tactics in this huge crypt room, but were dispatched through the stealth of thieves and blades of swordsmen. A single gnoll survived, captured when grappled by Allynfred the dwarf. This fellow revealed what he knew about his employers, which wasn’t much as he’s low man on the totem pole, and was then given the boot out a side door to slink away south into the desert heat.
Play broke for the night here.