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No races, three deaths, and ANOTHER library!
{Day 38} We intended to return to the Inner Archive, but we were intercepted by a servant of Muminofrah. She was in despair, we had to come immediately to her pleasure barge. She. was. So. Bored. We spent the whole day trying to cheer her up, with only partial success at this.
On the way back to our lodgings, we were attacked in a crowded street by trained assassins! Amestri and Ostog were killed instantly, Sallah immediately after! The remainder of the party killed the three attackers and hustled our corpses out of there. Khismia gave Muminofrah the tragic news of the murders of her favorites. It was so sad! Her Excellency insisted that the Pharasmans bill her for the Raise and Restoration spells!

{Day 39} Several expensive spells later...
We visit Her Excellency to express our thanks, despite our weakened condition. She introduces us to her friend visiting from Ipeq, the noblewoman Talibah. Ostog, having just been raised a few days before, is particularly fatigued, and returns to his house in Wati to recover.
{Day 40} This time, we did make it to the Inner Archive, though Ostog stayed home to continue his recuperation.
Behind the disgusted face, the left door led to a square, cobweb-filled, room filled with 16 sarcophagi. Behind one of those sarcophagi, we found another square room with a vast collection of scrolls! One of the sarcophagi is labelled for Khmenti. This sarcophagus had signs of being opened before, and when we opened it, a golem mummy attacked us!
Behind the golem, we found the mummy of Khmenti, and learned that this room was the Hall of Lost Curators, and all of those here had been mummified alive.
The Secret Archive behind the Hall revealed the Scrolls of Inquiry that had been hinted at earlier.
- Sacred Order of the Blue Feather took the Mask and Heart of the Sky Pharaoh, because his ib and Ka were inside. They wanted to learn his Shori secrets.
The Heart was sent to Sothis, and hidden beneath Azghaad's Spire
The Mask was sent to a shrine in Wati (the Erudite Eye, of course)
- Khmenti's notes about the architecture of Hakotep's Tomb were sent to the Vault of Hidden Wisdom in Tephu, which can only be seen from atop Ra's Tower of Glory (since destroyed) on Midsummer's Day.

We found a small side tunnel, which had nothing inside.
The secret passage from the Secret Archive to the Inner Archive was labeled the Way of Obedience.
At the end of the day, the adventurers travelled home to Wati for the night.

{Day 41} We returned to the Great Chamber of Knowledge, intent on recreating the location of the sun on Midsummer, so as to pinpoint the location of the entrance of the Vault of Hidden Wisdom. Ostog stayed home, as before.

Session: Game Session 18 - Saturday, Nov 10 2018 from 7:00 PM to 3:00 AM
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A race, a death, and another library
Day 34: We return to the library's Inner Sanctum. We thank Ud'jebet again for yesterday's aid, and I give her a ring that I'd picked up in our work. In today's research, we gather one useful bit.
- A curator's catalog from 103 years ago, the Scrolls of Inquiry were moved to the Dark Depository-- another Nethysite sealed library.
Ud'jebet's never heard of this library.
The Inner Sanctum's librarian says it's here in Tephu, but access is controlled by Hatt'iya Deka (of course). This is where the most dangerous tomes are kept.

So, we go round to Deka's office and request another appointment. On a lark, as we wait, most of the group wandered the streets of the Wadjet's Walk neighborhood, looking for the entrance to the Dark Depository. It must be hidden, since no one spots it.

Meanwhile, I take the ferry across to Wati, to sign the deed for my new house (bought from Seh-Hosep), move my small pile of things from the inn there, and spend the night.

Day 35: I take the early-morning ferry across the river, to meet everyone for breakfast in the Inn of the Desert Winds. Just in time, as they receive a summons from Her Excellency Muminofrah!

At the Palace of Gentle Reeds, she's noticed the many camels about the city, and has called for a chariot race through the streets! Eager to please her (and win favors), we agree to pair up and join the race. It turned out to be very dangerous, with almost all of the racing teams crashing or being attacked by citizens.

Amestri & Novid took an early lead, but then wiped out past the halfway mark. I was knocked out when Khismia & I crashed, but her magic was able to bring me back.

Her Excellency is disturbed by the violence and has the Watch put onto it right away, and as a reward for being good sports, grants us our firman to visit the Dark Depository. Hatt'iya Deka (reluctantly) passes on the permit. The hidden entrance for the Depository is a grate in the sidewalk, so we really shouldn't have found it yesterday.
Day 36: The grate opens to a shaft with a ladder, 450 feet down!

But first, double bronze doors with a greater glyph placed on them-- Knock spell works better than Dispel. We found a 4-way intersection beyond. Each of the remaining exits have a statue, with differing faces: Sad, Frightened, and Furious.

Sad corridor: Jes set off a flame-strike trap, but found a magical headband (un-ID'd yet)
Frightened corridor: Behind a secret door, there were 3 (shadow mastiffs); Amestri fled from their baying cry, but we finished them off. Here were the Shadow Stacks, where we could do better research, as the cataloging was improved.
- Scrolls of Inquiry [relocated here 103 years ago] are mentioned, they had the Blue Feathers' confessions, which were hushed up to cover Nethysite involvement in the theft of the Sky Pharaoh's artifacts.
Furious corridor: Something dropped from the ceiling, a clockwork winged centaur armed with chains! (A zelekhut inevitable, guardian). Amestri shows it our permission to research, which it grudgingly grants. Amestri is placed under a geas: to research ONLY the Sky Pharaoh while we are here.

There is a hidden hallway behind the Furious statue: another room of scrolls. One pile of them radiates abjuration magic, so we leave it alone. This is the Inner Archive of the Dark Depository, and it is packed with scrolls!
- from the personal journal of Kh'menti, who was obsessed with the Sky Pharaoh and his Mask: "Mask of the Forbidden Pharoah holds a piece of his ka, his soul, which should grant abilities." He was on a quest to learn more about Hakotep and unravel his mysteries. The Sacred Order of the Blue Feather was hoping to commune with him and learn his secrets, their results were ambiguous.
About this time, I spoke aloud that I had "found something", and that triggered the glyph trapping the pile of scrolls that we had left alone for now. IT was a Slay Living glyph, and I was killed.

It was after dark by the time everyone else brought my corpse up the 450 foot ladder and across the river to Wati.

Day 37: I got better. Wati's Pharasman temple was pleased to Raise and Restore myself, for which I am very grateful. Our party funds took a hit, though, so I spent some time selling off some more of our accumulated wealth, and unpacking my belongings in my new house.

I set up Sigrun in my spare bedroom as a house-sitting job, where she could also write her novel.

Tomorrow, we will return.
Session: Game Session 17 - Saturday, Oct 06 2018 from 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM
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Down under the Observatory, part 2
(Day 23)
We returned to the Observatory and began looking into the room adjacent to the "Catalogue of Days", which was the "Catalogue of Nights", a repository of deaths of ancient Wati.
A room across the hallway from that was full of sarcophagi and mummified animals, including an elephant.

Down the stairs, we found a room with blue tiles laid across the whole floor. These were a magical trap that flung the tiles with great force across the room. Amestri disabled the magic, and we moved on.
Beyond that, large doors led to an almost-octagonal room, very large, dominated by a 15'-tall statue of Pharasma as Matron. It had hieroglyphs on the walls, interrupted by floor-to ceiling curtains. Most of the curtains hid alcoves which contained shrines to different aspects of Pharasma.
One curtain led to a dormitory area. In two of the beds were deceased women, well dressed and not mummified. Magical and medical examination showed them to be young priestesses of Calistria, dead from exposure to the desert. Their corpses were preserved by magic, but they were not undead. Since Nebta-khufre had recently come from Tefu, perhaps they came through the desert from there? One large bed in this area had been slept in recently, and had many notes in his hand.
Another alcove hid a crypt thing, an undead guardian who told us to leave. He magicked away Khismia and Amestri, fortunately they did not go far, and then began to battle with us.
Khismia only went as far as the unoccupied dormitory. Amestri ended up in a long room occupied by a ghastly half-orc. She fled, and luckily ended up in the same room as everyone else.
Ostog held the ghast while the others dealt with the crypt thing, then Khismia moved to cast upon the ghast. Unfortunately, everyone's timing was off, and the ghast ripped Khismia apart before Sallah, Jes, and Novid could kill it.
We took her body with us, and returned to the Pharasman temple to request her return. Ostog sold off most of the magical cloaks and other items we'd collected to pay for the spell's components. We all rested for the night.

Day 24
When we returned to the room we had just left, the bodies of the undead had not been altered, and the tile-floor-trap had not only restarted, but had replaced the tiles destroyed in yesterday's attack.
Beyond this, and down more steps, was a silent room that had deep pits along both walls. These had once been fire pits, it seemed. A bubbly fountain lay in the center of the room, in front of a large statue of Anubis. This Graven Guardian fought us for a long time before I was able to finish it with a Ray of Acid.
After that was a Really Big Round Room with a pyramidal platform in its center, a walkway high around the outside of the room held up by statues of Pharasma. Bodies lay all around the room, but two mummies flanked the steps up the platform.
Atop that stood Nebta-Khufre, wearing a very magical golden mask. We fought. It was a LONG Fight. My spells kept him at bay most of the time, while the others fought two mummies and 6 zombies that he raised from among the many corpses on the floor.

After finally defeating him and his protectors, we took all of the magic items from the room and returned to inform the Pharasmins of our efforts. The mask was indeed that of the Forgotten Pharaoh, and was highly magical.

Days 25-26 We rested, and then escorted an eager Amestri (hopefully fully recovered from mummy rot?) into the Observatory's several genealogical libraries. There were no more monsters remaining in the lower levels.
There was an interesting room, with a miniature representation of Wati laid out on the floor, complete with running water, miniature people, animals, and buildings. The only difference is that a large obelisk (representing Pharasma's Judgement) arose from the site of the current Mausoleum.
Ostog busied himself with the spellbook of Nebta-Khufre, as well as any plans or other information he may have left in his papers.

Seti the Crocodile was busy with a 2-day-long ritual, intended to lay to rest the remaining undead who rose in response to Nebta's actions.

The Pharasmins had almost no information on the Sky Pharaoh, Forgotten as he was. They suggest the libraries of Tephu for future research.

We shall head there, but after a week or so of preparations and recovery from our labors here in Wati.
Session: Game Session 15 - Saturday, Jul 28 2018 from 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Pointer-left Investigator__male_2_thumb
Lhynard
Posted by the GM
De Exilio
Chapter 4 — Lamiae
Leokas stepped to the railing of the floating ship and assayed his enemies. He had a perfect strategic vantage point. The creatures approaching were similar to centaurs in appearance with the lower bodies of beasts and bare upper torsos of stunningly attractive, tanned humans. There were five lamias in all, three of them with the bodies of large lions, one with the body of a goat, and the fifth with the body of a small deer or gazelle. One of the lion-bodied lamias was male; the rest had female torsos. Each carried a dagger in his or her hands or mouth. Beyond that they carried nothing else nor wore any sort of clothing or jewelry.

   Leokas stretched and cracked his neck and drew his weapon. He was ready for them.

   Nulara let fly an arrow at once. It whizzed past the neck of the goat-lamia. The lamia reached Nulara, hair blowing about wildly, and reared back, kicking with her forehooves. One hoof knocked the bow from Nulara's hands; the other struck her in the sternum, and Nulara fell to the ground.

   Leokas filled the lamia with three arrows, allowing Nulara to crawl away from the lamia's stomping hooves.

   The gazelle-lamia appeared to split into a total of five lamias, all of which rushed toward Szordrin in unison, surrounding him. Then Kytharrah, having rushed to the main deck and seen his friend surrounded, and leapt and crashed down unto one of the five, grunting from the painful impact. The lamia illusion popped out of existence. Szordrin darted behind his large companion for cover from the remaining four attackers.

   The two "lionesses" focused their attentions on Hakam. The first reached him and pulled him into a forceful embrace, before he could even draw his sword, pressing his face into her bosom. The second, stroked the back of his neck, while telling him how attractive and manly she found him.

   Hakam felt himself struggling with conflicting thoughts and emotions. The women were extraordinarily attractive to him, yet he knew that they were cursed and evil... and not women at all! It felt rather pleasant being held against the soft flesh of this fair creature.... No, she was a demon! She was draining his sanity. "Fiil," he mumbled. "Fiil tanmu!"

   Hakam felt himself being shoved back. He tumbled unto his back, freed from the lamia's grip as the magical elephant exploded out of the pouch where it had been attached to Hakam's belt. The two lamias were also shoved back. The elephant immediately pounded the nearby goat-lamia across the head with its muscular trunk, knocking her unconscious instantly. She fell limp to the ground and was then trampled to death by the massive pachyderm.

   The male lion-lamia was trying to leap onto the side of the boat. The first attempt, he failed. Solisar floated up beside Leokas, who was turning to seek a new target. He could not shoot at the male lamia, because it was too far below the craft. Solisar tossed a piece of glass down toward the lion, but instead of vanishing as it should have done, the glass simply fell to the ground below. "The Weave is not responding to me!" he exclaimed.

   Belvin swooped down out of the sky, braked with his wings, and morphed back into an elf, landing naked upon Kamil's back. He calmed his companion and guided the camel, who had been galloping away from the battle frightened, back to his pile of clothing and gear. As he turned around, he saw the elephant charging toward Kytharrah. The angry lioness who had lost her grip on Hakam had instead charmed the elephant with her sweet words and commanded it to attack the minotaur. "Kamil, fetch my pouch!" The camel bent down and picked up Belvin's pouch in his teeth, raising it to his master. Belvin began frantically to reach for his holly sprig, but he was not going to be fast enough. The elephant was upon Kytharrah.

   Moments before it would have gored its tusks into the young minotaur, Hakam yelled out from under the boat, "Fiil wa'iinkamsh! The elephant shrunk down into a figurine and rolled until it stopped near Kytharrah's feet.

   The other lioness-lamia followed behind, drawing her blade from between her teeth and waving it about her head. Leokas struck her twice with arrows, the second of which went through one side of her skull and came out the other. Then a column of fire fell down from the sky at Belvin's command and ensured that she was dead.

   From behind Kytharrah, Szordrin sent a ball of fire on the group of four identical gazelle-lamias as they were closing in. Each of them now shared precisely the same scorch marks on their otherwise flawless skin and the same grimaces of pain and anger. They leaned their human torsos forward, granting extended reach to their swinging arms, and clawed at Kytharrah. He noted that their fingers ended not in nails like Cassiera or Ilthian but in thick, pointed claws like his. At first he was confused by all the arms swinging at him, but he trusted his nose. "I smell you," he said, swinging his axe and cutting through the rightmost lamia's bare flesh and spraying foul, black blood. All four lamia's shrieked in pain. He swung again, and they dropped to the ground simultaneously.

   "I got all three," said Kytharrah, but he did not feel happy about it. They looked too much like Cassiera or Ilthian to him from the waist up, but the others who were smarter than him told him that lamias were very bad, so he tried to believe them.

   "Four," said Szordrin, as he spun around and blasted a jet of fire toward the lion-lamia underneath the ship where Leokas could not shoot at him. "You got four." The flames engulfed the male, and it stumbled. Solisar also flew out over the others, drawing his wand and shooting at the same target. At least his magic items still functioned. The male was persistent; despite the burns and magical pummeling, he leapt again onto the side of the ship. This time his claws caught hold, and he clung to the bottom of the vessel like a spider, with four lion claws and two humanoid hands holding onto the planks of wood. He began climbing the side.

   "Help me up!" It was Nulara calling. She had managed to climb up Ormur, but was having trouble pulling herself over the railing onto the deck.

   "Hold on!" said Leokas, who thought it more important to deal with the climbing lamia. He leaned over the railing and aimed his arrows straight down at the beast. A single arrow struck the male, and it crashed 40 feet to the ground with a thud.

   Solisar flew over and offered Nulara a hand. She took it, and he helped pull her aboard.

   "My zanks," she said. Then she drew her black dagger. "One is coming up the side!" she warned, readying herself.

   "Not anymore," said Leokas. He raised his bow and fired off two more arrows at the remaining lioness, striking her in her tawny, furred flank, just as she was raising her arm to point at Kytharrah. "Dreams upon you!" the lamia shouted.

   "I feel sleepy!" said Kytharrah.

   "Fight it! Stay awake!" urged Szordrin, coming now from behind the cover of the hairy beast. He completed a spell and sent a barrage of snowballs at the lamia female.

   Covered now in snow, with two arrows in her hide, and seeing all four of her companions dead or dying, she bolted to the north.

   Belvin started summoning allies to pursue her, as Hakam rushed over to the four fallen lamias around Kytharrah. They were still breathing, though a large pool of black blood stained the sand around them. "Which one is the real one?" he asked Kytharrah.

   "That one," said Kytharrah, a hint of sadness in his voice.

   Hakam plunged his blade through the left side of her back and then through the side of her deer-like body to ensure that she was dead. The three duplicates and the gore beneath them vanished.

   Leokas moved quickly to the starboard of the flying ship and watched as the fleeing lamia appeared again on the same side. He sent two arrows after her with a single pull of the bowstring. They struck her in the back. She staggered but then recovered and kept running, taking cover behind a ruined wall so that Leokas no longer had a line of sight.

   Four dire weasels appeared, and Belvin sent them in pursuit. Solisar had flown quickly back inside the forecastle of the ship and sat back in the magic chair. He directed the ship to move, and it jerked forward, positioning Leokas for a clear shot. He took it. The lamia fell to the ground. Moments later, she was overtaken by the four squeaking weasels who brought her to a disturbing end.

   "Victory!" yelled Belvin in the Elven tongue. He then rode to the male lamia to check that it was indeed dead. Hakam recovered the elephant figurine and began walking toward the false wall from which the attackers had come. Szrodrin, having cast another spell, jumped and stuck to the side of the boat by his magic and began to climb on all fours. Kytharrah picked up Nulara's bow and began to climb Ormur again. "I have your bow!" he called up.

   Nulara came into the central room where the magic chair was located, with Solisar sitting in it. "Ze battle is over," she told him. "We are safe. Zey are all dead."

   "Yes, I can see that."

   "Is zat how it flies?" she asked. Solisar was distracted, for he was trying to test his control over the vessel. Could he speak to the others on the ship through the chair? Could he do more than see and move? It had drained him of his magical power, yet he had been able to leave the chair and return, and it remained in the air in his absence.

   "Yes," he finally answered her, "though I still have many questions about it."

   Nulara's face was filled with excitement and delight. "Many years have I wondered about this ship!" she said. "You have served my purposes better than I had hoped; I thank you." With that, she stared directly at Solisar with a look of lust, or perhaps hunger.

   Solisar realized also that she no longer had an accent. He tried to get up, but before he could respond, her black dagger flashed in her hand. She plunged the blade deep into his chest with three stabs, an evil grin on her face the whole time.

   Solisar screamed. The shock of the attack meant that he did not notice the pain much. Instead, with his last strained, blood-filled breaths, he could sense that it was the poison of the weapon that was ultimately going to kill him. He felt his strength draining away.

   "My children proved weaker than I had hoped," Nulara said, as she nonchalantly slid the shoulder of her garment off with her hand. The thin fabrics fell to her waist, baring her breasts, and pooling at her wide hips. Then, it seemed as if she suddenly grew taller, and her clothing slipped completely from her body, revealing not the lower half of a woman but the terrifying form of a giant serpent. "At least there will be fewer mouths to feed."
Session: 90th Game Session - Wednesday, May 24 2017 from 11:00 PM to 2:00 AM
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The Art of Making and Not Making Assumptions

I am a learned man. I am not being prideful, my brain is just gifted to be able to recall and store lots of knowledge. And I study. So I know a lot of things. But of a lot of what I know is book learning, not experience. The difference is like using a recipe to cook something that is more of an art. When I was a young boy my mom cooked this dish called chahou kheer, which is a purple rice porridge. It is quite tasty and very spicy. However, as you might suspect purple rice only grows in my homeland of Vudrani and while my family traveled quite a bit. And when you aren’t in Vudra, purple rice is hard to come by. But chahou kheer is my father’s favorite. So my mom improvised. Book knowledge would have toward mom that she couldn’t make chahou kheer. Experience of a lifetime of cooking gave my mom the skills and abilities to make chahou kheer out of pretty much anything.

What does this have to do with me?

Remember book learning? Well I read this book long ago called “The Hill Giant’s Pledge” by Grigora Voiculet. In it the humanoid race of hill giants and their various abilities, legends, and myths, were described. So, my book knowledge was that hill giants were evil and sadistic bullies. But my experience told me that generalizations are almost always false in some way.

And thus when we encountered a bunch of hill giants licking their wounds after fighting some Technic League goons, I thought we could ally with the giants, fight the Technic League, and everyone (except the TG) would win.

So, I made an assumption: it wasn’t Technic League goons the giants had been defeated by. It was some really serious robots with really dangerous abilities. Luckily, I was able to cast electrified fireballs that really hurt the Warden robots. Then they hit me with really powerful sonic beams. And that was all I remember.

Apparently, they nearly killed me. Thadian was able to bring me back from the brink.

I am so remembering to memorize resist energy next time I study spells.

And I am remembering never to make assumptions and never to not make assumptions. That last sentence only makes sense if you read what I wrote, which I did. Anyhow…
Session: Iron Gods 35 - Friday, Jul 07 2017 from 10:30 PM to 3:00 AM
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Epic!
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