After escaping from the Tomb of the Four Pharaohs, the intrepid adventures rested and then traveled for a day to another part of the desert, following the treasure map made from the skin of the Androsphinx. Once at the site they found a large hole leading down into a huge circular chamber. This was the lair of the sphinx from the evidence of the bones and other remains, including some giant spiders. Some magical treasure was found, A Hvy + 1 Crossbow of Holding (Has a magical interior “quiver” that holds 50 bolts), a + 1 ring of deflection, and + 1 Mist Chainmail (can 1/day turn into a mist that gives 20 percent concealment).
The chamber turned out to be the dome of a sand covered building with a set of steps leading up into a columned platform and a set of bronze doors. Neferette examined the pillars and door and stated she believed the group was in the lost city of Pahir, one of the major cities of the Osirion Empire thousands of years ago. The doors were Arcane Locked but not physically so and Aarak was able to open them. On the other side was a small room with two passages leading off right and left and another pair of bronze doors, secured with a more powerful spell and an actual lock.
The doors were inscribed with a warning not to release what was on the other side. The party decided to go down the right hand passage which turned and was collapsed, preventing any further progress. There was a door on the side which could be forced open by Alenor in ape form with much effort. On the other side a giant tarantula (CR 6), drawn by the sounds of the door being opened lay in wait, pouncing on Alenor! He was struck and managed to escape by turning into an earth elemental, circling under the beast and coming up through the floor as Aaark moved in and out, to strike blows with his axe.
Meanwhile Surkin moved up to the corner to cast his spells, entangling the spider with strands of shadow. However the beast had a power to shoot sharp hairs from its back which also threatened all who tried to hit it. Aaark got stuck with one of the hairs and started throwing up in the corner. Alenor coming up from below avoided the hairs, turning into a cat crouching beneath to bite and claw at the beast’s belly. The spider bit the druid and poisoned him, but only just before dying from the wounds dealt to it. Alenor nearly succumbed to the the poison, but lots of lesser restoration spells kept him from being paralyzed. In the room the group discovered a loose tunnel of sand the spider could use to burrow its way too and from the surface. Amongst the debris were a set of bracers of archery lesser.
The party went to the left passage which like the right was collapsed but further in. They found an empty meditation room and another room behind a buried door. After clearing the rubble with sweat and a bit of druidic magic the party entered what was a scroll room. Its contents had long since turned into dust, but a stone tablet was found, describing how to get pass some sort of wards. Surkin copied this down and the party went back to the double doors, which opened after the first pass phrase. Inside was a long wide room separated by magical curtains of fire, cold and electricity. These in turn were disabled by Surkin using the phrases from the Amulet.
On the other side of the room was a simple bottle stoppered with lead which itself was stamped with a six pointed star. Mia’s lore trance revealed that this was a possible prison of a powerful effreet general. While the Effreet could possible grant a wish to the party for freeing him, it could also kill everyone and rampage through Osirion. It was decided to leave the bottle alone, reactivate the wards and seal the place as best as possible using illusionary walls and stone shape (CR 6).
The party then left the site to return to the city to complete their contract with the museum and sell of the items they found. They met up with the Museum curator and returned the Mask copy to him. They also spoke with the Mithril Scarab about their adventures. Upon hearing about the wall in the tomb that had the countdown of numbers the Pathfinder agent said that she heard of other “Countdown Clocks” and wondered about their significance. She asked if she could contact the party in the future for assistance, which everyone (those present) agreed to. Neferette made her goodbyes and departed.
After this was done ((the group will decide next session to divide magical loot and sell the remainder, so will time travel back)) the party returned to Kelmarane. There some events had occured, the town’s population had continued to expand, now numbering more than a thousand, including a 120 or so dwarfs made of three dwarf clans that had arrived upon word of the discovery of the location of Hamerfalls, a dwarfhold that laid 15 miles to the North. There were also two more “disappearances” similar to the farmer who vanished earlier.
Since all 3 of the dwarf clans claimed ownership of the Hammerfalls it was decided to send a scouting expedition made up of the adventurers and two dwarves, Aarak representing his own tribe. The group made their way up following the river, the way was dangerous, but good woodcraft avoided most dangers. On the second night of the 3 day journey the group was infiltrated by a dozen pugwampi who quietly hacked their way through Alenor’s spike growth spell to try and steal the group’s supplies. They were spotted and the group dispatched them with blade and spell, the final cluster dying in a column of flame from Aranka’s Rod wielded by Surkin. While successful, the group lost a day’s worth of food in the battle, burnt or soiled by the pugwampis.
The next day the party reached the rapids that indicated they were close to the Hammerfalls. It was then they were noticed they were being followed. This turned out to be an old and lame Gnoll who was about to be eaten by a Dragone which swept down. The monster was defeated and the gratefull humanoid told the party that he was driven out of his tribe by Wormhollow inquisitors, fanatical followers of Rovagug and the Carrior King. He saw Surkin’s Flame Strike last night and took as a sign from Lamastu to contact the party. He told the group what he knew about the white furred tribe and begged them to go in and destroy their shrine to the Destroyer, thus showing Lamastu’s displeasure. The gnoll also informed the group that the Hamerfalls had been taken over by the Kudris tribe of Gnolls, another powerful tribe that rivaled the Wormhollow but they haven’t been heard from in over a month. Perhaps by coincidence, this was the time a group of ghouls were released from the ruined tower near Kelmarane by the Kudris. The undead killed or converted the gnolls and went North following the river….Hmmmmm.
After promising to help and sending the Gnoll on his way, with instruction to recruit others faithful to the Demon Mother, the party continued their way up to the Hammerfalls. They found a trail carved into the rock leading up and behind the 150 ft of falling water, passing by abandoned defensive positions and entering into the Hammerfalls.