Part 22 - The True Pharaoh Found
They returned to the chamber where they had busted through the wall. Marabek climbed back up the rope and examined the ceiling. He noticed a second ring mounted in the ceiling for another rope. After performing a bit of acrobatics, they were able to get a rope strung through the second ring. Climbing the second rope, and after examining the ceiling, they found an area of the ceiling that was weaker than the rest. Punching through part of the ceiling revealed another tunnel. They then traveled down the tunnel, which eventually ended in a set of descending stairs.
The stairs lead to a huge temple chamber. There were numerous pillars in the chamber that resembled skeletal warriors. There was also a huge statue that was so tall they could not see the top of it. On the floor was an inscription warning that they had now incurred of the sixth curse of Nephren-Ka.
Upon crossing the inscription, the first set of pillars became animated and attacked. As they battled the skeletal warriors, they were pushed back and found themselves crossing another seal warning of the Pharaoh’s seventh curse. Upon crossing the seal, a line of sarcophagi along the east wall burst open and 12 mummies emerge. They managed to defeat all of the creatures without sustaining any casualties.
They then examined the east wall and found a bricked up area that did not match the rest of the wall. They busted their way through the wall, but were immediately attacked by a large creature that appeared to be some combination of scorpion and the Dragon. Tang Ter was killed by the monster. Rylan was able to avoid its Stasis, and reincarnate the body of the last royal guard, named Rithu, that they had with them.
Once the creature was disposed of, they were able to explore the new chamber, which was revealed to have a massive chasm inside. As they approach the edge to look down into the chasm, the floor gave way beneath them. Khonsu and Rithu slid down into the chasm, which injured them badly but did not kill them. Uteven climbed down and administered first aid. They then dropped a rope down, allowing them to climb back up the other side.
They found themselves standing upon a marble vault. They dropped down to the ground floor. Marabek and Uteven slipped the lid went out of the way. They then looked in but could only darkness. Uteven dropped a torch inside the vault revealing a black crystal shaped star, the last of the artifacts that they needed. Uteven then climbed in the vault and after a brief search discovered a secret entrance.
The door slid open revealing passages to the right and left. The hallways reconnected back in the middle to form a single tunnel, which descended down deeper into the ground. They entered a large rectangular chamber that contained ten alcoves and a single pillar in the center. Ka-Vision revealed that the pillar emanated a type of magic energy that they had never seen before.
Ovek attempted to put in the Serpent Ankh in the first alcove, but received an electric shock. They then tried putting the artifacts in place in reverse order, and this seemed to work. Upon placing the last artifact, all of the artifacts began to crackle with the electrical energy. The energy then traveled to the pillar and shot up to the ceiling. The whole room began to rumble.
They were so distracted by this development that they failed to see the larger mummy that had entered the room, wielding a massive battle-axe. It attacked, and in a single swing cleaved Rithu in half. Rylan was pulled into its Stasis. It next turned on Marabek and slew him as well sending Danel into Stasis. Khonsu fell next. The two remaining members of the party: Ovek and Uteven were able to bring down the creature.
They then entered a hallway and found themselves in a room full of hieroglyphics that chronicled the life of Nephren-Ka. Much of the wall was covered by a curtain that they slowly pull back to reveal more of his life. The hieroglyphics showed the appointment of a very dark-skinned man to be his vizier. The vizier granted Nephren-Ka the gift of foresight. This foresight showed Nephren-Ka the true danger that the vizier presented. Eventually Nephren-Ka turned on him. Those loyal to the Pharaoh and those loyal to the vizier began to war with one another. The hieroglyphics then revealed that Nephren-Ka was able to capture the spirit of the vizier and separated it into nine pieces. The followers of the vizier had their revenge however. They were able to trap Nephren-Ka and sealed him inside a silver sarcophagus. The hieroglyphics then showed many years of turmoil eventually leading to the rise of Akhenaten. The hieroglyphics also showed agents of the Pharaoh being sent to find the tomb of Nephren Ka. It showed that most of them were killed, with only two of them surviving. A final pull of the curtain revealed not more hieroglyphics, but a doorway instead.
They stepped through the doorway and found themselves in another chamber. The chamber contained a large silver sarcophagus bound with copper bands and then sealed within more melted silver.
They severed the copper straps and opened the sarcophagus. Inside was a perfectly preserved mummy, with his arms crossed and wearing a golden mask. Uteven touched it, and the platform begin rise the sarcophagus up into an upright position. The mummy slowly raised up its arms and removed its golden mask. It spoke, asking “has it been a millennium already?”
Nephren-Ka waved his arm and a panel opened in one of the walls. Inside they can see a scroll Enochian inscriptions. He said “this is what you were sent for. You can take it back to your Pharaoh. I have no interest in rejoining the waking world. I have foreseen your Pharaoh’s failures, and they will be almost as great as mine.”
He continued, “you have won the prize for which you sought, but at a great price. The spirit that I have kept trapped here for over 1000 years has been released, for that was the true purpose of the artifacts you collected. It now falls upon you to contain the spirit. It will remain in hiding for so long you may well forget it exists, but mark my words it will one day return. The Spirit has a name, which must never be uttered outside these walls. It is known in the darkest places of the cosmos as Nyarlathotep.”
“You must go now, as I intend the seal this place in such manner that it will never be found again. But here is your final warning: your Pharaoh’s dream will turn into a nightmare. Within two years all he has built will be destroyed.”
With this final pronouncement, the tunnels that they were in had begun to rumble and crack. They found their way back up the steps and back to the temple chamber with the skeletal warrior statues. They continued through this chamber back up the rope into the upper level of the tomb as rocks and boulders began to crash around them. They fled up the stairs up to the outermost section of the tomb and were back out on the cliff face. By the time they had crawled back down to ground level the outer entrance to the tomb had collapsed so completely that it seemed to have been erased from existence.
The two survivors began the return journey back to Assuit.