Shadows of Greatness, a Forgotten Realms campaign UPDATED February 1, 2008 - Page 8
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  1. #71
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    Pyramid of Stone and Destiny

    We have gained another member of our party, so to speak. A small orb of light now follows Nekaya. She tells us it is a creature of good sent to her by her gods, and it will not harm anyone not of an evil nature. She calls it 'Sunshine'. She is able to converse with it in her native tongue, though it does not seem capable of speech itself. It gives off no more light than a candle flame, but in this dark tomb any light is welcome.

    A moment after Rock had entered the stairway exiting the first chamber, I heard the sound of metal snapping and a blade came hurtling out of the stairwell to land on the floor near the horses. Rock called out an apology. Liadan had entered the stairway with the intention of healing his wounds, but he proceeded on into the next chamber. He summoned us to join him immediately.

    I ascended the stairs into a room furnished with two plinths. A pool occupied the center of the chamber. To my left I saw Rock and Liadan engaged in destroying more of the walking skeletons. A figure wrapped in strips of linen lay upon a plinth near the skeletons - they had been occupied in wrapping this figure when Rock entered. This is the manner in which the people of Mulhorand dispose of their dead. When she and Rock had eliminated the skeletons, Liadan began to cut the wrappings from this body, for Rock had seen signs that someone living had preceded us into the tomb, and Liadan reported that the figure still appeared to move. Thinking the walking skeletons had been about to bury some poor soul alive, she endeavored to free him.

    When the wrappings were removed from his head this revealed that his eyes and mouth had been sewn shut and despite his motions he was quite dead. Then he began to shudder, and a great mass of beetles erupted from within his body, far more than could have been contained therein. They swarmed down the plinth onto the floor and began clambering over Rock and Liadan, biting through the gaps in their armor. Rock exclaimed a command word and Brimstone's sword emitted a gout of flame that turned them to cinders. The body had fallen to the floor and still somehow squirmed about, so Erim drew a wand from his belt and burnt it also.

    In the meanwhile Nekaya had endeavored to purify the pool that lay at the center of the chamber, for it was filled with a black liquid which she stated was not typical of the contents of such a pool. She also mentioned that it was unusual for the embalming chamber to be so near to the entrance - for we had determined that the fallen-in opening in the chamber where we arrived must be the entry to the tomb. But Nekaya's efforts to affect the pool had no success.

    Nekaya wished to continue through the tomb until we could find and destroy the gong that continued to ring, each time causing the hairs on my neck to stand on end. Liadan agreed with Nekaya that we must stop the gong and lay the dead to rest. The sounding of the gong seemed not only to raise the dead but to make weaker the powers of the gods to turn aside such abominations. As we did not wish to leave our mounts unattended, and we could not bring them through the tomb with us, Nekaya prevailed upon Pakkin to remain and watch over them. She then gathered up the skulls of the two walking skeleton guardians to prevent them being revived by the ringing of the gong. Each time it sounded the fragments of bone upon the floor would shiver and gather together as if trying to reform themselves.

    Beyond the second chamber the stair descended rather than rising. Nekaya explained that this was typical for such tombs. Rock preceded us into each passageway to disable any traps set to prevent desecration of the tomb, which is also typical. When he could not disable or destroy the traps he marked them so that we could avoid activating them. In the second passage small darts flew from the walls to strike him, though they did him no hurt. The remainder of our party simply leaped over the stone that triggered this trap.

    The third chamber contained many more walking skeletons. There was also a scorched mark on the floor, as though someone had attempted to burn them with a spell. The gong sounded once more and several fallen skeletons raised themselves to their feet. These were only servants, not warriors, and were easily dealt with.

    The stair descended again, this time trapped with a heavy stone overhead that dislodged to release a cloud of dust. This dust burned the skin where it touched. Liadan drew out the rune of water she carried so that we could wash the dust from our bodies.

    We entered a chamber filled with yet more of the walking dead, but these were armed. Rock crushed one with his hammer, but lost his footing and went tumbling down the stair. Nekaya and Liadan stood in the doorway of the chamber to meet the oncoming skeletons. I sprang past them to strike one as it approached. My blades slid off their fleshless bones. To aid my friends, I turned my swords toward relieving the skeletons of their weapons and deprived two of them of their sickle-shaped blades in this manner. Liadan then turned them to dust by Lathander's grace.

    Erim had moved across the room to face a skeleton wielding a bow, and I went to his aid. The skeleton threw down its bow before I arrived. When disarmed they attempted to claw us with their bare finger-bones. Unable to harm it with my sword, I sheathed my blades and grasped it in my arms, hoping to crush it against the stone wall of the tomb. Then Rock's hammer came hurtling past my head, destroying the skull of my foe before returning to my friend's hand.

    We observed that in this room there were the remains of many more unliving warriors than those we had destroyed. There were also smears of blood and the signs that something had been dragged across the floor. We had already suspected that someone must have preceded us into this place and that the poor soul in the first chamber may have been one of their number. Now we felt certain that we were not the first living beings to enter this tomb since it was sealed centuries ago.

    As we continued our journey, Rock, seeing that Sulian had little effect on our enemies, lent me Brimstone's flaming sword to use against their flammable linen wrappings. We proceeded into the next chamber, where we met more armed skeletons, these even better equipped than those we had just encountered. Nekaya exclaimed that these must be the pharaoh's elite retainers.

    Erim announced that he knew a spell to apply against them, and we held the doorway until he could recite the arcane command to summon it. A blast of flames shot from a ring on his hand to engulf the level hallway between us and our enemies. When the inferno cleared not one of the skeletons remained whole.

    Rock had continued to check each stair and passage for traps. But one such trap managed to slip past his notice as we descended once more. He trod on a stone and suddenly the stair swung away beneath him, dropping him into darkness. Before the rest of our party could draw nearer the stair had closed again.

    Erim made a gesture and a wide section of the stair vanished, leaving an opening into a pit. Rock had managed to catch hold of the lip of the opening and before it closed he had activated his immovable rod, such that he now hung from the rod through his belt, suspended above the pit. He advised us that he had found someone else in the pit, evidently the persons who had preceded our entry into the tomb.

    Nekaya sent Sunshine down to give healing to one of the three folk who had tumbled into the pit together. The other two had been slain by the long fall. The man who survived was badly injured and cringed away from Sunshine's light, though we thought perhaps this was because he had been in the darkness for many hours or days.

    After a rope was tied to the immovable rod, Rock descended to the bottom of the pit to retrieve the injured man and the rest of us hauled them out. The man was unconscious when brought out of the pit, but this did not appear to Liadan to be a result of his injuries. When she granted him Lathander's mercy, his injuries improved but he also seemed to suffer. We had already observed that his skin was the color of soot, which did not seem to be a result of his wounds. Nekaya suggested that he might be a denizen of the realm of shadows, similar to the shadow creatures that had attacked us in the park in Arrabar.

    Bearing the insensible man with us, we continued our journey deeper into the tomb. Nekaya sensed that the grey man's nature was one of evil, but we wished to question him. Once his wounds were healed enough that he would survive, he was bound. Erim then summoned a floating disk to enable us to cross the opening he had created in the stair.

    As we passed through a chamber containing two thrones and several chests, we heard music faintly from the next room. Entering it, we found that it contained many of the pharaoh's treasures, including his chariot harnessed to skeletal horses, and even a river barge. Among these waited yet more of the his unliving servants, one of them playing a harp while another sang an ancient tune. Two warriors wrapped in linen stood at either side of the entrance.



    Quips & Quotes:

    Erim: "Can we find the nearest miniature sun out of here?"

    Devo: "This creature, once human, is only lightly covered in burial wrappings."
    Hedrin: "It's casual Friday."

    Hedrin: "I probably had the wand out to heal Rock."
    Jubilee: "But you might have had your mace in your other hand to pacify him first."

    Devo: "You can tell the chamber is intended for preparation for unlife - ahem - the afterlife."

    sniffles: "Mummies - very flammable - you go first."

    Devo: "The urns are full of herbs and spices. I think there are 11 of them."
    Zora: "So Ahnukileal was a colonel?"

    Erim rolls the damage for two charges of scorching ray from a wand. His first roll is 6, 6, 6, 3. His second roll is 1, 1, 1, 5.

    Hedrin: "It's been en-eviled. I'm an en-eviler."

    Zora: "I have an uncanny trap sense. Ow! There's one."

    Zora (as Rock falls down the stairs): "It's a Rock tumbler!"

    Jubilee: "The skeleton can claw me."
    Zora: "It's in their contract. It's a claws."

    Zora: "You could pick up a femur and hit it with that. That'd be humerus."
    Last edited by sniffles; Tuesday, 1st August, 2006 at 04:34 PM.

  2. #72
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    Updated dramatis personae

    I thought since this thread has expanded to two pages and I've started including the "Quips & Quotes" sections that it was time to do another 'cast of characters'. Our cast list has changed since I included it in my first post.

    Dramatis Personae:

    Devo - our illustrious GM.
    Hedrin - player of Liadan, a female human cleric/fighter/human paragon/Master of Radiance/Radiant Servant (whew!)
    Jubilee - player of Nekaya, a female half-elf paladin/half-elf paragon/Soldier of Light
    patv - player of Erim, a male sun elf sorcerer/wizard/fighter/Eldritch Knight
    Me (sniffles) - player of Telemnar, a male sun elf fighter/Tempest
    Zora - player of Rock, a male shield dwarf barbarian/fighter/ranger/Deepwarden

    Pakkin - our NPC goblin, complete with squeaky voice provided by Devo.
    Last edited by sniffles; Thursday, 10th August, 2006 at 12:12 AM.

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniffles
    Hedrin - player of Liadan, a female human cleric/fighter/human paragon/Radiant Servant
    You left out Mistress of Radiance. Yep, I'm an undead fighting machine.

    Hedrin

  4. #74
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    I have two small corrections/quibbles with Sniffle's final paragraph- there was a woman reclining on a funerary barge in the center of the room, about at the edge of an elf's low-light vision, who appeared to be fully fleshy (possibly not undead) playing a flute (implying, i think, that it's either magical or she has lips & lungs). The singing was coming from somewhere beyond her.

  5. #75
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    Journal entry 7/28/06

    Dear Pepa,

    I approached what turned out to be some sort of mummies with Hammer and Brimstone at the ready, Liadan close behind. I moved quickly in the hopes that whoever they were wrapping up might still be saved, as there was evidence that people had arrived here not long before us.

    After dispatching the two mummies, Liadan and I began unwrapping the body on the table, for I had seen it moving just prior. Too late, it seems. He was already dead and filled with large, living beetles that burst forth from his body, swarming over me and working their way into my armor.

    I shook them off and stepped back, commanding Brimstone to shoot forth a stream of flame that burnt the beetles to almost nothing.

    I do not think Dumathoin would be pleased with the happenings here.

    From there we moved onwards, with me taking the lead to suss out any traps. And there were many. From darts that stung to dust that clung and itched, to a pit approximately one hundred feet deep, this place is guarded well against thieves. I nearly succumbed to the pit, but Erim was quick enough with a spell of Feather Falling that I had plenty of time to save myself.

    In the pit, I found three people; two of which were dead whilst the last was badly broken and injured. After rescuing the only survivor, Nekaya told us that he may be from the plane of Shadow, as he had darkish skin and Liadan’s curative spells seemed to hurt him almost as much as the healed him. We bound him and brought him along with us for later questioning.

    We continued on, as we wished to find the source of the gonging, for every time the gong was rung, any destroyed or disassembled undead started to reform. Luckily, there were a couple of rooms in this temple complex where the undead were merely skeletons of servants. These were more likely to bow and look away as their previous station in life warranted.

    Upon encountering one room with warrior skeletons, Erim used a spell that created an immense spray of fire that destroyed all the undead at once. So far in this temple, he’s starting to show his
    usefulness.

    Upon seeing that my dear friend Telemnar was becoming increasingly frustrated that his swords were not as efficient against these affronts to the living, I gave him Brimstone to use, as the fire it emits seems to be having some effect.

    We have come to the point where we believe we are coming close to the end of the temple. Ahead, we can hear someone playing a flute and another singing. Nekaya has stepped inside, causing the two guardians to advance.

    This should prove interesting.

  6. #76
    Upon encountering one room with warrior skeletons, Erim used a spell that created an immense spray of fire that destroyed all the undead at once. So far in this temple, he’s starting to show his usefulness.

    - yeah, thanx...

  7. #77
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    Hey, Pat! Welcome!

    I knew I'd left out one of Liadan's classes. I just couldn't remember what it was. And why I wrote that the woman was playing a harp, I have no idea. My notes say flute. But I admit I didn't remember that she apparently wasn't a mummy.
    Last edited by sniffles; Thursday, 10th August, 2006 at 12:15 AM.

  8. #78
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    A Voyage to Distant Places

    As we stepped from the spiral stair into the next chamber, I saw that it was a very large room, filled with pillars and statuary. In the center of the room the woman reclined on a couch, attended by two skeletal servants. The chamber was lit by solar disks of beaten gold upon the pillars, but these seemed dim until Liadan's spell of daylight struck them and they brightened.

    The woman on the couch was neither fleshless nor living, or so it seemed to me, for her flesh seemed somehow insubstantial. She was not actually playing a flute, but eerie tones of a flute could be heard emanating from her direction. A gong also stood by her, but it did not ring, though we could still hear the sound of the evil gong that seemed to summon the unliving back to their semblance of life.

    When we entered, four chariots began to array themselves as for battle, each driven by a fleshless charioteer and attended by a warrior. As they moved skeletons bearing javelins followed on foot. From behind me I heard the now-familiar tones of Erim's voice chanting his spell of haste before we moved out of range of its magic.

    I moved forward to meet one of the entry guardians as Rock pitted himself against the second sentry. Liadan strode past us and called upon Lathander's might, causing two of the unliving warriors and their equally lifeless horses to explode in clouds of dust. But as I began to make my way further into the chamber, the haunting melody of the flute captured my mind and I stood helpless.

    After a moment I was able to shake my thoughts free of my desire to follow the sound of the flute, but I could only observe as the woman on the couch arose into the air and assumed an upright position floating a short distance above the tiled floor. Liadan summoned a burst of holy flame to destroy one of the threatening chariots. Nekaya then ran to face the hovering woman. She spoke to the woman in her native tongue, but whatever she said appeared to make no impression on the figure. The woman's insubstantial form suddenly descended into the floor and disappeared from my sight.

    One of the chariots had circled the room by this time and drew near to where I stood. I struck the driver a heavy blow with Brimstone and he fell to bits. I followed with a crushing blow to the chariot itself. Once the chariot had been destroyed the skeletal horses drawing it plunged forward and dashed themselves against a wall.

    One of the foot soldiers struck me with a javelin, but I was not badly hurt. While I was dealing with the chariot, Liadan had blasted the ghostly woman with Lathander's divine light and she was vanquished, but this did not prevent the remaining skeletons from continuing to struggle with us. We made short work of laying them to rest, though while the gong continued to sound we knew we could not be assured their rest was permanent.

    Nekaya was determined to locate the gong and silence it. The next stair also led downward. Nekaya took the lead and encountered no trap. As our party approached the foot of the stair, we heard the sound of something large walking about. By crouching on the steps I could glimpse a large pair of feet that appeared to be made of stone standing at the bottom of the stairway. Nekaya spoke to this mobile statue, which then used its staff to gesture as though granting us entry.

    Then a second statue appeared. This one seemed to disturb Nekaya somewhat, for her voice took on a tone of concern when she addressed it, though I could not understand her words. The second statue scratched a line in the floor with its staff before stepping beyond my line of sight. Nekaya then turned to tell us that she had observed the entry to another passage a short distance from this doorway. She encouraged us to hurry through the statue room and make our exit.

    As I entered the room I saw that there were a number of statues within it, not all of them moving about. The two statues that had greeted us in the doorway now seemed to be struggling with one another. Then we heard the sound of feet ascending a stair coming from the next passage. We did not wish to remain within the statue room, but neither did we wish to become trapped on a staircase with enemies. As we struggled to determine which way to proceed, several unliving figures came into the chamber and bowed deferentially to Nekaya.

    One of these figures seemed to be attired as a priest. He gestured toward our group and spoke to Nekaya, though I do not see how a being with so little flesh could speak. Then another figure emerged into the chamber from the other passage. Even though I cannot speak the Mulhorandi language, I could easily recognize that this person must be a member of royalty. His wrappings were of finest linen, and he was adorned with numerous jewels and a tall, oddly-shaped headpiece. The other unliving ones bowed to the floor and covered their faces at his appearance, and a moment later Nekaya followed suit.

    As I wondered whether I, too, should abase myself thus, I heard a voice within my mind telling me that I must also kneel and hide my visage from the king. Somehow I knew that this voice came from the strange glowing entity that Nekaya had dubbed Sunshine. I decided it would be best to comply and knelt, murmuring the command to banish Brimstone's flames as I did so.

    As I crouched there with my friends Nekaya carried on a long conversation with the king, speaking somewhat haltingly as though the words of his ancient tongue did not come easily to her lips. Thanks be to Corellon that the elven tongue does not change so much with time. After some discussion we were permitted to stand and were conducted down the stairs and through what was no doubt the king's treasure vault, so filled with golden furnishings and precious gems that it glowed. I could only admire the finery briefly, before we entered what appeared to be a makeshift throne room.

    More skeletal servants attended the king here, and had evidently been disassembling his sarcophagus in order to build him a proper throne. But not all of the occupants of the chamber were unliving. Here I saw a grey-skinned man, similar to the injured man we had left bound in one of the unoccupied rooms behind us. But this man had glowing sigils encircling his head, leading me to think him a mage. Several of his companions also had greyish flesh. The rest appeared to be human. All of them looked the worse for their experiences in the tomb.

    By this time both Liadan and Erim had cast some spell that permitted them to understand the exchange between the king and Nekaya, though they could not speak to the king themselves. They were able to relate to the rest of us that the king was unhappy because he could not pass on to the afterlife of his people. The grey-skinned folk had evidently had some hand in this, but now they had returned to seek an alliance with him. At first the king accused my friends and I of being party to the other invaders, but Nekaya was able to convince him that we had no involvement with them.

    The king appeared to be seeking his lost heir, and was interested when Nekaya told him of the prophecy that had led her to this place. He wished for us to go out and seek the missing heir. Unfortunately since we could not speak with him, he took whatever Nekaya said as an assent from all of us. Not that I wished to refuse to him aid, but I should have preferred more consultation over the matter before reaching a decision. I must only pray once more that Lord Corellon keep my dear Erendis safe until I can seek her again.

    The priests conducted us back to the chamber where the mummies were prepared. A stone descended over the black pool we had seen there, and this stone lifted all of us and our horses up into another chamber. Once we had all gathered there - without the priests - a bright light filled the chamber until I could no longer see.

    When my vision returned, I saw that we stood upon the deck of a huge boat of some sort. The boat was covered in gold and silver so that it gleamed. Around it lay a fiery dome through which I could see a darkness. But beyond the boat I did not see water or a horizon. Instead I saw strange swirling colors. One of my companions exclaimed that what I saw beyond the boat must be the Astral Plane. The boat upon which we stood was the solar barge of the Mulhorandi sun god! The very god himself was before us, a huge being with the body of a man twice my height, surmounted by the head of a hawk. As we all stood together gaping in awe, a squat golden figure approached us and exclaimed, if I recall correctly, "Are you just going to stand there or are you going to get to work?"



    Quips & Quotes:

    patv: "It's the Ben-Hur room."
    Zora: "We've Ben Hur. Let's go to the next room."
    Hedrin: "Everybody's ben hur."

    Devo: "The charioteers snap their little lashes."
    Jubilee: "That's quite a blink!"

    Jubilee: "I could do bludgeoning damage but it would all be subdual."
    sniffles: "You'd be spanking the skeletons."
    Jubilee: "I'm not into that."

    Jubilee: "If we're on the Plane of Positive Energy, Sunshine might know."
    Hedrin: "But are there any snakes on this plane?"
    Last edited by sniffles; Monday, 25th September, 2006 at 05:24 PM.

  9. #79
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    Shadows of the Sun

    As we stood upon the deck of the solar barge, I wondered if I should bow or kneel to the diminutive golden being who addressed us. I looked to Nekaya for an example of proper behavior in the presence of deities, for I realized that even this being was a minor divinity.

    Nekaya at once began to explain to the being how we had come to be aboard the barge, to which the divinity responded that he knew why we had come: to bring the end of night. This statement left me bewildered and he did not elaborate. Instead he offered to show us where our horses might be stabled during the voyage.

    We followed the deity, whose name I learned was Up-uate, into the hold of the barge. I was hard pressed to keep my thoughts on my destination. The barge appeared to be made entirely of precious metals, gleaming with silver and gold. Beyond it I could see the fiery sphere that formed the outside of the solar orb. A number of other lesser deities such as Up-uate hurried about the golden deck with long-handled implements, reaching out with these extensible tools to remove patches of darkness from the solar corona. Other deities worked to repair scorch marks and scratches on the golden deck and sides of the barge. I was too amazed to wonder what might have caused such damage.

    The hold seemed far too expansive to be contained beneath the deck on which we had appeared. It was filled with massive quantities of goods, from heaps of gold coins and ingots to bales of fine cloth and urns and jars of every description. Nekaya kept up a running conversation with Up-uate, who seemed content to answer her many questions. I busied myself in tending to Aratan and did not hear all of what she asked, but I did overhear that the goods filling the hold were the belongings of Mulhorandi citizens who had become 'lost'.

    Nekaya later explained that this meant they had died without being interred with the proper rituals. These lost souls would wait in the caverns of darkness until the solar barge passed by on its journey into the night. If the lost souls could fight their way through the demons of the night and board the barge, they would be borne over the Western Mountains into paradise, and their worldly goods would be returned to them.

    I found this explanation of the afterlife very curious. I do not recall any mention of such strictures among my people. Though there are many handsome tombs in Evereska, there is no requirement that one of the Tel'Quessir have any type of burial or ritual in order to pass into Arvandor.

    As I listened to the discussion between Nekaya and Up-uate, I realized that though it seemed to me that he spoke in my native tongue, when Nekaya spoke with him she seemed to comprehend him perfectly, though she has confessed in the past that despite her elven heritage she does not know the language of our people.

    I spent more time than was truly necessary with Aratan, for I felt overwhelmed by the divine presence of the barge. At its tiller stood the god Re-Horakhty, the massive being with the head of a hawk. He did not speak to us nor acknowledge our presence, but I could feel his divine aura wherever I went on the golden barge.

    My friend Rock set to work with the godlings who were engaged in reparing the damage to the barge, using his skill with metalwork to polish away the scratches. As I have no such skill myself, I offered to aid the godlings in removing the dark spots and debris that had accumulated on the barge and the solar corona. There are many things of an unknown nature floating about beyond the solar orb, and when they strike the fiery globe they are burnt to ash.

    After a time the godlings rested from their labors, pausing to play a game they called 'Equinox'. My companions and I were permitted to join them, though I must confess I was a poor player. The game involves bowling balls of sun-stuff at a course laid out on the deck, which sounds simple enough, but I could not contrive to steer my ball in the proper direction.

    We were introduced to the rest of the barge's crew during this time, and I will transcribe their names here if only so that I may remember them. The captain of the barge was called Kherp; he had the head of some beast though I could not determine what manner of beast. The lookout was called Nehes. The remaining deckhands, who all resembled Up-uate, were called Her-heken, Saa, Hu, and Afu. Afu appeared to be a very devout person, constantly in prayer to Horus-Re.

    We were not the only mortals traveling aboard the barge at that time. The other passengers were a woman called Panya and a man named Habeth. Both of them were evidently lost souls who had managed to board the barge to be transported to their afterlife. Habeth kept descending to the hold to carry up treasures at Panya's behest. Unlike the divinities, their speech could not readily be understood by my ears.

    After a time - I could not say how long, for it is difficult to judge the hours when one is within the Sun itself - we began to approach a range of mountains. The barge dipped down toward them, revealing that all the land below was golden and dotted with vast caverns containing cities of gold. As we approached this dazzling landscape Habeth and Panya simply vanished.

    Up-uate announced that we were approaching a particular peak called Mount Manu. An enormous cleft opened into the interior of this mountain and the barge entered into the cleft. As it did so it seemed somehow darker to me on the deck, though I did not observe any decrease in the light of the solar fires.

    I was startled to observe the appearance of a tall reptilian being on the foredeck. This being was Afu. Nekaya explained to us that now our work would truly begin: soon the demons of Night would begin to attack the solar barge as the evil god Set attempted to prevent the Sun from rising again. It would be our duty to help defend the barge.

    Then I saw sinister dark shadows begin to swoop toward the barge.

    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    Quips & Quotes:

    Devo: "You're in an extraplanar space."
    Zora: "Good thing I brought extra snakes."

    Zora: "I remember who is Hu, but do I see Saa?"

    patv: "So he's the sun pool boy."
    sniffles: "It's the divine pooper scooper!"

    patv: "Does Captain Kherp have a phaser?"
    Zora: "Is it set on sun?"

    patv: "I make some offhand comment about the weather..."
    Devo: "'Sunny today'."

    Zora: (In Mr. T voice) " I pity Afu."
    Last edited by sniffles; Monday, 9th October, 2006 at 04:28 PM.

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    Journal entry 9/22/06

    Dear Grandfather,

    Well Pepa, I don't know what to say. Words fail me. Before I could put quill to parchment about our meeting with Anukhileal, we were here on the…well, I'll get to that in a moment.

    Truth be told, I can't remember nary a thing about the fight with the chariots, nor the statues of the gods nor meeing Anukhileal. It's like I wasn't there. What's happening now is so unreal it's as if the other stuff didn't happen.

    The first thing that really comes to mind with any clarity is suddenly being aboard the Solar Barge, with small gods -or godlings- asking me if I was going to get to work or not. I'll try to explain to the best of my ability, and it's a good thing I'm writing it down, as I'm not sure Serrah will think I'm of right mind if I tell her this.

    Assuming we find a way off this plane.

    I never thought I'd hear myself say that. Pepa, you always said someday I would have grander adventures than yours. Hearing you tell your stories, I would have thought that impossible. How grand they seemed then. Of course, I was but a wee one then. They still hold a dear place in my heart as heroic adventures, but I'm wondering if I'll ever have children or grandchildren to tell yours and my stories to. Or if they'll believe them. I hardly believe them.

    As it turns out, we're amidst some of the gods of Nekaya's pantheon. The Mulhorandi pantheon. We are on the Solar Barge, which is the Sun. We are in the middle of the Sun, as it travels the sky via the Astral Plane. It travels the 12 hours of day before heading over the Mountains to the West, which are their resting grounds for the afterlife. Much like our Great Halls. Time loses all meaning there, but eventually it leaves there to travel the 12 hours of night. During this time Set -their god of death- attacks the Solar Barge to stop the sun from rising. At this time, people who were not buried or interred according to their sacred rites -they are called "The Lost"- roam these lands and if they are righteous enough, can fight their way to the barge hoping to gain admittance. If they do, they are now called "Petitioners" and can ride all the way through the 12 hours of day to the promised afterlife.

    When we arrived, there were 2 petitioners on board, Panya and Habeth. Panya appears a spoiled noble whilst Habeth is a commoner. I can't understand their speech, but it seems Habeth is bringing Panya's belongings from the hold for her. I should explain.

    The hold, where we put our mounts…did I mention they came with us? Anyway, the hold is larger than the barge itself, and contains the treasures of all of the Lost. Should they prove righteous, they can gather it on board and take it with them into the afterlife. It is an extradimensional space that contains more wealth than many dragon's hoards.

    The crew of the ship are as follows (mind you, there all godlings or minor gods:

    Up-uate…deckhand
    Her-Heken…deckhand
    Hu…deckhand
    Saa…deckhand
    Nehes…lookout
    Kherp…captain
    Re-Horakhty…Sun God beneath Horus Re

    Her-Heken was the one who asked if we were going to get to work, so after stowing the horses below, I asked if there was anything I could do. They actually asked if I could navigate or be a lookout! Now, I have extreme confidence in my eyesight, but the thought of being a lookout on a god's ship was very nervewracking for me. I politely declined and he asked if I could do repair work. When I asked what, he pointed to the ship itself, which is made primarily of gold and some silver.

    Now THAT I can do!

    And honestly, it was a wonderful distraction to be doing some manual labor that I could focus on and not feel so lost. I was proud and surprised that they found my work to be exceptional.

    This whole thing is so surreal.

    After arriving in the promised lands, Panya and Habeth disappeared from the barge. At this time, I had some time to discuss with Nekaya their burial rites and practices. She seemed very distressed that she was not travelling with anyone who could bury her properly, thereby becoming one of the Lost. As you know Pepa, I have always been considerate of others' beliefs and I take the guardian of the dead aspect of Dumathoin very seriously. I felt it was not only my duty but an honor to learn her ways so as to ensure a safe and direct passage to the promised lands for her spirit.

    At one point, I even "heard" Re-Horakhty speak in our minds, although I did not understand anything. Up-uate said that was for the best, as a god's words were not meant for mortal minds, and could not take the strain.

    We've heard stories of a person named Shahu-Se (The End of Night), who has been helping the Lost get to the barge, and turns out to be Anukhileal's descendant that we are looking for. As we entered the cave to the beginning of the 12 hours of night, Nekaya told us that we would be in for a long fight before reaching the 12 hours of day again.

    A long, protracted fight I can do.

    May Dumathoin know where to find me should I fall here...

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