Rogue Empire

Chapter 25: The Tomb of Boccob
Tomb raiders

The party discusses the idea of keeping whatever treasure they find in the tomb for themselves, and perhaps overthrowing Pasha Vakaj. They attempt to recruit Bertrand into this plot, however he has no interest in politics and informs the party that every prince in Telnesthene is one sort of bastard or another. The Thorns then attempt to convince Bertrand to assist them in the Tomb, another prospect that he feels he has no business getting involved in. However, after some discussion, the party offers Bertrand a fifth of the treasure, and their assistance in hunting down Andronaax, the dune scourge. He agrees to assist the group in the tomb and the party breaks camp.

At the entrance to the pyramid, they see a large creature with the body of a lion, and feathered wings on its back. Quinn has heard tales of the legendary sphinx who guard the entrances to holy locations, refusing entry to those who cannot answer their riddles. Quinn and Badger Cobblesprocket-De’Voir approach to speak with the creature who asks if they have come to make “the pilgrimage” to which they say yes. She offers entry if they can complete her riddle. She offers a logic problem. After some thinking and some time, Quinn believes he has the correct answer, however the rest of the group is less than sure and waits some distance away while Quinn gives the response. The sphinx informs Quinn his answer is correct and Quinn offers a riddle of his own. The Sphinx offers several likely answers and then informs Quinn that she senses that others have entered the tomb already through some sort of gateway inside, rendering her watch superfluous. She takes off into flight and leaves the tomb. The party walks up to the door seeing a lever behind smokey glass. Gregory (Banner) Smith attempts to break the glass but breaks his hammer instead. The party muses attempting to use a crowbar to remove the bricks around the lever before Clark Wainwright realizes that this is the tomb of a god of magic. As an arcane trickster, he summons a mage hand to move the lever. The door opens.

The party enters into the first chamber where an ethereal form takes shape and instructs them to pray at the altar in front of them if they wish to pay pilgrimage. The party makes the appropriate gestures at the altar, as the form vanishes, then begins to delve into the dungeon against the warnings in the tomb. They avoid most of the traps, and set off others, before encountering a room full of several recently dead Githyanki and a suit of full plate adamantine armour with an adamantine longsword in the centre of the room, which is covered in the blood of the Gith. The party decides not to disturb the armour. They notice bloody footprints off in one direction and decide to follow it, finding an alchemist’s lab, and a group of Githyanki at the tail end of their plundering. A fight ensues, and two of the Gith manage to escape, though not before wounding some of the party members significantly.

Clark accidentally activates two flesh golems in another room, but quietly closes the door and informs the party to keep silent so as not to draw their attention. They avoid that room. They battle zombies and find a number of treasures, however it seems much of tomb has been looted recently. Attempting to manage their resources, versus the other rewards, they decide to clear as many of the rooms as they can to loot them before descending into the depths of the tomb.

At the base of the tomb is a massive set of double doors. The party debates for a while whether to press on or turn back, but decide to try their luck, opening the doors. Inside they find a large sarcophagus, the corpses of several Githyanki, and a lone Illithid Mind Flayer that immediately attacks the party. The fight is a close battle and Clarke nearly has his brains removed, but is saved at the last minute by Greg, who stabs through Clarke to hit the foe. The Illithid retreats to the astral plane.

Alone in the depths of the dungeon, the group pushes the lid off of the sarcophagus to discover a simple wooden staff inside of the tomb. They remove the staff and immediately the ground begins to shake, and bricks begin to fall from the ceiling. The Thorns rush out of the building as it sinks into the sand behind them.

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Chapter 26: The Way Back

Heavily wounded and low on resources, the party plans their next move and decides to head to a nearby oasis to recover.

Badger Cobblesprocket-De’Voir attempts to identify the staff and determines that it may be the Staff of the First Magi, one of the most powerful magical artifacts in existence. The rest of the party spends some time attuning to the magical artifacts they found in the Tomb of Boccob. Quinn attempts to attune to the black horn found on the statue of Orcus but is unable to determine the magical properties of the horn. He attempts to blow the horn but finds that a bonding agent has been used to plug the horn.

During the night, a magical portal opens up outside of the camp of the Thorns. High Arcanist Narien Silverwind and a small entourage emerges and approaches the party to parley. The party learns that the Empire has been backing Pasha Vakaj, and promised to deliver thirty iron golems in exchange for acquiring the Staff of the First Magi. However, as the staff has been recovered by Imperials, the deal could be circumvented. The party agrees in exchange for a large sum of gold and patronage for Badger in the Arcanist’s guild. Narien agrees and the Thorns hand over the staff. The High Arcanist and her entourage disappear back through the portal and it closes behind them. Laden with several thousand gold, the party decides to return to Emberhold to report to the Pasha.

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