The Song Pharaoh’s Coda

Part 1: The Tomb

You appear standing at the base of a dry desert canyon. About half a mile to the south, you can see a small village, consisting of perhaps thirty houses scattered along a minor tributary of the Sphinx and surrounded by green fields of wheat. To the north, a narrow canyon leads up into the hills.

It takes some time and a DC 30 Perception check to find the tomb (dwarves may apply their Stonecunning bonus).

The hieroglyph that Nazmi mentioned is badly eroded by wind and time, but you locate it on the canyon wall. Directly below it is an area of light rubble and dirt which conceals the entrance to the tomb.

Nazmi provided shovels and picks; using them to clear the rubble takes a few hours. If the PCs wish to use their own methods of excavation, by all means let them.

Beneath the rubble, you find a stone door. It is cracked and broken. Behind it lies a set of stairs sloping downward into darkness. A draft of ancient, dry air wafts past you.

A DC 25 Appraise check reveals that the stonework was damaged before being buried, in ancient times. Dwarves may apply their Stonecunning bonus to this check.

If there is a rogue in the party eager for traps to disarm, you may wish to describe the door as sealed and add a falling block trap.

Map 1: The Tomb of Shemayet. See maps for full size versions.

A1 - Antechamber

The first chamber is barren and empty. Drifts of sand and rubble litter the floor here and there. The walls were covered in smooth white plaster, now cracked and in a few places disintegrating. A rock-cut table surface juts out from the wall at chest height along the north and west sides of the chamber. All along the walls, you can see roughly sketched-in lines of elaborate paintings. They depict a dark-haired womain in royal garments, together with the gods of Osirion. However, the paintings were never finished — they are merely sketches indicating what was planned. Similarly, you can see columns marked out on the walls to guide the placement of hieroglyphs, but they are mostly empty. There are very few glyphs actually painted. The ceilings are flat, and claustrophobically close. They are painted dark blue and covered with five-pointed yellow stars.

A DC 15 Kn (History or Religion) check reveals that the rock-table was designed to hold funerary equipment, but it is empty.

DC 20 Linguistics, or speak ancient Osiriani - the few hieroglyphs you can read are pretty standard funerary texts. Oddly, there are no cartouches. There are a few spots where you would expect to find a cartouche, but all of them are too damaged to read. DC 25 Appraise - the damage was deliberate. Someone smashed those cartouches.

A2 - Vestibule

This vestibule, like the first chamber, was never finished. It contains more incomplete texts and paintings, sand drifts, and nothing else. The incomplete paintings depict a female form boarding a ship and sailing into a dark opening.

A DC 18 Knowledge (Religion) check is enough to reveal that the ship is most likely a funerary barge entering the Duat, a series of gates through which the soul of a pharaoh must pass before judgment.

A3 - Stairs down

There are two sets of stairs at the northeast end of the chamber, side by side. Between them, smooth slabs of stone form a path downward, descending at the same angle as the stairs. Along the walls you see more incomplete texts and unfinished paintings depicting a boat sailing across a lake of fire, with the same female figure standing on its deck in a prayerful attitude. You can see light at the bottom.

DC 20 Appraise or Knowledge (Engineering): The slabs in the center are there to make it easier to bring the heavy sarcophagus in. Dwarves may add their Stonecunning bonus to this check.

DC 20 Knowledge (Religion): The lake of fire is one of the gates of the Duat. The flames only burn the unjust, but they also conceal other guardians who attempt to turn back any who seek passage, good or evil.

A4 - Burial Chamber

At the bottom, you find a much larger room. Here, the ceiling is vaulted, rising to a height of 15 feet in the center of the chamber. Four pillars support the ceiling in the middle. On each pillar, a carving of a dog-headed god juts out a good foot into the room, carved to look as though it is emerging from the stone. There are braziers next to each pillar, each one alight with fire.

The walls here are fully inscribed, but all of the cartouches have clearly been deliberately destroyed. A few of the paintings were completed, but most are sketches or unfinished. The scenes depict the same woman aboard the ship. The largest is a frieze across the north wall of the room, fully finished, in which the woman fights well over a dozen serpents swarming her ship.

In the center of the room between the pillars, staircases descend some five feet into a broad depression. At the center of this stands an enormous golden sarcophagus depicting the woman from the tomb walls. Behind it, you can see a shriveled, dry corpse sprawled across the further steps. It is wearing bronze banded mail and a kilt typical of ancient Osiriani warriors.

DC 15 Kn (Religion): the pillar carvings depict Anubis.

DC 15 Kn (Arcana): the braziers have Continual Flame spells running within them.

DC 20 Kn (Religion): The frieze from the north wall shows the tomb’s occupant battling the many heads of Apep, an ancient god of chaos, darkness, water and evil.

DC 30 Perception: the corpse is sprawled across a flail, and you can just make out the holy symbol of Anubis on it.

Creatures: Dedelion and Graven Guardians

Dedelion’s body dried out naturally in the arid desert air. He is now a mummy, though a natural one rather than a properly prepared one. In undeath he guards his lover’s sarcophagus as he guarded her in life. Whenever a PC approaches within five feet of the coffin, he will rise and gurgle out “Sheee is rresting. Let herr be. Leave orr die!” in ancient Osiriani, before lurching towards them to attack. Now that they are active, the four graven guardians move to join him. The guardians will not attack Dedelion, both because he has been part of the tomb for millennia and because he bears the holy symbol of Anubis, their patron deity.

Dedelion Tactics: Dedelion activates his Protection Blessing twice when he first hears people entering the tomb, once for an AC bonus and once for energy resistance. These effects are reflected in his stat block. On the first turn of combat, he casts Wall of Bone to grapple and damage any casters or ranged combatants who stay out of melee. Thereafter, he activates his Frightful Presence ability and engages in melee, using his Fervor ability to heal himself as necessary.

Graven Guardian Tactics: The Graven Guardians have never moved before, and they are physically part of the four pillars in the room. It takes a moment for their ancient joints to respond. They delay their action to the end of Round 1. At that time they use their Haste ability on themselves, and each one moves for position, going directly towards the PC nearest their respective column. In subsequent rounds they attack that PC until destroyed or until the PC dies. If they kill a PC, they move on directly towards the next closest PC.

Hazard: Trapped Sarcophagus

The sarcophagus is elaborate, covered in gold leaf (suggested image: Sarcophagus, by dashinvaine). It is the only fully decorated thing in the tomb, but even it has been vandalized — before they left, Djetrieti’s goons smashed the cartouches on its surface so that Shemayet’s name would not be recorded there. But since they did not bother opening it, they did not trigger the trap that Dedelion laid on it before beginning the rites.

Songless Trap (CR 7)
Type magical; Perception DC 28; Disable Device DC 28
Trigger touch (opening the sarcophagus); Reset none

The target of this trap is cursed never to hear music again. They gain no benefit from musical bardic performances, and cannot perceive music regardless of how loud it is. A character subject to this effect suffers a 50% chance of failing on each attempt to begin a bardic performance that depends on music, and must spend a move action to maintain it in subsequent rounds. This functions as Bestow Curse; Will DC 19 negates.

The sarcophagus opens to reveal a tightly wrapped mummy. It wears a set of bronze scale armor, bearing clear signs of combat damage. Tucked along one side of the sarcophagus is a heavy shield of wood; on the other side lies a magnificent bronze shortsword. Atop the head rests an ornate headband bearing a uraeus, and you can make out a cloak wrapped loosely about the shoulders. Across the chest it carries a crook and flail, both gleaming gold in the light of the braziers. Around its neck, an elaborate collar of lapis and carnelian peeks out.

The sarophagus contains Shemayet’s mummy, along with all of the trappings listed with Shemayet-Ka’s stat block, and the crook and flail containing the hiding place of the Scrolls of Thoth. The jeweled weskhet collar around its neck is worth 5,800 gp for the gems alone, and much more to the right collector.

Creature: Shemayet-Ka

The other thing that opening the sarcophagus triggers is the final release of Shemayet’s Ka, which has been trapped there for millennia. Lifting the lid slightly shifts the necklace the mummy is wearing — in addition to its value as an art object, the failed ritual that Dedelion was performing turned it into a force net. It is that which kept Shemayet-Ka trapped all this time. She was almost free when Dedelion was interrupted.

The Ka is the soul’s life force, and retains only vague impressions of the life it led before death. Memory and experience are the province of the Ba, and hence Shemayet-Ka has only limited understanding of what has happened to her. If she is woken during the fight with Dedelion, she will not recognize him or any of the other people fighting in her tomb. Thus, she will hover uncertainly and back away from confrontation. If necessary, as an incorporeal creature she can hide within the walls of the tomb, peeking out cautiously now and then. She will not take sides, unless someone threatens to damage her mummy where it lies within its sarcophagus. In that case she will rush to defend her former body.

If she is attacked or damaged, Shemayet-Ka will plead for peace: “O wild intruders, leave be! Cease this senseless violence!” She speaks in ancient Osiriani; a DC 20 Linguistics check is enough to get the gist of it, as is a DC 20 Sense Motive check to get a hunch that she’s trying to negotiate.

Shemayet-Ka tactics: If forced into combat, Shemayet-Ka will open with her Ka Song, inspiring courage in herself and applying penalties to all other creatures in the tomb (except the graven guardians and Dedelion, who are immune due to their construct and undead traits respectively). Thereafter she will rely on Dimensional Hop and her incorporeality to move about the battlefield, using magic and her corrupting touch as her primary offensive abilities. However, she will only attack those who she perceives as threatening her one-time body. If a creature so targeted backs away, she will disengage.

If Shemayet-Ka is not woken until after the combat, or if she avoids engaging in it, proceed to the conversation at the start of Part II: The Chantress once the combat concludes.

A5 - Vestibules

These chambers contain the wreckage of ancient funeral goods. The walls are completely blank — the artisans did not even make it into these chambers to begin painting.

There is little of note here, though the western vestibule contains a rather nice alabaster goblet carved to resemble a lotus blossom (600gp) that was missed by the followers of Djetrieti (DC 25 Perception to locate). The eastern vestibule contains an open chest made of cedar and bound in gold. It is empty, but is worth a good 800 gp on the open market in its own right.

A6 - The Dock

Sitting in the center of this room is a 1/3rd scale model of an ancient Osiriani barge, very similar to the ones depicted in the paintings outside. Almost fifty feet long and 15 feet wide amidships, it still carries halfling-sized statues of boatmen manning the oars. It is painted in flaking white paint, and has a band of decoration carried all along the gunwale in a typical Osiriani pattern: on a black background, simple rectangles alternating light blue, dark blue, light blue, red. The bow and stern are carved and painted to resemble lotus blossoms.

This is Shemayet’s funeral barge, intended to carry her Akh and her companions through the Duat to the Halls of Amenti. It was assembled in place after being brought into the tomb in pieces. There are no nails, pegs, or glue involved in its construction — the entire thing is held together by sturdy ropes threaded through channels and stays carved into the planks that form its hull. If inspected with Detect Magic, it radiates a strong aura of conjuration magic. It’s a DC 32 Spellcraft check to identify the exact magical function of the barge, which is discussed in Part III: Through the Duat.

Proceed to Part II: The Chantress.