Friday, December 18, 2015

Nefret, Chapter 6: Pyramid of Arithmetic Bliss

A new name for this chapter because of the direction the players went with it.  The Garden of the Vizier's Daughter shall not be forgotten, however.
You have reported to Iban concerning Ekram's exile, and he applauds your decision as being the best course of action.  While it is true that the Order of the Medjay is above the law, it is best not to have one willing to kill the Pharaoh's own free in the Pharaoh's city.  As a reward for your service, Iban has offered you a handy haversack filled with treasures--contraband that Ekram had abandoned when he was forced to leave Peraten.

Iban also has more information about the Wati murders:  Namely, that Ekram wasn't working alone.  During their interrogations, every member of Velriana's team (including Uzoma, our portly vanara hireling) had mentioned encountering a necromancer at some point during the day in question.  As these accounts did not generally agree, the necromancer was initially assumed to be a lie meant to divert attention from Velriana's motivations.  However, casual discussions with Ekram's associates revealed that the enforcer had recently begun working closely with the Embalmer's Guild--so Iban is now willing to accept the existence of a necromancer.  With the recent disappearance of specially trained embalmers, hunting down Ekram's necromancer ally has been difficult--particularly if the Medjay are, in fact, working with the guild.

Investigating the Order of the Medjay is dangerous, and Iban is afraid that his questioning into the murders has made him a target.  However, if a necromancer was involved, then the immunity of the Medjay would not protect him.  The nobleman Oshep (the one who granted Velriana access to Wati) had previously hired a team from the Embalmer's Guild to investigate a shrine in the dead city.  The leader of this team was an alchemist named Nephethus (!).  Since Nephethus "does not have any known associates in Peraten" according to Iban, he would like someone to investigate Oshep.

He has proposed that a party of known explorers should approach Oshep looking for work. During the course of their negotiations, the party should glean as much information as possible from Oshep regarding the embalmers' mission. Furthermore, Oshep's daughter maintains a garden on the property filled with exotic plants--many of which are of particular interest to herbalists and alchemists. This could give the right persons access to the home for further investigation. Once again, Iban's needs align with the particular skills of our heroes.

Important Locations


The city is composed of three districts, one for each of the dominant races of the Three Kingdoms:
  • Elf (Northern) District is located between the Great Temple of the Sun and the Palace of the Pharaoh.  If is here that the most powerful nobles of the city live; it is also includes the central market, which attracts the largest percentage of visitors to the city.  Some catfolk and cattlefolk also makes their homes here.
  • Dogfolk (Western) District is located south of the Great Temple of the Sun, and includes the Lesser [or Funerary] Temple of the Sun.  Funerary processions for the royal family begin at this temple, then pass through each other district before continuing on to the royal tombs.  Some grippli, humans, and lizardfolk also make their home here.
  • Tengu (Eastern or Upper) District is located east of the Great Temple of the Sun, and rests on a hill above the Peraten.  Some dwarves, nagaji, and vanaras also make their homes here.

Oshep's Estate is located in the Elf District, bordering Sebti's Estate.  These two nobles are currently rivals in the court of Akhenhotep II--each vying for the position of Grand Vizier.  Both nobles and their spy networks are aware of a secret passage in the connecting wall between their properties.


Wati is a walled-in, long-dead city that was recently uncovered by a sandstorm.  Petty nobles who make their home in Peraten, such as Lady Sebti and Lord Oshep, have warrants from the Pharaoh to commission further expeditions into the Necropolis.  The murder of two guards at the gates of this city has led to the current investigation into the Order of the Medjay and the Embalmers' Guild.

The Pyramid of Arithmetic Bliss is an ancient library and lecture hall.  Oshep is interested in learning more about this site--though may have already hired a team to investigate it.

Important People

Ibankhknum (or simply Iban; male ramfolk fighter) is a captain in the ranks of Phararoh's guard. He had asked the party to investigate a possible lead related to the murder of two Wati guards.

Order of the Medjay is a special branch of Pharaoh's royal guards responsible for imperial level investigations, intelligence gathering, and the safety of Pharaoh and his immediate family. A member of this order, Ekram Iffek, confessed to the murder of two Wati guardsmen and was exiled by the party.

Nephethus was briefly a member of the party.  He is also a member of the Embalmers' Guild.  After having worked for Oshep, the guild called him away to Tem-Akh, the previous capital of the empire.  Nephethus' connection to the party is known only to Sebti and the party.  He spent more time in Peraten doing business on behalf of the Embalmer's Guild that working on the party's archaeological endeavors.

Nyala is a local bonecrafter and art merchant in Peraten. She has expressed interest in joining the party on their next foray into Wati.

Oshep is a vizier in Pharaoh's court, and a rival of Sebti.  Iban has asked the party to investigate Oshep's recent work with the Embalmer's Guild, particularly a team led by Nephethus.  By doing so, Iban is hoping to learn about a necromancer who might have been working with Ekram Iffek.

Session 6.0

After agreeing to continue working with Ibankhkhnum, the party approached Sebti to let her know that they have been asked to investigate Oshep--which is why they are approaching her rival for work.  Delighted to hear that Oshep may loose favor with the Pharaoh, Sebti has offered to assist the party in their endeavor--even allowing them access to her spy network.  After agreeing to a code phrase by which the party and Sebti's spries may know each other, Aloysa and Kiji approached Oshep about work.  Kiji found the religious artifacts in Oshep's home particular interesting, as icons of Ra, Kephri, and Atum were hidden among the icons of the Aten.  

Oshep agreed to let the party investigate the Pyramid of Arithmetic Bliss in Wati. This structure,m, he says, appears to be some sort of library and lecture hall.  He has expressed an interest in learning about the sciences taught in the ancient city. As with Sebti, Oshep is clearly hiding his true motivations from the party.  When Kiji and Aloysa left the estate, they were approached by a friendly servant, who passed a note to the archaeologist.  The "Pyramid" they have been asked to explore is the exact same site that the team from the Embalmers' Guild had investigated.

While the catfolk and tengu met with Oshep, Pleebit picked up his new bone-studded armor from a local merchant--one they have dealt with in the past when selling their artifacts.  He mentioned in passing that his team might be returning to Wati, and the shopkeeper (and local artisan) asked if she should accompany them when they did.

Session 6.1

Nyala, a local art merchant, joined the party as they explored the Pyramid of Arithmetic Bliss.  However, there was little to uncover:  Nephethus' team had already picked the site clear.  There had clearly been combat with undead--both elven and dwarven--but none such creatures remained.  A campsite was discovered, but it had been abandoned weeks ago; as was a recently dead body, wearing the same kind of funerary mask as Ekram Iffek.

The only information worth retrieving were ancient architectural texts, and lists of both lecturers and students--including Ariseti, daughter of Pentheru, among the latter.

As the party left the "pyramid," they were greeted by an opposing party of funerary-mask wearing thugs.  The thugs identified themselves as members of the Order of the Medjay--and made clear their intention's to stop our heroes' investigation into Oshep.  Oshep, it would seem, exercises some level of authority over the Order.  This ill-prepared team was easily dispatched after interrogation.  Since Oshep set the party up, it remains to be seen how they will choose to interact with the nobleman now.

Edited December 28th, 2015 (new title & image).

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