Friday, October 9, 2015

Nefret, Chapter 1: The Tomb of Akhentepi


Four years ago, a sandstorm uncovered part of a walled-in city less than a day's journey from the new capital at Peraten.  When diggers were sent out to excavate the city, they found that there was no gate into it.  An arbitrary location was chosen to carve out a passage so that the excavation could continue.

Among the sands within the city, diggers also discovered and discarded hundreds of bodies.  They also found that while the outer walls were smooth, the interior walls were covered in hieroglyphs.  These glyphs name the city Wati, and they tell of a plague of madness that destroyed the city; and of the decree of the Pharaoh Sekhtet to have the city sealed in order to prevent any remnants of the plague from spreading.

Less than a year ago, excavation on Wati ceased among rumors of curses and walking dead.  These rumors were encouraged by the erection of an obelisk just inside the makeshift gate, inscribed with powerful protection charms and dedicated to the Aten.  Soldiers now stand guard outside Wati's gate, only allowing the agents of particular noble houses to enter.

A noblewoman named Sebti (also called "the Crocodile" by local urchins) has a warrant from the Pharaoh to fund expeditions into the necropolis.  She has hired you to investigate the tomb of a military leader named Akhentepi.  She has asked that you bring back rubbings of prominent hieroglyphic carvings to be added to the necropolis' historical record.  There is still much to be learned about Wati, and Sebti believes that this tomb in particular could hold keys to the past.

WATI, the Dead City

Important Locations


Peraten is the new capital of the empire. Construction of the city began under Atenhotep I, and was completed under his wife Moshet.  Atenhotep II continues to rule from Nefret from this city.  Religious practices other than worship of the Aten are not permitted in the city.  Believers of other traditions are permitted, and each is allowed to practice their own faith privately--but public displays of devotion (including spellcasting) are forbidden.  Temples to other gods are not to be constructed; and the devout of any other tradition may not gather in groups of 4 or more.

The Tooth and Hookah is an inn and tavern located in the merchant district of Peraten.  It generally attracts a middle-class clientele, though low-ranking nobility have also been known to patron the establishment.  Lady Sebti has arranged to meet with her expedition in a private room in the tavern--and has even secured two rooms at the inn for their extended use.  So long as the players remain employed by Lady Sebti, they will be able to stay nights at the Tooth and Hookah.

Wati "Necropolis"

Wati is a walled-in, long-dead city that was recently uncovered by a sandstorm.  Pharaoh Atenhotep II commissioned the initial excavation of the site--which included carving an entrance into the otherwise gateless city as well as erecting an obelisk dedicated to the Aten in a plaza "constructed" just inside the gate.  Now, petty noble who make their home in Peraten, such as Lady Sebti, have warrants from the Pharaoh to commission further expeditions into the Necropolis.

Tomb of Akhentepi, located at the "back" of the Wati necropolis far from the Ray of Aten, is of particular interest to Lady Sebti.  She believes that Akhentepi held some particular importance in the city, and that his tomb should contain new facts about its foundation.

Important People

Lady Sebti ("the Crocodile") is a devout follower of the Aten, and therefore of priestly rank in that faith due to her noble birthright.  She has a warrant from the Pharaoh to fund expeditions into the Wati necropolis.  Lady Sebti is a high elf with pale, olive-green skin

Velriana Hypaxes is the human leader of a team previously hired by Lady Sebti to explore a site in Wati.  Her group's contract was terminated because of "incompetence" (an accusation she contests).  Her team is still staying at the Tooth and Hookah, waiting for another warranted noble to hire them.  Her companions include the half-elf mercenary Idorii, the arcanist Azaz Arafe, and the priest Khelru.

Session 1.1

While inquisitor Kiji was attending to personal business in Peraten, the other members of the party met with Sebti's previous expeditionary team.  Later, Aloysa, Pleebit, and Cecil would scout out the location.  A keen eye warned them of a deadly trap, and the party returned to the Tooth and Hookah.

Session 1.2

After regrouping with Kiji, the party looked for the assistance of a trapsmith.  Under advisement of the smoke house's proprietor,  Aloysa and Kiji would secure the services of a street performer named Uzoma.

Once back at the tomb, Uzoma proved to be less than useful--perhaps an attempt on the proprietor's part to rid himself of a local nuisance.  Nevertheless, the party was able to uncover key locations in the tomb--including the preparation room, a false burial chamber, a treasure vault, and the sarcophagus of Akhentepi himself.

The party gathered several rubbings--including the tomb entrance, and the warrior's sarcophagus.  They learned that Akhentepi was the military commander of Wati in the city's later years, and that he died shortly before the plague.  Statues of the netjeru Anubis and Nephthys were found at key places in the tomb, and graffiti depicting the netjer Min was also discovered.  Though portions of the tomb remain to be explored, the party may have gathered enough information to please the exacting Sebti; certainly enough treasure was recovered to better prepare the party for their next endeavor.

The continued employment of Uzoma seems unlikely.

Session 1.3

Jaeth and Nephethus have finally arrived in Peraten, bringing with them news of a pyramid across the river, unearthed in a sandstorm much the same as Wati.  The dangers of the pyramid are too perilous to face at this time, however.  

Before going to Sebti with the information they'd already uncovered, the party returned one last time to the Tomb of Akhentepi.  They discovered a treasure chamber filled objects of both financial and historical value--certainly enough to sate both Sebti and themselves.

A second meeting with Velriana revealed that the last party to venture into the city were not sent after the same tomb, but a brothel--one with a basement filled with plague zombies.  Learning this, the highborn members of the party approached Sebti with their findings, and carefully questioned her about her motives.  She revealed an interest in the lifestyles of the nobility at the time of the Plague of Madness--but hid the truth concerning her interest in the origins of that plague.  Sebti was pleased with the party's work, and gave them the location of another site to investigate:  The House of Pentheru.

1 comment:

  1. I've been running this Adventure Path for a group of friends for a little over a year now and they've been having a blast. I'll be curious to see how your campaign unfolds considering that it's not being set in Golarion.