Dungeon Crawl Classics - Rise to Glory

Rise to Glory II, Session 2 - The Treasure Vaults of Zadabad (Part 1)

1st Level Hexcrawl

The Treasure Vaults of Zadabad (Session 2)

About a month after their foray into the Well of Souls, the party had made their way to the port of Jolzin in the Southern Province and had booked passage to the Island of Kalmatta aboard Captain Siren’s ship, the Soulcatcher. They arrived at the plague-colony of Sindanore on the Day of the Oyster, the 9th of Drawblade. Captain Siren said that she would be staying in port for seven days while they took on water and food, made repairs, and traded supplies, then the Soulcatcher would be sailing on, unless other arrangements were made. The party planned to use the time to seek the long-lost Treasure Vaults of Zadabad!

The members of the party are:

Noranje the 1st level Dwarf Lawful Phil
Douglas the 1st level Thief Chaotic Steve
Gwenneth the 1st level Elf Neutral Amy O.
Magpie the 1st level Thief Chaotic Amy S
Loden the 1st level Cleric of Amun Tor Neutral Tanya
Blair the 1st level Wizard Neutral Cheyanne
Logan the 1st level Halfling Chaotic Alex
Dip the 1st level Warrior Chaotic Yahseinia

The henchmen of the party have elected to follow them for now. They stay behind to guard their livestock and keep an eye on their home base. The henchmen are:

Kaff the Mercenary (m.), who became a Warrior Neutral Steve
Thraa the Jester (m.), who became a Wizard Chaotic Tanya
Cheese the Mendicant (f.), who became a Thief Lawful Yahsenia

The characters sought word of anyone who had actually traveled into the jungles. They had heard that two young men, cousins named Gristle and Yreeth, had been to the jungle, and could be found in the stable at Urtull’s place. They went down there and found that those two young men were willing to hire themselves out, but had never been more than about six miles from the settlement at Sindanore. They did mention that Efram, the man who sells food and “Creeper Juice,” might have a map of the interior.

So the party went to visit Efram. Blair bought a round of Creeper Juice for Gristle and Yreeth, and then they asked about maps. Efram swore he had a map that would lead them to Zadabad. He offered to sell it for 10 gp. Loden offered to buy it, a round of Creeper Juice for everyone, and a wineskin of Creeper Juice in exchange for an outfit of silk clothes and 90 cp. It was agreed, so Efram handed over an ancient, faded parchment map showing an X by a lake about 20 miles away to the east, through the jungles and some mountains.

The party set out for what they hoped was the lost city of Zadabad. At the end of the first day, they had traveled through some jungles and entered the foothills of some nameless mountains. Then, as the sun was beginning to set, they spotted a pyramidal tomb in a narrow draw. They decided to investigate.

The thieves Magpie and Douglas approached stealthily first. They were able to decipher some hieroglyphic cravings on stone plinths flanking a stagnant reflecting pool in front of the pyramid. Magpie read that this was the tomb of Chinhotep. a vizier who had advised great pharaohs and flourished in the age after the fall of Khonsuria. He had served great men and amassed great wealth. Douglas was able to learn that Chinhotep had loved the Pharess Varna, and had a chance to marry her, but it would have cost him all that he possessed. He declined, and later served her successor and assassin, the Pharaoh Azun-Kaman. In the last part it recorded his final advice to his many and illegitimate sons: “Greed is the great destroyer. Never sell your entire herd, no matter the amount of the drover’s offer, for what will you live on next year?”

The thieves called the rest of the party forward. They examined the doorway to the tomb, which seemed intact, but in the failing light they were unable to read the hieroglyphics inscribed upon it. Magpie even climbed to the top of the pyramid, and looked around, but saw nothing useful.

As the party was preparing to make camp for the night, Noranje’s pig jumped into the stagnant reflecting pool and began to swim around, but it was attacked by some colossal leeches! The party had some trouble dispatching them, until in a Mighty Deed of Arms, Dip tied one into a knot and then sliced it apart with his longsword, showering the area with foul slime. They decided to pitch camp well away from the reflecting pool.

The night passed without incident, though their dreams may have been troubled by nightmares featuring giant leeches. The next morning they set to work on the door to the tomb of Chinhotep. Douglas was now able to decipher the writing as an invitation to enter and plunder his tomb!

It took much of the morning to remove the stone slab sealing the tomb. The tomb seemed to be a ruin, but for the mighty stone sarcophagus. They worked to open this as well. At last, they used a yoked mule belonging to Dip to pull the lid off the coffin. The mummy of Chinhotep sat upright, cackling at them! Noranje fled the tomb, Dip threw his crowbar, Loden presented his holy symbol and prayed . . . but it turned out to be a mechanical trick, not an undead mummy! In the sarcophagus, they found a gold circlet set with a ruby and a bronze scrolltube containing a scroll of divine symbol.

This might have been the end, but Loden noticed that Chinhotep’s mummy had eleven toes. Loden reached out and wiggled the extra toe, opening a secret door to a hidden treasure room. There they found a series of locked chests and a wooden mannequin wearing the Mantle of Chinhotep. In a hidden recess, they also found the Candle of Khodun Nudohk. They found a description of a ritual that Chinhoptep believed could be used to bring Varna back to life, using the Candle of Khodun Nudohk, the “Bell of Khodun Nudohk,” and “The Book of the Dead.” Apparently, Chinhotep declined to enact the ritual, and the bell was buried with Varna.

Magpie attempted to find out if the chests were trapped, and accidentally set off a poisoned needle trap, which would have killed her almost instantly had not the poison faded over the centuries, and Loden the Cleric of Amun Tor not healed her by laying on hands. The chests were loaded with heavy silver ingots, which they loaded into the saddle bags of the mule. The party was originally going to take only 17 of 18, but later decided to take them all.

The party found evidence of a further hidden chamber behind a mural showing Chinhotep refusing to take the scepter and rule as pharaoh, choosing to live more simply and thus survive. They chose not to heed the implied warning and opened this last room. It proved to be empty, but a ghostly voice cried, “You have sold your entire herd!” A gust of foul wind blew through the chamber, and several members of the party became afflicted with the Plague of Zadabad, breaking out in terrible, contagious boils almost instantly. The afflicted were: Magpie, Gwenneth, Douglas, Logan, and Dip.

The party knew they were finished unless Loden could do something by the grace of Amun Tor (and perhaps the luck of the halfling Logan). Loden began to lay on hands in the name of Amun Tor. Despite suffering some disapproval from his god, with the help of Logan’s luck, the cleric was able to heal them all of the plague!

The party decided to camp another night at the Tomb of Chinhotep, and press on in the morning . . .

Experience Point Awards:

Noranje the 1st level Dwarf Lawful Phil 15 XP
Douglas the 1st level Thief Chaotic Steve 15 XP
Gwenneth the 1st level Elf Neutral Amy O. 15 XP
Magpie the 1st level Thief Chaotic Amy S 15 XP
Loden the 1st level Cleric of Amun Tor Neutral Tanya 15 XP
Blair the 1st level Wizard Neutral Cheyanne 15 XP
Logan the 1st level Halfling Chaotic Alex 15 XP
Dip the 1st level Warrior Chaotic Yahseinia 15 XP
Kaff the 1st level Warrior Neutral Steve 10 XP
Thraa the 1st level Wizard Chaotic Tanya 10 XP
Cheese the 1st level Thief Lawful Yahsenia 10 XP

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