Chapter 6

Pyramid of Death

July 13, 2019

The same day that Raz returned to Tazir, two adventurers came to town: Feti the sorcerer, looking to trade his skills with magic for a cut of treasure, and Goralin, a silver dragonborn fighter who instantly challenged Lord Gazande to a duel. The paladin handily won the contest and Goralin yielded, and the two dragonborns bonded over a drink together.

The next morning, Lord Gazande convened a meeting of the fellowship to plan an expedition to the pyramid in the jungle they had fought the snake cult at weeks before. Mernpool spent the afternoon hunting and ran afoul of a gang of baboons, and a trade caravan from Saddoon arrived at sunset, led by Tarik.

The heir apparent of Saddoon was much impressed by the tale of the anti-paladin and the dragon, and was especially struck by the description of the villain, Skavonek, notable for wielding two swords. Six months ago, Tarik had guided a paladin who wielded two swords into the desert searching for pyramids which Tarik had written off as a mirage. Sir Halderin was his name and he travelled with a ranger, Emorai, both so intent on reaching the pyramids that they pressed on when Tarik had to turn back.

The next morning, Gazande and the party set off into the jungle, bidding Tarik farewell (himself due to return to Saddoon that day). As they were searching for a place to camp at day’s end they came across a strange hermit-like sorcerer called Gloucester. He meant to fight the party but Rhodedendron charmed him and the rest of the party did their best to win him over so that when the charm wore off he would still be amenable, and the party’s ranks grew by one more.

The next day, they reached the pyramid. While the party was making an extensive search for secret entrances instead of the ominous opening at the top, Raz impatiently floated down into the dark interior and was immediately attacked by a giant spider which knocked her off her magic carpet, snaring her in sticky strands which the monster reeled in while the carpet fluttered down into the writhing mass of snakes that covered the floor.

The other adventurers came running to her rescue and the spider was ultimately killed when the party lowered Rhodedendron down on a rope to see if she could find and retrieve Raz’s lost carpet of flying. Alas, there was no sign of it amidst the endlessly undulating floor. When Rhodedendron hurled a firebolt at an immobile mummy she was attacked by a giant constrictor.

All of the mummies started lurching across the snake-covered floor to try and attack the gnome even as the constrictor crushed her in its coils, refusing to let go despite both of the big dragonborns yanking on the rope to try and get her back. At the same time, the opening at the top of the pyramid started to close but Gloucester successfully wedged a crowbar in to keep it open long enough for Rhodedendron to be hauled up, the snake finally letting go before it got too elevated.

After a night’s rest, the party spent the next day clearing brush to try and build up enough brushwood to throw down the hole in the top of the pyramid, which had reset overnight, and form a pyre to clear the floor of snakes. The effort was all in vain, however, as every branch seemed to get absorbed by the serpent carpet of the tomb as quickly as they were thrown down. At sunset, Lord Gazande and Goralin both descended by rope to stand on the stone sarcophagus at the center of the chamber and were attacked by giant constrictors and mummies, just like Rhodedendron had been.

Despite the aid from above in the form of spells and ranged attacks, the dragonborns were doomed. The sarcophagus simply did not provide enough space for two such large fighters battling the attacks of giant snakes and mummies and Goralin was the first to slip from the high ground into the snake pit. Gazande was similarly taken to ground by the monsters where he perished under the endless writhing mass.

The remainder of the party decided to give up on the pyramid at this point and returned to Tazir after two more days of travel. Feti told Lord Gazande’s steward Devin a big lie about Gazande going to Karbad instead of coming home right away and it was only by the power of his personality that the lie was believed. Nevertheless, Raz and Feti decided to grab some treasure from the tower and get out of town right away, everyone leaving in the wagon under cover of night and traveling until they reached Saddoon by dawn. Wary of drawing the attention of Tarik Saddoon, they did not stop but pressed on to the village of Qarlim, reaching it by sunset in an utterly exhausted state.

Chapter 7: Mysterious Island