- Sebti the Crocodile, High cleric of the Grand Mausoleum and the Cult of Ausar the Green-scaled.
- Cryptfinders, an eclectic band of adventurers from across the Amethystish Empire.
- Daughters of the Desert, an all-female and all-kobold band of adventurers.
- Dog Soldiers, a band of Turquoise halflings and their war dogs.
- Sand Scorpions, a band of professional caern delvers from the Free City of Peridot.
- Scorched Hand, a group of scholars led by Professor Velriana Hypaxes of the Queen's University in Amethyst.
- Sunburst Plaza, the largest open air market in Shibatti.
- The Tomb of Akhentepi, one of many tombs in the Shibatti necropolis.
- Ghost Scorpion, a translucent shelled desert predator.
4th day of Alexanderite, year 55 of the Age of the Great Invasion
- The group travels down to the Grand Mausoleum and registers for the lottery. They list their group as the Avanteugard and Midge is recorded as team captain. She receives a wooden token with the group's identity stamped on it.
6th day of Alexanderite, year 55 of the Age of the Great Invasion
- Three days after arriving in Shibatti, the Avanteguard travel to the Sunburst Plaza to attend the lottery. The plaza is crowded with adventurers, merchants, and spectators.
- The group spends time before the lottery talking to fellow adventurers and merchants. They learn:
- 1. This is going to be a lottery. The high cleric will draw a token representing an adventuring group and then one representing a site assigned to that adventuring group. Each group may explore up to three sites. Each site they receive varies in complexity - the first being the simplest and the third being the most complex.
- 2. There are going to be three major rules governing the exploration. First, you must Remember How This Came to Past. The necropolis is a holy place and you are expected to treat it as such and not as a ground for conflict with other groups. Second, Every Slave's Hut is a Memorial. Do not desecrate or vandalize. Preserve structures as much as you can. Willfull destruction will not be tolerated. Finally, Honor the Departed. Treat the dead with dignity and respect. If you have to move a corpse to retrieve an object, put the corpse back. Don't dump them on the ground. The undead are obviously exempt from this rule.
- 3. The gates will open for exploration at sunrise tomorrow. Then close at sunset. The gates do not open for any reason once closed. If you are there when the sun goes down you REMAIN there until the Sky Turtle rises once more.
- 4. The Cult of Ausar the Green-Scaled, who is running this lottery, will pay for records. Carefully kept journals of explorations that include maps, rubbings and other important data will be bought at a good price.
- The lottery begins. Sebti the Crocodile, high cleric of the Cult of Ausar the Green-scaled prays to the totem and reminds the crowd of the sanctity of the necropolis. Then site selection begins.
- Midge walks up to the stage when the Avanteguard are called. The team is assigned the Tomb of Akhentepi to explore.
- The group spends the rest of the day preparing.
- Midge gathers information on the other adventuring groups involved, just in case. She learns about several of them and runs into an old friend amongst the Dog Soldiers.
- Maayan works out a catalog of possible dangerous creatures they might run into.
- Shiphrah finds the location of a library for Zyindra.
- Zyindra researches Akhentepi. She learns that Akhentepi was a general who served under the last two pharaohs, meaning he played politics well enough to survive the transition from the last truly Citrine pharaoh to the puppet king installed by the Scapolites. He served bravely in a campaign against the Jade Kingdom and was well rewarded for his efforts, which is why he rates having an entire tomb. He was married twice. His first wife and children died in a house fire while he was at war. The second outlived him. He was 72 at the time of his death, which is approaching old age as a kobold. He died 11 years before the Plague of Madness began. His widow died during the Plague. Zyindra also learns that tombs for a general of this stature would be a below-ground, multi-roomed complex with traps. Such tombs would be sealed upon the burial of the occupant and are not designed to be re-entered.
7th day of Alexanderite, year 55 of the Age of the Great Invasion
- As the Sky Turtle rises, the Avantguard travel to the necropolis. There they join a silent progression of adventurers entering the sacred and abandoned city. They make their way through the necropolis graveyard to the Tomb of Akhentepi and find the doors blocked by sand.
- Using a shovel, pots, and telekinesis the group spends an hour digging sand away from the doors. The Sky Turtle rises, as does the temperature. It is over 90 degrees by the time they finish.
- Using a crowbar, Midge forces the doors open. Light filters into the tomb, revealing a simple room. Hieroglyphs on the walls warn would be tomb robbers to turn back. A giant stone wheel blocks further progress into the tomb.
- While the group considers the wheel, a ghost scorpion sneaks up on them from outside the tomb. Luckily, Maayan and Shiphrah noticed it. No one is hurt during the battle and the ghost scorpion is dispatched.
TO BE CONTINUED
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