Ugh… it smells like a charnal house in here.
No wonder… as I come up to the edge of a pit I can just make out the piles of bodies strewn below. Poor fools… may the Gods be more merciful than your masters were.
Vedis calls out that there are paths along the sides of the pit if we’re careful. As we’re about to make our way along it, however, a dark colored smoke begins to form on the other side into a large ape-like creature with 4 arms and covered in blue hieroglyphs. With a flash of energy Word teleports toward the ceiling and shoots at it with his crossbow… but unfortunately it goes whizzing by it as it charges down the path towards us.
“Duck!” Ef Utan yells and I hit the ground just as a trio of daggers whiz past me to land with a satisfying crunch into its forehead. With a scream the ape disolves back into smoke… but it’s not fading away. In fact… I think it’s reforming.
“RUN!” I yell to the others as I sprint through the smoke that is now taking the shape of a large dog once again covered in blue hieroglyphs. I can only hope the others are following me as I make my way down the hall into a large semi-circular room. Thankfully I am quickly joined by the others as we catch our breath and draw our weapons for the oncoming attack…. but strangely enough, the ghostly dog rears up and stops before the entrance to the room.
“Not that I’m complaining, now…” Ef Utan mutters, “but why isn’t it attacking?”
“Who seeks to enter the Heart of Anselata?” a voice booms out behind us.
“Probably because of that guy,” I whisper as I cringe and turn around to see what must be a 10ft. tall golem in mummy wrappings wearing a golden Pharoh death mask sitting in a throne against the far wall in the midst of an arc of pillars.
“We are but humble travellers seeking to escape a great evil outside your gates, my lord,” I reply and bow humbly. From the growl and the quickening stomp of footsteps, however… I don’t think he bought it. I quickly twirl to the left and just manage to pull my tail out of the way as the enraged mummy charges past.
“I am here to protect the gods of the Four Lands of Gallarion, and you shall not defeat me!” he bellows as he clenches his fists and turns to face us.
“Gallarion…” Lenatta mutters next to me. “I remember now… Anselata is the name of their lost temple for their stone of power!”
“We mean you and your gods no harm, I promise you! The goddess Ma’at has sent us on a quest to this very pyramid that we might find answers as to why your people are in an eternal sleep,” I try to explain to him as Ef Utan clenches his sword tensely in preparation for the next charge.
“I know not of the gods of which you speak, strangers… if you will not leave, you will face my wrath!”
“Better one of you than 20 of them outside,” Ef Utan mutters as Vedis runs up to us excitedly.
“Guys, guys… I think I saw a glimmer of something when he moved near that column… he’s got the entrance to a portal in his chest!”
“So much for avoiding this fight to get to the portal then,” I mutter in disappointment. “I wonder if that mask has anything to do with it? You guys keep him busy while I check.”
“Yeah… no problem,” Ef Utan mutters back as the mummy charges again, this time slamming his fist into the wall as we all dive to the sides.
I quickly take the opportunity to get a closer look at the mask while he’s trying to get his fist out of the wall. Hmmn… there’s a glyph on the mask denoting the four gods he spoke of… could it be a magical focus for the portal?
Behind me I hear Ef Utan muttering over a scroll he’s pulled out as a tingling sensation rolls over my fur. “Whatever you’re going to do, do it now,” he warns. “The spell is helpful, but brief.”
Ok then… no time like the present.
The mummy frees himself from the wall and return charges in a rage. I take the opportunity to spring directly at him and rip the mask off of his face in a neat flip over his head as I feel the energy of the spell supporting me. I land in a crouch on one knee and quickly look over the mask to see if there are any command words. Unfortunately all I find is a symbol for Horus and glyphs that say “Servant of the Gods.”
“You dare !” the mummy yells as he stops his charge and turns to me. “Return to me what is mine!”
Damn. Plan B.
“Come and get it!” I taunt as I wave the mask in his direction, keeping one eye on the others preparing for their attack. Perhaps I can keep him distracted long enough for the others to get some good hits on him.
“I believe I see the portal Vedis spoke about!” Word says excitedly as the mummy nears one of the pillars again. He then teleports in a flash of light and before we know it Word is half sticking out of the creatures chest before he’s grabbed and thrown into Lenata as they both get slammed against the wall.
“No, you overgrown rag doll, pay attention to me if you ever want your mask back!” I growl in frustration as my friends fall into a heap on the floor.
Suddenly Efs sword transforms into a warhammer as he slams into the creatures legs with it and his battle mug. With three great whopping smacks he slams into its legs and hips before striking it with an uppercut and knocking him against the wall. Vedis then follows up with a psi blade searing his arm off as Ef proceeds to crush his hip with a hefty kick.
Word pleads with the golem to reconsider and I mutter a prayer to whatever gods might be listening that the mummy seems to have had enough as it sits against the wall. “I yield, strangers… it seems I am no match for your strength.”
“You are an amazing creature… we truly did not wish to hurt you. Honestly… we only want to use the portal in your chest that we may find the stone from our godly quest and help their people against the evil that awaits outside your walls,” I say as I kneel down beside him and return his mask. “If you would just let me take a look, it seems that different portals are activated when you’re next to these columns. Let us find where we need to go and we shall leave you ready to fight the real evil that is coming.”
The creature nods in resignation and we take turns investigating the portals in his chest to find…
A green cauldron with purple mist eminating from it…
A room covered in hieroglyphs with large brass doors nearly 15 ft tall…
A temple room with a large set of scales…
A hall with 4 large columns covered in snake decorations…
A room covered in hieroglyphs telling the story of a beggar, but otherwise empty.
We finally agree to check out the second portal, as upon further investigation we could hear a slow distant drum beat reminiscent of a heart. Recalling the messages on the map that the EIN gave us, it might be our best bet.
Before we go, Lenata does her best to repair the wounded golem with the aid of her god and Word hands him a small bottle that is seemingly “Oil of Repair.”
“I hope that your gods watch over you, my brother… for there is great evil that seeks to follow us into the unknown. May this oil help you in your times ahead.” He claps the golem on the shoulder and nods before turning to the rest of us.