[Background] Library Research Notes

Discussion in 'Mummy's Mask' started by Statboy, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. Statboy

    Statboy Resident Cueball

    Please do not reply to this thread, This thread is for keeping all of your library notes in one easy to read location.

    1st day, Great Library Outer Sanctum: Not only does the Outer Sanctum seem to be missing quite a lot of knowledge, but some of the more interesting and secretive works seem to have been deliberately removed.

    2nd day, Great Library Outer Sanctum including upper stacks: The lower stacks of the outer sanctum don't seem to contain old enough volumes on Osirions histories. In the upper stacks you find a papyrus scroll
    dating from Osirion's Second Age over 6,ooo years ago references a "lost" pharaoh named Hakotep. The scroll ascribes the epithet of" Sky Pharaoh" to the forgotten ruler, and recounts his ability to "ride the stars
    by night." The scroll even contains a crude illustration of the Sky Pharaoh, a figure standing upon a dais surrounded by glass and crystal. The dais and crystals are floating, seemingly part of a vast temple that somehow sits in the night sky.
  2. Statboy

    Statboy Resident Cueball

    Day 3 of researching the Outer Sanctum including upper stacks: An obscure index compiled by a previous curator of the library lists the scroll referencing Hakotep as one of many that were copied from the personal library of the Sky Pharaoh. It says the scrolls were placed in a library, described as a chamber resembling a vertical scroll tube crossed by a latticework of papyrus bridges.
  3. Statboy

    Statboy Resident Cueball

    Day 1 of researching the Inner Sanctum's Spiral Archive: An index catalogs all of the scrolls copied from Hakotep's library, but they are not where they are supposed to be. Eventually you find a huge pile of scrolls containing several references to the Sky Pharaoh and his participation in some ancient war. The Sky Pharaoh is represented by a very distinct hieroglyph of a winged pyramid. According to the scrolls, the Sky Pharaoh was convinced that an attack was coming from enemies who lived in cities in the clouds, and that he was frantically searching for a weapon to defeat them. Apparently, the pharaoh eventually succeeded in finding this weapon, but all that remains of the scrolls that detail this weapon are a handful of ragged papyrus scraps depicting confusing geometrical patterns.

    A large collection of tablets bound in cloth marked with the Sky Pharaoh's winged pyramid hieroglyph contains a number of transcribed recollections of several courtiers at Hakotep's court. These accounts make passing references to the Sky Pharaoh having access to stolen Shory magic.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
  4. Statboy

    Statboy Resident Cueball

    Day 1 Session 2; Research in the Spiral Archive of the Inner Sanctum:
    A dusty, otherwise unremarkable scroll contains a lengthy passage about the burial of Hakotep I, with a passing reference to his tomb having wings. The scroll also contains a tantalizing fragment of the confession of a member of a group called the Sacrosanct Order of the Blue Feather, who claimed that when the Sky Pharaoh was interred, his heart and funerary mask were stolen from his tomb before it was lost to the skies. These two objects supposedly contained the pharaoh's soul, but his body was left behind in the tomb. This confession was extracted, some 50 years after the pharaoh's death. There are also references to considerable efforts by Hakotep's successor, Pharaoh Djederet II, to round up members of the Sacrosanct Order for questioning. The results of the interrogations were recorded on a collection of scrolls called the Scrolls of Inquiry, but this collection is not held within the Spiral Archive.

    A curator's catalog reveals that the Scrolls of Inquiry were moved to another of the Inner Sanctum's libraries, the Dark Depository, 103 years ago.
  5. Statboy

    Statboy Resident Cueball

    Dark Depository: The Dark Depository primarily contains knowledge deemed too dangerous for general use. Numerous references to interrogations can be found, including mentions of the Scrolls of Inquiry, recording the confessions of members of the Sacrosanct Order of the Blue Feather, a sect of Nethysians who were questioned immediately after the death and burial of Hakotep I. The fact that the members of the sect were priests and priestesses of Nethys was kept secret, as Nethys was much revered in Ancient Osirion. Hakotep's successor, Djederet II, was a priest of Nethys himself, and he deemed that the potential backlash of such information becoming public could lead to dangerous civil unrest.

    Scraps of a personal journal reveal that a priest of Nethys named Khnenti clearly became obsessed with the mystery of the Sky Pharaoh. One extract from Khnenti's journal reads, "The Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh is said to contain a portion of Hakotep's soul, his ka, which gives the mask its magical abilities." Khnenti seems to have set out upon some sort of quest to unravel these mysteries. There is also brief mention of the Sacrosanct Order of the Blue Feather hoping to commune with the Sky Pharaoh to learn his "darkest secrets," but with ambiguous results.

    Research in the Secret Archive finally reveals the Scrolls of Inquiry. The scrolls are cumbersome and difficult to read, and most of the confessions recorded upon them are of no use to the PCs' research. One transcript, however, does contain some useful information (see the journal entry in Roll20 Excerpt from the Scrolls of Inquiry).

    The PCs discover a collection of architectural plans detailing a series of tomb designs of incredible complexity. Each plan is labeled with a double hieroglyph of an owl inside a house. You realizes that this hieroglyph is the "signature" of the architect, a person named Chisisek. Chisisek was a well-known architect from the First Age of Osirion. There is also a note mentioning a meeting between Chisisek and the Sky Pharaoh, but nothing more in this archive.

    Following up on Khnenti's research on Hakotep, you learn that the priest carried out further study in an archive of the Great Library called the Vault of Hidden Wisdom. The location of the Vault is secret, but worthy scholars can find the entrance by casting their eyes from the summit of the Tower of Ra's Glory at dawn on midsummer's day.
  6. Statboy

    Statboy Resident Cueball

    Vault of Hidden Wisdom: You find the remainder of the journal of the Nethysian priest Khenenti. According to the journal, with Hakotep's ib and ka trapped in his heart and funerary mask, the third part of his soul, the ba, remained trapped within the pharaoh's body in his pyramid. In order for the Sky Pharaoh to pass into the afterlife, the three parts of his soul- his ba, ib and ka- must be rejoined. Khnenti goes on to speculate that reuniting Hakotep's divided soul might even return the Sky Pharaoh to life.

    The architect Chisisek designed and built Hakotep's pyramid. When construction was completed Chisisek was killed and buried in a hidden tomb to preserve the pyramids secrets. No plans of the pyramid seem to have survived.

    The Sky Pharaoh's pyramid was capable of flight, and when Hakotep's body was entombed within, the pyramid vanished into the sky. None know where the tomb now lies, or if it still soars through the skies over Osirion.

    Although none know the location of Chisisek's tomb, his funeral was commemorated in a fresco in the Vault's rotunda by the greatest artist of the age, Hor-hepu. Though you do not see any fresco's.
  7. Statboy

    Statboy Resident Cueball

    Vault of Hidden Wisdom: Upon studying the newly discovered fresco you learn that Chisisek's Tomb, is said to be located "across two bridges, where the sphinxes ponder the crook, the scarab, and the sun." After glancing at a map you discover this refers to the Parched Dunes, a desert located between the River Scarab, the River Crook, and the Mountains of the Sun.

    The geometric shapes on the fresco are far more than just design elements; they represent a fantastic weapon of vast size used against winged cities populated with strange figures bearing weapons that launch black fire. The wing cities appear to the mythical flying cities of the Shory.
  8. Statboy

    Statboy Resident Cueball

    Now that the library research is done, I thought I'd big picture the plot so far. Not in the order you discovered it, but in a less confusing order.

    The Cult of the Forgotten Pharaoh is dedicated to bringing back Pharaoh Hakotep I, the Sky Pharaoh. To what end you are unsure, however you have learned that the Pharaoh is entombed in his lost flying pyramid, which is also a powerful ancient weapon that was used to bring down the Shory's flying cities. In order to resurrect the Pharaoh the Cult needs 3 pieces of his soul, his Ib, Ka, and Ba. His Ba is still in his body, in the lost flying pyramid, his Ka is trapped in his funerary mask, which you managed to retrieve from the Necromancer Nebta-Khufre's dead body before the Cult could get him to relinquish it to them. The final piece his Ib, is in his mummified heart, which is in the possession of the Cult of the Forgotten Pharaoh. Your studies have found that it possible to put Hakotep to rest permanently if you gained all three pieces of his soul.

    With one piece in your possession, the second piece in the cults possession it is now a race to find the lost pyramid and third piece of the Pharaoh's soul. You are now following your only lead you have, combing the Parched Dunes for Chisisek's, the designer of the flying pyramid's, tomb. You have reports of the Cult going into the desert as well though you don't know why they are out there, or if they know about Chisisek's tomb. Though it seems likely that they do, and they are ahead of you in looking for it.
    • It's a trap! It's a trap! x 1
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