Today we’re going to take a look at two of the most recent Pathfinder Society Scenarios that are currently available for purchase, and let you know we thought. Although you’ll find references to events in each that I liked or disliked, and comments about specific characters, these scenarios are not explored in detail. It’s not my intention to spoil the events in these scenarios, or give summaries and full reviews, but to share my opinions and provide recommendations. That said, if you want to avoid even minor spoilers I recommend you check out a different article. Whether you intend to use them in home games of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, sanctioned scenarios for use with the Pathfinder Society Organized Play, or just want to read a nifty new adventure, we’ve got you covered! So let’s get cracking!
On the surface, because religion is outlawed in Rahadoum, bringing a cleric, paladin, or other divine caster on this mission is a really bad idea, but actually… that’s only half true. Yes, religion is outlawed in Rahadoum, and playing a divine caster will be a challenge. There will be social repercussions, and you’re likely to run into trouble with the law. However, these interactions are very well-handled in this scenario with the addition of ‘Legion Points,’ which are a measure of how many legal infractions the Pure Legion has caught you committing. The punishments are clear, and you have plenty of opportunities to lower these totals throughout the scenario. You’re not going to be executed, or immediately kicked out of the scenario or something equally drastic. As long as you play your divine character with some subtlety and caution, you should come out alright. As a nice bonus, there are quite a few obvious benefits to bringing that divine caster along. Players who take the time and try their best to navigate this difficult political landscape will find their efforts were worth it. It’s a gamble. Although I don’t recommend you bring a divine-heavy party to this scenario, I don’t condemn their use either. If you’re up for the challenge, go for it!
The Shattered Shield tasks the PCs with heading into Rahadoum and attending an illegal auction that deals in religious relics. There they’ll need to obtain a shard of the Shield of Arnisant, which was once known as the Shield of Aroden, and was used to battle the Whispering Tyrant. This shield is supposed to be safe in Vigil, but all signs seem to show that the shard up for auction is legitimate. Of course, as with any good scenario, acquiring the shard will be harder than it sounds.
There’s a lot to like in this scenario. It has a lot of interesting social and skill-based encounters. There’s one very weird illness going around that’s used to great effect. The mission briefing with Venture Captain Obo was very detailed, with plenty for roleplay-oriented players to riff off of. I particularly enjoyed how the Pure Legion was portrayed. This scenario did a great job of humanizing them, which was nice to see. The adventure allowed for some deviation from the assumed path, with alternate allies and differing methods accounted for. I really, REALLY liked that. It’s rare to see in published products, particularly of this length. I also really enjoyed some behind the scenes bits with Nulalla, which most players will be curious about but aren’t likely to discover completely. I loved the situation that Torvad Shalzadin and Inusi Mendalari find themselves in. In addition to being dynamic and a little suspenseful, clever PCs will be able to glean a bit of information about this scenario’s main villain from the witnesses. The final location PCs visit in this scenario was super morbid and different. I really, really liked it. And the map for it looks great! Finally, I adored the main villain’s… pal. It’s both horrible and adorable. Just awesome.
That said, there are some downsides. The auction itself was a bit of a let-down. Although there’s some interesting people to interact with, and some cool things to bid on it’s unscripted, and the notes are scattered over a few pages. This is inconvenient for GMs, and means that the auction is unlikely to be a showstopper. Which is a shame! I LOVE a good auction in my Pathfinder. Events are also a bit overly convenient. Not a trait unique to this scenario, but it is more obvious and heavy-handed than is typical. Particularly with regards to the connections between the estate and the auction guests.
Finally, villain tactics. This scenario’s villain is an odd one. Don’t get me wrong, I love her. Seriously. She has flaws, hang-ups, quirks, obsessions, and goals which both haunt and drive her. They affect her tactics and reactions. Unfortunately, it’s not depicted in a way that everyone — GMs and players alike — will necessarily notice. And if you don’t notice? She comes off seeming rather stupid. Which is… unfortunate. And as cool as the final location is, the ending has the potential to be incredibly anticlimactic. I like the premise, and it works for the character, but if certain events occur a lot of players will just be left shaking their heads and asking: ‘That’s it?’ Not really the reaction you want at the end of a successful mission.
There’s one other quibble I have with this scenario: penalties. As with any Society Scenario, there’s many opportunities where not discovering ‘X’ or accomplishing ‘X’ can cause your PCs to lose out on some of the gold rewards on their chronicles. Usually accomplishing those tasks is easy, and it just sort of happens as you play. In this scenario that is not necessarily the case. Some are harder to get than is typical. Most groups won’t get full gold. In fact, some groups will miss out on gold two or three times. Now, on the one hand, I like that it’s not a given you’ll get all the rewards this scenario has to offer. It’s refreshing. But, this scenario might have gone too far in the other direction. If too many players miss out on too much of the rewards, they might even feel like they’ve been unjustly penalized.
Overall, I ended up torn on this mission. I love how Rahadoum and the Pure Legion was handled. I also enjoyed the large number of social and skill based encounters. The villain was flavourful, different, and had some serious quirks — all things I adore. Heck, I even liked her doorman. On the other hand, players are likely to come away from this scenario feeling confused over enemy tactics and behaviour, and the ending has the potential to be a let down. In the end I decided to give it 3 out of 5 stars.
The Hao Jin Tapestry is unstable. Unravelling, one could say. This scenario tasks the PCs with heading into the demiplane, checking out an ancient Tian site, and getting out with whatever lore and treasures they can before it’s too late. It’s a sequel to this year’s interactive special Pathfinder Society Scenario #10-00: The Hao Jin Cataclysm. In the new year this story will continue with Pathfinder Society Scenario #10-13: Fragments of Antiquity, and Pathfinder Society Scenario #10-15: Tapestry’s Trial. If you’ve got characters who have had a hand in acquiring, exploring, or protecting the Hao Jin Tapestry in the past, now is definitely the time to bring them out! Also, if you’ve got characters with knowledge of Tian Xia, who can speak Hwan, or who can magically communicate in other languages, they’ll be used to great effect in this scenario.
This scenario begins in Absalom with an announcement from two members of the Decemvirate! This is followed by a more typical mission briefing with the oread Master of Spells Sorrina Westyr. From there it quickly moves into the Hao Jin Tapestry’s demiplane. There the PCs will get to explore the ancient Tian village of Onhae, which would once have been found in the jungles of Chang Liao. The PCs main goals are to collect a sample of a rare flower from the area, and to learn all that they can about the traditional religion and culture of the people of Onhae, the Sunsu Godae. Happily, there’s still people in Onhae. This should be a cinch! …But, it turns out they’re not practising their traditional religion anymore. They have a new leader, Lin Fen Hai the Hao Jin Hierophant, and a new god who we’ll just call the Ruby Pheonix. Interesting! Your players will get to navigate this newly changed political environment in order to accomplish their missions, all while the Hao Jin Tapestry frays around them, causing unnatural events, magical malfunctions, and planar breaches. It’s an interesting mission to say the least. Similar in form and tone to some previous adventures like… #3-21: The Temple of Empyreal Enlightenment and #9-12: Shrine of the Sacred Tempest.
Onhae was an interesting, rich little village with both and ancient past, recent history, and current changes. Sussing out this places many secrets looks like an enjoyable challenge. Their new religion was awesome! Haha. So good! Although a lot of this scenario was social encounters and skill checks, there are some battles to be fought. Each of these encounters is well written and has interesting flavour and tactics. There’s also some neat planar malfunctions going on you get to interact with. Overall, I really liked this scenario! I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Thanks for taking the time to join us today! I hope you stop by later this week when we take a look at the newest Starfinder Society Scenarios!
This past Friday was game night around my house, and we played Mummy’s Mask. Currently on Book 2 – Empty Graves, we played through one of the parts of this campaign that my children were most excited about–an auction at the Canny Jackal. Now, my children don’t actually play in Mummy’s Mask on Friday nights, but they did help me populate and pre-test the auction, so they were literally bouncing in excitement all day.
Having recently finished exploring three tombs within Wati’s Necropolis, my player’s characters have earned the right to place their artifacts up for auction at the Canny Jackal. They’ve selected their lots, priced their goods, and spent a good deal of coin on proper attire for the festivities. Because of their exceptional performance in the lottery, they were granted a writ for 1,000 gp each to be spent at the auction by High Priestess Sebti of the Grand Mausoleum. That combined with an estimate of how much they’ll be making at the auction, and their wealth from previous delves, left my player’s with a heavy coin purse. Knowing that one of my players, my sister-in-law, loves all things Egyptian, I decided to go all out on the auction. I fully populated the Canny Jackal and it’s guests, and made a player handout listing all the objects up for bid which I handed out to my players the session before. After arriving, browsing the catalogue of artifacts, and socializing with the guests, they settled in to spend a lot of coin!
In the hours leading up to the auction my characters passed by the Insula Mater, a small building run by the Grand Mausoleum’s Auntie Jehuti, which cares for pregnant women and their infants. One of my characters, the recently heartbroken catfolk Nazim Salahadine, is a pious worshipper of Pharasma and has even invested skill ranks in Profession (midwife). Another, the herb witch Arc Goodstorm, is a healer and herbalist who always offers assistance to the sick. As the group passed by Insula Mater for the first time they got immediately interested in the building. They chatted up some of the pregnant women, offered advice for their ailments, and Arc used his entire day’s worth of poultices and cure-alls to make medicine for the various women’s aches, pains and illnesses. They offered a sizeable donation to Auntie Jehuti, asked for extra jars so Arc could bring by more poultices in the coming days, and even set out to buy care packages for the many women in the building, including blankets, clothes, wooden chew toys, and baskets for the newborns. In fact, they took such an immediate shine to the women they spoke to, they each invited one of them to the Canny Jackal later that evening for a night out and some fine food. Two of the women accepted, Pahetti, a middle to upper class woman from Wati’s sister town of Tephu, who was in the market for a husband. Pahetti threw herself at the ever-awkward Arc and was hopeful she could woo him into making an honest woman out of her. The second, Manat, was a peasant woman with many children who lives on the poor end of Asp and works as a dyer on Mender’s Row. With hands stained purple, and plenty of births under her belt, Manat was immediately adored by the whole party. They loved her lack of shame, down-to-earth attitude and strong work ethic. After ensuring that nothing weird was expected of her, Manat decided to give the auction a go–they were offering guests free dinner, and she couldn’t even imagine what kinds of things rich folk might eat! Some other women turned down their offer, and so the trio set off with their ‘dates’ to the market. There they insisted on buying their guests fine clothes and enough jewelry to make a good impression, as well as a bath at the local inn. Manat balked at the extravagances, but they assured her after the evening was over she could keep it, and sell whatever she wanted, a kingly gift that would provide Manat more money than she and her husband made over the course of a few years. Stunned at the group’s generosity, she accepted, planning to feed and clothe her children, and see them tutored in… smart things! Perhaps they might even move into a nicer home. Fully clothed in proper attire for a night at the Canny Jackal, the group (Arc, Nazim and Kasmet: collectively known as the Fateway Five), their pets (Arc’s rabbit familiar and his silvanshee friend), and their guests (Manat and Pahetti) entered the Canny Jackal for an evening of food, drink, and entertainment.
The Guest List
The auction at the Canny Jackal can be as detailed or streamlined as you wish, but I had a feeling my group would love it as detailed as possible, so I made sure there were plenty of people around to chat with and influence. The guests present at our auction included four major types of people: Nobility: who were here to socialize or spend money; Representatives: people who were here on business for a company or a collector and were here to acquire objects of value; Suppliers: adventurers and other dealers who were here to sell their products in the auction; and Officials: people who were here on behalf of their government or church in order to represent their organization and possibly acquire relics related to their group’s interests. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at our guests! Note that none of the artwork below or linked to is my property. For artist information check out the signatures on the images, or find the links on our Pinterest page.
The Canny Jackal is owned and operated by Minnothet, a shrewd business woman with a silver tongue, and a well-trained group of historians, appraisers, guards and labourers in her employ. Her establishment is the finest auction house in Wati, and caters to the nobility and well-off collectors. By this point, the player’s characters will have interacted with Minnothet a few times, to register for the auction, to have their relics brought in for verification, and to organize their relics into lots.
The two employees most interacted with by patrons are Ahteb and Hamapetra, servants who are dressed in revealing ancient-styled attire, and who greet, serve, answer questions and generally tend to the needs of the auction house’s patrons. This duo will be the first people that the player’s characters see tonight, and are likely to be familiar faces. Ahteb and Hamapetra will have greeted them on all their prior visits to the Canny Jackal.
Plenty of other workers are seen during the auction, including servants who carry water and food around to guests, and guards who patrol the building and it’s display rooms.
In addition to my players, the Fateway Five, plenty of other adventuring groups put forth the goods up for auction tonight. Some of them are in attendance. The first is a person that is new to my player’s: Aladwen Enns, a member of the Four Lanterns, an adventuring group from Andoran who were hoping to spread a message of freedom throughout Wati. Aladwen is an artist whose main purpose in the group was to document their findings. He is found in the display area, sketching a picture of some of the objects up for sale. Aloof and engrossed in his work, the player’s are unlikely to catch his attention. However, if they manage to he happily draws their portrait alongside some of their finds, and may seek them out later in the evening, when the auction comes to a sudden end.
The second adventuring group the player’s are likely to encounter are Lirgana Ahmose and Verichi Denger, members of the Flickering Four. The only two members of this team in attendance, Verichi is seen peering into one of the display cases and examining the artifacts inside with magic, while Lirgana is chattering away in excitement. These two were likely met during the Lottery within the Necropolis, and should be familiar faces to the group. In addition to Lirgana chatting away with the group about what objects she’s interested in bidding on, Verichi’s action may cause clever PCs to examine the displays with detect magic themselves, allowing them to catch a few objects that may have been undervalued. Lirgana is chipper and excitable, and can easily be convinced to bid on your group’s items if the player’s give influencing her a try.
Melu, of the Amethyst Dragons is in attendance, socializing with the nobles in the parlour, and attempting to enchant one or two particularly rich, lone guests. During our auction, Annen Essesh was her target of choice, who is detailed later on. Melu will be memorable to most groups, as she was another team who was met in the Necropolis. She likely tried to enchant one of the player’s characters into helping her, and (if the group has had their ears to the ground for rumours) word is that she lost a whopping six companions (two sets of three) to the dangers of the necropolis. Still, Melu looks no worse for wear and seems to be about to make a killing on selling her relics today.
Partway during dinner, three final adventurers arrive representing the Daughters of the Desert: the mysterious Twins and Sigrun Firehair, a personal favourite in my house. Although the Twins are here to examine the relics and choose a few objects to bid on, Sigrun is here to have a good time, and hype up the crowd in the hopes of her lot selling for big money. Sigrun’s grandstanding, epic tales and obvious marketing skills are likely to make your player’s suddenly realize that they can do that too. I’d suggest letting your players each choose one item to really push. Contrariwise, they could choose to go the opposite route, and try to convince the guests to bid on relics other than the ones that your player’s want to buy in order to lower the prices. Either way, Sigrun is great fun, and your player’s are bound to have a blast interacting with her.
Wati is home to plenty of nobles who live in the Morning Sun district. Some of them are present at the auction to represent their family’s, some are present out of genuine interest, and some are just at the Canny Jackal to have a good time.
While travelling through the showroom, the party will encounter their first group of nobles: Maru and Namaru Meshhoten. This pair was a hit with my players. Maru is an old woman and grandmother to Namaru. They’re currently peering into a display case filled with risqué objects. While Maru laughs and chats happily, Namaru blushes brightly and scolds her grandmother for being crass. As the group arrives, Maru smiles widely at them and can share rumour four.
Maru: “Greetings strangers! I’m Maru Meshoten, and this is my granddaughter Namaru. You were among the ambitious explorers who delved into the Necropolis, I take it?”
*Listens to the players.* Maru: “Yes! Of course! I’ve heard of you! You must be skilled to have come out of it alright. I hear most groups didn’t. Nine groups vanished, the Sunrise Fellows were betrayed by one of their own, the Scorched Hand are all dead, and I hear the Amethyst Dragons lost six members!”
When it’s time to bid the player’s farewell, Maru offers the group handshakes. If there are any handsome men among the group she tells them: “Oh, bring yourself in for a hug, dearie! You’re a handsome, strapping thing!” As that player walks away Maru watches them go, loudly exclaiming: “Mmmm, mmmm, mmm! Get’s the blood flowing, doesn’t it?!”
Namaru blushes brightly and exclaims: “Grandmother!” in embarrassment.
The rest of the nobles arrive fashionably late, and are likely in the parlour chatting and socializing when the players finish their trip through the display cases in the warehouse. The nearest group of nobles consists of four women, one of whom is a dwarf. Here, Amanakha Tejuht (wife of the Archbanker of Abadar and a shrewd businesswoman), Baketra (a notorious gourmand known for her extravagant and scandalous dinner parties), Lady Neferebi (a spoiled, proud noblewoman who was carried here on a palanquin), and Meehr Zet (a dwarven woman whose father owns the Tarworks, making him the richest man in Wati. She uses her father’s wealth to buy her way into fine events like this one), all chat about the objects up for auction, and the effects of mumia, allowing the group to learn rumour five if they join the conversation.
Baketra: “Did you know that mumia can protect you against mummy rot? I’d never take the stuff myself–it’s made from actual mummies, you know, not to mention illegal–but I’m sure some of those adventuring types in the city these days don’t have such scruples.” Amanakha: *nods* “It costs a tidy sum.” Lady Neferebi: “Oh, Baketra, you’re horrible!” *laughter* Meehr: *looks confused* “That can’t be very good for your health…”
The other ladies then laugh at Meehr.
Nearby is a smaller group of young noblewomen: Yuya Mahfre (of the distinguished House Mahfre: the only nobles who remained in Wati throughout the aftermath of the Plague of Madness) and Denae Shepses (a pious Pharasmin of the distinguished House Shepses, cousin of the Commander of Voices, Nakht Shepses, and descendant of the man who founded the Grand Mausoleum, the Necropolis and revitalized Wati). Yuya and Denae are friends and both are here to represent their families with honour. Unfortunately, as a Mahfre, Yuya despises members of House Okhenti, particularly the swaggering bastard Teos who is present tonight. Throughout her conversation with Denae, Yuya casts glares at Teos from across the room. If the player’s join the young women in conversation, Yuya can be heard to share rumour two.
“Naturally, the Okhenti’s will throw their vulgar coin at anything with a blade–if they haven’t already spent tonight’s share on companionship and liquor, of course!”
The next group consists of the aforementioned Teos Okhenti, one of many bastards from House Okhenti, and his half-brother Khammayid, a Scion of House Okhenti and a true descendant of their line, Khammayid has recently returned from studying abroad in Absalom and is at the Canny Jackal to obtain a respectable artifact to present to his father upon his return home later tonight. Unfortunately, his half-brother, Teos is here representing the Okhenti family, and fully intends to make Khammayid work for it. Teos knows that Khammayid thinks he’s superior to him, so he is currently spending his time teasing and cajoling his half-brother into a foul mood. For his part, Khammayid despises Teos, believing his father’ many bastard to be a mark of disrespect upon their House.
Khammayid: “Cease your prattle. I’ve no desire to speak with you.” Teos smiles and throws an arm around Khammayid, loudly proclaiming to the group: “My brother has been gone for years and this is the greeting I get!” Khammayid: “We’re not brothers.” Teos: “Of course we are!” *To the group he adds:* “I’m Teos Okhenti and this rude fellow is Khammayid Okhenti.” Khammayid: “I am a Scion of House Okhenti.” Teos: “He thinks he’s better than me.” Khammayid: *Turning to the group* “If you’ll excuse me. I tire of the company.” *leaves for the showroom. Teos: *laughs* “We have different mothers.”
If any women are in the party, Teos then hits on them shamelessly, and kisses their hand. After excusing himself he struts over to go hit on Yuya Mahfre, despite the angry looks she gives him. A short while later Yuya stomps off, with Denae in step behind her, heading into the showroom.
If the group is still nearby Teos tells them: “She wants me.”
The final group of nobles present is a large and eclectic one. Consisting of two couples, an elderly man in absurd attire, a foreign nobleman and Melu the enchantress. The first couple, Yakarab and Maihiri Sekhenkhet, have recently purchased their noble title and are extremely pleased to be here. They’re confident, proud and strut about with wide smiles. They’re here to make big purchases to fill their lavish home, and to socialize. The second couple is Basif Iosep, a nobleman who makes his money off his coffee plantation located just outside of Wati. A half-elf, Basif is here to acquire any paperwork he can in the hopes of discovering more about his ancestry. Alongside him is his current girlfriend, Lady Nubumshaset. Although beautiful, Lady Nubumshaset knows her time with Basif is numbered. Having lost his wife many decades ago, Basif keeps his girlfriends no longer than a few years at a time. The old man is none other than the Grand Justice Euclid Menephes an out-of-touch man who’s here to socialize. Annen Essesh is the final noble in the group, a Vudrani merchant who owns the only textile mill in Wati. Though friendly, he dislikes the Grand Justice immensely. Annen knows that culture is not always about the rich, and is fascinated in artifacts owned by the everyman. His family worked itself up from nothing, and he wishes to ensure that the lives of the poor are not forgotten. Unfortunately for Annen, Melu has set her sights on him, and shortly after the conversation he become enthralled with the woman. By joining this group’s conversation players can learn rumours one and two.
Judge: “Absolutely dreadful the way the church is opening our history to so many foreigners!” Annen: “Foreigners?” Judge: “Not you, of course, Lord Essesh. You live here. You’re Osiriani.” Annen: “I am Vudrani, Euclid, and living here doesn’t change that.” Judge: *Pauses…* “Haty-a Oshep Kahmed is going to increase the taxes on travellers from beyond the sister cities to recoup the cultural damage.” Basif: “He’ll do no such thing! The opening of the Necropolis is good for our economy–as it is throughout the country!” Annen: *nods* Melu: “And how nice is it to see the Pharasmins on board?” Maihri: “Mmm hmm! Let’s you know the relics are real. My husband got taken for a fortune on a ‘Second Age’ chest last year. Looked ancient enough, but turned out the damned thing only survived a house fire in An!” Yakareb: *smiles and shrugs* “What can you do?” Judge: “You can’t trust the veracity of anything up for sale, no matter how old it looks. That’s why all legal transactions are vetted and approved by historians.” Yakareb: “Ah, who said it wasn’t legal?!” Judge: *huffs* “If you’ll excuse me!” *leaves* Annen: *turning to the party* “And you, friends? What have you to say on the matter?”
Unlike Wati’s nobility, many powerful people are present at the auction to make purchases on behalf of their organizations. These people are all found in the showroom, examining the displays with serious looks, some of them making notes on a piece of paper or in a journal as they do so. These scholars and businessmen include: Smendes Arun, the pompous curator in charge of acquisitions for the Sothis Exhibitory (Osirion’s grandest museum). Smendes is interested in historically important objects and true relics–nothing that has been repaired or altered; Takhat Elazul, a nobleman and patron here representing the Great Library of Tephu. He is here looking for pieces to add to the library’s archives. Though proud and aloof, Takhat is impressed if he learns that the group put up valuable documents for auction (and took care of them). Secretly a member of the Sacrosanct Order of the Blue Feather, Elazul is scheduled to make a reappearance in Mummy’s Mask Book 3 – Shifting Sands, and may prove to be a recurring contact for the player’s. Menaat Heshwah is a serious, humourless buyer for the Sothis Trading House. She refuses to be distracted by the players. She is interested in acquiring furniture, housewares and pottery. Tenet is a calm, focused scholar who wears a simple silver chain around his wrist and is seen examining masks and historical objects. Unbeknownst to the group, Tenet is a member of the Silver Chain, and a secretive member of another group that’s going to harry the party in the future. Tenet will make another appearance further into Book 2 – Empty Graves, but for now is calm, courteous and distant. Dakar Sonbef arrives late–probably just as soon as the group is about to leave the showroom–and immediately begins looking around for something. He is friendly and joyous, and says he’s an exporter here for the same reason as most people–To make money! He wears a silver chain around his wrist (which matches Tenet’s) and seems nervous. Canny players might realize he doesn’t seem very interested in any of the relics.
Two final representatives are more interactive. These are Ranjetti, a friendly member of the Aspis Consortium (which is a group in good standing in Osirion). Ranjetti is standing alongside another woman, Meru Sehebre, of the Pathfinder Society (a group that is in poor standing in Osirion). Ranjetti smiles and laughs, teasing and chatting with Meru while she examines an ancient map. Meru clearly despises Ranjetti, and ignores him as best as she can. Unfortunately for Meru, Ranjetti adores harassing her, and moves to follow her around the showroom like a shadow. During the auction he bids on everything she chooses to, willing to drop a large amount of coin just to irritate her. Although Ranjetti is here on behalf of his organization, Meru is here on a private matter. She’s in Wati to help a friend of hers–but won’t say more with Ranjetti around. Although interested in the objects on display, she’s here as a fortuitous opportunity, not to purchase anything specific for her organization.
If the players can distract Ranjetti and get Meru some time free of the man she happily tells them her true purpose in Wati. “A friend of mine–a dwarf scholar in Tephu–found clues regarding something that’s peaked his interest. I came to see if there was any truth to it. Unfortunately, access to the Necropolis is hard to come by. I haven’t found any proof at the auction, yet.” *gives the group a discerning look* “If you go back into the necropolis, keep your eyes open for a symbol for me: a stylized owl’s face, eyes open, beak pointing down. No text or hieroglyphs present. Agreed?”
All three of Wati’s churches are represented at the Canny Jackal tonight. Amanakha Tejuht, though not a clergy member herself, is here on behalf of her husband, Archbanker of the local church of Abadar, the Sanctum of Silver and Gold. In the showroom, the group will see a familiar face: Elder Neferaba, one of the oldest and most respected member of Pharasma’s clergy in Wati, and the Grand Mausoleum’s chosen representative. Elder Neferaba was likely met by the group on one of their may visits to the grand Mausoleum, and is the cleric they would have been referred to if they if they had lingering ability damage or curses that needed lifting. Elder Neferaba is currently staring into a display which holds grave goods, and canopic jars. He looks solemn and somber.
Neferaba: “This is a sight I thought I would never see… The treasures of our holy necropolis on display like commodities… We were lucky here. The Grand Mausoleum holds great influence in Wati. The tombs in other places were… treated with much less respect than our own. Still, much of this needs to be returned… Canopic jars and funerary masks…. The relics of the first Pharasmins. With their protection gone I worry about the state of the Necropolis…”
True to his word, Elder Neferaba is here to buy back what relics he can on behalf of the church, as well as any artifacts that contains people’s remains that they may be returned to their rightful place in the necropolis.
After speaking with Elder Neferaba for a moment another voice can be heard. Turning, the group discovers a woman with a shaved head, an Arcanist of Nethys by the name of Intef Karam, and an acolyte under her care, the serious looking Djat Masakhet. Intef is here on behalf of her church, the Temple of Arcana Unbound.
Intef: “Why, Neferaba! I thought of all people you would have been able to stop this.” Neferaba: *smiles widely* “My dearest Intef! Surely you are not suggesting that I would do something drastic?”
As Intef and Neferaba laugh and share a hug in greeting it is clear they are friends. Neferaba: *introduces the group to Intef and Intef to the group* Intef: “A pleasure. This is Djat Masakhet, and acolyte under my tutelage.” Djat: “…Greetings.” *whispers to Intef, then leaves for the showroom* Intef: “I am here looking for relics of my faith. The Nethysian church were among the original builders of Wati–along with the agents of the Pharaoh. That’s a lot of honoured priests who were recently… disturbed.” Neferaba: “Yes, the Ruby Prince is certainly progressive.” *Offers his arm to Intef and they excuse themselves*
Once final member of the Pharasmin church arrives later in the evening: Ptemenib. Although this is Ptemenib’s first scheduled meeting with the group, I introduced Ptemenib earlier, way back during the group’s first visit to the Tooth and Hookah, and have had the party meet him in passing a few times since (at the Grand Mausoleum, or in the Veins). Ptemenib enters the showroom distracted and speaking to himself (actually his invisible companion, Qasin). He clearly looks around for someone. If he’s known to the group he greets them and chats for a moment but is clearly distracted. Soon he remarks, “If you’ll excuse me, I’m on important business.” Then he walks away and asks “Where?” After a few steps one way he suddenly veers off course and heads a completely different direction. Curious characters can follow Ptemenib to discover he’s following and spying on Dakar Sonbef, an exporter mentioned above.
Among the other guests, there are a few who fit into no category above. The first whom the party will meet is Menya the Whip, an up and coming armoursmith who’s recently purchased a shop that faces the Sunrise Market. Menya is here to network with as many nobles and adventurers he can in the hopes of winning either a patron or customers. He’s also here looking for an interesting centrepiece for his shop. Menya is a fun, down-to-earth guy and is likely to get along well with you players. He’s a good smith, and if the group is kind to him they could earn themselves a discount at his shop in the future. He’s also easily swayed to bid on any particularly interesting and large relic that the player’s have put up for auction, if they suggest it, so long as it’s a good conversation piece for his shop. Menya can be found in the parlour well before the evening begins, waiting to greet everyone who enters the Canny Jackal.
Khim-ali Set is a perfumer who the group may have interacted with before this evening–if they went out of their way to purchase fine clothes and attire for the auction. His perfumery, Threshed Souls Fragrances, is the finest and most well-respected in town, and is located in the Morning Sun district. Khim-ali is polite to his customers, but otherwise makes a beeline through the parlour straight into the showroom. Curiously, Khim-ali examines all of the lots that include mummies.
The last of the uncategorized guests includes Teht Blackblossoms and Terhk Fourwinds. Teht and Terhk are lovers and entrepreneurs. Teht is a well-informed gossip and information broker who owns the Whispering Stone, a local tavern. Diplomatic and exotic, Teht has many admirers. Terhk is a massive half-orc who looks both stupid and fierce. He growls at any nobles who get to close, causing Teht and Terhk to have a large amount of space in the parlour to themselves. Terhk is actually a scholar and historian who loves ancient relics. He’s the owner of Terhk’s Expeditions, a company that organizes caravans and mercenaries for cross-desert treks. Teht claims she was gifted tickets to the event by an admirer and is here to purchase jewelry and perhaps a new relic for her bar. In reality, she herself purchased the tickets knowing that Terhk would love to attend the event and invited Terhk along to join her. Terhk acts terrifying, but can be seen perusing the showroom with a smile, and examining the scholarly documents with a pair of tiny glasses perched on his nose–which he quickly removes as soon as Teht warns him anyone is nearby.
The final category of guests include the two most prominent and powerful people at the auction. The first is introduced with a fanfare as soon as your player’s have had a chance to mingle with guests in the parlour and browse the showroom. Djoser Kahmed, son of the Haty-a (governor) of Wati is in attendance. As servants announce him, everyone in the building bows to him respectfully. Then, suddenly, he bows, deeply and nearly to the floor, as another is announced to a chorus of gasps: Lady Hemetre, cousin of the Ruby Prince. Everyone in the auction house suddenly falls to their knees and bows to the cousin of the Pharaoh. Anyone who doesn’t will be publicly scolded by Minnothet until they do, or they are removed from the auction house.
Despite being another hour until the auction is scheduled to begin, Lady Hemetre announces “The auction may begin,” and struts into the bidding hall. Djoser Kahmed follows, trailed by Hemetre’s many servants and guards. Minnothet and her workers hurry to have the auction start early.
As the auction officially begins, your players should have had a chance to walk through the showroom and examine the artifacts. If you haven’t given them one already, make sure they get a copy of the items up for auction. The items I provided my players are included on a sheet near the bottom of this post. Give them time to look this over, as they’ll likely want to bid on an item or two. If any of the members of your party have an interest in the old gods, be sure to alter some of the items on this sheet to include those gods. In my group’s case, this was the goddess Bastet, hence the large number of items sacred to her on the handout. In addition, ensure you know what objects your players are putting up for auction and who might be interested in them. If your player’s tried to influence the prices of any objects now’s the time to make sure they’ve made a check or two to do so, and to decide if they’ll succeed. Once everyone’s ready, Minnothet strides proudly onto the stage and says a few opening words, being sure to flatter the Lady Hemetre at every opportunity. Behind her, lot one is rolled onto the stage, and the auction begins.
For every object brought on stage, Minnothet announces and details it thoroughly, while her servants move objects on and off the stage. Describe the bidders interested in the pieces, and then pause, allowing your players to decide if they want to bid. If they do, let them know the highest bid which will win without their interference, and let them decide if they’ll put in a final, winning bid. You’ll be surprised how often the players will cast a bid for something just to foil one of the people they’ve met whom they disliked, or how they’ll refrain from bidding against someone they particularly liked. Some members of my group even purchased objects for other people–their guests, and Menya the Whip–when they were outbid. Be sure to describe the bidders vying for the relics the players put up for auction. This will grant the player’s a great deal of satisfaction. Partway through the auction, be sure to describe Dakar Sonbef leaving the auction, followed by Ptemenib a half-minute later.
There’s one extremely important thing to note here: Lady Hemetre. The good lady is not here for entertainment or to pick up an object of interest, she’s here to ensure the people of Wati are following the Pharaoh’s decrees. That means she is here to ensure that the objects for auction sell for high profits, and that they are not purchased by the people who might ‘lawfully’ own them, or by someone who is just going to return them to where they were taken from. To this end Lady Hemetre opens the first few bids herself, bidding so that the other nobles and people who desire her favour bid in turn. At any point during which the auction is lagging, or a piece only has a few bidders, she bids in order to inspire the other nobles to start a bidding war to impress her. If Elder Neferaba bids on items he’s obviously going to reinter, she bids as high as necessary to acquire the items in question–unless someone else bids on them. She also refuses to let anyone related to a tomb acquire their relics back. This is of particular importance for Lot 42 which includes the remains and grave goods of a member of the Mahfre family. As Yuya bids on her ancestors remains in outrage, Lady Hemetre will spend any amount of coin to see the object not fall into Mahfre hands. A point needs to be proven. Such is her purpose here. Luckily (or not) for Yuya Mahfre, Teos Okhenti is here to bid on the object on her behalf–if the player’s don’t get involved, and all it will cost her in return is a few drinks and a favour.
The Lots up for Auction
Lot 01 – Collection of six clay lamps and a simple clay solar disk. Taken from the home of a labourer. Opening bid: 20 gp
Lot 02 – Collection of grave goods from a textile mill. Goods include five wood-bead bracelets, a ceramic ring, six hand-carved wooden animal figurines and six ceramic jars. Thought to have belonged to the mills slaves and labourers. Opening bid: 25 gp
Lot 03 – Collection of thirteen rough depictions of a smiling dwarf face—the god Bes. Various materials include clay, ceramic, stone, bone and wood. Largest is four inches in diameter. Retrieved from a series of peasant homes and presumed to be hand-crafted by the home-owners in order to ask Bes to protect their homes and families. Opening bid: 25 gp
Lot 04 – Collection of wood and bronze farming implements. Goods include pitchfork, three sickles, a scythe, as well as shovels, trowels, nails, etc. Opening bid: 30 gp
Lot 05 – Collection of housewares. Ceramic and wood. Unadorned. Includes plates of various sizes, bowls, cups, jars, jugs and utensils. Opening bid: 30 gp
Lot 06 – A collection of charcoal sketches of the tripartite tomb of Lord Rab Wadjitor’s favourite concubines: Lady Ever Grace, Mistress Silken Glory and Madame Gilded Lotus; as well as charcoal rubbings from the interior of the tomb. Opening bid: 30 gp
Lot 07 – Set of four ceramic statuettes of a humanoid cat figure in suggestive poses. Six inches tall. Presumed to be Bastet, Sly Enchantress, goddess of cats, pleasure and secrets. Retrieved from the Cat’s Pleasure brothel. Opening bid: 30 gp
Lot 08 – Collection of ceramic and wood grave goods found in a grocer’s store. Pieces include protective amulets, bead bracelets, jars, pots and miniature Pharasmin spirals. Opening bid: 40 gp
Lot 09 – Twenty-two ceramic canopic jars (condition varies) and six bronze canopic jars. Retrieved from a textile mill and thought to belong to the mills slaves and labourers. Opening bid: 50 gp
Lot 10 – Collection of twenty ancient coins, various denominations. Opening bid: 50 gp
Lot 11 – Six matching bronze sconces, two incense bowls and one large lamp, all featuring jackal motifs. Taken from the tomb of Neb-at, and Anubisian priest. Opening bid: 50 gp
Lot 12 – Collection of perfume and make-up. Includes seven scented oils (perfumes) in ceramic containers, various tubes of kohl, green, blue and gold eye shadow, and henna lip smear. Retrieved from Cat’s Pleasure brothel. Opening bid: 50 gp
Lot 13 – Collection of papyrus scrolls and scroll tubes from a scribe’s office. Extremely fragile. Contents unknown. Opening bid: 50 gp
Note: Examination of this lot with detect magic reveals that two of the scrolls contained therein are magical, but its aura is too dim to determine the scroll’s purpose or type.
Lot 14 – Collection of ten ceramic statuettes depicting everyday life in lower-middle class Wati. Size varies between four inches tall and eight inches tall. Opening bid: 50 gp
Lot 15 – Collection of apothecary tools. Materials vary. Tools include weights and scales, mortar and pestle, jars of various sizes, spoons, cups, bowls, vials and a tea set. Also includes ten jars of dried herbs (potency and types undetermined), seven vials of essential oils (potency and types undetermined), and a variety of tea. All tools still function. Opening bid: 50 gp
Lot 16 – Collection of two hundred preserved insects labelled by their ancient names and in framed glass display cases. Many species of scarab, beetle, scorpion and butterfly are represented. Particular attention is paid to aquatic insects. Specimens were preserved by being coated in lacquer. Opening bid: 50 gp
Lot 17 – Collection of seven wands found in a Nethysian shrine. Materials and motifs vary. Wands no longer magical. Opening bid: 50 gp
Lot 18 – Set of six ceramic wall hangings of an erotic nature. Imagery depicts the cat goddess Bastet engaged in carnal acts with various other deities. Retrieved from the Cat’s Pleasure brothel. Opening bid: 60 gp
Lot 19 – Four foot by five foot painting of a smiling dwarf face—the god Bes. Bes is known as the Guardian Fool and was considered the god of households, luck, marriage and protection. In some ages he was also considered a god of childbirth, protector of children, guardian of sleep, and protector against evil spirits and dangerous beasts. The painting is hung in a wood frame carved with ancient prayers to Bes and images of a family going about typical household life. Opening bid: 70 gp
Lot 20 – Set of ten matching scarabs crafted in gold and semi-precious stones. Exceptional quality. Opening bid: 75 gp
Lot 21 – Collection of fine housewares. Painted ceramic, carved wood. River motifs. Includes plates, bowls, jars, jugs and utensils. Opening bid: 75 gp
Lot 22 – Complete set of mummification tools. Materials vary. Opening bid: 75 gp
Lot 23 – Collection of polished marble erotic tools and well-preserved erotic manual. All exquisite quality and working condition. Retrieved from the Cat’s Pleasure brothel. Opening bid: 100 gp
Lot 24 – Collection of ten bronze animal statuettes. Sizes vary from three to ten inches in length. Animals depicted include the cat, lion, jackal, crocodile, cow, scorpion, ibis, falcon, scarab and the ram. Opening bid: 100 gp
Lot 25 – Ceremonial crook, flail, mask and headgear of an Orisisian priest. Cereamic and gold. Opening bid: 100 gp
Lot 26 – A pair of sandstone warrior statues wielding khopesh and shields. Measures one and a half feet square by four feet tall. Retrieved from Crocodile’s Pride training centre. Opening bid: 100 gp
Lot 27 – Mummified crocodile with golden collar. Eight feet long. Opening bid: 100 gp
Lot 28 – A collection of two-hundred and seventy-six viable ancient seeds salvaged from a greenhouse in Wati’s Necropolis. Thirteen of these seeds are of extinct species; seventy-three seeds are of rare species and forty-seven are unidentified. Opening bid: 100 gp
Lot 29 – Lacquered wooden trunk filled with noble-woman’s clothing. Articles include various linen sheath dresses and pleated dresses, a pair of rush slippers, a pair of leather sandals, four linen shawls, three beaded belts, two beaded collars and one wig. All items have been magically repaired. Opening bid: 100 gp
Lot 30 – A collection of grave goods belonging to Lady Ever Grace, one of Lord Rab Wadjitor’s favourite concubines. Includes a silver diadem, silver armband, silver jewelry, glass bead collar, ivory hair comb, black kohl, silver and ivory funerary mask, silver rings and silver and ivory canopic jars. Opening bid: 150 gp
Lot 31 – Preserved food and liquor from a noble villa. Three jars of honey, small clay jar containing nine preserved dates (no longer edible), large ceramic jug of wheat, small sealed jar of vinegar, one large clay jug of beer (no longer drinkable), three unopened bottles of wine (no longer drinkable), one bottle of fine unopened gin and one bottle of fine unopened whiskey. Opening bid: 150 gp
Lot 32 – An exceptionally well-preserved, unique tome detailing the gods worshipped in ancient Wati, their stories, areas of interest, prayers and ceremonies. Written by a scholar dedicated to the worship of Thoth, Lord of Divine Words and god of magic, the moon, wisdom and writing. Opening bid: 150 gp
Lot 33 – Magically preserved map of the Osirion empire during its height. Map is of exceptional quality. Framed for preservation in a wood and glass frame. Opening bid: 150 gp
Lot 34 – Collection of eight silver statuettes depicting psychopomps – otherwordly beings said to lead the soul into the afterlife, or guard it. Sizes vary from 6 to twelve inches. Beings depicted are the scarab, whippoorwill, jackal, nosoi (falcon-like), esobok (dog-like creatures with skeletal crocodile heads), vanth (skeletal bird humanoid), Anubis (jackal-headed god of death, funerals, tombs and mummification) and Pharasma (goddess of birth, death, fate and prophecy). Opening bid: 150 gp
Lot 35 – Exquisitely crafted silver sceptre in the shape of Ptah, Lord of Eternity’s holy symbol (which incorporates the ankh, djed and was). Opening bid: 170 gp
Lot 36 – Winged solar disk crafted from gold and semi-precious stones, meant to be hung on a wall or used as a centre-piece for an altar or shrine. The solar disk is the holy symbol of Ra, King of the Heavens and god of creation, rulership and the sun. Measures two feet by two and a half feet. Opening bid: 200 gp
Lot 37 – A collection of chairs and side tables. Extremely fragile. Opening bid: 200 gp
Lot 38 – A collection of twenty copper holy symbols featuring ancient gods. Deities represented are: Anubis: Guardian of the Tomb (jackal head), Apep: Devourer of the Dawn (coiled serpent), Bastet: Sly Enchantress (cat), Bes: Guardian Fool (laughing dwarf face), Hathor: Mistress of Jubilation (solar disk with horns), Horus: Distant Falcon (eye of Horus), Isis: Queen of Miracles (knot of Isis), Khepri: Humble Hand (scarab), Maat: Feather of Truth (ostrich feather), Neith: Ruler of Arrows (shield and two crossed arrows), Nephthys: Mistress of the Mansion (basket atop a palace), Osiris: Lord of the Living (crook and flail), Ptah: Lord of Eternity (staff composed of ankh, djed and was), Ra: King of the Heavens (winged solar disk), Sekhmet: Lady of Slaughter (seven arrows), Selket: Mistess of the Beautiful House (scorpion), Set: Lord of the Dark Desert (sha head), Sobek: Raging Torrent (crocodile), Thoth: Lord of Divine Words (scroll with solar disk and cresent) and Wadjet: Green Empress (uraeus). Opening Bid: 200 gp
Lot 39 – The mummified pets of Nanjut Elatep, a noble woman who outlived her husband and eight children and was said to have found solace in her menagerie of pets. Pets include twenty-nine cats, seven songbirds, four snakes, two small dogs, one cow, one ibis, one falcon, one ram and a leopard. Each pet wears a ceramic protective amulet labelled with their name. Opening bid: 200 gp
Lot 40 – The Eternity Lotus. This miraculous blue lotus blooms each day and withers each night only to sprout again each morning. Discovered in an ancient shrine dedicated to Osiris, Lord of the Living; god of fertility, rebirth, the afterlife and resurrection. The Eternity Lotus requires neither care, air, soil, water or sunlight to flourish. Opening bid: 200 gp
Lot 41 – A collection of five ankhs. One silver, one bronze, one gold, one gold with rubies, one gold and platinum. Opening bid: 250 gp
Lot 42 – The canopic jars and funerary mask of Entef Mahfre, ancestor of the distinguished Mahfre noble line. Canopic jars are made of white marble and amber, funerary mask is made of polished silver, ivory and amber. Opening bid: 250 gp
Lot 43 – A collection of grave goods belonging to Mistress Silken Glory, one of Lord Rab Wadjitor’s favourite concubines. Includes silver jewelry, silver armband, glass bead collar, a silver hand mirror, silver comb, hair beads, black kohl, perfumed oil, silver funerary mask and a wooden trunk which magically preserved ten exotic articles of silk lingerie and three scrolls of erotic poetry written by the entombed. Opening bid: 250 gp
Lot 44 – A collection of grave goods belonging to Madame Lotus Bloom, one of Rab Wadjitor’s favourite concubines. Includes amber bead jewelry, amber bead collar, amber comb, incense, incense bowl, amber wall decorations, amber funerary mask, amber holy symbol of Maat (goddess of justice, law, order and truth) and fourteen manuals regarding enlightenment and physical perfection. Opening bid: 300 gp
Lot 45 – A set of six gold statuettes depicting Pharoah Djederet II, founder of Wati, and his family. Pharoah Djederet measures one foot in height, while his family members each measure approximately eight inches tall. Opening bid: 300 gp
Lot 46 – Large copper water clock. No longer functions. Opening bid: 300 gp
Lot 47 – Collection of bronze weapons from the Crocodile’s Pride training centre. Includes 8 khopesh, four kukri, three spears, two curved daggers, two flails, two falchions, one short sword, one quarterstaff and six javelins. Also contains the deteriorated remains of two bows, one sling, and nine arrows in a rush quiver. Opening bid: 300 gp
Lot 48 – A glass jar filled with a semi-precious stones. Opening bid: 325 gp
Note: When examined with detect magic, three of the stones inside are revealed to be cracked ioun stones. A cracked amethyst pyramid, a cracked dusty rose prism, and a cracked tourmaline sphere.
Lot 49 – A collection of silver ceremonial objects. Includes a censer, lantern, ankh, quarterstaff and an exquisite silver dagger of masterwork quality. Opening bid: 350 gp
Lot 50 – A pair of falcon feathers retrieved from a shrine dedicated to Ra, King of the Heavens and god of creation, rulership and the sun. Functions as a feather token (ram) and a feather token (fan). Opening bid: 400 gp
Lot 51 – A lacquered wood palanquin with gold leaf detailing. Opening bid: 400 gp
Lot 52 – Large collection of stone tablets retrieved from a record room in a Shrine to Thoth, god of magic, the moon, wisdom and writing. Of the few currently deciphered, two are official records, one is instructional and two are repositories of knowledge. Opening bid: 500 gp
Lot 53 – Three life-size, painted stone statues of Lord Rab Wadjitor’s favourite concubine’s. Featuring the maiden Lady Ever Grace, the sensual Mistress Silken Glory, and the poised Madame Lotus Bloom. Opening bid: 500 gp
Lot 54 – Nine foot tall black stone statue of Anubis, Guardian of the Tomb and god of burial, the dead, funeral rites and mummification. Features gold accents. Opening bid: 500 gp
Lot 55 – Regalia of a priestess of Bastet, the Sly Enchantress and goddess of cats, pleasure and secrets. Includes a fine silver sistrum, a silver ceremonial dagger with a handle shaped like a walking cat in profile, gold and white linen headband, gold armband, glass bead collar with a pair of gold cats as a decoration, an armoured kilt with a gold holy symbol of Bastet as a central decoration, a single cat’s claws (tekko-kagi), and an aegis (buckler) enchanted to look as if it were made of gold that features a lion’s face upon its outer side and protective prayers to Bastet upon its inside face. Cat’s claws, armoured kilt and aegis are all of masterwork quality. All items in this lot were protected by divine preservative magic, making them in perfect, fully functional condition. Opening bid: 650 gp
Lot 56 – Collection of extravagant housewares. Gold and crystal. Solar disk motif. Includes plates, bowls, decanter, glasses and utensils. Opening bid: 700 gp
Lot 57 – A foreign merchant’s ring. Crafted from smooth red and blue porcelain and wrapped with threads of copper, this ring magically protected its wearer from the heat and cold of his travels. Functions as a ring of inurement. Opening bid: 750 gp
Lot 58 – A phylactery with a preserved scarab inside. Sacred to Khepri’s faith (The Humble hand; god of freedom, the rising sun and work). Functions as a phylactery of faithfulness dedicated to Khepri. Opening bid: 800 gp
Lot 59 – Collection of magical arrows in a black lacquered quiver retrieved from a slave market. Contains five sleep arrows and three vine arrows. Opening bid: 900 gp
Lot 60 – A magical glass lens mounted in a round silver frame that fits snugly in the eye orbit of any small or medium sized humanoid. Retrieved from a scribe’s workshop. Functions as an antiquarian’s monocle. Opening bid: 1,000 gp
Lot 61 – A collection of women’s gold jewelry taken from Maiden’s Joy jewelry shop. Pieces include ten necklaces (fine to thick chains featuring designs of a cat, jackal, bird, feathers, ankh, knot of Isis, waves, basket, moon, and sun), four bracelets (two fine chain, one bangle with engraved feather detailing, one medium chain with seven star charms), two armbands, six rings (two plain bands, two knot-detailings, one with a winged solar disk, one with cat) and seven pairs of earrings (one hoop, two dangling, three disks, one stud). Opening bid: 1,000 gp
Lot 62 – Wargear of a priest of Sekhmet. Includes a pair of golden rosettes (meant to be worn over the nipples of a man or woman), fine armoured kilt died red with blood, a battleaxe with seven arrows engraved along the blade, a heavy wooden shield carved with the face of a roaring lion and stained with blood, and three potions (two of cure light wounds and one of rage). The battleaxe and wooden shield are of masterwork quality. Opening bid: 1,000 gp
Lot 63 – The cursed belt that killed Haty-a Chepren. Made of gold and ivory, this belt appeared to be able to augment the aging Haty-a’s health, when in fact, it sapped it from him until he died. Functions as a belt of weakness. Although it is unknown who delivered the belt to the Haty-a, it is presumed by many to be his advisor Bunefer, who was named Haty-a after Chepren’s death. Opening bid: 1,000 gp
Lot 64 – An empty sarcophagus retrieved from the tomb of Amadjawat the Many Veiled, of the Turanhotep noble line. The Turanhotep’s were master illusionists and prominent members of the Nethysian clergy. Sarcophagus is of stone and draped with illusions of polished gems and gold. Opening bid: 1,000 gp
Lot 65 – Two magically and alchemically treated plant bulbs with a root growing out of each that loops around it like a handle and are capable of causing plants to grow in any terrain. Also comes with a folded papyrus scarab capable of multiplying into a swarm of papyrus scarabs with the completion of a final fold. Function as greensurge bombs and an origami swarm. Opening bid: 1,100 gp
Lot 66 – Exotic looking blue leather boots with a knife motif worked into them and curled up toes. Retrieved from an unmarked building. Function as bondbreaker’s boots. Opening bid: 1,200 gp
Lot 67 – A platinum chain with three platinum protective talismans upon it: an ankh, a scarab and a feather. Each talisman can protect its wearer once before crumbling to dust. Functions as lesser protective talismans (ankh, scarab and beneficial winds). Opening bid: 1,400 gp
Lot 68 – A trio of javelins once owned by a member of the Haty-a (governor) of Wati’s personal guard. Two javelins are of masterwork quality and one is a javelin of lightning. Opening bid: 1,600 gp
Lot 69 – A magical tight-fitting silk corset with thin bone ribbing sewn into it, beautifully embroidered with images of birds and clouds. Comes with a matching (non-magical) embroidered silk collar. Functions as a corset of delicate moves. Opening bid: 1,600 gp
Lot 70 – A magical crocodile skin belt with a gold buckle discovered in the tomb of an unnamed warrior. Functions as a belt of superior maneuvers. Opening bid: 1,700 gp
Lot 71 – A pair of boots cracked and weathered from the desert sun. Functions as dunestrider boots. Opening bid: 2,000 gp
Lot 72 – Canvas and leather gloves stitched with invocations to Ptah, Lord of Eternity and patron of architects, engineers, alchemists and crafters of all kinds. Discovered in the tomb of Alamed Neptus, a master architect and trapsmith who was ritually sacrificed and entombed after completing his labours as lead architect on the tomb of Haty-a (Governor) Neftet Ankametep. These magical gloves impart the wisdom of Alamed Neptus upon the wearer, granting mastery over mechanical devices. (Functions as engineer’s workgloves). Opening bid: 2,500 gp
Lot 73 – This Pharasmin ritual blade used during ceremonies sacred to the Lady of Graves, such as the cutting of umbilical cords, or to lay beside the bodies of honoured Pharasmins as their spirits travel through the Boneyard. The magical blade is etched with spiderweb designs and the hilt is shaped like a skeleton that has been laid to rest. Functions as a fate blade. Opening bid: 2,600 gp
Lot 74 – The khopesh of Manut the Mad, captain of Wati’s town guard from 2490-2499 AR. Captain Manut was the first high profile victim of the Plague of Madness. He slaughtered every prisoner in his custody, six guards, fourteen slaves, one noble, and eleven passersby on his way home before finally murdering his neighbours. Manut was killed by his wife who is reported to have succumbed to the same plague only three days later. Khopesh is of masterwork quality and forged from adamantine. The grip is crocodile skin; the pommel is topped by a fierce crocodile head carved from polished river stones; and the neck of the blade is engraved with ancient hieroglyphics meant to invoke strength and military prowess. Opening bid: 3,000 gp
Lot 75 – The Rods of Gehentet the Merciful. These matching metamagic rods are each crafted from magically hardened marble, one black and one white. Both rods were once wielded by High Priest Gehentet of Nethys’ church. Called ‘the Merciful’, Gehentet was known for never killing his enemies. Instead, he knocked them unconscious and tithed them to the Nethysian church as slaves. The white rod is a lesser merciful metamagic rod, and the black rod is a lesser selective metamagic rod. Opening bid: 4,000 gp
Lot 76 – A buckler belonging to Theban Ahmose, leader of the Sha-beasts, a notorious thieves guild that operated for one hundred years (ending at the Plague of Madness). The buckler is made of black wood and carved to resemble the face of a sha with painted red eyes. Functions as a burglar’s buckler. Opening bid: 4,200 gp
Lot 77 – A magical staff found in the tomb of an unknown Nethysian priest who died during the start of the Plague of Madness. Images from his tomb depict him as charitable, attractive and beloved by all. He seems to have had no wives, but was buried with four children who died before him. It is presumed the children were either adopted, bastards, or young acolytes. The staff is made from gold and capped by a white orb on one end and a black orb on the other. It is functions as a Staff of Blessed Relief. Opening bid: 6,800 gp
And that’s it!
Or is it..?
As Minnothet proudly takes the stage she announces one final lot up for auction…
Lot 78 – Discovered in the tomb of Wati’s first Haty-a, kept in magical stasis for well over 6,000 years, Sallal–honuored slave-girl. Sallal is a child, despite being over 6,000 years old. She only speaks Ancient Osiriani and is new to our ways of life. The knowledge within her is vast, but to keep her unsullied she has been asked as few questions as possible. Her secrets are yours to discover. Opening bid: 5,000 gp.
Now, for good reason, this last lot up for auction is probably going to upset your characters. For starters, slavery is horrible, and this is a child we’re talking about, but keep in mind this is Osirion. Slavery is legal here and a ton of bidders are going to be interested in Sallal. Unfortunately, no matter how much coin your players can throw at her, Lady Hemetre is destined to win the slave girl. Many people cast bids, some in excitement, some in curiosity and others in distaste, but none can beat out Lady Hemetre’s final bid of 12,500 gp. If for some reason your player’s can, she bids higher.
Quickly, Minnothet wraps up the auction with a speech and informs guests to mingle in the parlour. They’ll be called up one by one to finalize their purchases and either bring their goods home now or schedule a convenient time for delivery. So let the player’s stew over their losses and brag about their wins with the others guests, cause soon, shit is going to hit the fan.
While they socialize be sure to highlight a few social encounters…
Maru has won a lot of scandalous objects–much to her granddaughter’s embarrassment. Have Teos Okhenti stroll up to the old woman and jokingly ask for her hand in marriage, or if he can pay her a visit later. The old bird will laugh him off and give him a farewell hug–perhaps even a slap on the butt. Unforunately, Teos is in trouble, as Yuya Mahfre slaps him in the face for buying her ancestor’s remains at auction. Teos thoroughly embarrasses the young woman by insisting she thank him, he spent that coin for her, after all! And all it will take for her to get her great so-and-so back is a romantic evening at his estate! Meanwhile, Sigrun Firehair, Baketra and Maru Meshoten find they have a lot in common, as they chat and laugh together. Melu tries to enchant the Haty-a’s son only to be caught in the act by Intef Karam of the Church of Nethys. At her command Melu is arrested and lead from the auction house immediately.
Soon, the group is called in to speak with Minnothet. Allow them to see their goods and carry whatever they want with them. For those objects they don’t pick up be sure to schedule a delivery time. Figuring out what they have with them is very important.
As the group leave Minnothet’s office, they are overcome with a strange feeling, as if a pulse of very subtle energy flowed through them. Elder Neferaba is the only other guest who seems to notice.
Suddenly a banging can be heard at the front door… As Ahteb and Hamapetra go to open it the door bursts open in a shower of wood and splinters. Knocked to the ground and bleeding uncontrollably, Ahteb and Hamapetra are buried under the debris and stepped on by the newest guests to the Canny Jackal… A horde of newly risen dead!
I hope one of your player’s chose to bring a weapon tonight! Cause the dead have come to party!
My players and I all had a blast playing through he auction, literally from start to finish! Even my kids were thrilled, and the spent their time sneaking out of their bedrooms to eavesdrop, plan what they would buy, and shout at my husband what his character should buy for them. I gave my player’s their handouts of the lots early, and they spent over a week reading and rereading the lots available for purchase and trying to decide what to bid on. They made friends among the guests, influenced prices to their benefit and were positively distraught that they didn’t have enough money left to buy the poor slave-girl Sallal. With most of the group dressed in their finery, and a bunch of new friends to save, they get to spend the next week or two wondering who they’re going to save…
Will it be Ahteb and Hamapetra, the poor, friendly servants they’ve met a few times, or Grandma Meshoten and her daughter? Will Menya the Whip escape unscathed, or will they choose to defend the nobles of House Shepses and Mahfre instead? Can they keep their pregnant guests Pahetti and Manat safe?
I can’t wait to find out!
The Other Side of the Curtain:
Today’s Auction at the Canny Jackal is from Mummy’s Mask Book 2 – Empty Graves, by Paizo Publishing. The Canny Jackal is the opening scene in the book and, although hugely expanded upon, my version of the auction includes and is based upon the information in this section of the adventure, as well as information on the city of Wati found in Mummy’s Mask Book 1: The Half-Dead City. In addition, the character of Sallal is from Wayfinder Volume 12, available as a free download here, although I changed her purpose entirely.
I hope you find use for some of these additions in your home version of Mummy’s Mask, and that your players have some fun with it. This auction provides a great way for your player’s to get to know a bunch of people they’ll soon have to defend while simultaneously getting to shop and spend their hard earned coin. By the time the auction is rudely interrupted, they’ll be lulled into such a sense of safety it will take them completely by surprise. Of course, once it’s underway, wait and see how long it takes them to realize that Sallal might still be in the building… They wouldn’t rob the great Lady Hemetre! Would they?