Back to the Desert
Working with Saleem, the team identify where they are heading. It would be a five-day hard ride, not enough time to do anything when they arrived. This leaves the balloon. The cousin can make repairs and have it ready to go by the following afternoon. Saleem has a list of supplies to gather: 2 barrels of oil, a shotgun and box of shells, and a dozen grenades. Saleem will have to pilot the balloon himself, the cousin refuses to go along, mummies were enough for him.
The tomb of Oannes is located at the far end of a small, dead-end valley. The valley is two miles long and no wider than one hundred yards across. The cliff walls rise to a height of 500 feet. The temple was built into the cliff side, to conceal the tomb within and allow human worshipers to continue to honour Oanness.
At first, there appears to be no way inside, what would normally be an entrance is solid rock. But as the sun sets and the constellation of Orion rises in the east, the last rays of sunlight strike the face of the tomb. A single beam is centered on the stone-blocked entrance. With no smoke, noises, or other effects, the alcove is filled with a deep red light coming seemingly from within the rock itself. After a few seconds, the light fades and where once was a wall of stone, now stands a darkened entrance to the tomb.
Some initial findings inside the tomb:
- The main chamber is vast, filled with 72 pillars supporting a raised platform, atop the platform stands an altar to Oannes.
- Standing before the altar are two statues of seven-foot-tall fish-men. Lee realizes he did indeed see one of this creatures back in the bay.
- Off to the left is an Oracle Room, within is a stone statue of Oanness. The sea demons would perform a ritual, leave an offering, and ask the oracle a question.
- From the entrance chamber are two doors on either side which lead to the actual Shrine. Seated upon a throne of gold is a 30-foot-high statue of a fish-man creature, this is Oannes. It is extremely life-like. Standing on either side of the statue are rows and rows of wooden statues of sea demons. They are turned as if facing and worshiping the throne creature.
- They follow a long corridor to a door leading to steps that venture deep into the bowels of the earth. The feeling of evil that rises from the depths is so strong that the heroes quickly shut the door.
- The treasury room, with far too much treasure to ever be taken away in one trip. Digging about the piles they discover a chest with a false bottom. Inside is a brooch of the Eye of Horus. It is some sort of protective amulet.
- In most of the rooms there are wall carvings telling the stories and histories of the sea people. Silas sets up his camera and takes photos of everything he can. He focuses especially on the map room, a detailed map of the world, including the continent of Antarctica with no ice covering. The level of detail surpasses most current maps!
- The boat chamber, a full-sized boat built in the classical Egyptian style. It is still seaworthy, a bit old perhaps. It faces a large hole in the wall. A perfectly cut opening that descends into inky darkness below. Steps are carved alongside the ramp leading downward. Far below can be heard the faint sounds of rushing water. There is also a mighty roar of some sort of beast, a terrifying roar. Our heroes leave this be for now.
the Mummy Chamber
At the bottom of some stairs is a room filled with a dozen decorated sarcophagi. The symbols denote these as the remains of the high priests of the sea people. Lee is too curious and manages to open one of the sarcophagi. He is immediately attacked by the mummy that springs up out of it. From the other sarcophagi come tumbling other mummies. 12 mummies are occupying the room going after out heroes. Four are hanging back preparing magic spells and the other attacking.
Poor Saleem is grappled by a mummy that rips his body in two! Two converge on Kitty and the first is battling Lee. As Silas prepares to fire bolts of power, one of the mummies succeeds in conjuring a swarm of flesh-eating scarabs that flow around Silas to attack him! He suddenly feels the power within the ring he purchased and it creates some sort of barrier that prevent the scarabs from hurting him. He finishes his spell and blasts one of the mummies back into earth!
Kitty is doing her best to blast away at the limbs of the mummies but she knows her bullets are not very effective. They are driving her and Silas back into the hallway. Another mummy finishes a spell and the entire room and hallway are engulfed in a sandstorm, no one can see anything, well, the mummies can see. But all is not lost, Lee calls on the spirits and channels a wave of holy energy that blasts from him in a circle of power. Most of the mummies are destroyed outright as he power flows out and renders them to dust. Silas is able to finish off the remaining two.
Back to the Boat Room
Silas may never be able to say why he had a sudden desire to go back to the boat room, climb through that opening and march down the long stairs to the waters below. But he does it, and his companions follow. Even with their torches visibility is tough, it is some sort of dark magic if fighting the light. Half way down the stairs, Silas stumbles and kicks a rock. As it tumbles down the stairs, it echoes across the vast chamber, sounding louder than it should, then splashes into the water below. They freeze in their tracks, daring not even to breath, watching the ripples across the surface. The ripples subside and nothing happens. Just as they breath out in relief, a loud roar resounds throughout the chamber and a giant beast rears out of the water. Standing easily 60-feet tall, a head like a giant squid, massive tentacles ring its mouth, it stands upon two legs like man.
It roars again and begins charging up the stairs. Suffice to say, our heroes run like hell!
As they haul ass towards the entrance they can feel and hear the creature tear into the tomb. It is too large for most of the doors so it is tearing the walls apart as it charges through the tomb. Walls are collapsing, ceilings are crumbling, and the ground is shaking, the tomb is falling down around them!
When they reach the Shrine of Oannes, the 30-foot figure atop the golden throne is struggling to move. The time foretold is now and Oannes is awakening! Kitty and Lee skirt by the collapsing wooden statues but Silas is not so fortunate. He is pinned when several fall across him, trapping him. He yells to his friends to get to balloon, leave him! Of course they don't listen. As they struggle in vain to lift the statues, Oannes begins to stand, shaking the ground even more, he turns and spies the heroes, his arm extends and he points at them!
Suddenly the walls burst apart and the giant creature charges into the room tackling the first thing it sees, Oannes! The elder god and elder beast begin a fight to the death, bringing the tomb down around them. Luckily the battle tumbles the statues away freeing Silas. The heroes make it out of the doorway just as it collapses behind them, forever sealing the two mighty beings in their struggle to the death.
But now the cliff face and temple begin to collapse as well. Hurriedly preparing the balloon our heroes launch into the sky as the entire face of the cliff crashes down, burying everything in rubble, of the temple and tomb there are no signs, no one will ever know what lies buried beneath.
The balloon rises into the sky, caught in the winds, drifting to who knows where? For now, our heroes are safe.