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The Pyramid of Amun-Re was the tomb of Amun-Re, a pharaoh of Bakar. The river Athis used to spring magically from within the pyramid, before the pharaoh's curse caused it to dry out.[1]

The structure was 750 ft (230 m) on a side and 700 ft (210 m) tall, surrounded by a 20 ft (6.1 m) wall which was broken only by a temple; the pyramid was lustrous and untouched by the winds, while the wall was extremely worn down.[1] The pyramid was continuously visible from 20 mi (32 km) away, and its shape was discernible from 50 mi (80 km); furthermore, it reflected light such that it was a landmark anywhere from the tops of dunes within 150 mi (240 km), and the tops of hills within 300 mi (480 km). It was oriented with the compass points, with a single temple on the south side breaking its polished faces.[2] In fact, the Pyramid was visible from the Dustwall mountains to the south.[3]

The Star of Mo-Pelar and Amun-Re's Ruling Staff were kept in the pyramid. The entire construction radiated magic.[1]

Levels[]

Temple[]

The pharaohs' tombs were not merely burial sites, but also places of worship to help them along on becoming divine even as they made the trip to the afterlife.[1]

Out of the south edge of the pyramid, a temple was visible, rising 50 feet along the face of the pyramid. This temple was staffed by dervishes, many of which were often drunk.[1] There were also bandits, a party of dwarves looking for loot, and giant rats.[1] The entrance was reachable from two staircases which circled a 100-foot-wide basin; it was empty as of the mid-14th century DR, but during the heyday of Bakar it was the spring of the river Athis, filled with water teleported from a spring inside of the pyramid.[1] The doors to the pyramid were arched and built out of bronze, and had two dervishes keeping permanent guard.[1] The dervishes would attack anyone who sought to enter for purposes other than worship.[4]

The High Altar of Amun-Re was accessible through a short corridor; the room had carvings upon the walls, spelling out a copy of the Tome of Amun-Re which could be found at the altar in the center of the room. The statue of the pharaoh at the back of the room had a secret door, behind which was the end of a one-way teleporter. A laseda, or dervish cleric, stayed at the altar most of the time.[4]

A green statue of Osiris had two star rubies for eyes, of significantly higher value than average star rubies.[4][note 1] The back of the temple held a staircase leading towards an entrance 50 feet up into the pyramid.[5]

Plundered Tomb[]

The plundered tomb was a decoy grave in order to dissuade robbers by convicing them that nothing of value was left; the rubble had been placed even before Amun-Re was buried.[1] Even so, two dervishes kept guard over the platform ahead of the entrance; their names were Atfez and Pachi.[5] The entrance opened upon a main entrance hall, which held a secret door and doors to the east and west offering temple. The West temple held inscriptions of a priest complaining about his dropping sales of statuettes, and the East temple held other inscriptions. Each room of worship was connected to a water storage silo, still fed by the spring of Athis.[6]

The secret door led to a series of rooms with secret doors and a few sprung traps, ultimately into a fake treasure room, clearly labeled as a treasure room in many languages.[7] There were two possible entrances into the real tomb: through the water sluiceway feeding the silos, or through a teleporter hidden in the altar for the offerings in the eastern worship room.[1][8] The waters of the pyramid healed those who drank of them, though only once per day, thanks to a process powered by concentrated cosmic energies.[8]

Kordan's Master Maze[]

The maze was accessible through the sluiceway feeding the water storage silos, or through the teleporter for the offerings on the East Worship Room of the plundered tomb.[1] Three minotaurs out of seven in the level,[9] ten ghouls and three dopplegangers out of five in the level[9] could be randomly encountered as they patrolled, alongside a host of giant spiders.[10] A number of adventurers had figured out an entrance as well, and now some sharpers, cutpurses, and even a few dervishes who had genuinely tried to sacrifice themselves to Amun-Re wandered the level; of note, a wizard who had come to look for magical items was still stuck there.[10]

The dopplegangers in particular liked to disguise themselves as adventurers they had killed and eaten.[10] Such disguises included elven fighters in chainmail, dwarven knights, pious clerics seeking to end the curse, halfling thieves, haggard rangers, and a wizard come to discover the secrets of Kordan the Archmage. In particular, wizardly dopplegangers did not possess any of a wizard's magical abilities, which complicated keeping this disguise effective.[10]

Most of the level was chock-full of misty hallways. The mist, Kordan's Master Mist, prevented people from correctly orienting themselves, even in a short time; direction and distance became meaningless within.[11] The center room, the arrival point after the teleporter, had four exits and four levers on the walls; if all levers were flipped, a strong magnetic field would draw any metallic objects into the air. There was a skeleton with a sword in the center of the room.[10] Other treasures close to the center room included six sacks with a total of 51 pounds of gold, an enchanted hammer, and a ring of contrariness which also granted the power to fly.

The dopplegangers dwelled to the north of the entry room, often disguised as elves;[9] beyond them were rooms with bandits, a trapper, and an androsphinx guarding a cistern, which led back to the Plundered Tomb.[12] To the south of the entry room, there were seven minotaurs, holding a treasure of about 450 pounds of electrum hidden amongst a giant pile of straw. There was a trapdoor on the ceiling of the minotaurs' room, which dumped anyone caught in a trap on the level above onto the straw pile.[13] Beyond the minotaurs, there were three rooms. Five dervishes had taken refugee in one[14] while another held a crushing walls trap.[15] The third room had been intended to hold a trap, but it had never been finished.[15]

To the west of the entry room, there were a few small treasures: a knapsack with a scroll of fly and fireball alongside a bag with 100 pounds of gold; a very powerful ring of protection, and two trails of golden coins, one of them worth 13.7 pounds of gold while the other held 15.2 pounds of platinum.[9] The maze led to three trapped rooms: one with the corpse of a dwarf in banded armor impaled in spikes, and one with a lurker. The third room held a trap, though there was no record of which kind. The dwarf carried a bag with five gems in it, worth as much as a hundred pounds of gold.[15]

The western branch of the maze held a trapped chest, which launched paralyzing darts at anyone disturbing it, beneath which there were two chests holding a total of 50 pounds of gold. In another hallway, lay an abandoned cursed sword of berserking, labeled Enduval.[16] The branch ultimately led to 3 trapped rooms: one with a javelin throwing mechanism, one where empty stone boxes would fall onto anyone stepping on an X, and one with a slashing pendulum.[14]

The trapped rooms to the east and the west had observation domes above them, where priests could congregate to watch adventurers die. These domes could also be used to climb up from the bottom, accessing the upper level.[14] [15]

Halls of the Upper Priesthood[]

As of the mid-14th century, there were about 3 giant spiders, 3 dervishes, 6 bandits, a cleric and a fighter[15] wandering together with the undead[17] in this level. The cleric had climbed up from the minotaur lair, while the fighter had arrived through the waterway. A paladin had been in the temple, cornered by eight ghouls after having challenged Munafik and finding him impossible to damage.[18]

The priests' cells contained a few valuables; the sword Bar-Ethel was in the East High Priest's Cell,[19] a bag with about 50 pounds of platinum lay in the West Hall,[20] and two potions of undead control against wights lay in the other priesthood cells.[19] The sword was guarded by 3 wraiths,[19] and 2 wraiths guarded the platinum.[20] A hollow pedestal held 150 pounds of silver.[20] One priest had carved messages into the walls, telling the story of Munafik.[19]

A room in the level held many plants, and a bronze bowl full of fruitflies, insects found nowhere else which mimicked the shape of fruits, tasted like such, and bolstered the strength and speed of those who managed to catch and eat them.[17] There was a room known as the Dome of Flight, where a device provided access into the Gauntlet level above, through gravity control. Four plants in the Dome of Flight room were grenade palms, whose abundant fruits were highly explosive.[17][20]

The level included several observation posts where the traps on the level beneath could be observed. There was also a trap, a statue of Amun-Re with a glass gem set on it, which would make a foghorn noise if the gem was removed. There was a trapdoor in front of the statue, which would drop anyone into the Minotaur Maze of the level beneath.[19]

Gauntlet Level[]

The level was patrolled by ghouls, wights, and wraiths under the orders of Munafik.[19] It was most easily accessed through the Dome of Flight in the lower level. There were very few rooms on this level, which was dominated by a long corridor where several trials barred the way to the True Tomb. The trials included two Chabang Men, magical constructs which multiplied if cut and were restored if struck with a blunt weapon; illusions of a wall of fire and a wall of stone, magical mirrors that created copies of those who were reflected in them, and an animated bronze statue of an arm with a fist, Munafik's pet fist. Munafik himself sat in a throne behind the bronze statue, and would only challenge those who bested his pet.[21]

As of the mid-14th century, a gnome named Prit had been excavating the pyramid with a spoon. One of the entrances to his tunnels was in the ledge of the Dome of Flight;[22] he had found a chamber where a clay golem guarded Munafik's heart; the mage could not be slain through damage so long as his heart was intact. The level also included a Libram of Ineffable Damnation, a room with manacles and Munafik's water bed.[23]

The path to the True Tomb was through a column of water, marked with a sigil of a question mark. Anyone asking a question would trigger a magical message, asking successively, "What is your name?" "What is your quest?" "On whose hallowed ground stand ye?" asking the next question in response to a truthful answer. Those who answered to the third question with "Amun-Re" would be asked to lay their hand on the water column. If they were not evil-aligned, the water would begin rising instead of falling; those who were evil were struck with a faint lightning.[23]

True Tomb[]

The True Tomb level consisted of four rooms, and was accessible through a waterway. Attempting to enter the water from this room, however, led to a tumultous journey through both the Grand Halls of the Pharaohs, which ended in them being spit out of the lion's mouth in the Dome of Flight.[24]

One of the rooms had a painting of a boat in the sky; the painting functioned as a portal sending anyone crossing it 10,000 ft (3,000 m) straight up, 30 ft (9.1 m) away from an actual boat immobilized in midair; the Star Gem of Mo-Pelar was held there. The Ruling Staff was held across the sarcophagus of Amun-Re, whose mummified body would attack intruders if they opened it. A statue of the pharaoh on the back of the room was actually a secret door to an alcove where someone armed with both the Star of Mo-Pelar and the Ruling Staff could teleport to the Meditation Room of the Temple.[24]

Appendix[]

Appareances[]

Adventures
Desert of Desolation

Notes[]

  1. Gold pieces in Desert of Desolation weigh 10 to a pound. Thus, a star ruby worth 1550 gp according to the book is actually worth 155 pounds of gold, or 7750 gp in future editions. As a star ruby is worth 5000 gp as a base value in later editions with coins 50 to a pound, the 7750 gp value is actually about half again the value of a normal star ruby. For the sake of remaining neutral with respect to editions, the treasures from Desert of Desolation are related here by their weight in precious metals rather than their amount in coins.

References[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 40. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  2. Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  3. Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 21. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 41. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 43. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  6. Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 43–44. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  7. Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 48. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 45. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 51. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 49. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  11. Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 49–50. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  12. Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 52. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  13. Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 51–52. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 53. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 54. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  16. Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 55. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  18. Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 59. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 58. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 56. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  21. Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 59–60. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  22. Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 60. ISBN 978-0880383974.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter Rice, William John Wheeler (May 1987). Desert of Desolation. (TSR, Inc.), p. 61. ISBN 978-0880383974.