Leaving the frigid room where they fought the arcane arbelest and hammering statues the party finds yet another hallway ending in another pair of immense doors. These doors have a large warhammer over a shield carved into their face. At the foot of the doors lies a body. Upon closer inspection the party finds a gnoll lying at the foot of the doors, one clawed hand still clinging to an iron pull ring set into the door. The gnoll is alive but his breathing is ragged and he does not appear conscious. A quick assessment determines the was likely poisoned by a trap in the door. The poison is weak though (likely due to age) and Todd is able to stabilize the gnoll and eventually he regains consciousness. The party learns that the gnoll’s name is Kar’tesh and he is the last surviving member of his party. They also learn that at the rift room the gnolls simply scaled the device spanning the rift and crossed over the top, thereby avoiding (and not even knowing of) the undead waiting to ambush them. At the lava room they determined they were fighting a losing battle and a number of them stayed behind to battle the elementals while the rest ventured on. Finally at the ice room Kar’tesh was able to cross the room and exited the far entrance before the trap was sprung, sealing him into the hallway and the rest of his group in with the arcane arbelest. Kar’tesh though does not seem particularly upset at having lost his entire party saying only that they “did their duty and there is nothing to mourn”. Human McRogue seems to take an instant liking to Kar’tesh and lobbies the rest of the party to allow him to join them, he agrees to assist the party in finding a way out of Bastet.
Human McRogue disarms the trap and unlocks the door into the next area.
The doors open into darkness, the party cannot see very far into the room, they venture forth into the darkness. They soon come across a stone statue of a dwarf sitting on a throne. A loud voice that seems to emenate from the room itself intone “Who disturbs the War Master of Bastet?”. Before the party can answer the statue begins to move, it stands up from it’s stone throne and attacks the party. It leaps through the air, covering the distance between it and the party in a blink of the eye and smashes it’s stone hammer on the floor. Thunder rushes outward from the blow, injuring all party members nearby. After a few minutes of fierce fighting the party reduces the stone dwarf to rubble and breath a sigh of relief, thinking their ordeal over. In the darkness though they again hear the hollow booming of drums. The carved reliefs on the wall have animated, they strike their drums calling forth more ancient protectors. Areas of the relief that displayed fierce warriors prepared for battle burst forth revealing hidden alcoves underneath which secreted the bodies of ancient warriors. These animated remains shamble out of their recesses, they are shriveled as if mummified by thousands of years of desert heat. They wear rotting loin clothes and bear spears whose tips burn with a white radiance. The party rushes to engage them only to find out to their dismay that they are basically walking bombs, every time the party fells on it explodes in a thunderous detonation injuring all around. The dwarf Rikstout is brought nearly to the brink of death by these explosions. As soon as the final mummy is dispatched a fierce wind whips through the room, rubble begins to swirl around the place where the War Master fell. The stone begins to meld together, the true aspect of the War Master of Bastet is revealed in the form of a 20 foot tall stone golem. This time the battle is not as easy, the War Master hurls stones at those he cannot reach and swings a great stone club around him, brutalizing all who venture to near. During the battle the party ventures to an area of the room they had not previously seen and find great war machines, trebuchets, waiting for a war that never came. For a moment they hope they can use these siege engines to battle the war master but that thought is soon dashed as they find the trebuchets will take too long to prepare for battle (besides the fact that trebuchets are not meant for short range assaults). With things looking grim, Todd mortally wounded and most of the rest of the party on the brink, Kar’tesh raises his kopesh in the air and intones some sort of ritual in gnollish, his kopesh seems to reflect some unseen light for a moment and he strikes the War Master a vicous blow that leaves it vulnerable to the parties attacks. They assault it with renewed vigor with Kar’tesh finally landing a killing blow, the War Master crumbles again and does not rise. Hairy McShifter recalls hearing during Kar’tesh’s attack the name “”/campaign/atum-ra-ascendant/wikis/atum-ra" class=“wiki-page-link”> Atum-Ra" which raises the parties suspicions. The party rests in the War Masters room before scaling a fissure in the wall at the top of which they are finally free of Bastet. During all this time Kar’tesh has been carrying a rather full looking pack that he has never let out of his sight.
At the top of the fissure the party find Imkatep, a drifter the original caravan the party was sent to find picked up along the way from Tyr. He appears to have set up camp and been waiting for the party. When questioned about what he is doing here he says he was waiting for them. When asked how he knew where to wait he enigmatically points to the sky and says “He” told me. Generally considered by the caravan to be a sun-addled drifter the party accepts this explanation and sets out to return to Ramet. Imkatep informs them that the rest of the caravan had already continued on ahead of them a few days prior.
Upon coming within sight of the city walls of Ramet Kar’tesh takes his leave of the party, stating only that it would be better for them if they were not seen entering the city together. The party tries to convince him to come with them or at least give them a better explanation than that. He grows exasperated with their pestering and shakes his kopesh at them saying incredulously “do you not know what this means?” indicating his weapon. They don’t. They give up and leaving him on the road head into the city. They make straight for the Jarresh compound where the now delirious halfling is whisked away by the compounds physician. The rest of the party is welcomed by Zanril who offers them the comforts of his compund for a few days while they recover. Zanril rewards them with 50 bold bits each as well as 200 gb of “favours” by the Jarresh Consortium (no, not those kinds of favours). At a meal that evening the party recounts their adventure to Zanril, he questions Human McRogue a bit but gets no more information than he has given the party. He also opinions that the gnoll the party met may have been a member of the Sekar, the royal guard of Ramet who all bear very a finely made kopesh as one of their symbols of office.
The next day Human McRogue sets off to wrap up some unfinished business. The party tries to follow him but he easily loses them. He travels into Ut-Ramet in search of prior employers, after some searching and bribing of a very frightened street urchin he finds their offices ransacked and signs of a struggle. The street urchin reveals that the people there were taken away by the Sekar a few weeks ago.