I swear, they crossed the opening and went down the stair. I heard their screams almost immediately and I turned and fled. I will never utter their names again, lest the Forgotten Pharaoh’s curse finds me and drags me into oblivion with them…
Pathfinder Encounters: Halls of the Forgotten Pharaoh
Beneath the desert set in the sandstone mines a tomb was once carved for a Pharaoh that was despised. His tomb was sealed over with large slabs of sandstone by the miners so that he was anonymous to history. A small script was added to the entrance lintel warning that any that removed the slabs of sandstone would fall to the same fate as the Pharaoh and be forgotten.
That was the case until the sandstone mines, long abandoned, became the hideout of a group of tomb robbers. The tale on the lintel was like fuel to a fire and the slabs were removed deep in the heart of the mine. The gang never returned from the tomb with their treasures. In fact their discovery has long gone unnoticed until one day a group of adventurers find the broken pieces of the sandstone slabs on the entrance of the entry chamber. The words above the entrance warn them of suffering the same fate of the “Forgotten Pharaoh”. Is this warning enough to keep them away? Only time will tell.
The Halls of the Forgotten Pharaoh is a mini-adventure site suitable for a party of four characters of 5th level. Ideally the party should include one rogue as there are traps included in the mini-adventure.
- Entrance Chamber: Dust and sand lays thick on the polished marble floor. A stairway descends sharply to the East as three stylised busts of Gods stand flanking the stairway. Two to the North and one to the South. The one to the South appears to once have had a partner but it has been smashed into rubble at the most Southern portion of the wall. There is not enough of it left to determine which God it once represented. The three gods that are left depend on the gods that you use for your campaign but one should represent a god/dess of death, a god/dess of judgement and the one that stands in front of the secret door (actually is a secret door) is a god/dess of travel or transport or freedom. the destroyed god/dess if repaired magically will be an evil god/dess. The secret door can be founds with a perception (DC 15) check. The bust slides out like a door opening up to the tight steep staircase that descends to the column chamber below.
- Column Chamber CR 5: On either side of the vaulted hall with polished marble floors stand 5 columns on opposite sides of the hall reaching to the roof tiled to display a stylised sun thirty feet above you. At the Eastern end of the chamber staring back at you is a tall statue of a female warrior with her hands place on the pommel of a sword, the tip of the sword resting on the ground between her feet. To the North, almost halfway along the length of the hall a single door gilded with gold rests as the only exit beside the stairway to the West.
The secret stairway to the South simply opens out of the wall, the marble panel is on runners. It is much harder to spot from this room requiring a Perception (DC 25) check. The secret door behind the statue is opened by pressing an indentation in the marble wall on that size that looks like an imperfection in the marble. This makes it easier to spot with a Perception (DC 17) check to spot and activate.
The statue is in fact a Carayatid Column (CR 3) whose statistic block can be found in the Beastiary 3 or from here. The column remains inert unless any person walks past it to investigate the depression in the wall. It is here to protect the Pharoah’s treasures. It will fight until destroyed.
The doorway to the North of the chamber is guarded by an Acid Arrow trap (CR 3) that can be found in the core rulebook or located here. The trap triggers the moment that someone stands directly in front of the door shooting from the door itself. This gives the trap an actual +4 total bonus for its ranged touch attack due to the point blank nature of the shot. The door has no lock on it and swings open to the Lore room in the North on well oiled hinges.
- The Lore Room: On every wall of this room a pictograph script is written displaying realms of information. There is nothing else in this room apart from a gilded golden door to the South and a Rosewood door in the Western wall with the carving of a jackal-headed human with an ankh hung around its neck and a shepherd’s crook grasped in its right hand.
The script is the language of the Pharaoh – e.g. Osirin in a Golarian game, ancient Egyptian in our own world. The script has the story of the Forgotten Pharaoh and the reasons why he was so hated by the populace if it can be read. You can add in whatever information you want here but one thing does not appear and that is the name of the Pharaoh. This is the room where you can link whatever you want from your campaign into the forgotten Pharaoh’s own and provide them some added knowledge to whatever brought them here. For this reason the room is a blank slate for you.
The rosewood door was a gift from the forgotten Pharaoh to his Queen and was anointed with the blood of a thousand slaves so that their life would blind the eyes of the Gods of Death and they would live in eternity. It worked unfortunately too well for the Pharaoh and his queen. It leads to the Sarcophagus Chamber.
- The Sarcophagus Chamber CR 7: Despite being a forgotten Pharaoh the trappings in this chamber are opulent. Marble shines as though it was polished this very morning and two gilded sarcophagi lay on plinths to the Northern end of the room side by side. The decals on each denote a young male, presumably the Pharaoh and a raven haired beauty, his Queen perhaps, together in the cold heart of the chamber. Your throat catches as you see the lid of each suddenly lift and get shunted to the side, the bandage wrapped corpses sitting up in their final resting place… That is right! Mummy fight! The Mummy can be found in the original Bestiary or from here. The Mummies are those of the forgotten Pharaoh and his Queen and they will fight to the death. They hope that the combined aura of despair will take hold to allow them easy escape from the sarcophagi and then they each focus on individual tomb robbers until they are all dead or they are defeated. The sarcophagi are the only item of treasure in here and are worth around 1500 GP each but weigh a ton each, largely being made up of lead, stone and gold.
- The Treasure Chamber CR 5: You enter through the panel from the West and see a plinth, on top of which sits a chest made of fine metals and covered in pictograph’s of rare beauty. A solid locking mechanism on the chest is shut tight and whatever has been laid down here with the forgotten Pharaoh is hidden inside. The fine marble wall stretches all around the room apart from in the North Eastern corner where it opens up into a natural cave entrance. Marble litters the ground around this entrance as though something once broke into this chamber.
The only danger in here is from the trap on the chest. Attached to the locking mechanism is a falling block trap that triggers to drop large marble slabs from the roof down on would be tomb robbers. The only safe place from this is actually on top of the chest. The falling block trap is in the Core rule book or can be accessed here. The lock is an average lock and requires a Disable Device (DC 25) to open once the trap has been dealt with or triggered.
Treasure: 431 GP, 2013 SP, 6 emeralds of varying colour (20 GP each), +1 suit of fortified armor (suitable type for one of your players), potion of haste, potion of cure light wounds, stone of weight. All of these items can be found in the Core rule book – the stone of weight is a specific cursed item.
- Nest CR 5: The cave does not travel long before opening into a low roofed cavern standing only around 8 feet high. A natural spring bubbles up to the South of the cavern and to the North a hole leading down into a creatures tunnel is apparent. Standing before the hole are the two creatures that use this as their nest. Two giant scorpions react to your presence, one is coated in its brood of babies that crawl all over it and stands behind the other which is the more aggressive of the two. Two giant scorpions nest here and currently have their brood to defend meaning they will fight to the depth. Their statistics are in the original Bestiary or can be found here. This chamber has never been entered by anyone but the scorpions. They do not go to the treasure room anymore as it holds neither food, water or comfort for them. Those fighting with any weapon that requires two hands are considered to be fighting as though they are squeezing in the space (-4 to hit) but do not take the -4 penalty to AC.
I hope you get to use this adventure. Please note that this map has been inspired by a Basic Dungeons and Dragons adventure from the Eighties. The content is my own. Keep rolling!