View Full Version : [Isle] The Forbidden Island of Amohet

2008-01-15, 12:04 AM
The Forbidden Island of Amohet

“Day 13 (?), the Fifth Day of Autim, 1013 PE

When we began this expedition to find the tomb of Amohet, I had no idea what to expect. Our leader managed to acquire some of the scriptures and texts from Amohet’s kingdom, and from them we learned the way to access Amohet’s final resting place. It was an ingenious idea on the part of his priests and sorcerers: to hide his burial grounds within the desert itself, simultaneously part of and separate from the world. From what fragments of the ritual we managed to piece together, we discovered the secret to reaching this tomb. Now, more than anything, I wish we hadn’t found this island in the sand.”
-Excerpt from the log of Ezreal Windspeaker

Nearly twelve hundred years ago, a great empire ruled over the shifting desert lands known now as the Isotet Wastes. One of the greatest desert kings from the Isotet Empire was the pharaoh Amohet. Wise and clever, Amohet ruled his desert nation for well over fifty years. A decade before his passing, he ordered his priests and sorcerers to build him a tomb worthy of his legacy. He had only two decrees regarding his final resting place. The first was to make it impossible for thieves and other scoundrels to just simply wander upon it. Amohet wanted his burial grounds to be a place where only the respectful could trod. In addition, Amohet wished to have the ability to watch over his people forever from his tomb.

Amohet’s priests and sorcerers researched and planned for years, trying to decide on the best way to fulfill their pharaoh’s wishes. While they had many wards and incantations that could protect the tomb, they could not decide how to best allow the pharaoh to watch over his empire. Legend says that it was not a priest or sorcerer who finally came upon the solution, but a young slave boy. The youth, who was happening to refill the water jugs in the chambers where the planning was occurring, looked over the desert and wondered aloud if there was anywhere in their kingdom where the sand didn’t flow. With a start, the priests and sorcerers realized the perfect truth in the boy’s question: the desert was everywhere in their kingdom. If the burial grounds were part of the desert, then it would become the perfect vantage point.

After a year of construction, the pharaoh’s tomb was completed. It was a wonder to look at. A beautifully chiseled pyramid stood out against the desert landscape, surrounded on all sides by a bountiful oasis. A large circular stage of white limestone stood in the east, with a well-polished black obelisk gleaming in its center. Even the small shelter nearby was painted with various religious symbols and motifs. In the harsh desert, the tomb grounds were a paradise.

Many neighboring kingdoms and empires laughed at its design, as it appeared that the only defense for the tomb was a small guard shack residing near the pyramid and its grounds. When the pharaoh finally did pass away, his body was prepared as per tradition, sealed in its sarcophagus, and placed within the recess of the large pyramid in the center of the burial grounds. In addition, many treasures (magical and mundane) were placed within the pyramid’s walls, as well as various wards and traps to protect the pharaohs’ room. It was only when the last priest had moved away from the location that that the work of a hundred priests and sorcerers took effect. In a moment, as the sun began to set on that day of the ceremony, everything vanished. With a blinding flash and thunderous crack, the pyramid, the stage and the beautiful gardens disappeared from view, leaving only an enormous void in the shifting sand.

2008-01-15, 12:06 AM
“We’ve done it! The burial grounds have revealed themselves to us…and what impressive grounds they are. From what I could see, it appears that the island is the only solid bit of geography here. I can’t help but marvel at what kind of magics it took to conjure this place into being.”
-Excerpt from the log of Ezreal Windspeaker

The Lost Tomb of Amohet is located within the very shifting sands of the Isotet desert, existing within a pocket dimension that is bound to the desert itself. Within this dimension, little appears to have changed in the millennia since its construction. The island is forever caught in a moment of sunset. Despite the fact that the light never completely fades from view, time is not halted here. This is of course extremely disorienting for some, as it is completely impossible to judge how long one has been in the dimension without some sort of separate measurement system.

The tomb is now an island, forever surrounded by a sea of shimmering, dark blue quicksand. This quicksand contains no water, yet the dust and diminutive rocks that make up it function just as any other quicksand formed from water. One could even paddle through it, though the effort is far more exhausting that paddling through normal water. In every direction, it appears that great spires of sand have built up in the distance. Despite how it appears, there are no spires in the distance of the pocket dimension. In fact, any effort to approach these spires causes a small sandstorm to overtake the party. This sandstorm causes no damage, but quickly dissipates and deposits the party close to the island from the opposite direction that they came.

The island itself is a bountiful oasis, with strong reeds waving along its shores. Well over half a mile in diameter, it is the dominating landmass of the dimension. There are a variety of exotic fruits and root vegetables that grow wild in the lush gardens, including dates, melons, onions and lettuce. There is also a large field filled with barley and wheat to the east of the pyramid, separated by a pool of clear water. Even a few exotic foods can be found on the island, such as tomatoes and carrots. However, these foods are entirely located near the guard station, in a well-maintained garden. Oddly enough, any food or water consumed reappears within the following twenty-four hours, though perhaps on another part of the island.

Despite the lush flora, there is no wild animal life on the island. Rather, the dominating “wildlife” are phantasmal images of scarab and dragonfly swarms that fly lazily in the sky from one section of the island to another. Though these ghostly insects react to the environment like any other creature, they are completely immaterial and can not be harmed. If attacked the swarm simply shimmers away from view and reappears elsewhere on the island. The scarab swarms tend to stay closer to the pyramid, while the dragonfly swarms seem to favor the shores.

2008-01-15, 12:07 AM
“He was the strangest person I’ve ever seen, and I honestly can’t blame him. Over a thousand years, bound to a single island? I’m surprised he hasn’t been reduced to a babbling husk of a man.”
-Excerpt from the log of Ezreal Windspeaker

CN Human Expert 10
The island is home to only a few living residents, as well as a few that do not live. The most vocal and erratic is a man who refers to himself as Pasher. Though Pasher is appears in his early twenties, he is even older than the island on which he resides. Prone to speaking in the third person, Pasher is no threat to anyone to happens to locate the island. In fact, he rather enjoys having someone new to speak to.

In the days leading the completion of the pharaoh’s tomb, Pasher scouted the area around the tomb, looking for a way in. He, like many others, believed the tomb to be unguarded, making it an irresistible target for his thieving ways. On the day of the burial ceremony, Pasher hid within the guard station, which was oddly empty. To his amazement and confusion, he disappeared along with the island when the magic of the grounds took effect. Pasher now lives in the guard station, and has converted it into a fairly comfortable home.

Pasher enjoys (and loathes) a rather special quality on the island: immortality. Like the flora that grows on the island, Pasher returns to life within twenty-four hours if killed. His corpse simply crumbles into sand if slain and reforms elsewhere on the island. Sadly, this immortality has prevented Pasher from ever attaining eternal peace.

CG Male androsphinx
Arch is the only other living inhabitant of the island. Like Pasher, Arch is also immortal, and shares all the same benefits of the islands power. Unlike Pasher, Arch has retained his sanity. Arch is charged with the protection of the black obelisk that is so close to the island. His reason for doing is obvious, once one learns of the obelisk’s divination magic. Since the obelisk allows Arch to study and learn from the outside world, he is content to sit in front of it and contemplate the images of the outside world.

Arch is quite willing to tutor anyone on how to utilize the obelisk, as long as they are capable of answering one of his difficult riddles. In the case that they party is unable to answer the riddle, DMs may want to allow a DC 15 Intelligence check for an out-of-character hint. Characters with more than 5 ranks in Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history) or Knowledge (religion) recieve a +2 bonus on this check.

The few remaining inhabitants of the grounds are the elite sentries that remain stationed at Amohet’s pyramid, all of which now exist as mummies. Unlike normal mummies, their funeral wrappings appear clean and new, and they smell of incense and perfumes. There are four standard mummies that guard the pyramid. Two stand guard at the pyramid’s entrance. The remaining two are stationed outside of the doors that lead to the treasure room and Amohet’s tomb. These two mummies are also joined by a mummy lord. None of the mummies will attack unless one tries to desecrate or steal from the pyramid. Other beings are even free to enter the pyramid, but are forbidden from entering the treasure room or beyond. Unlike normal mummies, these guards are lawful neutral. Like Arch and Pasher, the mummies scatter to a sandy state if defeated and reform twenty-four hours later.

The only other creature on the island is a well-preserved flesh golem that is wrapped in funeral wrappings and decorated with golden leaf. It is composed of the willing parts of several powerful soldiers in Amohet’s forces, and animated by the willing spirit of one of his high priests. While the golem retains no knowledge of its past life, it retains a spark of intelligence (as per standard flesh golem, but with an Intelligence of 1 and without the beserk ability [CR 8]). The golem can not speak or understand spoken language, but can understand basic gestures. This powerful construct wanders the grounds surrounding the temple, protecting it from thieves. If the golem happens upon Pasher, it will immediately attack Pasher and anyone allied with him until all are slain (temporarily as it may be) or flee. Why the golem attacks so readily is not really understood by anyone save Pasher, and he refuses to talk about it.

2008-01-15, 12:08 AM
“There must be more to that obelisk than the sphinx is letting on. If only my compatriots would let me question him more. He might be the key to finally leaving his place.”
-Excerpt from the log of Ezreal Windspeaker

There are only three structures on the entire lost island. The first is Pasher’s home, the guard shack. It is a simple clay and stone structure, rectangular with a rounded corners. It is decorated on the outside with various religious symbols from the time of the Isotet Empire, though a few seem to have been broken in frustration. It is filled with fruits and vegetables, unleavened bread, and vases of beer. A small reed mat serves as his bed. There are a few mundane tools and equipment in the shack, but nothing of any real value. Curiously, the roof of the building is covered in scribbles in the ancient Isotet language, which repeat something along the lines of “The sphinx knows” over and over.

The second structure is the circular stage on which the obelisk stands. The stage itself it roughly fifty feet in diameter, with the black stone obelisk in the center, standing roughly twenty feet tall. Every part of the structure appears to be made of some sort polished granite. The obelisk itself is covered in a variety of runes, glyphs, and pictograms, not all of which are in the Isotet language. A successful DC 25 Knowledge (History) checks allows a person to read some of the text on the structure, which describes how the obelisk can be used as a scrying tool. A DC 35 Knowledge (History) shows a person exactly how the obelisk can be used. By staring into the polished surface and picturing a location that borders or is within the boundaries of the Isotet desert, the user can view the location as if it was a reflection within obelisk (as per the Clairvoyance spell cast by a 20th level caster). This power does not extend to anyone else happening to look over the user’s shoulder or the same spot on the obelisk, and only someone who can successfully make the Knowledge check can use the obelisk (save Arch, who appears to be attuned to it). If Arch assists someone in using the obelisk, that being gets a +5 circumstance bonus on their Knowledge check.

The final (and most important structure) is Amohet’s pyramid. Standing at nearly 150 feet in height, the pyramids chiseled walls dominate the landscape. On the eastern side of the pyramid lies a set of stairs, which lead 100 feet up to the pyramid’s entrance. A pair of mummies stand guard at the entryway. Upon crossing the threshold, there is another spiraling set of stairs, which lead almost 80 feet back down the pyramid. These stairs end in a small chamber, which is guarded by the remaining mummy guards and mummy lord. A great door lies beyond them, which has a warning written in a variety of languages. They all read as follows:

“Let none pass through these hallowed doors
Nor disturb the rest of our king.
Be warned thieves and pretenders
There lies more than treasures beyond these gates.
Take nothing but memories from these rooms
Lest all you hold dear depart into dust.”

Should anyone manage to get past the guards (which will permanently label you as enemies in their eyes for the rest of your days), they are greeted by a great hall filled with golden idols, bottles of wines and water, beautifully preserved furniture, art, and ceremonial swords and armor. There are three +1 scimitars, which hang on the north wall, above the doorway leading to the pharaoh’s chamber. Easily anything in the room is worth several hundred gold, with a total value of 60,000 gp within the room. However, the warning on the door is very real. If anyone attempts to remove anything from the treasure room (save the guards, whom return the items immediately), they are immediately subject to a powerful curse (no save). As long as the curse remains in effect, it is impossible for the cursed individual to hold on to worldly possessions for long. Anything worth 1 sp or more in value will turn to sand within a minute of being in their possession, save food and water. Only magical items created by a caster of 16th level or higher are immune, and their powers and abilities are nullified while held by the cursed individual. There are only two ways to remove the curse. One is to return anything stolen from the treasure room, as well as something of value from their person (anything worth more than 200 gp will do). In addition, this person must bow in front of the pharaoh’s chambers (which reside just beyond the treasure room) and swear an oath to never steal another object again. If this oath is broken, the curse returns. Beyond that, only a casting of miracle, wish, or a remove curse spell (by a 16th level caster) can break the curse. Pasher is aware of the curse and will tell anyone how to break it if asked.

Amohet’s tomb itself is fairly plain compared to the treasure. Consisting of a single, gold sarcophagus, it lays within a chambered covered in various religious symbols and pictographs. The sarcophagus is worth a great deal of money (30,000 gp), but carries the same curse as the treasure room (but with no way of removing it save via a casting of miracle or wish).

The only method of removing treasure from the room is to replace what is taken with something or equal or greater value in material cost. For example, taking some of the pieces of art in the room (worth 500-700 gp) would require leaving behind some equipment or gold that is worth 500-700 gp. This is actually a rather nice trade off, as the sculptures have a much higher collectable value than their material value would indicate (owing to their age and condition).

2008-01-15, 12:10 AM
“A boat? The incantations I understand. The services of priests as well. But a boat? Why would anyone need to bring a boat into the desert to reach Amohet’s tomb?”
-Excerpt from the log of Ezreal Windspeaker

In addition to the aforementioned curses and peculiarities, the island has several amazing secrets. Perhaps its greatest secret is its existence, which baffles researchers and treasure hunters to this day. The only manner to reach Amohet’s island is to follow a very specific ritual, which requires a successful DC 20 Knowledge (History) or DC 25 Knowledge (religion) check or Knowledge (arcane) check to discover. There are X steps in the ritual, which are as follows.
• The party must march into the desert for one entire day, beginning at sunrise and stopping as the sun sets.
• By the time the party has stopped, they must have traveled at least four miles and must be at least two miles from the closest city or village.
• The party must have brought along a water-faring vessel, such as a boat, which they all should climb into.
• Someone with the ability to turn or rebuke the undead must raise a symbol of one of gods that Amohet revered and channel one of their turn/rebuke attempts into the symbol as the sun sets in the distant west.
• Another person must chant prayers, songs or rituals from the era of the Isotet Empire. These rituals require no great knowledge or expertise to say, and are known upon the successful Knowledge check that discovered the ritual.
The ritual is complete as long as the speaker is chanting as the sun sets in the horizon. At the point where it is half-way set, there is a blinding flash and loud crack. The party immediately finds themselves in Amohet’s domain. Anyone who was within 5 feet of the boat (but not in it) is also brought along, but immediately finds themselves sinking in the quicksand.

Unlike coming to the island, leaving the island is near impossible. Most people go mad from trying to leave the island and either die from old age or throwing themselves into the quicksand. Anyone who can answer one of Arch’s riddles is let on to a special secret regarding the obelisk: it can teleport anyone off of Amohet’s island and back to the outside world. However, it requires a great sacrifice: five years of life from anyone who wants to leave. In addition, such an individual must be capable of utilizing the obelisk, which requires a DC 35 Knowledge (History) check. One person can use the obelisk to send anyone back to the outside world, but that user is the one to pay the cost for each “passenger”. Therefore, if one person uses the obelisk to move himself and two party members, he would lose fifteen years of his life force (gaining all penalties and bonuses as well). Anyone who is teleported off the island in this manner immediately appears in the last pace the obelisk was used to view. If this would prove impossible (due to confined spaces or change in geography), then they appear as close to the location as possible from the east.

For every being that a person “ferries” back into the real world other than themselves, the user is granted a permanent +1 luck bonus to AC and saves per person “ferried”, as divine reward for such self-sacrifice. This benefit is not known until after the user leaves the island.

“It took me two months to leave that island, and I’ll never forget the wonders I saw. I am only sad that it claimed the lives of almost all my compatriots. We are now a little older (quite a bit older, in my case), but much wiser. I am content to let Amohet enjoy his slumber undisturbed, for the rest of time...”
-Final excerpt from the log of Ezreal Windspeaker


1) A weathly collector hired another team of adventurers to locate and bring back some relics of Amohet's tomb. It has been three months since anyone has seen or heard of them. The PCs have been hired to find out what happened to the team, and to bring back any relics they may find.

2) An old friend of the PCs has fallen violently ill, and no healing magics have helped cure the ailment. There is supposedly a vase of wine in Amohet's tomb that can cure any disease and remove any affliction. However, it is protected by its ancient curse. Can the PCs find a way of obtaining the wine without invoking Amohet's wrath?

2008-01-15, 12:14 AM
Whew. Been a while since I entered one of these. Well, I'ma off to register this sucker.