Dragons of the Sun

Episode 3 - Maze of Honor

Tomb Raiding!

15th day of Descending Wood, 768th year of the Reign of the Scarlet Empress

On the road south through the Summer Mountains

While relieving himself after lunch, Tefari manages to jump out of the way of a sudden sink hole that opens up beneath him. Closer inspection reveals it to open onto a large chamber, where the shadows of large statues can be seen. Both Tefari and Sela feel a slight tug to investigate the cavern further.

The Solars descend into the chamber to find eight huge statues of a man with the mark of a Dawn Caste Solar on his brow, two in each corner of the large room. The dried, ancient bodies of four would-be tomb robbers are found within the chamber as well. Two in the rubble of a dead-fall under the place the sinkhole opened up, one beneath a large slab blocking what they guess is the “proper” door to the chamber, and a fourth curled up against the wall, a knife stuck into it’s chest.

The walls of the chamber tell of Gunslan, a young man who became Anathema during the wars after their fall. Gunslan led a rebellion against General Dagat Shan, starting with guerrilla tactics against General Dagat’s army for two years before he managed to deceive enough followers to field a proper army and meet General Dagat in open war. It took General Dagat a year to confront Gunslan, but when the two finally met in battle, General Dagat struck Gunslan down. Still, the young man had proved resourceful, and grown enough in power that General Dagat had the tomb built to honor the fallen Gunslan as well as keep his tainted soul trapped.

Knowing now whose tomb they were in, the solars head through the doorway to the east – and the stairs leading down to a maze of tunnels. Nisha lead the other solars easily through the tunnels, disabling most of the traps – though she was distracted at one point, falling victim to a spray of salt-acid. And other traps could not be disabled, only avoided such as the halls of bird-like darts or the one hall lined with dragons ready to spout jets of flame at anyone who made the mistake of setting them off. Even the hall where the roots came alive to strangle those who would make the mistake of trying to get past them for the sake of a simple golden statue – okay, one with a diamond the size of a walnut – did not tempt her into foolishness. That was provided by Djoh, who grabbed a root with the plan of making a torch, and by Tefari, who danced around the roots to get the statue for Nisha.

Finally, the Solars arrive at the treasure chamber at the heart of the maze. There, twelve mummified soldiers stand ready to attack any who would get so far – except the ghosts of those soldiers had long since passed on to Lethe, leaving the mummies inert.

Past the treasure chambers were the burial chambers of Gunslan and of his family. His wife and children committed suicide upon learning of Gunslan’s death, refusing General Dagat’s offer of mercy.

Here, the story on the walls portrays Gunslan as a tragic hero, who made a deal with a demon in order to protect his village, and then was betrayed by the demon when he refused to give in to the demon’s dark appetites. Presumably this alternate tale was here to keep the spirit of Gunslan calm.

After working together to remove the lid of the stone sarcophagus, the solars found Gunslan entombed with a golden bow that belonged to a previous life of Sela, and the cloak woven for a previous life of Tefari.

Djoh quickly constructed a simple wagon, and the solars removed the other treasures from Gunslan’s tomb… only for Djoh to realize he didn’t have a lot of use for gold or jewels beyond their monetary value. Still, now with a wagon of loot to be pulled, the solars continued their journey in pursuit of the Necromancer who killed their Sifu.

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