Summary

Most of the Party have made it into Hannibal's tomb, but the trials aren't over yet and Bertie and Tjelvar must face the dangers within if they wish to find the promised historical artifacts. Meanwhile, Eddie is cold.

Synopsis

Nothing happens as Eddie grabs the hand. Tjelvar tells him to wait there for them though Eddie does not. Tjelvar and Bertie decide to go further into the tomb and leave Eddie to his own devices. As they travel further down into the tomb, they find a bare stone hallway with a set of steps down. When they reach the bottom of the stairs, they can see a room at the end of the hallway with an altar, likely to be a sarcophagus. There is a patch at the beginning of the hallway where the stone is different from the rest of the room. It is glowing silver and obviously magical.

Tjelvar immediately decides it's a trap. Bertie takes out his Artemis and Apollo tokens and asks them with a lot of words, for help. Bertie charges forward and an ear piercing scream sounds, giving the two of them sonic damage. They both begin to hear whispers in Latin. To Bertie, they whisper about Tjelvar's imminent desire to attack and kill Bertie and the only way to survive is to attack and kill him. Bertie is overcome with the desire to attack Tjelvar and begins shouting about Tjelvar stealing his destiny whilst drawing his sword.

Tjelvar leaps forward across the plate and attempts to roll off of it putting him out of Bertie's range of attack. Tjelvar finds he cannot speak in anything but babble. Bertie charges Tjelvar, landing a hit, and a section of floor opens up. Bertie manages to catch himself, falling backwards rather than into the newly opened pit but Tjelvar falls.

After the first round of combat, they are once again effected by the whispers but Bertie is now compelled to babble incoherently and Tjelvar is now compelled to hurt himself. Tjelvar falls again, knocking himself out. After 6 seconds, they are able to act freely once again and Bertie removes his armor to climb across the gap. He succeeds and then puts his armor back on.

Bertie tosses the Artemis and Apollo symbols forward one at a time to check the floor for traps. They both trigger traps, but the trap seems to be unloaded. He spots a tiny pile of rusted arrows in a corner, and leans in to pat his foot ahead of him to trigger arrows before he leans forward into the space. Only one arrow fires and misses him.

Reaching the room, Bertie finds a sarcophagus and finery scattered along the edges of the room.

Bertie kneals down in front of the sarcophagus and announces loudly while twirling a finger in the air. Eventually he starts pounding on the sarcophagus in impatience.

"There you are Hannibal. Champion of Carthage. Protector of Civilization. Heir to the Greatest Heroes of the Bygone Age. I who seek to be your heir have proven myself worthy of your lineage. I mean, look at that blooming mess behind me. That's feeble, that was. Hm. Look how well I've done. Come on! Come on! Open up, hey? Destiny, hm, Destiny! Come on, let's have you, Hm!"

The sarcophagus finally opens, only to reveal it is empty. Well mostly. A small glow begins in the center of the room and a small piece of paper lifts into the air. As if from the paper, Bertie hears a voice in his head speaking in English.

Dearest Gottfried,

I'm afraid that once again you have failed to best me. I have reached this tomb first as I preceded you to so many other discoveries. If only you could finally admit that your quest to best me will never be fulfilled and retire from your foolish endeavours. I'm sure you'll be a great deal happier. I'm sure that your university would love to have you occupy a teaching position. But since you insist on continuing, I would like to continue demonstrating my superiority. The artifacts that I have discovered in the sarcophagus are intriguing. The enchantments laced into them certainly indicate that the ancients had knowledge ahead of us in some areas. Oh, we, by which I mean I, have certainly advanced past them in others. Thanks in large parts to the efforts of myself. My findings shall be accompanying me back to Prague where I shall derive great enjoyment from unlocking their secrets. Secrets that I'm afraid, once again, you shall never learn. For if I am to see further than other men, it shall be by standing on the shoulders of the giants from the Age of Heroes, not by collaborating and consorting with the pipsqueaks you seem so eager to spend time with. Which brings me on to my gift to you. I have left behind in this tomb a trinket that I'm sure you will appreciate. I believe it can only enhance the level of conversation available to you given the intellectual abilities of your associates. Perhaps it can assist you with the charms you seem so fond of churning out. My researches on Homer's tomb continue at pace and I have reason to suspect the treasure contained within will eclipse even this discovery I've made here today. If you hope to beat me there, you really must work harder and faster. Be wonderful to finally have a challenge but I fear that even you despite your potential will be unable to keep up with me

Your colleague,

Isaac

After delivering the message, the note drifts slowly back into the tomb.

Bertie, of course, is absolutely furious by this discovery. With a search, Bertie does find a fold circlet with a lion on the band. He recognizes this as the Circlet of Command. Bertie does not put it on because he suspects it will be cursed. He also grabs some handfuls of jewels that he thinks will not be traceable back to the tomb.

Bertie returns to the hall to find the pit Tjelvar is in slowly raising to level with the floor.

Outside, Eddie has been smashing the frieze into pieces in a vain attempt to get inside. As Eddie takes a breather, a line appears in the door and Eddie is able to stick his hands in to open the door.

Eddie quickly heals Tjelvar back to conciousness. Now joined by his compatriots, Bertie shows them Hannibal's empty tomb. Tjelvar notices that the floor bears scorch marks. They realize that the historic mage, Isaac Newton, found the tomb long ago and simply didn't tell anyone. He also realizes that the Gottfried addressed in the letter is likely Gottfried Leibniz, his long time rival.

Ed's singing. Art by @ravensablackfeather on tumblr. Used with permission.

Bertie sends Ed to sing to himself in a corner while he and Tjelvar discuss their findings. Eddie does so and sings a splendid rendition of "Lalala lalala lalalala I'm not listening, I can't hear what the grownups are saying ft. Apollo (what a guy)" to the wall.

Bertie and Tjelvar decide to leave the fact that the tomb had been found prior to their own discovery to themselves. Tjelvar asks after the "gift" mentioned and when Bertie produces the Circlet, Tjelvar recognizes it. Tjelvar then tells Bertie that it should be in a museum and that the museum would likely pay Bertie for it. Bertie briefly tries to sell Tjelvar on keeping it himself to wear. Tjelvar convinces him that it would be worth more to him in the hands of professionals, and that Bertie would likely get credited for the discovery.

Eddie, wrapped up in his song, attempts to pull the other into his song, but they turn him down so he drifts back into his song as Bertie rhapsodizes about where the circlet will be displayed and the recognition it will bring him. Bertie determines the circlet will go to Trinity college and Tjelvar will be the new MacGuffingham scholar with a seat in "Very Wise and Handsome Studies." Tjelvar turns down the offer but does agree to make arrangements for the sale of the circlet to Trinity College for a sum that will help fund his future endeavours.

Eddie offers to be the middleman as he is a paladin and therefore cannot break a vow without losing his connection to his god.

Before he can hand the circlet off, Bertie hear the voice of Oscar Wilde within his head, alerting him that his friends "Little Hamid especially" are in a "spot of bother" and could use his help back in Paris. This is the Wildest oversimplification but does set Bertie to making arrangements to return to Paris to rejoin the main party. Tjelvar and Bertie grab some more loot from the tomb and follow Eddie outside for a bit before realizing he's going in the wrong direction.

As they do not have to go the way they came, they reach town much easier than they left. When approaching the town, they see a gyrocopter.

Eddie takes the circlet to deliver to Trinity College and warns Bertie that he is treading a fine line between good and evil. Bertie pretends to take this under advisement while actually just flirting with Eddie. Excited, Eddie tries to bring Bertie to Friedrich as a convert. Friedrich insists that Eddie must finish his oath to see the evils of Rome before he delivers the Circlet. Eddie and Friedrich swear to not lose or damage the circlet and deliver it as promised after they do their pilgrimage.

Under Eddie's insistence to help, Friedrich tells Bertie to ask Oliver, the owner of the gyrocopter, for a ride to Paris.

Tjelvar pushes Bertie to instead let him take the Circlet directly to Trinity college and Bertie agrees. The paladins hand it off and so it is headed directly to Trinity.

The party splits there, with each headed off in their respective directions.

Quotes

Dice rolls and Mechanics

Tjelvar makes a dungeoneering roll: 8

Bertie and Tjelvar make fort saves: Bertie gets 16, Tjelvar gets 8. They both take 13 points of sonic damage.

Bertie and Tjelvar make will saves: Bertie gets 3, Tjelvar gets 9

Bertie and Tjelvar roll a d4: Bertie gets 4, and is compelled to attack Tjelvar; Tjelvar gets 1

Bertie and Tjelvar roll a d4: Bertie gets 4, and is compelled to attack Tjelvar; Tjelvar gets 2

Bertie attacks Tjelvar: hits on a 23, deals 5 damage.

Bertie and Tjelvar make reflex saves: Bertie gets 20, Tjelvar gets 10

Bertie and Tjelvar roll a d4: Bertie gets 2, Tjelvar gets 3. Bertie deals 4 damage to himself

Tjelvar stabilises.

Bertie makes a climb check: 19

Bertie makes a perception check: 17

Ed heals Tjelvar with Lay On Hands: heals 13 damage

Everyone makes a perception check: Bertie gets 3, Tjelvar gets 25, Ed gets10

Bertie does a perception check for gnomes: 5

Bertie and Tjelvar take 10 to write specific instructions for Ed.

Ed casts Lay on Hands: heals Bertie for 14, himself for 18

Plot Notes

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