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NeoQuest II

Lost Desert - Sakhmet

This is where you start the Lost Desert chapter and also where a couple portals lead. Talk to Vyssa and Weeteb if you really want to know what's going on, otherwise you can head out. Don't ask us where the staircase goes - no one knows.

Characters

Princess Vyssa
Princess Vyssa says, "This sandstorm has been going on for several days now, and it's one of the worst storms I've ever seen. Anyone who goes outside gets battered by sand and wind, and if that wasn't bad enough, there are monsters roaming the Lost Desert that seem to have arisen from the sand itself."

> "How can I help?"
Princess Vyssa says, "It's been a long time since we've needed to control the weather, but in years past, we would make use of the Medallion of Wind, a powerful magical artifact. Unfortunately, it was lost long ago. But there is a way to find it: the Celestial Talisman, which rests on its altar in the Temple of the Sky, to the east. However..."

> "However...?"
Princess Vyssa says, "Well, the Temple of the Sky has unfortunately been occupied by stone golems and other fierce creatures. We can't even get to the Talisman. If you would be willing to adventure inside, we would be most grateful. The Temple is due east of the palace, in the desert. Once you find the Talisman, it will guide you to the Medallion."

[After defeating Siliclast] Princess Vyssa says, "Ah, the Celestial Talisman! It's really a treasure of our civilization... I'm sorry you had to go to that infested place to retrieve it. Advisor Weehteb should be able to tell you about it. Oh, I almost forgot! We have a guest here, a travelling scholar named Phebiya, who is staying in the north wing. He may be able to tell you something, if you haven't already visited him."

[After defeating Gebarn] Princess Vyssa says, "Ah, the Medallion of Wind. Or part of it, I suppose. Now that the way north, past the ruined temple, is cleared, you should be able to venture further and find the rest of the pieces."

[After finding second medallion piece] Princess Vyssa says, "So the mystery thins a bit. The Medallion pieces form a map? Someone seems to have thought ahead... ages ago, though. I suppose you must travel now to Akhten-Ka to find the centerpiece."

[After completing medallion] Princess Vyssa says, "Your last task is at hand. Go to Zakharukh's Pyramid. Save us from this storm, and you will have the blessing of my kingdom for as long as you shall live."

Advisor Weehteb
Advisor Weehteb says, "Her Highness hopes that you are able to end this sandstorm. Trade and commerce in our lands have dwindled to almost nothing, and there have been reports of bandits and thieves roaming the desert, attacking anyone who travels there."

> "What can you tell me about the Lost Desert?"
Advisor Weehteb says, "Sakhmet City, named after an ancient king, sits at the edge of a river delta. The river flows from an oasis in the north. The Temple of the Sky sits to the east and a bit north of here, and there is another temple, old and ruined, north of the oasis. To the west, across the river, stands Zakharukh's Pyramid, the burial place of an ancient pharaoh. It has been sealed for centuries, though, and none know how to enter."

[After defeating Siliclast] Advisor Weehteb says, "Ah, you retrieved the Celestial Talisman! Remarkable. Well, let's have a look at it." Weehteb inspects the Talisman closely, reading the markings on its surface and mumbling to himself. "Hmm... interesting, interesting..." he mutters. Then he touches a spot on the Talisman. It starts to glow, and rotates on his palm to point to the north. "Ah! As I suspected. It points toward the Medallion. And unless I miss my guess, the Medallion is hidden in the ruined temple, north of the Oasis. To get there, simply follow the river to the north. At its north end is the lake that is its source, and just north of that is the temple. The Talisman should allow you to enter."

[After defeating Gebarn] Advisor Weehteb says, "The Medallion of Wind has been broken? This is terrible news! We had no idea this was the case. Where could the other pieces be? Oh, this is dire news indeed." He sighs. "Perhaps you should speak with Phebiya, the scholar. He may have some knowledge of this mystery."

[After finding second medallion piece] Advisor Weehteb says, "So you found the second piece of the Medallion! Well, this certainly is better news." He examines the partially completed medallion. "Ah, yes, I see... you will have to travel to the old ruins of Akhten-Ka, in the mountains to the northeast. It is a long journey from here, though; you will have to travel up north past the ruined temple, through the central desert valley, and then around the mountans to the east. The Medallion shows it quite clearly. Once there... well, I don't know what you'll find, but good luck."

[After completing medallion] Advisor Weehteb says, "The Medallion is complete. Your last task is something I do know of: You must travel to Zakharukh's Pyramid and place the Medallion upon the Altar of Destiny. This will end the sandstorm. Nobody has been there in years, though, and I suspect that the Pyramid is as infested with monsters as all the other ruined temples around here seem to be."

Phebiya
Phebiya says, "Ah, greetings. You must be the adventurer, or, possibly, adventurers that have been found to unlock the mystery of this sandstorm. I'm rather old and getting blind, you see, or I'd know how many of you there are."

> "Do you know anything that might help me, or, possibly, us?"
Phebiya says, "Well, I'm a traveler and scholar, so I certainly hope so! The Temple of the Sky, to the east, is where you should start. I don't know much about the creatures who have apparently taken up residence there, but I'm sure you'll figure out some way past them. The temple was originally only one story, but years after it was built, a second story was added. However it was only for the use of the temple clerics, and the stair up to it was hidden in a storage room on the ground floor."

> "What else can you tell?"
Phebiya says, "Ah, well I've just borrowed quite a lot of books and scrolls from the royal library--that Princess Vyssa is quite kind--and I haven't had much time to go through them. But I'll tell you what, come back in a while and I'll see if I've learned anything."

[After Defeating Siliclast] Phebiya says, "Ah, hello! So I hear you've found the Celestial Talisman. My, but news travels fast here. I've been researching a bit... it seems that after the Talisman was last used, centuries ago, the Temple of the Sky was built to house it. You've been through there now, so you know all about it. But the Medallion of Wind, ah, that's where it gets interesting."

> "Interesting? How?"
Phebiya says, "Well, the Medallion was last used during the reign of Pharaoh Gebarn II, when the desert was hit by an epidemic of destructive tornadoes. Shortly after it was used, Gebarn II died, and there was a short period of civil unrest. In the chaos, the Medallion disappeared, along with Gebarn II's body. Some of what I've read indicates that they might have been stashed in an old ruined temple, up the river from here." He chuckles. "Well, the temple wasn't ruined at the time, of course, but it is now. But the odd thing is, there are references to 'the breaking' and 'a device carried afar' in these texts, but I'm not sure what they mean."

[After defeating Gebarn] Phebiya says, "So, the Medallion of Wind is broken. Not wholly unexpected... these things do happen over time. But what's even more remarkable is this passage I found in an ancient scroll, talking about the Medallion's construction! It says--well, loosely translated, anyway--'The device is lined in three places, allowing for disassembly. The artifact is powerful and should not be kept in its assembled form except when needed.' Apparently whoever created the Medallion had intended for this all along--or at least allowed for its possibility."

> "But where do we find the other pieces?"
Phebiya says, "Well, now that you've defeated that undead pharaoh, and retrieved the first piece, the cliffs surrounding the temple have themselves moved aside! For the first time in ages, we can reach the desert beyond, instead of having to laboriously climb through the mountains, which takes months at best. There is supposedly a town just north of the ruined temple; people there might have some insight into the location of the other pieces, what with being so near to where the first piece was kept. I'd suggest you go there and find out what they know."

[After finding second medallion piece] Phebiya says, "To think, a piece of a powerful artifact, just discarded in the sand like that. In a way, I'm glad it was far from civilization, to keep the unwary from stumbling across it. Not that it's a useful thing by itself; I believe from my studies that the Medallion must be completely reassembled before it is anything more than a paperweight. Well, at any rate, the two pieces together seem to form a map. From what I know of this land, the map does correspond fairly closely to the actual geography. You'll need to go north, past the ruined temple, past the town of Waset, and then around to the east, and south again. At the south end of the valley there is a path leading up through the mountains to the lost city of Akhten-Ka."

> "Have you learned anything about that city?"
Phebiya says, "Akhten-Ka was, long ago, the capital city of this land. The books I've read indicate that there was a war, hundreds of years ago, and most of the people of Akhten-Ka were killed. It's abandoned now, as far as we know, although this plague of monsters and other creatures roaming the land tells me that it's probably no longer abandoned. Interestingly, Princess Vyssa and her late father, King Coltzan, can trace their ancestry all the way back to the kings of Akhten-Ka. It was a relatively small city, with only a small, humble palace for the royalty."

[After completing medallion] Phebiya says, "You may have heard from Weehteb already, as I shared my discovery with him and the Princess when I made it... but the Altar of Destiny, upon which the completed Medallion must be placed, is inside..." He shudders, then looks around, and says quietly, "Zakharukh's Pyramid! In the upper reaches of the pyramid, where the ancient pharaoh Anubits was buried, lies the Altar of Destiny. I haven't figured out why they would put it there, in a tomb, but I suppose they wanted to be unlikely that anyone would use it."

> "I suppose it's time to go to Zakharukh's Pyramid."
Phebiya says, "Indeed, indeed. You must travel up the river, around the oasis, then back down along the river to the pyamid. It is not close to the river, but the area of desert over there is not large, so it should be easy to find. Good luck!"

Guard Seryn
Guard Seryn looks friendly, but does not say anything.

Guard Yabara
Guard Yabara says, "No one may visit the royal apartments without permission. Move along."

Guard Yorat
Guard Yorat nods to you, but says nothing.

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