This is what you find on Node C -01 , Prime Portal, Door 01:00
The Fringeworthy portal opens in a chamber is an ancient tomb. The portal chamber is now a religious/historical shrine, describing the history of the Emperor and how he descends from heavenly beings, and therefore it was right and natural that he ruled.
The Portal chamber in one of Six large Domes, going from east to west. The Portal Chamber is the west most, so it's opening points east.
There are short corridors between the large domed chambers, with alcoves in the corridors that hold terra cotta warriors on their long watch.
Each dome is lavishly decorated and has Rooms through doors north and south. To the south is storage and the northern rooms are intended as living quarters for the dead.
The Sun-Emperor was buried with a metric f***-ton of treasure. His actual burial chamber is behind a secret door, down a narrow staircase. The secret door is in the northern Alcove between the west most chamber and the next one.
The greedy and self-centered nature of the preparations for his death blocked the path to Heaven. The souls of loyal retainers wander around lost. This is why tomb robbers have not breached the place. Most are driven away or mangled by ghosts.
For this, instead of level drain, Ghosts drain STR, then CON. If they drain you to zero in both, you're dead and your soul joins theirs in wandering around. Some drain INT and WIS, at 0 Wis, you go insane, having a disassociative break.
If the attacked person survives and escapes, the stat damage heals at the normal healing rate for lost hit points.
Sometimes the ghosts don't attack. They just watch. some engage in conversations. New people and new stories are awfully slim.
Some guard ghosts will go to the town and request back up. Villagers arrive in the morning to cart away the mad, and bury the dead.
The real guards are the Terra Cotta Warriors. These ceramic warriors stand and wait until they perceive an unauthorized intruder. Then they attack. They fight like low to mid level warriors. But they feel no pain and have lots of hit points. There are a lot of them 200 inside the tomb and 1000 more outside, complete with archers and cavalry.
These Terra Cotta warriors are actually especially vulnerable to gun fire. And blunt force weapons. But they will destroy the edges swords and other edged weapons, not unlike attacking bricks.
Inside the tomb there is a nest of 5 black constrictors. These are very large snakes that have been plaguing the area. They are very good at hiding. Even when they've just eaten a goat or a luckless villager or grave robber. They hunt at night and like to strike from surprise. They are VERY big and easily overmatch the average unarmed or lightly armed peasant. The Snakes will be surprised and unhappy to find their nice nest has been invaded, If they get a back shot at an isolated adventurer, they'll take it. Generally hatched eggs result in little constrictors (Small to normal sized) Snakes, who then go afield in search of food. The five current ones are cousin/siblings and have gotten lucky in terms of finding prey, so they are not motivated to leave. The hunt the fields and woods nearby and then return to the tomb to sleep and digest
There are 20 sub chambers - each with a different theme of the emperor's life.
The whole thing is set up to be a celebration and biography of the Emperor. There are riches here to plunder.
Behind a hidden door, there are narrow stairs down to the main burial chamber.
In the main burial chamber. among the treasure is a crown with a big gem. When activated. the Gem glows with day light. A bright as sunny day. It's warm, too. This light will disperse ghosts, sending them to the the sun in heaven where their individual afterlives will be worked out. The light from this gem can damage any creature that is vulnerable to sunlight.
The tomb is trapped to trap and kill unwary tomb robbers. After each incursion, the Terra Cotta warriors spend the night filling in holes and patching damage to the degree they're able.
The old Terhmelern entrance to the chamber collapsed long ago. It has continued a slow collapse and is slowly destroying the main Portal chamber. The north wall shows cracks and damage.
The Tomb main entrance is to the east and the Tomb is laid out on a single level, east to west. The original entrance is intact and in day light shows a massive walk way, with statues and a temple like entrance, now sealed with a huge stone.
The make-shift entrance is near the entrance on the side of a hill. A ventilation shaft subsided and collapsed so enterprising grave robbers have occasionally found the shaft, jammed with rocks and figured they could dig it out. You can dig it out and do a very uncomfortable transition down a very long, narrow passage. It's a terra cotta pipe barely big enough for a small human to fit down. Some people have gotten stuck and died.
The worship of the emperor as a scion of heaven is what has created a sort of after life null zone. Destroying the temple, specifically the magical documents and symbols that assert the divinity of the emperor will undo the spiritual fly paper effect and let the dead go to their afterlife.
Ironically the Emperor didn't die here, so his soul went right into a poetically just hell about hubris and pride. His remains are deader than a door nail in a coffin made of pure gold. Throwing him out of it and carting it off for resale will actually lighten the load on his soul.
Ghosts include Concubines and guards who felt that dying for the emperor would allow them to enter heaven with him and serve him for eternity.
They spend a lot of time out of phase with reality. The PCs will only encounter one at a time unless there is a ruckus that draws curious onlookers.
The Black Constrictors can see the ghosts, but their animal senses reveal that the Ghosts are not alive and not valid food, so they don't care.
Because of the animal nature of the snakes, the ghosts can't or won't attack them.
So the tomb is laid out in ante-chambers. Ten, with a room north and south. There are ten traps. 6 are functional. The terra cotta warriors reset the traps when the warriors are activated.
One of the chambers is used as a garbage dump. This is where equipment, bodies and broken trap pieces are placed - those that aren't used to patch holes.
The Concubines and servants were all sealed in and took a painless, fast acting poison Their bodies mostly lay where they lay down. Now skeletonized remains.
There are insects inside the tomb, And occasional rats try it. But they wind up a mouthful for the black constrictors.
At the old walled up main entrance, There are four cages, about 6 foot tall and 3 foot wide.
Inside, there are 4 skeletons.
When approached, they will move, get up and ask to be released. They will beg piteously.
These people are thieves. They had been workers finishing the tomb and were caught trying to filch items.
They were placed in the cages and sealed in the tomb. They quickly succumbed to thirst. But they didn't die.
The cages are magical items of extraordinary power. Anyone placed in them cannot die. However much he may wish to.
The four thieves have been down in the tomb in the dark, with the souls trapped in their decaying remains. Now all that's left are skeletons, with raspy, reedy voices, crying for release.
The cages resist opening, but with enough magic or brute force they can be damaged and opened.
The bones will immediately collapse as the spirits fly to their afterlife, never to return.
Gavin, Lydia, Geoff and Hackuff stopped by here, in Jan 2014 Game time.
Gavin elected not to break through the door to the Temple chamber, which had been plastered shut from the other side.
From here to there to everywhere. Are you Fringeworthy?
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