Day 40 (continued) At about 4pm, as scheduled, the Airlancers returned and 2 of them escorted the band to the oasis and directly to the sheik so that the band might tell him their tale. Inside the sheik's tent, one of the Airlancers introduced them to Sheik Kassim and his son Hassan, telling them what he knew of the band's presence. Initially, the sheik did not speak directly to the band, instead allowing his son to do most of the talking. Ariel, being the band's best diplomat, did most of the talking for the band, and explained that they were on a quest to defeat Khalitharius. Bahn showed them the medallion that the dying Airlancer had given him, which greatly improved the sheik's attitude towards them. Then, as proof of the band's abilities, Ariel told the sheik that they had removed the curse of Amun-Re.
Feeling now that the band was worthy of his respect, Sheik Kassim then spoke directly to the band for the first time, and welcomed them to the oasis. He told them about a matter of great importance to him and asked them to find and rescue the missing Princess Shadalah. The band agreed to search for the princess and in return the sheik gave them three Scimitars of the Sultan, which are particularly effective against undead.
Upon leaving the sheik's tent, the band spent some time looking around the oasis. Then they went to the Sandvoyagers' Compound and rented rooms at the Desert Igloo. There they spoke with the owner of the tavern, Happy Hogan Underwood, and Bohn showed him the token that Tekuna Chand had given him. Hogan then gave the band a few rumors to help them. Despite this, Bohn was distrustful of Hogan, but this was likely due to a misunderstanding about the sled tracks and who might have been responsible for them.
Day 41 The band spent the first part of the day at the bazaar gathering more rumors. At about 3 pm, the band requested the assistance of Korus Eikoth, as the sheik had offered, and used his influence to inspect the House of the Sandvoyagers' Guild. There they were able to look into all the areas except for a back room, which they were told was the Guildmaster's Quarters. They were told that the Guildmaster, Tolnus Granicus, was away attending to business to the south of the oasis. His quarters were, therefore, locked and off limits. In the kitchen, the band saw a girl there that they suspected might actually be a slave, but they were unable to speak to her alone to get more information. They also saw a trap door in the floor of the warehouse, but again, they were unable to look into it.
Korus then left the band to tend to other business. So the band went to speak with Sothal, who was the sheik's favorite slave girl, and got some information from her. They then spoke to Nadron Ilanis, the Cleric of Anu, Rose Underwood, the niece of Happy Hogan and waitress at the Desert Igloo, and Roland the Minstrel, where they gathered more rumors. Later in the evening, they spoke with Hassan, the sheik's first-born son, and learned what he knew. Afterwords, they deciphered the script on an ancient monolith that stood alone among several screening palm trees. They found several footprints around it and located a secret door in it with the Star of Mo-Pelar which functioned as a gem of true seeing.
That night, the band watched the monolith from afar and observed several people entering the secret door just before midnight. The band continued to watch and, shortly after 3 am, they saw several people leaving the monolith. Lerris followed a couple of these people back to the nomad camp and confirmed, as the band had begun to suspect, that Korus Eikoth was one of them.
Day 42 The band slept late this day, as they were up late on the previous night, and because they intended to be up late this night as well. Having been warned by a few people, such as Tekuna Chand, the band was able to identify Zorath Blackblade, an assassin who could be seen in the Desert Igloo every night as well as Corga Kazan the Water Bearer who also acted suspiciously. The band, however, never approached either of these men and made no actions against them.
Late that night, Lerris, under an invisibility spell, followed the last of the men to enter the secret door in the monolith and learned the necessary pass phrase to enter the next door at the bottom of a long set of stairs. He then retrieved the rest of the band and they entered through the door and destroyed four zombies who were guarding the entrance. The band then made their way through a room of three wading pools and on through the next door.
The very next room was a large temple dedicated to Set and it was occupied by the 13 worshippers that the band had followed. Unfortunately, as the band passed through the doorway, several glyphs of warding were set off, most of which did fire damage, though one of them blinded three members of the band, making the battle to follow very difficult. Stilgar, in fact, was almost killed in the battle. The band, however, killed Corga Kazan, who was the cleric of Set, and his two acolytes, and managed to capture Korus Eikoth alive.
After healing up a bit, a couple members of the band went and alerted Sheik Kassim, Hassan and Nadron. They followed the band members back to the temple of Set with several guards. Korus was arrested and Nadron healed the rest of the band's injuries and removed their blindness. The band then insisted on exploring the rest of the complex and the sheik allowed them to do so. The band then rested 8 hours, during which time they were attacked by more than a dozen zombies. Afterwards, they regained spells and were attacked by 2 mummies.
Day 43 At about 10:30 am, the band resumed exploring the temple. There were several traps and cursed items to deal with and they managed to avoid most of them. In one chamber, the band found an evil artifact known as the skull of Garath. In another series of rooms, the band was attacked by three skeletons while three giant poisonous snakes attacked them from behind.
In another one of these rooms, the band found a starving man chained to the far wall while a table of food lay before him just out of reach. The band questioned him, offering to set him free if he talked to them. He told the band he was Barus Broadblade, the commander of the guards at the Sandvoyagers' Guild. He said he was overpowered three nights ago by a group of dervish cultists who brought him there. Since then, Corga had been torturing him trying to find out where the princess was. Having already been tortured and weakened by starvation, Barus easily cracked under further questioning and fully admitted that slavers were operating out of the Sandvoyagers' Guild and he was a part of it. He said that since Corga kept asking him where the princess was, he knew the cultists did not have her and neither did the slavers. He said that, though he was not the one who made it, he has found out that there was apparently some sort of contract between the slavers and the cultists for the kidnapping of the princess. An efreet then appeared and showed interest in the princess, but since she disappeared the efreet has not returned. His thought was that somehow the princess was a threat to the efreet, who probably has carried her off to his stronghold, the Crypt of Badr Al-Mosak. After Barus told all of this to the band, they released him. He immediately began to eat some of the food on the table, but the food turned out to be poisoned and, despite the band's efforts, he died soon after.
In the next room the band came to, the band found an altar with a platinum idol of a monkey attached to it. It had jeweled eyes that could be pressed. Unfortunately, Lerris pressed the wrong jewel and was polymorphed into a monkey. The band was able to dispel it though, and Lerris then pressed the correct jewel and opened a secret door.
The band now entered an area that clearly did not get much use. The first room they came to was full of spider webs, which the band cleared out with fire, killing the spiders there. Through a door on the right, the band found a room with seven goblins in it, which they killed. There was a tunnel leading from there, but the band chose to go another way. Heading back in the opposite direction, the band came to a steel door with the giant head of a jackal, with its mouth wide open, molded in its center. Lerris managed to deal with the obvious magical trap and got into the chamber beyond. But then the door closed behind him and he became trapped inside.
This huge chamber throbbed under the pulsing, red light cast up from a 10' diameter pit, which threw it in waves from beneath a gigantic statue. The shadows cast by the light from below gave a sinister appearance to the jackal-headed idol that sat cross-legged, holding a large altar bowl that was giving off smoke. The jackal head's gem-eyes glittered in the dim light. Along the walls could be seen inscriptions written in the ancient alphabet.
As soon as the door closed, the eyes of the idol began to glow a dim red and monsters of various kinds began to emerge from the glowing pit. Each monster that appeared was gradually more dangerous than the one before it, starting with a zombie, then a ghoul, a ghast, a shadow, a necrophidius, a wight, a smoke mephit, and finally, a shadow demon. Many of these monsters attempted to push Lerris into the pit, but he managed to avoid this and was able to defeat most of the monsters as they emerged. Meanwhile, the other band members worked furiously to tear down the steel door. Eventually, Stilgar did enough damage to the door with Bohn's adamantine mace, that the band was able to get past it and come to Lerris' aid. Suspecting that they might have something to do with the summoned monsters, Lerris pried the eyes out of the idol, each worth about 10,000 gp. But by the time he had pried the last eye out, the shadow demon had already appeared.
Once the band defeated the shadow demon, they located a secret door and soon after, Lerris followed a long stairwell, past a trap, and on to a badly damaged library. In this library, Lerris discovered the Star of Khan-Pelar and a bone scroll case. Inside the scroll case was an ancient map and on the back of the map was an inscription that the band deciphered.