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10th of Blühenzeit, 962 A.S.
Grunstein was right. I was too quick to doubt him, too quick to
dismiss his ideas about the Naptaan priesthood and their cursed
statues. He has paid for the proof with his life.
With some hesitation after our experience last night, we made our entry
to the pyramid of King Kharatep this morning, using the secret passage
we were told of by Valdes and his men. Inside, we located the entrance
to the king’s chambers in a great pillared hall. The painted murals were
faded and crumbling, but what drew our attention was the enormous
sphinx that dominated the far end of the hall.
It was quite unlike any such statue I have seen, more human than beast,
with great wings like an eagle. Approaching, we saw it was crouched
above what could only be the doorway we were seeking. The gates
were marked with hieroglyphs, which formed the riddle:
FEW SEEK ME, THOUGH SOME EMBRACE ME,
OTHERS FLEE ME, BUT ALL FIND ME.
WHAT AM I?
Grunstein immediately set to puzzling it out, and claimed the answer
was Death. Reluctantly, I turned to the doors and spoke the same word
in the Naptaan tongue: Pakhat. With a deep rumble, the doors swung
open — and as they did, the sphinx turned its head to look upon us.
Dust drizzled from the ceiling as its stone wings unfurled, moving as if
Someone screamed for us to run, and we did, straight through the open
gates. Grunstein alone was left behind, shouting for joy at how his
theories had been vindicated. The last I saw of him was the ecstatic
expression on his face before the lazy flick of a stone claw removed his
head from his shoulders. Moments later the passageway behind us collapsed,
brought down by the shifting weight of the beast.
It is still waiting there, behind the rubble. There must be another way
out — we must press on.
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