Their quest and promises for rewards given to them, the party left the shifty priest’s chambers, and made their way out to explore El Shebbeh before exiting through into Punt itself. The guards’ eyes never left the party as the heroes made their way through the gates of El Shebbeh and into Shumballah proper. They were to find a place to rest for a couple of days, then make their way to the necropolis eastward, meeting with the Priest’s assistant, Anul, along the road. Anul would give them supplies and provide a distraction for the patrol guards, and they would make their way to the third pyramid, and the dangers and mysteries that lie within.
The denizens of Punt walk in half circles around the group, never taking narrowed eyes away from them. More citizens seem armed than Orastes could remember before, with even the poorest carrying spears or swords or shortbows. Rumors abound that Ageera and the Ape God Jullah grow restless, and soon the snakes and oppressors that bed with the snake will bleed into the sands.
They arrive at an inn in the western part of Punt, a shoddy place, but larger and more sturdy than most of the huts in the city. The Bloated Frog. Orastes and Ramla, unable to get any information out of the barkeep or patrons, both get rooms to rest, Orastes with a bottle of wine and Ramla with her nightmares. Darvus loses most of his money to a comely Zamoran woman in games of “Barachan dice,” before retiring as well to his bed. Whispers among the patrons talk of wars, and cults, and Thoth Amon. . .
The next day is spent wandering Punt, collecting rumors, and that late night they finally make way to the necropolis.
Along the way they meet an armed group of youths, who warn Ramla, as a countrywoman, that the blacks of Shumballah are ready to rise up. Punt is boiling and soon will overrun El Shebbeh, and all of Shumballah will be autonomous. Thoth Amon is on his way from Stygia, but he will arrive too late, and will be murdered as soon as he arrives. The blacks do not fear the snakes or their magics. Jullah is strong.
Nervous, the party still continues to the east, finally meeting Anul, who gives them their weapons and supplies. He leads the party to the Royal Pyramid, and manages to pull the patrolling guards away while the party pries open the front door and slips in.