The Temple of Bast
|Status||Explored October 829 TA|
|Location||Sands of Time|
|Campaign||The Third Age of Man (middle)|
As the party is slamming down some Champion's Brew in the castle pub, a wizened old man name Alfred the Librarian - an historian from the Library at Teufeldorf approached, soliciting your aid. He tells you that while he was cataloging some artifacts brought in from an archaeological expedition to the Sands of Time, he came across what was thought to be an ornamental chair. His research uncovered that it was reputed to be a time machine. Construction techniques dated it from the late First Age or early Second Age, and the chair bore the markings of Bast - a cat goddess whose religion and following was lost in time.
Subsequent research had shown that Bast was a human mortal who tricked death to gain immortality. Her pyramid, the seat of her power in the Sands of Time, was reported to be filled with treasure, undead guards, and shiny walls that would bend and distort magical spells. According to Alfred, a magic missile cast at just the right angle would reflect a second magic missile and a third, etc. Bast used the walls to control and magnify her spells.
Secretly, Alfred desired to return in time to the reign of Bast, learn her secret, trick death, and become an immortal himself.
However, when the party went to see the chair for themselves, Alfred had just been disintegrated (along with his research) by a shadowy figure - presumably a magic-user - who then jumped into the seat and disappeared. With the dangerous premise of immortality and the lure of fabulous wealth, the party followed.
The Temple of Bast was build by the Morgai during the early Second Age. This was actually the culmination of several pyramid projects that were built by the Morgai over the ages - although the only other one discovered has been the Temple of Set in the Second Age. The Temple of Bast pyramids are still in use today as the capital of the Tomb Kingdom, although they have been heavily modified by the current owners.
Adventures in the Temple Of Bast
Whether the Chair of Alfred actually provided time travel is unknown, as the chair itself disintegrated once the party returned to the Realm. Current speculation is that it did indeed transport those who sat in it back to the Second Age. Teleportation while inside the pyramids failed, and no adventures were taken outside the temple in order to get star readings or observe the landscape around the temple.
Alternate theories are centered around strange dreams that each of the party members had while in the temple. Each member reported having several dreams - in which some subset of the adventuring party had parallel experiences. This instance of shared dreams is very rare, and it has led to the hypothesis that the entire adventure was a dream. Of course, the party members did disappear from the chair, and they did return with some valuable treasure from the Second Age.
Of the adventures in the temple, there is very little evidence. No maps were made or notes taken - again a very odd departure for the usually fastidious adventurers. The stories told afterwards had many common elements - minions of both Set (jackal-headed guards) and Bast (cat guards), thirteen ghosts, giant snakes, and minotaurs to name a few. It is generally agreed that the magic-user who slayed Alfred was killed. In addition, a frustratingly confusing system of mine carts that led through the tunnels between the pyramids was described by all.
The final common element of the stories recounting the adventures in the Temple of Bast was the preponderance of house cats that could be found everywhere in the temple. One theory put forward was that the soul of Bast was spread amongst all the cats - making her immortal. No proof of this claim has ever been shown.
After a full day in the temple, the party appeared back next to the Chair of Alfred - which immediately crumbled to dust - making further exploration impossible. The party did not slay Bast, and her secret was not discovered. The whereabouts - and even the existence - of Bast is unknown. No other sighting of Bast has been made in the Third Age.