Dungeon Preview - The Ankh
The Ankh - symbol of rebirth. The shape of Akhenaten's pit is no accident. This is the cradle of Atenism. This is where the whispers first urged the Black Pharaoh to dig.
Akhenaten knew immediately that he had come to the right place. The further he forced his slaves to dig, the more certain were the signs of the Aten's presence. The black baptismal substance. The organs couched in rock. The mangled miracles. The visions.
The worshippers who went down into the Ankh - some willingly and some not - all bathed in the ichorous breath of Aten. How did it affect them?
It falls to the players to find out.
The players must now see for themselves what lies in the bowels of a dying Earth. They must descend and work together to face Dr Klein, the head Orochi scientist, who is responsible for a laboratory established inside the abyss.
Orochi abandoned their camp after the infection spread, but Dr Klein persists in his mad research. And he isn't alone. His research team is down there with him, discovering horrifying new ways of succumbing to the Filth.
Motes of Aten hover everywhere, zapping the players and making them powerless. This is what the ancient priests referred to as being touched by the grace of Aten. Players will need to work together to overcome the staggering effects.
The deeper the players descend, the more they will find out about Dr Klein's research. They must follow eerie broadcasts and maintain their wits while uncovering details of the operation. Somewhere in the distance - beyond the beeping devices and screaming echoes - metal is being twisted and deformed by the Filth. Deeper still, a colossus of warped bone and sinew is rediscovering the ecstasy of motion.
Corrupted members of the Orochi Dead Ops will do whatever it takes to protect the Orochi Ops Center, while the Squalid Hekaturgist will seek to keep players far from Akhenaten's baptismal lake.
The further the players descend, the filthier the surroundings will get. The Orochi Ops Center is a mere remnant of what it was. The electronics are jammed with black bile; the screens are cracked.
In the past, even the cultist priests had become leery of this place, their ceremonies reduced to flinging aspirants into the depths. Players will encounter twisted versions of these offerings, for they still lurk at the bottom of the abyss. They've all been touched by the grace of Aten and will serve madness to the end.
Dr Klein's research assistants will do whatever it takes to keep their Dimensional Arachnid experiment alive. Players will need to put an end to this sick science if they hope to advance through Akhenaten's Temple Base.
A great bridge extends across the chasm. This is where the Colossus, Melothat, is waiting. The ancient sinewy beast has been reinvigorated by Dr Klein's methods. It is the black jewel of his research, and players will need to hit the colossus with everything they have to keep from being backed into the walls of Filth.
What exactly is the Orochi angle on the Filth? How has Dr Klein managed not only to survive, but to become infinitely stronger in the depths? Where is the wellspring of the Aten's power?
The answers are within reach.
But first, players will need to make it past the Pit Dwellers and cross the shores of the baptismal lake. Everything depends on how far down the shaft players are willing to go.
If they manage to scale the monstrous idol Akhenaten fashioned for his god, they may finally find what they are looking for. This is where Dr Klein will be waiting, and he's never been more eager to share the results of his research.
After the Black Pharaoh's fall, the Marya sealed the entrance to this place and caused the inner temple to collapse. The memories receded, but the stains never did. Now that the Ankh has been reopened, players will have to conquer their fears and find out for themselves what lies at the end of the abyss.