Route to L.A.:
Text on Anum’s tombstone near the Salton Sea:
When the time came for Azar to make at last the Ascent, he journeyed to the top of the tallest mountain, that he might gain admission to the heavens. Yet, the distance between the earth and the floor of the Light Land just outstretched his reach, and Azar fell to despair. Then sun broke through the clouds, and beyond that rift, he caught a twinkle in the eye of Ptah, the Nameless Bull, who, on a shaft of golden light, sent down a ladder of the finest craft. Descending to earth with the ladder came the god Re, the Nameless Lion, and on the ladder’s other side, the goddess Esit, the Nameless Falcon. The two held the ladder sturdy upon the earth, that Azar could make his ascent. Their task complete, the Three returned to the Light Land and bade Sutek, the Nameless Serpent and Lord of Dust and Storm, descend to earth and become the eternal guardian of the perfect ladder of Ptah.
This, people of the Black Land, is why we place the effigy of the ladder in the tomb, why we remind the gods of their duty to shepherd us to the blessed afterlife. This is why we learn the words in life that we must speak to the ladder in death:
“I pay homage to thee, O divine ladder!
Homage to thee, O ladder of Sutek!
Stand thou upright, O divine ladder, whereby
Azar came forth to the Light Land.
For I am thy son, I am Azar of old, and thou shall give to me the ladder of Sutek. I need plow no earth, nor collect any offering, for that which I see and hear shall feed me and nourish me when I appear in the
Light Land by the ladder of Sutek.
I have gathered together my bones, I have collected my flesh, and I shall go quickly to the Light Land by the two fingers of great Sutek, god of the ladder!”
While we’re driving, Anum gets a memory of himself in this area of him getting buried in a tomb with a lot of text written on it. He wants to see if he can find it. He also remembers a lake nearby I check on google maps for an area like that. There is a border crossing, and any underground crossings will cost a lot of money.
We decide to take out the internet to the border control to get Anum across. Bahiti and Citlali find the equipment we’re looking for,
I call my underworld organization that I have (retroactively) been building up, and we get in contact with a guy who has a tunnel going across the border, but it’s risky as there is a possibility we could get caught in a bust. I don’t want to take the risk, so I give them our guns and go with the plan on taking out the internet for the border control.
I shoot out their internet cable as Anum goes through, they aren’t able to confirm his identity, so they let him through as he doesn’t look like an illegal immigrant.
We meet up with what is apparently a member of the Templar Cartel (this is unusual as they (my organization) weren’t able to do that before), and get our guns back.
We make our way in to town and rest for the evening, before we continue to look for Anum’s memory source. We make our way to a place between the town and an airport out in the wilderness, Anum starts wandering to where he thinks he needs to go. After a bit, we find what we were looking for. It’s a legend about the patron god of Irem, and how he ascended, there are references to apotheosis by a different name. It appears to be Anum’s tomb. We start taking pictures of everything to record it and plan on digging it up to see what’s inside. While digging, he finds additional writing describing a ritual to purge oneself of Sekhem, but it’s untested.
Kazemde reappears, apparently he was talking to Irah. Anum tells him how awesome we were while he was gone. We head to Los Angeles. Anum recalls the previous incarnation of Bahiti yelling at Kazemde for vanishing for long periods of time. Apparently he was dicking around / helping Moses.
Kazemde asks Ryan to help him find a mummy who is very good at not being found. He gives me a description of the mummy “Le Sony’r, The Apostate”, who does not apparently register as a mummy and is impossible to detect with supernatural methods. I agree.
On our way to LA, the others notice that every single thing that could go wrong while traveling, are happening, and is delaying us. I on the other hand, am pretty sure I am getting deja vu. We’ve driven this highway more than once, and we have driven this highway more than once. We appear to be in a temporal loop.
I have a memory of a hill by a lake. It is peaceful. I think I once left some items there, in case of future need. I may have been buried there, I am not sure.
The computer finds the hill. We have little difficulty in crossing the border. There is a large stone marking the place on the hill. It is inscribed but I do not know its meaning. It tells a story of Irem’s patron god, Azar. Buried beneath the stone, I find some writing that seems to be a ritual to purge Sekhem. I suppose I could attempt the ritual. But, I did not try it before. Or if I did, it did not result in Apotheosis.
Kazemde returns and is now looking for Le Sony’r, The Apostate. While someone can learn carpentry from a carpenter, I am doubtful I can learn Apotheosis from the Apostate. I suppose we will still look for him.
We continue our drive to Los Angeles. Seeing that we have driven for hours without progress, we decide some sort of magic is preventing our travel.