The goddess holds the secrets of fire magic. Flames, sparks, and ashes. It is all within the scope of the goddess’s power. One must be fateful to her.
Adages of the Sand Sphinx
Deep within the scorched sands of the Abydos Desert lies a dungeon, known as the Hall of the Sand Sphinx. This hallowed sanctuary, carved into the heart of a great dune, houses the devout followers of a mystical sphinx deity.
Ages ago, Iraeas, a sphinx of immense power and wisdom, was revered as a deity by a nomadic tribe lost in the desert. The tribe stumbled upon Iraeas during a dire sandstorm. In exchange for her guidance and protection, the tribe vowed eternal servitude, establishing the Cult of the Sand Sphinx. As time passed, the cult grew in secrecy, developing their connection to the element of fire.
Cult of the Sand Sphinx
The cult is structured around the worship of the Sand Sphinx, Iraeas. Her followers, known as the Pyre Priests, are fervent zealots who believe that through unwavering devotion, they can channel Iraeas’s fiery essence. The cult’s doctrine states that fire represents purity, transformation, and the relentless pursuit of knowledge; the same attributes embodied by their feline deity.
In the depths of the desert dungeon lies the Sanctum of Embers, where a statue of Iraeas sits, its eyes glowing with magical fire. The priests believe that an ember of the deity’s soul burns eternally within the effigy.
The Pyre Priests seek to imbibe the essence of Iraeas. Those whose faith and dedication are deemed worthy are granted control over fire magic. These abilities range from conjuring small flames to wielding great torrents of fire without trouble. Alas, some of their ritual involve the sacrifice of animals and involuntary prisoners.
- The Eternal Flame. A rare celestial alignment is approaching, during which Iraeas’s power is said to surge. The cult plans a grand ritual to harness this energy, potentially unleashing a destructive force upon the world. An informant has alerted the authorities of nearby desert settlements. The characters are offered a reward to thwart the cult’s immediate plans. (800 gp, 5 XP).
- A Flicker of Doubt. A cult defector seeks the adventurers’ help to stop a dangerous ceremony that could escalate the cult’s power to alarming heights. Hadin, a minor cultist, believes that the Pyre Priest leader might summon the Sand Sphinx itself. He begs the characters to follow him back into the cult’s lair before the solstice. Otherwise, it shall be too late to act (0 XP).