The Burned Pharaoh

Anger of the Dead

The cauldron was in New Orleans. It turns out the thing will turn someone in it into a god, but they need a sacrifice. Anders was going to kill his own mother to make himself immortal. We cornered him in an office building downtown. The cauldron was there, too.
We arrived just in time to see them go up the elevator. I don’t remember much. I was asleep most of the fight thanks to that Amazon chick. I remember running up to the cauldron, but before I could pick it up and carry it away some big dragon thing wrapped around me and everything went black. When I came to, Prof. Smith was yelling something about a sacrifice in the cauldron destroying it. Anders had already done whatever it was that he did. He was a god now, but his mother wasn’t taking it well. Undead were pouring into the room. Anders was puking his guts out. I tried to “sacrifice” Anders in the cauldron, but even the clip I emptied into him couldn’t kill him.
Those Norse undead made off with the cauldron. After that, we got the fuck out of there. What the hell happened? Is Hel even still alive after that? Is Anders going to be mad that I tried to kill him? I have a feeling Odin is going to yell at us…
As we recovered at our hotel, we got a drunk at the door with a message. For the price of a bottle of brandy, we found out it was a Hallmark greeting card signed “-L.” The hell does Loki have to do with all of this?

River of Souls

Still can’t find the cauldron. Anders is one step ahead of us, but we have other things to worry about right now. The Mississippi River is flooding, and the town of Cairo, Illinois is full of lost souls. Dad wanted me to go there and tie up a couple of loose ends that escaped from The Duat, from which I was named.
First things first, a dead end with the cauldron in The-Big-Easy. After that, Senator Brownson insisted that we head to the mouldering ruins of Detroit to muscle a briefcase his dad wants a hold of. Some scion of Loki wanted $15k for the damn thing, and, somehow, Brownson got the money for it. Inside were a bunch of perfectly normal, cured animal hides and a torch. Lighting the torch made Prof. Smith’s new vest come alive with script. Snakes are full of secrets. That cauldron is… powerful.
Then, to Cairo. Not many souls have entered the Duat lately, and by “not many,” I mean none. Normal funerals don’t involve pulling brains through noses anymore. The three that escaped must have been in there for thousands of years. I have a weight that helped me identify the should-be dead bodies they now possess. The first was the soldier that was driving us around. Senator Brownson got annoyed and sliced the guy in two. I would have liked to have found a more… humane way of solving that. The next was some old lady. Chloroform and a bullet made it a bit of a step up. The last wasn’t nearly as bad. That army engineer should have drowned, so I made his harness fail when he set the charges on the dam. He got to die the way he was supposed to and a hero. St. Louis won’t drown thanks to him.

A Lesson Not Learned

The one thing that I still cannot become accustom to is failure. It leaves a bad taste behind. The cauldron is once again gone and Anders still lives. Why we keep thinking that the direct approach is best is beyond me but each time there we go without question. We should be smarter than this; I should be smarter than this. Once again, I have failed.

Recent events have caused me to start questioning my own judgement. The Gods blame me for what has transpired. Truth be told, I blame myself. I should have never let them take the cauldron in the first place, and I failed to recognize what need to be done to end this game. If I hadn’t been so careless, we would have the cauldron as we speak. I cannot even look at myself in the mirror. We forfeited the benefits that were gained by the politicians sacrifice. I need to get back to my roots, refocus my attention and my energies.

I thought I was so smart, figuring out where the cauldron was. I furthered that thought by figuring out how to get to the top of that damn building. A lot of good that did us.

I should have figured out what was going on. Because of me, a good but confused man almost lost his life. How could I have gotten this all mixed up. A noble sacrifice was the key, and I missed it. And because of that, we lost all we had fought for. I was so sure, I was so damn sure. Everyone else did what they were supposed it, it was my mistakes that allow those damn devils to waltz in and steal the cauldron. I over estimated myself, and I underestimated Anders. I will not make that mistake again.

And to make matters worse, I am fairly certain that I am being stalked by one of my students. I think a sabbatical is in order. I need to refocus on my work. It has been awhile since I have taken the time to build something. I need something, otherwise this new life will consume me and destroy whatever is was that I considered me. That is not something that I am willing to let go of yet. I fear however that i maybe too late.

Chapter 3 Part 1: Home
Chapter 2 Part 3: The Florida Keys
Chapter 2 Part 2: The Florida Keys
Chapter 2: Key West, Florida
Chapter 1 Part 2: Herot, Minnesota
Chapter 1: Herot, Minnesota

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