Friday, August 12, 2011
Adventure Conversion: The Mummy - Part 1
Here is the first part of my Star Wars conversion of the 1999 Film "The Mummy".
ADVENTURE CONVERSION: THE MUMMY
In this adventure, the heroes become involved in a hunt for an ancient tomb reported to house vast treasure (both archaeological and monetary). The group must overcome rival treasure hunters, the traps of the 'city of the dead' and ultimately the ancient force of darkness that dwells within- a force determined to find new life in this 'modern' world.
Thousands of years prior to the events of this adventure, a powerful Force user named Imhotep served as the priest/advisor to the Pharaoh-Emperor Seti of the star-spanning Aegyptian empire. The power of his position corrupted Imhotep, who began researching ancient sith rituals designed to place himself in power and overcome death itself. He also began to covet the Emperor's wife, Anck-su-Namun. Imhotep professed his love for the Queen, only to be rejected. In a fit of rage, the priest lashed out, accidently killing the object of his obsession. Unwilling to let death deprive him of his prize, Imhotep stole the Empress' body and took it with him back to the royal necropolis of Hamunaptra. There, he began a ritual designed to bring his lost love back from the dead.
Pharoah Seti soon learned of his high-priest's actions and gave chase- leading his palace guard into Hamunaptra's underground tombs. In the battle that followed, many were slain- including all of Imhotep's corrupted servants. The ritual to bring the Empress back to life was interrupted and Imhotep himself was captured. In his rage and grief, Seti had his high preist entombed alive in a sarcophagus and then had the entire series of surrounding tombs sealed off.
Empress Anck-su-Namun was given a proper burial. Her body was placed in the royal tombs of Hamunaptra. This tragic story had evidently come to a close. Or so it seemed. Unfortunately, due to his mastery of the Dark Side, Imhotep's spirit survived his horrendous death- soon 'tainting' all of Hamunaptra with his evil. Thus the whole place was abandoned and stricken from the knowledge of any save for a loyal group of the Emperor's guards, the Medjai, chosen to watch over the tomb and ensure that Imhotep never return to plague the living.
As the millennia passed, knowledge of Imhotep and the Necropolis passed into the realm of legend for most. Even so, rumors of the treasure kept within the ancient 'city of the dead' was enough to keep adventurers visiting the former throne world of the Aegyptians- now little more than a galactic backwater desert world, strewn with the ruins of it's past glories.
Recently, a ruthless mercenary treasure-hunter by the name of Kir O’con came into the possession of an ancient map to the lost city of Hamunaptra. He recruited a band of unscrupulous adventurers like himself— a band that included ne’er-do-well “Aegyptologist” Jonathan Carnahan (see below) and a devious rat of a thief named Beni Gabor (see below).
The expedition traveled to Aegyptus and into the deserts. They did indeed find the Lost City, but soon came under attack by hostile nomad tribesmen. Beni survived by sealing himself into one of the sheltered tomb entrances (and locking OUT all his fellow expedition members). Kir O’Con and the rest of the expedition were then killed by the tribesmen and Jonathan would have joined them were it not for the sudden emergence of a dark ‘presence’ beneath the sand that frightened the triumphant nomads away. Jonathan and Beni likewise fled the ruins. Somehow, they managed to make it back through the desert to the city of Cairos. Both soon found themselves hunted by other unscrupulous “adventurers”, criminals and greedy Imperial officials eager to learn about the fate of O’Con’s expediton (and get their hands on any treasure found by it…).
Jonathan was eventually caught and thrown in jail by a low-level Imperial Magistrate, Gad Hassan. The Imperial is determined to FORCE Jonathan to reveal what he knows (before killing him). Jonathan, realizing this (and motivated by his OWN greed for the treasure he HOPES is in the ruin), has thus far held out despite the horrendous conditions and threat of execution. He had actually managed to send out a plea for help to his sister before his capture and hopes that she will be able to extricate him from his current situation.
Meanwhile, Beni Gabor had managed to avoid capture and planned to gather the necessary gear to make his own return to Hamunaptra. Unfortunately for him, he was subsequently found and ‘hired’ by a group of Adventurers (Burne, Henders and Danis) to be their guide to the lost city, whether he wants to be or not.
Out in the remote desert, the re-awakened spirit of Imhotep waits and the Medjai guardians prepare for what is to come.
Imhotep begins this adventured as the disembodied spirit of an ancient Dark Force user. He exists in torment, haunting the ruins of the necropolis of Hamunaptra, looking for a way to escape his fate. He still holds onto the twisted hope of being some day reunited with his 'love' Anck-Su-Namun. He is driven by a desire to claim the power that was 'taken' from him by the ancient Pharoah and sees himself as a tragic figure.
During the course of the Adventure, Imhotep will partially regain his physical form due to the accidental reading of incantations from an ancient text. In this 'undead' form, he will attempt to put the pieces of his former life back together- using his Dark Side powers to drain the life of others. In this way, he will slowly regain 'true' physical form- and to grow in power. Along the way, he will discover that one of the heroes' companions is the reincarnation of his beloved Anck-Su-Namun. Once he discovers this, all his efforts will be directed at finding her and at completing the ritual he started all those thousands of years ago. It was not just a ritual to 'bring her back', you see- but one that would forever bind her soul to his.
Due to his undead nature, Imhotep will be a truly terrifying enemy. Most weaponry will do nothing but slow him down and even if his physical form is 'destroyed', he will be able to transfer his essence to a new 'host'. The only way he can be defeated is to perform an ancient ritual upon him- found in the "Book of Amun Ra"- to make him truly mortal again.
Physically, Imhotep's mummy form will be fantastically strong and resilient. He will also have an arsenal of Force powers at his disposal- not the least of which including telekinetic control of the sands, mental domination of the weak-willed and the previously mentioned ability to drain life essences.
Evelyn is a student of Archaeology. One of her specialties is the history of the ancient Aegyptian Empire. She is able to read and speak their ancient language and has a deep knowledge of their history and legends. In fact, she has always felt drawn to these stories, despite having been raised in the Core Worlds. It will be revealed that Evelyn bears an uncanny resemblance to the ancient Queen Anck-Su-Namun. Imhotep believes she is the reincarnation of his 'lost love'. It is quite possible that Eve is indeed a distant descendant of this line.
Eve is young, bookish and naïve, having lived a sheltered life in the libraries and universities of the core worlds. She is an 'expert' on Archaeology who hasn't actually ever been on a dig. With the death of her parents (who were also scholars), she has had to support her own education by taking on a job as an assistant librarian.
Jonathan is the younger brother of Evelyn Carnahan. He is intelligent but impatient, and dropped out of school in an attempt to 'strike it rich' by finding and raiding the tombs of ancient cultures throughout the Galaxy. Though part of several expeditions (of a dubious nature), he has not had much luck. He has thus supported himself by becoming a bit of a card-shark, con-man and even petty thief.
Jonathan basically a good guy, but is just a little greedy and self-centered. He feels that the discovery of Hamunaptra will finally give him the acclaim (and wealth) he has been striving for all his life. While he may be a bit self-destructive, he draws the line at betraying friends and family, and would never knowingly do so.
Beni is a greedy, self-serving thief. He is on the run from several different law-enforcement agencies and criminal organizations who want him in jail- or dead for various transgressions. He weaseled his way onto Kir O’Con’s expedition mainly to dodge any pursuit. Though terrified by what he witnessed at the ruins of Hamunaptra, his greed far outweighs his fear. He desires wealth above all things- including any companions. He would do anything to save himself.
Burne, Henders, Danis
The three young men are treasure-hunting adventurers looking for a ‘big score’. They don’t put any credence in the legends surrounding Hamunaptra- but they do believe in the treasure reported to be found there. Of the three, Burne is the ‘smart’ one, an ex-scout with a basic understanding of Archaeology (and Aegyptian languages). Henders is an ex bounty-hunter and gunslinger, proud of his heavy blaster and quickdraw. Danis is a smuggler and the overall ‘leader’ of the group. While the three men are money-grubbing, and quite willing to step over others in pursuit of wealth, they aren’t murderous and generally don’t resort to violence unless provoked. They managed to catch Beni Gabor after hearing rumors of his expedition. They intend to use him to guide them to the lost city, but (wisely) don’t trust him further than they could spit.
Fat, sweaty and greedy, Hassan is a low-level Imperial Magistrate. His position as law-enforcer has given him intimate knowledge of the Cairos underworld. It is through these contacts that he heard the rumors of Kir O’Con’s failed expedition- and it is through his officers that he was able to capture Jonathan Carnahan. He hopes to learn the location of Hamunaptra and become rich and powerful. He realizes that to do so, he must not let word of this reach his superiors. Thus, he tries to keep the rumors under control until he can capitalize on the situation himself. As with others involved in this ‘treasure hunt’, Hassan is extremely greedy, and will try to weasel his way into any expedition to the lost city. See the information in Episode I for more on how Hassan will play into the events of the adventure.
Ardeth Bay is the leader of the Medjai- the descendants of the Pharoah’s royal guards, tasked with protecting Hamunaptra- or rather, protecting the rest of the Galaxy from what is contained within. Bay had watched Kir O’Con’s expedition- and in fact had planned to attack it himself with his followers. Thankfully, that proved to be unnecessary when a tribe of Nomads attacked. Upon seeing the two survivors (Jonathan and Beni) escaping into the desert, Bay assumed that they would be killed by the elements- or at the very least too frightened to attempt to return. Unfortunately, informants in Cairos have told him that more expeditions have been planned. Bay has since gathered and prepared his bretheren. They will try to deflect these treasure hunters- to warn them off. But if they cannot, then more drastic steps may be required.
The Adventure takes place on the arid world of Aegyptus. This was the center of a star-spanning empire that collapsed some 5,000 years ago. Most of the cities and architectural wonders of the world were destroyed in the fighting that marked the fall of the Aegyptian empire. Many more were consumed by the sands of the world's expanding deserts. Even so, Aegyptus never entirely lost contact with the rest of the Galaxy, thus 'modern' technology is still in use. Due to the economically poor conditions of the world, however, such technology tends to be in a battered and out-of-date condition (something common to a lot of backwater worlds). There are still several large settlements on the planet, located along the coastlines of the world's few rivers and seas- anywhere that water can be processed for irrigation.
The Aegyptians themselves are human, though they are of a dark skinned, dark haired variety. They have lost much of their traditional culture due to contact with the rest of the Galaxy. The Old Republic (and now the Empire) have governed this world for centuries due to the presence of some mining concerns that have since since played out. Now control is maintained simply because it has become 'tradition'.
Apart from the civilized city-dwellers, there are various Aegyptian tribes that make their homes in the desert- either as wandering nomads or in remote oases scattered across the world. Some of these tribes are decidedly hostile- being little more than thieves and raiders who attack other tribes and occasionally raid the outskirts of the larger settlements.
With the upsurge of the Rebellion in the sector, the Empire has actually stationed a sizable garrison on Aegyptus, using it as a supply depot for its operations in surrounding systems. Though they make routine shows of force for the local population, the Empire actually has very little to do with the day to day lives of the Aegyptians- unless there is trouble. This they will crack down on fiercely (if only to counteract the boredom of being stationed here).
Hamunaptra itself is located in the midst of a vast desert- and in fact has been mostly buried by it. Those few ruins still above the sands are sheltered amongst a rocky outcropping. Being made of stone (with the more ‘technological’ areas deep underground), it is nearly indistinguishable from any other rock outcropping- both to sensors or the naked eye.