The party rouses the unconscious, blue skinned rakshasa and tries to glean more information about the pyramid and the astrosphinx that resides within. However, in his addled and fear-ridden state the rakshasa has little to offer so they knock him back out and decide to explore the pyramid on their own. Zook takes a quick flight down to the bottom of the pit where the two viper-armed rakshasa fell, but finds only one body, and pockets and bags emptied.
They make their way through the long abandoned pyramid, examining the hieroglyphics and runes carved into the walls. Zook takes a closer look and begins to decipher bits and pieces, and determines that the glyphs appear to be in the language of the Arcane - the ancient and enigmatic race of merchants and inventors that first created the Spelljammers. Sarcophagi containing the remains of the tall lanky humanoids confirm that they’ve stumbled upon an Arcane burial ground.
However, they are not alone… while examining a sarcophagus Isabella hears heavy breathing from behind and turns to see two large violet eyes in the darkness. It quickly vanishes, but not before releasing a fog of gas that causes Isabella and Zook to fall into a deep slumber. Fortunately the remaining party members are able to rouse them, and they chase after the source, but it turns to face them and fires a bolt of lightning before revealing itself. With the body of a lion, bronze scales, the arms of a human and a goats head, the glowing eyes of the astrophinx bears down on them.
The sphinx threatens the party for invading it’s home, and informs them they will be his dinner that night. The aggressive and ill-tempered sphinx seems uninterested in negotiations, and when Yorick asks why they haven’t been challenged to a game of riddles the sphinx becomes enraged and shouts nonsensical riddles at Yorick. When he fails to answer correctly, the sphinx grabs him in his mighty arms. The sphinx turns and walks away, looking forward to his dwarven appetizer. Luckily Zook thinks fast and uses a stone shape spell to block the sphinx’s escape, while Blackfist unleashes a hail of punches against the massive creature’s flank. Though they initially have the upper hand while the sphinx is stuck in the small corridor, it tramples through into the room, smashing Yorick to the ground.Throughout the battle, the sphinx continues to spout insane riddles that seem to have no answer while Isabella lobs explosive potions and Blackfist tries to get through the sphinx’s tough hide. During the battle the floor is damaged by Zook’s spells and with a powerful stomp from the sphinx the floor collapses and the party falls into the room below. This room looks like it was once a display room or gallery, with pieces of art and artifacts decorating the walls. In one corner, a gleaming scale covered in a block of ice: the moon dragon scale they’ve come for! But in the other corner, an unusual sight: the room opens up into an endless desert of sand in stark contrast to the buildup of snow in the rest of the pyramid. Yorick takes advantage of an opening and is able to lodge his axe in the sphinx’s neck, which collapses to the ground in a spray of gore.
The party considers the desert before them, and decide it must be the result of some dimensional breach or planar rift. They decide to regroup and discuss their options before exploring further and collect the moon dragon’s scale before returning to their ship. However, something has changed. A short distance from their ship is an indentation in the snow that suggests a ship was once parked there. Their crew member Gulug confirms this, saying that while they were gone the previously invisible ship revealed itself. The viper-armed rakshasa that escaped the party earlier approached them, and presented a scroll case before returning to his ship and leaving.
Zook carefully open the scroll case from a distance with magic and unrolls the canvas within to reveal a painting… a painting that depicts the party’s battle with the astrosphinx just moments before! The detail is impeccable, to the party’s outfits and equipment and even position during the fight. Yorick reels when he reads the signature at the bottom of the painting: Jhota, the rakshasa artist who has crossed paths with the party in the past. An ominous message hidden in the painting reads “Sorry we missed each other. But watch the stars, the show will start soon. “