The Masks of Vyn Morrad

Back to Port Klaenth

An appointment to keep

The ancient temple and home of Vestapelk proved a challenging warren of chambers, secret doors, traps, and monsters ready to slow down the party at any opportunity. The heroes were able to work their way through to the final chamber, the lair of Venom Wing, who was none too pleased to be disturbed. A mighty battle was fought, and the dragon was driven away, his small hoard a prize for the party to claim. Not only that, but the Mask of the Seas itself.

With this prize the party made their way back to Midway, where they gifted 20 silver bars found in the dragon hoard to the townsfolk for their troubles with the lizardfolk, and then made their way back to Port Klaenth.

The party finally reaches the city, all told seven days have passed since their departure. The light of the full moon shines brightly on the white walls of the city, but they stealthily make their way back to the northern entrance to the guild of the The Brotherhood. They are taken aback to find that the guild hall has been completely sacked. No tables or chairs remain in tact, and most walls are smeared with leaving profanities and black-painted hands. They are suddenly ambushed by two dragonborn mercenaries, a handful of thugs, and a spellcaster wearing dark robes and a black mask set with white eyes. The battle is hard fought, but the heroes charged in at full strength and made short work of the foes.

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Into the Lair

The Seer

Upon closer inspection, the party finds a narrow entryway at the base of the temple, square-cut and sloping downward into darkness. Torches lit, they descend. They enter a large chamber cut from dark stone that glimmers with sweat in the dim light cast from above. The air is cool, much cooler than the tunnel that led them there, and the air is thick. A perfect square is cut from the ceiling directly above the center of the chamber, letting in just enough sunlight to cast a dim glow about the edge of the large room while brightly illuminating a series of square tiles set in the center of the floor and etched with symbols, some strange and some common.

Apart from the tiles, which are a light grey and are raised slightly from the black floor, the only other markings are a large crescent moon set in bronze on the floor and a series of archaic writings on the east and west walls. Closer inspection of the tiles shows that they are roughly 3 feet square, and are raised roughly 2 inches above the black stone and bronze floor. Traces of fine white sand and old bits of broken clay can be found near each pressure plate.

The writings on the east wall read “To Prove that you are chosen”, while the west wall reads “To show that you are worthy.” The party activates a series of the runes and opens the doorways leading further into the temple. They wind their way deeper and deeper below, finally entering a massive chamber. Light streams in from a large square cut into the ceiling, falling upon a raised dais on the opposite side of the chamber. Upon the dais lies a small mound of treasure and gems, as well as a stand bearing an aqua blue mask. The party crosses the stone bridge leading to the dais, blackness to both sides of them, and makes it to the hoard just as they hear the beating of giant wings coming down the square from above. They scatter as Venom Wing slams to the temple floor on powerful hind legs, a look of fury on his scaled face.

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Recap

Here’s what has happened…

After freeing Mace from the city guards, the heroes decided to keep a low profile. Mace offered much gratitude and offered his help any time they needed it. Mace made his way through the hidden paths of the city back to the hideout of the The Brotherhood, and the party decided to head back to the temple of den Morrad in city center to meet with Alyss. They sneaked through the underbelly of the docks and back through the hidden passageway they had previously discovered, until finally arriving at the temple to find a very upset Alyss waiting for them.

She informed the party that in the few short hours since the near-hanging, the whole city has been put on lookout for them. Indeed, they are all wanted men! Although unhappy with their actions and for interfering with justice, she heard them out regarding Mace’s innocence and how they believe the Brotherhood is being set up. Alyss offers to try and gather any information she can, but in the meantime advises that they leave the city for a short time. Apparently the Governing Chair Dengar Alvuus himself was present at the rescue and is not fond of being made a fool.

Fortunately for the party, Alyss has just such a task that would get them out of the city, if for only a few days to let things cool down. She had been researching in the lower temples that the party had discovered, and believes she has found clues as to the whereabouts of the real Mask of the Seas.

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The Rescue

Saving Mace


Upon returning to Port Klaenth, twilight was falling and the fine citizens were once again beginning to hang up their tools of labor to take up flagons of ale. You could hear the twanging of lute strings and the shrill arpeggios of reed flutes starting to rise above the din and murmur of the city coming to life for another long night of revelling.

After brief discussion of what to do next (weighing the options of bringing the evidence found in the Shadowed Hand hideout to Degal, the guard captain or going straight to the Brotherhood to report the successful raid) the party decided to head to the Eyeless Raven and once again ‘knock’ their way in. Devon flourished an arrow with remarkable precision (the only crit of the night…) and within moments they were inside the familiar wood-paneled entryway. They immediately noticed that no one was positioned in the entrance, which seemed odd. They could hear a commotion down the corridor into the main hall, however, and so Gumbo took to the shadows and crept closer to see what was up. The scene was frantic, with members of the Brotherhood dashing here and there, gathering up weapons and supplies, while Janse (elf, Mace’s right-hand man) and Pargen (the dwarf that scouted the Shadowed Hand hideout with Janse earlier) were arguing over a rolled out map of the city that was spread over a table in the middle of the hall.

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The Hideout

Breaking the Hand

(As told by Thelkion)

The party approached the lair of the Shadowed Hand which was built more or less in a cave beneath a mossy hill in the Twilight Forest. We were able to take a look through a sliding piece of wood embedded in the oaken double doors at the entrance, which was originally designed to see from the inside. Two humans were betting coppers on a card game and Toshi teleported adjacent to one of them (right through the view slot) and slaying him with his first attack. Thelkion also teleported in and opened the door which was barred from the inside, activating an alarm. Devon and Gumbo rushed in and everyone fired at the second human, killing him before he could react.

A few moments afterwards, we heard some noise from another door in the room, which was leading further down the dungeon. A Bugbear voice from the other room asked if everything is fine and Toshi tried to bluff the dead mercenary’s voice saying that all is well (and rolled horribly as I recall). Apparently it was the bugbears that managed to bluff us, as a few moments later they rushed in the room and attacked!

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The Brotherhood

The Raven Knocked

(As told by Gumbo Barleybrooke)

We last left the party at the Eyeless Raven. Thelkion spotted 2 gargoyles outside the inn and ran back in. He broke a window with a chair to create a less obvious egress, and after bluffing the bouncer that there was “something” outside, the bouncer (Jack) stepped out to investigate. After a moment, something swooped down and plucked Jack off the ground, carrying him high into the night sky.

Gumbo made a heroic leap through the now-broken window, jumping nearly 25 feet out of the inn, and readied his daggers and deadly sorcery. Kamesh, Devon, and Thelkion did similarly, except they used the door.

Once a Gargoyle came into sight it was instantly blasted back and out of the sky by 3 ranged attacks, bloodying it in the first go. (Gumbo’s was the first attack roll and it was a critical strike). The other gargoyle landed near Thelkion and the melee ensued. During the combat, another gargoyle appeared, and Jack’s corpse, now rent in two at the waist fell from the sky with a bloody thuck thuck sound. The Gargoyles turned to stone briefly and Gumbo ran over to Jack’s upper half, began to sob loudly, and pressed the attack on the now-stone gargoyle, critically missing and knocking everyone back a step. Thelkion ran over to the corpse and retrieved the 5gp the party had tipped him with earlier in the evening. De-stonified, the remaining gargoyles continued their attack, but the party successfully ground them into dust.

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Knock the Raven

The Eyeless Raven

(As told by Toshi)

After a long and particularly exhausting day our protagonists retired to their respective abodes, Khomesh to his monastic cell and the rest to the Silver Cartwheel. Early, well early enough to catch breakfast anyway, Thelkion, Gumbo, and Toshi ventured down to the common room for a much needed meal. Over eggs, bacon, and warm bread two things were discussed in earnest. The first being how to crisp the bread in an easy and effective manner. After a lively discussion which included suggestions of sorcery, they turned to the meaning of “knock the raven.” Toshi suggested perhaps this was a magical bow of some sort they needed to locate. After this was acknowledged as a possibility it was suggested that they return to Raven Street to see if it would yield any more clues in the daylight.

Upon arriving at their destination the party found two men, dressed in the livery of the city watch, guarding the entrance to the street. Toshi being a compulsive liar took charge. It didn’t take long for him to convince the guards that they were detectives sent “by the highest authority in Port Klaenth.” The guards let everyone pass without further delay. At the “scene of the crime”they saw a man wearing knots of rank watching over an underling rifling through the bodies. Again Toshi’s compulsive nature took over. He approached the commander and asked that the underling cease to disturb the scene. At first the commander was incredulous, but Toshi convinced him for five minutes of leeway to prove his worth. After a melodramatic investigation to fill the five minutes, Toshi described exactly what occurred the previous evening. Toshi introduced himself as Inspector Nigel (wearing a persona based in part on Niles the beggar from the previous evening), and the detective introduced himself as Captain Degal, and the underling as Lieutenant Jint. Gumbo was introduced as Wilson, Nigel’s handy assistant, and Thelkion was introduced as our porter, Pandor.

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The Beggar

A Shadow over Port Klaenth


After enduring the exhausting events of the previous day, the party was long in their rest and recovery, sleeping nearly through the next day at the temple of den Morrad. They finally rose, aching with stiffness and yet satisfied with the outcome of their efforts – the Mask was in the hands of the high priest Alyss.

Their satisfaction was cut short however, as they entered the chapel wing where Alyss was to be studying the Mask. She met them with a defeated look and a sigh, “I won’t bandy words friends”. The party is shocked to see her casually toss the artifact roughly onto the stone altar. “This mask is indeed a fake. It was cleverly enchanted with an illusion to make it seem powerful as such an artifact would be.” Her beautiful smile returns after a moment however, and she continues: "I’m actually quite proud of our forebears for setting up such a believable ruse. They even fooled the High Priest, though I’m not proud of it! Sadly with the illusion disenchanted this is nothing more than a wooden carving. We will attempt to enchant it once more so that it can again be placed on display and ‘guarded’, though the secret is now out. There is nothing to be done about that, so we must continue as we had before.

She also explains that after searching the temple and speaking with the priests, they’ve discovered that the missing body for the initial attack belonged to Daves Sentrendis (Dav-ES), a peculiar priest of their temple who tended to spend most of his time in his studies. Alyss brought the three to the chambers of Daves, where they found scroll after scroll of etchings detailing anatomy of humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings. Alyss explained that he was something of an eccentric, and believed that understanding the ways our bodies work would aid in how we can tend woulds and heal the sick. Indeed, Daves was among the finest healer in the temple of den Morrad, who are known more for their battle prowess than healing skills. Daves was also one of the few priests who had passed the tests to become part of the elite guard tasked with guarding the Mask. There are 16 priests who have the honor of protecting the most holy artifact of den Morrad, though she reminds the party that now 3 are dead and Daves is missing.

Alyss offers the party her thanks once again, and tells them she will need to search deeply for the next steps as no one in her order knows the location of the true Mask of the Seas. Someone out there is after it, and she would prefer she found it first. She bids them farewell and dives back into the dusty tome from which she had been reading.

The day was late and soon the revels of the 100 Day Celebration would commence. With an hour of daylight remaining, the party decided to split up to take care of some tasks before meeting up the next day. Thelkion and Telthoris decided to search for a tavern to enjoy a well-deserved meal. Gumbo, Toshi, and Kamesh decided that they would visit the local purveyor of magical goods before turning in.

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The Dragonborn

A New Foe


With the last of the bugbear thugs slain, the party now had to decide their next move, and with little time. On the one hand, they had the Mask back, and Bemm was eager to see it returned to High Priestess Alyss. Kamesh decided to escort the storm priest back to the surface, as they hadn’t yet explored all of the chambers below and danger might still be lurking. That left Gumbo, Thelkion, Toshi, and Telthoris to continue pursuit after the grey-robed wizard that fled through the door at the end of the great hall.

The door was not locked, and opened with a well-placed stiff shoulder. Immediately beyond they observed a corridor that split to the left and right. Both ended in wooden doors not thirty feet apart, and both had evidence of footprints leading beyond. To the right, only one set of footprints and the traces of a robe being dragged over the dusty floor. To the left, several large sets of footprints. Two levers controlled the doors, one on each end of the hall, and it appeared that their function was to both open one door while dropping a thick stone wall down over the other door. The levers seemed to be linked, as they couldn’t be operated at the same time. Also, a lever left unattended would slowly click back to its closed state. The party decided to head right, and after hefting the lever Toshi cleverly tied it into place by linking a length of rope to both levers. Since they could not move at the same time, they were wedged in place.

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Murder, Chase

A Theft in the Night


The following morning, the party decided to explore a bit of this new city and enjoy some of the comforts they had long been missing. But first, Kamesh wanted to check out the rumored temple to Teven in the city’s main square. They found Temple Plaza easily enough as it was indeed the focal point of the city. A sprawling flagstone plaza opened up before them, housing nearly half a dozen large temples to various deities. One in particular towered above the rest, and bore the familiar marking of the three wavy lines of den Morrad, draped in aqua-blue flags above the arched entrance.

Kamesh noticed the symbol of Teven above a stout temple sitting adjacent to den Morrad’s, and they made their way through the crowds of people and market stalls to get there. As they approached, they noticed that the crowd of people was thicker than might be expected, and that perhaps something was happening. They shouldered to the front of the throng and found a ring of den Morrad’s storm priests blocking the way into the temple. Clerics from Teven’s neighboring temple were rushing to and from the two temples, and some of the people nearby were sobbing.

Kamesh used his station as a paladin of Teven to gain entry to the temple of den Morrad after convincing one of the storm priests that he could assist with healing or aid if needed. Inside was evidence of a night assault on the temple. Alyss, the head priestess, surveyed a dismal scene. Three storm priests lay dead with daggers in their back. Toshi retrieved one of the daggers, and carries it still. Another priest, Daves, was discovered missing from his quarters. On inspection it was revealed that Daves had considerable knowledge and expertise relating to the metahuman body. Toshi immediately considered the possibility that Daves was a necromancer, before being rebuffed by Kamesh. After a brief search with no real result, the party decided to head down the tunnel from which the attackers came. Alyss kept other temple authorities from interfering with our mission, and sent Bemm, a cleric, with us to help. After tracking through tunnels things opened opened up into old ruins. Inside we saw an old man, with white eyes, holding the mask. He threw it down claiming it was nothing but a fake. He escaped through a door leaving his bugbear minions to take us down. After a brutal fight the party put them down.

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