The Masks of Vyn Morrad

Into the Palace

New Friends


The party gathers before the sun has risen, in a respectable inn and tavern called the Silver Cartwheel. All are present as they have decided that this will be the day they finally enter the palace to get some answers to the many questions that have arisen these past weeks in Port Klaenth. With the robes given to them by Dalson and the ruse of entering the palace on the pretense of receiving prayers and tribute from Dengar Alvuus after the massacre at the temple, they feel this is the perfect opportunity to act.

Their old friend Mace is present at this meeting, concealed in a flowing cloak to hide his identity. The party was surprised that he would risk such a meeting, but the ever-daring Mace is unconcerned with such dangers. “I am a cat, my friends, and I have many lives yet to live!” He sips a frothy beer, despite the hour, and chats amiably with the party before they get down to serious discussion.

Mace explains that the Brotherhood has taken over the old hideout of the The Shadowed Hand north of Port Klaenth and have been rebuilding their numbers. Mace is still fuming over the betrayal by his former brothers

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To Save a Halfling

Poison Most Vile


The party checked the warehouse for any final clues of where the cultists had come from and what their motivation may have been, but they come up empty handed. Gumbo begins looking more and more worse for the wear, and under Kamesh’s urging they quickly head back to the temple of Teven to seek healing. Indeed Kamesh’s initial attempts to stabilize the wound were met with complete failure, and the pious warrior knew they would need a master to deal with this.

Gumbo begins to act slightly delusional, and the idea of just cutting off his arm is tossed around. “By Merrin’s taint I swear it’d hurt less!” Toshi chuckles and makes note of the creative curse for later use. Gumbo asks why they don’t go see the priests of den Morrad, and Kamesh explains that Teven’s healer’s are far more skilled (no offense meant to den Morrad of course).

They make it to the temple in the main plaza of the city, still disguised in their priestly robes, and by this point they are drawing attention to themselves from the moans coming from poor Gumbo. Kamesh rushes into the main chapel and shouts for the high priest, who under the tutelage of Teven is always the most skilled healer. A stooped, white-haired man rushes to the party and immediately sets to delving into Gumbo. “High Priest Jarad is the finest healer in the city, fear not. He can surely aid you Gumbo.”

At those words Jarad shoots Kamesh a worried glance. In a kindly voice he explains that he’s afraid this won’t be as simple. “Arthur, fetch kit!” He calls to a nearby priest. “You know which one…” The priest Arthur looks grim for a moment and then rushes off, shortly returning with a leather satchel filled with various knives, saws, and other devices suitable for relieving a patient of a limb.

“This is just a precaution, in case we can’t move quickly enough.” The kindly man explains. “I’m afraid you are beset with a most fearsome venom, know to many as ’Thrall’s Kiss’. If not treated within the day, you will surely lose your arm if not your life. The real evil of this poison is that it was designed knowing that most healers would not be keeping the antidote on hand. I certainly do not, nor have I ever had the heart to retrieve any…”

Kamesh and Toshi share a concerned look, and then ask Jarad what the antidote is. “I’m afraid the wicked minds that created this poison used the blood of a Pegasus to brew it, thus the blood of a Pegasus is the only thing that can cure it, short of divine intervention.”

“Then we kill a goblin sucking Pegasus!” cries out Gumbo in his feverish state. Kamesh reminds Gumbo that a Pegasus is a divine creature, believed to be the ascended soul of someone that is of such purity and love that they are blessed with flight and immortality. Indeed, to kill a Pegasus is to remove that soul from existence, never to live again. A Pegasus may voluntarily usher its soul back to the realms of the living to be reborn as a new being, but this is rarely a gift given up.

Toshi steps back, looks at his friend Gumbo suffering, and asks Jarad where he can find a Pegasus.

Within the hour, the party is heading along the coast north of Port Klaenth. They had heard rumor of a nesting ground that is sometimes used by a small flock of Pegasus. Indeed as they travel on, they soon see traces of Pegasus feathers on the rocky shore. They track the trail to a covered outcropping near the sea, and as they approach they hear the hideous laughter of what could only be orcs. Drawing steel they rush to seek out the source, and are horrified to see a bloodied Pegasus standing on the edge of a rock slab, back against the sea. Her wing is badly broken, and cuts cover her once beautiful hide.

The heroes rush to attack the orcs and do anything they can to draw them away from the wounded creature. The orcs prove to be little challenge, however as they drop the last foe they quickly see that the Pegasus is beyond the point of repair. They comfort the creature as best they can, and suddenly hear its voice in their mind. “I know what you seek, and I thank you for trying to save me. My time in the world in this form is at an end, but do not fear for me. Had those creatures slain me outright, my soul would vanish from the world forever, but you’ve given me the chance to choose to be reborn, and for that my soul is eternally grateful. Take now what you have come for, and take it without guilt. Quickly, now.”

The creature shudders as Toshi gathers the blood dripping from its once-brilliant coat, and as the last light of the sun sets they see a flash of white light from the Pegasus as it leaves this world. The party lingers for a moment in respect, but realizing Gumbo’s plight they leave the poor creature and head swiftly back to the city.

At the temple of Teven, Jarad has a poultice ready within the hour and has applied it to Gumbo’s arm. Gumbo at this point had fallen unconscious, but soon is visibly better and the purple color slowly leaves his arm. The rest of the party, exhausted from the urgency of this mission, retire to their chambers at the temple of den Morrad and are soon asleep, despite the celebrations continuing on the streets of the city.

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Thrall's Kiss

Kiss Goodbye


The party thanks Dalson for his kindness and wishes them strength and peace in the rebuilding after these terrible events. Kamesh swears to avenge Alyss, or bring her back alive if she still lives.

The acolyte robes prove to be a good way for the party to get around the city while the Watch is still searching for them. Before leaving, Dalson had offered up the last known direction of the cultists that had fled the temple after the fight with the Blank. A mix of city watchmen and Storm Priests had chased a handful of them south out of Temple Square and lost them in the alleyways between the multitude of warehouses and foundries of the Craft District.

With a few successful streetwise checks by Gumbo and some expert tracking by Toshi and Thelkion, they find signs of the cultists holding up in an abandoned warehouse. Sneaking in as quietly as they are able, the party enters the warehouse. Unfortunately for them, the cultists were waiting and pounced with a brutal opening assault. The cultists fight viciously, but soon all fall; the last slit his own throat so as not to be captured for questioning.

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A Meeting

A New Ally

With the Mask safely sealed away and the threat of the Blank gone for the time being, the heroes make their way back to the temple, fearing for what they might find. The site is grim indeed, as they climb back into the temple hall and find that only a dozen or so Stormpriests still live, along with twice as many acolytes. The death toll is nearly 30 priests dead, with Alyss nowhere to be found. Only her delicate-looking mace was left, and no witnesses saw her or the Blank leave after their clash. Although still wanted men, the survivors seem to not pay the party any heed as they go about healing the wounded and blessing the dead. Priests of Teven have joined the temple to aid with the healing, and Kamesh offers his services as well.

After a few moments, a Stormpriest makes his way to the party to greet them. He introduces himself as Dalson Windreaver, the highest ranking survivor in the temple and therefore the new leader. He is a tall, sturdy man, balding with fiery red tufts of hair and a long red beard braided and hanging over his robust belly. He seems a gentle soul, and his bespectacled face, normally free with a smile, now wears the worry, strain, and sadness of the days events. He leans wearily on the blue haft of his greataxe, ‘Orc Rend’.

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Into the Depths

Chased

The lid slides shut on the trap door above, leaving the party in darkness. Torches are lit and magic lights are summoned as they begin the race towards the temple below. They begin making their way through the familiar tunnels of the lower temple, and soon hear the crash from behind them as the trap door is smashed to pieces. The rattling thuds of several skeletons hitting the stone tunnel floor means the chase is on.

Winding deeper into the depths of the tunnel, they easily outpace the skeletons to the point where they had last descended and retrieved the false Mask. A trapped and locked door delays them, and the first wave of skeletons rush to meet them. They are dealt with swiftly as Toshi cajoles the lock into agreement, and they continue onward. The new halls are strange and unfamiliar, revealing more of the ancient sub-temple below den Morrad’s house of worship. Aqua-blue stones and triangular doorways give an almost alien feel to the place.

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Revealed

Run!

With the chaos over, the heroes begin discussing their theories with Alyssas to who might be behind the attempts on the Mask. Telthoris brings up their questions about Dengar, however at the very mention of the Governing Chair Alyss is visibly shocked, and can scarcely believe the accusation. “I have personally met with Alvus on many occasions, and he has always been a kind and compassionate soul. The citizens of Klaenth adore him! How else could he have gained their love? How could he change the very structure of our government if he were not so loved?”

As the players begin to share their story, a thin voice like crumbling parchment pierces through the temple chamber.

“All good theories, my friends.”

Standing silhouetted against the light of the doorway stands a tall, thin figure in gray robes hemmed with black runes. His arms, hands, and fingers seem almost too long, and he moves with the fluid grace of a snake. He casually tosses onto the marble floor two heads, faces frozen in a rictus of pain and surprise; the two stormpriests who left only moments before to guard the door.

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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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