The Masks of Vyn Morrad

The Adventure Begins

Where there’s a whip there’s a way!

Our heroes begin the adventure as slaves aboard the pirate vessel Reef Runner, captives of the pirate captain Jurg. They have been aboard the slave-running ship for near two weeks, heading due west. They were all captured for various reasons in or around the city Syrn, though the reasons and the how have not yet been shared.

Early during the 12th day, the player’s characters were once again woken up by the harsh crack of the first lieutenant’s whip. It would be another long day of rowing, but with little way of resisting they shuffled to the sweeps in their 3-man chain gangs. While rowing, Gumbo Barleybrooke faked a violently ill fit, sicking up all over the taskmaster, Whip. The ruse cost Gumbo a broken nose and a few loose teeth, but it gave one of the other captives, Toshi, a chance to use his thievery skills to swipe a dagger from Whip’s belt.

After a long day of rowing, the slaves are led back to the quarters on the lowest deck, locked behind thick iron bars. On the way, the heroes hear nervous whispers between the pirate crew about a supposedly ‘cursed’ island that they will sail past this very night. The crewmen want to sail the ship as wide as they can from this island, but the Whip will hear none of it, reminding the crew that they need to get the slaves to Port Klaenth with all haste. To make matters worse, their fortunate streak of cloudless skies and smooth sailing is about to change. The last thing Algar sees before he goes below decks is a vast wall of black storm clouds on the horizon, directly in their path.

A strange island

We’re not in Syrn anymore…

One by one our heroes awake, finding themselves washed up on a strange beach. A narrow strip of sand halts abruptly next to a thick wall of odd-looking trees. Of the pirates there is no trace, except for the husk of the Reef Runner broken and battered on the rocky shore. Those who wake first quickly attempt to aid the others, and while doing so they begin to hear a loud buzzing sound coming from the north-western shore line. A swarm of five insect creatures resembling mosquitoes the size of house cats burst through the palm trees and dart towards the closest thing with a pulse. In this case, Algar! Without much chance to react, the party finds their companion Algar stuck with three proboscis and quickly losing massive amounts of blood. Cutlasses and daggers are found on the beach, and Telthoris’s mightly heirloom blade springs into his hand just in time to deal with the creatures known as stirges.

Before they can recover, they hear more of the same buzzing sounds coming from within the palm trees, only ten times louder. The heroes realize that they wouldn’t be able to stand up to more than a few more of these nasty blood-suckers, so they quietly slip into the tree line of the island to the north-east and away from the stirge swarm. After sneaking the first twenty feet or so, they make a dash into the trees in hopes of finding cover or a place of hiding. A strange thing happens as they go deeper into these foreign woods, however. No more than fifty paces in, the sounds behind them are completely swallowed up. They can no longer hear the stirge swarm, nor the ocean waves crashing on the beach. Additionally, the air itself has grown thick and close, with a damp heat crowding down upon the party. As strange as this seems, they realize that they are no longer being chased and so they decide to split up and search for food, water, and shelter.

RIP Gumbo

Death of a hero

The party erects a small monument to their fallen comrade.


The island village

After dispatching the tribal goblins and their fire beetle pets the heroes eventually came upon a wooden sentry tower, a rough-shod building standing two stories in height. There they found two humans standing guard, spears at the ready. They wore patched and worn looking clothing mixed with a few bits of steel and chainmail, and carried longspears. “Halt! Who goes there? State your business?” One of the guards cried out, but both men looked very surprised to see the party emerge from the steamy jungle.

The heroes, having suffered many wounds and without their proper gear, assured the guards that they meant no harm and just wished to know where they were. After a whispered exchange, the guards agreed to bring the party to their village just beyond a low rise in the valley beyond.

Their trek to the village revealed some of the geography of this island, which was nearly perfectly ovoid in shape, and featured three prominent hill-mountains near the center. They followed a narrow path through the thick vegetation and over a low dip in the valley wall, emerging on the other side to find a broad valley a mile across nestled in the shadows of the three peaks. From the lip of the valley rim they could see a circular clearing in the very center of the island, flecked with circular wooden huts and smoke from cook fires.

Into the Temple

Beneath the Shrine…

The heroes, having scaled the peak of the Antazari mountains, find at the highest point a half-domed structure made of the purest white marble. Symmetrical rows of columns standing four on each side lead to the temple proper, an open structure 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide. Within the half-dome the floor is fitted with the same white marble slabs, and in the center sits a narrow white altar. Upon the alter is built a white bowl, thick and wide, and within rests clear blue water. Thelkion felt a strange presence in his mind, and heard a faint message as if from an exhausted voice saying “Return the stone…” Near the back of the half-dome the party notices that one of the marble slabs has recently been moved aside, and it indeed reveals a hole leading into darkness below. Although armed with only basic weapons and armor, this is what the heroes scaled the mountain for, and if they can somehow solve this puzzle of the missing townswomen, perhaps they will find some assistance getting back to the mainland.

The Silver Sword

Deeper They Delve…

After defeating the skeletal guards and the zombie hulk, the party had a choice of two passageways leading deeper into the temple depths. To the north, an ancient wooden door. To the west, an open corridor leading into darkness. They chose to head west, which soon lead to a square chamber wrapping around a stone alcove. They heard chittering and scuttling sounds coming from the darkness, always keeping just out of sight.

Rounding the corner they found a shallow alcove, and within a decaying body. Guarding the body were a pair of zombie wererats and a swarm of dire rats. As the fight breaks out, they soon realize that their common weapons are not enough to keep the wererats from regenerating. Algar notices the pommel of a sword sticking out from underneath the body in the alcove and drawing it out reveals a shining silver blade. The new weapon turns the tide and soon the zombie creatures perish. Amongst the corpse’s other possessions they find a small sack of coins and two potions containing a clear blue liquid.

The alcove seems to be easily defended, so the party takes a much-needed rest to tend to the wounds and aches of the previous battles. They can only imagine this temple has more foul undead to throw at them, and surely at the end lies the answer to the missing townswomen.

The Turquoise Turtle

The Riddle Solved

Having rested up after a difficult battle, the party was ready to continue on. They returned to the large chamber that split off into three directions, and took the last unexplored path.

Through the dank corridor they found an ancient stone bridge once stood across a deep chasm, now broken away into the depths below. Using a javelin and some rope they were able to anchor a pulley line across, and soon they were continuing on their way.

Through another open chamber with high vaulted ceilings they finally came to the end of the temple dungeon. Dingy brass braziers cast flickering light upon the floor of this wide room etched with strange runes and images unfamiliar to the party. The stench of death hung heavy in the air, and recessed in the middle of the chamber floor was an iron grate stuffed with bones and human remains.

The Zaratan

More than meets the island…

Standing in the open chamber of the temple, the sun setting over the mountain peaks washed over the white marble columns, setting it aglow. Crystal flickering lights danced on the surface of the blue water, beckoning the party to return the turtle . As Thelkion gently dipped the figurine back into the white marble bowl, blue lights erupted from the altar. A comforting wind swept up the valley and through the open face of the temple, gently ruffling cloaks and hair as a shudder surges through the entire island beneath their feet. The shudder is over in a moment, and Thelkion hears the familiar voice in his head. This time the voice is deep and strong, and speaks in long, slow sentences.

The Ashwood

The Black Forest

After rescuing the Zaratan from its prisoned sleep, it was a three day journey to the mainland. The giant turtle swam to within site of the shore and then the heroes took two canoes the remaining distance. Stashing the canoes in the undergrowth, they set off into the woods in hopes of finding signs of civilization. The forest is quiet and the air feels thick around them. The party makes good time travelling through the forest; the trees are tall and straight and spaced out with little undergrowth. The forest is made up of silver birch and black ash trees, creating a haunting environment of contrasting black and white. The silvery green leaves on the trees have begun changing colors with the coming of fall, turning from a silvery green to a snow-white as they float to the loamy black earth below.

Before long they reach a worn pathway heading off to the north and south. By their estimates, they judge that the Zaratan left them somewhere south of Port Klaenth so they turn right on the path and head north. They walk along the path, which is wide enough for a horse cart to travel, until they come to a sign pointing down a path that leads off to the west. The sign reads:



The Missing Children

Mayor Gill Miller looks tired and worn down, with heavy bags under his eye. When the party probes, Gill and his fellows Jerrit and Folgen, owner of the general goods shop and the smithy respectively, explain that the village has been through hard times recently. They explain that some of the town’s children have recently disappeared, and others are acting strangely.

Folgen continues the story and mentions that the children for years have been visiting the kindly old woman simply called Grandmother, who lives north of Dunford deeper in the Ashwood. There is an old game trail the runs over the river and through the wood to her old cottage, and the children are always eager to visit Grandmother to share her sweets and listen to her fairy tales. The recently missing children were supposed to have been visiting grandmother, but they never returned. The only other strange occurance is that an old woodcutters hut west of the village appears to be in use again after several years of abandonment. Smoke has been seen from the chimney, but no one has been seen as of yet.

The heroes decide that after a nights rest they will head down the game trail to investigate. They promise Gill Miller and the other village council members that they will do everything in their power to return the missing children.


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