The Fate of the Fourth Master
After the Demon War, the mage Morpheus traveled the lands a great deal but eventually retired to his home nation of Carrikos. Morpheus was a worshiper and, in his younger days, had been an active participant in the Carrikosian church. He lived his last years in Arcanum. Upon his death, a great funeral was planned. He had been a man of great importance and was destined to be laid to rest in the exalted Vault of Memories, the official state crypt for the most holy men of the nation. However, on preparing his corpse for burial, it was found that his body was tainted with dark energies. (This was a side effect of his involvement with the Banishing spell from the Conclave fortress). Many bishops in the Church felt that he should be honored as a devoted follower and be allowed to be buried in the Vault of Memories. Others argued that he had been contaminated from his involvement in the Demon War and should be banned from the Vault. In the end, those opposed won and it was decided that his body would be given to Grandok and displayed in his tower of oddities. Morpheus was to serve as an example of the dangers of tampering with demoncraft to future generations.
The Current Whereabouts of the Fourth Skull
The fourth skull exists as part of the mummified corpse of Morpheus. It is currently located on the top floor of Grandok’s Tower. It is treated as a religious relic and is guarded as one of the wondrous oddities of that museum.
The characters must travel to the city of Arcanum in the theocratic nation of Carrikos. There, they must locate the final resting place of the skull and acquire it, either by stealth, force or diplomacy.
List of Events
Having acquired the third skull in the middle of the Captured Sea, the characters now face a journey eastward to the city of Arcanum. Along the way, they will pass through the military lands of Vorrik, the cultured city of Vogue and the Janida Mud Flats.
Entering the City
The city of Arcanum is wealthy and wondrous. Upon entering the city gates, the wizards and priests of the party will be identified and told the rules.
Discovering the Fate of Morpheus
The characters should already know that Morpheus was a worshiper of Carrikos. The Vault of Memories is public knowledge and any cleric, mage or other scholar type in the party would likely know that Morpheus would be a candidate for inclusion in that holy crypt. This will likely lead the players to approach the Church and ask about the burial of Morpheus. The Church has extensive records on all who have ever served and they will have records of Morpheus. When the characters approach the Church, they will learn the debate that surrounded his death and the subsequent decision that he be given to Grandok’s Tower.
Grandok's Tower is described under Arcanum. Grandok's tower is a well known establishment with strong ties to the church. It serves as museum, archive, store house and place of historical learning. It houses some of the most holy relics of this religion, artifacts of pagan religions (as curiosities only), magic items from centuries past, pre- Sundering relics and more. The nobles and elite of the city often entertain guests and foreigners here, to show off the glory and beauty of the followers' proud traditions. Security is high.
Acquiring the Skull by Stealth
Grandok’s Tower is a private establishment, but enjoys some government funding. It is ruled by Grandok, a faithful wizard priest who has serious magical security. Also, one of the bishops is a patron of Grandok’s Tower and therefore it has significant aid from the government. Using stealth to get in should be very tough. Magical security defenses are extensive and well tested. This place should be difficult, but not impossible, to get in to.
Acquiring the Skull by Force
This option is not advised. Grandok has good security and a small force of guards. In addition, he can summon the city guard quickly. As soon as word reaches the Church that someone is trying to steal (or has stolen) an artifact from Grandok's Tower, the Church will act quickly to protect its artifacts and serious power will be brought to bear. Templars will begin sweeping the city with search spells. If the characters launch a full assault against Grandok’s Tower, it is likely that they will bring down a citywide manhunt on their heads and regret their rash decision.
Acquiring the Skull by Diplomacy
Grandok is a reasonable man as are the patron supporters of this establishment. If the characters come to them with their story and some evidence, there is a chance that Grandok will allow a portion of the corpse to be loaned out on a limited basis. Ultimately, Grandok will have to get permission from the Church, but the Church is likely give Grandok’s authority in this matter. Grandok will likely be agreeable to loaning out a single bone for a limited time. He will be reluctant to give up the skull. The party may argue that they need the skull. In actuality, any bone will work. They are all irradiated with the same level of energy. It depends on how convincing the players are. This could go several different ways. Such a loan might require substantial monetary offerings to the Church as a show of good faith. It is also possible that certain bishops may find the request offensive and a dispute could easily erupt.
Once the characters have the skull, the map will change coordinates and the players will notice this the next time they check. The new coordinates indicate that the next skull (the fifth skull) is located deep in the northern land of Borrell.
Concluding the Fourth Skull Quest
Once the characters have the skull, they can leave Arcanum. The characters may or may not be fleeing the city of Arcanum when this section of the campaign ends. It depends on how they went about acquiring the skull and whether or not they raised any alarms. If the players have stolen the skull and the Church is aware of the theft, the Church will send pursuit (in the form of a small detachment of Templars led by a group of bishops) to retrieve the artifact.
Once the characters obtain the fourth skull, the map coordinates change. The fifth skull is in the snowy northern lands of Borrell.
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This page last updated Wednesday, December 24, 2008. Copyright 1990-2009 David M. Roomes.