Prince Fawziya says she has no knowledge of Prince Haal, but the woman in the silver mask does ring a bell. In early Ysyrian history the princes would create enhanced thralls, using them as assassin’s and minions. They grew in power and formed the Silver Manitcore Society who gained political power. Then about 200 years ago, amid rumours the society had become a Mara cult, something triggered a brief war, the society had stock piled a demon army and they fought against the Sorcerer Princes. Even Polyxhen the mother of sorcery was drawn into the fight. In the end half the council was killed and the society was destroyed, and no one has been able to figure out the old ritual since.
The circle then headed back to Planquin, as they reason that if the ship had been heading there it would arrive in the next day or so. Mahavir & Melati ask at the docks to find the ship. They learn that a ship belonging to Prince Haal left 13 days ago, crewed by thralls and carrying a strange women in a silver mask.
The circle also discover that Melati’s house had been destroyed and any remaining servants killed. It was clearly the work of Blood Apes. Occult symbols marked the ground and the remains of various walls. Fierce Orchid hadn’t seen anything like it before, but she did recognise some modified summoning glyphs and infernal sigils, and that it could be a mandala used for focusing & meditation.
The circle decided to stay at an in, The Smiling Eel, where everyone but Kyros sleeps well.
Kyros’ dreams are full of fire, until finally Thegam the Eternal appeared. He told Kyros that if he didn’t hand over the artifacts he would kill Kyros’ sister and then anything Kyros might hold dear, the circle, the city etc.
“You can’t expect me to clean up all your messes for you, sweetie. I did tell you to throw him in a coffin, fill it with lead and then dump in in the ocean, instead of your ridiculous working.”
While the rest of the circle waited for Kyros, Mahavir’s contacts came back to him to let him know that the bounty in the barbarian leader harassing Mada, Planquin and Arqad had gone up to 30 talents, no small sum of money. It was being offered by Baseeha the Heartless, a woman the circle had absolutely o intention of helping.
Finally the ship comes in, Mahavir sneaks on board and finds no sign that any women had been on board. He grabs the charts and captain’s log instead.
The logs indicates that the ship left Planquin 13 days ago, arrived in Arqad just before the blood ape rampage (the ship was carrying ‘special’ cargo – blood apes) then it collected crew and some special guests and left the city, the next day the special guests were picked up.
Debating what was meant by ‘picked up’ the circle headed down to intimidate the captain into giving answers. (They would shortly learn that it meant Agata back to Planquin and that they were already too late.) The captain refused to budge and the circle left, a short while later several thralls were sent off the ship, the circle followed and found themselves at mansion in the upper city. Knowing that they could not allow Thegam the Eternal any more time to prepare, the circle burst in to the house. Where they were confronted by Prince Haal, Aetaia the silver manitcore and Thegum the Eternal possessing the body of Anthousa, Kyros’s sister.