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Night Masks (guild)

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The Night Masks were a criminal organization based in the city of Westgate. They controlled the criminal underworld of the city and performed assassinations, kidnappings, extortion, smuggling, and blackmail.[1]

OrganizationEdit

CourtOfTheNightKing

The Court of the Night King: left to right, Tebryn "Shadowstalker" Dalael, the Twilight Knight, Orlak II the Night King, Darklady Dahlia Vhammos, and Phultan Hammerwand.

The Night Masks were headed by a council of four vampires led by Orbakh, who reigned supreme over the entire guild. The guild was structured so that the higher up the leadership chain someone went, the more protection that person had. Orbakh, being supreme ruler was therefore the most protected. The four Night Masters reported directly to him and, in turn, had Counts who reported to one of them. Each count had several lieutenants who lead four-man squads of rank-and-file rogues: thugs, assassins, tricksters, etc. Whatever type of agent was needed for the job delegated to them. These squads were kept ignorant of any other squad so if something happened to one group, others could not be affected. The watchwords for the Guild were "plausible deniability". The elite of the guild were the Deathbringers who were given some of the vampiric powers of their master in a gruesome ceremony.[citation needed]

HistoryEdit

The Night Masks, although already well established, didn't really come to prominence in Westgate until 1353 DR, when they cemented their secret rule over the city by dominating three of the ten nobles who sat on the ruling council. They also controlled many of Westgate's vital institutions and completely took over the criminal underworld of the city, engaging in a quiet street war with the Shore Patrol and a few powerful criminal merchants that would last a full two decades until all resistance was crushed.[citation needed]

Shopkeepers would openly daub the domino mask symbol on their premises to indicate that the Night Masks protected them and it was rare that anything illegal happened in Westgate without the organization being behind it. They were led by a mysterious figure known only as the Faceless, someone who demonstrated their ability to rule and always wore a feature-obscuring mask.[citation needed]
Night Masks Attack

The Night Masks attack the city guard.

In 1357 DR, battles with the Shore Patrol caused adventurers, hired by the city's merchant nobility, to ruin a plan to turn Westgate into a theocracy of Mask. In 1361 DR, the first Faceless (a doppleganger mage who repeatedly stole magic from the temple of Leira) was murdered and replaced by Victor Dhostar, who went on to absorb the pesky Shore Patrol into the guild. He soon became the target for Alias and Dragonbait, the famous adventurers. After trying to pronounce himself king of Westgate in 1368 DR, the second Faceless was killed. There was a power struggle within the guild and it might have disbanded if not for a new Faceless candidate a year later who gruesomely eliminated his opposition. Orbakh the vampire was the new Faceless and, influenced by a pair of magical items, instituted a ruling Court of Night Masters to whom he delegated specific activities. Under Orbakh's reign the Night Masks flourished.[citation needed]

The domino pictures were removed from protected shop walls to increase secrecy and the guild was restructured. From a membership of over 2000, Orbakh eliminated those he deemed unnecessary or disloyal until less than 900 remained.[citation needed]

In 1384 DR, Gedrin a young member of the Night Masks had a vision in which the gods Helm and Tyr fought, with Tyr slaying Helm. After he died, Helm's essence melded with Tyr's and Tyr's sight returned. When Gedrin woke from his vision, he held Helm's sword, Vindicator. Later, Gedrin had another vision in which Tyr was killed by the demon lord Orcus and Tyr's essence flowed into Torm's, making Torm the Threefold God. Gedrin became a religious zealot and recruited crusaders from among the Night Masks, forming the Eye of Justice.[2] The church was instrumental in driving the Night Masks from Westgate in 1391 DR.[2][3] The Fire Knives thieves guild also purged the city of vampires. Orbakh escaped to his lair outside the city walls, the haunted castle of Stormwatch.[3]

MembersEdit

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of WestgateEdit

NWN2 box This article or section is about elements from the game Neverwinter Nights 2.
Video games are considered canon unless they contradict content in some other Forgotten Realms publication.

Close to the end of the game, the player has the opportunity to kill Orbakh and destroy the guild. However, it is revealed to be just a fake death by him, in order to uncover a powerful enemy. The game ends with Orbakh and his guild still active, even though their plans are thwarted.

Further readingEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Sean K. Reynolds, Jason Carl (November 2001). Lords of Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 38–53. ISBN 0-7869-1989-2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Erik Scott de Bie (April 2009). Downshadow. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-5128-4.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  4. Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.

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