Session 1 Part 6
The courthouse was not far from the sight of their battle with the ruffians but the walk between was long enough for the party to see that Westgate was not a nice town. Many of the buildings were falling into disrepair and most of the people that the party encountered look downtrodden, tired and downright miserable. Even the different colors of the buildings, the clothes the people wore, the few flowering plants seemed washed out and lacking luster. The entire city seemed to ooze a grayness that cultivated a feeling of depression everywhere.
“What a dreary place,” Tihee said looking around, “are you sure you want to build a temple here Sunrise?” The priestess smiled at the sorceress flashing her a set of perfect, white teeth. Her beaming face and perkiness seemed very out of place in such a bleak city.
“What better place than here to help spread a little cheer?” the priestess said in a singsong voice. Rhyming aside Tihee couldn’t disagree with her. And with that the party arrived at the courthouse. The building was nothing more than a wide and tall stone building that was square in shape and was not decorated in anyway. There were two city watchmen posted at the great oaken double door that led into the building. Neither of them said anything to the party as all seven of them passed by but kept a wary eye on them, especially the two hulking goliath and the dragonborn. Inside the building the party found a small lobby that ended in a long desk. Various clerks worked behind the desk helping their clients with legal questions. Behind the clerks were what looked dozens of filing cabinet that were lined along the back three walls. The party waited their turn standing behind Sunrise. Her two fellow priestess joined them while they waited. The first woman was named Twilight and had long flowing red hair that cascaded down her back and the other was named Midnight and had short black hair that was flipped up in a spikey hairdo on one side. Both of them were slender and shapely looking, attributes that did not escape Adran. When they finally gained an audience with one of the clerks Sunrise did the talking. The clerk helping them directed all his comments to the three priestess and never looked at the party. He acted as if Adran and his friends weren’t even there. In the end they found out it was the responsibility of the priestesses to clear out their “legally rented” property and that as the landlord Borgo Gosbaugh’s responsibilities ended once the rental agreement was signed. Sunrise looked unhappy and on the verge of crying again but Twilight quickly directed them outside to share what information she and Midnight had uncovered. Around the corner of the courthouse and out of sight, Twilight produced a scroll tube. Pulling a piece of parchment from it she unrolled what looked like a rough sketch of a building. She explained that it was a sketch of the building that they had rented and was once a Temple of the Mask.
“The Mask?” Sunrise asked already regaining her composure. Twilight went on to explain that the Mask was an evil religious order of rogues that conducted their nefarious business from within the temple.
“Oh great, religious fanatics. You know what kind of nutjobs those guys can be,” Rip said to no one in particular. He didn’t notice the intense glare that came at him from behind Xious’ hood.
Midnight continued the explanation by telling the others that sometime in the passed decade the order mysteriously disappeared and the temple fell into ruins. It had been unoccupied ever since. No one knew what happened to the order or why the religion died off. And no one knew if there were any of the Mask left in the city.
“Do you think that Oscar could be a surviving member of the Mask?” Sunrise asked everyone.
“Or someone trying to revive the order. Or possibly trying to use its reputation for his own gain. That’s what I would do,” Keothi said to no one in particular.
“Let’s take a look at that map,” Adran said and helped Twilight extend it to its full length for everyone to see. The temple was relatively rectangular in shape with two offices, one to each side of the temple’s front entrance and some sort of altar near its back entrance. There were also a series of tunnels that ran under the temple. Tracing those tunnels away from the temple the party found one that looked like it led right to the Gentle Moon Inn.
“Looks like we are headed right back were we started,” Xious said to the others.