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(This is a re-post of a story originally written for the printed version of the View some 10-15 years ago)
Into Castle Ravensloft by Steven Matulewicz
The Mask of Achlys.
There were several things slightly wrong with the mask. The first was that it was in a different position every time he came. Today it was looking at the stack of books. That was not uncommon either in the Vault: there were many objects here that shifted positions when you were either not there, or you were not looking.
The second is there was no dust around it, no decay. There is a scroll near the mask: the part nearer the mask was whole and almost new. The other was yellow and black with dust and age. The perceptible ring around the mask was only marred by a single drop of blood that hung on the forehead of the mask. It wasn’t easy to see, but after being here many times and viewing it from many angles, it becomes clear. Because the blood is fresh against the silver sheen.
Third was the skeleton on the floor just in back of the desk it was on. This is a place of evil, sure. And there were many body parts around. But they were on display. This was some kind of researcher left on the floor. So it begs to question what happened with this mask that was so frightening to those powerful evil mages who used this place that they would not clean up the body in one way or another? He was sure there had to have been other accidents or experiments. Why this one?
Fourth was the slight wind. You could see candles and paper around it blowing towards it. Not a torrent, just enough to ruffle the paper.
The man/ mage must have been seeking some kind of revenge for what the mask had done, Pyr surmised. And in that stupid mistake of rage a powerful curse came out of it. One so horrible and undoable the Wizards let the mask and the body be.
There were many, many items of great and “stupid powerful” items here. But he was sure it was the worst.
But most importantly the items in the Vault were dormant, waiting to be activated.
Except this one was still “on”. And it’s the only other place/ item not warded.
The mysteries here were always oddly interesting to ponder. What was the power or curse of the coin balancing on its edge in one of the display case? Why was a small bronze frog statue in a well secured cage covered heavily with the magical wards? Why was one of the books occasionally removing itself from the shelves and placing itself somewhere else in the stacks?
The ultimate lesson he believed is this was the best place to store powerful items that should never see the light of day ever again.
Created by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 04-08-19 03:32 PM
Last Modified by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 04-08-19 03:32 PM