What Was and What Will Be
Rulers Behind the Throne
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.