Just after midnight, the evening’s peace was shattered by the thunder of a trebuchet being fired. Again and again the sounds echoed from the guard towers near East Bridge, waking nearly all of East Point. Across the river in Journey’s End, citizens woke just in time to see a sleek brig burn and swiftly sink into the wine-dark waters. Come dawn, Hyldlor was abuzz with rumors of pirate raiders and ghost ships. Jäger, Ivan, and Llyrrian were able to quickly cut through the tales: A sinister-looking ship, bearing a yellow light, refused inspection as it sailed into the river. When it neared East Bridge and still failed to make its intentions known, the watch fired upon and destroyed it. None of the guardsmen who signaled or shouted out to the ship received a response. Some said that no one was on board at all.
By the next day people began to suffer, all over the city, from a strange new disease. The Blackguard Operatives were soon contacted by Gruen Soeder who said his niece had fallen ill. Thankful for their kindness and support during his depression, alcoholism, and even when he was framed for treason, he now believed Llyrrian might be her best shot at recovery. At the Soeder's home, they met Dhartree, a Dwarven cleric from the Bank of Korassa. Once they had finished attending to the young girl, the Dwarf told the Blackguard Operatives that he would talk to his superiors and try get them admitted to aid in the investigation into this mysterious illness.
Although Gruen's niece was the first to be stricken with the Red Mask, she was not alone... the bank steps were inundated with blood-faced patients. The clerics were overwhelmed, healing those with gold and recommending local herbalists for those without. The priests had their own troubles, several of their acolytes, guards, and vaultkeepers also developed symptoms. Upon arriving, the heroes saw the temple guards turning away all comers who showed signs of illness. The party was forced to fight through the disease-ridden crowd which turned its attention to Llyrrian, begging for healing and divine aid. Once inside, they found that little magic was left among the clergy was quickly sold to a few wealthy and lucky worshipers, but in all, fewer than two dozen citizens were healed. There the party learned that the disease seemed to be spread on silver piece coins, and that it was not revealed by Detect type magics...