EBON GATE STORYLINE FINALE: GM Xynwen posted the summary and finale of the Ebon Gate Storyline, The Vistix’s Last Bride. There was blood, deceit, undead, a curse, and True Love involved:
Text of Discord Post follows:
[Ebon Gate-Prime] Storyline Summary & Credits
on 26 Oct 2023 10:22 PM
from the Official GemStoneIV Discord
on #forums/paid-events channel
Summary – Part 1
Draugr across Evermore Hollow anxiously anticipated the coming of Vistix Akrath, a lord of some sort who had not been seen in the area for several years. Vistix Akrath Yvalyst welcomed everyone to his manor found in the Winterbriar neighborhood and hosted the annual costume contest as well as a ball.
It was at this ball where he met and fell in love with the beautiful Yraelia, eldest daughter of the widowed owner of the shop, Nightfire Brews. A whirlwind romance followed, with Akrath proposing a marriage to take place on the 6th of Jastatos, just before midnight, a date and time he claimed was auspicious. Many adventurers who were visiting in disguise expressed suspicions and concerns amongst themselves, but never to Yraelia or her mother, Tasthera, or her sister, Samyrha.
While bride was somewhat late to her own wedding, she did appear, and soon, Jehckle had the happy couple wed and shooed off for their first night of marital bliss. After the nuptials ended and the couple had left, guests were interrupted in their revelry by haunting visions and ghostly accusations for lack of action.
Several people were worried, including Yraelia’s family, but the couple made a few appearances that assuaged some concerns. Unfortunately, Akrath exhibited an unfortunate tendency toward impatience, upsetting his bride at a dinner party she threw. After he left angrily, it was discovered there was a room she was not allowed in, and everyone convinced her they should have a tour of the manor, including this forbidden room. She felt it harmless, since he had told her it was because of its state of disarray, and the guests offered to help her restore the room and hopefully his good temper.
Alas, it was not to be. The locked room had all the makings of a summoning chamber as well as a series of severed heads sitting on a shelf. Soon after entering, the door slammed shut, and the room went dark, trapping everyone inside. When they were released, Yraelia was gone, and numerous individuals reported horrific visions.
The next week was spent in fruitless searching by Tasthera and Samyrha, as well as the adventurers invested in Yraelia’s health; the Vistix was nowhere to be seen, and his manor was tightly closed against visitors. Finally, several days after Yraelia’s disappearance, the manor mysteriously opened its doors. All within experienced more horrific visions and voices, and it began to appear as if the Vistix had perhaps had a hand in his wife’s disappearance and in trapping these spirits within his home.
When Akrath finally did appear, he beside himself with rage at the opening of the manor, and he accused the adventurers of causing the issues, issues he steadfastly refused to elaborate upon. It would later be clear that he worked under a mighty geas, but while some may have suspected, none knew for certain. Pressed to provide something, Akrath stated a ritual would need to occur the next night to solve his issue; he needed help from those present if they would give it; he left in anger.
On the night of the ritual, numerous individuals gathered, including Samyrha and Tasthera. Akrath led them to the garden, which had been inaccessible all day while he prepared for his ritual. At long last, he addressed Samyrha. She shared the most blood with Yraelia, being her full sister. He implored her and proclaimed his love for his wife. Samyrha was won over and defied her mother to participate in the ritual.
All present were admonished by Akrath not to interrupt the ritual once it was under way, no matter what they saw or heard.
Unfortunately, one persistent woman insisted on attempting to attack Akrath not just once, but twice, and succeeded in disturbing the salt circle. And just like that, the ritual was broken, and chaos ensued. A figure pulled itself from within Akrath, an imposing ghostly man exuding what most would define as pure evil. With hardly any thought, he used magic to immobilize all in the garden and behead Samyrha. He called forth his last bride, a headless spectre who brought with her the captive Yraelia. Yraelia’s fate mirrored her sister’s as the figure taunted Akrath before pulling him down through the earth.
The ancient vistix crowed about his success, leaving to further his studies. As he left, undead creatures poured into the garden, and a battle ensued. When it was over, the manor was once again impervious to entry, and the survivors were left to contemplate their actions, while the heartbroken mother, now without both daughters, fled home in agony.
Soon thereafter, the witches Hehckle and Jehckle felt the disturbance and came to share what they knew. It is from this visit that those present learned of the evil of the original vistix and how his progeny contains his essence, his evil, and protects Evermore. How, every hundred years as reckoned by the Living, the current vistix must find true love and live for a year in the manor, to re-infuse the very walls of the house with the power of true love. And how, now, the geas, the spell, the entrapment of this evil, it is all gone.
The consequences of the failed ritual may echo across Naidem yet, but for now, all appears, for the moment, still. The fate of the already unliving sacrificed this day remains unknown, but no hint of them remains in Naidem.
GM Xynwen wrote “The Last Wedding of Vistix Akrath,” a Draugr fairy tale with roots in their former dark elven lives. This served as the loose basis for the storyline.
The storyline outline itself was a joint effort between APM Thandiwe and GMs Casil, Elysani, and Xynwen with several pivots based off player actions, responses, and spur of the moment “wouldn’t this be better if” thoughts
The glory of Yvalyst Manor was painted by GM Elysani off of loosely given ideas by GM Xynwen
Cast of Characters
Akrath Yvalyst, the Vistix: GM Casil
Yraelia, the Bride: GM Elysani
Tasthera, the Mother: GM Thandiwe
Samyrha, the Sister: GM Xynwen
Henshor, the Head: GM Marstreforn
Here’s the end part of the summary had you let it all play out (and I’ll post the full ritual in a few as soon as I clean it up for non-GM consumption):
[Success: Choosing to obey, the onlookers let the ritual take place, and while it looked as if he may kills Samyrha, still, they watched; they watched, and they were rewarded. As the ritual drew to a close, Yraelia appeared. Unbound by any geas, Yraelia explained what her husband did not, indeed, could not. Akrath was the next in a long line of vistixes who had to take on the burden of imprisoning an ancient vistix who sacrificed many brides (and others) in the pursuit of eternal life, necromantic expertise, and demonology. Once every hundred years, the current vistix must return to Yvalyst Manor and renew the wards. This involves bringing a bride of true love and living for a year and a day there. Akrath’s father unexpectedly passed his burden on to Akrath mere months before the century was up, and it fell to Akrath to find true love. He was lucky and met Yraelia in the nick of time, but the days after their wedding were so taken with others, he never got time alone to share his curse with her, for that was the one exception to the geas — the bride of truest love may know.
And thus, a great evil (minus a few escaped severed heads) was contained yet again, by true love and the trust of strangers.]
[Ebon Gate] Lore – The Last Wedding of Vistix Akrath
A new lore document has been released, The Last Wedding of Vistix Akrath. This is a dark elven fairy tale as remembered by the Draugr of Naidem. It was used as the inspiration and basis of the Ebon Gate 2023 storyline.
Direct Discord Link (Right click, copy link, and paste into Discord App if you don’t want to use the Discord web interface.)