#16 - Phantom of the Opera Report
The Beacons of Hope found themselves up against shadow versions of Ruthren the Reaper, Alice and Dela. Emrys Ddraig Sy'n Ddu was singled out by Ruthren and the others were surrounded by the shadow children to stop them intervening. The battle was hard fought but Emrys was brought down to his last gasp of air before she brought her scythe, sheathed in dark flame, right down into his chest and killed him outright. A bright radiant light appeared behind her, Ruthren was torn into pieces before a strange figure brought Emrys back to life. The figure that had saved him was Zephie who introduced herself to them as a bloodhunter who had been trapped in The Shadowfell for a long time. She had no idea how many years had passed since she had last been on the material plane. She took them to the ruins of a house where she has been staying and gave them some magical artefacts she had no use for anymore. Zephie offered to take them to The Shining Citadel as she had been hunting it down herself as she believed that it held a way to get out of the Shadowfell for herself. The group and Maura who had come with them, headed in the direction that Zephie had led them and they came across the sound of music coming from a supposedly abandoned theatre. The group with Zephie entered into the theatre and felt this overwhelming despair in the air itself. The found the source of the music in the form of a violin being played.A man appeared to be sitting, playing a violin and dripping in water. He appeared to be ethereal in looks, almost ghost like. The man finished playing and bowed, exclaiming delight at having a real audience and asking what they were doing in his domain. The group explained that one of their group heard the music, Harlin Wyllt, also a bard. He explained he was once a world famous violinist but that he now played for the ghosts. As he said that, the ghosts appeared and it seemed he wasn't willing to let them go. His violin snapped and he left them with the ghosts whilst he was fixing it. Whilst he was gone, the ghosts came out to play and one of them possessed Maura. When they started to turn the tide against the ghosts, three screaming ghostly women appeared behind them known as banshees. After defeating the banshees and ghosts, the bard reappeared and looked annoyed that he no longer had any audience. He told them that it was now going to take him time to sort out a new audience. He told them that he thought they were going to be a good audience but obviously they were not. They left the theatre together, feeling unsettled about everything going on. As they were travelling, Alfyn Weis received a message from Brea who gave him a quick update on that she missed him and to come home safe. They all felt that the message was received weeks later than it should have been. They met a robed figure with a broken owl mask up ahead of them and gained some magical trinkets from him. He also said that he knew Zephie from when she first came and was unsure she was of this place. The travel continued before they decided to rest in a camp, but the fire seemed duller and colder then it should have. None of them felt that they could stay awake either and were dragged into nightmares that seemed too real and too perfect to want to wake up from. Eventually they managed to start waking up and waking each other up, noticing that there was shadowy creatures leaning over them and that they seemed to be weaving something above their heads like shadow puppets. They heard a scream from nearby and quickly noticed one of their party was missing, Maura. Rushing after her, they found her in the clutches of a huge creature of wreathing shadows. The creature crushed the bracelet around Maura's hand and threw it to the side. A gate opened up and the group had 30 seconds to get Maura through the portal or she would be trapped there forever.