The Mask Council was composed of the High Priests and Priestesses of the Fourteen Ascendants represented in the temples of Capustan. They held their gatherings in the city's old Daru fort, the Thrall.
The Council was an opposing power to Prince Jelarkan with whom they were frequently at odds. Their temples each maintained their own private company of highly trained and well-equipped soldiers, known as the Gidrath and totaling nearly three thousand in number. The temples' soldiers were often recruited from the best of the Prince's own troops, the Capanthall, who were limited by law to two thousand.
The Council donned lacquered, carved, hinged, wooden masks representing the particular Ascendants to whom they showed fealty. They were described as singularly ghastly in their caricatures. Each mask constantly changed its appearance to suit the mood of the wearer, although it was unclear if this was through magical or mechanical means. The masks' expressions could be both broad and subtle.
Listed in the Dramatis Personae and/or the Glossary of Memories of Ice:
- Rath'Beru, Priest
- Rath'Burn, Priestess
- Rath'D'rek, Priest
- Rath'Dessembrae, Priestess
- Rath'Fanderay, Priestess
- Rath'Fener (Tennerock), Priest
- Rath'Hood, Priest
- Rath'Mowri [in Glossary only]
- Rath'Oponn, Priest
- Rath'Queen of Dreams, Priestess
- Rath'Shadowthrone, Priest
- Rath'Soliel and Poliel [in Glossary only]
- Rath'Togg, Priest
- Rath'Trake (Treach), Priest
Became member after the siege of Capustan:
In Memories of Ice
Facing an invasion by the Pannion Domin, Prince Jelarkan bypassed the legal limit on his Capanthall by hiring the Grey Swords, a religious mercenary cult devoted to Fener. The cult was allowed to recruit from the local population bringing their total number over 8,200 soldiers. The Mask Council responded by restricting the Grey Swords from acting beyond the city walls.
When Septarch Kulpath's troops invested the city the Council summoned Mortal Sword Brukhalian regarding the city's defence. Rath'Beru argued that the city's redoubts must be held while Rath'Shadowthrone claimed the city's destruction was inevitable. Rath'Queen of Dreams attempted draw out information regarding Brukhalian's secret alliance with the T'lan Imass, but the Mortal Sword refused comment without Prince Jelarkan present.
The Mask Council was also approached by Hetan and Cafal, children of the White Face Barghast warchief, Humbrall Taur. The pair sought the return of the bodies of their holy ancestors once buried below the city. It was soon revealed that Rath'Burn, Rath'Hood, Rath'Queen of Dreams were aware that the remains had been gathered and hidden under the floor of the Council's chamber. The Council agreed to return the bodies.
During the Siege of Capustan, the Council remained within the Thrall protected by their complement of Gidrath. Their deliberations were interrupted by the merchant Keruli who claimed to be an emissary of K'rul and demanded a place on the Council as Rath'K'rul. He warned of a traitor in their midst and used Cafal to generate a protective magical shield about the Thrall.
Keruli's prediction of a traitor came true when Rath'Fener betrayed Brukhalian and his soldiers to Septarch Kulpath in an attempt to negotiate his own safety. After the siege was lifted by the arrival of the forces of Humbrall Taur, Dujek Onearm, and Caladan Brood, Rath'Fener received justice at the hands of Itkovian, the Grey Sword Shield Anvil. Council members Rath'Burn, Rath'Hood, Rath'K'rul, and Rath'Shadowthrone attended a parley with victors and the Council's agents negotiated with the Barghast to purchase food for the surviving citizens.
Prince Jelarkan perished in the fighting, and so the Mask Council was freed of a leveling royal influence and their political rivalries became volatile. The Council gathered together to crown Prince Arard of Coral as Jelarkan's successor, but the Darujhistan Councillor Coll did not think their future looked promising.
Notes and references
- Memories of Ice, Glossary
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 7
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.101
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 7, US SFBC p.244
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.356-367
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.357
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.471
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.703/723
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 14, US TPB p.364-365/367-368
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.472/476-477
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.538-544
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, US SFBC p.590-598
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.702/704
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.758
- Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.861
- Memories of Ice, Glossary, US TPB p.778