In ancient times a Seguleh came shipwrecked to the shores of Nathilog. The local ruler, thinking to impress upon him the strength and power of his city state, took the warrior to a tour of the ringed-round cyclopean walls, the thick towers, and the deep donjons that was the fortress of Nathilog at that age. When the long detailed demonstration was finished the ruler turned to the man, saying, 'There! Now you may return to your home and convince of your fellows of our impregnability and might!'
The Seguleh replied: 'I have but one question.'
'Yes?' The ruler invited.
'Why do you live in a prison?'
Sulerem of Mengal
Gadrobi Hills, south of Darujhistan
Scholar Ebbin wakes up and prepares for another day of exploration. He finds that three of the guards provided by Humble Measure, Captain Drin and two others, are going to accompany him down the well which annoys him. Upon reaching the tunnel, he becomes frantic, asking Captain Drin to ensure that neither he nor his men will touch the body on the plinth, something Drin agrees to. Working away at the sole, sealed side chamber, Ebbin, with the help of the guards manages to breach the seal, only to find a creature that is not human, maybe a demon, also lying on a plinth, very obviously dead. Ebbin then discovers a small shiny object, perhaps a pearl. Just as Drin is about to take the pearl on behalf of Humble Measure there is a commotion behind them. The body lying on the onyx plinth has come to life and is fighting with the other two guards. Ebbin watches as Drin attacks the revenant in a frenzy. Despite that, the figure gets hold of one guard, takes off the hammered gold mask from its own face and presses it onto the man's face, after which it dissolves into nothingness. An un-see-able barrier holds Drin and the remaining guard and Ebbin can only watch from the other side as the guard whose face now holds the mask moves to fight his fellow guard, eventually removing the mask and pushing it onto the other man's face. This guard, now turned revenant, advances on the last remaining person on the other side of the barrier, Captain Drin, and engages him in a long battle, giving ground and dancing away trying to survive. After what seems like hours, when no amount of damage can stop the relentless revenant, Drin asks Ebbin to remember him, then rushes towards the revenant to try to tear his mask off. He fails and Ebbin averts his eyes. After a while it is all over; there is a body lying on a plinth with a gold mask on its face, and as for the others no trace can be seen except for ashes and three fresh skulls.
Towards noon, the other two guards of Humble Measure who remained outside the well, Scorch and Leff, find Ebbin coming out alone. Ebbin won't answer what happened to the other guards but makes them promise not to go down into the well. He needs to go to Darujhistan immediately. A girl in white robes appears, calling Ebbin 'Uncle' and asking him to come to Darujhistan with her to which he agrees.
Picker, Spindle and Blend have been observing the well, and they all have a really bad feeling about this entire incident. Picker marks the well, and they retreat back to cover. After a while, they observe a figure in a long dark cloak and a mask emerge from the well, who walks away regally towards Darujhistan. The three agree to give the figure a wide berth.
The girl, Taya, has been pushing Ebbin along, even though he is very tired. He finds Aman in the middle of the road, and they push onwards to find a shade named Hinter. They agree that all is in readiness and that he comes.
Ambassador Aragan is awoken by Captain Dreshen, who informs him that the entire Moranth mission in Darujhistan is moving out of the city on Quorls. Aragan confirms this personally. He orders a full alert.
Picker, Spindle, and Blend have been following in the figure's wake through the streets of Darujhistan. The figure has a uniformly terrifying effect on every person it comes across. Everyone seems to bend down and away and cower, becoming incoherent, even paralyzed with fear.
Rallick Nom is worried about Vorcan who has been acting very strange of late. She wakes up in the middle of the night, sensing something that Rallick has no idea about. She is then visibly shaken by some event that Rallick cannot discern. She asks him to promise her that he won't take any jobs for the coming few weeks, and that he will leave the house temporarily. He decides to trust her and leaves the estate. He goes straight to the Phoenix Inn, where he meets Kruppe to find out what is happening. Kruppe is circumspect and resigned to events that cannot be controlled, though what these events are, he only hints at rather vaguely.
Madrun and Lazan Door, guards of Lady Varada/ Vorcan's estate are on duty when they hear terrible screams, which they recognize as belonging to Vorcan. They rush towards the source, only to be halted by the Castellan Studlock, who assures them that all is under control; the two withdraw back hesitantly into the night.
Alchemist Baruk is in the middle of a ceremony at his estate, when the chamber's doors blow open. His arms burst into flames and his robes fall away revealing twisted sinew, while his arms turn into claws and he is inexorably dragged away.
Atop Despot's Barbican, Taya, Aman and Hinter all bow to the figure who has reached there by now. Ebbin has been chosen by this figure to be his mouthpiece, his will having been completely crushed and enthralled by the figure. They observe Baruk crawling from among the ruins. Others of the T'orrud Cabal seem to have eluded the call including Vorcan, something Taya finds not to her liking.
Jan has a dream of the Seguleh First. The First has his unmarked wooden mask on. The Mask then tilts down as if in an apology. Then the face shatters and he receives summons from a tall commanding figure that has a beaten golden oval mask, asking him to come immediately. Jan is sickened to find that he has no choice but obey. He wakes up to find the ruling Eldrii, fellows of the ten, awaiting him as they all had the same dream. There is no doubt about their course of action now, and Jan orders them to ready their ships.