Article written by Uziel
Rhys Mason (392 AC - ? AC) was a male Human who was a monk in the Order of Majere, and often travelled with his dog Atta. Rhys was a disciplined man and a skilled fighter, who was adept at unarmed combat, and was an expert with his Emmide. The monk was dark-skinned and his skin was weathered from travelling in the outdoors constantly, and he wore his long black hair in a single braid.
In 407 AC, Rhys journeyed to the Order of Majere Monastery, where he became a monk and devout follower of Majere. His idyllic life was changed in 422 AC, when after fifteen years of not seeing his family, his parents and brother Lleu Mason arrived at the monastery. His brother, who was now an agent of Chemosh, poisoned everyone in the monastery and also attempted to kill Rhys, knocking him unconscious; however the monk was saved and protected by Atta, who drove Lleu away. On awakening, Rhys was visited by his god Majere, who told Rhys to forget all that had happened, and clean the monastery and restore his temple. Rhys told Majere he could not let things go, and would pursue Lleu to bring him to justice, forsaking his god's wishes.
Monk of Zeboim
The monk was then visited by the goddess Zeboim, who gave him information to track down Mina to try to ruin the plots of Chemosh, advising that their interests were one and the same. She kissed Rhys, giving him her blessing and offered him the chance to enter her service. Rhys denied the capricious goddess, however did agree that he would help her as long as their interests were the same, and then buried the dead of the monastery before heading after Lleu with Atta in tow. The goddess appeared to Rhys again, telling him to journey to a village nearby, where he could find someone well versed in the Undead, which he needed for his quest, before vanishing once more and changing his robes to a sea-green as a sign that he was her servant.
In the nearby village, Rhys came across the Kender Nightshade Pricklypear, and discovered that the kender was the expert that Zeboim spoke of. After scouring a battlefield and speaking to dead souls, Nightshade deduced that Chemosh was no longer harvesting the souls of the dead, as he was now finding servants amongst the living. The pair traveled through Haven and then Solace, where the kender decided to peddle his wares as a communer with the dead to the local populace. In the dark inn called The Trough, Rhys and Nightshade tracked down Lleu, Rhys' brother. As the monk tried to question his brother, Nightshade advised him that Lleu was in fact one of the dead... and yet he appeared to everyone else as a living breathing person. Rhys had already learnt that Lleu was mixed up with Mina somehow, and when Nightshade and Rhys confronted Lleu and his new convert Lucy Wheelwright, they were attacked. Nightshade tried to use his mystic powers to turn the undead away, however Lleu and Lucy revealed themselves as the members of the Beloved and dismissed the kender's magic as if it was nothing. Nightshade and Rhys fled from the undead, and the kender recalled that he had also seen other members of the town, and that they too were obviously dead followers of Chemosh, who wore the guise of living folk.
Zeboim again spoke with Rhys and Nightshade in the Solace jail, where the goddess told them that she needed them to go to Storm's Keep where she required them to defeat the death knight Ausric Krell and rescue her son Ariakan Ariakas, whose soul was trapped in a khas piece. She then transported the pair of them to Storm's Keep, and magically transformed Nightshade into a miniature kender, who was stored in Rhys' pouch. When the monk confronted the death knight, Nightshade crept onto the khas board and found Lord Ariakan and spoke to the soul of the son of Zeboim. Whilst Ariakan refused to be rescued, the kender instead charged the former lord and barrelled him over. Noticing the movement on the khas board, Rhys picked up the kender and the khas piece containing Ariakan's soul, and fled from the death knight.
Trailing the Beloved
The kender and the monk returned the khas piece to Zeboim, and Nightshade was returned to his normal size, as well as being transported with his companion back to Solace. In the town, Nightshade and Rhys finally convince Gerard uth Mondar, Sheriff of Solace of the threat of the Beloved. Gerard called the Highmage Jenna and a Holy Warrior of Kiri-Jolith named Dominique Helmsman and attempted to destroy a Beloved named Cam. This was hard for Gerard, since he knew Cam and his family. Cam though tried to kill Gerard, but luckily Atta saved his life just as the life was being choked out of him. Luckily to be alive, Gerard returned to his duties in Solace as Nightshade and Rhys continued on their mission.
Following the Solace encounter, Nightshade and Rhys tracked the undead to New Port, where they again encountered Rhys' brother Lleu, and witnessed his demise at the touch of an innocent child. The adventurers were then captured by Minotaur slavers and dumped in the Shrine of Zeboim. In the shrine, Mina questioned Rhys over what he knew of her origins, believing he could answer her questions; however he was unable to provide her with any information. The goddess Zeboim appeared directly afterwards after the same information, and again Rhys was unable to comply. He also informed Zeboim that Majere had forgiven him and he was no longer her servant. The raging Zeboim left Rhys and his companions to rot in her grotto, chained to the rocks. Soon after Nightshade and Atta were free, and Rhys lied to Nightshade to go journey to the Temple of Majere in Flotsam to go get help, hoping that the kender and his beloved dog would escape with their lives, since they were unable to get him free. The pair departed in good faith, leaving Rhys still chained in the grotto.
After realising that they could not afford to leave Rhys for too long, Nightshade and Atta returned to the grotto, only to find Rhys was being confronted by Chemosh himself. Atta bit Chemosh, causing him a minor injury as her teeth had been blessed by the power of Majere. The god was then struck by Rhys' Emmide and departed to learn the nature of the shaking of the earth. The grotto continued to experience earth tremors until it began to collapse and fill with water. The kender managed to pick the locks of Rhys' manacles, something which he'd never been able to do before without the blessing of Majere. He then found himself unable to drag Rhys out of the grotto when six monks of Majere magically appeared and lent Nightshade some aid. The kender, Atta and Rhys escaped the grotto and noticed the Tower of the Blood Sea was now above the waves.
Rhys and his companions stared in amazement at the new edifice and noticed a girl lying unmoving on the shore. The monk raced over to rescue the young girl, only to learn shortly after from Zeboim that it was Mina, except she had somehow reverted in years back to the age of six. She asked to be taken to Godshome to be with her mother Goldmoon and Rhys complied, much to Nightshade's horror, knowing that Goldmoon was long dead. The group were stopped by Ausric Krell, however Mina used magic to incapacitate Krell before they moved on. However Mina then decided she needed a present for Goldmoon, before she could meet her at Godshome. The present she wanted was located inside the Tower of the Blood Sea.
The group took a boat out to the small island that now housed the tower, only to find the land was overrun by hundreds of Beloved. They swarmed Mina, but the girl drove them back with holy rage, and kept the Beloved away from the small group, they then entered the tower and met Caele and Basalt Darkeye. Mina then went down the tower towards the Solio Febalas, only to find the path to it destroyed. However she used her magic to transport herself, Rhys, Atta and Nightshade through to it, whilst the two mages trailed them. In Solio Febalas, Mina claimed several magical artifacts for Goldmoon, and used her magic to disable Caele and Basalt when they tried to kill the adventurers. Nuitari appeared, apologised to Rhys and Mina for his wizards and magically secreted them away for good. The group made to leave the tower, only to find their way blocked by thousands of Beloved. Mina grew fearful and then after some prompting from Nightshade, seemed to remember the Beloved and was transformed back into her adult self. She used holy fire to destroy every single one of the Beloved, and then reverted back to a six year old, asking Rhys, Atta and Nightshade to take her to Godshome. The adventurers sailed to Flotsam, where Nightshade located a map which showed the way to Neraka, which he knew was somewhere near Godshome.
Facing the Disciples of Bone
Outside of Flotsam, Chemosh appeared to the group and tried to convince Mina to come with him, however she refused. Zeboim then appeared and defended Mina and her friends, telling Mina that she would be able to use her powers to transport them all to Solace, where they could gain further directions on the precise location of Godshome. Both gods then disappeared. Mina used her powers to make the group all walk at extremely high velocity through from Flotsam to Solace in a single day. In Solace, Rhys entered the temple of Majere located in Gods' Row, where he opened his heart once more to the god Majere after speaking to the abbot of the temple. The abbot also told Rhys of Valthonis, the Walking God, who may be able to lead Rhys and his friends to Godshome. He also mentioned that Valthonis could be found near Neraka.
In the temple of Majere, the group were set upon by Ausric Krell and his Bone Warriors. Krell laid Rhys and Mina low, but was struck by a mystic spell cast by Nightshade and knocked unconscious. Mina blamed herself for Rhys being incapacitated, and ran off so Rhys and Nightshade would not need to take care of her anymore. Atta and Nightshade pursued her, whilst Rhys lay imprisoned in the golden bands that Krell had wrapped around him. Nightshade and Atta quickly ran into Mistress Jenna, sending her back to aid Rhys in getting free of the bands and stopping Krell from awakening and killing the monk, before pursuing after Mina once more. Krell regained consciousness and commenced his attack on Rhys once more, until the timely appearance of Mistress Jenna, who used her magic to free the monk from his bonds. Krell then summoned one of his Bone Warriors to attack Jenna, whilst he continued his assault of Rhys. However Jenna used her magic to vanquish the Bone Warrior, whilst Rhys defeated Krell with his emmide and ultimately struck him in the temple and killed him.
Rhys then departed the temple, finding an injured Gerard and leading him to the Inn of the Last Home, where Laura Majere took care of him. Shortly after, Rhys received news that Nightshade, Atta and Mina had been sighted heading northwards out of Solace, and raced out of town to catch them. The monk tracked Mina, Nightshade and Atta down to a small forest, finding them inside a small house in the forest, in the company of the goddess Mishakal. The goddess informed Rhys that he had to take Mina to Valthonis, as no-one else would be able to lead Mina to Godshome, and that she could direct the monk and his companions straight to the former god. The adventurers found themselves transported by Mishakal near Neraka, where they spotted a minotaur war party, which they bypassed, and entered the valley of Neraka. In the valley, Mina transformed from a girl into a woman once more, and greeted Galdar, who had Valthonis in tow.
The Walking God
Mina appeared confused about events, asking Galdar to aid her in a fight that her forces won during the War of Souls. Galdar helped bring her mind to the present, and then showed her Valthonis, saying that Sargonnas wished her to strike down the individual who led to the fall of Takhisis, and claim her seat beside Sargonnas in the pantheon. Rhys in turn told her about Valthonis being her father, and that she was in truth a god of light, and Mina's form changed once more. Mina asked Galdar for his sword so she could strike down the defenseless Valthonis. Galdar however told Mina that he honestly believed she should not take Takhisis' place in the pantheon, nor kill Valthonis in cold blood. Wishing to have no more to do with the proceedings, the minotaur walked away, however Mina leapt after him, attacking the minotaur in a rage and beating him senseless. Rhys tried to stop Mina and was also beaten into unconsciousness and Atta was wounded by a vicious cut of Mina's sword. Finally Nightshade then tried to stop Mina from attacking, but she viciously broke his neck, killing the kender.
With the death of Nightshade, Mina realised in horror what she had done, and transformed into a six year old girl once more, she broke down in tears over his corpse. Valthonis rose and offered minor ministrations to the three survivors, before he and Mina left, leaving the trio and heading towards Godshome. Galdar, Rhys and Atta arose, finding themselves joined by both the followers of Valthonis and Galdar's minotaur war party. Rhys explained to the Faithful where Valthonis had gone, and they stepped aside, allowing Galdar and his minotaur to go on their way peacefully back to the Minotaur Empire. Rhys and Atta then ultimately returned to the Order of Majere Monastery to return to an idyllic and peaceful life. The monk was visited by the ghost of Nightshade, who told Rhys to be happy for him, and of the rise of Mina into the pantheon of gods, and that most of the gods had congratulated him on helping in Mina's ascension. The shade departed once more, leaving Rhys and Atta in peace.
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