Anima: The Shadow of the Palace

The Wake of the Palace

The players stand before the entrance to the catacombs. The tile floor is broken, in shambles. Mold is growing on the walls. The doorway is heavy, made of thick metal. Ausma knocks on the door with her stick. It rings loudly. A narrow stairwell leads down into dark and damp. The air somehow smells both moist and stale.


At the stair’s end, there is a pool of water, roughly 2 feet deep, flowing down the walls from tributaries above. Bones lay in chambers within the walls.

Ausma is the first to venture forth.

Just as she reaches the water-line, a dark figure appears. seemingly out of a shadow. He draws two katanas without a word.


Upon spotting the figure, Ryo begins to play his lute. Ausma joins in harmony. When the figure spots him and hears the music, he disappears and reappears right next to him, staring with red eyes.

Darkan makes the first move, attacking the figure with his nun chucks. He dodges the attack. Terry attempts to attack with his dagger, and again he dodges. He continues to focus on the bard, lunging at him with both katanas. The bard throws up a magical shield, blocking the first attack. But two attacks was too much, and he is sliced with a flesh wound by the second sword.
Again, Darkan attacks. This time, he manages to hit the shadowed figure, and he winces for a moment. Next, Terry lunges at him again with his dagger, piercing the thick armor and causing a loud groan from the figure. Lastly, Ryo launches into a powerful song, and the shadow collapses to the ground, defeated. The party does not seem to understand what finally defeated him, but were thankful the fight was over.

Removing his hood, he is revealed to be a pale, beautiful man with white hair.


Darkan collects the +5 black katanas the man was wielding. Ryo strips him of the black, hard leather armor he was wearing to use for himself. Terry searches his pockets and finds 3 vials of Royal Arsenic poison and a contract. The contract reads:

Please rid the world of those horrid featured performers at Cantarella tonight. You will be paid the standard rate as you have the previous targets.
Carry on,

The party decides to venture further into the catacombs to find the girl. Following some footprints and other signs of human passage, they eventually hear the soft sound of a pipe organ in the distance. Upon following the sound, they find the Umbra playing the organ and Melissa laying in an opulent bed nearby, unconscious.

Terry sneaks behind The Umbra (who is engulfed in his music) to collect the girl. After picking her up off the bed and walking a few steps, the Umbra turns around to check on her and sees what is happening. “STOP!” He yells. Terry takes off running. The Umbra follows after him, demanding who he works for. Terry decides to tell him that he works for M.D. to try and find out who this mysterious contractor was. This enrages the Umbra more and he aggressively tries to stop him. Then Terry explains that he didn’t really work for M.D., and that they’d killed the assassin, Asklepios, who had. The Umbra is at this point, extremely confused.

Ryo again pulls out his lute and begins to play a lullaby. This causes Terry to fall instantly asleep, falling atop the poor girl he was carrying. She awakes with a start, screaming to know what has happened. The Umbra collects her and puts her back in the bed, explaining the situation. At first she is hestitant to believe him, but after the party verifies his words, she believes him and thanks them all for saving her. She asks the way out and makes her way up out of the catacombs, back to the Palace of Music.

Meanwhile, the group speaks more with the Umbra and learns of his origins. He had come from another world, swept up in a great storm that caused him to end up in these catacombs. He’d spend the last 40 years within the walls of the Palace and below, observing and helping those within the theater however he could.

The Umbra

Terry asks The Umbra of this M.D. The Umbra explains that his name is Morpheus Diotrephes, and he had performed there many years ago. HIs performance was terrible and he was shamed off the stage. Ever since, he’d been sending Asklepios and other assassins to destroy any up and coming stars out of jealousy and spite.

Unfortunately, since he had never been outside the walls of the Palace of Music or the catacombs below, he had no idea where they could find Morpheus…

Grand Finale

After the moving song and dance, the heroine, Calista (played by the new rising star Melissa Langrey), goes to drink the vial of poison. Just then, a shadowy figure swings across the stage on a rope and whisks her away.

The theater erupts in chaos. Women are screaming and wailing, some of the men begin to draw weapons. Most guests are just scrambling over each other to get out of there.

Darkan chooses to wait silently in his seat during the chaos, observing, staying unnoticed. He is curious to see who this other shadow character may be.

Terry heads backstage. Ausma notices him going that direction, and follows. She sees him pickpocket a couple of nobles as they frantically run the opposite direction.

Once backstage, they spot a couple of actresses huddled in the corner, clutching each other and whispering. Ryo stands in the corner. Terry puts his arm around one of the girls and asks what happened. They explain that it was the Umbra, a mysterious figure that has been appearing within the Palace of Music for as long as anyone can remember. Terry slyly slips a hand down her bodice to snatch a small flask of alcohol. The girl is too distraught to notice. He then notices Ryo and asks him what he saw.

Ryo explained that the figure swept her up into the rafters, stage left. The bottle of poison that had broken had bubbled and burned the floor, like acid. The group agrees that it was a murder attempt and perhaps the Umbra was simply trying to save her.

The group heads up into the rafters, closely followed by Darkan. There are a couple of stage hands already searching the area. The dark figure could not be tracked by any member of the group. Terry asks the stage hands if they know of any secret passages around the theater. They describe some doorways that open up to the sleeping quarters above. Ausma uses her large stick to tap at the ceiling until a doorway was found. One popped open to reveal a large sleeping quarters with 6 individual beds.

The newly formed party all search the shared sleeping quarters, but find nothing of interest They also search the star’s rooms. Melissa’s room was full of costume dresses. Terry finds a gold ring and stuffs one of the dresses that he thinks looks most expensive in his bag (the jewels on this dress are all made of glass, and is not worth much, in reality). Darkan sifts through some documents but finds only play bills and letters to family, nothing that would reveal any clues. In Ryo’s room, Terry pretends to look for secret passages but in reality swipes a small gold trimmed lock box. His curiousity overwhelms him, and he asks Ryo about it. Ryo finds him out and retrieves the box back into his possession.

The group then heads down the hallway and up to the roof. Again, they find nothing of interest – only the glowing lights of the city below and the stars above.

Heading back downstairs, they then explore the stage. The floor is burned where the poison fell. Since most stages have secret openings to areas below, Terry begins to search for a hidden opening. Once he’s found one, Ryo pulls the hatch to cause him to fall to the storage area below. Terry does a flip in the air and lands on his feet, smug that he was able to land in style.

The group begins exploring the large storage space. Toward the back of the area, Ausma spots a strange looking area with a large metal door.

The Show Begins

You have arrived to the beautiful city of Hausser, the City of Towers, in the heart of the principality of Ilmora.


The city is rich and prosperous, boasting large marble buildings, temples, museums and a staggering amount of artwork in its streets.

At the core of the city is the emblematic Palace of Music. This beautiful structure is made of white metal and crystal, visible from across the entire metropolis. You have paid a hefty sum to attend the opening night of “Cantarella,” an intriguing musical about a young, troubled girl that plans to poison herself, and a young prince who has fallen in love with her and attempts to coax her to continue living.


You have just taken your seat. The show is about to begin…


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