The Eagle's Talons are an old, well established thieving guild based in Gorna, though the exact location of their guildhouse is a closely kept secret. Despite many attempts, including recent ones by Grand Duke Owen, the secrets of the guild, and the identity of its headquarters remains unknown to most of Gorna's residents.
Since most of the guild's activities take place at night, and their membership is primarily human, vision has long been a problem for the Talons, who like most thieves abhor the thought of needing to carry a torch or lantern along with them while they work. To resolve that dilemma, the guild has long secretly employed the services of Gorna's Magic User's guild to create these magical masks, which grant them a limited ability to see in the dark like their demihuman peers.
Ebon Masks are lightweight halfmasks, made from fine black leather, shaped to resemble the face of an eagle. An adjustable buckle on the rear of the mask allows it to fit any wearer of Halfling to Human size. The masks are stylish enough to be worn around at night without causing one to look out of place, but doing so in Gorna is risky, since most of the city watch instantly recognize one as the mark of a Eagle Talon thief.
When worn, the masks grant their wearer Infravision to a range of 30 feet. If worn by a creature that already has natural infravision, they instead bestow a bonus 15 foot range to the existing Infravision. Magical Infravision, from any other source, is negated for the duration that the mask is worn, providing only the mask's 30 foot infravision range, though the magical Infravision will return upon removing the mask, unless its duration has expired, of course.
Ebon Masks are fairly rare outside of Gorna, and are worth about 1,500 gp on the black market. Any non-guild member who is caught with an Ebon Mask is usually beaten severely and robbed of it, with a stern warning about the consequences of opposing the Eagle's Talons. Repeat offenders will be subject to attempts by the guild to kill them.
I know that I'm digging up another oldie, but this caught my eye.
Ebon Mask of the Eagle Talon
Ebon Masks are lightweight halfmasks, made from fine black leather, shaped to resemble the face of an eagle . . . The masks are stylish enough to be worn around at night without causing one to look out of place . . .
I must ask; is it always "Carnival" in Gorna? I find that a "masked" person is always "out of place" and even suspect, especially at night, unless its Carnival time -- even in medieval times.
Perhaps I'm just ignorant of the local customs of Gorna?
IMO, the wearing of masks by nobles, and wannabe nobles is considered a statement of style in the more civilized cities of the flanaess, sort of a psuedo-ren. era indulgence. Gorna isn't really all that civilized, compared to Niole Dra or Gorna, but some of the petty nobles there like to act all fancified, so in the nicer parts of town, wearing masks out at night is considered acceptable.
I would simply point out that both Zoro and the Lone Ranger wore these same type masks and were considered "suspect," even by the "common" citizenry -- in the beginning.
Then, when they were better known, they were only suspected by the authorities.
This point formed the basis of my query.
IMO, the wearing of masks by nobles, and wannabe nobles is considered a statement of style in the more civilized cities of the flanaess . . . some of the petty nobles there like to act all fancified, so in the nicer parts of town, wearing masks out at night is considered acceptable.
Your suggesting an attitude and atmosphere -- in Gorna -- similar to those of the French Court of Louis and Marie. So that, in the aristocratic section of the city, all the "dandies" dress in this fashion.
My misunderstanding. My Greyhawk is a bit more medieval than that time period. So I did not consider your angle.
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