mortellan writes "
For your inspection, an item of magical antiquity whose history has intentionally been kept quiet for far too long by the so-called enlightened courts of the Baklunish West.
The History of the Tapestry of Ruin
The Tapestry of Ruin was created in the days before the Invoked Devastation by Baklunish sorcerers of unknown name and intent. The scene on this infamous wall-hanging depicts a barren landscape, with a murky stream running through the middle. Upon uttering the command word a one-way gate is opened in the tapestry for roughly three minutes. The gate’s destination is thought to be a place far removed from the Baklunish West, perhaps the other side of Oerth or even on the Lower Planes. The crafters of the Tapestry of Ruin apparently were confident any one sent through it could never return thus its purpose was the ruination of lives.
The tapestry remained intact through the next millennia until it eventually found its way to Ekbir around 350 C.Y. The Caliph of Ekbir who considered himself enlightened and merciful like his ancestors used it to humanely banish dangerous criminals from his land rather than resort to messy public executions. However, it wasn’t long before the Caliph’s attitude changed for the more he used the tapestry the more he was compelled to use it on those who displeased him. Suddenly aware of its inherent evil and his own cruel abuse of the device, the Caliph decreed the Tapestry of Ruin should be burned along with all records of its use in Ekbir.
Unfortunately fate saved the tapestry from certain destruction as it was smuggled away by an unscrupulous Ekbiran official, who burned a false tapestry in its place, and then sold the real tapestry on the black market for a handsome sum. The Tapestry of Ruin ultimately made its way to the city of Lopolla in Ket around 400 C.Y. There it hung unassumingly in a bathhouse for many years until one day a visiting mage named Rauif Kafar from Ekbir saw the tapestry and recognized it. Having been a court historian in the Caliph’s court Kafar remembered the ceremonial word to open the gate even though all his writings on the subject had been expunged. Unfortunately his curiosity to verify his discovery was too rash. He abruptly opened the gate in public and several awestruck bathers investigated the strange doorway to the land beyond, despite the mage’s warning. When it finally closed behind them the Kafar tore the tapestry down and tried to flee with it, but was apprehended by city watch alerted to the hysteria at the bathhouse. Kafar was brought before the Beygraf of Ket and was forced to tell all, including the powers of the Tapestry of Ruin, its sordid history and how to activate it. The Beygraf was satisfied with this acquisition and decided to keep it for Ket after reimbursing the bathhouse. Even Kafar was released but under threat of banishment into the Tapestry of Ruin if he were to reveal what he found in Lopolla. It is said Rauif Kafar moved to Greyhawk City seeking anonymity.
Surprisingly the Tapestry of Ruin was used sparingly over the next century and a half. The succession of Beygrafs would unfurl the dreaded tapestry only on special occasion until 570 C.Y. when Beygraf Zoltan decided that the tapestry was too heinous a punishment and forever forbade its use. The last account of the tapestry had it still stored away in the palace vaults of Lopolla, far from prying eyes and careless mouths. However since Ket’s scandalous alliance with Iuz during the Greyhawk Wars and the subsequent assassination of Zoltan, its presence may have been forgotten and so it is only a matter of time before the Tapestry of Ruin resurfaces again.
The rulers of Ket still managed to send some notable villains (and innocents) through the Tapestry of Ruin before its retirement:
(405 C.Y.) Karthos Mandrake, a serial murderer whose grizzly artworks were made from parts of his victims.
(425 C.Y.) Kalin Sulibad, a notorious yet celebrated beggar-thief who tried to ferment a rebellion against the hated Beygraf of Ket.
(452 C.Y.) Laris Moonglow, a half-elf from Highfolk whose only crime was merely that he dared to court the daughter of the Beygraf.
(490 C.Y.) Zolthair of Polvar, a trusted mage of Ket who spied for the Witch Queen Iggwilv.
(500 C.Y.) Sumar, a nomad elementalist who only sought to avenge the abduction, enslavement and later murder of his wife at the hands of affluent Ketite nobles.
(523 C.Y.) Hasam al-Mishin, a Ketite noble who conspired with a sect of holy slayers in the assassination of an important Bey. Rather than be caught, the assassins slew themselves after naming Hasam as their employer.
(534 C.Y.) Hawad the Arsonist, a worshiper of Imix whose fires terrorized the city of Molvar. He was later caught and brought to the Beygraf’s justice by the sha’ir Alhamazad.
(565 C.Y.) Jassir the Bramble King, a ruthless bandit leader whose enclave lay hidden deep in the Bramblewood Forest.
(570 C.Y.) Faraz Ramil the Serpent of Ceshra, an assassin who killed the sister of Beygraf Zoltan, abducted her daughter for ransom, and poisoned the troughs of the palace stables. Zoltan captured him years later thanks to a double-cross and banished him along with a score of lesser offenders into the tapestry. Afterward, he was so horrified with the memory of the event that he had the tapestry locked away in his vault for good.
The History of the Tapestry of Ruin is adapted from the magic item entry: Tapestry of Ekbir originally found in the accessory Greyhawk Adventures.