Captain Tyrus, Eight, and Ki-Ken are asked by Lattice of Clouds and Miles Long Roar, two gods of the Western court named ‘The Family of Salt and Splendor’, to assist in an investigative mission to Brackwater Port.
Brackwater Port is the sole colonized area of an island about two and a half days away when traveling by sea. It is best known for exceptional ship craft and is one of the only local sources of lumber. Suspended somewhere within the dry-dock alongside a cliff face is the doorway to the sanctum of Beckoning Hammer, the elder brother of Lattice of Clouds.
The three exalts depart from Sharktooth cove about a week after the Dragonblooded pair, V’Neef Kiara and Ragara Soras Heral, had headed that way by merchant vessel.
Aboard the Quicksilver Phantom they make good time through the ocean waters with the blessings of the accompanying gods and exalted skill at sailing.
Keen eyes of Ki-Ken mark a dead-zone in the water surrounding the island. A sort of unnatural calm that they had seen in small form during the night of the festival mere days prior. Stuck among the doldrum-calm were a number of ships that had apparently been caught in the trap. Among the ships was the merchant vessel that the Dragonbloods had taken.
With some thinking over on the situation it appeared that a doldrum had removed the influence of nearby elementals and small gods, leaving no spiritual entities around to break the hold on the areas they had be-calmed with their hollowing touch.
Expecting a trap, but determined to continue on the exalts requested a blessing from Miles Long Roar. A cannon shot loud enough to break through the strange calm, giving them a clean path to sail into the land. A second request, to Lattice of Clouds, cloaked the ship from spiritual detection.
Having reached the shore an ‘Away Team’, consisting of the Solar Exalted Heroes, trekked across a bit of the island to reach the port-town. After about three hours walking through dead-silent forests they came across a terrible sight. The town was possessed by the hollow-infection of the Doldrum. Most of the humans had been so poisoned by the touch of the Doldrum that they could barely register the presence of the exalted heroes.
After making their way to the docks the heroes were set-upon by a hoard of Doldrum. Nearly a hundred of the creatures swarmed through the area to assail the champions, but to no avail. A combination of might, cleverness, and wrath rendered the elementals back into their component essences. Left behind were tiny stones and a single yellow jade crystal caged in black wire.
The crystal, a Yasal, was a type of spiritual prison designed to contain lesser sorts of spiritual creatures. The black wiring worked around it seemed to enhance the power to cage a more potent entity. Undoing the wire and willing the release of the entity within freed Beckoning Hammer and the heroes were then free to enter his sanctum to discuss what had happened and mask the totemic animas from mortal eyes.