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The Death Mask is an audio drama produced by Big Finish Productions. It was released in May 2011.
“One of you is a murderer! None of you are above suspicion. You all had something to lose.”
Moments after welcoming his guests to a party, millionaire Harrison Pierce is murdered. But his death is only the first of many as, trapped on an isolated island, his guests start to die in increasingly bizarre ways.
Attorney Tony Peterson must join forces with a woman who destroyed his life years before, the beautiful but deadly Cassandra Collins. But can she be trusted? And what really is the secret of the mysterious Death Mask?
- Night falls on turbulent waters as a motorboat ends its journey to an isolated island off the coast of Maine. On board attorney Anthony Peterson, a man who thought he’d escaped a past haunted by frightening schemes of revenge and destruction. But who is about to learn that no place is far enough to run. For on this night an ominous figure from that past will re-emerge plunging Tony into a chain of events that will bring terror and death to all who surround him.
Lawyer Tony Peterson arrives on a island to attend a house party hosted by his client, millionaire Harrison Pierce Unexpectedly, he encounters witch Cassandra Collins a woman who almost destroyed his life.
Tony isn’t pleased to Cassandra again and immediately wants to leave. However he is prevented from doing so by an approaching storm. He returns to the party. Cassandra and Tony discuss the guests in attendance at the party, these include: Marilyn Wedgewood, heir to the Wedgewood publishing fortune; Dr. David Stone, Pierce’s private Physician and close friend; Pierce’s cousin Horace Sanders and his wife Evelyn; Pearce’s nephew James Ryce; and niece Sharon Ryce. Harrison Pierce makes a dramatic entrance to the party and invites his guests to join him in the Gallery. They comply unenthusiastically.
In the Gallery, Tony observes many display cases full of items all carefully catalogued and labelled. Pierce grandly unveils the latest treasure in his collection much to the astonishment of his guests. It is an exceptionally beautiful life sized golden mask of eastern design. Cassandra recognizes it as one of the Veils of Accosher. Pierce confirms that it is a replica that he's had made of the original Veil much to the disgust of his family members in attendance who believing him to be wasting money. In reaction to this Pierce starts berate his guests, and threatens to cut them all out of his will. The Butler appears and announces that dinner will be served later than expected, to which Pierce suggests they all return to the parlour for more drinks.
Later, 8:30pm. Dinner still yet to be served and Pierce is nowhere to be seen. Ten more minutes pass. The Butler enters and whispers something to Dr. Stone. Stone announces to the rest of the guests that a ‘mishap’ has occurred in the Gallery, everyone goes there to find out what. In the Gallery, Pierce lays face down on the floor dead, with a knife protruding from his back. Stone deduces that one of the guests is the murderer, citing Pierce’s threat to disinherit them from his will as the motive. The butler reveals that the telephone lines are down due to the storm, so the police cannot be contacted. Taking control of the situation, Tony states that they all should leave the scene of the murder. Cassandra notices that the Veil is missing. Tony suspects Cassandra as being involved; she claims innocence and suggests that if they find the mask they will find the murderer.
Back in the parlour the guests are all uncharacteristically quiet. Cassandra notices James Ryce and the maid sneaking off somewhere. Tony gets the rest of guests to write down their statements of what they were all doing and whom they were with in the half hour before dinner was called. Whilst they do this, Tony and Cassandra go to find James and the maid. Cassandra feels they are being watched, at that moment the maid screams. They follow the sound and find James Ryce on the floor dead. Dr. Stone promptly appears on the scene to examine the body and confirms that James has been strangled, however there are no marks on his neck. Stone also reveals that Pierce’s dead body is now missing. Tony again suspects Cassandra, who admits to having an interest in the mask, but says she knows nothing of the murders and that there maybe more to the mask than meets the eye.
The electricity cuts out. News of the latest developments causes panic to spread amongst the guests. Cassandra calms the situation. Tony and Cassandra review the guests statements. Everyone retires for the night. Tony goes to see Stone, Stone having earlier slipped him a note asking to talk privately. On his way there, Cassandra appears saying she heard footsteps, they find Stone’s room empty. They agree that Stone knows something and continue to look for him together. Whilst they look Tony and Cassandra discuss their previous encounter together.
Arriving at the library just in time to witness choking cries and a figure dropping to the floor. Tony and Cassandra find that the figure writhing on the floor in agony is Dr. Stone. Now lying deathly still, his face is contorted in terror. As Tony reaches for his neck to check for a pulse, water pours from Stone’s mouth. Despite being perfectly dry it is as though Stone had just been drowned. Tony states that without a doubt the supernatural is involved here, he turns to Cassandra. She admits that she was sent by ‘associates’ with a purpose to verify whether the Veil of Accosher was the original and if so to acquire it for them. She explains that the original mask gives the wearer power over each of the four elements. Tony concludes that the very air itself strangled James Rice and that Stone was drowned by mask's mastery over water. A terrifying scream is heard. The source of the scream is Evelyn Sanders, her husband Horace lay dead. She describes a stream of dirt falling from the ceiling pouring onto her husband, pinning him down until he couldn’t breathe, and that once his struggles stopped the dirt vanished.
Tony gathers everyone together, except Sharon Ryce who cannot be found. Tony and Cassandra go look for her, their search leads them to the Gallery. Entering they discover Sharon hiding behind a cabinet, calling out to air begging it not to take her. She pulls a sword from the wall and begins waving it menacingly around in the air. A column of fire appears and corners Cassandra who starts to panic. In a moment of realization Tony dashes off to Pierce’s library, where he finds Pierce standing as if in the eye of a hurricane, alive and wearing the Veil of Accosher, pulsing with power. Pierce confesses he is using the mask to rid himself of the leeches that call themselves his family. Tony hurls a large vase at Pierce knocking the mask from his face to the floor. Pierce lay on the floor, still alive, unconscious. Tony grabs the mask and returns to the library to find Cassandra and Sharon both unharmed. The Police arrive, however Cassandra is nowhere to be found and also missing is the Veil of Accosher. Harrison Pierce has been left a mindless vegetable by the forces of the mask. Tony informs the Police of what happened, the odd nature of deaths being conveniently overlooked. No one else but Tony remembers that Cassandra was a guest at the party.
Sometime later, in his office Tony recounts the events of that night for his records. At his conclusion Cassandra appears. It is revealed that he gave up law and became a detective and that ‘Cassandra’ is now a blond. Cassandra reveals she never gave the Veil of Accosher to her masters, realizing that it was too dangerous for anyone to have control over, she managed to conveniently ‘lose it’. She hands Tony his fathers’ lighter back, the one she took from him in order to manipulate him on their original encounter together. She wishes him good luck with his detective work and tells him to whistle if he ever wants to ‘do it’ again sometime. She leaves. Outside, she holds Veil of Accosher and laments that it a pity its too dangerous too keep. She laughs.
Background information and notes
- The story of Tony Peterson and Cassandra Collins' partnership continues in The Voodoo Amulet.
- Included at the end of this release are trailers for Angelique's Descent, Echoes of Insanity and Clothes of Sand.