004 - Festival, day one
On The Road: Afternoon
The Traveling Merchant Trap
Aywin stops the lead cart and the rest of the group follows suit. Tegan being attracted to various fashions and goods, clambers down from the cart. He greets the traveling merchant. This merchant is an average height human, with brown hair and brown eyes. He has a long scar running down his jawline. On his cart is various tunics, clothing, rusty weapons, horse harnesses and equipment, trinkets, and vials. Tegan is interested and starts to peruse the goods but he doesn't expect much.
Suddenly from the other side of the road, four arrows fly into the cart. One hits Aaron, Wazo, and Aywin and another narrowly misses Coless sticking itself into the side of the lead cart.
- Aywin: draws a shortsword & jumps down from cart. Runs towards the roadside brush. Four bandits pop up and he swings, hitting one of them.
- Wazo: Rage! Flies out and also attacks the injured bandit.
- Aaron: EB hits bandit #4.
- Tegan: tries to grapple the merchant, but he dodges it.
- Leofyr: vicious mockery on a bandit, which hits.
- Coless: draws scimitar, chops injured bandit #4 in the head and he falls to the ground, dead.
- Bandits: #1 rushes Wazo, connects with a nasty scimitar hit. #2 swipes at Aywin but misses. #3 swings at Coless but misses. Merchant draws a scimitar and hits Tegan.
- Emlareon: rushes at the merchant with a dagger but misses.
- Aywin: attacks #3 but misses.
- Wazo: attacks #1 with glaive but goes wide.
- Aaron: EB at merchant misses.
- Tegan: waves his dagger towards the merchant weakly.
- Leofyr: Gives Tegan 1d6 inspiration, then tries to magically charm the merchant, but he resists it.
- Coless: hits bandit #2 with her scimitar.
- Bandits: #2 swings back, misses. #1 misses Wazo, #3 misses Aywin, Merchant misses Tegan.
- Emlareon: hits a bandit.
- Aywin: misses #3 again.
- Wazo: attacks #1 in a frenzy, leaving them badly wounded.
- Aaron: uses a psychic attack on the merchant, twisting his mind and hurting him, although he resists the other effect.
- Tegan: inspired by Leofyr, jams his dagger into the merchant's shoulder.
- Leofyr: misses with vicious mockery but the damage almost kills the merchant.
- Coless: misses #2.
- Bandits: #2 misses Coless, #1 hits Wazo, #3 hits Emlareon pretty badly, merchant misses Tegan with his sword.
- Emlareon: slices down #1.
- Aywin: misses #3.
- Wazo: still in a frenzy, furiously beheads #1 with her glaive, then turns to #3. She moves over and cuts him badly.
- Aaron: EB merchant, knocks his limp body into the wares cart.
- Last bandit flees. As he turns to run, Wazo swings at him but misses. He escapes.
After the Ambush
After the battle concludes, Leofyr sees his brother's wounds so he mutters a quick incantation and casts healing word. Coless and Aywin embrace each other making sure they are all right. Everyone else collects themselves and tends to their wounds.
Then Tegan investigates the merchant's cart and wares and sees evidence that these items were taken from the bandits' victims. This merchant was definitely in on this elaborate trap.
Wazo searches the bodies in the brush and finds money on the dead bandits totaling 15gp 3sp. She also takes their 3 scimitars, and some bows and arrows. Tegan, leaving the clothes, collects the trinkets that look personal to take to Feldmar. He finds a silver wedding band and brass candlesticks. He suggests that maybe they can find their owners or heirs in town.
The party continues until sunset, riding past flowing grass, plains and occasional rocks. They make camp by building a campfire and they begin to talk about their lives. Leofyr breaks out into a bardic song and sings a song about a long-long-ago green dragon that terrorized some dwarves, who made a special weapon to drive it off. This catches Wazo's attention.
Before Wazo starts her first watch. She pulls Leofyr aside and inquires about this song, "The Tale of the Green Dragon". He says it has been passed down from generations to generations of bards. Leofyr learned it from his mentor Saccor. She asks if he knows what country the song describes, but sadly, he doesn't.
First watch: Wazo - quiet and uneventful Second watch: Aaron - vigilant! heard mice but uneventful Third watch: Leofyr
Aaron's Cryptic Dream
As Aaron finishes his watch and passes it off to Leofyr. He begins to drift to sleep. He dreams that he is in a barren field with tall gnarled trees dotting the land. As he looks around, he feels something constrict around his left leg, which is losing feeling quickly. He looks down to see a dark, black snake with glowing green eyes, tightening and constricting, flicking its tongue in a silent hiss.
He tries to blast it with eldritch energy, but nothing happens. The usual green energy that he summons from his palms doesn't appear. He tries to punch it, but it is only angered and hissing more irately. He tries to grab it by the neck to strangle it, failing in his attempt. Immediately, a voice booms in his head, "Serve me...Conquer!" and he is jolted awake, sweating and breathing heavily. As he scrambles away from his bed, he sees a black snake slithering quickly away into the brush.
Leofyr notices Aaron's distress and asks what is wrong. Aaron tells him and he inspects Aaron's leg but doesn't see any evidence of the event.
Arriving at Feldmar
The sun rises bringing a new day.
Cresting over a hill, everyone sees an orchard full of bright fruits, red apples, green pears and blues and purples of unidentifiable fruit. In the distance sits Feldmar, nestled amongst the orchards. It is a sprawling mass of stone one- and two-story buildings. As the group approaches, they begin to see the decorations for the festival.
Ribbons are tied on trees, bunting of pinks, lilacs, and sea-blues are draped on the outer walls. Children are flying colorful kites and dogs are frolicking after them. A long banner hanging over the wide open city gates proclaims, "Welcome to Feldmar's Faerie's Harvest Festival"
In front of the town’s central monument (a brass statue of a gnome riding a horse), a large stage has been assembled. Along either side leading up to the stage and monument is a line of stalls manned by various vendors, mostly gnomes but some humans and half-elves. They are selling various merchandise including sweet smelling candies, fruits, various funny looking hats and faerie memorabilia.
To the left, a vendor is selling fruit smoothies. She catches Tegan eyeing the drinks and calls the group over. Leofyr & the Rogues break from the adventurers and try to get on the list of performers.
The vendor has apples, pears, bananas, citruses, and other fruits, and is making smoothies with a mechanical juicer. She makes her favorite mix, and gives some to Wazo. Wazo just skulls the whole thing in one gulp, but she seems to enjoy it. Tegan and Aaron enjoy one too.
After this, they look for some festive clothes. They see an older gnome selling festive, crazy hats. Tegan gets a sparkly faerie hat that Wazo likes for 2s. He dons it immediately.
The Start of the Festival
Shortly after, Mayor Seebo, a gnome with a long white beard uses a wand to amplify his voice. He gives a speech from a stage:
"Welcome, welcome one and all, to Feldmar's annual Faerie's Harvest Festival. I am Mayor Seebo and I want to warmly welcome everyone from near and far. We are honored to have you all witness the magic that the Feywild has bestowed on Feldmar. As is customary every year, I want to introduce to you all Feldmar’s very own performance troupe, The Spirit's Rise."
A troupe of 10 or so gnomes hurries onto the stage and Mayor Seebo steps off. The troupe performs a flawless performance describing why this event is important. They reenact how the faeries of the Forest come out of their cave, which is believed to be connected to the Feywild plane. They come out at dusk only on this day and magically pollinate the one and only Faerie fruit tree. The residents of Feldmar hold up colorful candles and flowers to attract them to this magical tree. Once pollinated, over the course of a few hours, the fruit grows into a butterfly looking fruit which is only good for one night. When the fruit is eaten, the consumer gets to see an image of someone they lost for a short amount of time.
The performance ends and the troupe leaves the stage. The mayor gets back on and says, "And that is why we celebrate this joyous occasion. We see our loved ones and celebrate life. Please, make yourself at home."
Tegan's mind is whirling, Wazo gets a lot quieter, and Aaron is also contemplative. They agree, each of them has reasons to want this fruit.
The Rogues come back and celebrate that they made it on the performers list. Tegan asks Leofyr if the hype of the festival is true. He says he believes the story is real but the Rogues have never experienced the festival themselves. The Rogues hurry off to prepare for their performance.
The adventurers next go to a candle vendor. The wax is dyed the same colors as the bunting, pale colors from pinks to blues. The candle vendor persuades Wazo to get a huge candle for 2 gold. Tegan gets a regular candle for 3s, Aaron gets one for 2s
Game stalls and competitions are being set up in each corner of the square. Egg toss, archery, tug of war
The group goes to the flower vendor hoping to prepare for the following nights faerie event. The female merchant is a hippy looking gnome, very short and wearing a flower crown. She is selling various flower arrangements like bouquets, single flowers, boutonnieres, and flower crowns. Wazo wants the BEST flowers for attracting faeries. She and Tegan split the 2s cost for a daisy crown. Tegan spends 1s on a lilac brooch, and Aaron spends 1s for a brooch made of blue forget-me-not flowers.
The flower vendor encourages them to try the games.
Let the Games Begin
Mayor Seebo asks for participants for the games. Wazo flies over to ask what the awards are, but Mayor Seebo points her to an older gentleman who seems to be in charge of the games, so she flies over to him to ask.
He says the prizes are bronze mini fairies trophies. Wazo enters everyone in all the games unbeknownst to Aaron and Tegan. Egg toss is starting NOW and Wazo tells Aaron and Tegan that she entered everyone and that they are up first!
Tegan and Aaron are in the egg toss.
- Aaron to Tegan, good pass
- A gnome team is eliminated
- Step back
- Tegan to Aaron, good pass
- The other two teams pass
- Step back
- Aaron to Tegan, good pass
- Both others also
- Step back
- Tegan to Aaron, good pass
- As the elf team is tossing, Wazo squawks to try to distract them but both other teams pass
- Step back
- Aaron to Tegan, good pass with a diving catch
- The elves miss, and are eliminated. The gnomes succeed with a dive too.
- Step back
- Tegan to Aaron, effortless catch
- Gnomes pass, but Wazo's loud squawking scares him and he accidentally crushes the egg!
Aaron and Tegan are declared winners! They each get a small bronze trophy of a faerie catching an egg.
Wazo is entered into the archery contest, along with a male and a female gnome, and an elven child.
Wazo plays up her age. The child is scared of her, and she makes angry eyes at him when she thinks she can get away with it.
- Wazo hits her target first try
- The child is eliminated
- The gnomes succeed easily
- Stepping back
- Wazo misses all three shots
- The other two make their shots, so she is eliminated. The female gnome wins in the third round.
Wazo is a sore loser.
Next is tug of war (for all three players). There are four teams: gnome, elf, half-elf, and the party, entered as "The Squawkers".
In the first round, it's gnomes vs elves, and half-elves vs squawkers.
- lose 10ft
- regain it
- gain 10ft
- tie (no movement)
- gain another 10ft and WIN
Wazo is a sore winner.
Next they face the gnomes, who beat the elves. They are really beefy, possibly part of the Feldmar guard or soldiers.
- gain 10ft
- lose 10ft as Aaron lost his footing
- lose 10 more ft as Tegan is dragged along bodily
- they are dragged over the line, and the gnomes are the winners!
At the Tavern
Wazo, feeling frustrated and angry, heads straight for the tavern, and Aaron and Tegan follow.
There are two gnome bartenders, one, named Galen taking orders and the other filling them. Wazo, needing a drink, is getting ready to make a scene and get attention, but Tegan sends her to get a table and orders three fruit wines (raspberry, blueberry, apple) for the party, and leaves 6sp for another round. They are delicious! The muscled gnome tug of war winners come in, and everyone except Wazo is really happy for them. Galen calls for a round for the winners, on the house!
Tegan tries to head off a confrontation as Wazo storms over, but the gnomes win her over with positive macho bro energy and she comes to get Aaron and Tegan to join them. Aaron decides instead to furtively stand in the crowd and listen.
They comment that the party is clearly from out of town. Tegan gives Wazo her giant candle back. The gnome teams notices the size and gimmicky qualities of the candle and begin to explain that the faeries come whether or not people bring candles and flowers. The faeries are attracted to the flowering tree. They explain that the tree is huge, about four stories high, with enough fruit when pollinated for whoever is in attendance. The fruit only lasts for that night, and if you save it, it spoils. The faerie fruit has magic properties that when you eat it, you see an image of a loved one. If it's a large fruit you might be able to converse with the person for only a few minutes. Usually the largest fruits are given to the important people in the town, but Wazo thinks she might be able to get her hands on one by flying up into the tree.
They say that a local druid, Soliana, knows more about the tree, but the gnomes explain that it works because it has some kind of connection to the Feywild plane and the magic of the land.
Tegan and Wazo banter with the gnomes for a while but as the partying continues into the night, eventually they head to collect Aaron and find lodging.
Aaron has been people watching, but didn't learn what he was listening for.
Night at the Inn
The Sprite's Rest Inn is blanketed in flowers, a fragrant two story building. Inside, the lobby is also full of beautiful flowers.
There is a long wooden desk that has 14 pegs for room keys, and a lazy black cat lounges on it flicking his tail. Behind the desk is Odessa Mermilo, short female gnome with brown hair, tan skin, twinkling eyes, and a big toothy smile.
She says the room rate is 2 gold, but there are only two rooms left.
Aaron asks if there's a discount if you visit with an "actual sprite". Aaron calls Flit, and he becomes visible on his shoulder. Wazo goes to pet Flit, and he snarls at her, but Wazo squawks at him. Flit dodges away from the persistent petting. Meanwhile, Nipos, the black cat is readying himself to pounce but Flit quickly turns invisible again.
Odessa, slightly ashamed but more than excited to see the sprite, gives the party a discount, 1gp per night! Tegan pays Aaron back 7s of the room cost in exchange for getting the bed. The party nestles closely together in the crowded room and drifts to sleep ready for the next days festivities.