Serenity, Indeed

In a Festival Fix

Much can go awry during the festival preparations...

As the day began in Rinn Town, Poly the gnome strode the grounds for the upcoming festival. Throughout, people of all races were setting up their booths and unpacking their wares. One table caught her eye, that of Nebel Dalbones, another gnome. Poly decided to help the other gnome in setting up the booth.

Zephyr, a human native of Rinn, was also strolling the grounds that morning, looking for work. After some minor persuasion, he convinced Nebel to pay him a few silver pieces for some manual labor.

Raven Mourner, a human from the Northern country of Pevenath, was in town for the festival. Though he was looking for noble questing opportunities, he had to settle for helping an ageing wheelwright. The wheelwright needed to carry out a heavy anvil from inside his shop, so as to ply his trade in the good weather. After the two of them dragged the anvil out the front door, the wheelwright dropped his end in surprise: the half-finished wheel outside his shop was now completely crafted. As the two stared in wonder, the door to the shop toppled forward, detached from its hinges. Raven noticed a metallic wasp-like creature perched on the door frame. It took off and flew down the lane; Raven followed.

Meanwhile, Thorial the elf was also browsing the festival grounds. After noticing a motley group at one booth, Thorial joined Nebel’s helpers just in time for the gnome crafter to unveil his wares. An assortment of wind-up toys, self-propelled gadgets and small automatons rolled around the display table. After a small crowd gathered, Nebel pulled out a case from behind the table, “Ladies and gents… I have here in this case two wonders of magic and mechanics! They can repair almost anything given to them! Behold!”

And the case was quite empty.

After realizing it, Nebel pleaded to his trio of helpers to find the missing creations. Apparently they were crafted by his master back in Baravar’s Hollow. The gnomish automenders were quite expensive, and Nebel would prefer them brought back intact. He last saw the wasp-like creations the night before, in his room at The Wand and Scepter. After some prodding by Poly, Nebel revealed that the automenders also have a nasty sting…

On their way to The Wand & Scepter, Poly, Zephyr and Thorial bumped into Raven Mourner heading the same general direction. Apparently, they were all after the same thing.

The Wand & Scepter was quite full when the party arrived; only a few chairs at the bar were unoccupied. After asking around, no one in the tavern had seen anything odd that day… until a drunken patron in the corner sat down and broke his chair. Thinking that the automenders sought broken items to fix, the party lingered around the commotion, just in time to see one of the creatures fly out an open window. They followed.

Down the road, the party heard a crash, a loud bang and a scream from inside the nearby sundries shop. Upon entering, they found their quarry, and quite a mess. Shelves had been toppled, the shopkeep was unconscious, and a female customer was stuck in a tanglefoot bag and frantically swatting at one of the automenders. At his first opportunity, Raven Mourner made a quick grab at the terrorizing automender and caught it. Thorial and Poly moved towards the other one hiding in the corner, while Zephyr helped Raven shove their capture back into the case. After some fighting, flying, stinging and frantic grasping, the party caught the second automender in the case. The terrified woman gave the party a thin necklace for their efforts, and the shopkeep, once roused, gave the party his remaining tanglefoot bag.

Upon returning the automenders to Nebel (along with some friendly advice), the party received a scroll, a pair of automated footpads and two bags of jumping caltrops for their efforts. Emboldened by their success, the party headed towards the town hall to find if they could be of more use. There, they discovered that a member of the town council was expecting a guest for the festival: one Everia Thornleaf, a halfling cleric of Yondalla. Apparently she was bringing a pair of plant growth spells to aid in the coming growing season, and that she was some days late in arriving. Without delay, the party set out towards the Scarred Lands.

After passing through some farms one the outskirts of Rinn (one being that of Zephyr’s foster father), the party was attacked by a pair of gnolls. After dispatching them with little difficulty, the party rested for the night.

The next day brought the party to the Scarred Lands. Poly knew that the area was known for its hidden lairs of raiding monsters. Upon finding a used campsite, the party found much amidst the landscape: Raven Mourner found a halfling-sized backpack buried in the soil (with a pair of grain ‘bouquets’ inside); Thorial found signs of a fight and footprints leading into a nearby chasm, leading Zephyr to find a concealed tunnel leading underground. The party cautiously entered.

Once in the small cave, the party gingerly stepped over some open pits in the ground, only for Thorial to almost fall into a cleverly concealed one. After searching the tunnel leading farther in, the party found a tripwire and bell rigged to the tunnel opening. A few careful tries later, Zephyr removed the bell and tripwire without a sound.

Once farther inside the cave complex, the party managed to spot a trio of kobolds hiding in the darkness… just in time for the fight to begin. Much happened during the fight: Poly put one of the kobolds to sleep, Raven Mourner shrugged off a blinding dust trap as he fought, Zephyr battled toe-to-toe with the kobolds, and Thorial dispatched a large monstrous spider after he was pushed into its alcove. After dispatching the group, the party found some gold & silver pieces on the kobolds, and a pair of probably-stolen crates containing sacks of spices.

After searching the cave complex, the party found a secret door off to the side. The party burst through, to find more kobolds and their tied-up prisoner, Everia the halfling. As the party dodged fire, spears, spells and a wild dog, they survived the second wave of enemies. A single kobold escaped, though, as they freed the halfling. In the hidden part of the cave they found a few scrolls, some gold & silver pieces, and a pile of crumpled-up ransom notes regarding Everia.

The party returned Everia’s belongings to her (including the gain ‘bouquets’, which were actually single-use castings of the plant growth spells), and escorted her back to Rinn Town. Upon arriving without incident, the town councilman thanked and rewarded the party in gold for their efforts.

[Note for players: updates have been made to the Scarred Lands.]

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