It is the eve of King Dhakus‘s coronation anniversary, and our party is in the city of Delrivas ready to join in the revelry! Trivolin, Greilin Searle,Lyssin Freehand, and Sir Arramond of Highmarch are staying at their favorite inn, The Bloody Queen, located at the edge of Ziabe Park. The festival & games are taking place in the park, and the group (sans Arramond, who remains in the inn to enjoy the company he’s found there), venture forth to see what they can find. Antonio, the proprietor of the Bloody Queen, suggests they try some of the local games.
Lyssin is immediately captivated by the thought of the traditional cheese rolling, but the group decides to attempt the Nutter’s Dance first. They come upon a shallow stone pit surrounded by drunk revelers, cheering on performers. The crowd throws favors upon the dancers with the most entertaining moves. Lyssin and Tivolin gamely jump in, where Lyssin’s small stature and bravado claim the good will of the crowd. They aren’t sure what to make of Tivolin, but thanks to Greilin’s intimidating glare, give him the benefit of the doubt. The pair aren’t the most accomplished performers, but the crowd is happy to see strangers embracing their customs, and buy the group several drinks.
Next, the flow of the festival brings them to a large oak tree, where the strongest citizens are Turning the Devil’s Stone- a large rock of indeterminate origin that sits at the base of the tree. This marks where Queen Ziabe was originally murdered. The stone is moved at this time each year to remind the citizens of the tragedy, and show their commitment to moving forward. Trivolin steps forward and in a mighty show of strength moves the stone further than anyone else that evening.
The party approaches the pier, where folks are celebrating the countries rich & diverse trade by rolling giant wheels of cheese down narrow planks onto boats. Lyssin and Trivolin engage in a friendly bet about who can manage to get the cheese furthest. Trivolin tries first, but knocks his cheese into the water halfway down. Lyssin heroically wrestles the cheese (that is larger than she is) down the path a bit further, but is carried by it’s momentum into the water herself.
As the group dries off and contemplates their next move, Greilin notices a strange man standing to the side of the masses. He is obviously a man of military rank, and stands out for how uncomfortable he looks in the situation. Before they can investigate further, he somehow manages to disappear into the crowd, and the party moves on to the market. There they meet a questionable salesman who manages to still sell them some items of dubious (but useful) qualities.
It is time now for the highlight and culmination of the festival, where the city folk set a barge aflame and launch it out into the harbor filled with their wishes for the prosperity of Delrivas for the next year. Just as the ceremonial archer releases the flaming arrow, he is knocked by a drunken reveler, and his shot goes wide, hitting the market. The flames spread quickly & our group jumps into action. Greilin & Trivolin organize the drunk townsfolk into a bucket brigade. Lyssin rushes into the inferno to help pull out any trapped citizens. In doing so, she realizes that the fire is about to reach the barrels of stored liquor. She rolls them to safety with the help of the mysterious man they noticed earlier.
In short work, the fire is put out, the festival saved, and the incident discounted by the drunken masses. The mysterious man introduces himself to the group as Captain Simpson Kieral, the captain of the king’s guard. He offers to buy them a drink in thanks for their quick work saving the park.
All adjourn to The Bloody Queen where Antonio hurriedly seats them in a private room. Sir Arramond is still about, but having a private party of his own. Captain Kieral confides to the present party that he is concerned about the royal parade tomorrow. In addition, the King recently bucked tradition by naming his daughter heir over his son. Kieral is worried that there is unrest due to this change. It’s surprising that the Captain is so paranoid, yet willing to trust strangers. It’s almost like he needs to advance the plot and is willing to do it in any way necessary.
He details the route of the parade. This is the first time the royal children have been seen in 15 years, and the king is set on introducing them to the populace. The king is reluctant to take security measures, such as decoys. Captain Kieral hires the group to be extra eyes for the day, keeping a watch out for anything suspicious his guards won’t be able to see. The group makes their plans and retires for the night.
The next morning, the full party (Sir Arramond included!) trek up to Astaria crossroads and the castle to meet the captain. There, they survey the arrangements, which seem to be in good condition. Nothing too suspicious is seen besides a few pick-pockets that Arramond conscripts into service for information.
The Captain greets them, and they get in position for the parade. Trivolin takes to the roofs for a good vantage point. Greilin stations himself near the priests. Lyssin and Arramond take sides next to the gate in order to walk along with the carriage and the parade route.
The carriage carrying the king, Princess Zashah and Prince Jabarro emerges from the castle. The carriage has barely advanced into the square when one of the guards pulls a weapon and attacks Captain Kieral, possibly killing him. 3 other guards ready an attack, and 4 of the priests pull weapons from their robes and advance into the frey. The city erupts in pandemonium, but our party heroically jumps into battle.
Trivolin fires shots from the sky. Lyssin attacks the guards on the other side of the carriage. Sir Arramond vaults onto the carriage to avenge the captain and take down his assailant (but most importantly to impress the princess). Greilin attempts to grapple the head priest down.
Now that the Captain is incapacitated, the remaining guards and priests focus their fire on the prince, occasionally hitting Arramond or the princess as they get in the way. The group easily dispatches the guards, and attempt to take out the head priest, who seems to be leading the attack. Arramond is successful in dealing the final blow to him, but as the priest dies, he turns to the remaining foes and says, “Brothers, continue our sacred task!”
They do so, grievously wounding the prince. The priests who delivers the final blow to the prince, calls out to his fellows to live to continue the battle another day. He then kills himself. The party manages to slay one more of the attackers, one runs off into the crowd and disappears. Arramond knocks the final one unconscious.
Greilin leaps onto the carriage to attempt to resuscitate the prince. Jabarro is barely holding onto life. As the attempts to save him continue, a small blue stone rolls from the prince’s hand and is picked up by Lyssin.
The king rallies the remaining loyal guards and asks the party to see them safely back into the castle. Arramond calls out for guards and Trevolin to make sure the unconscious priest is brought in for questioning.
All retreat into the castle.