In the World of Dirge

Episode 1: The Annual Tourney!

Florian's 50th Annual Adventurer Tourney

Session 1: The Annual Tourney

Being four of many adventurers invited to the Annual Tourney, our heroes come to Florian City, Dirge’s capital, in hopes of coming out on top and earning a placing among King Erald Flor’s anointed adventurers

—The adventurers are welcomed into the city and each given free maps. There is celebration everywhere including music, dancing, commoner competitions, and, of course, the annual Florian Fair.

8am: At 8am the next morning, all of the Tourney contestants gather into a closed off area beneath an erected stage. Each contestant is given a stub to determine the group they’ll be in for the competition. Our four heroes have been matched up.

—From the stage, the King’s Crier welcomes all of the contestants (of which their are roughly 120 of), and introduces the most important dignitaries in attendance: Senator Gosul, Senator Ja’him, and King Erald Flor himself.

—Throughout the mass of adventurers, there was much whispered talk of the large Half-orc Rawhst who had taken on all of the contestants in combat at the Tourney in Artur’s Highlands.

—The Crier explains the competition for this year’s Tourney: Each team of four will follow the clues given to them after completing each step. The team to follow all the clues to the final objective, lighting the Florian Tower’s candle, will be the victors. The Tourney will only last 24 hours. If the candle has not been lit, there will be no winner.

9am: After finding the First Tourney Clue in their pockets and a bit of a rocky start (misreading the first clue and heading to the Florian Forest prematurely), the heroes finally find their way to The Du’ure Ajhar, an Apothecary shop.

10am: For the magical jar they needed, The Dwarven shopkeep, Lolmot, tried to swindle the group out of 1,000 gold pieces that they didn’t have. Feeling hope drain and theorizing a few… less scrupulous tactics, the well-timed entrance of a mad Doomsayer from out side the shop came to their aid. Lolmot agreed to 5gp for the jar if they dealt with the Doomsayer.

—With the intimidating prowess of a Tarkassian razorbeast, Human Paladin Dante Constantine scared the Doomsayer speechless. Perfect.

—Lolmot, feeling some of the Paladin’s threat as well, gladly handed over the Du’ure Ajhar free of charge. The Paladin, proving his honor, placed down 5 of his own gold as previously agreed upon.

—They leave the shop and the frightened Doomsayer approaches the party, careful not to lock eyes with Dante. He hands them their Second Tourney Clue and makes haste away, remembering to throw out a quick “congratulations”.

11am: Back in the Forest, Half-Orc Ranger Aonghus effortlessly used the lay of the land to guide the party to the most likely place for a small magical creature, such as the supposed Faery they were looking for, would be. Sure enough, they made their way to an idyllic glade complete with soft-falling waterfall and a lazy stream heading to the East. Floating above middle of the pool beneath the falls was a glorious rainbow light, emendating a heavenly tune. Upon closer inspection, the party noticed that the light’s source was of some grotesque Spider-Faery hybrid, and that swaying from the trees in tune with the Faery were two large Hunting Spiders.

12pm: Weary of the threat, the party formulated a plan that involved the application of Tiefling Illusionist Reerdon Lint’s unique Waterwalking skill. Reerdon snuck upon the pool and captured the Spider-Faery with such sly agility and grace, that the Hunting Spiders were none the wiser until the party was far out of reach.

1pm: Unsure of where the “tail of a giant rat” was that their most recent clue referred to, Reerdon flagged down a pair of commoner girls walking by. Having done it an unfathomable amount of times before, he seduced the girls into giving him a few answers, mainly that the giant rat they sought was probably at the Florian Fair’s Creatures of the Past exhibit.

2pm: Once inside the Fair, they had no trouble finding the exhibit, although it was shut down until the show that evening. Reerdon persuaded the girls to entice the two Dragonborn musclemen guarding the tent housing the “Creatures”, and, once they were gone, the crew snuck in.

3pm: Crowded within the tent were numerous cages filled with aging and ailing blackmarket creatures of all shapes and kinds. Finding three Giant Rats in a cage hardly meant for one sent Dante and Half-Orc Rogue Lagaz’s heartstrings on edge. The plan was quick and efficient: Aonghus threw a bucket of bloody chow into the cage to distract the Rats, Lagaz grabbed the tail of one, and Dante took hold of the tail and lopped it off. The wound was too much for the frail specimen and it soon passed. Dante felt this was most likely for the best. They fled the tent with little commotion.

4pm: Just outside the tent, a Mustached Fair Barker was making his rounds when he spotted, identified, and locked eyes with Dante. Fear stopped him in his tracks, and Dante recognized him as the crazed Doomsayer from earlier. The Barker/Doomsayer comes to his sense and drops the Third Tourney Clue on the ground next to a trashcan.

5pm: After deciphering what parts of the clue they could, the group heads toward and enters the Florian Courthouse where, perched at the building’s peak, stands a large statue of King Flor with his hands of justice held out before him.

6pm: All of the Courthouses rooms are locked or empty except for the main court room, where Rawhst and what’s left of his group have been waiting to ambush whatever groups may enter. Dante steps up to challenge Rawhst and battle commences!

7pm: Though Lagaz embarrassingly trips on a stray rock on the floor and Aonghus is blinded by the Dwarf Witch‘s curse, the team does away with Rawhst efficiently and with little injury. At battle’s end, Rawhst is unconscious, the Elven Ranger flees, and Reerdon traps the Dwarf Witch in a cage of psychic energies.

—Reerdon interrogates the trapped Dwarf for information about the remainder of the Tourney. The trepidatious Dwarf admits that he and his team really don’t know anything because they spent most of their time ambushing other teams and stealing their clues. Reerdon walks over the fallen Rawsht, where Lagaz has found some gold pieces and a pair of little shoes sized for a baby Half-Orc. With Dante preoccupied, Reerdon, Lagaz, and Aonghus quietly agree that they must not leave Rawhst alive, and they strike down a killing blow unbeknownst to Dante.

8pm: The group journeys forth up a spiral staircase to the roof of the Courthouse, and examine the large statue of the King. They notice and procure the Fourth Tourney Note from the statue’s outstretched hand. Following its directions, they feed the Spider-Faery the Giant Rat’s Tail. The Faery consumes it like a drug and it grows and grows in size until it expels an ungodly amount of rainbow webbing from it’s sac, cover the entirety of the gang.

9pm: Now covered in this strange webbing, they all begin to float, and then, to fly. They understand and head straight for the top of Florian Tower. The land atop where the candle resides and light it. The city cheers and revels in the victors! They float back down to the base of the tower and are ecstatically received by the King’s Crier and Senator Gosul. The group is ushered off in a gaudy litter to the King’s Castle, where they are bathed and nobly clothed to dine with the King and Queen.

—As expected, dinner is scrumptious and the King and Queen, though elderly, are flawless in their appearance and manners. The King invites the adventurers to share their life dreams and goals with him, and all manage to come up with something eventually.

—Whence they have finished, a cold voice from the hallway calls out for the King. The King responds by asking if “that was enough”, and the voice, who reveals itself as Senator Ja’him, replies that “it was”. Now finding themselves completely immobilized, the party begins to worry. Senator Ja’him’s purple-cloaked monks make their way around the table, placing runed bags over each of the party members’ heads, which magically blind and deafen each.

—The last thing the party hears before all goes dark is the Senator and the King discussing their delight that “it is finally the year”, that “it will not take more than a month”, and finally, just before he is hooded, Lagaz watches as four naked figures walk out of the hallway; four naked figures that look identical to each member of the party!

—An unknown amount of time passes before one of the party members’ hoods a taken off, and by a carnivorous lizard no less. They help each other out and gaze around at their new surroundings: bleach white desert as far as the eye can see.

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