Secrets in the Sun
After defeating the Yuan-ti and rescuing Elanna Leam and Gaspard from their clutches, the adventurers retreated to the audience chamber to rest and recover. Once they had regained their strength, they set about exploring the temple ruins once more. Investigating the room where the prisoners had been held, Glen discovered a trap door carefully hidden at the center of a mosaic of the sun. He and Eight Thundercloud descended, hoping to find some long-forgotten elvish treasures. They were only met with dusty shelves holding rotten and rusted detritus. Behind one of the crumbling shelves, they discovered a narrow crevice that led out to the refuse pit where Rose had been last seen. There was still no sign of Rose, but at the first sight of a rust monster, Glen and Eight Thundercloud quickly retreated.
Song and Treasure
Singing the song of the elements once again in the audience chamber, the adventurers gained access to the orc warchief’s treasure hoard… or at least what was left of it. The largest room in the temple had four arches on raised platforms surrounding a central pedestal with slots to hold four elemental crystals. Gaspard, barely conscious from the beating and starvation inflicted upon him by his orc captors, indicated that this was a chamber where the Elves would have been able to use elemental crystals and some sort of song to open planar gates to the planes of earth, air, fire, or water.
Of interest to Glen and Eight Thundercloud were three wooden chests left behind by the orcs. Glen hastily ransacked two of them, but required some muscle from Captain Mattias and his warhammer to open the third, which was locked. Captain Mattias received nothing but a prick from a poisoned needle trap for his troubles, while Glen and Eight Thundercloud both received powerful magic items. Eight had finally found the Elven Chain armor she had been searching for, while Glen helped himself to a Robe of Useful Items, along with several spell scrolls and a hefty amount of coin.
Their business in Tevemanthaur was finished, so the adventurers joined Captain Mattias and his crew aboard the Covenant airship Stormshadow once again. Eight Thundercloud spent the remainder of the evening getting to know the ship’s storm sorcerer Masughu better. They traded tips on constructing magical items, and before they parted the next day, each shared a piece of string from their ball of yarn with the other in a symbol of friendship. Captain Mattias was impressed with the way the adventurers had handled themselves, and invited them to join their crew. Unfortunately, they declined the invitation, but agreed to meet up again at Westwatch, where the ship would put into port for a time to resupply. The crew of the Stormshadow dropped the Valiant Crowned off on the outskirts of Mistvale with a fond farewell, and continued on their way.
Reunions in Mistvale
Two Crimson Watchmen immediately rode out to meet the Valiant Crowned after they had descended from the airship. They quickly took Elanna and Gaspard into town on their horses for medical treatment, and urged the adventurers to meet Commander Davarros at the barracks as soon as they could. On their way into town, Glen was stopped by the village leatherworker who had completed his custom order – a saddle for his mount, the wolf Grayfang.
At the barracks, they met with Commander Davarros and Anders Leam, who rewarded them handsomely for rescuing his wife. At last, Eric was reuinited with his mother and father together. Gaspard Dukaniel still had to rest and recover his strength, but invited Eight Thundercloud to come visit his library any time.
The Gang Meddles in an Election
The town was in high spirits that night – not just because two of their own had been rescued from the orcs, but because the next day was the Festival of Election. It was a day of celebration leading up to a vote to elect the new leader of the town from among the members of the Council of Elders. There were only three candidates at the time: Anders Leam, Old Gran, and Timothy Burton. After getting a feel for where the candidates stood on the Crimson Watchmen, they decided to try their best to get Anders Leam drunk and make a fool of him in order to harm his chances of winning the election. Glen and Senior Goat filled Anders up with plenty of liquor, then tied him to a statue in the public square before retiring for the night.
The next morning, the Festival of Election was in full swing. The adventurers decided to participate in the competitions held throughout the day, hoping to win glory and prizes. Glen wanted to enter the horse race, but only had Grayfang for a mount. He attempted to make up for the wolf’s short legs by casting a scroll of Expeditious Retreat on the animal. It amounted to little in the end, however, with Glen and Grayfang coming in second to last in a course that made a circuit around Mistvale.
After the horse race, Glen met Senior Goat at the Boulder Toss competition. They were matched up against some strong local lads and lasses, but Senior goat managed to throw a heavy stone over twice as far as anyone else, earning himself a crown of flowers, which he promptly devoured.
That afternoon, Senior Goat, Glen, and Eight Thundercloud all tried their hand at the archery competition. Firing three arrows from twenty-five paces, Senior Goat again came out the victor. Channeling his inner Ki, he was able to strike the bullseye, which earned him just one point more than Glen. But it was the only point he needed. He was awarded another crown of flowers, which again, he devoured.
The three adventurers also entered the performance competition that afternoon. Glen told a horrible story about a heroic dragon that fought off a band of adventurers that had come to steal his gold. Senior Goat performed a dance which he had perfected that night before on the tabletops in Old Gran’s. Eight Thundercloud sung a heroic ballad about their adventures in Tevemanthaur. Although their entries were good (except for Glen’s poorly told tale) they were beaten in the performance competition by a local bard jamming out on the lute.
The evening started off with a glorious feast. Roast boar, pig, and ox with stew, pies, and all manner of ales and wines flowing freely. During the feast, however, Glen felt a bump and noticed that one of his valuable potions had gone missing. He was unable to spot the pickpocket in the crowd and had to resign himself to his loss. As the people of the town ate, the Elders gave speeches. Old Gran’s speech was met with a smattering of polite applause, while Anders’ popularity had clearly suffered since the drunken events of the previous night. He received less than stellar applause. Then came time for Timothy Burton’s speech. The three members of the Valiant Crowned had decided that Elder Burton, a strong businessman would make the best leader for the town and threw in their support for him, leading the large round of applause after his speech promising to make Mistvale great again.
Following the speeches, Glen and Senior Goat entered a drinking contest. Here, Glen was finally able to score his first victory of the festival as Senior Goat passed out before even finishing his first drink. Glen eagerly accepted his crown of flowers. Meanwhile, Eight Thundercloud noticed that a few of her silver pieces had gone missing from her coinpurse, which had been slit with a small incision. She spotted a suspicious figure – either a young child or a halfling, but was unable to follow them through the crowds of merry makers.
The final event of the evening was a dance. Many young lads and lasses came to strut their stuff. Just after finishing his turn tearing up the dance floor, Senior Goat noticed that some of his gold had been lifted by a pickpocket. He managed to chase the culprit down and catch up to them behind the stage where the folk band was playing. It was a pair of halflings, Cherrick and Maple, who were stealing from festivalgoers in hopes of raising enough money to travel to Westwatch where they could join the thieves’ guild. Senior Goat agreed not to turn them in in exchange for half their ill-gotten goods. They reluctantly agreed. He also offered them a job if they would meet him and his associates at their room in Old Gran’s later that evening.
The Votes are Cast
At last, it had come time for the citizens of Mistvale to cast their votes for the town’s new leader. Four guards from the Crimson Watchmen stood vigilant as people came up to the ballot box to deposit their votes. Glen made a poor attempt to disguise himself with a fake mustache so he could cast a vote, but he was promptly stopped by the guard and escorted back to the Inn. Once all the votes had been entered, the Crimson Watchmen took the ballot box off to their barracks, where it would sit overnight for safe keeping before the votes were tallied and announced in the morning.