Let the games begin.
The group met up with Leo and his mother, Niena, the Head Druid of Buromisace. The Quaff tournament kicked off the first day of Vestalia. In the first round, Chambord’s Flying Brushmen demolished the pitiful Tree Hulks, leaving Imrand without a horse in the race. In round two, Frostfall’s frigid freedom fighters, the Snow Owlbears, edged out a victory over the reigning champions, Ravinia’s own River Foxes, in the upset of the century. In the third match, the Crystal Scorpions went head to head with the Witch Snakes, earning a hard-won victory. In the fourth and final round of the quarter finals, the Arcadian Red Giants went toe-to-toe with Rozenheim’s Greyskins, dishing out a crushing defeat.
Going into the semifinals, the Flying Brushmen face off against the Crystal Scorpions and the Red Giants confront their long-time rivals, the Snow Owlbears. Who will claim the Crown? The Mid-Summer Invitational continues next week.
Olivia was shocked when the River Foxes lost out on the first round, but what happened next surprised everyone. The party was confronted by the very handsome and equally narcissistic Judge-Magister Gabriel. Instead of murdering the anxious amateur adventurers, he approached Olivia and expressed his relief that she still lived. As the other party members listened on, it became increasingly clear that not everything was as it seemed; they were friends! Or had been, at least. Not talking to someone for 5 years tends to put a damper on a relationship.
Things turned sour when Gabriel instructed Olivia to come with him and she (unsurprisingly) refused. The young Judge called in his men—the Shadowguard—but unfortunately for him, they were rookies, unpracticed and inexperienced trainees that he had unwittingly assigned to Buromisace. Talk about embarrassing. Gabriel ordered the Shadowguard to capture Olivia and kill the others before he disappeared, likely mortified.
The group easily out-maneuvered the trainees and afterwords, they interrogated Olivia. As it turns out, she only very recently discovered her former friends’ profession, swearing she was just “waiting for the right time” to tell them. No one was really content with her answers, but hesitantly agreed to forge onwards. Meanwhile, Kat tracked down another lead on her missing General and the gang, feeling auspicious winds beneath their wings, decided to pursue it.
As expected, things were not good. They were very, very bad. They reached the cave where this so-called “red-hooded figure” had been seen and found a horrible sight; the cavern smelt of rotting flesh and iron, and it didn’t take long for the party to discover whoever was living here was most certainly NOT the General. Navigating their way through half-devoured corpses and skinned human remains, the party found the heinous homeowner cooking up a horrid human stew. A witch had made her home in this cave. She gave the party a bit of trouble—especially poor Flint, who will be having nightmares about this encounter for a long time. Eventually they persevered and felled the foul femme. They discovered the red-hooded cloak was just a blood-soaked cape and Zakathra’s hopes of finding her General remained—for now—just a hope.