SOH – CHAPTER FOUR: KELLS’ HIGHLAND GAMES!

Finally!  Gladbaegol and Associates complete their four game night exploration of the Hearthflare Temple and it is time to jump to something that isn’t just straight combat.  A Harvest Moon / Stardew Valley inspired festival style event!

Departing the temple to start the day, they are immediately greeted by a mailbot, a tiny robot that delivers mail and packages, run by a company out of  Tarchay.  The mailbot has several items to deliver.  The first is a letter to the party from the Mayor inviting them to the festival, complete with Stardew Valley font:

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The second, a prodding from Glenn’s sister, who has been waiting for her brother to make good on his promises for acquiring enough gold and contracts to make revive the family distillery

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And lastly, a letter to Leon/Megadeth inviting him to participate in the gladiatorial fights, free of charge.

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After they make it past the mailbot, they’re treated as heroes from The Sunguard, who are delighted to hear about the happenings within their temple.  They discover that while someone in town is attempting to push sobriety and has made inroads with the new Lord Brandon.  They also discover a subplot with some stoutkin stealing some bonemail bracers that they had commissioned with Gwylgi chasing them off before more harm was done.  Captain Dougherty, who had been recovering in the inn, has recovered his strength and surprises the party with a gift: he’s buying a ship and wants to see the party through their endeavors, offering to captain the ship for them, they leave in two days.

Tucking those factoids away for later, the party rests and heads to the fairgrounds the following morning, bright and early.

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Kells Fairground: Day

Various vendors are pushing different wares, one merchant is accepting tickets in exchange for miscellaneous goods, the most expensive of which is the Javelin of Lightning at 1,000 tickets.  It just so happens that winning the gladiator’s tournament later would grant them 1,000 tickets, but I’m sure that’s coincidence.  Glenn was excited to find a tinkerer who could upgrade his Brightsaber.   He was also excited to pit the merchant against his neighbor, each managing to convince the other to lower their price for the Brightsaber improvement and a shiny new rifle for Kraw.  After spending most of the corporate fund the adventurers moved on to the games!

Leon walks up to the Hammer Swing / Strong Man challenge and crashes the hammer down on the crits on his strength check, demolishing the stand and putting that particular carnie out of a job for the day.  Leon gets 150 tickets for his efforts.  Kraw Maga decides to check out the fishing pond and miraculously pulls a marlin out of the tiny fishing pond!  Ophelie, a cute greenkin archer in town for games, challenges the party to a battle of marksmanry, teasing poor Gwydgen as he couldn’t keep up.

Rings were tossed, the lines to the bathroom were obnoxiously long, there were turkey legs for sale, and fortunes were told; all in all a typical day at the fair.  Later in the day the party stopped in for a chat with Lord Richard Brandon, new leader of Kells. Glenn and Lord Brandon repartee for a bit, Glenn threaten’s the Lords life with a rapier, and eventually convinces Lord Brandon sells Glenn the yeast activator, the first item of several items required for the distillery.

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Kells Fairground: Sunset

By this point the sun is setting, and it is time to get on with the gladitorial combat.  There are a couple different events to participate.  The first event is is a 2v2 duel and first up are Bastine and Leon.  Our heroes are against Grun and Dul, twin Clont berserkers that follow the highland games around.  Grun and Dul are used to crushing any competition that arrives at these local events.  The combatants are asked to shake hands, and back up and wait for the whistle, which sounds.

Three of the four combatants immediately begin raging and charge one another, battle axes and greatswords swinging.  The two groups exchange blows and absorb incredible punishment for a long time, but as the battle raged on the crowd begins cheering louder and louder for Leon as he begins criticaling in spectacular fashion.  Bastine with his heavy armor and healing magic manages to stand tall and absorb the abuse, and the two win the tough entry match in convincing fashion.

The next match pitted Gwydgen and Corpus against Ophelie and the Greenskin Chef from the local inn.  This was a much more of a battle of the ranged characters, with the Greenskin Chef chasing poor Corpus around the arena.  Corpus drops, but Gwydgen is able to fell the chef shortly thereafter.  Its now Gwydgen vs. Ophelie, and  the two exchange arrows and eldritch blasts, each incredibly low.  After the volleys were done, only one greenskin remained, Gwydgen!

The headlining PvP match was much more one sided.  Each party was healed to full by the local healers, and Bastine and Leon demolish Corpus and Gwydgen.  With that, the entire party is invited on stage and begins to take on larger and larger fights, ultimately taking on a Gargantuan Gladitorial (Mortal) Wombat, a werefolk monk of unusual size, and unexpected jumping prowess.

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Kells Fairground: Night

Wombat slain (only to be resurrected for the next night’s combat), the party earned 1,000 tickets and the title Champion of Kells.  Gwydgen gets a peck on the cheek from Ophelie in congratulations, and everyone sits down to enjoy the fireworks ceremony afterwards.

And that concludes the Act One!