Kingmaker in Eberron

Book 3 Chapter 12 - The Carnival of Tears Part 2

When last we left our heroes they were discovering a side of the fae unknown to most people, a terrible fury and wrath that has made itself manifest in a guise of mirth and humor while performing horrific acts of violence upon the populace of the country of Valdrik.
The Brownies that had been running the Titan’s Wheel were dispatched which prompted the sudden appearance of a six foot tall jester wearing a solid white mask in the shape of a Comedy smile (of Comedy/Tragedy fame). The rusted sharpened wheels of the windmill began to spin down the hillside heading towards the frozen river where the ice sculptors and ice skating events were taking place.

Sidney and Valerie began working in tandem to destroy the rest of the windmill in a controlled demolition while Korin Kool-Aid manned his way through the front wall with Mikmek following behind and buffing the rest of the party with Haste. Tarvis, seeing the danger of the windmill immediately sprang into action chasing after it. Calling upon his childhood memories as a street rat, having to learn the ins and outs of running through the alleyways of a large city, (with the Plot Twist Card – Childhood Lessons to give a +5 Insight bonus to his check) and the practice he underwent under with his mentor ingrained an impressive amount of acrobatic skill in the half-elf and they served him well now. With a running start, taking a couple of leaps off of nearby carnival stands and with a final pole vault from his staff Tarvis managed to land perfectly in the center of the wheel and turn it away from the frozen river….

Meanwhile as Tarvis had the diversion under control that left things squarely on the Jester’s shoulders to deal with these interlopers. The Jester’s skills were strange, throwing a set of playing cards at people that seemed to generate random effects from Invisibility to Faerie Fire to Slow while also striking foes with his jester’s staff complete with a creepy jester skull on the top.

Perhaps the most dangerous ability of their opponent however was when it removed its mask for a moment, revealing the surgically widened smile of a man underneath as he let forth a wild cackle that chilled the hearts of our heroes.

Mikmek and Valerie were seized with terror and took off in random directions – with Bastion running after Valerie to keep her safe. Sidney felt something grip his heart, that something was poking and prodding at that mortal reflex to run in the face of insurmountable terror but his thoughts drifted to his daughter DeeDee and none of it mattered. (Despite failing his save against the Jester’s Cackle, Sidney’s player used the Plot Twist Card – Pivotal Moment to negate the failed save) With Valerie having taken off, Sidney completed the work on the destruction of the windmill while Korin and Cassie faced off against the Jester.

Despite the Jester’s many tricks the sheer toughness of Korin and the healing abilities of Cassie proved a potent combination. With each strike of the axe, and stab of the knife multi-colored confetti spilled out of the jester as it continued cracking jokes and dancing about until finally the prankster was felled.

In the meantime, Tarvis had successfully crashed the windmill blades further upstream into the non-frozen river which had brought him close enough to the ice-sculpting competition to see what was going on there. The blocks of ice that people were putting hammer and chisel to still had people stuck inside them. Smiling carnival goers and aspiring artists could not see the chunks of flesh and streams of red that were being culled from their sculptures…whether the people stuck inside the ice were still alive was unclear. With a deep breath Tarvis headed back towards the others

“One problem at a time…”

As our heroes gathered back together, and the windmill successfully being safely demolished, it was time to take a closer look at the Jester’s body. The rod he carried was magical, a combination of enhanced with an Eberron Shard as well as being magical on its own – it was a Rod of Wonder! Not only that but the actual outfit the jester was in was magical…and apparently alive in some fashion…this only made things a little more terrifying about who the sorry person was that had been wearing it. In reality it seemed that the suit had been wearing him…

Sealed within one of the bells on the left part of the Jester’s hat a small ice shard was found that matched the description given by Syntira…this was one of the shards that had been used as leverage against Namdrin Quinn and Mr. Raconteur! But..what to do with it? Best to hold onto it for now at least…

Continuing towards the Pie Eating Contest there was one last stop…the Burlesque show. While Korin only wanted to peak his head in to see if there was any immediate danger, Valerie strode right on inside. Lively band music played as an exotic beauty was performing a fan dance upon the stage. Folks were filtering in to the show and a few were already seated, possibly from a previous performance. To the trained eyes of our heroes however, there was definitely something wrong – and clear signs of violence and the dragging of bodies out of the tent.

It was here that our heroes found another familiar face – Grigori Tulsa, mayor of Waterview. As Valerie administered the flower she realized that he was blind…and it was at this point that the dancer dropped her feathers and a great white light filled the tent!

Mikmek and Sidney could not avert their gaze in time and the world went dark…their eyes had seen the most beautiful creature in the world and decided that nothing else would be worth seeing ever again. Now that the Nymph had revealed her true nature, four more frozen Brownies leapt out from behind the curtains to rush through the audience towards their new victims!

Bastion and Valerie setup a defensive stance next to the blind Grigori to keep him from harm while Tarvis and Korin charged the stage…and both failed to strike the Nymph completely!
“Performance issues?”
“This uh…usually doesn’t happen you see…”

Cassie and Valerie however had little problems with striking the Nymph with an electrified Scorching Ray and Searing Light!

With Bastion’s assistance defending Valerie the remaining Brownie’s were of little threat – with only one of them managing to escape. There were now three members of the group that were blind, with only one potion of Remove Blindness available from Sidney.
Sidney passed the potion along to Mikmek, choosing instead to summon Homunculi and use their senses to observe his surroundings. Not the perfect solution, but it was better than nothing. Grigori however was tied to a rope connected to Bastion and chose to make himself invisible for the time being…arguing that it would be more dangerous to be separated from the group than to go along with them.

Finally our heroes made it to the eating contest. The delicious scents of sugary berries and fresh-baked pastries wafted through the air. A banner waving high in the air of blue silk beckoned carnival goers “Biggy-Piggy Pie-Eating Contest!”. Beneath the banner was a twenty-foot long table covered with a red-checkered tablecloth. Seated at a bench before the table, twelve local contestants – including Lissa d’Jorasco – eagerly stared at the empty pie dishes in front of them. Napkins were tucked into their shirts and their hands were tied behind their back.

The event’s sponser emerged from behind a wheeled cart – easily 600 pounds with porcine features, from cloven feet to to a piggish face. Wearing a double-breasted chef’s jacket with checkered cuffs and golden epaulets complete with a floppy white chef’s hat. Lifting some kind of cannon that was attached to a gigantic oven, the chef bellowed “Begin!” as he flipped a lever and ‘pie filling’ sprayed out of the cannon filling the contents across the table as the contestants eagerly began shoving their faces into the rotten and diseased entrails filling the pies.

Seeing that his contest was going to be interrupted, the chef – identified by out heroes as an evil type of Fae known as a Swinomancer – dropped his pie filling cannon. “Usually I would offer my delicious delicacies to those who would intrude on my contest. Are you sure you don’t want to find your place among the winners circle?” The Swinomancer gestured over to a small fenced area filled with a dozen or so fat pigs wandering about aimlessly.
“No, I suppose not…you are the troublemakers I’ve heard about after all.” The Swinomancer held up a hand, conjuring a Fireball and hurling it into the midst of our heroes – including the contestants!

All of the contestants were killed by the fire save for Lissa who miraculously managed to survive. Unfortunately for the Swinomancer no one else was felled by his magic and he found himself quickly surrounded by Valerie, Tarvis, and Korin…after being stabbed multiple times the only action left to the evil Fae was to conjure the furnace within himself, exploding in fire bursting forth from inside his body to try and take out the three attackers with him!

This too…was in vain.

Lissa has been found though Deedee is still no where in sight. The Carnival has been disrupted, but it’s still going on…how much longer until they can find the Cold Rider?
Next time on Kingmaker!

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