In the wake of successfully protecting your prisoners and seeing off Grarl’s assault, you took a brief moment to collect yourselves. The battle had left one guardsman dead, and Quarion unable to transform out of wolf-form. Barberch and Mo assisted the surviving guards, who showed signs of being shaken by their relative powerlessness, with the movement and preservation of their colleague’s corpse. For his part, Quarion kept some distance from the others, making sure to maintain a non-threatening posture. The following morning, Quarion returned to the group, having finally managed to change back. He and Brandel the druid shared a moment of relief
After three more days on the road, you noticed a wagon coming the other way. You told Joshua to stop the horses and hold back, and Quarion snuck forward to investigate. The vehicle turned out to be a magical item caravan, led by the deep gnome Belwar. Joshua was shocked at seeing the merchant, then becoming noticeably quiet and sullen. Later, when Brandel asked Joshua about it, you found out that he and Belwar had been partners, and the deep gnome had effectively backstabbed him. Knowing none of this at the time, you in any case lacked the funds to purchase any of the caravan’s wares. Seeing this, Belwar and his crew bade you farewell, and continued onwards towards the Citadel Felbarr.
As you continued on your journey, you discussed recent events between yourselves. It was decided that Grarl must have orchestrated the attack by the elementals, with Mo noting that the warchief should be considered a dangerous foe indeed. Furthermore, Quarion decided to share with you all that his medallion was actually one of many, and there was evidence that the other owners of the items had been hunted down as well. He was now trying to find the last remaining medallion-holders, hoping to warn them and possibly find some answers.
After another three days, you finally reached Yartar. Immediately on arrival, even before entering the gates, you bumped into Sir Gavin, the mounted knight who acts as both commander of Yartar’s famous cavalry and Captain of the Guard. From his heavy warhorse, Sir Gavin angrily proclaimed that the adventurers who flock to Yartar’s tournament cause a sharp rise in criminal activity, and that there had already been “some ugly murders on Yartar’s citizens”. He then warned you to remain on the right side of the law, and then pushed his horse past you.
As you entered the town gates, the topic became who should enter the tournament. In the end, Barberch chose to compete alongside Muk and Mo, noting the wisdom in Brandel’s fears that Belladonna, the cure for lycanthropy, might be too expensive for the group to purchase. With three entrants, you hope that at least one can win the prize money, which would be a great boon to your quest. Barberch suggested Quarion not fight in the competition, lest he accidentally transform in the middle of a population centre.
Finishing your discussion, you saw a somewhat familiar pair coming the opposite way. It was Slan and Fury of the Band of the Wolf, last met in Silverymoon and Waterdeep respectively. As they walk, you overheard the end of their conversation, concerning a new hire for the team and various intra-party relationships. They also mentioned a dance, which Slan was quick to invite Mo to, since Fury was too busy preparing for the tournament. Fury was clearly irritated that Slan had convinced more people to join the contest, but still showed seemingly no worry about being defeated.
Once Slan and Fury left (with the former suggesting Mo “wear something nice” to the dance hall), an extremely old halfling dressed in rags waddled over to you. The beggar, named Woodsheart “the Cursed”, asked you for spare change, and was taken aback when Muk tossed him an entire gold piece. He thanked you kindly and offered to aid you, but was interrupted by a second ragged beggar rushing over. Unlike the first, this beggar, Smilin’ Jim, was far less sympathetic. As soon as you didn’t pay up, he called over an ally, a half-elf bowman named Slow Harry. Convincing his accomplice to attack you, Smilin’ Jim grabbed at Muk’s coin-purse and attempted to flee, but was brought down by a team effort.
The party then spilt up, and Quarion and Mo headed for the Dusty Barrel, the tavern where the majority of the tournament’s combatants were said to be staying. Quarion hopes to find Verol, a dwarf who has entered the contest and may hold one of the medallions. Barberch and Muk, on the other hand, headed for the arena to learn more about the tournament. There they met Walster, the official in charge of the fighting.
Walster described the rules as a series of one-on-one battles with nonlethal replacement weapons only. Summoning creatures, bringing companions or familiars, using poisons, potions or scrolls and leaving the arena were all banned. Anyone killing or maiming their opponent would be disqualified. The fights will continue until one combatant is first to fall unconscious or surrender. Healers will be available to cure any injuries sustained, but spells cannot be replaced between rounds.
Finding this acceptable, Barberch registered her name. Now, three of you have signed up to join the battle. Each of you must decide upon the tactics that will lead you to victory.
Yartar’s Annual Fighting Tournament begins tomorrow.