The next week is spent attending the week's Flood Festival activities. What follows are some highlights from the week:
This morning as the group breaks its fast in the common room of the Drunken Morkoth they are paid a visit by none other than the Stormblades themselves! Anna presents each party member with an envelope containing invitations to the prestigious Demonskar Ball, scheduled to take place a week after the end of the festival. Some unpleasantries are exchanged between the two rival groups, and the Stormblades make an exit before things get too ugly. The invites indicate that the party is to attend the ball dressed as demons, and what's more, Throckmorton has received the special Nabthatoron invitation, meaning he has a significant role to play at the party.
While shopping for costumes, a heated argument breaks out between Throck and his "sister" Plenty. The monk is having second thoughts about attending, thinking it is a social trap, while Plenty argues that it would do more harm not to accept the invitation. In the end, Throck relents and the group arranges to rent the following costumes:
- Selivia - succubus costume
- Ash - imp costume with scorpion tail
- Plenty - fat devil suit with horns
- Lyra - naga costume
- Bruinor - bestial fly
- Throckmorton - demon with bat wings, as well as the Nabthatoron costume
They also arrange a coach and sign up for dancing and etiquette lessons, hoping it will help their social graces at the ball. Plenty O'Toole auditions to take musical lessons, hoping to compete in the Song of Heaven competition at the ball, but angrily storms out after the professor refuses to shake her spit-soaked hand.
That afternoon the first round of the Drink Down the Flood (DDTF) competition begins, and both Ash and Bruinor hold their own and advance to the next round.
The POTBM is approached this morning by a young rascal named Jack (gives no surname). Jack offers his services and hopes for employment, but the group turns the tables on him and requests that he help them find a job before he is accepted into the group.
The second round of the DDTF is held at the Drunken Morkoth, and both Ash and Bruinor start to gain a following as they drink their way into the next round.
The most notable event is that Bruinor does well again in the DDTF and advances to the quarter finals. Ash finally bows out after going down to a very intimidating looking member of the town guard. Bruinor is gaining more notoriety, helped by the fact that he buys drinks for the entire bar after he wins.
Jack presents the group with a job offer from the office of the mayor. Apparently the city needs help keeping the order at the Flood Festival Finale in 4 days. The party is asked to help out with riot duty during the final celebrations.
Ash competes in the archery competition. He does well in the initial rounds but fails to advance in the 3rd round.
Plenty performs in the street party and her talent is noticed by a noble. Faris Tercival offers her a steady job playing in the band that plays at his monthly party. She will be paid 25gp per performance.
Bruinor again kicks ass in the DDTF and defeats a young lad to advance to the semi-finals. Ash is starting to pocket some winnings after laying down some bets in favor of the dwarf.
Ash competes in horseshoes but doesn't get very far.
Once again Brunior surprises both himself and his friends in the DDTF by beating Zach Aslaxin and advancing to the finals. His fame is spreading and he draws quite a crowd.
This morning Ash competes in the Spear Throwing contest. One of his throws goes quite far and he ends up taking home a small purse and a trophy.
But most exciting of all is Bruinor's performance in the DDTF. He goes head to head with Asfelkir, an intimidating half-orc and head priest of the Temple of Lordly Might. After defeating his opponent, he is carried around the room and is made a hero. Lord Vhalantru himself congratulates the dwarf and says that he looks forward to drinking with him in the special challenge. Bruinor is awarded 100 gold and a silver trophy in the shape of a large stein.
The next morning the entire group decides to try their luck in the Running Races. Plenty is the only one who does any good, taking 3rd place in the sprint.
That evening Bruinor faces off against Lord Vhalantru in the final event. Half of the room is cheering for the dwarf, and the other half roots for the influential noble. Bruinor lasts 6 drinks but passes out in the end, while Vhalantru doesn't even break a sweat. Even though Bruinor loses the chance to win the 500 gold, he earns much respect and is surely the talk of the town for months to come.
The party takes their positions as riot police about the Crater Lake while the crowd gathers and eagerly waits for the finale to begin. It has been raining solidly for the past 10 days and the water has risen considerably, threatening to flood the lower layers of the city. The ceremony is to feature clerics of the city using wands of water control to lower the lake waters and mark the end of the Flood Festival. But things don't go quite as expected. There is an illusion of an angel descending from the sky, but it announces that the ceremony is to be postponed, and everyone should return home. Plenty notices that near the stage Jenya is distraut and frantically scrambles to write something down.
The group approaches and Jenya asks them to return to the temple with her immediately. She explains that the wands of water control are missing and that the city is in grave danger of flooding. She has received a message through a spell that the high priest of the temple, Sarcem, has been detained while at the Lucky Monkey (a resthouse a day's ride out of Cauldron) and is being attacked by bandits led by an "apeman." According to the note he is mortally wounded and has retreated to the basement. Jenya explains that this year Sarcem had to travel to Sasserine to get the wands made, as the other religious institutions of Cauldron this year were unwilling to help with their creation. She asks the POTBM to travel to the Lucky Monkey and save Sarcem and the wands. She offers 5000 gold as a reward for bringing both the high priest and wands back safely.
Jenya provides the party with horses and healing potions, and encourages them to obtain a map of the region. The group equips themselves and prepares to set out as soon as possible for the resthouse at the edge of the jungle.