Morning dawns. It isn’t bright and sunny today, but rather cool and overcast with rain in the forecast. Thalie sets up some makeshift rain barrels behind the yurt in hopes of catching some of the water to defray party costs.
The party wakes up terribly thirsty and down, even though they have been drinking enough water. They can’t think of a reason for this, and even Thalie can’t really understand what is going on.
As the party gathers in front of the yurt, they see that Seurat and his caravan are ready to leave. Gathalimay asks Kalpa to ask Seurat one final question – if Seurat can decipher any of the dwarven symbols on the object. Kalpa goes to ask him.
As Kalpa leaves, a Tiefling approaches the yurt, smiling. He announces that his name is Johnson and that he bears greetings from Lord Felix who dwells in a large white tent at the far end of camp. Lord Felix requests the honor of the party’s company.
Thag elects to stay at the yurt and Sam, Gathalimay, Merielle and Thalie head off in search of the white tent. They wander north, through the bazaar until they arrive at a large white tent guarded by a couple of well spoken ogres.
Mr. Felix’s Abode
As the party enters the white tent, they have the feeling that something isn’t quite right – the inside of the tent is far larger than the outside would appear. The tent is also very clean. In the center of the room, a large demon sits in an opulent chair. He welcomes the party and indicates that he has a proposition.
He shares that the first match (to take place later today) is between the party and the Xephanan Chewers, a group of goblins. Mr. Felix is a man of substantial means, and he earns those means through taking bets on large events. He would like the party to display their showmanship and perhaps feint losing in order to encourage more betting. The party wants to know what is in it for them. Mr. Felix questions the group about its health. He notes that something is off in the water supply and that he can provide the group with both a cure, and fresh water for the remainder of the tournament if they choose to work with him. He gives Thalie some leaves which She recognizes as being from a Tree of Life, a powerful source of magic.
Merielle is not interested in working with Mr. Felix nor in fighting with an unfair advantage, even when he offers her an eladrin bow. The party agrees to consider the proposition and to return within a few hours to give Mr. Felix an answer.
Meanwhile Kalpa meets Seurat. He recognizes the symbols and believes they say something about water being the giver of life, destroyer of stone.
Back at the yurt, Thalie brews some tea for the party. After drinking the tea, the party begins to feel better. Everyone shares what they have learned.
The teams in the tournament are:
1. Dialya Destroyers – an 8-9 foot human, some animals, orcs
2. Hansa Harriers – human, elf, dwarf, mull, half-orcs
3. Meerkish Manglers – ogres and orcs
4. Pidry Pounders – mulls
5. Shambala Shredders – shardminds
6. Imtari Immolators – dragonborn
7. Xephanan Chewers – goblins
8. Bishma Flock of Seagulls
When Kalpa relays what he has learned from Seurat, Sam places the object in a cup of bad water to see if it will reverse the effects.
Kalpa expresses interest in meeting Mr. Felix. He and Thag leave in the direction of the white tent.
Gathalimay and Merielle wander camp. Sam goes to chat up the ogres guarding the white tent. As the sky gets darker and darker, Thalie stays behind to distill a few of the leaves.
Gathalimay and Merielle try to slink around the camp unobtrusively, and note that pretty much everyone looks as though they are ailing. The merchants are less active in the market, many just sitting in their stalls listlessly. The other teams seem to be drinking more water in an attempt to hydrate, and there are no more friendly competitions. Everyone is subdued. The only exceptions are the Shardmind team (because they don’t need to drink so haven’t ingested the water) and the mull team. The ogre guards seem unaffected by whatever is ailing the rest of the camp. Gathalimay speaks with them and learns that they love his music and that they report to boss “Bignose.”
Mr. Felix’s Domicile
Thag and Kalpa head over towards Mr. Felix’s tent. Kalpa wants additional water before giving his answer. Thag notices that the merchants closest to Mr. Felix’s tent seem less ill. Kalpa asks Mr. Felix how he knows it’s the water, and Mr. Felix remarks that he can taste the difference in the local water, but that he doesn’t know poisons. Thag suggests that if Mr. Felix heals everyone in the camp, they will spend more money in betting on the fights. Kalpa tries to communicate silently with Mr. Felix about whether he knows any more information about the shardminds. Kalpa also tells Mr. Felix that he will fight for him in exchange for more information. He does this telepathically, so Thag is unaware of the offer.
Mr. Felix finds Kalpa’s offer intriguing and as a sign of good faith he shares that he knows a defiler arrived at the camp a few days ago and suspects that it is he who is poisoning the water, but that he doesn’t know of any further plans.
As Kalpa and Thag leave, Sam arrives to parley with the ogres.
Sam chats up the ogres to try and learn more information about Mr. Felix. He learns that he never fights and never gets mad. Sam proposes a friendly fight with the ogres that they will supply him with water if he wins. Sam returns for the fight with Admirial Pigglesworth as his second. It’s a good fight, and Sam manages to knock one unconscious, but ultimately can’t quite best them. He earns 350xp for his efforts.
Meanwhile, back at the yurt, Thalie has distilled 3 bottles of a light healing potion (10HP) from one of the leaves. There are 4 leaves remaining. It has also started raining and her barrels appear to be working, collecting a few barrels worth of water.
The Entrance to Water Storage
Gath suggests that the group try and learn more from the ogres near the water. The plan is that Gath will distract the ogres by singing, and Thag, Kalpa and Thalie will cover Merielle as she fey steps beyond the ogre guard. The plan works and Merielle gets down the stairs and into a hallway that smells of water and ogre. As she turns the corner she runs into an ogre. The ogre swipes at her and she runs, back up the stairs busting through the ogres. The ogres begin arguing among themselves, which the party uses as cover to retreat to the yurt.
As the sun sets, the party heads over to the tournament ready to fight. The Bishma Flock of Seagulls enter the arena first, followed by the goblins. The party decides to launch a surprise attack on the goblins as they enter.
The fighting is hard, especially with the goblin archers atop the wall, but the party fights well against the underboss, three skull cleavers and 2 sharp shooters. It is Thag who ultimately finishes off the underboss, and he cuts of his head and struts around with it to cheers from the crowd.
The party earns 200xp for its efforts, and 10% bonuses for gold coins.