After an unexpectedly eventful evening, the party returned back to Arislen by the light of the moon and retired back at Luthien’s. Early the next morning, they arose to the smell of breakfast, laid out especially for them. After eating their fill, they made their way to the southern gate, where the event would begin. There, citizens and guild members gathered to watch the race begin. The crowd there was small compared to the spectators along the routes, all ready excitedly awaiting the runners.
Near the edge of the moat, the guildmasters of the three participating guilds gathered. From that group, a raven-haired human woman stepped forth, unfurled a scroll, and called for the attention of those who would be racing this day. She read aloud the rules of the race, then bid the runners prepare themselves, as the competition would begin shortly.
As they waited, Talendil and Mara-kai were approached by Daryn‘s half-elf assistant. “Listen,” he said, “Some of us have some bets riding on you. So, we’d appreciate it if you’d do your best to win this thing. I know what that woman just said about rules and such, but the judges can’t be everywhere. So, you know, do what you gotta do.” With that, and a wish of luck, he clapped them on their shoulders and made his way back into the crowd.
The drawbridge lowered, the portcullis raised, and the runners dashed into the city. Mara-kai and Talendil made their way quickly to their chosen route, with three of their five opponents in tow. Choosing to take to the roofs of the alchemists shops, Talendil had a slow start, struggling to make his way up the side of one of the buildings. Some quick assistance from Mara-kai helped him reach the tiled roof, and she took off down the streets.
As they ran past the storefronts, Mara-kai and two of the other runners were suddenly caught in strange smoke that billowed out of the basements of the alchemy shops. Up on the roof, the tiles in front of Talendil shimmered with heat. He hurriedly pulled out the chemical purchased from the drow the day before and applied it to his boots.
1 The strange smoke caught the runners unprepared, and two of them found themselves coughing heavily. Mara-kai struggled to get ahead, as the cloud obscured her vision. Further ahead, Bree saw Mara-kai’s predicament and summoned a strong wind that pushed the chemical smoke away from the genasi. Thus aided, she took the opportunity to grab one of her opponents, a human woman, and take her down with a grapple.
Bree then busied herself at the edge of the river, where she located the barge worker the party had contacted yesterday. Seeing him busy with work, Bree talked him once more into assisting them and he set aside the barrels of fish in favor of awaiting Mara-kai’s emergence from the smoke.
Talendil made good time over the roofs of the alchemy shops, while the half-orc who had followed him up found the tiles to be a hindrance. On two other routes, a gnome and an elf found their own obstacles to overcome. The gnome got stuck in foot traffic on the main street, while the elf was delayed by street thugs in the poor district.
Lam headed over to the bridge and worked the crowd there in anticipation of the gnome’s arrival while Mara-kai sought out a remedy for the smoke at a merchant’s cart filled with herbs. Shortly, Talendil had taken the lead while the other runners fought to keep up. The eladrin found himself at the river, near several parked boats. He deftly made his way across the water by jumping from boat to boat, running along booms and leaping off of railings.
Lam, meanwhile, had snuck over to the poor district, where the elf was about to cross the shallow part of the river. A quick spell brought forth a layer of ice on the ground, causing the runner to slip and fall. The changeling was startled to notice a guard nearby after he cast the spell, fearing he might be caught interfering, but fortunately the elderly guardsman had fallen asleep on the job.
2 Closer to the finish, Bree had once again moved ahead to scout out the route and as she made her way along the streets of the noble district, spotted a hooded figure slipping out of a second story window and onto the roof above. Curiously, he paid no attention when Bree tried to call to him. In the meantime, Mara-kai had managed to find her way out of the smoke-clogged street and to the riverbank, where, with some assistance from Lam, she took the lead as she made her way across over the barges working the river. Lam busied himself disrupting the water under barges with spells, making sure that the other competitors had a difficult time getting across.
The gnome eventually made it out of the crowds on the main street only to find himself further beleaguered at the bridge, while the elf trudged his way through the murky shallows of the river in the poor district. The half-orc fell off the roof and into the strange miasma in alchemy row.
Bree had by then climbed onto the roof of the noble’s house and confronted the thief, who made it clear he had no quarrel with her and wished only to be on his way. Verbal volleys were exchanged which then turned to physical salvos as Bree called forth lightning and thunder from the Foundation to hurl at the black-clad wrongdoer and he reciprocated with poison-laced daggers.
Mara-kai dodged past guard dogs in the courtyard below, and a with a well-placed spell from Bree, the thief joined the animals on the ground. Talendil found her there and dashed over the roof-tops and to the cobblestones at the foot of the northern watchtower.
The genasi saw to the sorcerer’s wounds and they positioned themselves to deal with any other runners who might catch up to Talendil, who had wasted no time in starting to climb the tower. With shouted assistance from those two on the ground, he made his way up swiftly, only to nearly fall as an old support beam crumbled in his hand. Just as he was about to slip, a crossbow bolt flew through the air and lodged in the mortar, within reach. Talendil grasped the shaft and pulled himself up and over the edge, onto the top of the tower where the elder stood, awaiting the arrival of the first runner. The alarm bell was rung, and Talendil was named winner of the race to cheers and applause from the streets below.
When the other runners finally reached the tower, a ceremony was held, awarding the winning group with a fine chest, full of gold coin. As a bonus, the winner was allowed first choice of a number of prizes: a fine, multi-colored silk cloak; a pair of ornate bracers; a rare gem; a tattoo from a renowned orc tattooist; or a collection of alchemical items, provided by the drow the party had spoken with the day before.
Without much hesitation, Talendil claimed the cloak and the group was treated to free drink and food for the rest of the day at the city’s taverns and alehouses.
Quest XP: 50
Encounter XP: 188
Total XP For This Session: 238
Current Total Shared XP For The Campaign: 481 + 20 + 238 + 50
Bonus Individual XP:
Talendil: 50 (PC Portrait, ~4 Wiki pages)
Total Treasure For This Session: 200GP, Cape of the Mountebank