This session marked the start of the Summer Fire Festival, for which there were…
- Amazing fireworks!
- Tournaments of martial skills, such as archery, fencing, wrestling, and such.
- Incredible performances at the theater and opera
- Poetry out on the Moon Glade
- Competitive cooking
While the magistrate had to stay on patrol, the other characters were able to wander about and enjoy all the festival had to offer – at least for the first two nights. Then the magistrate noted a disturbance in the crowd, two gentlemen who were definitely up to no good. However, at that time nothing technically “illegal” was going on – although they seemed to be waiting for someone to show up.
The third night revealed their plan, when a young, ragged-looking man slunk his way into the temple district looking to gain access into the temple. Briefly interrogated, the magistrate discovered he’d been a reluctant member of a cult from out in the countryside. In that cult, he’d seen and experienced terrible things – and although he thought he’d surely die if he ran away, staying any longer would be a fate worse than death, he’d lose his spirit. So, when no one was watching, he stole a sacred scroll and ran as fast as he could, knowing that he was likely being pursued.
Confessing his sins to the Inquisitor, he sought shelter and was relieved to be taken away under guard – ah, but surprise! – the two city guard escorting the party were impostors there to collect the run-away, while four other impostor guards sprung out to aid the kidnapper’s escape! There was a deadly fight in the alleyway, blades flashing, and arrows flying. In the end, the remaining impostor saw it was hopeless and killed himself rather than be taken alive; yet they were successful in delaying the characters long enough for the other two to escape.
Not giving up, Kai brought her tracking-trained dog with her and they relentlessly pursued the kidnappers! This lead to the inn the kidnappers were staying in, and the grim discovery of the real city guards who’d been murdered earlier in the evening. Ah, but they haven’t yet made their way out! From the rooftop, Chiko spots two horses galloping to the city gates and Kai gives chase! Noting their position, Chiko casts spells to terrify the horses – one of which bucks his rider while within the outer gate, the other which bolts south. A short pursuit later, Kai corners the fleeing swordsman into an alley and subdues him with blasts of numbing frost. The other, trapped in a no-escape situation, sets of all his alchemist fire and thunderstone cache sending him and the pursuing guards to a fiery death.
Later regrouped, the Chief takes our magistrate to the palace where the heads of city security have been summoned for debriefing and a strategy session. Kai, befriending the local acting troupe, gets invited to stay at the actor’s estate. Meanwhile Chiko and Lizzie go on patrol through the rest of the early morning – finding, at the last, a long scroll that had been left on Pa’an’s temple gate:
“Cut out the tongue to silence the demon, and the empire shall be no more. We see the corruption and tainting within the Council of Heaven – it cannot rule on a rotten throne! At the turning of the last Winter Moon, those Ministers shall choke on their demon blood and the new empire shall rise! Glory to the Dragon’s Call!”
- The magistrate has the scroll, but has not identified it yet.
- There is also a scroll with a cipher
- Lin Kai has the “Blessing of the Red Dragon”