Chapter 4 Episode 4

Episode 4 : Better to Revel than to Wallow
Warforged and Lt. Edward were again present at the Noble Meeting to make two announcements from Prince Kel, of Sargon. Warforged said one was good news and one was bad and gave the Nobles the option to choose which would be first. Captain Warforge seemed uneasy to speak the selected “bad” news. With a deep breath, Warforged reluctantly revealed that the Sargonians, with the help of the Royal Military, would be hosting a grand Festival in the frontier town the very next day. As announced, many merchants, fun, games, and a tournament of sport would be hosted as a sign of peace and good will from Sargon and Prince Kel. The tournament was of particular interest, with teams being allowed to compete for a chance to win valuable prizes. The first place winner would even have a private audience with Prince Kel personally.

The nobles argued about the tournament. Some claimed it a sign of the beginning of the end for the untamed frontier and civilization winning against the ancient forest of Eredeti. While others argued that the festival would anger the local inhabitants even further, potentially provoking retaliationion. Before the excitement among the Nobles could subside, Warforged quickly moved into what he considered the “good” news. He revealed that Kel also gave him permission to undertake actions required to secure the safety of the Sargonians, and the Heroic Souls, and their interests. Specifically, Warforged’s request to eliminate the Cat Tribe was approved. In fact, combat operations were to begin immediately. Outside of pointing his custom pistol at Wildkin, this was the first time Warforged seemed gleeful as he  declared that his mercenary band of Heroic Souls was assembled to eliminate the Cat Tribe.

Warforged, with a band of Heroic Mercenaries, returned later that night. They suffered several losses and the survivors were half dead, covered in scratches and claw marks. However, they declared that justice had been served to the murderous and misguided Cat Tribe. Indeed, The Cat Tribe’s Den was destroyed, most of the cats slain, and the remnants dispersed into the forest with too few remaining to pose a serious threat again.

The next day was the Sargonian Festival. Mr. Moni Baggz was present with a small caravan of merchants, entertainers, carnival folk, local peaceful inhabitants of the forest and of course the Heroic Souls. A Sargonian festival can always be identified by the many merchants selling potions and various wares. As well as many fun games and prizes. And of course, a Sargonian festival wouldn’t be complete without a Tournament of Skill. This involved the Heroic Souls forming teams of 5 to participate in the challenges.

The Tournament challenges consisted of food eating and smelling competitions and a challenge of wit and knowledge involving the Mordavia world and its history. Most exciting and anticipated of all are the Fighter and Caster tournaments that pit the challengers against each other in 1 on 1 combat with only needing to land a single hit to count as a point to win. After a very close and entertaining set of matches it all came down to Archery. The Leffery brother team, led by a pair of noble Zhana Brothers, was in the lead. The Sea Wolves were behind but their captain was up. After landing a challenging shot to bring the scores to one point away from a dead tie. The crowd was abuzz with anticipation as they focused intently on what would be the final shot of the entire tournament. An easy shot at a propped up shield would have tied their points, but instead of taking the easy shot, the Sea Wolves captain made for a second consecutive shot at the smallest target, a small and distant bottle. They say that fortune favors the bold. Once again, boldness was favored. The gathered spectators erupted with exhilaration and jubilance as the shot was made and the Sea wolves won the tournament by 1 point. The prizes were donations from Mr. Moni Baggz and the Infinity Corp, and the main prize was an incredibly rare personal audience with Prince Kel of Sargon, himself.

As a memorable day, filled with joy and good-will, ended without incident, morale was at an all-time high. However, as the day ended without any serious incident, the night would not prove to be as hospitable. Without warning, a gigantic snake-like creature, with an impermeable hide, a massive maw that could devour people whole, and the power to turn living creatures to stone, emerged from the darkness. Against incredible odds, the Heroic Souls rallied together and barely managed to defeat the Basilisk. Interestingly, this victory was only possible with the direct assistance of the witch priestess, Lillith. In a strange gesture, she offered magical potions to the Heroic Souls that, by throwing them into the beast’s mouth, it was weakened enough to be slain. After tending to their wounded, the Heroic Souls went to harvest the creature and thank Lilith for her help. Mysteriously, the witch and the Basilisk’s Eye had vanished.