Lack Of Initiative

Act 3: Grandstanding at the Gala

Pod “Hex Files” Cinderbloom is the leader of the Magic Misfits derby team, whose clubhouse is located in the penthouse of Cinderbloom Tower. Aribi introduces herself as “A Cute Trauma,” and quickly convinces Pod that she, Topiary, and Pamplemousse are all members of a professional derby team and that Unruhk is their roadie.

After ingratiating herself with Pod, Aribi gets him to open up about the night he experienced Gravedigger Fever. Pod explains that he thought he was dreaming, and remembers hearing a beautiful voice singing. He wanted to find the voice, but woke up in his pajamas near the statue in the middle of town. Constable Fortin found Pod and brought him back home. Pod says he is afraid to sleep because the fever may come upon him again.

Before leaving Cinderbloom Tower, Topiary promises to draw up a special play for the Magic Misfits. Aribi, Pamplemousse, and Topiary all agree to join the Misfits at practice, and perhaps in a match, and Unruhk is volunteered to become the roadie for the Misfits.

The party retrieve their altered gowns from the tailor, Shappi, stopping briefly to inspect the statue they’ve heard about from Pod and some of the other Stradesberry residents. The statue is in the middle of the main trade road and depicts three young women. A plaque at the girls’ feet contains several names, but the first three listed are: Justine McSand, Tracy McSand, and Griffina McSand. There are flowers, candles, and other offerings on the dais below the statue of the girls.

The party reconvenes at the Temple of Tymora to pick up the tickets Celkit promised them, and to drop off their things. They then meet up with Edgar Halfwhistle, who explains that Stradesberry is built atop the ruins of old Fort Strade, which sank beneath the swampland. Edgar says that it is only because the fort sank, thereby providing a foundation for the town proper, that Stradeberry is able to exist today.

With Edgar, they make their way into the Correlio Estate, the venue for the gala. Pamplemousse introduces herself as “Mimosa Greenbottle,” though the others use their real names. As they enter the room, Topiary feels something grab at her ankle, though she is able to maintain her balance. When she looks around the room, she notices that Constable Fortin is staring intently at her. Edgar leaves his dates, and they are quickly scooped up by Sonfer and Malova, the halfling couple who run the preparatory school.

Sonfer and Malova provide the party with plenty of gossip about the town, explaining some of the ins and outs of the political setup in Stradesberry, as well as giving some insight into the character of the McSand daughters. They also point out Clint McSand, the girls’ father, who sits alone at one of the tables in the banquet hall. Unruhk decides to join Clint and bring him a drink. The two have a short conversation, but mostly sit together in silence.

Aribi introduces herself to Hayden Correlio III and his wife, who are hosting the party. She appeals to them to allow her to perform, and eventually they do. Aribi recites her newest poem, The Bard’s Tail, to an enraptured crowd.

While sitting with Sonfer and Malova, Topiary overhears Constable Fortin speaking with Dart Slipfoot. The Constable worries that The Watch is being undermined by the party’s efforts. Topiary also overhears a conversation between the Cinderblooms about someone called “Widow Tandy” who is about to go on trial. Sonfer and Malova explain that all three of the men the Widow Tandy has married have died under mysterious circumstances, though they doubt The Watch has enough evidence to convict her.

After her performance, Edgar asks Aribi for a dance. Once they’ve finished, Pamplemousse decides to dance with Edgar with the intention of running him into the ground. Though Edgar is a more skilled dancer than Pamplemousse, he is unable to match her stamina. Pamplemousse whips Edgar around the ballroom until he is exhausted, and then forces him into an elaborate move which should culminate with Edgar catching Pamplemousse in a dramatic jump. Completely exhausted, Edgar flubs the move. Both he and Pamplemousse come crashing to the ground, Edgar now unconscious. Hayden Correlio apologizes profusely to Pamplemousse, who is actually unhurt.

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