Lack Of Initiative

Act 3: Adorations and Aberrations

Unruhk helps the Correlio house servants carry an unconscious Edgar Halfwhistle to a nearby guest room where he can recover. The gala begins to disperse not long after Edgar’s tumble, and the adventurers return to the Temple of Tymora for the night.

In the morning, Aribi wakes to find that her window is open slightly and a tray of live crayfish has been placed on her nightstand. When she looks in the mirror and touches her face, she also finds that her skin feels harder and dryer than usual.

Celkit has prepared breakfast for the party, and tells them that they are the talk of the town this morning. At the market, several people were gossiping about Aribi’s performance and Edgar’s dance with Pamplemousse. Apparently, the general consensus is that the town is impressed with the party, but thinks that Edgar made an ass of himself at the gala. Rumor is that Constable Fortin is none too pleased that Edgar, a member of the Watch, appeared so foolish in front of some of the town’s most influential residents.

Celkit also tells them that there was a letter, with a long golden feather wrapped up in it, left on the stoop of the Temple that morning. She isn’t certain who the letter is for, though she hands it to Aribi. Aribi reads over the letter and then passes it to Pamplemousse, who reads it for the rest of the group. Edgar has written a love letter, which Aribi and Pamplemousse decide to pretend like they never received.

The party decide to visit Sonfer and Malova, the halflings who run Stradeberry’s school, to get more information about the Smiling Jester. Malova explains that a gnome named Baxter Sparkneedle owned the Smiling Jester, which was something like an indoor carnival. Baxter hired entertainers and sideshow acts to travel to the town. He also had a deal with the hag who killed the McSand sisters. The hag brought aberrations to the Smiling Jester, including mutated animals from the swamp and a gibbering mouther. Though there were never any accidents or escapes from the Smiling Jester, not everyone in the town was pleased with what Baxter was doing. After the McSand girls died and the hag was killed, the Watch was established. Its first act was to put the Smiling Jester out of business. The Watch was supposed to catch Baxter and bring him to trial, but he was never found.

Armed with this information, the party heads to the abandoned Smiling Jester, which the town’s kids want to use as a roller derby rink. The structure is located on a small island in an inlet. Gristlemonger smells some tracks leading over the wooden bridge that connects the urban district to the island, and Unruhk realizes that the tracks belong to very small, human feet. The party crosses the bridge and are able to find a passable entrance to the Smiling Jester.

Inside, the place is all but empty. It is a single large room with some stalls and a door leading to another room at the far right side. The party investigates the large room and then proceeds through the door. Gristlemonger alerts Unruhk that he can hear running water, though it is not coming from the direction of the river.

Inside the smaller room, the party find a desk and a few bookshelves – all empty. Unruhk notices that there is a bit of a draft behind one of the bookcases and tries every way he can think of to dislodge it from the wall, eventually tearing off the sides of the bookcase. Topiary and Pamplemousse thoroughly search the desk, pulling out all the drawers (with some assistance from Unruhk). They find a switch hidden in the desk, which triggers a latch somewhere behind the bookcase.

Unruhk is now able to swing the bookcase away from the wall, revealing a rope ladder that leads down below the Smiling Jester. Aribi decides to lead the way, quickly descending the ladder into a large cavern below. The cavern itself seems to be partially naturally-occurring and partially a result of older structures having sunk into the swampland. Aribi crosses some dilapidated bridges that lead from one outcropping to the next, finally finding a wooden structure. The rest of the party climbs down the ladder and follows her.

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