Having arrived in Willowbrook on the 32nd day of Tallasis, Markennen, Estoril, Falcar, and Geraint run into Ashabo outside the The Red Birch Ale House and Stabling Inn in Willowbrook. The town is bristling with preparation for tomorrow’s Harvest Moon Festival. They inquired at the inn about reserving a room, only to be told that there was no room. However, William Redbeard overheard them asking, and offered up his spare room in exchange for the group’s help with a problem.
William’s cousin Elmer was supposed to arrive yesterday morning with a wagon full of Eastmarch Red wine to be sold at the festival, but never showed up. The men that were hired to assist Redbeard at the festival had been arrested the night previous in a drunken brawl near one of the bonfires, and as punishment, the wine merchant was holding back their bail until after the party was over.
The group agreed to head to Doran and back, which was a 12 hour round trip, to search for any sign of Elmer. William would pay them 100 gold, plus a bonus of up to 200 gold for safely delivering the wine.
The trip to Doran was uneventful, but just outside of town they ran into Elmer who was having a broken wagon wheel fixed. He told them that he had been robbed in Highoak by the man he had hired to assist him, and had then cracked a wheel on the Greenspan Bridge. He had hoped to make up for lost time, but the wheel had finally given out as he was leaving Doran.
Meanwhile, a group of wanna-be bandits led by an unpleasant young man named Boral attacked the group, thinking them to be bandits themselves. A melee ensued and Boral and a disturbed Half-Orc named “Giggles” were slain, while their cohorts surrendered. The group took their weapons and armor, as well as the gold they possessed, and sent them back to Doran with the Woodworker, tied up nicely for the town guard.
Not out of the woods yet (literally), the group was attacked by a group of crazed Basking Beetles. They were overpowered with little risk as Ashabo wielded the magic of Nature itself and caused the foliage to ensnare the insects while they killed them.
Upon returning the Willowbrook, the group received their full reward of 300 gold, with a free bottle of Eastmarch Red to boot! Elmer, also being extremely grateful, threw in 100 gold of his own as a token of gratitude.
The party found their well-deserved room, and retired for the night (except for Ashabo, who passed out in the street whilst showing off her bug collection).
The Harvest Moon festival got underway early the next morning. The group wandered around the town, taking in the sights and performances of the festival. They found the Riddles of Piffle and answered them all correctly, receiving the promise of a reward when the moon shone high.
Estoril and Geraint participated in the archery contest, but were both taken out by a young woman of considerable skill. The contest was ultimately won by Rinnark Trueshot, a tracker and ranger of note from Longford.
That night, the tradtional ringing of the Harvest Bell was performed, with a blessing from Father Gelise over the harvest.
The PCs then headed to the Inn where the musician’s showcase was about to begin. Elise Windsinger began the show by debuting a song she had written for the festival and her performance was stellar. Then the musicians showcased their own talents with solo performances, followed by open stage performances as the night passed and the Ale flagons emptied. During the performances, Geraint noticed a small wooden box on the table. Inspecting it, he found it to be a puzzle box, which he set about trying to open.
Falcar did a duet with Princess which was a fantastic comedic piece, and Rinnark gifted Estoril his Longbow he used in the contest. Just as Falcar arrived back at the table, the puzzle box finally snapped open…