S1E4: Carnival of Souls

The pirates don't eat the tourists...

The traveling show that is the Cabal Brothers Carnival is truly a sight to behold. With games and tests of abilities as well as horrors and shows, the carnival is always a welcome sight and a welcome distraction from the norm of day to day life. Then the heroes arrived…

Many of our heroes had been looking forward to the Carnival for a while, ever since the posters started going up around the Apiary. Tickets in hand, they waited in line, eager to dive into the festivities. Once inside the gates, our heroes split up to enjoy themselves. Athelstan and Zeruda found it annoyingly difficult to best the archery contest. However, some quick thinking and expert footwork earned Zeruda a trip to the 'Trinkets Tent' when she picked out a dark pink "cloak of smashing". 

Hope, Muse, and Lyra made their way to the Hall of Terror. After paying their entry fee, our three heroes headed inside. The first room, a graveyard, caused a fright to Hope but Muse and Lyra seemed to enjoy it more than anything. They pressed into the next room to find a devious torture chamber and an actor seemingly disemboweled. Enjoying the sights (and Lyra pointing out all the mistakes), they continued into the Crypt room where a ghostly woman seemed to appear before them. However, our heroes were not phased and decided to leave. The woman reappeared before them and let out a bone chilling shriek that caused Muse and Hope to grab their heads in pain while driving Lyra to the brink of death. 

Athelstan, Theristis, and Zeruda began to leave the physical competition when they heard the loud clap of thunder. Noticing that it was a clear night, they deduced that it could only mean their friends were in trouble in the Hall of Terror. Instead of rushing to their friends' aid, they took their time, noticing three Inquisitors taking stock of the situation. 

Inside the Hall of Terror, Muse discovered that it was a banshee that had latched itself on to the exhibit in order to feed off the fear of the patrons. She quickly healed Lyra and started to make her way back towards the entrance. It was then that an unexpected guest arrived on the scene; an elf, brandishing warlock magic and a longsword rushed in to help slay the banshee. After Athelstan and Theristis made it into the tents to help, they finally put the undead woman to permanent rest. 

After the battle, the elf (known as Feryn) instructed Athelstan to follow her lead as one of the Inquisitors entered, demanding to know what was going on. Feryn told the inquisitor who she was and that it was Dagnir business. After the inquisitor left, Feryn gave Athelstan a badge of the Dagnir and told him to find Joseph Korr in the Flower Bed; he would test the hunter to see if he was worthy to join them. 

After the incident, the carnival continued and our heroes headed into the caged tent to see Fireclaw, Last of Kragh's Brood. To their surprise, they actually discovered that Fireclaw was an actual dragon. The young creature paced back and forth, questioning those who understood it and ultimately grew tired and went back to her napping. As our heroes headed towards the Big Tent for the evening's grand finale, Zeruda stayed behind and attempted to figure out how to free the dragon. Fireclaw informed her that should she find a way to free her, the dragon would ensure that those who locked her up would pay for what they did… painfully.

The ending show was a parade of creatures and acts from across the world. But the grand finale was something to behold. Horst Cabal, one of the brothers of the Cabal Brothers, invited ten audience members to take part in a show of true magic. He brought them to the center ring, which included Hope as Theristis did not wish to participate, and in the blink of an eye made them disappear. The show was pronounced over and the audience was ushered out. 

Hope suddenly found herself in a dark tent, locked in a small cage with the other 9 individuals. She attempted to start a fire in order to draw attention, but was quickly struck down by a shadow demon, wishing to savor its next meal. The rest of our heroes pushed past the ushers to confront Johannes, the younger of the two brothers, to find out what happened to Hope. Johannes led the group back to his traveling wagon and explained that his brother had made a bad deal many years ago and that their friend was currently in the warehouse tent about to be consumed by a demon.

The heroes rushed out of the wagon and headed for the warehouse tent; they were now joined by Zeruda. Bursting in, they found the cage with the audience members and also the dying Hope. Using magic, Muse brought her back from the brink of death but was suddenly struck down by the shadow demon. Using their magic and wits, our heroes cornered the fiend and killed it but not before it dealt the final blow to Muse, taking her life. Grieving for the loss of a friend, our heroes freed the audience members and set out to have a word with the Brothers Cabal…


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