One-Shot Recap: “Joining the Circus” Part Three

Our heroes have reached Longsaddle, and have learned that The Flaming Twilight will be performing tonight as their final show. All the townspeople were in a hurry to see the circus, and the performers promised an unforgettable night! As they approached the northern edge of the town, they could see the flame of huge bonfires surrounding a black-and-red big top tent. Several poles with sharp spikes at the top were sticking out the tent for support, giving the whole sight an eerie look to it. The entrance to the tent was shaped like a helm with two sets of horns, and eye sockets that were glowing red and yellow.

The group was curious that there was no admittance fee, and wondered how a tent that size could hold such an audience. They have successfully hidden their weapons, and sat in the front row. Olora told Dee and Dalden that there is certainly magic here, and this is no ordinary tent, nor circus.

Before they could figure a plan of action, the lights dimmed, leaving only a spotlight in the center of the ring. A voice echoed in their heads:

Welcome, lords and ladies, welcome young and old, welcome one and all, for The Flaming Twilight has finally arrived to Longsaddle! My name is Bemamzal, and I promise that this will be a night to remember! Not only that, but after tonight, everyone will know about your little town and tell tales of this night for generations to come!

A mist started to form in the center of the ring, and a humanoid creature formed from the mist, in red-and-black formal attire, wearing a crimson jester’s crown. Soon more people joined the stage: fire-eaters with cages on their heads, acrobats dancing and jumping, and clowns playing instruments and blowing balloons from some sort of wands.

Dalden, being proficient in all performing arts, noticed that the melody coming from the clowns was not the same that they were hearing. And it has seemed to take effect on the audience. Luckily, he managed to tug Dee and Olora from the hypnotizing melody.

They started to look for Gir-Von among the audience, but couldn’t find anyone matching his description. Then their gaze shifted to one of the performers, one of the clowns who was wielding a giant hula-hoop. Beneath the makeup they could (with a very good perception/insight check) recognize a young man, seeming a bit frightened and out of place, even as a part of the show.

Our heroes sprung in the nick of time, since the giant iron ring that he was wielding started to glow, forming a portal of some sort. It then started rolling around the ring, and onto the audience, devouring them or transporting them somewhere, no one knew.

The three mercenaries jumped inside the ring and confronted the ring master, who unnaturally turned his head to face them, and grinned with a smile not of this world.
He pointed towards the three and the fire eaters started to rush towards them, but they quickly fell by bow and sword and dagger. However, this gave the ring leader enough time to cast a spell on Dalden. A twisted crown appeared on Dalden’s head, and he was compelled to strike at Dee.

Luck would have it that the charm spell lasted only for one round, and after that Dalden inspired Dee with one of his poems to strike at Bemamzal, who fell soon after. In the meantime, Olora, after quickly dispatching the rest of the performers, went to the lone clown with Agatha’s stone in hand, confirming that he was indeed Gir-Von, Lord Nasher’s nephew.

Before striking the final blow, Dee and Dalden managed to find out Bemamzal’s true intention – The Flaming Twilight is just one of countless troupes roaming the planes of existence to harvest souls for the demon Rakdos. The portal collapsed after defeating the ring master, and the whole tent was sucked into the hoop, while the townsfolk were brought back.

The young Gir-Von had his wish to perform, but it was not what he expected. After experiencing last night, he accepted our hero’s request to bring him back to Neverwinter. The journey back was a calm ride westward through the forest. As they passed Agatha’s hut, a slight breeze came over them, and Olora looked at her stone, whose transparency had faded out. It was still warm to the touch, waiting on her to focus on a new target, when it will shine anew.

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