fter learning from Syntira of the gruesome fate awaiting the town of Falcon’s Hollow, Zanaver, Shrizyne and their new companion, Talgar, rushed back to the Carnival to try to prevent a massacre. They arrived just as the fireworks were being launched. The fair-goers looked on in wonder at the display of lights. When the smoke had faded small bits of what looked to be ash began to fall from the sky, settling upon the fair in a thick haze. Yet as the Twilight Guard entered the carnival they saw to their chagrin that what they had taken to be ash were actually plump leaches! Smiling, vacant-eyed fair-goers walked about in a trance, oblivious to the parasites that covered their bodies. Chilling laughter pierced the night as a frost gnome ushered children into a sleigh displaying a sign upon which was painted in blood “Free Slay Rides for Children”. The party wasted no time, but descended upon the little gnome, unleashing upon him a flurry of destruction. The cackle of the Gnomes laughter faded as his life ebbed from him.
When the battle was over the party became aware that someone had been watching them. In the distance stood a muscular, broad shouldered figure bearing a helm crested with the horns of a ram. The man approached the party and introduced himself as Sir Baylon Volkner, a Knight of the Order of the Ram. Sir Volkner explained that he had come to the Carnival on an errand of his own. After Quinn’s sword performance an odd small blue creature bearing a crystal rose entered the fair to give the final performance before the fireworks display. He sung a haunting melody in a foreign tongue, all the time slowly waving the crystal rose at the crowds in cadence with his song. Volkner noticed that the fair-goers seemed to be lulled by the display into some kind of trance. Following this event, icy fey had swarmed into the Carnival, slain the carnies, and turned the Carnivals attractions into cruel instruments of death and destruction. The Titans wheel was now being used as a torture rack; a steady flow of carnage streamed from the Tent of Modern Wonders as townsfolk where tossed upon the Saw Mills, or within the Chippers and Debarkers owned by the Lumber Consortitum; the ale of the Strong Ale Tent had been spiked with an magic cocktail that turned lumber jacks into trees; the Peep Show now hosted a Nymph that blinded fair-goers with her radiance while cruel ice brownies shredded them with a thousand tiny claws; the Pie Eating Contest now served pastries stuffed with steaming hot rotten flesh that turned fair-goers into hogs; and at the Ice Carving Contest dazed fair-goers slowly chipped away at blocks of ice containing living humans within. Volker assumed that he had been the only fair-goer unaffected by the crystal Eye of Wonder. Yet having witnessed the battle between the frost gnome and the Twilight Guard, Volkner was eager to join the party in their quest to upset the Carnival’s hideous attractions and thereby undermine the nefarious plans of the Cold Rider and his master, the Witch Queen.
Over the course of two hours the party managed to destroy several of the Carnival’s dark attractions, but not before suffering many injuries, including blindness. Yet the deeds of the Twilight Guard managed to attract the attention of the Cold Rider, who sent his fleet footed servant, Peck, to thwart them. Peck taunted the Twilight Guard and waved the Witch Shard at them yelling “catch me if you can!” They did, and Peck succumbed to a painful battery of blades and spells. As Peck fell Quinn emerged from the shadows and shattered the Witch Shard, thereby releasing his wife from imprisonment. After weeping bittersweet tears, the Master of the Carnival offered to join the party in their quest to undermine the Cold Rider. They then destroyed a few more of the fair’s attractions. Soon enough a frozen, rotten corpse crowned with icy antlers strode into the fairgrounds. He bore a wicked looking Glaive and sat mounted upon an icy nightmare. As he approached, the figure hailed the party and, in a chilling hollow voice, challenged them to a deadly contest. The Twilight Guard was more than willing to oblige the Cold Rider. The battle was fierce, and the Cold Rider proved to be a deadly adversary. Zanaver, Shrizyne and Sir Volkner each came within inches of their life. Yet in the end they managed to slay their foe. As the Cold Rider breathed his last, a crystal rose, The Eye of Wonder, fell from his grasp and melted away, releasing the fair-goers from its enchantment. A crescendo of screams of terror and agony filled the fairgrounds as hundreds of people slowly awoke to the horror surrounding them. What had began in mirth merriment ended in a Carnival of Tears.
Zanaver’s Journal: Carnival of Tears Part 5
Sir Volker’s Journal 1: Mission to Falcon’s Hollow