The Bubbles and Baubles festival’s crescendo happens tonight!
Brass drums are lining up along every street; their beautiful melody travels up and down the corridors adding vibrancy and energy to the crowds, who stroll along blowing bubbles, singing and laughing.
The Drow’s Bane make their way towards a stable near the City’s entrance where they plan to procure mounts for tomorrow’s travels with their guide, Crazy Oman. They approach a fifty foot tank of water where inside they see the stable and a locathah who motions them to ‘swim’ up to the top to enter. “Welcome to Maris’s Stable,” says the locathah in Aquan. With the exception of Naismith, the three others have figured out how to communicate in the Elemental Plane of Water’s native language. “We need five mounts for a week,” says Nong, making sure their guide will be covered in case Crazy Oman does not have a mount of his own. “Very well I can help you with your need. I have five beautiful sea horse mounts I can rent for a week,” replies Maris. Like everything in the City of Glass, the price is high but the party has enough funds to easily pay for it.
“You must take our training class today if you want the mounts tomorrow morning,” says Maris; the party decides to return after lunch for training. “I’ll see you in a few hours then,” says Maris, “but before you go, you must name your ponies!” he proclaims. “They will respond to their names if you treat them well. Come let me get the ponies for you so you can name them now before training.” Maris excuses himself and goes to fetch the sea horses.
Royce bonds with his horse naming him Sparkle; Nong bonds with his horse and calls him Pony. Naismith chooses Beatrice and Mordrock, Samantha. The fifth horse is left standing there. “Someone has to bond with the last horse or he won’t pay attention to your group,” says Maris. Royce steps up and bonds with the fifth horse calling him, Red Shirt.
After an afternoon of lunch and sea horse training, the Drow’s Bane curiously wade into the Chain District, where one can buy slaves. The first rows of stalls they come across are filled with animals and beasts of burden for sale. As they make their way deeper into the stalls they notice the product changes from animals to a colorful race of humanoids they have never seen before. These ‘slaves’ are not bound in chains nor are they being mistreated by their Sahuagin handlers; no, in fact some are singing or dancing while others practice acrobatics. The party is surprised to see this when they are greeted by a Sahuagin. “You looking to buy? We have the best trained genasi slaves in all of the city, and the best prices too!” smiles the Sahuagin.
Twenty minutes later the Drow’s Bane exit the Chain District with Royce’s new purchase, Lela, a female water genasi slave who is trained in singing. She keeps her head down and follows her new master, somewhat disappointed she was not purchased by one of the aristocratic Marids. Naismith is not okay with this purchase and just keeps to himself the disappointment of what just happened; however he also concludes that nothing should surprise him anymore about these comrades he runs with.
They arrive back at the Laughing Sea Horse where Royce hopes to see Talina at the bar. As they enter, he looks around and unfortunately, Talina is not there; Naismith moves quickly past the group and heads straight for the bar. Urteya, who is at reception, raises an eye brow when she sees Lila walk in behind the party. “Excuse me, but will you need another bed tonight for your…guest?” says Urteya. Royce, Nong and Mordrock turn around and greet Urteya than look back at Lila. “Who’s purchase is that?” replies Urteya with a look of surprise. Royce and Mordrock look at each other and then Mordrock points to Naismith sitting at the bar. “I see, well I can arrange for a cot to be brought to that gentleman’s room for…her,” responds Urteya, not impressed.
“Her name is Lela,” says Royce as he introduces Lela to Urteya; Lela looks up and gives a bow before moving behind Royce, keeping her head down. Urteya smiles in response then looks at Royce, “Do you understand what you just did? To be honest, I don’t get many Material Plane tourists who purchase slaves, so let me educate you on something,” she responds. Royce, Nong and Mordrock seem interested in hearing what Urteya has to say that they unconsciously step closer to her. “Slaves on this plane perform a role in society very different than what you may experience in your home world. Here, they are raised as entertainers who also know how to take care and provide for their masters; they are taught that it is a great honor to serve the Marid genies. They are not to be abused nor are they expected to do hard labor; we have beasts of burden for such things. It is against the law to mistreat a slave and if you are caught doing so, you will be punished!” says Urteya. Royce, Modrock and Nong digest this information, nod and respond, “thank you Urteya for your guidance. We will ensure Lela is taken good care of.”
That evening, Royce takes Lela onto the patio to watch the finale of the festival. “Would you like me to sing for you master?” says Lela in Aquan. Royce quickly casts Tongues on himself and when he understands her, nods in agreement. Lela begins singing and Royce is impressed that her voice is very beautiful; he gets comfortable in his chair, stretches a bit and then gives Lela a big smile of approval.
Mordorck, Naismith and Nong sit in Mordrock’s room with the two crates of souls. “I can perform a ritual, praying to Kelemvor to welcome these souls into his domain,” says Mordrock. “Yes, I think that is the best we can do for these poor things,” responds Naismith. Mordrock picks up a soul jar, opens it and stares into it; inside he sees a small light of energy. He begins to chant the ritual in dwarvish, calling to Kelemvor to shepherd this soul’s journey to the Fugue plane. Mordrock feels his deity’s power as Mordrock wills the vulnerable soul to approach his breadth. Naismith and Nong watch as the small light in the jar begins to levitate out, and approach Mordrock’s mouth. Mordrock inhales slowly bringing the soul to his lips, gently kissing it before exhaling and blowing it away. Naismith and Nong, watch as the soul moves away from Mordorck’s mouth, swaying up into the the room and then fading away.
Mordrock sits back, takes a moment and reflects on what just happened. Kelemvor during the ritual revealed to Mordrock, how easy it is to control a soul’s destiny. With a good ritual, a soul can be released and freed but with an evil ritual, the soul can be released and consumed for its life force; the power balance over souls is very dangerous. Mordrock glances over at the Wand of Orcus and stares at it for a moment; he realizes the danger of conducting this ritual so close to something that feeds on souls. He is about to say something to Nong, when all three of them hear shouting from the lounge downstairs, “hey! this drink has spoiled!…you brought me rotten food! I want my money back!!!” Nong looks down at the wand then says, “Umm…got to go,” as he jumps up, exits the room and quickly leaves the Laughing Seahorse inn.
Naismith looks at the crates and counts how many soul jars remain. “One freed and one hundred ninety nine to go,” he smiles. Mordrock and Naismith spend the next several hours freeing the remaining souls. That evening during Nong and Mordrock’s long rest in the Ethereal Plane, Mordrock is rewarded by Kelemvor for his good deed; when Mordrock awakes the next morning, he feels more refreshed than ever.
The Drow’s Bane and Lela make their way to Maris’s stable bright and early. As they mount up and exit the City of Glass, they see one hundred feet away, Crazy Oman, mounted on a large sea worm. He gives a toothy smile in their direction, then focuses his attention on Lela. Royce instructs Lela to ride Red Shirt and beckons the sea horse to stay close behind him. The party heads toward their guide. Crazy Oman greets them and says, “Let us go see the master…,” as the large sea worm begins swimming downward. As the Drow’s Bane follow, they notice behind them the beautiful domed City of Glass with its large ice foundation getting smaller and smaller in the distance.