After clearing the first floor of the dungeon, our party decided to take three weeks off from adventuring to plan and prepare for HydraFest.

My Wizard wasn’t idle. He used his Staff of the Magi to flit between the different planes, “spreading the word” about HydraFest, and selling one-way tickets to the Material Plane. He got around a lot.

Actually, I’ll upload the spreadsheet I made of Venger’s itinerary.
PDF download: 21 Days to HydraFest

I rolled for each day to see how many charges would be regained. I was meticulous. By paying local bards at each location, I was able to turn my character’s 50,000 gold into over 900,000 gold. In three short weeks.

Rolls and averages factored in, and my character paid a lot of money in bribes. I was thorough. I won the day through math and ingenuity. It was glorious.

But that was all before HydraFest.

A couple thousand people turned up, plus the fifty-odd people my Wizard had ferried to the Material Plane. Along the way, I picked up a couple of bearded devils as henchmen. They wanted a fight, and I threw money at them.

First, we organized a big Hydra Hunt, to get a bunch more of the hydra out of the lake. Barbarians turned up for that, as did some sailors who wanted to clear the waterway, some automatons (who marched right into the lake), and some peasants — who were promptly eaten.

Our Druid had scouted out the lairs prior to the hunt, so once the hydra were dealt with, we scooped up more loot. We’re getting really good at this.

Next, we had a wrestling tournament, which was won handily by an erinyes which was technically my Wizard’s fault. No casualties were recorded, but there’s no way to tell how many fighters later died of their injuries.

None of our characters entered that tournament.

Our next event was an archery tournament, with a golden arrow as a prize. Because duh. Robin Hood may have shown up in disguise, but if he did, he was bested by our gnome Ranger. A nice feather for her cap.

Finally, we had a Battle of the Bards. A couple of the magic items we picked up only worked for Bards, so we decided to award them as prizes.

Of course we had anticipated some supernatural creatures, but not a whole troupe of pixies performing a hand bell chorus, complete with light show.

For the most part, our party planned the events but didn’t take part.

It was mostly about building up the town’s reputation, meeting people — that sort of thing. And that brings us to the feast.

All around us, people fell to the ground, convulsing. Some of them were screaming. It was a bad deal — a couple of the party members had to make Constitution saves. And then . . . people started turning into snakes.

In what was perhaps the most obvious betrayal.

The yuan-ti we had spared and relocated from the dungeon had poisoned the festival food, and transformed hundreds of people into tainted ones.

Our Cleric was able to spare a bunch of people (including our party) with a special relic she’d picked up while visiting Hestavar on one of my Wizard’s trips.

Then we fought our way out of the town.

We escaped to the edge of town, and made for the dungeon — technically the safest place around since we’d only just cleared the first level of monsters.

My Wizard had been keeping his zombies in the dungeon, and had amassed a small army of them — a dozen by that point — which he used, along with his bearded devils, to help hold the door. Our Druid rained lightning down on the approaching hoards, and our Ranger fired arrows into their midst.

And that’s when the Fighter decided to go back for his slaves.

Our group provided covering fire while the Fighter waded through waves of tainted ones. He used the Hammer of Thunderbolts to great effect.

After felling almost three dozen tainted ones, our Fighter made his way to where his slaves had been kept, and he led them back to the dungeon.

At a loss for what to do next, the party resolved to seek divine interdiction — appeal to Pelor to sort out the mess on behalf of the townsfolk and festival guests. The party plane-shifted to Hestavar, where the session ended.