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Present: Felix, James, Sarah, Shane.
Another of Finston's cousins gave us a tour around Highforge. Took us into a military area to see the bowless crossbow. Eli tried it out but the fire elemental escaped and the weapon misfired. She was covered in soot. Outside a gnome enquired about her cleaning ritual.
Our guide took us deep down into older tunnels to see a temple of one of the immortals. No light was allowed inside. Beyond heavy stone doors was a cavern where gems in the walls glowed softly. The place was quiet and beautiful. Some gnome mystics lived there, saw one wandering around the cavern naked.
Supper was a heavy meal at an inn, with ale. Afterwards the gnomes were smoking and telling stories, and wanted to hear a few of our tales too.
Gnome Ferry was a short distance away. The public extension to Highforge that welcomed visitors and where the gnomes carried out a lot of trade. Lots of tents belonging to diplomatic parties, banners from Threshold and Fort Doom amongst others. They'd erected temporary grandstand seating on the floating wooden docks around the Crimpshrine. Finston gave us counters that were passes for our seats.
Lord Titinius invited Xavian to an impromptu tournament he was organising. The eladrin just couldn't say no. Also at the tournament were two eladrin knights with a banner I recognised from Rifflian. Xavian quickly donned his helmet to hide his face, hoping the knights wouldn't recognise him. The rules of this tournament didn't permit the use of magic. Unable to fey step or use his arcane powers, Xavian was knocked out in the first round by a very nimble knife wielding gnome.
We watched the other fights. Then noticed a few more eladrin knights had appeared. They started moving towards us. I grabbed Xavian. Pretending we hadn't noticed we made good speed for the grandstand enclosure. They followed, but once inside we were directed to our seats and they couldn't follow us.
The gnome King started off the speeches. Other dignitaries followed. A little bored, Eli glanced under the seating where a gnome child was looking. One of the supporting beams had been badly constructed and shook every time the crowd clapped. She tried to tell a steward but they wouldn't listen.
The crowd cheered and clapped more. This seating was going to come down. Xavian bravely, if foolishly, fey stepped underneath the grandstand. He couldn't reach the wobbling timbers now above his head. I used my spiritual magic normally reserved for combat, this time dispersing the effect, attempting to protect the crowd around me a little.
A section of grandstand collapsed, timbers and gnomes falling onto the dock. Xavian was buried beneath. We helped free some of the trapped gnomes. Xavian hadn't escaped yet. I found where the rubble was moving and lit up my scimitar so he could see well enough through the dust to fey step to me.
Further sections of the grandstand continued to collapse, including the royal box. Torch lights had been knocked down, setting fire to the dock. We shouted at people to cross the gangplanks onto the Crimpshrine. The gnomes crewing the boat looked confused at first, but soon realised it was the safest place for them to be.
A frantic guard was blocking the route past where the royal box had been. The king had been injured and they couldn't move him. Eli quickly produced a healing bell he could use. Finston was attending his king, but we didn't see his family.
Xavian went to look for them. The dock were they had been seated had collapsed completely. He saw an illusion of Finston and some fireworks over the water directing him. Finston's wife was in the water, clinging to some timber and frantically looking for her children. Xavian dived in, found Finston Junior holding onto his sister but unable to reach the surface He dragged them back up and we threw ropes to them. Lord Titinius strode over carrying the third of Finston's children he'd found.
Eli was summoned to Dorfus Hilltopper, now in a cabin aboard the Crimpshrine. He curtly thanked her for the healing item. Quite a gesture from the gnome king who doesn't like outsiders.