Let me tell you, it was quite a spectacle…
Your little halfling father, barely 3-feet tall, decked out in blue and gold full plate, dancing on the water with the lovely Natalie Ash, nearly twice his height and draped in her stunning silver gown, reflecting rainbows…
I got ahead of myself. But really, it was a spectacle! We were dancing in this fae glade under the moonlight. The glade that somehow magically existed within Bradenford’s empty castle.
Well, except it wasn’t really empty at that time because we were there… More like, it was usually vacant but was hosting the Election Ball following that famous first election tie. At the time, we didn’t actually know Natalie would tie Eimead for the governorship — frankly I’m not sure anyone knew a tie was even possible at that time — and instead were just celebrating the freedom to actually have an election and choose our direction. As you’ve learned in school, it was occasionally awkward and weird as everyone figured things out, but things turned out surprisingly well.
So yeah. We were back from our first great adventure, the part with Marrow I told you about before, and enjoying a respite in the city. Not in Respite this time, but Glissana. The city. Got to visit people, do some shopping, some exploring, and we happened to be in town for the election and subsequent masquerade ball party.
The party was the place to be. Almost all the local nobles were there, mostly in fae finery; Mordren, Baliff, Jones, Stoneriver, Haustchka, Chime, Leyflower, and of course Ash. The Norris twins, Lady Ortessa and Lord Aetil, Lady Kara, Oddwald, Conarer Durgling, Lord Valcont Renar, Levansine, Arleyand, Eimead, Yewellar, Lady Schan, Queen Glissana, Robbie Flay, Dracaena, Alder Gallvi, Diusaso, and so many more.
Oh the costumes were wonderful! Our number included my Crittease finery, plus an Angel, magic halo and all, a wolf/human pair, a simple black panther, and a shiny thunderbird. Then there was Natalie’s stormy rainbow number, a clever apparatus of kwalish costume, a spotless pair in magic shifting black and white, at least one succubus with the horns and wings, a pirate, a coyote like the deus from stories, a hydra, a stag, Brigit, and even a beauty who seemed to be wearing just a set of drifting clouds. OH! And there was even a black swan to go with Tuiz’s white one!
It was a good party. Tasty eats. Good music. Interesting people. Cool magical effects. And then the whole thing came to a screeching halt.
Turned out the hydra costume was chuck full of assassins who had it out for this one noble guy. Despite our best efforts and the combined efforts of several other guests, the poor guy was poisoned and didn’t make it. But boy did the hammer come down on the assassins. Some of them even survived. Turned out it was just some petty noble’s squabble. I wish they’d chosen a better time rather than ruining the party.
You don’t just want to hear me reminisce about the olden days?
Well fine. It is late. Three notable things came out of our night at the ball. Firstly, we met a bunch of remarkable people and established the beginnings of some very useful future relationships. Secondly, I fulfilled my part of a previous bargain with Flay. And thirdly, we met Queen Glissana herself, in secret, and accepted our mission to the north, wherein we crushed the gnoll Fang.
But that’s a story for another day.