The Sunese bounty hunter did not get back his gold. But he did get to knock some beer out of Brue before they went back to filling up on it and became best friends. He told us of Yumori, the shape-shifting rabbit-man trickster certain to interfere with the holiday festival in Donnaley, where we had freshly arrived.
Before Brue and Crash and Yu Tu left the bar at the Tall Rider, Crash received a message over great distance from Emerikol, threatening that he would make us unwelcome on our travels against him. Then unseen forces began to mess with us. At the bar, a bottle was thrown from their table by no one at the bartender. The lads left when asked and noticed a curtain on fire in a window, which Crash put out, but was then also blamed for starting. They were banned from the Inn thereafter.
V and I met up with them and decided to earn money to buy horses so as to travel faster to the burial site of the Mage Slayer and steal his Repudiator to kill Emerikol like the dead guy asked us to at the Campaigner's Retreat. The holiday festival in Donnaley meant competitions and tournaments with gold prizes as well as side betting in which we thought we might multiply our winnings. The first of these was a beauty contest. Naturally, we decided to enter V who probably could have won without any magic.
But she likes to gain an edge with magic. That's why she's a warlock now I'd guess. So when Yumori showed up in the shape of an old mystic crone on the street trying to sell magic ointments to make V's face more beautiful, she charmed the crone out of them for free. Or maybe it wasn't really a charm at all.
And so we probably shouldn't have been surprised when V was running away with the beauty contest and then suddenly her face started melting from the ointment. Unnatural magics like that will always punish you for relying on them. Perhaps she will learn with time. She did not win the competition. She did put on a whinging show.
At that point, the girl certain to win against our acid-scarfaced V lost the bottom of her dress to the heel of V's shoe. V threw up her usual curtain of flowing leaves to hide them both. According to her, at this point an imp appeared and stung the young girl in the neck then disappeared again. The girl was dead when the leaves disappeared.
The contest was called and again V threw a strop about the poor security allowing attacks by devils in broad daylight. At this point, Yu Tu reached out to the natural spirits around us to divine the location of the nearest fiend. We used him as a compass to lead us to the basement of one of the nicer homes in Donnaley.
There in the stead of an imp we found three flaming dwarves clad in plate and shield, armed with fiery weapons. The druid once again became a bear. The battle master stepped forward to hold the line with him. They both learned the hard way that attacking the fire dwarves meant getting burned in return.
Fortunately, the fire dwarves were fool enough to try to get through them with Crash floating about healing those in need. That gave me the time to take down the ones Brue and Yu Tu didn't manage to kill. Before we felled the last, the imp reappeared to attack V, but I impaled it, too, with an arrow to the basement wall.
The Horse Lords and their constabulary appeared. V explained to them surprisingly honestly that it was all our fault for pissing off Emerikol. Nonetheless, because we were Chief Horse Lord Lodan's guests in his home, he was obligated to offer us protection. Or barring that horses to get the hell out of their town before we made things worse.
His men did find Yumori's crone disguise which answered one question, but asked another. We will have to return for Yumori when we have the Repudiator in hand on our way back to kill Emerikol. For now, we ride on to the North and East toward the elves and the burial site of the Mage Slayer.