During the night, flyers and posters appear around the city of Acryn, advertising the “Ball of the Century”, heralded as “the greatest event ever known”, to take place on the night of the full moon and open to “all of good breeding and upright status”.
The flyers are very quickly removed by members of the City Watch and by the next morning, all have been destroyed. The Council requests persons of a discrete and competent nature and though it is not publicly stated, it is fairly obvious that whatever the Council needs of them, it has something to do with the Ball of the Century…
The party started their investigation by searching for the printer of the flyers. Their enquirers led them to a printer’s shop which was being attacked by a mob. Despite attempts to diffuse the situation, the mob was stirred into violence when one man threw a burning torch into the building. Fortunately, the fire was extinguished and Reginald discovered that the printer was not responsible but that there was a secret printing press in the sewers.
Reginald took the opportunity to loot the printer’s shop. Meanwhile, the torch-thrower was arrested but alleged that Corporal Giorgio assaulted him, beat him into unconsciousness and when he woke, he found his house had been robbed. However, considering he was found drenched in booze, not much consideration was put to the allegations.
The party uncovered the royalist printing press in the sewers and talked the man into telling them that a shadowy, slightly unstable man had paid him in flux gold to print the flyers. He also told them that a party of nobles was heading to the Ball via the Western Road. They were able to catch up with the nobles (after Giorgio had reported the underground printer) and were hired as guards, protecting the nobles from wolves, bandits and a group of revolutionaries led by a Leader Priest.
Eventually, they arrived at the Ball of the Century which is said to occur once every hundred years on the night of the blood moon and is so delightful that none ever leave. The Ball was guarded by masked jesters who revealed that beneath their masks, their faces had been removed, leaving nothing but raw, red muscle. They attempted to convince the party to join them but instead, they killed the jesters and took their masks as disguises to enter the party.
The ethereal, enchanting music seemed to have some hold on the nobles they had been escorting. The mansion was clearly dilapidated and abandoned but the nobles, who had drunk from a fountain of wine, did not seem to realise it. Against the advice of his companions, Vincent Barma drunk from the fountain and found that the courtyard was transformed before his eyes into one of beautiful ornate glory, decorated for the Ball. Thanks to his understanding of the flux, Ricardo Reed could see glimmers of what Vincent could see.
When they entered the banquet hall, they found a table of ancient rotten food being feasted upon by decaying corpses. Vincent was unable to see these horrors and instead saw only happy, laughing guests and a sumptuous feast.
The party managed to fight their way through the nightmarish Ball and confronted the man behind it, an insane wayfinder who called himself the Dancemaster. He and Reed duelled, creating concussive bolts and airblades while the others cut down the masked jesters. The Dancemaster was defeated and the illusions seen by Vincent and the nobles faded. Having rescued the nobles, the party made their way back to Acryn. Reginald Drake was able to secure Graves family patronage after returning a ceremonial sword and various rings which had been retrieved from the bandits (though Reed pocketed a handful of the rings as soon as no one was looking). For Drake, this means that the Graves will invest 100 acra in his wall building project, in return for 50% of the profits.
Owing to a disagreement with the nobles relating to wayfinding, Reed chose to lay low for a while upon his return to Acryn.
Giorgio, meanwhile, made his report to his superiors, including the names of all the nobles involved.
Vincent made a report to the Tender Church. He also started putting out feelers for anti-noble opinions and was eventually able to make contact with the revolutionary Leader Priest, giving him access to revolutionary contacts. As a lingering effect of the wine which he drank at the party, Vincent is occasionally unable to see the true horrors of the world, instead seeing his surroundings as pretty and idealised.
The party earn a total of 100 acra each, from various sources, plus an extra 5 acra for Reed.