As the flyer promised, the carnival came to Miredus. Some people in town were happy about it. As if something would come to Miredus that wouldn’t want to murder everyone.
The red and white tent went up overnight. Durgan sent us to investigate and make sure that it was safe. We met the “Master of Cermonies”, Trindol. He explained to us that Madame Fortuna, their fortune teller, had foreseen our coming. Trindol insisted that they were all simple performers merely trying to earn a living. We saw gypsy guards and servants all over the area and Trindol identified them as members of the Vistani, known as the Skurra. And regarding the flyers, Trindol claimed that they always preceded the Carnival’s arrival, but no one knew how they worked.
When we explained to Trindol that no one from town would be arriving until we could guarantee that the Carnival was safe, he arranged a private showing for us. While he began preparations we had some time to mill about. I found myself walking around to the back of the tent where most of the Vistani were. Most of them were very rude, until I made them aware of the fact that I represented the law. Then I was able to get one talking. I learned a little about the Carnival’s history, but nothing incriminating. It turns out the Mistress of the Carnival, a woman named Isolde, protects her troupe. And before their mistress there was once a man named “The Puppetmaster”. He was cruel to customers and his workers alike. But somehow the mistress took over from him and ever since the carnival folk have been much happier. We also noticed that many of the carnival workers who weren’t front-and-center had deformities.
Trindol came back and brought us into the main tent to see the show. We watched as belly-dancers and knife throwers performed their art. A large orc showed off his impressive strength. And then the living skeleton started helping a blockhead mutilate his skull. A fire-eater performed a mesmerizing act. Then we were finally able to see the Vampiress! A woman with large bat-like wings sprouting from her back flew in and darted through the air with ease.
After the show, Trindol then took us to the Hall of Horrors, the Carnival’s freak show. On our way there we met Professor Pacail, the master of the freak show. He and Trindol didn’t seem to get along well. In the Hall of Horrors, we saw a room full of bottles that all had various abnormal creatures. We met “The Imp”, a man with a conjoined twin growing out of his neck. There were three individuals in the next room. There was a massively obese man, a squat, little man that was eating anything, and “The Squid Woman”—a woman with tentacles for arms. The last room held “The Terrible Man Beast”, a were-leopard. His lycanthropy seemed to have the reverse effect of normal though. He is almost always a mindless beast, only regaining his natural form three days a month.
While we saw many bizarre sights, and the people all seemed somehow strange, there was nothing we could find threatening about it all. We were forced to report to Durgan that the Carnival was safe. People from Miredus began going in large groups to the Carnival while we returned for an evening appointment with Madame Fortuna. Before we met the fortune teller, we encountered Professor Pacail. He told us that Isolde was a fiend of some kind. He begged us for help. And said that she was in control of the deformities that we noticed on some of the workers. He offered to meet us later, after our meeting with Fortuna.
So we met with the old gypsy. She told us that she was Vistani and aided the Carnival as was her debt. She had been waiting for the arrival of heroes, so she may help them. The gypsy claimed that we were the ones that could save “everyone”. She showed us a magic deck, claiming it could be used to our benefit. We all agreed to hear what she had to say, and see what the deck had to show us.
As the story unfolded we learned that we would face three foes, and that the number three would be a recurring number in our quest. We will meet three fortune tellers, but Fortuna warned us to trust only two of them. We will face three foes. The first will be The Villain. We will need the skills we learn in defeating The Villain to face our second foe: The Fallen. The Fallen is the one that plunged the world into the Mists. We will need all our cunning and knowledge to defeat him. The last foe we face will be The Playwrights. They are the source of the Mists.
We all drew cards. I drew The High Priestess, which symbolized that my light was purer than most, but Fortuna warned that I not be consumed by my beliefs and my rage.
Fortuna then dealt cards to our foes and finished the “story”. It seems we have some monumental tasks ahead of us.
And we’re off to meet the professor…