I’m not sure what it is about our band of merry adventurers, but we always spend an immense amount of time developing a near-infallible plan…only to completely ignore it.
Why should this ball be any different?
We all split up; the prince being in a private room upstairs rather hinders our ability to protect him, so we all take the opportunity to mix with the wealthy crowd. If we can’t prevent an assassination from taking place, perhaps The Enchanted Shield can at least be remembered as great party guests.
So far, so good.
Rindle is enjoying the food, while regaling those around him with some rather dinnertime-inappropriate tales… yet they seem to be enjoying themselves, as does he. I remember thinking he was quite adorable and intriguing when I first met him; fortunately for these ball-goers, they won’t be spending too much time with him that their first impression might alter somewhat…
Korath tries to get upstairs to find the prince – I see him having trouble at first, but he eventually convinces the guard to let him pass. Phew, that means someone can actually attend to his protection.
Andrin keeps looking around the room, as though searching for someone. Perhaps a long lost love who left his priestly life of sacrifice to be with a man with wealth and a title? Or someone else a bit more boring. Either way, it looks like he’s not having much luck.
Merora? No idea. Hoping she’s bathing in the bathroom sink is probably a little overly hopeful…
I successfully win over some of the wealthiest-looking patrons in the ballroom. It’s not hard to keep them amused – I have plenty of tales that settle well on the ears of folk unwilling to leave the comforts of their castles… a small, sweet taste of adventure is all they need.
The next thing I know, the prince is in the ballroom with Korath, and as I walk towards him, Balarion cuts in and asks me to dance. My loyalty is to the prince, but accepting Balarion’s offer is quite the snub – one which I hope benefits us in future. If Balarion thinks his wily charm has won me over, he might be a little malleable. I’m more than aware that’s rather ambitious, but if nothing else, rejecting him might give him more reason to slight the prince, which isn’t what anyone wants.
A no-win situation…though accepting his offer does mean I get to see what he’s like on the floor.
Conclusion; he’s incredibly adept at the tango.
I try to think of the prince…though it is difficult with such a muscular, dextrous dance partner.
I match his moves and charm, and he ends the dance requesting that we enjoy a rendezvous another time. Apparently my charm runs out here and I respond with a flustered “I’ll think about it”.
I feel guilty for doing that to the prince, so I try to make it up to him later by teaching him a simple waltz; he may lack the allure and dense muscular frame of Balarion, but he has his own gentle, innocent charm.
Unexpectedly, I hear the memorable melody of The King Fool, and suddenly the ballroom is filled with green mist and a tangible apparition of the long-dead, King Fool appears, dripping and rotting.
It’s up to us to take him down before there are any casualties.