The adventurers arrive with the caravan to see a huge festival in progress. There are stands for food and drinks, and various activities and games have been set up around the village square. Shortly after the group arrives the mayor stands on a central stage to welcome all, locals and travelers alike, to the reopening of the Temple of Desna. As he steps down he introduces Sheriff Hemlock, who reminds people to stay safe while having fun, etc etc blah blah.
The group finds a place to sit and listen to their new bard friend, Callen, but before he can start another bard finishes setting up and begins telling a poem. The poem counts from 1-25, and each count is a grisly murder that was never solved, each more gruesome and inventive than the one before. After the dark story is completed, Callen goes to talk to the bard, while the others wander off to see the sights. Their first stop is the weight lifting competition, which Leon enthusiastically enters. Leon faces down a slight female elf, who grins at him and somehow intimidates him despite their size difference. The first round is set for 130 lbs, which Leon manages to lift solidly. He basks in the cheering, until he realizes it is likely for his opponent, who was able to gracefully throw the weight in the air without trying. The next round is set at 145 lbs, and Leon shows off by lifting the weight with one hand. The third round ups the weight to 160, and both contestants fail at their lifts. Moved down to 155, Leon still fails while the elf lifts hers without issue once more.
As they are leaving Talathal insults the elven lifter, forgetting her sharp hearing. She quickly pins him to the ground with her elbow on his throat, then flips him and asks to repeat what he said. He squeaks out “Thats why Elven people are always better,” and she accepts his rephrasing and throws him from her in disgust. Talathal and Leon console themselves at a nearby beer table while Elsbeth satisfies her sweet tooth and pets Talathal’s owl. It is the sweetest little owl she has ever seen, and sinks into her contentedly as she scritches its head.
The mayor comes back out to start the official opening ceremony, and introduces Father Zantus and his guards on the stage. Father Zantus takes out a small stone and flicks it at the ground, and the gathered crowd hear a crack of distant thunder. As Father Zantus starts to speak, screams shout out from the back of the crowd, and more follow closer in towards the stage. The group of friends see a local dog, resting under a nearby table, get its throat slashed in a blur, and a goblin chant encircles the crowded town square. Everyone who can starts fleeing, and the adventurers are left facing three goblins.
Leon gets knocked out by a goblin sneak attack early in the fight, and the others struggle to pin the goblins down long enough to attack. After much struggle Elsbeth manages to take out two of the goblins, and the third flees after one final attack on the owl. The party helps each other stand up, and they see a young priest struggling to pull himself towards them from a burning tent nearby. With the last of his strength he heals Tal, who was seriously injured in the fighting, and blesses him with the knowledge of healing. As the group catch their breath a nearby tent explodes, and goblin chanting draws near…