The party lifted off on the Crimson Tide and began planning their next destination when prim noticed his message cylinder fill with a note in it. He open it and read it to himself then to the rest of the party:
I hope this note finds you well. In these dark times for the land we have an important announcement that will hopefully be a boon to everyone’s spirits. We are gathering our allies to Neverwinter to deliver the news. When your personal matters and quests are not pressing we request your presence at the Thunderdome. Stay safe my friends.
-Wes the Shield
The note came with an orb they recognized as similar to the one holly used to transport them during the wintersday holiday so they told the crew of the ship to get course for Guh’s stronghold at Grudd Haug and they would meet them there. the party all gathered in a circle and put their hands over the orb and concentrated and they found themselves in the thunderdome in Neverwinter surrounded by their allies from Phandalin. Their allies were watching Loralyn finish up a performance and as her song ended the crowd erupted in cheer. The party turned their attention to the center of the arena as they watched their Goliath friend come to the center to make an announcement:
“Friends As you all know we have all been through many challenges in recent times. With Dragons and Giants threatening the land, no tomorrow is assured for anyone and that is why we must live for today. Loralyn has been lifting spirits here in Neverwinter with her performances here as many of you in the crowd have witnessed. She has gathered many fans and admirers with her ability to make you all smile and forget your troubles if only for awhile. I am here to admit today that I have grown to be her one of her biggest fans and supporters and wish to prove that not only today, but every day. And that is why I am announcing our engagement."
He pulled out an ornate looking amulet and puts it around her neck which she accepts This was passed down in my family for generations. It has special properties that if either of us were injured we could be brought to the other’s side and forever watch out for each other.
With that they embraced each other and the crowd cheer and he turned to the crowd to say:
“And with that I am announcing a grand 2 on 2 tournament here in the thunderdome to celebrate our union! Anyone who wishes to compete register as a pair and show us the strength of your bonds!”
The crowd cheer once again as a prize list was posted for the top competitors in the tournament got the crowd excited and many warriors began scrambling looking for partners.
As the party looked through the crowd of their friends Rowan was the 1st to spot Lor standing in the crowd by the Great worm tribe who managed to make it this far south. She ran up to him calling out to her sweetie and they embraced and signed up as a pair to fight together in the tournament.
The great worm tribe saw prim and proclaimed CHIEF PRIM! CHIEF PRIM! we have made it thus far on our journey we hope we are doing you proud. We will enter the tournament and fight in your honor. Prim said he was proud of them for doing so well and as he was talking to them he saw a familiar goblin run up through the crowd to greet it. Prim called out and greeted droop and asked him to fight together just like in the old days. and they signed up as a pair. Erelosa expressed her excitement and told her daddy she would be cheering for him the whole time. She noticed another girl walking through the crowd and Gwen came up to her and introduced herself. Stars shown in Erelosa’s eyes as she saw the dragon on Gwen’s shoulder and asked if they could be friends and Gwen said she would love a friend her age that they don’t get too many coming through the Thunderdome so she would love to play with her today and they both ran off.
Yue spotted Thalia standing near the edge of the area listing to Lorayn’s next song and greeted her and they agree to fight together just like in their days of traveling as a merchant group.
Norros scanned the crown and being a new comer to the group looked out of place and he found another wallflower in Shin Lan who they just met in neverwinter and she said that she would do her best to help out and that it would be good to stretch out some old tricks she used to practice.
Draven Approached Sister Gaerelle and asked her to partner up and she remarked on how he looks different and would like to chat more with him about his experiences with the raven queen and would be happy to fight with him in this tournament.
Pokeman Jones approached Iarno and asked him to partner up and he responded with “With your penchant for bludgeon people and my magical aptitude we will take this tournament.” and they signed up.
Gundren looked around and found Zem Slatedust working on his pistols and they agreed to enter as a pair in the competition.
As the signups finished Wes announced that the thunderdome had been recently upgraded to include various terrain to make the matches more interesting and that each quadrant on the thunderdome could be set individually. they had a choice of fire, ice, desert, forest, boulder, graveyard, or spike pit. and that the pairs had been randomized and the 1st round match ups were set.
1st up was Pokeman Jones and Iarno vs Gundren and Zem Slate Dust. they surrounded themselves in forest and graveyard terrain and Gundren squared off with Pokeman Jones with warhammer clashing against a new hellish halberd while Zem took some shots against Iarno which scattered acros the trees missing. Iarno assisted Pokeman ignoring zem while behind cover and cast spells injuring Gundren and distracting him being assaulted on 2 fronts. Zem attempted to turn the tide blasting apart a grave stone but it backfired with the ghost possessing him and turning his gun on Gundren as well causing him to fall shortly after and them Pokeman and Iarno were able to team up and take out Zem with little effore winning the 1st round.
The 2nd round saw Draven and sister Gaerelle fight the great worm tribe. Draven called out that he could take on more of them and 4 of them joined the fray instead of 2 but they put him over a spike pit of begin the match and put sister Gaerelle behind the boulder obstacle. As the match began Draven tried to hop from post to post but fell into the pit and impaled his arm on a spike, pulled it out and then tried to do a flip out of the pit but ended up not getting high enough and ended up on another spike for a 2nd impale. The tribe moved to the edge of the pit and launched their spears down at him but the awkward angle only one hit him. Draven finally climbed out of the pit and was looking rough and the tribe tried to shove him down the pit once again but sister gaerelle got around the boulders and healed his wounds up enough he was able to shove back the tribe and blasted them into the wall of the arena winning the match.
The 3rd round saw Prim and Droop square off against norros and shin Lan where they squared off on spike pits and forest. Droop immediately jumped onto the spike pit posts and began attacking Norros yelling “DROOP IS BRAVE” and injured him and was about to throw him into the spikes when norros countered and droop plummeted down being taken out. Prim retaliated seeing his friend taken out by blasting Shin lan with his magic leaving only Norros and Prim reaining. Elelosa and Gwen Cheered from the stands for her Daddy to win. Prim and Norros squared off in a caster’s duel casting incantations and counter spells back and forth in a magical game of chess and strategy.they both stood on the pillars above the spikes wounded and exhausted and prim used some of the last of his magic to sink in a grovel spell dropping norros prone planking across 2 pedestals. Prim attempted an acrobatic move of jumping across the pedestals and knocking Norros into the spike pit but he slipped on the edge of the platform and as he fell only grabbed part of Norros’s clothing which ripped and gave way sending prim into the spike pit giving Norros the victory to move on to the semifinals.
The 4th round squared up Yue and Thalia vs Rowan and Lor. once again in forests and spike pits. Rowan immediately tried to jump the spike pits but fell in impaling herself and Lor ran to her Aid. As he was helping her out of the Pit Yue Rained fire down on both of them singing Lor and taking him out of the competition. In a rage Rowan cast banish and Sent Yue to another plane of existence for 1 minute and squared off with Thalia. Rowans Lightbring and spiritual weapons clashed with Thalia’s flaming fists but in the end Thalia connected with more blows and sent rowan to the ground securing the 1st round victory informing Yue When the banish Spell wore off and she returned to the area that they were moving on. She looked up to see Xing and Shin Lan cheering from the stands.
At the start of the Semifinals Pokeman Jones and Iarno Squared off against Graven and Sister Gaerelle. Pokeman Jones immediately tried to charge Draven but seeing the last match he banished him. leaving only iarno to fight who did his best flinging spells but was overwhelmed in a 2v1 scenario. Upon returning from banishment Pokeman Jones immediately made a dash for sister gaerelle and took her out after taking an initial wave of attacks from the both of them eliminating the healer. Pokeman’s Hellish weapon and draven pact weapon clashed in the middle of the arena and both were on the edge of defeat but battered and bruised pokeman’s action surge pushed him through with more attacks than draven could handle and he moved into the finals.
The 2nd semifinal match pitted Yue and Thalia Vs Shin lan and Norros. Yue felt strange standing across from the woman Xing considered might be his mother but she hoped she would know her better after the fight and might learn something about her. Thalia did not hesitate though and squared off with Shin Lan distracting her land enough for yue to bring a fire storm down and take her out. Norros countered by blasting thalia with his magic and Norros once again found himself standing on a spike pit in a casters duel attempting to counter spell Yue’s fireballs, 1st time he succeeded but nd time the spell was empowered enough that it blew through his ability to stop it and he was toasted sending Yue into the finals. As they brought the competitors out she gave Shin lan a hug and told her she did a good job and Xing cheered for her victory.
The crowd went wild for the finals as the hype built from the exciting preliminary matches seeing Yue and Thalia Square off against Pokeman Jones and Iarno. Pokeman jones set himself behind bounders and yue set her side behind forest for cover. Erelosa and Gwen Cheered for yue on the eastern side of the arena and you could hear the great worm tribe throwing down a Pokeman Jones chant telling him to “Get the Fire Witch!”. As the match began Yue immediately brought down her strongest firestorm spell and being trapped behind boulders the heat quickly overwhelmed Iarno putting pokeman jones in a tough position. Pokeman countered by ramming into one of the boulders sending it rolling plowing through the trees opening a path straight towards Yue. He came out of the supeheated area on fire and lighting up his Hellborn halberd charged straight at her screaming a terrifying yell “RAAAAAA” taking gashes out of her which she tried to parry using blurred image and shield spells to deflect some of the blows but a few got through cutting her badly.
Thalia rushed out from the forest and unloaded a series of punches and kicks into pokeman Jones injuring him but nothing would keep his blood lust from his true target and he continued a barrage of hacks and slashes one catching Yue across the chest cutting deeply and the crowd saw the light go from her eyes with her collapsing to the ground. Loralyn jumped up from her seat shouting “YUE!” into the roar of the crowd with her hands over her mouth. 3 seconds went by as Pokeman Jones began to eye up Thalia taking a “your next” battle stance. Suddenly he noticed a fiery orb began burning in Yue’s chest and burst forth igniting her Phoenix Spark and picking her up from the ashes of defeat. She spark sent fire out of her mantle of flames burning Pokeman Jones backing him off just long enough that she was able to unload as many magic missiles as she could muster into his chest piece dropping him to the ground and then piercing through it with a yell and a fire bolt finishing him and winning the tournament!
The crowd jumped to their feet and cheered at this thrilling conclusion with the crowd chanting her name she took a bow and congratulated her opponents on matches well fought. The prize pools were brought out and Yue chose a magical bag of notus. As the day came to a close the party took a few moments to enjoy each other’s company and celebrate their accomplishments they achieved over the last year with their friends.