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Summary

The party continue to enjoy themselves at the festival and Dew buys a round of fish tacos, which everyone wolfs down (except Will). Batthwack suggests a drink at the tavern, and on the way they try their hand at the well dressing contest, where Will upsets the attendant with endless questions and accusations of unfairness and favouritism. At the Lazy Currant they find a large crowd and a lively atmosphere, and Will begins to wonder where they're going to spend the night.

Synopsis

The party are in the midst of playing games at the Festival of the Rainbow Trout. Dew isn't necessarily aware that there is a desire to win the raffle, so just seems to be taking part for the fun of it. Will is just determined to win for himself.

From what Dew learned playing in the river, it seems that this prize raffle is an annual thing. He wants to look for something to eat and looking around sees lots of places, a lot of which are selling very fish-based food. There seems to be all types of freshwater fish, trout included. A taco stand catches Dew's attention and going over he discovers you can get a plate of two tacos with some greens for a copper. They are absolutely scrumptious and go down quick. He thinks they must be fresh caught and cooked.

Dew wanders around the food stands, thinking about sampling another local dish. He chats with people, getting to know what they're like. Everyone here seems in a great mood, this is clearly the event of the year. He gets the sense they're probably pretty hard-working people. He asks them about the lizardfolk and he's told that they come in and take their food, also mentioning Charlie, a boy who was killed when the villagers were defending themselves during one such raid. Dew asks where the lizardfolk come from and is told it's somewhere upstream. The villagers haven't ventured out to find them, they just try and hold their own defending the village. Dew tells them that the party he's with is pretty handy, having destroyed a windmill and such,[1] and suggests they might encounter the lizardfolk when they move on, but the villagers tell them to steer clear if they can; the lizardfolk are fearsome.

Batthwack thinks about heading to the tavern, the Lazy Currant and asks if anyone else is interested in going for a drink. Dew arrives having bought everyone fish tacos. Raphina feeds a fish taco to her skeleton kitty. She happily gobbles it up, but having no actual stomach, it just sort of sits there in her ribcage. Raphina removes the taco and eats it herself. Will was just about to bite into his taco when he witnesses this, and he sadly puts it back on the plate. Dew suggests the next time he has an animal skin he could fashion it into a suit for the kitty. Dew says "I was trained in the art of sewing. As a gnome adoptee we're expected to know our way around the needle and thread." Raphina takes a little patch from the patchwork quilt door and puts it around the cat's neck so it has a little cape. Will wonders if the skeleton cat could in fact be Pippa.

Dew tells the group he knows of some of their exploits in Barovia. The windmill, Strahd, the Bluewater Inn. Will subtlely asks if he knows about the "guy whose resume was so good that like a weird god-lady with lots of magical powers picked him to rule over the valley of Barovia? Have you ever heard of that guy?" Dew says not. Batthwack takes a fish taco, but slightly reluctantly, feeling slightly self-conscious. Dew says he's going to go and check in on Captain Ool and will meet them at the tavern.

Will and Captain Clockface seem keen to check out The Lazy Currant, as is Raphina. However Will is also keen to win as many tickets as possible and is very interested in the well dressing competition. They decide to check that out on the way.

The well is at the centre of the village square. There's a nice elderly dwarf man attending the booth. He has a thick, bushy moustache, it's definitely bigger and thicker than Will's, but it's more dwarven.[2] Will puts his fish tacos down as he watches people decorating sizable panels arrayed around the circumference of the well. Some are painting them, some are hanging things on them, some are doing macramé.

The attendant tells them they can enter and panels will be judged at the end of the night. Will asks what his credentials are for judging the contest and he says he's been judging the contest for the last 37 years. Will suspects that the judges might be bent. He starts to ask a lot of questions about decorating materials, whether there's a theme, what the rules are about making it x-rated, and the attendant starts getting a little exasperated.

Raphina has already got stuck into her panel, first dipping her cat's paws in vinegar, then letting it walk on the panel. She lights a match underneath, hoping it will turn a nice charcoal brown colour but sets it on fire, so she throws it in the river. She asks for another panel, which Will pays for.

Will's not sure about buying a panel himself; he can't think what he'd do on it. They wouldn't understand real art in this village and neither does he, but he would like to think he does. Raphina finally finishes one without setting it on fire and throws some glitter on it as a finishing touch. It's propped up against the well.

Batthwack has a go and does a rubbing of his shield. Will looks around at what the other villagers have done. Some have decorated with garlands of leaves and flowers, some are painted in nice colours and patterns, someone did a nice landscape of the river with the temple. He feels disheartened and thinks they don't have a chance of winning. He also notices some panels are decorated by children. He goes back to the attendant and asks about the prizes. He's told it's 20 tickets to the best panel. Will gives them a hard time about the fact they'll definitely pick a kid's one. The dwarf is offended by this and pulls himself up to Will saying "I've been manning the well dressing booth as I've done for the past 37 years. I have integrity, sir!" They argue about this, Will saying it's either unfair because the kids win or it's unfair because kids can't win. The dwarf says "I think you have a very cynical view of the world, sir." He suggests Will try another game.

Will asks if he can decorate a panel magically and the exasperated attended explains he can do what he likes. Will wonders out loud if there are any magic users in the village. The attendant says the priests in the temple are magic users. Will asks what the Rainbow Trout can do and the dwarf says that he keeps them safe and bestows boons upon them. Will wants to know more, but the attendant says he should find out for himself by winning an audience with the Trout. Will suspects this is all a con. He asks how you communicate with a trout anyway, but the dwarf says he doesn't know because he's never won. Raphina can't believe that in 37 years he's never won, having had access to all these tickets. He's highly offended at the implication that he'd award the tickets to himself. "These tickets are for the winner of the well dressing contest!" Will asks how old the dwarf is, "So what, are you 100?" The dwarf says he's 240 years-old. Will asks if they've lived here their whole life, and he says he has. Will can't understand how he can never have won in all those years. "Are you buying a panel or not?!!" Will says he's not entering. "All right. Good. Anybody else?" And finding some more people to speak to, he walks swiftly away.

Meanwhile Dew has found Captain Ool and discovers the other airship passengers are with him. Hank is not there, having gone off to do his own thing. Eba, Yorick, Manet and Jocelyn are there. They all have food from the stands. Ool says there's a family that has offered to take them in for the night. They'll be heading there soon because this has been quite a stressful evening for them. They seem in relatively good spirits, considering what happened. Ool is a little agitated; he feels responsible for these people and his airship crashed in the middle of the woods, but he's comfortable looking after everyone. Dew and Ool wish each other good luck and good night.

Dew walks back to the well just as the attendant is storming off to look for anyone other than Will to talk to. Raphina is just finishing off another panel where she has been taping her cat to it. Dew admires the completed panels. He tells the others that Captain Ool and the passengers are safe. They decide to go to the tavern now and can always come back when the panels are being judged.

They walk into the Lazy Currant, noting from the sign that it is spelled with an "a" like currant wine and that there are a few wavy blue lines underneath the name. Inside business is booming. The villagers are out and about and they're enjoying themselves. It's a packed common room, shoulder to shoulder, and everyone's having a good time. There's tables, a bar with two bartenders, and a dedicated piano player on the honky-tonk piano, laying down some tunes. Batthwack goes over to the bar and speaking to the woman there, orders currant wine for him and Dew. Raphina orders wine too. Will orders an ale. Glasses are poured.

Batthwack looks around and remembers when he was younger, getting in some pretty good fights in bars. Everyone here seems to be in a good mood though, with people singing along with the piano, playing card games, talking and having a great time. With the night drawing on, Will wants to discuss the sleeping arrangements tonight. "Are we going to camp in the woods like disgusting weirdos or stay here like idiots?" A drunken man walks past saying "There's no sleeping at the Festival of the Rainbow Trout!" Will sees a clear opportunity here and asks him where he lives and where his spare key is. The drunk guy says "Key? Nobody locks their doors!" Will wants to know more about this guy's home, but by the time he's done asking, he's fallen asleep. Will looks around asking who's friends with this guy. A number of people cheer "Ah! Murray!" Will tries to find out more about Murray's living arrangement, for instance, is anyone waiting for him at home? Someone in the bar says "Lorelei's probably out having fun too. I don't see her here."

Batthwack tries to take in all the conversations around him and picks up on some people who are discussing their odds of winning the raffle. In a moment of sudden mischievousness, and without warning, he casts Zone of Truth on the entire bar, basking the entire room is in his paladin magic.

Quotes

Any memorable quotes from the episode

Trivia

  • The episode title refers to the length of time that the elderly dwarf attendant at the well-dressing competition says they've been running the game as part of the Festival of the Rainbow Trout. For example, "I've been manning the well dressing booth as I've done for the past 37 years. I have integrity, sir!"
  • Inspired by the macramé at the well dressing competition, the players also discuss tatting, decoupage and, er... decolletage!

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This episode was brought to you by Dimple Druid Airways, "Fly on feathered wings!" and Tommy Privy Pit, designer of airship privies, "I design for your behind!"

Recap

This episode featured Eric doing a recap as an imagined carnival barker at the Festival of the Rainbow Trout:

"Ladies and gentlemen! Behold a sight that will steal your breath and send it to the devil. Crash your blimp and make your way through the dark muddy forest to the rustic village of Norton. Colourful lights and decidedly non-Ewok music lead the way. Try your hand at remembering random NPC names like Brom and Fira and Robin. And don't you dare forget Urin. Dip your toe in the Beartoggle River and wade your way to the Trout Temple or step right up and try your luck with a chance to meet a real, true, actual non-made-up god. Shoot the lizardfolk! Char Chilchirah! Or bend a knee and shake that booty 'til you make the locals cry. Everyone's a winner! Satisfaction guaranteed at the Festival of the Rainbow Trout!"

Gallery


References

  1. See episode XXX
  2. The dwarf's moustache is described as a thicker Geppetto moustache.
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