|#TheMeadMustFlow As the party was preparing to leave town, a scuffle broke out at the Good Mead hall. Several thugs were running away, licking their wounds as Shandar Froth and his loggers hollered at them to get lost. Oona grappled a thug.Crank clotheslined another, picking him up with an arm for questioning. Crank recognized the Zhentarim flunky, and it was soon revealed that these thugs lost on purpose by the orders of Naerth Maxildannar to make Shandar look good. With onlookers watching the scene, Shandar was exposed. He admitted to the deception but said he did have the town's interest in heart and that, in truth, the Zhentarim had been blackmailing him to keep his past from catching up. He was a man wanted for murder in Mirabar. With Shandar outed, it seems Olivessa Untapoor will become speaker.
|#battle #TheMeadMustFlow Fern had the charmed Duhg lead her to the interior of the cave, where he had kept Good Mead's casks. Unfortunately, an ogre, affectionately nicknamed Friend by Duhg because the lunk never remember his own name, was asleep back there and soon became roused. This led to battle and a beast war between wild-shaped great ape Tetro and the cave bear Yogobor that Duhg kept as a pet. Hazel developed a signature attack, boosting off of Crank's mitts to crack the ogre dead. He dubbed it the Hazel Nutcracker.
|#TheMeadMustFlow The party recovered two full casks of Good Mead's honey mead alongside an assortment of loot from Duhg's belongings. They continued to explore the cave, though they had learned that Duhg had a date with a female verbeeg named Gahg later in the evening.
|#TheMeadMustFlow Back in Good Mead with the casks in hand, the party received praise, lodging, and, of course, fresh drink from Olivessa Untapoor. The next morning the company awoke at noon to an argument between townsfolk about the election for speaker. News travels fast in small towns. With the returned casks, support had magnified to promoting the reluctant cask maker Olivessa. Gossips also noted that her opponent, the popular yet surly Shandar Froth, had left on urgent business immediately before dawn. Where did he go, and who is to become speaker?
|#TheMeadMustFlow Good Mead's ever dwindling supply of honey ale just didn't sit right with the party. Between the righteousness of beer and a possible Zhentarim replacement for their Town Hall speaker, the party hoofed it to the town. On arrival, though small in stature, the village was literally buzzing from the ice bees in the main mead hall. Here they met Olivessa Untapoor, eldest cask-maker of the town's Chultan families. Oli woefully admitted that she was indeed running for speaker, ever since Kendrick Rielsbarrow had been speared to death when a verbeeg assaulted the town and stole three casks. Kendrick's corpse was laid down for mourning in the Shrine of the Flaming Sword, an aged local hall once dedicated to Tempus.
|#TheMeadMustFlow The opposition to Olivessa Untapoor was a relative newcomer to the village, a brusque red-haired dwarf and logger named Shandar Froth. Shandar had relocated to Good Mead only a couple years back from Mirabar, a wealthy mining city south of the Spine of the World. The party found him near the logging lodges, and, while gruff, Shandar put his foot down that he is running because he needs to... and that the town needs a leader too, damnit. The insightful Tetro felt there was truth to his words, but that a bit more remained unsaid.
|#TheMeadMustFlow Naerth noted such immense grief over the loss of Good Mead's speaker. He said he was diligently working on providing a new speaker for the town.
|#TheMeadMustFlow You learned that the mead from Good Mead is pretty darn good, except that supplies have shrunk ever since their speaker got himself killed by... a polar bear? A yeti? A barbarian? Word of mouth sucks.