The preview to this session was that the PCs would be traveling to Ysgard, a CG plane. In addition, this was the last session before our summer hiatus.
The session began with Bobby, Norbys, and Nearin all sitting in Plane-atary Express. I introduced the names and specialties of the two other groups working for Plane-atary Express: a group of primes that specializes in long haul caravan protection that is contracted out to the Planar Trade Consortium, and a group of planar adventurers that specializes in jobs on the Inner Planes. However, the group was mostly uninterested knowing that Kale in particular cares most about the financial affairs of the business.
After a little hemming and hawing, an old woman entered the shop looking for Balial. She introduced herself as Ingwe Alting, a Ring-giver. Ring-giver are a lesser planar sect based in Ysgard that believes that by giving everything away, even greater rewards can be earned. How this works out, mechanically, is that anyone who is given a gift by a Ring-giver has a really hard time resisting providing that person with a favor whenever they call upon it. They take the planar law of the Unity of Rings very seriously.
Ingwe Alting explained that she was an old friend of Balial and that she was hoping to enlist his aid for dealing with a little bet she had set up on Ysgard. After learning that Balial had died, she offered a deal to the party. 1000 gp each now if they'd participate in the harvest festival called the Challenges of Glory in Vanheim. If one of them places high enough, she'll be able to pay them even more. At that, she thrust a sack of gems into each person's hands.
She also told the PCs that she didn't have the portal key, but that she knew of two very good shops who's owners owed her a favor: Seamusxanthuszenus of Parts 'n Pieces and Alluvius Ruskin of Tivvum's Antiquities. The players decided to speak to Alluvius, who gladly gave them a portal key in order to settle her debt to Ingwe.
The group then traveled to Vanheim and got ready for the contest. While prepping, they spyed another team of ringers hired by the other party in Ingwe's bet.
There were four contests: archery, an obstacle race, a puzzle race, and a drinking contest. I don't recall a lot of the exact details, but all the contests were resolved as a series of ability checks until the top three contestants were found. I gave the PCs opportunities to cheat or otherwise help each other via their feats and other skills or ingenuity. It seemed to work out amazingly and the entire night was just laughter and fun.
Bobby won the obstacle race. Norbis tied the drinking contest with one of the other team of ringers. Otherwise the PCs placed in the middle of the pack, though I think Nearin was top 3 in the puzzle contest which was won by a naked amazon warrior.
Bobby placed high enough in enough events to qualify as a NOBLE WARRIOR, which earned him a bunch more gold than everyone else. It also meant he got to party extra hard and all the ladies were hounding him. Ignwe paid the party 1000 gp each and said that she'd be on the look out for them if she ever needed a hand again. She and her betting partner than gave each other 1000 gp as a result of their bet.
This session was extra fun because it involved a lot of rolling but none of it was combat. In addition, it challenged the players to think of new ways to use their powers which is always a good idea. It was a great last game before out three month hiatus.