Cross City Race

History of the Race

City raceThis race takes place every year during the final week of Morader. It is meant to commemorate the actions of a messenger, who after Fallcrest‘s army was defeated during the Bloodspear War, ran nonstop from Gardbury Downs to warn the city of the approaching Orc horde. While Lowtown was razed by the orcs, the messenger’s warning saved many lives, with the townsfolk moving into the more protected Hightown until the horde moved on.

The messenger’s name has not survived in any recorded form, as he died from exhaustion as soon as his message was delivered. Many in town believe to this day that the messenger was actually sent by Erathis to protect the city.

The Cross City Race also serves a second purpose, other than commemoration of the messenger’s sacrifice. Each year an individual or group who wins the race is named as Fallcrest‘s official messenger, which means they act as an ambassador to other towns when the Lord Warden needs an emissary. In the past, the winner’s have been sent to Winterhaven and Hammerfast to deliver messages and work out important trade agreements, while several years ago the messenger was sent to Sarthel to escort Faren Markelhay’s son, Ernesto, who was to be educated at court.

Past winners have included: the adventuring groups Tam’s Talons (the past two years), Acquisitions Incorporated, The Heroes of Nenlast, and Justice Sword. Individual winners have included: Catseye, Aldanian, and long ago Nimozaran the Green.

Rules of the Race

The race begins at the southern King’s Gate and ends at the northern Moonstone Keep. The main road connects those two points directly, but it’s also crowded. Winding through alleys is longer but less crowded, while scrambling across roofs is perilous but possibly the speediest of all.

The race commences when the drawbridge at the southern gate falls. It ends when the winner passes their letter to the Lord Warden waiting at the top of the keep. The winning runner is then led out of the tower and presented with his prizes before being wined, dined, and feted as the hero of the hour.

The Prize

This year’s prize fund consists of a lacquered coffer filled to the brim with 2000 gold pieces and a pair of Sandals of Precise Stepping (Adventurer’s Vault pg. 130) for the winner, as well as free drinks and food for the night of the festival after their win and the admiration of any number of winsome young locals, not to mention the prospect of steady work as couriers on behalf of the city council.

Preliminaries

Before the race starts, the characters can gather information about the history of the race, possible routes, and their opponents. Registering for the race gives them access to the rules. For everything else, they need to wander around town, scouting out the routes and asking questions about who else is going to be racing.

Race Rules

  • Participants must register 24 hours prior to the start of the race. There is a 25gp registration fee.
  • Participants in the race must be present two hours after first light at the southern gate.
  • Participants must not begin running until the gate portcullis hits the ground.
  • Participants may not directly attack another runner with magic or arms. Roughhousing, wrestling, and bare-hands brawling are permitted.
  • Participants must travel on foot (or their species equivalent). Mounts, magical travel, flying more than a few feet at a time, and any other forms of movement that the judges deem to be cheating will get the racer disqualified.
  • The first one to hand their letter to Lord Markelhay at the top of Moonstone Keep is the winner and will be awarded the prize. The Lord Warden’s decision is final in the event of an apparent tie.

This Year’s Registered Racers

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