The Guest of Honour

“Ladies and gentlemen,” he reached forward and hauled the blast door open with a theatrical flourish “I give you La Fiesta de los Muertos... with a Christmas twist!”

Screams emanated from within

“...Fuck” Cass managed, her mouth suddenly dry.

In front of them, the party was in full swing. The Christmas twist was far less evident than they thought, since in the upper reaches of the gigantic hall, a midnight-black sleigh was being pulled through the sky by a dozen skeletal reindeer, with what could only be described as pitch-black sparkles dancing along behind it.

Down on the ground, there were all sorts of fairytale creatures. As promised by Jack, they all displayed some kind of Christmas decoration. As they entered, an illithid floated by with gold and silver baubles dangling from tentacles.

"And there was me thinking we'd stand out." Jamie said from behind everyone. He'd not said a word since the strange gas that had changed them. Everyone turned to look.

His skin-tone had changed to an odd grey colour, his shirt had been ripped so it barely hung to his shoulders, but he was a lot wider than he had been, and by the looks of it, a lot heavier too. A club rested on his shoulders.

As they watched him, he followed their stare, and ran his tongue over a tooth, which was a lot bigger than he had expected, and would have better fit the description of 'tusk'.

"I'm a troll, aren't I?" He asked.

"Have you seen your club?" Cass asked, and Jamie lifted it off his shoulder, and held it out in front.

It was a huge piece of solid wood, but where some would wrap it in barbed wire for added effect, this one was wrapped in fairy lights.

Jamie sighed a heavy sigh, which was made even more pronounced by his current form.

"Let's just all get across this party to the other side, then we can get this over with." Cass remarked, and her wings fluttered.

"We'll be fine. We just need to walk calmly across the hall, ignore everyone else and open the door on the other side." Jade said, the voice of reason.

"That is most definitely against regulation." said Jeribel as he looked up at the roof of the giant hall. A chain hung from one of the cranes that moved heavy machinery, and a cage was hooked underneath it. Inside, all could clearly see someone who was wearing all red, and had a big, white beard.

Jack clasped a hand on his shoulder. "I see you've noticed the main attraction of this party." he said quietly.

Jack stepped out on front of the group, and his arms flew out wide. "Everyone!" he called. His voice bellowed out across the hall, and the party instantly stopped to watch him.

"I want to thank you all for coming today, but before I let you carry on with the party, I'd like to draw everyone's attention to the guest of honour!"

The room was plunged into darkness, a single yelp broke the silence, then spotlights kicked into life, and a drumroll started up.

"Everyone give a frightening welcome to.... Sandy Claws!" Jack boomed, and the whole room roared in appreciation. A moment later, the normal lights kicked back in, then the music started back up and the party regained its flow.

<Tag. How does everyone react to seeing Santa, caged high above a party? Will anything happen as we try to cross the hall?>

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