When we last left our heroes, Lucia had just rid herself of a self-inflicted flea infestation with some flammable anti-flea oil. She’s not on fire or covered in fleas, but she is covered in oil. She goes to the bath-house while Gleador goes back to the Glazers’ house to rest and level up. The bath-house is attached to Macker’s Tavern, the other inn in town. The bath-house is decorated in green & blue tile. Lucia washes up, then lingers for a relaxing bubble bath and massage.
Gleador goes back to his room and meditates, connecting with nature and its wisdom. He has a vision of the pony that rode away on the cart. It’s talking! It says, “Gleador. Gleador! Time to wake up.” It’s actually Lucia, who has returned from the bath-house and is rousing him.
They head back to the fair. Along the way they overhear someone say that Dandelion went on-stage to perform and croaked! They’re not sure if that means he died, or if he made frog noises. As they approach the market they hear a disturbance at the auction!
A metal statue, which was lined up on the platform along the other rare and valuable items, has come alive and is wrecking the place! It’s grabbing some of the auction items and throwing others aside. Our heroes see Pepe’s pole moving through the crowd towards the commotion, but there’s no time to wait for him! The statue throws a large wooden carving into the crowd! Gleador turns into a gorilla and catches the statue, placing it gently down next to shocked onlookers. They were too busy looking at the statue to notice him transform, right? Lucia commands the statue to stop, but it ignores her. She can intimidate people with her Paladin authority, but this is no person.
When Pepe arrives, he sees a gorilla, which is both a beast and black. Surely it must be the Black Beast! Will he engage it, or the living statue? Gleador rushes to grab the statue & show Pepe that he’s a friendly gorilla. He pulls it down and notices that the robot has only collected metal objects in its backpack. Lucia rushes up to tie the statue down, but it throws her through a table of valuable items. The statue gets back up and Pepe rushes Gleador. Gleador leaps up onto the platform, getting between Lucia and the statue and putting the statue between himself and Pepe. Undeterred, Pepe pole-vaults up onto the platform to threaten Gleador. Lucia convinces Pepe to focus on the statue.
Gleador notices a three-position switch on the statue’s back and tries to turn it, but the statue spins 180 at the waist, grabs hum, and throws him into Pepe, toppling and injuring both of them. Lucia lunges with her sword, but it scrapes harmlessly off the solid metal statue. The statue tries to pull the sword from her grip and collect it like the other metal objects. Lucia also notices the switch. Gleador rushes the statue again, but it throws him into Lucia. She loses her grip on her sword as they both stumble back. That tug-of-war gave Gleador an idea. He takes Lucia’s shield and entices the statue into grabbing it. With its arms occupied wrestling for the shield, Lucia has an opportunity to turn the statue’s switch. Left or right? Left! The statue freezes and topples to the ground.
With the statue incapacitated, Pepe the sherriff turns his attention on the Black Beast. Gleador flees out of town into the surrounding fields. Although his halfling legs can’t run as fast as his quarry, Pepe can easily follow the trail of a gorilla crashing through fields of grain. Gleador runs until he has enough of a lead to break line of sight, then switches to a rabbit and makes a right-angle turn, aiming to come back into town from a different angle. He dashes across one of the main roads into town and a passing hunter looses an arrow after him. Gleador is a lot tougher than a normal rabbit and just keeps going, much to the hunter’s surprise.
While Gleador and Pepe are gone, deputies arrive and attempt to tie up the statue. All its joints are locked, so they can’t bring its wrists together to bind it in the usual way. They do their best and drag it towards town hall, which is also the headquarters of the town watch. People at the auction are upset by the destruction of most of the valuables, but Lucia ignores them and exhorts the deputies to place the statue in a cell, not in the evidence room. Maybe it will come to life again. Better to treat it like a person.
Gleador re-emerges as an Elf and reunites with Lucia. They go to the bard stage to check on Dandelion and find that when he started his performance, the tried to sing but could only croak like a frog. He’s not dead, but he’s humiliated and unable to perform. The back up bard is and Elf named Bill Shook. He uses Elven metaphors and references that don’t translate into Common well, so Gleador thinks he’s hilarious, but Lucia and most of the spectators are unimpressed.
There’s plenty of talk about the living statue that ruined the auction, and the gorilla that suddenly appeared and seemed to fight it. Was it a person who turned into a gorilla? To protect Gleador’s secret, Lucia starts a rumor about a an invisible, benevolent gorilla, who appears when people are in danger. Her fantastic story gains her more listeners than poor Bill Shook.