After learning about Izek's prophetic dreams of Ireena, the party decided to head back to the Blue Water Inn to warn her and her brother, Ismark. The news unsettled the siblings, and while Ireena was curious that Izek may know something about her past before being found outside of the village of Barovia, she agreed to follow the advice to steer clear of him.
Meanwhile, Zean went back to the town square on a mission to free the townsfolk he had seen locked up earlier. When he arrived he found the stocks empty, so he redirected his focus onto the stockades themselves. He repeatedly bashed at the wooden structure until it started to come apart. The passerby in the square initially just stared on in silence, but after a few moments others stepped forward from the crowd to join in the vandalism. The stockades were ultimately damaged beyond usability, and the gathered crowd dispersed before any town guards arrived.
The party restocked on provisions and waited for the festival ceremony to begin. A somber procession of children made their way into the square, followed by adults carrying a large wicker sun, as a light rain started to fall. The baroness & baron then followed riding on horseback, as the rain slowly grew heavier. Townsfolk began splashing the wicker sun with oil as the burgomaster addressed the crowd. He gave a short speech about the importance of turning in "traitors" of Vallaki, who he claimed were threatening the safety and salvation of the rest. He went on to announce that Henrik would be tried and executed for his "betrayal".
Zean spoke aloud "only if he is FOUND GUILTY", but the baron offered no retort. Instead he finished his address and dismounted his horse, brandishing a large decorative torch. With every step the baron took toward the wicker ball the rain seemed to get heavier, leaving the torch struggling to stay alit. He yelled out "All will be well!" and thrust the torch to the wicker construction, immediately extinguishing the torch.
Lars, the town guard, let out a single unintended laugh, drawing a fiery gaze from the burgomaster. The baron composed himself once more and offered his final statements to the captive crowd before dismissing them. The party circled around Rolen to offer cover as she could discreetly cast some fire magic that she used to ignite the wicker construction. The burgomaster quickly maneuvered to take credit for Rolen's move with the declaration "You see? All will be well!", his arms raised in victory.
When most of the crowd had dispersed, the guards re-grouped across the square. From their vantage point the party could see that the other guards were being ordered to arrest and restrain Lars. He was bound by the hands and feet, with another rope leading from his feet to the saddle of the burgomaster's horse.
The party moved to intervene, but there guards were too numerous. The party certainly could have bested the guards with little trouble, but opted to not spur on outright rebellion (at least not yet). The party watched Lars being cruelly dragged through the mud as the burgomaster rode off back to his mansion.
The party then returned to the inn, where a large number of townsfolk had started to congregate for the night. Some members of the party tried to incite the crowd at the inn into a general uprising against the burgomaster, and were making some progress when Izek suddenly arrived, bringing all talk to an abrupt halt. Izek strode up to the bar, sat down, and ordered a drink without a word to anyone.
The party was debating on whether to move on the burgomaster's mansion and make an attempt to free the baron's prisoners. Zean started for the door frustrated with the group's inability to come to a consensus, and Visenya objected by means of her quarterstaff to the back of his head. Zean replied in kind to her face with the back of his hand.
Before events could escalate any further, the scene was interrupted by screams from outside. As as a patron nearby the door opened it to investigate, the party could see the Wachter brothers, Nikolai and Karl, fleeing down the street as the mighty roar of a tiger echoed thru the night.
Rictavio and Izek both immediately went for the exit. Rolen stepped outside behind them and could see Izek, Rictavio, and the Wachter brothers, all headed in different directions. She opted to follow Izek. Zean and Rask left the inn destined for the baron's mansion, while Kharas and Visenya stayed behind at the inn.
Izek met up with a number of the town guard and split them up to search for the tiger currently running amok, with orders to kill the beast. Rolen was determined to find the tiger before the guards did. She tracked the creature through the streets and eventually found it, defensively crouched at the far end of an enclosed alley.
Zean and Rask headed to the burgomaster's mansion where they were met by 4 members of the town guard.