Drakkenhall Blues

Olaf's Journal, part fourteen
Who is that speaking?

Olaf was awake even before noon to the smell of scrambled eggs and waffles. Bungo was making a feast for the noontime meal. Feeding the needy required quite a bit preparations, cooking, and of course food. Olaf started the day with a smile and hummed his new favorite tune: Olaf and the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, …
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_mPrhwpZ-8)

He headed out to the courtyard to meet the arrivals. Olaf was shocked out how packed the courtyard was. There must have been twice as many people as had shown up the day before. Where were all the needy people coming from?

A fight started to break out in the courtyard from a couple of people who were arguing over who was earlier in line. By the time Olaf pushed his way through to the two most combative ones, one had already pushed the other to the ground. Olaf stepped between them and yelled, “Stop thinking of only yourself and do something with your life.” The argument stopped abruptly. Now there was only general surprise at Olaf’s anger. Most surprised, was Olaf himself. He didn’t get angry often and why would something as trivial as this bother him? And why in the world did he say that? That statement didn’t sound like it came from Olaf at all. In fact, it sounded like something he heard before. Olaf headed out of the courtyard as he tried to recall where he had heard those words. Then he went white as a ghost as the specific memory came into focus. Those were the exact words his father had told him. His father had told him he couldn’t run from who he was. But he had run, and run very far. Still maybe his father was right after all.

Bastable was stuck doing paperwork again so Olaf thought he’d have a quiet day. To his surprise, there was a new mission, this time from Kassam. Olaf preferred doing police work, but there was bills to be paid and the means work needs to be done. The team was going to Summervale to help House Betrish. The Elf Queen was coming to visit Summervale, and all the Elf Houses were required to compete in contests for the Queen. House Betrish has no one of age for the contests, so they were hiring Kassam and team to complete for House honor.

Along the way, Olaf insisted they stop at the village of Gogodonsk. The little village had a woman named Dreamweaver who was expert in dream interpretation. Olaf met with her to talk about a reoccurring and disturbing dream he had been having. She seemed to know Olaf in some way and asked him about his standing in the Order of the Great Gold Wyrm. It was the exact question he had been asking himself. He answered he didn’t know, and she seemed to understand. Then she responded that to get answers about Olaf’s mysterious dream, she would need to perform a ritual to attune him to the realm of dreams. It would take some time to gather the ingredients, but she would begin working on it. Olaf thanked her and left to continue to Summervale.

At Summervale, the team met with Shanafane Betrish and got some instructions on what they were required to do. For the first contest, scouts had seen an Orc war party in the area. Early the next day, all the Houses would send out their champions to find the Orcs and capture the Orc banner. Olaf was a little unclear on what early meant. He expected that they’d have to ride out shortly after their noon meal.

Kassam had a great idea. Since all the Elven houses were in Summervale, he would host a party. Olaf loved parties, and Kassam put together a speculator one. It was some kind of wine tasting event, but with decent portions of each wine to taste. Olaf was beside himself. What was more amazing was how many different wines there were to choose from. One wine after the next, they just kept coming all night long. Olaf lost count well into the night.

It was not the first time Olaf had been awakened by Zeratul kicking him, but from the pain he guessed that Zeratul had been kicking him for some time now. There were some words too. Something about the contest starting hours ago and how far behind they were. It all seemed inconsequential to the hangover Olaf was fighting. Even slower than usual, Olaf got ready, got mounted, and then rode out with the rest of the team.

Kassam headed them towards the lake and picked up some Orc tracks, but they were many hours old. They were too far behind the other teams to track down the Orcs. Then Zeratul used his cloak to fly into the sky. He spotted the Orcs, but someone shot him with an arrow and he fell to the ground. Someone was being extremely rude, but they weren’t able to locate the shooter. Zeratul’s scouting gave them a direction, and with that the team was able to find the Orcs first, but were they actually first? Maybe some other team had also located the Orcs. Maybe they were just waiting for someone to charge in and fight the Orcs so the other team could sneak out the Orc banner without doing all the hard work. Olaf and his friends weren’t going to fall for that trick. Instead, they would hide waiting for another team to fight the Orcs and then Zeratul would sneak out the Orc banner.

Then came the Verdant Circle. They were everything Olaf always dreamed he would be with Great Gold Wyrm shields, banners, and capes. They charged in gallantly and attacked the Orcs. When they were almost done, Zeratul leaped down from a tree and grabbed the Orc banner. As Zeratul ran off, Kassam charged in, with Olaf trailing way behind, to finish off the last Orc. Even in defeat, the Verdant Circle, graciously thanked them for their help. Kassam and Olaf left to meet back up with Zeratul. It all seemed to have worked, until the Verdant Circle spotted the three of them together riding into the winners circle. The Verdant guys were furious and challenged them to a non-combat duel for the Orc banner. The means of the duel were up to each team member.

Zeratul went first and chose to an obstacle course race. With his great speed, he easily won. Next Olaf challenged them to a scrabble contest. Nobody around here was better than Olaf at scrabble. As they were playing and Olaf was ahead, he heard a whisper.
“You should throw the game to the Paladin. It is the honorable thing to do.”
“Why would I do that?” Olaf said aloud. His opponent was confused at this random statement, but Olaf was more confused himself. He wasn’t sure what to do so he made some bad plays and let the Paladin win. Afterwards, Kassam and Zeratul were annoyed with him and asked him why he lost. Olaf didn’t really understand himself. Fortunately, for the last contest, Kassam easily won a fishing duel so they were able to keep the Orc banner for House Betrish.

While partying after their first success, dire news came in. Elven Fort Briar was under attack by Orcs. They needed immediate reinforcements. Who better to send then the victors of the first contest. To get their fast, the team was to be taken by Giant Eagles. They got to the top of the building and prepared themselves. A Giant Eagle swooped down, picked up Kassam, and flew off. A second eagle swooped in and picked up Zeratul. Then a third Giant Eagle swooped in grabbed Olaf, then fluttered, and fluttered some more, and then squawked in agony. The Eagle Master understood the issue. He got harnesses around two Giant Eagles and then attached roped to the harnesses and each rope around Olaf. With their combined flying, Olaf was dragged into the air. For the first time ever, Olaf flew through the sky. This was definitely the best way to travel.

When they landed at the top of the tower, the fort was already under attack. The team fought their way down to meet up with Warden Althur. The Warden let them know the base of the wall desperately needed their assistance. When the team arrived, the elves had already been killed. The team dispatched two Land Sharks and five Sappers. Zeratul collected their highly unstable explosives to carry with him.

While victorious, Warden Althur had been killed in a different fight. Worse yet, this was only an initial assault. A Siege Tower were coming and if it broke through the wall, everyone would surely be killed. The situation looked grim and morale was low. The troops needed to be inspired. Olaf thought of what brought up his spirits when he was feeling low. A good meal? No time to feed everyone before the battle began. He needed something quick. Then he got the perfect idea, a good song. Olaf started bellowing out the first song that popped into his head.
It’s Olaf and the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain …
He replaced the line about saving the world with a line about winning the day. Everyone loved that and started joining in singing about Olaf and the Brain. The troops were inspired and ready to defend the fort.

The team and the troops charged out to meet the Siege Tower. While Kassam, Olaf, the troops fought the ground troops, Zeratul leaped up to the top of the Siege Tower and threw in all the explosives. He blew the siege tower to pieces. The team and the Elves retreated into the fort. Without the Siege Tower, the Orcs couldn’t breach the wall and the fort held.

After defeating the Orcs they returned to Summervale. The contests were over and the Elf Queen couldn’t be more pleased with House Betrish. Shanafane Betrish was overjoyed and indicated to Kassam that he had upheld his part of the arrangement. It was a good night of partying and some much needed rest.

That night Olaf heard a whisper, “You’ve done well to represent my interests with the Elven community”. Enough of this strange whispering. Olaf demanded to who or what was talking to him.

And then he understood.
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Group progresses to 4.2
Session prep for September 16, 2018

Group advances to 4.2

Kassam successfully gains Elnaril Carhice as an asset.

The group distinguishes themselves in the noble games in highly idiosyncratic fashion using underhanded tactics, captured explosives, and a disarming combination of sloth, pursuit of luxury, and baddassery when actually fighting.

Expecting five players for the next session.

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Kasam and the Odd Tailor
“This is to much” thought Kasam as he looked over the carnage outside the BriarFort “I have a headache and I need a drink. When are we getting out of here?”. “You make it sound like this wasn’t fun” Zeratul said looking over the same scene but with a little too much of a smile on his face “Think of the explosions, think of the burning….think of the explosions! I really loved the explosions.”

Leaving the wall above the gates Kasam climbs to the platform used by the Griffons to find Olaf hugging one of the mounts and asking it what its favorite food is and how it keeps its feathers so soft. The mounts handlers stand nearby with frantic looks while they wait for the Griffon to maul the oblivious adventurer. “Great, they are here, let’s get going I need a Bath.” Kasam yells to the handlers. In short order the adventurers were mounted and on their way back to the House of Beitris.

Upon their return and freshly bathed, fed and rested Kasam was able to sit down with Sinnafain Beitris to discuss the benefits he will obviously receive for bringing so much glory to such an insignificant house. Shockingly it did not begin well, the woman didn’t even have the decency to offer him a drink and then began complaining about some sort of theft that occurred during the Merchant Games (still not sure what group did this but someone should probably have done something about it). After what felt like days of sober droning conversation fitting for elven nobility (seriously try doing it sober one time…) Kasam and Sinnafain came to an agreement concerning payment for all of the extra work that Kasam et al performed to increase the standing of House Beitris.

- House Beitris gets all glory and honor for the achievements of Kasam and others at the Merchant Games and the rescue of the BriarFort
- Kasam will receive fine materials several times a year from House Beitris as thanks.

With all the success his friend Bastable has been having lately and with finally owning his own…(Manor?….Dwelling?….place with most of a roof?)…residence, Kasam has finally been able to attend some of the parties he deserves to. With a steady supply of fine materials he will now at least be able to look the part he is expected to play as an elite Elf. Well he could if he knew anyone who could create clothes.

During the long trip back to Drakenhall Kasam remembered that he did know someone who was a tailor, of sorts. The guy was just so damn hard to deal with and Kasam really did not know that much about him, but it is worth a visit at least.

After a very late breakfast, or early dinner, Kasam set off to the merchant section of Drakkenhall. Passing numerous stores and their merchandise Kasam soon walked out of the merchant district propper and into the “other” merchant district. An area of failed apprentices and outcast entrepreneurs. This was where you went to find the odd things (shapes or sizes) or merchandise that the better merchants wouldn’t want seen on their street.

On a corner under a sign with what appeared to be a well dressed Elf holding two daggers in an aggressive pose with the name DELGADO, Kasam found his shop. This is the store of the strangest artisan Kasam had ever heard of. Kasam met the owner Parsh Delgado during a late night gambling session and the introduction itself wasnt even the oddest part. In his slightly fuzzy memory Kasam remembered the meeting, as how he sat at the table a human soldier name Graz he knew introduced the new man as the Tailor Parsh Delgado. “Do NOT use my first name you fool” Parsh yelled before picking up his drink again. “I am sorry your lordship” Graz laughed “This here is Mr. Delgado”. “NO! I am Delgado, only lowly people are Mr. this or Sir that. I am Delgado!” yelled Delgado slamming down his drink. Graz rolled his eyes with a “Fine, fine. This here be Delgado the Tailor…..and as you can see he is a Drow. Can you believe it? But his money is good so who cares”

A Dark Elf Tailor, just when you think you have seen every strange outcast Drakenhall accepts you are surprised again thought Kasam as he entered the shop. When you think about it they have to exist, right, where do they get their clothes. Most people only know about the violence and the warrior society, you never think about the small things. He is surprisingly good also, the night of their meeting Delgado really thought he had the cards but not the funds and bet a tailor made suit, which according to him would technically be worth a king’s ransom. Kasam won that hand and did cash in his free suit and had to admit the quality was superb, just the materials it was made from were rubbish, it never got any use but left an impression.

“What do you want” was a call from the back as Kasam entered. “I need to speak to Mr. Delgado.” said Kasam “I might have some work for you”. “ITS DELGADO, or you will get no work from me” “I am sorry Lord Delgado” said Kasam who thought “hey this is fun”. The strange Drow charged from the back “How dare you insult the great Delgado!, Oh its you, what do you want?”. “Well” Kasam explained “I was really impressed with the quality of the suit you made for me and I wondered what you could do if you had high quality materials.” “I would make suits that would make Kings and Queens fall to their knees and cry the name DELGADO, but I have no access to such things. You think I am in this dump willingly? No one wishes to deal with a Drow Tailor. They fear me, and claim I have….anger issues. I would make all of those other fools up the street close their shops”

“What would you do to work with top quality materials? What would you do to work with this?” asked Kasam as he pulled some samples of House Beitris silk from his pack. “This? This is good material” said Delgado caressing the silk “I could do wonderful things if I you could get enough. Where did you steal it from? Can you get more” “Now now, dont be mean” said Kasam pulling the silk away “I helped out a minor house in the Queens Wood and they owe me. I can get whatever you need to make suits for me but I want a deal”

- Delgado will make custom outfits for Kasam using the material he brings
- Kasam will tell everyone who asks who made the outfits and send them to Delgados shop
- Kasam will inflate the prices he ‘paid’ so Delgado can always make deals for new customers.
- Kasam will introduce Delgado to Elnaril Carharice to buy materials for any new high end clients

(For the Future) If/When Delgado becomes more successful and has apprentices they will be allowed to sell their wares outside the Pythoness house. For a small fee.

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Pearl Dogs relationship
Session Prep for June 17, 2018

Group progress, upgrades to the Pythoness House, and growth of the soup kitchen increase your local influence. The Pearl Dogs control the district. What posture do you take with them?

You can pay normal protection fees, which is cooperative.
You can pass on protection but do this quietly, which is aggressive.
You can publicly denounce the Pearl Dogs, which is hostile.

Prefer to have the whole group decide this; so, no resolution required today.

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Characters 4.1
Session Prep for June 17, 2018

Characters are level four (4) with one (1) partial advance. This puts the players at the very bottom of the Champion tier. Onward, champions!

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Keeping up with the Joneses, Queen's Wood style.
June 17, 2018 session prep

Elnaril Carharice, luxury merchant, asks Kassam to travel to the outskirts of the Queen’s Wood to the village of Summervale. Sinnafain Beitris, the head of a struggling minor merchant house that occupies the bottom rung of nobility needs help. The Queen’s Progress will come through Summervale and this will doubtless generate various silly competitions among the local nobility. They need some talent to avoid losing face. Making them look good will advance Elnaril’s interests, and it’s a chance for Kassam to show his worth.

Quest: Support Merchant House
Reward: Kassam gains Elnaril Carhice as an asset.
Additional Rewards: variable based upon success in noble games.

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Long Term Project Update
Session Prep for June 17, 2018

Kassam cultivates a merchant relationship with Elnaril Carharice. He just needs one mission to seal the deal. :)

Olaf gets the Infirmary and the Brain. He also gets a lead on a dream interpreter, Madam Zelda.

Zeratul enjoys modest success in gladiatorial combat.

Zeratul’s Cohort: Expert Sidekick Speedy finishes training.

Zeratul’s investigations of the Chaos Surgeon’s demonic materials is open. 1/8 to complete.

Bastable is off stage consolidating power in the Blue Coats.

McGrath is off stage working on his brewery and tavern.

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Pythoness House Lair update
Olaf and the brain

Lair enhancements

I’m adding an infirmary and the Brain as spoils from the last fight. I’ve statted some other capabilities as well.

Infirmary: (Olaf) You get +1d to healing treatment rolls. The infirmary also has beds for long-term convalescence. New

Soup kitchen: (Olaf) You get -2 heat per score._ Free food makes you beloved by the poor. Public perception is you are charitable._

Bluecoat Confederates: (Bastable) You get +1d to the engagement roll for assault plans. The street patrol around here helps you out now.

Secure Lair: (Kassam) Your lair has locks, alarms, and traps to thwart intruders.
A second upgrade improves the defenses to include arcane measures that work against spirits. Upgrades 1/2. I put this towards Kassam as the deed holder.

Tavern: (McGrath) You get +1d to Consort and Sway rolls on-site. Some booze and friendly conversation can go a long way.

Cohort:Jiro Ono, expert Chef (Olaf).
Cohort: the Brain, expert Surgeon (Olaf). New
Cohort: Captain of the Guards (Bastable).
Cohort: Speedy, sidekick vigilante (Zeratul) New

Cohort Squad: Guards; don’t call them Thugs (Bastable)

Quality: Each upgrade improves the quality rating of all the PCs’ items of that type, beyond the quality established by the crew’s Tier and fine items. You can improve the quality of Documents, Gear (covers Burglary Gear and Climbing Gear), Arcane Implements, Subterfuge Supplies, Tools (covers Demolitions Tools and Tinkering Tools), and Weapons.
All quality 0.

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Olaf's Journal, part thirteen
Doctor Olaf

The group wanted to shut down the supply of Mirakuru in Drakenhall, but first they needed to find out where it was coming from. Time for some more undercover work. Olaf was getting good at this police stuff. They went to a Pearl Dogs drug house to setup a big drug buy with the legendary drug dealer, Squirrel. That seem to go ok, but Squirrel had a few tricks up his sleeve. Instead of sell the drugs at the drug house he made the group walk to a slaughter house location, BEFORE THEY HAD DINNER! The half mile seemed like the other side of the planet. There was some kind of meeting table with chairs for the group. Olaf grabbed a couple and sprawled out while Kassam talked to the head drug dealers. Kassam must have insulted them since all the guards attacked the group. Olaf wasn’t sure, but he didn’t think the drug deal was going well.

On the bright side, the slaughter house was stocked with food supplies and since they had killed everyone, all of it was for the taking. Olaf helped himself to a sizable dinner. Then they were able to pack a cart full of food for the Python house. One difficulty was they didn’t have horses, they had cows. 2 cows hitched up to the front of the cart, but they still needed to convince the cows to pull the cart. Bastable suggested Olaf help convince the cows to pull. Hey, Olaf was good with animals but didn’t know Bastable knew that. Olaf started chatting up the cows without too much success, and Bastable suggested Olaf show the cows how to pull the cart. They had a 3rd harness which the group was able to hook up on the cart. Olaf put the harness on and gave the cart a pull. Then the cows stepped forward and pulled. Keep going, Bastable encouraged. Olaf pulled and the cows pull. It was working! … Wait a second. Olaf had just been volunteered as a pack mule. Ugh, Olaf hated exercise. It wasn’t too bad until Bastable pulled out the whip to encourage them all to keep moving. <sigh>

By the time they got back to the Python House, it was past time for second dinner. A great meal would also help Olaf feel less sore, unfortunately they were interrupted with an immediate summons from Bastable’s boss, Ashat. Clearly upper management needed some direction that it was not appropriate to issue summonses during meal times, but that would need to wait for another day. For tonight, it was back to the office.

The situation was pretty dire. Ashat’s boss Remy had been kidnapped and Ashat knew exactly what building he had been taken too. That sounded like a trap. And what should they do when the group discovered a trap? Well, walk directly into of course. So into the building they went. It was all the standard trap stuff – find Remy, walk into room, get sealed in room, get attacked by demons, kill off the demons. The twist was that the trap opened up after the battle. In the entrance hallway, was a group of humans. One of them was female and of course, Kazzam immediately started in trying to get her out on a date, and of course it wasn’t working. Guess someday he might not strike out, maybe. Well after a couple rounds the humans fled. Olaf’s teammates went to run them down. Sigh, the running thing again. Maybe he could help Remy WALK out. He was after all the guy they were trying to save.

So walking Remy out, Olaf trailed behind the rest of the group. Coming up from behind, Olaf saw a portal to Hell. The odd thing was the rest of the group decided to into the portal to Hell. Huh. You wouldn’t thought people tried to stay out of Hell. Olaf was sure that was part of Cleric 101 class. Olaf had seen the team to do crazier things, like skip lunch, so in he and Remy went.

Turns out it wasn’t a portal into Hell. It was more of a portal through Hell. That was significantly better. There were tentacle monsters trying eat Olaf and Remy, but they got through them. The other side of the passage through Hell ended in a laboratory. The team had already finished fighting the humans that were actually demons, and Ashat (hey where did he come from). They had all run off after some mad scientist Doctor. What they left was the Doctor’s float brain assistant and his patient in the middle of some neurosurgery. Oh what a cute and cuddly Brain.

“Save him” a voice whispered to Olaf.

Olaf didn’t know where the whisper came from, but he didn’t have much time to think about it either. The guy on the table was dying and needed immediate neurosurgery. Olaf thought back, but had only audited the neurosurgery class back in school. Still, no one else was volunteering. Olaf pulled on some rubber gloves and started to operate. Turns out Brain was very helpful. It was not only adept at delicate surgical procedures, it was also like an encyclopedia of medical knowledge. With Brain’s help, Olaf was able to repair damage and save the patient.

The group succeeded at stopping the mad scientist Doctor. The patient turned out to be the real Remy, and the Remy they saved turned out to be some sort of replica. Ashat and the other humans turned out all to be demons and coming here was all plot to kill the group and replace Remy. Olaf convinced the group to bring the medical equipment and Brain back to the Python house. Now in addition to the soup kitchen Olaf started up a medical clinic. Doctor Olaf and the Brain are now in the house!

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Razor Clams for lunch
Bastable and Sergeant Remy

Remy invites Bastable for lunch at Vinny’s, a local establishment. After some small talk, Remy shakes his head.

_"Nasty business with the Red Sashes. Lot of heat. These idiots don’t understand the problems they create. You did good, Bastable… you did good… real good.

Still waiting for the other shoe to drop. My gut says it ain’t over yet. Not that I need to say it, but keep your eyes open out there."
_
He looks bleak and mutters to himself. “This shit gets crazy. Maybe it’s time to just walk away.”

“Always good to see you, Bastable. Everybody else has their head up their ass, you just have a poker up yours. Don’t start anything you can’t finish.”

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