When Oswald told him they were going to Eldolan, he tried to smile but was filled with a sense of dread. He had passed through Eldolan over five years ago on his way to Drakkenhall. Even then, the town was familiar to Olaf from the stories his mother told. It was a place of power for followers of the Great Gold Wyrm. It was the place she had first heard the voice of the Great Gold Wyrm and this changed her path forever. Eldolan was a good town, but for Olaf it was place too closely tied to his past, a past that someday might catch up with him.
Then a brilliant idea came to him. Surely no one would recognize him if he wore a disguise. With some twigs and dead grass he fashioned himself a fake mustache. That with a pair of old spectacles he looked completely different. Olaf greeted his friends in disguise and they all complimented him on his new look. Of course they recognized him, but that wasn’t the point. He just had to make sure the casual observer didn’t spot him. He told his friends to call him Sven to go with his new look. They bought it. Maybe they were more naïve then Olaf realized.
Olaf’s friends had varied business to conduct in Eldolan, but Olaf insisted on dinner first at the Beached Whale. The place was full of Crusader and Great Gold Wyrm followers, but Olaf didn’t recognize any of the Great Gold Wyrm folks from the old days. His identity was secure, but there was another issue. It seemed there was a rivalry fight brewing between the Crusaders and the Great Gold Wyrm followers. Olaf pictured the brawl and imagined neither side coming out unscathed. There must be something he could do to avoid this disaster. Something that could make these people happy. Yes of course. Olaf got up on the bar and started to sing one of his favorite song from childhood. Singing always made hime happy, maybe it could make everyone else happy too. Several of the Great Gold Wyrm followers joined in. It was working, they were happy. As the song started to wind down, Olaf noticed Crusaders were definitely not happy. Ah, wrong song. He needed something more inclusive to the Crusaders. Olaf thought back to his classes on what he knew about the Crusaders. He had read a Crusader’s fight song once. It was worth a try. He tried to put the words he remembered to music. While he was sure he wasn’t doing a great job singing, a couple of the Crusaders recognized it and joined in. Olaf could see the smile on their faces as they bellowed out song. Ok now both the Great Gold Wyrm followers and the Crusader followers were happy. Olaf had saved the day again.
Now that 1st dinner was complete, they were off to business. They were meeting Therilsa Stormhand in the town square. Just as Olaf gave her his standard greeting, “Hi I’m … Sven, and I like warm hugs”, the town square was swarmed by zombies. Olaf charged forward to protect Therilsa, but halted abruptly when the smell caught him. Kasam had opened the sandwich cart! The situation was now all too clear to Olaf. The sandwiches were on freshly baked bread. He could actually hear Kasam bite into one. It must have been toasted. Oil and vinegar dripped down the roll. Was that prosciutto and cheese? He tried to retreat back to the sandwich cart, but the zombies were now grabbing and jumping on him. Olaf flailed desperately to reach the sandwiches, but the stupid zombies would not get out of the way. He watched painfully each and every time as Kasam bit down, only to watch him smile and wipe his face. The agony of the situation was almost too much to bear until Kasam swallowed the last morsel. Eventually the zombies were dispersed and Olaf stomped back towards Kasam angrier than he had ever been at his friend. Then Olaf realized there were still 7 sandwiches left. Happy day.
As part of the investigation, Oswald convinced the group to track down Aerto at a place called the Squirming Mermaid. Olaf was a little skeptical at first, but was surprised to find out that the Squirming Mermaid did have the best swill and fish stew he had ever tasted. The drinks were a bit on the strong side, but not all-together bad tasting. When Oswald suggested they tail Iairtoe, Olaf suggested he remain behind to check for any other suspicious characters. It seemed like a good deal, until he realized his “friends” had left him with the bill. Ah well, not the first time for that. A couple of drinks always mends any hurt feelings. The next part was a little fuzzy.
Olaf had woken up from more than one drunken night in his life, but never like this. He was lying on the floor in some dark warehouse. Kasam was trying to treat some sort of acid wounds he had sustained without out a clue of how to do it. Olaf was in no mood to find out what had spit acid all over him. Some nights it was just better not to know. His friends filled him in that they were assaulting a warehouse of necromancer cultists that were responsible for the zombie attack. Why Olaf had agreed to do this at 5 in the morning was beyond him, but at least it would soon be breakfast time. The cultists must eat breakfast, right?
After a bit of searching, they found the secret entrance (there is always a secret entrance) to the cultist’s lair. They jumped in on some demonic ritual and beat up all the cultists in the first room. Without even catching their breath, the team burst open the heavy doors to next room.
They were too late. The head necromancer cultist was completing a horrifying demon ritual. He had his dagger raised in the air and was about to sacrifice a poor, innocent sailor. There was no way any of the group could reach him in time. They were all doomed, especially the poor, innocent sailor. Nothing could be done. Well there was one thing. One thing that Olaf had tried to forget for many years now. In this final moment of desperation, the old words came back to him effortlessly.
“By the authority entrusted to me by my divine birthright, I summon the power of the Great Gold Wyrm.”
As he started to say the words everything started to slow down and by the time he finished everything stopped in time. The cultist dagger was still mid-thrust inches above the sailor. His friends and enemies were all frozen. The silence made the booming voice all the more terrifying.
“How dare you!”
The image of the Great Gold Wyrm’s head materialized in front of him. It seemed larger than the room itself. Olaf tried to reply but his voice now seemed to sound like that of a small child.
“The sailor will die without your help and the ritual will complete.”
The anger in the Great Gold Wyrm’s voice increased,
“What gives you the right to call upon me!”
Olaf did not know the answer. He could only think of the helpless sailor in front of him.
“There was no other way.”
The anger seemed to dissipate and the tone changed to that of disappointment.
“Olaf you must decide your path. You cannot deny your birthright and then call upon when you choose. The world has many helpless victims waiting for you to step forward. You must choose Olaf, and you must choose soon.”
The image of the Great Gold Wyrm vanished and suddenly time resumed. The cultist’s dagger thrust toward the sailor and was blasted back by the power of the Great Gold Wyrm. The cult was defeated and Olaf’s friends and of course the sailor thanked him. Olaf was not in congratulatory mood though. Using that much power here in Eldolan was sure to be noticed. Only one thing was for certain.
Olaf was going to need a better disguise!