Listen to Episode 5 of the Podcast here
Athos the Wood Elf Hunter (aka Shane Martin)
Grimmir the Dwarf Runesmith (aka Dan)
Smof the Ogre Maneater (aka Sedrick Lamonte)
As we surveyed the bloody scene around us, the realisation dawned on most of us that death and destruction are never far away from our merry band.
A quick check of the pockets of Adolphus, the menacing fellow* from the roof, revealed a letter along with a sketched likeness of Gustav (aka Kastor)
*It should be said he looked a lot less menacing and a damn sight less intimidating than previous encounters as he lay on the floor with his skull split in twain seeping blood.
With the bodies quickly disposed of (though the Ogre Smof’s clean up method of attempting to eat the victims went down less well with the party) we hurried to help extinguish the remaining flash fires on the barge. Gustaf in particular (after pausing to vomit the contents of his stomach over the side of the barge) had harsh words with the Ogre about such a departure from the ‘civilised norms’ as being ‘just not the done thing’. Smof for his part seemed genuinely embarrassed, sheepish even, (more on sheep later) as he attempted to snuggle a quickly severed arm into his rucksack.
And so on to Bogenhafen after a few days rest and recuperation aboard the Berebelli we arrived on the morning of the Schaffenfest and with the noise and general hubbub telling us that the carnival atmosphere was already well under way.
As the sights and sounds of the city, with its raucous atmosphere, came into view Smof clapped like a child at the thought of the fun to be had at the Schaffenfest. Gustav for his part fidgeted worryingly at the bristles of his beard (which still contained the stench of paraffin) and worried that with so many eyes at the Schaffenfest any further assassins would be nigh on impossible to spot in the crowd. But as the boat slipped further up the river towards the wharfside the paraffin stench was masked somewhat by the smell of roast boar which filled his nostrils and began to lighten his mood. And as Josef dished out wages to all the party his mood soared as thoughts sudddenly turned to consider the potential fun that a fellow with a full coin purse could have at the Schaffenfest. Just how much wine, women and song does 60 shillings buy one in Bogenhafen in any case? It was a question Gustav intended to discover the answer to.
So with Josef disappearing to flog his cargo we set to exploring the Schaffenfest. As we walked easily through the thronging masses we were again struck by the usefulness of having an Ogre in the party. With Smof leading the way and with people seemingly keen to not get trampled underfoot it was a simple manner of following the giant hulk towards the main attractions of the Schaffenfest, situated just outside the main gate.
We arrived at the East Gate exit (though not before a brief detour at the Dwaf’s behest to find a smithy which was of course closed because of the Schaffenfest- obviously) Good gods do dwarf’s ever lighten up and forget about work? Anyway the East Gate opened onto a livestock market. Smof wasted little time in hurrying over to the auction ring and bidding for the first item on the auction listings. Half a dozen ewes. As the price rose, Smof salivated more and more and I swear the last several bids were against himself as he drove up the price by bidding against himself in his haste to purchase the fluffy little delicacies. Eventually with the sheep acquired he wasted little time in bustling over, to admire his prize acquisition.
I shall never forget the cute primitive look of love and affection that Smof and the Sheep shared as their similar intellects met and gazed longingly at each other. Nor indeed will I easily wipe away the looks of horror on the faces of the bystanders in the crowd who watched as the Ogre snapped the spine of the sheep and casually slung the carcass across his shoulder. That is a sight I would have spared those of less delicate consitution than myself, particularly the children in the front row.
Hurrying on we stumbled across a Festival Court tent in which we found a smelly Dwarf being pummelled with fruit by young urchins. The scene tugged at the heartstrings of the more compassionate amongst our group and so after much pitiful pleading from said Dwarf his bail was offered and he was released. It wasn’t long before he was tugging at both our purse strings and our nerves as the odious little alcoholic refused to budge from our side. The smell was most foul and I swear the rotten fruit that he reeked of seemed to be a considerable upgrade on the putrid stench that lurked beneath. In the end he was given some brass pennies to leave us alone ‘doubtless to go and spend in the nearest drinking hole’.
With the smell of the Dwarf now but an all too recent memory we hustled onwards only to come across a wrestling ring. Again Smof’s eyes lit up at the thought of satiating his other carnal urge of fighting and it wasn’t long before he was stood in the ring as the fearsome wrestler eyeballed his Ogrish oppenent. Or at least eyeball to naval as the huge tower of a man was suddenly dwarfed (apologies Grimmir) by the Ogre who opposed him.
With a good deal of our money riding on our Ogre we were most dismayed to realise that the previously panting exhaustion displayed by the wrestler were mere charade as he skipped sprightly around Smof and proceeded to rain blows upon him. With all pretenses of a wrestling match discarded this was a no holes barred brawl in which things were not looking good for Smof. Though the strength and brawn of the Ogre are without question the same cannot be said for either his guile in the ring or his agility around it. I swear near to the end of fight I saw the Ogre Tower almost topple as his knees gave way but in the end he summoned up a last ounce of strength and delivered a classic uppercut that any creature would have been proud of.
The blow lifted the wrestler clean off his feet and as they landed again he stumbled forward awkwardly before pitching facedown to the canvas. A win – just. To our relief Smof (though looking somewhat beaten up seems okay) and more importantly the money we bet on the Ogre is also safe and secure.
Okay now where to spend our winnings…?