Solside stories - Chapter 8

There's a trick to getting Börje to do what you want. He's not particularly bright, but he knows what he wants and he's stubborn. He won't smash up a Björn-den just because you asked him, and “telling” him is even worse. That will probably just get you smashed up. The trick is to show him the prize before asking him what to do. Börje loves flowers. He loves looking at them, he loves smelling them, he loves sitting on them. But most of all, he loves eating them. Flowers seems to be about 75% of his natural diet. The other 25% is mostly dirt, trash and the odd bandit. So with a hand-full of flowers, you can get him to do practically whatever you want. And remember, he isn't that bright, so any flower will usually do. Heck, even a tuft of grass is enough to get him to smash a björn or two. All of this, Ola had figured out while traveling back to Hesselby with the gentle giant. And by the time we arrived, Ola had Börje doing hand-stands in the clearings for Dandelions.

Stekarn knows what's up.

In Hesselby, we were tasked with delivering a letter from Selmon to his old man Greger. As we did that, Greger handed us a mission. The mission was simple: Buy him a Trocadero. For those uninitiated, Trocadero is a soft-drink so potent it causes a euphoric high in anyone drinking it. The only problem is that once one starts drinking it, one never wants to quit. The substance is horribly addictive and has a long track-record of breaking even the toughest of mercenary. Making him or her stalk the streets at night, looking for the closest fix. These troublesome Troca-heads are usually booted out of town. Left to their own devices, they usually start gangs in the wilderness with other Troca-heads. Becoming bandits and cut-throats, all for just one more taste of that sweet, sweet nectar. Come to think of it, the majority of the Kraters bandits are probably Troca-heads who have formed these gangs. While our group finds great joy in smashing and stomping these bandits to the dirt, they aren't payed to stand around and think about the greater sociological issues of the Krater. So they set off to the bar for Trocadero.

Fouljuice does sound lovely.

Siv, the barkeep, is (of course) dry. She's got every potion and poison under the sun, everyone except for Trocadero. Turns out the resident “chemist” has bought the entire stash. Siv directs us to his shack across the road. Calling Hoffmann a chemist is charitable, calling his dwelling a shack is equally charitable. The one thing you don't need charity to say, is that his Trocadero-hoard is impressive.

“No way, no how” is his response to all our crew asking in the nicest way they can. That being having Börje lift him by the foot. He won't give us a bottle. He won't even let us take one. “It's booby-trapped” he says. He will, on the other hand, give some up for a small task, and if we let him live, he'll even throw some money in on the deal. Our group, not being able to say no to money accept without question. The task is simple, retrieve some “special” ingredients. Namely Bruntrassel, Pöspulver and Pantarell. They can all be found in a nearby cave called “Felsväng grotto”. On our way out, Ola turns to Hoffmann and says: “With these ingredients, you're going to make something. Could it be that you're going to make some kind of Turbo-Trocadero?”

“Hah, got me there, but the name's wrong. I call it Trocadero-Turbo.” Says Hoffmann as he rubs his foot and watches our heroes leave.

We didn't take any wrong turn, there it is! Felsväng grotto!

Felsväng Grotto is filled with diggers and their ilk. Luckily for us, they've been harvesting the ingredients. We figure that these rascals will probably do something stupid and dangerous with the ingredients, like invent Super-Trocadero. So we liberate them from these ingredients post haste. Luckily, Hoffmann didn't ask for much, so we are in and out in 5 minutes flat. It did get a bit hairy though, since while Börje is large and scary, he doesn't have the technique and finesse that Glenn had.

“It'll come, in time.” Ola thinks as he look onto the gentle giant, remembering the man that stood in his place.

Taking turns isn't the most clever of tactics.

Back at Hesselby we trade the ingredients for a bottle of Trocadero. Hoffamnn is gone before we even get to ask about the money he promised us for his life. Feeling stiffed and stupid, our group heads back to Greger. He accept the bottle, drinks it down and before passing into that golden-brown haze gives us a letter. Says it is for Selmon. He also says, in his intoxicated state, that while he and Selmon had their differences, he would still like him to come home every once in a while. We let the man have his fill and venture over to Selmons valley.

Selmon is no where to be found. Only a little girl is running around his cabin. When we inquire about the digger, she hands us a note. The note reads:
“I did it! I hit pay dirt, so I'm of to sell the goodies in Lönnköping and catch a caravan south. Thanks for your help. Selmon.”

Little girl.

We thank the little girl for the message and turn to leave. We are stopped in out track by a figure who's shadow eclipses the sun. It is Bloodclot. “He's found us. We're done for!” whimpers Carola just loud enough to make the entire group uneasy. The giant approaches our gang and with a voice that sounds like a garbage-truck asks to see the owner of the land.

At this juncture of our story. Our heroes are met with a choice. Either, we mislead Bloodclot, tell him that Selmon went north, or we sell Selmon out and give up his whereabouts. The decision is made, we mislead Bloodclot. Ola uses all of his skills as a speaker to spin Bloodclot a yarn about the owner going north, screaming and shouting about treasures found in the Underside. Bloodclot stares at Ola for a long time, causing the little man to sweat profusely. After what seems like an eternity, the giant politely thanks Ola for the information and turns to his crew. They all leave the valley without fuss.

Big guy.

Having dodged yet another encounter with the infamous Bloodclot. Our plucky heroes start their journey back to Norrmalm. Figuring that this line of quests have run dry, and Alma probably has more for us in store.