Solside stories - Chapter 14

Astrid is pleased with our work. As soon as we meet her, she thanks us for concluding the business with the mayor swiftly. It seems that she's been keeping tabs on us for a while, because it doesn't take her much time to start asking about that letter. We're not sure if Alma has been feeding her information or if she's got it from a less reputable source, but in all honesty, we're not really caring about that anyways. Here is a person who is up front and direct. No need to run “small errands” or “fetch things”. Just straight down to business. Straight down to fetching business. FUCK!

The letter was preceding a visit. A certain woman by the name of Emma Bendixen is said to be arriving in the Krater soon, and Astrid wants us to make sure that she will arrive safe and sound to a village in the Krater called Broderbo. So, in short, we're going to fetch a lady from a place and take her to another place. So, double fetching. Astrid tries in vain to explain to the crew how this is called “escorting” and not “human infecting”. But at this point in our crews life, they can't really see any difference. After some time, she finally grows tired to arguing and send us away. She tells us to meet up with someone called Ola in Petsamo.
“Petsamo, never heard of it!” Our own Ola exclaims.

“No worries, it's close to the Krater, you know the great big hole in the ground.” Astrid says and takes her leave.

We immediately head out of Westerfall. Eager to get this human fetch extravaganza in the bag.

The road is long and hard to the center of the Krater from Westerfall. Since the nice town is located on the western edge of the Krater, we want to be in the middle. The closer we get to that great big glowing hole, the more desperate (and dangerous) the riff-raff of bandits and wayfarers get. We're forced to fight our way through several encounters of miners, bandits and brawlers. Luckily, we're no spring chickens ourselves and we make red-colored paste of anyone foolish enough to pick a fight with us. On the road, a heated debate sparks in the crew. If this lady is coming TO the Krater, where does she come FROM? The debate focuses on the question of what really is outside the Krater. Immediately outside of the Krater is just a wasteland. But from where in said wasteland could this seemingly important person come? The debate dies down quickly when no satisfactory answers are found, and it dies completely when Börje uproots a tree in frustration. The rest of the trip is spent in silence. Silence only broken by the screams of bandits.

Along the way we take a small detour.

We arrive in Petsamo on time. With us is a pack full of loot, gear and a shiny new souped up enchantment core. Good thing we got another one of those. It's not like it was found on the corpse of a flea ridden bandit or anything. These things are precious and expensive. Sigh!

The village is small and quaint. Too small and too quaint. It's barely a village. A smattering of houses surrounded by a field for farming. We quickly spot Ola, he's the only one there who both looks and act like a bastard. No one else smells quite like Westerfall than this guy.

Getting anything out of Ola is a chore. The mans nonchalance can be cut with a knife. Finally we ask if there's anything he needs us to do. Surprise, surprise, he needs something done. It's a “simple task”, he explains (surprise, surprise, it's just “a simple task”). There's a guy in Petsamo that we need to take care of. Ola cocks his gun and Börje lifts his hammer while Gunde asks who's the lucky winner.

Offended, Ola asks if we solve everything with blood.

“Yeah.” Gunde answers.

Apparently, it's not like that. It's just a guy that needs to be distracted so Ola can give him the slip. No bloodshed, no violence. We just strike up a conversation with this man and Ola will sneak out of town. “Talk about what?” Our own Ola asks.

“The guys a Gerontocracy member, ask him about that.” Other Ola says.

“The question still stands, who's the lucky winner?” Gunde interjects.

“That guy, over there, Göran.” Other Ola says and point to a man standing by a house opposite the little clearing we're in.

We walk over, strike up a conversation and causally drop “Geron-whatever” and Göran is off to the races. The races being him feverishly explaining to our little group about his slightly bigger group. The time passes.

….

Gunde, Our Ola and Börje wake up at the break of dusk and find and find Petsamo emtpty. Must've passed out by that mans incessant droning. Good thing is that Ola is nowhere to be found, so the plan must have worked. Now only to find other Ola. We set Börje to the task. Börje, being a man of many deadly talents also has a keen nose and quickly picks up his scent. We find Ola squatting in the field outside of Petsamo. He didn't make it very far.

Now we can do business, other Ola says. “Just tell us where Emma is and we won't have our bloodhound maul you.” Our Ola counters. Without much more fuzz, we get what we need. Other Ola tells us that Emma Bendixen is supposed to arrive by caravan in Frisktorp in a couple of days, and we have to be there to pick her up.

“So, where's this Frisktorp?” we ask.

“Just walk east, it's just at the edge of the Krater. If you hit the wasteland, you've gone too far!”

With that, we leave the little village and the other Ola behind.

Got this far, eh?

On-the-road picture of the crew doing what they do best.