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Threetoe's Stories, and Analysis

The Order of the Dolphin

By Threetoe

Folton meet the others in the inn they used as a home base in the city of Volnar. Most of them were warriors from the hills, driven from their homes by the armies of goblins that had plagued the countries side these past months. In the tavern beneath the inn they drank. They told tall tales about cattle raids they had carried out against neighboring clans. Some of the men laughing were from those very clans that were wronged. None of this mattered now. They were men without a nation, seeking only to keep the mead flowing.

Folton bought another round. He had recently collected a gambling debt for the proprietor of a gambling house and had been generously rewarded. The door swung open revealing a chain mail clad soldier in a bright blue tunic. The hill men reached for their swords.

The tallest on the warriors, Koltar, spit on the floor. "Want do you want Nelgin? You know your kind are not welcome here."

The Captain of the Guard held his hands together and bowed slightly. "The Baron requests your presence," said the captain.

"I haven't time for that cow. Folton, you have a chance to make us some more coin."

Folton followed the Captain into the castle where the baron sat on his throne. The Captain knelt before the baron. Folton stood tall. A hill man knew no master. The baron told a tale of how his emissary had disappeared in the woods north of the city while carrying a valuable offering intended for the king. All the baron's troops sent into the woods to find him had likewise disappeared, save one who babbled about evil forest spirits. Folton vowed he would return with the treasure.

He returned to the tavern to find Koltar in a drunken stupor. He recruited three of the warriors and set forth out of the north gate. The woods were quiet. There was no breeze blowing, no birds chirping.

A green cloaked figure stepped out onto the road before them. They drew their swords. An arrow shot out from the trees and struck one of the warriors in the neck. The bowmen stepped onto the trail beside the cloaked stranger. The bowman was a foul elf. Folton howled, and the hill men charged. The elf threw back his cloak and stretched his arms into the sky. A swarm of bees flew from his sleeves. The hill men were bristling with arrows and covered by stings by the time they reached the elves, but their manliness prevailed. They cut the elves down and recovered the treasure, a gold locket.

Folton stood before the baron once again, who inducted him and his warriors into the Order of the Dolphin. They returned to the tavern.

Koltar was furious. They had returned knighted, but with no money for mead! Koltar had hated Folton from the start. Their clans had been bitter enemies before the goblins came. He had often set Folton on missions from which he was certain he would never return. Now here he stood, with all the glory and nothing to share. Koltar drew the huge sword from his back. Folton and his knights struggled against Koltar and his confederates until only the hill men loyal to Folton remained alive.


    • minor entity meeting locations, often within buildings claimed by larger entities, can be sanctioned or not
    • entity loyalties: some cultish/banditish/mercenary type entities can override nominal entity loyalties, such as home town
    • associated rituals to drink buying, and purchasing of other social goods (buying rounds, etc.)
    • underworld associations with gambling, enforcement, extortion, rackets, etc.
    • social norms: certain acts, such as spitting, can generally or in an entity dependent fashion, convey certain emotions or even full responses to queries
    • masters sending their underlings to do a task
    • induction ceremonies for joining an entity
    • if entity members act contrary to entity goals, then the entity leader can react in various ways
    • personally or other entity involvement can color the tasks assigned to entity subordinates, ranging from more menial tasks with lesser rewards to tasks involving certain death
    • some entities might not respect the authority of other entities, though they are not actively hostile, others might go through all associated rituals even though they have no affiliation with an entity
    • certain creatures and individuals can be motivated by jealousy, after examining the belongings or status of other creatures
    • populations, such as birds, can fill an area with ambient noise even if they cannot be scene. these sounds can be altered by unusual circumstances.
    • when a large fight starts, and people have to choose sides, it won't necessarily be everybody for themselves, but loose temporary factions can form for the duration of the conflict, possibly with lasting repercussions