The Planning

Drndyllyn the Wyld wasn’t feeling so much wild as she was easily irritated. As the Duchess of Oublier the almost legendary half-orc warrior had spent her life fighting evil monsters and building a reputation as a tough, “take no crap” kind of woman. All around her had always been petty men trying to upstage her or put her in her place. They didn’t think the battlefield was any place for a woman to be, even a half-orc, and she had gone to tremendous lengths to prove them wrong time and time again. Looking back at it Drndyllyn thought how much she missed those days. Her struggles had been so simple, so easily defined, and quickly conquered. Now everything just seemed to be piling up.

The day to day operations of running her duchy hadn’t been too much of a problem. She only had the one city to worry about, and while Bozageest was full of goblinoids and other oddballs it had been a place she was comfortable governing. Orcs and goblins and their ilk were fully on board with having a tough person at the helm, woman or not. Drndyllyn had established herself quickly as the dominant personality in the city and after some necessary bloodshed had secured her position as a benevolent ruler. But more settlements began to spring up around her domain, and she had to keep an eye on them, too. She chose capable underlings and with the support of her adoptive brother, the Archduke, she didn’t have that much to worry about.

On her northern border was the land of Lotharingia, a troublesome neighbor prone to annual raids and full scale battles. With allies and support Drndyllyn hadn’t had much to worry about from them, either. They had attempted a couple of raids with varying degrees of success but never had the Lotharingians gotten much. Then, rather unexpectedly, there had been peace. The Archduchy of Renatus and the Fallen Knights of Lotharingia had come to an agreement to not attack one another for a period of two years. In less than a month the effect had been noticeable. Commerce had increased as the harvests were brought in, and trade had picked up. As well as preparing for a fight, which is what Drndyllyn always defaulted to, she now had to prepare for a prosperous peace. Two of her new armories were going to be repurposed as warehouses for her customs officials.

More foremost in Drndyllyn’s mind was her unborn child. She was less than two months away from giving birth, and for the first time ever in her life the half-orc warrior was having to adjust to how she could physically function. Her reaction times were slower, she got tired when she hadn’t before, and her mood had shifted to finding things irritating that weren’t before, and things that had been merely bothersome were now infuriating. She had hoped for a rise in crime in Bozageest so that she could personally carry out a few executions to take the edge off. Sensing that the Duchess was itching to hack somebody into bite-sized chunks her staff and underlings had begun to give her a wide berth. Somehow that only made her edgier.

To take her mind off of these things Drndyllyn had thrown herself into planning the annual Oktoberfest in Bozageest. This was only the second time they had had one, but last year’s event had been so legendary that word had spread to surrounding nations and there was an expectation that even more people would travel here for the festivities than they had before. She had secured the services of Lendler Giftmördun and his entire clan again to prepare the bulk of the food and to do the decorating in the main city square. More than the celebrations, music, and upbeat atmosphere the real draw to the event was the food. And the best of it was being made by Lendler’s extended family. Last year had seen a good many minor nobles from neighboring states venture into Bozageest to see what the fuss was all about. This year Drndyllyn had confirmed several heads of state would be in attendance. This meant everything had to be planned and executed perfectly. Drndyllyn made sure that everyone understood the emphasis was on execution. And if her growling tone didn’t get the message across, the fact she never went anywhere without her bastard sword certainly did.