I had thought that I had escaped bureaucracy when I graduated from Oxford with my Bachelor's in Music Theory and promptly began an occult investigator after my first encounter with cultists. Of course, this is when I discovered what was necessary for getting a private investigator's license. Then I thought I had escaped it when I signed on with Department 7, you'd think the name would have clued me in, because surely they'd keep their agents sheltered from such nonsense. Then I thought I at least wouldn't be bothered with bureaucracy in The Lost, but really all I escaped was paperwork, I still had the endless sort of fetch quest chain you'd associate with something like Baldur's Gate. Of course, becoming a deva came with more paperwork after this line. But, this doesn't compare with what we've discovered on this continent of the world of Opali.
We are arrived, after sorting the assignments of our acquired new guards and helpers, and on asking where to find the governmental offices we were told that we'd have to register with the Department of Native and Non-Native Nobodies as well as the Department of Opulent and Otherworldly Oddities. There was also the matter of our weapons and magic which had to be registered with the Department of Magic, Military, and Mariners. Then we'd have to speak with the Department of Indescribable and Indefinite Intrigues or perhaps the the Department of Justice, Juries, and Jails. There was also the matter that the Department of Xenorelations, Xenobiology, and Xenophobia might be interested in interviewing us. Or the Departments of Trade, Time, and Technology might be curious about our gear.
It didn't end there. There was the Department of Generous and Gracious Giving. The Department of Finance, Factories, and Foraging. The Department of Superstition, Scourges, and Shelter. The Department of Religion, Rights, and Riots. The Department of Zoology, Zombies, and Zealotry, The Department of Violence and Victorious Veternarians.
The Department of Youth, Yesteryear, and Yodeling?!
There is a department for each letter and the capital city contains them all in a neighborhood called the Grand Government Garden where they are organized in their alphabetical order. It took us much of the day to work through the paperwork and meetings involved though we thankfully had the help of Namfoodle Nackle, one of the gnomes who was among the authors of this confusing mess. It also seems like the system was designed to give visiting devas something of an advantage. I'll get into that later though.
In any case, we were directed toward a small logging village, by the name of Calliopeela, deeper in the forest where a kobold by the name of Nyktox who was an investigator for the III apartment. There is a badge, by the way, it looks something like a Hollywood sheriff's badge with three "I"s on it. We managed to reach the town with no untoward incidents. Once there, we were directed to the government office and found it ransacked with no sign of the kobold we were supposed to meet.
We looked on for trying to find Nyktox at his residence but found it empty, though he seemed to also operate a locksmith's shop attached to his home. Kelmar's skills proved useful here to lead us to where someone was approaching the village with a small army of giant animals and a faerie dragon. This druid, a halfling, spoke to us of the issues facing them. Apparently whatever the logging company was using to grow the trees was also draining the life out of the center of the forest. They've given us about a ten-day to work out a peaceful solution.
Immediately after she left, our kobold contact made his appearance and started collecting traps from around the area, quipping that he didn't get to use his traps. We spoke of the matter and asked him about the new Arbor Master who had been the one to stop using the druids and instead started using this mysterious new procedure. He seems to doubt that the Arbor Master is involved despite the fact that these troubles started soon after the change over.
We also encountered a logging foreman who was a bit too aware of our actions to give us a chance to look at the trees. He looked like he was honestly trying to protect his company's proprietary operations. But I did get a sense of necromantic magic under the dirt leading from the logging fields deeper into the wilds.
The next day we started in on getting the paperwork done to get a warrant to investigate the logging fields and their procedures. During this I realized that our initial paperwork gave us a rank of something called Realm Warden. This apparently gives a lot of political clout should we need it, but for the moment we've decided we could keep it quiet for the moment.
What we found on investigation was a transmutation effect that in no way should have generated the results they would need to keep up their logging schedule. We still need to go look into the situation at the grove the druid told us about. For that, I'd like to bring Nyktox so that we have a witness outside of our own group to give credence to our world. Kelmar would also like to look for the Arbor Master before we head out. I'm not convinced it would be better to talk to the Arbor Master first but that discussion is still to come.