Campaign: Donahue O'Kelly

Character: Donahue O'Kelly
Game: Urban Shadows
Episodes: 4
Theme Song: Glitter & Gold by Barns Courtney
Keywords: Patient, Sympathetic, Tired

After months away because our GM has been sick, we jumped back into Urban Shadows. To the Gm's credit, it didn't stall out, even though it did feel like an episode of pick on Donahue. This is, in part, because we had a new character and a passive character at the table and then Donahue, as half our table couldn't make it, and it is in part because when in doubt, I will drive the fiction if no one else is.

This time, with Donahue, we finally really got to see parts of his dragon. He spent most of his time on a legend of zelda-like quest, where he had to go to one person to get a thing, but to get that thing, he had to go see another person, etc, until I was about five people removed from my original intent. Nevertheless, Donahue persevered, saved several people, exchanged some flirtation with a paper angel, and managed to figure out that a friend of his, whom he'd been fucking casually, had set a watch dog on another faction and as a result, had almost gotten a hunter killed.

Now this friend of his was on the council, in fact, a founding member of the council. The very council he had warned her not to make because they all just fall apart. It was only a few months out and it was already happening. This is where I discovered the dragon part of Donahue that came shining through. Donahue is continually disappointed by humanity, including all of its monsters, because they are so rampantly predictable. You give them a chance to be exemplary and good, and the ones who are setting the rules continually see themselves as apart from the rules or break their own standards of action, and the whole thing comes down.

Naturally he brought up his friend's idiocy at council, and laid out that this was all a bunch of bullshit. Donahue has tried, from the beginning, not to walk in and fix things if he can help it. But sometimes shit gets too stupid and he steps in. This time, a werewolf told him he was useless and never helped, after just a month or so out from when Donahue literally stopped a war by walking into the middle of it. The dragon stood and left. If they cannot be respectful, they don't deserve his help.

Instead, he waited downstairs, smoking, and listening to the conversations up stairs. His shop girl, the ever miserable River, tried to make a case to not have her wizarding mother killed, but failed spectacularly. Donahue decided to find Viviane, the mom, and it turns out Viviane and Donahue had been married once, and River, his shopgirl, was in fact his daughter. The dragon took this in stride while the daughter seemed to be flipping out a little, however, it made sense in the fiction and the way we had been playing. It was a good dramatic moment.

Perhaps because I was so exhausted or because I was more front and centre, but Donahue's willingness to take shit was pretty much gone. He had lost faith in his friend and the council, pretty much abandoning it and moving on. He made a deal with Viviane to get his dragon back. He's done playing the petty games of mortals and he's tired of their repeated uselessness.

It was also revealed that Donahue hoards people. And not in a gross locked in a tower way, but in the way that he treats everyone with respect and equality, but also somehow that means people really like him. He delivers on his word and is generally congenial unless pushed, and even when pushed, strives to fix things with speaking to people instead of destroying everything. So he ends up with a lot of allies.

I like playing Donahue with just a hint of disappointment, sadness, and anger beneath the surface. He's tired. Maybe because I'm always tired. But he's continually tired of being disappointed. So while his goal is to absolutely get his dragon back, I think his next step will be to retreat and sleep for a few hundred years. Or go into isolation to be done with humanity. Of course, I say that, but something will happening and he'll be pulled back in.


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