Heroes of Midhgardhur

Session 54 - The Silver City (Act 1)
HM10 The Silver City

1/4/14 – 54th Session – Module HM10 – The Silver City (Act 1)
Game Date: 11/27/900

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 68, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 68, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 71, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 68, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – _domur: 18, hamingja: 2
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 53, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 24, hamingja: 2
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 64
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 23
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Thorsdagur, the 27th of Gormanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this date, the heroes divided up the treasures they had won from the scylla and charybdis they had defeated. Then they re-boarded the Helgiask and sailed through the straits towards Yulianopolis, the “Silver City.” Nothing could have prepared those who had never visited the Silver City before – the largest and grandest city and civilization in the known world!

And so Basileus Arkonides returned to his home city in triumph and glory, proudly proclaiming himself. He spread some of his wealth among the guards and customs agents who inspected the Helgiask upon their arrival.

The party decided to split up once in the city.

Bergsveinn Farisson, Estrid Freysteinn, and Kasimir von Schosse went to the Grand Marketplace to scout possible buyers and evaluate potential prices for the treasures they brought to the city. They used a wand of share language to allow Estrid to understand Palnorrani. They found that this city would probably be the ideal place to finally sell all of the many treasures they have been carting along with them . . .

Meanwhile, Caelrath spent some time in the academic quarters of the city, haunting bookstores, libraries, and magic shops, learning what he could of southern sorcery. He was able to buy new spells for his spellbooks, and inquire into the forbidden demon-lore of the south, trying to find ways to combat such monstrous creatures. He found a great fear and reluctance regarding the lore of demons in the Silver City, since so many of the Palnorrani credit the use and abuse of demonic knowledge with causing the fall of the Norrani Imperium. Nevertheless, he was able to glean some useful knowledge.

Basileus Arkonides hired sedan chairs for himself, his followers, and for Thrand Hallsteinsson and Neferata. They traveled to the Arkonides Villa, ancestral estate of House Arkonides. There they were received cautiously by Spirodon Arkonides, the father of Baz. As he revealed to his father his misdeeds in impersonating an imperial ambassador, the father told his son that allegations of this sort were already circulating at court thanks to Diokles Tzimiskes.

The heroes regrouped back at the Arkonides Villa. Basileus Arkonides announced his plan to deal with the (somewhat true) allegations against him (and, to a lesser extent, against Neferata) was to present himself before the court of the Silver Emperor and brazen it out, head on. He announced that while he would appreciate the support of his friends and colleagues at court, if things turned bad, he did not want anyone to interfere or become involved. Nevertheless, Neferata spent some time double-checking escape routes and bribing guards at the city gates to let her through if she should come running under pursuit. Spirodon announced that he was officially distancing himself from his son for the moment, so that if the wrath of the emperor should fall upon Baz, it would not destroy House Arkonides.

That night, some of them awakened to the sound of footsteps on the rooftops of the guest quarters at the Arkonides Villa, and rattling at the locks on their doors. A number of dark-robed and cowled assassins attempted to attack the heroes, and the heroes dispatched them in heroic fashion, blasting them apart with fireballs, ball lightning, and brute force. After the battle it was revealed that the would-be assassins were svartalfar, a race all but unknown in these lands. Bergsveinn managed to capture one for the group (particularly Baz, as it turned out) to interrogate . . . and to force him to testify in court that Diokles Tzimiskes was behind the attack.

Neferata also managed to capture one of the svartalfar and interrogate him brutally herself. She sent him away to the Storm King as a warning . . . “If he wants to kill me, he had better send an army!”

XP Earned: 12,300 (2050 each)
Total XP: 123,356 each
XP to level 11: 155,000

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Session 53 - Sailing to Yulianopolis (Act 2 - Between Scylla and Charybdis)
HM9 Sailing to Yulianopolis

12/7/13 – 53rd Session – Module HM9 – Sailing to Yulianopolis (Act 2 – Between Scylla and Charybdis)
Game Date: 11/20/900 N.Y. – 11/27/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 68, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 68, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 71, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 68, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – _domur: 18, hamingja: 2
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 53, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 24, hamingja: 2
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 64
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 23
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Thorsdagur, the 20th of Gormanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this date, the heroes, having completed their decoy ship, planned to try to lure the charybdis out of the water so that they could attack and destroy it (in order to pass through the straits and sail to Yulianopolis).

When the heroes were sure that they were ready, Caelrath cast mage armor on himself and then fly on Basileus Arkonides. Estrid Freysteinn cast ride the waves on Basileus too, in case he ended up in the water. Then Basileus sailed the decoy ship off the coast of the strait, trying to lure the monster.

He did not have long to wait. Suddenly, the charybdis surged up out of the water, smashing and devouring the decoy ship they had built. “We’re going to need a bigger boat!” he exclaimed when he saw the size of the gargantuan monster! Fortunately, he was able to fly away from the wreck . . .

Kasimir von Schosse used his magic to enlarge Basileus, then used his fleeting glance ability to vanish from sight. Estrid Freysteinn dove into the water, taking on the wild shape of a large water elemental. Caelrath took to the air with his own fly spell. Neferata blessed the whole party. Estrid tried to use her magic to polymorph the charybdis into something harmless, but the spell failed to take effect. Bergsveinn Farisson summoned a shark to attack the charybdis. Basileus jumped into the water and swam to the attack. Thrand Hallsteinsson used his pinpoint targeting to hit the charybdis with his arrows. Caelrath attempted to use magic to hold the monster, but his spell didn’t even slow it down . . .

Soon, another monster appeared on the horizon, a howling mass of tentacles and wolfheads, a terrible creature called a scylla. It came flying through the air towards the heroes. While Kas and Neferata were blasting away at the charybdis, Estrid called down a flame strike on the flying scylla. Baz’s strike against the charybdis opened it up for more attacks from his comrades. Thrand’s back was sore and he was having trouble with fatigue, but he continued to pour arrows into the charybdis. Caelrath cast haste to aid his comrades. The charybdis responded to its attackers by opening its mighty jaws and causing a mighty vortex to try to suck down Bas, Bergsveinn, and Bronislava.

Meanwhile, the scylla landed in the midst of the heroes, who found it nearly impossible to hit or harm the creature with spells or weapons. The charybdis swallowed down Bronislava.

The charybdis reached out with its tentacles and wolfheads and began to try to attack Neferata, Kas, Gruull, and Hakon Finehair the Skald. Estrid called a lightning storm. Caelrath used his ring to recall and cast his hold monster spell on the scylla . . . and it worked! The monster was paralyzed! But the charybdis now swallowed Baz, nearly killing him.

With the scylla paralyzed, the heroes jumped in to try to kill it before it could break free from the enchantment. Neferata climbed up on the paralyzed scylla and stabbed it viciously in the back, severing its spine, and then continued to hack away at it. Estrid’s lightning finished off the charybdis. Bergsveinn cast death watch to determine that both Baz and Bronislava were still alive inside the monster’s gullet.

Inside the monster, Bronislava poured a healing potion down Baz’s throat, keeping him alive so they could begin to hack their way out of the dead monster. With Bergsveinn’s help they were soon freed from the charybdis’ corpse.

Meanwhile, in a furious rage, Neferata (who was badly wounded and bleeding from the scylla’s attack) hacked away at the monster until the sword slipped from he bloody hands, then continued to pound its dying body with her fists until it died. She then slumped over its body, unconscious. The others were able to reach her with healing magic before she bled to death.

Over the next seven days, as they were tending to their wounds, the heroes were able to dredge up treasure from the ships sunk by the charybdis, as well as explore the cave that had served as the lair of the scylla.

Treasure from the charybdis: 360 bronze folles (cp.), 181 silver miliaresia (sp.), 5080 gold nomismata (gp.), 4900 gold imperatores (pp.), an amber (110 gp), a bloodstone (55 gp), a malachite (11 gp), a milky quartz (50 gp), a moonstone (50 gp), a peridot (35 gp), a rhodochrosite (13 gp), a rock quartz (10 gp), 2 tigereyes (8 & 10gp), a topaz (450 gp), a + 2 composite longbow (+ 1 Str bonus), a +1 dagger, a +1 heavy wooden shield of ramming, a +1 morningstar, a jar of oil of purify food and drink, and a suit of +2 splint mail.

Treasure from the scylla: 1285 bronze folles (cp.), 502 silver miliaresia (sp.), 374 gold nomismata (gp.), 26 gold imperatores (pp.), 2 aquamarines (500 & 550 gp.), 2 bloodstones (45 & 55 gp.), a deep blue spinel (100 gp.), a garnet (120 gp.), a piece of ivory (45 gp.), a piece of jade (80 gp.), a jasper (35 gp.), a malachite (10 gp.), a rock quartz (8 gp.), a sardonyx (50 gp.), a smoky quartz (55 gp.), a tigereye (11 gp.), a topaz (450 gp.), a scroll of Call Lightning, a scroll of Cone of Cold, a scroll of Liberating Command, a scroll of Shadow Weapon, a wand of Cure Light Wounds, and a wand of Share Language

Thorsdagur, the 27th of Gormanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this day, the heroes prepared to sail through the straits to the great Silver City of Yulianopolis . . .

XP Earned: 102,403 (14,629 each)
Total XP: 121,306 each
XP to level 11: 155,000

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Session 52 - Sailing to Yulianopolis (Act 1)
HM9 Sailing to Yulianopolis

11/23/13 – 52nd Session – Module HM9 – Sailing to Yulianopolis (Act 1)
Game Date: 10/22/900 N.Y. – 11/19/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 65, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 65, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 69, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 65, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – _domur: 15, hamingja: 2
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 50, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 21, hamingja: 2
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 61
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 20
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Odhinsdagur, the 22nd of Haustmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this date, the heroes arrived at the city of Tanais, a city which long ago boasted glorious architecture, but which was sacked and ruined about 600 years before. Tanais had never recovered from that sack in ancient times, but was still a port for ships coming to and from the Dyn. Asking around, the heroes learned that the journey to Yulianopolis was about 11 days or so.

Making further inquiries, the heroes decided to hire a couple of sailors (a Palnorran named Kalkas and a Vylgari named Radu). Basileus Arkonides agreed to pay them each 1 gold eyrir now and another upon arrival at Yulianopolis. Kasimir von Schosse performed a “ribbonmancy” ceremony to determine the auspices for the journey, and determined that they were favorable. The heroes stocked up on barrels of fresh water, and took advice from their new sailors to try to hug the coast as much as possible on their voyage. Then, despite a rising fog, they set sail.

Manadagur, the 27th of Haustmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

After several days of relatively smooth sailing, on this day the heroes sighted a pod of five small whales. The whales were taken as a good omen by the sailors. The sailors were disappointed that they did not have a larger crew that could hunt the whales for their meat and oil. The pod was sighted again a few days later.

Freyjudagur, the 31st of Haustmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this date, the heroes sighted a dragon flying far overhead. Estrid Freysteinn used her eagle eye spell to get a closer look at the dragon, and determined that its scales were bronze – and bronze dragons were known to be lawful and good in their alignment. Kasimir was trying to signal the dragon to come down to visit them.

So Caelrath cast a fly spell and soared up to meet the dragon. He introduced himself, and invited the dragon to come speak to them, although he did warn the dragon that some of their number (e.g. Estrid Freysteinn, Neferata, and Thrand Hallsteinsson) were somewhat prejudiced against dragons). The dragon introduced himself as Astyniax the Bronze (a young bronze dragon), who had been concerned that they were pirates, and was quite relieved to find out that they were not.

Astyniax the Bronze informed them that there was a storm on the horizon, but that there might be a greater danger at the narrow straits that lead to the city of Yulianopolis – the dragon had seen debris from several destroyed ships in that area, but had not seen anything that could have wrecked the ships. He regretted that he could give them no more aid than this. In return, Basileus Arkonides promised that Astyniax could call upon him if he or House Arkonides could ever be of service to him.

After Astyniax departed, the heroes put ashore to avoid the storm. They did not set sail again until Sjaundidagur the 2nd of Gormanudhur.

Sjaundidagur, the 16th of Gormanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this date, the heroes were nearing the straits that led to Yulianopolis. They began to sight debris from wrecked ships, and began to worry about what could be wrecking them. Estrid Freysteinn used her power of wild shape to adopt the form of a medium water elemental and explore under the sea. Far ahead of the ship, she saw a terrible monstrosity cruising along the bottom of the sea, among many old wrecked ships. The creature was nearly as long as their ship, covered in chitin and spines and blubber.

Estrid retuned to the ship and reported what she had seen. After her words were translated by Basileus, the sailor Kalkas was able to identify the creature as a charybdis – a terrible monster that can create whirlpools and sucks down ships, cracking them open to devour the sailors within. The heroes decided to pull the Helgiask ashore and come up with a plan before trying to kill the sea monster. After much discussion, they decided to create a decoy ship using wood from the nearby forest. They would use the decoy to try to lure the creature to the surface where they could destroy it. Since Basileus had the skills of a shipwright and both Kalkas and Radu knew the basics of ship construction, they had the necessary knowledge and skills to create such a decoy . . .

Odhinsdagur the 19th of Gormanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this date, the heroes had completed construction of the decoy ship and were preparing to set into action their plan to kill the charybdis . . .

XP Earned: 12,803 (1829 each)
Total XP: 106,677 each
XP to level 11: 155,000
Hamingja: 1 point awarded

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Session 51 - Down the Vylga River
HM8 Down the Vylga River

10/26/13 – 51st Session – Module HM8 – Down the Vylga River
Game Date: 10/1/900 N.Y. – 10/22/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 65, hamingja: 1
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 65, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 69, hamingja: 2
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 65, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – _domur: 15, hamingja: 1
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 50, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 21, hamingja: 1
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 61
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 20
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Odhinsdagur, the 1st of Haustmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

The heroes continued their journey down the Vylga River. They encountered some fishermen, from whom Kasimir von Schosse bought some fish for 50 gold aurar. There was some strife between Kasimir and the rest of the party on this day.

Freyjudagur, the 3rd of Haustmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this day the heroes arrived at the city of Kazan, a city marked by a high hemispherical hill, like a huge dome arising in the center of the city. Kazan was a city of blended culture, with Ningul and Vylgar cultures well represented. Basileus Arkonides spent some time on arrival checking their ship, the Helgiask, for any needed repairs, and then hiring competent workmen to carry out the repairs.

The rest of the heroes did some shopping and then took rooms at The River Kraken Inn for 3 gold aurar each per night. The proprietor, Snorri, was glad to see “fellow Northerners” (since so much of his custom came from the barbaric folk of the region), and was able to tell the heroes much of what they would encounter further down the river.

That night, while most of the heroes were sleeping, Neferata attempted to creep stealthily into Bergsveinn Farisson’s room to try to steal the hag’s head he was keeping. Unfortunately for her, Bergsveinn woke up:
“What exactly are you doing?”
“I just wanted to see how you are doing . . .”
“What are you really doing?”
“Stealing that damned head.”
“Get out.”

Sjaundidagur, the 4th of Haustmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

The next morning, there was much discussion with Snorri of what awaited further downriver . . . including the river-pirates of Samara Bend.

As the heroes emerged from The River Kraken Inn, they witnessed a public execution about to take place in a market square. The three “men” about to be executed turned out to be Svartalfar! According to the gossip at the market, the Svartalfar were captured trying to sneak past Kazan on their way to or from Inazor Obram. The King of Storms, whom the heroes have fought much in the past, plans to find a way to blot out the sun. It is well known that the Witch Queen, Queen Ekki of Inazor Obram, once devised a spell that would extinguish the sun, but she thought better of it and never used the spell. The Svartalfar tried to negotiate with her for the knowledge of the spell, but the Witch Queen refused them, saying that such a spell was far too dangerous. So the Svartalfar have been trying to steal the spell . . . and hence a number of Svartalfar have been captured recently, coming to or from Inazor Obram. After these three Svartalfar were executed, Caelrath recommended burning the bodies so that they could not return from the grave by their foul necromantic practices . . . an idea the locals carried out enthusiastically.

The heroes traveled to the other side of the city of Kazan to visit the Shrine of Haka, dedicated to Haka, the Dragon of the Underworld (a cavern under the great hill at the center of Kazan is said to be the lair of Haka). They interrogated Changol, a local incense-vendor of Ningul descent, about the legend of Haka . . . no one has seen Haka in generations, but one of its draconic children was captured years ago and is kept by a Lord Hisame who has an estate on the north end of Kazan.

The heroes decided not to try to break into the underground caverns (“Let’s not mess with their local religion!”) nor to bother Lord Hisame, but rather they headed back to The River Kraken Inn for some rest before setting forth again. Neferata decided not to make another attempt to steal the hag’s head from Bergsveinn Farisson.

Solsdagur, the 5th of Haustmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

Back aboard the Helgiask, the heroes renewed their voyage south once more. By noon they were sailing past Vylgaria, the capital of the Vylgar, but they decided not to stop, but rather to sail on past . . .

Tysdagur, the 7th of Haustmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this day, as the heroes were approaching Samara Bend, the heroes stopped and used magic to scout ahead. Estrid Freysteinn used her eagle eye spell to look down on the river valley from above. She saw where there was a pirate encampment on the eastern bank of the Vylga up ahead. They pulled the Helgiask up on the shore and proceeded on foot to the pirate camp. They found the place surrounded by a thick wooden palisade on the landward side, and six longships anchored in a defensive line out on the river.

The heroes decided that slaying pirates could only be a good idea, but they were hesitant to attack the camp because their might be innocent people inside (slaves or prisoners of the pirates), and because they would be badly outnumbered (there being hundreds of pirates in the camp). Caelrath decided to scout, using mage armor and invisibility and fly to check out the camp.

But Neferata became increasingly impatient waiting for Caelrath to return. She drew her flametongue sword, and paced up and down, grumbling. Finally, she shouted to Kasimir von Schosse something like, “Hey, I bet you can’t do this!”, unleashing a flaming ray from her sword at the palisade gate, igniting the dry wood. The guards of the camp raised the alarm almost instantly.

Caelrath returned to the heroes, but there was no time for discussion or recriminations, so he and Kasimir both cast shield spells on themselves. Kasimir also used enlarge person on Basileus Arkonides and his inborn ability of fleeting glance to vanish. They decided to try to cripple the ships out on the river while the pirates were too busy trying to put out the fires on their own palisade and encampment. Caelrath cast fly on Kasimir von Schosse and they took to the sky. They used fireballs to cripple the six boats on the river.

Meanwhile, Neferata ignited her sword and ran along the palisade walls, setting them alight. Kasimir dropped another fireball on a bucket brigade that was trying to put out the fires. Estrid’s burning gaze set alight another section of the walls. Caelrath then suggested that, with the pirates in disarray, they could return to their longship and sail right past the pirate camp unmolested. The other agreed to this plan, so they made their way back to the Helgiask and got back on the river in just over an hour. They sailed right past the blazing pirate camp at Samara Bend, then continued south . . .

Manadagur, the 13th of Haustmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this date the heroes arrived at the fishing village of Sary Su. They decided to make camp that night and make the portage to the River Dyn the next morning.

Tysmanudhur, the 14th of Haustmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this date, the heroes bought another cart and began the postage to the Rivr Dyn.

Sjaundidagur, the 18th of Haustmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

The heroes on this day arrived at the River Dyn and prepared to head downriver to the delta on the Maeotidahaf.

Odhinsdagur, the 22nd of Haustmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this date, the heroes arrived at the city of Tanais, a city which long ago boasted glorious architecture, but which was sacked and ruined about 600 years before. Tanais had never recovered from that sack in ancient times, but was still a port for ships coming to and from the Dyn. Asking around, the heroes learned that the journey to Yulianopolis was about 11 days or so.

XP Earned: 12,803 (1829 each)
Total XP: 104,858 each
XP to level 10: 105,000

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Session 50 - The Expedition (Act 9, Inazor Obram)
HM7 The Expedition

10/12/13 – 50th Session – Module HM7 – The Expedition
Game Date: 9/28/900 N.Y. – 9/30/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 65, hamingja: 1
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 65, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 69, hamingja: 2
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 65, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – _domur: 15, hamingja: 1
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 50, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 21, hamingja: 1
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 61
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 20
Bronislava (NPC Mercenary)

Solsdagur, the 28th of Tvimanudhur, 900 N.Y. (continued)

Having defeated the wyvern guardians of the temple, the heroes decided to storm the place before the enchantments they had placed upon themselves wore off. Kasimir von Schosse cast bull’s strength on Basileus Arkonides (who was already under an enchantment granting him the size of a giant) and Thrand Hallsteinsson cast cat’s grace on himself. Then Basileus tried to batter down the door to the temple, but even with his magically enhanced might, he was unable to do so. Neferata picked the lock so that the heroes could enter the temple.

Estrid Freysteinn cast spider climb on herself in order to be able to walk on the ceiling inside the temple. Then Basileus opened the doors, triggering a trap that peppered him with a hail of arrows. Bergsveinn Farisson ran up to heal Basileus as the heroes strode into the temple.

The heroes found themselves in a long colonnade, a hallway occupied by a large bull which seemed to have armored plates for skin. The temple’s Sacred Bull, this creature was identified as a gorgon, a magical beast with deadly breath that caused petrification. Behind the Sacred Bull stood a woman, Kolfrosta, the High Priestess of Jomali. She asked who the heroes were and how they dared to commit such sacrilege by invading her temple. Neferata shouted out, “We’re here to loot it!” Bergsveinn shouted that they had come to find the prisoners who had been sent to the temple, and find out why none ever return when sentenced to labor for the temple. Kolfrosta replied that her business was between her and the god Jomali, and that she would give them the chance to leave with their lives. When the heroes replied that they would not leave until they had what they had come for, the battle was joined . . .

Caelrath attempted to cast charm monster on the Sacred Bull, but the beast shook off the enchantment. Kasimir von Schosse used his bloodline power of fleeting glance to disappear, and cast magic missile on the monster. Neferata managed to slip away and stealthily approach the archway through which stood Kolfrosta. Thrand Hallsteinsson loosed a number of arrows at the beast, but pulled a muscle in his arm and had to slow down to aim more carefully and loose one arrow at a time. Estrid’s lightning storm was still in effect, and she unleashed lightning at the beast. The Sacred Bull responded by approaching the heroes, who still stood grouped in the doorway to the temple, and breathed its deadly breath upon them. The breath petrified Basileus, Caelrath, Thrand, Kasimir, and Hakon Finehair the Skald. The petrification was temporary, and the heroes might be able to shake it off, but they knew that if the monster breathed upon them a second time, the petrification would become permanent. Bergsveinn Farisson, unaffected by the Sacred Bull’s breath and knowing how dire was the situation, charged forward to try to kill the Bull before the monster could turn his friends to stone permanently!

Meanwhile, Kolfrosta used a scroll to cast a spell that allowed her to vanish. Thrand managed to shake off the petrification and maneuvered to loose an arrow at the monster. Neferata prepared a spell of true strike to allow her to hit Kolfrosta. The Sacred Bull attempted to gore Bergsveinn with its horns and trample him with its hooves, and it succeeded in striking him with a hoof. Enraged, Bergsveinn swung his mighty axe and felled the Sacred Bull.

Caelrath managed to break free from the petrification, and blasted the area near where Kolfrosta had stood with glitterdust, revealing her location as she exited a chamber to the north. Estrid blasted her with lightning, and Bergsveinn ran up to attack the priestess with his axe. Basileus broke free from the petrification and ran up to attack her, wielding Ormsbani.

Caelrath blasted the priestess with a scorching ray, Neferata tried to prepare a true strike again, as Kolfrosta took a careful step back as she prepared to run for a door to the south. The heroes noted that she tried to be drawing them to cross through the archway into the back of the temple. Thrand, having recovered from his injury sufficiently, struck the priestess with three arrows. Finally, Estrid unleashed lightning at the priestess, knocking her to the floor. Her body warped and changed into that of a horrible hag – she had only pretended to be human. But was she dead? Bergsveinn used death watch to make certain she was dead before the heroes approached her. Neferata found and disarmed a magical trap over the archway, and so the heroes could proceed.

The heroes checked the room to the north, the one in which Kolfrosta had just been, and found the bodies of the five prisoners they had seen the day before. They had all been killed, one of them recently, and parts of them had been eaten. They realized that the hag priestess had been sacrificing the prisoners and then devouring their corpses . . . and she had just killed the last living prisoner to spite them, to keep them from rescuing him. Bergsveinn Farisson nursed a cold fury against the other heroes, for he realized that if the party had listened to him and stormed the place the night before, the prisoners might still be alive. As a godhi of Forseti, a god of the Aesir, he decided to give them proper funeral rites and cremate them . . .

Before taking care of the dead prisoners, the heroes decided to make sure the temple was secure. They checked the door to the south, and saw that it was a stairway down into total darkness. Using light spells on Basileus’ sword and Hakon’s axe, they ventured into the lightless tunnels. They followed the stairs down south to a landing, then turned east down to a tunnel. The tunnel seemed to go on and on and on, until finally they saw daylight. The tunnel came out by the Vylga River, where a longship was concealed by the banks. They realized that this had been intended as an escape route. The heroes returned back down the tunnel, checking the position of the sun so that they could estimate the time and distance they had traveled. They found that the journey through the tunnel took about an hour.

Bergsveinn and Kasimir gave funeral rite to the prisoners and burned the body of the hag, though Basileus severed its head and kept it in a sack. The rest of the party searched the clearing around the temple for treasure, finding a number of useful items, including a set of pipes of sounding for Hakon. Basileus went to the guards at the gate to dismiss them, then thought better of it and decided to hire them, giving them the nicknames “Olaf” and “Anders” and offering them 3 silver pennigar per diem.

The heroes returned to the pond where they had left Gruull guarding their mounts and wagons. They went overland to the site where the longboat was hidden. Kasimir von Schosse used his tiny hut spells to shelter the party for the night.

Manadagur, the 29th of Tvimanudhur, 900 N.Y.

The next morning, they had decided to take the longship and travel down the Vylga River towards Argyropolis. Hakon Finehair the Skald said that it was bad luck to sail in a ship without a name, so they named the ship the Helgiask, and Kasimir von Schosse performed a “ribbonmancy” to try to determine if the journey would be favorable . . . apparently, the augury was auspicious. But as they prepared to sail, the heroes had a disagreement about destination. The majority wanted to sail past Inazor Obram, but Bergsveinn Farisson intended to stop there and try to do two things – find Bronislava to offer her a job, and find out who was responsible for the prisoners being sent to the temple . . . and make them pay. Bergsveinn managed to convince the others.

The heroes sailed down the river to Inazor Obram. Bergsveinn refused to sail aboard the Helgiask, having an aversion to ships, but rode his horse alongside the Vylga down to the town. The heroes were warned at the docks (and gates) not to cause trouble in the realm of Queen Ekki. They sought an inn suitable for an “imperial ambassador” (for Basileus Arkonides had resumed that cover story). They ended up at an inn called The Cauldron, where the proprietor was a dark-haired woman wearing striking white robes with silver embroidery. Her name was Erzbeta, and she casually mentioned her membership in an order of witches. They sent Gruull to find Bronislava.

While they waited, the heroes conversed with Erzbeta and learned more about the town of Inazor Obram and its “Witch Queen.” It turned out that the queen had a deal with an ancient enemy, the priestess of the temple. The deal was that convicted prisoners were sent to the temple to serve at hard labor, and then eventually be released. It seemed that the deaths of the prisoners were not part of standard procedure! Then Gruull came back with Bronislava . . .

Bronislava was glad to see the heroes! She revealed that she had tried to get a job as a caravan guard, but Dunyasha had prevented her from leaving. Bronislava mentioned that she hated Inazor Obram, and that many of the nobles who ruled the town were secretly inhuman – hags and worse! The skull motif around the town was not just for show! The heroes offered to hire her – Basileus offered her 10 gold aurar per week to travel with them. She agreed. But she had to return to Dunyasha’s house for the night, lest she grow suspicious. Bergsveinn cast status on her to keep track of her through the night. The heroes decided not to try to confront Queen Ekki . . . at least, not yet.

Tysdagur, the 30th of Tvimanudhur, 900 N.Y.

The heroes woke up before dawn at The Cauldron and had a hearty meal. Bronislava arrived in the predawn hours, as planned. The heroes debated about what to do about the head of Kolfrosta. Basileus showed the head to Erzbeta and told her to release the information as she saw fit once they had left the town. They quickly boarded the Helgiask and set sail south down the Vylga as the run was rising over Inazor Obram. Although they had been warned that the head of the hag Kolfrosta might be cursed, they decided to retain it, for now . . .

XP Earned: 16,002 (2286 each)
Total XP: 103,029 each
XP to level 10: 105,000

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Session 49 - The Expedition (Act 9, Inazor Obram)
HM7 The Expedition

10/5/13 – 49th Session – Module HM7 – The Expedition
Game Date: 9/27/900 N.Y. – 9/28/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 65, hamingja: 1
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 65, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 69, hamingja: 2
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 65, hamingja: 3
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – _domur: 15, hamingja: 1
Neferata (Jessie) – domur: 50, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 21, hamingja: 1
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 61
Gruull (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides) – domur: 20

Sjaundidagur, the 27th of Tvimanudhur, 900 N.Y.

Approaching the gates of Inazor Obram, the ever-imperious Lady Dunyasha informed the heroes that their job was done – they had successfully conveyed her to her homeland. She offered them pay, which Caelrath accepted on behalf of the party – the 270 gold aurar they had earned (at the rate of 3 silver pennigar per day each), plus a bonus of 30 gold aurar, for a total of 300 (or 50 each, divided among the 6 main members of the party). Then Dunyasha demanded back the fabulous ruby that she said she had been transporting for Queen Ekki. It was duly produced from the head of Vik the Leshy. Then Dunyasha, Oxana, and Bronislava entered the town of Inazor Obram, leaving the heroes at the gates.

The heroes decided not to go to the Witch Queen’s town, deciding to turn north instead to investigate the “evil temple” they had heard was north of Inazor Obram. As they were traveling through the woods and hills, they heard the sound of shouted commands, whips, and the groans of those being whipped. They sent Thrand Hallsteinsson to scout ahead, and he ascertained that there were 5 prisoners chained together, 2 armed guards dressed in the brown studded leather that seemed to be the style of Inazor Obram, and a man with a whip who was herding the prisoners.

After Thrand reported back to the rest of the party, the heroes discussed the matter quickly, and decided to confront the apparent slavers. They rode out ahead of them and appeared before them on the road. Careful questioning of the guards and prisoners did not reveal much, except that the prisoners appeared to have been convicted of legitimate crimes, but crimes they felt were forced upon them by circumstance. They had all been sentenced to “serve in the Temple.” None seemed to know what such service would entail. So the heroes volunteered to escort the detail to the Temple. The guards explained that they were not going all the way to the Temple, but would be handing over their prisoners at a guard post near the Temple. Uninvited prisoners would not be allowed to the Temple.

And so they journeyed to the guard post, where the prisoners were turned over. Again, the heroes inquired about visiting the Temple. It was now explained to them that not even the guards could visit the Temple unannounced. They would have to wait until the guardians were no longer on watch. It was explained that the Temple was once guarded by a skergipur. but adventurers had slain it a century before, so now it was guarded by wyverns. Within the Temple were more guards, including the “sacred bull,” the high priestess Kolfrosta herself (mother to King Harek the Dragon of Permia), and the god Jomali himself. So the heroes could not even approach the Temple. The guards were kind, and pointed out that there was a small pond just to the southwest where they could camp for the night before heading back to Inazor Obram. So the heroes departed, but not before Bergsveinn Farisson cast a status spell on the prisoner at the back of the chaingang (Igor) so that the cleric could tell if the prisoners were being mistreated.

The heroes began to set up camp by the pond. Bergsveinn Farisson was monitoring Igor’s status, Estrid Freysteinn was using her eagle eye spell to scout the Temple, and Kasimir summoned a tiny hut. Then, seeming out of nowhere, Neferata shambled into the camp, receiving her usual warm welcome (heroes grabbed for the weapons and took up defensive positions). Her status as an outlaw was discussed, and the fact that they had sent those who were searching for her far, far away. She demonstrated that she had somehow obtained a new flaming sword (by unleashing a blast of fire into the pond, a feat Kasimir replicated by casually flinging a fireball into the pond). Neferata seemed to assume that she was simply rejoining the group, an idea that met with some consternation among the other heroes. She claimed that she had been inside the Temple. Bergsveinn Farisson established a zone of truth in which she repeated her false claims, having withstood the power of the zone of truth.

Solsdagur, the 28th of Tvimanudhur, 900 N.Y.

Awakening early in the morning, the party planned to try to break through the Temple’s defenses at daybreak. As they approached, the heroes prepared themselves. Kasimir became invisible with his bloodline ability of fleeting glance, Bergsveinn Farisson used shield other to protect Estrid Freysteinn, Estrid prepared her ability to call lightning, Caelrath prepared himself with mage armor and shield, Neferata used her bloodline ability to bless the party, and Kasimir used enlarge to make Basileus Arkonides a giant among men.

The heroes stormed out of the woods into the clearning surrounding the Temple, taking the wyverns by surprise. Estrid Freysteinn hit a wyvern with lightning, Kasimir hit the same one with magic missile, and Thrand Hallsteinsson, screaming his rage at “foul dragons,” unleashed a storm of arrows at it. Caelrath used a haste spell to aid the other heroes.

Now in a fight with the screeching guardian wyverns, Caelrath used his magic missile spell, followed by another magic missile from Kasimir. Estrid unleashed more lightning from her lightning storm, and Thrand unleashed his fury in another hail of arrows. One of the wyverns had fallen, but the other now descended on Thrand, shrieking with rage, grappling him with its jaws as its tail stung him with poison and its wings buffeted him, wounding him severely. Neferata unleashed a blast of holy fire to heal Thrand, while Bergsveinn Farisson stepped up and slew the wyvern with his axe. Once dead, the wyvern released Thrand Hallsteinsson from its jaws.

The heroes had survived the guardians of the Temple, but what of the Temple itself? Who knew what horrors awaited therein?

XP Earned: 11,200 (1600 each)
Total XP: 100,743 each
XP to level 10: 105,000

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Runestones of Rys, Session 6 - Timerevo
RR3 - The Third Runestone

10/1/13 – 6th Session – Module RR3 – Timerevo
Game Date: 3/11/900 N.Y. – 3/14/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Vladmir Kirilenko (Andrew)
Grunyar (Eli)
Merisiel (Tanya)
Ulrik Larsson of Uppsalir (NPC)

Odhinsdagur, the 11th of Goa, 900 N.Y.

The heroes decided to camp out on the hillside and deal with the Yfirmadhur in the morning . . .

Thorsdagur, the 12th of Goa, 900 N.Y.

Using branches from the beech tree and Merisiel’s bedroll, the heroes made a stretcher for the body of one of the troglodytes, in order to bring it to Yfirmadhur Arpad as proof of their mighty deeds. Ulrik Larsson of Uppsalir and Merisiel carried the stretcher down the hill, out the iron gate, and to the Yfirmansholl. They discussed matters with the Yfirmadhur at some length – he seemed to be trying to swindle them out of their maps to the runestones or out of the lore they had acquired, so they decided to leave town as soon as possible.

Freyjudagur, the 13th of Goa, 900 N.Y.

On the road this morning, the heroes encountered a fellow traveler named Talbotkin, a mercenary on the road, looking for work. Talbotkin was an expert hunter as well as soldier, so the heroes decided he could join their party for a while. He supplied the party with fresh game for dinner (rabbits, mostly), so Vladmir Kirilenko gave him 2 gold aurar.

Sjaundidagur, the 14th of Goa, 900 N.Y.

On this date, the heroes arrived at Timerevo, the city famous for its surrounding mound-tombs known as “kurgans.” The heroes passed through the plains of kurgans to arrive at the city of Timerevo. They found that the inns in Timerevo had names combining precious materials (copper, silver, gold, ruby, emerald, sapphire, etc.) and totem animals of the ancestors of the people of Timerevo. The heroes decided to stay at the Silver Snake. The proprietor, Lars Ormsson, charged them a single silver pennigur for a room, per night.

The heroes sent Talbotkin out to buy supplies, and while he was gone, they looked at their map and tried to figure out where the Third Runestone might be located. They had little luck.

The heroes ventured out of the city into the plains of kurgans surrounding the city. Merisiel tried some spells to locate the Runestone, but to no avail. Eventually, they deduced that the kurgans formed a ring around the city – the city was founded at the center of the great ring of kurgans. They decided to try to find the center.

The heroes hunted through the center of the city, looking for the exact center. They found a central section where the buildings seemed to incorporate ancient monoliths, but they still could not find the Third Runestone. Finally, they visited the reputedly mad Yfirmadhur of Timerevo, Istvan. Istvan was of little help, but his steward, Olaf, was able to help them figure out that an ancient prison or dungeon was under the center of the city, and gave them a writ allowing them to dig for it . . .

XP Earned: 801 (267 each)
Total XP: 2037 each
LEVEL UP to LEVEL 2!
XP to level 3: 5000

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Session 48 - The Expedition (Act 9 - Inazor Obram)
HM7 The Expedition

9/21/13 – 48th Session – Module HM8 – The Expedition
Game Date: 8/9/900 N.Y. – 9/27/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Athelstan (Chris) – domur: 67, hamingja: 2
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 65, hamingja: 1
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 65, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 69, hamingja: 2
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 65, hamingja: 3
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 61
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – domur: 15, hamingja: 1
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 21, hamingja: 1
Gruull the Trollfolk (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides)
Bronislava (NPC)
Oxana the Lady-In-Waiting (NPC)
Dunyasha the Lady (NPC)

The heroes mourned their fallen comrade Aurel for a couple of days, then prepared to move on . . .

Freyjudagur, the 9th of Heyannir, 900 N.Y.

In Vyborg, Athelstan announced that he was leaving the party. His intent was to journey back to Uppsalir, to consult with the godhar of the temple there about the activity of so many creatures from Helheimur in this age of prophecy. He also hoped to do a little reforming work (e.g., nail the theological theses he had been writing to the door of the temple of Baldur). His farewell speech was rather rude and insulting to everyone except Caelrath (with whom he left his wand of animate dead) and Hakon Finehair the Skald (with whom he left Logsvar). He did, however, introduce the party to another godhi who would take his place among the party – Bergsveinn Farisson, a friend and mentor to Aurel.

The heroes spent another two weeks in Vyborg after the departure of Athelstan. Basileus Arkonides spent the time on . . . er, entertaining himself, Caelrath spent the time working to complete his chest for his secret chest spell, Thrand Hallsteinsson (who was still reeling from his release from Skrymir’s domination) spent the time getting to know his companions for what was truly the first time . . . and getting drunk. Thrand Hallsteinsson also spent some time outside the city trying to attract a new animal companion – he finally acquired a snow leopard companion he named “Aurel.” Basileus Arkonides spent the time rearing a falcon named “Gersemi,” training Vaengur to work with the air walk spell, and making antidotes for poison. Bergsveinn Farisson spent the two weeks getting to know his new companions.

Sjaundidagur, the 23rd of Heyannir, 900 N.Y.

On this date, Thorgill Haraldsson had a meeting with Basileus Arkonides. After a lot of vague talk, they parted, then Basileus went immediately to tell the rest of the heroes that they should leave Vyborg. The party prepared to head out the next day.

Solsdagur, the 24th of Heyannir, 900 N.Y.

On their way out of Vyborg, the heroes encountered a very odd sorcerer from Vendland named Kasimir. He asked to join the heroes, and though they were still dealing with the loss of Aurel, they agreed that he could travel with them for now. While discussing arrangements with Kasimir, they were approached from behind by Ubbi Halfhand and his riders – bounty hunters in service to King Amlethur of the Helsingar and bearer of The Flaming Sword of Bodhvarr. He was seeking Neferata. After discussing the matter with the heroes, they were sent back to their king to tell him of their loyalty and discretion, and the death of the revenant Klaus . . . and that if they had any further questions, they could take it up with Athelstan in Uppsalir.

Sjaundidagur, the 13th of Tvimanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this date, the heroes ran into some Kvenir on the road and shared a camp with them. Kasimir used his tiny hut spell to give them shelter. Despite the language barrier, they were able to communicate. The shaman of the Kvenir made a number of dark prophecies that “the road they travel will bring only sorrow!” The Kvenir gave a number of warnings about Inazor Obram and particularly about its formidable queen, Queen Ekki.

The next morning, very suspicious after the warnings they had received from the Kvenir shaman, Estrid tried to question Dunyasha about Inazor Obram and Queen Ekki. Her answers were somewhat evasive, adding to the distrust . . .

Tysdagur, the 16th of Tvimanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this date, the heroes reached the village of Gradmoskov. They met with the alderman, who advised them that his main function was to collect taxes for Oleg Khan. The alderman’s warnings about Inazor Obram echoed those they had received from the Kvenir. That night, Kasimir left out a bowl of milk for his mother, and told Gruull’s fortune. Thrand Hallsteinsson was buying ale in order to get drunk, and Bergsveinn Farisson went to him privately and told him that he did not blame Thrand for the death of Aurel.

Over the next few days, as the heroes approached Inazor Obram, the party encountered more and more skulls nailed to trees as apparent warnings . . .

Sjaundidagur, the 27th of Tvimanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this date, the heroes arrived just outside of Inazor Obram – and noted that it was surrounded by a wooden palisade in which every stake was topped with a human skull . . .

XP Earned: 70,800 (11,800 each)
Total XP: 99,143 each
XP to level 10: 105,000

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Runestones of Rys, Session 5 - The Second Runestone
RR2 - The Second Runestone

9/19/13 – 5th Session – Module RR1 – The Second Runestone
Game Date: 3/11/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Vladmir Kirilenko (Andrew)
Grunyar (Eli)
Merisiel (Tanya)
Ulrik Larsson of Uppsalir (NPC)

Odhinsdagur, the 11th of Goa, 900 N.Y.

After two days of travel, the heroes reached the village of Rybnaya Sloboda. They were met at the gates of the wooden palisade by guards, who inquired whence they had come and who they were. Grunyar did most of the talking, though Vladmir Kirilenko did ask whether the palisade indicated that they faced invaders or attackers. The guards replied that it was just a simple precaution. Grunyar got some directions to a smith who could sell them some weapons, and Merisiel inquired about an inn (and was directed to the “Falling Rain Inn”

The heroes visited Dainn’s Forge, where the dvergur smith Dainn was working. Grunyar purchased a new battle axe and throwing axe from Dainn, as well as a scimitar (Dainn said he got it from a foreign trader who came up the river) that he bargained down to a much lower price. Grunyar mentioned that they were seeking the fabled Runestones of Rys, and Dainn reacted as if startled. He was able to point out to them the nearby hill, surrounded by a 15’ tall stone wall, atop which stood an ancient beech tree. He said that many adventurers had climbed yon hill looking for a runestone, and all had died in the attempt. None knew what manner of beast had killed the adventurers, but most reasoned that it must be something very small, since a large beast would have been spotted by now . . .

Next, the party visited the Yfirmansholl, where they met Yfirmadhur Arpad Olafsson, the local headman. He seemed an arrogant man, dressed in bright clothing of yellow, red, and green. He gave permission for them to seek the runestone on the hill, saying that if they found treasure they would have to pay taxes when they came back down the hill . . . if they ever came back down the hill. He also offered to buy the secrets of their runestone in exchange for a large quantity of fish (the main local produce) and 1 gold eyrir each! They refused . . .

The heroes passed the Falling Rain Inn. They decided not to check in there until after they had visited the hill . . .

The party found an old, rusted iron gate set in the wall surrounding the hill. Finding it unlocked, Vladmir Kirilenko kicked it open. They carefully climbed the hill, debating who should be going first. They noted the bones of former adventurers strewn about in the grass. The heroes reached the top of the hill, where underneath the ancient beech tree was a staff of white wood wrapped in silver wire.

Merisiel used her magical power to detect magic to study the scene, and identified the white staff as a staff of curing. They encouraged Ulrik Larsson of Uppsalir to take the staff. As he did so, however, a venomous serpent dropped down from the tree onto his shoulders and began to bit him furiously! Fortunately, he had a strong enough constitution to survive its venom! The brave heroes began to try to kill the serpent, but as they did so, another problem presented itself . . . from holes in the ground nearby slithered serpent people, reptilian humanoid horrors who joined in the battle against the heroes.

The fight was terrible. Everyone seemed to be having the most awful luck, fumbling and bumbling as a deadly fight endangered their lives. Finally, at long last, the heroes triumphed, and were able to claim the staff of curing and the treasures carried by the serpent folk and buried at the foot of the runestone (gold, an emerald, a ruby, and a diamond). In addition, they were finally able to read the runestone.

There were two distinct sets of writing on the runestone. One was a crudely carved warning, “BEWARE THE SERPENTS” . . . too late! The other was the proper, true runic script of the sacred runestones. It read:

“That other rune I know which all will need
Who leeches list to be
On the bark scratch them of bole in the woods
Whose boughs bend to the east.”

This was interpreted to mean that the staff of curing was created with the power of the second runestone, possibly carved from the wood of the very beech tree under which they found it. Triumphantly, the heroes began the long trek down the hill, wondering if there were any good food or drink to be had at the Falling Rain Inn . . .

XP Earned: 1200 (300 each)
Total XP: 1770 each
XP to level 2: 2000

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Session 47 - The Expedition (Act 8, Vyborg)
HM7 The Expedition

9/14/13 – 47th Session – Module HM7 – The Expedition
Game Date: 8/6/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Athelstan (Chris) – domur: 67, hamingja: 2
Aurel (Metellus) – domur: 65, hamingja: 3
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 65, hamingja: 1
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 65, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 69, hamingja: 2
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 65, hamingja: 3
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 61
Gruull the Trollfolk (NPC, Cohort of Basileus Arkonides)
Bronislava (NPC)
Oxana the Lady-In-Waiting (NPC)
Dunyasha the Lady (NPC)

Odhinsdagur, the 6th of Heyannir, 900 N.Y.

When last we saw our heroes, Basileus Arkonides, pretending to be an “Imperial Ambassador,” went to see the king, accompanied by Athelstan (his “spiritual adviser”), Caelrath (his “magical adviser”), Hakon Finehair the Skald, and Aurel (his “scribe,” handling the forged documents). They were admitted to the presence of King Bautur. Over many hours of conversation, they worked out some trade agreements, discussed Thorgill Haraldsson and his father Haraldur Einkonungur (The One King, King of Noregur, “Emperor of the North”), and their plans to travel to “the East.” Since Thorgill Haraldsson had warned the king that the heroes might be in Vyborg to cause trouble, perhaps stir up rebellion, they were obliged to convince the king and promise him that they would cause no trouble during their stay in Vyborg . . .

Meanwhile, Estrid and Thrand Hallsteinsson set out to The Cloven Skull to seek out the mysterious cloaked and hooded representatives of the Helsingar. The place was crowded and raucous, with large and rough-looking patrons. The mysterious Helsingar were at a table at the back of the room by themselves. The heroes introduced themselves and were invited to join the cloaked Helsingar. They were informed the the proprietor, Gautrek Skullsplitter, would brook no violence in his establishment.

The mysterious strangers were friendly and accommodating, if slightly creepy, and were particularly welcoming of Thrand Hallsteinsson, to Estrid’s surprise. The leader identified himself as Skrymir and welcomed them, offering them wine. He explained that they were Helsingar on a mission to seek the flaming sword once born by Neferata. Skrymir inquired whether or not they had seen this sword, and so forth, and all the while Thrand Hallsteinsson seemed to be more and more friendly to Skrymir, even as Estrid became more and more suspicious. The second of the Helsingar, who did not give his name, said that he felt the other heroes had done a great evil when they had ensured the death of Klaus (one of the potential heirs to the throne of the Helsingar) and instead assured the ascension of King Amlethur. Eventually, Estrid left, practically dragging Thrand with her back to The Yellow Longship.

Back at the inn, the heroes shared their news with one another. The news that Neferata might be around the city somewhere was met with mixed reactions. Through Otrygg the innkeeper, Basileus made an arrangement with Floki the Beggar to keep an eye out for Neferata, or anyone bearing a flaming sword. Estrid performed her comedy routines that night at the inn, accompanied by the music of Hakon Finehair the Skald, and she was showered with silver pennigar by the patrons.

That night, Thrand Hallsteinsson awoke to a mysterious voice calling him to a meeting at The Cloven Skull. He decided to go alone, but Aurel heard him leaving, and so followed him at a discreet distance. Thrand went into The Cloven Skull, and followed a trail of lit torches down to the basement, where he met with Skrymir (even as Aurel listened at the top of the stairs). Skrymir revealed himself as an infernal creature, a servant of Hel, who was responsible for saving Thrand’s life back in the lands of the Helsingar. It was he who had clouded Thrand’s mind and now he wanted to formalize their agreement by offering Thrand any three wishes he might want in exchange for joining the forces of Hel. Thrandattempted to run, but Skrymir summoned a bone devil to block the exit. Thrand dove through a window, shattering the shutters, and ran back towards The Yellow Longship. Aurel was not so lucky . . . he tried to follow, but the bone devil tore him to shreds . . .

Back at The Yellow Longship, Thrand Hallsteinsson woke up the rest of the heroes and they set out back to The Cloven Skull. The Hel-spawn were waiting for them there, but the heroes were full of righteous fury. Skrymir had the bone devil on his side, and the undead Klaus (for that is who the second of the cloaked figures turned out to be). Caelrath was able to use a charm monster spell to get the bone devil on their side. The heroes quickly finished off Klaus (Hakon took him out by burying his throwing axe in Klaus’ skull), and eventually Skrymir was forced to plane shift away.

Basileus Arkonides want to the Vyborg to inform King Bautur of the events, Caelrath sent the bone devil home to Hel, Athelstan gathered up the remains of poor Aurel to put him to rest. The heroes ransacked the rooms rented by Klaus and Skrymir. They paid Gautrek Skullsplitter 23 gold aurar for his trouble. They kept 400 gold aurar, a potion of status, a potion of magic stone, a scroll of lightning bolt and a pearl of power (1st level) that went to Caelrath, and a suit of +1 chainmail and a +1 wooden shield.

XP Earned: 18,400 (3680 each)
Total XP: 87,343 each
XP to level 10: 105,000
R.I.P. Aurel – May you feast mightily in Vallholl!

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