Heroes of Midhgardhur

Session 46 - The Expedition (Act 8 - Vyborg)
HM7 The Expedition

9/7/13 – 46th Session – Module HM7 – The Expedition
Game Date: 8/4/900 N.Y. – 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)

Manadagur, the 4th of Heyannir, 900 N.Y.

Upon arrival in the city of Vyborg, known as the “City of Giants” (although no actual giants reside there), the heroes split up, as is their wont when coming to a new settlement:

  • Athelstan found a “Temple Street” running north from the center of the city, with temples to the various gods of the North (and to various alien gods as well, such as Jomali. He visited the House of Baldur, and learned that King Bautur has some mysterious visitors from the West (specifically from among the Helsingar). He then went to meet up with the others . . .
  • Basileus Arkonides went to find an armorer to repair his damaged armor. Once this was done, he inquired after directions to a relatively clean and high-class brothel, and was sent to The Red Pillow. Following his . . . er, “adventures” . . . in the brothel, he went to meet up with the others . . .
  • Caelrath went to the Artisan’s Quarter to find craftsmen who could make him a strongbox that would serve as a component for his secret chest spell. He found craftsmen capable of completing the work, but he was short of funds to pay for it. He offered to trade his services, including his use of teleport spells to acquire rare and exotic materials for the craftsmen.
  • The rest of the heroes had gone seeking an inn. After searching for something suitable, they settles on The Yellow Longship (the sign depicted a longship, apparently once painted gold, but now faded to a dull yellow). The proprietor, Otrygg, was a former viking of Rys descent who lost his right leg in a raid on Gaunorria and had it replaced with a wooden peg (also painted yellow). Estrid worked out a deal for paying 20 silver pennigar – or 2 gold aurar – each for a full month of room, board, and stabling.
  • Estrid went out to a public square to perform her comedy routine and earn some money – but her performance was somewhat lackluster, and she earned little money. When she complained of this back at The Yellow Longship, Otrygg offered to let her perform in the common room there – his patrons would get entertainment, and she could make some money. This became part of their arrangement.
  • At The Yellow Longship they encountered two sailors named Sveinn and Otar who were crewmen on the Dark Serpent, the longship of Thorgill Haraldsson (who, it turned out, was in the city, meeting with King Bautur).

Tysdagur, the 5th of Heyannir, 900 N.Y.

Knowing that something dark seemed afoot in the court of King Bautur, Athelstan, Aurel, Basileus Arkonides, Caelrath, and Estrid went to visit the Vyborg (the fortress-citadel of the city of Vyborg). The guards were going to deny them entrance, but Basileus managed to imply that he was an envoy of the Silver Emperor of Palnorra himself! Believing him to be an Imperial Ambassador, the stewards of the Vyborg immediately escorted Basileus and his “entourage” to the throne room.

King Bautur was holding court, meeting with Thorgill Haraldsson and two mysterious figures in cloaks and cowls (who were apparently, based on the information the heroes had, from the Helsingar tribe). The heroes, with Basileus as their spokesman, managed to banter with Thorgill and the king for a bit. The heroes were able to determine that Thorgill Haraldsson uses a combination of disguise and illusion to hide his true form (he is supposed to be “inhuman” according to the rumors they heard), but were unable to determine what that true form was. At length, the heroes were dismissed, with the promise that King Bautur would grant a proper audience to the “Imperial Ambassador” later . . .

That night, Basileus Arkonides laid out a plan to forge the documentation to “prove” his status as an “Imperial Ambassador.” Aurel, being a scribe, had all the necessary materials. Basileus, being from the Silver City itself, was able to describe the proper forms and formats for such a writ. Caelrath did the actual work of forging the paperwork. It seemed quite successful.

Also that night, Estrid performed in the common room of The Yellow Longship, accompanied by Basileus playing his zither. Her performance was once again disappointing. She asked Hakon Finehair the Skald to accompany her next time . . .

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

The next morning, the party split into two groups. In the first group, Basileus Arkonides, pretending to be an “Imperial Ambassador,” went to see the king. He was accompanied by Athelstan (his “spiritual adviser”), Caelrath (his “magical adviser”), Hakon Finehair the Skald, and Aurel (his “scribe,” handling the forged documents). They were allowed an audience with King Bautur . . .

The second group, meanwhile, was made up of Estrid and Thrand Hallsteinsson. They went to visit the “Giant Stones” at the center of Vyborg – a rough obelisk surrounded by a circle of standing stones in a henge, apparently made by giants in the dim mists of history. Beneath the obelisk was a blocked and guarded tunnel going north, surrounded by ancient stonework that appeared to be the work of dvergar. The guards explained that this tunnel was believed to lead to Undirmyrkrit, and was kept locked at all times – no one is permitted into the tunnel without a royal charter. Few who have ventured into the tunnel have ever returned – it is said to connect to the dungeons of the Fjalskonungur (the “Mountain King”). In chatting with the guards, Estrid was able to bluff them in order to get the information that the visitors from the Helsingar are staying at an inn of the Harbor Quarter called The Cloven Skull. So Estrid and Thrand set off to The Cloven Skull to find out what they could about these mysterious visitors from the Helsingar . . .

XP Earned: 9,600 (1600 each)
Total XP: 83,663 each
XP to level 10: 105,000

View
Session 45 - The Expedition (Fjalskonungsholl)
HM7 The Expedition

8/31/13 – 45th Session – Module HM7 – The Expedition
Game Date: 7/22/900 N.Y. – 8/4/900 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
Bronislava (NPC)
Oxana the Lady-In-Waiting (NPC)
Dunyasha the Lady (NPC)
Gruull the Trollfolk (NPC)

Triumphant heroes

Tysdagur, the 22nd of Solmanudhur, 900 N.Y. – continued!

The battle with the frost giants and their white dragon continued!

The party moved quickly as the Jotnar thundered closer, protecting the innocent civilians (Oxana and Dunyasha). Caelrath cast haste on all the heroes, giving them an advantage. Thrand Hallsteinsson began to lauch hailstorms of arrows at the giants, Estrid used her call lightning to keep blasting giants, Bronislava took out a giant with her bastard sword, Aurel climbed a cliff, and Basileus Arkonides threw himself into the fighting.

Caelrath killed two more of the Jotnar with his scorching rays, Thrand killed another in a hail of arrows, but the dragon badly wounded Bronislava.

Hakon attacked a Jotunn with his hand axe, stiking thrice, even as Estrid called down more lightning on the dragon. A giant struck Basileus, wounding him badly, but Athelstan was by his side to heal him almost completely. The dragon once again ripped into Bronislava, leaving her barely able to stand. Basileus struck such a mighty critical hit against a Jotunn that it left the giant wide open, and each of the nearby heroes was able to make an attack of opportunity against it, dropping it dead.

Hakon Finehair the Skald struck a mighty blow against the dragon. Caelrath blasted the dragon with magic missiles, and Estrid killed it with a flamestrike.

The battle raged on as the number of the Jotnar shrank, and the determination of the heroes grew greater. Finally, only a single Jotunn remained, fighting on defiantly. Caelrath gave the Jotunn a chance to surrender, even as the Jotnar had offered to spare their lives and keep them as slaves if they had surrendered. The giant laughed at them, amused at the thought of the “master race” bowing to such lesser creatures as the heroes. Swords flashed, arrows fell, and finally Estrid brought the last of the Jotnar foemen down with a blast of lightning.

Joyous in their victory, the heroes made camp for the night where the monsters had intended to make their camp. They harvested everything useful from the young white dragon they had slain (hide enough for a small suit of armor, 4 vials of blood, 2 vials of stomach acid, 2 vials of gall, 1 vial of musk, skin enough for 2 grips, and a whole lot of dragon jerky!). They also went through the sacks that served as belt pouches for the giants, finding many treasures and weapons (as well as the charred corpse of a lytlingur that had apparently been kept as a snack, for which Aurel arranged a proper burial at which Athelstan officiated).

The next day the heroes continued their journey on towards Vyborg.

Manadagur, the 4th of Heyannir, 900 N.Y.

On this day the heroes arrived within sight of Vyborg . . .

XP Earned: 58,542 (9757 each)
Total XP: 82,063 each
XP to level 10: 105,000
Hamingja: 1 point awarded

View
Session 44 - The Expedition (Act 7, Fjalskonungsholl)
HM7 The Expedition

8/24/13 – 44th Session – Module HM7 – The Expedition
Game Date: 7/13/900 N.Y. – 7/22/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Athelstan (Chris) – domur: 66, hamingja: 1
Aurel (Metellus) – domur: 64, hamingja: 3
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 64, hamingja: 0
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 64, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 68, hamingja: 1
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 64, hamingja: 3
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 60
Bronislava (NPC)
Oxana the Lady-In-Waiting (NPC)
Dunyasha the Lady (NPC)
Gruull the Trollfolk (NPC)

Fjalskonungsholl pic 1

Solsdagur, the 13th of Solmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

After the defeat of the demonic Hyndlur, Caelrath remained in the top of the Howling Tower of Ulfsey to examine the runes and the rift between the Nine Worlds. Athelstan and Basileus Arkonides remained with him, recovering from their injuries. The rest of the heroes went to talk to the trollfolk who was chained up on the first floor of the tower.

Aurel removed the gag so that they could converse with the trollfolk. His name was Hruull, but none of them could pronounce that easily, so Estrid renamed him Gruull. He had been a scout in a trollfolk tribe in service to the Fjalskonungur (“The Mountain King”), until his tribe had been wiped out by werewolves in service to Hyndlur. His life had apparently been spared only so that he could later be a snack for the werewolves. Upon finding that the heroes had ended the curse of lycanthropy afflicting Ulfsey, and defeated the demonic Hyndlur, Gruull offered to become their scout and help lead them safely through the lands of the Fjalskonungur to Vyborg. At first, the heroes were reluctant, but once Hakon Finehair the Skald pointed out how much this would annoy Dunyasha, Estrid enthusiastically agreed. They haggled on a price for his services, though it was never very clear what the result was (he gets to eat gruel, and be paid 3 – or 7 – coins of copper – or gold – per . . . day?). Aurel released Gruull from his chains.

So Thrand Hallsteinsson, Estrid, and Hakon left the tower to address the angry mob outside. Thrand Hallsteinsson explained what had happened, even describing the secret entrance to the tower for them, but the mood of the mob turned ugly since they felt they had been used by the heroes, and that the heroes could not possibly be telling the whole truth. The yfirmenn (chieftains) of the town agreed that the heroes should leave town by tomorrow. They consulted with Styr Odhinsgodhi, who agreed, offering to heal Basileus Arkonides and Athelstan to help them on their way.

These heroes returned to the Wolf’s Head Inn to check on Bronislava, Oxana, and Dunyasha. They told them that they had to be ready to leave by the end of the day tomorrow. Estrid also made a point of telling Dunyasha that a new scout was joining the party, describing him as a “prince of a fellow,” “last heir of his tribe,” and so forth, not mentioning that Gruull was a trollfolk. Let the fun begin . . .

Manadagur, the 14th of Solmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

The next morning, Caelrath finished his study of the runes in the Howling Tower of Ulfsey. He discovered that the rift between the Nine Worlds could be used to deliver a spoken message to anyone, anywhere in the Nine Worlds. Hakon Finehair the Skald used it to send a message to his king back in Sjaelland.

Athelstan and Basileus Arkonides visited the town blacksmith, hoping he could repair their armor. Given the fact that the Ulfhedhrinn (wolf-berserkers) of Ulfsey do not wear armor in combat, preferring wolf skins, it was not surprising that their town blacksmith did not have the necessary training or skill to repair their damaged armor. He was able to patch it back together temporarily, but warned them that they should seek out a true armorer when next they reach civilization.

Everybody met up back at the Wolf’s Head Inn. Thy introduced Gruull to those who had not yet met him – Bronislava was prefectly glad to have him aboard, as long as he stayed out of her way. But Dunyasha was completely horrified, and worse, Gruull took an immediate like to her!Estrid thoroughly enjoyed Dunyasha’s discomfort . . .

And so it was nearly sundown before the heroes were ready to depart. Since they had agreed to get out of town by the end of the day, they decided to leave and camp in the wilderness immediately outside the town. But when they went to get ferries across the river delta, the ferrymen were just as hostile to the heroes as the rest of the townfolk. They demanded a gold coin each to bring the heroes across. Basileus Arkonides and Athelstan paid the toll, so the heroes were ferried across. Then they set up camp.

Tysdagur the 15th of Solmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

One this date, the heroes set out to the southeast towards Vyborg. Taking the advice of Gruull, the heroes avoided the heights and ridges, sticking to the lowlands and valley floors, hoping to avoid the notice of the Mountain King and his patrols. From the accounts given by Gruull, the Fjalskonungur (“Mountain King”) appeared to be a Jotunn (Frost Giant) king, with several tribes of giants in his service, and each of those with tribes of trolls and trollfolk in their service. In other words, a vast army, against which a few lone men, women, and vaettir could not hope to contend. Hence, they decided to move southeast as stealthily as possible . . .

And so days passed . . .

Tysdagur, the 22nd of Solmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

As the heroes were making progress towards Vyborg, on this day Gruull came back from scouting ahead to report that a raiding party if Jotnar (Frost Giants) had been sighted up ahead. Thrand Hallsteinsson went with him an confirmed – a patrol of about 11 Jotnar awaited ahead of them, accompanied by a young white dragon. They were nearly spotted, but Thrand got them safely back to the party.

The party discussed what to do. They seemed to have but three options. One was that they could try to hide and wait for the patrol to get bored and move on . . . but that could take weeks, and risked them being discovered by the patrol anyway. The second was to try to go around the checkpoint the patrol was setting up in a narrow canyon – possibly by going over them by taking to the ridges and hills. However, this was what they had been trying to avoid doing, since Gruull had warned them that the Mountain King’s scouts and spies would easily spot them if they travelled on the high ridges and hilltops. The third option, of course, was to attack the Jotnar and simply hope and pray for victory . . .

The heroes felt as if this choice were no choice at all. They decided to try to win past this patrol of unholy giants by force. They approached the checkpoint, where it seemed that the Jotnar had two old stone watchtowers to anchor their checkpoint. Atop the tower to the left was the young white dragon. Atop the tower to the right was a Jotunn. The rest of the Jotnar were down on the valley floor, setting up tents and such for their encampment.

The heroes watched the Jotnar stealthily for a time, then prepared to strike. Caelrath took the lead, preparing himself with mage armor, shield, fly, and invisibility, then flying over the group of Jotnar to the left, he rapidly struck them with two fireballs, then used his arcane bond to use fireball a third time. Thrand Hallsteinsson had meanwhile prepared himself with cat’s grace, and Athelstan had prepared himself with holy lance. The battle ensued, with the young white dragon pursuing Caelrath (he managed to shake this pursuit ultimately with mirror image, invisibility, and dropping so rapidly he escaped even the dragon’s ability to sense him), Estrid using call lightning and flame strike, and both Basileus Arkonides and Thrand Hallsteinsson using their bows (Thrand was able to help focus their attacks with his hunter’s bond).

One giant was quickly slain, many more were badly wounded by the fire magic being poured down upon them, but the other Jotnar came pounding across the field at them, coming quickly within melee range and unleashing the fury of their giant greataxes, even as some that remained behind hurled boulders across the field at exposed targets. Some of the heroes took grave wounds, with Athelstan struggling to heal them as quickly as he could.

Unfortunately, the outcome of the battle was still very much in doubt as the session came to a close . . . to be continued in Session 45!

XP Earned: 4938 (823 each) . . . to be awarded next session, in addition to the XP from the ongoing combat . . .
Total XP: 72,306 (73,129 plus whatever other XP is earned, once the combat is complete)
XP to level 9: 75,000

View
Session 43 - The Expedition (Act 6, Isle of the Wolf)
HM7 The Expedition

8/10/13 – 43rd Session – Module HM7 – The Expedition
Game Date: 7/13/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Athelstan (Chris) – domur: 66, hamingja: 1
Aurel (Metellus) – domur: 64, hamingja: 3
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 64, hamingja: 0
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 64, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 68, hamingja: 1
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 64, hamingja: 3
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 60
Bronislava (NPC)
Oxana the Lady-In-Waiting (NPC)
Dunyasha the Lady (NPC)

Solsdagur, the 13th of Solmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

Basileus Arkonides opened the door and the heroes rushed in to the top room of the Howling Tower of Ulfsey. There they found a room that was mostly bare, with intricate runes inscribed over nearly every surface of the room. In the center of the room was a short pillar-like pedestal on which sat a complicated metal mechanism like an orrery, itself engraved with runes. All the runes in the room were softly glowing green.

Also in the room was a tall man in a black robe, with dark eyes and hair, and a short black goatee. The man introduced himself to the heroes as Hyndlur, and admitted that he was the “master of the tower.” He claimed that he had been trying to help the werewolves who had been living in the tower, and likewise claimed that he was a runecaster whose only goal was to research the mysterious runes in the tower. He did his best to set the heroes at ease, and even offered to help them in their quest. He inquired pleasantly about their mission and destination, and finally told them that he had the power to grant one of them any wish they might desire.

The heroes were suspicious, however, and refused Hyndlur’s help. Athelstan, speaking calmly and rationally, made a counteroffer – that Hyndlur should come out of the tower with them and face the charges against him from the people of Ulfsey. He should face their justice first, then, when justice had been served, maybe then he could help the party. With a sneer, Hyndlur refused their offer, pointing out that they had dared to invade his home with weapons drawn, intent upon violence, while he had been civil to them. He offered them the chance to leave the Howling Tower of Ulfsey without a fight.

The response of the heroes was to make ready their weapons. As they did so, Hyndlur’s form billowed and warped, revealing a huge and hideous form that had previously been hidden by illusion. He had four arms with pincers and claws, horns, and the terrible appearance of a demon from Jotunheimur, a creature of primal darkness. So did their battle begin . . .

Hakon Finehair the Skald began a war chant to bring courage and strength of will to the heroes as they faced the demon Hyndlur. Athelstan, wielding Logsvar, and calling upon the holy powers of Baldur, found himself able to smite the beast terribly. Caelrath used a spell of haste to aid his allies. Estrid was able to summon an owlbear to try to fight the demon (though it was largely unable to penetrate the demon’s defenses). The others tried their best, but could do little to the beast. Worse, Hyndlur spoke the power word: stun to Athelstan, and it was only through his luck and Hamingja that he was able to avoid being taken out of the fight . . .

The heroes did their best to kill the demon, with Caelrath unleashing his scorching ray and Estrid her flamestrike, and Thrand Hallsteinsson granting himself cat’s grace so that his arrows might strike true. Hyndlur tried to summon help from Jotunheimur, but failed. Most of the attacks the heroes tried could not harm the beast. Hyndlur hit them with a chaos hammer burst. The fight raged on. Hyndlur managed to use his power to cause confusion on Basileus Arkonides, who (as a result) spent time babbling incoherently and striking himself rather than fighting the demon . . .

Then, things became desperate. Caelrath failed to charm the demon. None of their attacks were hitting the beast. And then Hyndlur nearly eviscerated Athelstan. He dropped lifeless to the floor. Quickly, Estrid passed some of her Hamingja to the fallen godhi, so that he would survive. Thrand Hallsteinsson used a wand of cure light wounds to heal Athelstan and pulled him out of the danger zone long enough for the cleric to heal himself.

Estrid used her wild shape ability to become a dire lion so that she could grapple and rake Hyndlur, who nearly tore Basileus Arkonides apart. Thanks to his Hamingja, Bas did not perish, and Thrand Hallsteinsson once again used his wand to keep a companion in the fight. Seeing the increasing determination of the heroes to bring him down, Hyndlur tried to flee using his ability to teleport, but was unable to concentrate because of Estrid. When it became apparent that he was about to lose, Hyndlur tried to turn each of the heroes against the others, offering them any wish they might desire if they would join him against their companions. As Athelstan strode towards him for the killing blow, he said, “I could have granted you your every wish, your every desire, priest! Why kill me? I could be your greatest friend and ally! You could have whatever you want!”

Athelstan replied, “I have all the friends I need!” So saying, he struck down Hyndlur, whose body bubbled and churned and dissolved into slime before their eyes, leaving them alone atop the Howling Tower of Ulfsey . . .

(They did get a chance to look around. Hidden in a recessed area of wall in the tower, they found a large chest filled with gold coins – about 5800 aurar. This seemed small reward for all they had sacrificed and gone through, but then again, some of them were very much in need of more gold . . .)

XP Earned: 35,202 (5867 each)
Total XP: 72,306
XP to level 9: 75,000

And Hakon Finehair the Skald made this verse:

From the heroes Hyndlur hid,
In the manner and mien of a man,
And offered all that one could ever want . . .
The darkling demon and deceiver!
The heroes hammered Hyndlur’s hame,
And Hel-wards sent his screaming soul!

View
Session 42 - The Expedition (Act 6, The Isle of the Wolf)
HM7 The Expedition

7/20/13 – 42nd Session – Module HM7 – The Expedition
Game Date: 7/12/900 N.Y. – 7/13/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Athelstan (Chris) – domur: 63, hamingja: 3
Aurel (Metellus) – domur: 61, hamingja: 3
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 61, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 61, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 65, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 61, hamingja: 3
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 57
Bronislava (NPC)
Oxana the Lady-In-Waiting (NPC)
Dunyasha the Lady (NPC)

Sjaundidagur, the 12th of Solmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

The heroes decided to scout the Howling Tower of Ulfsey before making any assault on the tower or any attempt to liberate the lycanthropes. Estrid used her power of wild shape to take the form of an earth elemental and earth glide through the walls of the tower again. She found not much change – the other lycanthropes were still there, on the 2nd through 4th levels of the tower. But the first level of the tower now had a chained prisoner – one of the lesser trollfolk – and two fresh corpses, horribly mangled from the feeding of the werewolves.

It was decided to attempt to replicate the feat of rescue performed the previous day. Caelrath had prepared many of his charm spells, and so they attempted to rescue the other werewolves in the same way. The three lycanthropes on the 2nd floor were all charmed and rescued. Then the two lycanthropes on the 3rd floor. Luck ran out on the 4th floor, when one of the charms failed to take effect, and the howling sound from the 5th floor triggered the transformation of the two into their hybrid wolfman forms.

The two werewolves pursued Caelrath out of the tower, but he was able to use a more powerful charm on the last wolfman and get him under control. Estrid got their wolves under control using her wild empathy. Then the remaining werewolves too were cured through the use of herb Thorshjalm.

The heroes brought the cured lycanthropes to the Wolf’s Head Inn for bathing and food . . . and identification. It turned out that all the lycanthropes had been former residents of Ulfsey, but who spent most of their lives in the wilderness around the island – hunters, trappers, rangers, and so forth. Besides Njall, the others were named Adhalsteinn, Bard, Dagfinnur, Eddval, Finnur, Gardar, and Hadding. They were all largely disoriented from their years spent as lycanthropes in service to some dark, evil power.

The heroes made plans to try to storm the tower and confront its evil master the next day. In order to secure a distraction, Athelstan and Aurel went to the great feast-hall to try to arrange another angry mob led by Borgny. Borgny and the other chieftains present were all extremely drunk, but through careful diplomacy and a gift of some well-aged cheese, a promise was secured of an angry mob for the next morning.

Solsdagur, the 13th of Solmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

Early in the morningm the heroes set out for the tower. Just as planned, an angry mob started to gather outside the tower, screaming and yelling and pounding on the tower. Hoping that this would provide sufficient distractions, the heroes went down the rope to the cliff-face, and entered through the secret tunnel into the basement used as a refuse-pit by the werewolves. They crept quickly up the stairs to the 5th level of the tower (with Aurel pausing only to gag the trollfolk who was chained up on the 1st level – just to be on the safe side!).

The heroes were on the stairway, outside the door to the evil master’s lair on the 5th level. They were lined up with Basileus Arkonides in the front, Caelrath right behind him, followed by Athelstan, then Thrand Hallsteinsson, Estrid, Hakon Finehair the Skald, and finally Aurel (since he had stopped to gag the trollfolk prisoner. They were about to enter the room and confront the evil within . . .

XP Earned: 8400 (1400 each)
Total XP: 66,439
XP to level 9: 75,000

View
Session 41 - The Expedition (Act 6, The Isle of the Wolf)
HM7 The Expedition

7/13/13 – 41st Session – Module HM7 – The Expedition
Game Date: 7/10/900 N.Y. – 7/11/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Athelstan (Chris) – domur: 58, hamingja: 3
Aurel (Metellus) – domur: 56, hamingja: 3
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 56, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 56, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 60, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 56, hamingja: 3
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 52
Bronislava (NPC)
Oxana the Lady-In-Waiting (NPC)
Dunyasha the Lady (NPC)

Thorsdagur, the 10th of Solmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

The heroes arrived at the isle of Ulfsey – an island at the delta where the river Torni flows into the Helsingjabotn. This island – the island of vargar (outlaws and outcasts) is, in some ways, the truly last bastion of Northern civilization before passing into the East. The heroes perceived that the river Torni is wide and deep and fast-flowing, with no fords or bridges. The only way to cross is by the ferry barges to and from Ulfsey. So the heroes acquired the services of two ferries (Basileus Arkonides gave a gold eyrir to each of the ferrymen) for themselves, their mounts, and Aurel’s wagon.

As they were making the crossing, the heroes heard an unearthly howling sound drifting across the water from the southern part of the island. The ferrymen explained that the sound came from the Howling Tower of Ulfsey – a strange local landmark, a tower with no doors or windows that periodically emits this strange howling sound. The heroes were intrigued. As they landed on the island, the ferrymen advised them that the only real inn on the island was the Wolf’s Head Inn run by Gunnvor of Ulfsey.

As the heroes began to wander through the village, they were confronted by a band of warriors led by a morose man with long black hair named Ketill the Yfirmadhur (a local chieftain). He and his followers seemed to simply want to make sure that the strange visitors to the island did not pose some kind of threat. Having ascertained that the heroes had not come to cause trouble, Ketill gave “permission” for the heroes to proceed on their way.

The heroes went on to the Wolf’s Head Inn (a building somewhat better built than many on the island) and met Gunnvor of Ulfsey, the proprietor, a grey-haired old woman with an eyepatch over her right eye. She was able to fill in the party on the details of life in Ulfsey – the anarchistic lack of government and the chieftains that keep “order,” the life of the vargar that have come to make Ulfsey their home, the religious community devoted to Odhinn on the island (headed by Styr Odhinsgodhi), and so forth. She even told them her own story of how she lost her eye and came to Ulfsey on the run from her previous life.

The heroes were intrigued by the Howling Tower of Ulfsey, but decided to consult with Styr Odhinsgodhi the priest of Odhinn before investigating directly, since he had apparently investigated the doorless tower some ten years previously. So Athelstan acquired a cask of mead as a gift,and led a delegation made up of Aurel and Caelrath to the northern end of the island where the godhi made his home. They found his property included a well-built house, a small hof, and a large oak tree clearly used for hangings (probably dedicated to Odhinn as sacrifices). Styr was a tall, chalk-white, bald man with a deep voice and little sense of humor. Still, they had a pleasant enough conversation with him about the tower (he had never learned much about it, except that it didn’t seem to pose much threat). Athelstan asked to have a private moment with the godhi as the party was leaving, so Aurel and Caelrath waited outside. Athelstan asked if another godhi would be welcomed by the community here – say, a godhi of Baldur. Styr replied that he thought such a godhi would indeed be welcomed here – particularly since his own god, Odhinn, is not one to give much hope to the people.

The delegation returned to the Wolf’s Head Inn and reunited with the rest of the party. They had a great feast of venison stew provided by Gunnvor of Ulfsey, and discussed the mysterious Howling Tower of Ulfsey. Finally, it was decided to feast heartily this night, get some rest, and investigate the tower bright and early in the morning.

After the rest of the party had gone to sleep, Aurel crept out of bed and went off alone to investigate the tower on his own. While he was trying to figure out a way into the tower, he heard footsteps approaching in the dark. Aurel his himself, and could barely discern a humanoid figure accompanied by a canine walk up to the tower and then simply walk through the solid walls of the tower. Aurel decided to keep watch to see if the figure emerged again from the solid stone, but no such event occurred, so shortly before dawn, he returned to the Wolf’s Head Inn and his bed.

Freyjudagur, the 11th of Solmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

Bright and early the heroes got up to investigate the Howling Tower of Ulfsey. Basileus Arkonides bribed Gunnvor with a gold eyrir to not only keep Dunyasha, Oxana, and Bronislava at the inn, but to try to get Dunyasha drunk . . . just for fun. The party went out to the tower and examined it, finding no doors or windows, as promised. The only visible markings were an archway of stone (but not a doorway – simply an notable arch of stones built into the tower), over which was a rune like a crescent moon. Once they arrived and began their investigation, Aurel revealed his nocturnal visit to the tower and described what he had encountered. Yet the tower was solid stone. Curious . . .

As the heroes were investigating, an angry mob came up the hill to confront them. The mob was led to a filthy-looking warrior woman, an yfirkona named Borgny. She was very hostile, and accused the heroes of killing Odd the Miller. Odd had been killed the previous night – his body torn apart, and his head missing. The heroes tried to explain that they had nothing to do with the brutal murder of the miller, but their explanations seemed to do little to sway the crowd, whose mood was getting ugly. Fortunately, Hakon Finehair the Skald, in an outstanding display of oratory, was able to talk them down and convince the mob to disperse.

Anyway, Caelrath used all the mystic arts at his disposal to examine the tower. As expected, it was overlaid with many old magical enchantments. He was able to discern that the archway held a powerful conjuration enchantment, but was not able to ascertain its function. Aurel found an extremely faint blood trail leading up to the archway, indicating that whoever or whatever walked through the wall into the tower was dripping blood.

Estrid went to the south side of the tower (overlooking the cliff and the Helsingjabotn. She used her wildshape to assume the form of an earth elemental, then used an earth elemental’s earth glide ability to pass through the stone and investigate the tower. She was able to discover that the tower had five ascending levels as well as a subterranean level. The subterranean level had a secret tunnel out to the cliff face over the Helsingjabotn, and a room full of bones – many of them human. The first, second, third, and fourth levels contained a total of eight sleeping humanoid figures and eight wolves. The humanoid figures seemed filthy, wearing furs and skins and having long hair and beards matted with blood. Some mystic force prevented her from investigating the top (fifth) floor of the tower – the apparent source of the howling sound. She emerged to explain what she had seen to the rest of the heroes.

The heroes debated – seemingly endlessly – about what to do next. Finally they came up with a plan: Caelrath wrapped himself in powerful spells (fly, invisibility, mage armor, and shield), then carefully flew through the tunnel from the cliff to the subterranean level of the tower, then up the spiral stairs to the first floor, where he cast charm person on one of the sleeping humanoids. He then woke the humanoid and suggested that he should go outside. The figure arose and walked through the wall to the spot outside where the rest of the party waited. Athelstan managed to keep the wild-looking man calm until Caelrath was able to fly his wait out and rejoin the group. They began to interrogate the man, who rambled incoherently about “the master” at the top of the tower . . .

Suddenly, the top of the tower emitted a loud howling noise. The charmed man seemed terrified and stricken by the sound, then suddenly, horribly, metamorphosed into a hybrid wolfman – a werefolf! Since they still had him under enchantment, they were able to convince him to consume doses of Thorshjalm, a cure for lycanthropy. The second dose of Thorshjalm cured the man of his curse, causing him to revert to human form. They were able to find out that his name was Njall, a forester and trapper by trade, who was cursed with lycanthropy about five years ago, and he had been living in thrall to “the master in the tower” ever since.

The heroes decided that they needed to get Njal away from the tower and someplace safe, so Athelstan and Aurel went ahead to seek permission from Styr to bring Njall to his house. The party brought him there and interrogated him. He seemed to not remember much from the past few years, since the curse of lycanthropy was aggravated by the howling sound from the Howling Tower of Ulfsey.. He had lived as a mindless beast for much of the last five years, his bestial mind enthralled by “the master of the tower.”

So now the heroes are faced with the problem of what to do with the remaining werewolves in the tower – whether they should try to cure them as well, since they are likely innocent victims of “the master” as well, or whether they should attack the minions and storm the top of the tower to confront this “master.”

XP Earned: 7200 (1200 each)
Total XP: 65,039
XP to level 9: 75,000

View
Test Post - THE GAME FEZ!
Test

Game fez

View
Runestones of Rys, Session 4 - The First Runestone
RR1 - The First Runestone

6/30/13 – 4th Session – Module RR1 – The First Runestone
Game Date: 3/9/900 N.Y.

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

Manadagur, the 9th of Goa, 900 N.Y.

The party spent another uneventful night encamped in the now-empty goblin caves within the Temple of the First Runestone. Having already explored all the other passages, they suspected that the dragon they feared to lurk within the temple must be in the one place they had not yet looked – the passageway some 20 feet over their heads.

It was a steep cliff leading up to the passage, but Vladmir Kirilenko used the party’s potion of levitate to gently rise to the opening and tie off a rope for the rest of his companions in what turned out to be a hidden crypt of some kind. But as he tied off the rope, he heard some kind of weird shuffling noise from deep within the crypt. Even as Grunyar climbed the rope into the crypt, 3 undead skeletons came shambling into view. Dressed in rotten rags of clothing, unarmed, they approached with outstretched claws . . .

Vladmir Kirilenko’s initial attack with his magical sword demonstrated a chief difficulty in battling skeletons – slashing and piercing attacks have little effect! Since the party had few bludgeoning weapons with which to bash the skeletons, they had to get creative – for example, Grunyar used his rope to lasso a skeleton. Merisiel used burning hands and her wand of magic missile to blast one of them to splinters. But it was Ulrik Larsson of Uppsalir who finally destroyed them by calling upon his god Thorr and channeling his holy power, destroying the remaining skeletons and healing the wounds suffered by the party so far.

After the battle, Merisiel examined the remains of the skeletons and determined that they had the remains of a weak necromantic magic which had animated them – and that the remains of their clothing were of the right type for the followers of Rys himself – probably followers of his buried here in his first temple, cursed to rise again if anyone disturbed their crypt. But they seemed to have been wandering in undeath for a while. What if it was the dragon’s presence that caused the dead to rise . . .? Such was their speculation as they probed deeper into the Temple of the First Runestone . . .

The passageway twisted and turned deeper into the hillside, until finally it opened into a chamber open to the sky. Within was a glittering hoard of treasure . . . and a black-scaled dragon! The heroes charged to attack it, but the beast was able to shrug off most of their attacks. It felled Vladmir Kirilenko, who would have surely died had not Ulrik Larsson of Uppsalir healed his wounds. Grunyar got a lucky shot with his bow and wounded the beast, and Merisiel’s magic (and that of her wand of magic missiles!) was having some small effect. But once Ulrik Larsson of Uppsalir got Vladmir Kirilenko back on his feet, it was Vladmir Kirilenko and his dragon-bane sword that turned the tide, wounding the dragon so grievously that it fled – and it was able to escape, despite their parting shots . . .

Which left the party free to loot the dragon’s hoard . . . something they know the dragon will never forgive. It will seek vengeance upon them . . . eventually . . .

Before the party left the Temple of the First Runestone, they consulted the map given to them by the mysterious old man at the beginning of their quest. It showed that the next town was about 38 miles away, and the supposed site of the next runestone. The town is apparently known as either Rybnaya Sloboda or Ust-Sheksna. The party intends to seek the next runestone, and mayhap the black dragon as well . . .

XP Earned: 1600 (400 each)
Total XP: 1470 each
XP to level 2: 2000

View
Session 40 - The Expedition (Act 5, Interlude)
HM7 The Expedition

6/15/13 – 40th Session – Module HM7 – The Expedition
Game Date: 6/16/900 N.Y. – 7/10/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Athelstan (Chris) – domur: 58, hamingja: 3
Aurel (Metellus) – domur: 56, hamingja: 3
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 56, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 56, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 60, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 56, hamingja: 3
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 52
Bronislava (NPC)
Oxana the Lady-In-Waiting (NPC)
Dunyasha the Lady (NPC)

Manadagur, the 16th of Skerpla, 900 N.Y.

The heroes arrived back in Luleastadhir in the morning to find the market bustling with activity, as the ships had come in and the caravans arrived. But at the center of town, they found Jarl Grundi in a confrontation with a mysterious stranger who turned out to be Thorgill Haraldsson, the youngest son of Haraldur Einkonungur (The One King, King of Noregur, “Emperor of the North”) and his first wife, Gydha. The arrogant young man was threatening the jarl, until Aurel spoke up against him. When Thorgill dismissed Aurel, Basileus Arkonides then spoke up, insulting Thorgill. So Thorgill challenged him to a holmganga (a duel between the two of them in a domhringur, a “doom-ring”), to be fought at dawn. Basileus Arkonides, contrained by honor, was forced to accept the challenge. After this, Thorgill strode away.

After the confrontation with Thorgill, the heroes were pleased to have a meeting with the jarl and Orm-Barri. They could not agree what to do about Thorgill, beyond allowing his holmganga with Basileus Arkonides to go forward at dawn the next day. The heroes presented two of the three skergipur eggs to the jarl and to Barri. The jarl seemed to accept the magnificent gift as only his due, considering the hospitality that he had shown to the heroes in the past. But Orm-Barri was extremely grateful for the gift, and ran home to get them a gift in exchange.

When Orm-Barri returned, he bore a vellum map of the country ahead of them, showing how they would pass the the lands of the wild and savage Kvenir tribes to come to Ulfsey, the furthest outpost of the people of the North in the East (except perhaps for the Rys Khanate beyond). Beyond Ulfsey, they would need to travel a narrow mountain pass, which is now plagued by attacks of troll raiders. Some claim the trolls are led by a “King of the Mountain” who sends them forth to assault the men and vaettir. Orm-Barri said he could introduce Estrid to the trader who brought him the map . . .

Meanwhile, Aurel and Caelrath went to the libraries to research the mysterious Fortress of the King of Storms. Aurel turned up nothing in his search, but Caelrath found references to the primeval war in which the Aesir and Vanir unleashed their wrath upon the “Storm King,” and in so doing shook the Fortress of the King of Storms loose from the branches of the World-Tree Yggdrasill. And so the fortress drifts here and there, from world to world, uncontrollably . . . or so the scholars believed. But Caelrath thought that any sufficiently powerful runecaster ought to be able to harness the magic to control the fortress . . .

Estrid went to the tavern to interview Vladislav Otarson, a Rys man (clearly of Vylgar descent) from Tvor who had made the journey many times from the Rys Khanate to Luleastadhir, and had even been to Permia a few times. He called it a dangerous land, full of linnorms, dragons, giants, and evil sorcerers. He was able to tell Estrid much about the road ahead. He could not tell much of Thorgill, except to say that he had seemed to have some immunity to poison, as if he knew a rune against poison on his drinking horn. After meeting with him, she was able to advise the party better about the road they should take to Ulfsey and beyond . . .

Finally, Aurel and Caelrath went to interview Hauk, the ice-sorcerer who was counselor to Jarl Grundi. Orm-Barri had told them he might know something useful, but that Hauk always made him uneasy. He said, “He is an ice-sorcerer, meaning that somewhere back in his family line runs the blood of the frost-giants, who at Ragnarokkur will lead the charge to destroy the gods and the world. It is hard to forget that a man like that has such kin.” So forewarned, they met with Hauk, a gloomy man who spent most of his time staring into the fire in the hearth. He was able to tell that Thorgill was no mortal man, but that while his father, Haraldur Einkonungur (The One King, King of Noregur, “Emperor of the North”), might be a mortal man, no man can say what manner of creature his mother might have been. He was known to have terrible powers, though Thorgill could not name those powers precisely. While he hinted at possessing knowledge that would “blind them, blast them, and burn them to cinders with the merest glance,” he could tell them little of value, except to ask before they left, whether the blade Basileus Arkonides bore were enchanted. They said that it was, and he said that such was well, since Thorgill seemed to be under an enchantment himself, that no iron would bite him unless it were enchanted.

Tysdagur, the 17th of Skerpla, 900 N.Y.

Awakening at dawn, Basileus Arkonides prepared for his holmganga, seeming nonchalant (although he did use svartalfur poison to envenom his blade). He came to the market square to find the doom-ring assembled and Thorgill waiting for him. In the verbal sparring before the match, Bas impressed Thorgill with his courage, and so Thorgill specified the holmnganga to be a fight only to first blood. They clashed their swords on their shields to signify their readiness for the match to begin. Basileus Arkonides proved the faster, and though Thorgill was pouring all of his skill into defense, Bas struck him a mighty blow. The attack stunned Thorgill (though he seemed to shrug off the poison), and he congratulated the hero on his courage and fighting prowess. Basileus Arkonides took Thorgill to the closest tavern to buy him a drink, and proceeded to get very drunk indeed. The ale seemed not to touch Thorgill, however. But he said, “I intend to sail with the tide. I shall tell my father that with champions such as you, Luleastadhir is too well defended to be taken by force. Perhaps the time is not right.”

Odhinsdagur, the 18th of Skerpla, 900 N.Y.

Thorgill did indeed sail away on the next tide. The heroes did not quite trust in his word, however, and stayed a few more days to ensure that he was really gone. Aurel also suggested to the jarl that he improve his relations with the ship captains who patrol the bay, so that he would have better warning if Thorgill or an enemy fleet were to reappear. Aurel also bought a wagon (hitched to his mule) to help transport the remaining skergipur egg.

Freyjudagur, the 20th of Skerpla, 900 N.Y.

On this day, the heroes once more set forth, this time directing their course towards Ulfsey.

Tysdagur, the 1st of Solmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this day, the heroes encountered some primitive Kvenir tribesmen herding their reindeer. The Kvenir seemed to fear them, and gave the heroes a wide berth . . .

Thorsdagur, the 10th of Solmanudhur, 900 N.Y.

On this day the heroes finally arrived in sight of Ulfsey Crossing . . .

XP Earned: 24,000 (4000 each)
Total XP: 63,839
XP to level 9: 75,000

View
Session 39 - The Expedition (Act 5)
HM7 The Expedition

6/1/13 – 39th Session – Module HM7 – The Expedition
Game Date: 6/13/900 N.Y. – 6/15/900 N.Y.

The Party:
Athelstan (Chris) – domur: 52, hamingja: 3
Aurel (Metellus) – domur: 50, hamingja: 3
Basileus Arkonides (Chris) – domur: 50, hamingja: 2
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 50, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 54, hamingja: 3
Thrand Hallsteinsson (Josh) – domur: 50, hamingja: 3
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 46
Bronislava (NPC)
Oxana the Lady-In-Waiting (NPC)
Dunyasha the Lady (NPC)

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

The heroes slogged through the boggy swamp to the mountain where the skergipar made their lair, but as night was falling, they decided to make camp (without a fire, for fear of calling down the giant beasts on them in the night).

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

Awakened at dawn by the screeching roar of a skergipur high above, the heroes pressed on up the mountainside. They came to narrow passes where the mounts would have to be left, so the left Vik (the leshy) and Bronislava to protect Dunyasha, Oxana, and the mounts. Storm clouds were gathering over the mountain, and occasional flashes of lightning streaked across the sky as they climbed.

Approaching the nest, Estrid used her eagle eye spell to discern that there was a single skergipur in the nest, guarding some gigantic eggs. The beast was huge – more than 30 feet long, with a wingspan of more than 80 feet . . . and there was no sign yet of the other one!

As the heroes prepared to attack the nest, Caelrath cast fly on Basileus Arkonides and haste on the whole party, while Estrid cast call lightning. The heroes then made their attack, entering the nest of the furious skergipur.

A terrible battle ensued, with Basileus Arkonides doing most of the front-line fighting as Caelrath and Estrid rained magical lightning and fire down upon the battle. Aurel located the corpse of Arnulfur and found the ring of feather fall as well as a cold iron longsword. The battle was full of terrible mishaps, like Thrand Hallsteinsson becoming momentarily confused and babbling in coherently, and blinding himself temporarily, or Basileus Arkonides accidentally punting his sword off a cliff (thankfully, he was still flying, and so was able to retrieve it). Just when it seemed the battle was won, the mate of the first skergipur arrived in a thunder of wings to press the attack!

At one point in the battle, there was a strange apparition high above, in the clouds – a floating castle appeared in a rainbow of colored lights as the lightning flashed and thunder roared over the battle. And then – in an instant – it was gone again. The heroes compared notes, and believe it was the legendary Fortress of the King of Storms, an artifact lost since the dawn of time that travels between worlds even as it floats in the skies above them. But in the fury of battle, there was little time for speculation . . .

Despite Basileus Arkonides being terribly wounded on multiple occasions in the battle (and healed by Athelstan ), the heroes did finally prevail, with magical lightning and fireballs winning the day. Caelrath collected feathers, blood, talons, and such for use as components. Athelstan gave Arnulfur a proper burial.

The heroes then worked out a way to transport the skergipur eggs down to their camp. They rested for the night, with Basileus Arkonides spending some time repairing his armor as best he could after it had been savagely rent by the talons and beak of the monstrous birds.

Solsdagur, the 15th of Skerpla, 900 N.Y.

The heroes decided to send envoys to meet with Hvedhra again, and return to her the ring of feather falling. In return, they received a pouch with 6 doses of dust of disappearance. They questioned Hvedhra about the fortress they had seen floating in the skies above the battle, and she mentioned that she, too, had seen this sometimes. She also believed it to be the legendary Fortress of the King of Storms, and mentioned that according to legend, its master could extend the storm clouds surrounding the fortress, perhaps even until the entire world was cast in shadow and denied the light of the sun!

After this, the heroes faced a difficult choice – should they press on towards Permia, or ought they to head back to Luleastadhir with the eggs of the skergipar and attempt to sell the eggs? Due to the impracticality of trying to transport the eggs any long distance, they decided to head back to Luleastadhir, and resume their adventures soon . . .

XP Earned: 22,404 (3734 each)
Total XP: 59,839
XP to level 9: 75,000

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.