10/4/14 – 67th Session – Module HM11 – Voyage to Torgar (Act 2 – At the Pillars of Melkartes)
Game Dates: 1/25/901 -2/1/901 N.Y.
Bergsveinn Farisson (Metellus) – domur: 29, hamingja: 3
Caelrath (Josh) – domur: – 80, hamingja: 3
Estrid (Tanya) – domur: 80, hamingja: 3
Kasimir (Chris) – domur: 35, hamingja: 3
Salome Arkonides (Jessie) – domur: 28, hamingja: 0
Hakon Finehair the Skald (NPC) – domur: 78
Solsdagur, the 25th of Morsugur, 901 N.Y., continued
After the battle with the cyclopean giants and the svartalfur, the stormy skies above opened up with a clap of thunder, and from the sky slowly descended a statuesque woman in armor, with golden blonde hair and sapphire blue eyes. Lightning played about her armored form as it descended to land standing over the body of Karlsefni Thorsgodhi. Salome Arkonides recognized this woman as the Angel from her visions, and fell to her knees before the strange being. Estrid Freysteinn greeted the apparent valkyrja.
The divine valkyrja addressed the heroes, telling them that her name was Hjalmthrimull, and that they do the work of the gods. She also said that their enemy, the self-styled “King of Storms,” had allied himself with the Jotnar, the enemies of the gods. She told them that Karlsefni Thorsgodhi had earned his place in Valholl , and commanded them to give him proper funeral rites. She spoke to Salome, telling her that she is on her rightful path. She also accepted a ribbon from Kasimir von Schosse.
Hjalmthrimull touched the body of Karlsefni Thorsgodhi with her spear, and a blue light emerged from the body and joined with the spear. She then ascended back into the sky, and after she had vanished through the hole in the clouds, it closed behind her with another clap of thunder. The heroes were stunned by what they had witnessed.
At that moment, their svartalfur prisoner snarled out, “That bitch cannot help you! No one can help you! My master cannot be defeated by the likes of you!” Salome Arkonides attempted to interrogate the svartalfur, and failing that, she slit his throat in a coup de grace.
Bergsveinn Farisson attended to building a pyre for the body of Karlsefni Thorsgodhi (as a devotee of the Aesir god Thorr, the proper funeral rites for him involved cremation, not burial). The other heroes attended the rites respectfully.
After the funeral, there was much debate about whether or not to rest for the night. The fact that an eerie glow was coming from the post-and-lintel archway of the temple decided the matter. They decided to investigate. Estrid searched for traps around the entryway to the temple, but found nothing. So the heroes entered.
Within the temple, the heroes found heaps of treasure piled about – it seemed that the cyclopean giants had been using the temple as a place to store their tribe’s treasury. There were also a couple of shroud-wrapped giant bodies, one of which looked like it had been enshrined in the temple some time ago, and the other looked like it was still in the process of being mummified. But the main feature of the large central chamber was the large stone pillar, roughly hewn, about 20 feet in diameter, covered with softly glowing runes.
The heroes decided to drag the giant bodies out of the temple and burn them before doing anything else. They dragged the newer-looking one out, and Estrid set it aflame with a flamestrike. She stayed to watch it burn and make sure that it did not come to life, while the others went back into the temple to get the other body.
As they were dragging the second body out of the temple, it suddenly animated, ripping through its shrouds and attacking Caelrath, afflicting him with Nonorran Rot. Kasimir turned invisible again and hurled magic missiles at the undead giant. Caelrath struck at it with a scorching ray. But then the cyclopean monster exhaled a terrible cloud of foulness, which enveloped Bergsveinn and Hakon, and struck Hakon blind. But then Salome struck at the beast with Logsvar, cutting off its left claw with one swing of her sword, missing on the back swing, but then cleaving it in twain with a third mighty attack, causing it to collapse in a pile of dust and leathery remains.
As the fight was ending, however, Caelrath began to suffer the debilitating effects of Nonorran Rot. Salome was able to cure the disease by laying on hands, but she was unable to restore his strength, nor to cure the blindness of Hakon. Bergsveinn said that his prayers could cure these afflictions, but that he would be unable to do so until after he had rested. So Kas summoned a tiny hut in which the heroes could take shelter for the night.
Manadagur, the 26th of Morsugur, 901 N.Y.
First thing in the morning, Bergsveinn called upon Forseti to cure Hakon’s blindness and Caelrath’s crippling debilitation from disease. Once this was done, the heroes studied the Pillar – what the locals called a “Pillar of Melkartes,” but which they were almost certain was actually a Pillar of Thorr – a Thorsstong. None of them had sufficient divine knowledge to interpret the pillar, and it appeared that arcane knowledge alone was insufficient. And so the heroes formulated a plan . . .
First, Estrid found a pool of water to scry, searching for . . . their former companion Athelstan! She found him on a small island off the coast of the Denalagu. Next, Caelrath used a galdur chant to forge a telepathic bond between himself, Estrid Freysteinn, Bergsveinn Farisson, and Kasimir von Schosse. Using the telepathic bond to aim his teleport, he transported himself and Hakon Finehair the Skald to the monastery where Athelstan was working. The cleric of Baldur got permission from his abbot to travel with his former companions, on the understanding that he be returned to his abbey within the next few days.
Next, Caelrath transported them to a clerical library in the city of Jorvik, jewel of the Denalagu. There, Athelstan quickly located and appropriated a copy of a book about “Ancient Relics of the Gods.” Then, Caelrath used his ring to recall one more teleport spell and bring them back to the Pillars of Melkartes . . . but there was a mishap with the spell, and they arrived drained and aching. There was an emotional reunion between the cleric and his former comrades. Then the work of deciphering the pillar began. It proved much more difficult than originally expected, and so they studied and worked through the night . . .
Tysdagur, the 27th of Morsugur, 901 N.Y.
On this morning, it was determined that in order to access the power of the Thorsstong, someone with great knowledge of religion would have to place his hands upon the pillar and mentally commune with the powers to which it was attuned. This could be extraordinarily dangerous for the person making contact with the pillar. Caelrath used a spell of protection from evil on Athelstan, and Salome supplemented this with a prayer of protection from chaos. Bergsveinn attempted an augury, but obtained mixed results. Kas even tried “ribbonmancy” to determine what should be done. But in the end, it was up to Athelstan to place his hands upon the pillar and attempt to wrest it to his will.
As Athelstan placed his hands upon the pillar, his mind was overwhelmed by contact with something horribly Other, something primal and elemental. His mind and soul filled with hatred and rage and horror, freezing like boulders under a thick blanket of ice and snow, burning like a desert brush fire . . . and then a VOICE spoke in his mind, roaring “WHY HAVE YOU CONTACTED ME AGAIN?” But just as he felt like his mind was about to be snuffed out like a candle, he broke through something, and wrested control of the pillar’s magic to himself. Suddenly, in a flash of insight, Athelstan could see how it was supposed to work, and how to command its powers with his very soul. He found his mind reaching out to Asgardhur, home of the god Thorr, master of the Thorsstong. He was able to communicate briefly with Thorr, and was told that the heroes need to make their way to Torgar Island, where the Storm King awaits them . . .
Athelstan felt his mind and soul, his very personality, being overwhelmed by the power of the Thorsstong. His will and soul burned out of him, leaving his mind weak, but he gained control. He realized that this holy pillar had the power to control weather on a global scale, and could see that the minions of the Storm King had been trying to blanket the whole world in storms, blotting out the sun. Using the last of his mental and spiritual reserves, Athelstan was able to undo the magic holding the storm in place over the Pillars of Melkartes (but not before tweaking its power to make a small cloud rain over his abbot’s head, and a tiny bolt of lightning zap his abbot’s nose!), and then shut down the magic somewhat permanently. The only way to reactivate the power of the pillar would be to risk mind and soul as he had . . .
Athelstan fell back from the pillar, limp and dazed, his mind shattered by the experience. Just like that, the storms ended. The skies cleared, and no more thunder was heard outside the temple. But no prayer of Bergsveinn nor Salome was able to restore him; only time could do that now, and it would take up to five weeks for him to make a full recovery.
Later that day, Caelrath transported the dazed Athelstan back to his monastery and then returned to his companions. They gathered up the treasury of the giants they had defeated, then they began the long trek back to Yazirat . . .
Solsdagur, the 1st of Thorri, 901 N.Y.
After a relatively uneventful trip, the heroes arrived back at the town of Yazirat
on this day . . .
XP Earned: 72,002 (10, 286 each)
Total XP: 191,598 each
XP to level 12: 220,000