8/24/13 – 44th Session – Module HM7 – The Expedition
Game Date: 7/13/900 N.Y. – 7/22/900 N.Y.
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
Oxana the Lady-In-Waiting (NPC)
Dunyasha the Lady (NPC)
Gruull the Trollfolk (NPC)
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