The foolish man thinks he will live forever if he keeps away from fighting; but old age won’t grant him a truce, even if the spears do.
-Hávamál, st. 16
The story begins on the 15th of Sarenith, in the year of 4712 AR – or Absalom Reckoning as the people of the south call it.
Emerging for the first time in weeks, the sun has overtaken the clouds. Light beams down on the mighty Lands of the Linnorm Kings, from the western lands of the Icemark bordered by the Steaming Sea, to the city of Trollheim that borders the dread nation of Irrisen. The weather is warm, currently resting at around 30 degrees Celsius, a near-summer heat that the strong ulfen folk have grown accustomed to over the past millennia.
By the mouth of the Rimeflow River stands the city of Kalsgard. A proud city with a strong history and heritage, Kalsgard is reputed to pre-date the calendar of the southern folk by almost 500 years, a time when King Ulvass set sail from the city on his epic journey to the distant continent of Arcadia.
There is a saying about Kalsgard that sums the city up best:
“When the breath of wolves rushes down from the spears of the north, there’s no easy place to find safety and warmth. Hunters huddle in caves like bears, families crouch like shadows around pitiful fires, and sailors shiver until their black toes feel cold no more. But when one finds a warm spot, a place to a make a bed and life free from the killing cold, he can’t keep his secret for long. Kalsgard is the worst-kept secret in the north, and in droves they come—for riches, for safety, for warmth. Many find none of these, for on the banks of the Rimeflow, men have walled out the killing cold, but become more dangerous wolves than any born amid ice and stone.”
It is in this city where the story of the party began… on a warm day, at the end of spring, in a magnificent hall belonging to a grand man – a merchant karl of Kalsgard – Halvor Geir Geirstein.
The session began with the PCs awaiting the arrival of Halvor Geir Geirstein to a meeting planned by Erling Aren Scinfaxi, Halvor’s Battle Master. An awkward wait ensues, while Halvor went on a nearly 3-hour long ‘session’ with his female confidant, the Varisian woman Dyrfinna. The party spoke about their thoughts on the Karl’s stamina, and Einar clumsily made advances on the Karl’s personal guard, Akiko Nanami, the Yojimbo.
Eventually the Karl finished with Dyrfinna and the Varisian stealthily took her leave. Geirstein came to the meeting, but was incensed to find that his stores of precious honey mjod have been emptied. Erling Scinfaxi tried to convince the Karl that they have important matters to discuss, but the Karl won’t hear any of it, and demanded the PCs secure him more of the precious mjod owed to him.
Making their way to a local apiary run by a reputed dwarf named Mons Landrunner, the PCs found the farmstead empty. Entering the dwarf’s house, Itojin was able to make headway with scattered notes left by the owner, and discovered that Mons is behind in orders. Notes indicated that a small shipment of Mjod is owed to Karl Halvor Geir Geirstein, and a much larger order of something not described is owed to a local mercenary band – the Askelvikings.
As Itojin searched the documents, Solva Scinfaxi and Skyla noticed movement outside and made their way to search the apiary. During their search, they came across a hidden group of ulfen. The three ulfen thugs attacked without provocation, striking the women with their battleaxes.
A battle ensued and the party (minus a seemingly absent Larduk) engaged the ulfen attackers. In the ensuing chaos, a large swarm of honey bees erupted from the apiary to assail the party and their attackers. Calthil Jaki stood his ground against two of the attackers, and fell them with swift slashes of his katana, while Einar was able to decapitate one of his attackers with a strong blow to the head using his falchion.
Having killed their foes, and not able to ask questions, the PCs collected several casks of mjod from the abandoned apiary. Larduk, Skyla and Solva made their way back to the Karl’s guildhall, while the rest of the party remained behind long enough to find Mons Landrunner trapped in his outhouse. The dwarf confirmed that the attacking thugs were members of the Askelvikings, come to collect on their debt.
On their way back to the Karl’s estate, Larduk, Skyla, and Solva were met by a member of the local town guard – Ari Eiríkur. The guard captain questioned the PCs in their involvement in the recent swarming, but was dissuaded from pursuing the matter due to a combined diplomatic effort on behalf of the group.
Eiríkur reached the apiary just as Calthil was cleaning up the bodies and Einar is getting in a heated exchange with Landrunner. Itojin snuck away using invisibility and Einar is stuck in an awkward situation with the town guard. Only the smooth words of Landrunner were able to calm the situation, which ended with Calthil and Einar cleaning up the bodies and owing the guard captain a keg of the famed honey mjod.
Into the Warehouse
Returning to the guildhall, the PCs present their Karl with his precious mjod. Geirstein thanked the PCs and then went on to discuss tactical matters with his Battle Master.
Scinfaxi brought up a seemingly abandoned warehouse in Kalsgard that may be available for squatting rights, if someone were to prove it had been left abandoned, or its owners were deceased. Larduk offered his services in checking the location, and the rest of the party offered to join in as well. Geirstein eagerly sent the party in hopes that they could secure the warehouse for his expanding operations.
Arriving at the warehouse later in the day, the party did a cursory check of the exterior before breaking through one of the main freight doors. Inside, the group began to split up in order to search for clues about the status of the owners. Calthil discovered a series of odd scratches on one of the side doors, deducing that something had been trying to claw up at the latched lock but was not tall enough to do so.
Going off by himself, Einar was assailed by some unknown force and immediately dropped to the ground unconscious. The remainder of the group could hear Einar chiding them to continue moving forward. This caught the women of the party as ‘wrong’ (Einar would NEVER tell a woman to go first). Before they could find out what happened to their ally, the remainder of the group was assaulted by a strange vine-like growth from deeper in the warehouse.
Battle continued for some time, as more vines (a total of 3) attacked the party and tried to crush them with strong grapples. Eventually, the creatures in the floorboards revealed themselves after stealing three of the PCs voices. The creatures were hideous undead children spirits called Attic Whisperers. Luckily, Itojin was able to deal much damage to the creatures with his channelling abilities, lowering the foul undead’s health just enough to be slain before they could overwhelm the party.
End of Session