|Beers and Dragons #3|
Beers and Dragons #3
The session 2 (third session actually) was crowned by Oswald, Gerald, and Anders meeting the Child King at his court.
Our characters were successful in saving Sweterun from her goblin captors. Everybody in the village is grateful for this. When Oswald and Gerald witnessed the capture of the young girl, the older men did not believe them about goblins. They all rushed to the eastern road, hoping to ambush the slavers. Rudgard, stayed with the PCs, he was intrigued by the salt Oswald had found, beautiful mountain salt. They went West, fought the Goblins, met Anders, fought some other Norwegians, and then some giant boars in a faery land.
A big part of the session was spent converting Oswlad, Gerald, and Anders to our interpretation of Wolves of God. The players liked choosing skills and foci. I showed them the Scars table and they loved it (for how long?).
For the Foci selection, I had printed two sets of the Foci description and players simply cut their Foci and stapled them to their character sheets.
Gerald received a sword from the Child King. "What kind of sword is it?". "A long sword, what the ancients called a spatha. It feels worn but it cuts and its balance is just right". Gerald was wearing the sword in a scabbard he had made with Oswald. The people in the village thought Gerald found the sword in a barrow, they were thankful to him and his friends for having saved Sweterun, but there was now an imbalance, a eighteen years old boy wielding a blade worthy of an eoldorman...
Oswald received a leather armor, it's easier to hide than a sword, but the since the days are getting hot and the work in the field is sweat generating, most of the time, the leather armor was hidden in Oswald's secret lair.
Rudgard, the old warrior, asked the adventurers if they could hide in the woods. They replied evasively. He then told them they could foil the Norwegians pursuit, and he warned them, they will come back.
Anders, the half-Irish, half-Norwegian, weird but charming guy they picked on the road had been well received in the village, he had a lot of success with the young girls. This has not yet caused trouble, only a bit jealousy.
A trader from the East stayed in the chief's hall and talked to Oswald about his older brother. "I met your brother in Frisia, he's doing well. He asked me to tell you that if you are interested, you're welcome to join him, there are opportunities there. He set up a shop in a port named Zwin." Oswald asked him how to reach Zwin and the trader told him to simply "go East, hit the coast and find a passage to Frisia".
That same day, Sweterun, the thirteen year old girl that our friends rescued, confided to Gerald that she thought she was with child. "Who's the father?" "I don't know, remember I was sitting next to Anders and that other good-looking guy and we were all drinking..." Gerald had not given much attention to the girl, he was busy chatting with the host of that fairy party. Everybody was having a good time, out of time.
On the next day, Oswald was explaining to his two friends about heading East across the sea. That fired up Anders' wanderlust, "Yes ! Let's go ! I don't want to stay in this village all my life". Oswald and Gerald exchanged looks "and he wants to leave before the father of a slighted girl asks for reparation".
It was not the first step towards the East for Anders, but for his two Saxon friends it was their first time hitting the road, and June was not a bad month for travelling. They simply left, their prospects as younger brothers in their family were not that bright, their fathers shrugged, their mothers cried a bit, and they were gone.
It took them 3 days of walking and camping to reach the coast. People pointed them at a town called Ravenscar, someone there could probably give them passage to Frisia. They saw a windmill atop a hill and headed for it when suddenly three green apples were flying towards their heads. Anders got hit, while Oswald could avoid his apple. Gerald did not blink, the apple flew without touching him.
Apple to peaches, half a dozen young guys were now mooning them from the ledge above the road. Gerald engaged in pursuit, but the guys were gone quickly. Oswald threw them a stone but missed.
As the adventurers got back on the road, they noticed some small animal or person following them, they didn't bother too much, it didn't look like a Norwegian warband.
An old woman was laying sheets and shirts to dry on the grass south of the windmill. On top of the windmill, two teenagers were looking at the sea north, with serious faces. "Good morning young men, what brings you here?" "We're on our way to Frisia" "Oh, maybe a fisherman or a trader will grant you passage in town".
At that point, Oswald and Gerald were seeing the sea for the first time. It was quite impressive for them. They had the sun on their left, there were still two hours before sunset. What a beautiful sight. Anders was more intrigued by the young men keeping their watch on top of the mill. The old woman explained to them that their were keeping watch for sails and, in case one appeared on the horizon, one of the young guys was supposed to bring the news to the chief's hall.
"Go to Runesieg's Hall, Runesieg is the chief here. You'll be welcome there. For passage, ask to Knud or to Troels."
The two Saxons and their Norwegian friend, went down the hill. The houses were mostly Danish houses, with a few Saxon style ones interspersed. Runesieg's hall was easy to find. A middle aged men was sitting next to the entrance. "I am Niall, the intendant of Runesieg. How may I help you". The conversation happened in an easy mix of dane tongue and saxon tongue, Anders had already picked the saxon language, this creole was easy for him too. The adventurers explained they were heading to Frisia. Niall told them to drop their stuff in the hall on the left side of the entrance and to come back after sunset, they were invited to stay in the hall for the night.
There was a dog almost as big as a poney, all back. Looking from the upper part of the hall. "This is Critias, it's the dog of my master Runesieg, don't bother us, he won't bother you"
Anders sat somewhere near the hall to relax a bit, while Gerald and Oswald hit directly for the beach. They spent some time playing in the waves. Villagers looked at them laughing, first time sea.
There was a longship beached and covered in canvas. Another longship, its mast lying, is anchored by the docks, it looked beautiful. A knarr, fatter and shorter than the longships was being loaded with trading goods by middle-aged men. Oswald engaged a conversation with them and learned they were working for Knud. The knarr is being prepared for a trip to the North as soon as the wind changes from its current northeast to a southwest. Oswald revealed he had salt to trade and the sailors asked for the salt origin and if it were possible to get more, it is way better than the crude alga salt they are using to pack fish.
Near the hall, a small hand landed on Anders' shoulder as he was daydreaming. Sweterun said "Hello, it's me". With a straight, cold face, Anders replied "Who are you? I don't know you". Sweterun studied the young Norwegian's face, tears came to her eyes, she had followed them and hadn't eaten much in three days. She flew away from the cold hearted young man. Anders resumed his daydreaming.
The sun had just set, Oswald and Gerald collected their friend and they entered the hall. They had requested to Niall the intendant to have a seat closer to the chief's seat. Niall had listened and promised to do what he could. It seemed to not matter too much, there weren't many guests. The wife of Runesieg was serving the guests, helped by Niall. Knud the trader and Troels the fisherman were present. Next to the chief was Tryggve, the "joker" of the party and other old men from the village.
The conversation hummed for a while, then Tryggve requested to Gerald "I see that you have a beautiful sword, may we have a look at it?" Gerald was reluctant, Tryggve insisted "Please consider that Niall didn't request your sword, you are a young and unknown man and we let you sit close to us, may we have a look at that blade?"
Three days of walking and camping probably made our young friends a bit weak to the mead of this hall. Anders felt inspired and drew the sword out of Gerald's scabbard and threw in the fireplace in the middle of the assembly. The room went silent the blade sat on the charcoal and the flames had a taste at it. It revealed something written on the blade, our three friends never learned to read and the script felt foreign.
It was the moment chosen by the wife of Runesieg to come back to the hall, this time accompanied by a young girl, Sweterun. Gerald and Oswald did not denied knowing her, Anders kept looking at the blade. The locals were a bit taken aback, they were not expecting a blade flying in the ambers and they were not expecting this young love drama. They all stood up, paid their respects and left.
The wife took Sweterun back with her to her apartments, Niall gave some blankets to the three young men and let them get ready for the night. Critias, the dog, lied between the fireplace and its master's door.
Anders took the sword out of the fire and badly hurt his hand doing so.
After a while, the dog stood up as its master entered the hall. He sat by the fire and invited the young men to sit next to him. "You are looking for a way to reach Frisia, we can provide that for you. I recommend you keep the salt you have for future expenses once you have crossed the sea, you'll need it. Frankish women are dangerous, take good care of yourselves."
"There is a town named Bridling a bit south on the coast, there is a man named Chatz there, he used to live here, he is from here. He betrayed us and fled. We need him back"
The adventurers were listening carefully, Runesieg continued. "I'm giving you a rowboat and ten young men as a crew, you have to bring us back Chatz and the ten kids."
"Bridling is on the south side of a horn advancing on the sea, take this piece of advice, land on the north side and scout Bridling from the North." "Why shouldn't we simply land there?" "We don't know exactly where Chatz lies in hide. We know that the Bridling people keep an eye on the sea, like we do here" He did the explanation while drawing in the cinders.
"You're not from here and you are not Danes like we are. Keep your crew by the boat, do not let them follow, sure they'll want a piece of the action but they are too young for now. You seem to have seen some fight, or at least, your equipment says so..."
"Give me an answer tomorrow morning and we'll refine the details. By the way, my wife will take care of the young girl, don't worry for her". The chief left them. Oswald, Gerald, and Anders decided they would accept the mission and they fell asleep.