Session/Game: Axeburg 3e #11 Date:12/8/02
Episode 11: "Monk in a Box"
Grimbold chief of Axeburg, his brother Bormund, and the heroes Hildrun and Gudwig lead an assault on a pair of high-elven swanboats and captured a special passenger the Shefs had been told was worthy of ransoming. The passenger identified himself as Ghun, Enlightened Father of the Order of Mighty Enlightenment and gave directions to his homeland so that ransom could be sent. Grimbold sent Vineous the mapmaker to the passenger's homeland to demand a ton of gold, a ransom worthy of a chieftain in the Sheflands.
Uni 23rd, Axeburg
Tul 8th, Axeburg
Though many, Vineous among them, expected rage and death to follow news of this defiance of honorable ransom demands, Grimbold remained calm as he paid the mapmaker his agreed upon share of the silver and pigs, and sent him on his way. Grimbold used another portion of the silver to sway Grunhild, a wandering trollson berserker to the banner of Floki. He then distributed the remainder between his brothers, associates and the warriors and sailors that had played a part in the Enlightened Father's capture. The remaining pigs were given to Gudwig. In the end, Grimbold refused to keep even one mark of the insultingly low ransom payment for himself, and spoke the doom that since one quarter of the ransom was paid, one quarter of the Enlightened Father would be returned.
After some discussion over how much of the Enlightened Father's body represented one quarter, it was decided that his arms and legs should do the trick and Othere, soon to be know as Othere the Butcher, went to work. As Othere the Butcher hacked of each appendage, the stump was quickly healed by Hildrun so that the legless, armless Enlightened Father could be kept alive in a box at Grimbold's feet.
But blood was not yet done spilling in the long hall, for not long after sun had left the sky, the Shefing heroes and their chief were attacked by a score of purple clad foreigners looking to free the Enlightened Father and get revenge for his capture. The intruders had gained entry to the hall through magical means, but gained no benefit from their vitchery thanks to the Harr-sighted Hildrun. After the exchange of threats, the two groups clashed with the first blow being struck by Grimbold, who harpooned the foreigner's leader and had him dragged into the firepit to burn. The Grunhild cut a mighty swath through the front of the hall shrugging off blows that would have felled lesser men, while Bormund, Gudwig and Othere the Butcher cut down any that dared rush their chief. Hildrun stood his ground and used the power of Harr to place summoned creatures and missiles of magic where they were needed most. In short order, the foreigners lay defeated, but the battle was not over for all in the hall, as Grunhild still fought in a cloud of rage. Before he calmed himself, the trollson had chased several men from the hall and taken a fairly decent chunk out of Bormund's hide, who to his credit, did not flee the confrontation.
One of those who decided to flee the hall was Othere, who quickly found he had quit one battle only to join another. The Huscarl barracks were under attack by another group of purple-clad foreigners and a man in robes held aloft by foul vitchcraft. This man in robes noticed Othere's arrival and responded with a ball of fire that somewhat singed the Butcher. Othere retreated back into the hall to collect his fellow Shefings, but by the time preparations to sortie from the hall had been made, the Huscarls, lead by the always valiant Einar (who would never knowingly sleep with a snake-woman) had won the day, and the flying vizard was nowhere to be seen.
Though all the intruders lay vanquished, Grimbold announced his intention to make these foreigners pay for this violation of his home and Othere the Butcher called upon to teach the foreigners the meaning of a Shefing "blood eagle." Unfortunately for Othere, only seven examples were necessary before the remaining foreigners found their tongues and gave up the location of the Mighty Enlightened Order. The two that survived the follow-up interrogations earned themselves, the loss of an hand and foot, and a stay in a dark, damp pit until the value of their information was proven by an assault on the Valley of Swirling Winds...OF DEATH!
Tul 9th, Axeburg
Before preparations could be completed, however, the Shefings had to suffer the minor irritation of fighting off an attack from the high elves of Eldax. The elves, apparently miffed at having two of their swanboats attacked and sunk, landed 10 swanboats south of Axeburg and marched over 500 troops up the coast toward Axeburg. Axeburg scouts quickly spotted the army of elves giving Chief Grimbold plenty of time to assemble his Hirth to repel the invaders.
In the end, though, it seems that the elves long life experiences did not include many battles with Shefings, for they were soundly beaten to the point of humiliation. All went right for the Axeburg host from the initial charge as the elves lost their army commander to Hildrun's expert wielding of the power of Harr, a champion to Grimbold in single combat, and at least two elven vitches to the fearsome mounted combat skills of Bormund. Othere Gudwig and the trollson berserker accounted for another two champions, an officer and several experienced elven warriors.
As the battle continued, the chaos of the battlefield separated the Shefing heroes and they could no longer count on each other for support. Nonetheless, word of the army commander's death, along with the loss of several unit standards and an officer in the individual combats that followed, sounded the death knell of the elven army. The elves were driven from Shefing shores leaving behind over half their army as dead, wounded and prisoners on the battlefield.
Every victory has its price, however, and the Shefings counted among their many valiant dead, the trollson berserker Grunhild. His body was easy to locate on the battlefield, as he had built himself a funeral pyre of elven dead.
With the battle over, the preparations for a journey north were completed. Only time will tell whether a new group of enemies shall fall beneath Shefing steel, or whether our heroes have met their match in the Valley of Swirling Winds...OF DEATH!