Session/Game: Axeburg 3e #14 Date:2/1/03
Episode 14: "Soar Like A Blood Eagle"
Like men, the sons (and daughter) of Axeburg and Port strode through the swirling winds that shielded the dirty foreign temple, ignoring as mere pinpricks the cutting shards of ice. Before them, a domed temple with decorative minarets and golden doors, begged to be pillaged.
Sau, The Temple of the Swirling Winds of Death
The Shefings pushed through the golden doors and entered a grand hall containing a large pool of clear swirling water. Edvald immediately marked the pool as his territory in the time-honored tradition of men, while the others split up and moved around the pool towards a set of doors on the far wall. Halfway to their goal, the Shefings were set upon by ten purple-clad foreigners who leapt down upon them from above. The foreigners tried all manner of grievous tumbling moves to flank the Shefings but the quick reflexes of Grimbold and mighty sword of Edvald showed them the error of their tumbling ways. Yrsa even whacked one down with her staff when it appeared that Hakon and Gudwig were having trouble finishing him off. In short order all the foreigners were hacked or beaten down, six of them made prisoners to fulfill the boast of Chief Grimbold.
Beyond the pool room was a domed chamber containing a simple stone pedestal. Fearing a trap, Grimbold ordered the severed heads of several foreigners placed on the pedestal. A moment after this was done the heads vanished, and a faint cry of “It’s the Vikings” was heard through the floor. Grimbold then asked if there was not a man among his men brave enough to follow the heads. Edvald, it turned out, was more than happy to follow a pile of heads into the unknown, so he stepped on the pedestal and vanished. The others soon followed.
Edvald arrived in an altar room lit by hundreds of candles on scores of silver candelabras to find himself surrounded by four purple-clad foreigners of slightly better skill than the ones the Shefings had just defeated. This group of foreigners tried no fancy moves; they just battered the berserker about the head and shoulders until his compatriots arrived to help him out. When no enemies remained, Edvald thanked his companions by losing control of his rage and hacking dead Hildrun’s cohort Sir Bathador, before collapsing from his wounds. At battle’s end, Chief Grimbold counted 2 more of the 12 prisoners he needed for his boast.
After the battle the group investigated a magic spear behind the altar and in touching it summoned its invisible guardian. There was some talk of flight when the unseen menace began tearing into Grimbold, but Edvald arrived on the scene, newly healed from his wounds and more than willing to attack even air if it defied him. The Shefings then boxed the invisible creature in and slew it.
Beyond the altar room, the Shefings quickly dealt with a small guardroom gaining 3 more prisoners. Missing only one prisoner to complete his boast, Grimbold hoped out loud that enough foreigners remained to meet his needs.
Past the guardroom the Shefings came to a set of double doors that they threw open to find an air elemental blocking their path. The Shefings quickly closed the doors to form a strategy, but after some discussion Grimbold was heard to say “That’s what berserkers are for”, and as is usually the case, the final plan became…GET’EM! Edvald and those bearing magical weapons laid into the elemental with such fury that it was force to resort to its reportedly fearsome whirlwind attack, but legend oft inflates things and the Shefings scoffed as they defied the elemental’s power. Edvald finished off the elemental when a blow meant for a purple-clad foreigner was turned by the gods to fall upon the creature of wind.
Beyond the elemental waited the master of the Swirling Winds…OF DEATH monastery and his guard. The master managed to throw Chief Grimbold to the ground several times during the combat, but it amounted to nothing more than death throws as he and his guard succumbed like the rest to the Shefings’ battle prowess. Among the defeated, were 3 more salvageable prisoners, including the enlightened grandfather, whom Grimbold wanted alive especially badly.
With the foreigners defeated, the Shefings were able to take possession of a pedestal made from solid jade, which when shattered, stilled the swirling winds that covered the monastery. That done, only one item of business remained—the realization of the boast of Grimbold. With the sky above rumbling in anticipation, Harr himself guided the Shefings to the tallest mountain peak, where 12 foreigners were bloodeagled as promised, with the enlightened grandfather saved for last.
It is said that Harr was so pleased with Grimbold’s boast that the foreigners yet live through godly might so that their blood can continue to flow for all eternity.
Thus ended the saga of the Valley of the Swirling Winds…OF DEATH!
Oh the glory.