Session/Game: Axeburg 3e #4
Episode 4: "Harr sees through such base lawyer-talk"
Campaign Date: The year 482, Vay 15th to Year's End
GM: Dave Nelson
Erkenvald, son of Borvald, trollson berserker, level 3 (Mike Miller)
Erkenward, dwarf, rune smith, level 1 (Toby Miller)
Othere, son of Rathgar, human, brewmaster/barbarian, level 1/1 (Bob Laforge)
Einar, son of Rathgar, human, Priest of Gorm, level 1 (Pete Zollers)
Dagmar, human, vola, level 2 (NPC)
Wulfgar, human, warrior, level 4 (NPC)
The Sailors: human, expert 4, NPC
Stangar and Ralfgar
Vay 15th, Smirkenburg and Eldax Coastal Plains
After distributing the loot, Bormund gathered together the raiders who had destroyed Smirkenburg and declared his intention to sail back to Axeburg. Dagmar spat curses at him for being denied any reward and Lucky Olaf, Wulfgar and the sailors bitched a bit about their share.
Othere and Einar were unhappy with the plan to return to Axeburg. Erkenvald thought that returning and refitting wasn't a bad idea. Both Othere and Erkenvald were leaning towards returning and striking another sea coast watch tower. But Dagmar called them fools, since everyone knows that the elf lords lived inland in the forest, not on the coast and if they wanted to seize an elf lady, they needed to strike inland.
After considering it for awhile, Othere, Einar, Erkenvald, Erkenward and Dagmar agreed to keep Othere's small fishing ship behind and let Bormund take the knar and return home without them. They managed to convince the warrior Wulfgar to join them and two of Bormund's six sailors too. They left the sailors (Stangar and Ralfgar) on the ship with orders to cruise off the coast, returning to Smirkenburg on occasion to look for them. The rest of the raiding party moved inland. Since there was a highway there heading inland, they decided to follow it.
Soon they are spotted by a mounted gray elf patrol of 3. They kill one of the soldiers and drive off the other two. They slap Erkenward onto the captured horse; thusly increasing their overland speed significantly. At the campfire that night, Einar began the boasting promising to slay two "armed threats." Everyone else thought that that was an elegant turn of phrase and repeated it. But Harr sees through such mealy-mouthed lawyer talk and their boasts stuck in their throats like foul mud. Dagmar cast a raid prophecy and Harr showed his approval; but, probably because of their shameful boasts, the individual prophecies were bad. Dagmar and Erkenward spent some hours crafting rune spells for the party.
Vay 16th Eldax Coast
During their day's travel, they were set upon by a patrol of 11 elf soldiers and an elf knight (alerted by the fugitives from the earlier patrol). They killed 7 of these soldiers and seized their horses (Erkenvald calmly awaiting their approach munching on cheese), but the leader and 4 soldiers escaped. At the edge of the great forest, they made camp and let Erkenward and Dagmar carve some more rune spells. They also discovered 2 human turnip farmers along the road. They swiftly seized and questioned them, gleaning little useful information other than that the "mysterious and powerful elf lords" lived in secret towers in the forests. Dagmar asked that the raiders give the farmers to her as slaves and so it was done.
Just before sundown, a large red-bearded man entered the camp, had some turnips with them, and told them all that they would likely meet a man who would help them, if they could truly answer the question "why they were there." He punched Einar in the shoulder and told him he was doing a good job, and then wandered off.
Near midnight the camp was attacked by 6 ghouls, who were swiftly slain.
Vay 17th Eldax Forest
Continuing to follow the highway, they traveled most of the day. Finally they spotted a grove of huge mushrooms, surrounded by a cabal of 13 gray elf druids. The two turnip-slaves were filled with superstitious awe about the mushroom grove. At first Erkenvald approached peaceably without his sword, but then rushed into the grove towards the great mushroom. He was instantly befuddled, standing around in a stupor. The druids reacted with anger, letting loose their 13 wolf companions and drinking protective potions. Einar spurred his horse into the grove to drag off Erkenvald. He was unsuccessful, but found himself filled with great power, he could summon the winds and weather at his will! Wulfgar also rushed the grove, but found himself surrounded by invisible demons, fighting for his life. Dagmar following was also stupefied. Erkenward, when he entered the grove found himself in a strange room with an old, hooded man. The man had a long gray beard and carried a rune-staff and sword. He asked Erkenward what he needed. He agreed to help, and foretold that they all would meet a man who would ask them why they were there, and he would help them with their greater quest.
A moment passed. The entire raiding-party (except the turnip slaves who had run off) found themselves deep in the forest some miles from the mushroom grove. They soon came across a group of 5 bandits who agreed to show them an elf-tower in exchange for a horse (we're eating tonight!). The deal was made and one of the bandits quickly showed them a sleek, black tower with battlements at the top and no visible means of entry.
For some time the raiders tried to discover a way in, trading barbs with the elves on the battlement. At last they discovered a foldable stairway cleverly hidden 20 feet up the side of the tower. Various members of the party were injured by oil and arrows in vain attempts to gain entry, and they retreated into the forest.
Vay 18th Eldax Forest
The party spent the day healing, carving runes and building a portable ramp to attack the tower with. Einar and Erkenvald kept constant watch on the tower lest someone try to escape.
In the midst of the day Einar felt someone tap his shoulder. It was a blond-bearded man in brilliantly shining mail. He asked what they were doing so far from home. Einar explained that they were here to capture an elf woman in order to save their folk from the depredations of a Trollish cow. The stranger nodded and said that the Maiden of the Tower of Black Flame had a weapon that would slay the troll-cow. He continued that the Maiden awaited the arrival of someone bearing the Chain of Guthlac. He turned and departed.
During the evening, the camp was overflown by a flight of Dire Bats, who did not attack.
Vay 19th Eldax Forest
Othere, Erkenward, Einar and Wulfar, protected from fire somewhat by rune amulets, grabbed the ramp and charged the tower. Wulfgar and Einar were grievously hurt by arrow fire and burning oil, so that Erkenvald had to help get the ramp the last few feet. Othere saw to the healing of Einar, and Dagmar to Wulfgar. Erkenvald and Einar then worked on trying to force open the doorway at the top of the ramp, while Erkenward and Othere suppressed the elf archers on the battlement using arrows that summoned up Trollish Goats when they hit.
After some long time Erkenvald and Einar forced the door and charged in, followed by Othere and Wulfgar. They slew the elves on the guard floor and Erkenvald chopped off the head of the Elf Mistress (sometimes there are more important things than the quest). Erkenward finally succumbed to the arrows of the battlement elves as the rest of the party attacked the final floor of the tower, killing the last 4 elf guards and, thanks to Dagmar who had followed them up, captured the elf-lady's noble daughter alive. Erkenvald killed the last two elves on the battlement. They looted the place and fled toward the coast.
Vay 20-21 Eldax
The party rides back to the ruins of Smirkenburg and takes ship.
Vay 22-30th Outer Ocean
Stangar and Ralfgar sail the fishing ship back to Axeburg.
Uni 1st Axeburg
Othere, Einar, Dagmar, Wulfgar, Erkenvald, and Erkenward hand the elf noblewoman over to Hersir Rathgar, to much acclaim. They divide up the loot from the elf tower and give full shares to Dagmar and Wulfgar. Erkenvald pays the 800sm in wergild to the families of the two warriors he had killed in Smirkenburg.
Sau 15th, Jarlsburg
Wulf Rathgarsson hands over the 2 elf noblewomen he had captured and the 1 that Othere, Einar and Erkenvald had captured, together with 20 other women and a big barrel of gold to Jarl Sighvat. He apologies profusely and is forced to stay and watch the cow feast on all the prisoners.