Session/Game: Axeburg 3e #10 Date:11/24/02
Episode 10: "Smoke on the Water"
Grimbold called the Thing with the intention of confirming his position as chief and silencing the wagging tongues that told of the mighty Rathgar weeping in his hall. In true Grimbold fashion he got right down to business and dared any of those present to challenge his right to the position of chief. Of them men assembled, only Askir the Dog dared demand by what right Grimbold claimed his father's chair, though he spoke more out of concern over Grimbold's ability to protect his wealth than out of any interest in wearing what can be a very heavy chief's mantle. Recognizing what was truly a time for speeches, Grimbold recounted his many worthy deeds and inspired the men of the Thing to put Askir in his place with roars of approval.
Confirmed as chief, Grimbold presided over the normal affairs of the Thing, including the testing of an accused adulteress and the judgement of an inattentive sheepherder. The adulteress was placed in the traditional testing board and judged guilty by Har who's divine wisdom guided the first axe straight to her skull. The sheepherder was ordered by Grimbold to pay restitution for his neighbor's losses after a trio of his sheep drew wolves to the other's flock.
All was well in Axeburg.
Tul 10th, Axeburg
After several days of preparation, Grimbold, accompanied by Hildrun, Gudwig, Bormund and the traitorous elf Ragnath, set out after his prize with two ships (so as not to scare off the elven boats) and a small contingent of men. Using Vineous' map, the raiding party attempted to lay in wait along the swan boat's route, but were discovered and set upon by a group of elven outriders riding griffons. Hildrun unfurled his runic battle banner and Grimbold readied his trusty harpoons as the griffonriders began dive-bombing the two ships. Gudwig and Ragnath then filled the sky with deadly arrows and struck several critical blows to the attacking elves. Huldrun assisted the archers with magical missles of his own and used his considerable magical healing abilities to keep his comrades in the fight. Grimbold, for his part, managed to harpoon a griffon on the wing and had it dragged to the deck where it was eventually finished off by his warriors after the much spoken of "error of false pride" allowed the wounded beast to deliver him a rather serious beating in a one-on one fight. In the end, four of the elven riders and one of their mounts were left to rot at the bottom of the sea; the remaining elf and griffons forced to take flight.
Knowing that the swan boats were now aware of their presence, the Shefingss switched to the time-honored "get 'em" tactic and sailed straight at the elven boats, which accepted the challenge, thinking they had little to fear from two pitiful, floating tubs of unwashed, hairy savages. What the elven captains came to wish that they had know however, was that the faced, not your typical scruffy Shefing, but the cream of the Axeburg crop.
Moments after the battle was joined, one captain saw his deck wiped clean of elven soldiers by a pair of fireballs from Hildrun (one of which singed his own chief!). The stunned captain quickly called forth a foul guardian stitched together from dead flesh to defend his ship, and sent it after Grimbold who had been the first to board the enemy ship. The creature landed several mighty blows but Grimbold, aided by Hildrun and a few of his brave warriors were equal to the task of defeating it. The captain also offered some resistance with his flashing rapier, but even he was even cut down by a combination of Grimbold's mighty axe and Hildrun's magic missiles.
The other boat last a bit longer but the result was the same as Bormund led the remaining Shefing warriors in a steady assault on the swan boat's defenders. Gudwig, meanwhile, slithered through the press to plant his blades where they would do the most damage, felling several elves with impressively-damaging well-placed strikes. Ragnath remained on the Shefing longboat taking out the archers in the crows nest, chasing of the lone griffon rider that circled above, and picking off targets of opportunity from the melee around him.
After the elven defenders were overcome, the swan boats were searched and the special passenger located in private quarters of the swan boat taken by Grimbold and Hildrun. Hildrun made short work of the passenger's guards by locking a summoned dire weasel in the room with them. With his guards dead, the passenger was quickly taken into custody, though his arrogant, insulting manner did give the Shefings pause to consider whether his death would be a better reward than any ransom.
Treated royally at first, the prisoner was eventually jumped as he slept and clamped in irons. Upon returning to Axeburg, Vineous was sent off to collect the ransom, which was set by the Shefings at a hefty "ton" of gold.