Session/Game: Axeburg 3e #8
Episode 8: "When In Doubt, Attack Smirkenburg"
Campaign Date: Imperial Year 485
GM: Andrew Smith
Asward, son of Rathgar, human, fighter, level 3 (Chuck Fleurie)
Hildrun, son of Port, human, rune master, level 3, (Mike Miller)
Gudwig, human, ranger/rogue, level 1/2 (Toby Miller)
Grimbold, son of Rathgar, human, barbarian/ranger/rogue, level 2/1/1 (Dave Nelson)
Frithwig, son of Port, human, barbarian, level 2 (Randy Metzel)
Wap 2nd, Axeburg
After spending a year close to Grimbold, Sabine leaves Axeburg during a light early-spring snowfall to join her future husband -- the Jarl Sighvat of Jarlsburg. Grimbold wrestles with a bout of melancholy and vows to champion her should she call for him.
Wap 21st, Axeburg
Hildrun's younger brother, Frithwig makes his way to his brother's door from their sleepy home town of Port. After haranging his younger brother for his audacity of wanting to "find fame and fortune", Hildrun reluctantly agrees to let his brother into the group.
Vay 10th, Axeburg
Following one of the most glorious Hangangar feasts in quite some time due to the large number of prisoners of war taken during last year's bloody war South of Jarlsburg, Chief Rathgar holds his yearly Thing. Several reports surface of villagers to the West fighting and slaying one another during the late midwinter months. At least three entire families were wiped out in Bjarni's. The only clue is that a few of the folk were slain not by one another, but instead finished off by the claw of a large beast. The people fear witchcraft and plead with their chief to bring safety. Wulf suggests that the "coal chewers" go take a look at this problem, which Rathgar agrees with wholehartedly. Late in the Thing, a sweaty peasant arrives on horseback and pleads for an audience. He tells the assembly that he has met the terrible White Witch, and that she has given him a message for them. When asked for the message, the peasant turns around and reveals his bare back, bloody with the Witch's message carved into his bare flesh.
Hildrun reads aloud once the excess blood is removed.
Rathgar, my patience is at an end.
Over thirty years ago, I gave you what you wished.
My only daughter and a powerful prophecy.
It is more than any father could ask for.
I have told you then what I expected in return.
Yet you have not yet lived up to your part of the bargain.
Time is wasting.
Test me not, or I will bring all that you love to ruin.
Axeburg will fall, and you alone will be left standing.
If I do not get my wish, the ghosts of your faithful will never let you rest.
I expect my payment soon.
Vay 21st, Axeburg
Under the light of the full moon, the warriors feast before they set out across the ocean to lay claim to wealth and glory. Tovi's runecasting is particularly portentious, and the sailors are eager to stretch their sea-legs after the long winter. An upstart warrior named Gringot insults Asward, who then takes offense. The nobleman challenges the upstart Gringot to a duel, which Asward wins easily with a single critical cleave. Boasting follows, and Grimbold successfully makes his boast heard that he will "return with four necklaces made from the claws of the enemy who slew our people in the West". Asward wins the final drinking contest and the entire group passes into unconsciousness.
Vay 22nd, Axeburg
The next morning the hung over, but happy heroes meet with Rolf of Bjarni's. The unimaginative Rolf escorts the group to his hometown where they meet with the local spokesman, Thane Olisgrum. The Thane takes the group around his town and shows them to the sites where the dead villagers were found dead at the Spring thaw. The murders were quite gristly, with mothers slaying their own children, men dying tortured to death by their own kind, and in each case one final family member is killed by a single claw stroke from a very strong and large beast. The group hears of rumors of a great beast who used to sneak into the Thane's hall and slay warriors while they were sleeping. These rumors said that Alecto (the beast's name) had a group of servant Skrallings who resembled him, only smaller. Ten years ago, Alecto ended his attacks -- apparently on the order of his adopted mother, a beast that many described as a "giant green lizard with wings and claws that breathed fire".
Thane Olisgrum put the heroes up for the night in one of the hovels left empty after a family slaughtered one another. The comely but wild Lady Annaina looks after them, and draws the eye of young Frithwig of Port.
Later that night, unseen by Gudwig the watchman, a group of rat-men Skrallings burst in and tried to slay the sons of Axeburg. They were driven off, and Hildrun slew the leader as he ran from the scene.
Vay 23rd, Bjarni's
The following morning, the group decides to re-inforce their hideout and wait for more Skrallings to come to them. Hildrun creates runic stakes and lays them in the bottom of a pit dug right in front of the door. Wulf shows up with two of his burly henchmen to check up on the "coal chewers". He admires the heroes handiwork, and then leaves to the SouthWest on a "secret mission" from Rathgar himself. The heroes finish their preparations and prepare to bed down for the night. Lady Anniana decides to stay nearer to town, feeling that the heroes are putting themselves in danger. Gudwig and Frithwig stand watch atop the hovel. Night falls, and the two warriors begin to hear some flute playing from their perch. After a time of listening to this entrancing tune, the two imagine each other insulted by the other and a fight breaks out, leaving both men near death. Only the fortunate return of Lady Anniana and Rolf saved the two, and they were dragged to safety at the Thane's home in Bjarni's. The heroes in side heard the commotion, but because there was no clear signal for help, they did not leave their posts. As the night wore on, these warriors also heard a commotion from deep within the Zeevood that sounded like the rat-skralling beasts screeching as though in mortal combat with one another. The group gets little sleep.
Vay 24th, Bjarni's
Morning arrives, and the heroes emerge from their posts. They discover the fate of Gudwig and Frithwig and go into the Zeewood to find the entire host of rat-skrallings lying dead from wounds inflicted by one another as well as a large clawed beast. They followed a trail left by the large beast deeper into the Zeevood. They were ambushed by a great trollish version of the rat-beasts, Alecto. Alecto suprised the party and tore into Asward. The party fought hard, but Alecto was nearly immune to non-magical weapons and his wounds seemed to heal nearly as fast as they were made. Finally, Frithwig smited the beast with a mighty blow to the head setting the stage for Grimbold to fell the creature with a single stroke. The beast finally died, but not before Asward took his final breath. The noble Asward was caught in the clutches of the beast and disemboweled with a sickening crunch.
Another trail led on deeper into the Zeevood to a dark cave with a lake at the bottom. However, the party had some second thoughts about venturing any further. Now that they had finished Rathgar's errand and located what they believed to be the source of the killings, the heroes turned back toward Axeburg. Instead of pursuing what could be the "stepmother of Alecto", the heroes decided to do some raiding.
Uni 12th, Smirkenburg
Accompanied by a host of ten warriors, the heroes of Axeburg sail to the downtrodden town of Smirkenburg for a raid. They find the defenses there to be quite capable, despite the fact that all the elves ran for the hills as soon as the Viking's knarr came into sight. Twelve dwarves and eight halfling mercenaries of the Red Rider Mercenary company stood tall and did their best to put up resistance to the invaders. Early on in the battle, the halfling sharpshooters cut away at the intrepid Axeburgers. However, once the warriors put the ladders that they wisely bought to use, they were able to make the Smirkenburg berserker hole passable for Grimbold. In the end, all the mercenaries either surrendered, ran off, or were slain. The heroes looted the town of Smirkenburg and headed back for Axeburg.
Treasure Collected From Smirkenburg
decorative bor-symbol plate armor (full plate +1)
masterwork chain shirt (mw chain shirt)
masterwork dragon-motif breastplate (mw breastplate)
red metal-masterwork axe with Swerding runecarvings (mw battleaxe)
suprisingly light but plain masterwork axe (mw battleaxe)
138 Silver Marks in gold and silver
Change Self (l1, cl1)
Blindness/Deafness (l2, cl3)
Levitate (l2, cl3)
Ventriloquism (l1, cl1)
Detect Undead (l1, cl1)
Flaming Sphere (l2, cl3)
banded agate (15 sm)
celestite (clear milky whites to yellows and pale blues) (25 sm)
green sapphire (green corundum) (40 gm)
zoiste (brown) (5gm)
red garnet (20gm)
platinum medallion with white opal gemstone (20 gm)
small jewel box, ivory with silver frame (15 gm)
silvered picture frame (1 gm)
platinum comb set (1 gm)
2 gold gem-encrusted tankards (15 sm each)
gold filigree wine ewer (1 gm)
silvered dagger (1 sm)