March 12th, Year 215
Within the hour, the player characters set off from the town of Grontvand, Amund Torkelsson (David) and Vigfur Egilsson (Tom) leading the way. The characters exit the town's gates, and Amund leads them towards the river, at which point the characters follow the currently still partly frozen river towards the east. They come to the edge of the Tornede Skov ("Thorn Forest"), and while the vegetation is not as harmful as it usually is due to the early spring period, Vigfur and Ogir Haralfsson (Nick) enter the woods cautiously.
Sigrun Evardsdottir (Angela) tells the others that while her father put her in charge of the mission, she is no fool, and will accept the help of the others in all things. Ingrid Horoldsdottir (Kathy) tells her liege that she will serve her to the best of her ability. Dagna Styrsdottir (Joanne) and Ogir give each other a look; they well know they need to look after Knudsson's only daughter, but they don't know what awaits them in the woods.
Ogir interrupts the others to tell them that there's an animal, probably a bear, somewhere in the area, as there are fresh prints in the snow. Vigfur comes over to check out the tracks, and confirms Ogir's suspicions, much to the amusement of Ingrid. The scout advises the others to move with caution; bears are dangerous when they come out of hibernation due to hunger, and should not be treated lightly. Amund says they need to move off deeper into the forest, and they follow him, with Ogir and Vigfur noticing that they are leaving the bear tracks behind.
After some fifteen minutes of travel, during which the characters acquaint themselves with each other once more, Amund tells the characters they have arrived at the site of the body. Dagna and Ogir look at the body after Vigfur finds it partially in the snow, and the volva is relieved to see that it is not one of the town's inhabitants; that lends itself to the question of where he comes from. Ingrid is able to make out that the man was killed by a blow from an axe of some sort, possibly a war axe, but very large. Ingrid points out to the others that he is wearing no heraldic symbols, no real indication of where he comes from, which leads both Sigrun and Dagna to conclude that he might be an outcast and exile, but Vigfur comments that there's something not quite right about the business.
The group are interrupted in their perusals by the arrival of the large, black bear. It has obviously scented the potential for food in the area, and has followed the scent. Ingrid and Vigfur draw their weapons, pointing out that they can't let the bear have the body, as they need to transport it back to the town. Ogir says there's no need to use violence, and asks the skald, Amund, to render the bear asleep using his Galdr magic. Dagna tells the others that they must not take the body back to Grontvand, and they must give the man a decent burial here in the wilderness. The others give the volva a tacit nod, and and the player characters proceed to do just that.
Once completed, Ogir looks around and tells the others that it is beginning to get late, and they should return to the town before nightfall. The others agree, and start to make haste to exit the forest. Before they can get very far, however, they are attacked by a group of poorly armed brigands, who outnumber them 2 to 1.
Ingrid immediately leaps to Sigrun's side, ready to defend the jarl's daughter. Attacked by four of the brigands, the hirdman defends her charge, though Sigrun is no slouch in combat. Ogir attempts to convince his two attackers that they do not want to do so, but when diplomacy fails, the thulr is able to defend himself adequately until his friends can come to his aid. Vigfur is able to take down one opponent quickly with his war bow, and then resorts to weapons of a closer means of fighting to deal with his second opponent. Amund and Dagna are unable to utilise their magics due to the fact that the group was taken a bit by surprise, but are able to defend themselves via more mundane means, and the characters are able to drive off the brigands, killing four of them in the process.
The player characters waste no time, gathering themselves up and racing as quickly as they can for the safety of the town. Sigrun tells Ingrid that she has earned the jarl's daughter's respect and favour for her actions against the brigands, but Ingrid merely responds that she was doing as her Jarl had bid her. The characters reach the gates of Grontvand, and make their way back inside the town.
Pausing to take care of their wounds, the wounded Ingrid informs two of the town's hirdmen to get Bjorn Ulfsson, and they need to prepare a small scouting mission to see if they can find and rout the brigands who attacked them. With that, the player characters proceed to deal with the realities of their situation, and hasten to inform Evard Knudsson of what occurred, and the potential threat to the town and the people of Grontvand.
The Friday night gaming group played last night, and the game went rather well.
I ran another session of Yggdrasill on the Friday nighters last night, and wrapped up the first scenario of the campaign with them. The game had a little bit of everything going on in it, and the scenario wrapped up in a nice, closed manner.
The players commented that they had a great time, and enjoyed the game system very much, almost as much as the Primeval RPG, finding the mechanics pretty easy to learn. Sure, I've got a couple of House Rules in place, but to be honest, they were needed and make the game smoother to run and the combat system faster. (While a Combat Round would seem simple, characters can take one Primary and multiple Secondary actions, depending, and thus the Rounds can last longer than one expects.)
Overall, the Yggdrasill RPG plays rather well, catches the feel of the game world quite nicely, and has a good rpg feel to it. The Friday nighters were pleased with the running of the first scenario, and I'm looking forward to running the game next week.