March 13th, Year 101
The place: The country of Denmark in Scandia. The time: Very early spring, March 13th in the 101st year since the founding of Ulfrist. The player characters are Adalstein Ulfarsson (spross) and Dagmar Ivarssdottir (Tammy). This is the world of the 5th century Norsemen. It is a world full of change, a world of superstition and magic, and a world where new Heroes who will have sagas written about them begin their adventures...
The story begins on a day like any other. The player characters awake to find that it is snowing outside, and there is a light carpet of snow already on the ground. Dagmar Ivarssdottir (Tammy), the new volva of the town, is woken by Gerda Herildasdottir, her apprentice. She tells the volva that the oatmeal is ready. Dagmar complains about the early hour, but Gerda says that she promised to take her and teach her tracking and wilderness skills with Bjorn Halfdansson, the town Forester, this day. As the last one to wake this morning, Dagmar gets the dirty wash water. Her father, Ivar, tells Dagmar that the town's leader of the hirdmen, Asmund, has insisted she will take a hirdman with her for protection. She is their volva, and she and her apprentice cannot be harmed. Apparently, the hirdman in question will arrive shortly.
Several hours earlier, Gudrid Ericsdottir, Adalstein Ulfarsson's (SteveR) wife, wakes him. He's late for weapons practice with Herik, Adalstein's sister's husband. She's annoyed with him for some reason, and Adalstein notices something different about her but can't put his finger on it. When he tries to talk to Gudrid, she is non-commital.
On leaving their house, Adalstein is greeted by a bitter wind. He goes to the side house near the barracks, and meets up with Herik. The two engage in practice combat drills and mock combats with wooden swords. Adalstein doesn't pull his blows, and after the second strong blow, Herik gets angry and invokes Thor's gift, seriously injuring Adalstein. Contrite, Herik offers to take him to see Osk (Arvesdottir), the healer. Osk chastises Adalstein while using her needles and thread on him, and then Herik reminds him that he has to be at the volva's for his "task".
Gerda curses the late hirdman, and wants to proceed anyway, but Dagmar tells her they must wait, as they don't want to cross Asmund, but Gerda asks her why not. Dagmar reminds her that just because she's seeing Asmund's son, Adalstein, doesn't mean she can take advantage of things, and they would get on his wrong side. Bjorn (Halfdansson) arrives, and tells the two women that he's ready to go. He also tells Dagmar that he saw Adalstein heading for Osk's place, and that he looked a bit wounded.
Adalstein arrives at Dagmar's. She wants to know if he's in any condition to help them if they should encounter danger, and he tells her, "There's still breath in my lungs and strength in my body. Of course I can protect you." Bjorn asks if they've got their snow moccasins, and they do, so after getting their gear and loading up, Adalstein, Dagmar, Gerda, and Bjorn head out the door.
As the player characters head out, they see that it is sunny out, and with a low ground mist. Somewhat worried about the omens, the others ask Dagmar to cast a spell and see what the future holds, and she does so - she sees loss, death, and a child. She comes up with some rather wild interpretations. Bjorn and Gerda look somewhat worried, though the former hides it relatively well. Despite their reservations, the foursome head for the woods.
As the four characters head out via the gates, they see the thulr, Eskel Ulfarsson (no relation to Adalstein), coming towards them, two large deer over his shoulders. He warns them not to go out, as the omens are not good. As the characters enter the Morke, the mist becomes thicker and rises higher than it was earlier. Adalstein leads them in, and after some five to ten minutes, stumbles on a pit and falls in. Dagmar and Bjorn use the 10 metres of rope she brought with her, and Adalstein climbs out. Bjorn descends down into the pit. He pokes his head up and out, and asks Dagmar to come down into the pit, as there's something she needs to see. She descends down into the pit, and Bjorn points out the rune carved on a small stone lying on the ground. Dagmar debates picking up the stone, and when she does so, she is struck by the rune's effect, vitality being drained out of her over the course of an hour quite painfully.
The characters debate taking Dagmar back to see Osk or Eskel, but she pretty much refuses as she feels that she has a job to do, teaching Gerda, and she intends to see it through (as a good Norsewoman would do). At the end of three hours, the effects of the rune abate, and Dagmar feels more like herself again.
During the last hour, while Dagmar teaches Gerda about tracking, Adalstein and Bjorn leave to look around and find some actual prints for the apprentice volva to work with. Bjorn says that the prints are wolf footprints, but there's something odd about them - they come from the north, and seem to be heading deeper into the Morke.
The two men return to where the women are, and take them to the area of the tracks. They begin Gerda's training, and the girl eventually identifies the tracks as those of wolves, but Dagmar expresses concern over their size. While the characters ponder what to do, Gerda apprehensively points to the four sets of large eyes watching them from the trees...
Note: In the entry above, the game date, Year 101, is from the time of the founding of Ulfrist.
spross and Tammy played their first actual gaming session of the Yggdrasill RPG today. The game started off with cleaning up a couple of paper files and getting some basic rules in mind for them to remember, and then we started in on the game session.
Tammy and SteveR did a pretty good job of getting the game mechanics down right, though the latter is still having problems getting his head into the Norse character mentality and "feel", but I hope this is just a matter of time, as he claims to really like the game system and stuff so far. Tammy is handling the system pretty well; part of this probably stems from the fact that despite the game being partially historical, the role of women is pretty flexible in the Norse culture. She also got in some use of her Seidr magic, which was pretty fun, and contributed to the session's feel.
All in all, a good session of Yggdrasill to start the Sunday campaign off, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops next week.