March 13th, Year 101
The wolves watch the player characters, acting oddly, as Bjorn Halfdansson points out to Dagmar Ivarsdottir (Tammy). Bjorn suggests the characters back off, and they do so, Adalstein Ulfarsson (spross) staying between the characters and the wolves. One of the wolves - long, lean, and grey-furred [with mischievous eyes] - snarls, steps forward, and then leaps at Adalstein.
Adalstein treats the wolf as an enemy rather than as an animal, and while it injures himm he inflicts serious harm on the wolf, thus invoking the [Wolf Haven] Pact. A harsh, severe wind rises, swirling up debris, and making vision and communication extremely difficult. Dagmar looks around and notices that Gerda (Herildasdottir] has disappeared, and she draws Bjorn's attention to this. She sees tracks that she hopes lead to Gerda, but Bjorn is unsure what they are and who (or what) made them.
Leaving Adalstein to his own fate and to follow them on his own, Dagmar and Bjorn move off into the forest. Dagmar realises that Adalstein has broken the Wolf Haven Pact. She notices that the wind has completely died down, and mentions this to Bjorn. They come across another set of tracks they can't identify, and find Gerda's cloak with blood spatter on it. Dagmar calls the girl's name, and hears Gerda's voice, "Over heeeerrrrrre!". She and Bjorn head in the direction of Gerda's cries.
As the winds swirl around him, Adalstein is struck by a branch that is blowing around. He tries to force his way towards the others, but the windstorm prevents him from doing so. Adalstein believes it to be the wrath of Loki. Another branch, propelled by the wind, punches through his shield, striking him, and leaving a wolf's claw mark [the Mark of the Wolf]. The voice of Loki echoes around the woodland area, and informs Adalstein that he is cursed. The wind dies down to nothing.
Adalstein looks around, and sees that there is no sign of the wolves, not even the downed wolf - except for an outline of the wolf in the leaves and detritus. He tends to his wounds as best he can, binding them up, but cannot seem to heal the Mark on him. He goes over to where the others were, and spots a fragment of bright blue material from Gerda's cloak. He seems confused, and spots another fragment. Bemused, he moves off, but soon after realises that he has become lost. He hears a seductive voice calling his name... "Adalstein"... and moves towards it, eventually finding himself standing near a bubbling brook...
Dagmar and Bjorn reach the area where the voice of Gerda came from. They see a stand of nine oak trees, and Gerda's curled up form near the edge of the trees. She tells the two characters that she doesn't know how she got there. As Dagmar cautiously approaches her, Bjorn prepares his bow. Dagmar hands Gerda her cloak, and it passes right through her grasp - she's a spirit, perhaps a draugr! Gerda asks if they think she's dead. She stands up, but her body is still curled at the base of the oak. Bjorn tells Gerda to go into the shadow of the oaks. The one curled up on the ground does so, not the one standing, and is thus revealed as the real Gerda. Using her knowledge, Dagmar banishes the creature by invoking it to depart nine (9) times. It first reverts to its true form - a decaying, corpse-like old woman - but before vanishing tells Dagmar, "She will only send me back. She wants the girl."
Adalstein recovers his senses to find himself standing by the bubbling brook. Looking around, he doesn't see anything unusual. However, he spots the reflection of his dead grandmother, Sveta (mother's side, dead 15 years), in the waters. They chat, but he is suspicious. The reflection disappears, and Sveta re-appears standing on the other side of the brook. She warns him that "Ulvfrist will face hard times, and you will be the source of it." She fades away, reappears as a reflection, and then vanishes. He looks around at the forest again, but when he looks back, there is no longer a brook there. Adalstein shrugs, and moves off in a random direction.
Dagmar and Bjorn help Gerda to recover her wits and calm down. Dagmar sees that the cut on the girl's arm is healing. They decide to travel back to where they left Adalstein. As they walk, Gerda talks and sings an old skaldic saga, and Dagmar knows the song as well and takes it up as they continue to travel onward.
Adalstein hears their voices, and heads in their direction. A boar charges him through the underbrush, but he manages to dodge it, and it continues its mad rush through the forest, and he continues on in the direction of the player characters.
Eventually, Adalstein meets up with Dagmar, Bjorn, and Gerda. The reunion is somewhat bittersweet, as he tells them what happened to him - about the curse, the Mark, and what grandmother Sveta told him. Dagmar says they must return to Ulvfrist and tell the Jarl, the Council, the godi, and the thulr of what has happened, as the breaking of the Pact is a bad thing. Seeing that Adalstein's condition is grim, Dagmar suggests they stop so that she can administer some forest first aid to him.
Then, with heavy hearts, the player characters, Gerda, and Bjorn head back for the (relative) safety of Ulvfrist.
The Sunday gaming group has left for the day. Overall, it was an enjoyable afternoon of gaming, though I admit that with the Aleve tablet in me, my head was not glued on all that straight, and there were times during the game when I was somewhat...confused. Befuddled.
The Sunday gamers continued on with the Yggdrasill campaign that they've started. The game session itself went pretty well, and things were quite adequate in terms of play and how the plot went, though as I mentioned I was a bit befuddled at times. (I need to do some research on a couple of elements of the game, to be honest, when I get a chance on Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, just to make sure I've got a couple of things straight.)
I'm not going to talk about the game plot here, as you can read the game session material above, but want to comment on a couple of things here. Tammy is playing her character, Dagmar Ivarsdottir, quite well and has definitely got the feel of the Norse setting going (I think she's been doing a bit of research on stuff, too). She has an understanding of the setting, methinks, and is playing her character quite nicely. spross, on the other hand, is struggling with his character. The character/personality he's given Adalstein Ulfarsson is somewhat inconsistent, and there are times I get the feeling that he doesn't know how to play the poor fellow. He set up Adalstein with an Intellect of 1 and an Instinct of 3, but he's not playing the character the way he should be, using lots of big words and logic (it seems) to guide the character, and that's been somewhat jarring for me in the hirdman of that type. I've given him a huge plot to deal with, one that changes the nature of the setting the characters are playing in, but I don't know whether he'll be able to actually handle the plot at all. spross tends to play a passive character, not one who is proactive, and I don't really feel like leading him around in the game. Especially with this plot.
In any event, I had a good afternoon of gaming Yggdrasill with the Sunday players, and am looking forward to the next session.