April 24th, 215
While the player characters wait in the ruins for the arrival of the Blod Bjorne as Ogir Haralfsson (Nick) was leading their leader, Hring Mattsson, and his men into the ambush, Dagna Styrsdottir (Joanne) questioned the wisdom of this, and whether they would go down as heroes or mere cowards. Sigrun Evardsdottir (Angela) agreed with her, but by this time they were hushed by Ingrid Horoldsdottir (Kathy), who saw the approaching Blood Bears.
Ogir led the Blood Bear tribesmen into the ruins, and straight into the ambush laid by the rest of the player characters. Taken by surprise, the brigands were put on the defensive by the player characters. However, that all changed when the two groups were attacked by a Galspole (Madcoil), a half-snake, half-bear creature, some 2-1/2 metres in length that was well-concealed in the ruins. The brigand survivors teamed up with the player characters to combat the creature, and were eventually successful, with several casualties on the part of the brigands. Dagna was rendered unconscious by a vicious swipe of the creature's tail end, and both Vigfur Egilsson (Tom) and Ingrid were wounded by the creature, though fortunately not poisoned. Sigrun was especially concerned for Ingrid, as the two Norse women had bonded with each other.
In the aftermath of the creature's vicious attack, Hring Mattson gave permission to his thulr, Igor the Right-Handed, to heal the two seriously wounded characters. However, in exchange, Sigrun and the rest of the player characters agreed to allow the brigand survivors to leave. Ogir and Ingrid were aghast at this, but bowed to the wishes of the rest of the party, as Amund Torkelsson (David) managed to negotiate the peace, as he and the others felt they owed the brigand survivors for their own survival.
Once the player characters had healed a bit more, they left the ruins and walked straight into the ambush laid by the surviving Blood Bear brigands. Not wanting to actually kill the player characters (as he had come to respect them during the battle against the madcoil), Mattson demanded their goods and valuables, but agreed to let them keep their weapons as long as they swore on High Thor himself not to attack them. The player characters consulted among themselves, and finally decided to give up everything they had, although Vigfur managed to secrete away a couple of items and some gold rings in the nearby scrub before they got to him. ("See? I told you my stealthy ways would come in handy," he told the other characters later.) When Hring Mattson and the surviving brigands departed, the player characters debated what to do. Since Vigfur could easily follow their tracks, the group convinced the scout to follow the brigand party, and see "what fate would see fit to deliver to them".
Using a good deal of caution and common sense, the player characters pursued the Blood Bears, and followed them to what appeared to be a secret cache that the brigands used in the area of the Dobblom Hills. They decided to rest and attempt to recover somewhat before they attacked the brigands again, and thus spent the night and the next day recovering. Late the next day, they found the brigands had encountered several other members of their Blood Bears tribe, as well as two large bears that seemed to be used as mounts or load bearers, under the control of the thulr, Igor. Without waiting for the others' permission, Vigfur headed into the brigand camp to scout around and see what he could find. What he found was a small patrol of Blood Bear scouts that captured him!
When the rest of the player characters realized that Vigfur had gone off on his own they were furious, particularly Sigrun, but didn't really know what to do. Against the better judgement of Amund, who had seen the lay of the previous Blood Bear camp, the party set off to find Vigfur and get him back. The attack started well as they ambushed several guards on patrol, and learned that they had captured Vigfur earlier. Learning where he was being kept, the group headed into the heart of the camp taking out the Blood Bears they encountered as quietly as they could, the camp being relatively large but not well patrolled. As they entered the main cave of the cache complex, the group heard a voice call out, "Attack!" as a large, brown bear bore down on them!
Last night's gaming session with the Friday night group, was a really fun, really enjoyable game session.
I continued to run the Yggdrasill game that I've currently got going, and the players had a good time with the session.
Everyone showed up by about a quarter past seven, so we got the game underway at that time. This particular session of the adventure had a bit of everything in it, some really heartfelt moments, plenty of combat, and was fraught with danger for the players and their characters. One of the combat sequences was the most complex and taxing (for me, anyway) that I've ever run in a game over the past ten years or so, but the players gave me a lot of help handling keeping track of some of the game numbers and the like, so that made things so much easier for me. There was also a good deal of player character interaction in the session, that highlighted some of the relationships that have developed among the characters, but there was some tension between the players' characters about some of the actions taken in the session.
This was the last gaming session for the Friday gaming group in 2013, and to be honest it was a satisfying game session and one that made for a fitting end to this year's gaming on Friday nights. I can't wait for the start of gaming in 2014! :)