April 14th (maybe), Year 101
A bright, early spring morning in Ulvfrist. Adalstein Ulfarsson's (SteveR) wife, Gudrid, is back at home with him, temporarily. She sends him off to the local market to get some foodstuffs for their evening meal. He is still somewhat shunned and ostracised, but is developing a thick skin. Eskel Ulfarsson, the thulr, inquires about Gudrid's health, and then gets down to business.
Eskel tells Adalstein that Dagmar Ivarsdottir (Tammy, not present), the volva, who is busy with her own duties, has had a dream of him talking to Old Hathga. Eskel suggests that he go and talk with the crone, a Servant of the Norns, who lives deep in the Morke. Eskel says that he's managed to convince Hulm Runolfsson (whom he first met while tracking down the herb to save his sister, Amana) to go with him. Hulm will not accompany him to the Norn Servant; that is not his task here. Eskel warns him that the trip into the Morke is dangerous, and that he will only find Hathga if he's fated to do so. Adalstein suddenly has a sense of conviction that he will be victorious, he *will* find her.
After spending the day with Gudrid, Adalstein and Hulm prepare to leave the next morning. Hulm informs Adalstein that the Morke is dangerous, full of creatures, lots of bogs and plenty of other hazards, but they will do their best. He doesn't know of this Hathga, and Adalstein seems incapable of telling him about her. Hulm is somewhat surprised when Adalstein tells him they must travel into the centre of the Morke. As they exit the gates of the Ulvfrist, Hulm whispers something to one of the guards, but Adalstein cannot make it out.
As the two characters enter the Morke, even in late period of winter, the wall of oppression, darkness, and quiet envelop the characters as they move forward. The darkness of the forest enshrouds them, and the silence of the forest is somewhat comforting, if unnerving. As the two characters travel, they start to lose all track of time, something that Hulm warns him of as they continue on.
Their first dangerous encounter is with a bear that attacks them suddenly out of the forest depths. Adalstein is struck for a wound, but it is not serious. Hulm attacks the bear with his spear, inflicting a wound that manages to drive off the bear.
The second encounter Adalstein and Hulm have is with a pair of brigands. Adalstein is not wounded during the short, 30-second fight, though Hulm takes a couple of wounds that he is able to shrug off as a pin pricking. Adalstein has to finish off the second brigand, as he is unconscious. The two are obviously of mixed Angle/Norse blood, and so they don't loot the bodies.
Their third, and final, encounter occurs as they emerge into a small meadow concealed among the foliage only to see a small wagon, with a man resting against the riding animal cropping away at the vegetation. He appears to be a seller of trinkets and small items of non-valuable sorts. Quite persuasive, he convinces Adalstein to spend 2 silver on what appears to be a runestone drawn from a bag, that morphs into a small, burnished copper amulet (still with the rune upon it).
Adalstein and Hulm continue to travel on, moving in the direction indicated by the latter. As they do so, they suddenly emerge into an area that seems to be a large set of ruins. All around them are ruined structures, very ancient, made of an uncut white stone that is not marble, covered in vegetation. All of the buildings have symbols, various runes, cut into them, but neither Hulm nor Adalstein can identify them. It is very quiet, very sombre amid the ruins. Hulm says that one of the structures has smoke coming out of one of the lower stone openings that are windows, and points it out to Adalstein. The entryway to said small structure appears to have three symbols carved around the entryway.
Hulm says that he must go on his way, as Fate awaits him now. Cautiously, Adalstein makes his way to the entrance, and a sonorous female voice asks if he intends to come in. Entering the building, Adalstein finds himself in what appears to be a hut-like structure, typical of the Norse, with various herbs and other items hanging from various places. Before a fire, from whence the smoke outside originates, sits an ancient, withered figure wearing furs with dark hair and lightly complected skin.
Addressing him by name, she tells him that she is called Old Hathga, and she knows why he is come. Hathga tells him that he may ask of her five questions, but that for each question that he asks, Adalstein will have to pay a price. When he says he is willing to do so, though reluctantly, she tells him to ask his first question.
Q1: How may I repair the Pact which has been broken?
A: Only a God may repair what a God has broken. Seek an antithesis.
Price: She takes about 3 ounces (5 HPs) of his blood in a small clay bowl.
Q2: Which God has broken the Pact?
A: Him whom you place your Faith in.
Price: His drinking horn.
Q3: Where should I seek the antithesis?
A: The dwelling place where the antithesis can be found.
Price: His Strength in times of crisis.
Q4: How may the curse upon me be removed?
A: Hair of the varulf, the Kiss of a Dis, the forgiveness of All Father, and the breath of a Vanir. These are the keys to its removal.
Price: His first-born daughter, whom he must name Vanadis.
Q5: What effect will the breaking of the Pact have on Ulvrist?
A: The Wolf will reign over all, the Men of the North shall lose what they value most, and Skoll and Hati will swallow the moon and the sun.
Price: He will fight and defend the Morke duirng the Fate of the Great Ones (Ragnarok), regardless of all else.
Old Hathga offers to give Adalstein another piece of advice free, if he gives her the Amulet that he acquired from the seller of trinkets, but she says he will need the Amulet, and thus must weigh whether he needs the Amulet or the advice more. Thinking about it, he gives her the Amulet. She tells him that nothing he knows of the Curse and how it affects him is as it seems. She says he needs to seek the only other mortal to have survived the Curse.
There is a sudden flash of bright light, and Adalstein and Hulm find themselves on the edge of the Morke, some 4 kilometres southwest of the town of Ulvfrist. With very little said about what has happened between them, they head back to the town.
This was a pretty good gaming session. I don't really have anything to add that I didn't already say in this journal entry, so go read that! :)