June 15th, 215
Ingrid Horoldsdottir (Kathy) leaps in front of the children to protect them, even as six more of the dog-headed creatures enter the fray. Ranulf Beinirsson (NPC) moves to protect Jordis Hodersdottir (Ellie) and the children, while Ogir Haralfsson (Nick) attacks a pair of the dog-headed fighters. The three player characters and Ranulf look to be in serious trouble as they fight the nine hundehoveder, as they try to protect the children from the depredations of the creatures. It is with some relief that Ingrid spots Sigrun Evardsdottir (Angela), Amund Torkelsson (David), Vigfur Egilsson (Tom), and Dagna Styrsdottir (Joanne) racing in their direction, and soon the six player characters and Ranulf are engaged in fierce battle.
Ingrid engages with two of the creatures, and in her fury to defend the children and Jordis, manages to take them down relatively quickly. She fights back-to-back with Ranulf Beinirsson, whose axe work is quite marking on the dog-headed creatures. Ogir is quite effective with his axe, killing one of the creatures, but there is no surfeit of the beasts to attack. Sigrun and Amund take on a large specimen of the creatures, and suffer several wounds but are able to defeat it. While Dagna takes charge of the children and Jordis, Vigfur attacks the creature coming after him, but is wounded, forcing young Jordis to fight for her life against the creature. She and Dagna hold the creature off long enough for Ingrid to arrive, and she is barely able to finish it off. Ranulf finishes off a second one of the creatures, and goes to Ingrid's aid. With a bit of luck and skill (not to mention a few Furor points!), the player characters are able to fend off and kill all of the creatures.
With quick introductions made, there appear to be sparks flying between Sigrun and Ranulf, much to Ingrid's surprise and Dagna's pleasure. The player characters quickly realise they need to find shelter for the moment, to lick their wounds and deal with the aftermath of the fight with the dog-headed creatures. Ranulf tells them that he can take them to the healer's, Asfrid Egilsdottir, small hut. It is relatively protected, and the characters will find "materials" that perhaps the characters can use for the purpose of healing. Led by the wounded Vigfur and Amund, Ranulf Beinirsson leads the characters with a good deal of caution in that direction.
Once settled at the healer's hut, Ogir and Dagna start to heal the more severe wounds suffered by members of the party, while Vigfur uses his first aid skills to the best of his abilities to work on those less seriously injured. Dagna puts Jordis in charge of the six children, leaving the adults to get on with matters. One of the children, Rika Arvesdottir, says that she knows something of herbal lore, and is able to help the player characters out to a lesser extent. While this is going on, Sigrun and Ranulf secrete themselves in a corner and talk quietly. They are only interrupted when Dagna and Ogir check out their wounds, and tend their injuries. Dagna takes an instant liking to the young man from Havnor.
Once the player characters, Ranulf, and the children are somewhat recovered, Ranulf explains that he is the first-born son of Beinir Cnutsson, the Jarl of Havnor. He tells them, when asked by Dagna, that the majority of Havnor folk are not dead, having retreated from the town to some caves in the southern edge of the Maren Trae that the Norsemen use for emergency storage and safety during such attacks to protect the children. Ranulf explains that the creatures attack the town from time to time, but never with such organisation as what they saw when the attacks started some seven days ago. Driven out some five days ago, the folk of Havnor mounted several raids on the largely intact remains of the village, and have driven most of the creatures out. The arrival of the player characters seems to have triggered more attacks, but Ranulf says that with the help of the folk from Grontvand, they will be able to drive the hundehoveder back to the mountains where they belong. Amund explains that they have come to open diplomatic relations and trade with Beinir Cnutsson and his people, but Sigrun exclaims that of course they will help his people take back Havnor.
Ranulf tells the others that the day is waning, and that they must leave quickly if they plan to reach the caves before sunset. The dog heads will enter the town more prevalently by night, and they must be away before then for the sake of the children. Sigrun broaches no disagreement from the others, once the group feels a bit more hale, and the party sets off with Ranulf and Vigfur leading the way, and Ingrid and Jordis (whose feeling protective of them) guarding the children. They encounter one of the creatures as they travel, disposing of it quickly, and make for the Maren Trae. Entering the dense woods, Ranulf leads the characters safely to the area where the woods thin out, and wooded hills can be seen.
Confronted with three Norse hirdmen, Ranulf greets them as Asmund, Gydha, and Skule, and says that he is with friends and potential new allies. The three are delighted to see the jarl's son, as he was thought dead at the claws and bite of the creatures, and they greet the player characters with caution, and at Ranulf's request, escort the party to the cave being used as the longhouse for the moment. Beinir Cnutsson and his wife, Thahild Styrsdottir (a possible relative of Dagna's), greet their son with measured delight. After recounting his story and introducing the player characters, the children are escorted away, Jordis going with them. Beinir offers the characters his hospitality, as is his duty, and both he and Thahild see that there is some fire between Sigrun and Ranulf.
The player characters accept the Havnor Jarl's hospitality willingly after their harrowing day. Dagna and Thahild desperately want to spend some time together, but Dagna goes to seek out the Havnor volva snd thulr, Skye Hauksdottir and Eirik Stigsson, respectively. Seeing Sigrun otherwise occupied, Ingrid goes and seeks out the various hirdmen of the town and makes fast friends with them, including Gydha Bollisdottir. Sigrun monopolises all of Ranulf's time as the two discuss matters with his parents, though it is obvious that the two wish to spend time getting to know each other. Vigfur spends time over the evening with the various hirdmen of the town, and comes to capture the attention of Alfdis Ottarsdottir, an archer for the people. Amund consults with the Havnor skald, Dagmar Igorsdottir. While he is attracted to the female skald, Amund is committed to his relationship with Lifa Gyrdsdottir. The two perform for the Jarl and his people, and Amund makes an excellent impression on the Havnor folk. Ogir goes in search of the Havnor thulr, and finds Eirik Stigsson with Dagna and Sky Hauksdottir.
Before they retire for the evening after a night's celebration of their safety and deeds that day, Beinir sends word to each of the characters that there will be a meeting two hours after sunrise to discuss what is to be done.
This was a remarkably wonderful session of the </i>Yggdrasill</i> game for a variety of reasons. I've already commented generally about the game session in this journal entry, but just want to add a few more thoughts here. This game session had the in media res business at the beginning of the session, but became a more roleplaying oriented game night as it went on, the players stating they rather enjoyed the interaction between themselves and the fokl of Havnor. For me that was really special, as to be honest, I like the interaction between the player characters and the others that they meet in this system, where Norse culture is really wonderful to watch. The budding relationship between Angela's Sigrun Evardsdottir and Ranulf Beinirsson will be interesting to see develop, I suspect.
All in all, a wonderfully enervating game session of Yggdrasill. Like I said, looking forward to next week's game session, assuming the March weather permits.