June 17th, 215
In the town of Havnor, work continues on the repairs to the town wall and the main gate. Dagna Styrsdottir (Joanne), Ogir Haralfsson (Nick), and Amund Torkelsson (David) discuss the status of the work, the state of the town, and what will happen with any trade or other deals that can be worked out between Grontvand and Havnor, in light of Beinir Cnutsson's attitude, mannerism and behaviour. They agree that Ranulf Beinirsson is a good man, and would make for a good ally, but they're not sure about him yet.
At the base camp of the hundehoveder, Ingrid Horoldsdottir (Kathy), Vigfur Egilsson (Tom), and Ranulf Beinirsson (NPC) realise that Sigrun Evardsdottir (Angela) is more seriously injured than she admitted - she's actually dying! Vigfur does the best that he can to treat her, but he is barely able to stabilise her wounds. Both Ranulf and Vigfur tell their dog head guards that she's in desperate need, and that they need to summon their dokkalfar master.
In the caves in the Maren Trae, Jordis Hodersdottir (Ellie) has recovered from her ordeal, and is concerned over her friends, and her volva teacher. Gisli Einarsson, one of the hirdman who came out to rescue her and the other children, comes up to her and they talk. Gisli agrees to teach Jordis a bit more weaponry skill, and the two of them leave the caves and start to work a bit together just outside. The two are observed by the local volva, Skye Hauksdottir, who seems to disapprove of the training.
In Havnor, Dagna, Ogir, and Amund go about their business, but Dagna decides to check the omens. She goes off quietly on her own, though Amund keeps an eye on her, and discovers that the omens are not good; one of their leaders is in deep trouble, and that death awaits. She seeks out Ogir and Amund, and tells them that she fears that Sigrun is in danger, but the other two tell her that they knew the risks, and that Grontvand's Jarl's daughter is a tough Norse woman. At that moment, a pack of dog heads attack at the gates, and the player characters rush in that direction.
Shvestigar arrives at the cave where the player characters are being kept prisoner, and he determines that Sigrun is indeed dying. The dokkalfar agrees to save her, as his magic is quite strong, but he inquires who will pay the price. Both Ingrid and Vigfur immediately offer to do so, as does Ranulf, but Shvestigar tells them that it will be Sigrun who decides who shall pay the price he demands. The frustrated Ingrid wants to strike the dokkalfar, but is halted by the weakened, barely conscious Jarl's daughter. Shvestigar has two of his hundehoveder take Sigrun out of the cell to more "comfortable" quarters, much to the other three's anger.
In Havnor, Ogir engages with two of the hundehoveder, fighting back to back with Grim Egorsson, and are able to hold their own, and the Norsemen are able to drive the creatures off. Dagna and Amund go and treat those who have been wounded in the fight, though the skald is being observant about a few matters. He questions one of the Havnor crafters, Regin, and learns that the craftsman working at the gate were taken by surprise by the attack. Amund wonders what happened to the hirdmen assigned to guard them. He quietly exits the town gates, and heads in the direction he last saw the guards.
Back in the caves, Sigrun awakens to find that her wounds have been healed, but there is a strange tingling throughout her body. She sees that the dokkalfar is sitting back, watching her, a smile on his face. Shvestigar tells the mortal woman that she has been healed by the dark alfar magics, and that she will never be the same again. He tells her that her friends are well, and that he's decided to agree to allow the folk of Havnor to live in peace. He also tells her about the price that he exacts for her healing, and that she must choose who among her friends will pay that price. She is shocked at his demands, but understands the desire and the need for such a demand, and agrees to pay the price herself - for one 22-hour period of a day out of every year, for a period of ten (10) mortal years, the dark alfar will possess her mind and body. And she will always wear a small, dark green stone around her neck inscribed with a strange symbol; Shvestigar does not tell her the purpose of this stone, only that it is part of the arrangement. He also tells her that she and the others have proven their worth, and thus he agrees to the truce between the hundehoveder and the humans.
Meanwhile, using some of his newly acquired skills, Amund stealthily and cautiously moves through the edge of the forested area near the gates of Havnor. He comes across two bodies - the hirdman guards that he was seeking - their corpses mangled by the savagery of the dog heads' attack. His alert senses let him hear a sound in the woods nearby, and he whirls to see two of the hundehoveder watching him. One of them says the word "truce" in mangled Norse, and then the two of them move off quietly into the forest. Amund returns to the town, and informs Grim, Dagna, and Ogir what has just happened. The various characters are of mixed feelings about matters, but Grim quickly sends a small group to retrieve the two hirdmen's bodies.
Roughly one week later, the player characters, including the recovered Sigrun, find themselves reaping the hospitality of the folk of Havnor within the walls of the town. True to his word, Shvestigar has lived up to his word, and there is a peace between the folk of Havnor and the hundehoveder and their dokkalfar master in the Black Vale. While there have been several attacks by dog heads during the latter part of the week, these are hundehoveder who do not pay their allegiance to the dark alfar.
Unfortunately, there is bad blood between Dagna, Sigrun, and Ingrid at the price that had to be paid to the dark alfar for his healing Sigrun of her deadly injuries. Dagna says they don't know what the dokkalfar's purpose is in this regard, but Amund adds that it can't be good. Sigrun says she's not sure on this matter, but that the dokkalfar didn't seem all that "bad" as things about them are made out; Amund cautions her by mentioning several tales of the dokkalfar that are warnings for mortals in their dealings with them.
The people of Havnor are grateful for the aid of the player characters, and Beinir Cnutsson and his people are ready and willing to trade with Grontvand. He is quite pleased at the developing relationship between Sigrun and his son, Ranulf, though the latter is extremely concerned at the price Sigrun has had to pay. Dagna and Ingrid's anger at Sigrun's choices is moderated by their seeing the budding romance between the two children of jarls, and Dagna says that the two must seek Edvard Knudssson's approval of their relationship. For this reason, Ranulf Beinirsson and a small contingent of Havnor folk must accompany them back to the town of Grontvand.
It is a weary, but somewhat elated, group of player characters that prepare for the long trek back to Grontvand. Accompanied by new friends...
And that session wrapped up the current Yggdrasill adventure for the Friday night group.
I don't really have a lot to add to the blog entry that I wrote about this game session earlier today, other than to say that I've really enjoyed myself to this point running the Yggdrasill game. It's got a simple system, a fascinating and nicely detailed world and set of basic assumptions that allow players and the GM to experience the world of the 6th Century Norsemen, and that lends itself to various types of adventures and scenarios.
The players had an enjoyable game session, and it was one after which they spent some time discussing two of the elements crucial to the session itself. Angela told me afterwards that she loved and was terrified at having to make the huge decision here that she did, but that this kind of responsibility is not something she wants too much of in future. To which Kathy pointed out that she shouldn't have taken the Jarl's daughter if she felt that way! The two had a good laugh about that, as Angela has actually delighted in her leadership role in the game.
Overall, it was a good session of the Yggdrasill game system, and I'm looking forward to continuing on or coming back to the game to be certain.