Yggdrasil

Temple of the Crushing Wave

After clearing Rivergard Keep of its occupants, the marauders from the North began the task of claiming the keep for themselves.
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Kjorne, Fiori, and Silvos escorted a handful of townsfolk they had liberated from forced servitude to the back to their homes in Womford. Later, they would tell the others how a pack of hellhounds tracked them into town, and attacked them in the middle of the tavern, wreaking havoc and causing panic through the whole region.

Meanwhile, Magnus, Kodrir, and Helson began investigating the underground stream discovered beneath the keep in the interest of securing their position. The stream meandered through lightless grottos for at least two miles before finally opening up into a large underground lake.

Torchlight reflected off of the glassy surface of the lake, broken only by the ripples generated by the small rowboat. The trio docked at a crumbling stone quay, beside another skiff. Knowing there would be enemies near, they proceeded quietly, despite Helson’s infatuation with the ancient stonework and the history they represented.

After a few scuffles with some guards – who were clearly more powerful and devoted than any they’ve faced previously – and a small clan of animalistic lizardmen, they arrived in a large hall. The ceiling was supported by six large columns of cracked and chipped red marble. Trade goods – clearly plundered – were piled haphazardly against the walls. The far end of the hall opened up into another underground lake. A row of tables ran down the center of the room, with a ceremonial gong placed at the head of the tables, between them and the lake.

A handful of bandits were rifling through the latest shipment when they spotted the northerners. “We got here first. Ye can have whatever’s left after we’re done.” they spat over their shoulders.

Unfortunately for the bandits, the barbarians were no strangers to plunder and pillage, and they were cut down before they could raise the alarm.

“Well done.” came a scratchy female voice from behind them as they rifled through the pillaged goods. They turned to see haggard old woman flanked by two lumbering ogres.

“Who are you?” demanded Magnus.

“My name is Thuluna.” She replied. “Thank you for disposing if that… filth.” she nodded her disgusted (and fairly disgusting) face toward the bodies of the thugs. “Gar is ruining this place… bringing in any bandit he can haul off the docks… But perhaps with warriors such as yourselves on my side, we could cleanse his stench from this place and make it worthy of Olhydra’s glory!”

She walked casually into the hall, as her ogres took up flanking positions.

“I don’t trutht her.” lisped Helson, quietly. “The remindth me of my mother.”

This was good enough for Magnus, who swung his glaive Skraelingjar around in a wide arc, and charged. Helson engaged the hag (as she had revealed her true nature) and provided magical cover. Fiori dropped one of the ogres with an arrow through the eye. However, as the beast fell, its club struck the gong.

Thuluna tried to escape into the lake, but Helson walked out on top of the lake and blasted her into oblivion.

Moments later, a gargantuan turtle burst through the surface of the lake, blowing skin-searing steam in a hissing cone wounding them all severely, and dropping Magnus unconscious.

Fiori and Helson managed to drag Magnus to the relative safety of the recently cleared (but not cleaned) room belonging to the lizardman tribe. Having seen to their wounds, they then proceeded around the hall, through a few more dwellings. Among other things, Fiori found a finely crafted bone longsword with rubies inlaid in the pommel which glowed slightly, and was warm to the touch. Fiori would later deduce that it warmed and glowed when in the vicinity of a dragon.

After crossing a bridge (which, of course, had a troll under it), they arrived at a room lined with ancient copper vats. Helson was with the murals of dwarves harvesting and fermenting grain, and regaled his companions with stories of the legendary dwarven craftsmen Svartalfheim. Meanwhile, Magnus had discovered three glass tanks, half-filled with water and shoulder straps, similar to a backpack.

“It mutht be tho underwater creatureth can breathe on land.” Helson posited confidently.

Magnus shrugged and popped one open, only to be immediately set upon by an animated column of water! They managed to defeat it, but the commotion attracted the attention of the guards in the next room.

The door burst open, and a half-dozen or more soldiers began pouring in, with a self-important looking man barking orders behind them. A thundering explosion rocked the room, and suddenly, only their leader was left. Confidently, the one-eyed man marched forward, mist rolling from his body, and the words of a spell on his lips.

His good eye widened as the spell fizzled harmlessly. Helson smirked a toothy grin while the others cut him down.

The weary adventurers began searching the room. The moment they let their guard down, a half-dozen bugbears seemingly appeared all around them. In a flurry of flashing morning stars and javelins, they brought down Magnus and Helson.

Fiori, already the farthest from the melee, turned to escape through the door. The bugbears gave chase, staying just behind Fiori, and out of reach. He wound around in a semi-circle, approaching the room he had just left from the other side.

As the nimble trickster led the bugbears through the winding passageways, Magnus’ eyes fluttered. He took a sudden gasp of breath and sat bolt upright. Hearing the commotion in the halls approaching, and seeing his fallen friend, he quickly popped the cork out of a vial and poured the contents down Helson’s throat.

The demon boy gagged, but swallowed it all. He awoke in a fit of coughing, with Magnus kneeling beside him.

“They are coming.” was all Magnus said before groggily stumbling toward the passageway through which Fiori had recently departed.

Helson fell limply back to the floor just as Fiori burst into the room, spinning around the corner and disappearing into the shadows.

The bugbears stood over Helson’s inert form, kicking him inquisitively while discussing plans to capture Fiori and now Magnus. The bugbears had just decided to split when they found themselves plunged into a magical darkness.

Helson lept to his feet, and ran out the door. Fiori slid stealthily against the wall, back the way he came to meet up with Magnus and Helson. They looked at each-other and agreed “Let’s get the fuck out of here!”

They managed to find shelter in an unused prison, and met up with Kodrir. They then explored a different section of the sprawling ancient underground complex, ending up at a large crevasse, with three Bullettes chained on the other side. The presence of the burrowing creatures, as well as an encounter with an Ettin led them to believe they may have crossed over into the territory of the Earth cult.

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Prayer to Odin

Now my course is tough:
Death, close sister
of Odin’s enemy
stands on the ness:
with resolution
and without remorse
I will gladly
await my own
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After their storming of Riverguard Keep The boy demon made notes in his diary. This castle was once part of the Besilmer realm. He noted the old symbols of a wheel over a plow which the ancient dwarves used to mark this domain. As the great craftsmen race was now in decline, lost was their knowledge of weapon making, brewing and crafting of wondrous magic items. Many of the dwarf today were remnants of that once great realm. At the peak of their civilization they crafted the most powerful weapons for the gods. Among the many irreplaceable treasures created by them were: Mjöllnir, the hammer of Thor; Gleipnir, the chain that bound the wolf Fenrir when all other fetters failed; Skíðblaðnir, a ship which belongs to Freyr and always has a favorable wind; Gungnir, the spear of Odin; Draupnir, a ring owned by Odin; the Brísingamen, a magnificent necklace owned by Freya; and the long, golden hair of Sif, Thor’s wife. Helson believed the race had become almost sterile. Perhaps it was the ugly women they had who wore long beards on their chin… it did not make the most romantic image. It was said that the dwarven god Moradin attempted to alter this predicament and blessed the wombs of their woman – it was a time when many dwarven twins were born, but still many of their great halls were still empty and the orcs have taken over their lands for the most part. Still the Stone bridge was a pilgrimage for many dwarves today as it was the site of an epic battle between Torhild Flametongue and a powerful Giant from Jötunheimr. Helson would very much like to explore the tomb they heard of from the lack-luster group from the High Forest they encountered.

Opening his mother’s tome clad in the skin of children she had devoured, Helson grimaced. He knew that power came at a price but he was ready to leave this foul thing. He had made a pact with Hel the daughter of the trickster god Loki, with it came immense power. Power from Múspellsheimr, a world of fire and lava, foul curses and other devious legerdemain. It filled his body with an orgasmic feeling and left him empty, alone and in self-loathing. Putting it down he looked up to see a crow fly over his head and began to pray to Odin for wisdom and insight:

Hail Odin,
Grey wanderer:
For many years you have knocked at the hidden doors of my soul. Patient yet ever insistent: awaiting my response.

Hail Odin
All Father:
Ye who knows the passageways to my heart.
Yet patient, waiting, not treading there within, uninvited.

Hail Odin
Wise One
You teach me the greater worth of a path freely chosen.
I welcome You now into my heart, unfettered by reservation.

Hail Odin
Spear Shaker
Ye who incites wars amongst nations and the battles within each man’s heart:
You spur me now to rise to your challenge.

Hail Odin
One Eyed God
Your quest unhalted by sacrifice.
So do I commit to follow your will.

Hail Odin
Master of the Runes
Through Your Gift we glimpse the web of Wyrd
So do I seek the knowledge Your Staves reveal.

Hail Odin
Patron to the skalds
Bringer of the mead of inspiration
May my words be pleasing to Your ears.

Hail Odin
Master of Fury:
Primal and uncontained: dictated by necessity.
May I persevere, unrepressed, in adversity.

Hail Odin
Valföðr:
May Your Valkyries find me worthy
When the web of my life is cut.

As he finished his eyes were filled with tears and his ears blazed. His tail swooshed around him vigorously and then he fell into a deep slumber.

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The Northmen Cometh

205rivergard.jpgThe crystal waters of the Dessarin River gently slapped at the hull of the stolen keelboat as Kjorné propelled them toward the riverside keep with powerful strokes and colorful complaints. The water was otherwise still and the land open to the sky. Magnus took a deep breath of the fresh air; A slight breeze tousled the young warrior’s long hair. He smiled, preferring the feel of the wind in his face and the boat swaying under his feet to the overcrowded inns and stinking towns they had left behind.

They were all shocked to see the attractive sorceress behind the bar at the Bargewright Inn, barking orders and very nearly pulling out her hair. The temptress had traded her typically cool, seductive demeanor for one of a frazzled hausfrau.

Gora had apparently been entrusted with the management of the inn, and was searching for a set of important, and unfortunately missing, keys. Magnus shook his head at the memory. They didn’t have time for petty squabbling over some unimportant inn, or even an entire town. The gods themselves were being threatened by these elemental worshipers and their fanatical followers.

The ungrateful bitch didn’t even thank them for finding and killing the outlaw, Quanderil, and his lackeys for whom she had been searching the entire time she had been in the vale. Looking back, Magnus was glad they hadn’t gotten dragged further into the politics and troubles of that town. If they had helped search for those missing keys, or gone off to escort a caravan for a bunch of soft, whining merchants, then they surely would have died of boredom while the Nidhug devoured them all.

Magnus chuckled recalling Quanderil’s pitiful attempt to challenge them. The fat, green-skinned sailor ran like a coward, attempting to escape underwater. But they had destroyed him and every one of his shipmates. Unbeknownst to the barbarians, it was for this reason that Rivergard Keep, which they now approached, was not warned of their arrival.

“Why the fuck am I doing all the rowing?” Kjorné bellowed, breaking Magnus’ reverie. “Kodrir, can’t you, like, ask the fish to push us or something?”

The enigmatic druid shifted, rustling his feather-trimmed hide cloak. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

“What the fuck does that even mean?” Kjorné asserted forcefully, managing to preserve an air of genuine inquisitive interest. “Clearly hands are better in a bush then on a little bird.” the crass barbarian retorted, simultaneously grabbing his crotch. “Helson, why don’t you conjure up your unseen manwhore to row this thing. I need to save my strength.”

The demon-boy rolled his eyes and sighed. Again. “It’th a girl” he said, exasperated at the stale jest. “And the’s an untheen thervant!” he struggled with the common tongue from behind his oversized, pointed teeth.

Kjorné just chuckled in response, catching Magnus’ eye, shaking his head and nodding toward the tiefling. “Magnus, you take over then. I’d have piss-boy do it, but I want to get there before the sun sets.”

Magnus knew it was better not to try and argue with stubborn warrior and replaced him at the oar. They were so close, he didn’t know why Kjorné was complaining. But the barbarian’s pacing told Magnus that Kjorné was too anxious for battle to sit still any longer.

The riverside entrance to the keep was blocked by a chain that ran through the gap in the walls. Helson blasted the chain with an arcane bolt, shattering it with a small sizzling splash, just as a face peered out of one of the arrow slits to inquire into their identity. More bolts of energy exploded against the keep wall inches from his face, which quickly retreated.

The face quickly disappeared and Kjorné dropped beside his brother, synchronizing with his stride. The pair of barbarians strained against the oars, veins popping along their bulging muscles as they propelled the small craft, raising it further above the water as they gained speed.
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Moments later, the keelboat hit the shore with enough momentum to propel its crew over the sides, into a wave of guards. More than a dozen clearly low-ranking thugs raced toward them, down steep stairs, set into the 20-foot embankment that ringed the shoreline and led up to the rest of the keep. At the same time, a handful of similarly outfitted bandits scampered out to the walls and began firing on the invaders. More fearsome warriors armed with swords bearing what appeared to be sharks teeth, and shields fashioned in the shape of a horseshoe crab shell were scattered throughout the mob.

Magnus and Kjorné dove headlong into the oncoming tide of defenders, slowing their advance and giving Helson time to create an explosion in their ranks, decimating them. Meanwhile, Fiori snuck around, picking off the archers on the walls and keeping his friends safe.

As the defenders thinned, another group of the tooth-sword-wielding warriors burst from the tower door to meet the attackers, but quickly fell to the druid’s conjured wolves and the barbarians’ swords. Shortly afterward, a splash was heard near the tower, but no fleeing enemies could be seen.

With the walls cleared, and no more defenders approaching, the northerners regrouped to formulate the rest of their plan for taking the keep.

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When Demons Dream

Helson rode along in the wagon wondering how they had come upon this strange land. Far from their homeland the others seemed a bit home-sick from their beloved town of Folksung. Helson was happy to be with his “friends” even though they abused him and treated him poorly at times he didn’t mind. This was the only family he had. He did not have a land to call his own. Not of this world he felt disgusted by his own reflection and many time wished he was not the demon underneath the façade of the innocent boy he pretended to be.

He knew that his mother had designs to bring Hel to this plane and he had though it was over when she was destroyed. He knew now it was far from over and he had visions and waking dreams and premonitions that Ragnarök was upon them. He inspected the horrid idol of Dagon he had uncovered in Askahöfn. He could still feel the taint of the polypoid that had wormed its way inside his head. The use of his body as a vessel once more…. How many times has he been violated! The bile rose in his throat and tears filled his eyes. He began to rock and closed his eyes to the madness! Sometimes he felt that he should end it now, he shall forever be used in this way to summon untold horrors into this world! He was a threat and he despised himself. The Black Petal had intended to use him in the same way his mother did, if it was not for his friends… he could not continue along this line of thought as it was just to disturbing to him.

There was the storms and the kraken. The gods must have a design for them – they were both blessed and cursed and are but pawns in their machinations. Somehow they were sent here, Helson knew this was fate they were sent here by the gods themselves but for what reason? How would this hapless bunch of barbarians stop the coming of Ragnarök? They are more interested in their own bodily functions then helping this world… but yet Helson saw there was purpose. A stone has been cast and a path was made that they had to follow.
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Thor himself came to Helson in a dream. He was drowning in the blood of Jörmungandr. The world was being destroyed by giants, the Bifrost bridge was cast a sunder and the elements rose up to tear the world apart. There was something about these elemental cults and he didn’t think Kjorni was wrong to kill them on sight… sometime instinct wins out to reason. He just wished that him and his brother would lay off for a bit.

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The Hunting Lodge of Glunn Quickeye
"Go hold your own damn hand!"

Kjorne, Magnus, Kodirer, and Helson enter what appears to be a large room with a gigantic fireplace:

“At the top of the steps is a massive hall, with ceilings that are thirty feet high. In the center of the room is a giant unlit fire pit, some eighty feet long and inlayed around their edges with dwarven art-work wrought in gold. Massive oak tables run along each side of the fire pit, with dwarf-sized chairs all along them.
Set into the western wall is a grand hearth, forty feet wide and fifteen feet tall. Directly in front of it are two large tables that look to have been used for food preparation.
The southern of the two sets of stairs to the east is made of highly polished green marble. On each side of the entrance to the stairway are golden plates, one foot square, set into the walls about three feet high. They are framed in dwarven runes that say:

“GUNNAR-GUNRATH-GRENNUR-BRANDOR-BRENDOR”

Magnus and Helson argue back and forth on the nature of dwarves. To no agreement, they bicker back and forth for a while and let Helson go off on his own to contemplate intelligent matters. Codpiece casts druidcraft on Kjorne, making him smell like a skunk.

The party decides to head up the stairway. Halfway up the smooth marble stairs shift downwards, creating a ramp that sends the party tumbling back down to the landing and causing minor damage.

Helson decides to take a rubbing of the names and stores it away for later use. His familiar bat heads up the southern stair set and scouts a head. The room at the top appears to contain a large statue of a dwarf and tall collumns. Helson is unable to have to bat return as it meets a red shimmering forcefield trying to go back down the stairs. Mr. Bat dies a noble death in this room.

“This place is gaaaaaay” – somebody in the dork lair

After checking out the other western stairway, they discern that this one is trapped like other one. Heading north, there is one more stairset they decide to investigate. At the top they find the following:

“Old bunk beds line the northern and eastern walls of this room, all dwarf sized. The bedding has all rotted away, but the frames are still in good condition.”

Our heroes find nothing useful in this room and head west up another set of stairs. Statues of dwarves fill niches all along both sides of the next room. After looking around quicly, they dont notice anything out of place. To the north from east to west are Gunnar Quick-eye, Gunrath Quickeye, and Grennur Quickeye. To the south from east to west are Brandor Huntbeard, Brendor Huntbeard, and Brondor Huntbeard.

Helson pulls out his rubbing of the golden plates and compares the names. With a good intellegence check, he notices that “Brondor” is not on the list. After investigating the name plate – he pushes the “O” in the begining of Brondor and a secret door opens behind the statue. A lone stone chest is found in this room. Magnus checks it for traps and deems that it is indeed trapped.

Helson sends an unseen servant in to open the chest, while the others hang back outside.
Soon after, the ground shakes and a large explosion can be heard coming from the room. Dust and shrapnel settle out of the opening and the unseen servant is destroyed.

Sifting through the rubble, they find a golden key ring with two keys attached.

On the way back out of the room, Magnus notcies a small hidden button they walked past (criticle perception check). After a long tense moment, they push the button and another door opens behind a nothern statue.

In this room a shelf, exquisitely crafted, sits on the far wall. On it rests a cross-bow and a sword, with a small box sitting next to them. This is where Glunn Quickeye’s kin sealed his prized hunting gear. The group finds the following:

“There is a fine dwarven crossbow, a box of 10 quarrels +1, and a short sword +1, +2 vs goblins which glows a pale blue when goblins are near. The scabbard of the sword bears four dwarven runes, “GMTS.”

They grab the loot and make their way back to the green marble stairs. The golden keys fit perfectly into the golden plates. They travel up the stairs and sure enough, the trap does not activate. They wait to see if Kjorne can pass back through the forcefield, and it is no longer active.

“Large twenty-foot-tall columns line up before a massive statue of a dwarf, at least thirty feet high, with one arm pointing a crossbow to the south, and the other holding out a drinking stein to the east. The ceiling of this cave is only slightly taller than the statue. Along the base is the name Glunn Quick-eye.”

Kjorne looks around at the columns, Codpiece decides to check the walls of this room, Mangus investigates the statue, and Helson starts praying in hopes to contact Glunn’s spirit for guidance – hoping his companions will sit around with him holding hands. They aggresively deny his attempts at that request.

With an 18 religion check, Helson calls out to Glunn and receives a vision. He sees a faint image of Glunn’s crossbow – and realizes it needs to be placed in a certain spot…maybe on the statue. Commanding Magnus, he tells him of the vision and instructs him to find a place to secure the crossbow.

Magnus scales the statue and gets to about its waist line. He finds a spot on his belt that looks like it would hold the crossbow perfectly. Magnus does so, and the stein slowly starts to tip over revealing treasure:

“100pp, 500gp, a crown made of gold, set with diamonds, rubies, and dragon’s teeth, and a 2 handed +1 Maul (vicious weapon).” Magnus moves quickly claim the item from his brother, but with no success. Codpiece dons the crown – improving his style astronomically.

(to be continued)

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Xorns and spiders
"Magnus, lets fucking waste these things!"

The heroes from Folksung clan continue on into the cavern. A large pool of water is collecting at the top of this ledge, with a river flowing out of a small cavern to the north. Guthrum disappears again, his ability to drop out of the background is unparalleled. Codpiece rejoins the party – explaining he had to perform burial rights for some of the creatures the party has slayed.

Helson, wielding a ring of water walking, decides to walk out onto the pool of water to impress his companions.
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Magnus and Kodirer notice two elemental creatures stealthfully camouflaged into the natural stone work. Helson continues to dance and show off his magical powers, unaware of the creatures behind him. Magnus attempts to have him back up futher, possibly into the grasp of these Xorns. They notify him quickly of the possible threat…he is unphased by there presence. After throwing some rations towards the Xorns, the party realizes that they hunger for metalic goods over flesh…with eyes staring keenly at Kjorne, Magnus, and Helsons magical crafts.

As the creatures make there way over to the party, they shift into and out of the rock walls with ease…almost as if it was like sand. Getting too close to Kjorne, he decides to go hostile and attacks. Helson attempts to defuse the situation by throwing a bag of coins across the pool and casting minor illusion – making it appear is though it is overflowing with gold coins. Xorns have excellent sense of smell for metals and are not deceived.

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Kjorne yells,“Magnus, lets fucking waste these things!”…Helson petitions that action, and Magnus replys with “Yea, im with you”. He moves up to the closest Xorn and flys into a barbaric rage. Both his swings miss the creature, quickly learning that they have very tough rocky exteriors. The Xorn dodges a third strike from Magnus as he attempts to catch it leaving his reach, and it shifts into the nearby stone. Appearing behind Kjorne, the beast lashes out and bites; leaving him clearly wounded and focuses intently on his golden ring. Kjorne retaliates, and starts raging. He places a good strike with his mace at the creatures mid section, but notices it dosen’t have full effect. “These creatures are bullshit!” -somebody in the dork lair

Xorn two moves up to Magnus and catches him with a few attacks – he seems to keep his calm after being hit.

Helson unleashes two beams of eldritch blast at one of the Xorns and connects with one…doing a considerable amount of magical damage. Codpiece follows up with a blast of flame from his conjure flame spell, but does not hit the beast. The magical glaive strikes for full damage, rending a soft spot on the creature. Xorn one moves into a new position near Codpiece and Kjorne, but still focuses on his golden ring and connects with two claw hits for minimal damage. Kjorne retaliates and strikes with two massive blows, although the damage is reduced. The Xorn also suffers from wounding of the cursed glaive.

Xorn two sniffs out the golden ring on Helsons finger and hungers for it; he moves over and lashes out with claws and bites…wounding the young tiefling. However, the warlock reacts with hellish rebuke and baths the creature in cornhole fire. Helson proceeds to cast Shillelagh on his weapon, transforming it into a magical weapon. Calling out to Thor, he reaches out with shocking grasp and uses his insperation to hit the Xorn. Thor did not hear his call and the attack misses. Helson runs away in fear – taking another attack as he leaves the creatures reach.

Codpiece looks to Kjorne and starts casting druidic healing…closing some of the wounds inflicted by the rocky beasts. Magnus notices Helson being attacked and makes his way over to help. Swinging with his magic weapon, he lands a light blow and wounds the creature again. Magnus and Kjorne take damage from a surrounding Xorn…who also succumbs to wounding damage. A critical hit slams Magnus in the gonad, although it seems reduced, it sends him into a savage fury. His companions realize this trance and make haste to distance themselves from the barbarian. Kjorne follows up with two swings, and connects with one. His swift barage of strikes unfolds the Xorns defences. He attempts to get away from Magnus and does a beautiful swan dive into the pool with uncanny grace (critical athletics check).

Helson tries to blast his foe with Eldrich energy, but is unable to break through the Xorns tough hide. He see’s the creature shift into the rock wall and disappear. Kodirer casts Water walking on his companions and they gain the ability to walk on liquids as if they were solid ground. Magnus strikes the wounded Xorn again and see’s the creature starting to expose its defences.

The Xorn disengages from combat and moves into the rock wall – leaving the party alone again in the cavern. Kjorne makes his way up the river and screams “Get your shit together Magnus, we have to get going!” Xorn two reappears near Helson and renews his effort to get the ring…felling him with a strong bite and claw. He falls unconscious.

Kodirer see his companion go down and makes his way over to cast healing word. With a gasp of air, Helson reanimates and returns from unconsciousness. A thorn whip lashes out at the Xorn, and pulls him into the water. Magnus charges onto the water with glorious fashion, but misses with his attack. Kjorne follows his brother and attacks at the submerged Xorn. He is able to strike through its defences with ease doing considerable damage. With desperate strikes, the beast attacks Magnus and Kjorne…dealing reduced damage to Kjorne and landing a critcal hit on Magnus; sending him into a berserking rage again.

Helson has had enough and decides to pull himself up and swing at the creature with advantage. He rolls two 6’s and misses…Codpiece feels bad and decides to drop a level 2 cure wounds on Helson, relieving some pain from the bites.

Magnus unleashes on the beast with powerful strikes, wounding the creature and leaving his bloodthirsty rage.

Kjorne racks the remaining Xorn with his non-magical weapon and misses with his last strike. The Xorn notices Codpiece undoing his efforts and moves to bite and claw him, with good success. Although, he succumbs to more necrotic damage from the wounding weapon. Helson doubles his efforts with the shocking grasp and he is able to hit; thanks to Magnus following the tactics of wolves. Kodirer follows up with a thornwhip for decent damage and rends the creature.

“Kjorne, lets drop this fucking thing!.” Magnus attacks recklessly, leaving all his defences exposed. The onslaught wrecks havoc on the Xorn and it drops dead into the water. “For the glory of Freemont………” (laughter can be heard in the cavern).

The party finds 1100cp, 700sp, 20gp, 2x pewter earings (worth 25gp), and +1 Wand of the Warmage.
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Helson is eager to try the magic wand out. A short rest is in order for the party after the long battle. Codpiece decides to shapeshift into a snake and scout ahead up the river. The cavern twists and winds for a long distance. Kodirer realizes that if the party tried to swim through this they may not of lived. A large waterfall about 100ft tall flows into a large pool at the bottom where scatter bones can be see laid out along the shores. Helson attempts to contact him with message, but only hears the his of a snake in his head.

As Kodirer attempts to look at the bones, a giant catfish emerges from the depths and attacks with large feelers and attempts to eat him whole. He is forced to shift out of snake form and transforms into a giant wasp…flying out of reach of the giant catfish. Flying upwards…he explores the top of the waterfall and finds the cavern continues into darkness. Returning to the river entrance, he wild shapes into a reef shark and heads back to join the group. He explains that the river is impassible except by certain magical means, and they all decide to head back into the spider web cavern.

Figuring out how to navigate through the webs, the party decides to start throwing flame and eldritch blasts down the cavern. A loud shriek can be heard some distance down the cavern, seeming to come from a beast. As they travel through, the party easily notices four large spiders hiding in a spot carved out of the cavern. Also, dwarvish runes in the form of graffiti drawn on the walls.

Our heroes engage the spiders with magic and blade. A familar bat shits in Helson’s hand and he casts fireball. Two spiders advance on the barbarians and shoot webs to restrain them. Succeeding, Magnus and Kjorne must spend an entire action to break free of the webs. Kjorne flies into a rage and easily breaks free of the webbing. He moves into position for a strike on the closest spider. Magnus succeeds as well, moving toward the same spider his brother is challenging.
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The other two spiders throw webs at the barbarians, looking to make an easy meal of the humans. Helson launches two beams of energy and connects with one, the crackling beam explodes on the spiders dome piece. Kjorne attacks the closest spider while still webbed; and in disadvantage can only strike with one blow…still doing a hearty amount of damage. Magnus is not restrained and swings at the same spider, connecting with a attack but dealing only minimal damage. He does manage to wound the spider, and it takes necrotic damage on its turn. The spiders flank Magnus and attempt to poison him with bites. One hits but he is able to save from the effects of poison, but flies into a blind rage. The druid and Helson unleash magic at the spiders doing respectable damage.

A remaining spider moves in and bites Codpiece, though the poison is not effective. Kjorne follows up with two strikes and connects as the maul bashes a leg in and his brother lands the killing blow soon after. Moving over to another spider, he lands a vicious attack and nearly kills it. A spider tries to bite the druid and fails. Thornwhip lashes out and strikes the spider in retaliation. Two beams of eldrich energy kill a spider on the ceiling, and it falls crumpling up in a large dead pile. Remaining spiders are dispatched with ease and the party heads further into the cavern.

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At the end they find a set of well crafted stairs heading up about 40ft…leading into a large dwarven mess hall.

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Loki's tricks & the grave of the red dragon
"Let's piss in the cisterns to fill them back up..."

The lift stops and our heroes venture into a rough hew cave. Helson admires the engineering of the pulley system and starts to draw it in great detail. Magnus, Kjorne, Guthrum, and Codpiece decide to look into a cavern to the west. This mine shaft is littered with scraps of old robes, broken and smashed holy symbols and relics, along with broken shields and weapons. After searching around, the party finds 5gp and 3cp. Magnus picks some of the trinkets up and stores them in his backpack.

Helson finishes drawing and rejoins the party. They notify him that nothing of value was found and they move on down the cavern. After a short distance, the party travel down another western passages and finds many pikes with decapitated heads atop of each. A lone, headless pike has a wooden sign nailed to it that reads, “Be gone followers of the Deceiver! Hail the Allfather!” A circlet worth 200gp is taken off one of the skulls.

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To the North a passage deviates from the earthen walls of the mines, as it is made of stonework that is different craft than used for the lift. On the archway leading to the north is carved the name of Odin, albeit backwards and crudely etched. Helson uses Eldritch blast to scorch the writing, making it no longer discernible. The path leads to a room with a large statue of Loki dominating the center of the western wall. To each side are giant tapestries. The one to the north bears and image of Loki bound under a snake whose venom is dripping and the one to the south is an image of Loki and Odin becoming blood brothers. Our heroes spend some time looking at the statue to no avail. Helson prays to Odin for guidance, and is granted a vision of hidden doors behind the tapestry’s. Magnus checks and sure enough, there is a door where Helson’s vision suggests. Magnus attempts to open the door and sets off a trap – needles shoot up from hidden holes in the floor and damage his one gonad. The Room behind this door looks to have once been the chamber of a head cleric. The furniture is ruined and decayed,but hints at what was once splendor. Magnus notices a scroll underneath an old bookshelf and retrieves it. Helson is able to identify it as a Scroll of Heroism after taking a short rest.

Wary of Loki’s tricks, the party heads to the north door and Kjorne attempts to open it. Hidden in the ceiling, acid sprays down and he takes damage…also noticing the acid dissolving his equipment. Codpiece creates a stream of water and washes the acid off completely. This room contains old busted bunk beds all along each wall. A door to the north is made of steel, with the words “Hall the Trickster” engraved along the top. Nothing of value is found here.

Helson decides to listen at the door and hears nothing. Pulling on it reveals it’s unlocked and not trapped. While the rest of the party stays behind, Helson enters the next room alone. The walls have old, crumbling frescoes showing Loki wielding fire against the other gods. The doors to the west are made of brass, and have the following engraved on them:

Ale you brewed, Aesir, and you will never again hold a feast; all your possessions which are here inside—may flame play over them, and may your back be burnt!

The doors have large pull-rings, each with an equally large keyhole above it. Helson decides to pull on the rings and oil starts shooting out from hidden nozzles through out the room. Worried, he decides to try and rejoin the party to the south. Just before he can enter the archway of the door, a force-field with a pale red shimmer blocks his advances. He discerns that a powerful wizard had cast this spell.

Kjorne is unimpressed by the explanation of Helson, and reaches into the room to pull him through. He is shocked to find he can not retreat his hand past the barrier. Codpiece attempts to shoot flames into the room, but the spell fizzles as it contacts the force-field. Frustrated, he enters the room with Helson and they search further. Helson falls unconscious onto the floor while the druid lights the oil-covered room on fire…but not before casting Protection from Energy – Fire on himself. The room ignites instantly, and both players take damage from the heat. Codpiece decides to pull on the doors, again causing more oil to fuel the burning flames. After a few attempts of disarming the trap, while the room is completely ignited, he somehow eventually succeeds and plugs the nozzles.

Helson comes back to consciousness after about an hour – disheartened that he was not able to be immortal. The fire has died out completely and burned up any free standing oil. Magnus, Kjorne, and Guthrum enter thought the force-field and get the sense of no going back. The party discovers a secret door hidden behind a large painting to the north. Beyond is a hallway that seems safe to travel. After gathering their courage to traverse it, flames shoot out from more hidden nozzles and scorch the party. Two cisterns in the east and west ,filled with water, occupy the next area. Crumbling, fading frescoes cover the walls, with images showing people fighting what appear to be fire giants, and then being soothed by water. Some players use the water to sooth their scorched skin, feeling very relieved. Helson continues on to the north over a metal grated floor. The ceiling of this hallway is made of metal panels. Knowing this is an obvious trap, he expects more fire to bath over him. He is surprised to find a torrent of rushing water fall from the ceiling, knocking him prone and inflicting a lot of damage. He is unable to find the trigger for this trap.

Weary, our party decides to investigate how this trap works. Guthrum points out that the cisterns were full when they arrived, and it would be very much like Loki to offer this as a trick. Magnus claims that they should piss into the cisterns to fill them back to the original levels, hopefully disarming the trap. After doing so, Kjorne leaves his breakable equipment and steps into the hallway. He is relieved to find that the trap does not re-activate.

All members cross the trap and head into a octagonal room. The walls of this room, sans the north, have shackles bolted to them, and the entire floor is a mosaic depicting clerics of Loki sacrificing people by throwing them into a pit. Guthrum notices a button hidden as a stone in the floor. He marks it with berry juice and steps back. Suicidal Helson see’s no reason to delay and pushes the button. A secret door in the wall to the north appears.

This room is the shape of a large triangle. In the center, to the north, appears a large statue of Loki, much more larger and ornate than that found in the previous room. He is seated on a throne, one arm propping up his chin and the other holding a shepherd’s crook. Two large brass keys hand from the end of the crook.

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To each side of the door, two statues of Valkyrie-style warrior (each with a crossbow) point towards the center of the room. Codpiece see’s this is an obvious trap and moves to remove the bolts from both statues. He is successful and tells the party the traps have been disarmed. Magnus and Guthrum both deem that there must be more tricks Loki has hidden up his sleeve. With a good eye, Magnus notices small holes in the wings of each statue. After alerting his comrades, they notice that it would not be wise for any of them to try and take the keys by hand. Helson fires a well aimed Eldritch blast at the end of the crook, and completely destroys it. With a clang, the keys fall to the ground. Instantly, darts shoot out of the wings and indeed would of stuck anyone attempting to pull the keys off the statue. They continue to destroy the Loki statue, inflicting massive damage to the idol.

Exhausted and tired, our heroes decide to take a long rest. Guthrum and Kjorne take watch while the others rest. Guthrum does well and stays awake through his watch. Kjorne fails to keep an eye out and falls back asleep. The party is awakened by the sounds of electricity shocking Kjorne. Four will-o-wisps surprise the party, appearing to have come from statues in the room.

A fierce battle rages – Helson almost goes down and Magnus swings wildly with his cursed glaive, harming his brother in combat. Codpiece shows his worth by healing wounds of Kjorne during the fight. One by one, the wisps explode and the party is able to defeat the servants of Loki. Extremely exhausted, the party finishes sleeping and feel much better afterwards. They collect the keys and navigate back to the large brass doors.

Sure enough, the keys unlock the doors and they pull open. No traps are triggered and the party enters into a very large room. The ceilings are at least 30’ tall and the floor is checkered with black and red marble. In each 10’ section along the western wall is a statue of a 3’ tall woman, each wearing a crown and wielding a different weapon. Our heroes spend a while figuring out how this “trap” works. They notice that the southern most queen does not move, while all the others can only be pulled left to right. The trap is eventually disarmed, and the cavern to the North is no longer blocked by a strange red shimmering force-field.

A large pit dominates the center of this cave. It is deep enough that one can’t see the bottom. A passage to the northeast is partially blocked by rubble of what was once a wall with an iron gate. Helson sneaks into the room a head of the party. He smells smoke from a fire coming from the north. Commanding his familiar, the bat flies into the pit and finds that there is a spell of Darkness permeating halfway down. The bottom seems to contain remains of humanoids and metal looking shackles. Helson returns to the party and tells them his findings.

Loud noises can be heard coming from the north…and foot steps of large creatures start to advance towards the party. With a loud smash, the iron gate once standing to the north is knock inward. Four ogres are behind it, and attack our heroes with fierce strength. Kjorne runs up and challenges the leading Ogre, striking him with two well placed blows. Helson unleashes a Fireball at the group and inflicts serious damage. Each Ogre rush into the room, two challenge Kjorne, one heads in the direction of Helson, and the last one challenges Magnus and Guthrum. The familiar bat falls dead as a great club smashes it with ease. Kjorne also gets hit, although the damage seems to be reduce. Magnus takes damage as well, but saves on going berserk via his cursed weapon. Guthrum fires two shots across the pit, both arrows finding their quarry. Helson blasts the Ogre that killed his familiar with lightening, calling out Thor to aid his attack. It seems to have had some effect, as the blast deals critical damage, and Helson is able to run over to Magnus for protection. Kjorne attempts to push an Ogre into the pit, but the beast is too strong. A second attempt proves worthy, and the creature falls into the darkness. A loud sound of crunching bones and clanging metal can be heard shortly after.

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The Ogre’s continue there assault on the party, one missing with a javelin at Helson and the remaining threat to Kjorne misses with a great club. Guthrum is unable to avoid being grappled by an ogre, and is smashed into Magnus – both taking damage. The beast is defeated by Magnus as his glaive tears into the wounded creature…saving Guthrum from his grasp. Meanwhile, an Ogre advances on Helson and connects with a swing from its great club. Kjorne defeats his opponent in glorious melee just as the Ogre that fell climbs out – striking Magnus and sending him into a bloodthirsty rage. Helson unleashes blasts of energy and damages a remaining ogre. Perhaps standing too close to Magnus, Helson falls to a viscous blow delivered by Kjorne’s former magic/cursed weapon and starts knocking on deaths door. Guthrum slays a challenging Ogre with precision dagger strikes, cutting open vital arteries and felling the beast. Kjorne joins in on taking down the remaining Ogre, and Magnus delivers the final blow.

Naturally, Helson stabilizes from his death and is fed a goodberry. This brings him back to consciousness, but only barely. The party heads to the north and finds a large smoldering fire with 4 furs used by the Ogres. Taking a short rest helps Helson regain much needed hit points and a total of 2 hours pass by while they also wait for him to cast Find Familiar. The bat appears – flying out of the fire and lands on his shoulder.

The party continues into what looks like natural caverns that increase in elevation. A landing from a long hallway reveals a fork and the scent of fresh air, though faint, coming from the western most passage. They travel this way and enter into a large cavern. There is faint light, and a good breeze coming from the westernmost of the two southern passages…this cave looks to have been once used by a small dragon as it lair.Helson nervously pulls out his antitoxin and downs the entirety of it. A few humanoid skeletons with old rusted armor and weapons are scattered about, and in the center are the long dead remains of a small red dragon. A large pile of coins can be seen in the center of the northern wall. It seems the dead adventurers died horrible deaths (many broken/cut bones, char marks from the dragon’s breath, etc.). The party find 2,666cp (about 7gp) and 73sp. Kjorne discovers a fine golden ring, and Helson is able to determine that it is a Ring of Fire Resistance.

Our hero’s head north towards a dark cavern. They quickly find this area is covered completely in large cobwebs. Deciding its best to leave this area be, they back track and head towards the southern passages. Exploring the western most passage reveals an alternate entrance into the mountain with well carved stairs leading some 300’ down the side.
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They notice the archway of the exit/entrance has dwarvish runes that read “Hunting Lodge of Glunn Quickeye”. Helson remembers hearing the ghostly laughter of a dwarf in Der Nordwald and believes the two are connected.

Back tracking again, they decide to enter into the other southern cavern…this one winds downwards and to the east. An opening is reached, and the party sees a 20’ wall. The sounds of water moving can be heard from this location. Guthrum pulls a rope out of his pack and fashions a knot into it….despite Helsons negativity, Guthrum is successful at securing the looped end onto a stalagmite. His companions are easily able to climb up the wall with the assistance of his rope.

A small calm pool of water fills the majority of this area. A river flows towards the party coming from a cavern to the north…

(I will edit this later, too tired to do it now)

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The Quarry
"Perhaps theres a key or something we need to find..."

After meeting a new companion, our heroes decide to allow a druid to join the group. He shows them his power by producing flame and healing the wounds Kjorne received from the killer tree. Guthrum decides to let his arrows rest after the druid proves his value.

The mine is void of any light source, and appears to be well abandoned. Helson sends his familiar to scout out the entrance for any danger. The bat screeches as it comes under attack – Helson is able to sense multiple beasts not too far into the mines. Kjorne enters and is prepared for the attacks of four dire wolfs and two werewolf. Helson unleashes a large blast of fire again, and manages to direct it in such a way as to avoid harming his friends. Singed hair can be smelled after the light fades, and out of the darkness these beasts bite and claw. Magnus and Kjorne hold the line, keeping all of the creatures in check. Arrows and blasts of crackling energy support them – as well as a powerful heal to Kjorne from their new companion. Eventually the party kills the remaining foes and seems to take on no ill effects.

The walls in this place are mostly earth, with large wooden support beams throughout. Old, empty boxes and crates are stacked along the walls. Broken mine carts rest on rusted tracks that lead off into the mines. Aged and broken masonry tools, and bits of rock litter the floor. The party searches and finds nothing worth value here. Helson petitions the party for a short rest – and is met by laughter with little to no sympathy.

A corridor to the West reveals two large wooden walls. Kjorne does a bit of looking around and decides to hack at one of the walls. With a strong bash, the wall wobbles and comes crashing towards his location. He is able to easily get out of the way. Inside appears to have functioned as a foreman’s office. There is an old rotted desk and chair here, with a few papers strewn across the desktop. They seem to be old accounting papers, and are now worthless. Magnus finds a small lock box and attempts to open it. Poisoned needles shoot out and strike him causing minor damage. Bashing the lock allows the party to find 100g worth of gold ore inside.

The party decides to take a short rest. Towards the end, Helson decides to sneak up and check out the next room. It appears to be an old miners barracks. Rotten cots are scattered about. Giant spiders jump down from the ceiling and surprise Helson, who quickly casts a spell and runs as fast as he can back to his companions. Magnus runs into the room and starts swinging with his glaive. Guthrum takes down at least two with well placed arrows and Magnus manages to survive multiple bites from nasty venom filled fangs. After defeating the remaining spiders, the druid decides to pile up the carcases and say a final word. Magnus and Kjorne seem confused by his actions, but decide to ignore it.

A small room to the North appears to have served as a kitchen. There is a large vented fireplace in the south wall. A table with stacked pots and pans runs along the east wall. After looking around the room for a bit, the party disrupts hundreds of sleeping bats in the chimney. They fly around the room and knock over most of the pots and pans – one of which contains a Wehrgelb Mold. Guthrum notices this creature and realizes its deadly nature. Unfortunately, his attempts to contain the mold with a pot fail, and it releases a cloud of noxious deadly spores. All of the party members make it out of the room alive – although Helson seems to be coughing a bloody fit.
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Our heroes decide to leave the kitchen alone and backtrack to another cavern near the entrance. The familiar bat checks out a small mineshaft and finds nothing of interest. As they travel further down the mine, moving East, the party discovers a mine shaft littered with desiccated corpses of woodland animals. The druid determines that these are the remains of spider pray. Helson scouts out the tunnel with his bat and learns of quite a few beasts hiding towards the end.

Deciding its best to leave them be, they venture West and smell a strong odor of death coming from a trailing tunnel. Guthrum and the druid look for tracks and determine that bears must be around. After some debate, Helson starts casting Find Animal to locate the direction of the Green dragon. He finishes and a tugging on his mind seems to indicate the direction as “up”. Two bears attack as the noise from the ritual draws their curiosity. The party dispatches these beasts with ease.

The western wall ends, and is made of cut stones, unlike the exposed earthen walls in the previous areas. The ceiling in this area is taller, about twenty feet up. A large shaft, roughly 10’ diameter, leads upwards from the ceiling. A lift is positioned just below the opening and blocks any view upwards. The party enters the lift, but finds no way to operate or move the contraption. After some searching, they find a small hole in the wall. Kjorne sticks his fingers into the hole and is once again met by frustration and failure. After pissing in the hole (and splashing piss all over) they decide to move on in search of something that will operate the lift.

A narrow cavern leads down to the north and at the end is a ramshackle barricade. As the party approaches, Magnus hears a goblin cry out “Back off, woodsmen, this is our home now. You have your own place!” The party threatens the goblin with sorcery and might – only to hear laughter in return. Kjorne decides to charge and attack the barricade. With a powerful strike, he smashes the weaker parts with ease…exposing the lone goblin behind. “AHHH Please don’t hurt me! I’ll tell you what ever you want!” says freighted creature. Our heroes learn that the dragon will be at the top of the “up and down ride”, and runs off – returning quickly with a wooden rod. Kjorne flexes his muscles at the cowering goblin and it screams running off into the darkness.

The lever handle fits perfectly, and our heroes climb into the lift. After pulling up on the lever, it seems the elevator is still in operation…and slowly starts acceding upwards.
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Der Nordwald and the mines of Valdhum
"I'll betcha a copper that's where the beast is..."

After an impressive battle against the red dragon, the party manages to chase the beast off and save the remaining buildings from complete destruction. The meeting hall and a few other building did not survive the dragon attack.

Jarl Sveaflan requests the party to depart the village in search of supplies to rebuild the folksung clan (among other reasons). He mentions of a forest town to the East called Valdhum. It will take the party a couple days to reach Der Nordwald via Nordvegr road.
A new member joins the ranks as the party is preparing to depart – a very young tiefling by the name of Helson. He is capable of changing his form to appear as a young boy to blend in with his human companions.

It’s a pleasant evening as the party travels toward Valdhum. A merchant by the name of Agler approaches from the distance. He hails the party and expresses a willingness to barter. Magnus and Kjorne take him up on this…but he quickly departs as Kjorne starts bullying Helson rather harshly.

The party decides to make camp and rest for the night. Magnus successfully keeps an eye out for trouble. Silvos falls asleep on his watch, and allows a Troll and Ogre to get dangerously close to where the party is sleeping. With quick reflexes, Helson unleashes a ball of fire at the two creatures and catches the Ogre fully in the blast. It screams “RAWGGGGGGG” as the surrounding area is lit on fire. Magnus delivers a critical blow with a cursed weapon, and the group quickly dispatches the Troll afterwards.

Dawn breaks and our heroes continue East on Nordvegr road. At last they see smoke rising from a chimney in the distance. A sign reads “The Hearty Oak” and a man by the name of Saemund Sigurdsson greets the party as they approach. Saemund tells them that it would be in their best interest to stay here for the night. Beornverr roam the woods hunting at night and it would be wise to travel Der Nordwald during the day. The party agrees and spends the evening eating, drinking, fighting, charming, and fucking with little incident.

At first light they depart and head into Der Nordwald. The forest is very old and the trees are 20ft wide and some appear to go 300ft tall. The path is easy to follow and allows no room to get lost. Helson’s familiar bat alerts the party to 3 bears foraging a head and allows them plenty of time to prepare for the beasts. The bears catch the scent of humans and attack. Our heroes have no issue defeating the bears and decide to spend time skinning and butchering the animals. Evening is upon them sooner then they realize and, heeding the warnings of Saemund, decide to double time to Valdhum. The extra weight of the bear remains hinders the effort however. As the forest breaks into a clearing, gates to the town of Valdhum are closing. Magnus screams “Hey! Wait for us!” and a guard spots the party attempting to make it in time. Falki Oaksson ushers them into the town quickly as Kjorne is soiling the ground.

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Massive fortified walls of oak trees surround the town of Valdhum. Guard towers rise from the wall every hundred yards or so, and a massive gate finishes closing behind. Falki asks the party to join him in The Oakheart Greatkeg for drinks and they agree. Conversation in the Oakheart seems to be dominated by the topic of a green dragon that is roaming about Der Nordwald. A drunk patron decides to amuse the new comers with his thoughts of where the dragons lair is – a mine to the West of Valdhum that has long been abandoned. Helson queries the barkeep and learns that this may be truth. Grunvald Sigurdson, the jarl of Valdhum is summoned and talks with Magnus and Kjorne. He explains the dragon is eating many deer in the forest and he worries the Beornverr will run out of game to hunt. A bounty of 1500gp is offered to any that dare locate and kill the Green dragon. Of course, the party is also entitled to any spoils they find on the way…and agree without hesitation.

The night passes and the group makes plans to spend the following day gathering mushrooms and herbs to create some defense against the beast. They are successful and acquire 4 vials of antitoxin (PHB pg. 151).

At dawn Magnus, Kjorne, Silvos, Oakshield, and Helson exit the inn to discover a large crowd of people. They cheer and praise the heroes for attempting to take on the dragon. Kjorne revels in the new found stardom and decides to make out with a random town woman. She is probably pregnant now.

Rolf Othinsson pulls the party aside and asks for assistance in bringing back a trinket or relic from the ruined temple of Loki. He offers no gold as a reward, but tells the party of an old ruin to the north. It is said that a great treasure is buried there, and offers a key to enter if they are successful at returning an item. After blessing them, he departs and the party feels no different afterwards.

The entrance to the mines is about fifteen miles west of the town. Our heroes set off and have little trouble navigating through the forest. About 1 mile before exiting the forest, a killer tree surprises the party and grabs Kjorne. His comrades come to aid with fire and steel before the tree can devour him completely. As the tree falls over, a small mound is noticed and the party decides to dig underneath where the tree was standing. A chest is found, and inside contains a diadem worth 500gp. Helson is able to identify a magic ring that seems to allow the wearer to walk on water. With daylight fading quickly, the party rushes to exit the woods….spending perhaps too much time digging. Howling and footsteps can be heard close by when they finally break through the trees. The mines of Valdhum appear and seem to mark the beginning of a dangerous adventure.
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The Hag's Lair

2015-02-08_1-00-08.jpgGuthrum, Kjorne, Magnus and Silvos plodded into the swamp reluctantly. Footfalls were followed by a sucking gasp as they sank up to their knees in the vile marsh. They followed the path they were certain the children and this woman went. The cold rain made little circles on the still water and soon they were swimming. Although the water was warm it certainly wasn’t pleasant – the smell alone made the men try to keep the water from entering their nose and mouths. Green slimy seaweed wrapped around them as they tried to swim. When they reached the center of the swamp it became much deeper. Magnus tried to figure out where the children could have been taken and saw large tadpole with deformed legs swimming up from someplace. Diving under the water he could feel the warm eddies from a current coming from someplace down under the water. He explained what he found to his companions and they agreed it had to be an entrance of some sort – where else could they have gone? Holding their breath they kicked hard and swam down into the underwater tunnel. Magnus was already disconcerted from the hag and was spooked as a clump of algae came in contact with his face and he gulped down a mouthful of water in panic and came back out of the tunnel in fear of drowning. The other three broke the surface of an underground pool. It was lit by campfires in the cave and they could see the sides of the pool littered with bones and sputtering mud that erupted like small volcanoes. A river from above flowed down into the earth here. Displaced by a crevasse in the stone it formed an underground torrent. Illustrating the amazing erosive power of water as it carved deep into the rock until the water found a quicker route. It appeared that the entire cave was formed by rushing water over many years. They were greeted by hoots and hollering from primitive looking humanoids – Neanderthals – they had spears and clubs and were around the campfires eating what looked to be humans – Cannibals! They wore totems of shrunken heads and began to come down off the cave ledges to apparently feed on the adventurers.

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