Into the Ruins of Logiheimli

Session Report (June 13, 2018)

With darkness coming on, they decide to retreat for the night outside the ruins and the desecrated, low mana, defiled area. They look for a suitable place to camp but cannot find a spot that is protected from the rain and the cold which settles around them as darkness falls. Instead they spend an uncomfortable night, wet, cold and miserable.

Before they sleep, Grend uses his druidic prayers to transfer some of the wounds of Shae, Findlay and Enok to himself. He then prays to the Mother to restore those wounds and drifts off to sleep. Shae, Findlay, and Enok take turns guarding the camp while others sleep.

The night is cold and damp. They each awaken, except for Shae, fuzzy-headed and groggy from lack of sleep, and aching from the cold and hard ground.

Near dawn, as Shae’s watch is ending, she hears the underbrush being disturbed to one side of the camp. Without waking the others she sees three skeletal warriors in mail, carrying weapons and shields. They see her as well and attack. Shae engages and shouts to the others to awaken.

Grend wakes first and yells at the others to get up. He climbs to his feet and finds his spear as the others wake up. Enok sits up, clears his head, and fires a Stone Missile at one of the skeletons. He hits!

One of the skeletons, armed with a spear, manages to get through her defenses and scores a minor wound.

Grend prays for a moment, and roots and vines burst from the ground to entangle the skeletons. Two of them do not defend, while the third dives for cover. The tangle of growth slow the other two skeletons down but they break free.

Shae gets a good hit on one of them and it shatters as it disintegrates. Enok fires again with a Stone Missile and its enough to destroy it. Grend moves around behind the third and takes it out.

After the battle, Shae studies the footprints of the skeletons. They seem to trace a route parallel to the berm that surrounds the ruins of Logiheimli. They follow them around the temple complex; it is roughly oval and maybe 250 yards along its longest axis and 150 yards across its shorter axis. Almost directly across from the gate they entered yesterday — the one with the skeletal warhorses — is a barrow mound. A dark tunnel leads back into the hill. The skeleton tracks, and many more like them, lead into the barrow. Looking back towards Logiheimli, they see there is another opening or gate in the berm opposite the barrow.

The party decides to go into Logiheimli, and cross to the berm and pass through the gate inside its walls.

They see a large building directly in front of them, silhouetted in the mist. To the left and right, several yards away, are the ruins of 3 or 4 smaller buildings, perhaps longhouses. The group stops to discuss where to go first, with Shae wanting to go towards the larger, central building. “That must be the temple. If there is anyplace that contained a clue as to the location of the Hall of Judgment, it would be there.”

Grend disagrees, saying that if there are any hidden enemies among the ruins, they should find and eliminate them now instead of having to deal with them if they are overwhelmed inside the (supposed) temple building and need to retreat. He sways them to his argument, and they step closer to the ruins on the right.

As they do so, a dozen or more humanoid skeletons rise from the ruins and attack. They are mostly armed with spears, swords, and axes, along with shields. Two have bows instead.

Grend and Shae wade into a small group of skeletons, weapons swinging. Findlay starts by playing the Song of Alarum, which boosts his allies’ ST and DX, but as he is threatened by skeletons he quickly shifts to the Song of Warning, which keeps several of the skeletons 4 yards away from him. Enok stands near him, using his staff to hit at skeletons outside the area of repulsion. Enok is aiming at arms and legs — one good hit on a limb is enough to dismember the brittle skeletons.

Shae does a Double Strike on one and takes it out.

The fight progresses. Two of the skeletons have been ‘disarmed’ but continue to fight much less effectively using their shields to bash, or bony claws to strike.

(To be continued…)

The Journey

Session Report (May 23, 2019)

The party meets Geirof a week later, collects the supplies and pack ponies he’s provided, and sets off to find the ruins of Logiheimli.

They travel northwards along the plains between the Greniheim Forest towards the East and the hills at the foot of the Vestrurham Range to the West. The July weather is good; the skies are clear and the temperature comfortable. The make good time all day. In the afternoon, they come across the tracks of something huge that seemed to crash its way through the forest on their right and across their path into the hills. Whatever it was has pushed down trees, stripped the bark from several of the largest trunks, and denuded the tops of most of the trees along its destructive path. Several enormous hoof prints are left in the dirt and mud.

Grend and Shae confer briefly and declare that except for its size, it appears to be moose spoor. But the moose would have to be thirty feet tall to have left this trail of destruction.

They push on, and as darkness approaches, they search for and find a suitable site to camp. They find a mountain stream that they suspect has fish; Grend and Shae try their luck and each land a medium-sized fish that the team uses to supplement their rations.

The night passes uneventfully.

The next day, as the party packs up their gear and prepares to set off again, they notice two ravens circling some distance off into the Greniheim Forest. There is something about their behavior that seems off. The party decides to investigate. They push through about a mile into the forest to the area the ravens are circling. They find a small clearing, at the center of which is a large rock. The group can hear the burbling of water, and circling the stone they find a natural spring bubbling out of a cleft in the stone, running down a natural sluice and soaking the ground. The water seems pure and potable; Grend suggests they refill their water supply.

As they wait for the vatnvikur to fill, they make a small sacrifice to Woden the Allfather in thanks for the find. After they do so, a penny falls from the sky. Enok picks it up and examines it. Drex looks over his shoulder and thinks that it has very little monetary value, and wanders off disinterested. Enok notes that the penny has the Òss () rune and pockets it.

The party collects the ponies and pushes on. The weather worsens; rain begins to fall and the temperature dips. As the afternoon approaches, the rain turns to mist and fog.

Late afternoon, the party begins to make out the line of a low ridge silhouetted in the fog ahead and to the left. They turn in that direction and find that the ridge is the remains of a berm. The remains of rotted wooden posts stick up from the crest. At its base is a ditch collecting water and mud from the day’s precipitation. The earthen mound runs both left and right as far as they can see in the mist (a hundred yards or so). A short way to the right there is an opening through the berm.

They lead their ponies to the gap in the berm, and down into the ditch and back up. On the other side of the berm are the remains of several buildings dimly seen through the fog. Immediately at hand, on the left, are a number of stone pillars set into the earth, each with several slots carved into them as if they once held planks of wood to connect the posts to form a fence or corral. They can see the bones of various animals in the dirt beyond the posts. Grend notices that his connection to Nature is severely limited — he believes the area is supernaturally defiled in some way. Enok tentatively tests his connection to the mana and finds that the magical force is also very low in the ruins.

The party investigates the once-fenced area more closely. As Enok steps past one of the pillars to examine its other side, four of the piles of bones begin to tremble, then rise up, coming together to assemble the skeletons of large warhorses.

The skeletal warhorses attack! They charge directly at the party at full speed, lowering their heads to crash into the nearest character. They spend the next handful of seconds fighting the warhorses, determining that piercing and impaling weapons do less damage than usual; crushing weapons appear to be extra effective. Grend shifts his grip on his spear to use it as a staff instead. Shae manages to do enough damage to cause one to crumble back into a pile of bones. Drex picks up one of the defeated skeleton’s leg bones and throws it between the galloping legs of one of the remaining skeleton horses, which trips and falls. Drex dodges one of the charging warhorse skeletons which plows into one of the pack ponies, hurting it.

Several tense action-packed seconds later, the party has defeated the skeletons. Shae, Findlay, and Enok all took damage.

The Lost Hall

Session Report (May 23, 2019)

Geirof comes in and sits with them.

“The town of Isfjall owes you a debt, whether they know it or not,” he says. “I was afraid that the demonic activity in the Frostharrow would eventually reach here, but I’m a little surprised it got here as soon as now.”

When asked about the “demonic activity”, Geirof tells them that the holy warriors and clerics of Heimdallr are spread very thin chasing down demonworshiping cults in the area. “Over 50 members of a demon cult were recently discovered performing a ritual designed to weaken the boundaries between the Nine Realms,” he says. “I believe this, plus the upswing in restless dead attacks, herald a problem: the Lost Hall of Judgment has fallen into evil hands.”

“The Lost Hall is one of the physical connections between this realm, Midgard, and that of the Gods, Asgard. Tyr the Lawgiver reigns in the Hall, and his influence is in part what keeps the powers of Chaos in check.” He sighs. “That influence, I believe, is missing. The reports of demons, demonic cults, undead attacks, and more frequent encounters with the Fae have led me to believe that the Hall has fallen, and with it, its tempering influence.

“Alas, others in my Braeðralag do not agree. They believe the unrest is a temporary thing, and will settle over time. But I know I’m right!” he says, slamming a fist down onto the table. He looks up at the group. “What I need is a brave group of thegns to find the Lost Hall. If it is in demonic or Fae hands, to free it. I can’t offer much in the way of reward, but anyone who manages to do this will have their deeds sung and sagas written about them for ages!” He looks to the party expectantly.

The party agrees to go on Geirof’s quest — he asks them to vow to Tyr to complete the task to the best of their abilities. They agree.

“Thank you, my friends,” he says. “I have some things that may make the quest easier.” He produces an old map on crumbling vellum and unrolls it. It shows the area north of Isfjall.

“I, uh, liberated this map from the archives in the hajarl’s hall. It is said to contain the location of the Hall of Judgment. I have pored over it, and used magics on it, but it refuses to yield its secrets.” He points at a location. “This is Logiheimli. Once it contained a great temple to Tyr. If any place contains clues as to the Lost Hall, it would be there. Unfortunately, Logiheimli fell to incursions of the evil from the Frostharrow ages ago. I would be very careful entering the ruins.”

He reaches into a pouch at his side and removes a hematite armlet, with silver chasing in the shape of the Tyr rune. “This is a tiwstakn. It was found on the body of Gyrid, the champion of last year’s Valor festival, after he died. He and a group of thegns ventured into the wilds a few months ago, questing for glory. All were slain, but Gyrid held on and tried to return to Isfjall with hideous injuries. His body was found just days ago outside of town. He was carrying the tiwstakn and a sword, both of which are embued with subtle magics that we have yet to identify. I believe Gyrid’s party discovered clues about the Lost Hall, and that these artifacts are connected to it. Perhaps the magic in this tiwstakn will be useful to those who quest for the Hall.”

Geirof also offers the heroes the purloined sword. “Perhaps this will also be of use,” he says. “Certain demons cannot be defeated without magic weapons.” He sighs. “Alas, I cannot offer much in the way of payment. Perhaps the knowing that you saved Norðlond from an encroaching evil or that you may be successful in rediscovering the Hall of Judgment when others have failed, will be enough. I can provide, however, four pack ponies with water and food to start you on your way.”

The team agrees to the quest.