Journey to Isfjall

Session One (March 21, 2019)

Kaarlo Magnesson is the master of the Dragonsbreath, a merchant longship plying the Wodenain between the coast and the city of Isfjall.

He intends at all costs to get to Isfjall by the Summer Solstice Festival as that day he intends to marry Anja Yngvesdottir, the daughter of a jarl in Isfjall (Yngve Viggosson).

The Dragonsbreath has been traveling along with 3 other longships for protection, but several seasonal storms have delayed the convoy and Kaarlo is growing anxious that he will miss his wedding.

He asks for volunteers from all four longships for anyone willing to row through the night to ensure they get there on time. He is offering 10 sp each for any volunteers.

Among the takers are Grend Gnashtooth the Half-orc Druid, Shae (catfolk barbarian), Findlay Silvertongue (halfli- I mean hobbit bard), Enok (eldhud runecaster), and Bjorn Bjornsson, human scout. 

All but Findlay are rowing. Findlay plays an encouraging song on his lute. 

It is well after midnight. The Dragonsbreath is entering a stretch of the river which has a number of treacherous shoals and rocks, and the current picks up here. Kaarlo extolls the the rowers to push harder. Kaarlo himself is at the rudder while several men with lanterns are hanging out at the bow calling out the location of hazards. The ship passes into a narrow stretch of the river with steep cliff-like banks on either side.

One of the rowers, a huge muscular dwarf named Caedmon, has been grumbling about rowing the whole time. As the night wears on, he begins to make his displeasure known with comments about the intelligence of Kaarlo, his looks (“Of course he’s desperate to marry this girl, no one else would have him!”), etc. 

This finally ticks Kaarlo off enough that he answers with a sharp retort of his own. Caedmon curses, jumps up, and swipes Kaarlo’s feet out from under him. The two fall back into the group of rowers and begin to wrestle. 

As they do, the body of the lookout stationed 40 feet above, on the mast, suddenly falls to the deck, dying as he hits (if he wasn’t already dead). His body smashes the lantern next to where Kaarlo and Caedmon struggle. The burning oil splatters the deck and the wrestlers roll into it. 

Most of the crew react, turning to look at the fight at the stern or moving to help or intervene. 

When the lantern was smashed by the body of the look out, it set fire to the deck. Thinking quickly, Shae grabs a rolled up carpet/rug and tries to throw it on the fire to smother it. As all this is happening, Bjorn Bjornsson is able to see straight through to the other end of the boat and sees that they have been boarded.

Bjorn yells to Shae that the boat has been boarded. She has managed to unfurl the rug and cover Kaarlo, Caedmon and the lookout’s body with the rug. Findlay plays a Song of Humiliation on his lute, focused on Caedmon. Bjorn witnesses one of the crewmen handing a sword to one of the men who boarded the boat. We see more humanoids join the raid from the river, and they begin doing crowd control on the boat and start gathering non-mutinous crewmen and tying them up.  

During this time Findlay is attacked from behind, but not before the effects of the music he was playing begin to take effect. Grend is attacked viciously and begins fighting for his life. Bjorn leaves the tiller to one of the regular rowers and grabs a long knife that Caedmon had been wielding and had dropped. Bjorn attacks the mutineer that Enok had been fighting.

While struggling with the pirates, both Grend and Enok notice one of Kaarlo’s men hit by a “dum-dum” arrow – an arrow whose point has been replaced by a blunt weight, apparently designed to do as much blunt trauma as possible.

The trajectory of the arrow suggests it was fired from the cliffs overlooking the river. 

A short time later Grend is also hit by one of these arrows. This, plus the damage one of the pirates did to him with a long knife before Grend dispatched him, was enough damage that Grend was in danger of passing out. He crawls under one of the two cows that were on deck, and summons an obscuring cloud of fog to roll over half the ship.

One of the pirates caught in the fog decides to try to get clear of it, and runs to the stern, just as Enok, Shae, and Bjorn take down the last of the pirates at the stern. Emerging from the fog, he stops as the three heroes look up and them, and decides that discretion is the better part of valor. “Retreat!” he yells, and dives overboard.

The remaining pirates also slip over the side and leave.

The party eventually are able to regain control of the boat and get rid of, or tie up the pirates. They continue on their way to Isfjall and arrive with no additional encounters. Grend retired to the bowels of the boat as he took a large amount of damage from the pirates.

Kaarlo is very thankful for the adventurers’ assistance. He pays them double what was promised, and then says, “I feel that righteous combat has made us brothers. Would you stand with me at my wedding today? I have had to leave most of my relatives behind on the other boats in my rush to get here on time.”

Kaarlo says to the party: “If you wish to attend the wedding, be back here, at the docks, by noon. Wear your best clothing!”

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