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Ereworn Coast, fifth session
From the Runes of Skagharin

Sea voyage to Criggen Varas

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Ereworn Coast, fourth session
From the Runes of Skagharin

Top of the sink hole

Skagharin heaved himself to the top of the sinkhole, along with his companions. He noted with distaste that Dintari had carried the demon-worshipping priest up with them. The priest still lived, though he was unconscious. “What did you bring him up for?”, he asked irritably. Dintari shrugged. A chilly grey sky pressed down on Skull Island. Skagharin shivered. The priest Alefric led them back to his stone temple, where the fires of Brigantia still roared in the hearth. Moonshadow was injured; he slumped in the corner. They tied and gagged the priest. Skagharin examined the strange crystal. It was orange in colour, glowed slightly, and was like no rock Skagharin had seen on earth or under it.

Fire and food

It had been an eventful night, but Skagharin did not feel like rest. He wandered the island with Alefric in search of food, but also to scout out the territory by daylight. Alefric pointed out a small bay with a usable dinghy pulled ashore. “The villagers used it,” he said. The two also passed a deeper sinkhole, and the old watchtower which was now a nesting place for eagles. Alefric and Skagharin climbed up and down the cliffs to gather eggs for breakfast.

When they returned to the temple, Freilen had been interrogating the prisoner. Freilen said the priest had offered him great wealth. Skagharin was skeptical. “The only wealth in this entire village is the inkeeper’ s better stuffs — but we saw none of that.” Freilen noted consternation in the priest’ s eyes at the mention of the inn.

When everyone was up and breakfasted, they decided to investigate the eagles’ tower. They dragged the priest along too.

Eagles of the tower

screamingeagle.png
The eagles swooped and keened over the tower. How to get them to move on without killing them? Skagharin glanced at the demon-priest in disgust. This one would happily have ended all their lives; Freilen pointed out a skeleton at the base of the tower and Skagharin nodded. They staked out the priest, still bound and gagged. One of the eagles swooped to investigate, and Brutarl and Moonshadow advanced to the tower. The other eagle swooped to attack, but Skagharin threw a rock at it and it dispersed, giving the warriors their chance to make the safety of the tower. They reached the top soon afterwards and lit a huge fire. Screaming with rage, the eagles flew away from the tower. The demon priest was dead. Skagharin and Dintari hurled his eyeless body into the sinkhole.

Ill-gotten gains

They bade farewell to Alefric, who from now on would be able to man the old lighthouse, and departed Skull Island. They returned to the inn in the village, the Silver Halyard. Captain Rakehell was there, behind the bar now. Skagharin comiserated with him on the loss of his ship, making no mention of the strange crystal. Brutarl and Skagharin started drinking, while Moonshadow and Freilen investigated below. After only a few drinks, Skagharin heard noises below. He descended and saw a cellar stuffed with barrels and bolts of cloth — stolen from wrecked ships. Freilen, Moonshadow and a strange human were staring at the contents of a chest. Skagharin stuck his head in to admire the gold. Moonshadow started guiltily. “And who is this?” asked Skagharin of the stranger.

“Frankie, a navigator held captive by the wreckers.”

Skagharin rubbed his chin. Navigator, eh? Lassa’s Grace had need of competent crew. Adlek had been brave, but not competent. Maybe this newcomer would sail with them?

Frankie joined them, and they loaded as much loot as they could in Lassa’s Grace, and set sail with the morning tide.

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Ereworn Coast, third session
From the Runes of Skagharin

Skull Island

Beneath the Island

Adlek spied a tunnel across the dark water from the wrecked Black Pearl. The others used barrels and rope to get themselves over the lake. The tunnel seemed unused, and had a salty smell. It led up beneath the island. At the first junction they turned right (both ways smelled fishy to Skagharin) but the tunnel was soon submerged. They returned the other way and found themselves on a ledge near the bottom of a deep shaft.

Bottom of the well

Coins glinted below, and Brutarl leaped for them. Skagharin ignored him and pondered the ascent. The walls were very smooth and difficult — but not impossible — to climb. Brutarl complained that the coins were worthless and Skagharin rolled his eyes. Then Freilen, the strange ugly elf muttered some incantation and began to creep up the smooth sides of the well like a weird spider. Skagharin shuddered slightly, but watched as the elf made it to the top, and reported in a whisper that it was open air above. The elf may have used magic, but the rest of them would need something more tangible. Skagharin and Dintari returned to wreck to retrieve some rope and a barrel. These things in hand and lifted to the top by Freilen, it was a fairly quick matter to haul everyone to the surface.

The stone building

They emerged from a well near a stone building with shuttered windows, surrounded by a high stone wall. There was light behind the shutters, but they decided to explore around first. They reached a corner of the compound and saw strangely active trees, which whipped at them. They beat a retreat from the trees and Moonshadow slipped his knife under the latch of the shutters.

“WHO’S THERE?” came a voice from within. The shutters were thrown open by an old man in white robes.

Priest of Brigantia

Dintari asked him if he had wrecked the ship below but he denied it. He said the villagers were demon-worshippers; that they had done this deed. The man identified himself as Alefric, a priest of Brigantia. He calmed the wild trees and invited the crew into his temple, which was warmed by a huge flaming hearth.

Alefric told the tale of Skull Island, of how a great wave had washed over it and drowned its inhabitants; of the old signal tower now abandoned and a nesting place for eagles; and of the demon-worshipping villagers who slipped about between the village and the island by means of tunnels and sinkholes. The old man offered to take the adventurers to one of these sinkholes this very night. They agreed.

The sink-hole

The old man led them past the ruins of the village to a deep hole in the ground. He cleared some vegetation to reveal ancient stone steps leading down. Moonshadow and Freilen descended, supposedly stealthily, but Skagharin could hear them clattering away below.

Descent

Unfortunately, Skagharin was not the only one to hear the elves. There was the sound of fighting from below, and Skagharin and the rest hurried down the steps to help. They came into a lighted chamber at the bottom, filled with candles and the flayed skins of bizarre sea creatures. Moonshadow, looking paler than usual, clutched a bloody wound. On the floor was a dead harpooner in bloodied robes.

Cave of the Cultists

They followed a corridor from the underground shrine. Ahead was the sound of chanting. Adlek, Moonshadow and Freilen crept ahead to observe a cave with an underground lake filled with villager cultists. On a promontory in the lake stood the priest with a dagger in one hand and a glowing gem in the other. A sacrificial victim lay shrouded below him.

Moonshadow and Freilen immediately tried to shoot the priest with arrows. Brutarl charged and roared his battle cry — but the strange accoustics of the water cave dampened his voice to a weak whisper. The cultists were unaffected. Dintari and Skagharin advanced, along with Alefric, whose staff blazed with fire. Skagharin lit an oil flask on the staff and flung it into the cultists, who had pulled out cudgels and were advancing. Brutarl and Dintari pulled out their swords and began to hack and slay. Suddenly darkness enveloped all; the evil priest had cast some magic at the cave entrance. But Alefric performed some counterspell and the darkness lifted

A watery grave

The priest was punctured with arrows from the elves, but it did not stop him from sacrificing his victim. As he fought, Skagharin noticed disturbingly large ripples forming on the surface of the dark cave water. Skagharin heard a sickening crack and Adlek screamed as a cultist clubbed him down. The priest collapsed and the fight was turning against the cultists, but now the presence in the water was making itself felt. It was time to retreat. Skagharin leaped to the promontory, grabbed the gem and was going to grab Adlek, but the sailor shook his head. Skagharin rushed for the door as a great wave erupted from the cave, flooding the tunnel, bashing the survivors against the walls. With great effort, Skagharin retained his footing and made it to the sinkhole, where the rising water lapped against the steps. He made it up and rejoined his companions, battered but alive — except for Adlek who had perished in the waters below.

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Ereworn Coast session #2, 4th October 2013
From the Runes of Skagharin

Midnight’s ebb tide

The tower and the rope

They came to the clifftop. A tower stood there, next to an iron ring with a rope hanging down to the ocean. Skagharin lowered himself down the rope while Dintari stood guard above. Skagharin kept an eye out for caves during his descent, but saw nothing. The rope trailed in the heaving waves below. Skagharin returned to where Dintari waited. The others had gone into the tower, except for Freilen, who stood quietly at the cliff’s edge watching the sea. Dintari and Skagharin shrugged to each other and entered the tower.

Near the dim entryway was a pile of driftwood. Skagharin selected a piece with a label: ‘The Black…’. The Black Pearl had been the drunken captain’s ship, thought Skagharin. He and Dintari ascended the spiral stairs and found Lorien Moonshadow, Brutarl and the new sailor Adlek Veltani standing over the corpse of a rock-thing, possibly a gargoyle. There was a large unlit signal fire built from driftwood on the top of the tower nearby. Although it was late afternoon, Skull island was only barely visible through raggedy clouds.

A drab meal

There was nought to be done until the tide turned, so the adventurers returned to the Silver Halyard in the village. The mad captain was gone; only the sour barkeep to serve them a tasteless meal. At midnight’s ebb tide they ventured back to the cliffs, pale in the moonlight, and this time the rope touched dry land.

Down among the Teeth

200px  the children of captain grant  by  douard riou 137They descended, one after the other, to the moist sand dune and the sharp peaks of the rocks known as the Teeth. The wrecks of various ships lay marooned among them. They passed first one, then another, seeking the Black Pearl. From one hulk they heard noises and saw footprints leading from the water. They hurried on.

The sea cave

With the tide out, Skull Island was now a peninsula rather than an island, and it loomed up in the darkness ahead. Lorien Moonshadow saw a huge cave in its near side, and drag marks and footprints indicated a wreck had been towed inside. The androgynous elf disappeared into the darkness to investigate, shadowed very closely by his ugly friend Freilin.

The Black Pearl, discovered

Moonshadow returned, saying the cave was large and the ship was within. Not wanting to linger for the tide to take them, Skagharin and the others entered the cave, which was wide and sandy-floored. They marched for some time, following the boat tracks. At length they arrived in a subterranean lake, lit dimly by glowing fungi. In the lake was the wreck they sought — the Black Pearl.

Zombies ahoy!

Adlek swam out to the boat and climbed up to the foc’sle. Before he could take a look around, shambling zombies emerged from belowdecks and shuffled towards him. Moonshadow and Freilin drew their long bows and began to rain arrows on the hideous crew. Brutarl and Skagharin immediately headed to the water. Skagharin was a good swimmer but the barbarian shot past him and clambered effortlessly up the side of the hulk. Dintari, none too good a swimmer tried hurling a rock, then shrugged and waded carefully into the water.

Adlek was holding off the zombies at the stairs to the forecastle when Brutarl arrived. Brutarl wielded Peacemaker and chopped zombies left and right, while arrows rained down from the elves on shore. Dintari and Skagharin arrived. Dintari charged to join the fight while Skagharin hurled belaying pins at the undead. Soon, their corpses were dismembered and still.

Rum ration

The ship had been stripped of all valuables except an intact barrel of rum, which Skagharin broke and doled out to the others. It was good rum, but where was the treasure they sought? Deeper in this sea cave, no doubt. Skull Island held more mysteries.

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Ereworn Coast session #1, 1st February 2013
From the Runes of Skagharin

Return to Vorgenheim

Lassa’s Grace returned to Vorgenheim. A foreign-looking sailor noted her arrival. He asked Skagharin if he could join the crew. Skagharin looked him up and down.
“Can you sail?” he asked.
“Certainly!”
“You are hired.”
Without another word Skagharin walked up the hill with his companions to Eorl Vorgen’s hall.

Eorl Vorgen was true to his word. He rewarded the adventurers with a bag of gold, and repairs from Vorgenheim’s shipwright. When these were done, it was time to depart from Vorgenheim.

Bad weather off Ereworn

The destination was Criggen Varas, the capital of Cornumbria and the home of Melisana’s family. Dintari and the others had suggested they travel there to inform her father of her death. Skagharin set sail for the west coast of Ellesland, past Ereworn and Glissom (familar coasts to him). While on the Erewornian coast, he saw a huge storm coming. To Skagharin’s disgust, the new sailor proved a liar; he could not sail at all. Having no competent crew, Skagharin guided Lassa’s Grace to a small bay to wait out the storm. All night long the thunder rolled and lightning flashed, but the boat was safe.

Skull Island

The next day, Lassa’s Grace passed Skull Island, a knob of rock separated from the mainland by a partially-submerged causeway. A number of wrecked ships were there, including some quite recent arrivals. The crew were keen to investigate, but did not want to risk Lassa’s Grace in dangerous waters. They pulled the boat on to the pebbly beach of a nearby village.

Tales in the Silver Halyard

Skagharin, Dintari, Moonshadow, Freilen and Brutarl entered the village and paused at the creaking sign of the Silver Halyard. There they found a sodden sea captain, who told them of being wrecked the previous night, and the treasure he was carrying to Criggen Varas. At the word ‘treasure’, everyone sat up. Skagharin and Dintari tried to get the captain as drunk as possible, and then they all sneaked out of the village along the cliff-path towards the lighthouse at Skull Island.

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Reaver's Isle, session #6, 4th January 2013
From the Runes of Skagharin

Daylight on Reaver’s Isle

Skagharin emerged from the underground feeling quite satisfied. He found Thulanders moving to and fro, taking supplies from the stockade to their boats. Svein Karlssen was among them. With him were several slaves including a queer-looking, quiet short one — some kind of extremely ugly Elf by the looks of it. Skagharin felt uneasy. "We leave by the morning tide, " said Karlssen. “This one goes with you.” He gestured to the odd slave.

“What are we, some sort of elder race clearing house?” muttered Skagharin under his breath, but neither Moonshadow nor the others said anything, so Skagharin shrugged and said “Our boat lies this way. Can you sail?”

“No,” said the ugly stranger.

Bodies on the beach

They marched north. Parius expressed a desire to visit the stone circle in the swamp. “Didn’t you have enough of being sucked under the earth there last time?” asked the dwarf. But Parius said it was different now, and he lingered alone to perform some ritual. Skagharin, Dintari, Brutarl, Moonshadow and the new stranger, who called himself Freilen marched north to the bay.

When they got to the dunes they spied figures on the beach. Armed figures, surrounding a bound figure. “I have some skill with scouting,” said Freilen. “I can see who they are.” He crept off, unusually quietly. Lorien Moonshadow waved his hands and disappeared. Damnable elves and their ways! Skagharin was glad to be rid of them. “What are we waiting for?” said Brutarl, spoiling for a fight. Skagharin marvelled at his unusual forbearance.

The fight came. “Three goblins surrounding a woman.” said Freilin, returning as quietly as he’d left. It must be Melisana! Down on the beach, Lorien had already begun the attack, popping out of invisibility. Brutarl and Dintari rushed down the dunes to join the fight. Freilen and Skagharin threw some rocks (and Skagharin noticed a third rock thrower to their right), then Skagharin pulled out his daggers and joined the fight. Soon the goblins were dead or dying, but Melisana was also beyond help. Dintari fell to his knees, distraught.

The evening tide

Parius joined them at the boat and they gave Melisana a burial at sea. Dintari recalled that her family lived at Criggen Varras in Cornumbria, so they resolved to travel there after collecting their reward at Vorgenheim. There was one more passenger (Skagharin rolled his eyes). The third rock-thrower in the dunes was of course Jorry Muttonchops, the escaped halfling slave. The evening tide came in and Lassa’s Grace sailed away from Reaver’s Isle.

Ship on waves371x109

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Reavers' Isle, session #5, 27th April 2012
From the Runes of Skagharin

Pool of Evil

Brutarl was bored. He followed the tunnel to the dark grotto, followed by Moonshadow, Parius and (somewhat reluctantly) Skagharin and Dintari. The pool of dark water was surrounded by murals depicting men and women taking the healing waters. “Something Evil is here,” whispered Parius.
Johnny automatic waves personifiedA watery female figure was standing in the centre of the pool, seemingly on the surface of the water. “Come, bathe in my waters!” she smiled.
Brutarl stepped into the water, much to the consternation of his colleagues.
“Come back, Brutarl,” said Parius.
At the cave entrance, Dintari and Skagharin began looping a lasso to capture the unruly barbarian and drag him from the pool if necessary.
Brutarl noticed some still bodies in the corner of the room. “What about those?”
The lady chuckled. “The healing waters…did not agree with them!”
Moonshadow nocked an arrow and aimed it at the watery woman, whose eyes had begun to glow like fire. Brutarl stepped back. Then Moonshadow loosed his arrow and all Hell broke loose. Watery tentacles streamed towards Brutarl and Parius, wrapping around Parius’ throat. Brutarl whipped his magical knife ZKKK and slashed one watery tentacle in half. Moonshadow’s bowstring broke and he and Brutarl decided to retreat from the watery monster. Parius nearly choked but Dintari and Skagharin dragged him back to the tunnel. Skagharin had seen plenty of half-drowned men; he immediately administered ‘Sailor´s Medicine’.

Escape Tunnel

Brutarl, somewhat chastened, followed the others down the long draughty tunnel through which they suspected the evil skeleton-master priest had made his escape earlier. Dintari and Skagharin led the way, looking and listening. Their caution paid off. Dintari spotted a concealed pit with wooden planks pulled over on to the far side. Skagharin climbed around a small ledge and pushed the planks back to the others, who then crossed safely. Later, Dintari spotted a trip wire connected to a deadfall trap. While he and Skagharin debated whether to try to disarm it, Brutarl lost patience, stepped over the trip wire and continued along the corridor. Moonshadow and Parius followed. Skagharin listened to their footsteps for a while and heard no agonised screams; he and Dintari stepped over the wire and followed.

Spider tower

The passage ended at a trap door in the ceiling. Climbing the metal rungs, Skagharin found himself in a ruined tower. Moonshadow was staring into a dark doorway. Skagharin heard rustlings and scuttlings and saw webs within. “Spiders. Best shut the door.” But Moonshadow went in, waving a flaming torch. The spiders came, five of them as big as dogs. Moonshadow, Dintari and Skagharin fought them off quickly. Two tried to escape, but Dintari pierced one with a thrown dagger and Parius (weeping quietly) crushed one with his staff. Moonshadow found the husk of a corpse within, still wearing a gold ring.

The trapdoor had emerged in late afternoon in the woods just south of the stockade. Skagharin could see the vikings moving back and forth to their ship. He spotted Svein Karlssen, who told him they would be leaving on the morning tide. Skagharin was untired, but Moonshadow and Parius desired to rest so they returned to the stockade.

Return to the Pool

The spirit

They awoke refreshed and descended the storeroom steps once more. This time they examined the boarded-up door in the round room. There was a stone corridor with six niches along it. At the end was a round room with a stone slab bearing a skeleton. At once a fearful apparition appeared.
WHO DISTURBS MY REST? WHY CAN I NOT REST IN PEACE?” it demanded.
Parius, Brutarl and Moonshadow panicked and fled down the corridor. Only Skagharin and Dintari remained.
“Why can you not rest in peace, spirit?” asked Skagharin, unfazed by the spirits of human dead.
ANOTHER CAME AND STOLE AWAY MY SKULL. THAT IS WHY I CANNOT REST.”
Skagharin thought. Six empty niches, six skeletons in the priest’s antechamber. “I think we can find your skull, spirit.”
“IF YOU DO THIS I WILL REWARD THEE

Dintari and Skagharin hurried back to the round room, pausing to collect their cowering companions from one of the niches. They proceeded straight to the priest’s rooms and searched in vain for the missing skull.

“Maybe we could give him another skull?” suggested Skagharin.

“I think he would know the difference.” Years ago, as a caravan guard, Dintari had read rather too much of some old books, and he recalled references to evil rituals involving skulls which could contaminate an area. The pool! The source of the bane afflicting the island. The skull must be there.

How to get ahead

This time, there was a plan. Brutarl and Moonshadow would attack and distract attention while Skagharin and Dintari (whose weapons were in any case useless against the water creature) would try to find the skull. They entered the grotto. The woman stood there smiling as before, but the chatter was limited. Moonshadow immediately blasted her with his magic. This time it worked and she screamed with anger. The watery tentacles snaked from the pool toward Brutarl (brandishing ZKKK) and Moonshadow.

Liftarn skull 1Skagharin was no sneak but he hoped that the watery thing’s attention was elsewhere as he moved closer to the dark water. He could see Dintari’s torch moving around on the other side of the chamber, and his friends battling the monster. Beyond the waterfall he spotted — a long ledge with a flash of something white. It had to be the skull. He climbed up on the slippery mural which ran around the cave, and made his way to the ledge. One of the watery tentacles lashed at him and he almost lost his balance, but then he grabbed the skull and ran towards Dintari’s torchlight. He clambered down. There was unearthly screaming and he could sense the water rising. The two ran for the exit, hoping the others were following. They did not stop running until they reached the spirit’s resting place.

Reward, and reward

YOU HAVE RESTORED MY SKULL. NOW I MAY REST. BENEATH MY SLAB ARE MY WORLDLY GOODS. THEY ARE YOURS.”

Skagharin and Dintari lifted the slab and found a round shield, a short spear and a pair of bracers. They returned to the others where they found the grotto peaceful and calm, a much smaller trickle of water falling from the ceiling. Parius was wearing a big grin and babbling about the balance being restored and earth and water elementals and whatnot supernatural shenanigans. But Skagharin was pleased for his friend, and for himself. Things had worked out well.

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Reavers' Isle, session #4, 30th March 2012
From the Runes of Skagharin

Translators note: this fragment of the Runes of Skagharin was incomplete; the author’s carvings were partially burnt.

To the victor the spoils

  • Karlssen wounded “To the victor the spoils.”
  • Parius: "O the violence!
  • Dintari and Skagharin free the slaves
  • Trapped chest of gold
  • Skagharin and Lorien each suspect poison

Tales by firelight

  • Vikings say they will deal with the ship but do nothing and it escapes
  • tales and ale of inferior quality

Silent guardians

  • Into the dungeon – water, a draft, boarded up
  • Johnny automatic dancing skeletonsSkeletons – Dintari, Moonshadow, Skagharin retreat; Brutarl charges
  • Dintari bashes one to pieces with his shield: “Next time you’ll remember to drink your milk!”
  • SKagharin hits one with Parius’ staff
  • Moonshadow’s charlatan spells fail spectacularly
  • Brutarl smashes several, and Lorien efficiently takes out a couple
  • Evil priest den and unholy shrine (Parius cleanses)
  • But the priest has escaped on the ship
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Interlude in Ereworn, part 3
30th December 2011

Waielbi gargoyle at chesterThe ruins were quiet except for the trickle of water from the carved mouth near the well. Sir Grimble Bobbleberry, Zagro the Warlock and Aldo of the Brilliantly Coloured Robe enjoyed the sunshine while they considered their next foray into Gallows Wood. They had not been thus pondering long before they heard a loud crashing and clumping from the path to the south. From the dark trees emerged a huge Ogre, clutching his head and looking decidedly green about the gills. The three intrepid heroes hid bravely behind a crumbling wall. Zagro peeked out and saw the Ogre slurping water loudly from the well, belching and moaning about his colossal hangover. Aldo wanted to slay the thing but Sir Grimble would have none of it — perhaps it was honour or merely sympathy for a another creature suffering from alcohol poisoning. In time the giant fell a-snoring by the well, and the three crept out and followed the path southwards.

Back in the perpetually dim woods they passed a mysterious faery circle where no vegetation grew, and picked their way carefully around the perimeter. They emerged from the woods to see a ridge. On top of the ridge was a large nest and above that circled several Harpies, crying harshly. Zagro knew that these vicious creatures might well have treasures in their nest, but up on the cliff face they had a distinct advantage. He suddenly whispered a clever idea to Sir Grimble, who smiled and pulled out the harpy heads he had grabbed as trophies a couple of nights past. Aldo and Zagro impaled the heads on their spears and began a gruesome pantomime as they moved towards the hill. Sure enough, two of the harpies flew down to investigate and were swiftly impaled themselves. The remaining couple of harpies harried them as they climbed the cliff but were eventually slain or driven off. Unfortunately Zagro stumbled and fell, hurting his ankle a little. But Aldo and Sir Grimble returned as expected with some treasure from the nest.

Liftarn swinging corpseBeyond the harpies’ nest the forest thinned out and they found the road as dusk thickened. The body of a monk hung in a gibbet at a grim gallows by the roadside. Sir Grimble realised the man still lived, and cut him down. There were sinister twitterings in the evening gloom and suddenly Zagro made out the gleam of inhuman eyes surrounding them. “Give him to us,” hissed the voices. They were ghûls, eaters of the dead. Grimly, Aldo and Zagro lowered their spears and Sir Grimble on his warhorse raised his sword. The ghûls attacked ferociously. It was a hard fight. Zagro and Sir Grimble were wounded and tired. Zagro had very little magic. Aldo stabbed ghûl after ghûl — so many that Zagro admiringly called him Ghûl-killer. Eventually, the foul creatures lay scattered on the ground around the gallows in the darkness.

Aldo revived the monk but he was too far gone. He talked of a haunted island monastery in the river to the south where a holy cup could be found. Then he died. By now it was night and the three needed rest. They rode up the road toward the ruined villa with the subterranean temple, knowing it was a safe hideout. They rested and healed and in the morning returned to the gallows and headed south.

Sure enough, they soon came to the river bank and saw the island. A rowboat lay waiting, but Sir Grimble had to leave his faithful black warhorse behind. The island was peaceful and dotted with ruins. They came to a ruined chapel with no roof. There on the altar was a silver cup. Cautiously they approached it and Aldo took the cup. Nothing happened, so they hotfooted it back to the boat. This time they rowed to the south bank. They heard the howls of wolves and several of the creatures bounded into the clearing. But a well-aimed dragonbreath spell, and arrow fire drove them off. Aldo remembered that Hobgoblins were associated with wolves. Soon the tracks led them to a well, just like the one Ned the Hobgoblin had jumped down into and disappeared.

They descended the well with Sir Grimble’s rope and found an iron door in the side. They pushed it open and found themselves in a chamber filled with stolen rubbbish from the village. Behind a screen came a cry for help — the voice of the landlord’s daughter. Suspicious of Ned’s tricks, Zagro asked a few more questions of the lass before he released her, to make sure of her identity. Then the real Ned showed up and the battle was joined. Ned used some crafty spells but he was no match for the doughty heroes.

Liftarn gravestone with pumpkinNed was soon dead
They severed his head
And rode back to the village for tea.

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Reavers' Isle, session #3, 2nd December 2011
From the Runes of Skagharin

Battle for the inner courtyard

The Thulanders arrive

Shouts rang out and torchlight flickered on the outer courtyard as the main force of Thulanders entered the stockade. Skagharin gave Svein Karlssen a quick summary of the outer courtyard battle. Karlssen gestured and a a detachment of Thulanders entered the gatehouse to mop up the surviving guards. Dintari went with them. Impatient Brutarl charged towards the inner courtyard portcullis (which was stuck half-closed). Svein Karlssen and the rest of the Thulanders accompanied him. After a pause, Skagharin followed along behind, stopping briefly to retrieve usable arrows from the corpses of the goblins in the centre of the courtyard. He heard a shriek from behind and saw a hobgoblin plummet from the outer guard tower. Dintari and the Thulanders would make short work of them.

Into battle

With a roar, Brutarl and the Thulanders wrenched the portcullis upwards and surged into the inner courtyard. Skagharin ran through and found himself in a chaotic melee. Torchlight flickered, steel met steel. There were the shouts of men and hobgoblins all around. Skagharin spotted several hobgoblins emerging from a tower behind the Thulanders. Skagharin was no warrior, but now was no time for cowardice. He rushed over along the wall and stabbed at one of them — but his dagger was easily turned by the hobgoblin’s chainmail. The hobgoblin turned with a snarl. Think smart, thought Skagharin. He aimed his dagger just so at a chink in the armour and stabbed quickly. The hobgoblin’s snarl turned to surprise as he collapsed, clasping at his spilling guts. Skagharin stabbed again and again, and another hobgoblin went down.

Ogre and Scimitar-man

Ogre attackWith a mighty roar a huge Ogre armed with a mighty mace appeared behind the hobgoblin troops, flanked by an evil-looking warrior with a scimitar. “’Ware Ogres!” shouted Skagharin.

Moonshadow, who had been fighting nearby, immediately blasted the Ogre with some magic which made the thing roar with pain and fury. Brutarl faced the ogre with his sword Peacemaker. Scimitar-man charged towards Moonshadow with a sneer, making him miss a shot. Skagharin saw Dintari enter the portcullis, and they both ran across the courtyard to Moonshadow’s side. Scimitar-man fought well and fearlessly, but Moonshadow and Dintari the soldier fought well too. Even Skagharin managed to outflank and nick him a few times. Eventually the warrior panicked and ran, but Dintari ran him through with his short sword.

How to kill an Ogre

The Ogre too, had taken too many wounds from Peacemaker. He ran through the doors into the main building, pursued by Brutarl, Moonshadow, Dintari and Skagharin. The Ogre fled to the end of a huge room, while Moonshadow shot at it with arrows and Skagharin threw a heavy bannister at it. Closing in for the kill with the others, Skagharin stepped between the Ogre’s legs and slit his belly open with his dagger. He wasn’t prepared for the mass of guts which slopped out all over him, but at least he was nimble enough to dodge the great body as it fell with a crash to the floor.

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