Campaign of the Month: September 2018

Shadows of the Rift

Session Thirty-Seven

A Well-Executed Plan


18 Longday 508 (Nightfall)

While the sounds of battle carry on from the south of the village of Yrda, Surm, Mõrvar, and Savaric stealthily make their way along the west side of the longhouse of Yülthn toward the main longhouse of the village.

Savaric and Surm, as they make their way between two of the houses, notice a guard patrolling, coming from the opposite direction. He does not appear to have noticed them. They continue on their way, quietly, letting the guard continue on his.

The three come at the longhouse at a right angle and as they approach the rear of the longhouse, they see two guards that were posted there come together and consult and then start heading around toward the front of the longhouse. They continue to hear the sounds of battle coming from the south of the longhouse.

Mõrvar moves in to attack while Surm casts Admonishing Ray. Savaric raises his bow and fires. One of the guards is hit hard with Surm’s ray. Savaric fires at the guard with two arrows and hits and then fires again hits and then fires again and misses. Mõrvar approaches the other guard strikes him mightily.

Savaric fires again two arrows again and fells the guard. He fires into the second guard and misses. Surm moves to the back window and listens at the shuttered window. He hears movement on the other side, but not much else. He then tries to open the shuttered the window. It opens inward in a flap-like action and he peers inside. Mõrvar attacks the second guard again mightily again. The guard then returns the favor and attacks Mõrvar, hitting him with a longsword.

Surm sees that the longhouse is lit by oil lamps and such. It is mostly empty except that seated on a large seat, sideways, toward the rear of the longhouse near the window, is a female half-elf in a spiked breastplate with a raven motif painted upon it. Sitting on her knee is Loran, the son of Girda. Two elves flank the seat. One is in a breastplate and is holding a composite longbow, arrow nocked and ready, and is watching the door of the longhouse. The other is dressed in robes and a cloak, also watching the door, with an expression of watchfulness. He does not see a halfling.

The guard swings twice on Mõrvar and misses. Savaric fires on the guard with two arrows and hits. The guard falls.

Savaric collects his missed arrows. Mõrvar chops off the head of the second guard and collects it. Surm closes the window and signals for the others to be quiet. He then looks around the corner of the longhouse to survey the battle. They all see their troupe, being led by Rilka, heading around the opposite corner of the longhouse toward the front. Amongst the troupe, Mõrvar and Savaric notice Nodwick, Kalthin, and Sadwina prodding a prisoner.

Surm sends a Message to Rilka. She hears a Surm’s voice in her ear tell her “Don’t go in! Look behind you!” Rilka turns the troupe around and heads toward the rear of the building and meets Surm. Mõrvar, not sure of what is going on at this point, decides to discard his severed head and loot the dead bodies of the guards.

Once Surm and Rilka reunite with the troupe, Rilka says, “You’re safe. I’m glad.”

“Yes, well, there was an issue with sticking to the plan,” Surm says, his eyes shooting daggers toward Savaric.

Mõrvar makes his way back to Surm.

“What we’ve learned is that they’re holding the boy. He’s in the longhouse,” Surm says. “I’ve looked through the window. The main baddies are in there. He’s sitting in her lap, so she has him, right now.”

“That’s going to take a bit of finesse,” Rilka says.

“Yeah. What we found out from Girda is that there’s this lady that’s in charge. She’s got two elves and a halfling with her, and she hired all these guys in Josemeedt. One of the elves is a wizard or sorcerer. One of the elves is wearing a breastplate and has a long composite bow, she’s sitting in the throne and wearing a breastplate that’s all spiky and has a raven painted on it. She’s got the boy in her lap,” Surm says.

“Where’s the halfling?” Rilka asks.

“I didn’t see him, but I think that’s his purpose,” Surm says. “They’re sitting there in the longhouse, watching the door, waiting for us to come in.”

“Well, how are going to do this, then?” Rilka asks.

“That I don’t know. That’s why I brought everybody together to discuss what to do,” Surm says. “And according to Girda, they came to this town, partook of their hospitality, then they went to Josemeedt, got these men, came back and declared herself Queen and demanded tribute. They flogged, they killed…people.” Surm seems to realize who’s he’s talking about and gets quiet.

Rilka gets suspicious and demands to know what people. “That flogged and killed who?”

Mõrvar pipes in and says. “The important thing is that we get in there and get the kid.”

“No it’s not,” Rilka says, undeterred. “Who?”

“Well I know they took the priest of the All-Father,” Surm looks to Mirka for his name, “Jonthin? They held him in the public square and flogged him until he died. According to Girda. I assume as an example to scare the people.”

“And my father?” Rilka asks.

“He died in battle,” Surm says quietly. “I know that there are other guards patrolling the town.”

Mõrvar says, “We saw two at the longhouse that we killed.”

“We saw one along the way, patrolling,” Surm says. “Alasir, keep your eyes open, because there are still some people roaming.”

“They will pay for this affront to the gods,” Mirka says.

“I need a plan and I need a plan right now about how we’re going to get into this longhouse,” Rilka says.

“Okay, well it’s a longhouse and its one big long room,” Surm says. “They have one door and they’re watching it and they have the boy in her lap.”

“So do what they won’t expect you to do,” Mõrvar says. “Get ready to sneak in through the window, set the damn thing on fire, and get ready to get the kid when they try to escape. They’re not going to want to be in a burning building. They’re not going to expect us to do that.”

“No, I don’t imagine they’re going to expect us to burn down the building with the kid inside,” Surm says.

“Just be ready to save the kid,” Mõrvar says.

“Well that just adds a burning building on top of the four people we have to deal with to get the kid. It just makes our job harder,” Surm says.

“Can you make anyone invisible?” Rilka asks Surm.

“I can’t,” Surm says.

“I can, but for a very short period of time,” Mõrvar says. “In fact, my plan was to go invisible, charge in and gain the element of surprise.”

“How many charges do you have left on your ring?” Rilka asks Savaric.

“Just know, that if they even hear us coming, she’s holding that child and they’ve already shown that they have no qualms about slaughtering people in the streets,” Surm says.

“She’s got the kid. As long as she has him, she’ll keep him alive because that’s her only chance to live,” Mõrvar says.

“We don’t know that,” Surm says.

“Does she have him restrained in any sort of way?” Rilka asks.

“She just has him in her lap. I wouldn’t say he was restrained, but he’s right there with her. I would say he’s in a coup de grace position,” Surm says.

“What about spells of confusion? Color spray, anything we can throw in there. That way if someone can be invisible and get close, then something can be done during the confusion, the kid can be grabbed and then run. They don’t need to kill any more of us,” Rilka says. “Do you have anything that can cause confusion?” she asks Mõrvar.

“I can spray a lot of blood everywhere,” he says.

Mõrvar calls his brother and he and Surm walk away from the troupe and speak privately.

Savaric says that he could go invisible but that they’ll realize he’s opening the door. Perhaps if Surm were to be talking to her and he can slip in behind him, then they wouldn’t realize he’s there.

Sigurd points out that she’s not the only one in there. There are others that may notice.

Mõrvar and Surm return and Mõrvar says to Rilka, “We should let Surm negotiate for the life of the child.”

Rilka asks, “What kind of negotiating is there?”

“Well, she’s got him as a bargaining chip for her life,” Mõrvar says. “At some point, you’ve got to ask yourself what’s the important thing here. I do not see anyway of taking her down and saving the child. Now, you can convince her that she has a chance of walking out of this place alive by releasing the child. That might be her only bet.”

“And what’s to stop her from just coming back?” Rilka asks.

“I didn’t say what condition she’d be released in. And I can promise you that sorcerer won’t come back….”Mõrvar says.

“You’re saying two different things,” Rilka says, “If we release her, then she is walking out of here…”

“Then I will chase her ass down,” Mõrvar says.

“I don’t imagine we’re going to say ‘You know we’re going to let you go if you let go of the kid’ and she’s going to say ‘Okay’. I imagine she’s going to keep a hold on him until they’re all well on their way out of here,” Surm says.

“Unless somebody’s got a better idea…” Mõrvar says. “The only thing I can think of is we go in and see what happens. But I’ll tell you right now, my primary objective is to get rid of that sorcerer. I think that is the most threatening person in there.”

Neither Sigurd nor Mirka seem to like the negotiation idea, but have no idea how to get the boy out and get the four adventurers.

Surm pulls the party and Sigurd and Mirka away from the main troupe for a private conversation. He opens with “So how bad do we want to do this? Are we prepared to sacrifice the boy?” He looks at Sigurd and Mirka. “Is he an acceptable loss in order to accomplish this? Because that may be a negotiating tool as well.”

Rilka asks for a diagram of the longhouse and one is drawn in the dirt. There is a single entrance and four windows along the long sides of the building. There is a hearth along one of the sides of the room. There are two long tables in the center of the room.

“I need to know as we’re making our plans. Is losing the boy unacceptable? I understand that we wouldn’t want to, I’m not saying let’s kill him ourselves, but it affects our plans. How bad do we want these people? If it will save a life, do they all walk free?” Surm asks.

Sigurd seems to be considering all that Surm says very deeply. Mirka says, “We need to get these people, but we should save the boy as well.”

“We can’t! We’ve either got to focus on saving the child or focus on killing them. With the situation, there is no way to accomplish both,” Mõrvar says. “One may be the byproduct of the other, but we’ve got to focus on one or the other. Do we go in to negotiate to save the boy’s life or do we go in to apprehend them and hopefully save his life? Personally I think these people need to be apprehended so that you can make an example of them so that you can so the rest of the warlords that might want to come to Yrda that you’re not weak.”

“I don’t trust them to negotiate with them,” Rilka says. “They’ve proven themselves to be beyond ruthless people. So let’s say I’m trying to say we’re going to bargain with them to let go of the boy. They’re not going to let go of the boy until they’re safe and I don’t trust them to let him go.”

“What I’m hearing is let’s just go in and take them out and hopefully save the boy, that’s what I’m hearing,” Mõrvar says.

“What I’d like to do is go in, yes,” Rilka says, “have someone or somebodies, be their job to specifically target getting the boy.”

“Like I said, my goal is two things, get to the spellcaster and take them out and get to her and take her out,” Mõrvar says.

Mirka says, “If we go in, let me concentrate on the boy, and the rest of you concentrate on them.”

“Which brings me to my question, do you want me to concentrate on her or on the spellcaster? Because she may be a badass, but we all know that spellcasters can be nasty, nasty, nasty,” Mõrvar says.

“I want to hear what Sigurd says,” Surm says.

Sigurd says, “For the good of Yrda, these invaders need to die.”

They then discuss the possibility of Savaric taking arrow shots from the now-barred window in the back of the longhouse. He could dip his arrows in poison as well to do his victims even more harm.

Mõrvar says, “I think if we can get him [Savaric] in position to take poison arrow shots, place guards at all the other windows so they can’t escape out the windows, and we go in through the front doors, to negotiate and try to catch them by surprise…”

“If we’re running in and shooting, I don’t think…” Surm says.

“No, you’re going in to negotiate, I try to come in invisibly behind you. I attack her. He takes shots. The rest charges in…” Mõrvar says.

“We’re not going to know when you’re in position,” Surm points out.

“You will when I strike her ass,” Mõrvar says. “I’ve got twenty-four seconds. My attack will be the signal to go.”

Rilka channels energy to heal people.

Sigurd brings up the guard that they saw head inside the longhouse. No one is as concerned about the hired guards.

Savaric, Surm, Sigurd, and Mirka turn toward the longhouse where they hear a voice call out: “The Emissary promised me a fight! What is the delay!”

Mõrvar orders all the guards to cover the windows. Surm has Alasir deploy the guards.

Surm says that they now need to take her alive so that they can find out who this Emissary is. Savaric will go to the back window with poison arrows ready. Mõrvar will be coming in after Surm, invisible. His attack will be the signal to begin. Sigurd will open the window and hold for Savaric to allow him to shoot. Then he will come in after the shooting is done. The others will be at the front door and charge in after the attack begins. Mirka will concentrate on rescuing the boy.

Surm asks Mirka if she has a spell to help him avoid arrows. She offers to give him a Shield of Faith to give him a general protection. He says he’ll take it.

Furfur is flying in circles over the troupe.

Mirka gives Savaric 4 vials of Greenblood OIl to use. Savaric applies the poison to his arrows.

Alasir is stationed at the door.

Surm casts Mage Armor on Sigurd, Mirka, Rilka, and Mõrvar.

Mirka casts a Shield of Faith on Surm, encasing him in a shimmering glow.

Once he gets into position, Savaric casts Gravity Bow.

Once everyone gets into position, Mõrvar casts Bull’s Strength on himself, then Vanish and proceeds to follow his brother.

Surm cracks open the door to the longhouse and calls out, “Hello in the longhouse!”

He immediately hears movement just inside. He then hears a female voice call out in Tradespeak, “Welcome!”

“May I enter to speak?” Surm asks.

“You may,” the voice says.

Surm opens the door wide and enters. In the glow of the lantern light, he sees to guards who step to the side to allow him entry. He sees the same elven tableau that he saw before from the other side.

Mõrvar has cast Vanish and is stealthily making his way along the other side of the longhouse while his brother is talking.

“May I know who I am addressing,” Surm asks in a loud voice.

“I am Queen Doralia of Yrda,” the half-elf says.

“I am Surm Ulrich and you spoke of an Emissary promising you a fight? Is that why you came to Yrda?” Surm asks.

“I received word from Morria that a fight was to be had here,” Doralia says.

“I am unfamiliar with Morria. Who is Morria?” Surm asks.

The most Rilka and Mõrvar know is that it sounds like a Midron god.

“Lady Battle,” Doralia says.

“And she told you there was a fight here in Yrda? Don’t you feel like you were misled?” Surm asks. “Was there much of a fight for you?”

She laughs, “Not much so far.”

“If you came for battle, why do you hide behind a little boy?” Surm asks.

Then Mõrvar strikes with a furious yell, doing a great deal of damage. Surm rolls under the table.

Sigurd throws open the window, and Savaric fires at the sorcerer with poisoned arrows. The sorcerer falls. He fires at the bowman as well, and hits.

Rilka runs in toward the back of the longhouse, blowing past the guards, who attack her as she runs past, but miss.

Mirka runs in toward the back of the longhouse on the other side of the tables, and is also missed by the guards.

“You wanted a fight, bitch. I’m here,” Mõrvar says.

The half-elf rises from the chair, spilling Loran to the floor. Mõrvar takes the opportunity to strike her again and does so, mightily. She then attempts to impale Mõrvar on her spikes, but fails. Mõrvar attacks her mightily again and she falls into the chair, bloody. He screams victoriously.

Savaric fires into the archer another three times, and he falls. The guards drop their weapons. Savaric looks for the halfling to fire his final shot, but doesn’t see him. Rilka runs forward and collects the crying Loran. She also does not see halfling.

Surm climbs on top of the table. “Surrender, halfling; it’s your only chance to survive.” He, too, does not see the halfling. But a voice calls out from the shadows, “I want your priestess’ to swear on their gods you won’t kill me.”

“Come out or we’ll find you and we will kill you,” Mõrvar says. “There is no way out. Every exit is covered.”

“He’s asking if you’ll swear an oath to your gods that he’ll surrender,” Surm addresses Mirka and Rilka.

“What option does he have?” Savaric says.

“He doesn’t,” Mõrvar says. “That’s why I said what I said. It’s only a matter of time before we find you. And if we have to find you, you’re going to die,” he calls out for the halfling’s benefit.

Rilka takes Loran out of the longhouse in case the halfling decides to take a pot-shot at him. Mõrvar casts Light on his sword and starts walking into the shadowy nooks of the longhouse. “You better surrender before I find you. Or I’ll do to you what I did to her…” Mõrvar starts describing all the unpleasant things he’s going to do to the halfling if he finds him and if he doesn’t surrender. “I will paint this room red,” he finally says.

A form emerges from the shadows with a small hand crossbow. “Maybe you’re a little bit smarter than I thought you were,” Mõrvar says.

“I didn’t even like those assholes,” the halfling says.

“Good, now drop your weapon,” Mõrvar says.

“I just want to back out of here,” the halfling says.

“Not going to happen,” Mõrvar says. “You can get out of this alive or you can be drug out dead. Now drop your weapon.”

Surm comes down off the table and walks toward him in a non-threatening manner, explaining that that’s not how surrender works. When he surrenders, he drops his weapons and becomes their prisoner. That’s his only option. The halfling sets down the hand crossbow. Mõrvar puts his sword away. Surm takes the halfling by the shoulder and directs him to Alasir.

“Alasir, this is our prisoner. Search him and secure him,” Surm says. Alasir takes the halfling and begins that process.

Mõrvar turns to the priests, “You might want to check and see if they’re still alive,” motioning toward the fallen invaders near the throne.

Savaric and Sigurd head toward the front of the longhouse to join the others. Surm dispatches Nodwick to get Girda. He sends two of the guards with him in case there are any other mercenaries out and about.

All of the prisoners are escorted to the temple of Bruni to be placed in the cells beneath the fortress there. Rilka calls out into the village: “Village of Yrda, we have taken out the elves, the half-elf, and the halfling. Hired men, the people that hired you are now dead or incapacitated. Now’s your chance to surrender or join your dead brethren.”

Nodwick returns with Girda and she reunites, tearfully, with Loran. Mõrvar checks the half-elf to see if she is still alive, but is unsure. Surm has Alasir post guards on the prisoners, create a small patrol to go through the village looking for the missing mercenaries, send two guards with Surm to go to the battlefield to see if any of those fallen are still alive. Two will be sent to fetch Mahgnus and the two porters. Savaric will strip the bodies in the longhouse and place their belongings on the table. Savaric also checks to see if the bodies in the longhouse are dead.

The half-elf was wearing a masterwork spiked breastplate with a raven motif painted upon it. She was also wearing a nice cloak pinned to the breastplate. She also had, set to the side, a masterwork heavy wooden shield. She also had a leather belt pouch with 310 gold pieces. Mõrvar says, “Huh. This stupid bitch doesn’t have a weapon.” Girda says that when she came into town she had a lance with her horse. “I just overthrew a queen,” Mõrvar says.

Rilka asks Mirka if she has heard of Morria; it is apparently a Midron god. Mirka says she has heard of Morria. She’s also known as “Lady Battle.” She’s a goddess of war, death, and conflict.

The sorcerer has three scrolls tucked into his belt. He’s also wearing a nice cloak. He’s wearing a nice ring. He’s also got a leather belt pouch with 375 gold pieces. He’s also got a spear.

The archer has a small vial. He’s wearing a masterwork breastplate. He’s armed with a masterwork composite longbow. He has a masterwork elven curved blade. He’s wearing a nice cloak. He also has a quiver with 35 arrows. He also has 5 alchemical silver arrows, 5 cold iron arrows, 5 well-made arrows. He has a leather belt pouch with 67 gold pieces.

The halfling is stripped down. He had 3 vials. He was wearing masterwork studded leather. He had a masterwork shortsword at his side. He had a masterwork hand crossbow with 20 bolts, a set of masterwork thieves’ tools, and a leather pouch with 60 gold pieces.

Savaric checks the half-elf to see if she’s alive and determines that she is and stable. She will probably be awake in two day’s time. He checks the sorcerer, but is unsure of his status. He checks the archer and determines that he is alive and stable.

Mõrvar casts Read Magic on the scrolls to decipher them. He determines that they are a scroll of Fly, a scroll of Gaseous Form, and a scroll of Levitate.

Mõrvar picks up the half-elf and the archer and carries them to the cells at the temple of Bruni. When he gets there, he sees the priest of Jörn they had left behind. He cowers in the corner upon sight of Mõrvar carrying the two bodies into the cells. “How does it feel to know that you betrayed Jörn and caused the deaths of your fellow brothers?” He returns to the longhouse.

Mirka determines that the sorcerer is alive and stable. Rilka asks if there is a free guard to take him to the cells. All the guards except for Alasir are occupied. She and Mirka take the prisoner to the cells.

Rilka asks Girda what happened to the initiates in the temple. Most fell in the defense, but a few are still in the temples. She asks Girda what happened to her father’s body. Girda says that he lies entombed in the temple awaiting a pyre. Jonthin’s body is still out in the public square—the half-elf wouldn’t let them collect it. Rilka and Mirka head to the center of town to cut down Jonthin’s body and place it in the longhouse of Yülthn.

Meanwhile, Surm and Alfhild and Sorcha are checking the battlefield fallen. There are seven fallen forms that are alive and stable, but definitely out for the duration. He and the soldiers return to the longhouse.

They then decide to send Mõrvar to interrogate the halfling. He walks into the of the temple with the two large cells where they are keeping the prisoners and walks up to the area with the halfling. “Alright halfling, it’s time for us to have a little chat. This can go one of two ways. Either you answer me, or I do to you what I did to him,” and he points to the priest of Jörn in the other cell. “…and you’ll tell me anyway. Do we have an understanding? Now, personally, I take pleasure in doing things my way. But you have an opportunity for me not to.”

“Well, what do you want to know?” the halfling asks.

“Let’s start with your name,” Mõrvar says.

“Tobos,” the halfling says.

“And the skank?” Mõrvar asks, pointing to the prone body of the half-elf.

“Doralia,” Tobos says.

“The pathetic excuse of a spellcaster?” Mõrvar asks.

“Dardaniel,” Tobos says.

“And this other worthless one,” Mõrvar says.

“Barthiel,” Tobos says.

“How many guards did you have? How many did you hire from Josemeedt?” Mõrvar asks.

“Fifteen,” Tobos says. He doesn’t seem surprised that Mõrvar knew from where they hired them.

“Are those the only guards you got? Is it only you four and those fifteen?” Mõrvar asks.

“That’s all,” Tobos says.

“Where are you from?” Mõrvar asks.

“Me? I’m from the Vale,” Tobos says, rather surprised.

“Let’s try this again. Be specific,” Mõrvar says.

“Melnys Vale is where I’m from,” Tobos says.

“Where are they from?” Mõrvar and begins the interrogation of the halfling. He sends a guard to tell Rilka that there are fifteen guards.

Rilka performs a count of the fallen and the prisoners and comes up with fourteen. Savaric goes out to try and find signs of the missing guard. Rilka tells Surm that they’re missing a mercenary. Surm theorizes that he probably ran. Rilka wants to search houses for the missing man. Surm’s not sure the people of the village are going to go for that and is pretty sure the man just ran off.

After a while of the halfling’s telling of the elves and his life stories, Mõrvar gets the impression that Tobos is holding back what he really wants to know. “I gave you a chance,” he says. “I guess I’m going to have to do things my way.” Mõrvar goes into the cell to intimidate him. His very presence makes the halfling frightened enough to flee from him. Mõrvar talks about all the nasty things he’s going to do him if he doesn’t answer his questions.

The four of them were in Jenna. Doralia is a follower of Morria. She received a vision from somebody she called an “Emissary”. Nobody else saw this vision. The vision said that if she went to this vision in the north she would receive a fight worthy of her. She convinced the rest of them to come north with her. This was around the first of Longday. This corresponds to roughly the same time that the party first arrived in Yrda. Why does he follow her? Mostly because she made them money and he’s loyal. Barthiel is an archer, a warrior. Dardaniel is a sorcerer. None of them are related—none of them talked about family, especially Doralia. They traveled primarily in the Midron countries. Tobos says he likes to borrow things. He was hoping to join a guild some day.

Mõrvar turns to the priest of Jörn and says, “All dead. All dead,” and makes his way out of the fortress and returns to the longhouse.

Surm lets Girda know that he’s glad that she and Loran are reunited and that they were successful against the temple of Jörn. Girda embraces him in thanks.

Mõrvar finds Rilka right outside the longhouse and relates what he found out from the halfling.

Savaric goes to where they saw the guard patrolling earlier and starts to track him. He follows the tracks to the rear of one of the houses at the back of the longhouse where they stop momentarily. Then they pick back up and head west out of town toward the tents. They head into a tent. Then they come out of a tent. Then they start heading out of the village heading north, on foot. Savaric heads back to the longhouse and reports to Rilka what he found.

Rilka reports to Alasir that it looks like the final mercenary has left town.

Surm asks Sigurd that since Jonthin’s dead, who is organizing the town? He says that he is not sure, that they have not been without a priest before. There is Mirka and, he looks outside, there may be Rilka, if she decides to stay. Surm says he doesn’t think that she’s going to decide to stay. Sigurd says that there’s Mirka, then. And Surm says “And you.”

Sigurd says, “Usually I’m out on the trails.”

“I don’t know if you have that luxury anymore,” Surm says.

Everyone convenes inside the longhouse and makes their various reports to Surm. Surm asks if Girda wants to take Loran home these conversations and she says she would like to go home. So Surm summons Nodwick, Kalthin, and Sadwina to take Girda home and to guard, just in case there is any more trouble.

“Are we going to ride this guy down or not?” Mõrvar asks, referring to the mercenary who Savaric tracked down.

“A hired merc? It wasn’t personal for him,” Surm says.

After Mõrvar reports what he learned from Tobos, Rilka asks Mirka if Morria’s symbol is a raven, based on the fact that she had it painted on her breastplate. Mirka and Mõrvar confirm that Morria’s symbol is a raven clutching a black spear.

Surm asks Sigurd and Mirka what their intentions are toward the prisoners. Sigurd looks at Mirka and Mirka heaves a sigh and says, “The mercenaries we can release stripped of their gold and their weapons as the spoils of war. The elves, they showed no mercy to Yrda, we show no mercy to them.”

“The halfling?” Mõrvar asks.

“The halfling?” Mirka says. “Strip him of his weapons and his gold an send him on his way with the mercenaries.”

“Do we want to find out his role in it first?” Surm asks.

“He hasn’t been tried yet,” Mõrvar says. “We know the mercenaries were hired after the hospitality breach. It’s my recommendation that we get information from the town on the involved and we put him on trial.”

“As far as the halfling goes, I want to know was he out there gleefully killing people like everybody else or was he here for the money,” Rilka says.

“Really, when it comes down to it, do we know if the elves were responsible for the killing?” Mõrvar asks.

“Not really. That’s why I say question the town before we execute them,” Surm says.

“I think we need to bind and gag the sorcerer and her,” Mõrvar says. “If she’s receiving visions, we need to bind and gag her.”

“It’s a simple thing. I will talk to Girda,” Surm says, and leaves.

He goes to Girda’s home and speaks with her and asks her who did the whipping and killing of Jonthin in the public square. Girda says that it was the half-elf. Does she remember the halfling? Was there any great offense that he committed? There was no great offense he committed. He fought in the battle, but there was no great offense. Surm returns to the longhouse with that information.

Surm asks Sigurd if he’s going to make some sort of announcement in the village about what’s been decided. Mõrvar asks about the fate of the Jörnite priest. “Oh, I think that’s clear,” Surm says. Mõrvar just figures if there are to be executions that they might as well do them all. Sigurd says that he and Mirka will make an announcement in the morning. Mirka gives Sigurd a sideways glance and an approving smile.

The unconscious mercenaries are gathered together and all of the gear is stripped and gathered together in the temple of Bruni. Manacles are placed on the three unconscious adventurers. In the livery stable, four horses are found. One is a heavy horse with a military saddle and a masterwork lance and a set of masterwork studded leather barding.

When Surm and Mõrvar are alone together, Mõrvar asks how they are going to split up all this stuff when they cash in. Surm says they are going to wait and see how it is doled out to them. Mõrvar is incredulous. “If it wasn’t for us, they’d all be dead!”

“I expect we will get a big portion. They’ve had a lot of losses. It’s good relations,” Surm says.

“They wouldn’t have had near the losses if they had done what we said,” Mõrvar says.

“And the people we would have rubbed that in their faces are dead,” Surm says.

Surm and Mõrvar stay at the temple of Bruni that night while Rilka holds vigil with her father’s body in the crypt. Savaric goes to the longhouse of Ulfethinn and attempts to spend the night with Mirka. She politely declines, but he does spend the night in that long house.

While staying in the longhouse of Ulfethinn, Savaric notices a conversation between Sigurd and Mirka. He uses Ilona to go invisible and sneaks his way closer to listen in. Mirka says, “You should consider it, at least for a time. Until he becomes of age.”

Sigurd says, “I’m not sure that’s not more of the purview of old men and priests.”

“Old men started off as young men doing what needed to be done,” Mirka says. “Right now, the village needs young men doing what needs to be done. I don’t think Rilka is going to stay. We don’t have a council of priests.”

Savaric tries to sneak back to where he was before.

“I’ll take what you say under advisement and I’ll talk to Girda about it,” Sigurd says.

“You should do that,” Mirka says.

“Did you hear that?” Sigurd says.

“No,” Mirka says.

“I thought I heard something,” Sigurd says.

Savaric stealthily makes his way into his room without further mishap.

19 Longday 508

At dawn, Mirka goes the area around the center of town and starts calling for the village to rise and come forward. Surm rouses Rilka from the crypt—she looks haggard. Mõrvar comes out to meet the day. Savaric comes out.

People start to gather and Sigurd and Mirka come forward. Girda and Loran are there as well. Mirka says, “People of Yrda. Our village has fallen on dark times. But the hand of the Thunderer has come and has parted the clouds and justice will soon be done. We have in the stocks, perpetrators of a grave injustice to our village. They spat upon our hospitality. They brought invaders to our homes. These elves will pay for what they have done with their lives.”

There are some cheers and scattered muttering in the crowd.

“Their mercenaries will pay in gold and in weapons for their crimes and be sent on their way packing,” Mirka says.

There is scattered muttering in the crowd—in anger at the mercenaries.

“The priest of Jörn that we have been holding shall pay with his life to complete the journey that we have brought against those that have started this madness against our village. For we have returned victorious against the temple. Those priests are gone!” Mirka says, smiling.

A cheer goes up from the crowd.

“That priest will also pay with his life,” Mirka says again, with satisfaction. “For crimes against our king, against Girda, and her family.”

Surm has the porters bring the chest with the weregild and the holy symbols of Jörn for Girda . Surm presents it and opens it with a flourish. “Your weregild. Paid in full.”

A cheer goes up from the crowd again. And Girda embraces Surm.

Sigurd comes forward. “I’m not much for words People who know me know that, I’m not a talker. These—fuckers—came into the village. They’re going to get theirs. But the village has good spiritual leadership in Mirka here. Though the village has lost its priests, we still have the Thunderer to thank for justice and I’m thankful that we have Mirka. And I’m thankful that we had a new priest of Bruni, Rilka, in our fight, so the gods have not abandoned us. But the village needs a king to decide things. And I have been…Loran is a good boy. But he’s a boy. I’ve been talking with Girda. And if the village will have me, I would be that king until Loran comes of age. And if anybody else feels that they can do a better job, then come forward now. I went on the expedition to take care of the priests of Jörn. Nobody else did.”

A hushed muttering falls over the crowd. Mõrvar comes foward and extends his hand. “You’re the right man,” he says. Sigurd takes his hand.

Surm attempts to sway the crowd in his favor with talk of his excellent leadership on his quest to the temple, his role in the demand for weregild, his pivotal role in the reconquest of Yrda, etc. He also calls out Nodwick, Kalthin, and Sadwina and how they were helpful in the quest as well and to confirm how helpful Sigurd was. Nodwick and Sadwina go along with the plan without a hitch, though Kalthin goes a long a bit grudgingly.

Rilka goes up and stands next to Sigurd as a show of support.

Mirka says, “If no one steps forward, then I say let it be the will of the people.”

Girda says, “Hail King Sigurd!”

“KIng Sigurd!” The crowd responds.

“We’ll need a feast!” Girda says. And this starts to warm the crowd up. People start to hustle about making preparations.

Surm takes King Sigurd by the arm and they all head to the longhouse.

Once they get inside, Rilka begins. “We have two priests we need to set pyres for. We have prisoners to release in some sort of order. We have people to execute.”

“I say as the mercenaries wake up, you send them walking,” Surm says. “That keeps them from clustering again.”

“I say drag them out unconscious to wherever and dump them,” Mõrvar says. Everyone disagrees with this as the mercenaries need to know what happened so that they don’t come back. Rilka thinks that Mõrvar should be there when they wake up to make that point.

“The other thing is, with this money the village has, it may be time to look to hiring people of your own to protect the village, for a little while anyway. Is word going to be sent to get new priests for this town?” Rilka asks.

“We can send word to Josemeedt,” King Sigurd says.

“I think you need to shore up your defenses as much as possible,” Rilka says.

“When we liberated Aeth, the mercenaries there have been held for a year under servitude for a year. Why not do the same with these men?” Mõrvar asks.

No one seems to think that will work in Yrda due to the fact that Yrda doesn’t have the force to back it up.

Mõrvar is concerned that the village is sending the mercenaries out with no repercussions as a sign of weakness and that they will be reconquered once again by another warlord. He says that he has a vested interest in Yrda because it is “the home of his sister.”

Surm reminds him that there are some repercussions because the mercenaries will be losing their gold and their weapons. Mõrvar thinks there needs to be a stronger message.

Surm suggests offering the three that surrendered a years servitude as guards or warriors in return for a full pardon or we let you go without weapons or gear or money and if we see you in Yrda again, we kill you. That way they get three more warriors and its a stronger sentence. It gives them a choice. They obviously had no vested interest in conquering Yrda.

Surm and Rilka do not want to draw a lot of attention to Yrda right now—either as being weak or as “don’t mess with us”.

Surm offers to make the offer to the prisoners, but Sigurd says that he will make the offer. He goes to speak with the prisoners and all three take the offer. It’s not the most elegant of offers. but it is made and accepted.

Rilka suggests having Alasir posts patrols through the village while they release prisoners.

Surm goes to speak to Tobos. “Tobos. We’re letting you go. All your gear is forfeit. It’s the cost of doing bad business.” The halfling hangs his head. “You need to go south. You are banned from Jossia.”

“You better pray I never find you in Jossia,” Mõrvar says. “The only reason why I let you walk is because you cooperated. If you got something to say, say it.”

“Nothing to say,” he says, forlornly.

Mõrvar escorts him through town and points him south. While they’re walking, he tells the halfling, “You’ve seen what we’re capable of. Don’t cross us again. We have an understanding?”

He nods.

“Then be on your way.”

The halfling keeps walking.

As some of the mercenaries wake from unconsciousness and are escorted out of town, Mõrvar lets it be known that if he sees them again, he’ll kill them.

The elves and half-elf are brought out into the public square and beheaded by Rilka “For crimes against Yrda, and for my father,” she says as she brings down the blade on their unconscious bodies.

The priest of Jörn is brought out, kicking and biting the whole way. Mõrvar tells him, just so he can hear, “I beheaded all the other ones. You’re the last.” Then Mõrvar beheads him.

The bodies are disposed of out of the village.

Pyres are built in the center of town for the priests Jonthin and Lazar.

Surm goes to the longhouse and casts Detect Magic on the belongings they got off of the adventurers. He detects magic on the spiky breastplate, on the cloak the half-elf was wearing, on the 5 well-made arrows, on one of the vials that the archer had, on the archer’s cloak, on the halfling’s three vials, on the halfling’s short sword, on the sorcerer’s cloak, and on the sorcerer’s ring.

Surm further determines that the breastplate is a 1 breastplate, the sorcerer’s cloak is a cloak of resistance (1 to all saving throws), one vial is a potion of cure moderate wounds, the archer’s cloak is another cloak of resistance, the archer’s arrows are +1 arrows, two of the halfling’s vials are cure light wounds potions and the other is a potion of invisibility.

Surm asks Sigurd what his plans were as far as divvying out this gear. Sigurd says that as far as he’s concerned, the party slew the invading adventurers so they can divvy up their gear.

Rilka spends the day talking to the initiates of Bruni as the pyres are being built.

By nightfall, the pyres are built and the priests’ bodies are carried out and placed upon them. Mirka says some words over Jonthin’s pyre, about his being accepted into Nifenjeim and how he will appease the goddess Eydis in the underworld.

Rilka steps up to her pyre and speaks: “You know Lazar Gonlafsson as a priest of Bruni. As a holy man. As a trusted voice in Yrda. As a man who would lay down his life to protect this village from harm. And, indeed, he did. All that is true. However, I knew him as something else. A father. A man who took in a half-breed child and raised her as his own, and who saw the heart of that young girl and knew her potential for great things. I stand before you as a priest of Bruni. I would not be here if not for Lazar, for his love of me and my love of him. I commend his soul to Bruni. May he forever lie in the Brave One’s favor.” Then she lights the pyre.

The fires are lit and the people gather for somber contemplation before them. After a while, people start making their way to the longhouse where feasting awaits both in mourning for the priests and in celebration of the new King. Rilka stays at the pyre. Mõrvar stays with her.

The feast is a mixture of celebration and somber reflection. Surm mingles with the people. Savaric approaches Mirka and apologizes for last night. He didn’t mean to make things awkward between them. Mirka says that it is alright, it’s an awkward time.

Eventually the feast dies down and the pyres burn down and people start heading home. Rilka pats Mõrvar on the shoulder, but he gives her a hug. She tells him thank you. She heads for the temple of Bruni and Mõrvar follows. Surm heads to the temple of Bruni as well. Savaric heads to the temple of Ulfethinn with Mirka. He makes another attempt to go with Mirka, but she’s much more receptive. She smiles and let’s him into her bedroom.

20 Longday 508

Surm tries to Detect Magic again on the magic items collected from the adventurers in order to identify their properties. he fails to identify the properties of the half-elf’s cloak, but does identify the sorcerer’s ring as a ring of protection +1. He does determine that all the cloaks give off a faint abjuration aura.

Rilka tries to do the same thing with her magic as well. She identifies the halfling’s short sword as a +1 short sword. That leaves the half-elf’s cloak as the only unidentified item.

The party spends the morning deciding what items to split up and what items to sell. They split up the goods and the treasure and the magic items.

Mõrvar asks Furfur if the halfling kept traveling south. Furfur responds that he hasn’t been watching the halfling. Mõrvar tells him to let him know if the raven happens to see him.

Surm pulls Alasir in and offers to let him distribute the masterwork heavy shield, the spear, the masterwork breastplate, the masterwork agile breastplate, masterwork studded leather, and masterwork composite longbow to the guards. Alasir declines the heavy shield and the spear, but takes the rest. He also receives 20 arrows to go with the bow. They exchange their armor with the new armor and give their old armor back to the party.

Surm also summons Mahgnus and pays the soldiers and porters.

The party then makes preparations to leave the village for Rosemeedt. Once there, they plan on selling off their mundane gear, sending word to the priests to send priests to Yrda, and to look for rumors of the dwarven outpost they seek.


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