4 Kingdoms

Chapter 6 - Echtefmelch and the Northlands


Sat 12 Nov 1587 : 10 Nov full moon

  • The Party arrive at Sorocin from Berem
  • It has been agreed to try to return Snorri's gear to the northlanders

Tue 22 Nov 1587 : 24 Nov new moon

  • The Party trudge through the snowy mountains behind the spritely Pirfeltenke

Tue 6 Dec 1587 : 8 Dec full moon

  • Offa speaks

Tue 20 Dec 1587

  • The Party find a strange circle in the snow
  • A list of watches

Wed 21 Dec 1587 : 22 Dec new moon

  • A black building appears in the snow circle
  • The Party find five poems inside
  • One of the poems changes
  • The Party arrive at Echtefmelch in Nessemnar
  • The instructions in the poems are followed as closely as possible
  • The Party meet the spirit of Lucius
  • Rustbulj recovers the Orb of Torlich
  • The Party return to our plane of existence

Sun 25 Dec 1587

  • The Party are attacked by wolves
  • Rustbulj is carried off by a dragon!

Mon 26 Dec 1587

  • The Party find Rustbulj, Farlas and Hrald Bjornson at a smouldering ruined building

Tue 27 Dec 1587

  • The Party obtain a second sled from a farm

Sat 31 Dec 1587

  • The Party arrive at Hrald's village
  • There is a large meeting of all the people in the area
  • Snorri's belongings are returned
  • The Party is to go and find the dragon

Sun 1 Jan 1588 / 25 Dec 1587

  • The Party set off after the dragon with Hawk Snorrison
  • The Party don't find the dragon

Mon 2 Jan 1588

  • The Party find some of the hecklers

Tue 3 Jan 1588

  • The Party kill the dragon
  • Hawk Snorrison is dead

Wed 4 Jan 1588 : 5 Jan full moon

  • It looks as if Orin killed Hawk

Sat 7 Jan 1588

  • The Party return to the village
  • Arinthor explains about the procedures for a trial

Mon 9 Jan 1588

  • The court is convened
  • Early cases are heard
  • Modo is naked

Tue 10 Jan 1588

  • The case against Orin is heard
  • The holmgang soon becomes a free for all
  • Nalin finally kills Orin after the greatest individual combat in Party history
  • Oleg, a relative of Olweg, joins the Party
  • Spoils are divided but Modo gets nothing, there is a party and Rustbulj comes round

Wed 11 Jan 1588

  • The Party practice using penguins
  • The Party set off south with Oleg and Hrald
  • Kalsket regains consciousness

Sat 14 Jan 1588

  • Watches are set

Sun 15 Jan 1588

  • The Party are attacked by a varied selection of evil creatures led by a gorgomeira
  • The Orb of Torlich is almost stolen
  • Kalsket is dead

Mon 16 Jan 1588

  • The Party continue south

Feb 1588

  • The Party has lost it's sense of time
  • The Party journey back to northern Ruistor
  • The meaning of Tarsober and Qhivon
  • Pirfeltenke becomes strange
  • Various arrangements are made



Sat 12 Nov 1587 : 10 Nov full moon

(W/R 188)

A The Party arrive at Sorocin from Berem

B It has been agreed to try to return Snorri's gear to the northlanders

A The Party arrive at Sorocin from Berem.

B During the journey Rustbulj has been appraised of the selfless death of Snorri Sturlusson and it has been decided to try to drop off his gear as part of the journey north.

Tue 22 Nov 1587 : 24 Nov new moon

(W/R 188)

A The Party trudge through the snowy mountains behind the spritely Pirfeltenke

A The Party have made it to foothills in the north. It is snowy and clod and wet. A pass can be seen through the mountains and Pirfeltenke strides ahead.

Tue 6 Dec 1587 : 8 Dec full moon

(W/R 189)

A Offa speaks

A As the Party slog on through the frozen wastes Willan announces that he's got to go. Tarsober has told Willan that he has been summoned by a wielder. Willan climbs to the top of a hill where all is strangely quiet and still. Willan hears the voice of Offa giving him a message which Willan later recounts to the rest of the Party.

A Offa said that "Beyond death is another place but Lucius has chosen the dark path between. Scorch three red fruits in a flame about a hand and crush in to holy water. His soul will arrive at tower and Qhivon may unite the two if body is blessed. In the final chamber is the symbol and the power. Take orb and use holy red liquid so three overcome five and evil core is broken. Magic and prayer will open gate to path only dead walk. path leads to great fears and company of friends. Tell Modo that as one deed may damn another may redeem. The balance is now restored and he holds the scales to tip them as he chooses. Mig may be fearless of fire but there is a greater fear over him. His is a narrow and twisted path. Nalin needs Fenris which must be freely given. Farlas - what was is reduced, but shares a common peril with comrades. Willan is never without friends or enemies. Needs to read the old words to know the power. Thus ends the broadcast of Offa."

A Farlas has told the Party that he was "Cursed" but Rustbulj had made him better. Someone remembers that Snorri's wolf skin is Fenris! It's just as well the Party brought his stuff along. Farlas has written lots of memo's to important people. Couron is worried about curses.

Tue 20 Dec 1587

(W/R 189)

A The Party find a strange circle in the snow

B A list of watches

A It is cold and chilly. [Can it be both at the same time? - Ed] The Party come across a circle of snow about 100 metres in diameter. [They are metric in the Northlands - Ed] Pirfeltenke and Willan go in to the woods but do not find much and it's nearly lunch time. There are 30 to 40 metres of trees and the snow is knee deep.

B Rustbulj, Farlas, Willan, Pirfeltenke and Modo light a fire as it gets dark. A funny comet can be seen in the sky. A non-evil night, winter solstice, is spent with the following watches.

Wed 21 Dec 1587 : 22 Dec new moon

(W/R 189-197)

A A black building appears in the snow circle

B The Party find five poems inside

C One of the poems changes

D The Party arrive at Echtefmelch in Nessemnar

E The instructions in the poems are followed as closely as possible

F The Party meet the spirit of Lucius

G Rustbulj recovers the Orb of Torlich

H The Party return to our plane of existence

A At about 5am a very black building about 15 feet [It must be old, it's imperial - Ed] high appears. Rustbulj wakes Farlas, then everyone wakes up - it is still dark. The Party look at the building and the sky. There is a second comet in the sky - something will tip the balance of the world in the next day or two. Hortense shakes hands with Modo. [That's certainly tipped the balance and only a few seconds have passed! - Ed]

A Dawn breaks and light slants over the hills. The building looks blacker. There is lettering above the door, it says "Echtefmelch". Hortense says it refers to a valley of some kind as "Echt" means "valley".

A The building has a flat roof and is made of seamless black stone. Screaming faces are carved on the door. As Rustbulj and Willan go to try to open the door a screaming and wailing comes from the doors. Nobla refuses to go in, Maurice tries to stop him from being scared. Rustbulj and Willan follow Farlas inside. As the Party pass through the doors the screaming stops.

B Inside is a five sided dias with a candle at each corner. There is an inscription written in Quenya, it says:

 Time to call Lords servants

To find Baels precious orb

Close the doors behind you

Muse upon my shapes puzzle

Find rewards and avoid hazards

Two have three pointing out

two have two leaving one

whose point you have passed

but first speak of those

with three exposed to sun

One has chamber inside warm

Chose one with immediate reward

other is the largest space

and reward is that opposite

the forward step that returns

Think of those with two

One reward lies en route

To one with three points

The others reward is reached

before the hazard ails thee

If the one is noon

then reward follows the clock

Then five rewards are clues

Light the candles and wait

The five shall be one

B The Party leave the owl out and the cat in. Willan opens the door, the Party go back to try the other door and decide to enter the two room. Willan will open the door as usual and goes through the door first. There is something on the wall, it is a carving with lettering.

B The carving is of a skull and the rhyme says,

 Here lies heads of old

Good's poor servants piteous fools

Once proud holding virtuous thoughts

Now placed atop each other

No spoiler of our delight

One such skull is needed

to open the way forward

past curtain of shimmering blue

so bales gift can return

and silence good's virtue forever

To cut away ones skull

is beyond the strongest sword

and countless axes will fail

yet a simple small knife

is enough to separate heads

The knife must be held

In left hand of woman

with ring on right forefinger

No ordinary ring is this

but golden and most ancient

Ring is on black hand

within fiery lake pointing up

Ring on right knife left

cut away one simple skull

The five shall be one

B The Party open one more door..... nothing. Then another, there is a drawing of a ring and these words,

 Voices scream flesh is food

from mans proud skulls walk

a single road to orchard

Follow one straight three left

continue till four squares complete

Step forward five rows now

at left is the hand

pointing to fiery skies groans

surrounded by lake of fire

approach to see the gold

Take five fruit place equally

surrounding the roaring flames exultance

two will black, two blue

walk from yellow to hand

Fire burns all but first

If sword true enemy falls

Now right hand takes ring

Do not use crossing fire

Return to yellow in red

The five shall be one

B A portcullis falls trapping the Party as skeletons rise up and attack. The skeletons are polished off and the portcullis raised.

B The floor has a spiral pattern and the Party decide to go in. When the door is opened the spiral pattern animates. There is a ghostly figure wielding a two handed sword. It hits Rustbulj. Willan hits it and it vanishes. The Party open a door, the room appears empty, the Party go back and mesmerise [mesmerise ? - Ed] it.

B The Party move off to the other side and through a few doors. There is a carving of a knife with this poem,

 Go on your Greatest journey

To futures greater than past

Five is the greatest power when

sided with the lords black

temple beyond the fire river

Put your best thoughts into

silver box which holds no

coin or any mans dust

into this walk and take

cup which watches your heart

Fill your easy mind now

with thoughts of pure green

Blood will not carry sword

of greater men or bitter

Essmel who lord over Echtefmelch

Pour your mind into misery

over which sight oft forgets

the words of men are

warriors curse and a sharp

knife needed to cut chaff

The sight of blood offends

Five but silent masters glory

shall rise again in silver

Be ready for that day

Our lord over all people

B The Party try more rooms, eventually the floor collapses. Nalin is shoved up and Farlas is able to climb up. The entire Party have been bitten and the poison will take effect in about five minutes. Calhassan medics people and the Party look in another room. There is nothing in the room but a round symbol and a rhyme is found.

 Tall is the black tower

Next to the fiery river

Watching the dark boats journey

standing on four solid pillars

watching over the markets fayre

Long has it stood there

Home of master of trade

behind its dark inscrutable face

lies to gold double circles

two circles of interwoven curves

This golden circlet is needed

To open the way forward

past curtain of shimmering blue

so Bales gift can return

and silence goods virtue forever

The circlet mounted on stone

at highest room in tower

facing the silent citadels walls

keeper of the darkest orb

behind the sturdy steel gates

The circlet remains forever bound

to the towers stony wall

only Chor Fel's knife suffices

To cut the circlet free

The Five shall be one

B There is a horrible creature in the room and a second appears behind Farlas. They are zapped but Willan is drained. The room is empty. The Party pop in to the rooms behind the altar.

B The Party find the symbol of an orb and a rhyme which says,

 Over skeletal bridge walk thee

To darkes citadel of night

To the great old hall

with carvings of rich delight

see the star waiting silently

Rod and diamond together first

then the skull against ring

descend to inner chambers heart

down steps unwalked in ages

to heart of citadels power

Now see second pentagram here

Rod and star together now

avoid the demons deadly gaze

tie two women to altars

slice pentagram over their hearts

Final pentagram you find below

drop of blood spells letter

of our great lords name

Place golden circlet in centre

light candles now to begin

That with first letter preferred

Two letters preferred to one

no symbol is used twice

useless symbol replaces impossible letter

The Five shall be one

[Do I detect a clue? - Ed]

C The Party go to the last room, or do we? Farlas lights the candles. The Party wait about a minute, the lettering changes and a new poem appears.

 Portals open once to Echtefmelch

closed then open return home

once only is the journey

till Jupiter quadrants with Mars

Take your chance acting now

In Nessemnar is no dawn

no chance to recover powers arcane

pour bottle into wooden bowl

All drink once are refreshed

once is all this time

From seas beyond, Hahmenerch came

with spoils of Orlanth's deity

Helm of sound wore proud

Unsurprised by necklace of gold

Built temple to the keepers

Near sight is poor sight

to unravel a simple clue

Find place to see where

pin and ring come together

Chor Fel's knife lifts stone

From ring to skull and

knife to circlet the path

leads to the greatest day

good will curse this victory

The Five shall be one

C The Party decide to think about the poem. Hortense says that there is a god called Orlanth. Rustbulj says that the Party should not take the stuff now. The Party decide to open the doors.

D The sky is black with boiling red clouds and bushes sway in the wind. There is a wind path with a valley in the distance. The Party walk for half an hour. Calhassan tends to Farlas' poison. There is the strange sound of 1,000 souls screaming on the air. The Party come to a town on a fire river with a black tower and a black five sided building and all the stuff we were expecting. The Party walk down the road towards the vegetation and five humanoids in capes stride purposefully towards us.

D They order the Party to our knees and one of the goes to hit Rustbulj as the Party hesitates. They are killed although Willan gets a bit hacked in the melee. The Party go back in order through the gate and see two badly dressed humans. It looks like a busy town. The Party head towards the orchardy side and find a gate in a wall. Nobla has gone a bit funny.

E The black building can be seen through the gate and the screaming sound rises. The Party can see plants and another gate. The Party wander towards a cairn made of skulls. There is an obvious path to the left - look! The Party look for one straight and three left. The trees are humans held up by plants. A hand can be seen sticking out of a fiery pool. Calhassan picks eight fruits and five petals. There is a carving of a hand in the middle. [of what? - Ed] Rustbulj crushes the scorched fruit in to holy water. Pirfeltenke walks in to the middle. The petals turn black and a black mist bellows up surrounding Pirfeltenke. Pirfeltenke hits the mist and it vanishes. Pirfeltenke takes the ring.

E The Party must next get the skull. Hortense gets the job - and gets the skull. [Succinct - Ed] The Party approach the tower. The five sided building has two open doors. There is an inscription which says "Hahmenerch built me."

E The Party enter the tower and find five statues of dark blue rock facing in to a room with an altar. Each statue carries some things of red rock or something black. The tallest has a tunic and is wearing a black ring on his right hand. In his left hand is a red pulsating orb and he has a red pulsating bracelet around his left wrist. Against his side is a red pulsating staff. The next statue has a black wand in his right hand. His left eye is red and pulsating as is his belt. The third statue is a warrior with a red pulsating sword and shield. He is wearing a red pulsating circlet and has a black pentacle on his forehead. The next statue is robed and has a red helmet and a red moon on his chest. Also on his chest is a black gem. The last statue is robed and looks ill. He has a red skull with a small black thing in the top in his hand. There are no inscriptions.

E The Party go to the tower [I think the Party may have entered the five sided building just now - Ed] there is some kind of stall outside. A ladder is being hauled in and Sharell and Modo leg it over but miss the ladder. There seem to be some windows higher up. Farlas tries to knock it open. The Party try to cross the bridge but the building is very evil.

E Rustbulj "Augers" for Chor Fel's knife. The Party guess ??? that it is in a statues belt. The party get a cup and a silver coin. Modo tries to find out who Essmel are and discovers that they are the unpleasant people in red. Modo returns and the Party get some blood and pour it over the knife on the statue and take it.

E Farlas tries to "Knock" open the tower. Pirfeltenke stands underneath with his sword at the ready, he is engulfed in flame. Nalin uses the boots of "Speed" to nip off but several of the Party are caught in the flames. The doorway comes crashing down and several people get on it. Pirfeltenke runs up to the opening and sees there is a chamber. A set of statues is rising in to the next room.

E Pirfeltenke smashes the stair mechanism and another sheet of flame appears then another. Pirfeltenke is still hacking at the chain and it eventually breaks. The Party decide to consider options about how to get in. A counterbalance system is considered. The rest of the Party move up from the river bank to the tower. A baddy is captured and forced to talk about the tower. The Party ask the captive to lead us to Safess, an ex tower Essmel.

F The Party tell Safess about the tower, he wants a barge on which to leave. Lucius seems to be sitting on the barge. The Party charge towards it, Nalin gets there first because he is wearing the boots. The Party take Lucius. Maurice "Blesses" Lucius. The new Lucius starts melting as Willan holds Qhivon over him. Lucius is still dead but no longer on this plane.Lucius tells the Party that a lady told him that three opens the gate and Lucius has to walk a separate path. The Party give Lucius his ring and other bits back.

E The captive Safess says that there are usually a dozen Safess in the tower. The Party may move in to the chamber with the mechanism and fire then on to further floors occupied by residents. There is something horrible and jellylike on the top two or three floors.

E Farlas wants to go in the floor above the mechanism. There are sets of stairs going up and down. Farlas goes down and lets off a zap in the room below followed by a "Sleep" spell. Farlas then kills all the occupants. Farlas unknots the change [? - Ed] and shouts that the area is secured. Rustbulj kills the Safess.

E The poison starts to affect Willan, Lucius, Pirfeltenke and Bazron. The Party keep going up to the top of the tower. There is a slimy thing on the ceiling and a circlet on the wall. Is it a black pudding monster? Farlas goes up and zaps it and then pops back downstairs. Rustbulj tries to go back up an "it" goes to follow him. The Party lure it out and it turns crispy in the flame thrower. The Party go back up again and Rustbulj liberates the circlet.

E The Party take the jewellery and cross the bridge made of human bones. Kalsket becomes catatonic. Raff is bitten by a skull then so is Nalin. The Party avoid walking in the gobs. The Party come to a large building with stainless steel doors and take the potion which is silver with blue specs and a bitter after taste. The Party push open the double doors and find a circle inside. The Party close to door behind us. There is a steel door inside which Nalin opens to reveal a corridor running on for ages.

E ... Lucius listens and hears the sound of roaring flame. Pirfeltenke opens the door on to a rectangular room entirely covered in flame. There are six creatures with spiky tails in the room, Pirfeltenke withdraws. The creatures eventually retreat in to their room and as they are about to chuck a fiery ball Willan slams shut the door.

E The corridor continues on and round a bend to a door. Willan opens this one. There is a big room, in fact a huge hall with a frieze on the wall and a large table in the centre. The frieze is broken by a door in one gap and a pentacle in another. The Party press the points of the pentacle in the order suggested by the poem and a door opens revealing a stairway going down, The Party descend in to a pentagonal room containing two altars with manacles. A door opens revealing and amazing monster.

E A bunch of the Party scarper upstairs only to be faced by the red demons. Farlas has a bang. Lucius and Nalin are stunned by the bang. The thing was hit by the "Lightening bolt". Hortense makes a lady disappear. There is a hand in the air. The Party descend to another chamber.

E Hortense is hit by a "Lightening bolt". Willan hears a loud noise. The fight continues upstairs and various people are hit a lot. Hortense's remains hit someone. Farlas nicks Hortense's ring and Willan's skull. Nalin attacks someone. Willan is "Lightening bolted", falls over and gets up again. Finally Farlas comes back, Willan gets one down then hits another and Nalin kills one. Farlas hits and kills the woman. [Are you finding all this just a touch confusing? It must be a side effect of having gone to Hell! - Ed]

G Rustbulj does the full pentacle breaking bit with red liquid and "Prayer" spell. Farlas and Rustbulj have solved the puzzle and have the Orb of Torlich [The effort expended by Farlas and Rustbulj to solve the puzzle are somewhat understated here... and the solution itself has sadly not been recorded. - Über-Ed] The Party spray the "Holy water" around to put the evil to sleep, but need to take it [The Orb? - Ed] back to a good temple.

H Lucius heads off on the paths of the dead to get back to life and the Party return to our own plane. Hortense gets in touch with Barft and establishes that the Party have not been away from our own plane for more than a few hours.

G Kalsket is catatonic and so is someone else. Willan volunteers to carry the Orb. There is a suggestion that the Orb be taken to the monastery in Valen but Rustbulj says that the safest place for the Orb is with the Party. The Orb is black and the Party wonder if it can be disguised as a christmas pudding. Willan communes with Tarsober which informs him that three priests can combine to destroy the Orb. In the meantime Rustbulj "Protects" the Orb.

H Calhassan examines Kalsket and Nobla for catatonia and confirms that their utter lack of mobility is indeed due to unconsciousness. The Party decide to head east!

Sun 25 Dec 1587

(W/R 197)

A The Party are attacked by wolves

B Rustbulj is carried off by a dragon!

A The Party are still travelling as night falls on christmas day. Watches are set and one the second watch some wolves appear. Barft has seen nothing so the appearance of the wolves is a complete surprise. Many in the Party are bitten before the Party rally and start hitting the wolves. One wolf is down and another has been "Slept" when Rustbulj shouts "Hey, look - a dragon!"

B The dragon crash lands, grabs Rustbulj and flies off to the north!! ..... but not before Farlas has jumped on it's back!! The Party quickly break camp and set off in the direction that the dragon flew off in. Barft was following it but dragons fly a lot faster than owls and (s)he lost it.

Mon 26 Dec 1587

(W/R 197-198)

A The Party find Rustbulj, Farlas and Hrald Bjornson at a smouldering ruined building

A The Party trek on and on through the dark until dawn eventually breaks. Hortense notices a large fire in an open area of ground. The Party get there and discover the remains of a burning building. Farlas' cat animates a bit and heads towards the building and the Party follow it and approach the smouldering ruins. There are a lot of human tracks leading towards a small copse and three corpses outside the shelter.

A Inside the shelter are three more bodies, Rustbulj, Farlas and another guy who resembles Snorri. They are all unconscious but Farlas soon comes round and says that the dragon dropped them. [GPN - Farlas fell off] Farlas says he blasted the dragon twice with the wand but it still flew away even though he also zap missiled it. The northlander wakes up, he is very upset when he sees the three dead bodies. The northlands walks to the copse and calls out "Marden" but there is no response. The northlander is able to communicate that his name is Hrald Bjornson.

A The Party reach a clearing in the copse and Hrald goes down a trap door. He emerges a few minutes later looking even sadder. Farlas wants to cast a "Comprehend languages" spell on Willan and Hrald. The Party establish the Hrald must attend to the dead and the Party volunteer to help. Hrald burns the bodies then joins the Party for dinner.

A Willan and Hrald are able to speak via the "Comprehend languages" spell. After a bit Hrald nips over to the copse and returns with a sled. Rustbulj is placed on it and the Party set off again.

Tue 27 Dec 1587

(W/R 198)

A The Party obtain a second sled from a farm

A The Party come past a farm. The occupants are able to supply a second sled.

Sat 31 Dec 1587

(W/R 198-199)

A The Party arrive at Hrald's village

B There is a large meeting of all the people in the area

C Snorri's belongings are returned

D The Party is to go and find the dragon

A In the middle of the day the Party arrive at a village surrounding a huge rock. There are about eight to 10 buildings accommodating about 100 inhabitants. The Party enter the village and Hrald walks up to a bigger building and speaks to someone in charge. Arrangements are being made to send men out. Hrald does not seem to want the Party to cast spells.

A The villager seem very interested in dwarfs. Nalin speaks to them and they whisper amongst themselves. The name of the Yarl [The local leader - Ed] is Gest Ivarsen. During the day people start arriving and there are lots of greetings.

B As night falls it is clear that a big meeting is being held. A different looking chap turns up. He is smaller but wears the same kit. He says "Hello" to the Party. "I have lagoin, speak little. I Arinthor." He leads the Party to the big meeting place. The Party listen to the Yarl and don't understand a word of what he says. Arinthor later explains that the meeting is discussing fighting the worm. Gest does not want Farlas to cast "Comprehend languages" on him. Hrald speaks about the worm, he then sings some verses. Hrald then speaks about Snorri.

C The Party produce Snorri's belongings and show them to Arinthor. Willan and Nalin go forward carrying Snorri's gear. The Party hear Nalin referred to as a sun dverge. Willan and Nalin hand Snorri's possessions to the Yarl. Gest makes a statement and the crowd draw their swords and beat them against their shields. One group who have been heckling most of the evening do not join in very enthusiastically. The Party are asked about the death of Snorri. The Party say that Snorri died bravely in battle and that his killers were many. The Party say that we killed and defeated the group responsible for Snorri's death but that we do not know who struck the fatal blow. The Party point out that not all the opponents were killed as they surrendered.

C The Party speak to Snorri's son Hawk with the assistance of Arinthor and agree to help Hawk compose Snorri's death song. The Yarl organises something military.

D The Party are to head east to find the dragon. The round trip should take about five days.

Sun 1 Jan 1588 / 25 Dec 1587

(W/R 199)

A The Party set off after the dragon with Hawk Snorrison

B The Party don't find the dragon

A It turns out that the northlands are not at the same point in the calendar so Maurice is able to conduct a christmas mass. The Party obtain snow shoes and Willan, Sharell, Farlas, Modo, Calhassan, Raff, Nalin, Bazron, Guerin, Maurice and Pirfeltenke are joined by Hawk Snorrison as we head east in search of the dragon.

B There is no sign of it during the first day and the Party set watches and sleep.

Mon 2 Jan 1588

(W/R 199)

A The Party find some of the hecklers

A At about midday the Party come across a burnt out homestead after changing direction northwards. There are some dead bodies but four people are still alive. One is the tall thin guy who led the hecklers at the meeting.

A The Party set off again and catch up with the others [What others? - Ed] at a burning copse which was set light from above. Willan circuits the copse, it seems that one of the others did a circuit. If the footprint is dragon it faces in. [? - Ed] It looks as if something may have camped here recently.

A The Party continue on and the terrain gets hilly.

Tue 3 Jan 1588

(W/R 199-200)

A The Party kill the dragon

B Hawk Snorrison is dead

A At midday a track disappears then resumes. The Party catch up with the rest of the hecklers who have stopped at the top of a rise looking down on a lake. To the left of the lake are cliffy, cavey bits six entrances are big enough for dragons. Modo slides over the lake [Which, at a guess, is frozen - Ed] climbs the cliff and slips in to a cave entrance. The Party find a cave entrance and make camp. Modo tries another cave entrance and something comes to get him. Modo has found the dragon.

A Modo runs away as the funny men head towards the dragon. The dragon moves around and tries to bite Raff. It treads on a northman and slashes Pirfeltenke a bit with it's tail. Sharell cannot decide what to do so watches the dragon tread on Willan and flame the wall. Willan is finding the dragon too small a target to hit but others have more success.. The northlanders are dropping like wotsits. The "Stone muzzle" goes off as the dragon bites at Nalin who parries. The dragons head crashes to the ground wearing the stone muzzle and narrowly misses Nalin.

A Now that the dragon is much less mobile even Willan can hit it. However the other end is still dangerous as Maurice discovers when he is hit by the tail. Modo is still on the back of the dragon. Farlas hacks the dragon but Raff falls over. He quickly recovers and hurts the dragon's leg. The dragon is listing to the right. Raff quickly retreats.

B There is an explosion of stone and flame from the head of the dragon and several people are hit. Farlas strikes the dragon and it falls over.... on top of Nalin and Bazron. Modo tries to leap off but makes a hash of it. Nalin is moaning at Farlas for making the dragon fall on him. Modo was thrown clear but Nalin and Bazron are trapped. The Party are able to pull Nalin and Bazron out but Hawk is dead. The Party chop out the dragon's teeth.

A A search of the cave reveals some human bones and much dragon poo. Only two of the northlanders are still alive. The Party make a fire and set watches. Fortunately the night is uneventful.

Wed 4 Jan 1588 : 5 Jan full moon

(W/R 200)

A It looks as if Orin killed Hawk

A The Party help the northlanders with funeral pyres. During the course of the funerals the Party notice that Hawk seems to have a wound from a weapon rather than from the dragon. One the Party are sure it is a weapon wound we stop Orin and the other northlander from burning the bodies and Willan points out the wound to Orin. Willan makes a punch but misses. Several people seem to be casting spells and chaos breaks out. The other northlander grapples Guerin and a fracas breaks out with even Sharell trying to punch people. The Party are not doing well. Willan falls over but Sharell hangs on to a grapple. The big guy backs off drawing his sword and the baddies ski off. The Party follow with the bodies. Nalin and Pirfeltenke agree with Modo that the Party should have killed them.

Sat 7 Jan 1588

(W/R 200-201)

A The Party return to the village

B Arinthor explains about the procedures for a trial

A Two northlanders arrive and gesture towards the village (we think). The Party follows them to the village. Gest and Arinthor meet the Party and Arinthor says that Gest want know if you stop. We say that Orin kill Hawk. Arinthor sends the Party back to a house and says that there is a trial in two days.

B Arinthor comes to speak to the Party and explains that there is to be an Althing, a law meeting. The Althing is discussed. Orin will be there, Althing says "Orin says story same as us except that worm kill Hawk. Orin strong man, he have many friends. He has rows with Gest. Many people think Orin lawbreaker. All come to Althing earlier. Orin say not lawbreaker and challenged other to fight. Yarl ask Norn, the spirit woman, when Orin go. Her answer make Yarl sad. Orin only go when wolf skin dwarf with god thing watching. We need a frere child, a race of beings who came....." The Party think that Farlas may be a frere child - an elf.

B Farlas tries to look more like an elf as Arinthor explains that the case will be heard at the law rock. All cases are heard followed by all support witnesses. Someone adjudicates and decides on punishments. A case may be adjudicated by the Yarl or by the people. The accused can elect to Holmbang which is basically just a fight. It sounds like Nalin has to do lots of stuff in order to be in charge.

Mon 9 Jan 1588

(W/R 201)

A The court is convened

B Early cases are heard

C Modo is naked

A People start gathering at the rock. Someone starts to talk and most of the important people are there listening. The speech is ritualistic and goes on for ages. A group of twelve men gather around the rock, people walk up and say things. These are doomsmen whose job it is to see that the law is correctly applied. It comes to Nalin's turn and he says the words. There is a lull in proceedings.

B Arinthor says that the tooth should be presented. The Yarl holds the tooth up. Nalin is the first to give the Yarl a gift. It is time for lunch and there is no sign of Orin. It is only after lunch that the cases start! One case is thrown out because the guy making the charge did not have enough witnesses. The case of Olweg the murderer seems to be the biggest of the day. She has murdered the son of a Yarl. Olweg says the guy she killed her father first. The case against Olweg is upheld and she is banished for three years.

C Modo reappears. He is very cold and naked! Arinthor coaches Nalin some more.

Tue 10 Jan 1588

(W/R 201-204)

A The case against Orin is heard

B The holmgang soon becomes a free for all

C Nalin finally kills Orin after the greatest individual combat in Party history

D Oleg, a relative of Olweg, joins the Party

E Spoils are divided but Modo gets nothing, there is a party and Rustbulj comes round

A Orin arrives in the village with a bunch of cronies. The court continues and there are a couple more cases before ours. Nalin swears at a rock then there is some talking. Nalin tells the story of meeting Snorri, fighting with him, snuffing it, the fight with the worm, chasing it and dead people. Ottar Odkelson and his family are dead. Nalin says that the Party fought the worm as did Orin and his company. Nalin says that we found that the wound to Hawk had been inflicted by a sword. The Party told Orin and there was a fight after which Orin and his remaining companion withdrew.

A At the conclusion of Nalin's story a stretcher is brought to the rock on which is Hawk's body. The wound is shown. Nalin calls Farlas, Willan, Pirfeltenke, Calhassan, Hortense, Rustbulj, Bazron and Hrald. Arinthor advises Nalin to call Sor Knutsen the local healer but Nalin cocks it up. The next witness is Gest who acts as character witness before Orin has his go. Orin calls loads of witnesses but eventually gets to the end.

A After all the witnesses have been called there is more talking. The discussions go on and on. Eventually a doomsman stands up and calls out to the masses. The sword banging starts on one side and then the other. Orin gives a speech which includes the word "holmgang".

B There is a wrestling area surrounded by a ditch where the holmgang will take place. It is considered dishonourable to leave the area. The crowd gathers and Orin draws his two swords. Gest approaches and speaks to the crowd, holding up Fenris he gives the wolf skin to Nalin who puts it on. Fenris, which had previously fitted the very large Snorri Sturlusson perfectly, fits Nalin perfectly, this causes a commotion amongst the crowd. Nalin unslings his axe and fires. Arinthor gives Nalin last minute advice. Nalin must take the first blow [GPN - Funny rule that]

B Orin fights in a loincloth. He gives a speech which includes the words "ein viggi" and swords and axes. The Party do the same, it is confusing. Orin goes for the first blow, there is a bit of a fracas or something. Nalin is nearly hit but manages to parry. The holmgang seems to have been a spark for a free for all. There is fighting all over the crowd. Orin and Nalin are getting stuck in to each other. Most of their blows are parried but Orin gets through with his second sword.

B Farlas calls people to rally to him and is dumped in the ditch for his trouble. Sharell is knocked to the ground. Nalin gets some hits on Orin who goes berserk. Willan is fighting Orin's friend. The man who felled Sharell hits her again on the head as she is on the ground. The fight continues, Orin has made a comeback against Nalin and is getting some hits in. Modo attacks the man who tapped Willan on the shoulder before. Gest and Hrald are fighting on the same side as the Party. Maurice hits something and Olweg has joined in on our side as well. Raff does something good and an opponent is on the ground as a result. A northlander attacks Couron and Calhassan attends to Sharell. Willan, noted for his inability to hit objects as large as dragons, totally fails to get a hit on his human sized opponent. Modo quickly changes target and surprises another guy rather a lot from behind. Couron is being forced around the field.

B Nalin is still on the receiving end from Orin but is getting the occasional hit through. Pirfeltenke swings in to action striking down two opponents in quick succession. Gest is being pounded and Farlas is nowhere to be seen. Olweg hits someone but then gives the appearance of being stone dead. Couron is hitting back but Pirfeltenke is worried. Farlas hits someone and Modo hits someone else. Nalin hits Orin but Orin hits him back. Raff hits his opponent as Orin hits Nalin on the head. Willan falls over, Farlas leaps up and shields Tarsober. Nalin is taking a pounding as Calhassan gets to Willan. Someone tries to shoulder tapping routine on Pirfeltenke and gets walloped for their trouble. Raff is dodging about but Hrald is hitting a northlander again and again. Farlas has finally climbed right out of the ditch and tries to hit something. Pirfeltenke has sat about the phantom tapper with a vengeance but the tapper fights back. However Pirfeltenke forces him back in to the ditch. Farlas drops his shield when his arm is sliced. Guerin is now armless. Willan is bound up and Guerin is looking for a shield. Raff is not engaged but Farlas is annoyed and swipes his opponent across the legs.

B Nalin is hit by Orin as the Party start dropping like flies (as usual). Farlas is hit but Pirfeltenke is laying in to the phantom tapper in the ditch. Couron has killed someone and luckily they were on the opposing side. Nalin gives Orin a nasty blow to the toe nail. Pirfeltenke's merciless attack on the phantom tapper seems to be having an effect as the guys arm looks hurt. Modo has killed someone by disembowelling them from behind. It looks as if Gest is dead. Maurice is still surrounded. Farlas gets a hit on Orin's friend and Pirfeltenke gets the fatal blow on the phantom tapper. Orin's friend gets a hit on Farlas who has to fall back. Bazron fells a northland opponent as Orin hits Nalin who strikes him back on the head. This clearly annoys Orin who redoubles his effort and hits Nalin quickly then gets him again on the right leg. Nalin withstands the assault. Farlas continues to be forced back whilst Modo is having continued success with his unorthodox methods, killing another northlander by slicing open his abdomen.

B Nalin hits Orin a lot on the right arm and Orin hits Nalin on the left leg. Modo, flush with success, tries to stab someone else. Reports of the demise of Gest were obviously exaggerated as he is back in the combat. Nalin misses Orin (what a pillock) then lets Orin hit him (what a pillock). Hrald is still fighting on and Modo gracefully carves a sliver from someone's belly button! This time Nalin hits Orin but Orin hits him back. Willan comes round and sees Pirfeltenke cleave off someone's left arm and Nalin hit Orin in the guts. Willan was thinking of leaping in to action but changes his mind. Modo has moved on to yet another opponent.

C After a moments rest Willan has pulled himself together and gets up and sets about the guy fighting Farlas only Farlas kills him just before Willan gets there! Orin hits Nalin again as Gest finally chops open the guts of his opponent. Putting all his remaining energy in to a huge blow Nalin chops off Orin's left arm and Orin collapses to the ground. Without hesitation Nalin chops off Orin's head. Seeing this Orin's supporters quickly surrender. Nalin looks like death on legs but says "Don't worry about me" (ie Don't give me any "Cure" spells). [A true hero - indestructible AND stupid! - Ed] Willan has totally failed to hit anything throughout the entire course of the combat!

D There is an air of success as Arinthor introduces a northlander who wants to come with the Party. His name is Oleg and he is related to Olweg, the woman killed in the fight. Arinthor is asked why Oleg did not participate in the fight. Oleg says that this is not unknown, he believes he is cursed and wants to get it removed. The curse makes it very difficult for Oleg to fight because he thinks he knows when he is in danger.

E Couron tries to slap Nalin. [Why? - Ed] Gest makes speeches and distributes wealth to the people who helped him. Nalin, Pirfeltenke, Farlas, Bazron, Guerin and Raff get some money as does Couron. The northlanders want Pirfeltenke to get something extra and he selects an axe from the pile of spoils. [As usual Modo gets nothing - Ed] After the spoils are divided there is a drunken party during which Rustbulj regains consciousness.

Wed 11 Jan 1588

(W/R 204)

A The Party practice using penguins

B The Party set off south with Oleg and Hrald

C Kalsket regains consciousness

A It is 4th January local time and the outstanding legal problems are sorted out. The northlanders realise that the Party intend to return south and we are given food and long flat pieces of wood which we are shown allow much more efficient travel over snow. The Party have never seen these items of footwear before and understand that they are called "penguins".

B The Party intend to return to the spot where Gilthon was left. The Party practice language skills and using the penguins. Rustbulj finds that he can't penguin. Oleg and Hrald leave with the Party. Oleg is scared as he feels threatened by danger. The Party are travelling through a high pass and Oleg says that something odd will happen. The Party look for an avalanche but there is some unnatural weather to the left. There is an odd storm, the Orb is not pulsating. The Party move to find shelter and the storm passes after about half an hour.

C Suddenly Kalsket regains consciousness. He says something about a nice dragon pointing spears at a mountain like this. The storm has gone but Kalsket burbles on about air dragons and spears and round mountains with valleys.

Sat 14 Jan 1588

(W/R 204)

A Watches are set

A The watch rotation is set. First are Guerin, Couron and Farlas followed by Nalin, Raff and Maurice then Pirfeltenke, Modo and Hrald and finally Willan, Bazron and Oleg. Hortense and Modo swap places as Hortense hates cooking (and is useless at it) and would prefer to watch whereas Modo loves cooking (and is good at it) and is a notoriously unreliable watchman.

Sun 15 Jan 1588

(W/R 204-205)

A The Party are attacked by a varied selection of evil creatures led by a gorgomeira

B The Orb of Torlich is almost stolen

C Kalsket is dead

A Modo has made breakfast for everyone as Oleg wakes up screaming that there are wolves out there. This gives the Party handy advance warning of the attack that quickly follows. Willan hits a wolf [Yes, that's Willan who got a hit - Ed] but it bites him back. Willan follows up his success by accidentally striking Modo, getting badly bitten by a wolf and falling to the ground!! Everyone else thinks the fight has just started as Couron kills a wolf. Kalsket binds Willan and puts Tarsober back in Qhivon. The fight goes on and Sharell realises that the wolf is male. Everyone else keeps on hitting them but something unpleasant grabs Kalsket from behind. Nalin yells something about wargs.

A Kalsket takes a slash at the pale humanoid as it tries to bite him. Hortense is attacked by another pale humanoid as Farlas spots something. The things are bats which change in to..... Farlas hits a bat and Bazron kills another. Something is attached to Kalsket's neck and a large ugly thing lands astride Willan. It has three heads - one gorgon, one lion and one dragon.

B The battle rages on. Couron runs away and then tries to hit something. Hortense gets hit, Kalsket collapses and the gorgon goes for Farlas. The batty things seem to be scared of crosses and one disappears. Willan is being surrounded and Farlas yells something about Orbs. Willan wakes up and finds evil things firking in his clothes. Willan parries one but something has grabbed the Orb. Farlas drops his sword and tries to zap it as Raff tries to hit one. The thing with the Orb does not appreciate being zapped. Rustbulj falls over and Farlas yells for Calhassan. Hrald hits one and it runs off but Farlas zaps it again. The thing with the Orb disappears and the Orb is left lying on the ground.

B Willan, Farlas and one of the baddies simultaneously dive towards the Orb and the baddy gets there first. Farlas zaps it again. Willan goes still after being breathed on. Hrald has gone to aid Oleg and Modo has killed a wolf. The monster breathes yukkily on Willan and Nalin as the wolves run off. Couron kills on and Guerin kills another. The dragon tries to bite Nalin but Nalin hits the triple beast here after called a gorgonzola which tries to fly off. Everything else leaves with the gorgonzola.

C Everyone administers to Rustbulj. Kalsket is dead and almost certainly a vampire so his body is burned. Farlas casts a scroll of "Free action" on Willan and gives away Kalsket's magic incense, half to Maurice and half to Rustbulj. Rustbulj may be able to use it in the Orb destroying ceremony. Maurice gives one of his blocks to Calhassan.

Mon 16 Jan 1588

(W/R 205)

A The Party continue south

A The Party continue the journey south. Oleg shows Farlas his coward stones and asks if he was brave enough. Pirfeltenke puts the stone on Oleg. Routes home are discussed. Farlas wants to return by the same route that the Party came in order to investigate Kalsket's dream.

Feb 1588

(W/R 206-207)

A The Party has lost it's sense of time

B The Party journey back to northern Ruistor

C The meaning of Tarsober and Qhivon

D Pirfeltenke becomes strange

E Various arrangements are made

A Hortense thinks the Party has lost it's sense of time. It may have been out since the visit to Echtefmelch, our date did not match the northlanders time. The Party are not sure what day or date it is but guess it is the 7th February.

B The Party pass the place where Willan saw Offa an the way to the northlands. Willan goes up to the place, which is nice, and says thanks. Then Nalin does the same. One after another all the Party goes up to the spot and Farlas preys.

B The Party enter a valley with a lake and potter on towards a mountain. Farlas says that this is the wrong place and the mountain is not the one in Kalsket's dream. Guerin wants the empty bottle. [? - Ed]

C A couple of weeks later the Party are in the foothills of northern Ruistor. Maurice thinks that Pirfeltenke looks odd, he is wearing clothes. The Party pitch camp. Nalin suggests that Willan reads the sword which says "Tarsober". Farlas understands the meaning to be "Noble light of enduring valiance" and that Qhivon means "Enduring power" although Hortense thinks that Qhivon means "Strength everlasting".

D Farlas talks to Pirfeltenke who says he wants time to think. Perhaps Pirfeltenke is suffering from the bites of the strange wargs. Hortense reports that Pirfeltenke has asked for "Protection from blows"

B Farlas realises that the seas should be becoming navigable about this time of year.

D The Party try to think of a way to help Pirfeltenke. Is he Wargish? We wonder if this would be an improvement! Willan meditates on the subject of Pirfeltenke and says "Essini's old power, twists ever towards, the narrow path."

D Pirfeltenke has still not returned the following morning. Farlas and Willan set out to follow him, but his tracks soon disappear. They cannot locate him so rejoin the Party.

B A fight develops between Oleg and Hrald against Couron who supposedly [.....?! - Ed]

D Hortense is determined to find Pirfeltenke so we try again. Willan spirals around in an outwardly direction. Eventually he crests a rocky outcrop and sees a seated figure encased in an expanding circle of frost. It is currently about fifty to sixty yards across. Willan gets the Party to come and ponder the situation. Whilst we are doing this a bird flies into the air above the frost circle. It plummets and its popsicled body shatters on impact with the ground. The Party move back to a safe distance.

D By the end of the day the frost circle has stopped advancing. Willan says that Pirfeltenke [for it is he who is the seated figure - Ed] looks pained and surprised. Hortense is very distraught, she says that Pirfeltenke has stopped, but not on the twisted path.

D The circle stabilises overnight. We wonder about sending to the Essini in Lehr Bahn for help.

B A few days later the Party reach the river above [Van] Connel. Rumours a rife concerning a war in the Fehermes and another between Meresvale and Valen. Apparently Meresvale has the upper hand against Valen and lots of refugees from Valen are streaming into Ruistor. In the other war it is said that troops from the mainland are fighting Connel's forces in the Fehermes.

E We try to get Nobla looked at by the Thrune clerics.

E Sharell goes to find Gilthon with Guerin and Raff.

E Farlas is unsure if he should go to see King Telanir incognito, or even if he should not go at all. In the end a message is sent.