Heart of Winter Conclusion Up!


The completion of the Heart of Winter storyline is up in Mage-Lady Orphelia’s journal:
The Greatest Loss for the Greatest Cause

Next up: The Great Library of the Sorceror Kings
Love, Life, and the Lady of Decay and
Moments to Paraxus
(tomorrow’s session)

Also, the Snowblade character is coming up in the upcoming journals. She will be spinning off as her Arcane Highness’ personal treasure hunter. She will have journals running concurrent to the Mage-Lady’s. See her intro here.


The Hibernal March is up!

The Hibernal March is up and available in Her Arcane Highness’ Journal.

It’s a short, but important, summary of Mage-Lady Orphelia’s preparation for, and journey into the Tower Hills.

We’ve already played 1/2 way through the mission for the Heart of Winter. When it’s complete, likely after next session, I’ll create the next entry.


Beginning of the End Pt. 2 Complete

The conclusion to the Beginning of the End Journal is Complete phew

The next gaming session is Saturday, so expect a new journal sometime in the following week.


Part One of Entry Complete

I hate to do this, but “The Beginning of the End” is SUCH a long entry that I split it into two parts. Not that it’s that way in her journal, mind you. Part 2 will end as if they were one piece. For ease of reading, however, it’s just for the best.

So, without further yammering: The Beginning of the End, Part 1


Entry Complete!

“The Morality of Genocide” is finally complete at Her Arcane Higness’ journal

Coming next, for those keeping up, the fight for the 13th Shard begins.
I’ll send another post when “The Beginning of the End” is ready.


Two journal entries complete.

Two journal entries from our recent sessions are complete in The Road to Hel: The Private Diaries of Mage-Lady Orphelia of the Third Sphere: “Book III. Entry I. A Perfect Moment” and “The Toad that Swallowed Me”.

The next entry, “The Morality of Genocide” is in progress and will be completed soon. I’ll send another post when it is.


Ongoing Adventures

See the forum for Her Arcane Highness Mage-Lady Orphelia of the Third Sphere, Scion of House Grimsbourne’s journal, and her entourage’s add-on observations, for game updates.

Moooving Along
  • The group is recruited by a local Thane to bring his tribute to the King in Yorvik
  • They quickly discover that the tribute consists of herds of cattle and sheep
  • Along the way, they encounter some starving refugees, and leave them some rations and sheep
  • Accosted by a Jarl and his warband, out hunting orc raiders, they’re ordered to hand over a significant number of animals. They’re talked down to a single head of sheep. Things nearly come to blows, but cooler heads prevail.
  • The group convinces the Jarl and his men that the orc raiders are in the wrong direction, back where the group had been, and sends him off.
  • Two nights later, the group is attacked by a group of Orcs riding on Wargs, which they defeat handily.
  • Arriving in Yorvik, they are able to deliver the tribute, collect their fee, and tell the tale of their exploits as Orc-Slayers!
  • The group hears a crier announce that the King has placed a bounty on the head of a bandit known as Deathhrafen, about whom many legends are told.
  • The party elects to rest up in Yorvik for a few days, and discusses their next move while they do so.
The Eostre Festival

Could use some of the other NPC names, or at least have them corrected, add anything I missed
note.. though this log post is shown to have been created by Signy (because I failed to notice that she had left herself logged into OP) this was posted by Davrim :)

It is the first day of spring, after the birth of the first lamb in the year 500.

A group of three adventurers and glory hounds approach the village of Nohaut to attend the festival and participate in the contests. Upon approaching the herald who is handling the visitors and their disposition, the Ritter Signy of clan Hafocing is told that she would be put up in the long house in one of the Jarl’s thains but she would only be allowed one guard, where upon she is handed 2 bronze tokens with a wolf head. She proceeds to ask for some dispensation, perhaps there was something she could do to allow her to keep both of her man-at-arms nearby? She was told that there might be something, and the man held out his hand. She decided to offer 20 gold sceilds hoping it would be enough to earn her second swordsman a token, luckily it is.

A pair of blue adventurers enter the village about 2 hours later, they attract attention and disdain as one of them is frostborn. With a look of distate the frostborn is told by the herald that he may camp in the palisade, but it must be far back in the corner, behind the latrine line. His companion, a Taiga elf from the far north, is told she may camp more towards the entrance to the palisade. They are both handed tokens to show that they are allowed to be in the village. Boreal, the Frostborn, tells Snowblade the Taiga that he is happy with his accomodations. “It could be worse, it could be IN the latrine.” To which Snowblade responds, “Like last time?”

Signy, the Saxa noble woman is informed by her Tuomi bodyguard, Donnchadh, that he is expecting to meet with two others who will be joining them in their adventure. Davrim, her Anari bodyguard suggests that the three of them go to find them then.

The group joins up in the middle of town, Snowblade’s height and color making the connection very easy.

Both groups share that they have learned that there is to be an announcement made this evening, Snowblade inquires if the announcement would be about prizes as she was promised prizes by Boreal.

Later the group goes to the announcement. There is a ritual ceremony, an introduction of the spring queen, the spring princess and the spring maiden. They are described, in order, each being less attractive than the previous. Then Jarl Cuthwulf announces that there is to be a competition, the “prize” for the top three contestants shall be either marriage to the spring beauty of their choice or appropriate monetary value — for those who may be female or not ready for marriage.

The crowd is told the competition will be 5 seperate competitions: stamina, words, speed, observation, and general physical prowess. The contestants are fielded. The five PCs and 5 others from the crowd, including a berserker named Cissa, a merchant named Penda, a rich Theign named Husa, a poor Theign named Coelric and a farmer named Aldhelm. Each contestant makes a boast or a statement as they rise and take their place at the front of the moot house:
Donnchadh states his family line and claims that he will win all of the competitions
Cissa displays an arrogance that manages to insult Donnchadh
Signy states her clan name and claims her victory will bring glory to her family
Davrim states that he will win and bring honor to the goddess Eostre and bring glory to his employer’s family, Clan Hafocing
Snowblade states her parents’ names, that she came in the spirit of peace and exploration, and that in Eostre’s name she would win the tournament.
Boreal states – He will win no less than three of the competitions

After the competitors are set, Donnchadh approaches Cissa and challenges him to a fight to first blood since he insulted him. Most of the village goes with the pair and a ring is set up. The two fight, trading blows, but finally Donnchadh draws blood. With that Cissa goes berserk and continues to attack Donnchadh. Boreal and Signy use their magic to protect Donnchadh and restrain Cissa. The fight ends. Prior to the fight Boreal bet 50 gold sceilds on Donnchadh so he is able to collect 50 gold.

The morning of the first competition, Boreal is approached by a stranger who offers to provide a “surely winning” story that he can use for the competition for 50 Gold sceilds, he manages to talk him up to 60 with 40 now and 20 if he wins.

The first competition is words:
Davrim – tells a tale in auld saxa of three maidens, where the lesser beauty of the three using her wiles and talents gains the hand of the most eligible bachelor in her lands.
Donnchadh tells a tale in his native language that nobody there understands
Signy – Tells a poem of Saxa history about a saxa woman champion
Snowblade – Tells a poem of the last great romance of the extinct Salari people, and of the golden mask he had made of her once she was gone – the last stanza spoken in the forgotten tongue.
Boreal –
Cissa tells a bloody battle story of killing and gore, just the thing to not impress the three women who are the judges.

Davrim wins.

The second competition, the next day, is stamina. This is a drinking contest. The alchohol to be drunk is determined randomly.
First is meade – no problem
Second is another meade – still no problem for anyone, but Boreal notices that Penda is ending up with more drink on his shirt than in his mouth. Boreal whispers that he notices and tell him that he wants 100g to keep his mouth shut. Penda agrees.
Third is ale – still no problem for any of the competitors
Fourth is wine – still no problem for anyone
Fifth is Brandy – All competitors drop except for Cissa, Donnchadh, Boreal and Davrim. Snowblade passes out on Cissa’s shoulder.
Sixth is wine – The only competitor left standing is Cissa, everyone else is passed out and has to sleep off the drunk.

Cissa wins

Boreal finds a chance to approach Penda to get his payoff for being quiet, but Penda denies having done any such thing and would request weregild if Boreal continued to impunge his honor. Boreal relents, but keeps his eyes on him.

The third competition, the next day, is a contest of speed. This contest ends up being a horse race. While preparing to race, Boreal notices that Penda appears to be cheating again by rubbing some sort of ointment on his horse. He points his activities out to Husa who approaches the judge and gets Penda thrown out. As only one of the PCs knows how to ride a horse, the other contestants end up crossing the finish before any of the players except for Donnchadh.

The fourth competition is a competition of physical prowess. This is basically an obstacle course involving running around obstacles, swimming, jumping. In the end Davrim wins, followed closely by Boreal.

The evening prior to the last day, Boreal is approached by an unknown man. He discloses to Boreal that the next competition is an Eostre egg hunt. There will be gold colored and silver colored eggs and he has some to sell. Only 50 gold for the gold eggs and 15 gold for the silver eggs. Boreal takes him up on the offer and buys 4 gold eggs.

The PCs also pair up to try and get the PC competition leaders into the top. Signy teams with Davrim and offers to give all her eggs to him. Boreal arranges to share his winnings with Snowblade if she gives him her eggs. Donnchadh is left out in the cold and has to fend for himself.

During this competition, the most obvious and atrocious cheating of the whole festival was present. First while Davrim was searching for eggs, he discovered Coelric lying on the ground unconscious and bleeding and lying nearby he saw a bloody tree branch. Davrim applies some song magic to heal him and upon awaking he explained that Cissa came upon him and hit him and apparently took his eggs as they were nowhere to be found. He thanks Davrim and asks if he would speak against Cissa when he brought charges against him, in return he would give him half of the weregild. Davrim tells him that he would of-course do that for him as that was the right thing to do.

The second occurance was when Snowblade stumbled upon Cissa threatening Husa. She hid her found eggs behind a tree before approaching the two. Husa saw her and asked her to help him because Cissa had taken all of his eggs. Snowblade told Husa to leave, but he wouldn’t go without his eggs. After Snowblade attempted to shame Cissa into being manly and honorable, a fight occurred. Despite valiantly attempting to stand up to him, Snowblade eventually realized she was not going to win this fight, and with her main objective of getting Husa safely out of harm’s way accomplished, she yielded reluctantly — yet refused to bow and grovel as Cissa demanded. With Husa having run off already, Cissa left Snowblade there and headed out. Snowblade retrieved her eggs and continued searching, her wounds hampered her efforts and made her less successful than before.

After the ten hour time limit, the “helpers” passed their eggs on to their chosen teammate and a counting was made:
Boreal managed to find 37 points of eggs ( 3 for gold, 1 for silver ), this included the eggs he bought and those provided by Snowblade. Davrim came back with 21 points of eggs, 18 points of those being provided by Signy and her hawk.

After points were tallied and cheaters thrown out the Festival, competition results were Davrim winning, followed closely by Boreal with Husa in third, then Donnchadh
Prizes were:
Davrim 2000 Gs
Boreal 1000 Gs
Husa – Spring Maiden’s hand in marriage

After the competition Snowblade mentions to the rest of the group that she has learned of a Count north of here who is looking for adventurers to enter the long lost library of Sorcerer Kings. She claims we would be the first people to see it since it has been buried. We start discussing how to journey north. Davrim suggests purchasing horses, but finds that horses are not cheap to purchase here in town due to usual markup in prices surrounding the festival. Boreal manages to find a caravan going north in which we can all earn our passage by being guards. Signy, not wanting to work for her passage, manages to find passage where the caravan will pay her 100gs to have her four personal guards, two of whom finished first and second in the festival, act as caravan guards.

Prelude to Adventure
A New Saga Begins

In the fall of 495 IR, Cyning Kol Skulison of Nordmark died under mysterious circumstances, leaving his 15 year old son, Geirmund, his only heir. Barely a man and with little support, the boy was forced to flee while his uncles and cousins squabbled over his throne.

For two years a war of succession raged in the realm. Trade was all but cut off. Deals were brokered with questionable organizations and companies. For two years, none could claim victory, but most believed Jarl Erp, called The Crow as he was the first to attempt to lay claim over the dead king’s throne, would eventually rise victorious.

Then, the young Cyning Geirmund Kolson returned, riding at the head of a force of calvary bearing the banner of the Knights Hrafen. Relying on secret supporters of the rightful heir, he cut a bloody swath into Nordmark, smashing the armies of his would-be usurpers with great ferocity and without quarter. By the time his opposition thought to unite, it was too late. The Cyning had reclaimed Nordmark within six months.

Geirmund has sat on the throne of Nordmark for two years, but all is not well with the realm. Some fortunes rose, but most fell, on both sides of the conflict. Vast swaths of agricultural land lie fallow and burned, iron mines which the wealth of the realm depends remain empty. Blackened burned out timbers of razed villages and steads remain with no one left to rebuild them. Bandits still prowl the roads, and orcs and other foul things have been increasing in number in the mountains.

The same king who brought stability also is seen as responsible for much of the hardship. He unleashed his armies as soon as he returned to the realm, giving his foes no chance at parlay. In the eyes of many, the scorched earth policies and the atrocities of the Usurpers were a direct result of the Cyning’s heavy-handed approach, and no one forgets that while the peasants starved, the nobility dined in style and demanded their taxes be paid on time and in full.

Still, a new spring dawns. The fighting is over, at least on the battlefield. The Usurper Jarls, too politically powerful to be put to death, may still plot and plan, but for the rest of the realm, things slowly begin their return to normal.

It is now Waescdaeg in the second week of Eostremonan of the year 500 IR and already the Temple of Eostre has declared that the first new lamb was born, marking the beginning of Spring, which has come earlier than expected. Thrym has been driven back once more by Thunor and Eostre has returned, and with the thawing of the snows a new hope is dawning.

It is at this time that the tale of our heroes begins:
of Signy Kellsveinnsdohter, the scion of a noble house that fell upon disgrace in the fallout of the recent conflict seeking restoration of her family’s name;
of Davrim ap-Stavold, an Anari mercenary and novice skald who fought in Jarl Erp’s armies and discovered that his sword was for hire, but his honor was not for sale;
of Donnchadh “The Reckless”, a fierce Tuomi warrior whose Pyrrhic victory in his own peoples’ clan wars lead to the loss of his own dear wife along his exile from Clan MacFergal
of Snowblade, the Taiga-Elf who fears the failing magics of the White King means the end of her people’s way of life, who has discovered a personal love of this strange thing called “money” which is best sated by finding things others cannot;
and of Boreal Icewind, warrior and hrimwisard, a Frostborn who is trapped between two worlds, rejected and despised by his Finnar parents for his birth, and exiled from the Barony of Cul for his kindness.

What fates have the Norns woven in their loom for these worthy figures?