Thursday, September 15, 2016

Iron Edda: The Bees Are to Blame

Monday was Iron Edda. I think I'm going to have to start instituting "phone breaks" for folks, so they can get their social media fix. These two things are only tangentially related.

We begin our story in Byheim. Aegir is by his still, perfecting a new mead. Helga and Rune are walking the perimeter of the holdfast. Ragnar is praying by the guardian stone, and Solvi is outside the holdfast, near the Snake Hall, where the Snake Clan folks are quarantined. As she approaches, she sees enemy horsemen emerge - the Snake Clan is attacking. Solvi summons up her magic and makes the land in front of them swampy, to slow them down.

Helga notices, too, and summons up her bones; Rune follows. Aegir intercepts Ragnar and, realizing what Solvi did, gives Ragnar a draught that lets him walk on swamp-terrain more easily. He drinks it, and then charges, climbing onto Helga's bone-giant head. She tries to flick him off, but he dodges.

Rune leaps into the fray and slams the ground, stunning the Snake Clans. The Snakes attack, but don't manage to hurt anyone (lots of boosts getting through around, but not much stress). Aegir arrives and conks one on the head with his drinking horn, and Helga tries to intimidate them into giving up. Between Rune attacking with his staff, and then Ragnar landing in the middle of them with his magic hammer, some are unhorsed and some just flee. Rune, in the midst of this, notes that some of them are carrying curved weapons that they must have bought from the Jgol traders.

Ragnar picks one up and demands to know what's going on. The Snake responds by showing his boils, and saying that the Jarl isn't doing anything to help. Ragnar looks worried; he might have caught the plague. He goes with Solvi and Aegir to Solvi's hovel so she can make a poultice for him to stave off infection.

Meanwhile, Rune goes off to the Jgol, and Helga, entranced by his sexy swagger, follows. They talk to the Jgol traders some, and learn that the Snake Clan bought the heart of a Dwarven Mech along with their weapons. Helga buys an immense Dwarven weapon from them (on IOU), but just then, the giant in Rune's head starts screaming. It can hear a terrible, high-pitched noise...and it's coming from the Snake Hall.

Up at the hovel, Solvi tosses some henbane into the fire and gives herself a bit of a hallucination. She sees the bees swarming the Snake Clan, and realizes that the plague isn't caused by a disease, it's a reaction to bee stings. Now, everybody gets bee stings in Byheim, but the bees have been getting more aggressive lately, so maybe it's a particular hive near the Snake Hall?

Rune calls up bones, and so does Helga. They smash their way into the Snake Hall, and see up the Dwarven Heart. Helga picks it up and stabs it with her new weapon, which causes both the weapon and the heart to explode and blows her bones away. She falls, but Rune deftly catches her.

In the distance, the characters hear thunder and see lightning. The Dwarves have heard the heart, and they have responded. They are only a few days out.

They go back into the village, and the villagers argue over how to use the guardian stone and what to do. Ragnar decides that he will quest for the Rune-Bag, and try and best Odin's Wolves. We'll see if he can manage that next time.