Sunday, April 1, 2012

Strange Thing! or how to make a GM cry!

Saturdays adventure was almost rained out. Gale Force winds, power outages, Flooding rivers bursting their banks were braved by me to drive the 40+ miles down to host the game.

After refreshing the players memories about previous events the party was ready to face judgment & drama at the Haugrthing (Hold your horses right there! The Althing is the one in Iceland) in Vestfold. Two major murder trials, two inheritance issues, land rights all involving members of the party were on the docket. It was a promising start; Starkaddr (the npc who was befriended by the party & has linked them to all sorts of enemies now) was antagonizing pretty much everyone at the Thing. In an effort to win friends & influence people, Arvarodd decides to emulate Starkaddr's charm & endearing qualities by insulting the Gangrmann tribe by having a drinking contest instead of a weregeld or a trial. Fortunately Skolmr the Bard intercedes before things get really ugly. In a quest worthy of "Sex & the City" Mar goes shopping - admittedly for things a bit sturdier than any of those New Yorkers would consider attractive, but they'll work just fine at his forge.

In epic negotiations Skolmr works with the Skald representing Jarl Jaugr enemy of Tyrwald (the slain Hersir of Skaldby - uncle of Arvarodd, father of the Ulfar, foster-father of Siv etc). Jaugr is reminded that the quarrel was with Tyrwald who is now most horridly dead & not Arvarodd. He brokers a deal where the cursed amulet is given as weregeld to an unwitting Jaugr, who in return sends some excess tradesmen and population to Skaldby to resettle there & rebuild the village. He also sends along some cattle, goats, sheep, etc to aid the process. Along with the cattle a wife is found for Tyr the shipwright who is warned to keep him chained up at night. She's a regular Iron-Range type woman as broad as she is fair (those from Minnesota will get that one) & she can pick up Tyr one handed. During the course of the Haugrthing she will repeated deliver a cuff to the back of Tyr's head to keep him in line. This crisis has been settled to everyone's benefit.

Next Ulfar steps forward & claims his rights at Tyrwald's son. Mar stands as witness and likewise does Tyr after an impassioned speech! There is almost trouble when Ulfar claims the right of Hersir by inheritance, but no one stands for him. The party stands for Arvarodd & the very popular Siv as Hersir & Fro. Jaugr wanting to keep stability and the deal also speaks for Arvarodd. The Law council sides for Arvarodd who then as a compromise makes Ulfar his heir if he falls suddenly until his replacement can be settled by acclamation. This suits everyone just fine and leaves just one final crisis to be dealt with...

The trial of Starkaddr! The Gangrmann accuse Starkaddr and the party of "Secret Killing" - that is Murder. Arvarodd and Skolmr ackowledge that some Gangrmann were slain and witnesses from other villages are called forth to testify that Skolmr, Arvarodd, & Siv had publicly announced the killings and thus they were not secret and the party can not be charged with murder. Starkaddr, indifferently acknowledges that he killed the Gangrmann Godhi some 40 years before though he looks but in his early twenties. The Gangrmann claim foul magic and demand a huge sum of weregeld for their fallen kinsman that would ruin Skaldby. Finally after much back and forth, impassioned speeches (especially by Tyr who is repeatedly cuffed in the back of his head by his new bride) the Lawspeaker agrees to arbitrate by judicial duel. Though Starkaddr and his foe select the highly ritual Holmgang, Arvarodd elects for an all out, no holds barred Einvigi (as opposed to Ein Veggie - which is part of a well balanced diet). Starkaddrs duel is prolonged with much blood spilled on both sides. When his foes is finally knocked down unconscious, his kinsmen quickly cover him with blankets & scurry him off to "recover". To preserve the peace Starkaddr will still be sentenced to a 3 year banishment. Next come the duel to first blood between Arvarodd and a Gangrmann. Due to amazingly lucky rolls by Nate (Arvarodd), the clever application of a hero point, & amazingly bad rolls by me, the duel is quickly over with the Gangrmann thrown to the ground. This was truly disappointing to me as I had hoped for a nice protracted battle. Arvarodd quickly takes the magic dog-collar & puts it around the Gangrmann's throat, who then of course turns into a wolf. Surprise surprise! Since the dark magic nature of the Gangrmann is now revealed in full court, other interested tribes with longstanding feuds against them are quick to anger. The Gangrmann call foul & try to blame the change on Arvarodd & call him an evil wizard full of dark magics. Arvarodd releases his opponent & puts the collar on another (Ulfar) who does not change which then gives the judicial victory to the party but earns him the undying enmity of the Gangrmann. Such fun to come from this! Because of the weather we called it an early night and headed for snug, warm beds.

No comments:

Post a Comment