Square Sails on the Horizon (Inactive)

Game Master Mark Sweetman

"Full sails ahead, ocean painted red when the soldiers of fortune hunt for pirates"
(Turisas - Hunting Pirates)

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Minor Crab-beast

The haggard man smiles nervously, revealing blackened teeth before taking the proffered food. His hands are criss crossed with small scars and he forsakes a spoon, digging out the stew with bread and fingers and nodding thanks.

A few of the men in the room watch the dvergr's passage, but none speak out to comment.

Minor Crab-beast

Two more of the men that have come alone grow tired of waiting and leave the hall, which leaves you with fourteen souls ready for the task that awaits. Not five minutes after the last two men have left, Njáll and Sámr enter the longhouse. Between them they take three horns of black mead and move to the outside seats at the longhouse's head. Njáll gives Torgeir a stern look and Sámr growls at Jorleif as they pass.

After the two huscarl have taken their seats, the doorway is parted once more. A heavy set and elderly Ulfen man enters the longhouse and draws himself to his full height of six and a half feet. He is clothed in a heavy cloak made of ice bear fur that is joined at the neck by a set of crude links made of pig iron. Under the cloak he wears a masterfully made and workmanlike set of chainmail, the links barely making noise as he moves forward. A scramasax hangs in a sheath on his left and a brutal looking handaxe is looped into his belt on the right. He strides steadily through the longhouse, stopping to spit into the fire and making a hand gesture at the flames as he does.

For those Trained in Runes:
The man has made a warding gesture against foul spirits into the fire.

As he reaches the center seat at the longhouses head, he takes a horn of mead from his huscarl and turns to regard the full room in silence for a few hands of seconds. All of you feel his gaze pass both over and through you, though none of you can ken what goes through the man's mind as he watches. His head is uncovered, with a long spill of grey hair down the nape of his neck to below the shoulders. His face is wrinkled and pinched from the cold, and a full beard cropped short is upon his chin.

The man then takes a deep breath and begins a solemn chant in a deep baritone timbre "Under döda linje vi har kallat till dig
Att komma över med ett ord till oss,
Några slagen viskning om vad som händer
Där du är över döda linjen
Döv för våra samtal och tonlösa."

"De fladdrande skuggor har inte svarat
Inte heller dina läppar skickade en signal
Oavsett om kärlek samtal och rosor växer
Och solen bryter på morgonen
Stänk havet med crimson."

You all recognize the poem as a funereal dirge generally sung after warriors have died in battle.

"Over the dead line we have called to you
To come across with a word to us,
Some beaten whisper of what happens
Where you are over the dead line
Deaf to our calls and voiceless."

"The flickering shadows have not answered
Nor your lips sent a signal
Whether love talks and roses grow
And the sun breaks at morning
Splattering the sea with crimson."

Actually a real Funeral Poem: To a Dead Man by Carl Sandburg.

As he finishes the poem, he raises his drinking horn and cries "Hail to the newly dead so that they may be born again" before draining his horn in a one swift motion. The two huscarl at his side follow suit, while Njáll retrieves a deid bell from beside him and the deep sonorous pealing of the bell fill the longhouse.

If I could get a brief reaction post from you all thus far, combined with whether you drink or not. Then I'll continue with the exposition.

Male Ulfen Bard (Skald)/1

Roluo sits quietly when the man enters, then watches carefully as he moves through the hall.

Now this is a leader of men. I can learn much from him.

Staring transfixed, he listens intently as the poem is recited, doing his best to memorize every line for his upcoming saga. Realizing belatedly that he has no drink before him, he casts about for a horn with which he can participate in the ritual.

Torgeir watches as then men enter, then as the bell tolls he methodically retrieves another horn of mead and drinks a draught in a toast held high.

The deid. May they stay so...

Male Human (Ulfen) Magus (Myrmidarch) 1

@ Earlier

Gylfir watched the bird closely. He had almost wished the bird to have taken the marble. It might have been been proof that there was something to all these items the 'Garden Folk' seemed to pass to him. But what he did not expect was for the bird to purposefully push it back.

His hand closed on the bead and he imagined...he must have imagined...that it felt warm in his closed palm. His attention snaps up when he hears her speak.

"You...you know their words?" He looks around carefully to ensure he is not being overheard and continues softly. "The 'Garden Folk'. Well, that is what I call them....They have made themselves known to you?"


@ The Toast to the Dead

Gylfir raises his horn high and then downs what still remained from his initial drink. An added prayer for his missing father unspoken on his lips.

When Njall leaves with his order to cull two more men, Black Úlfarr returns to the barrel and refills his horn. He returns to sit on the bench by Hrónarr, Roluo, and Kjell. Surtr regards the room impassively.

He watches as Njáll and Sámr move to the seats at the front of the hall and then looks on as the Jarl walks the length of the longhouse. To the dead...may my brothers soon join them. He raises his horn and downs the mead, feeling the warmth fill his belly.

Two total drinks for Black Úlfarr

3 horns down and 4th underway :)

Two Handed Fighter/4; AC: 21; HP: 47/47; F: +6, R: +4, W: +1; Init: +3; Perc: +1

Kjell crosses back to Ruolo and Black Úlfarr when the Jarl enters the longhouse. He nods and smiles at those telling the story of his sire.

I want to hear more later.

He chugs the remainder of his mead after listening carefully to the poem.

3 Down!

Minor Crab-beast

The elderly man pauses for a few more hands of seconds after draining his horn, taking in the room again. Then he speaks "All of ye have answered a call. In doing so you have died... shed off your old ties and been återfödda with new blod into Clan Arngrim. I am Jarl Aerlfin, son of Úlfvaldr, son of Trjónn and I welcome you." with that he takes a seat upon the chair at the longhouse's head.

Continuing in a less formal tone Aerlfin adds "Tomorrow, Njáll and Sámr will ride at your head and take the fjorton of you to go a viking into the Southlands. It is no secret that skugga has fallen on my house and the honor of the red sail wanes with each passing day. The seiðkona portend that the way for my clan to not continue the fall into djupt mörker is through your actions." Sámr openly scoffs at the mention of witch-women and fateful portents, though Njáll is clearly more attuned to Aerlfin's views.

The jarl then shakes his head and lets some of the solemnity fall from his countenance before asking "Enough of my sadness... Come, tell me your names and why you have turned quisling to be my roddare?" there is no accusational tone to his voice, the mention of quislings is a mere statement of fact as your actions will be seen in the North.

återfödda - reborn
skugga - shadow
djupt mörker - deep darkness
quisling - traitor
seiðkona - witch / reader of the distaff
roddare - oarsmen

Black Úlfarr stands and commands Surtr to heel. He walks up to the Jarl, Surtr trailing dutifully behind. When Black Úlfarr stops, Surtr also halts and sits. "Heilir Jarl Aerlfin. I am Úlfarr, known as Black Úlfarr. My vargr is Surtr. Once our loyalty was to Clan Rúnólfr. As you can see, the gift of the vargr has passed differently to me than my former kin and that has caused difficulties that have brought me to Clan Arngrim. Will you accept me and Surtr to be your roddare?"

Minor Crab-beast

The Jarl regards Úlfarr with a steady gaze, a brief flicker of recognition crossing his features when Clan Rúnólfr is mentioned. He nods "Well met Úlfarr, I will be honored to have you draw an oar. Your vargr is welcome also... I am glad to see you keep the fä without and not within" steely eyes making contact so that the words sink in.

fä - beast

Following the lead of Úlfarr, the three brothers move forward to announce themselves. "We are named Bjólfr, Ingólfr, and Unnúlfr and are of Clan Skjöldung no more." a tangible stillness hangs in the air as Ingólfr and the Jarl match gazes each not showing any emotion on their face, but clearly a shared history lies between them. "You have our blades and backs to do with as you see fit... to your hälsa" lifting their horns as three to drink to the Jarl. The Jarl holds for a few moments before responding "Well met, brothers now of Arngrim. I will see your blades blodig in the Southland and return with our longship sitting deep in the water." The three brothers then return to their seats.

hälsa - health
blodig - bloodied

Knowledge (Local / History) DC 15:
About 10 years ago, the clans of Skjöldung and Arngrim held a bloody feud that resulted in a pitched battle where the Jarl led a band of huscarl onto the field that slew many of the elders of Clan Skjöldung.
These three look to be about the age of three sons left orphaned by that battle...

The girl smiles coyly at you, not making eye contact before your talk is disturbed by the appearance of the Jarl. You could swear that the heavy set lass is looking at you with almost motherly concern - pleased that you have made Ellisif smile... but also concerned.
Conversation thread to pick up later ;)

Ingólfr nods his assent at the request to revisit tales of his far at a later stage.

Male Ulfen Bard (Skald)/1

Roluo steps forward and bows.

"I am Roluo Krage. Son of greatness, though my line has fallen upon hard times. I seek to join you to regain my greatness. My voice and arm are yours, Jarl Aerlfin."

K. Local 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7

Two Handed Fighter/4; AC: 21; HP: 47/47; F: +6, R: +4, W: +1; Init: +3; Perc: +1

Kjell stands to his full imposing height.

Kjell Carlufsen of Clan Carluf. It has been many a year since my clan has gone a viking. I am not so content with longboat buildin'. I too will see my Axe blodig in the Southland where I will earn a name greater than my grandsire, The Cleaver. I proudly ask to join the roddare of Clan Arngrim!

Minor Crab-beast

Aerlfin nods sagely to Roluo's greeting "The words of the skald carry far in my halls. If... When you return I would hear your lay of the voyage."

Remember you can always take 10 on checks (even Knowledge) outside of combat or stress.

Kjell's request for service is granted with the Jarl giving his chain covered chest a light thump with a clenched fist "I have heard of your forebear the Köttyxa, and if you are even a fjärdedel the reaver he was I am lucky to have you."

köttyxa - cleaver
fjärdedel - quarter

Following Roluo and Kjell comes the older warrior Gummi who introduces himself as "One with nothing of consequence to leave behind, and with a need to ride the röd hav once more." the Jarl gives him greeting and states "A gamla skum is always welcome, perhaps more for this resa than others."

The stout and red haired Hrónarr follows stating "My existens is before me, and your chance is the only väg worth following.". The jarl accepts his fealty with a warm smile and a shared handshake.

röd hav - red ocean
gamla skum - old head
resa - journey
väg - road

The stockly dwarf steps forward next, arms open wide in the peace sign.

He shrugs off his bulky furs revealing a slab like torso covered in intricate tattoos and the tell-tale branding marks of the berserkrs.

Torgeir looks to the men before him with one eye of clear ice and the other of swirling fog.

Bearded jaw set, he addresses the Jarl and his huscarls:

”Minn dróttinn, I stand before you as dvergr of Skjoldmur. Langr have órr þjóð walked und reaved these lands und seas, and amongst them the “heitr blóðr” are langr known for their red deeds. As one once und recent of the Strømsvik Gista, I offer you minn øx, minn skjoldr und minn móðr should you find use for them.”

He stands stoicly awaiting the Jarl’s response

Minn dróttinn = My lord
Langr = long
órr þjóð = our peoples/races
heitr blóðr = hot blooded
Gista = Lodge
Skjoldr = sheild
Móðr = fury, wrath

Jorlief wait for the dvergr to finish and shows off his runic tattoos and steps up to speak, "My lord, I am Jorlief of the Crestfalla. After a century of isolation the Crestfalla are ready to serve the Jarls of the north once more. I present my gift of þokasyn, vegrsannindi, vatntroða, and runic knowledge to use if you wish." At the mention of runic mastery, Jorlief meets Sámr's gaze and smiles at him, "In time I may even rival the forn Crestefalla including that of Hrolfgir"

þokasyn=Fog sight
vegrsannindi=True Direction
vatntroða=Water Treading

Male Human (Ulfen) Magus (Myrmidarch) 1

<<clink>> <<clink>> Gylfir steps up at a lull in the introductions, the rattle of his chain chiming with each step. He walks with a grace that belies the weight hanging on his leg and the anchor supported on his shoulder, as if he were quite used to it.

Gylfir can hear his Father's words in his mind, Don't be first, for that fool loses his head. Don't be last, for that coward loses his will. Ya Da, I hear you, just trying not to draw too much attention.

"My Lord, I am Gylfir Ulafson from the freestead White Fjord three valleys over. Ulfar Olafson did not return from viking last summer in the south. On that news, I lost my Da and a place this year on his boat. So now I come to claim a place at an oar with a new clan that can use a strong arm." Strong, and with heart. But don't be cocky. "...if you will accept me." He adds, with a nod slight nod of his head.

Minor Crab-beast


The Jarl holds his arms wide and beams a smile "I have faced the reavr in battle and it would do me ära to have one of the heitr blóðr spill blod for me. Welcome."

ära - honour


The head of Clan Arngrim is wary and chooses his words carefully in response "I have heard tales, of both väl och ve. To se bortom is a gift... but there are those who allow the dimma to cloud their minds." he shifts uncomfortably as though weighing something within his mind "The pakt made was clear and I will not turn away... but my huscarl will be tittar for signs of the galenskap."

väl och ve - weal and woe
se bortom - see beyond
dimma - mist
tittar - watching
galenskap - madness


Aerlfin takes note of your anchor and you see his hand unconsciously go to his neck and touch the crude iron links that secure his cloak. He nods and replies "The jord of your homestead grows stout men. Our boat may already have an ankkuri, but there is no harm in having another."

jord - earth

The word that the Jarl used for anchor was in Sylvan... showing that he kens at least some of that tongue.
You also note that it is cold iron links that bind his cloak together.

Introductions of the last of the fourteen will be up later today.

Minor Crab-beast

Ellisif and her thicker set guardian approach next, the stocky one doing the talking "I am Kitta, and this is Ellisif. We are here as we were also bidden by the seiðkona. She is sick, though my back will bear her bördor." Aerlfin grimly accepts, taking particular note of Snaren "I am sure they had their skäl for the request."

bördor - burden
skäl - reasons

The criminal is the last to come forward, wiping dirty hands on his furs "Grómr I am called. My meningen ended and in need of mat" The Jarl sighs and nods reluctant acceptance, adding "See him armed and armored Njáll"

meningen - sentence
mat - food

Now that the introductions were finished, the Jarl speaks to the group once more "The call went out and fjorton came to answer. My huscarl will see to the details of the voyage, but know that you carry the honor and hopes of our clan with you. Is there anything you would ask of me?"

Minor Crab-beast

After a period of silence, Gummi is the first to pipe up "Where do we sail for?"

The Jarl gives a nod to Njáll who speaks for him "We will sail first to the fastland where we will seek a blessing in the gamla sättet. Then South to the gypsy lands. She is only a Karvi, so we will be looking for ripe mål."

Knowledge (History) DC 12:
A blessing in the gamla sättet likely involves taking the life of an ice beast, and mounting it's head and skin upon the prow of the longship.
As long as the pelt remains on the prow, it is believed that the longship will be protected against storm and weather.

fastland - mainland
Karvi - is the smallest of the Ulfen longships
mål - targets
gamla sättet - old way

Black Úlfarr straightens, "As I am still to learn some of our traditions...what is the gamla sättet? In the gypsy lands, are there particular towns we seek or will we scout for the ripe mål."

Minor Crab-beast

The huscarl goes on "To bless the voyage we will hunt and slay an isbjörn. The head and pelt then go on the fören."

isbjörn - ice bear
fören - prow

Everyone ready to move on?

Two Handed Fighter/4; AC: 21; HP: 47/47; F: +6, R: +4, W: +1; Init: +3; Perc: +1


Jorlief is ready!


Minor Crab-beast

After a short while longer the Jarl stands and delivers a final message "Hold fast to the huscarl's guidance and remember, the hedrar av vårt hus rests on your actions." and he strides down the length of the longhouse to the bear curtain. His passing words are "I'll watch you out at dawn." before he pushes out into the winter cold once more.

Sámr then adds "There's bedding in the bänkar and the longhouse is open for ye. We'll be up to the hamn before first light so get some sova." both of the huscarl then move to get some stew and refill their horns before taking a position on the benches at the head of the house. The other of the fjorton do the same, turned to inward thought after the words of the Jarl.

hedrar av vårt hus - honor of our house
bänkar - benches
hamn - harbour
sova - sleep

More detailed post up later tonight covering the arrival to the harbor.

Minor Crab-beast

The rest of that evening passes both slowly and quickly as the fire dies down to embers. Conversation is relatively hushed and slow to come, as the reality of what is to come sinks in... death seems to be lurking in the shadows outside the longhouse and the snatches of wind that comes through the wooden slats chill you more than you would care to admit.

The haggard man Grómr is fitted with some older leather that has started to rot at the edges, though is still serviceable. Although given his choice of blades, he favors a pair of long thrusting daggers - cradling them in his hands with a wide, black toothed grin on his face.

I'm perfectly happy to continue any conversations you'd like to carry out in retrospect; or you can hold them over for the longboat ride if you prefer as there will be much time to talk through them.

The huscarl remain in the longhouse with you, bunking down on furs pulled from the benches. The other men and two lasses either sleep sitting up or do the same; though Kitta stands solitary vigil over Ellisif until she is sure that no ill will come to her.

You are awoken in the pre-dawn by Njáll moving through the longhouse and throwing open the bearskin door. After a pause long enough for him to stain some ice a shade of gul he re-enters bellowing "Up, up and vakna. The gryning awaits."

vakna - awaken
gryning - dawn

Male Ulfen Bard (Skald)/1

I'm ready, sorry for the late reply, haven't been feeling well.

Raring to go! Let's Rag-na-rok & roll lads!!!

Two Handed Fighter/4; AC: 21; HP: 47/47; F: +6, R: +4, W: +1; Init: +3; Perc: +1

Kjell stands, stretches and checks his gear before stepping outside to relieve himself in the frigid air.

Well, not too hung over after last night. A good piss, and I am off the bust some heads. I wonder how long we will be at the oars before we can get on with the bloodletting.

Walking back inside the tent, he approaches Torgeir.

Any idea how long we will be at the oars, friend?

Male Human (Ulfen) Magus (Myrmidarch) 1

Gilfir wakes up with a start. He needs a moment to take in his surroundings and remember where he was. The Ancor still lay beside him and the chain was intact. He takes a moment to unfasten the chain and switch it to his other leg. The links are not so heavy to damage a leg, but there is chaffing that can be minimized.

He stretches and goes outside to relieve himself in the brisk morning air. Once back in the hall, he looks to make up for only eating a small dinner prior to joining the clan.

Black Úlfarr sleeps soundly, Surtr at his side. He wakes, sensing Surtr's desire to get out in the early morning and returns with the wolf just before Njáll enters to wake everyone. He shrugs on a new shirt to wear under his armor and then pulls his chain shirt on. "Everyone ready? I need to get some meat into Surtr's belly and then I'm ready to see the ship."

Male Ulfen Bard (Skald)/1

"I am ready. How will you feed that great mucking beast on the water? And how does it take to boats?"

How shall I work this into our saga? I'll have to see how it performs in battle. I'll have to see how I perform in battle for that matter.

Roluo rises with the rest and prepares himself for the raiding ahead, ensuring his limbs are limber and ready to move at a moments notice, though action is far away at this point.

Two Handed Fighter/4; AC: 21; HP: 47/47; F: +6, R: +4, W: +1; Init: +3; Perc: +1

Kjell nods to the fella with the anchor attached to his leg as he passes.

Gylfir, right? What's the story with the anchor?

Male Human (Ulfen) Magus (Myrmidarch) 1

Gylfir lifts Ancor off his shoulder and studies it. "Just like a boat needs an anchor to keep it from getting borne away on the current. I learned at a very young age that a man can benefit from this as well. This hunk of iron saved my soul on at least two occasions that I know about. I have since found this anchor is not such a hindrance, as people tend to give way before you....whether I be carrying it or swinging it." He gives a grin at the end.

"I think I heard something about an ice bear" replies Úlfarr with a knowing grin. "As for boats...that will be new. But he swims well enough in icy streams or summer ponds. I think he'll be all right."

Minor Crab-beast

The rest of the longhouse stirs along with you, taking between a few and several moments to work the stiffness from their joints and get to moving. All that is left for breaking your fast is bread and cheese with cold stew... though you gauge that it will still be more palatable than what is to come. After a few short minutes, Njáll and Sámr get you moving out of the door and into the cold dark.

The air is thick and bitterly cold, your breath rising before you in great clouds of steam. The way ahead is framed in shadow, the only light to guide you given off by a scattering of slow-burning pitch torches set into sconces. As a column with the huscarl at your head you walk through the streets of Bildt at a steady pace and in silence. The gait and somber nature of your procession makes it feel as though a funeral.

The main streets of the city are yet to come alive, those with more sense remaining in the tomblike embrace of a warm bed. Though as you reach the dock there are more signs of life as many of the fishermen are preparing for their own casting off. A few heads are raised, though no gaze lingers on you more than a few moments - the procession of a mere sexton krigare hardly worthy of much fanfare in the heartland of the vikingr.

The huscarl lead you along the docks, past many fine longships currently at dock. You recognize the colours of most of the seafaring clans of the islands, including a great Drekar bearing the king's colours and the prow decorated as a linnorm rearing high. The wooden boards of the longships bear the scars of blade and bow, and you feel the tangible history seeping from the timber. However the ship to which you are led is not as fine...

Near to the far end of the dock from which you started your walk lies your vessel. Red sail furled upon the mast, it sits high on the waterline. The prow is plain, with no carving upon it and the oaken planks that make up it's hull seem freshly cut and without markings. As you near there is a strong tarry smell that assaults your nostrils. Peering within you see it already packed with supplies, covered at present by thick sheets of canvas. There are a total of twenty seats at the oars... so you will be sailing four short of capacity.

Those with a Rank in a Profession / Craft skill related to ships:
It's clear that this vessel has not been on a long voyage as of yet. It is freshly made and tarred, so you will be christening it.

sexton krigare - sixteen warriors
drekar - dragon ship; largest of the Ulfen longships

Male Ulfen Bard (Skald)/1

"A new vessel for newly born men. A good omen."

Roluo moves towards the boat with the others.

But why the culling if there are four extra seats?

Torgier gathers his gear and exits the langhus, almost barreling into the huge Kjell as he does.

The big Ulfen‘s question draws an impassive stare and a shrug of the dvergr's knotted shoulders;

“Know not longshanks. Care not hvárgi.“

The berserkr trudges through the cold morn air towards their vessel, good eye taking in its cut and seat;

Profession: Sailor1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25

Four empty sæti. Perhaps we bring back þræll?
hvárgi = neither
sæti = seat
þræll = slave, thrall

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Minor Crab-beast

At the orders of the huscarl you set about making your new mobile home ready to sail. Supplies are checked, gear stowed below rowing benches and preparations made. Glancing around at your fellows, you gauge that most have been at sea prior - but Ellisif and Hrónarr are struggling with getting aboard and maintaining their balance. The ship is boarded and seats taken; oar holes uncovered and oars slip silently into black still water. After a hand of minutes your job is done and the huscarl bid you wait.

Úlfarr gauges that a bench towards the front would be best for himself, as it would allow Surtr to lie flat on top of the packed supplies and be within close reach of himself.

If I can get an indication of where you'll take a bench? - simply front, middle or back is close enough; then I can fill in your other travelers around you and pop up a map to show where you are all sitting and give an indication of ship size, etc.

Looking at the quantity of supplies, there should be enough to get South to Varisia, but not to return. It would appear that you'll need to supply during the voyage if you are to make it back.

After about ten minutes spent waiting, you see the figure of the Jarl emerge from the pre-dawn mist at the docks. He is dressed as he was the night before and spends a long time eyeing the vessel that seems to carry his desperate hopes Southwards with it. He then draws a deep breath and delivers a practiced speech that you gauge he has delivered many times in the past "Go with the dawn, ride the seas with unfurled sails and spray in your face. Come upon your fiende like a bestial tide and bathe your blade in their blood. Leave the fallen to the boneyard and return here heavy in the water or not at all. I will står vaka, and the skald await new words for their ballads."

To this the huscarl raise their arms to the sky before thumping their chest with a roar. They then turn upon you and bellow "Row you jävlarna row. Rita åra until your back is broken"

fiende - foe
står vaka - stand vigil
jävlarna - bastards
rita åra - Draw your oar

Two Handed Fighter/4; AC: 21; HP: 47/47; F: +6, R: +4, W: +1; Init: +3; Perc: +1

Front for Kjell!

As he passes Jorleif the dvergr claps his shoulder:

"Hoi. Crestefalla your place will be at our framstafn nei? I shall row from the gut of our langskip!”

Torgeir takes a berth in the middle of the ship, stowing his gear and covering them in his furs. Stripped to the waist, the dvergr cracks his neck, limbers his brawny arms and stands ready to row.

As the others pass or seat, the berserkr sullenly nods acknowledgement to them. His eye seeks Grómr as the criminal climbs aboard.

framstafn = prow
Langskip = warship

"Aye I will be leading the langskip through the þoka until they break off then I will join you all at the oars once the day burns it off."

Jorlief stores his things and head to the prow awaiting the launch.


Male Ulfen Bard (Skald)/1

"Riches and glory, Blood shall flow from the South and coin and fame delivered to the North."

Roluo looks for a place at the rear of the vessel, content to man an oar and perhaps stir the men with a saga if necessary.

Minor Crab-beast

As the karvi slowly pulls away from the dock under force of your oars, Sámr gives words to a rhythmic song. The cadence and timbre is slow and mournful, but serves as a beat to keep your oars slipping into and out of the water in time. As he sings, the sun slowly rises upon the horizon, suffusing the air with a reddish orange glow.

Sámr's song talks of a young man and his love, their weeks of courting and vigsel followed by his seed laid within her womb. He went a viking as her belly swelled and his thoughts of home held him up through times of blood and fear. The reave was long, but fruitful and he came home as a bloodied warrior. Upon returning home he found her dead, taken in childbirth with both mother and child lost. His soul bereft of hope, he went walking naked into the tundra to die, so lost he was in grief. Minutes stretched to hours and even days as the man refused to die, yet taunted Pharasma to take him afore his time. The song comes to an end as the man faces off against a grey wolf upon the ice that had also lost it's mate and seeks death in the same way. Their eyes lock and as they charge towards each other the ode fades away to silence.

vigsel - wedding

With the length of telling and even cadence of the oars, Sámr's words have carried you out of the near harbor and a chill wind can be felt whipping across the water. Njáll takes over from his fellow huscarl and begins directing the sail to be unfurled so that the wind may be caught and ease the strain upon your arms and back.

Male Human (Ulfen) Magus (Myrmidarch) 1

Gilfir takes up a position midship on the right. He places the anchor at his feet, between him and the ship side. The chain he unhooks from his leg and loosely fits it through the oar lock to dangle just barely in the sea.

His gear stowed, he motions for Gummi to join his row, thinking it would be good to have his experience close at hand.

Minor Crab-beast

Viking Karvi

This is the seating plan at present. I've put Hrónarr with Úlfarr (please let me know if you don't like Surtr's portrait); and Ingólfr with Kjell. The other two brothers are split fore and aft Bjólfr with Roluo and Unnúlfr with Jorlief.

Two Handed Fighter/4; AC: 21; HP: 47/47; F: +6, R: +4, W: +1; Init: +3; Perc: +1

Well done - loving the map!

As the sail is lifted to release the stress of the labor on the oars, Kjell takes the opportunity to hear more about his sire.

So, Ingólfr, if you are not too winded from our row, tell me more about me Da, eh?

Minor Crab-beast

As the sail takes the wind and the karvi moves under it's own power, the oar holes are ordered covered and oars stowed. The mist clearing as the sun takes hold, Jorlief is bade to return to his bench and the huscarl take a relaxed seat at the prow of the vessel. Now begins the less glamorous time... the torpor of days at sea before the rush.

Upon the sail

Unnúlfr slumps into his seat, finding comfort within a recumbent pose and gives Jorlief a friendly smile as he does so.

As the sea is calm, so is Surtr - collapsed on his haunches and ready, though still at ease. Seeing the friendly face of Hrónarr before him, the vargr gives him a nuzzle and short whine... clearly after more of the jerky.

Ingólfr flexes his arms and chest to ensure they don't seize before drawing his heavy furs about him to hunker down away from the cold. He continues "Aye as I were saying in the langhus, they'd just kicked in the door of the stenhus and got a welcome they weren't expecting. Walking bones burst from the ground, and a hagga looked out with evil eye ablaze. The way my far tells it, your da's eyes rolled back in his head and he drog svärd mot his kin. The vikingr were pushed back to the longship and forced to cast off. It left good men dead and your far behind..." by his tone you can tell Ingólfr sees your father as equal victim in the tale.

hagga - hag
drog svärd mot - drew sword against

The criminal Grómr still sits erect, rubbing his hands together against the cold. Looking at the relaxed dweorg beside him still bare chest beneath his furs he ventures "Don't you feel förkylning?"

förkylning - cold

Gummi rolls easily with the rocking of the ship, finding it calming and reaching within his overstuffed pack for a pipa that he proceeds to stuff with strong tobak and begin to smoke. He offers Gylfir a toke upon the ivory stem.

Bjólfr is uneasy, and unable to find a comfortable spot to sit - instead constantly shifting his weight about. To Roluo he inquires "What brought you to the life of a skald? You seem stout enough to hold a blade..." his tone is not disrespectful, merely inquisitive as to why a prospective vikingr would instead devote himself to the odes.

At the stern, Kitta whispers to Ellisif - who is looking particularly pale. She sees the sickly lass to lie down at the stern and covered in warming furs.

Male Ulfen Bard (Skald)/1

I must remember this tale. I have heard it before in many forms. It could as well been my father when he tried to reclaim our honor.

Roluo rows, his mind on the story and his back to the oars.

"I was raised a warrior Bjólfr, but learning the history of my family called to me as the blade never did. Though I remember my training and will be a true man when the blood calls, there must be one to tell that tale or there will be no glory for the other vikingr. Of course to tell that tale I have to survive, and so my skill with the axe."

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