We decide to find a defensible position to camp and are attacked by an Ulfen band. We defend the camp, and later, Sandru tells us about Opir Eightfingers, a Linnorm King who presides over the town of Jol. An unfriendly settlement somewhat out of our way. The plan for us though, is to travel through Tomgruv and Solskinn instead, which are trading settlements on our route to Kalsgard. Ameiko is cursed with dreams of the antlered man again, and so we use the seal to cure her.
The next morning, some of us notice that one of the ravens that shadow the group is much larger than the others and has a red pinion feather. A most ridiculous flourish. Koya and some of the others see it as an omen, a bad omen.
Whilst scouting ahead, Shalelu spots two hill giants on the road some way down, and they are marked with black antler tattoos so more of Snorri Stone-Eye’s denizens we guess. We ambush them, and defeat them and continue. That evening, Shalelu is plagued by dreams but as she is not a scion, the seal can be no help to her.
Throughout the next day, Sandru seems a bit troubled in his thoughts though not very forthcoming when pressed. We eventually come to a more established road and continue along it towards the town of Tomgruv.
Tomgruv, as it turns out, is a good-sized settlement though appears strangely quiet and abandoned. In fact, the townsfolk were being harrassed by trolls which where raiding the Inn and we defeated them, though not without a bit of trouble. The townsfolk where hiding in the mine, the entrance to which is a great door in the side of a hill in the centre of town, and when they emerge, they seem very appreciative of our efforts and much merriment ensued, on this night, being the Ritual of Stardust.
Relationship update: Sandru (3) Koya (1) Ameiko (2) Shalelu (1).
Through the evening, ore wagons with dwarven handlers rumble into town. We ask a few people about the antlered symbology we’ve been seeing but no-one much knows anything about it or what it might mean. There is a nice chain shirt in town being sold for 8000 gp, and we also learn that Solskinn has some strange happenings of late. They’ve been plagued by phantoms and shadows at night. Some patrols were sent out to investigate, but have vanished.
The next day, we roll out with the dwarven miners who are going our way. They speak of Kopparberget, the mine accounts for much of the Linnorm Kings wealth. Sveinn Bloodeagle controls the mine, and he is also the King of Kalsgard. Kopparberget though, is a bustling mining settlement and fortress. It’s well defended and has a vast series of mines and tunnels and some are home to monsters, hence the need for many guards and protections.
By mid afternoon, we reach Solskinn, nestled in a pretty area, quiet and quite welcoming. We draw our wagons up to the main central green and visit the local Inn. There, we learn that people out after dark simply vanish or are taken by ghostly shadows and phantoms that fly through the night air. We visit Hakel, priest of Gorum who speaks of the influence of the fey realm which may be cause for these phantoms and disappearances. Hakel though seems to suggest this situation is a blessing though, for people are free to indulge in a long and trouble-free sleep of a night time, and are happier for it the next day. This has been going on it seems, for about six months. Is this an affront to Desna? Koya doesn’t think it’s our place to solve this mystery. Everyone seems against us investigating or interfering but Gelden and I stakeout the witching hours regardless, of course, from the safety of our rooms.
That night, strange shapes and shadows pass through town, flying in and out of areas and haunting the streets. We decide against going out. The next day, we set out with the dwarves and eventually reach the Grungir Forest that evening. We rest and set out the following day, the ravens high in the canopy. The forest is thick and shadowy. Dreki and Shalelu spy a female giant, stood in the crook of a massive tree. She is clutching a reel and golden thread, and she carries silver shears and watches the scouts just as they watch her. She ignores us though, even as I try to talk to her and appeal to her.
We break through the forest though and meet up eventually with the dwarves we set out with, who claim not to have seen the giantess. Shalelu suggests that the giantess was a ‘norn’, a creature which represents the physical manifestation of fate and perhaps lends credence to our mission. I think the vision was a good omen. This norn may just a be a force of nature but perhaps she has been weaving our road all this time, till we reached our source, her. Perhaps we are on our own now though; the shears she was carrying may represent that. That night is peaceful.
The next day is uneventful and we reach the shores of the Thundering River where we cross a bridge and get to a logging town and watchpost, known as Losthome. Trassen lays to the east we come to learn. Losthome though, is known for its carpenters and traders of wooden wares. We learn that it’s possible to reach Kalsgard by river, but with the caravan, it is not a journey for us.
That night, we decide to invoke Ameiko’s new found ability to transport us to the Library of the Amatatsu family. We appear in her tranquil gardens, a large wooden pagoda-like structure at its centre and presided over by a strange armored ghost, a ribrarian of sorts. This ribrarian, Shoshi is quite welcoming and we are each bid to find a book. I find a book called ‘The Song of the Falling Blossom’, and Shoshi welcomes us to keep the book and return it within a week. A most strange interlude indeed.
Returning to our world though, we set off the next morning and we anticipate no more settlements between us and our destination, except perhaps for Eldentre a town nestled they say in the cradle of an ancient fortified tree…