Though direction means very, very little in the Nevernever, the heroes head “north” into a realm that grows steadily darker and colder as they travel. Eventually, the trail and path end in a wild and dangerous forest of pale white trees in winter’s twilight. Across the foggy path appears a dark rider on a black horse – he’s enormous (as is the horse). The rider wears 18th century clothing, but nothing of his face can be seen due to the shadows and his wide brimmed hat. The horse’s breath steams in the cool air and its eyes glow a menacing red.
“Was wollt ihr wissen?”
The heroes look around and it’s clear none of them speak the language used. Jamie tries Greek…
Ich sprechen kein Grieche. Sprechen sie Englische?
At which point, they switch to English and some measure of communication is possible. The rider speaks with a thick German accent, and after introductions the heroes are told to stay where they are.
You are not granted guest rite. If you leave the path, you shall have no protection.
They are then left to stand there for several long minutes amidst the sounds of shuffling predatory footfalls in the underbrush and gleaming unfriendly eyes (both of animals in the underbrush, and the trees themselves). Then, out of the fog, the rider returns.
Komm mit mir.
And he turns to go, vanishing quickly in the thick fog on the trail. As they walk forward, the fog thins and trees rise up out of the mists to form the vaulted arch of a great hall. Within the hall are uncounted numbers of goblinkind, hellhounds, green-tinted bonfires, and chained shuffling human thralls. At the center of the hall is a grand tree that forms the central support pillar of the hall as well as a throne, upon which sits a pale white woman, surrounded by malks. One of them is larger than the rest, and rises as the heroes approach. The rider is heard to speak, little is understood, but the heroes hear their various names.
My mistress bids thee welcome to her hall.
Jamie asks the logical question of who is the Malk’s mistress, to which the reply causes Erica to whimper just a bit.
Die Erlfürstin (The Alder-Princess… aka… The Erlking’s Daughter)
Jamie then attempts to demand the return of Kaely which is met with various degrees of non-success. The Erlking’s Daughter appears to wonder by what right the heroes even attempt to interfere at all.
Matthew is quickly dismissed as having a legitimate claim:
You may not claim her Thothritter, she is unbaptized and has never pledged her troth to the White God!
It is finally established that Jamie’s claim is one of liege obligation. Kaely is the daughter of Jamie’s employee. Thus, by rights of fealty, Jamie may challenge the Goblin Bloodgut’s (Blutgedärm) claim to his prize.
As with the old ways, the Erlking’s Daughter allows trial by combat to determine the merits of the competing claims. Though, by virtue of possession and successful kidnapping, Bloodgut’s claim appears to be stronger… the rights of a lord to defend a feal and sworn vassal is far older.
Jamie sets the terms of his “victory” they get to leave and are not pursued. The grand Malk “speaker” indicates the terms of his loss are simple, he and his friends shall be eaten. As the challenged, Bloodgut chooses battleaxes as the weapon.
Then, he turns and appeals to his lady for a favor, which is granted. During this, Jamie casts a very quick, dirty, and ugly biomancy effect to augment his physical combat abilities. Then, to the resounding thumps and beats of screaming, cheering goblins, the battle is engaged.
Erica is none too impressed by the Goblin’s choice of music and uses her Sonomany to change the soundtrack. Which, for the most part, the Goblin’s are apparently OK with (though one is overheard to mutter “Das ist nicht Polka.” as he goes shuffling off).
Axe-to-axe, the combatants circle and swing mightily to slam into each other with deadly intent. Jamie’s earlier biomancy allows him to weather the worst of the Goblin’s supernatural might and after several long moments, Jamie’s opening allows him to slash Bloodgut’s throat and then decapitate the armored warrior shortly after (Erica and Matthew “help” by quoting Mortal Kombat lines).
Kaely is released and rushes to Jamie and after hugging him, proceeds to vent her fear and frustrations by kicking Bloodgut’s corpse with great intensity, culminating with a vicious kick to his severed head that goes flying off into the goblin crowd (to which, one of them raises both of his hands over his head and shouts “TOR!” as it goes flying past).
As the victorious heroes leave, the Great Malk once again speaks:
Seiðmaðr, since you came into my Lady’s Demense and took from one of her oathsworn, his rightful prize… perhaps one day soon she shall return the favor in thy Realm.
Jamie continues on, leaving only Erica to turn and ask a few questions of her own on behalf of her friend Hobbes. Unfortunately, no new information is gleaned.
- Game date 4/26/12 GM Wolfhound
- Minor Milestone (this was mainly just an epilogue session)
- Tracking my bennies for game-start here:
- Conor 4 + 1
- Elena 2 + 3
- Jaime 3 + 1
- Erica 3 + 1
- Matthew 4 + 1
- Ren 0 + 1
- Game end
- as per above except Jaime is down to 1 (I’m letting everyone retain them because really this session was the wrapup to his story arc)
ps – If you speak German and see an error please feel free to contact me/us to correct it. :)