Session Four 25th Nuzyael - 7th Peonu 720

Where we follow the vicissitudes of a separate viking pHarn Down Under ...

Moderator: Neil

Session Four 25th Nuzyael - 7th Peonu 720

Postby Neil » Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:54 pm

25th Nuzyael 720

The warband awakes and makes their way downstairs to the inn common room, the innkeeper has prepared them a filling if not too tasty meal to break their fast. As the group sit around the table making small talk Balir enters the inn. He sees the warband sitting at the table and makes his way over “Good morning.” he says. Looking at Atol he continues “You are looking a might better than you did last night.” The warband bid Balir good morning in turn as he sits at the table and picks at some of the fruit on the platter in front of the group.

Taking a handful of berries Balir continues “My Lord wishes to see you this morning, it appears our encounter in the mountains has sparked a certain interest.” He says with a smile. Standing he motions to the door “If you will.”

The warband seeing that they will not be able to finish their meal stand and leave the inn with Balir.

Balir leads the warband outside where the early morning shows a better picture of the village. To the west lies the coastline the village has about a 500m frontage along the waterfront, 2 small vessels lie on the beach unattended. About 40 – 50 buildings dot the surrounding countryside. The buildings are the typical wattle and daub construction, several have smoke drifting lazily from the rooftops. To the southwest sitting on top of a small hill is a fortified building of mostly stone construction. Balir turns and heads towards it.

The warband enters the compound inside the wooden palisade and see 2 guards standing watch in the courtyard. Balir leads the warband past the sentries and into a large hall. Balir informs the warband that Lord Konig will be attending shortly. A lone well crafted chair sits atop a small dais at the end of the hall, a fire burns in the hall at the center of the hall, and all the tables and benches have been cleared and the hall stands empty.

After a short wait 10 men wearing a variety of mail and scale armour enters the room all carry either an axe or sword, enter the hall and take up positions around the dais. Moments after the guards take their place a man enters wearing well crafted and tailored clothes and takes a seat upon the dais.

“I am Lord Konig, Valhakar of clan Konig, Protector of Konig and Keeper of the Northern approaches.” The man says. Lord Kong continues “Who leads your group?” Kjarl steps forward and says “We have no leader, but if one of us were to be it would be me. I am Kjarl Taaren nephew of Valhakar Taaren of Horko in Menglana and these are my companions and kinsmen.” With a nod and a look of concern on his face that quickly fades Lord Konig looks at Kjarl and continues “My man Balir tells me you assisted him with bringing a band of Jarin rebels to hand. Is this true?”

“It is.” Answers Kjarl. “Tell me of this encounter then and your part in it.” Kjarl bowing his head says “Lord Konig we met your man Balir and his son Haldirs along the trail north of Konig on our way to Pled. He had found a Jarin camp but was reluctant to challenge them as there were by his count 8-12 rebels. Haldirs lead us to the rebel camp. Anvil and Raan made their way to the other side of the camp while Balir, Haldirs, Atol, Ran, Kalyn and myself approached from the nearer side. Anvil and Raan began the encounter with a volley of arrows, which took the defenders by surprise, Atol then charged the Jarin camp and was quickly followed by Balir, Kalyn and myself while Haldirs gave a good account of himself with his bow. One of the Jarin was able to get a lucky strike at Atol and with the wounds he had already encounter from a previous engagement was subdued. Your man Balir thrust himself at the Jarin rebels to stand over our unconscious comrade. With the onslaught delivered by Anvil’s, Raan’s and Haldirs’s arrows and with Balir, Kalyn and myself amongst them their will to fight quickly left them and those that were left took to the safety of the trees. Anvil wounded the man we brought back last night but unfortunately on escaped. Thus is the encounter with the Jarin rebels Lord Konig.” Concludes Kjarl.

“It is best to let one go” says Lord Konig “he can tell the rest of his rebel outlaws what will happen should they try to rise against us.”

“I thank you for your assistance in bringing the rebel to justice, you have done my clan a service and thus I would like to repay you for your service. There will be a celebration tonight in my clanhouse I offer you a place at my table.” Kjarl nods his head and says “We would be honoured to attend Lord Konig.”

“Very well, I will have someone collect your belongings from the inn and have them brought up to the clanhouse. Balir will show you to your accommodations.” With a bow of his head Balir turns and motions the warband to the door.

“This way” says Balir turning to the left and leading the warband to a small outbuilding. “You can store your gear here for today, but you will share our accommodation in the clan hall tonight. If there is nothing else I will see your equipment is brought up to the clanhouse immediately. I will see you tonight, till then.” Handing 5 belt pouches to Kjarl Balir says before departing “As per our agreement.”

Balir turns and leaves the group as he re enters the clan house.

Inside the belt pouches Kjarl finds 100d in each.

Raan and Anvil leave the clan longhouse and makes there way towards the inn to see what Ran has been doing while the warband were absent. When Raan and Anvil enter the inn, the innkeeper hands Raan a small parchment, both Raan and Anvil are unable to read so take the parchment and leave in search of Kalyn or Kjarl. Finding Kalyn making her way back to the inn Raan hands over the parchment and reading it aloud she says “Kjarl. I am unable to wait here while you conduct your business I will make my own way to Sherwyn and will meet with you on your arrival. May the Grey Slayer watch over you on your journey. Ran.” Anvil taking the parchment tucks it into his tunic.

Deciding that Atol needs to be better protected if he is to stand in the line of battle the warband decides that they need to equip him with some armour. Finding an armourer they are unable to find any leggings that fit. After searching for over an hour the warband has manage to purchase a set of quilt leggings for Atol.

Atol having purchased a new hand axe decides that the sword he carries at his waist is surplus to his requirements and finds a weaponcrafter who purchases the weapon for 120d.

Raan, Anvil, and Kjarl spend the rest of the day in training with axe, shield, spear and bow.

Kalyn finds the local healer and refits her Healer's kit with the bandages, balms and ointments that were used after the battle with the rebel Jarin. Striking up a conversation with the healer a man named Ranar Hirsen. Kalyn discovers that he runs his business from home with his wife, 1 son and 2 daughters.

Meeting up again later the warband discuss the letter left by Ran. Kjarl seeing this as a way out of the agreement insists that the warbands fortunes lay elsewhere, he needs to find a master shipwright to gain employment and continue his studies. The rest of the warband insist that they took Ran’s money and thus have an obligation to at least go to Sherwyn and see the situation there for themselves. They do not have to perform the task asked of them if they choose not too. (Remove a certain personage that is causing a lot of aggravation between the Jarin and Ivinians.) But they should at least honour the agreement made and travel to Sherwyn.

The warband decide that to Sherwyn is the best course of action once Atol’s wounds have completely healed and he is fit to travel.

Later in the evening the warband makes their way to the clanhouse where they are shown into the hall where the benches and tables have been laid out in preparation for tonight’s festivities. Balir shows the warband to a secluded room where they are allowed to wash before the meal.

When the warband reenters they notice that more people have entered the hall and it is quickly filling. Jarin servants ensure that tankards are not empty. A well dressed man enters the hall and all who see him quiet down, when the assembly has silenced he says in a booming voice “Lord Konig, Valhakar of clan Konig, Protector of Konig and Keeper of the Northern approaches.” On being announced Lord Konig enters the hall dressed in all his finery and takes his seat at the head table upon the dais. The warband are shown seats near the Valhakar but a keen eye notices that there a still several huscarls strategically positioned between the warband and the Valhakar.

The night is spent in much revelry as the warband enjoys a well prepared meal and conversation. Kalyn sitting apart from the rest of the warband has a man sitting next to her introduces himself as ‘Mell’ Kalyn thinks he is trying to make advances. She subtly informs him that she is seated at the table as a shieldmaiden from clan Hilzstrom and as such she finds his advances improper. The man taken aback stops for a while but as the mead and food take him he becomes more bold and takes up his conversation with Kalyn again. Atol sensing his companions situation leans across the table and says “She is a shieldmaiden from our clan and it would be improper for her to entertain your advances now please desist.” The man sensing he is fighting a losing battle with his venture turns with injured pride and leaves Kalyn alone for the rest of the night. As do most of the males in the hall.

After the meal the assembly is entertained by skalds, jugglers and jesters for several hours until the mead takes hold, Lord Konig then excuses himself from the hall and one by one the guests make their farewells or begin to clear the hall to make way for the cots and bedding for the night.

26th Nuzyael 720

The warband wakes the next morning as the servants go about the morning chores, stoking the hearth fire and preparing the morning meal.

Clearing the bedding away the servants lay out the tables and benches as the hall begins to fill for the morning meal. Enjoying the meal the warband see that some of the diners are looking a little worse for ware after last night. The warband taking care not to over indulge last night wake feeling refreshed. Atol’s bruises are healing and only 2 wounds look like they will need further treatment.

The warband finishes their meal amid the conversation of the inhabitants of the longhouse. After the meal the warband leaves the longhouse together, but seeing that their business will take them in different direction vow to meet back here tonight.
Kjarl reenters the longhouse to find the steward and after a 20 minute search is able to find him.

“We do not wish to overstay our welcome with your Valhakar and as such how long do you think proper for us to stay as the guests of Lord Konig for nor do we wish to insult his hospitality and leave to early. I hope you understand we mean no insult to you Valhakar.” Says Kjarl. “No insult is taken Kjarl of clan Taaren, I think it would be proper for you and your kinsman to remain the guest of my Valhakar for this night and the next.” Kjarl turns to leave but before doing so says “I thank you for your assistance and candor.”

Kjarl wanders down to the waterfront after his meeting and takes stock of the vessels and the docks. Noticing that there is no shipwright located here but the vessels none the less look in good repair. On making enquiries Kjarl is told that if the vessels need major repairs they are sailed or towed to Ebein or Geldeheim where the shipwrights there can make the necessary repairs. If necessary the shipwrights have been able to make visits to repair vessels although the costs are substantially more and the vessels taken to the shipwright wherever possible.

Kjarl while wandering the waterfront also makes enquires about local news (Trying to find out how well the village is doing)and discovers that the village has had 2 years of good crops and the sea continues to provide the locals with food.

Anvil wanders the village noting the buildings and the locals going about their business. He finds after searching for several hours the village woodsman. “Good Woodsman, I am Anvil Jaalten of clan Jaalten a Woodsman from Hilzstrom in Menglana, I would like to accompany you on your journeys around the village if I may. My warband will be traveling to Pled in the next tenday or so and any knowledge of the trail ahead will be of great advantage to us.”

“I am Alan Konig I will not be traveling today but meet with me tomorrow at the village square and tomorrow we will see if there is any truth to the rumours getting about that wolves are moving into the Bell Woods. I will see you on the morrow.”

Anvil spends the rest of the day wandering the village.
Raan makes his way back down to the waterfront in search of some work but the fishing boats have already left and after making enquires finds that there is no work on the docks for him today. He wanders the waterfront where he finds a small group of Jarin and Ivinians working away along the docks and shoreline mending nets and rigging on the beached ships. Making his way towards a likely fishing spot he throws in a line.

After nearly a watch going by Raan has caught 3 salmon, 6lbs, 7lbs and 11lbs each in weight. Taking his catch back to the Valhakar’s longhouse he enters the kitchen where he is met with a cold stare from the cook but on offering the fish his offer is accepted and then asked to leave the kitchen.

Kalyn makes her way back to Ranar’s house in the hope of gaining some employment. Ranar after checking her credentials is keen for some company that has a similar interest in his work accepts the offer. Offering Kalyn either a midday meal or 1d a day. Kalyn agrees for the 1d per day. Her day is spent in the backroom helping Ranar prepare herbs and the like. A Jarin enters the healer’s house and says that he has injured his knee while sowing the fields, Kalyn shows the injured Jarin into the house and has a look at his injury. Seeing that it is only a strain she bandages the knee and sends the Jarin off after accepting his payment.

Atol after leaving the clan longhouse makes his way to the church of the Grey Slayer. Atol enters and sits in silent contemplation wondering why his God turned his back on him. His mind goes back to the fight with the Jarin rebels. As he lay by the fire after being treated by Kalyn he turned to his God and asked him to heal his injuries quickly. On awakening the next morning his knee still throbbed and he was unable to even walk. His god had abandoned him…

A priest of Sarajin noticing him sitting by himself in deep contemplation sits beside him in the longhouse and asks if he care to share his troubles. Atol relates his story and his dilemma.

“Ah my young warrior, it's true you have a problem. Not that the Grey Slayer has turned his back on you, but that you have turned your back on the King of the Icy Winds.” Turning to look Atol in the eyes the priest continues “You sought out the assistance of the Grey Slayer and because you did not get what you asked for, does not mean you did not get what you needed. Trust, that as you put your faith in the Grey Slayer he will protect you until your time to leave us is at hand and know that because you have placed your faith in Him he will guide you to Taalagaad and you will take your place at his table. Ours is not to guess what the Grey Slayer has planned for our destiny but to perform our duty in accordance with Ljarl.” The priest stands and motions for Atol to follow him as he lead him outside, the priest continues “What you need my young Atol is time spent in contemplation and service of the Grey Slayer, come with me and let me show you a small plot that needs some tending. Come and spend some time so that you may think on what we have discussed and if you have any further doubts we may discuss them. I know you still carry the wounds of battle so do not overwork yourself. Remember it is your mind that needs the work not your body” The priest hands Atol several tools and leaves him to tend the small overgrown garden.

The warband returns to the clan longhouse later in the evening. A more subdued atmosphere hangs over the hall during the evening meal. The food is none the less high quality and in plentiful quantity.
With but a little entertainment this night the hall is cleared and room made for the bedding to be laid out.

27th Nuzyael 720

This morning starts out much as the other. The warband awakes and breaks their fast with the rest of the Lord’s household. The warband discuss the options of finding some work to tie them over while they stay in Konig while Atol’s wounds heal.

Atol makes his way back to the Temple of Sarajin. He finds the priest going about his morning duties. “Welcome back Atol” says the priest. “How are your injuries?” Atol smiles and replies “They are getting better. Thank you for asking.” After a little bit of small talk the priest leaves Atol to spend the day tending the small garden where he worked yesterday. The priest returns at midday to share a meal with Atol and talk some more. After finishing their meal the priest leaves Atol alone to return the tools at the end of the day.

Kalyn returns to Ranar’s house and begins another day. Ranar takes Kalyn out into the garden where he shows her various herbs and teaches her on their uses and preparations. There are no patients for the day and Ranar and Kalyn spend the day going from the garden to the alchemy lab and back again as Kalyn is shown how to pick, prepare, store and administer each of the various herbs. At the end of the day Ranar hands over a single penny and with a smile says “See you on the morrow.” Kalyn replies “You will.” And with a smile turns and heads back to the clan longhouse.

Raan again visits the waterfront and is able to gain employment with an Ivinian who pays Raan 1d for the day as he spends his time repairing nets and conducting general maintenance around the docks until the fishing boats return as he helps with unloading the days catch.

Kjarl also wanders with Raan down to the waterfront but unlike Raan, Kjarl is unable to find work. So he spends his day trying to conceive how to get his shipwright up and running here.

On seeing the fishing fleet return Kjarl notices that none of the vessels are large. The only vessel that gets his attention is the warboat tied up alongside the dock.

Kjarl returns to the clan longhouse at the end of the day.

Anvil meets up with Alan at first light in the village square. After greeting each other Alan turns and heads off towards the north “Let’s go and see if there be wolves in the Bell Woods.”

Anvil and Alan spend the day searching the fields and woods to the north of Konig but find no sign of any wolves. The group returns to Konig late in the afternoon and Alan says that he will be going out again tomorrow and would Anvil be interested in coming with him again. Anvil agrees and arrangements are made for them to meet up again tomorrow. Alan and Anvil make their way to the clan longhouse just as the final preparations for the evening meal are being completed.

The warband enjoys another well prepared and tasty meal as the guests of Lord Konig and realize that tonight will be there last night under Lord Konig's roof. After the meal the residents of the longhouse continue to sing and tell stories to well into the night.

As the fire dies down the tables and benches are again cleared away and the bedding is brought out and arranged around the fire. The warband enjoys a restful night.

27th Nuzyael - 4th Peonu 720

The warband wakes on the morning of the 27th and bids a farewell to Lord Konig after thanking him for his kind hospitality and make their way down to the “Sleeping Wolf” inn. Arrangements are made for the warband to stay there. The innkeeper remembers them from their first night in town and says “Balir paid for 2 nights for each of you but as I remember you only stayed the 1 so I guess your first night back is already paid for.” Private rooms are taken by Kjarl and Anvil while Kalyn, Atol and Raan will take up residence in the common room.

The warband spends their time working in and around the town.

Kalyn spends her time with Ranar either in his garden, wandering through the local fields and copses in search of herbs, in his alchemy lab preparing various medicines or treating a few patients that have come in from the fields with minor injuries.

Atol spends his time either chatting with the priest or working the fields. It has been some time since he got his hands dirty working the fields and taking him back to his earlier childhood seems to do Atol a world of good. His wounds are healing quickly and his spirits seem to be getting better.

Raan is unable to gain a position onboard any of the fishing vessels but is able to find work on the waterfront each day. His close proximity to the sea has a relaxing effect on him too. He entertains the dockyard with his story of his battle with the Jarin rebels. He attempts to tell other stories but his audience soon disperses with each attempt.

Anvil spends the time wandering the woods and fields around Konig with Alan. Although Alan is several years older than Anvil they enjoy each other’s company as each has an affiliation with woods and an understanding of its workings. The only excitement during their wanderings was on the 30th Nuzyael when a brief encounter with 2 men skulking around the woods to the east of Konig. When challenged the 2 men fled and after a brief chase and being tracked until nearly nightfall managed to avoid capture.

Kjarl sensing that his endeavors to establish a shipwright in Konig might not be successful, took to taking work down at the dockyard where he worked on and off conducting maintenance on some of the fishing boats of the fleet.

The evening of the 4th Peonu revealed that Atol after being treated by Kalyn would be ready to travel tomorrow morning. The warband spent their last night Konig in the inn and like their previous nights had a restful sleep.

5th Peonu 720

The morning dawned with the warband taking the morning meal in the inn. The sun beamed brightly into the inn. On leaving the inn Raan looked into the sky and with a smile said “It is a good day for traveling, the sun is bright and sky is clear.”

Turning north the warband left Konig and made their way to Pled.

They had no sooner left the fields and crops behind and started up into the wooded mountains when a lone figure with 2 mules enters view. The lone figure is startled by the sudden appearance of 5 armed individuals but seeing that they do not draw weapons or do anything untoward he continues his approach.

As the individual approaches the warband they stop and Atol who is leading the group says “Well met. Where you off to, good traveler?” With a look around him he answers “Well met, stranger, I travel to Ebein, why do you ask?” Atol waving back at his companions who have now joined in says “We travel to Pled; have you been there?”

“I have” answers the traveler.

“How far is it?” asks Atol.

“Not more than 2 days or such did I leave.” Answers the traveler.

“What are you carrying with you?” asks Anvil.

“I am a merchant and I carry my wares with me.”

“What do you have for sale, anything that might be of interest to a warrior?” asks Atol.

“Are any of you guild members?” the traveler asks.

Kalyn and Kjarl both indicate that they are members sensing a bargain in the offing. “Well then I am afraid that I have nothing to offer that would be of interest to warriors such as yourselves,” answers the traveler.

Looking disappointed the warband bid the traveler a safe trip as they part company and head off in different directions along the trail.

“May Halea guide you on your journey and see you safe at your destination.” Says the traveler.

The journey started well and by midday on the first day they were well into the mountains. Anvil searched for a campsite to sit and eat. He found a cramped spot by the side of the road where the warband ate their first taste of their trail rations for over a tenday.

As the warband completed their meal and were packing away their gear a lone figure turned around a bend in the trail concealed amongst the rocks and startled the warband. Atol, Anvil and Kjarl leap to their feet seeing that the lone figure was obviously Jarin and after their previous encounters with Jarin around here they became suspicious.

“Where are you off to?” demanded Atol. With a lowered head “I take a message for my master to Ebein” replied the Jarin. “Your name” demands Kjarl “Kelynn Aenyr of Dagholm” he answers without lookup. With a questioning look between the warband they realize that none of them know of a place called ‘Dagholm’. “What message do you take?” asks Anvil, “That would be my master's business, Good Sir” Kelynn replies. “Who is your master” Anvil quickly retorts “Again Good Sir, know that I mean no disrespect when I say, that too would be my master's business.”

“Let him go. He means no harm,” says Atol “He is only conducting his master's business.”

“Thank you kind Sir” Kelynn replies as he gingerly steps between Anvil and Atol and with brisk steps heads off southwards along the trail leaving the warband behind.

Not more than 10 minutes after breaking camp and heading off along the trail do the warband see a broad expanse of flat ground among the hills and mountains. An obvious campsite as the remains of an old fire can be seen in the clearings center.

Atol receives a number of digs from his companions about sitting in a cramped clearing with naught but rocks for seats for lunch when they could have camped here amid a small stream and wild flowers.

The rest of the day is spent making the best possible progress along the trail but little is seen by the warband. The temperature drops as the day wears on and as the altitude increases.

Towards the end of the day the warband finds a suitable campsite and starts a fire after the evening meal the warband sets a watch and settles down for the night.

The warband enjoys a restful night after an eventful day.

6th Peonu 720

The warband awake to find the morning colder than yesterday. After breaking their fast the warband continue along the trail to Pled.
The day goes by quickly as the warband climbs higher into the mountains. Pulling their cloaks around them they continue on.

Before nightfall Anvil finds a suitable place to set up camp and start a fire. Atol stands by the trail on watch. From around a sharp bend 2 men emerge both wearing armour and have weapons sheathed.

Atol startled grabs out his hand axe. The 2 strangers seeing this man attempt to arm himself both draw weapons, however, one fumbles for his weapon but eventually frees his axe while the other man smoothly releases his sword from it’s scabbard.

“Stay your weapons” yells Kjarl. As the 3 warriors eye each other off, each backing away slowly. Atol is the first to lower his weapon as he does so, so to do the other 2 warriors.

Once each of the warriors has stayed their weapons Anvil invites the 2 strangers to their camp. The 2 strangers introduce themselves as Bural and Tersi. They strike up a conversation and find out that Bural and Tersi have come from Pled amongst other places. They consider themselves adventurers of a sort hailing originally from Chybisa a realm to the south. They have been roaming Orbaal in search of adventure but the only excitement they have seen was while acting as caravan guards in Kaldor and that was only a brief run in with a group of brigands.

While the warband tells their guests about themselves, Anvil prepares the meal. Having found some likely looking herbs by the trail side earlier today he uses them to spice up a rather bland meal.

Bural and Tersi both graciously accept the meal offered to them. It is not long after the meal is taken that all except Anvil and Tersi begin to feel ‘off colour’. The dinners have upset stomachs and begin belching and breaking wind with almost clockwork regularity. Bural wonders if he has been poisoned but realizes that Tersi is none the worse for wear as he drifts off to sleep.

Tersi enjoys a second helping of the meal and seems to suffer none of the ill effects of the meal.

The watch is set during the night but all is uneventful and the warband and their guests sleep well.

7th Peonu 720

The warband awake and go about their morning routine. No sooner do the break camp than the warband and their guests bid each other a safe journey and with that Bural and Tersi turn and leave the camp heading south along the trail.

The warband travel the best part of the day only breaking for a midday meal.

By early afternoon the warband has reached a summit and spread before them is a bay nestled at the foot of the bay is settlement several small vessels lay at anchor in the bay. A warboat is tied up at the dock. Descending the mountains they pass a side trail leading east, they continue to head north arriving in the village by mid afternoon.

The warband makes their way to the waterfront. Looking out from the docks the warband can see another small settlement on the southern side of the bay while off in the distance smoke can be seen rising from the northern end of the bay indicating another possible settlement. The warband find a man standing around ask if it would be possible to seek passage to Sherwyn from here. The stranger tells them that Pled would be a better destination to gain passage anywhere.

The warband look at each other confused “Is this not Pled?” asks Anvil. No it’s the village of Thrand held by Valhakar Trajaka.

“How far to Pled is it then?” asks Atol. The stranger looks up at the sky and says that you will probably make Pled before nightfall if you do not delay.

“Which direction is Pled from here?” The stranger holds out his hand pointing to the north. “The man you need to see is Bjarth Storzand he is the harbourmaster of Pled and your best contact if you seek passage via boat.” With thanks the warband leave the stranger to his business.

With a brisk pace the warband follow the path indicated and head north along a wider road.

The warband appears to be making good progress passing through several small settlements before entering a wood. The warband spy 4 men seated by a small fire. Raan begins to don his armour while Anvil strings his bow and Atol hoists his shield upon his left arm. One of the strangers sees the preparations that the warband are making and indicates to his companions and the 4 men stand 3 nocking arrows to already strung bows.

“Who are you and what is your business in my Lord's woods?” yells one of the strangers.

“We travel to Pled” answers Atol as the warband sensing that their suspicions were incorrect lower weapons and move towards the strangers. The strangers remove their arrows from their bows but hold the arrows still in their hand as the warband approaches.

“I am Kjarl Taaren and these are my companions” introducing each of the warband in turn. “I am Marn the woodsman for Pled and these are my kinsman, Bjarri, Lyran and Kelsi.” Says the leader of the group. A badge of office hangs around Marn’s neck indicating that he is indeed the woodsman for Pled.

They exchange news and Marn tells the group to keep an eye out for a group wandering the woods as they are poachers and have been hunting the Valhakar's woods for over a tenday now and show no signs of moving on. They have found their trail but as night is falling they have marked the trail and are now getting ready to make camp. If the warband push on they should arrive in Pled within the hour.

The warband push on arriving in Pled with but a little light left to guide their way. The warband decide that it is to late to gain passage now and should find lodgings for the night first. Needing to be close to the docks the warband pass an inn called the ‘Tomcat’.

On entering they notice 10 or so patrons being served by several inn staff and off to one side in a man sitting alone.

The warband are shown to a table between the other patrons and the single stranger. It is far enough away that their business should not interfere with this lone figure. The innkeeper makes his way to the warband and offers them food and drink which the warband accepts before making payment. Accommodation arrangements are also made as drinks are brought out to them.

Anvil sensing an opportunity to gain some information leaves the table and makes his way over to the lone figure. “Well met stranger.” Anvil says. Without comment this lone figure stands up and grabbing the bench from next to him swings wildly at Anvil.

Anvil is able although surprise to avoid the blow before the bench crashes into pieces against the inn wall.

Taken aback Anvil tries to defend himself by throwing some punches at the stranger, he deftly blocks the first attempt landing a blow squarely on Anvil’s mouth. Anvil’s second blow strikes the stranger on the chest while his blow in turn catches Anvil on the cheek.

The occupants of the inn by this stage have leapt to the feet and are moving away amongst the chants of ‘fight, fight, fight’ and the screaming of bar staff. The innkeeper remains in sight but does not interrupt.

Another flurry of blows from Anvil have little effect while the stranger seems to be getting the better of the fight. Atol has gained his feet and drawn his axe and using the blunt end has joined the fight striking the stranger in the hand as he tried to defend himself.

In the end the onslaught from this stranger is too much for Anvil and he is knocked unconscious, however, Atol has taken up the attack and after repeated hits the stranger finally succumbs to his wounds and collapses unconscious to the ground.

Kalyn races over to tend to the unconscious individual and finds that he has suffered numerous wounds to his chest and neck and a severe blow to his left hand. Kalyn calls for water and towels to aid this man.

While Kalyn is tending the unconscious figure, Anvil is still unconscious and Atol has sheathed his axe the guard arrive on the scene. They make their way towards the innkeeper and after a brief conversation the innkeeper points at Atol.

The guard indicates for Atol to come to them, which he does slowly and with disdain. The guard commander asks for Atol to surrender his axe to one of his guard. Atol reluctantly does so. The guard commander explains that Atol will have to appear before the Valhakar’s court in three days time and will be held by the guard till then. Kjarl offers to act as guarantor for Atol to keep him from goal but the guard commander is unwilling stating that he has used a deadly weapon in a bar fight and there is nothing to stop Atol from fleeing at the first opportunity. So therefore he must be held till the Valhakar can administer justice.

The guard led Atol outside of the inn and into the night.

The remainder of the warband resume their seats at the bench. It is here they find out that the unconscious man is the village shipwright and that he is married to the innkeeper’s sister.

As the confusion dies down Anvil first and then the stranger both wake up Anvil feeling a little worse for ware but none the less OK, while the stranger who has been called Dablan Maagaar is feeling the effect of his beating. He is taken away from the inn after being treated by Kalyn for nearly 30 minutes. Anvil then while still sitting on the floor is treated by Kalyn with some cold compresses. He too has finished receiving treatment for his wounds around 30 minutes later. By this stage the inn has returned to normal.

The innkeeper has brought out more drinks for the warband and the food soon follows. He informs the warband that Dablan has a tendency to pick fights and this is the first in this memory that he has lost although your friend did use a weapon he adds. The innkeeper adds that he expects their friend to receive a mild punishment but all in all it will be forgotten before long he expects.

The warband are shown up to there rooms and spend a fitful night worrying about their friend. Atol on the other hand has been shackled and left on the roof of the keep with nothing more than a thin blanket. A guard stands watch over him all night.
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