- Fought in a captive-lead mutiny aboard a slave ship.
- Used flaming barrels as a weapon.
- Tangled with the Mysterious Imperial Mauler
- Blew the whole thing up.
- Woke upon the beach and found everyone’s stuff but the Gnome’s, who only found his boner.
- Traveled a few miles down the only road they found before meeting some gnarly looking dudes, one of whom was riding the gnome’s mule.
- Indiscriminately slaughtered gnarly dudes to get mule back.
- Felt bad about slaughtering gnarly dudes and agreed to help the main dude, Skullneck, take out his sworn enemy, Steingrim Steingrimsson.
- But aren’t sure about that either, because this dude is GNARLY.
- Wouldn’t go to his party.
In Torrid Prose
The wind blows fiercly across the open bay, down from the frozen north. Only the faintest glow illuminates the south-eastern sky as overhead irridescent ribbons of green and white flow like milk before a vast expanse of stars. Far inland a crimson plume rises from the molten face of a great mountain as rivers of rock collide with the cascade of ice slowly grinding the great rock face to dust.
Feeling the air rush across your face and seeing the arctic splendor distracts you for a cold moment from the ache of limbs stretching for the first time in days; from the refuse filled cabin from which you were freed by an unnamed benefactor; and from the bedlam on the deck of the slavers ship, the slavers who captured you some weeks ago and the ship which now plays host to a mutiny. Shouts of dying deckhands, the smell of burning oil, uncontrolled combat as your fellow captives fight with fist and chain against the better armed and armored yet badly outnumbered crew. You look at your right arm and the rough copper circlet clamped tightly about your wrist marking you as property. Your weapons locked below deck, powerful magic pre-empting your spells, you have nothing but your chains, your fist, your freedom.
“Savage” Randii Machosson, Flaharin Tombleson, Pavel of the Moon Circle and Smort Gnomefunkel found themselves swept up in a surprise slave mutiny in a remote bay on the south coast of Ísland. The three soon-to-be companions and BFFs easily slew the first groggy and unprepared deckhands with furious fists and with the shackles still bound to their wrists.
With the alarm raised and the deadlier scoundrels in the slaver’s employ joining the fray, the small on stature but big on ferociousness Smort Gnomefunkel snatched an oil lamp from wherever you hang something like that on a boat (I ain’t no fuckin’ sailor) and smashed it squarely in a slaver’s face, mottling the deck with pools of flame. Pavel of the Moon Circle, a crafty tactition with an keen eye for causing chaos, overturned a stand of barrels and sent them careening across the deck, bouning about as the ship swayed and soon catching fire from Smort’s handiwork.
In the cacophony and chaos of combat the heroes held the upper hand for a time — but then Mysterious Imperial Mauler joined the fray. A brutish killer and fearsome foe, he cut a swathe through the nameless rebels upon the deck and sought to overpower the heroes, with only stout and fearless “Savage” Randii Machosson able to stand up to his wrath. Seeing that they were badly outmatched, Smort Gnomefunkel executed an ill-formed scheme to strip his ratty slave sack, soak it in hot oil slam dunk the rag-fueld inferno in the hateful face of the towering villian – to no avail, as Lebron Jame’s he ain’t!
Recognizing their certain doom at the hands of the Mysterious Imperial Mauler, Flaharin Tombleson and Pavel of the Moon Circle pulled a Fast-Barrel Special to knock the man-beast from his feat. Coming-to after clearing the cobwebs from his titanic impact upon the deck, The Mauler’s shouts of alarm were drowned in flame as the first of the burning barrel’s bung hole’s burst in a shower of blast powder that quickly caught and annihilated everything.
Awakening on a black beach stretching endlessly in the grey distance, the party sought to gather what supplies they could and marvleded at their luck, finding everything they’d lost to slavers except Smort Gnomefunkel’s priceless mule Herbert, of whom there was no sign. Looking inland and seeing in the distance sweeping cliffs covered in emerald moss and green-brown grasses clumped in tufts across the plain leading seaward, they spied only one road. They made for the dirt throughway and headed east.
After a few miles of travel the party heard the sound of approaching hooves and hid themselves upon a boulder-strewn hillside. Around the bend came a gaggle of filthy wretches clothed in barely-tanned animal skins and carrying an air of pestilence and decay. The largest and least pestilential of the bunch sat astride the majestic Herbert, whose saddlebags rested on his haunches secure as the day Smort Gnomefunkel packed them those weeks ago, before his capture.
Pavel of the Moon Circle rapidly devised a plan to treat with the dirt-leaden wastrels for a fair and equitable exchange of goods or services to retrieve noble Herbert, but Smort Gnomefunkel was having none of it and unleashed a rain of noxious acid upon the poor wretches, evaportaing their skin and exposing the pulpy sinew that Pavel of the Moon Circle would blast to smithereens with the terrible impact of a thunder wave.
As the gelatinous mass of lipids and proteins that was his only cherished son, the last member of a once proud line of fabled leaders and the only hope for the renewal of his people sloghed meagerly down his stunned face, the leader of the not-long-for-this-world-at-this-rate gang surrendered. Revealing himself as Skullneck, he told the adventurers of the wretched state of his people and implored them to repay his terrible loss by helping him visit vengeance upon the vile Norsemen who had taken their land and plunged them into subhuman ignorance. While maintaining proper caution, “Savage” Randii Machosson took the honorable road and successfully implored the party to at least see to the validity of Skullneck’s claims.
After some few miles of travel, the group crested a hill to behold the homestead of Steingrim Steingrimsson. Below them stretched tremendous fields of fertile crops swaying gently in the suddenly-sunny late afternoon, as the hew of the light at that most golden hour before dusk caught workers tending crops stretching far to the east as tranquil rivers run down from the snow-packed peaks to the north and out to a gentle sea. Nearby a great bear of a man, powerfully built with a great red mane tied in thick braids cascading down his powerful shoulders and collecting amongst the rippling sinew of his finely muscled chest. He laughs and bellows in delight at a young woman next to him, near his size and clearly powerful in her own right, yet shapely of hip and bosom and comely of face. The two are engaged in a hand axe throwing competition at some considerable distance and though the party cannot hear the words the mirth can be felt across the chasm of space.
Skullneck spits on the hard-packed dirt and curses in the malaudible (made that one up) tongue of his people, and speaks of how the killer below stole all this from them and left them to the deprivations of the wilds where crops wither and die and game is rare and of naught but sinew. Begging the party’s assistance, he leads them on a retreat into the great hills at the base of the mountains for a night of revelry and sacrifice to the gods to honor them and ask their favor in the coming battle.
The party declines however, and makes camp some distance from the cave where Skullneck makes his home…