I thought a few of you might be interested in an update on what my players have been up to:
After basking in the glory of killing the polar bear the PC's were invited over to Grimshof a few miles down the coast, home of Grimr the Gothi, the Jarls youngest brother to celebrate the start of the month of Goi with a sacrifice.
They wasted no time in capitalising on the good will they had accumulated in the area by asking the normally taciturn Grimr for advice. This was about the lawsuit they expect to find themselves embroiled in over the attack by Ari the Black and his henchmen after they were returning with the bear skin to the Jarls stead.
Grimr assured them that, despite the injuries they caused to several of Ari's men, there was really no case to answer as he had attacked them first and done so with greater numbers of men as well. He did warn them that Ari was likely to get his berserker friend, Killer-Gestr, to challenge one of them to a duel if the case went against him. Grimr assured them that he and the Jarl would put pressure on Ari to drop the case and keep Killer-Gestr at bay...but he also warned them that Ari never forgets a grudge... a major concern for Egill, the huskarl PC, who was put in charge of repairing the Sorenson stead which lies only a few miles from Ari's stead.
The PC's were then asked to lead a risky winter raid on a group of Svear traders who had stolen some cargo from the Jarl in the summer. Word had reached the Jarl that the Svear, led by Yngvar the Easterner, were awaiting the spring thaw at a little fishing settlement some 60 miles up the coast, just a few miles from Kaupang.
The party were loaned a small longship, a crew of bondi's and karl's and several boats to sail up the coast, they then used the boats to cross through the dangerous pack ice to the island where the settlement was. Despite a couple of bumps with the pack ice they managed to get to the island with all 24 men unscathed. They quickly divided their forces into 10 archers who were to go over the island to the ridge above the settlement, and the remaining 14 men were to sneak up on the settlement from behind the ridge along the shingle beach.
They arrived without being spotted and surrounded a couple of the larger buildings and demanded that Ynvar came out with his men. Egill threatened to burn the buildings down, a largely hollow threat given the amount of snow and ice about.
After trading excuses and insults for a few minutes Yngvar burst out of one of the buildings with four of his men and a further five came out of the other building, blowing a horn to warn their colleagues in some more buildings a few metres down the beach. The archers fired on Yngvar and his men causing a few minor wounds, one being a minor injury to Yngvars chest that was to prove very unfortunate for him a moment later.
Thorsteinn, the poor fisherman player rumoured to have alf blood in his family, chanced throwing a javelin at Yngvar before he charged with his men, and surprised us all when he hit him square in the chest and did enough damage to pierce his lamellar armour and knock him out cold.
Egill led his men to fight the spearmen on one side of the buildings and the other player, the farmer Vesteinn, led the other men to attack those who had emerged with Yngvar. The archers on the ridge managed to tie down a larger group of men who emerged from the buildings further down the beach, as Egill and Vesteinn's forces made short work of the Svear.
In the mean time the remaining Svear had started trying to get one of their boats in to the icy water to escape as the archers traded arrows with a few of their counterparts hiding behind a low wall. The last action of the session was when Vesteinn fired a couple of arrows at the men hauling the boat, despite good rolls one arrow hit the boat and the other bounced off a helmeted Svear.
We'll see what happens next week and if the Svear manage their dangerous escape, I still have a sting inn the tail in store for the PC's as well...the little boat trip back to their ship might just prove to be a little harder...