Heroes of the Ironlands

Setting

You are in the northern lands known as Jarnlond, or the Ironlands. It is an iron-age world of small villages struggling to survive against raiders, would-be warlords, and dangerous beasts that prowl the land at night. The commonfolk of this land work together to make a living, helping their village to survive the harsh winters and thrive during the vibrant summers. Those that refuse to cooperate are forced to find their own way in the wild lands beyond the village.

Time ago, the savage clans of the Blood-Cursed (Blodsnubbar) invaded the old kingdoms across the sea and most people were killed or taken into slavery. Those that escaped, set out on the months-long voyage to Jarnlond. Those were your ancestors.

You are now in a small village called Ravenstead on the western outskirts of the Dalelands (Dalars). Villages are few in number in this accursed land and most rarely have contact with anyone outside of the small village. Strangers are viewed with deep suspicion. Your village is led by the Overseer, and elder who oversees the village’s labor and cooperation.

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Session 1: The Raid on Ravenstead

[Oct 15th, 2021]

The chill autumn winds howl at the cracks in the crude wooden walls. Many pints of thick ale sit upon the table in large wooden mugs as the local villagers of Ravenstead gather to celebrate the autumnal harvest and long dark march to winter.

The air inside the Ravenstead Public House is filled with smoke as pipes release fragrant puffs into the air, the spicy smell of lamb stew emanates from the large cauldron in the nearby fireplace. The sounds of laughter and curses reverberate throughout the room as the townsfolk celebrate. There are games of dice being played and stories being told about the harsh year.

We meet a number of interesting townsfolk, including Heilgarda, the Overseer’s daughter, the young woman being trained to overtake the management of the village. Conrad, the warrior in-training who protects Heilgarda, but is secretly in love with her. Humbert the village healer, who thinks only of himself. Oswald the village blacksmith who is desperately lonely and depressed, but managed to come out on this festive night. Volker, the wild drunken warrior who would protect the village with his life. Anselm the barber, who has the tendency to stick anything not nailed down into his pockets. Rochelle the radish farmer, who tries to keep things civil and fair. And in the corner, is Elric, the mysterious mystic who often disappears into the woods for days at a time.

As the villagers enjoy their festivities, the building suddenly shakes violently with a thunderous boom and screams are heard far from the building. Two wild-bearded men brandishing spears burst through the house’s door with an eager scowl upon their faces. The villagers leap to defend themselves. Oswald is immediately killed by a spear through his heart. The others, however, manage to fell the two raiders. They then notice that the building is near collapse. Most manage to get out in time, and Conrad pushes Heilgarda out of the building is it falls upon him. Thankfully, he was uninjured.

As the villagers exit into the yard, they find the village is set afire and four more raiders charge at them. The battle is grim and dark. The raiders manage to kill a few of the villagers, but their sheer numbers allow the villagers to overcome them. Kai the Wainwright, Ostara the Locksmith, and Sakia the Gambler are counted among the dead. Two more villagers join the others, coming from nearby buildings, Lanfrank a former indentured servant, and Aldona, a minstrel and bard. Humbart the Healer decides to flee the village and disappears into the darkness beyond. The others, however, decide to press forward and seek out the Overseer, Heilgarda’s father.

As the villagers reach the center of the village, they find a rowdy group of raiders tearing through each house as they burned them, breaking through furniture looking for valuables. The villagers run into a couple of drunk raiders, but take them out quickly. The villagers then decide to check out the Overseer’s house, but Heilgarda only sees her father’s dogs inside. They then check out another empty building, finding it trashed and destroyed. Elric fills a leather sac with water near the pond. Everyone the circles around the village.

The villagers then find Heilgarda’s father, Siegbald the Wise, kneeling on the ground with a mighty warrior with a large axe threatening to chop off his head. He demands that the Overseer give him the silver raven amulet. Heilgarda knows that her father wears it at all time. Siegbald feigns ignorance as the villagers charge in to defend him. Conrad leads the charge, having now killed quite a few of the raiders. Volker joins him and they all manage to cut down the raider’s leader and his minions. Siegbald thanks them for saving him, but he feels the village is lost. Anselm takes a silver sword from the leader’s scabbard, finding it is a powerful magic sword named Daugrdanissa

A few more villagers join them, Astolfo the Woodcutter, Diomira the Ropemaker, Alwine the Beggar, and Isenbert the Baker, coming from the south. The villagers decide to flee to the outskirts of the village, letting the raiders drink themselves into a stupor. They spend a few hours trying to rest their bodies as their minds raced with the loss of their home. They then regroup and sneak into the center of Ravenstead. Anselm leads the way, sneaking in with Diomira, Isenbert, Alwine, and Astolfo. They find a few raiders sleeping off their drunkeneness in the center of town near the well. They manage to cut a few of their throats while they slept, but Isenbert accidentily awakens the rest. The group is able to take them out quickly.

All the villagers then regroup, taking the village’s treasure that the raiders gather, including many silver coins, some metallic art objects and sacred items, and a suit of fine chainmail. The villagers then gather what weapons and armor they can from Oswald’s smithy. Once fully armed, Volker calls out a warning, the rest of the raiders heard their clattering and now come towards the village center. A great battle ensues as the armed villagers fight to defend their home. Thankfully, the raiders are quite inebriated and the villagers are able to take many of them out, despite being outnumbered. However, Volker, Lanfrank, and Diomira are killed in the battle. Also, Elric attempted to use the strange magicks he has been studying, and incidentally burned his face and arms such that they appear waxy.

When the final raiders are felled, the Overseer, Seigbald, speaks with the survivors. He tells them they will try to rebuild the village, but he begs his daughter and some of the others to take the silver raven amulet he carries to the deep woods to the west and seek out Venixama the Seer. The wise woman may know why the Stormsword clan seeks the amulet and why they would destroy their village to find it.

And so, a band of adventurers set out on the quest to discover the mystery of the amulet and perhaps gain vengeance against the Stormsword clan. The adventurers include Conrad the Gallant, now a confident warrior. Heilgarda the Raven’s Eye, who now finds comfort in the teachings of Odis the Raven God to lead this quest. Anselm the Barber, who has mastered the art of stealth and deception in the ever-reaching pursuit of wealth. Elric the Wax Magician, who has begun to understand the dangerous secrets of arcane magic and the cost to his own body. Rochelle the Steady, the moral guidance, who has now sworn an oath to Forsoti the Blind Judge. And, finally, Isenbert the Stone, who has learned he has more talent for combat and war than baking bread.

The adventurers then set out towards the west and the mysterious forest, the first time most of them have ever left the boundaries of the village of Ravenstead…

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