Monday, August 29, 2011

The Age of Conan Session Fourteen

Betrayer of Asgard, Part One
 
Our band of (anti) heroes found themselves and a companion, the Aesir thief (and distant kinsman of Valder and Hrogar) Olaf One-Arm, fleeing through the Blue Mountains between Asgard and Vanaheim, bearing with them a great treasure, a drinking horn of ebony, accented in gold, covered with strange, runic writing.  They were being pursued by eighteen Vanir warriors, led by the indomitable and vicious Rorik Hoddersson.

Using quick thinking and some sorcerous power courtesy of Merhotep, the group managed to use a rope to scale a 30-foot-high sheer cliff wall, where they took shelter on a rocky outcropping, and cut down the Vanir as they approached. Luukas made an assassination attempt against Rorik, but though the warrior fell, he was uncertain if he succeeded in killing the man, who was borne off by one of his followers.

Merhotep revealed himself as a necromancer at last, animating the dead bodies of the Vanir as they fell, to set the corpses upon their former compatriots. More specifically, Merhotep's spell caused the flesh to melt away from the bones of the fallen warriors, and the skeletal remains leapt to their feet and made war.

After the battle was over, Merhotep had the skeletons throw themselves from the cliff into a snowy ravine.  Unfortunately for the heroes, a loud peal of thunder cracked across the sky, as though the great Frost Giant Ymir was enraged at the easy slaughter of so many of his warriors, and an avalanche poured down from the sky, burying the adventurers.

Several days earlier....

The adventurers, wandering north from the Aquilonian capitol, encountered Olaf One-Arm in an out-of-the-way tavern that catered to rogues and the rough-and-tumble borderers of the northern reaches of Aquilonia.  Olaf greeted his kinsmen Valder and Hrogar warmly, bought a round of drinks, and proceeded to launch into a series of tall-tales, as he was wont to do. Eventually, however, he got quite serious and informed the characters that he was looking for a crew to pull of a heist that would bring great honor to the Aesir.  The target was an ebony drinking horn, the Horn of Hrulf, tied to the legacy of the Coalhair dynasty for hundreds of years and vanished during a Vanir raid twenty hears hence.

Olaf had, he claimed, found the location of the horn, and had planned a raid to free it and return it to Cneph Coalhair, chief of that tribe of Aesir.

Valder and Merhotep knew some of the lost history of the horn.  It had apparently come out of Hyperboria with Hrulf Coalhair, a Cimmerian slave who went on to join the Aesir and found a great dynasty. The horn was said to be a mystical artifact, though its true nature had been lost to the mists of time.

The group agreed to accompany Olaf--Valder and Hrogar for the glory of Asgard, Merhotep for the chance to recover an ancient and valuable historical and potentially mystical artifact, Luukas out of curiosity since the horn in question was suppoesdly of Hyperborian origin, and the others because they had little better to do.

Olaf had chosen the night of a great feast amongst the Vanir as the time to steal the horn, reasoning that with so much mead, debauchery, and religious fervor in the air, there should be ample opportunity for distraction to allow the group to slip in and out unnoticed.  Using stealth, wits and sheer physical prowess the party managed to scale the high rock to the temple of Ymir, and gain entrance by going over the walls. Once inside, Luukas combined his skills as a seditionist with the charisma and silver tongue of Valder to spread lies and rumors which quickly led to a near-riot-like state amongst the solders.  This allowed the group to slip inside the temple and observe the four priests within.  Knowing how the festival would play out as they hail from a similar culture, Hrogar and Valder advised waiting and letting things progress.  Eventually, a great cheer arose from the square as Rorik Hoddersson and his retinue entered the square, and two of the four priests emerged from the temple to greet him.  Not long after, as the festival reached its peak, the remaining priests emerged, leaving only a single guard in the temple's inner sanctum, whom Luukas easily dispatched.  One poison gas trap and a magical opening spell later, the group found themselves in the temple treasury, surrounded by gold and jewels, and facing the fabled Horn of Hrulf. 

They siezed the horn and fled the temple the way they had originally come...only to find themselves pursued and eventually buried in an avalanche of twenty-foot deep snow.

To be continued...

No comments:

Post a Comment