Saga of the Northlands

Session 2: Exploring The New World

In Which Many Later Events Are Foreshadowed

The expedition leaders decide to enter a fjord toward the southern end of a strip of the western coast that had been scouted out earlier. Farther along the fjord and around the bend, they chance upon a shipwreck with dead bodies. It appears to be of Germanic or possibly Anglo-Saxon origin.

There are 6 or 7 bodies that have been there a while, some looking battle-wounded. The wounds appear to be a couple days older than the wreck, which likely happened 3 days to over a week ago. Searching the bodies yields some axes, some coinage, and other sundry items.

Searching below, they find two iron chests. Ulfric bashes the lock on one to open it. Inside are some bundles of cloth, bars of silver, and bits of amber and furs. Skogur the utlendr drengr opens the other and finds a bag, some badly spoiled rations, and mini barrels of ale. The rations smell quite foul. In the bag are some silver pieces, some hacksilver, and a sapphire. He pockets the sapphire. Under the bag he finds a folded parchment that contains a map of the Atlantic coast of Europe with lines that may indicate their ship routes.

They take time to do a more thorough search of the ship and find nothing else. Apparently, the poor souls had been raided. In keeping with their superstitions to prevent the dead from coming back, they set the entire ship on fire and continue on to find a place for their settlement.

After the expedition lands on a beach, Skogur goes off on his own to scout and heads toward some forests in the far distance. He heads uphill to the top of the fjord, finally seeing some arctic wildlife along the way. At the top of the cliffs, he casts Lay of the Land to see more than his human eyes can perceive. There are rivers everywhere and some lakes farther inland. The land gets lets rocky farther inland, about 15 or so miles away. But there appear to be no settlements. As he’s using his spell, he notes that three ravens have landed on a branch nearby and are watching him. It seems out of the ordinary, but he doesn’t really pay them any mind . . . until they are joined by three more, making six. He then decides to head back toward the main group. The now seven ravens watch him leave. Once they are out of sight, he hides then tries to creep back to spy on them. But he makes some noise, causing them to stare at him again. There are now nine. Weird! He leaves again and catches up with the rest of the party in a half hour. He shares what he observed during the casting of his spell, but only shares the raven story with his sister, Skogul.

The reunited party heads toward one of the lakes and reach it by nightfall. The land is flatter, and the area around the lake has wildlife. They set up camp while Skogur and Skogul go off to scout. At the camp, the party notices some ducks swimming out in the lake in a continuous circle, over and over and over again. This is weird. Ulfric throws a stone into the water near the ducks, but they ignore it and keep swimming. Even weirder.

Skogul and Skogur circumnavigate the lake, not noticing anything out of the ordinary. They return after nightfall and find that no fish have been caught. Disgusted, Skogur goes back out to hunt deer and brings one back for the evening meal. The party points out the weird duck behavior. They keep throwing rocks at them, but it doesn’t faze them. They decide to leave them alone and go to sleep. That night, they hear wolves howling, but the night otherwise passes uneventfully.

The ducks are still circling in the morning. They manage to hit one with a rock, but it doesn’t react. Weirdness! Ulfric tries to take some lake water in a flask, but it flows up and out and back into the lake. BEYOND WEIRD!!

Understandably, they decide to strike camp and head to another lake Skogur saw. They arrive about mid-morning. It turns out to actually be three lakes connected by a river. Skogur tests the first lake’s water and discovers that it is fresh, but it’s hot! The river away from the lake, however, is cooler. The first two lakes themselves seem to be generating heat, probably from natural hot springs underneath. Skogur swims to the other side of the river . . . and is reminded of why jumping into the water in very cold weather is a BAD idea! After warming up, he scouts around on the other side, finding nothing out of the ordinary.

They decide to check out the land to the south. Along the way, they hear wolves howling. Then they start seeing them in the distance, pacing around and growling. There are six of them. Skogul lights a torch to keep the animals at bay. The wolves seem pretty emaciated, which is odd, since there appears to be enough game around. It would explain, though, why they are stalking the party. After a while, the predators give up and depart.

The party comes upon some land that looks a bit more arable, a pretty nice meadow. It is now early afternoon, and it starts drizzling. Skogur casts Lay of the Land again. There is more forest eastward closer to the glaciers. The meadow is rather large and bounded by hilly ground. They are excited, as this place seems to a good candidate for their first settlement!

They quickly make some long-term plans and spend the next several days moving the expedition to the meadow to establish their settlement. They also make arrangements to send one of the ships back to Iceland for more supplies, more craftsmen, and a couple smaller ships that can navigate the narrower rivers.

Six days pass, during which our heroes rest, train, and work on settling into their new home.



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