Radmar replies to the giantess, “We’re just explorers.” This leads to a short conversation with the suspicious giant. She demands to know what they want. Skogur explains that they don’t mean to impose. They just need a place to rest on their sea journey. She directs them to a small lake to the south, and they take their leave. After a brief discussion, they head off to the nearby lake to check it out.
The lake is rather large, and the area around it is quite warm. The lake is also hot, with bubbling water. It’s a volcanic lake! Perfect for these native Icelanders. Asa says some prayers for the lake, while Radmar and Eirlif strip down and jump in to enjoy the wonderfully hot waters. Skogur does his usual and goes off to scout the area. They don’t stay long, and head back to the ships to camp for the night. They will spend the next day foraging, fishing, and otherwise preparing for the rest of their journey.
During the second watch of night, Radmar hears rustling in the trees. He sends a soldier. Ten minutes later, he returns and reports that he found nothing. Radmar is a bit suspicious but the soldier does seem to be himself. The rest of the night is uneventful. The next morning, they begin their preparations.
Skogur, Eirlif, Radmar, and Kulgan head to the lake to scout around. Radmar notices something funny about the water. It’s moving slowly in a counter-clockwise direction. It’s picking up speed. The water then starts to bulge up in the center. Skogur has moved up on the ridge, but he can’t see anything different from there. The rest of the party also moves away from the lake. After about 15 minutes of churning, the water erupts upward in a gigantic lake-sized geyser!
Back at the shore Alfradr notices the water explosion. He grabs some soldiers and they all run up toward the lake to check on their fellows. Fortunately, the explosion doesn’t damage them too badly. Skogur and Eirliff back up to the lake to check it out. They notice something coming out of the water . . . a gigantic fiery humanoid. A second one follows it out. They begin stomping off in the direction of the giantess. Eirliff surmises that the lake is some sort of portal to Mulpelheim. Skogur follows at a safe distance, and the rest of them follow him. However, they send the accompanying soldiers back to the ships.
They bump into Alfradr and Asa and tell them what happened. After seeing to the soldiers’ wounds, they send them back to the ships while Alfradr and Asa continue on to the giantess’ house.
Meanwhile, the other part of the party sees the giants arrive at the house. A not-so-nice discussion ensues between them, which they party is only able to partially make out. Something about schedules, obligations, being late. Finally, the giantess relents and lets them inside. Skogur sneaks up to the house. The rest move off the path.
Skogur sees them sitting at a table. He notices that the giantess’ skin is bluish, but he’s not familiar with that type of giant. One sketches some things with charcoal during their discussion. Apparently, she is supposed to be doing something and paying them for something. He listens for about 15 minutes and shares what he’s heard with Eirliff. The wizard surmises that the giantess is perhaps failing to do something with her own supernatural abilities (connected with the sea, maybe?) that the fiery giants want from her. Skogur asks them to leave him there to continue spying on the giants.
As the rest of them are leaving, they bump into Alfradr and Asa. After hearing their story, he tells them that he thinks she might be one of Aegir’s (the sea god) giant daughters. They head back to the shore and find a bunch of seals. They decide that they need seal meat and skins. Asa casts animal trance. He gets one to approach him. Two others follow it as Asa leads it away. They get the soldiers and encircle both groups of seals and move in for the kill. Radmar kills a seal with a single blow. Eirliff casts earthbolt at two seals and Radmar finishes them off. After a short fight, they have six dead seals.
Meanwhile, not much else of significance is happening with the giants. About an hour and a half before the ships are supposed to sail, the conversation ends and the fiery giants leave and go back to the lake. They disappear into the lake. Skogur returns to the shore in time for them to depart.
They heave off about 4 in the afternoon. They see the giantess coming to shore with an oar on her shoulder. She glares at them and starts paddling the water as they leave. As a result, their ships seem to be moving away at a faster than normal rate.
The next morning, a tentacle bursts from the water, feels around the ship, and then disappears back beneath the waves. Very weird.
Less than a day out from the port, they plan a two-pronged attack: the ships with soldiers will be sent in to attack and create a distraction, and the party is dropped off earlier to stealthily enter the local fortress to look for and obtain the stolen artifacts. They disguise themselves in preparation and set their plan in motion about 4 in the morning.
The party manages to approach the wall of the fortress. The find a huge double door. Skogur starts scouting around the wall for another entrance. Meanwhile, Alfradr flies up to the top of the wall and fastens two grappling hooks so the party can climb up.
Alfradr wasn’t able to find any other entrances, but he does see three ravens. All six ravens follow him back as he returns. He did notice, though, that the corner towers are occupied. There are eight ravens now, and someone in a tower notices one of them, shooing it away. Skogur makes it back, and he also climbs up.
They make their way down the stairs into the courtyard. Asa peeks through the keyhole of a door of the inner wall. He sees light but hears nothing beyond it. The door is locked. They find a door where there are no lights inside. Alfradr flies over and finds that the door on the other side is unlocked on that side. He opens the door. Inside are two sleeping men. About that time, they hear a commotion from outside the fortress. Apparently, the attack at the dock has begun. He quickly lets the rest in and they manage to get all the way through without waking the men. The quickly head into the nearby smithy to hide. After a few minutes, men start rushing out, grabbing weapons from the smithy. Fortunately, no one notices the invaders.
When the stream men running out of the keep stops, they sneak in and start looking around. They find an empty barracks with 16 storage chests. Three are unlocked, and Radmar loots them. He finds a bit of money, some clothing, and some small daggers. They head upstairs. The eventually get to the top floor and find some pretty lavish quarters and loot them. Back on the first floor, the find a chapel with priests chanting. Eirliff recognizes that they are casting augury spells. The party makes quick work of them. Nothing else is in the room except the pedestal. The other chapel has a single frightened priest holding a wooden plus sign out against them. Also in the room are the holy artifacts they came for. Alfradr knocks the man unconscious, then they loot. Back on the second floor, Ramdar murders a sleeping man in a locked room. Nice job, you monster! Eirliff torches the rooms on the third floor.
They loot everything in the keep, load up a cart they found in the keep, and head out of the keep. They also take the priest that Alfradr knocked out. Skogur scouts ahead to make sure no one is around. They head down toward the dock. The sun is starting to rise. The see that their compatriots have lit everything on fire.
Both of their ships are down there, and there are two other boats being stolen by their men. They are able to leave unopposed with their treasure and thralls. They head off to Iceland to return their stolen relics.
“And I have blackface, so no one can see me.” – Skogur