As Long as We Remember...

Curse of Blessed Beauty

The sun set in the west as all remained quiet and tranquil. Thoridyss gathered cut wood for the fire in front of her hut. She turned, looked up, and was startled to see Jhens standing in front of her. “Good evening, maer.” He greeted warmly, “Allow me.” Jhens grabbed the split logs in her arms and carried them to the fire ring as Thoridyss thanked him, followed, and sat on the aged log near the edge. Jhens dusted off his hands and sat next to her as she could smell the faint scent of split mead and ale on his person. “You don’t mind if join by the fire, do you, maer?”

“Not at all, Jhens.” Thoridyss replied a bit reserved as she rubbed her palms and extended them to the warmth before her. “Is there something I can do for you?” Jhens smiled, untying his cloak strap and attempted draped it over Thoridyss shoulders.

Thoridyss shrugged of the motion. “I am fine. Thank you.”

“Please, maer, I insist.” Jhens pushed as she relented uneasily. He reached behind him and produced a small bouquet of wildflowers. “I got these for you. I hope you like them.”
Thoridyss took them with reservation as she looked to Jhens.

“They are quite pretty, Jhens, yet you still have not answered my question.”

“I saw you all by yourself up here and thought perhaps I would take the opportunity to spend some time with you.” Jhens grinned. “I also had a question for you, though.” Thoridyss looked at him puzzled. Jhens edged a little closer to her. “It has to do with today’s affair. You know what I speak of, correct?”

“You were honored to be recognized for leading a successful catch and give the offering to Njord. Is there something amiss?”

“Yes and no, maer.” He said reassuringly, “I was more referring to the blessing you bestowed upon me.”

“Jhens…” she sighed discouraged, “It was merely part of the rite to do such. There is no true power I have given to you by placing the rune. I am sorry to tell you this but it is nothing beyond symbolic.”

“That is not what I was referring to, maer.” Thoridyss eyed him surprised, “I was more referring to the kiss.” He smirked shrewdly.

Thoridyss turned towards him and took a heavy breath, “It is tradition, Jhens. Had a man presided over the rite, he would have clasped your arm and embraced you like a brother. A woman is expected to kiss the man. Pending the gender, the custom adapts and a woman would kiss the priest and a female would embrace as sisters.”
“It did not seem like you were simply obliging custom.” He smirked, “There was more feeling behind it. You and I know that.”

“I’m sorry to say this to you, Jhens.” She replied consolingly, “You have been gracious, kind, and considerate this eve, but I must ask that you put aside such notions. What you are thinking and feeling are not true. The mead may have mustered your nerve but it is clouding your mind and teasing your emotions.” Thoridyss took his hand gently, “Please under-” she was cut off as he leaned, pulled her in closer, and kissed her. Thoridyss resisted in the moment, push him away, and rose up putting some distance between them. “Jhens! Stop this!” She threw his cloak at him, “Have you not heard a word tha tI have said!?! Have you gone touched in the head!?!” she exclaimed nervously.

Jhens chuckled, “I have only been ’touched’ by your lips, which have made me this way.”
Thoridyss shook her head appalled, “Jhens… please… just leave. Let us not speak of this again.” Jhens slowly rose to his feet scornfully. He tried to speak but she waved him off. “Just go.” She repeated. Jhens grumbled and turned for the small declining path as she averted her eyes from him and moved towards her hut.

As she reached for the door she felt firm hands grasp her arms, pinning her back to the outer wall. Jhens over powered her and glared down into her frightened eyes. “You want for me as I you, admit it.” Thoridyss struggled against his grapple but was far weaker than he. She felt his kiss breach the exposed skin of her neck and face as she writhed, shouting for him to stop. Suddenly, she felt a rending force wrench him off of her as she stumbled and fell to her knees. She looked up to see the butt of Olyn’s axe plow into Jhens’ abdomen, causing him to double over, only to be met with the flat side of the axe head across him face. The blow spun him around wildly as Jhens landed face down in the dirt.

Olyn took a couple steps, grabbed the back of the young man’s collar, and jerked him to his feet, spinning him around to face him. Olyn fiercely clenched Jhens shirt, pulling him nose to nose. “You so much as THINK of laying finger on her again, I will take great pleasure in cutting you down and feeding you to the gulls, boy.” he growled in a low tone. Thoridyss yelled at Olyn to stop as he pressed the edge of his axe against Jhen’s cheek; a trickle of blood ran down his face from a knick. He pushed him away with a growl and kicked Jhens in the backside, hastening his departure. “You’re drunk, boy! Go home and sleep it off.” He watched Jhens stumble away dizzily and turned back to Thoridyss.

Olyn imbedded his axe into his chopping stump and helped Thoridyss to her feet. “It’s over, little one.” He whispered soothingly as Thoridyss wrapped her arms tightly around Olyn’s torso, letting her cry it out of her system. Thoridyss soon released her hold on him and resumed her place by the fire. Olyn followed a few steps behind and propped himself against the log leaning in on his knee. Moments passed in silence between them till Thoridyss realized she was still holding onto the flowers Jhens gave her. She stood and looked upon them deep in thought. “Don’t dwell on it. Thori.” Olyn groused, “Learn from it and move on.”

“I know,” she sighed, “it was wrong, yet at the same time I hold no ire against him. He was a different person of different mind.”

“He is a smitten and drunken boy who wasn’t thinking with his brain.” Olyn retorted bluntly as Thoridyss bashfully covered her face. “It won’t be the last time you’ll be faced with the situation. If they try, I’ll give them the same as that foolish one" Olyn placed his broad hand on her shoulder, "Just don’t put yourself so vulnerable next time when I’m not around.”

Thoridyss nodded and smiled, “I will do my best.” Thoridyss looked at the flowers once more, silently issued a pray to the Grumfather to forgive Jhens foolishness and tossed the small bouquet into the flames, watching it turn in on itself and burn away.

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Honoring the Gods

The fishermen gathered at the dock, unloading their nets of the day’s large catch. Thoridyss weaved through the working men and women and stood at the end. One of the master fishermen approached and handed her a simple wood carving of a fish jumping out of the water, wrapped in a silver, jeweled arm band. The older fisher man called out to a young lad who joined them.

“Maer,” (milady) the older man addressed her formally; “This is Jhens. This was his first time as lead in our find today. I feel he deserves the honor of the cast this day.”
Thoridyss smiled and looked to Jhens as his eyes darted bashfully. “Do you have an offering?” Jhens said nothing and fumbled with a large fish that slipped from his hands as he tried to retrieve it embarrassed. A few chuckles came at the boy’s expense as the others gathered around them. Thoridyss held up the small idol offering to the sky then turned towards the waters of the channel. “Oh great and generous, Njord, lord of the waters!” she called out reverently, “We gave thanks and offerings unto you for bestowing us with this fruitful bounty. Praise unto you this day!”

She handed the idol to Jhens and exchanged it for the fish. Jhens drew back and threw the carving as far as he could into the depths of the channel as it splashed under the passing waters. Jhens beamed rather proudly as he turned to Thoridyss who proceed to motion him to a knee. Jhens knelt down in front of her as Thoridyss drew a blade and gutted the fish. She took a small trickle of the fish blood onto her fingertip. Thoridyss passed the fish carcass to the old man as she drew the rune of Kyndight in the blood onto Jhens chest. “Njord favors you this day, Jhens. Honor his aid. May he continue to guide and protect you upon his waters.” Jhens stood, Thoridyss placed a soft kiss on his lips, and the crowd cheered respectfully. Jhens smiled sheepishly and stumbled his way through the crowd clumsily.
Thoridyss chuckled to herself as she looked back out into the channel as the fishermen cleared the dock. She felt the breeze slowly die down and shift from north to south. She scanned the skies watching the thin clouds curl slightly and shift direction as Olyn came up beside her. “What is it?” Olyn inquired in a gruff tone.

“Someone has altered the winds. They will be coming upstream from the south.”

“How long?”

“They are not making great haste, it would seem, yet I would assume by evening or dark.”

“I’ll warn the others.” Olyn replied ominously.

Thoridyss turned and halted him, “Wait! I do not feel this is ill tidings. There is no need to raise an alarm. Have a few volunteer to be lookouts on the ridge, just to be sure.” Olyn nodded and strode off towards the village proper. Thoridyss turned back toward the channel and quietly held vigil, hoping no ill will ventured their way.

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The Stone Ship

She sat on an aged log by the fire as the sun slowly slinked behind the tall cliffs. The warmth of the flame relaxed her after spending the day tending to injured that had just came into the small port. The Vendel had attacked a merchant trader yet were unable to pursue them in the channels around Grimstadd. They all would mend and recover in time, save one. A father had taken his son on his first sea voyage to make him a sailor, like his father had before him. Barely twelve, the young boy was forced to see his father be taken by cannon fire and slowly slip away before his eyes. Tears began to form in her eyes at the mere thought of the pain and sorrow the boy must be carrying.

She heard heavy footsteps come from behind her. “Thori,” the aged and throaty voice called, “it is time.” She took in a deep, steady breath, wiped her eyes, and rose to her feet. Olyn stepped up and handed her a crude torch made of loose tree limbs, straw, and pitch. She lit the end as it hissed and popped with a bright glow. Thoridyss nodded and proceed down from the rise to the tumulus, near the channel shoreline.

Encompassed by a set of stones, laid out like a ship, the crew of the dead man’s ship, other Vesten camped at the make-shift port, and even some foreigners had come to gather around the funeral pyre. The men stood resolute and stoic as possible as the women forced back tears and sobs. Thoridyss looked over the body as the man lay with his sword across his chest; his hands fixed at the hilt. His body had been cleaned and groomed, surrounded by a decoration of wildflowers and other offered up “grave goods”.

Thoridyss turned and scanned the congregation, “We gather here to commit the body and spirit of our fallen brother to our ancestors. We pray the he finds peace in the next world as he goes to join the honored fallen in the great hall of Valhalla. May his name and sacrifice be honored and remembered, always.” She held out her hands as the young boy was ushered forwards. He shakily held his composure through saddened red eyes and tear strewn cheeks. She handed the boy the torch as he gave his father one last look and imbedded the flame to the pyre.

Thoridyss guided the young boy back a few steps and stood by him with her hands on his shoulder. The crowd joined in a low departing dirge as the fire began to consume the body. Minutes passed as the crowd ended their ode to the fallen and parted ways. Thoridyss faced the burning pyre with her head down, whispering a prayer to the Grumfather. She felt the boy tense and sob beside her. “I hate them…” the boy muttered angrily under his breath. Thoridyss faced the boy as he clutched his arms around her waist as he buried his face in her abdomen, bawling fiercely. “I hate them so much!” he hollered in a muffled state. She softly stroked his head, trying to hush him softly as she felt his fists lightly beat against her back.

A few moments passed as his sobbing subsided. She drew him back slightly, knelt down, and began to wipe away his tears. “You must be strong.” She said comfortingly, “Do not let your anger blind you.” The boy hung his head, “But… but my father is dead.” He sniffled, “they killed him. I want to hurt them. Hurt them, like they hurt my father.”

“I know, little one, I know. My heart weeps for your loss and the pain your feel. Your father was a good man and I know he would want you to be strong, correct?” The boy nodded. “Your father took you on the ship to make you a man of the sea. Honor him and do just that. Be strong for your father, for your family, and make him proud by being the best mariner of our people. Swear to me and to the Grumfather you will.”

The boy nodded, “I swear. I swear to the Grumfather I will make my father proud.”

“Good, lad.” She smiled as she kissed his forehead and ushered him off. The boy roamed off as his father’s shipmates collected the boy and nodded reassuringly to her. Thoridyss turned back to the pyre and sighed heavily as Olyn came alongside her, placing his thick, calloused hand on her shoulder. “You did well, little one. The ancestors would be proud of you.”

“It does not make this any easier. I feel as if I have done this far too often.” Thoridyss looked over her shoulder, “I fear for him, Olyn. I worry his hatred will consume him in the years to come.”

“The boy? (Hmpf)… he’ll be fine. He’s in good hands. Besides, we all must make our own way in this life.” Thoridyss nodded and looked back to the pyre.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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