After much anticipation, our daughter and a group of her friends started a story set in the Upplands of North Gautria. The League of Nil-ith Horn raiding parties had destroyed their village and forced some of the women and children to seek refuge at Helvik. But not all of them ran to hide. Some of them ran to fight.
The three girls showed their mettle in adventure #4, “Maidens of Modrak in the Tomb of Freya”.
They began during the spring thaw with in-game sisters Maria and Alanna Modrak practicing their swordplay. After a few days of smacking one another about with wooden swords, the sisters set off with their friend Meav and the sword sister Rannveig for the Uppland Althing.
All of the clans were present, and though the Upplanders were arranged in family groups there was an air of fellowship throughout the camp.
Many slights against each other could be forgiven, or at least temporarily forgotten, when there was a greater enemy threat.
There were still, however, the traditional games to pit clans against each other.
Alanna and Maria took part in blunt-weapon battles with young folk from other clans.
The sisters from Clan Modrak defeated all comers. Meav cheered her friends’ success while waiting for her chance to prove herself.
Later that evening at the Sacred Grove, three priests gathered the youths touched by the gods. Meav hoped to learn from them about her own strange dreams and powers.
The snake-priest Uttar spoke at last to Meav. “What issss ssssso sssssspecial about you?” he hissed. “Sssssshow me.”
Meav looked around the stone circle. “I know animals, I know plants. This,” she pulled out a flowering vine from the ground next to her. “This opens only at the full moon, and must be steeped in milk from a white goat to be most effective.”
“Yes, this one, this child must be sent!” said the old bone woman.
“We must commune in private!” exclaimed the third priest. “Leave us, child. We will speak to you in time.”
Disappointed, Meav left the standing stones and returned to her friends in their tent. Despite the busy day, the girls were awake. Meav’s wolf growled and the tent flap rustled as Uttar stood before them.
“You have much potential, young one,” he said to Meav. ” For your magickssss to blosssssssssssom you need your own Mana Sssssssstone. You musssssssst travel to the Tomb of Freya to find it. Take only thossssssssssse you trussssssssssssssssst.”
Uttar held a bag towards Meav. A small snake uncurled itself from Uttar’s wrist, slithered along the bag and up Meav’s outstretched arm. “Follow thisssssssssss inssssssside.”
“A warning for you before you go: the old Bone Woman fearsssssss you, and what you could become. Beware her and her followerssssssssss; they are dangerousssssssssssssssss folk.” Then Uttar slipped out into the night.
“When are we leaving, Meav?” asked Alanna.
“Now,” replied Meav. “Wake up Rannveig and let’s go.”
Alana and Maria gathered their weapons and woke the sword sister. Meav peeked into the bag to see 3 small phials wrapped in rags. She sniffed one. “Hemus!” The healing potions would serve the girls well in the unknowns of the Tomb.
They sneaked past the sentries at the edge of the camp and set off west into the hills. The full moon made it easy to find their way to the Tomb of Freya.
Uttar’s snake darted inside the Tomb. Maev cautiously follwed. Once inside, the girls could sense some hidden presence in the dark. The snake lead them past grim statues and dank walls.
“Something’s following us,” whispered Meav.
“I know,” replied Alanna. “Keep moving, I’ll hide and surprise it.”
Meav went around the corner and down the stairs. Alanna saw a shape follow in Meav’s shadow and lunged at it.
With a mighty swing, she cleaved right through a troll!
The three girls and Rannveig continued confidently through the tight corridors.
The snake slithered on, right past a second troll! Alanna dealt severely with that troll too.
The snake then led them to a large open room. It crawled across a small ledge that traversed a dark pool with yet another troll!
The ledge was too narrow for Meav’s wolf to cross. She sent it outside but soon it yipped and ran back to her. The girls heard human voices echoing along the corridors behind the wolf. It was the Bone Woman! Meav listened intently and made out a few male voices with the Bone Woman. Alanna, Rannveig and Maria hurried over the water and past the troll. Meav hid her wolf then followed. As she ducked through the exit, Meav could see the torchlight of their pursuers.
The last hallway emptied into a giant cavern. As the girls held their torches high, glinting, colored reflections from what could only be Mana Stones shined at them from across the cavern. Meav quickly led the girls over the river and to a natural dais. Rannveig hid behind the entry to the cavern and waited for the Bone Woman and her followers.
Meav found the perfect stone, and started to dig it out. The men came into the cavern, spied the girls and crossed the river. Alanna and Maria challenged them as the Bone Woman stepped out of the hallway. Rannveig took her attention while the girls fought the Woman’s fanatical followers.
Meav freed her stone from the ground and felt strange powers pulsing within it. She held it aloft and a lightning bolt shot out into the melee. The Bone Woman saw the lightning and paused, which gave Rannveig the opening to slay her. The men fought on til the end, however, as Alanna and Maria bravely clashed with them.
At the last, the men fell to the maidens of Clan Modrak. Meav carefully concealed her Mana Stone, and the girls congratulated each other on a mission well accomplished.
From a completely objective viewpoint… Go Modrak!