This recap covers two sessions of Sagas that span the same arc in time. When the next session begins, we will time skip mid-way through.
It’d been a few years since we’ve seen the characters. Thrain (the father) has gone off to raid, abandoning Hildigunn (his daughter). She became a bit of a pariah, blaming her father for her mother’s death and basically rebelling. We first see her in the shack she calls her home, kicking a local fisherman out of her bed and tossing his pants at him.
Thord the Younger still works his family farm, though he’s nearly a man and should be coming into land of his own.
Gunnar is now gothi over all three clans, respected and welcomed. We open on him, heading to the Thorgeirsson land, when he comes upon a fire.
On a trip to visit the Thorgeirsson clan, Gunnar came upon a barn fire – a barn filled with all the Thorgeirsson’s goats! Gunnar sprung into action and was given a choice: back out now and still look honorable, or save the goats but Endure Grave Harm. He chose to risk it, and one of the cross beams collapsed, pinning him beneath it, burning him horribly and filling his lungs with smoke. Young Thord rushed in to save him, but a failure on Endure Grave Harm says “it’s fatal, the GM will tell you when” – he wouldn’t make it until morning.
Great Uncle Thord handed Young Thord his horse and told him to ride swiftly to Grimma, seithkona of the Hamundarsons. Grimma, now played by Thrain’s player while Thrain is off raiding, was home and meeting with Hildigunn.
Thord and Hildi were once best friends, but in the years since her mother’s death and her father’s abandonment, she has taken on the company of men, and the two have not spoken. They stood in silence for a moment until Thord remembered his task and called out to Grimma to get her things.
While waiting, Thord picked up the old witch’s knuckle bones and cast them on the stump [Rough World lets the Child make any other playbook move to lessened effect] and was met with a vision – he knew how to save Gunnar and it wasn’t Grimma at all, it was Lyting, Thrain’s sister.
Grimma and Thord set out on horseback, but Hildi knew the secret back ways, and almost made it to the Thorgeirsson steading at the same time.
Grimma quickly got to work, but Young Thord went off to find Lyting. As a proper Icelandic woman, she was cooking and tending to her house. She hushed Thord and begged him not to speak of such un-womanly witch things, with an eye on her husband. Clearly Thord had some convincing to do, but he won out and got Lyting to come with him.
There was a tense moment between Lyting and Grimma, both of them doing what they could. Gunnar, however, was met with visions of two women – dark Grimma or light Lyting – both offering salvation. The Fates were offering him a choice. Thord’s vision told us Lyting would be his savior, but Gunnar decided to choose his family.
Interlude: Hildi and Thord
Waiting for news of Gunnar were both Hildigunn and Thord the Elder. Hildi suspects he is her real father, and moves to confront him. Their conversation is deep and personal.
“What do you want from me? What will it take to recognize me?”
“I want you to stop being like this and act a proper woman. Make me proud, not ashamed.”
The Fates spent their bond with Gunnar to Look Into His Heart and ask what it would take for Gunnar to kill Thord the Elder. Gunnar wryly said he was planning on it anyway, for he blames Thord for all the misery that came to his daughter and granddaughter. The Fates smiled and gave him three days of extra life.
Gunnar awoke with a cough, coherent, and thanked Grimma and Lyting for their help. Thord had already left.
S3: The Following Day
Gunnar was on a clock, but his player was out for the day, so we left him bed ridden in his own long house, while other things happened.
Young Thord took his typical run down to Osk’s Trading Post to deliver tubers for sale. The first thing he saw when he got there were three longships coming ashore. Raiders, taking a break from raiding.
“I have fought beside one know as Thrain Sigfusson, and he has given me, Vandred the Godless, use of his land while we rest. Does anyone know where I can find his land? You, boy, how about you?”
Leading the Raiders
Thord brings the raiders to Thrain’s long house and they quickly make themselves at home, scattering across the land. They pass by Hildi, who Vandred takes a liking to.
Thord looks on as Hildi goes inside the house with Vandred, and is approached by Hogni (Gunnar’s son who is in charge of the Sigfusson land while Thrain is away). He says that something needs to be done about the raiders with a cruel glint in his eye, and offers to give a portion of the Sigfusson land to Thord if he helps.
Grimma and Grim
Grim, brother to Hogni, arrives at Grimma’s to get help with a wound. He feels ashamed that he was beaten by some of the raiders he had found hunting in the woods.
Grimma tries to Goad a Man to Action to enlist Hjort, the warrior brother of both Grimma and Gunnar. But instead of goading, he puffed up. “I don’t need help, I can deal with this!” and he demanded Rowan, her personal thrall, attend him (as is his right). Grimma decided to follow along.
But Grim was eventually redirected, instead finding and speaking to Hogni. Hogni and his brother shared a look and asked Grimma to find the raiders in the woods and invite them to dinner in There’s longhouse.
During dinner, Thord confronts his father about getting land of his own. His father refuses, which steels Thord for what he has to do. He takes steals father’s sword from the wall and heads off into the dusk. Helga, his shieldmaiden mother, notices though.
The Raiders’ Dinner
A feast and festivities begin, with Hogni helping feed them. Hildi fucks Vandred, Lying With a Man to Conceive a Child, but Grimma uses some of her witchery from afar (spending magic Bonds) to ruin the roll and….
Thord the Elder shows up, grabbing her arm while she’s barely covered. How dare she act like this! She knew how he wanted her to act! This shames him and makes him feel…. Vandred gets to his feet, fully naked, muscled, scared, and still partially erect. The two men square off.
Hildi had some hold from Enticing a Man, spending it (as we ruled could be done with NPCs) to have him act in her honor. This is where the fight breaks out. Drunk men cheering and watching as Thord and Vandred fight and wrestle. The loud thudding noises at the front and back of the longhouse go unnoticed.
Outside the Festivities
Gunnar’s sons have a plan – bar both doors and Thord will toss in some torches, burn the whole place down. The brothers bar the doors and the camera turns to Thord. He can see Hildi inside, and his great uncle Thord, and Grimma, and Rowan. But he wants the land. Torches begin flying.
Hildi or Grimma notice first, and it takes a bit to get everyone’s attention. By now, flames are high. They rush to the doors to try to rip them open, but find them barred. Hildi uses the last Entice A Man hold to have Vandred rush the doors.
The doors crack and splinter in front of Thord. He draws his father’s sword, and rushes in, going Berserk (Rough World again, using the Huskarl move). The roll isn’t clean, but Hildi spends two bonds with Thord, shouting to him to help.
Thord alone pushes all the men back, grabs Hildi, and pulls her free of the building before barring the doors again. But at the last moment, Vandred tucks and rolls through the door. Thord pushes Hildi behind him and rushes in. A clean stab and naked, unarmed Vandred bleeds out while his men all burn to death behind him.
As Thord turns to leave, he sees his mother standing a ways off, spear in hand. She nods at him and walks away.
In the morning, Grimma’s corpse is found somewhat intact (failed Endure Grave Harm), covered by the charred body of Rowan who tried to save her as his last act. Thord the Elder also died in the fire.
Hogni indicated to Thord the land he was promised, not realizing it included Gunnar’s holy godwood.
- What will happen when Thrain returns from raiding?
- What does Hildi think of Thord’s performance?
- Will Thord defend his new land if Gunnar wakes?
- What happens to Gunnar when the Fates’ task is complete but not by his hand?