The saga tells of the Vikings magical journey to Muspell and the first raid into the Fire Giant King’s great hall.
The stone giants motioned the party to the corner of the hall and pointed out the lining of a secret door. With the dwarf Kerndrol among them it was an easy task opening the portal which revealed a short hall full of divers levers. These unsealed another large chamber with several exits, all barred by iron gates. Kerndrol worked the levers and the gates rose, allowing the vikings to stalk about the massive chamber.
Beyond the threshold of the closest gate, a deep growl penetrated the thick dungeon air, and Hrolf flung the continual light torch into the pitch recess. A pair of green dots starred down upon them – flaming green eyes the height of a giant or more. The creature owning these eyes hovered into view… A hideous gigantic beast of a wolf! The height of this monster was surely fifty feet or more and its coat gray like timber. A thin gold thread choked its neck, but could not hold it from lunging out with salivating jaws.
Fenrir! It is the Fenrir wolf! bellowed Aki.
The stone giants trembled, dropping their clubs and fled the hall. The vikings knew a moment of pause, perhaps the only pause in their short lives. Knut pointed the spear of Odhinn and released the gift the half-blind God had given him: Odin’s giant black wolves Freke and Gere grew out of air and assailed Fenrir, but the demonic hound devoured them both with one fierce bite. The Vikings charged, keeping just within the choke radius of that gold thread, and brought the beast down. Hrolf put his sword to the gold thread.
The wolf guarded a room full of loot—most of the booty recognized as treasure from home—seven giant chests full of bronze, silver, amber, and other gems, ingots; including two ivory tusks. Not the hoard they were looking for.
Upon searching the nether rooms beyond the gates, Slinor found another secret door, and Kerndrol led them through. Here was their goal. With remaining spells, Aki and Knut could detect a store of Norse magic, and the item lore knowledge of the skald, dwarf and elf, revealed the remaining plunder. Traps were averted and the vikings brought out chests full of gold, platinum, gems and jewelry — the entire wealth of Trondheim! Also found were an iron tight cask, a crude map of Jotunheim, an obsidian box containing a chain forged of weird black metal with a sheet of human skin written upon in the giant tongue. The find of all, the blades FRMGUR and Neg. These were awarded to the berserker brothers Finn and Egil.
THE SAGA OF A NEW SETTLEMENT
It was decided to take the Mountain Giant Fortress as their own and move their kinsmen here to build a new settlement. Life in Jotunheim would be bleak, but the chance to begin again was all that beat through their hearts. Aki and Knut led the survivors to the spot while Gram and the rest packed the longship and sailed up a nearby river. They settled. They healed. But ere long, Odhinn called again.
Over the days that past, as the warriors healed and their displaced kinsmen cut wood for the camp, three portents fell on the settlement before Mani made a cycle around the heavens:
Gram Broad-shoulder slept and dreamed of crawling slowly towards a cave, under some fearsome mountain, and edged his way inside. He reached forward in the dark, rolling on what he thought were tiny boulders of smooth rock. A flicking torch ahead revealed Odhinn, on his throne and he spoke with a hallowed voice: “This is Valhall!” And the torch grew so bright that Gram saw he was swimming in a pile of skulls, surrounded by death. He woke from the dream, but not from the iron-cold suggestion.
Aki Sleggjasson studied the giant-speech inscribed sheet of human skin, working tirelessly over a translation without rest. And soon he had it. The writing detailed instructions for the black chain. If looped together and the command runes spoke it would transport a dozen warriors to the giant realms of Muspell.
And Knut Kyrre (the Peaceful) communed with Odhinn and the brooding battle-god let it be known that Thorr had lost his hammer to the giants, and Freyr his sword. Without these weapons Ragnarok would come soon. Odhinn stared with his empty eye-socket, lifeless as a wraith’s throat and commanded the Norseman once again to sail forth, into Muspell and recover Mjolnir and the Sword of Freyr or face the end of the world.
TO THE HALL OF THE FIRE GIANT KING
The party gathered, and five retainers, one named Harold volunteered to follow. Aki laid out the chain, said the commands, then they were taken one and all to the plane of the Fire Giants.
They found themselves surrounded by air thick as ash, crushing heat to such a degree one felt pressed by the prow of a ship in the charred volcanic waste. Then, their flesh burned.
Aki bellowed forth an incantation to Freya and at once comfort was gained, yet no Giant fortress was in sight, and to linger was to suffer a slow blistering burn.
“Find us shelter,” lashed out Hrolf. Begrudgingly, Aki scouted out a cave, in which they rested and planned the raid of all raids.
“Here,” intoned the skald, and handed out to the weakest among them cloudberries blessed by Freya, with a handful to Slinor, whose elven skin was vulnerable in the fires of Muspell. Gram and Hrolf quaffed a dose of the jug which would protect the imbiber from flame, and Finn swore on the protection of Neg. They journeyed until they found the mountain that held the hall of Snurre.
At the base of the mountain stood two thirty foot tall obsidian doors which wouldn’t budge to the combined strength of three vikings and Kerndrol the dwarf. Gram gulped his giant strength potion, and swung open the three foot monstrosities. Inside, a torchlight hall of pure volcanic mined rock, black as night but reflective as glass. Flaming gases could be seen escaping from tiny cracks in the walls. They formed a line and moved in from the drab and cinder-coated world behind them.
Within moments Foehelm, the giant killer called out an enemy presence behind the first banner and Gram tore through the fabric to see one of the evil Fire Giants winding a horn. Two notes sounded about the hall before Gram’s axe split the giant in two. Was it enough to alert their enemies?
Aki and Finn were the first to hear the stomping feet advance down the hall, in the dark. Out of the wall of blackness stepped a filthy pair of two-headed giants, what the sagas named, Ettins. The four heads looked in all directions for humans to smash, raising spears and morning stars against them. Aki was too swift, crept behind the first, and split the Ettin from groin to chest. Finn and Egil, finished the last.
“Move on. We must strike first!” spoke Gram to all of them. When they reached the end of the hall, and stepped into the great room of King Snurre Ironbelly, Forehelm irked in Slinor’s grasp… And the elf called out, “They’re coming.”
End Session Five