Finally across the bridge, the Heroes who Broke the Curse of Hel’s Needle, pushed on deeper into the Earth. Diminished in power and morale at the loss of the Golden Boar, War Pig, mount of Borga, daughter of Ásta, now called The Pigless, the Heroes resolved themselves to the task at hand – to discover the cause of and cure the corruption of Yggdrasil.
Following the passageway at the end of the bridge, they eventually came into a large chamber almost completely covered with silvery strands of spiderwebs. The Heroes discussed how to proceed. Some insisted on burning the webs out but Ragnar, Druid of the Forest and Master of Trees, mentioned foreign words such as “asphyxiation” and “suffocation” which caused much confusion and perplexity amongst the rest of the Heroes. In the end, they decided to heed the advice of Ragnar and did not burn the webs. Instead, they advanced forward in a battle ready stance as ambush and attack by giant spiders was expected.
Eventually, after slow and careful progress, the Heroes reached the end of the chamber but found it to be completely webbed off and the question of fire came up again but it was discounted as an even worse idea as they were entirely in the chamber as this point. The Heroes took axe and sword to the webs and cut their way through. It was exhausted, tedious and lengthy work but the Heroes finally made it out of the chamber without any harassment by spider whatsoever. Perhaps Sif, Goddess of Watchers, kept an eye out and helped the Heroes through unmolested.
Pushing forward, the Heroes noticed the stone and rock of the walls gave way to wood and root – the Heroes had reached the Roots of Yggdrasil, the Cosmic Tree. They came upon a large room with a passageway into and out of it with 7 doors arranged around the room. The Heroes’ curiosity could not let them just leave without opening at least one door. They chose randomly and opened the 5th door and entered. Dominating the room was a large well and murals and carvings of the Lios Alfar, the Light Elves. The Heroes had found the portal into Alfgard. However, quite importantly, vines were covering the entire room, impeding movement and the entranceway to Alfgard.
Ragnar used his Druidic magic to try to move the vines to create an opening to the well and the vines thus moved began to bleed red blood. Grond, daughter of Trond, wielder of Friðrgefa, started to hack at the vines with her mighty sword but the vines responded by moving and started to wrap themselves around the Heroes. A ball of light appeared in one corner of the room and Ragnar’s Hrokkvir companion immediately approached the light and smashed into it with its huge limbs. Uncharacteristically, the light survived the assault of the giant tree and suddenly a wall of ice appeared in the corner of the room blocking off almost all access to the light. The remaining space to it was then filled with boiling water and steam.
Combat ensued with the Heroes opting to not cross the boiling steam and instead attacked the ice wall until a breach appeared in it. With a hole in the wall created by the Hrokkvir’s attacks, Uhtred, Wolf-Changer, rushed in with Grond immediately behind him. Fangs and steel descended upon the light. The light responded with pulses of harmful magic but the onslaught against it was too intense and its magical prowess was compromised. Its magic was not strong enough to turn the tide of battle. As expected, the giant tree ended the combat with a crushing blow from its limbs.
The light winked out and the vines covering the room began to die and recede. When they had receded above the well an object fell down, having been trapped above the well entangled amongst the vines. Warg One-Arm, Inscriber of Runes, had the quickness of wit to realize that something valuable might be falling and he threw a gust of wind at the object to knock it into the room, instead of down the well. It was a large horn tinted grey and ivory. Warg One-Arm, with his knack for understanding all things magical, had a close look at the horn and determined its utility. The horn was a named item – “The Call of the Ancients” and it was an artifact of great healing power in addition to improving existing magical power. Ragnar claimed the horn as he could put it to the best use.
With the vines gone, the Heroes saw runes in blood in the well which with tied to Níðhöggr the Corruptor and the Heroes knew that the destruction of the vines to that portal to Alfgard had weakened Níðhöggr’s power at Yggdrasil. With that in mind and with greedy lust in their hearts at the chance to obtain more items of power, the Heroes decided to open another door. They chose the 2nd door this time.
The Heroes saw the same vines and felt the corruption of Níðhöggr in the room. This room had another well but the murals and carvings in it indicated that this was a passageway to Vanagard, the Home of Vanir Gods. Once again, the Heroes attacked the vines and got ready to slay whatever beast was guarding the well. The vines moved again, trying to grasp on to the legs of the Heroes and hinder their movement. The room itself rumbled as if an earthquake had struck. The Heroes spread themselves around the room and waited for something to show itself.
However, no beast appeared in the room for the Heroes to attack. Instead, it was in the well itself and was climbing up. Grond saw it first and with an act of heroic potential suicide, she leaped down into the well on top of the beast driving Friðrgefa deep into the flesh of the monster. The beast was a Kraken with multiple tentacles, which one had slapped Friðrgefa out of Grond’s hands after her attack had landed.
The Kraken’s tentacles flew out from the well and slammed into Ragnar, his Hrokkvir and Warg One-Arm. Ragnar and Warg One-Arm were grievously injured and fell into unconsciousness and near death. The binding magic that brought the Hrokkvir to Ragnar ended with his fall and the Hrokkvir disappeared. The Unnamed Stalo, newest companion of the Heroes, rushed to drag Warg One-Arm out of danger and used his healing aura to revitalize him. Grond called her sword back to her hands and continued her attack on the Kraken and scored a massive hit on the beast while Uhtred, not inside the well, could only attack tentacles as they appeared. Borga, daughter of Ásta, the Pigless, being the only archer amongst the Heroes chose to leave Ragnar where he was and shot a flurry of arrows in the Kraken.
The Kraken, greatly injured by now, threw all of its force into Grond but could not kill her. She retaliated with another strong hit from her mighty sword and Borga got the killing blow with a carefully aimed arrow into the beast. The Kraken fell down the well as Grond skillfully catch hold to the edge of the well and climbed herself out. Once again, the vines started to recede and another object fell from the ceiling above the well. This time, Grond catch it with her sword and it was a blue bag with silver runes. As always, Warg One-Arm’s gaze identified what the artifact was. It was called “The Bag of Sustenance”, created by the Dvergar and it replicates 1 cubic foot of food put into it every day. A never ending supply of food is a treasure beyond words in these dark times of Fimbulwinter.
Desiring more artifacts of power, the Heroes advance to the next door…….