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Gwandor Saga

The Saga of the Gwandorlings 10

For a week, the clan watched for a counter stroke from the Gorde. When it was evident that it would not come just yet, Argrath sought leave from the chief to journey to Grizzly Peak. Sigmund and Gudny spoke for him and help to convince Kulbrast to allow him to go. It was harder to do as they could not tell Kulbrast why they went. He grudgingly gave leave for Argrath to fare west.

Sigmund, Gudny, and Kamoar agreed to accompany Argrath on his quest and to aid him where they could. They gathered the materials they would need to perform the ritual to take them back to the Storm Age, provisioned themselves, and escorted a Gwandori trade mission to Jonstown. Gudny brought Nestin, Meddar, and Noh. Argrath brought his wife.

The companions sought Hamdir the Outlaw when they stopped in Jonstown but could not find him. They then rode on. They rode hard and fast to cover the long leagues as quickly as they could. They rode on the same path that they had taken on their journey to Dwarf Mine, passing through Dinacoli lands, past Danger Ford and stopped at Dwarf Mine.

At Dwarf Mine, Gudny negotiated briefly with the mostali for aid in building their hill fort. The dwarves agreed to send a team to evaluate the location and provide a price estimate. The team should be there with in the season.

The band then fared on north and west into the Empire. The border of the Empire is easily discernible, it is the Glow Line. There is a glowing red arc in the sky, as the group passed through the Line, the moon grew larger and became full; and it was very uncomfortable for the Orlanthi to enter an area where Orlanth has been replaced in the middle air by another god.

Kamoar led the band through the heavily farmed region without being seen by any of the locals and they arrived at Grizzly Peak shortly.

It must be told that Grizzly Peak was the site of Vingkot's hall. This was where he slew the Sky Bear and the hill is the Bear's body. With the fall of the Vingkotlings during the Darkness and the scattering of the people, very few remember the significance of this hill. The land around it is little farmed now and there are not even any ruins on the crest anymore.

Argrath instructs his friends in how to prepare the mystic circle for their ceremony and they set to it. When finished, they all start to recite their god's Storm Age myths, believed those myths and made themselves live those myths. This should have helped them to move to that time. It did not. Argrath was so awed by being at the site of his personal god's most holy sights that he could not concentrate on the ceremony. The companions camped for the night and tried again in the morning.

In the morn, the ceremony was re-enacted, the companions brought the gods to them and called on their powers, they created the Storm Age inside the circle and slowly, the world outside the circle changed to match that, they had moved themselves over 2,000 years into the past, into the Storm Age, the Age when Orlanth ruled the Universe and none could stand before the Storm gods.

The air was different here, more electric. The trees on the Peak faded out and were replaced with several large buildings and a huge hill fort covering the entire crest. Thick, roiling clouds rushed in and covered the entire sky while lightning danced through the sky. Yelm and the Red Moon disappeared from the sky while the light of Elmal spread through the land from the top of Mt. Kero Fin. All of the friends felt great! They felt powerful, energetic, this was their time! This was their heaven!

All of the nearby land was cleared and heavily farmed and there were many people in the fields and several warriors around. All dressed strangely, but all obviously Orlanthi.

They companions walked up the road to the Great Hall on the Peak. They spied a great commotion at the front gate.

A huge Broo stood there, a Chaos demon. It stood nearly 7 ells in height, had the head of a goat and oozed puss and other noxious slimes. A cloud of large flies buzzed around it's head occasionally settling on its skin and feeding on it. The broo was a messenger, "You will pay tribute to my Lord, Chaos-man! His magic is strong! If you do not pay tribute, he will destroy you." With that the monster waved his rotting hand at the weapons-thanes and three of the fell to the ground, vomited great gouts of corruption and were dead on spot.

The companions realised that they were at a point in the Storm Age before Chaos had arrived. This must be the first time that any of these people have seen chaos. They all stood rooted to the spot in fear. Only the friends seemed to be able to do anything.

Argrath called out to the demon and when it turned he hurled his spear at it piercing it through the leg. Kamoar loosed an arrow at it striking it in the upper arm. Gudny cast Orlanth's spear[1] at the creature only to watch it shrug off the blast, Sigmund staggered it with a great blast of Thunder, and Argrath struck again ripping the foul beast open from hip to knee.

The monster turned on Argrath and struck him a crushing blow with his maul, Argrath fell like the dead and moved no more. Sigmund and Gudny rained thunder down on the beast inflicting dire wounds that it ignored. Kamoar stuck more arrows into it's pelt. The demon turned on Gudny and charged him with his maul held high. Gudny leapt over the swinging mace and blasted the broo with a great blast of thunder giving it its death there.

Voydag worked frantically to save her husband and shortly Argrath was sitting up.

With the death of the creature, the other people seemed to be free of their terror. Khalmon[2], Vingkot's Lawspeaker came forth and thanked the band for their valour. He explained that Vingkot was out hunting but would return later and would they like to rest, bath, and feast that night with the King?

Vingkot's own healer worked on Argrath that day and he was fully healed by the time Vingkot returned.

Vingkot's band include many great warriors, all wearing rich arm-bands and heavy torcs. He was also accompanied by four of his sons, Kodig, Korol, Janard, and Jorganos the Archer.

He heard the day's tales from his ring and hearththanes and thanked the friends for their great deeds. At the feast, he called the companions to tell the tale of the fight. He said he would richly gift the best saga-teller.

Argrath stood and started to thank Vingkot but was drowned out by the King's men, "A tale! A tale! A boast! A boast! A tale! A tale! A boast! A boast!" they shouted. Vingkot smiled and banged his drinking horn on the table along with his men. Argrath launched into his telling of the fight, it was not well received. Gudny leapt onto his table recited a poem about the battle:

Valiant warrior and Vingkot's man;
Argrath charged the Chaos brew;
Battle-harp sings and blood doth flow;
Thunder struck and spear-haft broke;
But we gaily did the gruesome deed...

Argrath leapt up also and added counterpoint to Gudny's recital. Soon the entire hall was in uproar as the men and gods roared their approval [4].

It must be said that while Vingkot was a god, being the eldest son of Orlanth, many of his men were also gods in their own right and thus fully half of the men in the hall were minor gods. The companions were in truly exalted company.

Vingkot gifted each of the companions with one of his spare spears and a golden ring as reward for their bravery and the service they had done him. For his tale-telling, Argrath was made a Thane and had a value of 300 cows put on him. For his masterful poetry, Vingkot gifted Gudny with a leather bag. It was made of Star Bull leather and contained a large, very angry sylph, called "Black Cloud". Vingkot cautioned Gudny to be wary of Black Cloud as it was very violent and difficult to control. The friends thanked the King for his generosity.

Vingkot made them all his men. They lived among the Vingkotlings for five generations. Time passing quickly for them as they were on a hero quest. They became respected warriors of Vingkot's warband. During that time, the world changed quite a bit. Chaos-man raided again and again. None of the Vingkotlings knew how to fight this new enemy and Vingkot's only victories came when the companions were there to help.

Another thing that changed was that the sons of Vingkot argued more and more over who was the best warrior and who should succeed the King. The only son not involved was Hengall, the second son. He was considered the wisest of the brothers and was concerned only with protecting the people from their enemies.

They day came when Vingkot drew the friends aside and spake to them of Chaos-man. He said that he knew why his men could not defeat it, it was due to him not showing them the way. With the companions as inspiration, he had decided to go off alone and fight Chaos-man to prove that it could be done and to bring back a victory for his people.

Now it is a known fact in Orlanthi history that Vingkot took a mortal wound from Chaos-man and eventually died from it. The companions tried to convince the King to take a band along with him or to learn to fight Chaos from them but he would not. They knew that he was riding to his death when he rode off.

Vingkot is not seen again for another generation. When he does return, he is mortally wounded. He announces that he had fought chaos and this was the result. He had a chaos wound that would not heal, being that he was a god and immortal, he would not die from the painful wound. Vingkot decided to die and have himself immolated on his throne.

Vingkot appointed Kodig, his eldest son, as High King of the Vingkotlings. He appointed each of his other sons King of his own people except Hengall; Hengall is to be Warlord and responsible for dividing the Kingdom among the sons.

Vingkot is burnt on his throne and ascends to Orlanth's hall on the smoke. The light of Elmal is greatly dimmed by his passing. Word come that great Orlanth himself has left this world on a quest to bring back the light.

Hengall divides the kingdom evenly but the brother quarrel over it anyway accusing him of bias. Kodig announces that his personal kingdom will be in the south and that he will only accept the best and most worthy into his tribe. His tribe, the Kodigvari will be the ruling tribe of all the Vingkotling people. He held great contests to determine who would be good enough to be Kodigvari.

The first contest was of words; Kodig wanted the wisest of men in his tribe. Argrath, Gudny, and Kamoar passed this test. Sigmund could not overcome the argument of his foe and did not pass.

The second test was of magics; Kodig wanted to most powerful priest and godis in his tribe. Argrath called the powers of Mastakos to teleport around the contest ring confounding his opponent. Gudny called a great thunderbolt down which struck his opponent and blasted a crater large enough to fit a horse into. Kamoar was outdone by his opponent and failed the test.

The third test was of weapon skill; Kodig would only accept the greatest of warriors. Argrath threw his spear at his man so powerfully that it passed through his shield and his upper arm pinning him to the ground. It took two men to lift him off of the spear and free it from the ground. Gudny's foe struck at him with his spear. Gudny leapt into the air landing with both feet on the spear shaft breaking it. He then smote at his foe and his sword came out between the man's shoulders and he received his death there.

So it came to pass the Argrath and Gudny were taken into the Kodigvari as nobles and thanes. Sigmund and Kamoar accompanied them on their trek south. The companions helped the Kodigvari settle the southern lands and drove off those who were there and were not worthy of the blood of the Kodigvari. Gudny and Argrath became great warriors and advisors to the King.

The tale turns back to the north where Hengall was leading the fight against Chaos-man, marauding Uz and the Dara Happans. As time passed the enemies grew stronger and stronger while the brothers grew less and less willing to send warriors to help him fight. Finally Hengall was poisoned, he grew so large that he would have to have eaten enough food for an entire clan to survive.

Hengall forbade anyone to avenge him as that would only create strife among the kin, and kinstrife was one of the ways of chaos. Instead, he decided to make like his father and go to the end of the world and fight chaos himself.

It must be told that he succeed in his fight where Vingkot had failed. He tough others the secret of how to defeat chaos and that is how the companions and all other Orlanthi know how to fight Chaos-man.

With the passing of Hengall, there was no moderating influence in the brother's arguing. Kodig finally got them all together to fight the common foe, the Dara Happans. The brothers led armies agains them including the companions who acquitted themselves well and gained much honour there.

The companions now decided to return to their own time as their quest had accomplished its goal. Gudny and Argrath had become Kodigvari. They returned to their original sacred circle and enacted the rites to return to their own time. It was difficult, they had been with the Vingkotlings for 10 generations and had identified strongly with them. They all managed to succeed in returning to their time though Argrath lost his spear and ring on the journey.

Kamoar again led the band through the lands of Tarsh without meeting any natives and they returned to their homes without mishap.

Gudny gifted Argrath with his Spear of Vingkot as it meant more to Argrath as it did to him.

With the knowledge gained from Utguard and now that they had proven their blood to be of the Kodigvari, the companions formed their own Hidden King ring. This ring is a Vingkotling ritual to give power to a king in hiding and to help put him back on the throne. Argrath was King on the ring. Gudny was priest. Sigmund, adventurer. Lothar the warrior. Katla, the Earth avenger. Varax the Beastwind. Kamoar, the scout. Voydag, Nestin, Noh, Erkenbrand, Gestin, Borne, Vedda, Medar, and Darund all joined the ring as well.

[1] Thunder
[2] God of Law before Lhankor Mhy came along.
[3] Battle-harp = Bow
[4] This contest was finished with both Gudny and Argrath rolling critical successes and so the Gm ruled that they both did VERY well indeed.

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March 26, 2001

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