The barbarian’s attack was devastating. The shear number of them, with their greatweapons, savaged the party in their opening rush, nearly killing Ghesh, and severely injuring several others.
However, Leif managed to knock unconscious the majority of the barbarians, which turned the tide of the battle against the barbarians, and the party was able to knock the rest of the young, headstrong barbarians unconscious before facing the more skilled and deadly warriors.
Hoverer, the party now outnumbered them, and the remaining barbarians quickly fell before them. As they fell unconscious, however, they shimmered and shifted, and assumed the now-familiar shape of doppelgangers.
Searching the unconscious barbarians, the party found a few items of interest on the doppelgangers.
One of the doppelgangers was wearing a Belt of Sacrifice (PH p252).
And each of the doppelgangers has a small pouch with 10pp concealed in their left boot.
Binding the doppelgangers to some nearby trees, the party bandaged their wounds and waited for the Jotun to awaken.
A short while later, the Jotun began to stir. They were not happy, and began to curse and threaten the party.
Holdbar, using threats and intimidation, was able to forestall any violence as Ghesh attempted to talk the barbarians down. Unfortunately, Ghesh was unable to talk past the barbarians rage, and even unarmed, the barbarians attacked the party again.
This time the party did not hold back, and quickly slaughtered the barbarians.
The doppelgangers attempted to use the distraction of resumed hostilities to escape, but were not successful.
Seeing what they thought of as their allies cut down and transform before their eyes caused the remaining 2 barbarians to stop fighting and listen to the PCs.
This time, with the evidence right before them, the barbarians listened to the PCs, who explained what the doppelgangers had been attempting to do.
With the barbarians anger now forced on the doppelgangers, the group was able to peacefully search their tent, which had nothing of value, before departing the camp.
Returning to Himmel, the party reported theuir findings. While pleased at their finding of the doppelgangers, he was a bit disappointed that they had not been able to bring at least 1 back for questioning.
With their report, Himmel also asked the group to accompany him to the capital to speak with the Konungar regarding what they had discovered. To speed them along their way, he has arranged for extra horses and food. He will be leaving in 3 days, once he has heard from the last of his messengers.
With that, the party went and collapsed, as they were all exhausted from their interrupted night’s sleep and the battles they had fought.
Once they were rested, they spent the rest of the day moving about town speaking with the people in town, recruiting guards for their town.
The next day the party worked to try and locate Valla, the priestess of Freya.
It took a few hours, but after speaking with several of the regulars that delve into the ruins, the group managed to reduce the area in which she disappeared to a much smaller area.
Armed with more information, the group proceeded to the ruins, and , with about an hour’s searching, found the location that had been described to them: a small tower, covered in thick vines.
Approaching the front door, Zanne was immediately attacked by the vines, which wrapped around her and drove their long thorns deep into her.
Zanne was quickly able to escape, and the others moved to hack and blast at the vines as she scouted around the rest of the tower, finding one of the large windows, and climbing the wall to look in.
The vines proved to be very thick and quite resilient, and attacked anyone getting too close, but the party eventually managed to hack away the sections around the door.
Meanwhile, Zanne had slipped inside the second floor of the tower, and had located some of its residents: a trio of dark-robed figures holding iron-shod quarterstaffs. They were speaking to each other in a dark, unknown tongue.
Remaining hidden, Zanne quickly withdrew, and returned to the rest of the party, which had finally managed to hack through the vines around the door.
They stood before the door, contemplating what to do next…