A Story of a Journey from Copenhagen
History has lost the entirety of the poem which was constructed as an alternate tale to the more commonly known “Beowulf.” What has survived paints quite a different picture of the events surrounding the Beowulf narrative, which traditionally ignores the role of the four mentioned within this ballad.
With westerly winds // Wanderers, they came
Through the outskirts // Of Copenhagen
- JFC arrived in Copenhagen and bid their goodbyes to the caravan, the two Norse priests and the two Christian priests. They knew they had a few days at least before the boat with the next shipment arrived and so they split up in the town in order to tackle the issue of the plague. Just as they dealt with it in all the villages before now
- Zander looked to check on a local apothecary for information on the herb. While there he made a connection with the man and ended up getting a sample of some “really good stuff.”
- Helldamn was having trouble finding sconces of the burning incense so he purchased a pack of trained dogs in order to “sniff it out,” both the burning incense and at the docks. The dogs were unable to find any traces at the docks but did locate a few censors burning the incense.
- James and Trent went to the local temple of Thor: a mead hall. There James fought with and beat the local “priest”, a blacksmith named Bjorn, in a wrestling match. With earned respect, Bjorn told them the same story the others had shared, of the “vision” from Thor’s disciple. However, Bjorn had not been burning nearly as much of it as he should’ve been, and most of his supply was in crates still.
- Helldamn and Zander arrived at the mead hall and located three crates of incense. Zander tried to teleport them into the harbor waters but only two made it – the third could be anywhere within Zander’s range and was never located.
- They all went to the Christian Church next and were told that the local Vicar was not in, he was instead at his favorite hangout – the mead hall where the group had just come from!
- The group went back to the mead hall and found the Vicar, drunk and with some local women. Trent sobered him up – an act he did NOT appreciate! He informed them that he considered his assignment here a punishment and as such was not inclined to follow the church’s orders regarding the incense. Thus, very little of it had been burned.
- Satisfied that the issue with the plague incense was not a concern in this city, and too late now to investigate the docks any further, the group decided to visit the king, Hrothgar, and inform him of the plague-causing incense.
“To the king!” They decried // Determined and driven
“Take us four together // Today he shall listen”
- King Hrothgar welcomed visitors but had no use for their stories of magic plague plants in his city which remained largely plague-free. He was celebrating his recent marriage to his queen, who sat silently next to him, distracted. The celebration was to last days, and he was wasting no time getting started. The group joined in the party for a few hours.
- Helldamn offered his eight dogs as a gift to the king.
- James noticed an arrow on the wall, as a trophy, which reminded him of Orion’s arrows. The king told them that he found the arrow on the shores and thought it interesting, so he kept it.
- Trent tried to get information from the subdued wife of the king, but she remained oddly distracted and offered no extra insight.
- JFC bid their early farewells and retired to an inn early in the night, so they could get a fresh start the next day in their investigations. The sounds of the party which later turned into a terrible battle somehow failed to pull a single one of them out of their meditation or sleep.
Attack! By Grendel // Guards sent to the grave
The four sleeping sound // Soon wake to sorrow
- In the morning the group went down to the docks and bribed the dock master to be able to look at his manifests. After several hours of research they discovered the ship they were looking for, the one delivering the next batch of plague-incense, would arrive in seven days. As they left they heard rumors and tales of an attack upon the King last night. JFC left to investigate.
- The king’s party room was in shambles and dead guards lay everywhere. The survivors talked about a terrible beast that bested the lot of them, and it was all they could do to just survive the attack. Helldamn, James and Zander took off to follow the creatures tracks back to where it came from.
- Trent stayed behind a little longer in order to retro-view the battle. He didn’t learn anything from watching the battle unfold that he hadn’t already heard from the survivors. He left to join with the others.
In outrage the four // Found strength and resolve
They backtracked the beast // Back to his cave base
They stalked silently // Still Grendel did stir
Thus began battle // Brutal and bloody
His wounds! How they healed // However attacked
With fierceness they fought // Fear found no foothold
- The tracks led to a cave, outside of which they all met up together. Emboldened by the vague legends they remembered of the story of Beowulf nobody bothered to form a plan. James entered the cave silently. Helldamn searched the exterior of the cave and identified another set of prints, man-sized, that entered the cave but didn’t come out. He then silently entered the cave after James.
- James could hear the sounds of a woman quietly soothing her child. The sound soon stopped and all was silent again, though it did make James note some weird acoustics and echoes with the cave.
- Zander turned into blue light and flew into the cave in order to search it faster. Though he was silent, he didn’t count on how bright he’d be. The cave led to a lair where a giant, troll-like man covered in hair so thick it could’ve been wolfish fur was sleeping. The light woke it up and he angrily chased Zander. Zander flew out of the cave and Grendel made it as far as James before smelling him and deciding to attack.
- Helldamn rushed to James’ aid and the two of them tried to take on the massive creature. Their attacks seemed to have little effect as Grendel healed from his wounds almost as fast as they were delivered. Almost. James and Helldamn pressed on the attack, slowly but surely accruing damage.
- Back at the entrance to the cave, where Trent still was, Zander returned. Trent opened up a Mystic Portal from their location to the spot where the others were fighting. Then he and Zander lit a large patch of the plague-incense and flung it through the portal right into Grendel’s face. It unfortunately did not seem to cause any effect. Trent and Zander both resorted to magical lightning attacks through the portal.
- Grendel showed obvious signs of being bothered by the noise of their battle, and this gave James and Helldamn an opening to be able to press the attack even further. Grendel panicked and tried to flee the cave, only to be cut down by Helldamn who had given chase but no quarter.
- Grendel lay dead at the entrance to his cave. Helldamn beheaded the creature and buried its head a few feet away from his body. The others explored the cave.
- In Grendel’s lair Zander found a small rock that was enchanted to amplify sound. Using the psychic ability of “Object Read” revealed a Deevil that looked like a Pandemonium had been the last owner of the rock.
Deep down did one dive // Delving the lake depths
A champion concealed // Craftily, in chains
- In the back of Grendel’s cave was a small underground lake. In the center was a rock. Trent used lightning to kill all the fish in the lake and Helldamn swam around the water to search for anything. He found that the rock in the middle actually jutted up out of a well that went even deeper. Helldamn cast some magical protections on himself and, armed with his camera, he dived down into this water to see where it went and what was down there.
- Helldamn dived for miles. Eventually he found a chain that connected to the rock and the further he followed it down, the more it began to change until it was eventually seemingly pure fire. The water itself warmed up and light was emanating from the chains and a being within the chains. Through the video camera those watching could identify that this giant, fiery being bound in fiery chains at what could be interpreted as a root of the tree, Yggdrasil, was in fact the Fire-Giant of Ragnarok legend known as Surtur.
- Nearby Surtur was a man similarly bound, showing no signs of life.
- Helldamn continued to the bottom of the well and found an area where small bubbles could be seen coming up. Carefully he searched the area and found a treasure chest. Using magic he disabled six wards (one for each side, plus top and bottom) and carefully removed the chest to bring back to the surface.
- At the bound man, Trent teleported to Helldamn a scroll of “Teleport: Superior” which Helldamn could use to teleport the man out of the chains. Worried about the pressure difference which he might cause, Helldamn cast the scroll (before the water ruined it) such that he and the man appeared just a few feet away, and outside of the chains. Then they slowly began their ascent.
- Meanwhile, from outside the cave James, Zander and Trent heard a woman shout “My son! What have they done to my son!” and though they braced for battle it didn’t come to them. Zander hopped on his skateboard and flew out of the cave to witness a massive dragon flying back towards Copenhagen. Zander poured on the speed to reach her before she could reach the city.
- In the air on the outskirts of the city Zander caught up with her and got her attention. She turned to face this odd, little man and Zander used his Zen-like ability to Calm Minds. She succumbed to its affects and knew she was under the influence of some alien sort of “magic” but with little choice at the moment she agreed to let Zander speak safely for as long as his magic could last. Zander proceeded to convince her that neither the town of Copenhagen, nor King Hrothgar, were to blame for her son’s death but rather he and his companions were.
- Together they flew back and Zander radioed back to the group what was going on. The James and Zander went to where Grendel was but found no body – instead as they dug up the head they found the body had magically re-attached itself as part of the powerful regeneration which Grendel possessed. He appeared to be alive, but unconscious. James dug him out as best he could before Zander and the dragon arrived.
So mother and son // Silent and seething
Agree to await // Another evening
- The dragon mother lady conversed with Zander slightly more amicably after seeing her son whole, but unconscious. She told Zander and the group that Hrothgar and his city must still pay for stealing something precious of hers. Zander asked her if she would leave the city alone if the item were returned, and she agreed. She gave them a day to do this then left with her son.
- The group now attended to the man who Helldamn rescued from the chains. He appeared to be dead but Trent revived him with Lytsong’s help. The man identified himself as Beowulf and he relayed what he remembered: Hrothgar sent him on a mission to search the countryside for a monster. He entered this cave and found both the monster and the mother. She ranted about Hrothgar stealing something of hers and then a fight broke out. Next he knew, the group here was reviving him. They filled him in on what happened since. Beowulf, angry at Hrothgar, refused to be any further part of this and left.
- They asked Beowulf as he left about the ribbon-thin chain, and Beowulf told them that when he got the chain he recognized it as the mythical chain which should be binding the Fenrir Wolf. He left it with his wife because he suspected some kind of connection between the Fenrir Wolf and this Grendel monster, especially with the rumors lately that the once-sterile Fenrir Wolf may have sired a child. Beowulf was worried that having it would have jeopardized his mission and then it would’ve fallen in the wrong hands… and especially now, Beowulf was convinced that Hrothgar was included amongst those who were “the wrong hands.”
- Beowulf left to return to his wife and child, which the group admitted to him were safe from the plague and well-protected now by the Norse priests. Trent tried to insert a nod back into history here by suggesting to Beowulf that if Hrothgar was not the right king for this area, that perhaps Beowulf might be that right king? Food for thought. Beowulf left the cave and took off without looking back.
A treasure taken // To find it their task
One day to deliver // Discover it fast
- The chest was opened and investigated. First found was a 10 foot tall sword designed to instantly slay any elemental except Fire elementals – this was deduced to be Surtur’s sword. Second found was a pendant which Trent immediately recognized as a piece of his fractured staff. Thirdly and lastly was a written account of one of the forge heresies, which Zander held onto in order to unlock its secrets. Recalling the mother’s voice when James first arrived, and knowing she didn’t pass him when she left, the group deduced there was some other way out and began to search for it.
- An object read was done on the sword, and an image of Odin was seen threatening the dragon mother with the sword. Someone in the group apparently thought it odd that Odin needed to use a weapon that could instantly kill the dragon mother with a mere touch in order to threaten her so it was surmised that this was actually a Deevil who was disguised to look like Odin – possibly a Pandemonium, and likely the same one who placed the sound-amplifying rock.
- It didn’t take long to discover a nearly-hidden vent or shaft in the ceiling. Zander turned into energy and zoomed into it, finding the way out but also finding a series of additional tunnels which eventually led to a huge horde of treasure. Central to this treasure chamber was an oddly shaped stalactite which appeared to be useful as a pedestal, but was currently empty. They deduced that whatever had been there was the item which the dragon mother claimed was stolen by Hrothgar. The group left the rest of the treasure alone and began the trek back to Copenhagen to confront Hrothgar.
Confronting the King // Candid and clever
Indifference received // Revealing the answer
- At Hrothgar’s palace the king had trouble caring about the group’s story, seeming to only be concerned about the beast being slain. When the group discussed the need to return the item which was stolen he maintained that he “found” that marvelous gem and it was his by right – and by that right he had it broken apart so that a piece could be made into his wife’s wedding ring. He would not part with it freely.
- Despite the attack by Grendel the King’s wedding party continued into this night, and the group stuck around for a while to try and suss out what they would need to do to meet the demands of the dragon mother. They heard some rumors about Fenrir having children, or a child. Helldamn relayed to a large group the story of his epic battle against The God of Last Resort and how he defeated him in combat. The assemblage loved it and told their own story about their battle against Grendel. Trent then relayed a story to them about the group’s fight against Necrom, though in his edited tale the sword that was Necrom was what Trent first thought his lore identified it as that day; a viking sword called Kladenets. The assembled crowd loved that story too.
- James noticed a second arrow now in Hrothgar’s hall and asked him about it. The king told him that this time an urchin had watched the arrow fall out of the sky and stick in the sand of the beach, as if someone from England had shot it across the waters and across the world to land there.
- Trent bargained with the king. He offered a rare and valuable metal ore called Kisentite with which the king could forge a weapon fit for his station. Hrothgar declined the raw ore, but agreed to the trade if it could be fashioned into a usable weapon, such as a sword.
- With little else they could do in the evening, the group retired for the night with plans to begin their mission anew in the morning.
- James, Helldamn and Zander found the gem cutter who fashioned the wedding ring. They cajoled and badgered him until he revealed the broken gem – all the pieces were thankfully still there except for the wedding ring gemstone. James bartered it from him using his own wealth of gems.
- Trent tracked down Bjorn, the blacksmith, and discussed the smith’s needs for forging the dense metal. The smith did not believe he could do it, as the fires would be too hot and he didn’t have a suitable hammer. Trent offered to use magic such as “Impervious to Fire,” “Superhuman Endurance,” “Sustain,” and other spells as necessary to allow him to work around such powerful flames. Trent convinced Helldamn to part with a Techno-Wizard hammer the Sowki Pall Mall had acquired in Calgary from the Sowki Thor imposter.
- Realizing they needed more time, Zander flew off to meet with the mother dragon and informed her they were making progress but just needed more time. She agreed to give them two more days, for a total of three. She would stay her vengance and wrath no longer than that.
The flames of the forge // Fires hot and fast
A sword for a king // Cawood, created
- With the obstacles overcome, Trent used magic to work with and push Bjorn for nearly 40 nonstop hours in order to forge the sword in the ultra-hot fires that were produced in his workshop. In the end, a Kisentite viking sword of incredible quality was made.
- While Trent was forging the sword, Helldamn sought out and purchased some more bastard swords and James commissioned the creation of a scabbard for the giant sword he was now carrying.
- Tired and weary, Trent asked his companions to come with him in the trade to the king. However in the audience of the king, Hrothgar decided he was uninterested in swords, and that he would not make the trade. Trent, exhausted from the ordeal, nearly collapsed and left the rest of the encounter in the hands of the others.
- Zander stepped forward and demanded that the king step down for being unjust, and endangering the lives of his people needlessly. The king rose to this challenge and a fight ensured – a fight which Zander did not appear to be doing well in. It was only through magic that he could withstand the king’s assault upon him with a mighty pole arm. But the magic Armor of the Dwarf King Ithan made it appear as if Zander was unharmed by the king’s mightiest blows. The king was puzzled. Zander convinced the king to wield the sword against him, in order to test its true power. The king finally relented and took a mighty swing – Zander dropped the Armor of Ithan and the sword connected with Zander’s armor noticeably and loudly.
- Finally the king was satisfied and agreed to the trade. Trent had enough energy left to cast a “Mend the Broken” spell upon the pieces of the gem, restoring them to the magical sound-dampening gem it was before it was broken.
- Zander took off with the gem to find the dragon mother before their time was up. She came to his calls and accepted the gem. She did not believe Zander’s claims of Deevil involvement but agreed to be wary. She also demanded a way to contact him in the future should she wish. Zander gave he a small plush dinosaur which he won in the Faerie Carnival for her to give to her son, Grendel. She admitted that Grendel was the son of Fenrir. She said she would take her son to live farther away from men to keep him safe.
- The group left the king to return to resume his merriment and retired to rest.
- There were still a couple days to go before the ship with the plague-incense was to reach the port, but Zander noticed that Nirvana was slightly more solid. In fact, the rest of the group could now finally start to see a faint outline of the being. In talking to Nirvana about this he revealed that he could now take the group to anyplace they desired, as long as they could picture it. With that news, the group made hasty preparations to travel to the middle east in order to get to the farms growing the plague-herb, and the mysterious alchemist altering it, that much quicker.
- In the morning, rested and prepared, the group used Nirvana to travel to an area in the middle east where they had been before, albeit a few thousand years had passed since then – they traveled to an area from the Ancient Babylon area which they felt was closest to the city of Jerusalem, as per Helldamn’s map.
- The group arrived in a town where all the inhabitants had been mercilessly slaughtered.
Where Beowulf failed // Four did find success
These humble heroes // Honored and nameless
Let Beowulf bay // Brag of his bravado
Copenhagen thanks // The four from tomorrow