78-868 Gjald [IC]

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78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#1  Postby mark » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:57 pm

Time: Dagmál , 78-868 [ ~13hr day]
Weather: Cool, partly cloudy
Wind: Calm

Times of Day
miðnætti = midnight, 11pm-1am
ótta = last of night, 2-4am
miðr morgun = midmorning, 5-7am
dagmál = day time, 8-10am
hádegi = noon, 11am-1pm
undorn = afternoon, 2-4pm
miðaftann = mid-evening, 5-7pm
náttmál = nigh time, 8-10pm


The Menn af Vágrvík spend the next week in isolation, virtual prisoners in a medium sized Snotingaham home with a private, wattle-fenced yard big enough for practising and exercising in the days ahead, but little else besides. Hrolleifr trains Dolfr how to be stealthier, emphasising the importance of stopping his gear from making any noise. Lofi & Finni show Biarni & Bjorn respectively knew ways to exercise, focusing on athleticism rather than brawn. Sulki talks at length to Erafar about mental fortitude and determination, hopefully giving the youngster a boost to his willpower. The last year has been hard on all the young men, but they are beginning to see tangible improvement in their skills.

There are just enough basic vitals, but there is not much of Finni’s whetstone left, in fact it is completely consumed by the time all nine of the men have sharpened their weapons for whatever cunning mission Ubbi would have them on next much to Finni's frustration. It was slightly unsettling that no details had yet been revealed of the coming mission, but the fine sword Ubbi had shown them seemed to make it all worthwhile in their minds, even though one sword doesn’t share very well between nine men…

On the eighth day, the men were summoned back to the hoff again to see Ubbi. He stood in the centre of the hoff near a small fire talking to Storri and of course there were the usual fearsome-looking retainers guarding the main door. Propped against the table is a spear with a red banner on in, although it is hard to see the design without it fluttering in the wind it could perhaps be the fabled Hrafn Merki! Somehow Ubbi seemed more restless than usual and he wasted no time with small talk.

As the men made their way over to him he said, "We have little time, so straight to business today. The Englar herr approaches; they’re but a day from our walls. Thanks to your efforts we’ve had time to quietly evacuate almost everybody, hopefully without them knowing."

He continues, "So the Englar believe the bulk of our stórr herr is still here in Snotingaham, and that they outnumber us. Surely they must have doubts about assaulting these walls, and the delays caused by your raid on Repton must have been a drain on their supplies. That being true, they should be willing to negotiate. And you are the men who are going to sell the city back to them."

Ubbi pauses long enough to let the men realise they will be in charge of the defence of the city, and then to negotiate its sale, "Sigurd, my brother, intends to be washed by the Neglð Guð Seiðmenn so he can marry Princess Bjæju Ælladohtor. This will calm the Englar people who are angry with our rule of Norþhymbra and ready to revolt. Ívarr is by now back in Jórvík with Halfdan, but they have no great talent for peace, only war. So I must return to smooth the way for the wedding and eventual peace, peace means taxes and taxes means we have the silver to pay men. But we need the extra coin you can raise here too, and realistically we cannot hold the city without supplies."

He adds, "So when the Englar arrive, you will be here alone with the men I shall leave under your command, and you must hold the city until you have negotiated a gjald from the Englar. I'm leaving you the Hrafn Merki to prove to the Englar that not only are the Ragnarssons still in the city, but that you speak with their authority. Agree to negotiate and aim to get a gjald of 300,000d, that's about eight barrels of coins. Promise them all Danir will to leave Snotingaham and all of Mercia, and there shall be peace for one year. Of course, if you get more than that I will give you a bonus; the man among you with the highest reputation may join my hirð and I will give him a pure, pretty Englar girl in return. She is the daughter and heiress of a local reeve we killed, and so I have made her a free woman again, which means marrying her will give you more good lands here in Miercna that not even the Englar can dispute in their law courts."
Raven Banner.png

It seems as if the pendant on the spear must really be the legendary Hrafn Merki!

Storri chips in with a light-hearted and vaguely mocking tone as he glances at Biarni, "Lucky you have the merchant with you, hmm? Anyway, that’s the easy part, getting away with all that silver is going to be a lot trickier. Might have to convince the Englar to withdraw for a few days to 'avoid conflicts' when the Danir march back to Norþhymbra or something?"

Ubbi concludes by saying, "I am assigning you some men, but there will be very few of you, so don’t let the Englar find out how few you are. And watch those cliffs, if we could get in that way then so can they. You will be left with five barrels of rations, two oxen with plenty of feed and two wagons to bring the coins back to Jórvík. When you deliver the tribute to us the sword is yours and if you're there in time we can feast together at Sigurd’s brullaup."

Storri rolls his eyes and says with a soft sigh, "I suppose they will ask lots of silly questions now."

There mere sight of the fabled Hrafn Merki is enough to send shivers down the spine and to cause enemies to flee in terror, but being granted permission look after the banner is almost too much to believe and enough to humble some of the Menn af Vágrvík. All the men must check their Willpower or they will feel timid and weak-kneed.


GLOSSARY
Hrafn Merki = Raven Banner (of Ragnarr "Loðbrók" Sigurðrson)
brullaup = wedding
stórr herr = great army
gjald = payment, tribute
hirð = hearth (oath-sworn warriors)
Danir = Danes
herr = army
Neglð Guð Seiðmenn = Nailed God Wizards
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#2  Postby Bjorn Are Stolen » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:47 am

While listening to this warleader that both awe and inspire Erafar, everybody can see how he gets his thinking face..
He's head's spinning with different ideas on how to appear to be more than they are.

Making dolls

Constant patrols

Rapid changing and borrowing of costumes and different caftans and tunics and helmets and mail shirts while doing visible sentry duty on the walls.

Of course, he doesn't yet dare to open his mouth in front of theese awsome leaders, but at least his confidence has risen somewhat during the last weeks, he now feels a bit more like one of the pack, and he looks forewards to vent his ideas onto the others as soon as they are on their own.
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#3  Postby Jon Reinhardt » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:27 am

Addressing Ubbi polite way Dolfer replays "im flattered by the trust you putt in us. But what about the ship we traded or knarr for. Is it still here? And could that not be used to get the silver if not the men from the town." Dolfre then pauses and asks." And how many men will there be here under our command and what is their quality if we need to face of climbers?"
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#4  Postby NMorgan » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:53 pm

Willpower (55)
NMorgan rolled 1d100 and got a total of 36:
36


Sulki eyes the banner with a mixture of pride, awe, and trepidation. Then, knowing how subtle and tricky Ubbi can be, he wonders if it is the real one and not a decoy or replica whose purpose would be to fool Dane and Englar alike while the real one was safely tucked away on its way with Ubbi. He almost smiles and is about to ask a question when Dolfr asks it for him. He too had wondered about the number and sort of men they would be commanding.
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#5  Postby mark » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:15 pm

Sulki, Erafar, Gunnar, Hrolleifr & Lofi do not feel intimidated by the presence of the Hrafn Merki, but Dolfr, Biarni, Finni & Bjǫrn are quite nervous. In fact, Dolfr's words come out as little more than a whisper and without any manly confidence, they are so ineffectual that Ubbi all but ignores his softly spoken questions and gives a slightly dismissive response as if he were replying to a child, "No, that ship as already sailed, Boy."

He adds, "You shall have a crew of battle-proven men."

Ubbi looks somewhat concerned and disappointed as he turns to Storri and says, "I hope I have the right men for the job."

Storri smiles and shrugs at Ubbi.

Insight might reveal more...
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#6  Postby NMorgan » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:28 pm

Insight (43)
NMorgan rolled 1d100 and got a total of 92:
92


Sensing a shift in mood, if perhaps not the reason for it, Sulki speaks up. He ignores Storri's earlier tone as he begins asking his own questions. ”We will see it done. How many do you estimate the Englar forces to be? Other than the cliffs, what would you deem to be the weakest points in the city's defenses should we need to defend before negotiations? And how many horse that we may need to evade once on the road? Where will the main Danish forces be between here and Jorvik - I assume the first friendly faces we'll see will be in Northumbria? As for the Englar army, who likely commands them now and what sort of man will we be dealing with?”
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#7  Postby Jon Reinhardt » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:28 am

Dolfer slides a bit to the back in awe of the banner and looks down at the ground. Feeling a bit embarrassed of his bad performance. Muttering in a low voice to the rest of the crew he says " What of our ship, dont we have any now."
Then he try to follow what is being said by Ubbi.
Dolfer rolls Insight 23
Jon Reinhardt rolled 1d100 and got a total of 97:
97
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#8  Postby mark » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:20 pm

Dolfr notices nothing from either Ubbi or Storri's words and reactions and he can't help but wonder if the weak manner of his questioning unsettled Ubbi. However, both Erafar and Sulki think that the questioning about the ship was what made Ubbi have second thoughts. What could possibly worry him about a small group of men with questionable allegiance to him having a fast ship loaded with his 300,000d that is needed to recompense the herr? Perhaps he feels safer with barrels of silver on an ox drawn wagon where there is ultimately almost nowhere to go except north, and where he can undoubtedly have scouts keep an eye on them.

Ubbi turns to Sulki and replies to him in a normal tone, "Thousands. The men of Miercna number around three thousand, we believe they are closest. And not far behind them are the men of Westseaxna, perhaps another two thousand. They will have hundreds of horsemen, while they might watch you they won't pursue & attack as that would break the peace they just bought, providing they don't know you tricked them of course. The real and immeasurable threat comes from your own men, or other bandits, when you carry 300,000d. Don't let word get out of what you carry, or anybody who can lift a stone will be after you."

Ubbi continues, "The cliffs are far from weak, you of all men should know that, they are higher and stronger than the actual walls. So you wouldn't try and get an army in the city that way, but they are a little easier to sneak a few men up them at night, so keep your sentries there alert. Besides the cliffs the gates are the actual weak points, but I doubt they will make a good battering ram for many days or weeks. When you have the numbers, ladders over the walls are probably the quickest and easiest way into the city. However, the fortifications here are pretty strong all round, and due to the huge losses entailed in an assault, assuming we actually had an army here to defend the walls, they will most likely just want to siege the city, or sneak a few men in to try and get the gates open...much like you did. They probably won't try that though until the men of Westseaxna have arrived to reinforce them, but you can't be sure."

Ubbi smiles faintly and adds,"If they know how few you are they will probably climb the walls and slaughter you all immediately, so don't let them discover your true numbers. The entire stórr herr will be returning to Norþhymbra so there won't be any friendlies in the settlements you pass until you get back across the border, and even then few until you reach Jórvík....except for a few scouts perhaps."
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#9  Postby jezreel » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:02 pm

Gunnar eyes the banner - he's well impressed by its aura and is trying to remember what he has heard about it.
He has been quiet around Ubbi and his minions since his ill-fated introduction speech when they first arrived at Snottingham, but he's wondering if he might ask for the honour of carrying/guarding the banner.

He looks at the banner, back at Ubbi talking, back to the banner......
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#10  Postby Scipio » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:37 am

Biarni's head is spinning with the developments - the possibilities - the responsibilities! Storri's earlier remark suddenly makes a lot more sense, but he's not entirely happy about these great men's expectations focussing on him.

The presence of the Raven standard makes the situation even more intimidating. He can't help but hope that it's a copy to trick the Englar and that they're not actually entrusted with the real thing...
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#11  Postby Jon Reinhardt » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:23 pm

Dolfer is covering in the corner hoping that the banner will have the same effect on his enemies as it has on him. What has happens whit the ship is it lost. Has it been changed back to the knar. How are they going to deal whit the Anglar. Dolfer is eager to get the meting over whit so they can start to plan how to deal whit the situation.
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#12  Postby NMorgan » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:56 am

"Hmm. If they try to repeat our method with the cliffs or probe our defenses, how many men will we have to repel and to sell them on the idea that there is an army within the walls? And what do you think would be the best way to drive the Englar to a negotiation?"

Then feeling more than a little foolish to be guessing or opining about strategy in front of the likes of Ubbi, Sulki can feel his cheeks grow warm and looks over at Biarni, then the others, "Anyone else have questions?"
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#13  Postby Scipio » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:43 pm

Biarni finally finds his tongue. "I don't think we have any more questions, Lord... but maybe a request." He gestures to the crew, himself included. "The winter and the missions we've been given have left us ragged. At least one of us should look like the kind of man who can speak for you, if we want the Englar to believe us."

He stops short of actually asking for anything in particular.
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#14  Postby mark » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:54 pm

Before Biarni speaks, Ubbi replies to Sulki, "I don't know exactly, but should be more than before now you have these two extra," he says as he indicates towards Hrolleifr and Lofi.

He adds, "They're waiting on the wall by the west gate."

He pauses long enough to smile before he continues, "The Englar will eventually want to talk with you, I'm certain of it. They will want to know what our intentions are, and they will remind us we cannot stay inside the walls forever with so many mouths to feed. You will mostly need to be courteous and diplomatic if you want to successfully negotiate with Burghred cyning. If you want to speak to them, just yell over the walls to them, you speak the Englar tunga..?"
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Re: 78-868 Gjald [IC]

Post Number:#15  Postby mark » Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:34 pm

Ubbi looks at Biarni and replies to him, "Of course, why don't you just pop to the nearest tailor and get fancy new clothes? Be sure and have him send me the bill!"

His words ooze light-hearted sarcasm, clearly there would be no working tailors in the city, and from the sound of things most of the Danir had already left, meaning there would be no option to get replacement clothing. Bianri's attempt to Influence Ubbi seems to have failed.

Storri comments with a wry smile, "The Englar can hardly expect men who have been on campaign for six months or more to be dressed in their finest clothes. You'll just have to verbally convince them you're important men, somehow."
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