Having had dinner and spoken among themselves, the PCs then spoke to the elders of Fyrkat Village. They mentioned they’d come from far away in a vehicle, had arrived here by accident, and didn’t know home was. Low on food, wanting a decent night’s rest, a bath, and clean clothes, the PCs appealed to the villagers for aid.
The villagers agreed to help the PCs if the PCs would help them. Since they’d driven off a Giant Person by setting it on fire, perhaps they could help drive off the entire nest? Giant Person were known nuisances. They raided crop, stole livestock, and kidnapped people (to eat, apparently.) The PCs, after some discussion, agreed.
The next two days or so were taken up with preparations. Arms (axes, spears, hatchets, knives, and bowers) were brought out and made ready. The village’s armor (byrnies and corslets of wax-soaked leather) was also taken out of storage and serviced. The PCs realized the village’s weapons were all tools, either for wood working or hunting. This wasn’t a warrior culture, and they didn’t have swords, battle axes, pikes, or items of that nature. They also didn’t have helmets or shields.
Loading a horse drawn wagon (it turns out the village’s horses have three toes!) the party of 12 villages (mostly Hunting People, with a few Farming and Leaping People as well) headed out to where the PCs encountered the first Giant Person. Hunting People then tracked the Giant Person back to his (her?) lair, a large stone plaza. The “Baptismal Pool Plaza” consisted of close-set flagstones up against a steep hill. Four storerooms were set in the hill (this is where the Giant People laired.) At a right angle to the hill was a line of columns and arches, where the two met was a tall obelisk topped by a weathered statue. The base of the obelisk was a deep pool and a channel that led out to three large rectangular pools.
The PCs and the villagers lined up on the far side of the channel and fired a flare and fire arrows into the store rooms. Things caught fire, the Giant People came out bellowing, and the battle was on.
The fight lasted for maybe a minute or so (actually 2 Turns, but let’s be dramatic here) and resulted in four dead Giant Persons and two that ran away. Billy Jo and Cyan managed to kill on, Marcus got one all on his own, and Edward and Donavan took down the biggest. The villagers assisted (in fact, they killed one Giant Person with an arrow to the eye when the GM rolled a 4.) One villager had been struck down by a Giant Person and needed help, Billy Jo had been punched across the plaza by one of the biggest Giant Persons and was miraculously unharmed, while Edward received an open-handed blow from the biggest Giant Person and was suffering from cracked ribs. Calvin saw Marcus struck down, found this was one of those times where he wished he could erase and start over, and then saw Marcus duck the blow that moments before had nearly killed him. Dalla, for her part, had plunged forward to the attack, slipped on the channel’s muddy bottom and fell and hit her head.
Cyan tended to the wounded, and informed everyone that Dalla wasn’t as badly injured as everyone had thought. Calvin was relieved to this hear this, as his attempt to reverse the event (per what had happened with Marcus) had failed. Cyan also tended to the injured villager, and wrapped up Edward’s ribs. The stress of combat resulted in Donovan getting physically ill and Marcus sitting in the wagon in a daze. Upon their return to Fyrkat, the PCs were treated as heroes. A feast was held in their honor and they were gifted with arms, clothes, and the like.
A month later found the PCs, for the most part, fairly well settled into village life. The PCs all felt better than they’d ever had before, losing (or gaining) weight as they discovered what is was like to live in a Iron Age society. However, while physically they felt well, there was the growing realization that this was their future—a life with out running water, electricity, modern medical care, refrigeration, indoor plumbing, and so on. Needless to say, the PC’s reactions were varied:
Billy Jo Earl Brown decided to capitalized on his hero’s welcome by taking a Hunting Person lover (or two... or more....) The discovery that Farming Person and Hunting Persons were sexually compatible but unable to bear children was only an added bonus. He also spent time going on hunting trips and working with Herger, the village’s Leaping Person carpenter.
Calvin Murdoch introduced the villagers to the idea of modern styles of art (such as pencil sketches.) He too ended up working with Herger, as his pencil sketching skills were a bonus when it came time to do wood carvings. Herger ended up teaching Calvin woodcarving, the art of drinking mead, and knowingly looked the other way when Calvin bedded his daughter. In fact, Calvin rapidly commenced a bed-by-bed tour of the village. It started when he was shown the Undines (or Water People) a race of mer-men (half-human, half-dish) who dwelled in the nearby river. His sketches of the nude female Undines started a strange rivalry, in which various unattached female villagers compared themselves to the sketches and then asked him to sketch them. Things went downhill from there....
Cyan Chartreuse found herself apparently “adopted” by Mother Gytha. She spent long hours with Gytha and Vilgerthr, learning herb lore and the uses of medicinal plants.
Donovan Knight spent a lot of time simply getting to know the village and its people. He also asked about the world around them and who dwelled in it (more information below.) At one point Mister Grimm lent him a pipe and sat down for a smoke. Among their topics of discussion was the fact the villagers recognized that cross-race love affairs occur. They were recognized as inevitable, not considered taboo, and were tolerated, provided both parties recognized their responsibilities to the village and eventually started same-race families. However, it was insinuated that starting a same-race family didn’t mean the end to the cross-race affair.
Edward Aldrich worked with the Vidar the blacksmith on making useful things out aircraft aluminum. He also tried (and failed) to make a crossbow and a katana, and practiced with the weapons he’d gained after the battle with the Giant People. The other PCs were amazed to see him lose something like 40 pounds in just four weeks! As for Edward, he decided he never really needed to leave. The villager was all he could have ever wanted, and better yes, it had catgirls! He too capitalized on his hero's welcome to take a Hunting Person lover.
Marcus Dreamseed Anderson, much like Donovan, spent him time getting to know the villagers in the non-Biblical sense. He used his knowledge of science to ask about crop rotation (the villagers did that already, cycling crops around season to season), created a still, helped turn the aricraft aluminum into bowls and spoons, learned carpentry, smithing, and the runic written language. He also found a constant companion in Vilgerthr, who adored him. Marcus, for his part, found Vilgerthr to be a great friend, but was oblivious to her true feelings. Everyone else on the other hand....
The vicarious thrill of having your PCs make love to Green-Skinned Alien Space Babes came to a crashing halt when it was realized that the long houses everyone lives in have no walls, doors, or private rooms. You get, in effect, curtains. On the other hand, while everyone knows that you’re doing, no one comments on it. There’s an open acceptance that comes from such close-quarters community living.
The villager’s religion centers around farming and growing. They don’t seem to have gods, exactly, but do have rituals enacted to ensure good crops, good growth, and so on. The feel is somewhat animist. However, they do have one strong and overriding belief—things from the sky, like people, are bad. Very, very bad.
The PCs have seen the following new animals: small medium and large Giant Persons. Village sheep have anywhere from two to six horns while the horses have three toes. The village doesn’t have dogs, but has a lot of large feathered monitor lizards as pets.
The village measures time by growing seasons. A season is 120 days (give or take.) The PCs learn to divide by three to get approximate years. Thus, when Guthny says she’s 48 seasons old, that means she’s around 16. In addition, there’s no cold season. In other words, the village never has to deal with food running out in the middle of winter. This is one reason they all look so healthy.
Mention is made of the ocean, far to the Center. Trade goods come up from the ocean. This include glass objects (beads and the like), mirrors, saw blades, gold and sliver, fine cloth, and so on.
Fyrkat is one of a cluster of villages all a day’s travel from each other.
Heading towards the ocean is forest, forest, more forest, and then wide plains of grass. Then the ocean itself. The PCs are pretty sure this “map” is fairly abstracted.
Talk has given the PCs the following idea of the local population:
Building/Farming People are basically humans with unusual skin colors (red, green, blue, and so on.)
Hunting People are humans with secondary feline characteristics (ears, tails, eyes, claws.)
Leaping People are basically anthropomorphic rats/ferrets.
Running People are tall (easily 6’) brown-ish skinned humans with pale hair, long legs, and long ears on their heads. Common wisdom is to never challenge one to a footrace. Running people come up from the Center lands.
The forests towards the Center are inhabited by the Forest People, who appear as green-skinned Farming People who live in the trees.
The forests also contain the vaguely-described “Beast People.”
Giant People live up towards the mountains. At best guess, a Giant Person is a form of simian, perhaps a Gigantoithecus.
Gnomes are short (no more than 5’ tall) gray-skinned with red, black, or gray hair, and live in the ground. They are known as the Burrowing or Mining People. The PCs immediately think “dwarves” upon hearing about them.
Undines, or the Water People, have humanoid torsos and fish-scaled lower bodies. Undines are considered safe-water indicators. If you see them in a lake or river, the water is “safe.” (This leads to the question of “safe from what?”) Meeting the Undines quickly dispelled any notions of “that’s impossible” the PCs might have had when told about other races. Calvin may have romanced a female Undine... if so, he’s not saying.
Naga, or Serpent People, are rumored to dwell in the Forests. They have humanoid upper bodies and the lower bodies of huge snakes.
You’ve met the following people:
Halli (hal-lee) the red-skinned Farming Person who is an apprentice to Vidar the blacksmith. He’s around 18 and has a physique similar to Vidar’s
Finnogi (fin-nbohgee) the Hunting Person who is an apprentice to Vidar the blacksmith. He’s around 16 and shows signs of developing muscle (he’ll probably end up the most muscular Hunting Person in the village.)
Dagfithr (dag yreeth) the blue-skinned Farming Person who is Vidar’s wife. She helps with the smithing and if seven feet tall and green would make an excellent She Hulk.
Herger (her-ge) is a gray-furred Leaping Person and the village carpenter. He has a great sense of humor (his advice to Marcus when the latter couldn’t properly lift a hammer was “Grow stronger.”) His hair is worn long and heavily braided and decorated (his wife’s work.) Billy Jo is in slight awe at his ability to eyeball measurements.
Hildigunnr (heel-dee-goon-n) is Herger’s wife. She has an unusual physique for a Leaping Person (she’s very curvaceous) and wears her hair to her waist. She’s also the village’s primary barber, if the need arises.
Authfríthr (aooth-freeth) is Herger and Hildigunnr’s daughter. She’s unique in being very dark-furred, as opposed to the typical Leaping Person grays and whites.
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