The Gilded Lion Summer Festival 2015
Main Quest Log
June 27th, 1015:
It was a calm but cloudy summer day when the heroes of the Realms arrived in Southland, Rhiassa, just after the solstice. They had come at the bequest of Lady Dame Areni, who had invited everyone to a gathering she was calling the Gilded Lion Summer Festival. Areni had planned a day of good food, fun tournaments, and relaxing in the summer sun, though she would soon find that fate had other plans for the day.
In the days and weeks before the festival, it was hard to ignore the unseasonably frequent and intense thunderstorms. Reports of lightning strikes in the nearby woodlands had increased to alarming rates, and by the time the day of the festival arrived, Lord Sir Aeston had little choice but to take out an adventuring party of his knights and squires and investigate the matter before all of their guests arrived. Whatever they found, however, had delayed their return and as their guests arrived, Areni greeted them alone.
She welcomed everyone to a day of festivities and fun but such plans were short lived. For mere minutes after she had gathered everyone together a clap of thunder was heard in the woods nearby and from within them emerged a band of men and women, dressed in furs and leather and armed with axes and swords. The man at the head of their formation yelled out "Jomsvikings, forward!", and the strange warriors marched towards the pavilion where the heroes of the Realms were gathered. Rather than charge forward with weapons drawn, however, these foreign people raised their hands in truce, and asked if they had finally stumbled upon a place known as The Realms.
These were the Jomsvikings, lead by a man named Ulric. They had journeyed far across the many dimensions with the help of their gods to find The Realms. Ulric told the assembled heroes their story, of their world, Norlund, on the verge of Ragnarok, of the invasion of a unfathomable enemy that they called The Black Death, of the slow but inevitable defeat of the armies of god and man, and then of the enemy's sudden and inexplicable disappearance, leaving their world barren, still, and unable to join the holy battle of Ragnarok that would have allowed their world to be reborn. They had learned that the ultimate defeat of The Black Death was at the hands of the heroes of The Realms, and had come to ask their aid in repairing their broken world and allowing Ragnarok to commence.
The Norlund gods had combined their power to allow the Jomsvikings to travel to the Realms, but in order for them to return, and for the connection between the worlds to be traversable in the future, a gate would have to be built to anchor what would be called the Vanfrost, the path of shadow. For this gate to be constructed, the heroes of the Realms would have to complete challenges from the Norlund gods to increase their influence and potency within Rhiassa. They split themselves up into small groups, and spread out around the lands to find the quests to complete.
From Loki, master of trickery and secrets, they were challenged to navigate their way through a series of puzzles and locks to open a set of mysterious boxes. From Bragi, the god of poetry and music, they were tasked to put a Norlund legend to song using an instrument called a dulcimer. From Baldur, the patron of art and beauty, they were required to paint a picture of a scene from the Norlund countryside. From Hoenir, the lord of creation of silence they had to work together without speaking to build a model of a longboat. From Hlin, the mistress of protection, they had to defend a series of points in the woodlands from an invading kobold army. From Magni, the god of strength, they were asked to complete a set of challenges the required the use of both their muscles and their brains. From Freyr the goddess of fertility and growth they sought to deliver blessed water to flowers that would otherwise die. From Ullr, the master of the hunt, they needed to earn arrows and then use them to shoot game to give as sacrifice. Finally the heroes competed in various tournaments and tests of martial skill to appease Tyr, the god of battle.
As the heroes successfully completed test after test, the gods gifted them with cylindrical stones of white marble, and written upon each of them were strange circular runes. Winning Tyr's favor in battle helped to unlock the secrets of this strange writing, which was called Asgardian Starscript. The adventurers learned that each stone represented a word, and to build the gate that would connect Norlund to Rhiassa, they needed to construct a set of columns that created a rhyming couplet that bore the meaning of where they wanted to travel.
As Areni served dinner, the heroes of the Realms translated these runes and built the gate. When the last of the sun had disappeared beyond the horizon and the darkness has settled on Southland, the gate was finally completed, glowing from within with a strange, blue energy. The Jomsvikings, now able to return to their home, thanked the heroes of the Realms for their service, and secured from them the promise that they would, themselves, travel through the Vanfrost that coming fall for their first of many missions to put right the lands of Norlund.