New Viking Garb

Early Christmas present for me!

My new Grimfrost version of the Gjermundbu Viking helmet

Anything I’ve ordered and received in the post during the last few weeks I’ve wrapped up and put under my Christmas tree, but not this from the Swedish company Grimfrost – this is a Christmas gift I wanted early!

For around 25 years I’ve dressed in a Renaissance-era leather doublet, gloves, tights, leather hat, etc., at the Renaissance Festival. But I am now much more of a medievalist focusing on Norse, Celtic, and a more stripped-down and earlier Medieval European look and feel. Plus, thanks to the youth of today, cosplaying is a thing at conventions, game stores and at home, so I can have a lot of fun with this when the helmet isn’t on the helmet stand!

Me at the Renaissance Festival in 2010 with the garb I’ve worn for over 20 years.

This is just a quick look at how I looked today when I put on my Viking Tunic, the helmet, and unsheathed the sword I already own. Once I fill out my new set I will post more pictures.

However, the helmet is 12 gauge steel and the aventail is made of chainmail, so each are about 5lbs, meaning the helmet is 10-11 pounds in weight. Just wearing this for a few minutes while walked around smiling and laughing at how cool I look and taking these photos made me realize that my head and upper body would get sore wearing this initially, so I will have to do it in small spurts (then again, who wears a medieval Viking helmet regularly and for long periods!).

A close up of me summoning forth my inner Viking!

Don’t you wish you were this cool?

Castles & Crusades Diary: Dragonclaw Barony Campaign, Session 15

The adventurers arrive at Rodemus Keep in search of the secret castle plans that were stolen and encounter a vampiric spawn!

Game Diary:
Characters: Eliam (Half-Elf Cleric/Wizard), Malcolm (Human Wizard), Sir Sanwyche (Human Paladin), Gwar (Half-Orc Barbarain), Endur (Human Fighter), Tobias (Human Ranger), Orryn (Gnome Illusionist), Juhraveal (Half-Elf Rogue), Magnus (Gnome Druid), Thorthic (Dwarven Barbarian/Cleric)

[Gaming online can be hit or miss, and for this Saturday session we experienced a lot of issues with video and sound on Discord and one player had to bow out early on. In spite of this we managed to push on and have fun.]

The adventurers sailed up the east coast of Dragon Lake and made landfall near Rodemus Keep. The player that ran Juhraveal and Magnus bowed out of the game due to internet connection issues and right away the party lost its rogue and druid. Hoping the player would have a better internet connection next time, we had his two characters stay with the boat as the rest of the party headed toward the keep. Tobias, the ranger, scouted ahead and discovered two human-like creatures bent over someone. Once the clerics caught up they identified the feeding creatures as ghouls, and they were feeding on a goblin! Destroying the undead they searched the goblin’s body and found a letter from Girck, a hobgoblin mercenary leader who was involved with the elven thief Valanunthe (she was brought to justice in the previous adventure by the adventurers). Girck was the next piece in the puzzle for them, so seeing this note meant they knew they were in the right place.

They approached Rodemus Keep where he was believed to be holed up. The keep was 170 feet square with with a crenelated roof over 30 feet high. Although old and no longer in top shape due to neglect, Thorthic the dwarf realized the walls were sturdy and thick (at least 20 feet thick), and he estimated they could only enter through the front gate. Approaching the front gate they discovered it had been replaced for some reason by a door hinged on the outside of the keep and was unlocked and easily opened. With marching ranks made up of two characters side-by-side and 5 ranks deep, they marched in the front door, saw another door 30 feet ahead of them, and without a rogue to discover the trap ahead of them, they moved in and 20 feet in and triggered a 20 foot deep pit trap which caused most of the first two ranks to fall in, rendering Orryn unconscious! Everyone was pulled up and healed, they proceed to take the front door off its hinges and place it across the pit to reach the next door at the end of the 30 foot hallway.

After opening this door (it wasn’t locked), they had a door to their left, a door to their right, and a hallway ahead. The one on the right was locked, so they choose the one on the left. It led into a storage room with crates of torches, lanterns, oil flasks, pitchforks, hammers, iron nails, etc. There was also a door to the north of the room with a wooden plank poorly nailed across it as if to keep people from entering (but not very convincingly). The characters easily tore the wooden plank off and entered. Ahead of them about 15 feet into the room there were curtains that were hanging from ceiling to floor. They picked up the scent of something sweet as well as that of fresh soil. The paladin sensed evil and went forward and struck through the curtain. As the curtain fell to the ground what Sir Sanwyche saw was a pale human being with the sweet aroma of death augmented by preservative herbs, pale white skin, sharp nails, piercing red eyes, and two very sharp front teeth!

The vampiric undead that was encountered.

It lunged at him, striking with its fist and attempting to bite the holy warrior. The fist struck, knocking him back. The other characters moved in and the battle was on. Although the vampiric creature was missing with its bite attacks, it struck hard with its fist, and soon Orryn was unconscious at -1 hit points, and the paladin also went down. Not many characters had magical weapons (non-magical weapons didn’t seem to cause it much if any harm), so Gwar dragged the paladin out of the room, and Tobias grabbed the gnome illusionist and retreated. One character finally did get bit by the vampire – Endur – and when he then failed his constitution save he felt himself drained both physically and mentally as his hard earned fighter knowledge and experience of combat was drained (and the vampire gained strength from it). The fighter staggered back from the bite, both his muscle and mental memory of combat skills diminished. Endur had lost a level, falling from 2nd to 1st level! The spellcasters fought on with their magic, the casting of dark chaos and magic missile spells wore down the undead monster. Thorthic, the dwarven barbarian/cleric of Thor had a magical hammer, and he battered away at the undead. When the final blow took it down, it fell backward and rolled to the side of its open coffin. Thorthic took his hammer and pounded a quickly made stake through its heart and then cut off its head, while Eliam, the other cleric in the group poured holy water in the fresh soil in the coffin.

The group was worn down, two were unconscious, and one person lost a level, and many others were beat down and low on hit points. After setting the coffin on fire, they retreated from the keep and set up camp 20 minutes south of the keep. They placed the vampires body under the running water of a river and its body dissolved. They could finally take a moment to breath and think. They realized that they would need 24 hours to heal up, the ranger and barbarians also noticed that a heavy rain storm was coming, and so they hunkered down for the oncoming weather and to heal. Throughout the night the rain came down in sheets. The next morning wet and cool from the late autumn chill, the ranger noticed that although not a pleasant experience, the heavy rain ensured that none of the goblins and hobgoblins (or whoever else might be in the keep) were not going to go out and hunt them. They were able to spend a day and heal up. Largely recovered from their first foray into the keep, they headed back to it to complete their mission.

Approaching the keep they noticed nothing out of the ordinary other than the effects of the recent heavy rain. Upon entering the keep the door was still placed across the pit trap where they had left it. With the area to the left explored previously, and with the right door still locked, they headed straight ahead up the corridor to where they found the keep’s kitchen, a temple to St. Cornelius (a saint for common soldiers) that was somehow corrupted, and a guard sentry point (but the goblin guards that had been there were missing). And that is where we ended the adventure since time had run out. In two weeks they will explore the corrupted temple and see if they will be more successful with their second attempt entering the keep.