The campaign began with Khyborn Draginsiniv, Boyar of Vorngrad & Sighild, Aesir warrior woman from distant Olafbroek- the pair having left known paths behind days ago as they trekked every upward into the Graaskal Mtns. Sighild having been hired by Khyborn to lead him safely through the wilds to Molar Mountain, for reasons known just to himself. The spring thaw had begun to hit the lower peaks, but snow capped the higher ranges to the west & north still. Steep woodlands lined the mountainsides below them to the east & south.
The pair spotted a small dagger on the grass en route. Stopping to examine, Khyboirn somewhat eagerly trampled the area, but deduced it was recently left- whilst Sighild was able to see that the dagger was well looked after & made in an Aesir style.
Banter followed en route to the mountain, especially when it became apparent that this mountain may take days to circumnavigate & that Khyborn didn’t precisely know what part of the mountain he was looking for, whilst Sighild insisted she’d been employed simply to take him to the top- not inside! That was a totally different request! A few Roubles smoothed out that matter for the moment, the wolves howling in the distance perhaps tipping Khyborn’s hand.
As the pair explored edges of the mountains vast “tabletop”, they spotted three Aesir approaching at a jog, axes in hand. Khyborn & Sighild resolved to hide for the moment as they approached, axes in hand. It soon became apparent the Aesir were looking for someone, lost boys. Remembering the dagger, Sighild’s conscience would not let her stay silent. They called down to the Aesir & climbed down, a quick conversation followed, but Sighild’s origin & Khyborn’s surety of self- as well as their willingness to not dally & share the valuable information of finding the boys dagger- received a favourable reaction for the duo in what could have been a fraught situation with the agitated Aesir finding them lurking near their camp & with two boys missing.
Soon the group was running back west across the mountainside as grey clouds & drizzle swept in (until then, it seems the Aesir had been worried about the east & those wolves). Covering a couple of miles quickly, Khyborn’s sharp ears soon picked up a cry of pain- with even the Aesir impressed he could confidently pinpoint it to a particular gully/gorge among half a dozen snaking along the visible stretch of mountainside.
The moments saved in the hectic run over & the locating of the cry turned pivotal as the group arrived atop a steep gully to find two Aesir boys beset by four diminutive but savage Picts- ashen skinned, clad only in fur loincloths or straw shirts & moccasins, hair shaved aside from a long, greasy black topknot, tied black feathers. One Aesir boy was still on the ground and the other hard pressed, Khyborn quickly unslung his bow & roared with unseemly delight as his arrow buried dead centre & dropped a Pict as the Aesir began their charge. A furious melee was joined, Sighild observing the speed & elusive style of the Picts and adjusting the swings of her 2 handed sword to send a chunk of scalp flying from one foe. The lighting fast Picts proved hard for most to pin down but tall, skinny Bjarni- of the lank hair, broken nose & striking cheekbones- seemed to catch a Pict with every swing of his woodaxe, splitting skulls & removing heads like a boy lops off thistle tops.
The last Pict followed a wild swing of his own stone axe by turning on his heel & sprinting off. Khyborn & Sighild gave chase but the unnerving speed of the Pict soon saw him disappear, leaving even the athletic barbarianess & the superior breeding of the Vorngradski Nobility scanning fruitlessly, breathlessly, the shrouding woodlands that cover the lower altitudes of the mountains.
Rejoining the 3 Aesir- lanky Bjarni, carefully slow blonde Kye & tubby ginger Heimdahl- an uneasy camaraderie settled. With Khyborn shy of revealing his purpose and not being satisfied in return of the Aesir’s claims of being here, at least 60 miles from Asgard, just to cut timber.