The settlement is taking form, with foundations of salvaged stone from the nearby ruins and timber cut from the tall forests. Limited trade with the Tumvar tribe led by the Chieftain Brasshelm is conducted, with Ulf spending a great deal of time at Riversmeet, Brasshelm’s fort.
Finngeir’s ritual to appease the spirits of the land is completed, although he is close-mouthed about his interactions with the land spirits. They demanded a greater sacrifice than had initially been thought, and he did not speak of the details.
The Lodinnmen come from the forest and offer alliance with the settlers, asking for protection and food in exchange for aid and the delivery of written message. Chiseltooth is their representative, and he bids one of his clan, a Lodinnman named Quickclimb, to be a companion of the Jarl and Grizelda.
The Jarl and his huscarls travel overland to meet with Jarl Nightwolf, and find a hunter named Fraki Grimsson treed in the forest. Erik climbs the tree and helps the tired Fraki down from his perch, and the party finds that Fraki’s hunting party was ambushed by a huge boar that battered and slew the rest of the hunting group before Fraki rapidly climbed a tree for safety.
Jarl Jager investigated the scene of the attack, and found that the boar was a shapeshifter of some kind, and was accompanied by men on foot. They tracked them back to a hunting camp deep in the hills, and after Ulf rendered a number of the men unconscious with magic, they fought the savage group. The boar-man’s tusks were like iron, and he slew Erik by impaling him through the gut. Despite being nearly killed by the blow, Erik continued to rain down blows on the beast’s head until his heart was punctured by another brutal gore. Only with the combined arms of the Jarl, Grizelda, and Ulf was the brute slain. His companions were less powerful, and were killed by Jager’s javelins and Grizelda’s sword.
One of the hunting party was dead and flayed for the eating, but the other three were freed by Fraki Fearpig. The whole group returned to Jagerstead, saddened by the loss of Erik in battle. A toast of rare mead was drank in his honor, and he was the first interred in Finngeir’s new barrow hill.
A ship was made ready, and the huscarls traveled by sea to Jarl Nightwolf’s holdings. Fraki Fearpig was chosen to replace Erik as a temporary huscarl, in reward(?) for his skills and bravery(?) in the man-bear-pig incident. While at sea, they saw men in long wooden canoes to the south, but did not move too close to land.
They discussed the issue of the gold mine in the hills with Nightwolf, and drew their boundaries on a simple map. He agreed to them, and warned that he knew a langwyrm resided in the area of the gold mine, and proposed that they bring the beast to battle as allies and would afterwards share of the beast’s hoard. They parted, agreeing to speak further at the season’s Althing, to be held at Jagerstead.
On the return trip, the party’s ship was attacked by a long canoe filled with 20 savage men. They were pale of skin, and tattooed with red lines and whorls like the boarman and his hunters had been, but were different of aspect. Jager threw a harpoon as the boat closed, dragging the chanting leader from the bow of the canoe into the water, and then the boats clashed. A great battle was fought, and the entire enemy warband was slain with only a single casualty on the party’s vessel.