I find myself cast out from my homeland, set adrift upon the waves with naught but my longboat, a skeleton crew of worthy seamen, and a brand of vengeance burning within my chest.
I am betrayed.
The gods have looked down upon me from the heights of Asgard and made a mockery of my ambition. They have seen fit to tear away that which is rightfully mine and grant stewardship of the kingdom which I ought to have inherited to my pretending uncle.
No matter that it was I who killed the king, my father, and saw my elder brothers and sisters bled as sacrifice to Odin. I was victorious. By all rights of man and gods I should now sit upon the great oaken throne beneath the timbers of my mead hall! 1
And yet here I find myself, beached upon the banks of a river in the provincial back woods, decidedly unsure of the my recent companions.
Allow me to explain.
Having been driven from my rightful lands, I found myself reduced to ravaging the shorelines for sustenance and to provide my crew with necessary motivation to continue straining their backs at the oars. Thus it was that I found myself at a hamlet along the strand of a piddling mainland stream somewhere in the gallic territories.
Much to the disappoint of myself and my men, we found that others had ravaged this hamlet before us. Judging from the tracks of carts and tramp of handled feet, it appeared that Roman soldiers had preceded us. 2 As I set my men to searching the wrecked shanties and ruined bodies for what goods might remain, I encountered two individuals who will be of some import to my story.
The first of these was an Arabian man dressed in dark robes and carrying himself with an uncanny nimble step. We came upon and another as he was examining a dart which had become lodged in the wall of some hovel. We struck up a conversation in the trading tongue. He was taciturn at first, befitting a stranger encountered on the field of slaughter, but we soon struck upon a mutual interest in the magics of far Egypt. A tenuous agreement was entered upon, whereby this man, Amadi 🗡 being his name, would share his knowledge of magic and trickery and I would assist him in continuing his search for a band of Egyptian assassins. 3
The second fellow was a Celt named Biard 🐈 bedecked in woad and accompanied by an uncommonly large cat. He spoke little and was disdainful of my traditions, 4 but offered to provide food for my entire crew in exchange for passage as he sought the source of a magical disturbance.
- Gundahar 👑 has not revealed the truth of his exile in character. He still claims a sort of Hamlet / Caspain complex where his uncle usurped his throne.
- Gundahar 👑 isn’t especially wise. As in, he has a -1 to all WIS rolls. I play this up by frequently using a flat WIS roll to help me choose the “best” course of action for him.
- He still thinks the Romans did it.
- Especially the “proud tradition” of raiding Celtic lands, but you know…