Quaerentes in Extremis
Captain of the Sjor-bjorn
Characteristics: Int +1, Per +1, Pre +1, Com 0, Str +1, Sta +1, Dex +1, Qik +1
Age: 27 (27), Height: 6’8’’, Weight: 275 lbs, Gender: Male
Warping Score: 0 (0)
Confidence: 1 (3)
Virtues and Flaws: Clear Thinker (Bonus: +3 to resist lies, confusion, subterfuge), Common Sense, Enduring Constitution (Resist Pain: +3), Large, Tough (Soak: +3), Warrior (50/50), Well-Traveled (50/50), Intuition, Mercenary Ship Captain, Wilderness Sense, Lycanthrope (Bear, Soak: +3), Driven (Obtaining Honor), Pagan, Proud
Dodge: Init: -1, Attack n/a, Defense +3, Damage n/a
Fist: Init: -1, Attack +4, Defense +4, Damage +1
Dagger: Init: -1, Attack +5, Defense +3, Damage +4
Great Axe: Init: -1, Attack +9, Defense +3, Damage +11
Axe & Shield, Round: Init: +0, Attack +10, Defense +8, Damage +7
Axe, Throwing: Init: -1, Attack +5, Defense +3, Damage +7
Kick: Init: -2, Attack +3, Defense +2, Damage +4
Fatigue levels: OK, 0, 0, -2, -4, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-6), -3 (7-12), -5 (13-18), Incapacitated (19-24) (total penalties reduced by 1), Dead (25+)
Abilities: Norwegian 5 (Sailors), Living Language 5, Single Weapon 4 (Axe), Thrown Weapon 1 (Axe, Throwing), English 3, Gaelic 3 (Scots), Area Lore: Area 2 (Irish Sea & Hebrides), Ship Captain 4, Magic Lore 1 (Norse Gods), Swim 2 (long distances), Athletics 3 (jumping), Bargain 4 (hard sell), Awareness 2 (searching), Brawl 2 (Fist), Folk Ken 2 (sailors), Leadership 3 (inspiration), Ride 2 (battle), Wilderness Sense 3 (direction), Great Weapon 1 (Great Axe)
Equipment: Good quality clothes; Shield, Round (Init: 0; Atk: 0; Dfn: +2; Str: -1;
Encumbrance: 2 (3)
The raid had gone as planned. They had sailed in silently under the darkness of the new moon. Now the fires of burning village lit the battleground, such as it was.
This was his first raid was captain of his own ship. The crew of the Sjor-bjorn (the “Sea Bear”) was primarily kinsmen from the isles of Orkney and the Shetlands. They considered themselves “Austmenn” or those from the east, from where their ancestors had sailed. This was the same for the crews of the two other ships that joined in the raid. There were some like the Captain, those hailing from the lakes and fjords of Norway who sailed west searching for the glory of their grandfathers’ grandfathers as well as fleeing the feud between the Baglars and Birkeners in Norway.
It was with their grandfathers’ fury that they struck the settlements along the eastern coast of Ross. The little resistance they faced melted as the small galleys came ashore. The idea was hit the stores of provisions, as well as punish Hugh de Moravia (locally known as “Murray”) lord of Ormond Castle, by raiding the village of Avoch which lay beneath it on the Black Isle.
It was only after they had beaten off the Hugh’s knights did they encounter the old man who appeared in the village as if by happenstance. The figure was old and bent, but his hands were twice the size of a normal man’s and their veins pulsed as if they were themselves alive. The stranger coat was tattered as if it was rotting on his person. The first crewmembers to encounter him stood their distance. Nobody stopped him from putting out their fires or moving where he willed. When he first saw the man, even the Captain felt a tinge of fear, something only the mightiest storm at sea could bring on.
The Captain, feeling the blood lust of his elders and the need to show his men he was not afraid, blocked the man’s path. Upon a closer look, he could see that the man was almost part trow, the ugly trolls he knew of from home and the northern isles. “Halt and submit!” ordered the Captain. The man ignored him, but he could not ignore the Captain’s iron blade as it cut the man deep into bone.
Without a look of surprise, the man turned toward the Captain. Blood poured from the wound and the man’s mouth. “A beast you are today and a beast you will be until I grant my forgiveness after you beg for it on your knees,” he sputtered. The Captain’s rage poured through him. His grandfathers never bowed knees to one so low, nor would he. And with one mighty swing he took the man’s head off. Both head and body where cast into the cold waters to be swallowed by the sea.
The crew and the Captain enjoyed their spoils for a month following the strike on Avoch. However, such pleasure would not last. The Captain and his men had returned to Orkney, where they were moored not far from Earl John’s water keep. In these lands the need for a sentry was unnecessary, so no one alive could say how the bear had come aboard. When it attacked the sleeping crew, four fell before the others could raise the alarm. Another two fell before the ship was abandoned. The survivor’s said that they did not see the Captain fall over board but he was found ashore later that night wandering the beach. And so the curse was revealed.