Vikings vs. Cthulhu

S. Baldrick

Actually, Vikings vs. Deep Ones would be more accurate. The premise of this adventure that I gave to the players was that of a Viking raid of the coast of Ireland in the 9th century that goes very, very wrong. The players were Troy (Olaf Skullsplitter: 4th Level Fighter), Adam (Wulgar Bear Breath: 4th level barbarian), Casey (Lars the quick: 4th level rogue) and Kevin (Elfin: 4th level Cleric of Freya). All of the players were people from my Crypts and Things game.

The Vikings had heard tales of wealthy village along the northern coast of Ireland. So far, the village had been untouched by the raids of the Northmen. Supposedly there was a monastery of the White Christ nearby as well. Monasteries were always a favorite target of the Vikings as they contained much gold and were undefended. Unarmed Christian monks would be able to offer little resistance to the swords, axes and spears of the Northmen. Their armor and weapons ready, the confident Vikings set forth from their settlement of Dublin in three longships to raid the village whose name, when translated from Gaelic to Norse, meant “Inn’s mouth”. Despite the Northmen’s confidence, the raid would not go as they had planned….

The attack came at night. Out of the darkness, Olaf, Wulgar and Lars heard screams of terror and war cries to Thor and Odin from one of the other longships. As they peered into the darkness to try to see what was happening, the screams came from their craft as well. From out of the ocean they came, demons from the depths and spawned from Hel. These creatures walked like men but they had greenish scales, gaping maws, claws and armor and weapons made of sea shells and coral. Worse of all were their eyes, fish eyes: Lifeless, dark and completely vacant of any human emotion or thought. Warriors that had fought face to face against the Saxons, the Franks and the unarmored mad warriors of Ireland were paralyzed with terror in the face of such nightmarish creatures. Most of the Vikings were slain within the first seconds of the fight. However, Wulgar, Lars and Olaf would not go down so easily.

Although he was shaken with fear, Olaf gave a war cry prayer to Thor and swung his axe. His fear was overcome once he split the head of one of the monstrosities in two with a mighty blow. Wulgar fought savagely, his blade dark with the blood of the ocean fiends. Lars also fought bravely but he was at a disadvantage as his element was to scout and spy, not go head to head with demons from the watery abyss. With all of their sword brothers now dead and the longship now taking water, the surviving three Northmen were determined to die with weapons in their hands so that they could join their brethren in the corpse hall of Odin. But first, they were going to send as many of the vile ocean demons back to the nightmarish realm that spawned them before they were finally dragged down and slain. However, before this could happen, the longship was capsized and the three Vikings were cast into ocean and then, oblivion…

Wulgar, Olaf and Lars awake to sound of crashing waves, face down on a beach with their weapons in their hands. Glancing around and found that they were not alone. Elfrun, a woman warrior priest of Freya, had also been washed up on the shore. She had been on one of the other longships.

Further down the coast, the now stranded Vikings noticed that there was a fishing village and a Christian monestary on the hill overlooking the village. After Elfrun cast a healing spell on Wulgar and after scavenging a few more weapons that had washed up on the shore, the party headed inland.

The Vikings had two choices; either they could go to village or they could go to the monastery. For reasons I can’t recall, they chose to go the village first.

Just outside of the village, the party encountered an idol unlike they had ever seen before. It didn’t represent the Christian god nor did it represent any god that the Norse knew of. If anything, it looked sickeningly close to the creatures that had crawled out of the ocean and attacked their longboats. Wulfgar and Elfrun decided to knock the idol over. Olaf and Lars were very weary of doing so and declined to assist them. Wulfgar and Elfrun succeeded in knocking the idol over but they were struck by a curse (-1 to everything)! Despite this, they party continued on.

As the Vikings got closer to the village, they noticed two things: First, there was a longship beached just outside of the village. The second thing that they noticed was that the Church at the center of the village was not a Christian one for the cross was missing from it. All of the raiders knew that the Irish were mostly Christians but the people in this Irish village obviously were not. Instead of marching directly into the village, Lars the quick was sent in to scout the place first. What he saw chilled him to his bones.

He observed a young child being led by the hand of what was obviously the boy’s mother. The boy looked human but his mother did not, at least not entirely. She had human skin and hair but she had the same cold dead eyes that the demons from the ocean had. As he continued to scout, he noticed that many of the people in the village also had similar inhuman features as well. He decided to check the church at the center of the village.

Lars could tell that one time, this had been church dedicated to the Christian god that was followed by the Irish, the Saxons and the Franks. Now in front of it, there was another idol depicting another demon from the ocean’s abyss. He could also hear the screams of dying men inside the church. The inhuman villagers were sacrificing his sword brothers to their vile and disgusting god! Lars immediately returned to the others and told them what he had found.

Angered by the horrid fate of their captured comrades, the Northmen (and one Northwoman) marched into the village to save their Viking brothers. The villagers fled before the heavily armed warriors and Wulgar and Olaf kicked in the door of the church. They were greeted by a scene straight out of a nightmare.

The church was full of robed figures in the center of the building. At the back of the church on a raised platform, a blood stained alter to some obscene god had one of their Viking brothers strapped to it. They party could clearly see that several captives had already been sacrificed in some abominable ritual. Two figures in blood splattered robes were conducting the sacrifices on the raised platform. Lars rushed in and struck down the first robed figure that he could with his sword. The fight was on.

One of the two robed figures spoke in a language never meant for human tongue and sacrificed Vikings rose to their feet. The party would have to fight their own dead to free the remaining survivors! The other cast a spell at Lars but he was able to resist it and fight on.

The heavily armed Vikings made short work of the cultists at the center of the church but Lars succumbed to his founds and fell to the floor. Elfrun called upon Freya to drive off the undead abominations but she failed in her efforts. They would have to cut through the risen dead to get to the vile priests!

Although he was seriously wounded (3 hit points!), Olaf rushed up on the platform and swung his axe. In a great feat of might, he dispatched three of the undead in single blow. (I used the siege engine to simulate the Greater Cleave affect from D&D 3.0. Troy was on a hot streak with his dice at this point.) Wulgar ignored the undead and managed to strike both of the foul priests. Elfrun summoned a spiritual weapon to strike down her foes and the priests of Dagon and Cthulhu retorted in kind. One point, one of the dark priests successfully compelled Wulgar to flee the battle but he soon returned. Finally, the last of the evil priests was struck down and Olaf gave out a cry of victory!

The victorious Vikings freed the captives and Elfrun managed to save Lars from going to Valhalla for now. They found many strange items in the church, things in shape unknown by man and obviously not created by man. Since they were items were gold, it mattered little to the Vikings as they would melt them down into more appealing items. The party re-armed the captives as best they could, put the village to the torch and departed on the beached longship in haste to avoid another encounter with the creatures from the deep.
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