Runequest Thursday #158 - Oddities for a Viking Encounter statted for Runequest!

Clint Staples

A couple of weeks back we released 100 Oddities for a Viking Encounter. Already it has become a Silver Bestseller. So I thought I would give you a taste of what is inside, and how it might be used.


Here are two rolls from our most recent release, put together into a single scene and statted as an encounter for Runequest. I roll 1d100 on the main list: Items, and got 75. Then I rolled 1d30 (yup, 1d30) and got 26 on one of the supplementary tables: People/ Monsters.


Here is the first entry:

75: A fine steel shortsword of a quality unknown in the North, with a similarly alien hilt shaped like a person, its head forming the pommel. Legend Check: This weapon is made from Noric steel, an almost mythic material forged on the slopes of just two mountains in the Alps from ore mined beneath them.


Here is what I did with it:


Noric Earthblade

The ancient smiths of Norica knew well the dangers posed by certain creatures of the Wyld. Such beings were notoriously difficult to destroy, because their connection to the Life Rune was so strong. To keep them in check, Noric smiths crafted magic weapons with strong Earth and Stasis connections, turning the power of the Wyldlords against themselves.


A Noric Earthblade is always an impaling weapon. When a Noric Earthblade gains a special hit (impale) against a living creature, it does not do normal damage. Instead, it matches the power of its Earth and Stasis Runes against the total HP of the target creature in a Resistance roll. If it fails, it does no damage. If it succeeds, it overwhelms the power of the Life rune and replaces it with that of Stasis. For as long as the blade remains impaled, the impaled creature cannot move, and will not die of the damage it has sustained (new damage dealt CAN kill it, however). Typical POW for Noric Earthblades  is 24, but more potent weapons with POW in the 30s or 40s were also forged.


26. A Huldrlord woodland creature in the shape of a tall, gray tree-man, its head crowned with a great spread of branches from which are suspended fraying ropes and nooses. Portions of its crown are spattered with blood, some old and black, some more fresh and red. Lurking among the stouter branches in the crown are smaller Huldrfolk , armed with runecarving knives and awaiting the next sacrifice.


And here is what I did:

Huldrlords are powerful embodied spirits of life. They act as guardians of the Wyld: Those places where civilization has never held sway. They are extremely long-lived and all but impossible to destroy completely, being able to regrow in a matter of days from the broken husk. Only fire, and potent magic can destroy one. The Huldrlords of the ancient world opposed the Noric smiths who sought to mine and smelt, ruining the land and life fo the Wyld. They led the lesser huldrkin against the smiths, destroying forges, collapsing mines, and sometimes slaugtering those who resisted. In return the smiths of Norica used their craft to fight back.


Alteration to the Scene:

Impaled in the chest of the huldrlord is the Noric Earthblade. For as long as the blade remains, the huldrlord is immobilized by the Stasis Rune power of the blade, but sustained by its own Life rune. How long this tableau has gone on is not known, but the huldrkin are agitated. The huldrkin cannot withdraw the blade thelseves, but might not grasp the intent of someone else who approaches, thinking that their master is about to be attacked. How can the heroes affect the scene? Will the retrieve the blade? destroy the "monster"? Aid it?

The Huldrlord and his Huldrkin are statted in the attachment.