Friday, June 2, 2023

To Recover The Grimoire - Experiences With The Stormbringer rpg & Poul Anderson's Three Hearts & Three Lions

 So wayback in the early 90's  we were playing in Stormbringer fourth edition & our party was up to it's eyeballs in debt to a Young Kingdom's wizard. This was a cleaver and rather nasty logic trap that my uncle had designed. We'd go out on missions and recover items or run errands for this S.O.B. after he saved the life of one of our party. The wizard in question whose name I can't remember for the life of me added us in our return to theYoung Kingdoms from demon haunted Zothique. And this blog entry is going to pick right up from here. After going through 'The Shattered Isle' we had picked up several Viking warriors PC's who had been time snatched by the mutant master. 

We had by this time at least three or more Viking warriors with our party and this came about as a result of having dealth with Avalon Hill's Vikings boxset. The Vikings Box set is for third edition Avalon Hill Runequest and man it is so damn underrated today! The Avalon Hill Vikings set is packed with stuff and it's got a fantastic Norse style Earth; "The year is 780 A.D...
The homeland was quiet. No strangers or deadly monsters troubled the stead. When Thorgrim Greatmouth asked for volunteers to raid the southlands, many brave warriors responded.
Thorgrim's dragon-prowed longship now sails the stormy seas, his crew plundering many petty kingdoms from mystical Thule to the great Middle Sea. They are all Odin's men, red-handed reavers ranging far and wide across the world, spreading terror and gaining glory, plunder, and fame." 

"Vikings includes:
• Players Book — character generation notes, occupations, new skills, viking ships, personal virtues, the family and clan, kinsmen, the thing, social structure, living conditions, customs, norse religion and magic, gods without godar, norse runes.
• Gamemasters Book — viking world view, an adventuring history, Scandinavian creatures, mistaken identities.
• Scenarios Book
• Vikings Digest — collected statistics for typical viking warriors, berserks, and various creatures.
• Play Aids — ship plans, stead diagram, fjord map.
• Adventurer Sheets"

"Vikings is a RuneQuest supplement set on Earth. The gamemaster can choose to introduce only historical elements into his Vikings campaign, or he can add the gods, giants and monsters from viking legend to create a fascinating blend of history and myth."" 

So our Chaos aligned wizard wants to send us tripping through the million spheres to recover a grimoire that is no longer being used by one Holger Carlsen  an American-trained Danish engineer. Holger is actually an aspect of the Eternal Champion named  Ogier the Dane & a champion of Law. And he's been using this grimoire to travel between alternative timelines.  Ogier has been moving across the Million Spheres from timeline to timeline. The grimoire or a copy of it was left at the 'Inn Between Worlds' & we were to recover it. Ogier The Dane is from Three Hearts & Three Lions  by American writer Poul Andersonone of my uncle's favorite books due to it's connection to Dungeons & Dragons & where Moorcock drew (stole) the idea for Law & Chaos. Now it was as I recall a very perilous journey to the 'Inn Between Worlds'. Now Ogier was gone when we got to the Inn and these events take place between his appearance in Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest & Heinlein's The Number of the Beast. We never took stock nor noticed  2014's   Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson's Worlds in which ; "Harry Turtledove wrote, as his contribution to Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson's Worlds, edited by Greg Bear and Gardner Dozois,[3] a short story, "The Man who Came Late". To those of us who are still in contact this  "The Man who Came Late" is considered non connial & fan fiction at worst. Let me back track Holgar aka Ogier was using the grimoire to jump from timeline to timeline according to the Three Hearts & Three Lions wiki entry; "Holger later appears as a minor character in Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest in which he is seen in a mysterious "Inn Between the Worlds" after he managed at last to leave the 20th century and to wander the various alternate timelines by using the spells from a medieval grimoire. However, he had little control over where he would get and a small chance of locating the one that he wants. At the inn, he encounters Valeria Matuchek, a character from another Anderson book, Operation Chaos, who instructs him in the sophisticated scientific magic of her world and gives him a better chance." 
We encounter not Holgar but Karl Edgar Wagner's Kane at the Inne Between Worlds and that bastard in posession of the grimoire! 

Kane literally gives us the grimoire and tells us to be on our way. We took the thing and once a few miles outside of the Inne took a look at it. Now this grimoire was actually three or more  rather sophisticated demons of Chaos bound together in book form. A demon of knowledge, one of transportation, and a demon of lust. This grimoire was an object of Chaos and we wanted to be rid of it fast! 
So our wizard asked the demon of transporation to take us back to the Young Kingdoms. 
And it was on the way back to the wizard's tower when we were attacked by degenerate broo erm beastmen of Chaos. Why we didn't know. But things got interesting when we got back to the wizard's tower. 
 Holgar aka Ogier had our wizard pinned with his enchanted sword at his throat. He demanded to know where the grimoire was & stabbed it as soon as it was brought forth! We didn't have a clue what was happening but he did pay us for our troubles.  And then he left.
Then our wizard started cackling like a loon and brought forth an exact replica of the grimoire that had been destroyed. The adventures with the 'Inne Between Worlds' was just beginnning however. And this would not be the last time we'd encounter 
Holgar aka Ogier. Because you see our Viking characters spoke the archaic form of French that Holgar aka Ogier spoke otherwise we would have been run through with a rather nasty mystic short sword of Law.. 

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