Bridge of the Damned: Conclusion (*Spoilers abound!*)

Hi folks.

So, last Friday saw our party conclude The Bridge of the Damned, having taken 6 sessions to do so (previous mini write-up here).

It’s my first time running the adventure, and it has been wonderful to watch how they’ve chosen to tackle it.

I warned them at the beginning of the session that, given everything involved, it would be impossible to please everyone or achieve everything.

The outcome was… far better than I had anticipated (or thought possible).

I’ve relearnt not to bet against thoughtful and creative players when they’re up against it.

Spoilers and highlights for the overall adventure are below, beginning with “a bit” of a recap:

Our brave adventurers had already learnt the story / mythical history of the bridge (thanks to Oddbjorn Bjornson, the party Skald). This definitely influences what they think of the situation, and what they are angling towards.

When they first met Vimur, they had a very pleasant (if slightly creepy) discussion with him, and promised to free him once they had got wine to celebrate his release. This shall be of use later.

They managed to hook a rope across the broken span (from section 13-14) before camping. When they woke up, “someone” had strung their washing on the far end fo the line (thanks Sisu and Suvi!).

That did mean that, the following morning, when they clambered along the rope hand-over-hand, they met Sisu and Suvi coming in the opposite direction (mirroring them).

When they met in the middle, there was a riddling contest to decide who had to get off half-way across to let the other side pass. Fortunately, the PCs won, so other than Osric losing his waterskin as a compromise (it fell into the Draugr-filled river below), all was good!

Once Sisu and Suvi had let them pass, the Sprikken started talking about going to free their friend Vimur. This, quite rightly, gave the party pause, as whilst not opposed to freeing Vimur, they wanted to be involved and get what they want from it all.

They managed to convince the Sprikken pair to stay on the northern bank (and lead them to Hildr), until the group has managed to gather everything for Vimur’s “release party”.

Their meeting with Hildr is heartfelt, even though Hildr cannot speak.

Osric gives Hildr the Eagle belt buckle (unbidden), and she lets them know that if they call for her, she will come to them (once). Yes, that means that they can call upon a Chooser of the Slain (a Swan-Maiden), which is as great (I mean, what else can she offer?).

Through their discussions (and Hildr’s pantomime) they get more of an understanding, and work out their preferred way forwards: they will unweave the enchantment and bindings upon Vimur, restore Hildr’s voice to her, and (somehow) make everything right with the world.

Osric is clear what he wants from her, if they can return her voice: for their names to be sung down through the ages (perfect!).

But, firstly time to head to Saxatoft for a Town phase (although they are low on treasure).


Those of you who know the adventure might note that “Town phase” and “Saxatoft” do not go together, due to the attack of the Lith Band of the Great Bear from earlier in the adventure.

Adding to the fun, the enemies of the party are all here, as an adventuring party, now committed to helping Saxatoft recover in the wake of the disaster that had befallen it.

We have:

Marcus Brixton “the Shield” (Warrior)
Bricks’ enemy: they had grown up together as children, as part of the Hendri caravan. Those who note the similarity between “Brixton” and “Bricks” are right to do so.

Cleric Sigrifa Ahavsdottir aka “Hookmouth” (Theurge)
Tösk’s enemy, who believes that there is much strange with her enemy, and she seems to constantly be dragged behind Tösk like a fish on a line.

Skarhean Grimbeard (Dwarven Outcast)
Osric’s enemy. To quote Osric “claims I killed his brother, but all I can see is that we have matching shields”. Osric’s blackouts mean that he does occasionally wake up covered in blood and with a new shield, so…

This turns out to work great (at least, from my point of view).

We get to see how each enemy “pair” interacts, with Tösk lightly trolling Hookmouth, Osric being somewhat bemused as Skarhean’s hatred, and Bricks-Brixton being icily polite at one another whilst privately seething at the other’s presence (and one-upmanship abounds).

(Oddbjorn’s player was missing that session, so he was out in the wilderness with Vimur’s Golden Fiddle, and there weren’t any awkward questions like “what are you doing with our clan’s relic fiddle?”

In addition, since Osric have given the Eagle buckle to Hildr, there weren’t any difficult questions in that direction either.

Within Saxatoft, it helps that (honestly) the party can claim that Osric killed a number of the raiders that attacked Saxatoft.

No mention is made that it was (a) an accident and (b) Osric was tearful and feels horribly guilty about it all.

Whilst here, the gang does what it can to rebuild the settlement.

Tösk leads some repairing / rebuilding efforts (from the top down - “Bloody Changelings”, I say with love), Osric hunted through the ruins for people’s precious possessions, and Bricks heads out to round up missing livestock.

All of these endeavours are successful, but they are aware that the Thralls are missing. Here’s where people’s backgrounds and moral compasses swim into view.

Osric is of the Græling (and would see his people freed).

Bricks’ Belief is that “As a Hendri and a guide, I will not hesitate to forge the path need, nor make the lost found.

But, for now, they need to unite the escaped thralls, and make their space safe from the predations of this Troll Haunt in the area.

Firstly, they succeed in a Convince Crowd conflict, to hold the people together.

Secondly, they set about creating a suitable camp, providing shelter and water for everyone (thanks, in part, to Osric’s Dowsing Rune Invocation).

Once within the camp, they work on adding fortifications, to prevent further Troll-related depridations.

After that (and given it’s the next session), they decide that they need to head for a proper “Town”, of some sort, deciding on Oddbjorn’s home, the nearby Wayhouse of the Three Squires.

Osric manages to calm a merchant’s horse, and gets (desperately needed) coins for his trouble, spending them on a flail.

Much-needed levelling up occurs, Oddbjorn gets to sleep in comfort, whilst the others choose to sleep in the stables (given the state of their finances).

Oddbjorn (with his mum’s help) convinces Bjorn (his father) to let them have 2 casks of wine for this celebration / curse-breaking.

Tösk, since the beginning of this adventure, has been maintaining his goal of finding Beigen Burntlegs and getting him to head back to Innsjøborg (as a favour from Tösk’s friend, the commander of Innsjøborg). They have been on Beigen’s trail, but have never been able to catch up.

So (one fun Circles test later), Tösk and the others find Beigen in the Wayhouse. They then proceed to convince him that great disaster has befallen Beigen’s plans (somehow they fail to mention that they are said disaster), and he has no alternative, but to head back to Innsjøborg.

And with that, we head back out south (relying on Bricks’ excellent maps)… where we pick things up for last Friday’s session.


2 casks of wine, and a bunch of restless escaped thralls doesn’t seem like a good combination, so the others wait outside somewhere with the wine, whilst Oddbjorn goes in to the camp they had constructed.

There, he holds forth in full Skald flow (again, without “his” precious golden fiddle, which stayed with the rest of the group), convincing them that the adventurers will first break the curse on the bridge, then free the thrall captives in Saxatoft, before taking them all south across the river (or bridge, depending) to safety.

Mæva, the thralls’ “leader”, takes Oddbjorn aside, and confides in him that their clan Ættir has told her that the fiddle and buckle are close. Have Oddbjorn or his companions seen these precious relics? Oddbjorn, listening sympathetically then proceeds to lie like a rug, and gets away with it.

Back by Hildr’s hovel, the group plan out how they intend to break the curse.

The idea is to hold a wake for Gilling, leading into a celebration of Vimur’s return.

As part of this, they will need to unwind the enchantment in such a way as NOT to destroy these entities (as Beigen had wanted), but also preserve the various relics from destruction, and carefully unwind the chains of Hildr’s voice, so that she can speak again.

Yes, they are aware that freeing Vimur will result in him luring pretty young people to drown in the river, but they are remarkably accepting of this (to their mind, it beats whole villages drowning themselves and, besides, this is what dangerous rivers do).

They discuss what they will need, and what will stand in for each aspect. They decide that need something to represent each relic, and something else to represent each person.

They come up with the following (subject to me being corrected by @DaveHiggins or the others, as I’m feeling forgetful!):

  • one of Hildr’s stew bowls to hold her voice.

  • a golden songbird (to represent Vimur’s Golden Fiddle) - good use of Hunter here

  • water from the river Vimur (to represent Vimur)

  • the pennant from Egil’s grave (to represent the eagle buckle - because it flaps, so is like a bird, and can be attached to things, so is like a buckle) - thanks for the correction, @DaveHiggins!

  • a skull baked from bread (to represent Gilling) - Cook, using the sacks of flour in the tower

  • a decorated piece of fishing net (to represent Hildr’s bridal snood) - Scavenger

  • a scavenged doll from the ruins of Saxatoft, with one side polished to a fine sheen (to represent Hildr, and her dual nature)

With all of this, they head back to Vimur’s prison, bringing Hildr, Sisu and Suvi with them (and making sure that the Sprikken do NOT crack open the wine casks in advance).

Beneath the river, inside Gilling’s skull, they make sure to get an agreement from Vimur as to what they want when they free him.

  • Oddbjorn wants to be taught music by Vimur.
  • Tösk wants insights into his past, preferably a vision.
  • Osric wants the river to be safe to cross, for ordinary people.
  • Bricks (keen to prevent war between the Gott and Bjornings) wants the Draugr to remain in the river, to prevent armies crossing, each one to only be released when summoned by Hildr to defend their home.

A Convince Conflict ensues, with Sisu and Suvi ready to pitch in on either side, as they see fit (spoiler: they end up supporting Vimur throughout, although there are moments where they are very close to switching sides).

Oddbjorn is Conflict Captain, and taps in his Demand Nature. The party ends up with 10 Disposition to Vimur’s 6.

  1. Tösk’s Manoeuvre scrapes an extra success against Vimur’s Attack, just preventing any damage.
  2. Vimur’s Manoeuvre is devastated by Bricks’ Attack (dragging Vimur down to 1 / 6).
  3. Oddbjorn’s Feint ignores Vimur’s Defend, and ends the conflict without compromise.

Then, it is the Ritual to unbind everything without destroying everyone.

Osric Godtouched brings in everything, on an Ob 5 Rituals test. The consequences of failure are quite clear to all of us, as he rolls.

He succeeds, much to everyone’s relief and satisfaction.

After my special effects budget is blown on how that looks, we get to the wake / party.

During this, in another inspired move, Osric performs the Invocation “Communion of the Black Gate” with the skull Gilling (a bit of a surprise for me as the GM, but that’s great stuff - I ruled that the skull counted as a Relic for this purpose, and he had wine on hand as a sacrament). He gets 2 questions, giving one to Hildr and the other to Vimur. I mean, as a GM, what is not to love about that?

Afterwards, it is time for some promises to be fulfilled.

  • Hildr has her voice, the snood, the eagle buckle… and closure with Gilling.

  • Sisu and Suvi are given the key to the bridge tower by the group, and will act as, well, Bridge Haunts, but with an understanding that it might be better to act as bridgekeepers, taking a little from everyone, and watching for “troublemakers”

  • Vimur returns to his river, with his golden fiddle, ready to lure more young people to him very soon.

  • The Draugr remain deep in the river, but with the Bjorning ones near the Gott bank to repulse any Gott army, and the Gott ones near the Bjorning bank to repulse any Bjorning army.

As for our heroes…

Vimur gift to Tösk is that when Tösk is where he needs to be, he can pour out any liquid, and the pool it forms will be the waters of Vimur, and show him the vision he seeks.

Then, standing by the broken span, Vimur turns to Oddbjorn, and asks him if the Skald trust him. When Oddbjorn says that he does, Vimur seizes him and drops off the bridge into the rapid waters below.

For everyone on the bridge, 2 (fretful) minutes pass before Vimur rises back up from the river on a column of water, holding Oddbjorn.

For Oddbjorn, 5 years have passed in being taught by Vimur. His hair length and (new addition) a magnificient beard show how much time has passed for our Skald.

The party then break up the ring of ancient coins that had surrounded Vimur, and then further refine it into gold and silver slabs, before leaving it all here, whilst they take the boat across the (calmer) river to fulfil their promises the the ex-thralls of Saxatoft.

They escort the ex-thralls to the river’s edge, and get them to wait there whilst the group sneak into Saxatoft to rescue the remaining thralls who were too young or elderly to escape.

In a Criminal vs. test between Tösk (and friends) against their enemy adventurers, the party triumphs, and are able to rescue the remaining thralls that they came for.

I think we all have a good laugh at the image of Tösk the Troll (Changeling) encouraging children into his sack to carry them to safety…

Then, it’s back across the river with everyone (in several trips), before helping the various ex-thrall groups to head where they want to go.

After 19 years, much has changed, and not all Runung will want to return to their people, and not all Græling wish to return to theirs. Life (and love) can make such things more tangled.

On the whole, those who were Runung head to Brugard, with any who would go with them.

Those who are Græling head with the group towards Innsjøborg, to take passage with Osric’s friend Frigg the Sailor south, either all the way towards Stortemark or (more likely) to the Sakki Downs, where Bricks’ Hendri caravan will be there to take them in.

Once the Runung group has headed off, the party gives the Græling group 2 slabs of silver to help them on their way…

Next week?

A Town phase in Innsjøborg (possibly with a “fun” meeting between Osric, Frigg and her two children).

There will be an opportunity for the party to see what they can do with all those slabs of gold and silver, get creative with what they make / buy, level up to Level 3, and other such fun stuff.

And then?

Well, they’re off to the Wayhouse of Three Squires (allegedly to see Oddbjorn’s parents).

You didn’t think I’d use that name and then not run that adventure, did you?


Amazing! Thanks for sharing this Mark. Your players were exceedingly clever!

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Thanks Thor!

Having these players has made it so much fun. And they really keep me on my toes!


No. The Eagle Buckle was the pennant, because it flaps, so is like a bird, and can be attached to things, so is like a buckle.

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Thanks for the correction, Dave!

Yes, the pennant that you got from Egil’s grave in the Trick conflict. Great work!

Sidenote: Back in session 1 of Bridge, the party engaged Egil in a Trick conflict, which nearly ended with (some of) them trapped in with Egil. They manged to recover rather well, and instead lost all of their food and their cooking pot to Egil (they had been cooking for him as part of the conflict).

The collective groans at this loss were quite something. However, when a later loot roll produced a cooking pot, the cheers from the players were genuinely wonderful (and greater than for any other treasure found).


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