Scion: Ragnarok - Game 1: The Heart of Winter
By Jeffrey Martinez
Jeffrey Martinez as Leon
Danielle Schucuman as Marigold
Katie Viola as Elena
Tammy Bowman as Wynn
Carl Morobitto as Alexander
Robert Clark as “The Storyteller”
A couple of days have passed after the fateful day when five seemingly ordinary humans were visited by a pair of ravens and learned of their divine heritage: they were the sons and daughters of the Aesir, the gods of Norse mythology. Along with that revelation, they also learn that the gods are in search of a magical artifact known as the Heart of Winter. Why the gods are searching for this the group does not know, though they are informed that the artifact is of grave importance and is the key to Ragnarok, the End of the World. The gods have tasked their children to band together and search for this mystical object.
Taking the mantle of “Scions” our heroes has spent the last few days accepting their new reality and the newfound powers that now course through their blood. As they were getting to know one another, a mysterious RV showed up outside of their current location in Las Vegas. Inside were five UPS boxes, each one assigned to one of the Scions. The boxes contained an assortment of relics which the Scions could sense the faint scent of ichor emanating from within.
Also inside the RV was a woman, a snake, a large winged horse and a letter. The woman had a stern look on her face, with a seriousness that seemed to unnerve the Scions. She walked out of the RV, approached Marigold and introduced herself as Hrund, a Valkyrie, and that she was a gift to her from Marigold’s father, Heimdall. As the Valkyrie spoke, the serpent inside the RV slithered its way outside and approached Leon. The two stared at one another for a few moments, Leon having a look of slight surprise, and then the snake went up his pant leg and down his shirt where it disappeared. Following behind the serpent and walking past Leon, the Pegasus lowered her head before Wynn. Wynn smiled as she placed her hand upon the horse’s mane.
As the Scions were playing around with their new gifts, one of them walked into the RV and read the message that was posted on the wall. It read: Head to Bodie, California. Without much argument, the party loaded up the RV and drove out from their temporary home.
The party arrived in Bodie after three hours of traveling. Bodie was a small, abandoned mining town that hadn’t seen much action in decades. The town consisted mostly of rundown wooden shacks, one-room homes made of corrugated tin, and a few large mining-related buildings. After a series of fires ravaged the town and the miners were done raping the land for what it’s worth, Bodie was effectively abandoned by the 1930s.
The party got out of the RV, taking with them whatever they deemed necessary, and roamed around the small town in search of any clues about the Heart of Winter. Marigold, Hrund, Alex and Elena went one way while Leon searched the other way. Wynn stayed behind to watch over the RV. They didn’t find much, except for a Yamaha motorcycle parked beneath a ranger outpost. Not a single soul was found among the ruins of the ghost town. The entire area was deadly silent, except for the chilling howls of the winter wind grazing against the Scions. Eventually, they came around to a relatively large building surrounded by a fence.
“Dammit, the fence is locked. We’ll have to find another way in,” said Marigold.
“Here, move out of the way. I’ve been doing this stuff since I was in diapers,” Leon approached the fence’s gate and after a few tries finally picked the lock. The gate swung open and the party walked up the small path to the building’s front door. At this point Wynn has left the RV and joined the rest of the party. Alex approached the door and turned the knob.
“This one’s locked too. Alright Leon, you’re up again,”
Leon walked up to the door and this time, with greater ease than before, he picked the lock and opened the door. However, the door only opened a few inches inward before stopping. Leon looked up and noticed the door was locked on the inside with a chain.
“Dammit,” muttered Leon as he got up. He turned to the group and pointed out the chain.
Alex gave a smirk and said, “Heh, now leave this to me. I know how to get that door open,” Alex approached the door, placing one hand on the frame and another on the doorknob, closes his eyes as he recalled the divine blood of his father, Tyr, which coursed through his veins and began to push against the door. At first the door began to rattle and strain to keep itself whole against the pro-wrestler. As Alex pushed and pushed he eventually slipped and fell to the ground, stifling a few suppressed laughter from the other Scions. Alex pushed himself up, gave a quick look of irritation at the others, and resumed to push against the door again and again. Each time the door creaked from the pressure until the chain snapped and the entire door was torn off from its hinges. Alex smiled as he looked back at the others, “See, I told you I’d get it open. Can’t say management will approve but I say they were in need of some redecorating anyways.”
The party walked inside the building, which was for the most part as abandoned and filthy as the rest of the town. Cobwebs lined the walls and dust flew about the room as the wind blew in through the doorway. On the floor, however, the party noticed a trail of faint, yet fresh footprints leading up to an elevator. As they approached it, Marigold told everyone to wait and proceeded to walk outside, with Hrund, Alex and Wynn following close behind. They got any other equipment and relics from the RV and before they returned, Marigold managed to mess around with the Yamaha bike in an attempt to prevent it from running, while Wynn temporarily disabled the RV. Just in case there was something down the elevator they didn’t want it to get out and escape with any of the vehicles. When the group returned, Leon had already opened the elevator door and was waiting inside with Elena. With all the Scions inside, Leon closed the door and the party went down.
After dropping about twenty-five feet, the party was greeted by a room blanketed in darkness. The dog tags around Marigold’s neck shimmered and she was bestowed with sight, despite the lack of light. Elena, on the other hand, could feel the blood of Hel rushing to her ears and nose, as her sense of hearing, smell and balance became superhuman. While she could not see her surroundings, she was acutely aware of everything around her as if she had 360 degree night-vision. For the rest of the Scions, Leon pulled out his iPhone and activated an app that allowed it to emit a light similar to that of a flashlight. With the group now adjusted to their new surroundings, they opened the elevator door and walked out into the room.
They walked through the room for a bit, searching for signs of anyone lurking. Marigold led the way since she could see the area the best, with Alex, Hrund and Elena behind her and both Wynn and Leon in the back. As they walked, however, Elena slowed her pace as she heard odd grunting sounds and the strange smell of wood and sweat emanating a few feet away from them. She concentrated on the area a few feet before them and she could sense the temperature of the room significantly dropping in that direction. She knew they weren’t alone.
“Leon, what the hell is that?” she said, as she grabbed Leon’s wrist to guide the flashlight toward the direction of the scent.
As she did, Marigold stopped abruptly and said, more to herself than to the others, “Oh fuck.”
The light from Leon’s iPhone pierced through the dark and revealed four figures standing before them. Three of the figures were midget-sized monstrosities that looked like the horrible offspring between a woman and a tree who was beaten with the same ugly stick used to create it. The creatures snarled as drool dripped down the side of their mouths, staining their bark-encrusted skin. Their arms were huge and powerful, twisted with pieces of wood branching out like spikes, while grass and foliage sprouted out of the creature in various places. Pinned upon each of the chest of the three creatures were nametags that have infused themselves with the bark. The nametags read on each monster a different name. Their names were Ludwig, Hans and Gunther.
Though what really got their attention was the fourth figure behind the three wooden imps. This figure was between eight and ten feet tall, with icy blue skin and hair made out of ice. He wore nothing but a pair of pants though they seemed to stretch from the muscles in his legs trying to rip through them with every step he took. The giant snarled at the sight of the party.
The Scions froze at the sight of the figures when Alex recomposed himself and said in a hefty voice, “We can take them.”
The giant bellowed out at the creatures before him, “Aras!” The wooden creatures gave out a battle cry and ran toward the group.
Elena was the first to react as she rushed out into the front lines. She pulled out her scalpel and swiped at the creature named Ludwig. Her scalpel cut only through air as the monster quickly ducked beneath her scalpel’s range. Before the creature could mount a counter-attack, Alex, who was not far behind, ran up to Ludwig’s side, pulled out his axe and slammed it against the creature’s face. Ludwig took a step back from the impact, but the attack barely made a scratch. The creature gave off a hackling sound that resembled laughter.
The smile on the creature’s face soon faded however as the sound of a gun firing off echoed across the room. Ludwig took a few steps back and looked down at his chest. Where his nametag once stood proudly there was now a small bullet hole. Ludwig looked up and saw Marigold holding out her peacemaker at the creature, a smile forming on her face. The creature hissed at Marigold and ripped off whatever was left of his nametag, tossing it onto the ground.
The giant, not too pleased with seeing his teammates getting hurt, reached out and grabbed Alex. The giant picked the Scion up, bringing him to his face and screamed in a raspy voice, “Heimska drengur! Do you think the fantur of an Aesir like you can get in our way?” The giant pulled his arm back and tossed Alex across the room and through a wall on the other end. “Bah, you’re nothing but a lightweight to me.” Alex got up from the ground, as debris fell off his body.
“Alex! Are you okay?” Marigold screamed back at her companion.
Alex just smirked, “What are you talking about?” His eyes stared directly at the giant, his hands grabbing a hold of his axe as he ignored the aches from his wounds, “I feel perfectly fine.”
Elena took advantage of the distraction and ran toward the second monster, Hans, and swiped at it with her scalpel. But much like Ludwig, the attack didn’t do much as Hans swatted the attack away.
While Elena was dealing with Hans, Hrund pulled out her spear and jabbed it at Ludwig. The creature jumped back out of the spear’s range, almost knocking into Elena. Meanwhile, Leon took a few steps to the side, hiding by the corner and aimed at Hans with his pistol. Wynn, who was using the light from Leon’s iPhone to discern between friend and foe, pulled out her bow and shot an arrow at Ludwig. The arrow, however, ricocheted off of one of Ludwig’s wooden spikes.
At this point, Ludwig turned around and swiped at Elena with his claws. Elena dodged the attack, but walked right into Hans’ attack. His claws cut swiftly as a gash formed across her cheek. She winced in pain while the two creatures stood before her. The last of the creatures, Gunther, noticed the other two and surrounded Elena. He swiped at her, his claws catching a hold of her shoulder, though the Scion managed to survive the attack as her divine blood soften the blow.
“Elena!” Leon cried out as he shot Hans, though the creature scoffed as the bullet barely penetrated through his thick hide. Elena tried to keep the creatures back as she swiped at Hans with her scalpel, but the creature managed to avoid all of her attacks.
“Foul beasts, get away from her!” Hrund cried out as she drove her spear toward Ludwig. As her spear pierced through the air, Ludwig spun around and grabbed a hold of the spear, prying it from Hrund’s hand. Ludwig let out a series of growls and clicks as he walked toward the Valkyrie.
“Hey ugly, how about you try out a man’s weapon!” said a voice that bellowed from the other side of the room. Flying through the darkness was a giant axe, with Alex in tow, heading at rapid speed toward Ludwig. Hrund swiftly jumped out of the way as Ludwig braced himself for the impact. A loud thump soon followed as Alex’s axe embedded itself into Ludwig, while the Scion’s momentum pushed the creature onto the floor. Ludwig gave out a shrieking cry, followed by a gargle and then nothing. The wooden imp laid there in silence.
Alex stood on top of the creature’s corpse, picked up the spear in its hand and tossed it back to Hrund. He then turned toward the giant and said, “Not much of a lightweight now, am I?”
The giant roared for his fallen comrade and rushed toward Alex, his bulbous ice-covered fist raised above his head. He then brought it down in a quick swoop, but Alex brought up both of his hands and grabbed onto the icy pillars protruding from the giant’s knuckle. Using his strength as well as the beast’s momentum, Alex pushes the attack away from him. “You’re gonna have to do better than that, tough guy,”
While Alex garnered their foe’s attention, Marigold took the time to switch out her peacemaker for her Beretta and aimed it at Hans. Elena, on the other hand, bent down toward the fallen corpse of Ludwig and using one of her new relics, she instilled life into the creature, raising it from the dead.
Hrund, reunited with her beloved spear, charged at Hans and stabbed the creature in the shoulder. Hans screeched at the Valkyrie as she retracted her weapon, leaving behind a small wound in the imp. Hans was about to retaliate when Gunther grabbed his comrade by the other shoulder and pointed at Alex. The two exchanged a few grunts and then surrounded the Scion. Hans pounced on Alex, though the wrestler reached out with his hand and caught the creature in mid-flight. As he held Hans in his hand, Gunther took the opportunity to swipe at Alex from his blindside. The attack hit, but the claws could barely break through Alex’s skin, instead leaving behind light scratch marks.
Gunther’s attack did cause Alex to drop Hans onto the floor. As the imp was picking himself up, however, Marigold, who was still aiming at the creature, shot Hans in the same shoulder where Hrund’s spear hit. Hans hissed at the pain, but ignored it, his attention still on Alex.
Leon, who was surveying the fight from afar, felt his divine blood, the blood of the smooth trickster Loki, coursing into his head. The pain was slightly unbearable when Leon began to feel a sudden pull toward Gunther. He felt as though he could feel what the imp was feeling, but it was faint and indiscernible. Trusting his impulse, Leon yelled out “Gunther, attack Hans!”
Without a second thought, Gunther immediately lashed out passed Alex and swiped at Hans. The creature managed to dodge the attack and began to snarl at Gunther. The two creatures exchanged a few grunts, though a look of confusion rose on Gunther’s face.
While Hans was shifting his attention back to Alex, however, Win already had another arrow ready and shot it at the creature. Hans screamed in anger as the arrow embedded itself in his knee.
At this point the giant grew tired of the battle, “Enough! I’m ending this now!” The giant turned around and broke off one of the support columns that held the building up and swung it against Alex.
The column hit Alex squared in the jaw as the sound of wood meeting bone echoed across the room.
Alex didn’t even flinch from the hit, his feet held firmly to the ground. The Scion looked at the giant, a newfound fire burning in his eyes. “Now I mean business,” Alex picked up his axe and ran toward the giant as adrenaline rushed through his body. “You’re going down, you motherfucking-” Alex was knocked away by the back of the giant’s hand. The beast roared at the Scion, as he was consumed by rage.
As Alex recomposed himself, Hans was rushing toward him, his claws extended. Hrund tried to intercept the creature using her spear, but Hans ducked down from the attack and kept running. He was within range to attack when Alex elbowed the creature in the face, knocking Hans back.
Gunther, on the other hand, went after their initial target: Elena. The creature caught her by surprise and dug his claws into her arms. Elena screamed as her blood flowed freely from the wound. The creature held her tightly in his grip, intending to finish off the Scion. As Elena screamed from the pain, she could feel the remaining blood inside of her rush to her face. She began to heat up, as the blood coursed faster and faster through her veins. Tears streaming down her face, Elena’s pupils began to dilate until they covered her entire eyes and black veins sprouted around them. She looked the imp in his eyes and said in a raspy voice, “You son of a bitch, I’ll fucking kill you!” Elena’s mouth ripped open to reveal rows of sharp teeth as her face cracked and released an entire army of miniature spiders that crawled all about her body. A hiss escapes Elena’s open maw as a worm-like creature slithered out and reached for Gunther.
Gunther nearly tore Elena’s arm off with how quickly he jumped away from her. The creature’s eyes expanded to incredible girth and Elena could’ve sworn he turned a couple of shades paler. Gunther let out a shriek and what sounded like a curse and ran into the other room that was labeled the foreman’s office. He closed the door and barred it with the desk inside. The others looked over to see what occurred, but all they saw was a shivering Elena, with her typical face, albeit the gash she received earlier. No fangs, no spiders, no hideous worm tongue.
With everyone being momentarily distracted, Hrund rushed toward the remaining imp and attacked Hans with her spear. While the attack hit, the spear barely penetrated beyond the first layer of bark. Hans raised his claw in retaliation when Leon yelled out from across the room, “Hey giant freak! Attack Hans there with that club of yours!”
Before Hans’ claws could even touch the Valkyrie, a loud thud sound was heard as the giant slammed his makeshift club on top of the creature. “What the hell?” was all the giant could say, before his club was pushed back by the imp underneath. Hans began to grunt at the giant. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what trickery these punks are using. But it won’t work again!” The giant turned his attention back to the Scions.
As he turned he managed to catch an arrow that was about to strike him in the head, courtesy of Wynn. He snarled at the archer only to notice the corpse of his fallen companion stumbling towards him. He took a step to the side to avoid the zombie’s claws, only to get knocked forward as a gaping bullet wound formed in his stomach. He turned in the direction of the shot and saw Marigold, who was aiming her Remington at him.
Hans, on the other hand, decided to go after Alex. The creature got his claws ready and once again went in for the attack, but Alex was a step ahead of him and jumped over the imp. As Hans was still running due to his momentum, he crashed right into Hrund, who had her spear out and ready. As the head of the spear caught a hold of him, Elena ran toward the monster, looked at him and felt her mother’s blood rushing again. This time the skin of her entire face split in half, revealing a blood-drenched skull with roaches and beetles scurrying through the eye sockets. Elena placed her face up against Hans’, who was already cowering in fear, opened her jaw, where a millipede crawled out and nestled in her left eye socket, and said, “Boo.”
Hans screeched and pulled himself off Hrund’s spear. Without a second thought, Hans ran toward the elevator. Hrund looked at Elena with such confusion and said, “How in the nine realms do you keep scaring them like that?”
Elena looked back at the Valkyrie, her face once again normal and said, “One of these days, I’ll have to show you.”
With all of the smaller creatures taken care of, the party turned their attention to their final foe. The giant snarled, “You all may think yourselves confident because you took out a couple of pawns. But I guarantee, you will not leave here alive,” The giant rushed toward Alex, swinging the support column. Alex blocked the blow with his left arm while his axe came crashing down on the giant’s head, though the beast’s icy hair held the axe back.
“You’re not going to win this, fantur,” spouted the giant.
“That’s what you think,” said Alex, “you’re outnumbered, six to one.”
“Hah! I am like a hundred of you whelps. You and your precious family are going to die, hero. Winter is coming!”
“Hey, big guy!” someone shouted from behind the party. The giant turned his head toward the voice. It was Leon. “Freeze,” The white in Leon’s eyes became a golden yellow as his pupils became stilts. The same thing happened to the giant’s eyes. The giant tried to move, but his muscles abandoned him.
“Wha-what is the meaning of this? Why can’t I move?” The giant tried with all his might to move, but felt a sudden power constricting him, like a python slowly crushing his prey.
“What was that about calling us whelps? Seems to me you’re the helpless one now,” Leon smirked as he yelled, “Alright gang, let’s end this now,”
The entire party was now attacking the giant. Hrund kept stabbing the beast with her spear, making small punctures here and there. Wynn and Marigold were shooting at him with arrows and bullets respectively, while Elena and her zombie companion were cutting and clawing at the giant’s tough skin. None of the attacks, however, seemed to have been doing much damage.
“Bah, is this all you’ve got? You’ll never defeat me with petty attacks like that,” the giant laughed, his voice shaking the room.
“Shut up!” Leon yelled as he extended his hand toward the beast. The ring he received from his mother began to glow as Leon felt the giant’s circulatory system pushing his blood throughout his body. Leon concentrated on one area of the giant and began to release strands of bacteria and viruses into his bloodstream, causing the creature to cough in pain. “We will kill you, one way or another.”
The giant stared at Leon with anger and roared at the Scion. At that point, Alex was walking toward the giant, his axe in hand and said, “Enough is enough. I’m fucking tired of this thing. It’s over, now!” Picking his axe with both hands, Alex swung the weapon upward, striking the creature in his crotch and quickly slicing him in half. The giant didn’t get a chance to utter a single word or sound, as his two halves fell onto the ground.
The party approached the dead giant’s corpse, as it melted into a puddle, leaving behind its heart. Alex picked up the organ and studied it for a bit when the foreman office’s door swung open and Gunther came flying out and landed on the floor. He too began to melt and leaves behind a crystal heart, which Elena picked up.
The party went into the other room and found, much to their surprise, two more figures. One is a fairly attractive woman with red hair, gray eyes and coveralls; the other what appeared to be a female dwarf.
“Whoa, I claim this treasure,” said Leon as the group approached the two. The dwarf introduced herself as Ola, while the woman said her name was Sybil, a Scion of Loki. When asked why they were there, Sybil explained that she was in search of the same artifact that the party is looking for, the Heart of Winter. She said she does not know why the Heart is important, only that the gods want it and that it was supposedly in the mines, but was recently moved. She cannot tell whether the giants have found it or not yet, though searched most of the mines to only come up empty-handed. The giants were getting ready to leave when she arrived, so she presumed they either found the Heart or they gave up looking in this location.
When asked about the creatures they fought, Ola explains that the wooden creatures are actually dwarves who were forced to drink the blood of the giants. This perverse vampirism twisted the dwarves’ bodies and turned them into trolls. Ola was also supposed to become one, but Sybil convinced the giant they just fought, whose name was Robrek Forson, that Ola was pregnant and to feed her giant’s blood would cause her to become a powerful, uncontrollable monster that would’ve killed all of the giants.
Between Marigold’s questions and Leon’s keen sense of detail, the pair managed to figure out that 1) the giants do in fact have the Heart of Winter and that 2) the Heart has been sent out to a company known as Fornjot Power Associate. Alex and Wynn both vaguely recognize the company, knowing it is based in Colorado and that they produce one of the top selling energy drinks.
As the story closes, Sybil took out a copper bowl, filled it with water and shared with the group a vision of one of her prophecies:
“Lie-Smith’s daughter Aid the Band
Heart replaced By hero’s hand
Tree and mountain Twisted fates
Tithe of blood Controls the gates”
She interpreted the first line that she must aid the party in their quest. Ola also asks the group if they will help her return to her village of Bixby Knoll in Longbeach. The party, heavy with information and nursing their wounds, return up above with their two new companions. Their next stop: The dwarven village of Bixby Knoll.
-End of Game 1-
[Last edited Feb 09, 2012 19:45:15]