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This is the Last Chronicle of Thorvald, the Undertaker.

Ragnarok was close at hand.  The party rushed from Dublin to the Baltic States on a quest to find the way to Musspielheim, to find the tree branch that would fuel the renewal of the mechanical sun.  We wasted no time crossing the marshes and forests of Samogitia, until we summoned that old mistress, Baba Yaga, and her hut.

The strange apparition, part chicken, part hut, came to us.  We were eventually invited in, and talked to the old lady.  That is Mrs. Yaga to youse guys.  *pause* .  Anyway, soon enough Mrs. Yaga gave us a quest to prove our worth.  We left down stream, until we came upon the wreckage of a forest area, and a recently roused troll with the village totem pole in his hand, wielded like a club.  The party acquitted itself well, and soon the troll was again sent to meet its maker.  We debated keeping the totem pole, but then settled upon returning it to the villagers, who were thankful and gave us a warm welcome.

Mrs.   Yaga soon returned, marveling at our steadfastness.  Without further debate, she delivered us just outside Dublin, where we rushed through the guardian tree, grabbed the tree branch that we needed, and ran as fast as we could.  Having obtained the tree branch, we quickly delivered it to the mechanical sun, to reignite the sun.  But the minions of Musspielheim would not let such an action occur without a fight, and fight they did.  The evil scourge poured through our defenses, slaying most of the party (but not all).  We defended just long enough, and killed enough of them however, to allow the sun to ignite.  Defeated, the evil spawn, what was left, withdrew to their ship. What remained was a mass of bodies, both there’s and ours. I had been knocked unconscious, and burrowed out of a mass of bodies only to see most of my comrades dead. A costly victory.

Regaining my senses, I drew up my wounded body, and again called to Baba Yaga to return to me.  Only moments passed, and the strange hut with giant chicken legs returned.  The door opened, and Mrs. Yaga herself asked what I could want.  I told her that she already knew, and she laughed an old, raspy laugh.  A pulse of the new sun struck the battlefield, and there, where my Ingrid’s coffin had been, there she stood, alive, and in her wedding vestments.

The ceremony took just a minute.  “In hardship and in plenty, until the final battle horn sounds…” Ingrid, my bride, smirked at that, and said “they got that right.” Then we kissed. At that moment, the three witches bellowed a mournful scream, a scream of defeat and hatred for all people. Baba Yaga flicked her withered left hand up, and dispelled the storm cloud that held the three witches. The crowd, that had gathered, relieved, began to cheer. Baba Yaga smiled, and Ingrid and I felt the warmth of the sun.

Here ends the last chronicle of Thorvald the Undertaker. A note.  It is said that the crowd who witnessed the marriage of Thorvald and Ingrid saw a last burst of the New Sun, and Thorvald and Ingrid (and Mrs. Yaga and her strange hut) were gone.  But the crowd remained for quite a while, and soon, the story went out all the way back to Gotland that the witches had been defeated, that they could not prevent Thorvald and Ingrid from marrying.  And more importantly, the crowd, and all who heard the story from that time forward knew that the witches had failed, and that hope had prevailed.  Because what importance is there of the sun shining high in the sky if there is no hope.

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