summer 1202 seeking the hedgies

in which certain mages set out searching for local magical traditions research, indoctrinate, and assimilate into the order.
any further planning of the expedition before departure will of course be the first order of business.

Balder instructs Hårek to get the Ashlad's ship ready for the journey. He makes sure to bring the Eyeglass of Nereus, as well as all the gear normally on (listed with) the ship.

«Illugi, is there anything we have forgotten to bring?»

They know that Alva wanted to join, but not knowing when she returns from the journey with Hugh, they are not going to wait for her.

"I don't believe we need anything else," Illugi says, "at least I can't think of anything else we might need.:

"Aye sirs, which direction should we being your voyage?"

OOC. We are still waiting for the clues discovered by interviewing grogs, covenfolk, and villagers ...

You will find a few references to minor practitioners in the same town, and stories that you have heard before about rune wizards and Muspelli, but without any idea of a location from the covenfolk and villagers.

Do we get the name and location of that town? Far away?

Secondly, any references to other sites of pagan worship?

Flam they are referring to minor practitioners in Flam.
In terms of old sites they refer to a gathering spot near Bergen that there are still stories of people attending- for the most part however the surrounding country has been Christianized with Flam being one of the isolated "holdout centers"- so far as the villagers know there are no more great pagan sites of worship.

Considering their distinct lack of leads Illugi says to Balder over lunch shortly before they were planning to leave, "Mayhaps we could travel to one of the towns on a less secluded portion of the fjords. Where their primary livelihood is trading inland. Perhaps it will be possible to find more rumors in a place like that."

[OOC: I'm not so sure if this is a thing but I assume the Fjords are commonly used to transport goods and whatnot inland until they end. I assume there are communities along the fjord where land travel from the shore is not so hampered by the landscape and in these places I assume there are villages and towns that facilitate trade between those who live right on the fjord, like us, and those who live further inland. If there's not a town of this sort maybe the city on or close to the mouth of the Fjord we are on would have beter rumors we can try to follow.]

«I think that's the best we can do. i think we should sail, rather than fly, and see what we can pick up in the villages along the way. Or maybe fly some short distances at moderate speed. We may want to check out that pagan site outside Bjørgvin.»

OOC. Absolutely, the sea is the road. Transport between the different villages in Sogn is easy, because of the Fjord. There aren't many villages in Sogn away from the sea, simply because the inhabitable land is such a narrow strip along the coast. With a few exceptions. Even today.

In fact Flam is such a fjords-end town, just for a particular branch that does not go as far inland as a few others. Ardalstangen (modern name) would be the most inland of such towns on this branch of fjords, though it has a river running through the town to a long lake as well, which "ends" in the town of Ovre Ardel (Ardel is the name of the lake between the two towns). It is about 40 miles as the crow flies between Flam and Ovre Ardel, a few miles longer following the fjord.

To be pedantic, the lake is Årdalsvatnet (vatn = water or lake). Årdal refers to the valley (dal = valley or dale). I am not sure, but I would guess that År is genetive of Å = river.

Lærdal and Årdal probably see travellers going inland to Valdres, which is a distinct pre-road cultural presence. Flåm is one of the least likely places to find an inland road, I would not expect more than shepherd's cabins up the valley.

«It is probably a good idea to visit Skjolden, Årdal, and Lærdal. Maybe rumours travel across the mountains. We can use magic speeds when we are out of sight, and it will only take us a few morning hours to get there, and we can spend the afternoon and evening in town. If we find nothing, we travel on the next morning. If we bring the fish traps, we do not depend on hospitality.»

"That sounds like a workable plan. To the boat!"

Within a hour you are approaching Lærdal (by water, or slightly above I presume) and observe that there are already 3 other seaworthy ships at dock here.

Balder makes sure to remind Hårek to approach floating, and asks «Hårek, is that the normal activity in the harbour? Or is there something out of the ordinary?»

It is slightly busier than normal, but not truly unusual.

Balder picks up the Eyeglass of Nereus to study the harbour and the village, befor he hands it to Illugi to see as well. Hårek will continue the approach to moor unless some surprise reveals itself.

No surprises are revealed by the spyglass.

Illugi looks through the spyglass, “looks the same as the last time I was here.” Then hands the spyglass back to Balder. “A little busier. Perhaps preparations for a raid?”

The ship pulls into the harbor without further comment, and the ships are being unloaded- one ship from the British isles based on the wool and flax being offloaded, the second from France with wines, and the third is a fishing ship laden down with the daily catch. A dock is arranged for your ship as well, with a minimal docking fee. The fishing ship does not look happy to have the competition for the market, but the town merchants seem overjoyed.