Deciding they want to keep their horses, the party sought passage on a ship from Aalborg. They found a Norwegian captain willing to drop them off in Gothenburg for only 1 gp per head per day. The passage took three days, due to unfavorable winds, leaving them half of Monday to kill in Gothenburg before setting out north. The ladies window shop, the dwarf drinks, and the gnome realizes he speaks neither Swedish, Norwegian, or German, and accompanies the dwarf.
The next morning they all set out early, so as to arrive in the next city by dark. However, in a small village along the way, they witness a crowd of villagers rather agitated in the center of the village. The principle agitator was a young man, broad of shoulder and blonde of hair, shouting about a kidnapped girl and a monster. Hilde took the lead and rode through the crowd up to the man, and such was her beauty that he was briefly struck mute, and he nearly forgot what he had roused the rabble about.
After a brief discussion in the poor public house, the details of the case were made somewhat clearer. The girl, Briggite by name, had wandered into the woods the day prior, and had been taken by the ravening beast. Her father, apparently having failed to rescue her came into town raving mad just this morning, and was promptly sent north to the cathedral so that the brothers might care for him. Meanwhile, Gundriksen, the village leader, called the men of the village in from the fields to form a band to take the girl back from the Beast by force.
Questioning the authority of the self-proclaimed village chief, Frejya asked for a few minutes alone to discuss with the party.
Since the party had horses, they rode on ahead of the mob, who had finished gathering torches and pitchforks by now, and beat them by two hours to the “ruined castle.” Opening the lock on the gate, they rode into the grounds of the castle, which, while overgrown, was only suffering from a single collapsed tower.
The door to the keep was barred, but knocking and shouting attracted the attention of the lonely resident, who lurked above until he was noticed. Then the party scaled the wall of the castle, and asked to speak with the girl, who the Beast claimed was present of her own free will. He grudgingly assented, and returned with her shortly. She begged them to go, as she had willingly taken her father’s place as he had been caught poaching on the beast’s lands. Again Freyja demanded proof of rightful authority, which rankled the Beast, who withdrew the girl and shut the door.
Not content with leaving the girl to her unwilling willing imprisonment, Griswold began to beat down the barred door. The beast had evidently not gone far, for he immediately threw open the door and raked his terrible claw down the dwarf’s mailed front, sending him backwards, stunned for a brief moment. Then Freyja sent an arrow at the Beast, who endeavored to close the door again on the party. When Briggite tried to help him, again imploring the party to leave them, Freyja grabbed her and pulled her into the room. Then the Beast responded by grabbing both the women and trying to wrestle them through the door. But the sturdy dwarf cast a Doom upon the Beast, and he dropped Freyja in the doorway. Once again the Beast tried to close the door between him and the party, but Freyja refused to yield, and kicked back as the Beast tried to boot her into the room. Then the dwarf grew cloudy in his visage and flexed his muscles with rage and charged at the Beast, his mighty maul held high.
Alas, though, for as the hammer was brought to bear, the Beast twisted in desperation and the blow fell full upon the girl in his arms, silencing forever her pleas for peace. Then the Beast gave a mighty bellow and raked at the dwarf with both his claws, who then fled with his companions through the window, jumping to the stone steps below. Quickly they ran to the gate and mounted their horses to ride off as the Beast burst through the castle door with another mighty roar, ready to give chase.