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SOS12 Grýla & The Yule Lads



A Mid-Level Holiday Adventure for Player Levels 6 to 8
Intended for Use with Most Fantasy Roleplaying Games

Mǫrkthwait was a small alpine village in the “no man’s land” between warring nations.
When a peace came between these two factions, the villagers reaped the rewards.
However, good fortune can breed resentment, and now there is trouble in the village.
A series of bizarre pranks and robberies are vexing folks, and ruining their Yule spirit.
Can your players solve this intriguing Yuletide mystery in time to save the holidays?

Greetings adventurers and Game Masters! 

I am very excited to release the twelfth adventure in my Old School Series, my holiday-themed adventure GRÝLA AND THE YULE LADSThis mid-level adventure is one I have wanted to write for a long time. I am thrilled to introduce you to the Icelandic folkloric baddies Grýla & The Yule Lads!

For the uninitiated, Grýla, is one of the ancient evils of the world. She preys on children, like the demonic beast Krampus. No one is sure where she came from or when she was born, or if she was in fact born and not created by the Chaotic powers of the realms. What is known is that she has been around for time immemorial, troubling the folk of the world by preying on them every Yuletide, snatching up their young ones who she deems to be naughty, and devouring them! She is joined in this sinister mission by her vile brood, including Leppalúði, the half-ogre and half-giant third husband of the witch Grýla and father to the 13 Yule Lads;  Jólakötturinn (aka the Yule Cat) a supernatural creature that takes the form of a giant, black domesticated cat, who delights in abducting children on Yule who did not receive any new clothes; and The Yule Lads, a group of thirteen mischievous and meddlesome pranksters who like to steal from, vex, and annoy the inhabitants of one unlucky village each winter. One Lad strikes each night for the 13 days leading up to Yule. Together this murderous family delights in causing mischief and mayhem during Yuletide each year, and this year they are coming to your town courtesy of Starry Knight Press!

Adventure Synopsis: Your players will be taking a break in a warm, cozy inn in the village of Mǫrkthwait, having chosen to celebrate the Yule holiday there while waiting out a winter storm. Their hopes of relaxing will be dashed when the village’s Jarl comes to them seeking their help in investigating a series of strange and unsettling occurrences in the village, which have continued for nearly a fortnight. While no serious crimes have occurred, it has vexed the populace and it is dampening their Yuletide spirit.

While investigating your players will discover a dark secret about a newcomer to the village, the beautiful young woman Álffallegur and her thirteen small children, who were abandoned in the village by her seemingly churlish and dishonourable husband just a fortnight ago...just about the time when all the strange pranks and thefts began. 

The players' hunches will prove correct! The “beautiful woman” and her children are none other than Grýla and the Yule Lads, polymorphed into human form by her magic, just as Leppalúði was posing as a human male when he dropped them off at the village. Unfortunately the truth is leaned too late, and early on Yule morning Grýla and her brood strike, stealing away with 44 of Mǫrkthwait's innocent children; dragging them back to the lair they have made in an abandoned dwarven fastness, high up in the mountains!

The deceived villagers are angry and scared! They turn to your heroes for aid, offering vast sums in reward for recovering their kinder.
Can you players pull off a Yuletide miracle and save the children of Mǫrkthwait?

The Village of Mǫrkthwait / Grýla's Lair 

SOS12_map1 SOS12_map2

Cartography by (1) Tommy Salama and (2) Louis "sirlou" Kahn, all rights reserved.

Book Table of Contents and Back Cover

  SOS12_TOC SOS12_cover_back

This adventure was written to be generic and compatible with most fantasy role-playing games (FRPG), and should be useable with OSRIC, 5E and most FRPG ruleset. Minimal statistics are included in the text of the adventure, but complete OSR statistics are included in the appendices for both the sixteen new foes presented in this adventure, which includes all of the Icelandic folkloric creatures discussed above. This scenario also features an exciting group of twelve new magical items, including a powerful, ancient elven-forged intelligent weapon known as Stalker! An Old School hex map of the adventure locale is also included to aid those GM's whose games take place in my published campaign world of Terrans. This module is of interest to my long time readers as it expands on the northern boundary of the nation of Jarlburgh for the very first time.

PLUS you get a free copy of my 2021 Starry Knight Press Catalog, which has information on all of my modules and supplements, as well as maps of the known portions of the sphere of Terrans where my campaigns take place.

I hope you and your players enjoy this scenario. Thank you for supporting Starry Knight Press

Louis “sirlou” Kahn
Starry Knight Press
December 2021

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File Last Updated:
December 17, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on December 17, 2021.