The One Ring: Fellowship of the New Alliance

The End
Session 91 and the Last

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The Beginning of the End

The companions awaken wrapped in cocoons, weary and barely able to lift their arms. They are only dressed in tattered clothes, unarmed, lacking armour or helmet, none of their equipment.

They manage to tear free, finding themselves in a larder, rotting boars hanging in the webs above. Cautiously they make their way through webbed tunnels strewn between the trees, looking for a way out. They follow the pathways, hearing voices, snarls of wolves, the skittering of spiders in the trees, out of sight, but oh so close.

They stumble into a larger chamber and find themselves facing a pair of Great Spiders, several Wild Men, and a large Warg. They spot the companions before they can flee… and deciding to go out in a blaze of glory, the weary and unarmed Company charge into the midst of the enemy!

Grimgar, holding an axe found on the dead bodies of the men they killed, during their exploration of the nest, charges in, axe swinging, taking out a Wild Man as he rises to block the path to his spider overlords.

Gilthannas spots their equipment piled in a corner. He dives past the Wild Man, grabbing his bow from the floor.

Alberic follows, grabbing Wolfbiter from the pile.

Wild Men clash with Dafydd Ap Alfred and Storr, who barge past, but nearly stumble and crash to the ground. Dafydd manages to push past and grabs his spear; Storr seizes his sword.

One of the Great Spiders fixes its many eyes on the Beorning, but the great man just ignores it and bashes one of the Wild Man, sending him back a couple of feet. But another steps up and a single swing of his axe takes Grimgar down!

Dafydd dives past the others, and jabs at the large Warg, bloodying it. Alberic takes the fight to the Great Spiders.

Then Storr takes an axe to his neck, and falls, unconscious and bleeding out.

Dafydd impales a Wild Man, kicking him free as he turns on another Wild Man. But that man’s axe is already falling, and its blade cuts into the Barding’s body: Dafydd Ap Alfred falls to the ground!

Alberic takes a leg off the Great Spider, but it is too late. It retaliates, a razor-sharp leg cutting through his chest, sending him spinning and crashing to the ground, bleeding and out cold.

And Gilthannas stands alone. He sends arrows into the enemy’s midst, but they miss. He staggers back as the sharp legs of the spiders bash into him; another slices across his chest, sending blood flying to the corners of the chamber.

And then it is over. The large Warg, actually a Hound of Sauron leaps up at the Elf, and tears his throat out.

Gilthannas falls down, dead.

The End

The Company of the Fellowship of the New Alliance is defeated… food for the wolves and spiders

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Against the Spiders: Part 2
Session 90

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With Gilthannas following behind with his bow, the rest of the Company charge at the Wild Men coming out of the tunnel: while around them, the Spiders and Wolves move in to attack.

Dafydd Ap Alfred and Grimgar charge forward, impaling Evil Men on their mighty spears, throwing them aside. Storr and Alberic wade in, sword and axe slashing and felling the enemy. Gilthannas moves past the carnage, into the tunnel, spinning around and putting an arrow to his bow.

The Spiders webs ensnare the others, stingers biting. Dafydd pulls free of the webs, whilst Grimgar rages, hollering and sending Spiders scuttling back… but only for a moment. Storr steps in, cutting down one of the skittering Spiders, another’s legs are shorn from its body by Alberic’s axe, and the Elf’s arrow speeds overhear, taking a Spider in between its hateful eyes, slaying it.

A Wild Men, still standing, swings his axe, whacking Dafydd a heavy blow, winding him. Grimgar finds himself being battered back, as does Storr, both wearing quickly as they struggle in their heavy armour. Another Spider falls, then another, and Dafydd impales his Wild Man opponent, but another knocks him back. Grimgar stumbles, falls, then collapses as an axe strikes his a sharp blow across his brow. Alberic, wearying, takes down another, Storr sticks his sword hilt-deep into a Spider as it looms over him; then another arrow from Gilthannas takes out another spider, sending it spinning back into the trees.

Then Dafydd falls. A Wild Man knocks him back again, sending him staggering into a tree. The Evil Man follows up with a blow from the shaft of his axe, and the Barding collapses amongst the fallen leaves.

A Wild Man falls to Storr’s sword and Gilthannas’ arrows, but then Storr falls.

Then the Wolves and Warg move in. Alberic finds himself fighting axe against axe, exchanging blows with a Wild Man; but the tide turns, and Alberic is taken down.

Gilthannas stands alone. He sends an arrow into a wolf’s flank. He tries to intimidate them, but his voice is hoarse, and the Wolves laugh. Then a wolf leaps and forces the Elf to the ground, where he bashes his head against the ground and loses consciousness…

End of Session

XP Awarded: 1 each.

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Against the Spiders: Part 1
Session 89

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25th Winterfilth, 2951 (Autumn)

In the Heart of Mirkwood the Company are ambushed by half-a-dozen Attercops that drop from the trees: a flurry of arrows take out most, leaving a few to land and be slaughtered by the others. The fight is over in the blink of an eye, and they head off to make camp before continuing their search for the nest. They find more tracks, following a path to where an old, Orc-made bridge stands over a wide ravine that blocks their way. They leave it, then find an old trunk that allows them to cross. That night, they camp in the relative safety of the ravine, listening to the sounds of spiders all around them.

Early next morning, they find the nest.After a quick discussion, they spilt between climbing trees and hiding in the undergrowth, then shoot arrows at the webs to attract attention" it works, and Spiders, Wolves and Wild Men come out to investigate: a Hunter spider is felled immediately by arrows from Alberic and Dafydd Ap Alfred; another falls to a single arrow by Gilthannas; then the rest clash on the ground as arrows rain down from the companions in the trees above.

A Wild Man takes an axe to Dafydd’s chset, but his mail sends it skidding off; the Barding retaliates by impaling him. Wolves grab Dafydd and Grimgar, another spider leaps overhead and attacks Gilthannas. Grimgar impales a Wild Man, skewering him, and more fall to Storr’s sword and Alberic’s axe. Wolves tear, bite, and are hacked apart. The rest of the spiders and Men fall; a wolf turns and runs, and is shot down by the Elf’s arrow.

The Company back off, catch their breath, and try their luring plan again: another four Spiders come out of the trees, slain before they can even reach the companions. Dafydd sneaks into the clearing before the nest, spotting and tracking a trail of blood into the tunnel. He reports back, and they decide to try the lure again, just by walking straight in and seeing what happens.

Possibly a mistake.

As they come within a spear’s throw of the tunnel, Grimgar calls out that they are being surrounded: from the rear and flank Wolves approach, cautiously, fangs bared, a larger Warg behind them; from the trees, half-a-dozen Attercops swarm from the trees; from the fallen leaves forming mounds before the nest, a couple of Hunter Spiders rear up; and from the tunnel, manic and painted in blood, six Wild Men charge.

The Company have a few seconds to loose arrows– a Hunter Spider is struck three times, but still stands, a Wild Men lets loose an arrow at Gilthannas– and then the battle begins…

End of Session

XP Awarded: 1 each.

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Plans
Session 88

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29th Halimath, 2951 (Autumn)

Dafydd Ap Alfred and Storr stand over Gilthannas’ unconscious body, their eyes locked as their minds whirled. They are broken out of their lust for power by stern words from Alberic, bringing their focus back to the situation: that they are all weary, battered, most are wounded, one is out for the count, the other dying, his blood pooling beneath him. It’s enough to snap them out of it, and the still standing companions get to work.

Alberic and Storr head over to the fallen Grimgar, and the Woodman uses his Staunching Song to stem the flow of blood and treat the wound. He bandages the gaping hole in his back, stuffing it with healing herbs. It brings the large man around, although he’s weary and in a bad way. Alberic does the same for Storr, while Dafydd tries and fails to bind his own wounds, leaving him weakened. Gilthannas is fine, except being knocked out and by the time the others are looked after, the Elf awakens to the carnage of all the dead.

They hide the bodies in the undergrowth, take tabards and shields that bear the coat-of-arms of the_ Lord of Tyrant’s Hill._ Making sure the camp is secure, guards are set, and the rest of the night passes uneventfully.

In the morning they continue their journey, slowly limping their way to The Black Tarn. During the trip Alberic treats Dafydd’s wound, They spend a night at the Hall, cross the lake and hike back to Rhosgobel where they rest up until everyone is fully healed and back to full health. They consult with Radagast and make a list of potential troubles, discussing them in detail before deciding where to focus their energies:

  • Tyrant’s Hill
  • Spiders and Wolves allied in the Heart of Mirkwood
  • Orcs at Fenbridge
  • Demon’s Tower
  • Viglund
  • Raenar the Cold Drake
  • Elves and the Bardings felling trees

While they wait, they also circulate the description of the scarred-man they believe razed the Easterly Inn, hoping to track him down. They send the message to the North and South and as far as Dale.

They decide to go back and deal with the nest of spiders they fought recently, and head back to the Black Tarn, getting Amaleoda, Shieldmaiden of the Black Tarn permission to base themselves there while they deal with the spiders and anything else in the area. They also hand over a lot of gold, telling her to pay the toll that the Servants of Tyrant’s Hill demand when they waylay travellers, until a better solution is arrived at.

15th Winterfilth, 2951 (late Autumn)

The Company travel into the Heart of Mirkwood, trying to remember which way they went. They come across the odd mark and old trails, enough to get them moving in the right direction. It still takes over a week to reach where they remembered the nest was, and then they start looking for the nest: on the first day they find webs and broken trees that they recall from the previous visit; on the second, they come across the rotting corpses of dead spiders.

Then, as evening falls, there is a hush and then a sudden movement in the trees: spiders!

As Dafydd and Storr keep an eye on the way they came, the others spot the spiders approaching rapidly through the trees; and then the spiders are on them!

End of Session

XP Awarded: 2 each.

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The Helm of Peace
Sessions 86 & 87

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7th Afterlithe – 25th Wedmath, 2951 (Summer)

After paying a visit to the Elves to learn the latest gossip, Gilthannas learns that his new sword is none other than Ringil, the legendary blade. Its power has waned over the centuries, and how it came to be trapped in ice is a mystery, but Ormal the Lampmaker is certain that it is the sword. Whilst there, Alberic asks about his cursed ring, and Ormal says he can try to reforge it, removing the curse. The ring is handed over, and the company head off to Dale to relax before they collect the Helm of Peace for Ceawin.

At the end of summer they collect the helm, wrap it up carefully, and begin the long journey back to the East Bight: they travel down the river, then cut East along the outskirts of the marshes, before heading down to the [[The Crossings of Celduin: Part 5 | The Crossings of Celduin: Part 5]], where they head to the forest, following its edge as an unseasonal cold wind blows from the North, bringing heavy and unexpected snow. Little over halfway through their journey, the land is white and the wind is cold.

Looking for a place to take shelter, the Company slip into the eaves of the forest. They set camp and take turns on guard. During Gilthannas’s shift, he hears and sees Men approaching stealthily through the woods: he alerts the others, and Alberic, Dafydd Ap Alfred and Storr duck out of sight, bows ready, leaving Grimgar pretending to sleep by the fire. A man calls out from the woods, demanding that they surrender the helm, he is interrupted by a flurry of arrows from the hidden archers, and falls dead to the ground.

Then a woman’s voice orders the Men to attack, and bandits charge into the camp. The woman, a bow in her hands and a raven perched on her shoulder, steps into view, then falls down as multiple arrows strike her. The bandits are forced back, one impaled on the end of Grimgar’s spear, another by Gilthannas’ sword, and more from arrows. The last grab the fallen woman and flee into the woods, into the snow-laden darkness.

After a brief discussion, the companions do now follow. They spend a watchful rest of the night, and in the morning, continue their journey without further incident, arriving safely at Sunstead. There they deliver the helm to Ceawin, who welcomes them into his hall, feeds them, and asks if they’ll accompany himself and his men on the eve of tomorrow, to offer the helm to their ancestors. They agree and sleep soundly in the hall.

10th Halimath, 2951 (Atutumn)

Dusk the following day, the Company escort Ceawin and his quartetof warriors into the woods, hiking through the thick snow under the laden trees and to the barrows a mere half-hour from the growing village.

They reach a barrow, whose entrance is a dark passage beneath the roots of ancient oak trees. Leaving his men with the companions, he takes the helm and enters by himself, torch lit, a rope tied round his waist ‘in case of trouble’. His voice is heard a short time later, offering the helm as a gift to appease the spirits.

Then a bone-chilling cold surrounds everyone, and terror accompanies a ghostly voice that speaks some ancient rhyme: the warriors of the East Bight flee in terror, but the companions are made of sterner stuff. Gilthannas draws his word, its blade glowing a pale blue, and heads straight in, while the others grab torches and ropes and prepare to follow, leaving Grimgar outside on guard.

Gilthannas follows the narrow passage to a chamber lit only by the flickering torchlight: a figure stands over another figure lying still on a stone bier, the helm coming down upon its head. Gilthannas calls out for it to stop, but when it doesn’t, he charges the figure, knocking the helm from its cold, skeletal fingers and finds himself facing a Wood-Wight!

As the Elf exchanges blows, Dafydd and Storr hurry down the tunnel, Alberic not far behind. Waves of fear roll up the passage, causing Gilthannas to pale as he struggles to battle the wight, but his strength and sword gives the others hope and they resist the fear.

Gilthannas is struck by the claws of the creature, blood flowing freely as he hacks back at the wight. He staggers back, tries to retreat, but the wight grabs him by the throat, squeezing the life out of him: he slumps, losing conscious and it hurled to the ground.

Dafydd pierces the creature’s skeletal frame, shattering ribs, and strikes again and again as it turns its attention to Storr, clawing at his face, quickly wearing him down. The situation seems momentarily dire, but then Dafydd sticks his blessed blade into the wight’s face: the creature vanishes in a flash, and moments later, the barrow collapses!

Fortunately, no one is dead, and the four warriors find their courage and return, helping dig everyone out. Ceawin is alive and well, and dreamt of being offered the kingship of the woods, before the companions leapt in and slew the wight. Gilthannas is out cold, and they carry him back to the village.

They spend two weeks resting, allowing everyone to fully recover. The snows thaw, leaving it colder than is usual, but no longer the sudden snow that came on so suddenly. Deciding that they needed to focus their energies somewhere, they plan a route back to Radagast, via a brief stop at The Black Tarn.

Halfway through the journey cold rain falls for several days, pouring from the canopy above, soaking the Company, making it impossible to light a fire, and leaving them all thoroughly miserable. It is a dismal night spent in the forest, halfway through the Narrows of the Forest, when they are ambushed!

Alberic is on guard, but fails to spot the approach of half-a-dozen armed warriors: these let fly with arrows, striking (and waking) both Grimgar and Gilthannas, and then the Men are charging into the camp, swords swinging.

The Companions scramble to their feet, grabbing weapons off the ground just in time to parry blows; Storr finds himself forced back as a warrior wearing the garb of the Servants of Tyrant’s Hill savagely attacks him. Another slashes at Grimgar, who lets out a roar worthy of any bear, and wildly attacks as blood flows down his face: he manages to force a couple back, but then takes a sword in the back and collapses, wounded, unconscious and bleeding.

Another piles into Gilthannas, taking him down with a heavy blow to the jaw, thankfully just with the hilt of his sword. Regardless, the Elf drops unconscious to the ground.

Storr, seeing his friends falling back, decides it is his time to shine and steps in front of Dafydd, telling everyone that he’ll protect them. He lashes out, taking out a Servant with a powerful swing and sends the man’s head rolling off into the forest.

Alberic, recovering from the sudden attack, grips his axe tightly and swings: another falls dead. Dafydd finds himself slipping in the mud, and a Servant takes advantage and jabs the Barding in the side, wounding him. Dafydd retaliates, impaling the warrior, and shoving him to the ground. A need to prove himself and a desire to best them all seizes hold of him, and he rallies his strength, bashing the sword of another aside, then snapping his neck with a fierce blow.

Storr is wounded, he strikes back, not wanting to be seen as weak, and slays his foe. The last one starts to retreat, then his head rolls as Alberic grips his axe in both hands and swings.

There is a moment of silence. Grimgar lies bleeding, Gilthannas is out cold, bot Dafydd and Storr hold their bleeding sides, Alberic is weary.

Then, with a strange light in their eyes, both Dayfdd and Storr stand over the prone Elf, staring at the legendary sword that is in their reach.

“That should be mine,” they both say at the same time. Their eyes meet, and they grip their weapons tighter…

End of Session

XP Awarded: 2 each.

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The Ice Cave
Sessions 84 & 85

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10th Forelithe, 2951 (Summer)

The Company, with Ekbar guiding them, embark on the long journey to the Mountains of Mirkwood, along the river, through the marshes, then West into the forest and the slopes of the mountains.

The journey is nearly two weeks long, uneventful, even pleasant at times, and they reach the site of the ruined fort on a cloudy, late and humid afternoon, and creep up a path through the rocky slopes until the crumbling fort comes into view. They hunker down for the rest of the day, watching for movement: they spot Goblin Archers on the walls, see Orcs changing shift, and suss out a way to get to the ruin by climbing down to lower slopes and sneaking across.

As night falls, they move off, scrambling down as quietly as they can, using a rope and their experience to move unseen and unheard. They sneak across to a thick canopy of honeysuckle then send Dafydd Ap Alfred up to spy. He clambers up, quiet as an owl on the hunt, and he sees half-a-dozen Orcs in the courtyard, half-heartedly keeping watch, bickering and moaning about guarding some ‘Elven trinket’. He lowers a rope to the rest, and everyone except Gilthannas climb up, taking shelter behind the fallen walls.

They ambush the enemy, taking them completely by surprise. The three Goblins on the walls fall dead before they even realise it by well-aimed arrows from Gilthannas, Ekbar, and Alberic. Dafydd sends a deadly arrow into the heart of an Orc hanging out by the well, and then the rest charge in!

Grimgar impales an Orc, then sweeps another off its feet and skewers that one too; Dafydd takes out another, impaling it on his spear as he moves to guard the doorway to a tower; Alberic and Storr charge up, guarding a set of stairs leading below; Storr shoots an Orc as he reaches the stairs. One of the remaining Orcs whacks Grimgar, who retaliates by impaling the foul creature. And a double-whammy from Alberic and Gilthannas take out the last Orc.

Gilthannas hears movement from the stairs, and as soon as an Orc’s head appears, he shoots it between the eyes. Its corpse tumbles back down the steps. An Orc calls out, from the tower above, in rough Common, demanding that they surrender. The Company moves out of sight, guarding the door and stairs, and do not reply.

An hour passes, then another. An Orc attempts to find out what’s going on, but as it ascends the stairs, it falls back down as Gilthannas shoots that Orc between the eyes too. Several more hours pass, deeper into the night.

The Company decide to take the battle to whoever is in the tower. Leaving Grimgar, Ekbar and Gilthannas outside on guard, the others move into the tower, past the lower floor and a locked trapdoor, up to the second floor, where Orcs Guards ambush them: Dafydd is jabbed by a spear and battle is joined.

Outside, an Orc jumps out of the tower window, stumbling as it lands, then sprints towards the stairs down: he gets about halfway before Gilthannas shoots him down.

In the tower, Dafydd is joined by Storr and Alberic, just as two more Orcs join the Guards: a wary, smaller Orc, and a powerful looking Chieftain wielding a staff. Alberic engages him, while Storr helps Dafydd out: spears, swords, axes and staff jab and slash, thrust and parry. The Orcs dodge, block; the companions parry and duck; Alberic shouts for help, and Grimgar and Gilthannas rush in to help.

The Orc Guard falls to the mighty spear of Grimgar; the smaller Orc is battered back and drops his weapon, falling to his knees and surrendering. The chief carries on fighting, wearied quickly, but not before he pummels Alberic into unconsciousness. Then the chief falls to one of Gilthannas’ arrows, and drops dead.

In the aftermath, after tying up the surrendering Orc, they search the tower and find little. The captive Orc tells them it will help, if they promise to let it go free. They sort of agree, and the Orc (Zagluk) helps them disarm the traps of a chest in the cellar; where plenty of loot is found, as well as a lesser Ring of Power (or some prototype) is claimed by Gilthannas.

They lock the Orc inside, and proceed to the stairs. Alberic, once he is awake and ready, pretends to be Zagluk and manages to convince four Orcs to come up: these are quickly felled by the companions waiting at the top. Then they head down, find some barracks, a mostly looted treasure room, and two Orcs guarding the entrance to a cave: these Orcs too fall easily to the Company.

The cave turns out to be an ice cave, and it is cold and dark and totally unnerves the companions. After much caution and worry, they enter and find a sword encased in ice: then an Elven spirit appears, but thanks to some quick talking and the presence of Gilthannas, the spirit gifts them the sword and asks them to use it wisely. It fades away, lifting the cold from the cave.

After hacking and freeing the sword, Gilthannas takes the ancient Elven blade, and the Company return to the tower to rest and sleep. In the morning they head back down the mountain, letting the Orc go as they reach a safe spot. He flees into the forest, and the Company head back to Dale without any trouble.

Back at the town, they split the treasure, bid farewell to Ekbar, and decide to head off to see the Elves and maybe learn more about the sword; then return to collect the Helm of Peace at the end of summer.

On the 6th Afterlithe, they leave the town and head West.

End of Session

XP Awarded: 3 each.

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Helm of Peace: Prologue
Session 83

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11th Thrimidge, 2951 (Spring)

When they arrive at Sunstead the Company meets with Ceawin and learn that he wants them to journey to Dale to collect a helm, the Helm of Peace that he has ordered made to appease the spirits of his ancestors after strange sightings in the barrows south of his settlement.

They agree, and are told that it will be ready at the end of the summer. This gives them several months to travel to the town and do other stuff, before they need to collect the helm and return.

So off they go, hiking across the grassy plains to the [[The Crossings of Celduin: Part 1 | The Crossings of Celduin]], which is inhabited once again with a wooden bridge replacing the destroyed stone one. They spend the night, then follow the river, skirting the marshes. On their journey Alberic, scouting ahead, comes across an old farmhouse that looks like it might be a suitable place to camp; but something about the place puts him off, so they camp elsewhere. A few days later, they reach Lake-town and spend a week there, resting, drinking, learning to enjoy living again, exchanging gossip with Gloin.

During that week, Alberic is filled with confidence at the direction his life is taking and spends a fruitful few days in the marshes looking for herbs. Storr and Gilthannas practice their weapon skills, while Dafydd Ap Alfred and Grimgar visit a blacksmith and fletcher to improve their armour and bow.

At the end of the week, with weeks to go until they need to collect the helm, they are relaxing in a tavern when they are approached by a hunter called Ekbar. He is looking for experienced warriors to help him loot a ruin, after he spotted some treasure whilst out hunting. Only trouble is, there are Orcs there too. He needs help, as while he can hunt, he’s not a great warrior. They agree and negotiate for equal shares.

On the 10th Forelithe, as Summer begins, they pack their bags, shoulder their weapons, and head out of the town, heading towards the forest.

End of Session

XP Awarded: 1 each.

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Eight Legs, Four Legs, Two Legs: Part 2
Session 82

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29th Aston, 2951 (Spring)

The Company venture into the webbed maze, cautious and ready for the spiders they expect to find. They follow twists and turns, and soon feel vibrations in the floor: five Hunter Spiders and three more Attercops swarm from around the corner.

Three fall dead before they reach the heroes, felled by a flurry of arrows from Gilthannas, Alberic and Dafydd Ap Alfred. Then battle is joined, although it is short: sword, spears, axe and bow slay spider after spider in rapid succession, with barely a sweat broke.

Leaving the twitching carcasses behind, they continue to explore and come across a chamber that acts as a larder, where more spiders guard half-a-dozen cocooned farmers, half of those they have come to rescue. They ambush the spiders and free the prisoners, who tell them that the others were taken deeper into the maze. Leaving the farmers in the larder for safety, the Company continues on, following the tunnels deeper; soon they reach a large domed chamber, the centre of the maze and Alberic sneaks forward and peers inside.

He spies the remaining villagers, but they are guarded by more wolves, larger wargs, giant spiders with human-like faces, and a robed and hooded figure that oozes menace. Too many to take on.

The Company reluctantly retreat, taking the farmers they’ve freed out of the maze and head back towards The Black Tarn and Amaleoda, Shieldmaiden of the Black Tarn. After a few hours it is obvious that they are being pursued, but the heroes manage to increase their lead and lose the pursuers and make it back without incident.

They ask Amaleoda to send word to Radagast about what they’ve seen, and after a night’s rest they head off across the forest towards the East Bight to meet Ceawin the Generous and learn what task he needs them for.

Six days later, just a day or so from the halls of their friend and ally, they are looking for a place to make camp, when a pack of wargs attempt (and fail) to ambush them. Three wolves are slain before they attack, the others rush in, surprising and scaring Storr, grabbing and pulling Grimgar to his knees, and clamping teeth on Dafydd Ap Alfred’s leg. Both Bardings find themselves wearied as they fight off the wolves, and Gilthannas frees the Beorning by felling the wolf that has grabbed his leg. Three more wolves fall to sword, spear and axe, and another to a well-placed arrow. Alberic decapitates the larger wolf leading the pack, and they jointly slay the last wolf before it can escape.

They tend to their cuts and scrapes, find a defensible place to camp, and in the morning head off, reaching the growing settlement as the afternoon draws into evening.

End of Session

XP Award: 3 each.

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Eight Legs, Four Legs, Two Legs: Part 1
Session 82

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25th Aston, 2951 (Spring)

As the Company arrive at The Black Tarn, they see villagers outside the main hall arguing with Amaleoda, Shieldmaiden of the Black Tarn, demanding that she do something about the attack.

Dafydd Ap Alfred and Alberic wade straight in and calm the would-be mob down, and discover that yesterday a dozen spiders swarmed out of the forest and took a dozen farmers captive. Amaleoda can’t do anything to rescue them, as they have no real warriors, and no one is volunteering to venture after them, despite demanding that something should be done. Thankfully, the companions step up and agree to go after them, and either return with the captives or bring back word as to what has happened to them.

This quietens the villagers, and the Company wastes no time tracking the spiders from the farmland to the forest: the tracks show a dozen spiders at least, but also half-a-dozen wolves. They head off, following the trail, deep into the Heart of Mirkwood.

The trees quickly close around them, cutting off all but the faintest trickle of light. Torches and lanterns are lit, and they slowly make their way through the dense, dark woods. For severals days they follow the trail, almost losing it at one point (which puts Alberic into a miserable mood for the rest of the journey), but finding it again after a day’s searching. Eventfully they come across a small clearing, beyond which is a dense thicket of ancient oaks, brambles, deadwood, and webs upon webs upon webs, forming a domed maze that disappears into the darkness. A faint glimmer of dying sunlight penetrates the thick canopy, and half-a-dozen wargs are seen lounging in the clearing before an arched entrance into the webs.

A plan of attack is formed: shoot the wolves, lure them away from the webs, repeat until nothing else comes out. Climbing into the trees, Gilthannas attracts the wolves by sticking one with an arrow, felling it where it lays. The others come to investigate, and are swiftly picked off by the others: one survives, and limps off into the webs. A few minutes later, half-a-dozen Attercops come crawling and the heroes leap down to fight them, and slay them without breaking a sweat.

They wait, but no more come out. With little choice, they approach the webs carefully, and with Alberic and Storr taking the lead, Grimgar in the middle, and Gilthannas and Dafydd bringing up the rear with their bows out, the Company light their torches and enter the maze…

End of Session

XP Awarded: 2 each.

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Trouble at Home
Session 81

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27th Rethe, 2951 (Spring)

After tending to their wounds, burying Longleg, and arranging Grimgar on the wagon, the Company break camp and head off as the first rays of the sun pierce the woods. Leaving the dead wolves surrounding Longleg’s grave, they reach The Old Ford before nightfall and spend the night there.

Whilst resting, they learn that Men from the Northern Vales have been raiding, some even entering Beorn’s territory, and that wolves are on the prowl. There have been rumours of Orcs moving through the mountains and forest too, but nothing substantial. Grimgar wakes up after his sleep, wounded, weary and in much need of a rest, but able to (carefully) travel on.

It takes an uneventful couple of days to reach their fort at the Old Forest Road, which hasn’t yet been completed. It turns out that work has stalled here, as without the Company’s leadership and drive, the Dwarves aren’t working well together. A few stern words and a bit of not so gentle persuasion convinces everyone to get back to work.

At their home, they also discover the Hobbits from the Easterly Inn ( Agatha and her husband Dody) have come to stay. Whilst they were away, raiders attacked and razed their inn to the ground. They were led by a man with a badly scarred face, who sounds very much like the lone traveller they encountered in the High Pass. The companions welcome the Hobbits to stay here, and agree to fund the building of a new inn here instead. They agree and start making plans.

Meanwhile, after a bit of rest, the Company leave Grimgar and Storr at home to recuperate, and travel up to see Beorn, learning that he has sent his Men to guard the Forest Gate in case there are any more raiders, but he has no more news for them. They thank him and head South, to home first to collect Grimgar and Storr (now fully healed), then to Stonyford gathering gossip there before heading off to Woodland Hall and then Woodmen Town, before arriving at Rhosgobel where they meet up with Radagast.

There is little news or gossip, other than rumours of Orcs and Spiders being a bit more active, and some local trouble with the warriors from Tyrant’s Hill. Dafydd Ap Alfred suggests that they look at opening a new path between the East and West sides of the forest, and decide to head off to see if that is possible, whilst also paying a visit to Ceawin the Generous, who has sent a message asking for their help.

A good night’s sleep and with their provisions re-stocked, they head off see Ceawin, intending on stopping at Black Tarn Hall on their way, to see what’s being going on there in their absence.

End of Session

XP Awarded: 1 each.

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