The One Ring: Fellowship of the New Alliance

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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Homeward Bound
Session 80

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18th Solmath, 2951 (Winter, end of)

In Rivendell Gandalf fills them in on the revelation of Sauron in Mordor, and asks for their help to fight the Shadow. They agree and decide to return to Wilderland to continue the battle.

The next day they head back to Bree, leaving Storr and Grimgar with the Elves to recuperate, while the others meet up with Dindy and Longleg, to escort their caravan back home.

The journey there and back is uneventful, pleasant even, and they collect Storr and Grimgar as they cross the moors up into the High Pass and slowly make their way East across the mountains. Again, the journey is uneventful, even when they pass through the mountains and camp out in the ruins where twice before they fought for their lives.

From then, rain falls incessantly, soaking them thoroughly, slowing their journey and forcing them off the old road to find shelter in a wooded dell. They light a fire, and settle down for the night, setting guards but not worrying too much now that they are almost back in the Free Lands of home.

A couple of hours from dawn, Gilthannas suddenly awakens as he thinks he hears the soft growls of wolves. Iwgar Longleg too has been woken, looking around as he reaches out to shake Dafydd Ap Alfred awake. The Elf shakes Alberic awake, as he looks around and sees Dindy– supposedly on guard– oblivious to any trouble and concentrating on toasting bread.

No sooner have the Barding and Woodman woken, a sudden howl pierces the quiet of the night, and over a dozen wargs leap into the camp, teeth flashing in the firelight!

Gilthannas manages to grab his bow and arrows as the wolves pour in, and spies a much louder wolf seemingly directing the pack: he lets loose an arrow, which speeds through the air and takes the large beast down. The pack are visible troubled by this, but something deeper drives them on. Alberic rolls over, grabbing his axe, and scrambles to his feet as wolves leap at him; Dafydd picks up his shield and moves closer to his spear; Longleg grabs for his axe; and both Storr and Grimgar are rudely awoken as wolves seize them. Storr finds himself being dragged off into the woods, while Grimgar howls with rage as a wolf bites deep into his leg; he kicks it free, opening a space for Dafydd to dive forward and sweep up his spear; another wolf grabs his leg; Gilthannas finds himself surrounded, and without his sword, his stabs out with an arrow, nicking the flank of a wolf as it tries to bite him.

Then a wolf leaps up at Longleg, ripping out his throat with a savage yank. The guide falls heavily to the ground, dead as his blood seeps out into the wet earth.

Grimgar and Alberic stab and swing, cutting down wolves, allowing Gilthannas to back off by the wagon (where Dindy has dived under) and fire off another arrow, felling the wolf that grabbed Dafydd. Another takes its place, its jaws clamping down on Dafydd’s leg. Another grans Grimgar, one tears at Alberic’s leg, wounding him. Storr tries to grab his sword, any sword, as he is dragged away, fending off bites: one wolf’s teeth dig deep into his arm.

Dafydd jabs down with his spear, killing the wolf holding him; Alberic, wielding Wolfbiter, its blade glowing a brilliant blue, cuts down another wolf; and the Beorning and Elf jab and shoot, wearing the wolves down.

Another wolf leaps at Dafydd, but Alberic intercepts, and the wolf pulls him down, tearing at his chest: the Woodman falls to the ground, unconscious as his blood pools beneath him.

Grimgar is then taken down, teeth at his throat. He falls and does not get back up.

Storr pummels the wolf holding him, but the pain of its teeth in his leg almost makes him black out.

Dafydd wades in, his spear glistening red, impaling another wolf; Gilthannas shoots out out of the air as it leaps towards the fallen Alberic. The the Elf moves in, an arrow in his hand, as Dafydd pulls back, grabbing his bow. Gilthannas is grabbed by a wolf, but he just jabs it in the head with his arrow, and the beast falls down dead. Dafydd lets loose with a well-aimed arrow, felling the wolf holding Storr; the warrior staggers to his feet, grabs a sword off the floor, and as Dafydd takes down another wolf, Storr moves up behind the one now turning on Gilthannas, and cuts down the last wolf.

Silence falls, save for the cracking of the fire, and the laboured breathing of the dying.

End of Session

XP Awarded: 2 each.

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Lair of the White Worm: Part 2
Session 79

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9th Solmath, 2951 (Winter)

Tarry-mack searches the remains of the Hill-man and finds a brooch of a stylised eye, the pupil a fiery orb. It looks all too similar to their recent nightmares to be a coincidence. The Company agree that they need to delve deeper, to see what lies beneath the temple as well as get some idea as to what the Hill-man was doing here.

Down they go, leaving Storr and Grimgar upstairs on guard. The stairs lead to a spiralling, gradually sloping round tunnel. Faint boot prints are spotted in the thick dust and the companions follow them. At intervals along the tunnel the prints skip ahead, as if whoever made them had jumped ahead. Carefully, by keeping an eye on the prints and searching whenever they skip, they find pit traps, spear traps and a scythe trap, bypassing each as they go along.

The tunnel spirals further inwards and down, until it reaches a central chamber: inside is a slope leading down, with four stone snakes coiled on pedestals, all looking in at the sloping tunnel. No sign of symbols or traps. They cautiously descend, Gilthannas hearing something ahead. They ready their weapons and carry on… then out of the darkness ahead a giant white snake springs forth.: the Elf lets loose a couple of shots, one taking the beast straight in the eye. The others move up to attack, but the beast looms over them and tries to bite the Elf, narrowly missing as he dodges back. Dafydd Ap Alfred jabs it with his spear, but when Alberic swings his axe, it slips from his fingers and goes spinning across the floor. The worm curls back, snapping at Dafydd and biting deep, wearying him as it dents his helm. He backs off, allowing Tarry-mack to move up, sword swinging ineffectively.

Another arrow flies true, embedding itself deep into the snake’s flesh. Gilthannas readies another, when Alberic slides across the floor, grabbing his axe as the snake tries to crush him. Then Dafydd, bow now in hand, lets loose with an arrow, narrowly missing the other eye of the beast; another arrow follows from Gilthannas, as they distract the creature from attacking Alberic and Tarry-mack, who are failing to strike.

The snake rears up to strike again, but Dafydd takes aim and lets loose a final arrow: it flies through the air, and strikes the snake in its eye, driving deep and killing the enormous monster. It crashes to the floor, shaking the ground.

In the aftermath of the battle they find the tunnel ends in a domed chamber full of bones, old coins, gems, plus a mithril chain with a white gem trapped in a silver cage. They loot the room of its treasure, then return to the upper temple.

Deciding that they have done their deeds, they head back to Rivendell, taking nine days to cross the Coldfells and Trollshaws without incident.

When they reach the valley they are escorted straight to the common room, where an old man in grey robes, a blue hat and with a long white flowing beard is waiting to talk to them.

End of Session

  • XP Awarded:* 3 each.
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Lair of the White Worm: Part 1
Session 78

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30th Afteryule, 2951 (Winter)

Whilst wintering in Rivendell the Company are met by Tarry-mack again, brought in by the Elves from the cold. He asks for their help, again. A Winter Wolf has been spotted to the North, and they are dangerous beasts that must be dealt with. Agreeing, the Company leave with the Ranger in the morning, and set off North across the Trollshaws.

They cross the rocky, snow-laden forested hills until they reach the land where the Coldfells roll off to the North. As night falls they set camp, and spot a glimpse of a white wolf in the distance. They find wolf tracks the next morning and follow them into the Coldfells, a land where even the Rangers seldom go. This is troll country, and a land where ancient ruins remain.

On their third night, whilst all but Alberic sleep, everyone but the Woodman have nightmares: they see an eye of flame and shadow, an iron tower rising from black rock, and a feeling of being watched. The feeling doesn’t leave them the next day, when they find the tracks leading into a deep gully and spy a ruin ahead: a ruin shaped like a coiled serpent, its head fallen down to the long grass below. Trees partially block a dark tunnel leading inside, and the wolf tracks lead within.

Alberic and Storr head inside first, the others holding back ready with their bows and spears. Inside are trees and a pool, barricades of old tree trunks and piles of bones. At the back, stairs, and by the stairs a man dressed in leather and feathers, a spear by his side. He introduces himself as Mala, an explorer, and quizzes the to men about their presence: they learn that the wolves are his companions, but that they have nothing to fear… not that they believe him. The decline his offer to join his camp and back out, but not before Alberic spies what must be a pair of wolves lurking in the shadows.

Once outside the companions agree that they have to go in and battle the wolves, Alberic and Storr leading, the others following, bows ready. They make their move and find that the wolves have moved into position by the entrance: the wolves leap, surprising Storr, but not the Woodman, who gets off an arrow before the wolf lands and bites.

Alberic’s Wolfbiter shines bright and proves worthy of its name: he fells the first wolf in moments. Storr gets bitten, Dafydd Ap Alfred moves in, lets loose an arrow into the wolf’s side, then steps aside so the others can move in. As Alberic slays the the other wolf, Gilthannas moves up, draws a bead on the Hillman, and slays him with a single well-placed shot.

With the opposition dead, they suddenly find a swarm of ravens pouring in from outside, swirling around before disappearing as quickly as they came: the Hillman is gone, just remnants of his clothes left behind. The companions search the room, finding nothing of interest, and move to the stairs to where the remains of the Hillman lie.

The stairs loom darkly…

End of Session

XP Awarded: 2 each.

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The Elf and the Stag
Session 77

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18th Blothmath, 2950 (Autumn)

At the Woodfellow inn in Archet the company meet Harry Talltree, the forester of Archet who tells them that they have an Elf in custody, caught killing a stag in the forest. He’s due to be taken to Bree for trial, and they ask to represent the Elf. They go to see him, and are introduced to Gildor Inglorion, an Elf from Rivendell, who was accompanying the Lady Irimë to the Grey Havens. Halbarad bids farewell, leaving the company to travel with the forester and his men to Bree in the morning.

They persuade Gildor to go along with the Law of Men, despite his reluctance and arrogance. The next morning they travel to Bree, and that night manage to catch a quiet word with the Reeve, putting in a good word for the Elf and suggesting a peaceful solution and penalty for the crime.

The following day the trial is held, and although they stumble somewhat through the proceedings, they manage to come to a compromise that the Reeve and the forester accept: paying a weregild (30 gold) and exile from Bree-land for the Elf. Gildor finds it all amusing, but agrees. The company persuade everyone that they’ll need to escort Gildor to Rivendell.

It takes five short days to reach the Last Bridge, without incident, and another three days to the valley where Gildor says Rivendell lies. They camp for the night, and in the morning find themselves surrounded by armed Elves. Lindir, who looks after everything, quizzes them before he allows them entrance: it seems their reputation has preceded them.

They spend the rest of the year in Rivendell, joining the Elves in feasts, songs, stories and peaceful surroundings. In the middle of Winter, their peace comes to an end, when a familiar face enters the room…

End of Session

XP Awarded: 2 each.

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A Thief in the North Fields
Session 76

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16th Blotmath, 2950 (Autumn)

The Company spend a restful couple of weeks in Bree. While they recover from their recent ordeals, Alberic spends time exercises his talent with his axe, while Dafydd Ap Alfred talks to the locals and learns, from pieced together snippets of legends and lore, more about his spear (a spear of Westerness). Gilthannas lifts his spirts, and those of the folk in the Common Room of the Prancing Pony by singing songs of the Elves.

On a cold Autumn morning, while coming down from their rooms to break their fast, the innkeeper points out a man to them, who has been asking after them. The man introduces himself as Tarry-mack, a Ranger with a mutual friend. Since they’ve shown an interest in lending a hand while in Bree, he has a job for them; a test, if they like, to prove themselves. There might not be anything in it, but someone has been stealing chickens from a local farmer– Robin Hayward– and wants help bringing the thief to justice. It may just be a desperate bandit, but perhaps something more. The recent event with the Old Troll has the Rangers troubled, so this needs looking into.

The Company agree and set off to the farm, only a few miles up the Greenway, to speak to the farmer. Robin shows them a gap in the chicken fence, and tells them what he knows: a chicken or two has gone missing every couple of days. He agrees to let the companions hide in the sheds to catch the thief, and that night they settle down to ambush whoever the thief is.

Gilthannas and Storr crowd into the chicken shed, while the others take shelter in the cow shed, barn door ajar so that they can see what’s going on. A few hours into the night, they spot a figure approaching, and surprise the thief as it opens the door to the chicken shed. Quickly they surround the hooded figure, who shows no sign of being hostile, but is quite stubborn at answering their questions until Gilthannas persuades him to talk to them. They retire to the cow shed, sharing food and drink, and the hooded man reveals he is a Ranger, called Halbarad who has been stealing chickens to use as bait to lure a Wight into an ambush. The plan has failed, but he does not know what else to do. He accepts that he hasn’t really thought it through, as although he knows about Wights he’s never actually encountered one.

Thankfully, the Company have, and agree to help, so long as Halbarad repays the farmer by doing odd-jobs for him. They also give Robin a few silvers to cover the lost chickens, and head off the following morning to the Chetwood, where Halbarad spotted the blood-drinker under the eaves of the forest.

That might they lay a trap for the creature. Using a concealed Dafydd and Halbarad as bait, pretending to sleep around a campfire, the others hide amongst the trees on either side. Their plan works, and just after midnight something moves in the darkness. Dafydd spots it just as it rears up out of the dark and leaps to claw Grimgar: the mighty Beorning exchanges blows, jabbing the rotted carcass with his great spear, taking a blow that wearies him in return. The others hear the fight and rush forward, Dafydd reaching them first, his new spear’s head glowing a bright blue in its presence. The creature recoils, but such is its thirst for blood, it keeps on fighting. From the tree above, Alberic fires an arrow into its back, as it bashes Grimgar into the tree, staggering him. Again and again Dafydd pierces it with his spear, the blade seeming to burn it where it lands. Then Gilthannas comes in range of his bow and sends a piercing arrow into its chest; and a final arrow from above sends the Wight back to its death.

They burn the body and retire for the night, and in the morning decide to warn the people of Archet just in case there are any more of the dead walking. The woodland village, a dozen wooden buildings around a clearing, is well-hidden amongst the trees but the Ranger knows where it is and leads them there.

Into the local inn, the Woodfellow they go, met with suspicious stares. Then one of the men, a giant of a man with a bushy beard, spots the Elf in the party. “An Elf, eh? Come to beg for the release of yours kinsman? He killed a stag and justice will be served; we’re taking him to the Reeve, whether you like it or not.”

End of Session

XP Awarded: 2 each.

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The Black Barrow
Sessions 74-75

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8th Winterfilth, 2950 (Autumn)

The Company journey back to Bree and inform the Reeve that they’ve killed the troll (handing him the petrified head as proof) and tell Nick, Tom’s father, the bad news about his late son. He accepts their gift of a few gold coins, and tells them he is glad to see the end of the map and his brother’s legacy, as that map brought his family nothing but trouble. The companions don’t mention that they have the map, a lie that weighs heavier for some than others.

At the Prancing Pony they spot Gror the Dwarf, who they persuade to translate the runes on the map and find out that the map belonged to his brother, who was murdered by Timeas (so he says). He agrees to travel with them to the location of the late man’s treasure: the Black Barrow and they set off early next morning. They travel along the road east, then cut through the marshes, spending nearly a week searching for some buried ruins and an old stone chair that should lie near the barrow. They find it, lighting a fire as they rest for the night. Dafydd Ap Alfredsits on the chair and feels a pull towards a mound, suddenly overcome by sorrow. This mound, they discover, is the Black Barrow.

The following morning they open up the barrow and abseil down into the upper chamber, where old tools show previous visits, and old stone coffins stand by mostly looted treasure chests. Another stone in the floor opens to a flooded lower chamber, where more treasure is briefly seem glittering in their torchlight. Leaving Storr, Gror and Gilthannas atop the barrow, Grimgar and Dafydd hold the rope for a stripped naked Alberic who dives in, and begins to recover coins and artefacts of value.

Then the expected happens as Gror betrays them. A gang of brutes appear from behind a mound, spotted by the Elf, and as he alerts the others, the Dwarf kicks Storr down the hole, and swings his mattock at Gilthannas.

Dafydd tries to climb the rope, but in his haste he slips. One of the brutes rushes up to cut the rope, but Storr sticks him with an arrow, killing him. Gilthannas pulls out his sword and cuts another down parrying the blows of the others. Grimgar climbs on Dafydd’s shoulders and starts climbing up the rope; another brute tries to cut it, but this time Alberic (cold, wet and semi-naked) shoots him down.

Gilthannas finds himself outnumbered and wearied as the Dwarf and brutes turn on him, battering him back. Grimgar climbs out, takes a blow, but then impales a brute, flinging his corpse to the marshy ground. Gilthannas darts forward, slashing the throat of the last brute, but a blow from Gror sends him staggering, allowing the Dwarf to spring free, fleeing into the marsh.

They let him go, dump the bodies in the barrow, and let Alberic take another dive. He does so, feels spectral hands grasping his, pulls free and swims back. As he hauls himself on to dry stone, he finds an ornate Elven ring in his hand, something magical. They decide to leave the barrow, and after a rest, head back to Bree.

There they spend a couple of weeks resting, and prepare to seek out further adventure before Winter falls.

End of Sessions

XP Awarded: 2 each.

Fellowship Phase takes place

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Old Bones and Skin
Sessions 71-72

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4th Winterfilth, 2950 (Autumn)

After spending a cold, snowy night with the traveller they saved from the wolves (called Arbarad, a Ranger) the Company continue their journey to Bree stopping off at a rundown roadside inn along the way. When they reach the small town, Dindy and Longleg take their leave and attend to the business and selling and buying, leaving the Company to their own devices.

While staying at the Prancing Pony Inn, they hear gossip relating to the recent funeral of Timeas Heatherton (or Tim, to his family and friends) and his nephew Tomas, who failed to attend and was caught ransacking his late uncle’s house searching for something.

Then, Tomas bursts into the common room, terrified and claiming that he has seen a monster up in the graveyard. The companions offer to help, the patrons of the inn follow, and everyone traipses up to the graveyard. There they find that Timeas’ grave has been disturbed, and there are signs of something large having been moving around: however, any tracks that might have been followed are destroyed by the onlookers. Once it is obvious that there is nothing more to see, the crowd disperse and the companions quiz Tomas about what he was doing: turns out he was planning to dig up his uncle’s corpse looking for some treasure map. At that moment, Tomas’ father appears, and is persuaded to dig up the grave: Timeas’ body is missing!

Suspecting a troll may have been here, the companions wake the Reeve up and get permission to stake out the grounds, in case the troll comes back. Tomas stays with them, much to the frustrations of his father. Nothing happens that night, and the following day they search the house of Timeas (finding nothing) under the watchful eye of his brother. They manage to pry some more information: that his brother once ‘adventured’ with some bandits or robbers, but retired in his later years. He always found money when he needed it, and would disappear for a short time just before. The map was buried with his body, as his brother (Nick Heatherton) believes it to be cursed and wanted nothing to do with it. Burning it, he believed, would release some sort of evil spirit.

The next night, they stake out the graveyard as the fog rolls in. They spot a large creature, a troll they think, and manage to surprise it: it flees when they unload a few arrows into its hide. Under torchlight they track if South of Bree, before dawn breaks and they rest for a few hours before continuing. As the chilled Autumnal days shorten, they follow the partially hidden/covered tracks into the South Downs, and after a couple of days tracking come across a gully with a shallow cave. As the sun sets a large and very old Stone-troll lumbers out of the cave: they send arrows into its thick hide, and it flees again. They follow, losing it in the dark, but manage to find its footprints. As dawn draws near, a thick fog rolls in, supernatural, full of foul smells and shadows: soon everyone except Dafydd and Gilthannas are lost.

The Barding and the Elf come out of the fog into a steep-sided gully, filled with stacks of bones, teetering and tottering. At the far end, sitting on a stone seat and seemingly slumped in sleep, is the troll, just outside a dark cave. Then, Gilthannas spots a figure trying to sneak down the side of the gully: it’s Tomas! The foolish lad has followed the party and looks like he is trying to sneak into the cave, no doubt to find and take back the map he is obsessed with.

Tomas stumble, and the troll (only pretending to sleep) races to catch him: not quick enough to the Elf’s arrow, but then the lad is gripped tight in the troll’s fist and the great beast yells for the intruders to leave him alone, least he slays the boy.

At that moment, Alberic and Storr stumble out of the fog. Seeing the troll and Tomas in its grip, Alberic assumes the worse and fires off an arrow into the beast. It roars in pain and betrayal, and charges straight at them, ignoring the arrows that pelt him. He wades in, wielding a short sword that is just a knife in his thick hand, using Tomas as a shield, and battle is joined!

The troll proves a capable foe: it batters at the companions, managing to knock both Alberic and Storr out cold; but it is soon wearied, wounded, but before it draws its last breath, it tears Tomas in half and laughs. Then an arrow strikes it between the eyes, and the Elf’s bow rings with the kill.

They catch their breath, allowing time to Alberic and Storr to come round. They remove the troll’s head, bury Tomas with his Uncle that they find inside the cave, and loot what they can. Dafydd finds himself a new spear: ancient, the stave blackened and rune-carved, the blade a sharp piece of glistening obsidian.

Then the Company leave the area, find a place to shelter for the night, and sleep.

End of Session

XP Awarded: 3 each.

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Journey to Bree
Session 70

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5th Halimath, 2950 (Autumn)

Acting as caravan guards (as well as friends) for Dindy Brandybuck and his guide, Iwgar Longleg, the Company (including Grimgar and Storr, head off into the High Pass and begin their journey West towards Bree.

The weather is mild, the trees just starting to change colour, a cool breeze on their faces as the companions lead the ponies and carts along the twisty path, keeping an eye out for possible danger. On the second night they notice a campfire on the path behind them, maybe a couple of miles away. It’s there again on the third night, and on the fourth they decide to see if they are being followed by any dubious characters or maybe Orcs and Goblins.

Hiding behind a turn in the path, with the caravan a way back guarded by Grimgar and Storr, the three companions prepare to receive whoever is coming their way. Alberic climbs a slope and peers over to see a long figure heading their way, seemingly just another traveller. When the man turns the corner, he pulls up short when he sees Dafydd Ap Alfred and Gilthannas standing there, Alberic a short distance behind them. Dafydd hails the stranger, who introduces himself as Veylan, also known as Scarface, due to a terrible burn that has melted half his face away. He says he is merely a traveller, on his way West, and quizzes them about their own journey. He declines an offer to join them on their travel, and they allow him to pass first. Once he is out of sight, the caravan moves off.

They don’t see him again, even when they leave the mountains behind after nearly two weeks uneventful travel along the upper paths of the Misty Mountains. The land before them is largely flat and empty, save for a few rolling hills coming off the mountains and just visible in the distance. Dindy points to a forested hilly region not too distant, and tells them that’s the way they’ll be going, through the Trollshaws along the East Road that leads directly to Bree.

Along the moors they hike, until they reach the old East Road. Their journey is swifter on the road, and on their travels they see signs of an ancient kingdom: ruins atop hills, crumbling walls and stones where buildings and watchtowers once stood. The chill of Autumn is with them, and a cold wind blows across the land. They soon reach the forest and are stopped by a pile of trees that have fallen across the road. Upon closer inspection is looks like the trees were placed, despite each being long and thick, not so easy to move.

Cautiously yet as swiftly as possible, they shift the trees and continue on, finding a sheltered dell a good few miles further down the road. They pass the night without incident, although sometime in the night they hear a raised voice, cursing into the wind.

They pass on the Las Bridge, crossing a deep gorge, and continue on into the region Longleg says is the Weather Hills. A few more days and they’ll reach the inn where they’ll stop for a decent night’s sleep before heading into Bree.

It gets colder, an unseasonal cold. Snow falls, a breeze becomes a fierce wind, then a gale. Forced to find shelter, the Company spot a ruin atop a nearby hill: Longleg gives it a name “”/wikis/Weatherop/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Weatherop“. They head towards it, and ”/characters/alberic" class=“wiki-content-link”>Alberic spots blood and wolf tracks on the ground. As they near the ruin, growls and snarls can be heard above the wind, and the sound of someone shouting wordlessly back. Leaving the caravan guarded by Grimgar and Storr, the others race up the path and come out into the ruins.

A long man, bloodied with a sword in hand, is fending off six wolves. Despite holding them off, it is obvious that he can’t do so for much longer. Dafydd Ap Alfred charges in, stabbing a wolf and announcing their presence, forcing the wolf to turn; Gilthannas takes out a wolf with a well-placed arrow, then another, as Alberic cleave one to the ground. Dafydd impales his wolf, and the man with the sword cuts one down, taking advantage of the distraction. The Elf finishes off the last wolf.

Alberic offers to tend to the man’s wound, and is allowed to do so. The man introduces himself as Arbarad, and offers to share his camp.

End of Session

XP Awarded: 2 each.

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Beyond the Pale
Sessions 68 & 69

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11th Wedmath, 2950 (Summer)

A day or so from reaching their new home, the fort they have had built on the Old Forest Road the Company are hailed by two Grey Mountain Dwarves, Anar and Beli. They tell the companions that they are in need of help, as six of their kin have disappeared into the Pale Rider Caves and have not returned. No, correction, one did come out, shouting something about Orcs, but was struck down by an arrow in the back. They are too inexperienced and anxious to go in themselves, so it was fortunate that the Company turned up when they did.

Leaving Niping with the two Dwarves, the rest of the Company approach the chalky caves where Northmen of old used to dig for limestone. They find tracks of the Dwarves but nothing else, but they do identify the arrow that killed the Dwarf lying face-down on the ground as an Orc arrow, and Gilthannas is sure he can hear the sound of a wolf or warg inside the cave the tracks disappear inside.

Lighting torches, lobbing one ahead to light their way and reveal any enemies, the Company advances down the passage, weapons at the ready. They hear footpads disappearing into the darkness and then are surprised by a warg as it leaps out of the shadows over the fighters at the front, right into the Elf. He parries its jaws, and Grimgar impales it on his spear with a huff and a puff. He shakes it free without a word, and they advance deeper into the caves.

At a junction they find a cave-in, and follow tracks away from it, into dark passages. An arrow speeds through the air at one point, narrowly missing them. They continue, and are ambushed by two Orcs: one manages to flee after firing an arrow at the wall, but the other is felled by a swift retaliation from Gilthannas’ bow. They move on, and arrive at a larger cave. There are Orcs there, and one, their leader, tells the Company to surrender or else they’ll kill the Dwarves.

Thinking that the Dwarves are held captive by the Orcs in the cave, and not wanting to surrender to any damned Orc, the Company charge into the cave… straight into a flurry of arrows!

The Orc leader roars in the Black-speech, his voice echoing throughout the tunnels. Arrows pelt Grimgar, Alberic and Storr, and a Warg leaps over to attack Gilthannas again. He strikes back, forced to use his poorer sword-skill, whilst Dafydd Ap Alfred leaps into battle, forcing an Orc to back away.

The Orcs drop their bows and wield axes, battering at shields and blades, quickly wearying just about everyone. For a few moments it seems that their bold move was a mistake, but then the heroes turn the tide of battle: Grimgar and Dafydd impale Orcs, shoving their corpses off the spear-points, Alberic cuts one open with his axe, and Storr slashes open the throat of another. Gilthannas slays the wolf, picks up his bow, and takes shots at the Orc leader: the larger Orc has snake-like reflexes, dodging the arrows and blows from the others. He moves in to take on Alberic, his greater strength rapidly knocking the Woodman down, stunned and dazed to the floor. He parries blow after blow from Dafydd, ducks arrows, until Gilthannas manages to catch him put and sticks an arrow into his chest. The leader curses the Elf, and as more of his Orcs fall dead around him, he leaps over their bodies and flees through the nearest tunnel.

Leaving the last Orcs to the others, Gilthannas and Dafydd give chase, while Grimgar fells the last Orc and Storr tends to Alberic, using some of their Mirkwood Cordial to bring him around. As soon as he is up, they follow the others.

They soon lose sight of the Enemy, and narrowly avoid an ambush. Waiting for the others to catch up, Gilthannas and Dafydd then lose track of the Orc leader and the other Orcs he joined up with. But then they find the missing Dwarves: all dead, butchered by the Orcs.

Deciding to exit the caves, with most of them being weary, the Company slowly move towards the entrance, but go via the Orc cave, in case there is anything of interest there. Turns out the Orcs also returned then, and lying in wait, they manage to catch most of the Company by surprise: all except Gilthannas, who puts an arrow in the leader’s eye, killing him instantly. The other three Orcs quickly fall to arrows fired by Storr, Alberic and the Elf again, and the last by the spear of Dafydd Ap Alfred as he charges into their midst.

They search the cave, finding a map of the area that the Orcs have been drawing. They exit the caves, taking the two Dwarves outside with them, promising to send people back for the Dwarf bodies once they reach the fort. They get there without any trouble, send people back, and settle down for a few days to rest.

Once rested, Dafydd, Alberic, Gilthannas, Storr and Grimgar head off again. They travel first to Beorn’s House, updating him on recent events, then travel to the Easterly Inn where Dindy and Dody ask them if they would be interested in escorting a caravan to Bree. They agree, after a short detour to the Forest Gate where they hand over a sealed letter to an Elf (Lotho), a letter to the King telling him about a possible traitor in his realm. Duty done, they return to the inn, and a few days later are heading to the Old Ford with the Hobbit caravan, planning on travelling West to Bree for new adventures over the mountains, before returning home after Winter.

End of Sessions

XP Awarded: 2 each.

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