When last we left our heroes: the maia had escaped. StormDancer (and Araphor) had spotted her, she is injured and gathering driftwood to put together a raft. We spent the fifteen minutes to get the mages back up to full, after communicating with the Empress.
The Maia is two hours of heavy riding away on the shore, putting together a raft. One dark elf dead, one unconscious dark elf, and guarded by two wounded hobsters and one not-so-wounded hobster to head back to the others. Nwalme heals up the hobsters to help make their trip safer.
We head the two hours to chase down the maia. The trip is relatively straightforward and not all that difficult. StormDancer is watching the maia building a boat. Even using driftwood, she was able to perform some woodshaping magic and the raft becomes more and more of a boat, planks, etc… About an hour out, she seems to detect us and she gestures. We notice an unfortunate result: the ground becomes more moist and the travel due to the increased muck more difficult. The two hour trip becomes three and she is able to build a sail boat and launch when we are three miles away. She makes good speed being able to control the water and the wind.
She gets away, leaving us heading after her. The ground doesn’t seem to be getting any worse than the swampy land we were dealing with. Araphor tries to keep Stormdancer watching to try to get an idea where she’s going but she’s moving much faster than he can fly. He’s good for sprints, but she’s keeping it up and he can’t.
We head back. When we get back, we find the prisoner securely trussed, gagged, unconscious and hooded.
(At the base, we do experience!)
Last experience was 2/10/12
Interrogation! Bo falls back and keeps an eye on the prisoner, as Nwalme does his thing with the prisoner. He is a powerful dark elf that hates Nwalme with a fiery passion because Nwalme sides with those that are keeping the elves from their birthright and are blocking them from their travels west. (It’s believed that the elves cannot come back after going West.)
The Vala (the gods) found the elves and welcomed them, getting them boats and helping them sail to the West. At various points on their journey various elves got off their journey and became green, gray, naldor, etc… elves. After the War of the Ring, it’s assumed that any elves can travel west.
The dark elves believe that they cannot make the final journey to the West, because they were left behind on purpose and could not come across. (Nwalme knows that the Vala gave a decree so that all elves can go.) The dark elves must have descended from elves that didn’t want to make the journey. The dark elves said that any elves that try to cross the Anduin (the great river of Middle Earth) come back dead or broken – clearly from the Vala. They haven’t tried this since just after the War of the Ring. But even then, they shouldn’t have come back dead or broken. Nwalme tries to understand if it’s really the Vala, rather than just the maia doing it and blaming the Vala for doing it. The dark elves believe the Vala are evil because they are denying the elves their birthright.
Their belief is more than they are in a world of pain and death that is always getting harder and the Vala is keeping them from gaining access to the promised land where their pain will be lessened.
The dark elves are trying to make the Middle Earth a better place to live by taking land and destroy those in their way.
Knowing that we have crossed the Anduin and recently, Nwalme offers to take the prisoner to cross the river. The prisoner needs to think on the offer – as he’s worried that we plan to kill him.
Talking amongst ourselves, we wonder if coming back broken meant that they were remade into orcs. (That was what was going on.)
Nwalme heads back to tell him a story (with illusions) to tell them the story of the lands of Mordor and Sauron. (The dark elves seem to think of him as a great leader that rebelled against the evil Vala but was corrupted in his struggles and fell into evil methods for honorable goals and then he was thoroughly corrupted.) He explains about Sauron and remaking elves into the orcs. The dark elves heard from the orcs that they were captured by the Vala or the people of the west such as Saruman that allied themselves with Sauron.
The dark elves seem to be at a distance from the history of Middle Earth with their eastern-centric view of it.
Araphor reminds us about the friendly orcs – the Yrrch – that we had met in the past up in the Ettenmoors. (Eric and Jp don’t remember this at all.) They were living in isolation.
Away from the prisoner, we wonder whether the dark elves will turn into orcs just from crossing the Anduin. We don’t know for sure, but we assume that the maia are deceiving the elves and we assume that they’re not on the side of angels since they didn’t take part in the War of the Ring.
We talk with the Empress. She can be at the front in three days. She thinks our priority should be finding the maia and taking them out. They are not the white Wizard and they have limitations. Guthwyn is more lippy with the Empress than usual. Nwalme also thinks that the dark elf crossing the Anduin could turn some of the elves. The Empress does think that it may be useful but worries that there’s not enough time. Guthwyn wonders if taking the dark elf to cross the Anduin may bring the maia to us, which Nwalme is starting to buy, but Bo and Araphor aren’t sure. The Empress pushes for us to use our pet elf to see if he knows where the maia is, or is headed.
Nwalme is going to talk with the friendly elf (we don’t think we have a name for this NPC – Chris likes ‘Gus’) to verify the Anduin story that we just heard from this dark elf. We wonder if the friendly elf would/could cross the Anduin without the level of guards that the chief dark elf would need.
The other option is to question strongly the chief dark elf for more information.