Middle Earth: Sunset of the Fourth Age

Leaving Carn Dum
The Pilfering

Before leaving the witch queen’s castle, her rooms were appropriately pilfered. Magic items were found, see below.

The group is accompanying King Beren and his army, at Beren’s request.

Elfstan and Erin have returned to their homes.

Over the next few days, Nwalme uses Analyze Magic to identify the magic items.

  • 4 black EVIL knives, which turn people into wraiths
  • A locked book with spells and diary entries written in Black Speech
  • A smaller book with fire spells
  • A fire-aligned powerstone (taken by Erin, his 1-pt powerstone given to Araphor)
  • 8 jars of potions: 1 Dexterity (4 doses), 2 Telereceive (2 doses total), 1 Giant Strength (2 doses but can be taken as 1/2 doses), 2 poison (8 doses total), 2 Geas
  • 7 scrolls — including one that reports the composition of the enemy army (currently 312 orcs, probably scattered), some maps (one of the palace shows secret passages Smial and Rene didn’t know about), and some paintings from the Empress’s palace that change, presumably showing what’s happening at the moment. Another scroll was a summoning spell to bring forth Gothmog, King of the Balrogs.)

The PalaceCam Scroll of the Empress’s bedchamber displays the Empress sleeping fitfully. !! We need to watch it to see if she’s in control or not….

The Story So Far
...the first attempt at a session log/synopsis

Summary of recent games:
1. Flight from Isengard to Fornost with Prince Eradan, the the Empress’ Heir.
2. Discovery and defeat of Duke Firiel’s coup attempt
3. Mission to Kazad-Dum to obtain half of a “device”
4. Mission to the Blue Mountains to obtain other half of the “device”
5. Defeat of Braga the Artificer, Nazgul
6. News of the death of the current King in a battle to the south, and the succession of King Beren (formerly Duke Beren).
7. The assault on Carn-Dum, using the transport “device”

Summary of the last four or five sessions. (Thanks to both Eric and Chris for their Experience logs. Some of the details may not be exactly as they happened, but the basics are correct).

Over the past two weeks the party, having left King Beren’s army as it marched from Fornost to Carn Dum, hurried over the plains to the mountains. It was an attempt to sneak into Carn Dum and activate the teleportation device inside, allowing a fair-sized strike force to assemble and coordinate an assault on the castle. We had some incomplete knowledge of a secret entrance that existed in the hills behind Carn Dum, and hoped to find this.

In the mountains, the party met a group of orcs who didn’t seem interested in fighting. Somehow, Rene and Thaliondor started talking to them. They discovered that these orcs called themselves “Yrrch” and spoke Sindarin instead of the Black Speech. When they figured out where we were going, they offered to help sneak up right up to the back of the castle of Carn Dum. Not without some trepidation, we accepted their offer. No treachery ensued, and the party found themselves left just outside the castle.

Stormdancer helped Araphor find the secret door in a gully outside the castle. We managed to open the secret door and found some very large tracks, of a sort that a medium-sized drake might make. We entered the castle and after a few adventures (which seemed to include Thaliondor disappearing for a little while), we found a cell block. After a fight with the orc guards and a careful look around, you freed the prisoners, whose leader was named Jack. Some interrogation of the captured guards revealed that the prisoners were being kept as food for a large beast, possibly a dragon. We carefully avoided what appeared to be the beast’s lair and invaded the lower reaches of the main tower.

We had a quiet scuffle at the bottom of the stairs of the main tower (about 15 stories underground, another 10-15 stories above) and worked our way to the ground floor. We dispatched the few guards present on the main floor of the tower and set up the device. Many soldiers came through portal opened by the device and assembled on the ground floor of the main tower.

To our surprise, the leader of the soldiers is none other than Rene and Guthwyn‘s mortal enemy, Eorcanstan, Third Prince Of Rohan. King Beren’s army began its assault of Carn Dum, and in the confusion, the soldiers you’ve let into the castle attack the main gate from the inside. We seize the main gate after a furious fight and open it. King Beren marches in with Captain Smallet (now back in Beren’s good graces) by his side.

Suddenly, the King of the Nazgul descends on a flying steed (more like a pteranodon than a dragon) and things look bleak. At that moment, the Third Prince of Rohan shows his true colors and slashes the cable holding the main gate open, slamming the gate closed with just the party, King Beren, Smallet, his two hobbit guards, and a couple of soldiers facing the King of the Nazgul.

The fight that breaks out is messy. Smallet throws himself in front of Beren and is badly wounded by a force spell thrown by the Nazgul. In the fight it becomes clear that this King of the Nazgul is actually the Queen of the Nazgul. She is targeting the hobbits she sees because she knows that hobbits and women are more dangerous to her than men or elves. Rene and Araphor attack the Third Prince of Rohan, and kill him in a very bloody battle because the Prince is almost as good as Rene when it comes to swordsmanship. Rene is badly wounded in the fight, but Nwalme heals him before he dies. As the Witch-Queen throws another spell at Guthwyn, who has closed to attack, things get suddenly quiet. You hear the Ring-wraith’s voice, which has been calling insults to King Beren for the past few rounds utter the ominous words “Uh Oh.”

From nowhere, a balrog appears. It appears someone has critically failed a powerful spell in a high-mana area. [This is technically known as a “bad thing™”.] The balrog looks around in some confusion for a moment and then turns to Araphor and asks who summoned him. Most of the rest of the people in the castle courtyard are stunned by the balrog’s appearance, but Araphor simply points to the Witch-Queen. The balrog then turns on her, screaming at her. Nwalme can later loosely translate his screams as “You’re a stupid bitch and don’t have half the power the King had and you’re twice as stupid. You’re a disgrace to your master and he would carve you up and hang you on his wall for all eternity if it weren’t for the fact you’re not going to last two more seconds!” The Witch-Queen immediately disappears.

The balrog looks around again (none of us like being even eyed by this thing) and then looks up. He starts to climb the outside of the tower. We already know that the Witch-Queen’s chamber is at the top of the tower, so we run inside the castle and run up the stairs to the top. When we arrive, we find the Witch-Queen safe in a circle of protection drawn on the floor and the balrog throwing spells at her that dissipate when they hit her circle. The Queen is throwing force spells at the balrog to some effect, but it would clearly take a long time to hurt it.

Then suddenly she seems to be struggling with some unseen creature, and the rest of the party attacks, scuffing the circle on the floor in the process. The balrog then simply turns the Witch-Queen into stone, says something like “Have fun” to Nwalme (who would quail as any except the greatest elves would, except that he’s Nwalme and doesn’t quail for other, not so great, reasons) in a very sarcastic voice. The balrog then simply disappears with a slight hint of brimstone and leather left in the air.

It turns out that the unseen creature is Thaliondor, who has Braga’s ring on him and was probably trying to get the Witch-Queen’s ring also. He is stuck, however, by the now stone arms of the Witch-Queen. The party knocks him out, takes his ring and frees him from the petrified ringwraith.

Nwalme determines that the Queen’s signet ring will open a case containing a beautiful sword. Rene works very hard to get it, and does. Nwalme successfully resists putting the rings on himself and gives them to Smial for safe keeping.

Current situation:

  • The castle of Carn Dum is secured, King Beren’s army is camped outside the castle.
  • The drake is missing, but was last seen hurrying down a hole outside the castle.
  • Rene has the anti-wraith sword, that probably has some other magical powers
  • Smial has both Rings in his bag of holding (since hobbits are least affected by rings of power).
  • Thaliondor knows the rings are around somewhere, but since they were put away while he was unconcious, he doesn’t know where they are.
  • Nwalme is looking around the Queen’s chamber for other cool stuff.

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