Middle Earth: Sunset of the Fourth Age

Game Notes 10/7/2011
  1. BURPS Game – 10/07/11
  1. Chris’ Plan (from his email)

We’ve just met up with Prince #1 (the botanist).

Chris’ plan:
1. Contact Thaliandor immediately, and have him and his men head for us directly, bringing with them the Count of the Eastern Marches. That should take about 2 days.

2. We rescue the Count’s children from the Royal Progress, and secure them with the count (or trusted personnel in the castle, if timing is a problem) to enlist his support for the coming confrontation. That should take the morning, as the Progress is due to arrive then.

3. We bring the first prince into nearby Greenwood with the hope of enlisting the aid of the elves. They will need to take his measure and hear his intelligence if they’re to believe the Dark Lord is rising and that he is worthy of their support in combating the threat.

It’s a long day’s work, and #3 is the most difficult, but if we can do these things quickly we have a solid hope of bringing the proper forces to bear in three days.

4. Assuming we have a spare day upon returning from Greenwood, we should capture and interrogate the seneschal’s chief mage to discover the remaining piece of the drug refining progress.

  1. Our planning
    First, bring up the idea with Prince 1 (the botanist), Leo about going into Greenwood. He was excited and interested, but has to be there when the Royal Progress arrives.

Greenwood is about a 1/2 day travel there and back.

Prince 1 has 6 guards, 2 scribes, 1 body servant, 1 cousin (who’s with the royal progress), 1 cook, 1 private spy master (out of Prince 2’s residence), he’s got a mole: a hauler within the drug production group.

Next step: we contact Empress and Thaliandor to make them aware and get them onboard. We’ll be rescuing the children post-Greenwood.

Prince 1, Leo will greet the Royal Progress and then head to Greenwood. He’s been retroactively planning this for weeks.

Nwalme contacts Thaliandar. He’ll be able to get there the morning of the 22nd. The day after tomorrow.

The count is going to be given his weapons as a show of faith, but we recommend that people with him remain on their guard.

The Royal Progress shows up. (The advance people: cooks and service folks, etc… show up at 8am to make sure that everything is perfect for when they show up.)

We’re hiding out in the castle, so that Prince 1 can grab us as soon as he wishes.

The king arrives. They throw money to the crowd. There’s a big hullabaloo. The crowd is ecstatic. The first prince welcomes his father, his brothers and his cousins. It looks very good from a distance. Everything seems normal.

They retire at 11am to relax before lunch. Prince 1 excuses himself to go to Greenwood to look at a new species of butterfly. The third prince says he’s heading to go inspect the police barracks and the defenses (which is next to the factory).

Nwalme throws illusions over people to avoid being too noticeable. More people than expected took second looks (but not thirds) – possibly due to the fact that there is an elf in their midst. We head off to Greenwood. Everything is uneventful until we get to the woods.

Greenwood lives up to it’s name. It’s dark. A few hours in, we bump into some of the Greenwood elves. The king is far away, but we have a warder that we can talk to. Chris’ character relies on his diplomacy to explain about the rising dark in the east.

The elves seem a little put off (and go a bit pale) at the news. They recognize Chris’ half-elf lineage and there’s a certain response from an elvish poacher upon hearing about the questioner.

The elves take us off the road and put us on an elvish path. We make really good time and get to a tree house in a maloryn (the gold leaf trees). The lord is old and withered. He’s been around a long (long…) time.

We back up and let the prince do the negotiations with the lord. It’s a diplomatic tour de force, as he requests help from the elves to defeat the rising dark again by getting trained armored support. The lord shakes off his age and gathers his strength to go forth again. “Call forth my guard, we ride in 2 hours”. 25 horse + 20-30 men at arms and + 20-30 scouts/woodsmen/woodcrafty elves/poachers. The scouts won’t enter the city.

We tell the lord that they should wait outside the city until the pieces are in play. Rifflin will be leading them. (He’s one of the first Greenwood elves that we met.) We’ve got a way to communicate with them.

We’ll be spending the evening in Greenwood and arriving back tomorrow in the middle of day. We have a meal and then travel – lots of singing, stories and one-upmanship between the poachers and the non-poachers.

Nwalme casts analyze magic on the drug sample. He tries identify spell and history spell. Two spells: 1 from healing college, 2nd unknown, and the drug itself does a lot of the work. The seeds came from the far north, everything else from a number of places, distilled four days ago. Two spells: both performed as a ritual. It’s a complicated and nuanced spell. It feels like the healing college spell is a lot like neutralize poison, which isn’t the primary spell. Primary spell is a drunkenness variation that might have a third spell hidden in there. A nightmare variant is the third spell.

The butterflies and the healing chrysalises are common in central Greenwood.

We go to sleep late that night. Next morning, we travel on. By 8am, we’re at the edge of Greenwood. We have botanical collections and we’re about two hours from the castle. Thaliandar should be in the city already. Nwalme contacted Thaliandar. They’re all in the count’s friend’s house by the gate. The elves are at the edge of Greenwood.

Prince 1 thinks that the kids are all in the foster group of children. (The Count’s kids 12yo girl/8yo boy.) Prince 1’s cousin is friendly with the Prince 2’s wife. The sister is with the Prince 2’s household. The little kids (tapestry rats) unfortunately, sure where they are. We should be able to spot him at the weapon’s practice (around 2pm, after lunch).

The mage is in the city. He headed out when we arrived to head out to meet/talk to Prince 3.

We’re back in the castle. It’s late morning. (We’re under illusions and hiding within Prince 1’s rooms.) The latest reports from the driver is that some time this afternoon, they’re going to run out of seed. They stopped sharing the drug as freely as they had been doing. They’re rationing the drugs to keep people from dying for 3-4 weeks.

8 barrels of seed = 1 barrel of concentrated drug. And that’s watered down before it’s given to the addicts.

News: Count of Eastern March’s daughter is being watched by another lady in waiting. Two 12yos are keeping an eye on the count’s son.

Frantic communications from Prince 3’s group to try to find something that’s missing. Armed men buzzing in an out.

Nwalme’s suggestion – get the boy isolated and create servant to create a duplicate to fill his spot. It won’t act like him, but it might get us too much time. He can do a mass daze, create the servant and order it to act sleepy, swap out the boy. He should be able to create two servants and then cast mass dazes.

Araphor wants to do it at night. Guthwyn and Bo think day might be easier.

Both rooms we can get into via secret passages. Night becomes a lot more adventageous. The rooms are 20′×30′.

Game Synopsis 9/23/2011

We find our heroes having finished deposing the Count of the Eastern Marches, leaving him in the capable hands of the ship captain who brought us downriver. Heading northeast, we make for Castle B____, hoping to reach it before the Royal Progress arrives there.

The trip takes about 2 days, the latter of which is rainy and miserable, but is otherwise unremarkable. Upon first arriving, we take some time to scout out the first stage of drug production, which takes place in a mill-house on the outskirts of town. Careful reconnaissance shows it to be well and subtly guarded, so Araphor [Chris] (with help from Nwalme [Eric]) enlists a rat in a nearby warehouse to investigate. In about 15 minutes, Araphor gets a good view of the initial process and ingredients, as well as some of the timing involved. Meanwhile, Bo [JP] follows the supply wagon as it leaves the mill-house, tracing its route into the city and to the secondary processing center therein, a warehouse/shop on the main road. A quick survey shows the building and its approaches to be subtly and well guarded.

Once the gang is rested and reunited, they set off to scout around the secondary processing center. While the group settles in at an outdoor pub area nearby, Araphor sends up Stormdancer to watch it, keeping an eye on comings and goings through the service entrance in the back alley. Stormdancer happens to find a perch on the building’s upper floor window, and with it a peek into the processing operation: boiling and distillation, some additives, and a final (or penultimate) magical treatment. The others, meanwhile, hear tell of a naturalist exhibition taking place at the castle in the afternoon, showing off some of the first prince’s collection.

With an eye to seeing which if any of the drug components are in the exhibition – and a hope to gain access to the castle, and thereby the first prince – the party attends the exhibition. Nwalme disguises his identity with an illusion, and they proceed to the castle gate. To their surprise, they find the first prince of Rohan himself greeting guests enthusiastically as they enter his exhibition. When the prince notes that Nwalme is an elf, he becomes quite excited, and offers to show him and the party a personal tour of the exhibit, talking about the medicinal uses of some of the various insects on display, and how he has extensive rare botanical and zoological specimens at his home in Castle A_____. When Nwalme asks to talk further later on, the prince invites the party to be his guests for dinner in the northwest tower.

The dinner proceeds pleasantly enough at first; the food is delicious, and the prince chatters about his studies and experiments as far as polite dinner conversation allows. As the meal draws to an end, a sudden “thunk” is heard from the hallway. A soldier enters, and the prince confirms with him that “it’s taken care of”. When the soldier departs, he turns to the party and says, “Thank you all for coming to help me.” He then identfies by namethe three notable members of the group (Nwalme, Guthwyn [Megan], Araphor) to show his awareness of the situation, and makes it clear we can talk freely for now.

When questioned on exactly how we can help – as he knows the situation better than we do – he reveals that the Dark Lord has risen in the east, and invasion is in his opinion, imminent. He believes he has produced a cure to the addiction to the “cold tea” drug that afflicts so many, and has successfully tested it on his father and brother. He cannot yet produce it in bulk, however, requiring knowledge of the magical transformation process to do so. (This knowledge is possessed by the seneschal’s senior mage alone.) His plan had been to – in three days – persuade his father to retire, and attempt to take up the throne of Rohan himself. He had little hope until we arrived, as much of the military and senior political figures in Rohan are either well in the third prince’s camp, or under the influence of the drug.

And so we must formulate a plan. The pieces are already falling into place for the first prince’s plan, but how best to support it – and deal with the fallout from it – is what we must next determine.

Session notes, 4/29/2011
raw, for now...

GURPS – 4/26/11

We left our heroes on the great river Anduin (and-o-win), chasing the count of the eastern marshes (a loyal retainer of the prince of rohan). He’s 20 minutes ahead of us. Stormdancer lost him when he went into an inn. (He’s been traveling with two retainers.) The seeker spell shows him still inside this inn.

We’re on a fast boat that we were able to use Chris’ magic to make faster. We’re trying to catch up to the boat. The empress’ advice was to get political help; we have a password that will make that possible.

The landing outside a village: a couple of inns, a couple of taverns, a customs house, a barracks — it’s a traffic point, and some warehouses slightly off the track. (A good place to fortify the area? Fortifications a littler further downstream. There used to be a crossing point farther down, but this built up and became the crossing point.)

We want to catch him and try to get a confession out of him, so that we can get proof of the prince’s guilt.

Three sailors just came out of the inn. Guthwyn heads to the stables with the horses. We head toward the inn. There’s a whole troop of 6-11 rohan riders on patrol are in the common room. The count and his flunkies went upstairs. Nawalme senses magic and it looks like he may have teleported out of the inn. He recasts Seeker to try to find the count – using the horse blanket again to find him. (The horse from the horse blanket is in the stable. The count is still within 50y.)

In the stable, Guthwyn sees the rohan horses and knows that there’s a lot of them in there. She’s doing the whole spear and magic helmet thing.

Araphor watches the front; Bo watches the back; Nawalme and Guthwyn climb to go to the window that Nawalme knows is where he saw magic energy.

Bo readies his bow, just in case. There is a stableboy watching what’s going on.

Guthwyn climbed up and opened the shutters on the second floor. She reached down to help Nawalme inside. They’re on the second floor and head into the hall and then make their way down the hall to the room in question. The door is locked and she unlocks the door. But there will be a little noise and it will take a bit. Though with Nawalme’s magic, she can do it silently. He readies strike blind on the curse missile wand; she draws a sword. They open the door and step into the large room. The room is empty.

Someone heard them and tells them to clear out; they’ll be leaving shortly. Guthwyn opens the door (trying not to block Nawalme’s aim). They see another room and the count is sitting at a table with paperwork and he’s holding something that’s glowing orangy-yellow. Nawalme fires off the spell and blinds the count.

“That must be Nawalme Ana,” he said as soon as he realized he was blinded. He seems relatively nonplussed about being blinded. He warns them not to let the glowing granite stone touch anything flammable. Nawalme thinks it looks similar to a teleportation/communication devices he’s seen before. Something came out before he shut down the artifact; it now looks like a bag of gold-ish. He said that his master – the prince – sent it to him to pay off debts.

The people downstairs are his retainers (he realizes that we have been the ones following him). And some countrymen from castle aroch b. He seems oddly cheerful at being arrested, because he might be safe from the prince and his perditions. They take him out the back (through the window and down the side). He’s a politician so unfortunately, Nawalme can’t tell for sure with just a detect lies skill.

Once Guthwyn ties the count’s hands and tried to remove his rings — one came off, but not his wedding ring; she started to search the room, looking over the papers, etc… Receipts: he paid 3 times as much for his boat then we did; reports, etc…

She doesn’t see any bags or scroll containers or anything that he might have used to carry the papers.

Nawalme casts aura to make sure that the count isn’t a mage.

They search the outer room/bedroom. There’s the saddle bag which contains more papers, a small bag of silver, a really nice knife and another of those magical thingys that seems to have broken into two pieces. They also find his boots, which they put on him. (They bring the count and his saddle bags.) They lower him with a rope to the ground.

He’s now on his horse; we’re all together and getting ready to ride once we know where we’re going. Bo recommends against riding into Rohan and heading back toward the Empress and Thaliandor. Head downriver and interrogate him, said Araphor.

The boat is pre-hired for Empress’ use which makes it cheaper for us to hire him. The plan is to go back to the boat and go down the river; let Nawalme do his private stuff while we’re on the boat and away from people. One of the crewman is away; getting breakfast for the captain — he should be back shortly. They quickly put the count in the closed deck house, so that Nawalme can get to work interrogating him. The rest of us work to get the boat underway.

Eric’s got the best notes:

King of Rohan – addict
prince1 (useless), prince2 (golden boy) – addict, prince3 (evil)
each marsh has a count (governors)
each count has 3-5 baronets (specific castles, specific duties)

The plot: king and prince’s roles clear; we think the count is the political operators (one of the most able in the kingdom); he has been facilitating/managing the drug trade for weapons on this side and coordinating with the chatelaine (chamberlain, castle’s controller/admin). He’s the person running the operation. How much duress he’s under is different than what he may want us to believe.

Nawalme questions the count about the prince, the drugs and the king. Prince Eroed (prince3) wants to be the king, but knows that if he just offs his family he won’t get to keep the throne. Nobody in the court wants Prince Ayor (prince1) to be king; including Prince Ayor – the brilliant botanist. Prince (prince2) would make a fine king, but Eroed won’t let that happen. So he wants the king to die and prince2 to be so disgraced so that no one will accept him. There were drugs involved and the count wishes that they had never done it. Prince Arad, his assassin (tall blond leader/rapist), and the count’s brother-in-law (the baronet that hangs with Eroed). He says that he’s innocent – even under compel truth spells.

His version is that he was trying to help his brother-in-law and keep him from exposing himself and hurting the count’s sister. There was this scheme that the assassin had made – some deal – the count knew a dyer (at Castle B) that could make the drugs. He does the books now and again – much less since his wife was killed at Eroed’s orders. He children are all fostered with Eroed.

His question: “how fast can you get to Eroed’s castle?” He wants to save his kids.

The weapon’s deal… They’ve been selling the orc’s flawed weapons that will rust through over a couple of years in the elements. The weapons are going to the north; the east is chaotic and something’s going on there. About 10 years back, the town along the border started growing and they stopped making war as casually as they had been. (Could there be a controlling force?) Just last year, the petty king called to try to get help with a threat to the east; he wanted asylum. (Something REALLY REALLY bad is going on.)

We thought the drugs were under his control. We thought he was doing the paperwork and the dying operation; he knew all the pieces and we thought he was running it.

His story is that he’s just facilitating things and made the introductions.

The king of rohan knows but doesn’t seem to care. The problem according to the count is that Eroed might be the best of the worst choices available. He doesn’t think he’d be able to solve the problem; just that he’d do better than most. He has a lot of backing from a lot of the nobility. He doesn’t think any of the nobles can pull it together enough to do better.

Nawalme is sure that the count is a masterful politician; he’s sure that he’s probably lied to them as close to the edge of the compel truth as he can get. The only people that have gotten off the drugs were people that hadn’t taken it much or long; others have died.

Ayor may or may not have studied the plant that the drugs are derived from. He claims that he doesn’t know who developed the process. He says that he shouldn’t say who that was.

(The plants are grown in the north by the orcs; the seeds are traded for weapons; the dyer processes them into the drugs.)

The scenario may have been that Ayor developed the drugs for his own use, not really seeing the consequences, but Ereod found out and saw the use of it. The count says it doesn’t seem to be his style, but he was smart enough and could have been tricked into doing it.

Nawalme thinks that Neutralize Poison might be a solution to the issue. As well as Relieve and Cure Addiction.

The count was sorry to hear about Rene’s death.

The crewman returns, we head downriver, while we continue to question the count.

If we’re going into Rohan, we’re going to want to disrupt the drug network. It has a brutal and a deadly withdrawal, which means that no drugs equals civil war and the deaths of a lot of nobility.

The count thinks: count of northern marches, 2-3 of his baronets, 1 duke, most of prince2 & king’s retainers. More than half of the nobility that isn’t tied to prince3 and eastern marches.

If Ayor has a cure, he hasn’t used it on his father.

One of the Eroed’s retainer’s is a mage that created the magic item. (Megan and Eric have the name; I didn’t catch it: Alphrazam?) Eroed met him 7 years ago; he’s a mage, anger issues, good friends with the assassin. He can put anything that’s fits through the hole.

He lets us know where the drug refineries are. Possibly use hobsters to get them out?

The count would love to go back to Rohan and free his children and make them safe. Rohan needs to be safe from the bigger threat from the East – which we don’t know for sure.

Where is Thaliandor?

Session notes 1/7/2011

We find the group having just subdued the group of men who were involved with the suspicious activities around Beorngard the past few years.

“The Party” currently consists of Nwalme Anna, Araphor, Guthwyn, and Barforth the Bowman – who, with a name like Barforth, just likes to be called “Bowman” or “The Bowman” or even “Hey You!” – anything but “Barforth”

They are accompanied by Captain Thaliandor (Valar help us) and a squad of “Empress Guards in Training”

Their prisoners consist of:

4 teamsters who seem to be relatively local and were handling a wagon filled with bags of seeds
4 teamsters who are definitely not local and speak with that distinct accent of Rohan and were handling a wagon filled with various weapons and armor.
2 soldiers who could be from Rohan but are pretty quiet – one because he’s wounded, the other because he doesn’t seem to say anything.
And two men who appear to be 2 of the 4 leaders of this group (a 3rd leader was killed in the combat)

o Medium-level Retainer to Prince of Rohan (Recognized by Guthwyn)
o [I CAN’T RECALL THE DETAILS HERE] – but I think is’s a retainer to the Count of the Eastern Marches

3rd Prince of Rohan has been facilitating weapons for drugs trade with the orcs of the far north. The orcs grow the drugs – which are shipped as seeds and exchange them for weapons of a higher quality than they can normally manufacture.

The drug is a liquid that:
a. Has an effect much like alcohol without the hangover
b. One can learn to “sober up” and very quickly overcome the effects if one concentrates
c. Is dangerously and quickly addictive. So much so that stopping the drug has proven fatal in a number of cases

The King of Rohan has been addicted to it. The 1st Prince is working against the 3rd Prince.
The 2nd Prince also seems to take the drug, but he’s more interested in his scientific research than running the country

The 3rd Prince has cultivated a loyal following along the eastern provinces of Rohan such that the Rohan leaders loyal to the Empire are afraid that the 3rd Prince could bring in large armies from the east if provoked.

There are two castles in the main part of Rohan whose castellans/stewards are also in the pocket of the 3rd prince. One castle (“B”) is the primary destination for the raw seeds for the drug – and is where this shipment of seeds was headed. The Steward there runs an operation to refine the seeds into the drug. He seems to be holding the processing method as a closely guarded secret. The other castle (“A”) is well known as having the best armory in Rohan and manufactures some of the best human-made weaponry in the known world.

The 4th leader of the group – the Count of the Eastern Marches – has fled south along the main road – leaving just before twilight of the night of the attack.

Using Stormdancer and other tracking spells, the Party has tracked him fairly successfully. They got close at one inn along the way, but the Count was able to extend his lead a bit and managed to hire a river barge heading south on the Great River Anduin.

The Party has hired a barge of their own – managing to hire a very experienced Captain who claims to have the best barge on that part of the river – having an apparent edge of about 2 knots over the Count’s barge. Araphor has managed to improve that edge even more with is current spells, so that the Party’s barge is traveling 5 knots faster than their quarry.

We left the game with the Party closing in on the Count who is approaching the most trafficked crossing point between the western and eastern parts of the Empire.

Game Synopsis 10/9/2009

Our heroes left Rivendell with the supply train heading east, and
camped with them the first night. The 2.5 days getting over the
mountain pass was uneventful. (It’s not clear to me whether we were
still with the supply train or just a small contingent…) They
decided to go into the town to cross the Anduin River, rather than
going for the out-of-the-way ferry upstream.

In the town, the Prince who resides there was polite but not taking
pains to occupy the heroes (which was fine with them). A couple of
things came out fairly quickly, from taking with people in the town:

  • The king of the elves of Mirkwood has always been quick to turn
    cranky, but lately it appears he’s getting cranky more and more often.
  • There have been a marked increase in visitors: dwarves, elves,
    humans. This isn’t quite explicable, because apart from the World’s
    Greatest Honey (we had some, it’s true!) there’s nothing to bring
    tourists here over other areas that are close by. (For example, better
    hunting in Mirkwood Forest…) The town has become the out-of-the-way
    meeting place, apparently, for those who want to meet where no one
    else will notice the meeting.
  • Some Rohirim, from the cadet line (minor nobles), have become
    frequent visitors.

The last was intriguing, and the heroes followed up, visiting the
villa on the “suburban outskirts” where they lodged.

In talking with one particularly loose-lipped servant, the heroes
discovered that the person the bowman (JP) saw with the emblem of
Rohan was Eothyn. He was a bit standoffish, even from his fellows, and
he always stayed in a room in a different wing — the most defensible
room in the villa, actually, with a large window.

The heroes investigated the room. Nwalme-Anna (Eric) cast History on
the large window to see what had transpired in the last month. No one
else had stayed there in that time. When Eothyn was there, though, he
spent a lot of time looking out that window, and left the room by the
several times. The bowman (JP) looked out and saw mostly the
river and some fields, plus a few farmhouses.

He also saw a little girl making mudpies in the street — a girl whom
he had seen at the Prince’s palace, and then again while we were
talking to the servant. She appeared to be watching us, but very
surreptitiously. While Nwalme rested from the spell (it had a high
energy cost), Guthwyn (Megan) went out to get the girl while Araphor
(Chris) stood watch via a Rider Within spell with Stormrider. The girl
saw Guthwyn coming, and nonchalantly left. Guthwyn’s efforts to track
her were unsuccessful, so Araphor went to try. He also was
unsuccessful (rolled a 17).

Rested, Nwalme joined the group and cast a Seeker spell using the
mudpies as something connected to the girl. She was very close, but in
a nearby building — and undoubtedly saw them look to the building, so
she was on the move again.

With the aid of the Seeker, Nwalme cast a Trace spell to follow the
girl. Strangely, it seemed to not be as precise as usual, but was
adequate to allow them to follow her to the crowded (and covered, thus
foiling Stormrider’s keen eye) market square. She eventually left with
a family that clearly knew her but was not her own family.

She and the boy in the family played as they headed to the bridge, and
eventually climbed onto the bridge wall. Someone nudged her, and she
fell into the river. Momentary panic occurred, and one of the bridge
guards shed his armor and dove in after her — but then immediately
swam back out, as she had turned into a turtle. (We had been informed
earlier that the Bjorn (sp?) nobels had shapeshifting abilities, and
while most were woodland mammals like bear and fox, turtle was a known

She climbed out the other side, but the Track spell was still working.
(Nwalme can maintain it indefinitely.) When the session ended, she was
in a nondescript building next to a jeweler’s shop.

Rivendell Reclaimed
tying up loose ends and picking up a new thread

Over the course of several days, Nwalme-Anna (Eric) interviewed and
interrogated several of the orc prisoners in the camp, and spoke with
many of the residents of Rivendell. In no particular order, these are
some of the things he discovered:

  • The king orc (whom we killed) was talking with others, including
    both humans and elves, and appeared to be taken direction from them.
  • In general, these visitors came from points East, even beyond Rohan
    and Mordor.
  • One of the humans appeared to be from Rohan.
  • The Empress recognized the human, but couldn’t place him. This
    suggests a minor personage, possibly a member of a higher official’s
  • The friendly frost giant (Feloc the Younger) is willing to be an ambassador to start
    some kind of diplomatic work between the frost giants and the Empire.
  • One of the residents (the bowman) seemed to have precognitive powers
    — or maybe not. While he had told people that the seige was going to
    break soon, and he was correct, he was not employing magical (or
    apparently any deliberate) means to make that determination. He’s
    convinced he can read omens, but Nwalme seems fairly certain that he’s
    just gotten lucky enough to believe it.
  • However, the bowman does have extraordinary eyesight and excellent
    bow skills, which would be helpful.
  • And even more helpful, he’s seen the Rohirim (sp?) first hand. So
    the company is taking him with them.
  • Nwalme now has a list of names of the orcs who may know who the
    people visiting were, but finding them would require going into orc
  • He also has a list of human names. This is the thing I can’t recall,
    who those humans were…
  • Ultimately in seemed that the company should head East into Rohan,
    and then on to points east should it seem reasonable. The question is
    still open as to how to do this stealthily — or even IF they should
    attempt to be stealthy.
The Death of a Hero

No notes exist from this sad session. Rene dies from a spear through the eye.

Doom Approaches for One Of Us

Met Frost-Giant with OCD/Neatness disorder (Feloc the Younger?) who was trying to hide from his army when they left and hoping to stay in a nice safe spot somewhere.

Using the intellegnce from the giant, the team decided to try to relieve the seige of the tower.

When you get there, it appears that the senior frost-magic-using giant is doing something inside a protective circle.

The rat-attack didn’t seem to work, as they could not get past the circle.

We left the session with the party getting ready to grind into the orcs and giants who are protecting the magic-user and also attempt to get the magic user to stop his assault on the tower.

Sorry I didn’t do this earlier. Hopefully I’ve included all the major
points, though I feel like I missed an option that we had discussed…

You Sneaky Rat
...a wealth of information from different sources

We rejoin our heroes just south of Rivendell, recovering from a battle with an orc patrol.

Nwalme uses his healing magicks to get everyone back on their feet. The party backtracks from the battle site, then circles around toward the cave entrance to the secret tunnel that leads under the river and into the city of Rivendell.

While making their way through the woods, Nwalme accidentally makes a loud noise and the patrolling orcs start to converge toward the party. However, our heroes manage to find the tunnel entrance and duck inside before they’re discovered. Since the cave was well-concealed, the party decides that they don’t need to spend any time covering it up further. They proceed down the tunnel.

A little way in it opens into a modest-sized cavern. There they find a cache of a few weapons, some sleeping and camping gear, and some preserved food. The party rests, Nwalme performing some final healing and recovering energy.

While on watch, Guthwyn hears a sound down the main passage, in the direction they’re heading.. The group investigates very cautiously, and picks up the voice of an elvish child. Feeling safe enough, they continue on into the next cavern, and there meet an elf woman with two children.

Although somewhat alarmed at first by the sight of Dreorg and Rene, the livery of the Empress Guard, plus the sight of a fellow elf (Nwalme), puts the elven woman at ease. She relates what she knows of recent events. While her husband and two eldest sons were summoned to defend the Citadel, she and the children hid in their basement. The kids watched the town being sacked from the cellar window, and recount seeing orcs, giants, and something else – part orc, part human – that seemed like a leader. The older brother counted 631 orcs and 14 frost giants, and thought that there was some sort of headquarters in a certain part of the city based on their comings and goings.

After four days in the basement, the family ran out of food. They made a run to a ruined barracks of the third company of the city militia guard, where the other end of this tunnel lies hidden. They’ve been living down here for three days, on preserved rations cached in the tunnel.

Thanking the family for their information, he party proceeds to the end of the tunnel. Just outside the door, Nwalme attempts to make telepathic contact with the captain of the citadel, but fails. He then tries to make contact with the elven woman’s husband and succeeds. The husband is in great pain; he is very badly injured and expects to die within the next few hours.

Nwalme reached out with his Telepathy again, to bring his wife into the connection. He gives them time to talk, and to say goodbye. Once they’ve had a chance to bid each other farewell, he continues to query the man for information. He learns:

* The citadel is commanded by a militia corporal who had been promoted only two weeks ago
* The secret sortie tunnel entrance from the citadel into the city has been collapsed
* The secret escape tunnel into the foothills is still open, but the other end is in an area that’s getting patrolled very heavily by the orcish army
* There are only 23 soldiers left in the citadel
* Both of the couple’s sons were killed in an attack yesterday, when the man was wounded

Nwalme against used his Telepathy to contact the army. He was informed that the they would be attacking tomorrow at dawn and the team should harry the enemy command headquarters as much as possible.

After some discussion, they arrive upon a plan. Araphor casts Control Mammal on a nearby group of rats, followed by a Rider Within to see through one of them. Nwalme uses Lend Strength to help him maintain the control for as long as possible.

The dozens of rats quickly make their way to the enemy headquarters. Araphor sends most of them scurrying off to gnaw away bowstrings, bottoms of bags, horse hobbles, and the like.

But the rat through whom Araphor can see has a special mission. It slips into the command tent, to see what can be learned therein. Gaining entrance, it spies a group poring over maps upon a table, arguing. The group consists of two orcs, a frost giant (who barely fits in the tent), and the half-orc-something described by the elven boy. The half-orc is clearly in charge, by his tone. And he is oddly equipped: two scimitars carried at his side, but he keeps a wizard’s staff close at hand as well.

Back In The Saddle Again
...to retake Rivendell!

The Empress has regained her throne, thanks to the work of our heroes. The Usurper is in chains in the imperial dungeons, never again to see the light of day. Four mens’ Rings of Power have been destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom, and only two (known) remain. Order within the capital of Isengard is quickly reestablished, but it will take some months to restore the greatly diminished Empress Guard to its former size. Recruiting and training are going on constantly, keeping everyone busy.

As the Guard rebuilds, word comes down from Rivendell. A force of unknown size, made up of orcs and frost giants, has overrun the elven city! It takes a week or two to muster forces, and the Empress dispatches about 3000 soldiers north to deal with the threat. They’ve brought along ballistae in addition to the standard armaments, to help retake the city.

The army travels up through Hollin along the Loudwater river, near the western edge of the Misty Mountains. They halt about ten miles south of Rivendell, just past the Ford of Bruinen where the western road reaches, and the team moves ahead to scout out the city. Given who they are, they consider themselves a Reconnaissance in Force.

As they close on Rivendell, Araphor sends up Stormdancer and gets a birds-eye view of of the city.

There are about 300 orcs and a few frost giants stationed around Rivendell’s Citadel, which is on the north cliff of the valley on the out-skirts of the city. They appear to be besieging the Citadel, though there’s no evidence that there’s actually anyone inside it.

There are a couple of buildings burning in the city, and a lot of older destruction. It appears that a large number of orcs and frost giants are in the town partying and destroying things.

Two detachments, each of about 200 orcs and six or seven Frost Giants, are stationed across both roads leading out of the city. One guards the northeast road into the mountain pass, while the other watches over the road from which the Empress’ force approaches.

Nwalme uses his Telepathy to inform the army of the situation in Rivendell.

Since Nwalme lived there for many years, he knows of a tunnel that leads into town from the south side of the river, and a possible ford a half-mile to the east. The team decides to try for the tunnel.

They leave their horses with Arod and head into the wooded hills south of the river, in search of the tunnel entrance.

On their way, they make just enough noise to draw the attention of a troop of two dozen orcs, who attack their small scouting party.

Rene is badly wounded at the outset and things don’t look so great. Dreorg, on the right, holds his own against three orcs. Guthwyn, in the center, avenges Rene by going after his attacker, and pushes back two other wounded orcs. Araphor is flanked on the left, and accidentally drops his sword.

Araphor desperately attempts to grapple one of the orcs’s halberds, and somehow succeeds brilliantly. In the end, the disarmed orc is left stunned on the ground, and Araphor finds himself with a halberd perfectly placed to impale another orc attacking him from his other flank.

At the same time, Nwalme Strikes Blind another orc on the right, while Guthwyn wounds and knocks out another of the orcs who was attacking Araphor. The right flank had gone from overwhelmed to completely under control in a single round!

The battle ends with the second rank of orcs- (including one struck blind and an ice-mage wounded by Araphor’s longbow – turning and fleeing, followed closely by two more orcs from the front line. Ten orcs are left on the field and quickly dispatched by the party, they fail to surrender.


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