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Year 2950: A Gathering in Rhosgobel


Vladim

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(Art by Jon Hodgson for the One Ring, 1st edition)

Location: Rhosgobel, the western eaves of Mirkwood

Time: Early summer 2050 T.A. Morning.

Scene 1 (Prologue): A Gathering in Rhosgobel

 

Dahr-Ol, Barin, Gramtyng and Ingi

(Previously...)

Led by Legolas into the heart of the forest, the companions chased after the orcs that sought to capture the lady Írimë. Having found themselves turned from hunters to prey, the orcs fled, but after days of pursuit, the party tracked them down and in the depths of northern Mirkwood they fell upon them and destroyed them, sparing none.

Then the elves guided the company back to the Vales, where they set out to warn Beorn and his thanes of these happenings, and of the possibility of yet more orcs pouring out of the forest. They spoke to the Old Bear in his hall, and conveyed the tidings, confirming things that he knew already. From there they journeyed on to Stonyford to warn his kinsfolk, and Dahr-Ol was reunited with his relatives.

The rangers and Bláin, who had last seen them by the Forest Gate, were there already, waiting. They had suffered wounds from their ordeals, and were still recovering, but they were nonetheless eager to tell tales of their adventure.

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Thammegil, Arton, Bláin

(Previously...)

Of the four of them, only three remained now. Elhadron had elected to journey with his folk, accompanying Írimë to her final destination in Imladris. Still, they spoke as much as they sought to reveal of what had transpired: of the orcs in the mountains, and of the dark dreams in the ruins, and of the shadow-spirit that had nearly overpowered Írimë. And they repeated her last counsel: to find Radagast and the Wise and to seek their counsel.

And so in the middle of spring they set out towards Wuduseld together. Their journey was uneventful, but they found the eaves of the forest astir, and the Woodmen busy with all kinds of preparations. Soon it was made clear that neither the elves nor the folk dwelling by the Misty Mountains were the only ones who had been troubled by orcs.

Rhosgobel was not far, and by late spring they reached it, and were reunited with friends both old and new.

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Tarric, Brenior, Bróin and Idunn

(Previously...)

After all the feasting had come and gone, and all the celebrations had finally died down, all that was left were the mundane tasks of repair and rebuilding that would ensure that the Woodmen were prepared against another attack. Mogdred’s men needed supervision and careful handing, for they were a loud lot, and oftentimes unruly. But they had already proven themselves in battle.

Brenior sought to keep them in check, acting oftentimes as the go-between, a task as unenviable and thankless as it was necessary. The dwarves still had their tasks to accomplish, and Bróin never found himself lacking in duties and opportunities... And, as for Tarric, he could at long last spend a few weeks of peace with Olwinne, and speak at length about his journey to the elves and the future.

By late spring others arrived, bearing tidings from west and north. Some were strangers; others friends, or friends-of-friends. And they had much to say to the Brown Wizard.

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Lachiel

(Previously...)

It was a bittersweet morning when at last the elves departed from the village of Rhosgobel in the latter weeks of April. Lachiel knew that the day would arrive, for the numbers of the elves were few in these waning years, and these soldiers far too precious to stay outside the borders of the Woodland Realm for long. To tell the truth, the fact that the Elvenking had sent such a large company to aid the Woodmen had already been unheard of. But it seemed that the words of Aiwendil (whom these Middle Men called Radagast) carried a great deal of weight still.

She was not destined to return with them. She had always been an emissary of sorts, first in Lake-Town, and now amongst the Woodmen. In the intervening time, she had made herself known to the Brown Wizard, well enough so that he knew that she was to be, if the need arose, a messenger to Thranduil. And when the council was called, she was with him, ready to listen to the strangers’ tidings and tales of troubles.

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Cecil

Despite his many wanderings of late, it was difficult to understand how he had been so terribly misguided by these Woodmen. The Men that lived in the Vales-Beornings they called them, after their chieftain-had said that the Woodmen dwelled near the place he sought. So to the Woodmen he had gone, by the eaves of the Great Forest, travelling many leagues and a long and weary way.

And it now seemed that all had been for naught.

Technically, it was true that it was Woodmen indeed that dwelled in Mountain-Hall, or Firienseld in the tongue of the Vales. But they seemed only Woodmen in name: for in fact, their village was hidden somewhere in the Misty Mountains, and far away from the rest of them, who were clustered near the woods. Worse yet, the journey was not an easy one, and rumor had it that there were many orcs mustering of late.

But there was hope yet. Even in Rhosgobel, Cecil had heard that there was a Woodswoman that hailed from Mountain-Hall. Perhaps she could be convinced to guide him there. At worst, he could at least learn the path. It was her that she approached now, as she stood gathered amongst many others-a counsel, it seemed, headed by that Radagast fellow that seemed to remind him of another wizard more familiar to the Shire-folk... but... more rustic, perhaps?  

 

OOC (for everyone)

Ok, so this is me trying to pull all the narrative threads together and bring all player characters together. There's a lot of PCs and a lot of background established so this requires some effort. But I think this works. Some points:

  • I'll keep this thread locked until everyone lets me know that they're happy with these hooks, or after a few days (whatever comes first). If I wrote something that doesn't work for you, please let me know about suggested edits and I'll make them asap. I tried to take a bit from backstories and previous adventures, but at the same time not assume too much. But do let me know!
  • This may be a bit crazy, but this opening scene will include all characters. After this Prologue, we can split into a TOR party and an Ironsworn party, accordingly.
  • This will also be a mechanics-lite area. Let's maybe keep it to one roll per PC; the rest can be RP. If you have a meaningful, important action, save your roll for that one (it could be a skill roll for TOR, or a Secure an Advantage for Ironsworn; this scene is anyway just a chat so there won't be any action movie stuff here).
  • The TOR party (Dahr-Ol, Ingi, Gramtyng, Barin, Cecil & Lachiel) is destined to travel to Mountain-Hall. The Ironsworn party (Tarric, Brenior, Bróin and Idunn) is destined to go to Dol Guldur. Keep that in mind; if you push hard for joining the other mission, it won't work. Yes, I know there's a level of meta-gaming involved here, but that's okay with me.
  • The characters from the TOR 2nd edition playtest (Thammegil, Arton, Bláin) are there mainly as support. Their respective players can RP them, if they want, but they will fade away into the background after this scene. I suggested they shared some info from 'Those who Tarry no Longer' but the exact details are up to their respective players.
  • For Cecil, I opted for him being 'pulled' into the adventure, given the lack of strong bonds with the communities here. Modest Proposal, feel free to stumble into the scene and we can work from there. My character (Idunn) is a Woodman (well, woods-woman) from Mountain-Hall, so she'll give you an in. 
  • Idunn is here, but she'll play only a minor role. At most I'll post for her if I am bored. There's already plenty of moving bits to juggle!
  • Once we are done with this introductory scene, we'll split up and move towards the adventure(s) proper!
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(Present time...)

 

spacer.pngIt had been at least a few days since the companions had arrived at the village of Rhosgobel. A few amongst them were newcomers. Others had already spent much of spring here, even if some had travelled from afar to get to the village. Those that knew each other had reunited many days ago and spoken at length. All of them, friends and strangers alike, had spent a few days resting in the great long-hall of the Woodmen. Here they received hospitality and a daily meal, even if they were not of these wood-folk.

In recent days, the Woodmen seemed concerned. Not because of the arrival of so many new faces, and not because of the recent orc-raids, though such things certainly troubled many. There was something else: for Radagast had admitted very few visitors in recent weeks, with the sole exception of some of these new folk, such as the one called Arton. While long periods of isolation were not unheard of for the Wizard, it had been many years since he was so secretive.

It was, then, a strange development when the Brown Wizard summoned them to gather outside the long-hall one morning. The Woodmen gave curious glances as those that had been invited arrived one by one, with Radagast appearing last.

''Good, good...'' he muttered-more to himself than anyone in particular-as he tallied those gathered and made sure that all were present. ''Before we get down to it, speak your names, so that everyone will know who everyone else is. Let us get these introductions out of the way, as I suspect that some of you are still strangers to one another, unless you've met already. But be brief, if you can! There's too many of you, and time is precious!''

He seemed a little impatient and a little gruff... discourteous some might call him. But to those who knew him, this was nothing out of the ordinary. He was always like that, especially when something troubled him.

 

OOC

Let's get some introductions so we're sure that everyone knows everyone in-character; feel free to post the usual 'first IC post' stuff like appearance, description, etc., and say a few things about your character (e.g. name, where they hail from, who they are, if they have some position and so on).

@thesloth thanks for the offer to have Arton already told Radagast things. I worked it in this post, and though I didn't remove him from the scene, I'm totally ok with him having been sent already on some errand. Perhaps with some of the other TOR 2 PCs (up to their players). Or maybe he's still here. Up to you!

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Arton of Gram

Taller by a head than almost any man in the Woodmen village, Arton stood out everywhere he went. Doubly so when he stood near the others. While simple in make, his clothing was cut differently and the hues more subtly matched the foliage. He and another fellow had arrived three days before, clearly injured and to a degree battered in spirit. Both men had talked at length with Radagast. The wizard had even shut them up in his rooms on the first night, clearly concerned about something as the smell of rare herbs drifted out.

Fitful dreams had bothered the tall man, on more than one occasion he had woken shouting at some unseen danger, and was hard to calm until he had oriented himself to the holding. He seemed frustrated about something. He calmed more easily when his friend Thammegil was near. On the morning Radagast called the gathering he arrived with his bags packed and ready to travel. 

"I am Arton of Gram, kin to the men who once ruled these lands. I was one of the escort for Lady Irime. I have told my tale in full to Radagast and must be off. I have been away from my home far too long already. I leave you with this caution, let nothing come between you and the bonds of friendship you have with your people. The enemy moves in numbers now, it is true. They are cunning and more disciplined than we have seen in many a year. But, his true weapons are fear, suspicion, and doubt. Cling to your trusted companions as you would your family. Hold tight to your faith in them. Do nothing to betray their faith in you. It is the strongest weapon you possess. Time is against me now, and I must go. Fare you well."

Shouldering his pack he turned and headed for the gate.

 

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Thammegil
thammegil_ranger.webp

Standing off to one side of the group, nearer to the gate stood another man, tall and wiry, just like Arton but carrying a hard, steely look to his eye.  He leant casually on his longbow, sword strapped to his waist, and wincing occasionally as his obvious injuries pained him.

He seemed content to let the other man do the talking for him, words obviously played out in the previous days and nights in council with Radagast and Arton.  Occasionally, his gaze seemed to cloud over, a distance seemingly separating him from the present, yet as to what this meant to him, or what was going though his mind he would not - or could not - say.

As Arton said his piece, Thammegil simply shouldered his pack and limped across towards the dwarf Blaín, taking his arm in the warrior grip.  "Fare thee well my friend, alas but my journey also takes me on the same roads as Arton.  Take care."

As he turned to limp off after his companion, he cast his eye across the remainder of the group, "I bid you all farewell.  I shall not wish glad tidings upon you all, for I fear that there are none left to be had in this world for now.  Stay true to one another.  The Shadow is rising in the East, and all the peoples of Middle Earth will need to stand against it.  Trust, and Hope are our watchwords in these dark days."

With that, he turned away and followed in the footsteps of the other Ranger.

 

Barin Greycloak
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A stocky dwarf, clad in leather armour under his travelling cloak, an impressive helm seemingly of Elven craft hitched to his belt on one side, an evil-looking axe strapped to the other was the next to speak up.

"My name is Barin.  I hail from the displaced peoples of the Grey Mountains, the survivors of whom now reside in Erebor under the rule of Dain, King under the Mountain.  I have travelled far and wide in the lands on both sides of the forest, aye and even within, under it's eaves, and I can tell you this - never before have I seen as much evil and darkness as dwells there now.

"I and my companions," he indicated several of the others present, "have recently returned from hunting foul Orcs within the Forest.  Yet they are not the only creatures stirring beneath it's leaves.  Spiders there are a-plenty.  Big buggers too, far larger than have any right to be, and their prey be both Elves and Men.  Something stirs within that wood.  I hope you bring some tidings, Wizard, of what truly transpires there and what chance we have to stand against it."

Indicating a somewhat younger-looking dwarf at his side, he continued, "This here is Núr, who is apprenticed to me.  Whilst young, he is a capable young Dwarf - if anyone needs anything from me and I am not about, then he can be approached and will relay anything to me when he can."

 

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With Arton's departure, Lachiel found herself likely the next tallest person gathered. The heels of her simple leather boots carried the Elf's height to several inches over six feet. She carried the look of an Elf of Mirkwood, rugged as she was with wind-tussled hair, worn-and-repaired leggings, and faint scent of the forest in autumn. Her long hair was a vibrant--almost defiant--red.
 
Lachiel's equipment gave away her intentions. She wore a leather corslet and bracers that had seen little battle. The leather cap on her belt was of much less quality than Barin's. A bow and quiver of arrows were strapped to her back. On her left hip was a spearman's shield and in her right hand a long, two-handed spear with a blade the shape of a sharpened maple leaf. A dagger hilt poked out of the top of one boot.
 
"Hail and well met brothers and sisters of the forest. I am Lachiel, from Mirkwood," she said with a nod and simple raise of her spear.
 
"I have been in Rhosgobel for some weeks now. I came with a band of defenders sent by King Thranduil to help fight back a recent Orcish incursion. My people have left but in that time I have come to know a few of you through your stories and tales."
 
Pursing her lips, Lachiel added, "Your words of the Shadow are worrying, but something my people have been wary of for some time. I hope in this time of darkness you may lean on me for relief. I know not what Radagast has in store for us this day--but know that I am dedicated to fighting the Shadow wherever it may rise."
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spacer.pngThe huntress stepped forth. She was clad in simple, practical garb. Her cloak was travel-worn, and her boots mud-stained. Unlike those that had just departed, she was not physically imposing in the least, and her looks clearly identified her as one of the Woodmen. But the same could not be said about the great, grey-furred hound that stood by her. That one seemed fit for a hobbit's steed.

Grim and plain-spoken by disposition, she nevertheless felt that she had to counteract the heavy mood set by the rangers' parting words.

"Stern words have been spoken. Yet not all of the tidings are bad. Rhosgobel still stands, despite the orcs' efforts, in no small part thanks to Thranduil's aid. I say that it is not the time to be so gloomy." she added emphatically, as she eyed the silhouettes of the departing rangers. They were swiftly growing smaller.

"I am Idunn, daughter of Theodwin, of Firienseld, which other folk call Mountain-Hall in the Common Tongue." she added, so that those who did not know her could at least learn her name.

 

OOC

Hopefully this is a good opening for Cecil.

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Dahr-Ol

A young Beorning grunted as the Rangers left. He listened as the others commented. "I am Dahr-Ol of the Beornings. Of late I hunted orc with Legolas while the others escorted the elvish lady.

Stern words, but true. My former people live divided, consumed with vengeance and petty jealousy thanks in no small part to the influence of dark powers. Viglund is taking slaves as tribute. An army of mercenaries led by a man who showed signs of sorcery tried to take our lands. And, if the stories be true, even this Mogdred has been influenced by the Shadow.

Thranduil for all his great deeds, is a cautious ally at best. I do not fault him his concern. My own rashness nearly got us killed in the north. But it is still the truth, Thranduil will not rush to battle. And while the Dwarves we have met here have been stout of heart, their king can spare no army for this forest. The men of Lake Town are willing to trade, but when was the last time even a patrol came as far as this village? Those Rangers are headed home. They have their own troubles from the look of it.

One by one, our peoples are separated. Divided. Beset on all sides and seemingly unable to aid each other. This is how they work, until bonds are shattered and each encampment looks only to itself. The Rangers were right to warn us."

 

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Cecil Brandybuck

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Cecil waved his pipe and let the final swirls of smoke rise to his nose. He was dressed in thick layers of yellow and gold, whose marigold details had faded in the sun. Beside him was a pony with checkered fabrics across its back and a long wooden rod stowed in a satchel alongside a bow.

As Dahr-Ol finished, he waited as if expecting someone to beckon him forward. Finally, he tucked at his vest. “To those who wish to know… I am Cecil Brandybuck of the Shire. I know little of spiders and orcs, except that they are better left alone. And I intend to! They are no business of mine. I have come a very long way and am near my end."

His thoughts turned to the two injured rangers as they exited, lingering red and bleeding.

“Along the way I... have made friends with Dwarfs of the Blue Mountains and rangers and know many songs - some of which are quite strange to me! Still, I do not know this land. The Woodmen here have shown me kindness and kept me safe. I wish only to repay them before I continue on my journey.”

All the while as he spoke, he could feel Radagast staring at him uncomfortably. He fiddled with his pipe until there was a lull and then approached Idunn, carefully positioning his pony between himself and the hound. “Idunn. I've heard your name! You say you hail from Mountain-Hall? May I accompany you on your return? I am a hunter and will do it gladly in exchange for passage."

 

 

 

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spacer.pngIdunn turned to face the hobbit. She knew not what business he had in Firienseld, but she was certain that she was not headed there. She had spoken to Radagast already, and knew some of what the Brown Wizard intended for them.

"I would show you the way if I could, but there are other errands I must see to first." she said to him, trying as best she could to keep her answer quiet, so us not to disrupt the rest of the introductions. "Yet some of my companions intend to journey there, as Radagast may soon reveal. Perhaps you should seek passage with them."

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Cecil Brandybuck

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“Of course, Idunn.” Cecil bowed.

He had hoped to avoid Radagast, who was terse and seemed always to be thinking, with ragged clothes and a ragged face. He did not expect to like what he had to say.

He rounded back and relit his pipe. Never before had he seen such motely company. He'd met his fair share of Dwarves crossing the Brandywine, but to see an elf was a miraculous thing, indeed! Lachiel stood at the opposite end and spoke with a deliberateness that caught him up. He'd heard tales of Eastfarthing Elves, with skin as smooth and lustrous as river stones. They walked in file toward the West, always looking ahead with delicate cloaks of silver. Lachiel was different, with her weathered boots and wild, shimmering red hair. Yet there was a fairness in her that defied these things. 

Her mentioning of kings and great battles brought Cecil’s attention back to his pipe. He sat in the shade and closed his eyes, letting the smell of home come back to him. He would have to see what the old man had to say. 

 

Edited by Modest_Proposal (see edit history)
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spacer.pngA tall warrior clad in a dull steel mail, leather overcoat flung atop it, stepped forward. On his back, there had been a shield, and at his side, a shortbow; on his hip was a short blade that did not look to be of mannish make, and those that understood smithcraft could see that it was dwarven. The rest of the man's attire was similar to the Leofrings of the south; he looked weary and grim, but a spark still danced in his eyes. He had the hair of the color of straw, and wore a full beard. A boy walked at his side, perhaps fifteen winters old, carrying a large helmet with a horsetail helm and a quiver of arrows. 

"I am Gramtyng, son of Fastred. I hail from the Mark in the south, but I've since settled here. I have been with Idunn and Barin on the expedition north and can likewise confirm their words. By trade, I am a bard. Hunting is what I've had to take up."

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