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Year 2950: A Darkness in the Marshes


Vladim

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Cecil Brandybuck

Cecil’s attention blurred in the monochrome haze. So broken and mean was the fortress that it could hardly be parted from the hill itself. Its walls were like a crown of jagged teeth through the mist. He wondered what empire had built it and why. Perhaps the land here was fairer then, like when his ancestors fished these rivulets. Only something hateful could have built it now. There was no sense in it. It reminded him of the dilapidated towers they had passed earlier in their travels. Structures so old, they could not be made again.

Just as he was losing focus, a speck of light caught his eye. He went rigid. Was it a trick? Had he dozed off? He rose to his feet in a panic. 

“Just there! Did you see it?” He wrestled to temper his excitement. “I saw something move. A piece of metal, or something. It flashed - and then was gone!” 

 

Edited by Modest_Proposal (see edit history)
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Dahr-Ol of the Beornings

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Dahr-Ol looked again at the crag, but failed to see whatever had caught Cecil's eye. Still, his curiosity had been piqued. And it would be unwise to discount the hobbit's observation, Cecil had proved an able companion.

"Cecil, you and the others should come with Gramtyng and myself. If they have gotten lazy up there, this might be our chance to reveal their secrets. And if something does come off the crag, I think we would be safer together."

Axe stats: Damage 9/Edge 10/Injury 20

Curiosity killed the bear

 

Name
Awareness to observe any clues. I will invoke the Curious trait if need be
[7] (3,3) = 13
tor(2,no) 7,3,3
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Barin Greycloak
lhV7Mo1.png

"Shh," Barin admonished his companions as Cecil exclaimed over something he'd seen. He continued, whispering, "Their eyes may be tired during the daytime, but you can guarantee that their hearing will be just as good as at night. If we're going to move to a better vantage point, now would be as good a time as any. But stealth needs to be our watchword."

Not that stealth is my strong suit, he added silently to himself.

Nodding towards Gramtyng to take the lead, he waited for the company to move out.

 

OOC

 

 

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Gramtyng, son of Fastredtoken_1(5).png.ef12265c3f3702a2086fb7dc92be835c.png


Riders of Rohan | Standard of Living: MartialCallingTraits | AP: 13 | XP: 11 | DP: 0


Valour: 4 | Wisdom: 4 | End: 27/27 | Load: 15 | Fatigue: 0 [+1] | Hope: 13/14 | Shadow: 6 [0] | Parry: 6 | Weary: No | Miserable: No |Wound: No


Skills: Body 5 (8) | Heart 5 (7)| Wits 4 (5) | Weapons | War Gear | Equipment | Songs


Gramtyng shook his head in response to Barin and pointed at Dahr-Ol, then Ernstyr. "Scouting - not my strong suit." He explained shortly. If they were in the woods, then maybe - but out here, someone like the Beorning or the sharp-eyed Woodman would serve the company better.

 


OOC/Actions

 

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Dahr-Ol of the Beornings

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Dahr-Ol shrugged,

"Cecil or Enstyr could probably move more quietly than me. But I do have a knack for finding passable trails. I will lead the foray if they do not wish to take the lead."

Axe stats: Damage 9/Edge 10/Injury 20

 

 

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Ernstyr of Rhosgobel

image.png.c4e8c72bc4927f7e9fc828e453de76dc.pngErnstyr nodded soberly. "I do not possess Magric's elf-like ability to seemingly vanish into the wild, but I can scout a path better than most Woodmen. I will go in the fore." He gave Cecil an enquiring glance to see if the stout-hearted halfling would join him, but he was prepared to go it alone if necessary.

 

Name
Stealth
[9] (3,2) = 14
tor(2,no) 9,3,2
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Cecil Brandybuck

The thought crossed Cecil's mind... what if he saw no anchor? Would they leave this place? Would they be satisfied? Ernstyr was an experienced hunter and knew the principles. He would not spare a good path.

"If a rabbit can climb it, we will find it." He stared at Barin a little longer than he should have before moving beside Ernstyr. "Let's go."

 

Edited by Modest_Proposal (see edit history)
Name
Stealth
[8] (6,1,2) = 17
tor(3,no) 8,6,1,2
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Ernstyr of Rhosgobel

image.png.c4e8c72bc4927f7e9fc828e453de76dc.pngWith Cecil at his back, Ernstyr felt slightly more confident. He set his eyes on the base of the path, envisioning each of the rocky outcroppings, grassy knolls, and mounded overgrowth that would provide cover from the watchful eyes above. Then, carefully, slowly, he crept toward the nearest. And if there was no reaction from the dread fortress, he would repeat the tactic--again and again, if necessary. It was a bit like hunting birds, in that you wanted your quarry to be oblivious of your approach. Yet it was less the hunt for pheasant or quail, and more the daring raid to touch the nest of the giant eagle--and be devoured for insolence if seen.

 

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Aided by Cecil, Ernstyr made his way towards the path that led towards the gate of the fortress. The others followed the pair. It was not a very long way, but it was not very short either: at their careful pace, it took perhaps half an hour to stealthily approach the sheer base of the cliff. But in this chance favoured them: the mists once again proved a boon, and the undergrowth gave them places to hide.

There was no sign of them being noticed: no alarm raised, and no movement on the walls, though it strained their necks to look upwards, to the top.

They found the path narrow but abandoned, and the face of the rock imposing. They now had to decide how to proceed.

 

OOC

You've made it to the start of the path-and seemingly undetected-but now you must decide what to do next.

  • Climbing the sheer cliff is very difficult: an Athletics check (TN 20) with dangerous, potentially lethal consequences on a failure.
  • You can observe the gate or other sections of the fortress (Awareness TN 14).
  • You can look for the signs of enemies, like footprints etc (Hunting TN 14).
  • Anything else you can imagine.

Please, one action and one roll for every companion at a maximum.

Good luck!

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Dahr-Ol of the Beornings

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Dahr-Ol shrugged, visibly nervous at being this close to fort scratched at an old wound now healed. Soon though he was obsessed with the gate and fortifications. Mordor would not leave itself undefended. There would be a clue.

"I doubt they would leave themselves with gates they could not shut." he whispered.

Axe stats: Damage 9/Edge 10/Injury 20

 

 

Name
Awareness
[10] (6,5) = 21
tor(2,no) 10,6,5
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Dahr-Ol only

Dahr-Ol focused his gaze on the gatehouse. Now that he was closer, he was able to observe the crumbling fortification in greater detail. And crumbling it was: the signs of time and disrepair were upon it, with the masonry appearing irregular at places, where the old stone had crumbled. But it seemed defensible still.

The passage was blocked: a dark portcullis, presently lowered, barred all passage.

There was more. A pair of silhouettes were outlined in the mist, holding spears as they stood upon the walls of the gate-house. It was a skeleton crew, and one that had not yet spotted the company-but it was sure to raise the alarm if they saw them.

They could not be here alone... Others yet had to be inside, but how many?

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Ernstyr of Rhosgobel

image.png.c4e8c72bc4927f7e9fc828e453de76dc.pngNow so close, Ernstyr could feel the damp air like a miasma hanging around the fell fortress. The path was barely wide enough for one--two could scarcely hope to walk abreast, let alone fight. If this was the only way in, the company had no chance unless Radagast could turn them all into birds. Taking his cue from the Brown Wizard, Ernstyr turned his gaze to the ground, looking for the signs of disturbance. Tracks could tell the story of passage, whether a pair or a score--or, forbid it, a hundred.

 

Name
Hunting
[3] (4,2) = 9
tor(2,no) 3,4,2
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Ernstyr only

The Woodman could find faded markings on the rocky soil: the footprints left by iron-shod orc-boots. They were a few days old at least, or perhaps older. Too old for him to discern more, such as numbers or direction.

Had they entered the fortress, or left it? This he could not guess with confidence from his current position, as some footprints pointed one way, and some the other.

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Gramtyng, son of Fastredtoken_1(5).png.ef12265c3f3702a2086fb7dc92be835c.png


Riders of Rohan | Standard of Living: MartialCallingTraits | AP: 13 | XP: 11 | DP: 0


Valour: 4 | Wisdom: 4 | End: 27/27 | Load: 15 | Fatigue: 0 [+1] | Hope: 13/14 | Shadow: 6 [0] | Parry: 6 | Weary: No | Miserable: No |Wound: No


Skills: Body 5 (8) | Heart 5 (7)| Wits 4 (5) | Weapons | War Gear | Equipment | Songs


The rohirrim followed after, keeping himself lower to the ground and peering at the tracks left behind. He was no good at scouting, and he'd not trusted his vision in gathering darkness - but Fastred had raised him as a hunter - and a hunter had more than just eyes to find his prey or its passage. Walar looked beaten and bruised. He recalled the fear in Magric's eyes and the scars the trapper showed him and Idunn. If his guess was right... Well, where else could that man be running from? There were no settlements around here. Perhaps he'd left a trace - or those that ran with him. His pursuers, if not his companions.


OOC/Actions*

I will spend a point of Hope to make that 10 a 14.

Edited by Diofant (see edit history)
Name
Hunting
[2] (2,4,2) = 10
tor(3,no) 2,2,4,2
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Gramtyng only

Gram searched for clues. Already Ernstyr was inspecting the ground near them. He was not far from the narrow path. As Gram drew near him, he saw what had caught his attention. Footprints. Faint but present. Orc-boots for certain. This could not be where Walar had passed through... or could it? It had been about a month since they had found him, mortally wounded. Even if this was the way through which he had made his escape, not even the best tracker in all of the Westfold and Eastfold could tell it.

But here were other signs. Orcs, and many: dozens, if not more than a hundred. They had passed through here, and not that long ago. There were many tracks, and some led to the fortress, and some away. But the freshest ones led away.

Had they abandoned the fortress? It would certainly fit with the rest of their findings-if it was no trap. But if it was true, then why?

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