Middle Earth

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This campaign is set in Middle Earth ten years after the dawn of the Fourth Age. With Sauron defeated, the Age of Men has begun and the Elves, Dwarves, and many other races have largely, though not completely, moved out of the vision of Men.

Though many of the greater races are shadows of their former glory, Middle Earth is still a thriving land full of creatures of unsavory nature: Dragons, Kraken, Orcs, and Trolls all roam the countryside with frequency--now more of a nuisance than an organized enemy though.

King Elessar (formerly known as Aragorn, Son of Arathorn, now king of Gondor, Arnor, and the High King of the Reunited Kingdom), has ruled for a decade with a fair hand.

Minas Tirith--the great ringed city of Gondor--is still in the process of rebuilding its walls from the Orc attack at the end of the Third Age.

"In his time the City was made more fair than it had ever been, even in the days of its first glory; and it was filled with trees and with fountains, and its gates were wrought of mithril and steel, and its streets were paved with white marble; and the Folk of the Mountain laboured in it, and the Folk of the Wood rejoiced to come there; and all was healed and made good, and the houses were filled with men and women and the laughter of children, and no window was blind nor any courtyard empty; and after the ending of the Third Age of the world into the new age it preserved the memory and the glory of the years that were gone." The Return of the King: "The Steward and the King," p. 246

It is a time of prosperity, and when the characters enter the story, preparations are being made for the 10th anniversary of the slaying of Sauron. Probably the greatest party ever seen in Middle Earth since Isildur slew Sauron.

The party, being high ranking officers of the White Guard or personal friends of the King, have been invited to a pre-celebration diner. Each have received a fine parchment invite with silver hand-written lettering reading the following in the common tongue:

Dearest Friend, 

It is time we gather for a feast to recognize our fallen friends, 
and celebrate our decade of freedom from the Dark Lord. 

Join me in the great hall of Minas Tirith for a great feast the day  
before the celebration.  

Elessar, King

General Roleplaying Style

This will be an epic campaign in the cinematic style at Tech Level 3 (medieval). Players will be using a wide variety of skills in a gamut of scenarios. Magic is common in Middle Earth, and is not limited to players who have Magery.

I will try my best to keep everything accurate to the world of Tolkien, but there certainly will be areas where, for the sake of story, we will differentiate a bit. Players need not be familiar with the specifics of Middle Earth. The spirit, not the accuracy, of the realm is what we are going for.

Character Creation

Characters will be given 250 points, and may have up to 100 points of disadvantages and 100 points of advantages.

Players are allowed to build characters based off real characters in The Lord of the Rings, but are not required to do so.

Each character will either be a high ranking member of the Court, White Guard (who had participated in the Great Battle against Sauron), or a personal friend of the King. Players will likely all be of the race of Men (or at least half-bred), though other races may be considered with appropriate back-story. Players who are planning on playing another race should contact the GM early to inquire about racial guidelines.

Because the culture in Middle Earth deals heavily with past actions and battles, an appropriately thorough back-story is a good idea for all players, with some examples of epic deeds the character may tell stories about. If you are not a ranking member of the Guard, you will need a convincing background as to why you know the king so well, as this campaign's quest would only be given to the most trusted and skilled of individuals.

All players are allowed (and encouraged) to have some low level magic skills and/or magical items. Though magic is commonplace, even minor forms of it will require GM approval to ensure that they are in the "spirit" of the realm.

Because characters in this adventure have already survived the War of the Ring and are personal friends/soldiers of the king, players are encouraged to give points to:

  • Enhanced Will
  • Status and/or Military Rank (required unless there is an alternative in the background)
  • Duty and/or Sense of Duty
  • Leadership
  • Luck
  • Riding



In the beginning

Our party started out at Minas Tirith, gathering for a party of epic proportions. At the early reception with the court, Ohtar takes a sizable bet against a fellow ranger to hit a pig with an arrow from a good distance. Legolas mad an excellent shot, with three arrows hitting the pig, including one in the eye. Ohtar, without aiming, won the bet by a well placed arrow to the eye as well.

Our adventurers had to leave before the public party began, as the Court Seer picked up strange signals from a long lost Palantir. He and Sage held an all-night vigil to try to gather information and track down the finders, and discovered that sailors on a large ship (presumably ocean faring) discovered it, and brought it inland less than one day's travel to a small, dark, room. A single, old, man was staring into the orb.

A small group of the most trusted companions (and a wife) was formed by the king to return the Palantir to the court of Gondor, where it could be used for, not against, the free peoples. With little knowledge other than that it was discovered on a shore line, the adventurers are sent to Minas Ithil (formerly Minas Morgul, an abandoned keep in the former land of Mordor) to retrieve a powerful search spell that Sage should be able to read (though it was not clear if that was because she possessed some special talent, or that the Seer was only familiar with her.)

The adventurers headed out on horseback, after Ohtar placed an arrow through the spinal cord of a ravaging cave troll, dropping it dead without a twitch. Gram received credit for the kill, since he was a known hero by the men. After a day of safe travel, the river crossing of the Anduin was slightly less than a trivial event. Gram, almost falling in after his horse as spooked, grabbed ahold of a hatchet handle on his mount to try to keep from falling in, but the hatchet came out and fell in the water. A lucky ending to what could have been a dangerous situation with such high and fast water.

Gram, with keen senses, informed the party that the weather was foul in an unnatural sense. If someone was out to make their journey a difficult one through this type of magic, they would have to be quite powerful.

The party grew curious about a fresh set of tracks in the heavy rain leading south and chose to investigate. With skilled eyes they tracked an "old man" to a remote inn off the travel of trade. The inn-keeper was upset that the king moved the trade rout further towards the river and away from his business. They hear that the old man they track was staying in the inn, but no one remembers opening the door for him. The inept stable boy's word seems worth less than his pay. Upon knocking on the door of the old man's room, a puff of smoke and a bright light caused them to enter the room right away. The man was gone, but left behind a mysterious wooden box that was unnaturally heavy, as well as a rune book with markings that no one could read.

After another day's ride (and part of a night) the party arrived safely at Minas Ithel and retrieved the spell book in question. Exhausted from the travel, they stand ready for the next leg of their adventure in the morning.

Character Points:

  • Gram Thengel +1 to influence to the White Guard for "shooting" the cave troll, and +1 to Weather Sense for the critical success.
  • Ohtar Beleg +2 to luck for the amazing archery shot on the court.
  • Sage Thornwood +1 point towards the Less Sleep advantage for staying up all night using palantiri, and +1 to the merchant skill for negotiating the price down on the ferry ride.
  • Ariana Greenleaf +1 to tracking, and +1 to Area Knowledge (Gondor) for conversations during the party.

All characters may put 1 point into a used skill, or a new skill you would have likely had but didn't think to put on your sheet (with GM approval.)

To the North! Waylayed and Orc Draggen

Our party awoke late in the morning. Sage blew through the dangerous guard spells to gather much needed lore about the location of the new-found Palantir (now known to be located in the bay of Forochel.) After a quick info gathering session with the court Seer, Sage learned that they are probably racing with a wizard called Radagast to the bay. Going north through the land, or south and around by sea was a choice the party faced, with a land-based route preferred because of safety concerns. Heading north along the mountains, the company ran into patrolling orcs. Ohtar, who left the camp to investigate a strange sound and ran into 6 orcs and an Uruk Hai, while the company below battled two orcen archers. Gram, paralized by indecision, managed to dodge an arrow narrowly, while Legolas had a poor day, getting shot once by an arrow, but managing to take out some orcs.

As the session ended, Ohtar was tied up and being drug across the top of the mountains with the party following many minutes behind (but within visual sight)

Character Points:

All characters may put two points into skills used during the last session.

Treeling Smash! And Travels Through the Wastelands

Our party tracked the orcs bearing Ohtar across mountaintops, trough the plains and into a small wooded area surrounding a cave. After some short ambush planning, our heroes felt a little overwhelmed until Ariana awakened a tree for a short time, causing half the orcs to flee, and the other half to end up flat. Finally, our party entered the cave to reveal a troll that had held Ohtar captive. After a little handy swordsmanship from Sage, Ohtar was rescued from his clutches, and the troll was slain while he was calling for help.

Our team then moved north through the wastelands of the Dagorlad--a region with plenty of bandits along the trade road that they traveled. Spying a set of them in the distance, our company approached slowly, only to determine that they were seeking aid for a fallen comrade. Doubtful of the truth, but always willing to seek help, the company rendered aid, saving a fat man from the clutches of the sharp rocks.

After they met a merchant and his bodyguard, the company decided to invite them to their camp. Sharing his fine wine, the merchant talked and drank himself to sleep (as did many others.) As safety comes in numbers in a land such as this, our party decided to travel north with their new friend until he said he had to part to go to the Anduin river.

Character Points:

  • Gram Thengel +2 points to the Cowardice disadvantage for the behavior entering Dagorlad and approaching the bandits
  • Ohtar Beleg -2 points to a new disadvantage of Bloodlust of trolls, +1 point of High Pain Threshold for taking the troll's beating with minimal affects.
  • Sage Thornwood +1 point to Broadsward for the amazing hits to Orcs and Troll, +1 point to Palantir skill for the string of successful uses
  • Ariana Greenleaf +2 point to Animate Plant for the smashing of Orcs with a Tree

All characters may put two points into skills used during the last session.

On Eagles Wings

Our party followed the Merchant Michael along a tributary of the Anduin along the northern border of Rohan to the Fangorn Forest, where they stopped at a wine bottling encampment. After some renewed stomachs (but maybe not renewed spirits) the company set upon their way to gather the supplies needed to complete their mountain pass. As usual, Ohtar made no new friends, but Sage was able to find some creative uses of a local seamstress and wool blankets. Gram made friends with the Business-folk, and Ariana wandered into the forest to meet with Treebeard, where she learned of a flock of traveling Great Eagles who may be able to cut precious time off from their travels. Ariana convinces the party to take the eagles, and leave the horses to meet them in Rivendell.

During the flight, the Great Fire Drake Farthumatha caught eye of the group and hunted them down. Farthumatha had sensed that Ohatar's dragon slaying bow, Cuthulion, was in her presense and wished to destroy the bow to help protect her new clutch of three eggs. After an epic air battle, Cuthulion was able to bring down Farthumatha to the side of a mountain. The party landed, and strategically worked to subdue the foe (then giving a healthy dose of first aid to gather information, only to be attacked one final time.) A series of swift blows from each party member to the drake lead to her final breaths.

Now they sit on the side of a mountain. Horseless, but Eagles at hand.

Character Points:

  • Gram Thengel +1 point each towards Leadership, Administration, Air Strategy and Diplomacy for critical rolls.
  • Ohtar Beleg +1 point to the Acrobatics Skill, and Cuthulion gains +2 damage when striking vitals.
  • Sage Thornwood +1 point to Riding, and +2 points to Merchant skill.
  • Ariana Greenleaf +3 points to Magery for the cumulative effort of plant spell-casting.

All characters may put one point into a skill used during the last session, and +1 influence against Eagles.

Entering the North

After leaving the dead body of the Dragon on the side of the mountain, our party took off on the backs of Eagles. Spotting an ice cave at the top of the mountain, the party landed and investigated. Ariana found small ice troll family shivering in the back of the cave. After giving them food and scarves, the party left. (Only to later find out that some of the children had died later that night.)

Moving on, the party came to Rivendell for resupply and horses. Sage witnessed a slaughter of the village people with the Palantir by a brigade of Orcs and Men (lead by the forces of Angmar, who was a subject of her powers in the past.) She also whatched the Wizard Radagast using another Palantir in a blackened tower along the coast of Belfalas.

Leaving Rivendell for the planes of Angmar, the party ran into many troops and merchants along the trade roads. They found a messenger that seemed to indicate that the Palantir they are seeking was found and moving along the road. After letting the messenger go, the adventurers saw a cloud of dust rising along the road, with around 100 men and orcs traveling... this could be what they were waiting for.

Character Points:

All characters may put two points into skills used during the last session. Those involved in interrogating the messenger may put these points towards Interrogation, even if they do not yet have that skill.

Final Session

Some brief notes so Dan can write the conclusion:

  • Gram and Ariana approach to negotiate, snipers sneak
  • Negotiotions go fairly, but not perfectly.
  • Elf sniper spotted, Gram explains away
  • Bribes/ purchases of slain orc slaves
  • All hell breaks loose, orcs scatter
  • Party emerges victorious, carries prize back home to the king. Yay!