Part One: Encounter — Tinkerers
Part Two: Combat — Goblin Warriors (+2 Hate, Weary)
Part Three: Journey — Secret Way
Part Four: Encounter — Dwarf Traders (+1 Tolerance)
Part Five: Combat — Bandits (Easily Ambushed, Strength of Numbers)
COMPANY CHALLENGE: To search for Dindy Brandybuck again and return him safely to the Easterly Inn.
TOLKIENIAN THEME: Courage
Over the course of this adventure, the Loremaster may want to develop one particular player-hero who identifies as a coerced hero type. Perhaps like Bilbo Baggins, he will need remuneration and terms settled before leaving the Easterly Inn, especially after the night siege in Part Two. The hero's courage can be tested by placing him in situations requiring tests of Valour even more so than the other player-heroes, with success leading to major story reveals and progress. Maybe he will even need to rescue his companions or have the opportunity to make clever decisions or discoveries.
Player-heroes can undertake this adventure any time after they play Of Leaves & Stewed Hobbit found in Tales from Wilderland.
Prologue: Hobbit Trouble Again!
While visiting the Easterly Inn, Dody Brandybuck employs the company to rescue his younger brother Dindy again, believing that he may have gotten himself into trouble on the road to Bree. Before they head off, however, frightened Dwarven visitors arrive.
Part One: Rumours at the Inn
The Dwarven tinkerers bring rumours of a new Goblin King and whispers that he may be serving a terrible master. They dare not say it loudly, but they whisper about a darkness awakened under the Misty Mountains. Through questioning, the player-heroes can learn about a group of lost Dwarven traders, about the location of a secret way in the High Pass, and most importantly, that the Dwarves may have been followed by Goblins.
Part Two: Give it Back!
A large band of Goblin warriors arrives at nightfall to ambush any visitors leaving the inn. They are weakened, but they have come to collect an enchanted sword that was taken from their king. They threaten to burn down the inn and the lands around it if the sword is not given back to them (one of the Dwarven tinkerers has it, and it is cursed!). Worse yet, the Orc Chieftain among them mentions a certain Hobbit brother and how he will be sacrificed alive if the sword is not returned within 2 weeks. The Goblins ferociously besiege the Inn and the player-heroes must join in the defences. Soon, a band of Beornings come to join the fight and drive them off the land into the forest of Mirkwood. If successful, screams are heard among the trees, followed by the hissing of Spiders and crunching.
Part Three: The Secret Way
Striking off quickly afterward, the companions believe Dindy may now be in terrible trouble. They travel to the High Pass to look for the secret way and any signs of the Dwarven traders who are expected. On their journey, they spot giant eagles in the sky, circling about and returning to their eyrie to the north. Once they find the way, they soon come upon a gruesome scene: the feet of a Dwarf bound by iron shackles and chained to a large tree; the rest of the body is gone, sheered off above the ankles.
- First Leg - 100 miles across Easy Terrain in Free Lands = 5 days travel by foot, 3 days by horse; 1 Fatigue test at TN 12
- Second Leg - 30 miles climbing Daunting Terrain in Wild Lands (x5 = 150 miles) = 8 days climb; 2 Fatigue tests at TN 16
- Finding the secret way requires a prolonged action using Explore at TN 16 needing 9 successes (1 roll per day each; failing a roll means a success die in Endurance loss; failing with an Eye produces a hazard).
- The Secret Way is a Blighted Area requiring a Corruption test (TN 14). Failure with an Eye gains 1 Shadow.
After exploring the path further, they come upon caves and hollows used as prison cells. They spot Goblin patrols, but soon discover a pair of shackled Dwarf traders. If the companions gain their trust, they warn them about a group of bandits: men who have robbed them and given them to the Goblin King as some kind of sacrifice for his master. They also tell of a Hobbit that was captured, but he was being tortured for information about other traders. The heroes can release the Dwarves, but they must still find the bandit’s lair.
Part Five: Bandits, Goblins, & The Earthquake
The bandits are on the move to come and collect a new Dwarven sacrifice to give to the Goblin King. The heroes can easily ambush them as the bandits are not expecting any visitors in the area. There are five of them in all, each brutes of great strength. The Goblin King arrives after several rounds with Orc guards and a bound Dindy. An exchange can be made: a sword for the sacrificial Hobbit.
Soon after an exchange or battle, the sound and rumbling of an earthquake can be heard and felt by everyone. The Master is coming from underground! The Orc King turns and runs, along with all his followers and any remaining bandits, throwing Dindy onto the open ground. The heroes have only a few rounds to make an escape or be chased by a terribly hungry dragon: a Long Worm now controlling Goblin Town!
The Eagles arrive as soon as the first Gandalf is rolled during flight or battle, scaring the Young Worm back underground.
The journey back to the Easterly Inn is one of haste and relief. The discovery of the new Goblin King and his Long Worm master are enough to keep traders from the High Pass for years to come, especially Dwarves.
After this adventure, the Eye of Sauron rules are used. Revelation episodes involve encounters with the dragon, his minions, or terrorizing dreams of him.