Tales of the Mirkwood Braves Campaign

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Robin Smallburrow
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Tales of the Mirkwood Braves Campaign

Post by Robin Smallburrow » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:01 am

Here is the first of our Campaign notes, we started earlier this year but our Scholar has been very lax so I am putting this up first. I am running the Wilderland Adventures mixed in with other adventures - the first adventure is The Dragon's Ring, available in my Resources Page (link in my sig).

Conlan Thistlewren, a Scholar from Bree travelling to Wilderland to find the rare herb Shadow Thorn (and other secrets).
Araphor Ingold, a Dunedain warrior assigned to protect Conlan for the journey to Lake-town.
Frollo Took, a Hobbit from the Shire who accompanies them at least to the Easterly Inn, along with his cousins Dindy & Dody Brandybuck.
Skarf Brightstar, a man of Lake-town of dubious repute.
Vidar Stonehand, a Dwarven outcast they meet in Lake-town who is seeking vengeance.
Harewulf the Foresighted, a Beorning man they also meet in Lake-town,also running from his past.
Garulf Horsehair, a Rider they meet at Woodland Hall later.
Beren, a Man of Minas Tirith encountered as a prisoner in Dol Guldur.
Imdril Ironborn, a Dwarf also encountered as a prisoner in Dol Guldur.

Here is the first excerpt from Conlan's Memoirs, enjoy!

The Mirkwood Braves (Door Kickers)

My character is a 1st level Scholar called Conlan from Bree who travelled to Lake-town in seek of further knowledge in addition to responding to King Bard’s request for aid. I was accompanied by Araphor a 1st level Dunedain warrior on the request of my Master/teacher Bellsap. In the Adventures in Middle-Earth I found references to Lake-town and Esgaroth. Each player has information given by the Loremaster (LM) that helped to link us and we each had tasks to complete. Mine was to investigate Shadow-thorn, a rare herb found only in Mirkwood. We also encountered NPC’s that would show up later, such as Irimë, a High Elven Lady who accompanied us as far as Mirkwood.

The campaign began in Lake-town on the night of the Dragontide celebration. Araphor and I met with Vidar a 1st level Dwarven Slayer and Scarf a 1st level Treasure Hunter (Trader) and Lake-town local. During the fireworks the party spotted movement near the bones of the dragon. The group decided (somewhat rashly) to investigate. We encountered some Lake-town Guards and Vidar barked orders for them to assist us and intimidated them into assisting. Vidar also claimed to be a Leader. We found several Orcs and Wolves in the shallow water and we attacked. The leader of the orcs gave a command and the orcs scattered except for the wolves who charged. Using bows we killed 1 orc and both wolves. The orc leader then suddenly vanished which scared the party a lot! We grabbed the bodies as evidence and I grabbed a gem (also as evidence). I then discovered how Dragon-Sickness affects gold and valuables but resisted the shadow and placed the gem into a pot. We returned to town and reported the issue to the Council.

The Council queried Vidar’s ‘leadership’ and asked the Company to track the orcs and investigate where they had come from. We went back to the site during the morning and found tracks leading south. The Council gave us horses and provisions and we raced after the orcs. Harewulf a 1st level human Wanderer joined the group as we were leaving town. The tracks led south, through a small town on the south of the lake and then east. We came to a very rundown farmhouse still following the tracks. The farmhouse was guarded by Easterlings and one of our Company shot and killed one on guard, so a fight ensued and stopped when we knocked down their champion and the leader surrendered. We found the Easterlings were guarding the farmhouse for the orcs but were scared of the a Black Shadow Lady? We gave them some coin and they left. We then discovered our horses were gone but there was a note saying we can find the horses when we travelled further south. In the farmhouse we found Dwarven pots that were very good but were not actually made by a Dwarf. Before they left the Easterlings told us the orc was making the pots.

So we travelled south and we met Valsir, the master hunter for the Elven King. He needed help to track the orc that vanished, he explained that he believed this orc had a Dwarven Ring of Power, and wanted to get this ring from the Orc for the Elven King. This seemed a steep price but Valsir’s ability with the bow increased our chances of success. Valsir would not tell us why the Elven King wanted the ring. We travelled to a part of Mirkwood where the river had moved and cut off a small section of wood from the rest of the forest. Valsir explained there was an abandoned Elven Treehouse taken over by the Orcs. The plan we came up with was that Valsir would create a distraction and we would attack the treehouse. I climbed up first and Scarf followed but someone shot a goblin climbing down a vine who then raised the alarm. Orcs and wolves then returned to the tree and several members of the Company were unable to climb the vines. [Note to self: when checking out Elven treehouses in future look for all the possible means of getting up as we only saw 1 out of 3 vines].

I got to the top of the vine just below the first level of the fort and hesitated. An orc had a look through the hole and I stabbed it with my dagger, the orc then fell to it’s death 80 feet below. Valsir shot more orcs and wolves on the ground and the rest of the Company started to climb the vines. Scarf and myself reached the first level of the treehouse and fought 2 orcs and killed them but were injured in the process. We searched the first level and then climbed up to the second level where the Orc Leader (who was invisible) cleaned up most of us one by one. I decided to tip over the cookpot which hopefully would show where the orc was. Luck was on my side and I tipped the cookpot onto the Orc causing it to scream aloud, then Valsir shot him dead with arrows. Valsir then suggested we all take a short rest as many needed healing.

Suddenly a web hits Valsir and paralyses him, more webs hit the dead invisible orc and took the body up to the third level. We discovered later that the “Black Lady” was in fact part spider, part female and very large [A Great Spider –LM]. First we searched the second level and I found some Shadow-Thorn which I used on Valsir, then we climbed to the third level. It was pitch dark, one player blundered into another making a noise, so she attacked, and several party members were webbed. Fortunately, Harewulf had the sense to bring a lit torch with him, he threw it and a good hit set the spider aflame, it retreated back up the tree.
I freed myself from the web and Vidar grabbed the ring and vanished and then tried to escape the tree, with Harewulf in hot pursuit, whilst myself and Scarf were left with a very angry Spider, so I went to a nearby vine to escape. But below Valsir (having recovered from the paralysis) managed to detect Vidar and cut the Ring of Power from Vidar’s finger which stopped the Shadow’s influence on him (The ring liked having a Dwarf wielding it), so we retreated back to the ground. The spider was too big to climb through the hole around the vine and the tree branches too thick to leave the tree itself, it was trapped. We had the Ring and Valsir suggested the tree could be cut down to deal with Her. So, we left for Lake-town.

The next night the party woke up to find a black shadow creature attacking Valsir that vanished as quickly as it arrived [this was The Ghost of the Forest –LM]. The Ring of Power (this was the Ring of Clay, a Dwarven Ring) was gone and Valsir paralysed. We put Valsir onto a litter and continued travelling north, where we met Galion and other Elves of Mirkwood who had come to deal with the Spider, they took Valsir back to the Elven King, but told us we would have to come and report to His Majesty later.
We returned to Lake-town and reported what had happened to the Council and later to the Dwarven representative Gloin the Renowned. We then rested up [a Fellowship phase –LM], with Frollo Took, a 1st level Hobbit Warden joined the company at this point.

Scarf’s father introduced us to a Merchant Baldor and son Balgo travelling west to deliver goods to an Inn just south of the Elf Gate. On the way, a visit to the Elf King’s Hall was included. The trip to the Elf King was good with no issues. We actually got to meet the King as Valsir spoke of us. We were polite and did not cause offence. We then got a ride on the river till we reached the Elf road.
On the Elf road we found a campfire attracted insects and wildlife, lots of wildlife. Lots of eyes in the night so we stopped using a campfire. We found a campsite that seemed safer than other sites but still could not light a fire. During onew of the nights Baldor left his tent in a daze and drank from the river and went mad, running into the forest. The party immediately gave chase (2 primary rules of travelling in the forest broken. No drinking from the rivers and stay on the path). We caught up to Baldor having been taken by spiders as food. Harewulf and Frollo approached the spiders while myself and another person took positions on a ruined tower and waited with bows. Harewulf got to Baldur and was freeing him when a spider approached. We killed the spider and Frollo led Baldur to safety. More spiders started to arrive and we killed several of them and then fled back to the campsite. Baldur eventually woke up later and barely remembered the incident.

Later on we encountered a large group of Purple butterflies which lifted the spirits of most of the party.
Days later we realised a large storm was inbound and we looked for a safe place to ride it out. We found a dead tree and saw smoke from the top. We reached the entrance and called out when a Hermit came out of the forest. We bargained food from outside the forest to stay in the hermit’s place for the night. The hermit warned about the darkness inside and in the forest. He then gave us a piece of an axe called Wolfbiter.
Later we found a well and suddenly black tentacles came out and attacked the party. Also one of the party ran towards the well and was dragged in, looking for treasure!?!. We fought the tentacles and cut them until it suddenly vanished. We found some coins on the bottom of the well, tossed in some old stones to cover the well and moved on.
Next up we found a big Eagle with an orc arrow in its wing. I negotiated with the Eagle and removed the arrow. Medicine skill finally payed off. Gaerthor thanked us (I think he owes us/me a favour) and then flew off. [this is to help explain future events -LM]
After 4 weeks of travel we reached the Inn safely and Baldor delivered his goods. At this point winter was almost upon us so we travelled further south to Woodland Hall for the winter and did our fellowship phase. We made Woodland Hall a Sanctuary and I applied to Radagast to be my patron which was successful. Much roleplaying and levelling ensued. We met the Council and were well received. I mentioned the axe piece and showed it to the Council and they were most surprised to see it. The Axe Wolfbiter was carried by the leader’s son who disappeared many years ago. The Hermit was most likely the missing son. We gave the axe piece to the town which was received as a major gift. The axe is in the main hall and we have been treated as special guests.

At the end of winter the town went on its annual Hunt. We were invited to join and added to a small group of experienced hunters. I managed to identify some tracks and we found some deer. The group split up and we helped to hunt the doe and the rest went after the stag. We caught and killed the doe and were celebrating when we heard screams and combat. We raced off and found the rest of the party fighting some orcs and goblins. Combat ensued and the enemy withdrew. The enemy had a red Gibbet as its symbol. No one saw the leader. [not true, one of the other player characters saw that it was Ugburz, an Orc Chief – LM].
We healed the wounded, grabbed the doe and raced back to town. We found other hunting groups were attacked as well. I setup a medic tent and treated the wounded while the Elders discussed the issue. Around midnight Radagast took over the medic tent. The next morning Radagast asked us to go to the Elf King and asked for assistance. Basically, a new threat was about to attack the town and Radagast wanted reinforcements. The trip north was mostly quiet and we saw the Pale rider horse on the hillside. Later a predawn scream woke the party and scared us silly. Later we found the remains of a wagon and the rider torn apart. Mansbane is the main suspect and we were glad we did not find him/it. [these were signs that Mansbane was nearby –LM}

We reached a hill called the Cleft of Storms, climbed it and we could feel the magical energy of the site. Shortly after we reached the Elf Gate and Galion greeted us. We were blindfolded and taken to an unknown site. The Elf King himself came to greet us. He came directly from battle with what I suspect were spiders. We asked for help and presented the letter Radagast gave us. The King agreed to give us a company of archers, 10 plus a leader. We headed back to town.
We arrived just in time to prepare for battle. I was given the task of setting and running the Medic tent (again). I made some suggestions for defences and got the tent ready. Battle started during the night, but I had no idea what was going on. I heard about the Orcs using ladders to scale the wall and fighting to repel them. Then something about some archers that got into a good position and the party fought them off. Next, I heard a catapult fire at the town. Harewulf got hit and I treated him. The party tried to get to the catapult using stealth (sigh). They fought some guards and then Vidar realised the Orc leader was his mortal enemy [Ugburz again –LM] and challenged him to single combat. Surprisingly, Vidar’s challenge was accepted and the orc beat up Vidar and stomped on his face. The Orc Chief then ordered his guards to finish off the rest of the party.

Suddenly a group of human mounted troops attacked the orcs and drove them off, Ceawin the Generous had come to Woodland Hall’s rescue! I was taken to the battlefield where I saved 3 of the party members but we lost another one who charged the orc lines. We gathered up the wounded, headed back to town and celebrated the victory! We found out during the celebrations that Lord Ceawin is settling a town on the east side of the Narrows of Mirkwood and had come west for some assistance, the elders have agreed to discuss this the following year at the Folkmoot. [this settlement is Sunstead in the East Bight. The PC who died was a Woodmen character who only joined at the Hunt –LM.].

The Mirkwood Braves are currently doing Part Four, Secrets Buried where they have been asked to reconnaissance Dol Guldur!
Robin S. :D
To access all my links for my TOR Resources - please click on this link >> http://bit.ly/1gjXkCo

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Re: Tales of the Mirkwood Braves Campaign

Post by Southron » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:18 am

Thanks for the adventure summaries.

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Re: Tales of the Mirkwood Braves Campaign

Post by Majestic » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:34 pm

Yes, fun read. Thanks! 8-)
Adventure Summaries for my long-running group (currently playing through The Darkening of Mirkwood/Mirkwood Campaign), and the Tale of Years for a second, lower-level group (in the same campaign).

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Re: Tales of the Mirkwood Braves Campaign

Post by Glorelendil » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:56 am

Whoah...9 players? Big table.
The Munchkin Formerly Known as Elfcrusher
Journey Computer | Combat Simulator | Bestiary | Weapon Calculator

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Robin Smallburrow
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Re: Tales of the Mirkwood Braves Campaign

Post by Robin Smallburrow » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:44 am


updated for last adventure:

During a hunt we encounter a wounded man asking for help. He is followed/pursued by Humans of dubious intent from the south [these were followers of Mogdred from Tyrant’s Hill LM]. We were treating the man’s wounds and the other humans tried to convince us they would look after him. We thanked them and said we would take care of him and they offered to assist us. We were able to get back to Rhosgobel and Radagast. The man reported to Radagast that the Gibbet King moved west on the night of the battle which may have been a diversion.
Radagast decides that we need to visit Dol Guldur. We accepted the mission and Radagast offered us 2 choices of help from his magic. We picked a Bag of Bravery [Advantage on all Wisdom tests vs Fear –LM] to get past the Guardians of the main gate into Dol Guldur and a Staff of Path Finding [has permanent Find the Path & Pass Without Trace spells-LM]. I found time to write my Last will and Testament [gives an idea how some of the players were thinking!]. I managed to get potions to aid with resisting corruption and we started on the path to the evil fortress.

The start of the journey was poor, and we became exhausted quickly [our Guide rolled badly on Embarkation –LM]. We camped at a refuge that Harewulf knew about to recover, and then we resumed the path along the forest heading south. Near where we were going to enter the forest we spotted a nearby camp and Araphor went to investigate silently (sigh). He returned in a hurry with many Orcs pursuing him. We made a stand in some old ruins and found out that our enemy Ugburz had heard that Vidar had survived, so had sent one of his lieutenants [this was the Morgul Vale Warband from Journeys & Maps –LM] to kill us. Suddenly a herd of deer raced in and the Staff spoke to Harewulf, so was able to use the staff and we escaped in the confusion. Radagast was keeping tabs on us. [yes, he had sent out word to all animals nearby –LM]

We moved through rough terrain helped by the Staff. We avoided Orc patrols and even found Elven ruins where I found a necklace [this was another Journey event –LM]. Several of the party seemed very interested in the necklace, too interested. We passed the Swamp and got past the defences of Dol Guldur.

Dol Guldur was a dark and dangerous place even without its current master the Gibbet King. We got past the gate and reached the main building and started to investigate. Inside we found corrupted gold and found a map. Further in we found more stuff and then we found a room belonging to a female sorceress [my way of introducing the Sorceress of Mirkwood to the group –LM]. Most of the party were frozen by her magic, but Frollo and I searched the room and I found an emerald in a drawer which freed the party and 2 other people. Turns out the 2 others [these were new PC’s Beren & Imdril –LM] had been there for 6 years but had not aged. We searched the rooms and found an odd room with 2 levers [a lift- LM]. Half the party got in the room and Araphor moved a lever. The door closed and we hear machinery. Myself and 3 others then spent some time searching the rooms of the main building, we found maps and documents. We also found a dead Orc with an elven dagger in him and some elven currency from the Woodland realm. Later we found a dead human. We found another odd room with 3 levers and someone moved the 3rd lever and we ended up near the PIT. Both moving rooms had an emergency release lever that dropped down to the top of the PIT.

I found out later that the others tried to go lower down the pit and fought a spider the size of a cart and injured it [this was Enna San Sarib from the MERP module –LM]. They lost a fight to modified undead [these were Wood Wights –LM] and eventually we all met up. We searched more rooms down in the Pits and found a Temple to the Evil Gods. Of course, some one touched the Altar and passed out [this was Harewulf, I still don’t know why he did it! –LM]. The Orcs had dug tunnels throughout the complex and we found and killed a few. Then we managed to reach the surface and made our way back to Radagast.
Due to what we had discovered Radagast thinks there is a spy in the Woodland Realm and is investigating where the Gibbet King has gone. He took the evidence and is working on the motives of the enemy while we rested.
To access all my links for my TOR Resources - please click on this link >> http://bit.ly/1gjXkCo

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Re: Tales of the Mirkwood Braves Campaign

Post by Byrne » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:27 pm

A great inspiration! Thanks for sharing.

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