Hope Against the Shadow-A Tale of Years

Adventure in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Learn more at our website: http://www.cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/the-one-ring/
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Re: Hope Against the Shadow-A Tale of Years

Post by Agnot » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:33 pm

This is another solo adventure that I put together for Rolf, our Barding Leader, who could not attend one our regular sessions. Since we complete one full adventure per session, I did not want him to fall too far behind the other players. Plus, this was also a great opportunity to explore some of his personal narrative outside of the primary story line. All in all, it was a lot a fun and expanded on several aspects of various story lines that were set in motion over the past several adventures and Fellowship Phases.

Bard's Wedding - Rolf's Tale (Spring 2949)

Bard are Una wed in March of 2949. Rolf and his family attend the wedding and celebrate with the rest of the city afterwards. Unfortunately, the Blackwrists use the crowded city and the presence of so many nobles as cover to kidnap Hannah, Rolf’s future bride, and demand a ransom. As her future husband, Ulf, Rolf’s father, insists that Rolf be sent to negotiate with the kidnappers and secure her release.

Following the kidnapper’s instructions, Rolf wanders the streets of Brokenstone through the pre-dawn hours until he is approached by two thugs who escort him to a rundown home in the back alleys of the district. He pays the ransom to a masked Blackwrist lieutenant. During their negotiations, he recognizes that man’s voice as that of Sigdan, a young courtier who had introduced himself earlier at Bard’s wedding. Realizing that revealing this now would be risky, Rolf chose to say nothing and paid the ransom. As he left with the ransom, Sigdan left Rolf with directions to a home in the Old Quarter where he could find Hannah.

Things take a turn for the strange when Rolf goes to retrieve Hannah and finds her in an ancient barrow hidden below the basement of the abandoned home, chained to the stone sarcophagus of Bávlos, the spectre of an ancient culture that lived in the Dalelands thousands of years ago. Bávlos has unjustly suffered in undeath for an age and beseeches Rolf to end his miserable existence with a blade of his own design that lies within his sealed sarcophagus. Despite suffering from the spectre’s withering presence, Rolf manages to secure the Blade of Bávlos by removing the lid from his tomb and then releases the spectre from his suffering in the mortal realm. The spectre’s death releases Hannah’s chains and Rolf rushes her to the Houses of Healing. Though severely weakened, Hannah lives; however, she is forever changed by the ordeal.

Rolf’s Tale: The night before Bard’s wedding, Rolf shares the tales of his adventures with Gloin and several important business men over dinner at the Missing Scale. During the dinner, a confrontation between the drunken men and some Elves of Mirkwood begins over the recent disappearance of several Bardings who were harvesting wood in the forest. Rolf intervenes to resolve the situation and manages to avoid a brawl, though the spirit of the evening is ruined. Later, during his rescue of Hannah from the Blackwrists, Rolf recognizes the orchestrator of the kidnapping as Sigdan, a young Barding courtier. He says nothing of his discovery at the time, rescues Hannah, and secures the Blade of Bávlos. Rolf and his father return to Strandburg with a sickly Hannah to discuss what to do with their knowledge of Sigdan’s crimes.

Earns two Treasure for his Holding and sees its rating improved by one (Holding 7) due to a mild winter allowing reconstruction to continue uninterrupted.

Blade of Bávlos (Númenórean): Thousands of years ago, Bávlos the Tormentor was the chieftain of an ancient civilization whose people once occupied the lands that are now known as the Dalelands. He was a righteous pursuer of justice, tormentor of evil-men and dedicated his life to hunting down those who were the enemies of peaceful men. Such was his obsession, that upon his death, his spirit would not rest, and he returned as a spectre to haunt his barrow. As Sauron rose in power, he further cursed Bávlos with a withering presence that would kill friend and foe alike.

The Blade of Bávlos is a fierce looking long sword with few ornamentations, but its blade is exquisitely wrought. The folds of the steel shimmer with an unearthly gleam that glimmers when drawn and is said to have emboldened all those who saw it to redouble their efforts when confronted with a terrifying foe.

Blade of Bávlos (Númenórean): Bane: Evil Men & Undead; 1. Keen, 2. Raging, 3. Flame of Hope
Given to Rolf by Bávlos in exchange for agreeing to end his miserable spectral existence.

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Re: Hope Against the Shadow-A Tale of Years

Post by Agnot » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:19 pm

This is a fairly short write-up for what was a rather lengthy and engaging adventure. It focused primarily on advancing the personal quest for Calithilon, our Elf. Many sessions ago he was tasked by Irimë with finding a wandering Elf named Ellaras who had suffered a great trauma centuries ago and was now searching the lands north of the forest for an unknown reason. Much of his quest and the reasoning behind it still lie shrouded in mystery, but with this adventure, it is slowly beginning to unfold.

The players had a great time and so did I. Polin and Pomin were a blast to play and confounded the players with their antics. I changed up the rules for hunting the white deer by randomizing much of it with charts to determine what type of deer they came across, etc.... However, their dice were on fire this session and they owned everything they attempted. They quickly tracked and found the a great white stag, killing it on the first try. Their battle with the mountain troll was quick and brutal, with the troll rolling terrible Protection rolls while they Wounded it quickly. What was meant to be a great challenge, ended quickly for the poor troll. Of well, such is role-playing.

The Hunt (Summer 2949)

Our fellowship gathers outside of the Halls of Thranduil to participate in the hunt for a rare white deer of Mirkwood. The festivities leading up to the hunt see our fellowship meeting representatives from a variety of cultures and participating in a variety of social activities, with Hergar winning the drunken pint race around the Hobbit’s beer tent. The hunt went spectacularly, with our heroes even besting Ruithel, a mighty Elven huntress, to slay a mighty white stag. Their kill was celebrated throughout the evening, as our heroes were lauded for their prowess and good fortune. However, Ruithel did not return and, at Thranduil’s request, the fellowship went to search for her in the early hours of the following day.

Their hunt led them to encounter two half-mad Grey Dwarves, Polin and Pomin, who had kidnapped Ruithel to deliver to Frár the Beardless. They recognized her bow, Penbregol, as the bow owned by the elf who shaved Frár’s beard. Though Ruithel was not the one who shamed Frár, he still cut her hair and removed the mithril string from her bow as recompense for his humiliation before sending her back out into the wild. Having sought Frár for years, Calithilon uses the opportunity to ask for Frár’s help in finding Ellaras, the Elf whom Irimë had told him to find all those years ago. He agrees to take Calithilon to Ellaras after demanding he vow to help retake the Greydelve when called the day comes. Calithilon agrees and Frár takes the fellowship to a remote cave in the Grey Mountain Narrows where Ellaras has been known to winter. Unfortunately, they find the cave occupied by a mighty mountain troll. Fearing Ellaras could be dead, they slay the troll and search his cave only to find Ellaras arrive shortly afterwards, returning from a long journey.

Ellaras explains that his long absence has been in search of clues that will lead him to find the object that he has quested for these past several hundred years. He produces an ancient Dwarven map and casting stone that is said to find one’s heart’s desire. He plans to use it to find the object of his quest these past centuries. The casting stone reveals that his quest lies within the Greydelve, uniting his cause with Frár’s, his nemesis. Together, the fellowship returns with Ellaras to the Halls of Thranduil to discuss all that has transpired.

Alaric’s Tale: Despite all odds, Alaric strikes up a conversation with an elf maiden named Ashryn at the feast after their successful hunt and wins her affections. Alaric attempts to escort Ruithel home after Frár cut her hair, but she instead joins the Wayward Elves, disappearing into the northern woods. He places the remains of her bow in the woods should she wish to return for it one day. Received 15 Treasure and found a magnificent adamant ring worth 30 Treasure.

Calithilon’s Tale: In an act of remarkable skill, Calithilon with the help of Alaric and Hergar, track and kill a mighty white stag. They win the accolades of their peers. Calithilon receives a permanent +1 Standing increase. Later he meets Frár the Beardless who takes him to meet Ellaras after Calithilon vows to do all he can to help retake the Greydelve. Calithilon meets Ellaras and returns with him to King Thranduil. He also stole the Mithril String of Penbregol back from Frár and won the elven archery competition at the feast, besting Ruithel. Finally, Calithilon found a golden torc in the mountain troll’s cave that gives a Blessing to Song to go along with his 15 Treasure.

Hergar’s Tale: Won the drinking competition in the Brandybuck beer tent. He received a keg of Shire Stout that he opted to keep at the Easterly Inn. Received 15 Treasure.

Rolf’s Tale: Did not participate in this tale, though his fellowship opted to give him a share of their treasure from the mountain troll’s lair, 15 Treasure.

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