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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Agnot
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Hope Against the Shadow-A Tale of Years

Post by Agnot » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:26 am

Continuing in the proud traditions of those who came before me, I thought I would share the Tale of Years from the Darkening of Mirkwood campaign that some friends and I began close to a year ago. The write-ups are not as long or as detailed a narrative as some of the excellent posts on this forum. They have primarily been used as a way to chronicle our progress, as well as, spark our memories for the adventures in our past.

The format is pretty simple, a brief summary of our adventure followed by details specific to individual companions. As a result, some of the write-ups may seem to jump around. Though we have about nine adventures under our belts, I'll only post a couple of write-ups for now, so as not to swamp any readers.

Any and all constructive feedback is welcome. I've greatly enjoyed reading several members campaign narratives. It's high-time I contributed something.

First, the fellowship:

Alaric, a young Woodmen Warden
Calithilon, an Elven Treasure-hunter
Hergar, a Beorning Slayer
Rolf, a Barding Leader


And now, their tales...

Our Heroes Gather (Early Spring 2946)

In a fortunate turn of events, four fledgling adventurers meet upon the road while passing through Mirkwood on their way to Lake-town and the Council of the North. To assuage the gloom of the dark forest, they share stories of their past adventures and quickly build strong bonds of friendship as they learn to trust in one another for support through the suffocating forest. Together they emerge from its eaves and make their way towards Lake-town and a future full of promise.

The Marsh-Bell (Spring 2946)

A fellowship is formed! Alaric the Woodman, Calithilon the Wood-elf, Hergar the Beorning, and Rolf the Barding strike out from Esgaroth to find two dwarves who are lost in the endless fens of the Long-Marshes. Daring to venture into the shadowy eaves of Mirkwood, they risk their lives in the lair of the marsh-dwellers to rescue Balin and Oin from an untimely demise in the swampy depths of an ancient, ruined town of Men. An appreciative Gloin welcomes the fellowship back to Lake-town where they take a well-earned respite to recover from their ordeal.

Alaric’s Tale: Seeking to grow in the arts of healing, Alaric searches the Long-marshes for some of the powerful healing herbs that are rumored to be found there. Opened Lake-town as a Sanctuary.

Calithilon’s Tale: Opened Lake-town as a Sanctuary.

Hergar’s Tale: Never one to sit idle, Hergar spends his free time in Lake-town helping with the effort to rebuild and making friends among the town’s people. Opened Lake-town as a Sanctuary.

Rolf’s Tale: Opened Lake-town as a Sanctuary.
Last edited by Agnot on Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hope Against the Shadow-A Tale of Years

Post by Agnot » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:29 am

The Black Arrow (Autumn 2946)

At the request of King Bard, the fellowship struck out across the Waste to recover his lost family heirloom, the Black Arrow. Though nightmarish conditions awaited them at every turn, they persevered until they came upon the shade of the old Master of Lake-town. In his broken and pitiful state, he pled with them find the Serpent who had stolen the Black Arrow and Lake-town’s treasure from his desecrated grave. Deeper into the Waste the companions traveled where they defeated the maddened orc, Rugash the Serpent, to reclaim Lake-town’s treasure and the Black Arrow.

With the worst behind them, they journeyed through the Northern Dalelands until they were ambushed by Hakon, a disgraced noble of Dale who sought to steal the Black Arrow for himself. Defeating Hakon’s Easterling mercenaries, the road weary and wounded fellowship finally arrived at the Ravengate of Dale to the cheers of hundreds, as word of their return with Lake-town’s stolen treasure had already begun to spread. Bard greeted them with open arms as they related the harrowing tale of their journey, Hakon’s betrayal, and of how the Black Arrow had become cursed. With a heavy heart, he issued his final instruction to the companions, to see the Black Arrow returned to its resting place beneath the waters of the Long-lake among Smaug’s remains.

Alaric’s Tale: Joined with Hergar and Rolf to track down the renegade, Hakon, at his hidden home in the Upper Marches. Together, they captured him and brought him before Bard to receive justice. Bard sentenced him to exile from the Dalelands upon pain of death should he return.

The rest of Alaric’s time was spent wandering the Long Marshes searching for herbs that could benefit his fellowship in the future and training his beloved hound, Odo, on how to assist him as he explores the wilderness.

Alaric was granted a Rating 8 Holding in Ulf’s lands that he has yet to make use of.

Calithilon’s Tale: Calithilon returned home to Thranduil’s Halls where he sought to assuage himself of the horrors he had witnessed in the Waste as the memory of succumbing to the Black Arrow’s curse continued to haunt him.

He also began penning the “Tale of the Old Master”, a song that he hoped would one day bring peace to those who heard it, just as the Old Master had found peace through the return of the stolen treasure.

Calithilon was granted a Rating 8 Holding in Ulf’s lands that he has yet to make use of.

Hergar’s Tale: Joined with Alaric and Rolf to track down the renegade, Hakon, at his hidden home in the Upper Marches. Together, they captured him and brought him before Bard to receive justice. Bard sentenced him to exile from the Dalelands upon pain of death should he return.

Learning that is lost cousin, Koli, had been hired by the Old Master to escort him across the Upper Marches enraged Hergar. How could his own kin align themselves with a man of such poor reputation? Later he learned that Koli defended the Old Master against his betrayers and together they escaped north across the Waste, only for the Old Master to die of his wounds in the foothills of the Grey Mountains. There, Koli buried him in the traditions of his people before disappearing into the Wild. Hergar is still desperate to find him, now more than ever.

Further, Hergar spent his days in Lake-town seeing that the returned treasure was properly distributed to those in need. In particular, he saw to it that the farmers on the eastern shore of the lake received an adequate stipend for resettling in the Upper Marches.

A gang calling themselves the “Blackwrists” attempted to extort some of the fishermen, Runa and her grandfather Egill. Hergar confronted them, put a stop to their crimes, and made some new friends.

Hergar was granted a Rating 8 Holding in Ulf’s lands. He used it to create a small cabin with an apiary in the southern portions of the Northern Dalelands near a small, idyllic brook.

Rolf’s Tale: Joined with Hergar and Alaric to track down the renegade, Hakon, at his hidden home in the Upper Marches. Together, they captured him and brought him before Bard to receive justice. Bard sentenced him to exile from the Dalelands upon pain of death should he return.

Rolf’s father, Ulf, was granted the keep of Strandburg and its surrounding province when Bryni, its former lord, was exiled for colluding with Hakon. Rolf was granted a Rating 7 Holding.
Last edited by Agnot on Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hope Against the Shadow-A Tale of Years

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:39 am

Agnot wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:29 am
The Black Arrow (Autumn 2946)

At the request of King Bard, the fellowship struck out across the Waste to recover his lost family heirloom, the Black Arrow.
I have to wonder: What made Bard think that the Black Arrow would be anyplace other than the bottom of Long Lake buried in Smaug's heart? :?:
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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Re: Hope Against the Shadow-A Tale of Years

Post by Majestic » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:32 pm

Excellent recaps, Agnot!

It was fun reading of some of the people and places I've just read about in Erebor (people and places I have yet to use in my own campaign). Outstanding that you were able to work them in so early in yours!
Adventure Summaries of our campaign, currently playing through The Darkening of Mirkwood

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Agnot
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Re: Hope Against the Shadow-A Tale of Years

Post by Agnot » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:33 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:39 am


I have to wonder: What made Bard think that the Black Arrow would be anyplace other than the bottom of Long Lake buried in Smaug's heart? :?:
All of those fiddly details are explained in the Black Arrow adventure that I posted in the House Rules forum.

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Re: Hope Against the Shadow-A Tale of Years

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:51 pm

Ah, yes, though I don't recall the details. I am guessing that rumors of the Black Arrow's recovery reached Bard's ears from one or more of the Old Master's followers. If anyone would dare to approach the remains of Smaug in order to recover gems from his underside, it would be the former Master of Esgaroth (though I doubt he dove into the lake himself).
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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Re: Hope Against the Shadow-A Tale of Years

Post by Agnot » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:03 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:51 pm
Ah, yes, though I don't recall the details. I am guessing that rumors of the Black Arrow's recovery reached Bard's ears from one or more of the Old Master's followers. If anyone would dare to approach the remains of Smaug in order to recover gems from his underside, it would be the former Master of Esgaroth (though I doubt he dove into the lake himself).
Few in Lake-town knew that the Old Master was a consummate free-diver. :D

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Re: Hope Against the Shadow-A Tale of Years

Post by Agnot » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:27 pm

Good morning from south Georgia.

I thought I'd take some time on this lovely Sunday morning to post another one of our adventure summaries. This adventure was when the ball really got rolling and events were set in motion that would affect the companions for years to come. I still get excited thinking of all the awesome possibilities that are to come out of the campaign. Feedback is always welcome and I'm happy to answer any questions to fill in any details.

Don’t Leave the Path & The Wizard’s Man (Spring 2947)

Rolf’s father, the newly appointed Lord of Strandburg, sends his son on an errand to see to it that Baldor and his son Belgo do not come to harm as they traverse the dangerous Elf Path through Northern Mirkwood on a mission of trade to the settlements west of Mirkwood. Fortune was with them, as they caught up to Baldor and Belgo just as three Blackwrists, former hired-men of the Old Master, were attempting to rob them. The bear was surely within Hergar that day, his rage at seeing the Blackwrists return coupled with their terrorizing of the father and young son, sent the men running back towards Lake-town. The fellowship enjoyed a brief respite in the Halls of the Elven King, while Baldor conducted his trade with the Elves, before venturing deep into the gloomy forest. Grim scenes awaited them as they came upon a group of slain Grey Dwarves whose bodies had been savaged by an unnaturally large beast. Their luck further turned ill when Baldor fell under the spell of the dark waters in Mirkwood, losing his memory and chasing the haunts of his past deep into the forest away from the trail. He would have become prey for a multitude of spiders had our heroes not intervened in the nick of time. With the help of a mysterious and troubled hermit, the grievously injured fellowship managed to make their escape and sought shelter in the hollows of an old tree stump. The mad hermit gifted Alaric with a portion of the famed axe-head, Wolf-biter, causing our heroes to suspect that he may be more than he seems.

With the old hermit as their guide, they emerged from the forest and stayed for a brief time at the Easterly Inn, where they grew very fond of the Brandybuck’s and their ale. Sadly, their respite was all too brief, as the road called them back to complete their journey to Rhosgobel. They struck south, stopping in each community to allow Baldor time to sell his wares and trade. The journey was uneventful until they reached the outskirts of Rhosgobel. There they came to the aid of Beran, an agent of Radagast, who had been poisoned while fleeing the pursuit of Mogdred’s men. Surviving a night-time ambush, the fellowship made haste to the thorny refuge of Rhosgobel and Radagast’s sage counsel.

Alaric’s Tale: Something deep inside of Alaric was greatly troubled at the sight of the slaughtered dwarves. The beast that slew them was not a natural thing and Alaric could not help but feel that this would not be his last encounter with the beast.

The portion of Wolf-biter that was gifted to him by the mad hermit is a treasured heirloom of his people. Though he does not know its true purpose, he feels that his destiny may somehow be linked to it.

Calithilon’s Tale: During their stay in Thranduil’s Hall, the lady Irimë spoke with Calithilon and laid out a vision for his future. She bade him to seek out the lost elf, Ellaras, who has been on a centuries long journey of redemption and revenge. With no true path to follow and few leads on Ellaras’ whereabouts, Irimë encouraged Calithilon to look for help among those his culture rarely favors. At the Easterly Inn, the fellowship came upon a lone grey dwarf whose beard was far too short for his age. Though his manners were coarse, after learning the fate of his kinsmen in the forest, he thanked them and quickly departed the inn. It wasn’t until later that evening that Calithilon learned he was Frár the Beardless, the leader of the displaced Grey Dwarves.

Hergar’s Tale: While waiting for this summer’s folk-moot in Rhosgobel, Hergar decided to join the Woodmen on a hunt in the forest. He decided to take young Belgo hunting with him in the hopes of bringing the young boy out of the melancholy that had descended on him so heavily during their journey through the forest. Together they killed a large boar and decided to have the tusks carved with the story of their hunt. One tusk was given to Belgo, and the other he gifted to Ignomer.

Rolf’s Tale: Rolf was introduced by Lindar to Halbrech and his young daughter, Hannah, while staying in Thranduil’s Hall. Knowing of Rolf’s father’s new position within the court of Dale, Halbrech was eager to offer his services as a wine-seller to him. With Rolf’s permission and a letter of recommendation, he granted Halbrech an audience with his father to discuss business.

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Re: Hope Against the Shadow-A Tale of Years

Post by Majestic » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:34 pm

An excellent use of many of the supporting characters of future adventures. It should prove fun for your PCs to discover things as you move further into the campaign. Well done, Agnot! 8-)
Adventure Summaries of our campaign, currently playing through The Darkening of Mirkwood

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Re: Hope Against the Shadow-A Tale of Years

Post by Agnot » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:54 am

Majestic wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:34 pm
An excellent use of many of the supporting characters of future adventures. It should prove fun for your PCs to discover things as you move further into the campaign. Well done, Agnot! 8-)
That's my hope. I try to ensure that the NPC's are rotated into an adventure every so often (even if it's just a name-drop), just to keep the name fresh in the story. There are tons of NPC's to keep track of, but only a few are of critical importance and I hate that dreaded question of, "Who was that guy again?".

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