Re-taking the Greydelve

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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:06 pm

Re: Re-taking the Greydelve

Post by Wyrmling » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:49 pm

Thanks for that Majestic and Agnot! I'll definitely be borrowing some of that for my Fellowship and my games!

Update from Friday (4/13)

After a bit more travel, the Fellowship ended up at The Old Ford, where they made the acquaintance of several of the more prominent inhabitants, including Gelvira Potstirrer. Taking some time to fulfill their own "mission" as well as Beorn's they asked about any Dwarves that had passed through the area recently, as well as pursuing the rumors of the murder in Stonyford further. As far as the rumors go, they learned little more than the riverfolk had told them. They learned that the Dwarves they were looking for had passed over the Old Ford and had been going to Mountain Hall, the source of much of the Woodmen's mining and metal-working. The Dwarves had also returned back over the Ford and said their intention was to travel to Woodland Hall to meet with the leaders of the Woodmen. Eager to see how Men order their diggings, the Dwarves vowed to pay Mountain Hall a visit after they were done with Beorn's task. Amelia was able to use her Cooking Trait in combination with some great dice rolls to endear herself with Gelvira and several of the local Beornings by making a masterful stew and the reputation for Hobbit kitchen prowess grew many times that day.

The next day, the Fellowship set out for Stonyford again, continuing to take their time and look for signs of their quarry's passage. An encounter with a passing tinker traveling to Old Ford revealed that he had encountered a young man armed with a sword who had paid him a couple of silver pennies for one of his horses. Concerned that their quarry was now mounted, the Fellowship decided to make better time, allowing me to use the Forced March rules from the adventure a bit earlier than the designers likely intended. Everyone save Nur the Younger and Amelia passed their Fatigue checks, resulting in several jibes and jests at the "softness" of youth and the fairer sex.

Arriving at Stonyford, the party made a reasonably decent impression on the village leadership, especially after showing the badges that Beorn had given them and invoking "official business". The escaped prisoner was a young Man named Oderic who, after the death of Oderic's family, had been taken in by the most prominent warrior in the village Helmgut and raised as a foster son. The boy had apparently been considered somewhat "fell" by many in the village due to the unlucky nature of his life and his sullen attitude and dark moods. His only friend in the village was Helmgut's daughter Brunhild (also his foster sister). Things had gotten more tense when she had recently married a young warrior who had come from Mountain Hall named Rathfic. Rathfic was a doughty warrior and quickly became a favorite in the village and had taken the leadership of the village's fighting men, a position which Oderic himself felt was his due.

There were also rumors that Oderic was upset because he romantically loved his foster-sister and that Rathfic abused her. Oderic had either approached Brunhild and urged her to run away with him or tried to kidnap her against her will (the rumors were fuzzy about the specifics) and Rathfic was killed while confronting Oderic. During the conflict between the two men, Oderic's foster-father arrived at the tail-end and found his foster-son standing over the dead body of his son-in-law. A fine warrior in his own right, Helmgut subdued Oderic and turned him over to the village elders, who then turned him over to Beorn's men Merovech and Odo to be taken to the Carrock for trial.

Realizing that they might be able to get a clearer picture of what had transpired, the Fellowship decided to question Helmgut and Brunhild. They got nowhere with Helmgut, who was deep in his cups in sorrow and grief, and even threatened them with an axe! So, they instead chose to approach Brunhild, who they found planting flowers on her dead husband's grave.

Amelia handled the bulk of the questioning and was able to learn the truth of what had transpired that night. Oderic, who had always felt like an outsider in the village, had come to try and convince her to run away with him. His plans were vague beyond finding work as a mercenary or soldier and she tried to talk him out of it and they argued. Rathfic returned from a hunting trip early and confronted Oderic for trying to "steal his wife away". The two men argued and when she tried to intervene to stop them, an angered Rathfic struck her, which caused Oderic to attack him in anger. After a brief struggle, Oderic killed Rathfic. Moments later, Helmgut entered and seeing his foster-son standing over his son-in-law holding a bloody knife, he knocked the young man out.

Everything else was much the same as rumor, although Brunhild denied that Rathfic abused her and that when he struck her that night, it had been the only time he had ever done so. She said that he wasn't an especially good husband, but neither was he a bad one. After some additional questioning, she confirmed that she had indeed seen Oderic recently. Just two days ago in fact! He'd come to her and told her about Merovech and Odo being ambushed by Orcs and he had been left alive when the boat drifted further downstream. He'd argued that Fate had given him a second chance and he wasn't going to "waste" it by turning himself in to be executed by Beorn for a "mistake". She told them that his plan was to cross the Anduin and head south, looking for work as a sellsword or soldier. He'd tried to get her to leave with him again and become angry when she'd refused and ridden off.

Learning all of this, the Fellowship debated their next course of action and whether Beorn's "mandate" compelled them to continue further south looking for Oderic or whether they should simply return to Beorn with the information that they had, since they were not his servants and had obligations of their own. After learning of the Wolfwood, a forest on the west bank of the Anduin that had a reputation as an outlaw haven. Thinking that that might have been his destination, they decide to cross the river and at least head south to the forest looking for signs of his passage.

The trip to the Wolfswood was fairly miserable, with unseasonably warm weather bringing a swarm of midges up from the marshes to the south and there was much grumbling by everyone. Only Dwarven determination to keep their promises kept them from throwing their hands up and turning back empty-handed. On the third day, the Fellowship's scouts (Otar and Amelia) saw a band of seedy-looking Men approaching and crept closer to investigate. They listened in on the Men's conversation, where they learned they were part of a much larger outlaw band living in the Wolfswood. The pair crept back to the Fellowship to inform them of this new development.

Thinking that Oderic may have been captured (or even joined) this band, they decided to set an ambush for the Men and take them for questioning. The ambush worked perfectly, with the outlaws surrendering almost immediately after taking a flurry of arrows and spears from the Fellowship. The outlaws confirmed that there was indeed a large band of Men (approximately 100, including camp followers and hangers-on) living in the forest and that they were led by a Man named Valter. Valter claimed kinship with the old Lord of Dale and had been gathering outlaws to his banner for some time, apparently intending to make a go at carving out a kingdom for himself in the Anduin Vales.

They also learned from one of the Men that a young Man matching Oderic's description had been captured two days ago. He hadn't been killed, instead Valter had apparently taken to the young man and was trying to convince the boy to join his cause. They also learned some disturbing rumors about Valter. One of the outlaws said that he had heard from a friend who served as a guard on Valter's tent that a strange green light would sometimes emanate from Valter's tent. The guard had also heard a strange, chilling voice at times when Valter was supposedly alone in his tent and that it was obvious from the way that Valter groveled to the voice that he was not his own man, but simply the subject of some darker power. The outlaw also added that his guard friend had disappeared a few days after speaking with him about this and that he had been planning to run away soon as well.

With this new information, the Fellowship became deeply concerned that they had stumbled onto something greater than a fleeing prisoner and debated their next course of action for a few moments. They decided that the search for Oderic was less important than gathering more info about this outlaw army and its leader. The plan was to have Nur the Younger and Vidar guard the prisoners while the stealthier members of the Fellowship (Amelia, Otar and, surprisingly, Nur the Elder) to sneak as close as possible to the outlaw camp to gather more information about the size and capabilities of the Men. In fact Nur, as a soldier, insisted on going to check the camp's defenses, readiness, etc. If they had a good approach, Otar and Amelia would slip into Valter's tent to see what they could learn about the lights and voices and to see if he had any battle plans or information which could help.

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Re: Re-taking the Greydelve

Post by Rue » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:11 am

Sounds exciting, I hope you keep us posted on what happens next... especially since plans rarely survive contact with the enemy.

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