Re-taking the Greydelve

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Wyrmling
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Re-taking the Greydelve

Post by Wyrmling » Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:47 pm

Hello everyone! I'm a latecomer to TOR, but a long-time fan of Professor Tolkien's works in all of their forms. I recently started up a TOR game with the intention of running The Darkening of Mirkwood campaign. However, since my players Fellowship is composed solely of Dwarves, they've latched onto the goal of retaking the Greydelve.

Honestly, this isn't a problem, as I'll just have the major events of "Darkening" play out in the background and the Fellowship may become involved with them. I adore all of the Wilderland books, but wasn't able to find out much about Gredelve. So, I've been brainstorming some ideas for the campaign. The Fellowship is pretty fired up about getting started on retaking the old Dwarfhold, so that may happen ahead of schedule.

Their plan at this point is to try and win support with King Dain and others to build up an army and I'm planning to have that play out as per the canon decisions by King Dain, just perhaps a bit earlier. They also intend to do some scouting of at least the exterior of the hold and surrounding lands to see what they're dealing with, so here's what I've come up with...

-Unlike the rest of the major Orc holds in the area, the Greydelve wasn't as depleted, with most of the Orcs and Goblins refusing the call to assemble for the Battle of Five Armies. The reason for that, which the Fellowship may learn is that some "dark counselor" for the Orc Chieftain of the hold bade them to bide their time. This counselor told them that the Orcs would lose the battle and that once their forces were depleted they would be able to seize greater power and influence among the scattered Orc tribes, which they have been doing quietly (for Orcs at any rate). The Fellowship will discover all of this over the course of a few Adventuring Phases.

What they won't be able to learn until much later is that the "dark counselor" is a Long-drake that crept into the lower armories and treasuries of the Greydelve some decades ago. He is relatively young as his type measures time and is a grandchild of Scatha. At heart, he is a craven beast who wants treasure, but at little cost to his safety and using the power of his voice, he has become a sort of shadowy counselor to the Orc Chief who runs the hold. I was thinking that the Orcs aren't aware that the voice is that of a Dragon, as he speaks from the shadowy depths of parts of the armory and treasury that they've been unable to reach.

Greydelve was never a rich hold, and the Dragon is more than a little upset that he doesn't have a hoard worthy of his lineage (by his reckoning), so he hopes to have the Orcs build up enough power to eventually challenge Dale and Erebor and win at least a portion of Smaug's hoard for himself.

==========================

So, my question to the group is: How does that sound for a campaign? My major concern is that it's too close to The Hobbit, with the Fellowship clearing a lost Dwarfhold of a dragon. I come from the school of thought that Dragons should be rare and wondrous beasts and I'm just worried that having two of them being the focus of tales so close to one another may make the story seem derivative.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

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Agnot
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Re: Re-taking the Greydelve

Post by Agnot » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:40 am

The story sounds good so far to me. I understand not wanting to overplay the dragon-card, but if the campaign is sufficiently long enough a dragon would make a good finale. I have considered having the Greydelve hold something sinister from an ancient past. I haven't worked out all the details, but the basic premise is that the Grey Dwarves came across the ruins of an ancient hold deep in mountain. Recognizing it was evil, they sealed it up and warded it. There could be anything back there. The great thing about ancient evils is that you don't have to constrain yourself to things that "follow the rules". Your dragon could easily be something "other" from the deep roots of the world that lay slumbering until the orcs inadvertently stumbled across it. Now its trying to gain it freedom by manipulating the orcs.

Wyrmling
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Re: Re-taking the Greydelve

Post by Wyrmling » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:25 am

Yeah, one of the treasures that I was going to give them from the Dragon's Hoard was a set of sturdy iron keys inlaid with mithril warning runes. The keys open up hidden doors and passages into the lowest halls. The Dwarves sealed the passages off once they realized that they'd stumbled upon some First Age fortress created by the Great Enemy. Still, being Dwarves, they didn't completely cut off access to them, as you never know when you may have to see what's down there.

I envisioned the Dragon as not wanting to disturb those depths either, since there was the potential for far greater terrors than himself to be stirred up. Once the Fellowship has the keys, it will be up to them to decide what to do with them. I was even considering creating a Title/Standing specifically for the one who keeps the keys.

The_Vanguard
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Re: Re-taking the Greydelve

Post by The_Vanguard » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:09 am

I like your ideas a lot. Being like the books is a plus in my opinion. TOR runs on genre emulation, doesn’t it ;)

I’ve been brainstorming a bit about the Greydelve as well and, like Agnot, I was thinking about some ancient evil at the heart of the matter. Something like the Balrog, but more...beautiful. Fueled by vanity instead of wrath and set on domination instead of destruction. Combining this with your dark counselor concept, what if the orcs unleashed it and have been under its thrall for some time now - but when the dwarves arrive it decides that it would much rather rule over them instead? After all, this could be the first step for ruling over all free people of Wilderland.

Butterfingers
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Re: Re-taking the Greydelve

Post by Butterfingers » Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:10 am

Is there any chance Laughter of Dragons will have something to do with Greydelve?

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Agnot
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Re: Re-taking the Greydelve

Post by Agnot » Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:49 am

You could take it a step further and let the dragon himself be under the influence of something far more evil lurking below. The dragon is only the conduit/vessel it uses to convey its will. Perhaps the dragon doesn’t even know it’s being manipulated.

thekingofkings
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Re: Re-taking the Greydelve

Post by thekingofkings » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:28 am

yeah..no. That sounds like an awesome idea/story and I would LOVE to hear how it works with your players (hell I would have loved to be one of them) the stories tell of dragons and dwarves battling it out over the grey mountains and this seems like just the epic story of it. Do you happen to use Obsidian Portal?? I can imagine these would be great Adventure Logs to read.

Wyrmling
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Re: Re-taking the Greydelve

Post by Wyrmling » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:45 am

Having the dragon himself be a pawn is a pretty good idea that I hadn't thought of, so I may have to see if I can work that in. Thanks!

And I don't use Obsidian Portal, but I'll look into it and, at the very least, I'll try to drop back in and let everyone know how the game is going from time to time.

Thanks for the input and ideas everyone!

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Falenthal
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Re: Re-taking the Greydelve

Post by Falenthal » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:14 am

Your ideas and your players plans look like a great fun and involvement.

If you'd like a change for the dragon, you could use the Vampire from Darkening (Year 2972, p.104) as the figure in the shadows. It seems it could perfectly fit your campaign idea.

Lifstan
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Re: Re-taking the Greydelve

Post by Lifstan » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:25 am

Butterfingers wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:10 am
Is there any chance Laughter of Dragons will have something to do with Greydelve?
Doubtful, since it's already something included in The Darkening of Mirkwood...

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