[Tale of Years] The Fellowship of the Free (Spoilers)

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/
Post Reply
User avatar
Grey Seer
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:19 am

Re: [Tale of Years] The Fellowship of the Free (Spoilers)

Post by Grey Seer » Mon May 29, 2017 8:56 pm

I'm currently pacing myself and only reading a few posts a day... More epic that way. Though now I'm almost caught up.
-Greyh

User avatar
Rich H
Posts: 4152
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 8:19 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: [Tale of Years] The Fellowship of the Free (Spoilers)

Post by Rich H » Tue May 30, 2017 9:32 am

Grey Seer wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 8:56 pm
I'm currently pacing myself and only reading a few posts a day... More epic that way. Though now I'm almost caught up.
If you have any questions after finishing then just fire away.
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

User avatar
Majestic
Posts: 1806
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:47 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: [Tale of Years] The Fellowship of the Free (Spoilers)

Post by Majestic » Tue May 30, 2017 8:58 pm

Grey Seer wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 8:56 pm
I'm currently pacing myself and only reading a few posts a day... More epic that way. Though now I'm almost caught up.
I've been doing the same thing. I can better appreciate them that way.
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).

User avatar
Rich H
Posts: 4152
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 8:19 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: [Tale of Years] The Fellowship of the Free (Spoilers)

Post by Rich H » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:50 pm

Adventuring Phase: The Sickle of the Moon
Autumn 2950
The companions travel east, returning to the lands of the Beornings and to the village of Byrda; the home of Grimbold. Here the Festival of the Full Moon is being held, where at harvest time Beornings may compete to claim Beorn’s Sickle of the Half Moon for the year to come – the instrument is said to be blessed and brings great fortune to the lands where it resides.

At the end of the trials, and before the victor is announced, the sickle is stolen from the Thane of the festival, Torbald. The companions question those witnesses and discover that it has been taken by thralls of Viglund, north into his lands. The company pursue the thieves and arrive at the Falrock before them; however, a group of men arrive from the north and outnumbered and unable to stop them they meet with the thieves and pass into the north.

The fellowship give pursuit and, in desperation, Brand uses the magic of the cloak gifted to him by Irimë to steal away the sickle from under the very noses of the Viglundings as they rest during their journey. Fleeing southwards, they return to the lands of Beorn and here they are greeted by the great man, presenting the sickle to him and informing him of what has happened. Great angered by the actions of the Viglundings, Beorn states that a great darkness has grown between the two peoples’ and only war and death will come of it.

LM Notes
I wanted to give the players a bit of a break from the recent adventures and give them something a little more 'mundane' to solve so I ran (a slightly altered version of) Zed's adventure; moving the event to Grimbold's home village and altering elements within the scenario. Their desire to report the events surrounding Irime and the death of the Red Wolf providing a very interesting dynamic to this adventure as the players were extremely reticent to take risks as a group and jeopardise the important news to Radagast. However, towards the end of the scenario and not wanting to let disappoint the Beornings, Brand's player decided to attempt to track the thieves alone and steal back the sickle. Incredibly he did, actually rolling a G-rune result and spending a point of Hope to invoke the cloak's magical effects; I suppose fortune really does favour the brave! :)

I'll leave the next Fellowship Phase to a post of its own as a lot happens in it.
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

User avatar
Rich H
Posts: 4152
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 8:19 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: [Tale of Years] The Fellowship of the Free (Spoilers)

Post by Rich H » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:00 am

Fellowship Phase: The Darkness Rises
Winter 2950
Grimbold returns to his young family and the village of Byrda to spend time with his wife and young children; disappointed that he will be leaving again Geleswinta rejects his gift to her of Irimë’s knife, to warn and protect her, not wishing for such witchcraft to be in her home; such are the suspicious ways of the Northmen to the elves in the darkened wood. Accepting of her husband’s commitments, Grimbold leaves before spring in order to meet again with his companions who are staying in Rhosgobel.

In Rhosgobel, the companions tell the Brown Wizard of their experiences within Irimë’s dream; of the attack on the town, their capture and time in Dol Guldur. He recognises the line spoken by the elf as from the old poem, The Ent & the Entwife, reciting it to the companions:
Ent:
When spring unfolds the beechen-leaf and sap is in the bough,
When light is on the wild-wood stream, and wind is on the brow,
When stride is long, and breath is deep, and keen the mountain air,
Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is fair!

Entwife:
When Spring is come to garth and field, and corn is in the blade,
When blossom like a shining snow is on the orchard laid,
When sun and shower upon the earth with fragrance fill the air,
I'll linger here, and will not come, because my land is fair!

Ent:
When Summer lies upon the world, and in a noon of gold
Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold,
When woodland halls are green and cool, and wind is in the West,
Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is best!

Entwife:
When Summer warms the hanging fruit and burns the berry brown,
When straw is gold, and ear is white, and harvest comes to town,
When honey spills, and apple swells, though wind be in the West,
I'll linger here beneath the Sun, because my land is best!

Ent:
When Winter comes the winter wild that hill and wood shall slay,
When trees shall fall and starless night devour the sunless day,
When wind is in the deadly East, then in the bitter rain,
I'll look for thee, and call to thee; I'll come to thee again!

Entwife:
When Winter comes and singing ends, when darkness falls at last,
When broken is the barren bough, and light and labour past,
I'll look for thee, and wait for thee, until we meet again,
Together we will take the road beneath the bitter rain!

Both:
Together we will take the road that leads into the West,
And far away will find a land where both our hearts may rest.
Deeply concerned, Radagast questions Iwgar strangely; the woodman enters a trance and recalls his experiences with Dol Guldur and his encounter with the sorceress, the elf and the creature Mansbane. With complete clarity, Iwgar recites the song of the Sorceress and the Elf; the language used by them that of the Black Speech and Sindarin respectively. The dark words have a physical affect on the companions as they listen, a palpable dread and physical pressure building while the home of Radagast creaks and groans and mice and the squirrel, Acweorna, flock to the wizard for comfort as the air in the room becomes heavy and a darkness descends closing in around where they sit by the hearth and fire. Once Iwgar awakes from his trance, the corrupting influence lifts and, immediately, Radagast declares he must depart; inviting the company to stay at his cottage. He quickly gathers a few scant provisions and leaves in great haste.

In the wizard’s absence, the three companions offer aid to Radagast’s folk spending time watching over the dread fortress of Dol Guldur. They each spend a number of weeks there, the grim structure reminded them of their recent experiences within Irimë’s dream, but the time brings them closer together and reaffirms their commitment to each other and the beliefs they hold dear, strengthening the bonds of their fellowship.

It is in late winter, during the second month of the year 2951, when some of the companions experience disturbed sleep; this builds over a number of days and ends with a single nightmarish dream, or vision. For Grimbold this takes the form of vision of a dark land but for Iwgar and Brand, the experience is more sustained and includes travelling a dark land but also witnessing the raising of a great dark tower and the feeling of being watched. When they discuss this with each other it is apparent that Thogrim did not share in the nightmare.

It is very early spring in the new year when Radagast returns. He apologises for having left so suddenly but the words spoken by Iwgar filled him with great concern. The Brown Wizard informs the companions that he has returned from consulting with the great Wizard Saruman the White, who is learned in matters of the Enemy and he was able to translate the dark words spoken.

The words appear to be a perversion of the poem of the “Ent & the Entwife”. Radagast refers to this as the song of The Sorceress & the Elf, which he then recites in Westron:
Sorceress:
When darkness grows the leaf and branch of tree is drowned in rain,
When fires burn across wood and plain, and wind is on the brow,
When shadows lie, and doom is deep, and storm is in the air,
Despair for me! Root and tree, the lidless eye for all to see!

Elf:
When darkness comes to garth and field, and blood is on the blade,
When dust like a blinding storm is on the orchard laid,
When shadows cover all the earth and death does fill the air,
I'll languish here too blind to see, and fall into despair!

Sorceress:
When darkness lies upon the world, wrapped within a night of sable,
Beneath the roof of dying leaves the nightmares then unfold,
When blighted lands are dead and cold, and storms are in the East,
Despair for me! Root and tree, the lidless eye for all to see!

Elf:
When darkness strangles all of life and shadows fall across the land,
When grass is spent, and fields are barren, and death is all around,
When blood spills, and towers fall, to the Shadow of the East,
I'll languish here bound in chains, forever in despair!

Sorceress:
When darkness falls the winter wild that hill and wood shall slay,
When trees shall fall and starless night devour the sunless day,
When storms are in the deadly East, then in the bitter rain,
Despair for me! Root and tree, the lidless eye for all to see!

Elf:
When darkness falls and singing ends, when hope does fall at last,
When broken is the barren bough, and light and labour past,
When storms are in the deadly East, upon the bitter rain,
Storm and darkness, root and tree, wheel of fire for all to see!

Both:
The Shadow of the East shall rise, forever come to pass,
Destroy my land and break my heart, the storms forever last.
Both Radagast and the companions now fear that Mansbane must be one of the old and long-thought-lost Entwives of story and legend. These gentle creatures were mates of the Ents and have long be lost to memory. Taught by the Elves to speak, these quiet and shy beings then instructed the first men in how to grow and nurture the land as well as teaching them much of the words of healing and herb-lore. Legends say that they were driven from their homes to the south, now known as the Brown Lands, by the Enemy and have been lost since; the companions recall that they may have passed through the ruins of such lands when returning from their journey South. Radagast states that Saruman believes the song of the Sorceress & the Elf, the interweaving of the Black Speech and Sindarin, has great power and over time corrupted and tormented the Entwife. He suspects that her memories of what she was have been driven from her to be replaced by darkness, rage and torment.

Radagast despairs at such loss and corruption but he and the companions discuss what can be done and whether the creature could be saved. Nothing conclusive is agreed except that if the dark song was used to corrupt the creature and drive away the good nature of the Entwife then another song could be used to heal it. But how this could be possible is not known; for the destruction caused by Mansbane’s attacks have been witnessed by the companions. Such a creature must be filled with murderous rage.

While the companions spend the first weeks of spring aiding the woodmen of Rhosgobel, a number of traders arrive at the village. Among them is an Elf who Iwgar recognises as the one from his dreams, the one that sang to him in the Common tongue and was used by the Sorceress to corrupt Mansbane. The company have briefly met this elf before, for she hails from a tower in the vales to the west and is leader of a group of men and women that have taken refuge there.

LM Notes
Some really critical elements of the campaign plotline were revealed in this Fellowship Phase which really played out as a bit of a hybrid of an Adventuring Phase as well; I don't mind this as it worked and made sense to go with the flow in such circumstances and the results were pretty rewarding and intense. The revelations of Mansbane, coupled with the dreams of Mordor and the Eye of Sauron really made it feel like the campaign had shifted in some significant way; and not for the best.

One of the elements of the plot I'd been worrying about would be how the player-characters could somehow get to uncover the song of corruption recited by the Sorceress of Mirkwood and the captive elf. I went with the psuedo-hypnosis of Iwgar and it played out pretty well; it was appropriately moody and disturbing and actually played out pretty naturally - I was concerned it would feel forced but it didn't.

Again, Radagast seeking out Saruman presented the White Wizard as a source of great lore and reinforced the absolute point of him being a force for good at this time so that the players (and their characters) shouldn't feel stupid if they needed his aid - for others do so as well!

All-in-all a really powerful opening to the final year of first phase of the campaign; some significant revelations but with many questions still to be answered and lots of options/plotlines for the players to follow up on.
Last edited by Rich H on Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

User avatar
Indur Dawndeath
Posts: 466
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:30 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: [Tale of Years] The Fellowship of the Free (Spoilers)

Post by Indur Dawndeath » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:30 pm

Hi Rich,
I really like your Mansbane idea!
The creature has not been introduced in my campaign, because I didn't like what was on the table before: Troll in an invisiblity cloak, or a variation thereof.
Now I like the idea of a tree, because the tracks would not be recognizable unless you know what to look for! Brilliant
I was also just planning to make a hardcore encounter with the Mansbane creature at some point, but your idea with the song where the players get to plan a rescue is very inspiring!
Thanks for writing these adventure tales.

Cheers
One game to rule them all: TOR

User avatar
Grey Seer
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:19 am

Re: [Tale of Years] The Fellowship of the Free (Spoilers)

Post by Grey Seer » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:49 pm

Very good story. I love it!
-Greyh

User avatar
Rich H
Posts: 4152
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 8:19 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: [Tale of Years] The Fellowship of the Free (Spoilers)

Post by Rich H » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:27 pm

Grey Seer wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:49 pm
Very good story. I love it!
Indur Dawndeath wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:30 pm
Hi Rich,
I really like your Mansbane idea!
Cool, thanks for the positive f/back!
Indur Dawndeath wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:30 pm
The creature has not been introduced in my campaign, because I didn't like what was on the table before: Troll in an invisiblity cloak, or a variation thereof.
Now I like the idea of a tree, because the tracks would not be recognizable unless you know what to look for! Brilliant
I was also just planning to make a hardcore encounter with the Mansbane creature at some point, but your idea with the song where the players get to plan a rescue is very inspiring!
:)

I had those same thoughts which is why I developed this idea; it has also allowed me to introduce the Sorceress of Mirkwood and the Elf (aka Ash from HotW but named Rodwen in my campaign), tying them together and providing a bit more 'oomphf' to the adventure Those Who Tarry No Longer and the flashback/dream sequence within it. I really like the overall feel and theme of that adventure but can see real issues running it as-is - it is the job of each GM to tailor published adventures to their specific campaign and game group though. Mansbane is a really tragic element of my campaign. I think the players really want to focus on it and try and save it; they have the tools at their disposal but it won't be easy.

The campaign's coming up to the end of part one; just the final two adventures of TfW to play: The Crossings of Celduin and The Watch on the Heath. Even if the campaign finishes with those two and we move onto other games I'll be content; will have to see...
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

User avatar
zedturtle
Posts: 3289
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:03 am

Re: [Tale of Years] The Fellowship of the Free (Spoilers)

Post by zedturtle » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:17 pm

Rich H wrote:
Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:50 pm
Adventuring Phase: The Sickle of the Moon
Autumn 2950
The companions travel east, returning to the lands of the Beornings and to the village of Byrda; the home of Grimbold. Here the Festival of the Full Moon is being held, where at harvest time Beornings may compete to claim Beorn’s Sickle of the Half Moon for the year to come – the instrument is said to be blessed and brings great fortune to the lands where it resides.

At the end of the trials, and before the victor is announced, the sickle is stolen from the Thane of the festival, Torbald. The companions question those witnesses and discover that it has been taken by thralls of Viglund, north into his lands. The company pursue the thieves and arrive at the Falrock before them; however, a group of men arrive from the north and outnumbered and unable to stop them they meet with the thieves and pass into the north.

The fellowship give pursuit and, in desperation, Brand uses the magic of the cloak gifted to him by Irimë to steal away the sickle from under the very noses of the Viglundings as they rest during their journey. Fleeing southwards, they return to the lands of Beorn and here they are greeted by the great man, presenting the sickle to him and informing him of what has happened. Great angered by the actions of the Viglundings, Beorn states that a great darkness has grown between the two peoples’ and only war and death will come of it.

LM Notes
I wanted to give the players a bit of a break from the recent adventures and give them something a little more 'mundane' to solve so I ran (a slightly altered version of) Zed's adventure; moving the event to Grimbold's home village and altering elements within the scenario. Their desire to report the events surrounding Irime and the death of the Red Wolf providing a very interesting dynamic to this adventure as the players were extremely reticent to take risks as a group and jeopardise the important news to Radagast. However, towards the end of the scenario and not wanting to let disappoint the Beornings, Brand's player decided to attempt to track the thieves alone and steal back the sickle. Incredibly he did, actually rolling a G-rune result and spending a point of Hope to invoke the cloak's magical effects; I suppose fortune really does favour the brave! :)

I'll leave the next Fellowship Phase to a post of its own as a lot happens in it.
Finally making my way through this wonderful campaign and hope y'all had fun!
Jacob Rodgers, occasional nitwit.

This space intentionally blank.

User avatar
Rich H
Posts: 4152
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 8:19 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: [Tale of Years] The Fellowship of the Free (Spoilers)

Post by Rich H » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:16 am

zedturtle wrote:
Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:17 pm
Finally making my way through this wonderful campaign and hope y'all had fun!
Thanks Zed and, yes, it was good fun; a great way of introducing the Viglundings and their relationship with the Beornings. We got a big laugh at the end when Beorn decided to keep the sickle, with one of the players finishing off the scene saying in a deadpan delivery "... and that's why you can't have nice things". One of those, you had to be there moments, but it was amusing.

I need to do another couple of write-ups as well to get up to date.
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Farath and 5 guests