This is the fifth session summary for our The One Ring: Adventures Over the Edge of the Wild campaign. In which the siege of Hirtherd is concluded.
The adventure is based on the first part of Studio 9′s Caran Gaur campaign (published in the free French RPG Magazine Le Maraudeur). John H played Malaric, Emma S played Grunehild and Ben C played Grimald. This session is from back in August 2013.
*** SPOILERS – CARAN GAUR CAMPAIGN FROM LE MARAUDEUR MAGAZINE ***
Tales from Rhovanion – Part 5
The Goblins swept down upon the village of Hirtherd once more. The surviving Northmen were wounded and weary but they roused themselves and manned the fence. Each time the Goblin horde threatened to gain a foothold, the Northmen rallied and drove them back with every last ounce of their strength.
Time and again the Northmen held. Finally the Goblin assault faltered, lost momentum and stopped. Disheartened, the Goblins withdrew to their encircling lines. The sky lightened a little, with the approaching dawn. For the first time, the Northmen felt a glimmer of hope.
Then a shout went up and a flaming arrow arced across the sky. With a thunk the arrow landed in the thatch of one of the dwellings and set it alight. A second and then a third flaming arrow followed the first.
Northmen scrambled to fight the blaze and the line of defenders along the fence was weakened. The Fellowship acted quickly. Grimald fired arrows at the small group of Goblin archers who were responsible, forcing them to move back out of range, while Grunehild organised groups of walking-wounded to put out the fires.
The Northmen quickly got the flames under control but Malaric noticed that the flaming arrows had all been aimed at the western half of the village. He suspected their attention was being drawn away from the east.
Warning Bronach that an attack was imminent, Malaric took Grunehild and a handful of Northmen from the north and south, and quickly moved into concealed positions amongst the buildings to the east.
No sooner were they in place, than a large troop of Wild Wolves and Goblins emerged through the drifting smoke and hurled themselves at the eastern fence. Bronach and his men defended bravely but were increasingly outnumbered and pushed back. The group with Malaric wanted desperately to aid them but knew they must not reveal themselves until the moment was right. They watched and waited.
Bronach was suddenly separated from the other Northmen, and it seemed for a moment that he would fall, but the wolfhound, Brith, sprang to his side and drove their enemies back.
Once he was reunited with his men, Bronach did his best to lead an orderly retreat. The hard pressed Northmen filtered through the alleys with their pursuers snapping at their heels.
Only then did Malaric spring his trap, and the Northmen in hiding surged out of the buildings and attacked their enemies in the flank.
In the ensuing mayhem, many of the Wild Wolves and Goblins were slain and, as they tried to regroup, Bronach led the withdrawing Northmen in a counter-attack that broke and scattered them completely.
Intermittent fighting continued as the Northmen hunted down pockets of Wolves and Goblins that still roamed the village but by then the bulk of the force had been routed.
In the half-light, Grimald followed a fleeting wolf shape through the smoke. Suddenly the Woodman heard a low growl and the shadows around him twisted and lengthened. There before him stood the Red Warg. For a moment, Grimald was transfixed and then the dog, Brith, flung itself at the monster. A desperate battle ensued.
Grimald drew his axe and let out a battle-cry as another Wolf sprang at him out of the darkness. He fought the last of the Wolves and Goblins until Malaric, Grunehild and a handful of Northmen converged on the scene and joined him. Meanwhile Brith suffered terribly, though he kept the monstrous Red Warg at bay.
The Northmen fought fiercely and soon gained the upper hand but during the battle Grimald was wounded and fell unconscious, while Brith was left mangled and broken in a pool of his own blood.
Malaric roared, drew a knife and launched himself at the Red Warg. The Beorning clung tenaciously to the monster’s back as it bucked and twisted violently to throw him off.
With the wolfhound apparently dead, the Red Warg gave a terrible howl and sped off through the village, Malaric still clinging to its hide. The Beorning only released his hold a moment before the Red Warg leapt the fence and disappeared into the night.
Meanwhile, Grunehild struggled to save Brith. The dog’s wounds were terrible and at first she thought him dead, yet miraculously, once she was finished, it seemed he would survive.
Soon after, the first rays of the sun broke over the eastern horizon and the remnants of the Goblin army turned and faded into the trees. The siege of Hirtherd had ended.
[END OF SESSION STATUS:
MALARIC – Hope: 10 of 13, Shadow: 0, Endurance: 5 of 29END + Weary, Fatigue: 18 (incl. 0 Journey Fatigue);
GRUNEHILD – Hope: 12 of 13, Shadow: 0, Endurance: 3 of 29END + Weary, Fatigue: 18 (incl. 0 Journey Fatigue);
GRIMALD – Hope: 10 of 14, Shadow: 0, Endurance: 4 of 24END + Weary + Wounded, Fatigue: 14 (incl. 0 Journey Fatigue).]