This is the eighth session summary for our The One Ring: Adventures Over the Edge of the Wild campaign. In this session, the Fellowship joins a company of Woodmen, heading into the Gladden Fields to investigate the dark temple atop the Dwimmerhorn.
We were originally playing the first part of Studio 9′s Caran Gaur campaign (published in the free French RPG Magazine Le Maraudeur) but I’ve now gone a bit free-form and transitioned to material primarily from A Darkness in the Marshes, one of the adventures published in Cubicle 7′s Tales from Wilderland. John H played Malaric, Emma S played Grunehild and Ben C played Grimald. This session is from back in November 2013.
*** SPOILERS – A DARKNESS IN THE MARSHES ADVENTURE FROM TALES FROM WILDERLAND ***
Tales from Rhovanion – Part 8
Entering Rhosgobel, the five exhausted companions headed for the Great Hall and reported what they had found in the Gladden Fields. The Woodman Chieftain listened carefully to their story and then bid them rest until morning.
The next day they were taken to see the wizard, Radagast.
“It seems that servants of the Enemy are once again gathering at the Dwimmerhorn,” the wizard muttered thoughtfully. “And yet it is the evil that lurks within the dark temple atop the rock that concerns me. Stealth and secrecy is needed. Would you be willing to return there, to guide a small company through the marshes and back into the fortress, so we can learn what resides there?”
Having so recently escaped from the Gladden Fields, the Fellowship was hesitant about returning. Even more so when they learned that Radagast would not be accompanying them.
“If there is indeed a Dark Power at the Dwimmerhorn, my presence would only draw unwanted attention,” the wizard explained. “But you shall not go unaided. A cadre of Woodmen will join you, and I will use magic to conceal your whereabouts as best as I can.”
Despite their reservations, the Fellowship could not, in good conscience, turn away. And so, they were soon readying themselves for another journey. Six tough Woodmen, Hartgard, Barald, Odo, Sigeric, Euric and Theuderic, joined them.
The following day, Malaric and Grunehild hurried to investigate a commotion they had heard while walking through the village. They found Gerlind and Barald fighting with shields and axes. It was an uneven contest. Gerlind angrily threw herself at Barald but the burly Woodman easily exploited her smaller stature and lack of experience. He pushed her around, making her look clumsy and foolish.
“What goes on here?” Malaric demanded, stepping forward to intervene.
“Merely a demonstration that this headstrong wench has no place in our company,” Barald responded. “She will only get herself, and perhaps others, killed.”
“It is not for you to decide who has a place in our company,” Malaric rebuffed. “This woman has shown more than enough courage to earn her place.”
The two men confronted one another. Neither would back down and they soon came to blows.
Forgotten, Gerlind angrily stalked away. “Malaric talks of my courage and yet shows all that he considers me incapable of fighting my own battles!” she complained to Grunehild.
Meanwhile, Malaric was soundly besting Barald. Then Hartgard, the captain of the six Woodmen, arrived and demanded an explanation. He too had concerns about Gerlind and Frael, but deferred to Malaric regarding whether to take them. He reprimanded Barald and his companions, Odo and Sigeric, for their conduct and made it clear that further indiscipline would not be tolerated.
Over the next couple of days, while preparations continued, relations between the Fellowship and the Woodmen remained strained. Hartgard and Euric were civil enough and the grizzled veteran, Theuderic, seemed equally ill-tempered with everyone, but there was obvious bad-feeling between the other three Woodmen, Barald, Odo and Sigeric, and Gerlind and Malaric. Barbed words were occasionally exchanged, particularly between Gerlind and Barald, and only Hartgard’s continued vigilance kept things from igniting again.
On the fifth day, the company set out from Rhosgobel across the east Anduin Vales. Aside from the tensions within the group, the first leg of their journey proved uneventful.
After four days they reached the banks of the River Anduin.
The waters of the great river were high for that time of year and the crossing proved more difficult than expected. The current caught Barald, Sigeric and Euric and swept them away. Malaric, Grimald and Grunehild went back in to rescue them, but then Grimald also found he was in trouble.
Swept far downstream, the six companions were in danger of being lost completely, but Malaric and Grunehild finally managed to drag Barald, Euric and Grimald over to the bank. Sadly Sigeric was lost.
After some considerable time, the company regrouped and camped for the night at the edge of the Gladden Fields.
The next day they headed on into the marshes. As they went deeper, they periodically heard sounds of Orc patrols passing nearby and were only able to remain undetected thanks to Radagast’s magic.
On the third night, one of the patrols came so close that an Orc stumbled in amongst them. Grimald swiftly silenced the surprised creature with an arrow and, to the company’s relief, the rest of the patrol continued without noticing.
The next day the Dwimmerhorn loomed through the mist ahead.
[END OF SESSION STATUS:
MALARIC – Hope: 7 of 13, Shadow: 0, Endurance: 32 of 32END, Fatigue: 18 (incl. 0 Journey Fatigue);
GRUNEHILD – Hope: 13 of 13, Shadow: 0, Endurance: 32 of 32END, Fatigue: 18 (incl. 0 Journey Fatigue);
GRIMALD – Hope: 3 of 14, Shadow: 0, Endurance: 24 of 24END, Fatigue: 14 (incl. 0 Journey Fatigue).]