Book 1: Act 1 - Don't Leave the Path

It is the year 2946 of the Third Age, and the lands east of the Misty Mountains are astir. From the cloud-shrouded peaks above the High Pass to the spider-infested gloom of the forest of Mirkwood, paths long-deserted are trodden once again. Busy merchants carry their wares to new markets, messengers bring tidings from foreign realms, and kings send forth armed men to extend their influence and the rule of law. Some say that a new age of freedom has begun, a time for adventure and great deeds to reclaim glories lost in long centuries of oppression and decline.

But adventures are not really things that people go out and look for. They are dangerous and rarely end well. While it is true that a handful of valiant individuals set out to make their mark on the world, for others it seems that adventure chooses them, as though it is the path they are fated to tread. They are restless warriors, curious scholars and wanderers, always eager to seek what was lost or explore what was forgotten. Ordinary people call them adventurers, and when they return successful, they call them heroes. But if they fail, no one will even remember their names...

Run by the Loremaster Vardaen
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Re: Settling In at Woodland Hall

Post by Vardaen » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:58 pm

The axe head is taken out and placed on the table. It isn't much more than a hand length of shattered metal with some runes carved along the length of it. Borir has inspected it, and its typical steel, old, by the look of the pitting and age on the sheen, but its hard to tell because of the condition the hermit kept it in. Aerth has already named it "Wolf Biter", a old piece of a Woodmen's axe, a relic in fact, once wielded by a chieftain of the Woodmen. The group decides some one should be made aware of this.
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Re: Settling In at Woodland Hall

Post by Muskrat » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:43 am

Apparently Wren's words bite, because Varuthil gives him an icy stare and says, "Have you not noticed that a shadow hangs over Mirkwood? That evil things roam free to slay at will?" Wren is perhaps reminded that both Varuthil's parents were killed by orcs when she was young.

She turns her attention back to the axe and asks Aerth, "You have been here before. Do you know who we should take this to? Perhaps the chieftain of this place has counselors who would know of this?"

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Re: Settling In at Woodland Hall

Post by Eilandor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:05 am

Wren frowns in such a way as to say of course as I too traveled through Mirkwood with everyone. He can tell that the third time will not be the charm with Varuthil as she may very well accompany her icy gaze with weapon if Wren were to reply once more.

He then turns his attention to Aerth and awaits his response.
Number Two: "You are number six."
Number Six: "I am not a number, I am a free man!"
Number Two: "Muh ha ha ha ha!"

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Re: Settling In at Woodland Hall

Post by TetNak » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:10 am

Aerth looks in between the elves and frowns. "I know where to take it." He scoops the axe shard back up and stands up. "If we are wintering here, you two would be wise to settle your differences. These people do not want trouble, and neither do I." He takes a drink of the ale and sits it back down. "You can all come with me, or stay, I care not. But I am going now." He waits momentarily to see what the others will do.
"Kings have no friends, only subjects and enemies."

- King Stannis Baratheon, First of His Name

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Wuduseld and Chieftain Ingomer Axebreaker

Post by Vardaen » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:20 pm

Aerth grabs the axe shard and offers a piece of advice to the elves, before he makes for the door. Those that wish to follow do, for Aerth knows where to go with the shard. He makes his way up through the town, winding his way along the hill pat homes and bakeries, candle maker shops, leather workers, and more. The Woodmen are simple folk, rustic and living on the edge of Mirkwood, which makes them practical. They are kind here, and not untrusting to strangers who prove themselves kind.

Aerth takes you to to the House of Woodland Hall, Wuduseld in the language of the Vales of Anduin. The proper Wuduseld, the Great House stands on a steep-sided hill. Generations of work by the Woodmen cut away the sides of the hill, so now there is only a single path leading up to the flat top, making it very easy to defend. Woodland Hall is a magnificent structure, more than twice as large as any other Great Hall and richly decorated with all manner of carvings and tapestries.

You come to the hall seeking council with Ingomer Axebreaker, the leader of the town. Aerth explains that the Woodmen of the forest have no king. Each House has a council of Elders, and important decisions are voted on by everyone who meets beneath the roof of the Great House. In time of need, the Woodmen follow the traditions of their ancestors and elect a war-leader, but he who is chosen remains in charge only for the duration of the threat — he is no chieftain or lord.

Ingomer Axebreaker of Woodland Hall, then, is no more important than any of the other old men who sit on the dais near the council fire. His words are given no more weight, his wisdom is not counted as any greater than the rest — but everyone east of the Great River knows that Ingomer rules the Hall. He is an old warrior, in his sixtieth summer, but he is still canny and brave. Few among the Woodmen are as respected as he is, and none have as much support among all four Houses of the people.

So when you ask to see him, you are delayed. The man is not often idle, but rarely is he called on by such an eclectic group. So you wait, but not too long on the door step of the great hall. One of the women of the hall eventually invites you in, "Ignomer can see you now." Once inside you pass through into the great hall, the great hall's main chamber is a great structure of wooden pillars carved of amazing runes, and images that you are certain tell a story. Each pillar, wall and rafter is covered with art of astonishing detail. It could take a person months to view them all.

At the far end sits Ingomer, near the great hearth that crackles and burns with a great fire. The aging warrior is wrapped in a black wolf hide blanket, feet out, a pipe in his mouth, relaxing and enjoying the flames.
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Re: Wuduseld and Chieftain Ingomer Axebreaker

Post by TetNak » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:31 pm

"Ingomer!" Aerth starts, raising a hand to the man he has known for a long time. Axebreaker knows of Aerth's history, as Aerth actually first met Ingomer when the now leader was a teen. "I have news and guests," he says, it having been a couple years since he last saw the aging man. "We crossed Mirkwood from Lake-Town recently, and have come Woodland Hall to winter," he says, "I wanted to introduce you to everyone." Then, Aerth goes about doing just that. He is sure to introduce Pipkin first, as hobbits are by nature chatty and easily liked. The rest have not been in the best of moods lately, even Borir seems happier than the other elves. Either way, Aerth speaks for them and makes introductions before getting to the meat of the conversation.
"Kings have no friends, only subjects and enemies."

- King Stannis Baratheon, First of His Name

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Re: Wuduseld and Chieftain Ingomer Axebreaker

Post by Trogdor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:31 pm

Pipkin follows along, taking in all of the sights around him. But it's when he sees the chieftain smoking a pipe that a true smile breaks out on his face. Among other things, it meant that there were probably places he could get pipeweed around here - a good thing, since his supply was dwindling.

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Re: Wuduseld and Chieftain Ingomer Axebreaker

Post by Vardaen » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:56 pm

The aging chieftain knows Aerth, his heritage makes him a person the chieftain is aware but, but Aerth wanders much and holds no true standing among his people, yet one does not forget a Half Elf when they grow up in your village, nor one as valorous as Aerth. The man motions for the group to come forward, and nods and smiles at each as you are introduced in turn. "Elves and Dwarfs, and a Hobbit! My, Woodland Hall is becoming a virtual Dale these days." He motions at a long wooden bench near the fire, "Come sit, enjoy the fire. Can I interest you in a mug or a pipe?"
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Re: Wuduseld and Chieftain Ingomer Axebreaker

Post by TetNak » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:08 pm

"Of course," Aerth says, walking forward and seating himself near the fire. The half-elf will take any pipe or mug passed in his direction.

"Thank you for your hospitality," Aerth says offhand, waiting for the others to speak up before bringing up their primary reason for being here.
"Kings have no friends, only subjects and enemies."

- King Stannis Baratheon, First of His Name

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Re: Wuduseld and Chieftain Ingomer Axebreaker

Post by Shurijo » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:59 pm

Borir nods his head at the offering of a mug of ale. To turn down such a request is an insult to the dwarf and especially Borir. "A mug for myself, Thank you, Axebreaker."

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