Book 1: Act 2 - Winter with the Woodmen

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...

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Book 1: Act 2 - Winter with the Woodmen

Post by Vardaen » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:08 pm

Image Even the good plans of wise wizards like Gandalf
and of good friends like Elrond go astray sometimes
when you are off on dangerous adventures
over the Edge of the Wild ...
May 25th, 2947 The Third Age, Late Spring

Five months have passed since you arrived in Woodland Hall. After presenting the axe shard from Wolfbiter to Ingomer Axebreaker your fellowship was welcomed into the woodmen's land with open arms. It has been an average winter here, snow comes this far south and the warm hearths of the woodmen have kept you throughout the winter months.

Your wealth, both from Baldor's caravan trip, and the reward from the council of elders has kept you living comfortably here over the last half year. The road from Woodland Hall to Woodmen-town is not to long or hard to travel, and you've explored both settlements during your stay making yourselves known in some manner or another.

News from outside the lands is scarce in the winter, as few travelers make the trip. You in fact bring much news to the area about the lands of Dale. Telling about the festival of the Gathering of Five Armies, and how envoys from Lake-town, the Woodland Realm and the Kingdom under the Mountain met in the presence of King Bard to debate matters concerning all of Wilderland.

You see one another often, but from time to time you split up on your own undertakings, all in or about the Woodmen lands. Aerth joins the Woodmen to compete on the field of heroes come spring time, while Pipkin gains access to Wuduseld again spending days if not weeks studying the carvings there. Others work their trade, enjoy the time, or seek to lift the shadow of Mirkwood that still lies heavy on their hearts.
We start the first Fellowship Phase here. We'll run short vignette scenes for everyone. You get to direct the action here, telling me what you do. I will give location descriptions like for the Field of Heroes, and make die rolls for needed events. We are covering 5-6 months of time so we don't want to get bogged down with minutia.

You also can start things off by explaining your XP and AP spending, how you improved with that, etc.

Check the map thread for the towns maps, and such. You can visit Woodman-town as well as Woodland Hall.
Image
Last edited by Vardaen on Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"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: Book 1: Act 2 - Winter with the Woodmen

Post by Muskrat » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:00 am

When a week or so has passed, Varuthil presents herself in the hall again to Ignomer. "Sir, my offer still stand to guide you to where we found your son. I probably do not need to tell you that winter is approaching and it would be best to set out sooner rather than later to rescue him. I would certainly not want to see him spend another winter alone in Mirkwood."

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Re: Book 1: Act 2 - Winter with the Woodmen

Post by Vardaen » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:01 pm

Winter has come, Varuthil had hoped the chieftain would want to set out sooner, but the man has had to try and come to grips with what he's learned. He's also been forced to try and figure out away to make the trip. When Varuthil comes to him he is swayed to delay no longer. "I would be pleased if you came with me. It will certainly make this trip possible. I have gathered four men to make the trip with. They are woodwise, and brave, we shall set out tomorrow then." He seems anxious about it, and gives a meek smile.
"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: Book 1: Act 2 - Winter with the Woodmen

Post by Trogdor » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:49 pm

Always curious, Pipkin is delighted to find out that he's to be allowed into Wuduseld to study it. Apparently it's very old and contains carving from long, long ago. He can't help but wonder what stories and tales the carvings must tell.

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Re: Book 1: Act 2 - Winter with the Woodmen

Post by Muskrat » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:47 pm

Varuthil gives one of her brief smiles. "Very good, sir. I will meet you and your men tomorrow morning. I am not a woodsman like Aerth, but I have traveled a fair bit and know Mirkwood all too well."

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Re: Book 1: Act 2 - Winter with the Woodmen

Post by Vardaen » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:50 pm

Having been in Wudeseld once to meet with the chieftain and return Wolfbiter Pipkin had a look at the great hall's one chamber. Even that single chamber, massive as it was, is covered in carvings of the Woodmen's lore. Each beam, each support post, each lintel, frame, wall board, molding and door is carved with the ancient lore of the Woodmen. Small runes or stories told in images make up the carvings. There are hundreds of stories, thousands of individual images carved over decades of dedicated word. The collected lore of a people stand before Pipkin... and it may take him months to shift through it, more to write it down in a book or other form. With a mug of ale and a good plate of food before the Hobbit's excitement is palpable.
New Fellowship Phase Undertaking: Enter Wuduseld

The carvings of the Great Hall of Wuduseld are a sight to behold. They are a magnificent testimony of the long history of the Woodmen and their wandering across Wilderland. Many tales are depicted in astonishing detail on the walls of the hall, along each pillar, rafter and beam. A companion spending a Fellowship phase at Woodland Hall may choose this undertaking and gain the benefits of the Old-lore speciality for the duration of the following Adventuring phase. If the character already has Old-lore , then he may gain two benefits from a single Trait invocation (for example, he could automatically succeed at a roll and gain an Advancement point).

Automactic: Pipkin gains Old Lore for the next AP.

Trog you can go crazy and post months worth of work, both for this and XP and AP spending. I'm sure you can mange it :)
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J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Re: Book 1: Act 2 - Winter with the Woodmen

Post by Vardaen » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:28 am

Come morning Varuthil joins Ignomer Axebreaker and his men. They have a pair of small horses loaded with traveling gear, food, and a good sized tent. The trip could take nearly three weeks to reach the hermits strange home, and then the same number back if the weather doesn't delay the group. They set out north, the Woodmen guides know of secret paths through the forest which speeds up the trip to the Anduin Vale buy a few days, but then the long trek north begins.
You can post all the trip and travel stuff all the way to the Hermit's house. Takes 20 Days travel to reach there. 7 Days till you reach the Forest Gate, and 13 till you relocate the Hermit's house.
"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: Book 1: Act 2 - Winter with the Woodmen

Post by Muskrat » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:19 am

As always, Varuthil says little as they travel. Remembering Aerth's reprimand when she told Ignomer that his son had gone mad, Varuthil does, however, make a careful study of how the woodmen interact with each other, trying to understand how they speak of such delicate matters.
This is part of how I'm justifying adding a point to Courtesy and Insight--Varuthil is going to be spending the winter studying how people interact with each other, especially given that she won't have any books to bury her nose in here.
Though the woodmen are far more accomplished than she is, Varuthil does help out where she can along the way. She proves to have an uncanny knack for starting fires quickly when they camp for the night, even when it pours cold rain or the snow rages around them.
Invoking the Fire-making Trait here, at least for role-play purposes.

I'm not sure I have much else to say about the trip, unless you want to RP out some of Varuthil's interactions with Ignomer and the other woodmen. Otherwise, you can move us ahead to the hermit's dwelling.

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Re: Book 1: Act 2 - Winter with the Woodmen

Post by Trogdor » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:53 am

It's a daunting task ahead of him, Pipkin knows. No doubt some of the woodmen have spent years studying this hall. But he vows to do his best with the time he has available. What's more, adding a hobbitish twist to the study, he determines that he will 'translate,' for lack of a better word, some of the more interesting stories into a form more accessible to hobbits. Instead of carvings, he intends to make them into stories of the sort one might read before bed or on a stormy day when it wasn't pleasant to go outside.

And so Pipkin obtains two books - one a simple book, not fancy at all, to take his notes in, and one a nice leather-bound book to pen his final stories. On the front page of the second book he pens, in a nice script: "Tales of the Woodmen, Being a Retelling of the Great Tales of Wuduseld." He's not certain how far he'll get in the writing. But he has months ahead of him before spring, and that should be time for a great deal of writing.

Then he puts the fine leather book aside for a time and begins spending his days in the Great Hall of Wuduseld, studying the carvings, and the tales they tell, and scribbling his own notes into his scratch book. It's only after several weeks of this that he first picks up his pen and dares to put ink to the real book. One-by-one he starts taking the carved stories of Wuduseld and retelling them in words. He's slow at first, spending far more time studying in the Great Hall and taking notes. But over time he finds that he has more and more to write. He also takes great delight in illustrating the book, copying some of the more beautiful carvings to entertain the reader.

He doesn't realize it as the months progress, but as the hobbit learns more and more tales and converts them to his hobbitish stories, he gets a keen understanding of the way the Woodmen think, and to that end, how men in general think. Moreover, it's impossible to go through all of these stories without learning a little something about the lessons they teach. By the time mid-winter arrives, Pipkin finds himself a wiser and more insightful hobbit, not to mention one more knowledgeable in the old tales.

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Re: Book 1: Act 2 - Winter with the Woodmen

Post by Eilandor » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:21 pm

Wren spends his first few days putting thought to parchment. He hopes to write a song about the groups journey through Mirkwood. It's not long before the wastebasket is overflowing with crumpled up versions of his masterpiece.

On the third day Wren hears word that Varuthil joined Ignomer Axebreaker the day prior on a trek through Mirkwood to seek the his son. He pays it no mind until his mind starts to wander on the third unsuccessful night of song writing.

"This is ridiculous, it's a song! How hard can it be?"

Thinking he needs some inspiration, "I could catch up to Varuthil and help Ignomer find his son. Perhaps along the way the woods will help me finish, or start this song!"

He quickly packs his things and says a few goodbyes then heads out. Wren is a full day behind, but confident he can travel faster alone than their group. Tracking them is not that difficult as their are many feet and hoof prints to follow. On his second day of tracking it is getting dark when he spots Varuthil hunched over trying to start a fire. Sneaking up behind her, "Need any help with that?"
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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