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...

Run by the Loremaster Vardaen
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Re: Book 1: Act 2 - Winter with the Woodmen

Post by Vardaen » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:41 pm

Borir's first hunting trip with the Woodsmen is a great success. He fells a wild boar with his axe and is the talk of the hunting party. The rest of the venture brings in small game, foul and rabbits, but nothing as good as the great boar. Amalric invites Borir to join them on their next trip, and the Woodmen shows the dwarf fine respect, his brother does so as well.

Aerth's trip to the Field of Heroes is also a great success. There are several events, axe throwing, archery, foot races and various tests of atheletisms. Aerth does very well in many of the events, scoring high and making a bit of an impression with several of the woodmen present.

Wren and Varuthil travel with the Chief to the Hermits's tree. The small traveling party reaches the hermit after a long trip and finds him unwilling to visit with so many people again so soon after your last visit, but Varuthil is silver tongued in this situation, her understanding of the Shadow actually helps keep the hermit trusting, and after a small sit down she convinces the hermit to see the Chieftain -- in private. After many hours the two emerge from the small home, and Ignomer announces the group will remain with the hermit for the night and then return home the next day with the hermit.

It eventually comes out that the hermir is in fact not Ignomer's son, but was imprisoned with in Dol Guldur for many years, and the Chieftain's son passed on the axe head to the hermit before he was finally slain, and the hermit escaped into Mirkwood.
Let's wrap these up this week.

Tet - The events and your success, etc all up to you based on the rolls. Go for it.

Shurijo - Same thing, how you want to end things.

Trog -- Feel free to jump into someone else thread, maybe watching Aerth?

Eil and Muskrat -- The return trip is snowy and cold and hard but uneventful, time to finish up that song.

The fellowship phase should be mostly you telling us what you do and how it goes, so feel free to really flavor it up and make a few long posts and we can move to the next Adventure Phase.
"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 Shurijo » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:02 am

After the hunt, Borir returns to the smith. He's been busy working on his hauberk nearly the entire winter. When anyone asks, he just repeats saying, "It needs some more adjustments. It'll be ready by winter's thaw."

The dwarf does take some time to mend his weapons and help the town's smith with making some new swords, horseshoes, and other metal items. As he works, he takes time to visit the great hall and explore the town. It's not every year that he's this far from home, so he tries to get to know the townsfolk and possibly find any trade routes that can help his kin.

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

Post by Trogdor » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:52 am

On the sidelines of the Field of Heroes, Pipkin takes a break from his research and writing to have some fun. He finds where Aerth is competing and goes there to cheer loudly for the half-elf.

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

Post by Muskrat » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:35 am

When they reach the hermit's layer, Varuthil says to the others, "Perhaps you should stay back for a bit. I do not think he would be comfortable with a crowd--and I, at least, am someone he recognizes. And I know a bit about how the Shadow can affect a person's mind.

She ventures forward and knocks on the hermit's door. It is a bit of a wait, but eventually the hermit comes forth. Varuthil greets him with all the warmth she can muster. "I have returned, but not to trouble you again. I thought I might be able to do you a favor in return for the one you did in taking us in. The ax head you gave Aerth proved a great treasure to the Woodmen and now the chief of the Woodmen has come to speak to you. More than that, he would like to invite you to his home, so you no longer have to live here among the spiders and other things of darkness. But he will not force you. If you wish to remain, you can. But I two have suffered under the oppression of the Shadow--I lost both my parents to orcs when I was young--and I think some time away from Mirkwood can do you some good. If he comes to speak to you alone, it is not likely he can compel you against your will."

Varuthil is later saddened to hear the hermit is not in fact Ignomer's son. "I am sorry, sir, to have caused you false hope. But, while the truth may be bitter, medicine often is. I hope in the long run the knowledge of what truly happened will allow you to heal your grief."

Upon their return to Woodland Hall, Varuthil spends a great deal of time in Wuduseld, studying the carvings. She is amused by Pipkin's efforts to compile them into a book and tries to help the hobbit interpret them properly. In so doing, she frequently asks one of the Woodmen's elders for more information about the carvings. Spending so much time in great hall, she cannot help but see many of the interactions between the men. She finds them intriguing and studies them, more closely than she has ever studied her own people. She finds herself gaining greater insight into people's motives and what turns of phrase and manners might offend or gladden someone's heart.
+ 1 to Insight and Courtesy
Varuthil also spends a lot of time alone, wandering in the snowy wilderness. She likes the Woodmen and Pipkin, but at heart she is a loner and feels the need for a great deal of solitude. As she wanders, she brings to mind much of the lore she has studied over the years--and gradually finds herself beginning to understand what the frozen stream, the snow-covered tree or boulder, or the stray crow is saying. Their speech and thoughts were very alien--but Varuthil finds herself intrigued, studying them as much as she studies the Woodmen in their hall. By the end of the winter, she has begun to master the art of listening to and speaking with the wild things and "inanimate" objects, which are alive in their own strange way. When the others ask her about what she does in her wandering, she says nothing, keeping her new found talent to herself.
This is how I learn The Speakers cultural virtue.

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

Post by Shurijo » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:37 am

While the dwarf spends much of his time at the smith, he tries to see the fellowship companions as much as possible. Spying Pipkin on the edge of the field, the dwarf joins him to watch the contests. "Did you learn some new tales or stories of old?" he asks.

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

Post by TetNak » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:20 am

The bow, the axe, the race, and the wrestling. Aerth tries his hand at all. Aerth is not embarrassed in any event. His arrows fly true, his axe is thrown straight, he is fleet of foot and able of body. Aerth pins his distant cousin in his first wrestling match, the boy is only sixteen, and shoots far better than some of his woodmen brethren. Aerth, at the end of the day, is pleased with is performance.
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- King Stannis Baratheon, First of His Name

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

Post by Trogdor » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:18 am

In each event that Aerth competes in, Pipkin make sure he is there to cheer him on. No doubt the locals have plenty of people to support them. It wound't do if there was no one to cheer for his victories.

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

Post by Vardaen » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:20 pm

Varuthil and Wren return a month later with the strange hermit, and news spreads among the fellowship that he was not in fact Ingomer's son, but that he knew his son, and was given the axehead by him. The chieftain takes little comfort in knowing his son died, and wasn't tortured for too long, but the pain of broken hope sits heavy on him and he withdraws into Wuduseld for the rest of the winter.

When spring starts the contest on the Field of Heroes is announced and Aerth joins the woodmen in competing and it becomes one of those events where many people turn up, including the fellowship -- eager to get out from under the snows of winter and the long confinement by the weather.

So the group enjoys the sporting event together, cheering on Aerth who does very well for himself, and makes you proud. He could take advantage of the notoriety if only he had a bit more wealth to spread his fame around with.

Word of Borir's hunt is also shared, and Wren has a song for such an occasion that has been sung in Woodland Hall since his return trip from Mirkwood.

The snows of winter break, and month by month the weather warms up and winter turns to spring and even Mirkwood comes alive with the new turning of seasons. The leaves turn green and grow, then turn black in places as the Shadow that hangs over the former Greenwood the Great continues to spread out from its rotted heart.

Snow is replaced with rain, and spring is wet and cool, but always growing warming. Spring is sprung, and summer isn't far away. Your mind begins to wander to far off places like Dale and Erebor, of Thanduil's Halls and even the Shire....
I think we are just about done here. I will work on the next Adventure Phase now, and let you guys play out or tell any more story here for a bit.
"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 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:51 am

Varuthil is saddened to see Ignomer withdraw so much--she can relate all too easily to his grief. She wonders if there is anything she might say to him, then decides that he will simply need time to heal and that no words of hers are likely to speed the process up. If it is hard to lose one's parents, it must be even harder to lose one's son. Varuthil's only worry is that the lives of men are so short--she hopes Ignomer will not spend too much of his remaining time on Arda withdrawn in mourning.

At the contest, Varuthil claps politely for Aerth as he wins his victories--and she is indeed glad for him--but she can't bring herself to engage in the raucous cheering the others engage in. It's just too out of character for her to express so much joyous energy.

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The End

Post by Trogdor » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:26 pm

As winter comes to a close, so too does Pipkin's book. He knows that he could spend years - possibly a lifetime - trying to document all that Wuduseld has to show. So he has limited his book to some of the more interesting tales he's learned about through the hall's carvings. It's not the greatest book ever written, he knows. But he hopes that some day, someone will enjoy reading it. He places the original in his pack, and gifts the sole copy he's made to the master of Wuduseld as a thanks for being allowed to study in the great hall these past months.

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