Book 5: Act 2 - Tarry Just a Little Longer

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 5: Act 2 - Tarry Just a Little Longer

Post by Vardaen » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:28 pm

Image 'Indeed,' said Glóin, 'if it were not for the Beornings, the passage from Dale to Rivendell would long ago have become impossible. They are valiant men and keep open the High Pass and the Ford of Carrock. But their tolls are high,' he added with a shake of his head; 'and like Beorn of old they are not over fond of dwarves. Still, they are trusty, and that is much in these days.'

September, 2948, The Third Age, Autumn -- to -- April, 2949, The Third Age, Spring

Rhosgobel is a good place to rest, the power of the Brown Wizard is on the village, and peace is here both for body and spirit. The village is filled with Woodmen, friendly and kind, and many of whom you've had dealing with in the past on ventures here including Beran Radagast's man who assists you in getting a place to live while you are in town.

The Brown Wizard sets off for two months after your arrival, sending word from time to time through his animal friends, but the ways of wizards are complicated, and beyond your control. Where he's off to and what he's doing he tells little of to you even when he returns.

Before the snows set in for winter some of the Fellowship decides to head north, back to the Brandybucks of the Easterly Inn to help tend to the place over the difficult months in snow. You are able to bring supplies from Rhosgobel, but even more from Woodland Hall and Woodman Town on your return trip. Along the way you pause among the Beornings, and get to know a young man by the name of Belaran who assists you while in the steadings near to Beorn's Hall.

The winters holds out until late November, giving everyone ample time to travel, but when it does finally arrive it is a winter to behold. The snows are deep and constant, and the river edges freeze over in parts, but the Great Anduin never completely freezes. You reconnect with Tom at the Inn, and it seems some soft beds, good ale, and many a pipe have lifted his spirits and his mood. The Easterly Inn doesn't see much traffic this winter season, which could prove troublesome for Dindy and Dody, the hobbits that run the place.

Yet you are there, and that may turn the tide. Winter winds on for months, but starts to break in March, and by April the land are flooded with snowmelt, and the Anduin is swollen over its banks to the point of causing flooding down river. Word of several farmsteads too closer to the river being swept away in the Beorning lands come up to the Inn.

By April, the spring rains have added to this trouble, but the winter is faded, and the spring flowers promise to bloom like dragon's fire.
Image
Welcome to the Fellowship Phase for Chapter 5. This Fellowship Phase takes place from Sept starting in Rhosbogel to April in the spring ending at the Easterly Inn. It includes the End of the Year, so we shall have some standing and tend to holding. Everyone has 2 Fellowship undertakings, plus level up expenditures to do. We may just be getting a new Beorning, so perhaps he might be seen in your travels or at the Inn during these months.

Undertaking 1: Make Rhosgobel a Sanctuary.

That should give you the basic set up, you can start RP. Use the OOC thread to post any Understaking or whatnot that we need to roll for, like Tend to Holding, etc. I'll work on more OOC as well.
"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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Book 5: Act 2 - Tarry Just a Little Longer

Post by Muskrat » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:48 pm

Before Radagast leaves, Varuthil approaches him and asks, "Sir, do you mind if I stay here a while, possibly even for the winter? I feel there is much I could learn here, even with you away on your travels. And it may strengthen the bonds between the Elves of Mirkwood and yourself, which, as the Shadow rises again, would be to the benefit of both of us."

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Book 5: Act 2 - Tarry Just a Little Longer

Post by Vardaen » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:56 pm

The Brown Wizard realizes he almost just left without a word. "Yes of course I don't mind. Stay as long as you like Beren will get you set up with some place." He then goes and makes sure to tell Beren such, and that all of the group are welcome to stay in Rhosgobel.
"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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Book 5: Act 2 - Tarry Just a Little Longer

Post by Blubbo_Baggins » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:18 pm

Finn is glad for a chance to finally spend time among the Woodmen. He feels it more strategic to do so among the folk of Rhosgobel, if for no other reason than here dwells one of the Wise, and there are always reasons to bring him news or to learn from him.

For his own purposes, Finn still considers his Father's business. The relationships with the Woodmen must be built, that he might eventually procure a new and less politically-charged source of timber. The Woodland Realm would only trade for so much longer. Here, on the Western Eaves of Mirkwood, the Woodmen were too far to be a good source for the business, but if there were Woodmen who were brave enough to start a new colony on the Eastern side of the forest... well, Finn would want to not only know about it, but hoped to help influence things that way, if possible.

But that shall never happen, he thinks, unless these folk know and trust me. So for part of the fall Finn spends his time with the rest of the company in Rhosgobel. He finds he is most useful with Beran, the servant of Radagast whom they had saved from Dagmar and her men. Helping Beran with his duties around the village, Finn learns much from the man.

One afternoon in the forest, chopping firewood and keeping an eye out for easy game, Beran closely observes Finn, seeing that the man only takes notice of what seems to be right in front of him.

"You are a musician, my friend. You have long been taught that to play well, you must listen well. Why is it that when you are out and on the lookout for potential game, or danger, you only use your eyes?" Beran chuckles and continues chopping.
Finn sets his axe down and wipes his brown. Of course I use my ears, he thinks.
"Did you know that one of the foul grim hawks has passed our way while you busily worked on finishing this cord of wood for the coming Winter?"
Finn shakes his head.
"Now, I did not see it. If it had been close enough to see, it might have attacked us," continues Beran, "They are foul things. Anyway, I knew it passed by because I heard it. It must have been high up, just above the canopy. Quiet as a whisper it came to my ear from so far, but I could not mistake its guttural call."
Finn nods and continues working. "I will try to discover what my ears tell me." Though how you heard anything with our loud axes is beyond me.

The advice proves valuable to Finn, who after paying better attention, takes it to heart, realizing he needed to use his ears even more than his eyes while on the road.
Awareness 1 to 2
The days in Rhosgobel go quickly; a few friendships with the leaders of the village are made, and Finn and others return to the Easterly Inn.

Dody and Dindy are of course happy to see the company, and after a fine meal Dody sits them down to give them an accounting of all that's happened in the Inn, and how their investments are turning out so far. "The future is still bright, but we have a long way to go. Winter might be difficult, but with each of you here I have hopes we will do better. Perhaps you can go about the Beornings and other friendly folk to let them know of the warm meals and hot Barleywine they can find here in the cold days to come while on the road. Oh, and you can tell them you'll be playing music in the evenings for guests as well," says Dody. Finn smiles at being volunteered, but can't complain.

Finn asks after the well-being of the others who support the Inn, including Frier the Dwarf, and the other regular visitors. "Have things remained safe enough for a good amount of travelers for the summer? Have you managed to host any Elves?"

The conversation continues late into the evening when suddenly Agatha comes in with pipes and a pie.
"Dody, have you not brought it to Finn already?" she says.
"Oh! No need to scold me Agatha. I was just getting around to it."
Finn looks at them both, puzzled.
"Just one moment," says Dody, who slips away and returns with packages for each of the friends.

"These are gifts," he adds, and by his excitement Finn and the others can tell he hopes they will open them right then and there.

Taking the box, which is very heavy and long, Finn wonders who would have sent him a gift, and who would have known to send it to the Inn. He looks at the paper which covers the wooden box. It is finely decorated, by hand. It seems a shame to tear the paper in unwrapping the gift; the paper is a treasure in and of itself. "Agatha, this paper is very fine," says Finn. "Why don't you help me carefully remove it? You can have it, to decorate for Yule or whatever other good purpose you want to put it to."

Underneath the paper, which has a smell about it that refreshes Finn's senses and brings back strong feelings though he cannot quite place them, is a wooden box. The box itself is about the length of a man's leg, and while it is plain, is shut by two finely made gold clasps and a pattern carved into the wood along the front. He takes no time setting the box down, and opening the clasps.
Image
Inside is a sword, covered by a scabbard of intricate chalcedony.
Image
A finer sheath Finn has never seen. He carefully lifts the sword and glances at Dody, who seems to have a "Go on, go on" look in his eyes. The sword is slowly unsheathed. The grip and hilt are simple steel, polished dark rather than bright, and the dual edged blade is sharp, and seems to reflect a rainbow prism from the candlelight of the room. Finn takes a deep breath, and sheathes the sword before he has fully examined it. He would do that later. He needed to sit down, and wonder at the gift, and more importantly at the giver.

He sets the sword back into the box and re-clasps it. He thanks Dody and Agatha for holding this gift for him.
"Who sent it? Who gave it?" he asks.

"We don't rightly know," replies Agatha. "Yes," adds Dody, "I'm afraid it turned up on our doorstep one morning. All the gifts did."

Later that night, in his room, Finn examines the sword again. Inside the box he finds a small parchment that he had not seen, rolled up in the corner with a small ribbon. The parchment too, has a faint smell about it, similar to the paper covering the box. He reads,

I cannot help it, but you will long think on these words, which you well know,
Thus began the anguish Beren paid
for that great doom upon him laid,
the deathless love of Lúthien,
too fair for love of mortal Men;
and in his doom was Lúthien snared,
the deathless in his dying shared;
and Fate them forged a binding chain
of living love and mortal pain.


But this is the age in which you were born, and so, I fear, Fate had determined otherwise.
This verse must be your song,
Ah, lissom limbs and shadowy hair
and chaplet of white snowdrops there;
oh, starry diadem and bright
soft hands beneath the pale moonlight!
She left his arms and slipped away
just at the breaking of the day.


I will not forget your deeds and those of your friends.
Yours in an age long past,
Rodwen

Finn is struck deeply. The letter is the greatest gift he has ever received, and yet brings greater sadness too. He places the parchment near his chest and lays down, looking up at the ceiling, torn in his spirit, elated and deeply sad. He falls asleep as the birds are beginning to sing, and wakes late in the day. The letter is never mentioned.
Raise Valour to 4, Reward, adding Fell to his Sword

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Book 5: Act 2 - Tarry Just a Little Longer

Post by shipwreck » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:38 am

It's quiet inside the Wizard's house at Rhosgobel, as Rathar prefers. Since their arrival at the village, the tall Wood-goer has pestered and bebothered Radagast, peppering him with questions about many things. He had not seen him in many years, and found himself treating the Brown Wizard as an estranged uncle.

In truth he has been seeking to learn the language of birds, though it is certainly beyond his grasp. Gaining the skill through proximity has proved useless, so it is left to him to work up the nerve to ask the silly question directly.

While Radagast travels on business of his own, Rathar ranged into the woods many times, communing under the trees as he had not done since meeting this strange company of adventurers. Remaining as still as he can be, Rathar sits and takes in every sign he can read, every noise he can hear. He enjoys the quiet, then returns by evening to Rhosgobel to strengthen his ties with the heroes and other folk of Rhosgobel. His pipe is lit and relit. He fumbles with the thing incompetently, in spite of many a lesson from Pip and Borir. In the morning he begins again in Mirkwood, like a dog trying in vain to sniff out where the strange darkness is coming from and where it is going.

Radagast should be back soon, and Rathar would like to speak with the strange old man once more in winter's chill.
Great stuff, Finn!

I would like to write more later and Go Hunting with the Woodmen IC tomorrow.

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Book 5: Act 2 - Tarry Just a Little Longer

Post by Vardaen » Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:16 pm

Autumn turns to winter, and before the snow falls too deeply some folks head north to the Easterly Inn, Finn among them. Rather remains in Rhosgobel, its quiet, and relaxing, and the most pressing issues are who is going on the big boar hunt that is being planned. Rather joins the other Woodmen, dozen of them, who range out into Mirkwood come late November. The hunt is a success, several deer and one great forest boar is caught -- Rathar's spear the one that spitted the great beast. He's given great honour and priase, and sits at the head table during the feast of thanks giving that follows.
Rathar - Go Hunting with the Woodmen

Hunting Test: Rolled:
GANDALF
Success Die: 5,5
Totaling: 10
with 1 Auto Success

Beast Lore +1
Hunting Gandalf +2

So: 6+3 = 9 A Mighty Boar: You brought home a fat forest boar, and everyone feasts! Gain 1 Experience point.

Sheet Updated for the XP

@shipwreck please feel free to do it up, RP much more detail and pomp than I have.
"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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Book 5: Act 2 - Tarry Just a Little Longer

Post by Muskrat » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:55 pm

Varuthil says to the others, "I think I will spend the winter here and rejoin in the spring. I will miss you all--but I hope Radagast will return before the winter is over and chance to learn from--or even closely observe--a wizard is too good a chance to pass up."

In Radagast's she spends much time getting to know the Woodmen in her silent way, listening to their talk and tales at gatherings, occasionally asking questions to learn more of what they have to say. She finds that Men, with their ephemeral lives, have a perspective on things that the Elves do not that intrigues her. The Woodmen find Varuthil and her silence odd, but grow to accept her presence and see that she is genuinely interested in them. She also helps out as she can with the daily tasks needed to maintain Rhosbogel, earning her more good will.
Make Rhosbogel a Sanctuary
In good time, Varuthil asks some of the Woodmen if they will take her with them when they travel the surrounding woods and give her lessons on how to make her way in unfamiliar territory--how to keep her bearings, retrace her steps, blaze new trails and the like. Over the winter months, she learns the basics of doing so.
Raise Explore to 1
In return for the Woodmen's hospitality, she occasionally lifts her voice in song, singing old Elvish songs in Quenya. Sometimes she explains what they mean, sometimes she doesn't. She relies on the beauty of the songs to speak for themselves. As she grows better at finding her way in the wild, she wanders on her own, singing to the birds, the beasts, the trees, the stones and the now frozen rivers and listening to what they have to tell her in turn. She finds doing so soothes her soul and begins to lift some of the darkness from it.
Raise Song to 3

Also, for my second Fellowship Undertaking, I wanted to try to Heal Corruption by rolling Song. Since this is a Sanctuary, I should get two rolls.
When Radagast returns, she takes what opportunities she can to speak with the Brown Wizard. Being a wizard, he doesn't teach her anything directly, but she finds that her conversations with him stretches her mind in new directions.
Raise Wisdom to 4
As she wanders and ponders what Radagast had obliquely taught her, she increasingly finds that she is able to do what she has seen some of her elven elders do--fall into a waking trance while she walks, resting the way elves rest at night without sleeping, but now doing so while she carried out some routine activity, first walking alone in the wilderness, later helping with chores at Rhosbogel.
Take the Cultural Virtue Elvish Dreams

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