Chapter 3: Red Days Rising

“...in the Riddermark of Rohan the Rohirrim, the Horse-lords, dwell, and there are no horses like those that are bred in that great vale between the Misty Mountains and the White.” - From The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Chapter 3: Red Days Rising

Post by Wbweather » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:32 am

Chapter 3: Red Days Rising

The Stranger King
"Fengel was 33 years old when he first sat on the throne of the Golden Hall, and he ruled for 50 troubled years. King Fengel was voracious, notoriously avaricious and quarrelsome, and he spent his long reign in strife with his marshals and his people. Rohan faced no invasion from East or West in those years but suffered under a feckless king. In his days, Rohan was a kingdom ruled by caprice and greed.

Fengel was to be succeeded by his son Thengel, who would become the sixteenth King of Rohan, and the seventh of his line. He was the King’s only son, and he left Rohan as soon as he came of age, as it is said that his temper disagreed with that of his father. He made his home in Gondor, seeking in the service of Turgon, the ruling Steward, that honour he could not find in the eyes of his father.

Thengel became fluent in Sindarin, the language favoured by the Dúnedain, and after many years in the lands of the South he took Morwen, a young woman of Lossarnach, in marriage. Tall and graceful and black-haired, Morwen was much younger than her husband, and she bore him five children, four daughters and one son, Théoden. Thengel was 48 years old when news came that his father had died. The people of Rohan called him to return to Edoras as their king, but the tidings were ill-received by Thengel; Gondor was his adopted home, a land where he had lived most of his life, where he had won renown and a happy marriage. But duty could not be ignored, and heavy-hearted Thengel brought his family north to Rohan. It was the year 2953.

The Rohirrim greeted Thengel as king and they named his tall queen Morwen Steelsheen. But the King and Queen were strangers, and their ways were foreign to the people they ruled. In the Golden Hall, Westron and Sindarin were heard."


Spring comes and with it new hope for the year. It is now 2961 and you have all served Thengel without ever having had the opportunity to meet him. Many are the rumors surrounding the king and his foreign wife. Most agree that he is a far better king than his father had been. Some still believe he lacks the will or strength to heal the divisions that have formed in the Riddermark over the last 60 years.

It is with great interest that you each receive a message delivered to you where you are staying, inviting you to feast with the King and his family. It is an honor that one cannot ignore. It would seem that Ealdulf has spoken well of you to the King for he wishes to meet your company. It is not unusual for common Eorlingas to sit at the King's table. Thengel is known to take midday meals with his folk be they great or small, yet still it is considered a rare honor to have such an invitation. The king asks you to feast with him on the first of April. Now you must make preparations for this momentous event.

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Chapter 3: Red Days Rising

Post by Blubbo_Baggins » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:51 pm

Though he found small joys living in his Aunt and Uncle's home, and especially spending time with his twin sisters, Torwin had grown restless about the future. His interaction with Éogar and with the Marshal's captain Guthred gave him some hope, and so it was with some excitement that he received the invitation from Eadulf.

None but his Uncle or Aunt could have guessed that he felt that way, for he did not show much emotion - or rather his serious nature usually hid what he really felt. But something in his step hinted that he was happier than he had been, and his Aunt soon asked him.

Torwin goes to find Hereweald and Istril, and asks if they have received the same invitation. He shares with them and chuckles that they have had similar experiences as him over the course of the fall, winter, and spring.

"So it seems I have, at least in some measure, earned Éogar's favor while you, Hereweald, have earned Cenric's. That is a great thing, perhaps we can use that in some way to help the King."

Early in the morning of the first of April Torwin dons his tailored outfit once more - a tunic of white linen over black silken breeches, a belt of leather, and a black doublet with a silver embroidered pattern of overlapping lines. When he is ready he goes to find the others, that they may be seen entering the hall together.
Vardaen, if your PC did not share about his experience undertaking to "Earn favor in the Golden Hall" let me know and I'll edit this post.

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Chapter 3: Red Days Rising

Post by Vardaen » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:36 pm

It seems a long time since Hereweald saw Torwin, but in truth it had not been that long. A supper a week ago included tales and stories of the last few month's worth of exploits had taken place. The young hunter was therefore not surprised when Torwin arrived with the same invitation in hand. "Yes my friend, I have the same letter as you." He considers the words about Cenric and Eogar and nods with a smile. "It seems to pay to have friends in high places. Though I don't know what really we did to draw the attention of the King. Then again we are friends with Istril of Gondor..." he sort of just lets that hang there and thinks better of saying more, and worse of himself for saying it at all.

When the day comes he is dressed in some fine clothing, he recently spent a good bit of his coin, and did so on new boots and a cloak, a nice belt and tunic simply since he had not done so in many years prior. He finds the others and gives a silly stance, "How do I look? Fit to see the King? I hope so, its the best I have!" He pats Torwin on the shoulder, and stomps off to find Istril then the King.
"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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Chapter 3: Red Days Rising

Post by Othniel » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:09 am

Hereweald finds Istril at the stables.

She has been visiting Wynmiera - indeed the Gondorian woman has hardly spent any days away from her horse, so enamoured of it was the maiden. Istril had finally manage to tame the willful creature, and now the two were comfortable with each other. The healer had returned home before the snows made passage through the foothills of the Ered Nimrais impracticable, and she was warmly received by her family - and the Steward. A commendation had been given her, high praise from Thengel it was said, and a reward was given by the Steward for maintaining cordial relations between allies - an ancient blade with the name Glircrist etched into the hilt in Sindarin. The sword had a device of roses (and thorns) that decorated the blade close to the cross-guard, giving it a feminine appearance. It was light and strong and well-balanced, and seemed to fit in Istril's hand as if it had been made especially for her. She'd been practicing with it, and found that it made a lovely sound as it whistled through the air.

Having returned now to Rohan, Istril had asked the King's Guard to spar with her, and she'd been given some instruction on combat from the back of a horse. She wasn't yet comfortable with a spear, so she'd practiced mainly with her new sword, retiring to her quarters stiff and ready for a hot soak.

Istril had just come from cleaning up after her last session, and was clad in simple (but tasteful) green dress held together at the waist with a dark brown knotwork belt. A garland of spring flowers encircles her auburn tresses. She is brushing Wynmiera, but looks up as Hearweald enters and smiles. "Hello, Hereweald! It's been a lovely spring. How have you been?"

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Chapter 3: Red Days Rising

Post by Vardaen » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:12 pm

"Lady Istril, good to see you once more. Life is fine for one like me." He smiles at the Gondorian woman noticing, for the first time, her woman's shape in the green dress instead of her typical traveling garb. "I've made friend and gone on hunts, and even seemed to have made a bit of name for myself. I think spending all that coin has helped a bit. How about you, word was you returned home, and yet here you are? A worldly traveler you are."
"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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Chapter 3: Red Days Rising

Post by Blubbo_Baggins » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:20 pm

Just then Torwin walks in. "I've been trouble finding either of you, but then I remembered you might be here, Istril; glad to have found you both."

"Are you ready?" he adds, not really including any context with his question, his nerves thinking about the audience they would soon have getting the better of him.

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Chapter 3: Red Days Rising

Post by Othniel » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:15 pm

"Indeed! I returned home to finish the winter in Minas Tirith, supplementing my studies and sharing what I learned in your beautiful land." Istril smiled again as Torwin appeared. "Hello! A fine sight you gentlemen are. I am ready."

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Chapter 3: Red Days Rising

Post by Vardaen » Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:50 pm

Hereweald nods to Torwin, "Ready as I can be. Let's go."

He walks side by side with the others, and smiles at Istril. "Don't over do it, all those compliments will go right to Torwin's head and he already has a big enough head." He nudges Torwin then strides out in front.
"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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Chapter 3: Red Days Rising

Post by Blubbo_Baggins » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:02 pm

"I suppose in all this time it would make sense for you to return home," he replies to Istril. "Quite a lot of travel though; I am glad to not have gone much farther than a few leagues from the city for a while."

"Good," he says to Hereweald. "Yes, I suppose that's why the King's Guard gave me this helm. To hide it in."

He says it with a very serious face, but you know Torwin well enough by now that if he ever made humor, it was as dry as could be. He marches out with the others toward the Golden Hall.

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Chapter 3: Red Days Rising

Post by Wbweather » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:48 pm

Finally the day of the feast with Thengel arrives and you are honored to be asked as guests to the banquet. A bit of asking around ans well as the common knowledge spread around Edoras has given you some insight into what to expect at the meeting with the royal family, for it seems that the children are usually included when the king and queen meet their guests.

Théoden, son of Thengel, was born in Gondor and spent his first five years there. His mother the Queen is a noble woman of Lossarnach, and his father loved that land and its people. As a consequence, the household of Edoras speaks Sindarin and Westron, along with the tongue of Rohan. To the Rohirrim all of their speech carries strange accents, reminiscent of Elves and the Sea. Thengel therefore sometimes summons Théoden and his sisters to the great hall of Meduseld, so that they may learn the ways of the land they now call their home. They attend to meetings of great lords and gatherings of the common people alike. The King rarely allows his children to speak at these meetings – they generally deal with matters more important than a child’s education – but requires them always to listen, and eventually to ask questions of Thengel, Morwen, and their counselors afterwards.

It is not unusual for common Eorlingas to sit at table with the King in Meduseld; Thengel ofttimes has a midday meal with his folk, great or small. But it is a rare honor for the player-heroes, and it is still a recent development for anyone in Edoras to call it normal. For 50 years the former King, Fengel, made his every appearance an opportunity for great lords and merchants to gain position and influence by flattering him and bringing rich gifts, so much so that some in Edoras whispered that the “Golden Hall” had a meaning more than just its brightly-colored roof...

Today at the table are Thengel King, his dark hair streaked with grey but hale and Queen Morwen Steelsheen, tall and black-haired and regal. Young Prince Théoden, thoughtful and patient for his age, sits beside you, seemingly awed by your presence. It seems that the princesses sisters are away with cousins in Aldburg.

As you are seated, you cannot miss the sight of a lovely, golden-haired young woman bustling about. Indeed soon is is this girl who begins serving the various dishes: beef from the King’s own herd; pork from a wild boar hunted in the Everholt; a stew of carrots, cabbage, peas and leeks spiced with herbs; bread in small loaves; berries, apples, and almond cake; red wine from Gondor; and mead and beer brewed in the Westfold Vale. Queen Morwenn introduces the woman to you saying, "This is my serving lady, Sunifa. I don't know what I would do without her."

As the meal begins you notice an old captain of the King’s Guard, and other Riders of the King’s éored lurking in alcoves just out of sight.

At the outset of the meal Morwen stands and lifts a pitcher of wine. She fills Thengel’s cup for him to take the first drink, and then brings the vessel to each guest to drink in turn. The queen having served each of you, returns the cup to her husband and takes her own seat at the table.

King Thengel then looks at you ad says, "Thank you for joining us today. Thank you for your faithful service. Thank you for your loyalty. May I introduce Théoden, my son. Théoden, look well upon these guests, for individuals like these are what makes our land strong and you would do well to emulate them." Looking at each of you in turn, the King says, "Much have I heard about your exploits in my service, but tell me friends about yourselves."

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