The Last Kingdom of Men - Middle Earth Campaign

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King of Umbar
Joined: 2019-10-22 03:43
The Last Kingdom of Men - Middle Earth Campaign

Introduction

"Arvedui you shall call him, for he will be the last in Arthedain."

    - Malbeth the Seer upon the birth of Prince Arvedui, T.A. 1864

It is year 1954 of the Third Age of Arda. King Araphant, old and weak, struggles to keep the kingdom together even as prophecies that his son will be the last ruler of Arthedain swirl amongst the people.

And those prophecies seem more likely by the day. Angmar and the Witch-king's dominance grows while the power of the Free People diminishes. Rhudaur, to the east, is little more than a tributary of Angmar ruled by the Hill-man descendants of the Usurper Kings. Cardolan is long fallen to invasion and plague. The only realms of men outside of Arthedain are city-states who cowtow to Arthedain and Angmar in turn.

You have been contacted by a courier to meet an old man at the Prancing Pony in Bree. An old man that, even counting by the long years that Dúnedain live, should be long gone from Middle Earth.

Characters

  • Aglorân, a Dúnedain Champion from Arthedain
  • Baldred, an Éothéod fighter and recent exile from Framburg
    • Retired after Mortal Wound to the Lungs
  • Maedhros, a high elven swordsinger from places unknown
  • Trembler, a dwarven vaultguard from Khazad-dûm
  • Sindri, a Gondorian shieldmaiden

Session Logs

 

Nike
King of Umbar
Joined: 2019-10-22 03:43

Session 1 - No Country for Dúnedain

The group meets with Gandalf in the Prancing Pony in Bree and he convinces them to investigate an incident in a town nearby. When they get there, they discover that the high priestess of the local temple to the Valar of Healing and Grief is acting strangely and that there are wolves prowling the temple grounds.

They find a friendly tavern and return to the temple the next day, to find a gardener poking a section of mud with a stick over and over. The high priestess is still acting strangely, her eyes glazed and glossy. She refuses to let them look around the temple as they are very private.

After investigating several buildings, an abandoned inn houses several goblins in its basement. The creatures attack and are slain, leaving the question of why they are there and how they are within Arthedain’s borders. Other individuals in the town act strangely with the same vapid appearance.

The inn’s proprietress mentioned a tower nearby in the marsh, long since abandoned. A tailor, friendly if scared, directs them to a destitute livery-yard where the stableman, desperate for money, agrees to take them to the tower via rowboat. The tower is abandoned, a large snake in its basement. After slaying the snake and searching the basement, the group only finds recently looted treasure chests and a few gold pieces stuck into the mud.

On the way back, the group discovers from their guide that the town was fine up until three months ago when two strange men came and visited the temple. The description of the two men matches to a man they were greeted by on their first night in town.

Their resolve hardened, they formulate a plan to get into the temple at night.

Step One: Break Aglorân’s arm.

King of Umbar
Joined: 2019-10-22 03:43

Session 2 - Rat-men and Goblins

(written by Trembler's player)

Our brave band of heroes continued to search the town which has been overcome by a darkened force. In the knowledge that this has arisen since the arrival of two men; one fat who has since left and a rat faced man who has taken refuge at the Temple of Nienna. Wanting to assist, our heroes returned, only to encounter wolves, two lesser sisters and a gardener all who had a glazed look in their eyes, seemingly controlled by the rat-faced man.

The rat-faced man swings a censor to summon a great cloud of smoke, before taking advantage of it to flee. Trembler runs after the man, hitting him with a crossbow bolt before he tumbles into a boat and floats downriver. The group takes the innocent parties inside to be healed, where they are told of a local hermit who could assist them to discover what has happened here.

With the hermit in tow, the heroes proceed via boat to a strange, abandoned complex in the middle of the Midgewater Marshes; a former Temple to the Great Blazing Darkness before becoming a prison.  The heroes venture inside, only to be attacked by armoured guards. Baldred, an Éothéod fighter, suffers an injury to the heart that will scar him for life and joins the hermit on the boat.

Maedhros the High Elven Swordsinger and Trembler, the Dwarven Vaultguard, venture forth to find Sindri, a Gondorian Shieldmaiden, imprisoned nearby.

Continuing to explore the mysterious former Temple with their new companion, they come across a glass pyramid, holding a loosely clothed woman captive. Trembler, the impetuous Dwarf, smashes the pyramid to free the woman who appears to have been one of the legendary Maiar. She bestows upon him a golden chain necklace with an emerald leaf-shaped pendant. 

The group discovers a boat hidden behind a secret door and use it to cross an underground lake. Following the new path, they come across a pair of filthy goblins who are quickly cut down by Maedhros and Sindri.

King of Umbar
Joined: 2019-10-22 03:43

Session 3 - Flappy Wings

(written by Trembler's player)

Continuing past the two slaughtered goblins, our team come across 7 goblins; one notable goblin, taller than the others, identifies itself as “The Great Grishnak”. Being threatened, Sindri responds in kind leading to the goblins rushing at our team. Trembelr and Maedhros dispatch the small goblins. Sindri, having been hit by Grishnak falls to the floor. Not one to go down easily, Sindri slashes at Grishnak, piercing its stomach and tearing out its guts for good measure. To the victor the spoils; for Sindri, Grishnak’s masterwork sword.

Seeking to explore the Temple of the Great Blazing Shadow further, they come across a hidden chamber containing a boat capable of carrying two people. Not wishing to break up the team, our heroes decide to go another way. Coming across a set of locked ornate doors, Agloran; having caught up with the team, smashes his way through. Inside they see a row of cells. They recognise the innkeeper and proprietor whose faces light up upon seeing a familiar face. Explaining that the mysterious fat man who appeared in the town just prior to the darkness taking hold, locked them up and has been conducting terrible experiments. They direct the team to a corridor. The horror that greets them is such that Sindri is in a state of surprise. Hearing groaning sounds and a man with his throat slit and a dim light in his eyes; they know something else is at play here; they are “wights.” A man and woman, brutally murdered with a dim light in their eyes, approach our team. Knowing that these poor people are controlled by dark magic, they seek to end their suffering and strike them down.

Hoping to confront the mysterious fat man, they venture forth. Hearing the sounds of two people behind unlocked doors, our heroes enter to find the previously injured rat face man and the mysterious fat man. Combat ensues. The rat faced man, as he did previously, pulls out and swings a sensor which begins to billow black smoke; getting thicker and thicker. The fat man pulls an orb from his person. Placing his hand over, it he recites black speech to it. Tremblr fires a bolt from his arbalest temporarily breaking the ritual. The thick smoke separates Sindri from her allies. Agloran suffers damage from the fat mans vicious, poisonous spit but avoids an apparent attempt at hypnotism from the fat man and his skull with tiny medal between the eyes for Agloran has Dunedain blood, the blood of the true men of the west coursing through his veins. Collectively, they defeat the two men, tie them up and begin their interrogation. They find a book with the name of Annatar; the Lord of Gifts on the cover. The men say that “the great lord has risen. He will cover Eriador in darkness…the Great King of the bats has awoken.” Seemingly having no further use, Maedhros and Sindri kill the men and take the orb.

Looking for a way forward, they place a sword in the statue before them; a door opens and a sound emanates. Trembler is reminded of the sound from the woman in the glass pyramid. Our heroes see horrific images. Are they the inevitable future or an attempt to disband our heroes and disrupt their progress in deciphering what has happened to the town? A vile, vampire creature ventures forth to attack our heroes. Maedhros and Trembler are both downed with swift blows. The globe, previously held by the fat man flickers of fire. Thankfully, Agloran fells the creature who falls back into the water behind him before Sindri, with a precise shot kills the creature which turns to dust; leaving behind a giant ruby.

Rescuing the proprietor and helping her return to the town, our heroes know that without treatment Trembler and Maedhros will die. Whilst leaving, the torch illuminates something to the left of the cell room. The writing, in Adunaic, shifts into an understandable language, revealing a riddle. Agloran, saying Beleriand, opens the door. The treasures that greet them are 6 perfectly preserved pleasantly purple pears with 6 silver arrows below them and a hoard of silver. Taking a boat back to town, they scare off an approaching crocodile. The hermit delivers the news they wanted to hear, that he can feel the darkness lifting. Noticing the ruby, he says that it should be given to Mithrandir. Maedhros and Trembler are taken to the Temple to be healed by the High Priestess. Recovered and with their hoard of silver in tow; what will our heroes do next?

King of Umbar
Joined: 2019-10-22 03:43

Session 4 - Tharbad, City of a Thousand Stinks

(written by Aglorân's player)

In the vicinity of Bree, a couple of months of relative calm pass as the party members rest and recuperate. They decide to invest a portion of treasure into the purchase of a small house in the town and a housekeeper to maintain the property. 

A courier summons them to the Inn of the Prancing Pony, where Gandalf is waiting for them. After they recount their recent adventure, Gandalf rewards the group with a selection of items to aid them in future. He takes the Palantir-like object, saying that more may be found among the Enemy’s servants in Eriador. Gandalf is not done with tasks and names a number of locations where help is needed. The group ultimately decides that the city of Tharbad, two weeks’ journey to the south and bursting with thieves, is where they should head next.

After purchasing horses and supplies the party sets out for Tharbad. The journey is interrupted only by rodents seeking scraps of food, until the group arrives at an abandoned fort. Deciding to investigate, the party discovers ruins infested with giant spiders. A battle ensues during which much ichor is spilled and Sindri is paralysed. After finally overcoming the spiders, the group discovers and shares a significant horde of treasure.

Arriving at the outskirts of Tharbad, the party seeks tidings from suspicious local farmers. Upon entering the city gates they are overwhelmed by the crowds thronging the streets, and are accosted by a man raving about tentacles in a public toilet. Leaving Trembler to arrange accommodation, the other three decide to investigate and enter the sewers. In the cesspit beneath the public lavatories, they are surprised by the attack of a giant maggot-type monstrosity. Killing it, they then face two more attracted by the commotion. After a fierce battle, Sindri and Aglorân lie paralysed, but Maedhros is able to revive Aglorân, and together they drag Sindri to the surface and back to the inn…

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Great writeups! All the cool kids use ACKS to play in Middle Earth these days.