Middle Earth FA63 D&D Game, the Game itself

First the disclaimer: The thread is for the game itself. Questions and peanut gallery stuff should go on the control thread: D & D on the Straight Dope setup thread. (In Middle Earth FA63)

**The ‘Role’-Call ** courtesy of **Malacandra. **
Thoroncil – Elendil’s Heir - Fighter, Men of Gondor (I consider him a friend, though only by Email and a few phone calls)
Ghan-buri-ghan – glee - Druid, Wild Man (“Wose”) (Very familiar, I have enjoyed your posts over the years I have been here)
Gil-Gandel – Malacandra - Trainee bard, Sindar (“Grey Elf”) (I really enjoyed his novel, thanks again for letting me read it)
Mulligan Took – CatInASuit - Burglar, Hobbit (Sister-Son of Peregrin Took himself) (You are new to me look forward to getting to know you.)
Theogrim – OneCentStamp – Knight of Rohan (I don’t know you as well as Glee, but I recognize you name and appreciate that you were the first to arrive at the Entmoot, I also remember you from some sports and Lasik threads I think.)
Deor – appleciders – Mage or Rohan (Brother of Theogrim) (You are new to me look forward to getting to know you.)
Brin – D_Odds – Ranger of Dale (A fellow Yankee fan and the only player I have met IRL)
Gwaelur son of Gwaelin – NAF1138 - Fighter, Dwarf of the Glittering Caves. (You are new to me look forward to getting to know you.)

Notable Animals:
Moose: An occasional talker and Orc Killer. He likes Ghan and does well at keeping the little guy on his back.
Folca: Doer’s really well trained Red Tailed Hawk.
Cúran: A very swift and well-trained horse of the Elves. Gil-Gandel mount.
Rohirrim War Horse: She is a large, well-armored, superbly trained War Mount. She will and does attack in combat, especially against men & goblins.

Some background, it is 63 years since Sauron and Barad-Dûr fell. King Elessar & Queen Arwen are in their prime and young Prince Eldarion is in his early training at age 20. There is still a constant struggle to tame the brown lands, Umbar, Harad, Nurn and the North. The court summers in Evedim near the lake and spend 9 months in Minas Tirith. Aragorn has campaign more often than not in the last 63 years, but far less than the prior 67. He and Arwen have had 4 daughters. Silmariën (FA45), Gilraen (FA47), Telperiën (FA51) & Fíriel (FA55)

Legolas has removed a small number of his people to Ithilien to support Prince Faramir in this fair land. He visits the courts of Faramir, Elessar, Éomer and Gimli son of Gloin often.

Faramir and Éowyn have two sons: Elboron & Caramir. Both are hardy Warriors. They say the Prince Elboron has the look of his father and Caramir of his mother’s people. Prince Caramir is a great Horseman and loves his visits to his Uncle. Both appear to take strongly after Faramir as they are aging slowly. It has been noted that Éowyn has remained very youthful for all her long years. She could be taken for Éomer’s daughter or even granddaughter rather than his sister. She looks to be in her 50s more than her late 80s. Some wonder if this was a gift of King Elessar’s healing or a reward for slaying the Witch King of Angmar. Faramir is of course still a hale and hardy man. A little over a hundred he too looks to be in his 50s.

In 61 Samwise Gamgee left Middle-earth via Mithlond. Merry and Pippin got their affairs in order and headed south to live in Gondor. Mulligan Took was among their escort.

Elladan and Elrohir of course remain the Masters of Rivendell and assist in the running of Arnor. They in no way have finished with hunting Orcs. Indeed, they have driven the Goblins far underground with their constant attacks on Goblin Gate and often roam north against Angmar itself. Elladan, Elrohir and Glorfindel seem tireless theses days in hunting the scattered remains of these ancient enemies to the North. Those often leave the care of Rivendell to the wise Celeborn. He did leave a thriving Sindarin kingdom in Southern Greenwood from where Gil-Gandel most recently hailed.

Thorin III Stonehelm rules the Durin Folk (Khazad). He rules from Erebor of course. His lords include Gimli in Aglarond, Lord Gíon of the Iron Hill and some lesser lords in the Blue Mountains and Fornost. The dwarves are again thinking of Khazad-dûm. Dori and Bofur are still alive, but quite venerable and rich.

The current setting: A large Inn & Tavern known as the **Elf Stone Inn ** down in the lowest level of Minas Tirith. Merridoc the Magnificent is regaling the patrons with his tale of adventures as one of Frodo’s and King Elessar’s companions in the War of the Ring.

Mulligan Took sits nearby Uncles Merry & Pippin. Pippin occasionally interrupts the tale to add a few comments.
Gimli and seven other dwarves sit a few tables away. Among them is Gwaelur son of Gwaelin. They have traveled with the Hobbits to visit Aragorn.

In the bar and fascinated by the tale is one Gil-Gandel and Brin of Dale. Brin has just completed a mission as courier for King Brand of Dale and King Thorin III Stonehelm.

King Brand of Dale has few Rangers in his service and Brin has been as far as the Elf King’s Caverns. He wanted Brin to give & take intelligence reports from King Thorin, King Thranduil and then the Beorning Lord Bero and find his way along the Anduin to Minas Tirith. Once there he has his permission to take a leave of absence if desired. Along the way, he hooked up with Gil-Gandel who was also traveling south by himself along the Anduin. Gil-Gandel is out to learn new songs an d tales. Brin is simply tired and thirsty.

Thoroncil has often spent a liberty in the Elf Stone Inn. He likes an excuse to take his liberty time in Minas Tirith as he is secretly hoping to catch sight of Princess Gilraen again. He is enjoying the enchanting tale of Meridoc and cannot believe his good fortune in being here this night. He thinks the older dwarf nearby is Lord Gimli himself and is angling to sit closer to either the Hobbits or Gimli. In the meantime he finds himself at a table with an Elf, a Man and a strangely deformed? short gangly man. For the third companion to Gil-Gandel & Brin was the Wose Druid Ghan-buri-ghan. His friend Moose is roaming the fields outside the city. Ghan-buri-ghan has come to Minas Tirith in hopes of seeing the famed White Tree. He met Brin just after Gil-Gandel. He was riding Moose at the time which even the long lived Elf found most odd.

Rounding out the table is a pair of unmatched brothers. One Theogrim, a tall and strong Knight of Rohan who fought with Gimli, though Gimli does not know him. Gwaelur son of Gwaelin vaguely recognizes him. Theogrim’s brother Deor sits nearby, looking very young and a bit pale, he is much shorter and smaller. In their case, Theogrim has ridden out with his family as Deor has officially completed his apprenticeship and his family chose to celebrate this recognition. Deor is probably the youngest Wizard to ever complete his studies. Theogrim pull his brother down to the Elf Stone Inn when he overheard that Lord Gimli was heading there. He thought Deor would be fascinated to meet and actual historical hero.

So the drinks are flowing, the story and songs are engrossing and the doors fly open. A harried looking man comes in and says, “My family was waylaid in Grey Woods by Orcs and foul men, are there any here that can help me fast, this is the closest place to the gates. I desperately need to find a tracker and those willing to fight some orcs. I need help or my Parents and younger siblings will be lost. Please help.” He drops to the floor.

Gwaelur son of Gwaelin wastes no time in responding publicly with a loud cry “AYE, SIR!” he is somewhat in his cups and nearly shouting, “Gwaelur son of Gwaelin will gladly join your fight. My axe is sharp and ready, and it has been too long since it has tasted Orc flesh.” Then remembering his station, he say’s to Gimli, more quietly “With your permision of course, sir. These Orcs should be dispatched quickly, and I will likely be back by morning.”

Deor elbows his brother and gives him a meaningful look. “We should help!” he mutters, a twinkle in his pale eyes. Primed by the night’s talk of old fights and his newly carved staff leaning against the table next to his right hand, Deor is eager for action.

Oh, and can we assume that this morning I prepared the following spells:
2nd level: Invisibility
1st Level: Magic Missile, Sleep
Cantrips: Distract, Cough, Firefinger, Bee, Tie, Untie

Thoroncir [note spelling], a Sea-Knight of Linhir, jumps to his feet at once. “I, too, will help this man and his family if I may, with my sword and my bow… but for the moment, behold, it seems he has greater need of a healer. Are there none in this place? Speak, friends, if there be one!” He looks around, concerned.

With a pang of regret, but without hesitation, Gil-Gandel rises, bows in the direction of Meriadoc the Magnificent, and passes up on the chance of hearing more golden words from a piece of living history. He rolls up a sheet of paper on which he has been urgently sketching notes for the last hour or so, and moments later is packed and ready to go.

“I am no healer, but tales say that the Woses of Druadan Forest have strange powers.”

Realising that no-one else has moved much, Mulligan hops down from beside the two hobbit heroes and pads quietly across to the figure on the floor, footsteps inaudible even in the quiet of the inn.

Mal bends down and checks the fallen man over to see what state he is in.

What Exit? - what is the condition of the man, is he wounded at all or is it more exhaustion?

Ghan (both he and the Moose travelling with him hate Orcs) quietly stands up.
After bowing to Merridoc the Magnificent (stories tell that the hobbit actually met the Wose Chief that Ghan is both descended from and named after), he hurries to aid the man on the floor.

*What Exit?, ** if the man is wounded I use some ‘Goodberries’ to heal him.
If he looks poisoned
, I’ll cast ‘Neutralise Poison’.
If neither works, and the man is not merely exhausted, I’ll try a ‘Detect Magic’ on him.

*I didn’t load ‘Detect Poison’ today, but hopefully I can estimate this from knowing about herbal poisons…

I have loaded today:
3rd level: Summon Insects, Neutralise Poison
2nd level: Barkskin, Cure Light Wounds, Goodberry, Flame Blade, Heat Metal
1st level: Animal Friendship, Ceremony, Detect Magic, Entangle, Faerie Fire, Speak Animals

Noted, linked doc updated

With just a hint of a smile, Theogrim looks down at his younger brother. True, it would be a welcome and worthy test of his abilities to skewer a few orcs. “Fine, Deor, if it’s excitement you’re looking for, then excitement is what you shall have.”

Theogrim stands from his bar stool; tall, blond and stern. He passes a glance over the others who have stood forth so far. The dwarf and the Gondor-man, in particular, look like strong allies in a scrap.

“Men of Rohan stand ever ready to help a stranger in need. We are Theogrim and Deor,” he says with a nod at his brother, “at your service.”

Gimli says to Gwaelur, “Aye laddie, you ride out with the men and see to this Orc work, I will follow with a larger party in case there is more too this. I should be able to raise a good war party in short order.”

Meridoc the Magnificient, perhaps caught up in his own tales and ales, proclaims, “Let me just grab my bow and we shall see about rescuing this family”. Pippin who though younger, appears older, mutters something along the lines of, “Gimli could use some help organizing the War Party”

Mulligan & Ghan realize that the man is exhausted, in shock and mildly injured. He has a head wound that appears to be more from a hard hit by a branch then any orc weapon. Ghan is able to get a cool drink of water and two GoodBerries down his throat. (Those are 2 of 16 he is carrying currently.) He also cleans the wound and dresses it.

Merry wanders towards the injured man and his 3rd cousin once removed, or is it his 2nd cousin twice removed, wait, no, it is just 1st cousin once removed and stares at Ghan briefly. “Is that you Ghan?”

Gimli acknowledges Theogrim, “A Knight of Rohan would be welcomed, as will your companion Deor. Thoroncir, you are most welcomed and my good elf, I know not your name, but unless I am mistaken, an Archer of Lorien will be especially most welcome indeed. My friend here has two good ponies and I can loan up to two more.”

Gimli asks of the bar, “Who has mounts ready to go? Is anyone skilled at tracking?” He sends a few other dwarves out to the yard to find the man’s mount and see in what condition it is.

Brin’s reply comes in about here …

The man says, “My name is Anthar, we are farmers from Stone Walk Valley. We were on our way to Minas Tirith. I was outriding but they were too many. All I could do was ride for help. It is no more than 5 miles, if we go swiftly, we might be able to rescue them.” A few of you know the Grey Woods and Stone Walk Valley start about 5 miles from the City gates. Merry, you might recall always did love studying maps. He has pulled one out of his pack.

Gimli: “Barkeep, make up a score of sandwiches fast and throw in some nuts & fruit.” He turns back to the volunteers; “There should be no shortage of water where you are headed.”

Merry: “At a swift trot we should be able to get to the ambush point in a little over half and hour.” This assumes a low speed of 15” and pushing the mounts at a good cantor. (Roughly, double walking speed)
appleciders: I will even assume that Folca is already invisible. I like the idea of darkgreen for asides and notes. Nice idea CatInASuit.

Brin looks around to see what others are doing, a plaintive “Who, me?” look on his face. Seeing no one else offering to track the orcs, he offers, in a voice not quite full of conviction, “I can track the foul creatures, if my help is needed.” He then casts his eyes around, to see if anyone has heard him. Following that, he will untangle himself from his chair, on look over the others to see the condition of the man. If he is out, Brin will go outside and quietly try to figure which direction the man came from and try to get an early indication of direction before weather and other traffic overwrites the clues.

Forgot my description:

Brin is a tall, lanky young man. He stands 6’ 3" tall and weighs about 13 stone. Tall and thin, he looks rather awkward as he walks. He has brown eyes, and his hair, worn very long (think Eomer in the movies long, but staighter and thinner) is brown with some premature grey. His skin is tan in color. Those who have rode with him have noticed that he tends to be pessimistic (he calls it realistic) and what few words he speaks often have a hint of sarcasm in them. Another trait that they may have noticed is his insecurity, especially around Elves and men of Westernesse lineage.

Brin wears armor and soft boots of deer leather, and travels with a finely made long bow. He also has a longsword for close combat, and other normal travelling gear (bedroll, flint and tinder, iPod, PDA).

As stated previously, Brin is a very simple man. He is not used to dealing with kings and their courts, and is visibly uncomfortable in their presence. He is somewhat used to working with Elves and Dwarves now, although this is his first meeting with the Wose. Everything Brin knows of Middle Earth outside of Dale, he knows from the stories of the Wood Elves. Everything Brin gets wrong about Middle Earth outside of Dale, he gets wrong because he didn’t listen closely enough.

For those interested in the basic numbers:
STR - 17
DEX - 18
CON - 16
INT - 13
WIS - 14
CHA - 10

Gil-Gandel bows very low indeed to Gimli. “Lord of the Glittering Caves, Elf-friend and Lockbearer, it is my privilege to meet you. You have surely known a greater archer than I, but I am not the least skilled of my kind, and should we chance to meet some number of orcs, I might slay… forty.[sup]*[/sup] :slight_smile: I am well horsed and can depart upon the instant, but for tracking, I willingly defer to a trained Ranger.” His gesture takes in Brin.

  • One less than Legolas’s score at Helm’s Deep, of course. His famous game with Gimli has had a song written about it.

“Theogrim and I have mounts, tied immediately outside,” Deor says eagerly. He steps over to Anthar and kneels next to the Druid, watching intently as the little man expertly dresses the wound. “What were those berries? I’ve never seen their like.”

I’m going to roleplay a little at the expense of a tiny advantage: I haven’t cast any spells today and Folca would have eaten (good plains and farmland outside Minas Tirith, excellent hunting grounds for a red-tail), so she won’t be invisible. It’s OK; she’d be darn near invisible a hundred feet up in the darkness anyway, and not much use at night to boot. Shoulda’ picked an owl…

Mal looks round at Meriadoc. “I would like to help out and if you think I am going to be left behind, think again. My pony is ready outside and you know I can help track a bit as well, not to mention just provide an extra pair of eyes and ears.”

Mal’s description

Mal is the usual height for a hobbit, that is smaller than everyone else standing a proud 3’ 5" feet tall. His brown eyes twinkle and his voice is light. The cloak wrapped round his shoulders is in good condition and showing underneath are a set of finely crafted daggers in well worn sheaths.

Seeing his brother engrossed in the study of berries :rolleyes:, Theogrim steps past Deor, the Wose and the injured man to go out and untie the horses.

Thoroncir says, “I am ready to leave at once; my horse Seafoam is stabled just down the street. Come, friends, let us make haste!” He strides for the door.

Brin: Hmmm, riding in on horseback will announce our arrival before we wish it to be known. Looks at the dwarf. Nevermind, our arrival will be announced no matter how we move. Lord Brandybuck, may I see your maps. Did you notice an approach where we may come in from high ground (OOC: because we all know how important high ground is in a fight, right?), or worse, an approach from which they could flank our approach?"

Ghân speaks respectfully to Merry.
“Lord, I am Ghân, the grandson of Headman Ghân-Buri-Ghân, who met with King Theoden in the Druadan Forest.
Tales say you were there in disguise and later performed great deeds on the battlefield.
I am honoured to help fight orcs.”

He bows again to Merry and turns to Brin.
“It is good to travel with a Ranger. I have some skill in tracking myself, but only in woodlands. Please let me know if I can help you.”

Hearing Gil-Gandel’s claim to shoot 40 orcs, Ghân gives a start and gazes admiringly at the Elf.

Then he turns to Deor.
“Greetings. These are a popular spell amongst Druids. Each one can either heal a minor wound, or feed a full-grown man!”

Suddenly realising that the volunteers are preparing to leave, Ghân rushes after Throncir.
“Sire, if your horse can carry one extra, I would be most grateful. My travelling companion Moose, who graciously permits me to ride him, is just outside the city…”

Another man stands up. “I am Ornan of Lossarnach. My Horse and I are ready to help. I think the Orcs must have some hidden warren in the mountains. We have had a few unexplained disappearances of livestock and one shepherd in the last few months. Most thought wolves, but I was suspicious already.”

You see he is around 5’9” and maybe 180 lbs. He has the look of a seasoned veteran. He has Chain Mail on and a sling on his belt.

Merry says, “Let’s make haste then. Who has the swiftest horse? Perhaps they can wait for supplies and catch up? We can carry torches for the first mile or so."

Turning to Brin, “The Valley has the Druadan Forest to the North and the Mountains to the south. I fear we can only hope to outflank their actions. Let us noisy ones distract the stealthy.”

Anthar: “I don’t think there were more than a score of these foul folk, if they took the wagons they should be easy to track. I am well enough thanks to the marvelous Wose to lead you back. Please just help me to my horse.”

The Dwarves rush back in to report, “The man’s horse looks fine and is enjoying a good long drink and some oats we provided.”
A younger dwarf pipes in, “And a handy apple”.

Gimli looks to the Elf, “Hail and well met Gil-Gandel. Am I correct that you and your horse could easily over take the ponies?” He pauses briefly, “I suggest you wait for the supplies and catch up.” He turns to the Dwarves, “Lads get some Torches lit and get these warriors on their way.” To all, “Off with you all, we won’t be more than an hour behind you if you run into trouble.”