Middle Earth FA63 D&D Game, the Second Adventure, Scouting Ered Lithui

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)
[Prior Adventure Thread](http:// boards.straightdope.com /sdmb/showthread.php?t=458221).

**The Role Call **
Thoroncir – Elendil’s Heir - Fighter, Men of Gondor
Ghân-buri-ghan – glee - Druid, Wild Man (“Wose”)
Gil-Gandel – Malacandra - Trainee bard, Sindar (“Grey Elf”)
Mulligan Took – CatInASuit - Burglar, Hobbit (Sister-Son of Peregrin Took himself)
Theogrim – OneCentStamp – Knight of Rohan
Deor – appleciders – Mage or Rohan (Brother of Theogrim)
Brin – D_Odds – Ranger of Dale
Gwaelur son of Gwaelin – NAF1138 - Fighter, Dwarf of the Glittering Caves.
Renee- NPC – Beautiful young woman of Gondor and trained Healer of Estë

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.
Fang: The ¾ Wolf Friend of Ghân
Brownie: The Owl Friend of Ghân
Missy: The strange green eyes, white fur cat, that belongs to Renee. It will not talk to Ghân but seems very intelligent and dutiful to Renee.

Prince Caramir of Ithilien leads 5 scouting parties from Minas Tirith to Ered Lithui and the Dead Marshes. He seeks the Uruk Hai, their Shaman leader and word of the fearsome hunter killers and their strong bows.

The other leaders are Riglo of North Ithilien, and he is a skilled ranger and has been on missions into Morder. He will be scouting by himself in Ered Lithui.

Lorinden of the Forests of Ithilien. He is of Legolas’ people and a skilled tracker. He will be leading three of his own people into the Dead Marshes to check out other leads.

Captain Helton of Lebennin. He leads a mounted troop of 60 light cavalry and archers. They will not be scouting, but riding the land and waiting for our signal fires if we think we have enough to take the orcs.”

Lady Renee of the House of Healing, a acolyte of Estë. She will be traveling with you as your healer. She is knowledgeable of undead and local history. She has just traded in her white training raiment for the gray raiment of her order. She is wise beyond her years. Renee appears to be young, not even twenty. She also appears to be a rare beauty.
She has asked to just be called Renee, I am just one of nine on this mission for the Free Kingdoms.

“The five groups will work separately, but if you need help light a large fire at a high point and help should be on the way. We need to find the Uruk-Hai and orcs and be wary of their shaman leader. Ideally we will ambush a few, gather information and pull back to a central meeting point near the D in Ered Lithui on the map.

Each party should be strong enough to take on any orc scouting or hunting group or at evade them.

Except the Shaman of unknown powers and strength, we need to beware the Hunter Killer. These are specially trained Uruk-Hai elite that have specialized for years with strong bows and a fearsome archers of great strength. They are as strong and hardy as four orcs. They are faster and better than any other orcs.

All are supplied with rations for the trip. Of course anything you find is yours on the mission and at a minimal of 25 gold will be paid to each of you.

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.

Very nicely summed up at the top- I’ll be referencing that often. Thanks!
“Riglo, before you proceed, I can’t help but assume that you’ll be avoiding enemies more often than you engage them- could I offer you Invisibility? It should last until you attack an enemy.”

Riglo, “That is a mighty fine offer and I thank you and I accept.”

Ghân is pleased and proud how well the party did last time and is looking forward to this next adventure. :slight_smile:

Because of the (welcome) addition of Renee, as well as going into a the new area, he suggests a full summary of our combined abilities:

  • we have 3 tough Fighters (Gwaelur, Thoroncir, Theogrim)
  • we have 3 scouts (flankers / trackers) (Gil-Gandel, Mulligan, Brin)
  • we have 3 casters (Ghân, Deor, Renee)
  • we have a couple of flying scouts / guards (one day, one night) (Folca, Brownie)
  • we have an animal bodyguard for the casters (Fang)

He asks Renee if she would like to say anything about her cat Missy, and also what spells Renee likes to load.
Ghân suggests all the casters agree typical spells - to achieve balance and avoid duplication. The rest of the party will also want to know what is available for them. :slight_smile:
Next, because of the known danger of Hunter-Killers, we should discuss how to defend the less ‘tough’ members of the party.

Ghân would also like to know about the Ered Lithui:

  • is there enough plant life for Entangle?
  • is there enough cover for our scouts to hide?
  • will our mounts cope with the terrain?
  • will we need extra water?
  • are there dangerous local animals (e.g. large or poisonous?)

In horse-friendly terrain we should have Brin and myself out two hundred yards or so in front of the main body of the party - close enough that we can be quickly supported by the heavy cavalry, but far enough ahead to spot any threats before they can get at the spellcasters in hand to hand. Put Brin ahead and to the right, myself ahead and to the left, a hundred yards or so apart. Folca as top cover can communicate with Deor if he sees anything, and we can agree signals with him - say, circling rapidly over anything that we need to look at.

Assign a fighter to each caster - Theogrim to Deor, Thoroncir to Renee, Gwaelur to Ghân; they have Moose and Mulligan to help out as well. I don’t expect Mulligan to do enormous amounts of damage but he can slow up any enemy we meet.

Keep [del]Fluffy[/del] Fang close to Ghân. We want his nose more than his eyes - mine are naturally keen, Folca’s are even better, Deor is (I understand) enhanced by Folca as well - and since a sniff can convey a lot of information to a canine, it would be best if he has an interpreter. We can arrange that Ghân will burst into song if Fang communicates anything urgent, which will give everyone notice to be on the alert without letting any observers know that we have scented them.

Don’t keep the party members too close together. We hope not to run into too many area-effects but if we do, the better we are separated the less we will be hurt. Just make sure that the fighters are aware of where their proteges are at all times - it should be almost a reflex action for them to look for their buddy at the first sign of trouble.

Brin and I will work on some hand signals to each other if we come across patches of cover that need to be scouted - which we will ideally do one from each side, in sight of each other. If we have a large patch of dense cover then we will call up Mulligan, who is stealthy but not as mobile as we are, and he and I will check it out. If we spot anything, our objective is to make a report to the whole party and to avoid combat until we do.

We should remember that normally an ambush does not result in the ambushers being routed. If we are unexpectedly attacked and can disengage in reasonable safety, we should do so. If we can engage on our own terms then we have a powerful and well-balanced band, albeit a small one, and we should be able to run from what we cannot fight in most cases, or see it before it sees us. (A couple of score of Warg riders would badly inconvenience us, but if we don’t see or smell it first, we don’t deserve to.)

As Ghân points out, we have an excellent aerial scout for the night watches. I cannot fly, but I need little sleep as the rest of you understand it; music and daydreams rest my mind about as well as unconsciousness does yours. I am sure Missy the cat will be hard to sneak up on as well, and a startled cat is an excellent alarm system. Otherwise we will need a guard rota, and we may as well have one heavily-armoured type ready at all times.

Brin, I shall rely on you to find us good camp-grounds an hour before sunset each day; somewhere with good water (which Ghân can advise you on) and well screened. If we are able to build a small fire where its light cannot be seen then so much the better, but we are on a military mission and not a camping holiday, and must be prepared to accept some privations; I will not impugn the hardiness of our gentle Healer by suggesting we make special concessions for her.

Our best defence against the dreadful Hunter-Killers is to be aware of them before they are aware of us. We need to discuss what means we have of incapacitating them. Mulligan’s smoke-bombs are one excellent resource: Ghân’s summoned Insects are another.

I shall have more to say at our first halt. It could be that we could lay an ambush of our own. As Brin probably knows, and Fang may confirm, a good hunter is one who knows where to go to find prey; a great hunter, one who knows how to sit and let the prey come to him. :slight_smile:

An excellent set of suggestions. :wink:
Ghân’s comments are interspersed in purple…

Thoroncir heartily endorses our noble captain Gil-Gandel’s marching orders. He will protect Renee at all costs.

glee, unless you want me to refer to your Wolf-friend by the same name as a certain three-headed Hogwarts sentinel, you will kindly refrain from any untoward comments about the fair Renee. :wink:

My only note is this- I’m slightly uncomfortable with Folca acting in an un-hawk-like manner when we’re looking for enemies who are by nature excellent archers and foresters. Might we arrange instead that Folca will stay quite high up, out of bowshot (or at least easy bowshot) and roughly centered on Brin and Gil-Gandel, then fly ahead towards the target, call out, then quickly drop back. I’d be even more comfortable if we can arrange a way for me to personally contact you- possibly a Whistle?

What Exit, does Folca fly high enough to be out of danger from bowshot from Hunter-Killers?

Where we cannot ride, we must march, of course. We will wish to leave our mounts somewhere in safety - they will doubtless look of their own accord to the great horse of Rohan and to my good Cúran for leadership according to their own kind, especially with Ghân’s instruction, and there should be little that can catch them in open country. We will still have Moose’s company as well as Fang’s and the birds’, and so be well served by their keen senses.

The order of march that served us well in our search for Gash’s stronghold should do well enough again. If there be a trail to follow, naturally we shall need Brin to follow it for us (or Fang by scent, if he can once be put to it), and again, if we must investigate possible ambush sites, Mulligan and I are the natural choices by virtue of our special training.

Ghân reminds me of his Obscurement spell, which it would be well to have ready if we are suddenly assailed. The principal drawback is that none within it can well see out - but as a temporary hiding place for our casters, if they need a minute or two’s grace to put up protective spells, it should be invaluable.

I spoke of the need to hide our fire or do without, but if we have reason to believe that there are enemy near, and we are able to rest ourselves during the day, we could use a fire to set a trap during the night watches. It is a variation on the age-old plan of putting dummies in bedrolls by the fire - but with the added bonus of Ghân’s Pyrotechnics spell to blind any assailants who are attacking our supposed camp-site. Perhaps Renee is able to prepare a Light spell? With a little planning that could be cast at the same time while we, forewarned, guard our sight from the Pyrotechnics, and then still have light in plenty to illuminate our battle against our dazzled enemies although the camp-fire will have been put out by Ghân’s spell.

It does have the disadvantage that we stand to alert every enemy for miles when we do this, but we can offset this by scouting out our way of retreat ahead of time, and arrange to be gone shortly after we have ambushed our would-be ambushers.

A few ideas from me:

Buddying up the fighters and casters is a good idea, although I would add, please don’t get so hung up on protecting someone that it is to the detriment of the rest of the party. I will do what I can to help, but in out and out combat, don’t expect too much. Despite my actions so far, I would prefer to remain as quiet as possible :wink:

Also, this will be our first journey together over a fair distance. We will not all act in the same way or be able to do the same things, although if we work together this should not be a problem. Please be considerate of the others, not concessions, but understanding.

The good news is that we know they are out there, but they may not know we are coming, although it would surprise me little if they expected us. The Orc Shaman may be who Gash was talking to. His lack of response could be of concern.

We will find out in due course.

I will be honored to serve sas Ghan’s guard on this journey. Ghan all I ask in return is that you keep yourself between me and your dog. I trust you, but the wolf will do nothing to help me protect you on this journey.

The night before we leave, Deor will cast Invisibility on Riglo. The morning we leave, Deor will cast Invisibility on himself. The next morning, he’ll cast it on Renee if she wants. (Gallantry aside, she’s got a higher constitution score than I do and is better disguised anyway.) Finally, on the fourth day, Deor will cast Invisibility on Folca- she’ll be almost impossible to detect in that state.

“Renee, I could cast Invisibility on Missy, if you want. It might give her an extra chance to avoid enemies should we get caught in combat.”

Ghân: Fang sees himself as part of a wolf pack, headed by me. He will stay near the casters, whereas you can choose to go where you are most needed.
I am certain that, especially in open terrain, there will be no problem for all of us to work well together.

Before we leave, Ghân will Speak to all the horses and explain the above.
He will also introduce them to Fang.

Ghân: The only problem with the plan above is having two Invisible people marching and being defended close together.
If Renee is confident in her Cloak and her ‘Sanctuary’ type ability, then let her stay visible.

I forgot to put this in the summary. It is May 25. Sunrise & Sunset is 05:28 & 19:38.

Renee answers Ghân, “Missy is my friend. She has always been with me. I got her as a kitten in a visit to Elves. She is a bit more than she appears, she will guard us well at night and wake me instantly.”

“For spells I have only four, 2 Cure Lights of double affect, Purify Food & Drink and a special singing spell known as the Song of Estë that will give all of my friends a +1 Save and -1 to be hit and damage will discourage others from attacking me even more. It lasts as long as I sing. It is similar to the second level chant.”

Ered Lithui in May will have plenty of water. There are places where we will need to boil it. Once in the foothills, riding in might be dangerous. We may have to resort to walking. We can always arrange to leave our horses with Captain Helton’s troop.

There will be many places where entangles work well and a few where they won’t. Thusly there will be places where scouts can go well in stealth and places where they cannot.

There are some dangerous snakes and we need to watch out for the large spiders in the mountains themselves.

Renee asks, “Ghân, if you are not comfortable singing out danger, could you not use animal sounds to do the same? You seem better capable of this than any I have met.”

Caramir, “I strongly suggest you cover the dark watches in camps with Gwaelur and Mulligan, they will both see better than any humans. Gil-Gandel of course could share both. That lets him rest late evening and early morning. The Humans then off course take the lighter watches. I think it is reasonable that you will travel with many breaks for no more than 12 hours a day and often only 10. This will leave plenty of time at this time of year for full sleep. As Missy & Brownie can help in the dark hours, you will still have 8 eyes most of the time and be well covered.”

Moose in common, “Moose Too!”

Folca can fly out of range of even Hunter Killers but he must remain very high. At least 1500’ to be safe.

Renee to Deor, “While I will be happy for the spell of invisibility, I would be happier yet if you protect Missy with it. Thank you for your kindness.”

Cúran could probably lead and herd the other horses. That is an excellent suggestion that will allow you to retain your mounts longer.

Note to Glee: Don’t forget you have an ability to speak with animals. It is already 42%. The more you are with the animal, the better you can communicate with it without using a spell.

Ghân’s comments below interspersed in purple

I hope you’re not expecting me to keep running percentages of how well I speak each animal language… :eek: :smack:

In the Morning the party prepares to set out.

Gil-Gandel, you note the Healer has an exceptional Cloak of Lothlorien that is better than yours. She also wears an fine Elven Brooch of Imraldis.

She also appears to be very Elvish looking, you recall that was said of the house of Dol Amroth and you might even recall that Faramir’s Mother was of the stock and said to be of elven beauty.

**Theogrim ** you note she is riding an exceptional Silver Grey Mare, her markings and colors would lead you to believe she is from the line of Shadowfax himself. Her looks is rarely seen outside this greatest line.

Everyone notices that there is a special pillow built in front of the saddle for Missy to ride (sleep).

Renee " Ghân, I can cast all 4 of my spells as cure lights this way, so I am fine. I am also is a very good Herbologist and trainer healer and I have lots of seeds for you to grow if we run low."

The groups rides out of the city and meets up with Moose and then with Captain Helton and the rest of the Rangers.

Merry, Pippin, Gimli and Jari all rode out with you to see you all off. They wish you luck and safety. Pippin reminds them to bring Mulligan back safely and Merry reminds Mulligan to bring the group a little Hobbit Luck.

Gimli tells Gwaelur to do the Dwarves proud and to slay many orcs. Then with a laugh he says, “You to Moose. I think today I will declare you an honorary Dwarf. KILL ORC AND PROSPER!”

Moose bellows back, “May your Beard grow ever longer.” But it is in moose and Ghân needs to translate it.
**Caramir related the following to all: **

The journey begins. It is 25 miles East and over the Bridges to the North/South road of Ithilien. Then 125 miles to the Dead Marshes or the turn east. (here the Elves and Riglo will break off.

Then we have 225 miles east across the plains to about where the D is in Ered Lithui. Here the three groups break up.

My calculations is that at Pony Speed we will make roughly 5mph for 8-10 hours a day of riding or 40-50 miles per day.

Off the road we will only roughly 4mph for roughly 32 miles per day, maybe 35 miles.

Thankfully nights are short and and getting shorter. A good time of year for a long orc hunt.

It should be peaceful for the first 150 miles, taking 3 to 4 days. The weather will probably be rainy on and off, but never too bad.

Thoroncir is eager to face whatever challenges lie ahead, and is resolved to overcome them all for the greater glory of Gondor. He will ride near Renee the Healer, but without crowding her, speaking with her when her gaze or her mood indicates she might welcome conversation.

The Sea-Knight also politely reminds Prince Caramir that he would still like to acquire a goodly length of Elven rope if the opportunity presents itself along the way to Ered Lithui.

Yes, Legolas famously recognised Prince Imrahil as having Elvish blood, of the line of Nimrodel.

As to Ghân, I rather thought that his singing alone might scare off some of our fainter-hearted opponents. :stuck_out_tongue:

Riding nearby, while still in friendly country and before needing to take up station as outrider, Gil-Gandel gently strums on his harp while the Sea-knight and the healer talk. (At this gentle walk, he might as well be sitting in an easy chair.)