The Darkening of Mirkwood

Dis Connected
After they had questioned and released their prisoner the group made camp near the cave, leaving infiltration of the bandits until the next the morning. During the night Pytr and Olo parted from Telearel and Omund to investigate the area around the cave. But while they crept toward the cave there came a sound like the fluttering of many wings and they saw a large amorphous black cloud ascend into the sky over the cave. The cloud then dived toward Olo and Pytr’s positions while a dark shadow peeled away toward Telearel and Omund. Telearel and Omund took deadly aim at the foe, but not before it raked its claws across the Elf, and then letting out a bone chilling screech as it fled into the night. Cutting it closer than they meant to, Olo and Pytr also managed to beat off their furry winged attackers (sorry, no scales here).

Following the attack the group stole upon the mouth of the cave and made swift work of the outer guards. Slinking into the cave, the group also quickly took down a group of men with a wolf in the first large chamber they come across. Looking around the room, the group noticed a part of the wall that turned out a be a boulder blocking the passageway with a gap between the top of the rock and the roof. Olo jumped over the rock and the damp cave behind stank of an unclean odor and the oppression of a palpable darkness. Deciding to take a less odious route, the team continued down the other hallway and came to a kennel housing a number of the wolves. The group managed to take out all of the wolves, but not before the leader of the pack raised the alarm. Within moments other bandits came down a hall that led deeper into the earth and the group was beaten back to the mouth of cave by ceaseless arrow fire.
Taking up camp right outside the mouth of the cave, the group kept an eye on the movements of the bandits while taking some time to lick their wounds. Near the bottom of the hill to the other side of the cave the group then located a stream with some small plants growing around it that Pytr recognized as a healing herb, which they sorely needed. Further investigation of the stream showed that it came from a cave which was big enough to allow in a human-sized person. Olo took the challenge of determining where the water came from and if it was an alternate pathway into the bandits’ hideout. After passing by a couple of sources of light which turned out to be well openings into the bandits’ cave, Olo led the group to a large cave where they could climb out of the subterranean waterway.
The cave ran across the stream both toward and away from the general direction of the outlaws’ lair, so the team decided to take their chances by heading away. The passage then forked, and after finding a stairway with a locked door at the end of the right hand passage the group went to the left. That passage ended in a large cavern that extended beyond the extent of the torch light strewn with bones smaller than human sized. The team soon heard shuffling and out of the darkness came three large reptiles, just like the one they had seen being transported through Mirkwood by a team of trolls and goblins a few months before. All three monsters are put down, but not before the group was attacked with a cloud of poison spat from the mouth of one of the beasts. Fortunately Pytr managed to brew a concoction for the group that allowed them to overcome the effects of the poison.
After some resting up the group decided to re-investigate a door at the end of the other passage Olo managed to pick the lock and after silently opening the door, they saw the shape of a large man silhouetted against the light of an oil lamp. Unaware of their presence, the group attacked the man thinking he was the leader of the bandits. He put up a strong fight, but the team finally took him down, and unceremoniously executed him after they could not extract any information out of him. In a recess behind the door there were also stored piles of armor of dwarven make, but all of which were man-sized and bore the arms of Dale. Around the room they also found scattered letters and maps of the region, all written in the Black Speech and bearing the mark of a sword splitting the image of a broken bow. Telearel’s expertise in the matter only allowed him to discern the names of the author Turumarth and his ancient realm of Angmar. They collected the letters and took them with him.
By following the other door in the room, the group traveled down the passage and eventually found the prison housing the dwarven prisoners. Unfortunately only 12 dwarves remained of the 40 that set out from the Blue Mountains, Dis among them. After a lengthy discussion, the dwarves agreed that the party was not allied with their captors, and agreed to follow them out. After some stealthy scouting by Olo, the team decided to leave the caves by the same way they came in, with the hopes that they could steal away unawares. Fortunately no pursuit followed the them and the group found refuge in the settlement of Shieldwall.
Help and re-enforcements from Dale and the Mountain arrived at the settlement after news of the prisoners’ release reached them and there was a celebration when the sister of the King Under the Mountain finally came into her new home. After the party brought back news of armor bearing the arms of Dale found in the cave, King Bard made an inquiry of his armories and discovered that there were many more sets of imitation arms and armor in his stores than could be accounted for by the group’s report.News had also come to Dale from the Woodland Realm indicating that Gandalf made progress in his search through Thranduil’s libraries of lore, but that the team needed to join him soon.
However, before the team made ready to leave for Mirkwood an emissary from the Mountain came with thanks for the deliverance of their people. At the behest of Dis, some gifts from the Blue Mountains were given as her personal token of thanks. To Telearel, as a recognition of a common purpose of both peoples, arrows forged in the Blue Mountains for the slaying of orc kind. To Omund, arrows for the slaying of Trolls, meant as a gift to match the size of his legendary prowess in archery. For Olo, a shield to adequately protect one his size, yet light as a wisp of cloud. For Pytr, a dagger said to be forged by the Master smith Telchar which prior warriors said had always given them strength.
After these final blessings from the King Under the Mountain, the team set their sights to the West with the next step in finding the Green Keep and helping Pytr keep his oath…

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A Yule You Will Never Forget

Each of the party members dispersed to their respective retreats to spend a few weeks with kith and kin. Their repose was interrupted just a few days before the turning of the year by an invitation from King Bard to his Yuletide celebration. The group reassembled at the Palace of Dale along with many notables from the surrounding kingdoms, including a surprise appearance by Gandalf the Grey.
While everyone was enjoying themselves, Bard asked for a tale of surpassing prowess to regale the Great Hall. After a few tales were heard a great knocking was heard at the door. Upon the third blow the doors yielded and in rode a huge bearded man astride an equally massive horse.
While he might be taken for Beorn for his size, it was the green hue of both the rider and the horse that made it quite clear that this was not a person anyone in the room had seen before. In one hand he held a branch of verdant holly, while in the other he held a huge green bearded axe with tracery of silver. No other gear of war did he bear on his person, for he wore only a green tunic, trousers, and boots. The man, if man he was, first assured the assembly that he came in peace and then asked if he was in the court of the famed Dragonslayer Bard the Bowman. Then he went on to challenge the courage of all present to a special sport: that night he would take a blow to the neck from his own axe at the hand of anyone who had the courage to swing it if in a year the same person would seek out the stranger’s abode and allow him to return the blow.
Stunned silence greeted the newcomer, except for Telearel who got up and left the feast in protest. With no other response the Green Knight asked again if he was in the right place because he had heard that Bard, and presumably those who followed him, were men of courage and renown. King Bard stirred in his seat and was about to stand when Pytr Bronn stood up an accepted the challenge. The green stranger addressed Pytr and had him repeat the terms back to him. When asked where he dwelt, the Green Knight assured Pytr that if he could, he would tell him after Pytr’s blow fell. Pytr then took the axe, and after becoming acquainted, he let the axe fall on the Green Knight’s naked neck.
The Knight’s head fell to the ground and rolled toward the high table, but the body did not fall. Instead it stood up, reclaiming the axe from Pytr with one hand, and with the other he picked up his head that had come to rest near the feet of Bard. Having collected everything he had come with, the body of the Knight mounted the horse and the disembodied head addressed Pytr: ‘In one year, on the first new moon after the Yule, you will come to the Green Keep and I will deliver the blow in return. Search where you think you will find me. Come or the dreadful curse of broken vow will befall the house of Dale.’ The green knight and steed then fled into the night and were not seen in Dale again. Bard managed to calm his guests following this disturbance, and after all the guests had had their fill and departed later that night, Pytr consulted with Gandalf and Bard and agreed to meet the following day to discuss possible locations of this Green Keep.
In the palace library the group found Bard, Gandalf, and Alwis the following day, pouring over the tomes of lore that were in Dale trying to discover the location of this mysterious keep. A number of places were discussed, but the most promising place to look seemed to lie in the ancient name of Mirkwood, Greenwood the Great. Telearel pointed out that the lore of the Woodland Realm would most certainly contain more information regarding such a place if it exists in the forest and offered to aid Gandalf in his search in the libraries of the elves. Plans we laid to begin the journey, when an urgent message came the following day to return to the palace.
Upon arrival the group found Bard and Balin in a visibly strained tete-a-tete. Appearently a caravan of dwarves from the Blue Mountains was traveling to the Lonely Mountain, had entered the lands of Dale two weeks before, but then had gone missing. They should have arrived by now, and the ravens had been sent in search but could find no trace of them. However a few days ago a mostly-dead dwarf staggering out of the northern wastes and after being nursed for a few days the dwarves determined that he is Skafith, the leader of the caravan. Among his delirious ramblings about the journey they learned the group was captured by Bardings. Further information regarding the location of the others could not be teased from him beyond two cryptic hints: ‘Keep the stars of the Seven Fathers before you and on your right until you come the Dragon’s Teeth’ and ‘Look for the cavity at the base of the fang when the dragon is smoking.’ Balin arrived from the Mountain this morning bearing this news, of which Bard denies any knowledge and begged for the opportunity to go in search of the missing dwarves. His offer was refused because the dwarves of the Mountain no longer trust Bard, particularly because this caravan contains many dwarf women, one of which is Dis, sister of Thorin Oakenshield and mother of the slain heroes Kili and Fili. Seeking for a compromise Bard asked that the Mountain consider sending a small group upon whom both peoples can rely, hence our trusty band having won the respect of the Mountain by rescuing Balin and seeing him through Mirkwood, and having secured the faith of Bard on the reputation of his vassal Omund and because of the valor of the others shown at Battle of the Crossings of Celduin. While this means that they must put the quest for the Green Keep on hold, Bard assured them that Gandalf had already made plans to journey to the Woodland Realm and ask Thranduil for access to his vaults of lore. The group agreed and prepared to set out the next day.
The dwarves showed the group where Skafith was found and with only his delirious ramblings to go on, the group managed to find their way north to a row of mountains that seem to fit the description given in the riddles. While trying to figure out how to go forward from here the group spotted a couple of armed men with a large dog (?) that seem very lightly laden for folk traveling through such a wasteland. The pair and large canine charged when they spotted the group, and the pair’s wolf and one of the bandits were dispatched with little effort. The second, realizing that he was woefully outnumbered, turned to run and almost got away before being tackled by Olo. With some assistance from Pytr, Olo subdued the man and the group then gave him a choice, help them or die. He tried to play for some advantage in the situation seeing the group was in need of information, but finally succumbed to his hunger and took the food offered to him then ran. In return for the meager rations, the group learned that in some caves close by a group of men held some prisoners and were led by a fearsome man called Eofur, or ‘the Boar.’

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A Winter's Rest

After spending a luxurious night in the Dale jailhouse the party was awakened in the morning to the sound of the prison warden scrubbing the floor of the jailhouse. After a short conversation that did anything but place further confidence in the judicial system of the city, the group was fed with a cup of cold gruel and left to wait until called. When they were finally called before the magistrate, Olo tried to make a break for it by disappearing, but in the end made himself known when the jailor made it clear that they were not going anywhere until people belonging to all the names on his list were present and accounted for.

In the courthouse at Dale the group was introduced to magistrate Thane Brand who inquired about their side of the story before asking the same of the captain of the city watch. The group argued that they were set up by a group that obviously knew of the letter they were carrying and wanted to intercept it before it made its way to King Bard, however the captain of the watch thought it much more likely the group was trying to get their hands on extra goods and money from a foreign tradesman. The group countered that many in their group were of high standing and did not need to rob a cheese monger for sustenance, but when Brand heard about a woman who had witnessed the disturbance in question, he tabled the discussion until she could be found and questioned.

While awaiting her arrival Brand addressed the next issue on his docket, which was a counsel with the ambassador from the Mountain, who was no less than Balin. Balin recognized the group and was exceedingly glad and put in a good word for them before Thane Brand. After the woman was found and the case finally decided in favor of the group, conversation turned to the issue of the letter and Brand called for Alwis, the most respected loremaster in Dale, to be present and examine the letter and its translation. After an inspection and questioning of the group in regards to the letter, its origins and means of translation, the group was released from custody and told that they would be sent for if any other information was needed. Before rushing off to another diplomatic engagement, Balin thanked the group again for their help in Mirkwood and in gratitude for their services the Mountain provided some rooms for them at an elegant inn as well as food at a prestigious eating establishment.

After spending a relaxing day eating, shopping, and eating in Dale the group received an invitation from Balin to come to the dwarven embassy on the palace grounds for dinner that evening, much to the hobbit’s delight. Upon being led to the embassy by a young dwarf, they were welcomed into a private room by Balin, Oin, and Gloin who greeted them with open arms. As further thanks for their help in re-establishing communication with the eagles each member of the group was given a gift carefully chosen for them from King Dain’s horde. Balin went on to talk about some of the general happenings in the region since he had last seen the group and the conversation was drawn back to the contents of the letter they bore. Balin was familiar with the letter and where it was found, but not its translation or significance. Following the reading of the translation and discussing it with Oin and Gloin, all three agreed that it was a matter that needed to be brought up with the King Dain. Oin sent a raven to the mountain that night, and all three dwarves assured the party that it would be addressed with the King before he slept that night. The dwarves thanked the group yet again for their services to the Mountain and the peoples of the North, and invited them to sit at the meal that was then ready to be served. The meal was delicious and the music and stories made the night pass by in a flash. Late that night, right before Balin finally bade them good night, he explained that it being late in the year and winter on Dale’s doorstep he had made arrangements that the Mountain would see to their needs for food and lodging until spring. With that the group wandered back to the inn and collapsed on their freshly turned down beds.

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Journey to Dale

After spending one more night under the auspices of the Elven King the party set sail again down the Forest River toward Long Lake, this time accompanied by Heledir the Elven ambassador to Laketown. After exchanging pleasantries, the boat was underway and encountered no troubles on the water given that this stretch of the river has been a well used waterway for many years, even before the coming of the dragon. However, after the river had wandered into the marshes that stand between the palace and Long Lake, Olo noticed a strange light on the north bank very similar to the lights other members of the party had seen in Stillwater and more recently upon the Forest River. He decided to investigate stealthily. Slipping off the boat he made his way to the north bank and sidled upon a shadowy being with large luminous eyes busy about its own business. Olo then jumped upon this figure and after some vigorous wrestling managed to pin it to the ground. Around this time Pytr’s dog Beren could be heard barking and running toward the two struggling figures indicating that Olo’s absence had not gone completely unnoticed. Upon the sound of the approaching dog the small pale figure screeched and hissed in fright and fought back with new found strength. The soft sliminess of the ground allowed it to finally elude Olo’s grip and run off into the fens, not to be seen again by the group for the remainder of their journey.

Upon arriving at Laketown the group disembarked in the Elven Quarter of the city and made their way to the Arrow and Thrush tavern where Pyter and Olo first met. They were greeted by the barkeep, Sigurd, and his 10 year old son, Lars, who took an immediate liking to Beren. Apparently Sigurd recognized Omund since both had been involved in the same trade before the dragon destroyed the town, and he gave them directions to an ‘affordable’ tho not exacrly customer-friendly boatman who might be able to get the whole party to Dale since that is the direction they were heading. After the party met the boatman and made plans, they went about Dale gathering supplies while the he completed his preparations. That afternoon they started out from Laketown and made their way north off the lake and continued up the Running River all through the night. About mid-morning the next day they reached the harbor of Dale and after receiving less than warm regards from the boatman at their parting made their way to Omund’s house in the city.

They found the house remarkably undisturbed after a year or so of absence, and decided to take a short time to rest and collect their thoughts before trying to approach King Bard with the news of the letter. On their way to the palace the group observed that Dale is a city still under construction with beautifully renovated houses standing next to blocks of rubble with only chimneys to suggest that houses had once stood there. When traveling through a particularly narrow street between two larger roadways Beren took a sniff of one of the locals in the alley and began to growl and raise his hackles for no apparent reason. In response, the ruffian drew a sword and rounded on the party. He was quickly joined by 8 other seemingly non-descript locals whom Omund then recognized as having the look of Easterlings. Even after a display of Telearel’s elven awesomeness the party was set upon by these bandits. Telearel and Omund slew the leader with deadly shots from their bows. During the ensuing fight the group identified a couple of lieutenants in command of the brigands. After suffering woeful blows to Beren, Pyter, and Olo a lieutenant commanded his minions to hold their attack and asked the party to relinquish the letter that they bear. After a moment or two of indecision the group tried unsuccessfully to break the circle and the onslaught resumed. During this time a woman in one of the surrounding buildings poked her head out of the window to ask what was causing the raucous down on the street, to which the same lieutenant yelled at her to mind her own business. Shortly after this exchange both lieutenants met their maker and the team was left to deal with the minions. Just then, the noise of raised voices and marching feet came from one end of the alleyway and the remaining Easterlings fled in the opposite direction, abandoning the bodies of their comrades. The group was then confronted by Ulf, the captain of the guard, who demanded they tell him who they are, why they were there, and to account for the dead men at their feet. After hearing the party’s explanation the captain was very skeptical. Without anyone in the alley to corroborate the party’s information he took them to the city gaol until all the details of the event can be sorted out.

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Down by the Riverside

After spending a night in the halls of the Elven King, the group awakened to find a frugal but filling breakfast waiting for them. After finishing their meal, they were summoned to Thranduil’s private study where he told them that after their conversation the night before he has decided to send a small expeditionary force to the south to aid the Woodmen in whatever perils they may face and reconnoiter the activities of the Shadow. Following this short audience the party was instructed to gather their things and were escorted to the banks of the nearby Forest River where they boarded a small ship bound for the king’s mountain palace in the east.

Their travels upon the river were mostly without event, with the exception of witnessing a couple of great cataracts along the river around which the elven crew guiding the boat had to port the vessel. The only other unusual event was one night when the group spotted an unusual light hovering over the south bank of the river. Telearel said he saw this same sort of unusual light in Stillwater a few weeks before, however when one of the boat elves left the boat to investigate the sight nothing was found except a few half-eaten fish.

Things got hairy when the group ported around the last waterfall, and ran into a mixed bunch of orcs and trolls traveling south through the forest toward the river. The largest troll of the bunch was in charge and actually appeared to have the mental faculties to lead, much to the chagrin of the group. The leader attacked the party while the other two trolls put down whatever was in the cage they were carrying and attacked the boat elves who had drawn themselves up into a battle formation. After a long struggle the team finally managed to bring down the behemoth, but not before he seemed to give some final commands to the two remaining trolls who were engaged with the wood elves. One of the trolls broke off the attack, ran back to pick up the cage, and started running for the river. The elves, who had not fared quite so well with the two hill trolls, continued to engage the remaining troll and the party worked on bringing down the rest of the group. Omund and Telerel peppered the fleeing troll with arrows while Olo ran after it with his short sword and Pytr swept off the remaining orcs with his axe. Olo managed to catch up to the troll in mid-stream and land a few solid hits before the troll dropped the cage and was finally swallowed up by the river. Whatever sort of beast was in the cage was obviously not accustomed to water for it lashed about in the cage as it sank and let out a hideous roar and belched out noxious fumes before is sank beneath the water and was also swept away downstream. Due to his close proximity to the beast Olo took a blast full in the face, but managed to overcome monster’s vile effusion and made it back to shore to join the others. Upon rejoining the group Olo realized that they were busy questioning the troll leading the group who, while mortally wounded, was still alive. When asked why it was there and what was in the cage, it just mocked the party and informed them that his mistress was a mighty one and that they could not resist ‘her.’ With that the group ended the beast’s suffering.

The battle was now over, but three elves had fallen in the fight and their comrades gave them a proper funeral before boarding the boat and traveling the final leg to the palace. On the way to the palace the group did find debris which looked like the remains of a wooden cage caught among rocks in the river, however the beast was nowhere to be found. All that was found were teeth embedded in the wood, presumably from the monster. That night they finally arrived at the mountain palace of the Elven King where they succumbed to much needed sleep.

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Into the Woods

After spending some time at the Easterly Inn, the party decided to investigate the signs and stories of battle to the north with the Viglundings. Just north of where the the Elf Path enters Mirkwood the group came across the burned up remains of a homestead being attacked by an unknown group of bandits. The Beorning family of the homestead was holed up in the stable by the marauders, but the group helped to fight off the attack and kill the leader of the group. Unfortunately the eldest son was wounded in the fight, apparently mortally, until Pyter intervened with an herbal remedy. Seeking a place of relative safety to heal, the group took the family to the Easterly Inn where Olo and most of the family remains while the rest of the party and the father traveled to Beorn’s House to relay the news of the attack. While at Beorn’s the group also conveyed the bad tidings contained in the Black Speech letter, which left him relatively unimpressed given his current conflict with the Viglundings. The following morning the group set out back for the Easterly Inn to pick up Olo before journeying on to the palace of the Elven King on the other side of Mirkwood.

While journeying through Mirkwood the group was stopped by an Elven patrol which explained that they were actually expected in the Woodland realm. The patrol captain does not render further details , but she does blindfold all the members of the party before leading them deep into the forest. After a couple days march the group was led inside a series of caves and relieved of their blindfolds before meeting the chamberlain of the palace who was less than thrilled to see such a motley group of outsiders. After waiting a few hours with nothing but a pitcher of water to keep them company the group was led to an audience chamber and introduced to Thranduil. The king of the Woodland Realm happened to be taking part in a hunt in that part of the forest when word reached him from Radagast concerning a message that was headed toward him regarding a new threat to all dwellers of the forest. After listening to the group and their concerning letter about a possible attack from southern Mirkwood, he dismissed them making provision for them to remain in the palace for the night. Now the group must rest and wonder what the king is planning regarding the defense of the forest…

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Homecoming

The worthy company set out from Rhosgobel laden with the letter from Elrond and now an epistle from Radagast asking the Elven King to come to the Woodmen’s aid against the blow that was soon to fall upon them. Due to the bad blood between Olo and the Beornings, the party decided to take Olo to his hometown of Stillwater ostensibly to leave Olo while the rest of the group went to warn Beorn of his peril. Seeing no designated center of town upon coming into Stillwater, the party knocked on the door of a hobbit hole in a bank east of town and was greeted by the family of Fosco Puddifoot, the Postmaster of Stillwater.

It took a little bit of convincing for Fosco to believe that a motley group of adventurers appearing out of the Wild meant him no harm, but after that he invited the group in and gave them a place to sleep for the night. Omund had the fortitude to try to sleep on the beds of two hobbit children, while Pytr and Telearel spent the night outside in the autumn air. Only Olo got a good night’s sleep. Beneath the stars that night Telearel thought he saw a pale light twinkle down in the town near the water, but it winked out as quickly as it appeared. Upon investigation of the area where he thought he saw the light, Telearel, Pyter, and Beren found a small pile of golden rings, earrings, and pendants just dropped in the middle of the road. The day before, Fosco had alluded to conflicting rumors going around the town of someone (or something) lurking about described as a ghost or goblin stealing women’s jewelry and/or terrorizing children in their beds. When morning came, the virtuous crew returned the loot to Fosco and further investigated the site in question with him. There they found a print in the mud that was clearly not a goblin or an orc print, but that of a hobbit or small human. The mix of human children and hobbits living in the area made it very difficult to narrow down who might be responsible, but Fosco said he would bring it up at the next weekly town meeting.

After being generously fed a very filling breakfast the entire party (including Olo) made for the Easterly Inn. Upon arrival Beren was met by the Inn’s dog, and the group was soon greeted at the doorstep by the owner of the inn, Dody Brandybuck. He welcomed them warmly and attended to all their needs after making sure they were provided with their libation of choice. Olo and Pytr were brave enough to try a fiery concoction of stiff drinks that had a reddish-golden hue and was aptly named ‘Smaug.’ Olo managed to keep his wits while downing the drink, however Pytr was finished before the drink was and needed the assistance of friends to make it to bed.
The next day Pytr made it to breakfast only after soothing his headache with some herbs he found in his pack. During breakfast the group learns from Dody that fighting between the Beoirnings and Viglundings explains the columns of smoke they had seen to the north while on the road yesterday, and why there were no other guests at the inn. The group informs Dody that there is new trouble brewing to the south which makes him visibly distressed, and he implores the party to beseech both Beorn and the King of the Woodland Realm to aid in bringing peace to the area. At the conclusion of breakfast the team decides that they must first go to Beorn before heading into the woods, but the question of what to do with Olo in the meantime still remains a sticking point…

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With a Little Help from my Friends
Starting Again

Rivendell, the Last Homely House of the West, is where the party spent their time of much needed rest after braving the forest of Mirkwood and a meeting with the Eagles. During this respite the group sharpened their skills while Elrond spent much time in his study attempting to decipher the message they had captured from an orc messenger in the east of Mirkwood. On Midsummer’s Eve the group is called to Elrond’s study and they learn that the letter indicates that Sauron was not vanquished when he was forced out of Dol Guldur by the White Council, and he still has dark intentions for the Free Peoples of the North. Elrond counsels them that the other Free Peoples need to be informed and make preparations to counter the newest mechanizations of the Dark Lord. The party then decides that they will leave Rivendell and will first warn the Woodmen at Mountain Hall and Rosgobel, before heading north to the land of the Beornings and then the Woodland Realm.

They make it over the Misty Mountains without incident and are received at Mountain Hall as little more than strangers, until Omund is recognized by the guard as an archer of legend and the guard agrees to take them to Hartfast, the lord of the hall. After some conversation (with varying levels of success) Hartfast is persuaded enough to consider their case, and sends three emissaries with the party to discuss these bad tidings with other elders of the Woodman communities at Rhosgobel.

After braving the land between the mountains and the wood, and allowing the Beornings guarding the ford to relieve them of a good bit of silver, the company arrives at Rhosgobel. There they take part in a council involving the Woodman elders and Radagast regarding the contents of the letter, its validity, the quality of the translation, and its impact on the Woodmen community. Radagast vouches for the veracity of the letter and its translation, and the minds of the elders then turn to their defence. They implore the party to beseech Thranduil in his woodland hall to send warriors south to help protect the lands of the Woodmen. If he can help them in Southern Mirkwood, so much better for him in protecting his Woodland Realm from the ravages of the Enemy. The party agrees to carry this message to the Elven King, but decide to first make their way to the halls of Beorn so that he to may also make preparations to face this new menace…

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Welcome to your campaign!
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5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

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