The Last King
The Campaign Years
3. In the hours before dawn, aided by a nearly full moon, a band of goblins raids and sets fire to the village of Woolhollow in at the western feet of the Weather Hills. A patrol of Wardens sees the smoke against the false dawn, and moves to investigate. Huor, kinsman of King Araphant, takes half the patrol in pursuit of the goblins once the village is secure. Other half guards village against follow-up raids. – Full moon night of Feb 3rd.
5. Huor’s hunting party comes upon the goblins’ camp as the shadows lengthen in the late afternoon. Attacking swiftly, the goblins are destroyed and the plunder of Woolhollow recovered. Strange tokens are discovered: spears, cloaks, and shields of decidedly non-orcish make. Huor decides to cache the recovered plunder and continue to backtrack the goblin raiders for a short time, to see what else might be uncovered.
6. Huor’s party finds a village of Rhudauric hill-men along the goblins’ trail. The village was either not settled, or took efforts to hide signs of its presence, when the patrol passed nearby on the outbound route three weeks earlier. Investigation and diplomacy reveal presence of more than one group of ‘traders’ in recent weeks. Huor tasks 5 Wardens (1/3 his entire patrol’s strength) with attempting to track the items to their source – at least, their immediate source – and returns w/the other 2 members of the hunting party to rejoin the rest of the patrol and return to Ost Ardulin. Gibbous moon (waning) night of Feb 6th.
8. After finding and dispatching look-outs and one alarm runner, the hunters discover an orc stronghold near the border of Arthedain, determine rough numbers of enemy, and that similar tokens (but not the same ones – swords, bows, not spears or shields, none of the strange cloaks) are being made or worked on there. Withdraw swiftly and flee through the night to avoid pursuit.
10. Hunters continue to flee, fearing orc pursuit during the night. Half moon (waning) night of Feb 10th.
11. Hunters return to Ost Ardulin, having pushed on with little or no rest to cover 40 miles in 2 days and 3 nights.
14. Huor and Hurin lead the Company out of Ost Ardulin to assault the recently discovered orc stronghold.
16. The Company passes fully into territory claimed by Rhudaur. Outriders are set to patrol in order to protect the van and interdict potential alarms. New moon on the 16th – 17th.
18. Outriders drawn back in as the company begins to take steps to avoid notice.
20. The Company reaches orc stronghold. Scouts are sent ahead to sweep the approach of sentry-posts as the main force begins its approach toward the gates. Assault on orc stronghold.
22. The Company begins the return trip to Ost Ardulin. Crescent moon.
1. Company returns to Ost Ardulin. Hospice & support personnel resume normal duties, patrol groups begin assessing manpower projections. Huor and Hurin take a small group, including the 5 scouts who discovered the tokens, to Fornost in order to report to Arvedui.
5. Hurin & Huor reach Fornost and brief Arvedui on the events beginning with the raid on Woolhollow. Arvedui approves of the measures taken thus far, and dispatches the scout group to seek counsel in Imladris, by way of Bree-town, as they have the best understanding of all they have seen. Gibbous (Waning).
6. Party reaches Bree, makes contact with Wil Standish, proprietor of the Grey Goose. They are given provision and supplies for the journey eastward, and soft beds for the night.
7. Departure from Bree.
11. South of Amon Sul, the party is ambushed by border scouts of Rhudaur seeking to intercept Arnor’s border patrols. The ambushers are defeated, but scouts further up the hill-line sound the alert. Turin recognizes the ambushers as members of the Whitemane Bear tribe, and the group pushes on hastily to avoid pursuit. Waning Crescent moon, moonset barely 3 hrs after dark.
14. The party reaches The Last Bridge, and crosses the Hoarwell into the trollshaws. That night, a wandering troll notices their campfire and tries to attack. Despite initial surprise (and Turin managing to take a hard club-blow to everything above the ankles), the troll is soon dispatched, and the group moves another hour or so down the road to avoid the smell.
17. The small group arrives in Rivendell, and has a brief meeting w/Erestor, of the Household of Elrond. Erestor confirms their suspicions that the items are of human origin, and discusses the Wainrider situation east of the mountains. They also speak with a pair of travelers who fled the Wainriders, into the mountains, and got extremely lucky in crossing unguided and unsupplied, but alive. Impromptu meeting w/Mithrandir as well – he confirms Erestor’s estimations on the items’ origin. Between their various meetings, scenario arises of Easterlings attempting to make alliance with Rhudaur – possible opening forays against Arnor, possibly to gain allies to attack Gondor’s northwestern flank. Waxing crescent moon.
19. The company departs Rivendell, determined to bring word of these new developments to Prince Arvedui and King Araphant, and possibly to bring warning to Gondor.
25. Reaching Weathertop, and fearing another ambush, the group slows and takes a short side-track to ascend to the ruin of Amon Sul and survey the surrounding area, which appears clear.
27. The company reaches Bree, and once more stays at the Grey Goose. They hear rumor of banditry on the road south, and collect missives to take north to the capital.
28. Return to Fornost. Liathan is summoned at the gate to a meeting with Malbeth the Seer, where he is given a strange, prophetic missive to deliver to ‘the King’, but assured Malbeth does not mean Araphant.
29. Council Meeting w/Araphant. Speculation on the meaning of strange tokens runs rampant, as well as on the advice of the elves. Araphant makes the determination that even if the elves’ concerns are groundless, Gondor deserves warning of the possible attack, and that the time has come for the Kingdoms to take counsel together once more and renew their alliance. The scout group will be sent south as ambassadors.
1. The Embassy group departs Fornost for Bree. Word has been sent ahead to have supplies ready.
2. Arrival in Bree and return to the Grey Goose.
3. Depart Bree w/escort for half a day to keep an eye out for bandits.
4. Stopped by Maikos, warned about cure. Shelter in his barn overnight. Waning Gibbous
5. Investigate ‘haunted keep of the Black Prince of Cardolan’ – Llewellyn and Turin experience strong sense of fear upon seeing the keep, and the party decides to make haste to Tharbad.
6. Arrival at Tharbad, meeting w/Atanalcar, Lord Defender of Tharbad. First ‘official’ resumption of communication between Arnor and Gondor. Atanalcar agrees to send messengers north of Fornost, PCs pen note of recommendation to Araphant that Arnor’s holdings on the north bank of the Greyflood be put under LD’s protection. A group will also be sent north to scout out the haunted keep and gain any intelligence possible.
7. Depart Tharbad. Half moon
11. Cross Fords of Angren, passing through the Gap of Calenardhon just before noon. As night begins to fall, reach Aglarond, present letters of introduction, and pass the night in relative comfort. Waning Crescent
16. Reach the townlands of Anorien, start to get an idea of the scope of manpower Gondor has. Find an inn for the night.
17. First sight of Minas Anor. Reach the Rammas Echor, and are granted passage once their identities are passed on to those in the City. Entrance into Minas Anor, the White City of Anarion. Housed in mansion for guests of the Court on sixth level of the City. Visited by Firiel, daughter of the King, who arranges for the emissaries to speak with her father the next morning.
18. The emissaries meet with King Ondoher. Respectful welcome and greetings are exchanged, and the reason for the embassy is explained. Ondoher thanks the Wardens for their efforts and their warning, and assures them that they will meet to discuss renewing the alliance when they have had time to rest from their journeys. After the meeting with the King, the Wardens split up to investigate the city, leading to a minor altercation between Turin and Faramir, Ondoher’s younger son. Waxing Crescent moon.
19. King Ondoher meets again with the emissaries from Arnor, and asks that they perform a service for Gondor, as a token of their good faith. They are to travel to Linhir, in the region of Dor-en-Ernil, and speak with Prince Adrahil, one of Ondoher’s liegemen, and Eärnil, Captain of the Southern Armies. Their mission is to investigate the Black Numenorean haven of Umbar, and ascertain the likelihood of Gondor being able to retake the city. They agree, and after arranging for messages to be sent back to Fornost, begin to prepare to leave in the morning.
20. The Wardens set out for Linhir, accompanied by Firiel of Gondor, who claims to have some business in Adrahil’s holdings.
21. Arrival in Linhir. After meeting with Adrahil, the emissaries remain overnight as his guests before setting out again to meet up with Eärnil.
22. Rendezvous with the Southern Armies of Gondor, and speak at length with Eärnil. He agrees to make sure they are fully supplied for the journey south, and will send three of his best scouts as guides. Rangers of Harondor, all three have a great deal of experience in long-term reconnaissance in the southern lands. Half moon (waxing)
23. News comes in to the army before dawn that the princess Firiel has been kidnapped in the night, presumably from within Linhir. The Wardens, having not yet departed on their mission to Umbar, volunteer to rescue her, and with their ranger escorts, set out on the trail of the Haradrim raiders who are already running for home. After a day-long pursuit, they catch up to the fleeing band, and attack. Though the Haradrim leader is revealed to be a sorcerer of dread power, Rusceryn bests him in spectacular fashion, and the rangers escape back toward the army with the princess. The death of their shaman unnerves the raiders, who surrender when the Wardens give them the option.
24. Returning to the army camp, the Wardens learn of Ondoher’s subterfuge and testing of their honor and capabilities. Though displeased by the deception, they make plans to continue on to investigate Umbar.
25. The Wardens depart the camp.
27. Arrival in Umbar. Slave caravan observed moving away to the east, Llewellyn explores the city and finds an enclave that feels chill and discomforting.
28. Meeting in the morning with Ard Once Vain, ruler of Umbar. Almost all of the Wardens experience strong feelings of unease and disturbance in his presence, and afterward, make a quick but orderly withdrawal from the city, having finished their appraisal of Gondor’s chances to take it.
1. The Wardens return to the encampment of the Southern Armies to brief Captain Eärnil while Rusceryn continues onward to Minas Anor, seeking information from the Libraries of the Citadel.
2. The rest of the group returns to Minas Anor. Shortly afterward, they are received by King Ondoher. The mission to Umbar was a test, both of their ability, and their truthfulness, which they have passed. Ondoher pledges his full support for the renewed Alliance, and the Embassy departs Minas Anor in the late afternoon to escort the newly-minted Ambassador north to the Court of King Araphant: Princess Firiel.
14. Arriving in Tharbad, the Wardens learn of growing trouble with the haunted keep to the north. Atanalcar has sent a squad of men to investigate, but none returned. Though the Wardens would prefer to see Firiel to safety in Fornost first, she insists that they deal with the immediate danger. She agrees to leave for Fornost by a more secretive route if they do not return swiftly. Unbeknownst to the Wardens, Firiel sends a messenger to request a contingent of guards from Aglarond.
15. Investigating the haunted stronghold, the Wardens discover an armory of weapons and armour of superior quality, seemingly untouched by time. Arraying themselves more satisfactorily for battle, they continue their investigations. Confronted by the shades of men sworn in life to defend the Prince, and still bound by their oaths in death, they invoke their authority as emissaries of the High King of Arnor, and not only cow the shades, but when they confront the wight that inhabits the Prince’s remains, call upon the shades to fulfill their oaths of service to the Heirs of Elendil, and with their aid, destroy the wight. By early evening, they have returned to Tharbad, only to find Atanalcar has taken the Princess prisoner in an attempt to force her consent to marriage. She is swiftly rescued, and the Lord Defender equally swiftly clapped in irons.
16. Investigation of the Lord Defender. Through clever detective work and Rusceryn’s ability to question a borrowed horse, it becomes obvious that Atanalcar had made alliance with the wight to the north. Though he claims it was merely a ploy to buy time, the former Lord Defender has no excuses to offer for his attempt to imprison and forcibly marry the Princess. Word is sent north to Fornost requesting a contingent of guardsmen to assist in the defense of the shared city.
17. The Wardens officially replace the Office of Lord Defender of Tharbad with a council consisting of the Captain of the City Guard (formerly the Watch Commander), the head of the city’s merchant association, and the Seneschal of the Residence (of the Lord Defender – the Seneschal de facto handled the city’s Exchequer), and learn of the impending arrival of Firiel’s additional escort.
18. A dozen soldiers arrive from Aglarond to form the Princess’ escort. Once they have been apprised of the situation, four remain in Tharbad to assist with the transition of authority (and make sure nobody tries anything stupid), while the rest will travel onward. Just after noon, the traveling party, now numbering 15 with the inclusion of Atanalcar, who is bound for trial, depart Tharbad en route to Bree and Fornost.
21. The group arrives in Bree and stays overnight in the Grey Goose. While there, they check on the news of the realm, and the bandits that had been menacing travelers, which seem to have been dealt with.
22. Departure from Bree. Encounter just before noon with a company of soldiers riding southward. The group’s leader informs them that his men are the first elements of a detachment being sent to Tharbad in response to the Wardens’ request.
23. Arrival at Fornost. The Princess is settled into her new quarters while Atanalcar is hoisted off to the dungeons. The Wardens report to Arvedui and the Council on events in the South and the success of their mission.
24. Public introduction of Princess Firiel to Court of Arnor, acknowledgement of the deeds of the party.
25. Atanalcar’s hanging. Liathan is promoted, and receives command of a new Company, the Tirir i-Galen.
9. The Guardians of the Green (Tirir i-Galen or I Dhirir uin Calen) set out from Fornost Erain.
11. The Company arrives at Ost Galumar, stronghold of Captain Urthel Erhendion, to report in to the Warden of the Northern March, and begin planning for their campaign.
12. The Guardians set out from Ost Galumar eastward, to season the new company’s soldiers with a sortie into Rhudaur before turning north into Angmar proper.
15. Scouts discover a group of hill-men moving toward Oakwood, a nearby farming community. Liathan orders the Company to intercept them. While closing the distance, they learn that the village itself has been taken by another force that has begun fortifying the sides of the market square that face the likeliest approaches from Arnor. They destroy the smaller group, then prepare to assault the entrenched hill-men. Discussion with hill-men leader. Turin’s distraction. Village rescued.
16. Question hill-men. Reinforcements arrive from Dol Lindir. Company to travel to Lord Belegund to be thanked for service.
17. Arrival in Dol Lindir and meeting with Lord Belegund Thindhend.
18. Celebratory feast for the rescuers of Oakwoode. Messenger arrives in the gathering darkness – Liathan and others to return to Ost Ardulin as soon as can be.
19. Liathan, Llewellyn, Rusceryn, and Turin depart for Ost Ardulin. Celegduin assumes command of the Guardians of the Green.
20. Arrival in Ost Ardulin. Meeting w/Arvedui and Sairin, an elven Lore-Master of Imladris. Rusceryn is needed in Fornost while the others investigate rumors of treachery and dark alliances surrounding the brigands recently thought dispersed near Bree. Rusceryn departs with Arvedui’s retinue for Fornost; the Prince reveals that Firiel of Gondor has taken ill and requested his healing skills specifically.
21. Liathan’s group arrives in Bree and discusses the situation with Wil Standish. Rusceryn arrives in Fornost to tend to Firiel.
22. Depart Bree mid-day
23. Find camp late in day, immediately set out for Bree. Rusceryn identifies poison, source.
24. Return to Bree – mid-morning
25. Arrive Aelinnost Herynnen before noon. Nienor present. Saelon arrives after dark.
26. Attack on the Queen in the early morning hours. Nienor injured. Saelon, Liathan, Sairin thwart the attack. Sairin’s wolves slaughtered late in day, flee.
27. Turin and Llewellyn lead a hunting party to investigate the shadow of fear hunting the area, defeat werewolf. Messages sent to Fornost requesting column to escort Queen.
28. Column arrives. Llewellyn and Sairin set out along north/east bank of Baranduin, making toward Bree, to look for any signs of original bandit quarry.
29. Column departs for Fornost w/Queen and Liathan. Turin remains behind to guard Lady Nienor while she recovers enough to travel. Sairin and Llewellyn find bandit force moving northward, move to follow. At the same time, Rusceryn foils another assassination attempt on Firiel, pursues assassin with Royal Guard. Battle of the Cutting. Saelon murdered. Henry Meade leads Saelon’s forces to assault Aelinnost Herynnen in surprise attack. Most of Queen and Nienor’s men killed or knocked out. Turin defends Manor w/survivors and servants. Queen arrives Fornost.
30. Group returns to Aelinnost Herynnen, regroups with Turin. Plans made to investigate Saelon’s holding for additional signs of bandits/traitors. Sairin and Rusceryn discern dark power imbued into bracer on Saelon’s corpse.
1. Small company sets out for Saelon’s lands, arriving well after dark. Llewellyn and Sairin creep inside and make alliance with the servants, loyal to Saelon, who are mistrustful and alarmed by Meade’s actions. Plans are made to prepare a mixture similar to that used on the hill-men who assaulted Oakwood, and messages sent to Liathan and Rusceryn via bird. Keep searched, disturbing signs found.
2. Plan put into action. Liathan, Rusceryn, and Turin scale the walls of the keep to open the gates for the army while Sairin and Llewllyn distract those not rendered helpless by the prepared mixture.
3. Captive brigands and evidence from Saelon’s manor are brought to Fornost. Group is dispatched to Imladris to seek the insight of Elrond regarding the bracer’s power.
20. Expedition arrives in Imladris. Elrond examines the bracer and confirms it has the power to daunt and dominate men’s minds. The origins of the sorcerous item cannot be firmly pinned down. Suspicion of Angmar’s involvement is heavy, though.
23. Announcement of betrothal of Arvedui and Firiel.
5. Return to Fornost and report to the King. The party is returned to duty with Tirir i-Galen.
12. Royal Wedding in Fornost. Ondoher and Faramir present. Celegduin returns with them to Gondor as attaché to Arnor’s Embassy.
8. Birth of Aranarth, son of Arvedui and Firiel. The birth is difficult, but Rusceryn is in attendance and mother and child come through in good health.
(At some point during the next three years – dates to be nailed down later – Rusceryn marries Miridiel, Turin marries a Gondorian woman in Tharbad, where he commands the patrol company on Arnor’s side of the river, Liathan is established as liason/advisor between the northern and southern garrisons of Tharbad, Llewellyn marries, and has a small army of kids of his own.. lotta stuff. Will put in more detail once dates are sorted out.)
8. Third birthday of Aranarth, Prince of Arnor.
12. Death of Ondoher, Artamir, Faramir. – riders are sent south to seek aid from the Southern Army of Gondor.
13. Death of Minohtar, nephew of the King, defending the rearguard of the retreating Northern Army.
14. Adrahil I, commanding the remnants of the Northern Army, joins his force to that of Earnil, commanding the Southern Army, who has been marching north.
15. Battle of the Camp. Earnil’s forces destroy Wainrider army during the feast to celebrate their victory over Ondoher.
17. Word of events reaches Minas Anor after dark. Celegduin departs immediately for Fornost.
21. During the dead hours before dawn, Celegduin arrives in Aglarond and obtains a fresh steed, departing immediately.
23. Celegduin reaches Tharbad. She obtains a fresh mount, and rides on.
26. Arrival in Bree. Changes horses again, and rides for Fornost.
27. Celegduin arrives in Fornost, goes immediately to Princess Firiel with the news. Rusceryn summoned as Firiel’s physician. Liathan, Llewellyn, Sairin, and Turin are also in the capital, and so are summoned to the Prince’s chambers. Reports arrive in Fornost of massive attack on border outpost near Rhudaur.
28. Royal Council session: Turin and Llewellyn are dispatched to Tharbad and the Shire, respectively, to marshal troops to join force being marshaled to respond to the attack. Celegduin is dispatched back to Minas Anor. Liathan & others are given command of response force when it is ready.
5. Army deploys to investigate attack.
7. Arrival at site of destroyed outpost. Indications of large number of orcs – estimates confirm earlier number of three thousand. Outpost itself appears to have suffered extreme fire, enough to render many of the stones to ash. Sairin and Ruscerny investigate, but the elf is overwhelmed by the intensity of the power she senses, and collapses. Rusceryn finds a set of strange, almost birdlike footprints at the center of the destruction. No sign of steps leading to/from. When Sairin recovers, she reports the outpost did burn, but burned with ‘cold fire’.
8. Army turns northward to pursue retreating orcs.
9. Signs discovered that indicate number of orcs is shrinking. After much investigation, Llewellyn and Sairin find small groups hidden tunnels. Request for engineers is sent to Fornost.
10. Trail of the orcs is found to lead to the collapsed opening of a large cave. Work begins to clear the opening.
11. Engineers catch up with army, pace of cleared rubble increases. Opening is cleared enough to allow exploration. Limited exploration confirms suspicion that the cave leads to hidden entrances to the ancient Dwarven city of Gundabad. Protective detail remains behind with engineers to collapse smaller tunnels, and word is sent once more to Fornost.
14. Army returns to Fornost. Liathan & others reassigned to head Princess Firiel’s escort detail, and observe matters regarding succession in Gondor. Sairin established as oberserver for Cirdan of Lindon, and Elrond of Imladris.
15. Diplomatic mission to Minas Anor departs Fornost, along with Miridiel, Firiel’s Lady Attendant.
19. Envoys pass through Tharbad. Turin adds wife, son to foray, and Firiel takes Dera on as second Lady Attendant (really, you can’t call ‘em ladies in waiting, they’re married. And they’re not handmaidens – they’re married. You know?)
3. Arrival in Minas Anor. Initial meeting with Pelendur and Council of Gondor. Discussions with Firiel regarding appropriate role of the envoys.
4. Reception for Firiel. Al-Marial makes his appearance, delivers letter to Turin and accepts – but defers – Liathan’s challenge before departing. Introduction of Curunir.
5. Chase for Al-Mariel, Cairadan murdered.
6. Meetings w/Firiel, Curunir, Pelendur.
7. Al-Marial attempts a parley with Liathan, but is executed when he will not surrender. His effects are searched, leading to a suspicion of the locksmith who made his room keys. Suspicion also falls on the housekeeper of the inn where he had been hiding. When the Arnorians attempt to pursue, the locksmith is killed by a powerful creature of Shadow. First Council Meeting. Al-Marial’s Journal is found.
8. Pursuit of the housekeeper – while apprehending the housekeeper who had aided Al-Marial, she is discovered to be a pickpocket as well, and has stolen Al-Marial’s signet, and a magical ring. The ring is brought to Curunir with questions, and revealed to be one of the Lesser Rings. Between this and the name ‘Adunaphel’, Curunir theorizes that the Company has encountered one of the Nine, and that it may be the Power they sensed in Umbar four years earlier.