Adventures in Middle-Earth

Game Master Wandering Wastrel

Being an account of certain deeds which took place in Middle-Earth towards the end of the Third Age, between the Battle of Five Armies and the downfall of the Lord of the Rings

REGION MAP I BATTLE MAP

Guide: Morwen (Survival)
Scout: Bergur (Stealth; Investigation)
Hunter: Illryia (Survival)
Look-Out: Harry (Perception)

The Eye of the Enemy:
Hunt Score: 10
Veil 4


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Culture: Dúnedain
Class: Wanderer
Archetype: Shadowhunter
Virtue: Royalty Revealed
Background: Oathsworn (Mighty Oath)

Distinctive Quality: Vengeful. One of the reasons that you swore an oath is that you do not take insults or slights lightly. Such an act, in fact, is perhaps the reason for your oath.

Specialty: Trading. Fulfilling your oath often means that you need others’ aid; you are a skilled negotiator.

Hope: My enemies respect me even if they do not fear me.

Despair: One day I am sure that my fealty towards my oath will bring great pain to another.

Description:
Morwen like many of her kind has pale skin, however she is one of the rare few who has red hair. Some have this marked they child for greatness, others that it was a dark sign. After all it is much harder to pass into shadow if you are memorable. However the years grew kinder to Morwen. Distinguished, authoritative, strong, features that described her in both looks and personality. Long has she fought for the respect she believed was shown to her male family members, clawing and fighting twice a hard for half as much respect. Not understanding such thoughts, Morwen turned to be a bit more ruthless that others. She even began to be known as Vengeful soul, not letting slights go without an answer. However those answers aren't always violence, some of them are lashings with her sharp tongue.

This is what I see her looking like[/dice]

[spoiler=Background]Passed into Shadow, that is what has become of her people. Morwen, eldest daughter of her family, daughter of the House of Isildur thought it was such a horrid sight. From her birth people had been divided, Morwen was born from the line of Isuldur that broke off and had founded Rhudaur the far north kingdom that had been Arnor's northern boarder. It had been the first to fall to Angmar who corrupt them while Rhudaur warred Arthedain, their sister nation. Angmar forced out the royal family of Rhudaur, killing their king, and placed their own puppet on the through, however years later they annexed Rhudaur but by then the Dúnedain left.

It was this last line of Dúnedain Kings of Rhudaur that Morwen was born from, from King Eärendur second son or more over his descendants. This was something the family held onto yet to Morwen never did anything about. Always whispering about this Aragorn son of Arathorn. If Isildur's blood was all that mattered why couldn't she do it? Why couldn't she bring their people home? Questions such as this filled young Morwen's thoughts through the years but never could her people give a proper answer. Well at least an answer that Morwen would accept. She had been raised by her people! She saw the way they lived, lived it herself. Yet this Aragorn supposedly lived in Rivendell all his years. He didn't know his people! Morwen's bitterness grew when her younger brother was born, making him the next chief. Almost ten years her junior and he was given respect she didn't get for years! At least she was able to channel that energy into something. Training, and more importantly learning. Morwen learned the land of her people like the back of her hand, the items her people traded, though it was more difficult with how spread out they were.

Then Morwen's brother died. Life was danger for the Dúnedain, and Malvegil died fighting like many of their kind. Which left only Morwen and their younger sister Ioreth. It should have been her name upon their lips after the time of mourning. Yet whisper spoke of the position of going to her uncle's son, Dírhael. Anger fueled Morwen, how dare they pass her by! Why would they think so little of her? It was true not all thought that way, but it was enough that it caused Morwen to think of a new plan. If her people would not recognize what she was due by birth then she'd fight to earn like she did everything else.

When the call cal from King Bard, Morwen saw a chance of a life time. Dale was growing prosperously and quickly after the dwarves retook the mountain. Maybe enough to lend support to another group of people who had lost their home?

Bit about me:
I try to post everyday, my job can be so slow that I can some times pull it off even while at work.

I am also dyslexic! I normally get most of the words right but I have and will likely always mix up the words where and were. If this is a deal breaker I'm sorry. I try but there isn't much I can do...


So many good submissions, many rich with Tolkien lore. Wastrel, I don't envy you the task of winnowing them down!

I'm not 100% done, but the pieces are coming together nicely. I'm going to apply with Radegund, "The Magpie", a Woodman of the Wilderland Wanderer.

Culture: Woodmen of the Wilderland
Class: Wanderer (likely going into Hunter of Beasts, unless circumstances in game send her in a different direction)
Background: Several are almost what I’m going for, but I’m still mulling. I think once I finish my narrative background, it’ll be easier to choose the right one (or possibly suggest a tweak to one). I’ll definitely have both a full background and description of her done by EOD Friday.
Virtue: Natural Watchfulness The Magpie was taught at a young age that listening to and understanding the birds of the forest is often the difference between catching a meal or going hungry...not to mention the key to avoiding the dangers that lurk in the woods.


gyrfalcon wrote:
So many good submissions, many rich with Tolkien lore. Wastrel, I don't envy you the task of winnowing them down!

Tell me about it!

@Spazmodeus - looks good. You need to pick a starting Virtue I think as I didn't see one listed.

@Trscroggs - also looks good.

@Timeskeeper - interesting background, although at the time this is set, Aragorn has only just been born (I think) and doesn't even know who he is - it's only when he comes of age that Elrond tells him of his true identity. You might need to rejig that section slightly. Also, although your mighty oath is "doable" that doesn't mean it's achievable, or even that the other PCs will be as interested as you are in fulfilling it. Do you have a plan for what to do if the game doesn't go in that direction? (Also, please don't apologise for dyslexia - I'm glad my glib comments, for which I do apologise, didn't put you off from applying.)

@gyrfalcon - looks good so far, I look forward to reading the rest.


COMPLETED SUBMISSIONS

(Decimus): Harry Kettlegrass, Bree Scholar
(Vrog): Warden from Minas Tirith
(Black Dow): Ónar, Dwarf Wanderer
(Jubal): Finlogan, Mirkwood Elf Scholar
(Daniel): Amalina, Woodman Scholar
(Therenger): Hobwise Hornblower, Hobbit Treasure Hunter
(Helaman): Alfwald, Barding Warrior
(Spazmodeus): Morwenn, Dunedain Warder
(Trscroggs): Herdis, Warden from Laketown
(Timeskeeper): Morwen, Dunedain Wanderer

(I'm assuming the similarity of the names is just one of those weird coincidences)

INCOMPLETE SUBMISSIONS

(thejeff): unknown
(gyrfalcon): Woodman Wanderer
(Sarah): Rider of Rohan
(Elbow): possible mounted combatant


Aragorn was born March 1st 2931, the battle of the five armies happened November 23 2941, so he would have been 10. Bard became the ruler of his people three years after in 2944. I'd say give Bard about 15 to 20 years of stable rule, keeping in mind he ruled for only about 33 years dying in 2977, before trying something like this and you have an Aragorn in age from 27 to 34. He was made aware of who he is at 29, and from the years of 2957 to 2980 served under King Thengel of Rohan. If you have any dates you can give me for the time we're playing in I can more narrow down his age but that is the basics. The rest is just math.

Oh now should be the time I also inform you I'm a lore sponge. If I don't know it, I know where to get it! (Not to worry about the remark man! I never take it personally any more! I just make people aware.) As for what to do if people don't take interests in what she wants to do or the game doesn't go that way, it isn't a big deal. She's going to live a very long time, at least by human standards and assuming she isn't killed, so she can be patient. Her actions though will likely always be towards her goal. Doing things for others because she knows it'll help in the long run.

To be fair, there are only like... Six or so names suggested for female Dúnedain. After all this is Lord of the Rings world. It is kinda a boys club... Even in the book there are only four named females who play any kind of part, if you can call it that for Rosie, and one named who does nothing. Those being Rosie who was Sam's love interest, Tom Bombadil's wife Goldberry, Arwen who is Aragorn's love interests, Galadriel who helps the fellowship, and lastly Éowyn who actually is a fighter for most of the time we're with her but then... Settles... And marries Faramir... I mean don't get me wrong Faramir is a great guy but uha... Just read her part at the end and you'll scream international! XD

But, it was a different time and it is effectively the middle ages, but with magic. So, I don't hold it against the book at all or Tolkien for that matter. It was simply a different time, it's still and good book and I still watch all the extended cuts of the movies at minimum once a year.

Also! Little fun fact, my mother loves these books so much she almost names me and my sisters after them. I, being the youngest, would have been named Éowyn but her side of the family talked her out of that with my eldest sister... So no cool name for me! XD


Thanks for the summary of dates (I love that you provide not just the month but the precise date for the Battle of Five Armies!), I do what I can but I occasionally lose track :-)

Our game starts in 2946, so Aragorn is 15 at the time. Given that each adventuring phase takes a year it's entirely possible that we'll get to his coming of age (the Mirkwood campaign spans 30 years, or as the Elves call it, a "short nap").

And yeah, the thing that really dates LOTR is the shortage of female protagonists. I think Jackson did a good job on expanding both Arwen and Eowyn's roles in the films, so they're more than just ciphers - it almost (almost) makes up for his mangling of Faramir's characterisation, a deed that still makes me quietly wrathful whenever I think about it.


When they have it I supply it.

I'm surprised it starts so early in Bard's reign. But I guess when you've only got 33 years to work with you have to pack a lot into it.

Yeah... A few characters kinda got the shaft in the movies and books. But I think we got the best we'll likely ever get honestly. Movie wise.


Huh...I guess that nixes part of my background,. She still crosses the misties due to her dreams but just not in Aragorns company


@Timeskeeper - agreed, I don't see anyone trying to redo them for a good long while (and when/if they do, I suspect they'll go the Netflix/streaming route and do it in 1-hour episodes). If they wait long enough, maybe Sean Bean could be cast as Gandalf ("Yes, Sean, your character dies - again - but this time he gets better")!

@Spazmodeus - true, but your character's foresight ability gives you more of a handwave since it lets them know stuff the other characters wouldn't have access to, so it's a very minor edit :-)


Oh I would love to see that! At least then he'd have a character who survives! XD
Even if it is coming back from the dead. Though I've no idea who they could cast for Saruman. Christopher Lee was a treasure, and when Sir Ian's time comes it will really be losing the last of that generation which is just sad. I loved watching the behind the scenes with them in it. Also I feel they did Lee dirty when it came to Saruman's end.


Presenting Brigg/Bergur for consideration.

Outline of Mechanics/character choices:
Culture: Barding
Class: Treasure Hunter (Agent Archetype)
Cultural Virtue: Woeful Foresight
Background: Doomed to Die
Distinctive Quality: Swift. Your foreboding of your fate has made you more alert. Even when danger sneaks up on you, it rarely finds you unprepared.
Specialty: Fire-making. The roads towards your fate can be long. You are adept at making fires and preparing camps.
Hope: Though it shall end with my death, I shall push forward because I am the only one who can.
Despair: I fear that I will die alone and unremembered.

Background:
Brigg doesn’t remember her parents. Her earliest memories are of wandering the streets of Lake-town, just another street urchin trying to survive. She primarily ‘earned’ her living by picking pockets and fleeing before she could be caught.

One day she was picking the pocket of an unassuming-looking innkeeper when suddenly he grabbed her wrist. That had happened before and Brigg wasn’t too worried. It wasn’t easy to hang onto a struggling, screaming child. If he did somehow manage to hang on, she could fix that by cutting him with the stolen dagger hidden in her clothes. She would make her escape long before he made it to a guard.

To her surprise, instead of dragging her off immediately, he looked in her in the eyes for a long moment and then let go of her wrist. ”I’ve got stew cooking, if you’re hungry.”

She blinked. That wasn’t how things were supposed to go.

”My name is Ragni. I run the inn over there.” He nodded in the direction of a modest-looking establishment. "Come by anytime and I’ll get you some food.”

Brigg was suspicious of course, but she was hungry, and the prospect of a free meal was too tempting to resist. She followed a few paces behind the man as he headed to the inn. He invited her inside, served her a bowl of stew, then sat down by the fire and started smoking.

Brigg ate quickly, her eyes never leaving the man by the fire. (Nor did one hand ever leave the hilt of her dagger.) If her wariness bothered him, he didn’t show it. He simply sat there, smoking his pipe and seemingly ignoring her. As soon as every drop of the stew had been eaten, Brigg scampered off into the night.

A few days later she met Ragni again, and he once more invited her in for a meal. She was slightly less wary this time, but only slightly. She quickly ate and then left without a word of thanks.

As time passed and Ragni continued to offer food while asking for nothing in exchange, Brigg slowly began to trust him. She stayed a little longer after each meal, enjoying the warmth of the fire. As winter fell, she began staying the night. Somewhere along the way Ragni’s inn became ‘home.’ And in the back of her mind, though she never used the word, Ragni himself became ‘father.’

(She asked him once why her, out of all the urchins in the street. He shrugged, and all he would say was ”Your eyes were different.”)

They had been living together for six years when the dragon attacked. Ragni and Brigg joined the countless people trying to douse the flames, but their efforts were in vain. What little of Lake-town didn’t burn was crushed underneath the weight of Smaug’s body when he fell. From the shore, Brigg could do nothing but stare at the charred remains of the only home she’d ever known.

Shortly after Smaug’s death, Bard called for all able-bodied men to unite and retrieve the unguarded treasure from the Lonely Mountain. Although not a warrior by any means, Ragni announced his decision to join the growing army. Brigg begged Ragni to reconsider. ”Something terrible is going to happen. There’s a shadow over you, I feel it.”

He crouched down slightly to look her in the eyes. ”I know you’re worried. But the dragon is dead. There’s nothing to fear.” He smiled at her. ”I’ll be back before you know it, with more than enough gold for us to rebuild the inn.”

Despite his reassurances, Brigg’s foreboding was too powerful for her to ignore. If she couldn’t convince Ragni not to go, then she would simply have to go with him. She cut her hair and presented herself to the army as Bergur, a young boy looking to serve as an aide. It was her hope that she would be able to protect Ragni from whatever catastrophe was coming.

She couldn’t.

The Battle of Five Armies, as it would come to be known, was utter chaos. Brigg desperately dashed through the battle, taking advantage of her small size and speed to avoid being cut down. She needed to find Ragni. Eventually she broke through a small cluster of soldiers and saw the innkeeper only a few yards away, being attacked by a goblin warrior. ”Father!”

Did her scream distract him at a critical moment? Did her presence cause the very disaster she had been trying to prevent? Brigg would never know.

She doesn’t remember the rest of the battle. She remembers seeing Ragni fall, a sword through his chest. She remembers being guided away by soldiers who had been looking for survivors among the dead. Everything between is lost, and perhaps that is a small mercy.

Brigg stayed with the army. Orphaned for a second time, she didn’t know what else to do. By day Bergur trained with the soldiers. By night Brigg obsessed over the Battle of Five Armies, reading every report or book she could get her hands on. (Lawfully or otherwise.) She sought to answer one simple question: How had things gone so wrong?

Information, she eventually concluded. More specifically, the lack of it. When the army left the remnants of Lake-town behind, they had been expecting to simply retrieve the treasure and return. They hadn’t known that the dwarves still lived, that they had requested aid from their kin, that the goblins and wargs and orcs were coming as well. The two armies hadn’t known that three others were on their way. They hadn’t been prepared. And people like her father had died for it.

She would make sure that never happened again.

Bergur was trained as a scout. Brigg honed other skills. She snuck into conferences she wasn’t supposed to attend, just to make sure she could. She practiced forging documents, tweaking her handwriting each time until it matched that of the person she was trying to copy. She created new identities for herself, experimenting with how far some dye and a few cosmetics could take her. A man who wouldn’t give Bergur a second glance would share all sorts of information with Selma. A woman who’d sniff dismissively at Selma would happily talk to Ruben. ‘Brigg’ was a name that had died along with Ragni.

She knows that the life of a spy will be a short one. That she will most likely die alone, cursed for her duplicity by the very people she hopes to save. She tells herself that doesn’t bother her. That if the information she discovers saves even one life, then it will all be worth it.

(She’s as good at lying to herself as she is to everyone else.)

Now 19, Bergur has officially finished his first term of service. He’s decent with a sword, and better with a bow. He knows how to find a good campsite, how to search for signs of the Enemy’s presence, how to march for hours without exhausting himself. When King Bard announces that he wants people to begin reclaiming the North, Bergur is among the first to volunteer.

Brigg’s training is over. It’s time for her to get to work.

Description:
Bergur is an androgynous-looking young man in his late teens. He’s rather short for a man of Dale, standing only 5’5”, but being small and swift just makes him a better scout. He keeps his light brown hair cut short. He favors dark greens and grays for his clothing, and is rarely seen without his leather armor.

He’ll joke and laugh with his fellow soldiers, but there’s always a hint of sadness in his eyes. It’s well-known that his father died during the Battle of Five Armies and that he had no other living family. Almost everyone lost someone that day, and so people understand why he’s reluctant to grow too close to anyone. Those who go drinking with him find that he almost never has more than one ale and never gets drunk. (Which has actually made him a popular drinking companion, as he can be counted upon to be sober enough to make sure everyone gets back safely at the end of the night.) He has many acquaintances but no real friends.

No one was surprised when he announced his intention to go North. With nothing really tying him to Dale, it only makes sense for him to seek out a home elsewhere.

Requirements/Comments/Questions:
Question: the Treasure Hunter gets proficiency with thieves tools at level 1, and the Agent archetype gets proficiency with a disguise kit at level 3. Would it be possible to switch those? I feel like the disguise kit makes more sense for her character early on.


@WW: Given the abundance of Wanderer pitches I might redress my Dwarf as a Slayer. Would that be permissible?


Timeskeeper wrote:
To be fair, there are only like... Six or so names suggested for female Dúnedain.

You think that's bad? There are more suggested names for horses of Rohan than there are for female Riders of Rohan.

CHARACTER NAME Illyria, Shield-Maiden of Rohan

Mechanics/Character choices:

Culture: Rider of Rohan

Class: Slayer

Slayer Path: Rider (duh)

Starting Virtue: King’s Guard (sword and spear)

Background: Lure of the Road

Distinctive Quality: Curious

Specialty: Fire-making

Hope: We are all equal on the road – we need to rely on each other’s common decency.

Despair: My travels are simply my excuse for getting away from problems at home.

Description:

Illyria is the middle child (one older brother, Aldor and one younger brother, Ceorl) of Theodric, a minor lord of the Eastemnet – their steading can muster perhaps a dozen spears at need. More even than most of the Eorlingas, Illyria had a great curiosity even from an early age about what lies over the next hill. As soon as she could ride, she would spend her days exploring the Riddermark. As she grew, she took to spear and sword with that same eagerness and was quickly noticed, finding herself inducted into the King’s Guard at a young age. Sadly Fengel is a vain and foolish king and his promotion of Illyria to a position of command was done from vanity and folly. Too eager to prove herself, she led her patrol in pursuit of a raiding band of orcs, even into the fastness of the Emyn Muil – after all, what can that footslogging rabble do against the might of the Rohirrim? On the bleak slopes of those mountains, with her riders caught in ambush and confusion, she found her answer, and almost her death: a poisoned arrow pierced her gut and she fell. Only a foot caught in the stirrup saved her as her horse (Fæstlîeg, a coal-black stallion of 17 hands) – wiser by far than his rider – fled the slaughter. By the time he brought her to safety, she was delirious and had broken almost a dozen bones. It took many months and experienced healers before she was able to leave her bed unaided.

After her recovery, she was pointedly not invited to return to Edoras. Returning home, she found that her father had passed away, thankfully without knowing her shame. Aldor (or rather, his wife Hilda) was now in charge. It was obviously her home no longer and she could feel her welcome wearing thin. One morning, she woke early, saddled Fæstlîeg and rode away. She had heard rumours from the North, of the Dragon slain and the Wilderlands open for exploration. It was time to leave the lands of the Riddermark.

Nobody tried to stop her, a fact which may or may not have caused her to weep bitter tears when she turned in the saddle for the last time to see her homeland had disappeared beyond the horizon. After all, it's not crying if nobody sees you do it.

Illyria is reasonably short by Rohirrim standards, about 5 ft 10 inches, which is to say taller by far than most North-women (and some Northmen). Her blonde hair is braided (which she re-does each morning as part of her getting-up ritual) as is customary for the Eorlingas and her eyes are a slate grey. A bronze arm-band, emblazoned with the crest of King Fengel, proclaims her status as one of the King’s Guard to anyone with a knowledge of the Eorlingas. Her left foot is turned slightly inward (a consequence of her old injuries) and her walking gait is uneven, although not enough to stop her moving in haste when she needs to. The breaking and healing of so many bones has left her with a keen weather-sense: the ache tells her when it will rain, and she feels the damp keenly. Only on the very warmest, sunniest of days will she remove her crimson travelling cloak.

Illyria has learned the hard way that enemies thought to be brutish and savage can nevertheless be cunning, and some of the rashness and folly of her youth has fallen away. She still has her old eager curiosity, but she can also think and be cautious when it is needful. The disaster of her first attempt at command has left her with an unwillingness to take the lead: she will offer suggestions where it is clear that she has an expertise that others lack, but in most cases she will defer to a stronger personality. In combat, she does not fight with a berserk rage but instead with a fierce concentration, looking to aim her attack where her foe is weakest and she can do the most damage.

Questions:

Most importantly: Mirkwood. Can I get a horse in there? If not, that could be a problem for this character concept.

My background gives me proficiency with Animal Handling, but I get that from my Culture as well. Can I swap that out for something else?


Timeskeeper wrote:
Though I've no idea who they could cast for Saruman. Christopher Lee was a treasure, and when Sir Ian's time comes it will really be losing the last of that generation which is just sad. I loved watching the behind the scenes with them in it. Also I feel they did Lee dirty when it came to Saruman's end.

This, absolutely. The Scouring of the Shire is one of my favourite parts of the book and Saruman's end, when his spirit rises up and faces in despair towards the West, before being dispersed by the answering wind, is one of the best villain-deaths I've ever read.

Also, Christopher Lee. That voice. That glorious, toe-curling voice.


Sarah 'queen' B. wrote:
Timeskeeper wrote:
To be fair, there are only like... Six or so names suggested for female Dúnedain.
You think that's bad? There are more suggested names for horses of Rohan than there are for female Riders of Rohan.

Had not noticed that. That is... well, it's partly hilarious and partly really sad.

@EverAnon - another high-quality submission! This is getting silly now. It's obviously early on in the chargen process, but do you have any thoughts on "discovery" (for want of a better term)? Is it something you want to happen? Something you're not interested in exploring? Or no preference? And to answer your questions, yes you can swap the two proficiencies around - but you'll feel pretty silly if you run into a locked door at 1st or 2nd level :P

@Black Dow - I'm mostly selecting on character, to be honest, although I don't actually intend to pick a group consisting entirely of scholars. I'm not going to say you can't change your choice, but if I do it sort of opens the door for everyone. Let me think about it before I give you a final answer.

@Sarah - good submission. I especially like the way you tied the weather-sense ability into her backstory to explain it. I'm generally NOT in favour of 1st-level characters taking honorifics or titles (you're 1st level, after all) but in this case I see that you took the King's Guard Cultural Virtue so it's probably OK. In the case of Horses v Mirkwood, I find for the plaintiff for now. In the aftermath of the Battle of Five Armies, the Shadow has temporarily retreated and the Elf-king has greater control of the forest: the Elf-paths are currently wide enough to allow travel by horse. (For now. In the not-too-distant future, this will change.) But on no account will Horsie leave the path - not that you should, either. And yes, you can "swap out" any redundant proficiency, but it must be replaced with something reasonably equivalent - in this case, ideally another Wisdom-based skill that someone with the Lure of the Road background would have. Please don't push your luck and take something completely unrelated, like Riddle or Sleight of Hand.


COMPLETED SUBMISSIONS

(Decimus): Harry Kettlegrass, Bree Scholar
(Vrog): Warden from Minas Tirith
(Black Dow): Ónar, Dwarf Wanderer (or possibly Slayer)
(Jubal): Finlogan, Mirkwood Elf Scholar
(Daniel): Amalina, Woodman Scholar
(Therenger): Hobwise Hornblower, Hobbit Treasure Hunter
(Helaman): Alfwald, Barding Warrior
(Spazmodeus): Morwenn, Dunedain Warder
(Trscroggs): Herdis, Warden from Laketown
(Timeskeeper): Morwen, Dunedain Wanderer
(Sarah): Illyria, Slayer from Rohan
(Ever Anon): Brigg/Bergur, Barding Treasure Hunter

INCOMPLETE SUBMISSIONS

(thejeff): unknown
(gyrfalcon): Woodman Wanderer
(Elbow): possible mounted combatant

RECRUITMENT WILL CLOSE ON FRIDAY. I WILL TRY AND MAKE DECISIONS ON SATURDAY


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@GM: Oh I'm quite sure the thieves tools would be more useful, but I'm okay with that. Whether or not the party will be okay with it is something to be determined later :P

Regarding discovery: I do intend for that to happen at some point. Either her gender will come out due to an injury, (a la Mulan), or a situation will come up where she needs to tell them.

(If the opportunity to dramatically say "I am no man!" comes up I will take it.)


Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Sarah 'queen' B. wrote:
Timeskeeper wrote:
To be fair, there are only like... Six or so names suggested for female Dúnedain.
You think that's bad? There are more suggested names for horses of Rohan than there are for female Riders of Rohan.
Had not noticed that. That is... well, it's partly hilarious and partly really sad.

To be fair, Horses are people in Rohan, so they get an area all their own. Even if it is like ten long to the female's five! XD

But yeah not joking here, there are only a few female names for each race. I chose Morwen because I looked up the meaning of it and it means dark maiden which I thought fit her.

Ever_Anon wrote:
(If the opportunity to dramatically say "I am no man!" comes up I will take it.)

*puts up hand for high five* I would too, I won't even hide it. I'd totally take that saying.


Wandering Wastrel wrote:


@Sarah - I'm generally NOT in favour of 1st-level characters taking honorifics or titles (you're 1st level, after all) but in this case I see that you took the King's Guard Cultural Virtue so it's probably OK. In the case of Horses v Mirkwood, I find for the plaintiff for now. In the aftermath of the Battle of Five Armies, the Shadow has temporarily retreated and the Elf-king has greater control of the forest: the Elf-paths are currently wide enough to allow travel by horse. (For now. In the not-too-distant future, this will change.) But on no account will Horsie leave the path - not that you should, either. And yes, you can "swap out" any redundant proficiency, but it must be replaced with something reasonably equivalent - in this case, ideally another Wisdom-based skill that someone with the...

Thanks - I'd probably take Insight because knowing the intentions of the people you meet on the road seems like a good thing. On the whole Shield-Maiden of Rohan thing I've realised that Slayers don't start with a shield, and with 2d6 ⇒ (3, 1) = 4 starting silver I can't afford to buy one. I'm going to say her shield was sundered in the fight at Emyn Muil, which is what led to her taking that arrow in the gut in the first place.

Ever_Anon wrote:
(If the opportunity to dramatically say "I am no man!" comes up I will take it.)

That would be obligatory, although not gonna lie, I was hoping to get a chance to do that


Best idea: have a party entirely full of female characters so we can all say it at the same time!

BBEG: "The prophecies say no man can defeat me!"

Party: "You do realize none of us are men, don't you?"

BBEG: "...Sh!t."


Hahahahaha!!! I like that!

Grand Lodge

Any non humans could raise a hand an go, "Aye, and I'm a no Man, I'm a Dwarf!."


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"I'm just here to watch."


OK, this took me a while to complete because I’m traveling at the moment, but at this point I’m ready to officially introduce Radegund, The Magpie, a Woodman of the Wilderland Wanderer.

Culture Woodmen of the Wilderland
Class Wanderer (likely going into Hunter of Beasts, unless circumstances in game send her in a different direction)
Virtue Natural Watchfulness Radegund was taught at a young age that listening to and understanding the birds of the forest is often the difference between catching a meal or going hungry...not to mention the key to avoiding the dangers that lurk in the woods.

Background (Narrative)
Radegund was born in T.A.2929, in the small Woodmen settlement of Rhosgobel, in the shadow of Dol Guldur. She has spent all of her 17 years in or beside the Mirkwood, part of a close-knit clan who work hard to keep each other alive. Her parents Ramnulf and Beranhild are hunters, and her mother chose her name for it’s meaning “She who decides to fight”.

”You’ve been born into a harsh world, Little Radegund. You will need to be fast and wise to survive. May your name guide you in knowing when to fade into the bushes...and when the moment is right to fight.

Her parents taught her to hunt, to track, and to cure hides. They lived with the rest of the clan in the Greathouse of Rhosgobel, but--especially in the autumn--they would often range far into the Mirkwood in search of game. Life was never easy, but it would’ve been impossible without the aid of Radagast the Brown.

When she was five years old, she first snuck off and followed a pair of scavenging magpies into Radagast’s cottage. She was amazed to see it filled with wild birds. The Brown Wizard chuckled at the girl who’d wandered in, and took them under his (not always metaphorical) wing. Radagast taught her what he’d taught many of the Woodmen before her: that the birds of the forest speak to one another--warning of predators, alerting to food--and that the wise always stop to hear what they have to say.

When she reached her womanhood, The Brown Wizard was also the one who gave her her nickname. In the Rhosgobel Greathouse one evening, in front of the clan elders, he raised her hard up and declared: ”Even among your kin, Little Magpie, you have a rare ear for the language of the birds...and you have the curiosity and feistiness to match any Jay or Crow. Therefore, let Radegund, daughter of Ramnulf and Beranhild, be known henceforth as The Magpie.”

Several months ago, after an extended absence, Radagast appeared beside The Magpie in the Western Eves of the Mirkwood, moments after she slew a deer. ”It is time, Bold Magpie. The Necromancer has been gone for several years now, yet the shadows still cling to the land. You must travel to the Dale. I had a dream that there are those there who will need our people's aid.

“The folk there have many talents, but if they do not know how to understand how to listen to the birds and beasts.” He seems to shudder at the thought, and then adds, ”Without their help--and your ears, Magpie--I fear they will come to a grisly end.”

The Magpie brought her kill home, relayed Radagast’s message to her parents, and then to the clan elders that night, as they feasted on venison. After much argument, they agreed to honor Radagast’s request. Three days later, she was off, escorted by her elder cousins Heriwulf and Bertefried.

Today, she arrived in Dale...a city larger than she'd ever imagined. She's said goodbye to the only people who know her in this city, and even the birds sound strange.

As she looks around, she thinks to herself, Coming so far though the Mirkwood was thrilling! And there's so much [i]more in this world to see and hear. But here...?[/i]

She clenches her jaw, determined not to cry. Here, people have stone walkways and wooden ears. The men keep their faces bare as a shorn sheep, and the women wear dresses that would snag in the mildest thicket...but they are women and men nonetheless. It matters not how much I miss my parents, my clan. Radagast says they need a good bow, and one who listens to the birds...and so I stay.

Appearance
The Magpie has thick, unruly red hair, brown eyes, and ruddy cheeks. She wears a well-worn green cloak over a cured deer-leather corslet made by her mother, and her cloak is clasped with a large button sliced from a buck's antler. On her back is a quiver of arrows and a fine yew bow.

She stands just over five feet in height, and walks with a light step. She is prone to long pauses and can be a bit off-putting in conversation, as she has a tendency to allow any bird or beast to interrupt the speech of men.

Background (mechanical) Several are almost what I’m going for. I considered:

* Emissary of Her People (since she was sent by her clan elders, at Radagast’s request)...but she was sent to provide aid, not to negotiate (and in fact, I don’t imagine her being a smooth talker in any way).

* She could perhaps be a Loyal Servant of Radagast (willing to travel far out of her own comfort zone, away from family, because of his request)...but the text implies that the one you serve should be nearby, and certainly the “Inseparable” feature wouldn’t make sense between The Magpie and the Brown Wizard.

* In the end, I think Lure of the Road fits The Magpie best. (She is most comfortable when traveling the wilderland, and is excited to have journeyed so far into new territory, and many of this background's qualities and specialties match her to a tee)...but she’s torn between that excitement and missing her family (plus feeling alien in the “big city” of Dale). I’ve tweaked an existing Hope and Despair, below to better capture what I'm going for. Please let me know if you’d like changes to them (or see another elegant fit).

Distinctive Quality Quick of Hearing. You understand that one must listen to nature as well as see it; you’ve learned a lot from hearing and interpreting those sounds.
Hope If I can teach these strange people the ways of the Woodmen, we might yet succeed.
Specialty Herb-lore. Long stretches of wilderness have taught you much about the plants that grow in them.
Despair I fear I am too small to face these dangers, and so I shall die far from home.

Thanks for reading! Comments, suggestions, and questions welcome. I've made a few assumptions (particularly about Radagast). Happy to make whatever changes are needed to if I've misunderstood part of the Lore of the game.


Going to rework my character since it was near identical to Sarah's submission. I will try to post it by tomorrow evening.


@gyrfalcon - looks good. I'm happy for you to have Radagast in your background; he doesn't appear too much in the Wilderland campaign so the fact that your character starts out knowing him isn't an issue. I agree that Lure of the Road (or more likely in this case Lure of the Trackless Path Through the Forest) is a more appropriate background than Loyal Servant.

@Elbow - understood, but I will be closing recruitment today regardless. I have over a dozen completed submissions to go through already, and only four slots.


COMPLETED SUBMISSIONS

(Decimus): Harry Kettlegrass, Bree Scholar
(Vrog): Warden from Minas Tirith
(Black Dow): Ónar, Dwarf Wanderer (or possibly Slayer)
(Jubal): Finlogan, Mirkwood Elf Scholar
(Daniel): Amalina, Woodman Scholar
(Therenger): Hobwise Hornblower, Hobbit Treasure Hunter
(Helaman): Alfwald, Barding Warrior
(Spazmodeus): Morwenn, Dunedain Warder
(Trscroggs): Herdis, Warden from Laketown
(Timeskeeper): Morwen, Dunedain Wanderer
(Sarah): Illyria, Slayer from Rohan
(Ever Anon): Brigg/Bergur, Barding Treasure Hunter
(gyrfalcon): Radegund the Magpie, Woodman Wanderer

INCOMPLETE SUBMISSIONS

(thejeff): unknown
(Elbow): unknown

RECRUITMENT WILL CLOSE TODAY. I WILL TRY AND MAKE DECISIONS ON SATURDAY


Character Name: Aelwulf

Culture: Riders of Rohan
Virtue: Household Esquire
Class: Warrior
Martial Archetype: Knight
Background: Emissary of your people
- Distinctive Quality: Merry - Your smile never dims, even when negotiations and secure borders are collapsing around you.
- Specialty: Rhymes of Lore - Much knowledge is contained in the verses of poetry and song. You have learned to use the effect such compositions have on those with whom you negotiate to your advantage.
- Hope: Only by joining forces can we hope to push back the Shadow
- Despair: We are too late; even if we marshal our forces, the Shadow’s army will annihilate us

Background/Description:

Aelwulf was still a young warrior when given charge of an even younger would be warrior. As both an emissary and warrior Folcwine’s father thought Aelwulf would make an outstanding teacher for his son. Aelwolf taught his young charge finer points of formation riding and sword play, along with the bounds of courtly behavior in the halls of kings and lords. Much of their time was split between Rohan and Gondor.

When the proclamation of King Bard to reclaim the North reached Rohan, Aelwulf and his charge were ordered to represent Rohirric interests in the North. He initially dubious about the honor and figured his charge’s father had struck some back hall deal in hopes of getting Folcwine some renown.

The pair rode for Dale on matching black maned chestnut horses, bred and raised by Aelwulf’s family. During their travels Folcwine took notice of how Aelwulf would go out of his way to help those in need and seemed to enjoy the company of common folk over that wealthier nobility. Aelwulf also took note of thing, burnt homesteads, pillaged villages, and other signs of the Shadow’s influence growing stronger and he feared it maybe beginning to take root in the heart of men. It weighed on him and while he maintained a merry and cheerful disposition his eyes would give way to grim melancholies, but he was still always quick with a joke and smile to raise others’ spirits.

When they reached Dale Aelwulf was not yet 20 and Folcwine had just turned 15. The young charge looked at times like a smaller version of his mentor, both framing their faces with braids and the rest pulled back. Aelwulf was tall and brawny (6’ 2.5” and 275 lbs) and Folcwine being shorter and slimmer in build (5’ 8” and 170 lbs). Aelwulf made their presence known to the court and offered gifts to the king brought from Rohan.


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COMPLETED SUBMISSIONS

(Decimus): Harry Kettlegrass, Bree Scholar
(Vrog): Warden from Minas Tirith
(Black Dow): Ónar, Dwarf Wanderer (or possibly Slayer)
(Jubal): Finlogan, Mirkwood Elf Scholar
(Daniel): Amalina, Woodman Scholar
(Therenger): Hobwise Hornblower, Hobbit Treasure Hunter
(Helaman): Alfwald, Barding Warrior
(Spazmodeus): Morwenn, Dunedain Warder
(Trscroggs): Herdis, Warden from Laketown
(Timeskeeper): Morwen, Dunedain Wanderer
(Sarah): Illyria, Slayer from Rohan
(Ever Anon): Brigg/Bergur, Barding Treasure Hunter
(gyrfalcon): Radegund the Magpie, Woodman Wanderer
(Elbow): Aewulf, Warrior from Rohan

RECRUITMENT IS CLOSED

Thank you all for your high-quality submissions, this is not going to be an easy decision!


Good luck to all for The Wait!


Nearly there - just mulling over some final things before I announce the decision.

Grand Lodge

Liveplay example to fellowship phase...

Example.


Ooh, will have to watch that (if only to see where I've got it wrong :/)

Ok, the wait is over. Firstly, an apology: I wasn't able to take everyone. Only world-class DMs like Tolkien can run a party of that size. That said, this was NOT easy.

My selection is as follows:

(Decimus): Harry Kettlegrass, Bree Scholar
(Black Dow): Ónar, Dwarf Wanderer
(Timeskeeper): Morwen, Dunedain Wanderer
(Sarah): Illyria, Slayer from Rohan
(Ever Anon): Brigg/Bergur, Barding Treasure Hunter

Please dot into gameplay and post in the discussion thread at your convenience.

Thanks everyone.


Thank you for your consideration, and good luck to those accepted!


have fun!

Grand Lodge

Have fun everyone!

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