DMDM's Adventures in Mirkwood

Game Master Douglas Muir 406

Roleplaying in Middle-Earth, using the 5e Middle-Earth rules from Cubicle 7.

This is a fast, open recruitment for a 5e Middle-Earth campaign based on Cubicle 7's 5e Middle-Earth books. You need a copy of the Cubicle 7 5e Middle-Earth Player's Guide to apply.

"Fast" means it'll all be over in a very few days. I already have 3 players, so I'm only looking for 1-2 more.

If you’re applying to this game, please post the following information into this thread using the spoilered format below. Please also look at the information in the spoilers before proceeding further!


Outline of Mechanics / Character choices:

Please list the following:

What Culture your character is from (if you want to play a Culture not in the player’s guide, please point me to which sourcebook it’s in and be aware that the answer might be ‘no’).

What Class you intend to play.

If you already know which Specialty/Path/Archetype you want to take (e.g. Agent/Burglar for the Treasure Hunter class), please list that as well.

If you know what Virtue you intend to start with (if applicable), please list that as well.

The Background you have selected. (Note that you DON’T need to write the background – although see the Description spoiler below – you just need to let me know which one you’re picking); plus the Distinctive Quality, Specialty, Hope and Despair that you are going for. You can either roll dice for these or choose them, I don’t mind.

This is where you sell me on your character. I don’t need much more than a couple of paragraphs, but you should at least weave together the background, distinctive quality, hope and despair in some coherent fashion.

Tell me why your hero has found themselves at or near Rhosgobel, in the southwest of Mirkwood, in the year 2946 of the Third Age. Tell me who they are, beyond their bare statistics: their quirks, habits, appearance, mannerisms; bring them to life.

We're going to be WRITING for each other's entertainment. So show me what you've got!

Tolkien level:
You do NOT have to be a Tolkien fan to apply. However, I'll be curious to know how much familiarity you have, whether it's "I heard there were movies...?" or "Let me tell you about the two missing Wizards."

Comments / Questions:
This is where you post anything you want me to know about you the player, or any questions you have for me.

And then...

FYI stuff!:
I have the following comments, so please read them carefully to avoid any unfortunate misunderstandings later down the line.

* Unfamiliarity breeds error. I have not used the 5e game system nearly as much as the PF1/3.5 game systems. Please be kind to me if/when I make any mistakes with the rules.

* This game won’t play itself. From what I have read it looks like – more than most PbP games – this game requires significant input from the player characters in order to keep going. The Fellowship phase is almost entirely player-driven, and the last thing I as DM want to be doing is chasing you to ask “what now? What now?” What really warms my heart is when I log in from my previous posting and see that the PCs have not been idle in my absence. Conversely, logging in to see that there are no new posts feels like the entire weight of the game is on me to move it forward. The more work you put in to create and play an interesting character, the more opportunity you have for interaction with the other characters. Which makes me happier and more excited about posting. Which creates more opportunities for you to post. It’s a virtuous cycle.

* Middle-Earth needs heroes. I enjoy fantasy noir, greyscale morality plays and antiheroes as much as the next person. But Tolkien’s work is based on moral absolutes and the struggle against the Shadow and I intend to be faithful to that spirit. To that end, I want characters with a nobility of purpose - yes, even (or perhaps especially?) those with the Reluctant Adventurer background. Committing misdeeds will bring you Shadow Points. Antiheroes, brigands, murderhobos and ne’er-do-wells: leave now and never come back.

* You cannot do this alone. Imagine if Beorn had turned the dwarves away and refused to help them. Or if Lórien had closed its borders to the Fellowship. Or if Merry and Pippin had alienated Treebeard, rather than befriending him. An investment in social skills (Tradition, Insight, Persuasion etc.) will reap dividends.

* Against the Shadow, there is no ultimate victory. Those who will accomplish the destruction of Sauron have – in most cases – not yet been born by the time our adventure starts. Your accomplishments will be minor by comparison, but you may yet change lives on an individual scale and bring a measure of peace for a brief time. Or not. The Enemy you face is dangerous indeed and your character may fail, and perish; and you need to be OK with that. I’m not one of those DMs who takes personal glee in killing off PCs – but I have limited scope to “fix” an unfortunately-timed critical or an unwise decision. In order to sweeten this slightly bitter pill, if your character dies and you’re a good sport about it and write them an end worthy of song, I’ll let your next character start with Inspiration.

* It's a writing game. Not gonna lie: spelling, grammar and presentation all matter. We may be locked in a small virtual room with each other for months. If you write that goblins killed your character's parents by "burning they're house down", well, I just know that over time that sort of thing is going to drive me slowly nuts. Sorry. (N.B., if you're not a native English speaker, say so -- that's different.)

Where / when in Middle-Earth are we?:
Among the Woodmen, who live along the southeastern edge of Mirkwood. To the east is the deepness of Mirkwood, full of mystery and danger. To the west are rolling plains that slope gently down to the Anduin. North and west are the lands of the Beornings.

Rhosgobel, home of Radagast the Grey, lies at the southern edge of the Woodmen's domain. South of Rhosgobel the wood quickly becomes very dangerous indeed. Just two days south is the accursed fortress of Dol Guldur, former home of the Necromancer. That horrible entity was driven out just a few years ago, and Dol Guldur now lies empty... or so they say.

The year is 2946: five years after the events of The Hobbit, when the dragon Smaug was killed and the Necromancer was driven out of Dol Guldur. Trade is picking up, people are traveling around. The Shadow seems to have withdrawn.
It's a hopeful time!

In game terms, any type of character could work, but Woodmen, Wood Elves, and Beornings are obvious (and strong) character options.

Let's talk commitment:
I'm looking for a fast-paced game with forward momentum. So, I'm after at least one post per day, on average. If you don't think you can make that commitment, don't apply.

I'll commit to keeping this going for at least 60 days or the first two encounter sets, whichever comes first. When we reach that waypoint, we can pause and decide whether we want to continue.

Dotting in!

Can you say anything about what characters the existing players are planning to run with? If you have a surplus of Beorning slayers or Woodmen scholars that would be useful information.

You, Therenger, and Gyrfalcon have the guaranteed spots. So, post your builds!

Ah, understood! Will get to it.


I'm working on another Hobbit build, but given the setting, it is a simpler narrative task to have this one reside near the Gladden Fields. I'm traveling today but will be thinking about it and work it up in the next day or two at the latest. Ok to use Hobbits of the Shire rules for a Gladden Fields halfling?

The Rhovanion splatbook has rules for "wild" hobbits who still live in the Gladden Fields -- basically, the relatives of Deagol and Smeagol who never migrated west to the Shire. They're very shy, but there are still a few of them around.

If you don't have that splatbook, you can do a Shire hobbit and we'll make the necessary adjustments.

-- Okay, found. It's not long.

Description, Names and Starting Attitudes:

Wild Hobbits dress in simple outfits of spun cloth or
crudely cured furs. In contrast to the round, cheery faces
of the Shire Hobbits, Wild Hobbits are often gaunt and
serious. Wide, wild eyes are sharp and untrusting, and
their bodies are rarely plump – save for elders who have
earned a place of admiration among their kin. They always
carry simple tools of survival, most often fishing tackle
and simple hand tools, and move about the watercourses
of the Vales of Anduin on little boats of reeds.

Wild Hobbits take many of the names used amongst the
Woodmen and Beornings. In the Shire such names are
oft considered old-fashioned and ‘Heroic’, but the Wild
Hobbits shorten and simplify their names in regular use
(‘Gary’ for Garivald, for example) and do not use family

Wild Hobbits are Unknown to most other Cultures, and
look Askance at most visitors other than their cousins and
the Éafolc (they are Friendly towards both).

Standard of Living

Wild Hobbits have no room in their hard lives for the
burdens of useless items and are ranked as Frugal.
Bonus Equipment: A travelling cloak of mottled green
and brown, travelling gear for the current season, a
sturdy dagger, 2d6 silver pennies, plus choose any one:
fishing tackle, a hunting trap or a large smoked and
salted fish.

Wild Hobbit Traits:

Your hero derives the following traits from their ancestry:
Ability Score Increase — Your Dexterity score increases
by 2 and you may increase any two other ability scores
by 1.

Adventuring Age — 25-60. Wild Hobbits value family
above all else and have a deep and abiding distrust of
outsiders. Those who venture out are either young and
taking desperate chances or have had some calamity
foisted upon them. Around their fiftieth year, even the
most ambitious Wild Hobbits think seriously of finding a
hidden refuge and attending to their family’s needs.
Size — Like their civilised kin, Wild Hobbits are Small.
Speed — Your base walking speed is 25 feet.

Untroubled by Shadows — When in a blighted area,
you must make a DC 5 Wisdom saving throw to avoid
Shadow instead of the regular DC 15.

Hobbit Nimbleness – You can move through the space
of any creature who is at least one size larger than yours.
Clever Beyond Compare — You have proficiency in either
the Investigation or the Riddle skill.
Hobbit Elusiveness — You have proficiency in the Stealth

Languages — You speak the Vale of Anduin tongue,
an archaic version of Westron that is also spoken by
Beornings and Woodmen.

Cultural Virtues
Despite their great distance from the comfortable lands of
the Shire, the Wild Hobbits are very similar to the settled
folk there. A Wild Hobbit may select any of the Hobbit
Cultural Virtues starting on page 108 of the Player’s
Guide. But they also have their own traditions, and many
Wild Hobbits are Vexing Riddlers of the highest order.

Cultural Heirlooms
Wild Hobbits can sometimes be found in the possession of
a Barbed Fishing Spear. However, they can also select the other Hobbit Heirlooms found on page 159 of the Player’s
Guide. You should work with the Loremaster to rework the
Heirlooms to fit their origin within the Vales of Anduin.

Wild Hobbits of the Anduin Vales
Cultural Virtue: Vexing Riddler

He knew, of course, that the riddle-game was sacred
and of immense antiquity, and even wicked creatures
were afraid to cheat when they played at it.

Riddle-craft is a respected tradition among your folk
and is commonly used to pass the long nights in the
river-burrows. You know well the ancient laws that
govern riddling, and you are capable of spinning
riddles that can vex even the keenest listener. You twist
words and conceal intent with great skill. If it falls
to you to make introductions in an Audience, you may
use Riddle instead of Traditions if the nature or goals
of the Company must be kept secret. Additionally, you
can challenge others to the ancient riddle game. If
you do so, make an opposed skill check and if you are
successful then you gain Inspiration. You must take a
long rest before using this ability again.
Wild Hobbits of the Anduin Vales

Cultural Heirloom: Barbed Fishing
The Hobbits of the Anduin Vale are expert fishermen
and craft excellent barbed spears of reed and wood to
capture their prey. You are the bearer of one such
spear, and it serves you well in your hunt for sweet and
juicy fish. With it, you are able to pull a fine meal from
even the most unlikely waters. When you are serving
as a Hunter on a journey on or near a watercourse or
lake, you may elect to automatically pass a Survival
check that results from a hunting Journey Event (for
example, a result of 2 or 7 on the standard Journey
Events table). If you do so, you are considered to have
rolled a number that would produce a result equal to
the DC of the check.

In the immortal - and possibly apocryphal - words of C.S. "Jack" Lewis: "not another f**king elf, Tolkien!"

Going with an Elf wanderer (maaaybe a scholar) with the Emissary background. Most likely a Mirkwood elf, but am considering a Rivendell elf who is travelling East of the Misty Mountains - if DMDM will permit that.

Mirkwood elf probably makes more sense but am still playing around with ideas.

Liberty's Edge

OK, I tried out for the last game but did not make it... I would like to try and submit the same character unless there was something seriously wrong with her??

Tolkin Level: Advanced (I know the two blue wizards!! lol)
Character Name: Amalina "The Healer"

Outline of Mechanics/character choices:
Culture: Woodmen of the Wilderland
Class: Scholar
Specialty: Master Healer
Virtue: Hound of Mirkwood
Background: The Magician (Folk Healer)

Description: Amalina was born in 2921 of the Third Age in a small village located in the Western Eaves of Mirkwood, just to the north of Rhosgobel. The middle child of 5, her family worked as hunters, foragers and woodsmen. When she was still young, Amalina's mother apprenticed her to the local wise woman (healer) where she excelled in learning the craft of healing and herblore. A happy, but no-nonsense person, Amalina soon earned a reputation as a competent healer and over her years in the village made many friends from former patients. In one instance she helped the local HoundMasters daughter through a difficult birth. As a reward, she was given a new pup from his own kennel, which he helped her train during the following years. The hound, called Odo, was a faithful companion and the two of them often went with the hunters into the dark forest during the hunting seasons. Last year, a herald from Dale arrived on his way to Rhosgobel. He spoke of the new trade in the area and the need for experienced guides to lead caravans through Mirkwood. The idea of seeing foreigners both excited and frightened Amalina, but when her two younger brothers both decided to head for Dale to sell their skills, her mother took her aside and suggested she travel with them to make sure they got there safely, and perhaps she could learn more about the outside world in the process. Surprised at her mother's suggestion she was at first hesitant until she discovered the alterative motive behind this suggestion...her father had agreed to marry her to the son of a local collier. The son, like the father, was a dirty, foul mouth drunkard, but they were well off and the match would help bring some wealth to the family. After learning this, Amalina was more than happy to travel to Dale.

DM_DM, thanks again for the invite!

Gyrfalcon (one of the three preapproved players) here.

I'll be playing Radegund "The Magpie", a Woodmen Wanderer from Rhosgobel.

This profile contains my application to Wandering Wastrel's game, but it won't change much between that game and this one. I'll post more, later with answers to DM_DM's specific questions, and with a few alterations to her backstory.

Really looking forward to this!

DM_DM wrote:
-- Okay, found. It's not long.

Perfect! Thank you.

Assuming that Therenger is going with a Treasure Hunter with his hobbit, I was thinking about a more combat oriented character. Based on the starting location, it seems Woodmen or Beornings would be appropriate as DM_DM stated. I was leaning towards a Warrior, but from what I've read so far, I'm not sure if that would be common in those cultures versus a slayer. Can anyone give me some insight on that?

Either of those would be fine. Both Beornings and Woodmen deploy small formations of warriors. In the case of the Woodmen, they've been living way too close to Dol Guldur for a long time, and Radagast isn't always at home. So there are regular musters, and most adult males train regularly, and they know how to form shield-walls and carry out basic tactics.

It's not a professional military or anything like that, but it's not just a bunch of howling berserkers either. (Although those exist too.)

I submit Veig Fairmane, a dwarf slayer under a pall of doom.


4' 10" in height, voluminous hair and flowing beard the colour of flax, ruddy complexion and powerful limbs on a barrel chest.


Determined and confident, this dwarf knows his physical prowess. He lends his strength when and where it is needed, which is often and in many places. He is loathe to back down from a fight or an insult.


Veig, son of Svior, grew up underneath the Iron Hills, earning a reputation as a promising miner. He worked tirelessly and alsways volunteered for the toughest work assignments. When Erebor was reclaimed and ruled by a dwarf of the Iron Hills, his heart swelled with pride. Veig offered his mattock in service to King Dáin and was accepted. For some years, Veig's reputation grew. His lengthy and fair hair earned him a nickname, which he wore as a badge of honour.

Then, the day came. Veig and his band battled an orcish raiding party, led by a strange, cloaked figure. Before the end, the figure spoke in Veig's mind.

"Svior's son shall fall, and the shadows shall darken all. No steel can save thine soul, thus your doom shall be whole."

The figure slipped away in the chaos, and after that, Veig and his companions suffered grave losses. Veig eventually decided that it would be best if he struck out and hunted down the cloaked figure, in the hope of undoing this doom. If not, then he could slay Shadow servants until his demise.


Veig Fairmane
Dwarf of the Lonely Mountain (Iron Hills) Slayer (future foe-hammer) 1
Height: 4' 10", Age 62
Init +2; Passive Perception 12

Inspiration: 0

0 Temporary Shadow Points
0 Permanent Shadow Points

Shadow Weakness
Curse of Vengeance
Individuals who live by the sword are ever tempted to draw it, either literally or f iguratively, when their will is thwarted or when they deem their honour to have been impugned by an insult. As corruption spreads in the hero’s spirit, their behaviour worsens, leading to more extreme violent reactions.
AC: 15 (Corslet of Mail 13+2 Dex)
HP: 15 (1d12+3 = 10)
Speed 25 ft.

Mattock 20s +5 2d6+3 piercing 10 lb. Heavy, two-handed

Spear 3s +5 1d6+3 piercing 3 lb. Thrown (20/60), versatile (1d8)

Hand-Axe 5s +5 1d6+3 slashing 2 lb. Light, thrown (range 20/60)

Spear 3s +4 1d6+2 piercing 3 lb. Thrown (20/60), versatile (1d8)

Hand-Axe 5s +4 1d6+2 slashing 2 lb. Light, thrown (range 20/60)

Iron Hills Dwarf: +2 Str, +2 Con

Str 16 (+3), Dex 14 (+2), Con 16 (+3), Int 10 (+0), Wis 10 (+0, Cha 10 (+0)

Proficiency Bonus +2

Armour: Light armour, medium armour, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons

Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution

Athletics, Intimidation, Perception, Survival

Skills: Acrobatics +2, Animal Handling +0, *Athletics +5, Deception +0, History +0 (+2 stone), Insight +0, *Intimidation +2, Investigation +0, Lore +0, Medicine +0, Nature +0, *Perception +2, Performance +0, Persuasion +0, Riddle +0, Shadow-lore +0, Sleight of Hand +2, Stealth +2, *Survival +2, Traditions +0

Languages: Common Speech, Dalish, Dwarfish

Tools: Miner's Tools, Fiddle


Corslet of mail
Two hand axes

A fur-lined travelling cloak
Travelling gear for the current season
Ornamented walking stick
Comfortable boots
10d6 silver pennies

choose any two: another 2d6 silver pennies,
a gold coin from the hoard of Smaug the Magnificent,
artisan’s tools of your choice, a musical instrument, a f ine
beard comb and mirror, a gold ring, a flask of dwarven

Coin: 00 GP, 1xx SP, 0 CP

Night Vision (Dwarf) - Accustomed to life underground, you have superior vision in dim conditions. You can see in Dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, but you cannot see in the dark.

Dwarven Resilience – You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage.

Dwarven Combat Training – You have prof iciency with axe, hand axe, great axe, light hammer, and warhammer.

Tool for War – You have proficiency with the mattock.

Tool Proficiency – You gain proficiency with the artisan’s tools of your choice: jeweller’s tools, mason’s tools, miner’s tools, smith’s tools, or woodcarver’s tools. You also gain proficiency in one musical instrument of your choice.

Stonecunning – Whenever you make an Intelligence (History) ability check related to the origin of stonework, you are considered proficient in the History skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.

Languages – You can speak, read, and write Dalish, which is the tongue of the Bardings, who speak an older version of the Common Tongue. You can also speak, read and wr ite the secret language of your people, which has never been shared with any others.

Battle-fury (2/day)
In battle, you fight with white-hot rage or cold, deadly precision. Whatever the character of your anger, on your turn, you can enter a Battle-fury as a bonus action. While in a Fury, you gain the following benefits if you aren’t wearing heavy armour:
• You have advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws.
• When you make a melee weapon attack using Strength, you gain a bonus to the damage roll that increases as you gain levels as a Slayer, as shown in the Fury Damage column of the Slayer table.
• You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage.

Your Battle-fury lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are knocked unconscious or if your turn ends and you haven’t attacked a hostile creature since your last turn or taken damage since then.

You can also end your Battle-fury on your turn as a bonus action. Once you have used this feature the number of times shown for your level in the Furies column of the Slayer table, you must f inish a long rest before you can enter a Battle-fury again.

Unarmoured Defence
While you are not wearing any armour, your Armour Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Constitution modifier. You can use a shield (but not a great shield) and still gain this benef it.


BACKGROUND - Doomed to Die

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Intimidation

Feature: Dark Foreboding
While they know not the hour or manner of their death, those Doomed to Die often have a sixth sense of sorts when in the presence of Shadow. They may not know exactly what is behind this feeling, but they can sense its presence grow stronger or weaker. The Doomed to Die can usually tell, for example, whether an Orc band is an isolated raiding party or part of a larger force being driven by something more sinister, or whether a nearby ruin is
steeped in Shadow.

Distinctive Quality: Determined
Your fate is coming soon and you don’t want to leave anything unfinished. You relentlessly pursue your goals.

Specialty: Smith-craft
If you’re going to meet your doom, you shall do so while wearing good armour and wielding strong steel.

Hope: "The Shadow must be rid of me because I am strong."

Despair: "I know that those who stand beside me are only fated to die beside me."

"Our list of allies grows thin."

WW here with my avatar. Since gyrfalcon is going with Wanderer, I'm going to switch to Warden and go with a High Elf from Rivendell (assuming that's permitted, DMDM).

Details will follow.

Which splatbook are the Rivendell elves from? Wilderland?

[Edit] Ah no, the Rivendell one, of course. Hm: you get access to some awesome Cultural Virtues! But you have that Beset by Woe drawback. Not a big deal at first, but in a long campaign it could be a thing. I guess it simulates the long-term woe and weariness of a high elf in Middle-Earth. Play the game long enough, and you'll have no choice but to seek the Havens...

Rivendell region guide. If you'd rather keep it core, I can go with Mirkwood Elf quite happily.

Either is fine. As noted, Rivendell's Cultural Virtues tend towards the OP, but I can /t/a/r/g/e/t /y/o/u work around that. You would need a good reason to be hanging around in Mirkwood.

Yes, if Shadow Points end up being sprinkled around like confetti at a wedding then the Grey Havens will surely beckon sooner rather than later.

But I'm ok with that. Having a character who is beset by woe and has to be retired out would still be a good story - which is, after all, what we're here for.

I will have a good explanation for what he's doing in Mirkwood posted soon.

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OK, details are now set out in the spoilers below. I don’t know whether you’re planning to explicitly use the rules for the Hunt/Eye of Mordor from the Rivendell book, but I’ve incorporated into his tale the concept that High Elves, even the least of them like Finraeth, can be slightly “noisy” to those with the capacity to hear it, and capable of drawing the Enemy’s unwanted attention.

Outline of Mechanics/Character choices:

High Elf from Rivendell


I have not yet decided on a path - I like all three of them. My current plan is to roleplay the character and get a feel for the game before making that decision when/if we get to level 3

Emissary background

Distinctive quality: Trusty

Specialty: Smoking

Hope: Only by joining forces can we hope to push back the Shadow.

Despair: The Shadow’s influence is too strong; my entreaties often fall on deaf ears.


Finraeth is a child, if any High Elf can be called such, of the Third Age: he was born during the Watchful Peace and was barely two hundred years old when Sauron’s return to Dol Guldur brought it abruptly to an end. Imladris was guarded even more closely after that and his first experience of travel beyond the Last Homely House was not until almost three centuries later, when orcs from the Misty Mountains invaded Eriador in 2740 T.A. Not permitted to take part in the fighting himself, Finraeth watched as the Dunedain, the High Elves, the Men of Bree and even the Hobbits of the Shire roused themselves and pushed the enemy back into the caverns whence they came.

What particularly struck Finraeth was that each of the forces of the Free Folk fought unallied with one another – and in some cases, even unaware of one another, as the Hobbits were of the Dunedain; and yet were successful nevertheless. Raised on tales of the Last Alliance, the still-youthful elf wondered what might be possible if only the younger races (suitably guided by the Eldar, naturally) could once more be persuaded to work together.

His requests to take a leave of absence from Imladris were met with flat refusal from Elrond (not that the Lord of Rivendell met with the young High Elf personally, of course). By this time, Smaug had devastated Erebor and much of the lands East of Mirkwood and it was not clear what further destruction the Great Wyrm had in mind – but Elrond certainly was not about to let any of his kindred leave the fastness of Imladris. Even a century later, when it became clear to all that Smaug slept, Finraeth remained seethingly tethered to home. He still does not know what prompted the Lord Elrond’s change of mind, but after a session of the White Council in Imladris, Finraeth was suddenly permitted to accompany Elladan and Elrohir on their periodic patrols of the surrounding lands.

Once they were confident that he was not a liability, he was given greater scope to wander, provided always that he remained within Eriador: Elrond was not going to suffer a High Elf to go within a hundred leagues of the Lonely Mountain, for fear of disturbing Smaug’s restless slumbers. Although not hugely fond of the wilderness, Finraeth took greatly to the company of others and over the centuries many a Bree-lander, Man and Hobbit alike, has whiled away a pleasant evening in the Prancing Pony with a well-spoken robed figure they doubtless assumed was an unusually clean-shaven Ranger. It was during this time that he acquired – perhaps the first and only of his kind to do so – a taste for pipeweed, and the pleasures attendant on the shared ritual of offering a match, or receiving one, of comparing the merits of Old Toby and Southern Star, of blowing smoke rings while musing on the state of things.

There were only two sorrows to mar his happiness at this time. The first was a chafing at the restriction on travel East of the Misty Mountains: Finraeth respected the reasons and obeyed his Lord without question, but he had heard of the vastness of Mirkwood and Eryn Galen as it once was. He dreamed of dancing under stars with his woodland kin, of a firelit feast and music and laughter; of seeing the Wayward Elves with his own eyes to see if the stories were true. The second was a crestfallen awareness of mortal strife: Bree-landers look with suspicion and even scorn upon the Dunedain “Rangers” - a feeling which is reciprocated by those who keep Bree safe from horrors unknown, yet whose only reward is mistrust. Even those few Hobbits of the Shire that he encountered, while a pleasant and hospitable folk, were undeniably parochial and deliberately – wilfully – unconcerned with the outside world. Dwarves too, fallen scions in exile from their ancestral homes, were not immune from this: all of them, Men and Hobbits and Dwarves alike, too often caught up in small quarrels to remember their great quarrel with the true Enemy. If they could be reminded … if they could be united …. if...if...if…

The first of those sorrows has lifted. Even today, the Elves of Rivendell mirthfully refer to any especially small unit of time as “a Finraeth” - based on the interval between his hearing of the death of Smaug and his oh-so-polite but extremely firm request to be allowed to leave.

Whether the second of those sorrows will lead him to triumph or disaster, only our tale will tell.


Finraeth has the pale countenance of one who spends little time outdoors and this is accentuated by the midnight-black of his fine, long hair. His grey travelling cloak carries faintly with it the scent of pipeweed, and a fine Shire-carved pipe is safely secured in one of its pockets. His garments are well-made and bespeak a prosperous standard of living, suited to one who is an emissary of Elrond Half-Elven himself. The sober colours of the soft cloth form a perfect backdrop to the star-lit gleam of the gem fastened on a chain around his neck.

As with all High Elves, his face is ageless, neither old nor young; and expressive of both great mirth and great sorrow.

Even in the fleetingly short space of time since he was granted the status of Elrond’s emissary and permitted to leave Imladris, Finraeth has acquired a reputation for trustworthiness: eschewing the compromise, double-speak and deception that so many diplomats employ, he instead speaks the truth as he sees it – which is very far from saying he is blunt, and indeed it is possibly his mannerism of speaking, with its circumlocution and elegant phrasing replete with subordinate clauses, sub-subordinate clauses, parenthetical asides (the totality of which is delivered in a somewhat archaic style: Finraeth learned the speech of Men many many centuries ago, and although he is well aware that “thee” and “thou” have fallen out of fashion long since, he employs them still) and lengthy, although never rambling sentences, which actually permit him to deliver truths which another party might balk at if they were phrased more directly.

In his native Sindarin or Quenya, by contrast, he is succinct to the point of brevity.

[In those tongues, a simple “yes” or “no” can have almost a thousand different shades of meaning, depending on the exact word for “yes” or “no” which is chosen, together with the tone and manner in which they are inflected.]

Tolkien level:

I have read LOTR and Hobbit many, many times. Beyond those I do not consider myself steeped in the lore of Middle-Earth: I have read the Silmarillion and a couple of other “background” books but would make no claim to have a clear idea of the timelines or events.


I have explained (I hope!) his presence in Mirkwood; I have two options for his presence specifically among the Woodmen – I’m happy with either, but if you have a preference then let me know.

The first option is that he has been in Mirkwood for a while now and has come to tire of life at Thranduil’s court. His wayward cousins are amusing for a time, but their fundamental unseriousness means that he now regards them somewhat as you might a younger sibling who – despite having graduated some years previously – still insists on trying to live the fratboy/student lifestyle. Having danced and celebrated and drunk his fill, he has made his excuses and is travelling down to Rhosgobel to pay his respects to Radagast before he decides where to travel to next. The second option is that he has almost literally just arrived in Mirkwood and has come to pay his respects to Radagast in Rhosgobel (possibly bringing some token or gift from Elrond?), before moving on to the court of the Elvenking. The first option assumes that he has acquired some familiarity with Thranduil’s court and some of its personages (if not Thranduil himself). The second option assumes no familiarity with the region at all. I’m not sure how you are planning to have the PCs meet up, whether you want them to tie backstories together, etc., so I’m leaving this open in case you have a preference.

Also, I’m not entirely clear on the whole “artisan’s tools” thing – the player’s guide (page 152) suggests that pipesmoking supplies counts for this, so I’ve taken that and run with it in my backstory because I like the idea. I just wanted to run it past you in case you regard the “Subtlety of Craft” High Elf trait as meaning it has to be proficiency with something like smithing tools instead.

The Eye isn't as big an issue in Mirkwood, at least at first -- but it could become so later.

Good to know.

Crunch and background are now in the profile. Am unreasonably excited about this!

To finish my application. Please let me know if anything else is missing between my two posts. :)

I'd put my Tolkien level at fairly solid. I've read the Hobbit, LOTR, and some of Christopher Tolkien's books on ME through multiple times, if not recently. [/spoiler]

As a player, I like to think that I'm pretty flexible and reasonably experienced in pbp. I've been gaming here since 2017 and have played a variety of character types, in both personalities and mechanics. I usually can post daily.

@DM_DM: What do you think of Veig Fairmane? Is there anything else you'd like me to elaborate on?

Okay, so we have three players who have guaranteed seats. They are:

Finraeth -- High Elf Warden
Radegund -- Woodmen Wanderer
Therenger -- ?

One or two seats are still open. Applicants so far are:

Veig Fairmane -- Dwarf Slayer
Amelina -- Woodman Healer

I said this was a fast recruit, yes? Well, I think I'd like to wrap this up by midnight tomorrow, Sunday 26 January -- that's Eastern Standard time, or about 24 hours from now.

I'm interested , just waiting to know for sure what the guaranteed players were playing...

Just to be sure does recruitment end at midnight Eastern Standard time or 24 hrs from your last post which would make it about 6pm EST?

My bad. Midnight EST.

Sorry for the delay - everything takes longer with a baby in one arm. Everything. My character will appear on this page later today. I am going the Gladden Fields Hobbit Treasure Hunter path.

Radegund, The Magpie wrote:

Gyrfalcon (one of the three preapproved players) here.

I'll be playing Radegund "The Magpie", a Woodmen Wanderer from Rhosgobel.

This profile contains my application to Wandering Wastrel's game, but it won't change much between that game and this one. I'll post more, later with answers to DM_DM's specific questions, and with a few alterations to her backstory.

Okay so:

1) The part of your character description involving the trip to Dale can be dropped.

2) Your parents are people of some importance among the Woodmen. They have a respectable holding. I think that both your parents are settled folk, but your grandfather was a trader -- he traveled up and down the Vales of Anduin and has visited elves. He's old now. He's a respected figure (he brought back a fair amount of wealth) but also viewed slightly askance. You can decide how much or little detail to add to your family -- you can add possible hooks or leave it at that. An older sibling who was lost to the Shadow? A younger sibling, or two? Up to you.

3) The first adventure will be triggered by you doing something foolish. You can decide whether this is typical for your character or a one-off.

Character crunch: "At 1st level, choose 3 regions + a number of regions equal to your Wisdom modifier from the Middle-earth maps. When you make an Intelligence or Wisdom check related to a land you know, your proficiency bonus is doubled if you are using a skill you are proficient in." That's actually pretty powerful! Here are the regions from the Rhovanion splatbook:

Northern Mirkwood
The Woodland Realm
Western Mirkwood**
The Mountains of Mirkwood
The Western Eaves*
Heart of Mirkwood**
The Narrows of the Forest**
Southern Mirkwood

Vales of Gundabad
Grey Mountains Narrows
West Upper Vales
East Upper Vales
West Middle Vales
East Middle Vales
West Anduin Vales
Woodmen of Mountain Hall
East Anduin Vales**
Gladden Fields
West Nether Vales
East Nether Vales**

* Must take this; it's your home
** These five areas are adjacent to your home, so would be reasonable picks.

@DMDM - just checking you saw my comments/questions spoiler.

Therenger wrote:
Sorry for the delay - everything takes longer with a baby in one arm. Everything. My character will appear on this page later today. I am going the Gladden Fields Hobbit Treasure Hunter path.

Gladden Fields Hobbits make Shire Hobbits look like the Kardashians. They are *shy*, to the point where virtually nobody realizes that they even exist.

They are playable as PCs, so that's okay. But you'll need some backstory, including a reason why one has moved several days travel east from the Gladden Fields to the eaves of Mirkwood.

As this is a real quick recruitment, forgive me for recycling my application to 'Wastrel's campaign, with what I hope are appropriate adjustments.



Culture: Dunedain
Class: Warder
Archetype: Bounder ?
Virtue: not sure...some are really neat thematically. I'm leaning towards the Dauntless Guardian virtue...

Background: Harrowed:Storyteller


Tall, 6'1", Morwenn is a striking young woman, fair of complexion, dark of hair. Such it is when she stands fully revealed, but she ofter will disguise her true
stature by slouching within her cloak, her stature being dicomfiting to some of the common folk; as well as hiding her true nature.

Despite her need to disguise her stature, she does not hide her ready smile and penchant for conversation and tales.
Always dressed sensibly, in well-worn clothes, if remembered at all, it is not due to any flashy articles of clothing.

Distinctive Quality: Eager - You can barely contain your glee
when an opportunity to pursue your dream
presents itself.
Specialty: Minstrelsy - You know that many facts
are preserved through song and that the
emotional responses to music are similar
to your own responses to your dream
images. You observe through playing.
Hope: Not everything is pre-ordained; I revel in
such moments of uncertainty.
Despair: I am not strong enough to see my dream
through; the dream should have been given
to someone else.

Morwenn like many Rangers, can trace her lineage back many hundreds of years. If you believe her father, one of her ancestors was a cousin to Isildur himself. Morwen does not believe her father.
Like all Rangers, she underwent brutal , but effective training for much of her early life, finally passing muster and sent out into Eriador to do her duty.

Unlike most of her brethren, who choose to remain isolated from those they protect, Morwenn often seeks out settlements in order to better know those she helps.
Often , she will walk out of the wilderness into a community, enter the single tavern and begin to sing and play her flute.
With very few exceptions, her presence is welcome , the songs she sings of golden ages and sorrowful loss a balm on the hard lives of many.
She does this for two reasons; one, to enhance her own connection to these people, two, to arise in the common people of Eriador a feeling of what has been lost and what could someday be regained.
If only one in a hundred is inspired by her music to strive more, to fight against the insidious Shadow...her work/play was well served.

When not ghosting in and out of taverns and inns, Morwenn travelled Eridor.
Seeking hidden paths and forgotten ruins, she travelled the unworn path. If after a certain time in these forlorn places that she feels the need for the human connection and made her way towards more civilized areas.
After some years patrolling Eriador, it came to pass that that the vanquished evil east of the Misty Mountains provided an opportunity for the Rangers to spread their influence.

Morwenn, tormented by a recurring dream, knew she had to accompany the Dunedain...her destiny was waiting on the other side of the Mountains.
And so it came to pass that she was one of the few selected to journey East.

She has been East of the Mountains for 4 years,ever since bidding farewell to the other 3 Rangers on the banks of the Old Ford. As she's journeyed, playing her flute, singing and telling tales, she's
caught glimpses of her dream here and there, evidence that she was in the proper place.

She currently finds herself in the regions southeast of Mirkwood, having recently presented herself to the notables at Lorien. Moving up the western edge of the great wood, she's stopped at village after village,
singing and talking to the locals, gauging from rumor and tale what dangers the Shadow may present to those that live so close to the dim and unknowable depths of Mirkwood; but always searching for that
glimmer of her dream that leads her on to her destiny.

Rhosgobel is but a day's walk's distance and she fancies a decent inn's bed to cure the aches of the trail....

A Reference Image

Tolkien Level:

Many readings of LOTR and the Hobbit, as well as RPG materials dating back to MERP. So a general exposure, but no encycopidic knowledge.


I figure to sort out the actual contents of the Harrowed dream with you , within the context of the continuing adventure .
There's lots of potential with the Dunedain's Fall and continuted battle against the Shadow for roleplay shenanigans :)

Finraeth wrote:
@DMDM - just checking you saw my comments/questions spoiler.

Yes, and I like your first option (which assumes you have some familiarity with Thranduil and his court).

Note that at the opening of the campaign, Radagast is Not At Home.

Understood - assuming Radagast hasn't exactly advertised his absence ("do not meddle in the affairs etc"), Finraeth could nevertheless be on his way to pay his respects and seek the counsel of one of the Wise.

Do you want the group to know each other before the story begins (tying in backstories or whatever)? Or will you bring the companions together at the start of the adventure? (I'm guessing the old RPG standby of "you all meet in the tavern" doesn't really fly in Mirkwood.)

I'm going to drop you in the middle of things.

You're hanging around the Woodmen waiting for Radagast to show up. You haven't been here long enough to get bored yet. The Woodmen treat you with wary deference. You know Radegund at least slightly, because her parents are part of the Woodmen's leadership.

DM_DM wrote:

1) The part of your character description involving the trip to Dale can be dropped.


2) Your parents are people of some importance among the Woodmen. They have a respectable holding. I think that both your parents are settled folk, but your grandfather was a trader -- he traveled up and down the Vales of Anduin and has visited elves. He's old now. He's a respected figure (he brought back a fair amount of wealth) but also viewed slightly askance. You can decide how much or little detail to add to your family -- you can add possible hooks or leave it at that. An older sibling who was lost to the Shadow? A younger sibling, or two? Up to you.

Great, I'll work with that. My impression is that most or all of Rhosgobel live together in one greathouse, yes? When you say 'a respectable holding', are you talking about land, or just reputation in the community?

I'd pictured her learning to hunt & track from her parents, but let me know if you want it to have been someone else in the community instead.

3) The first adventure will be triggered by you doing something foolish. You can decide whether this is typical for your character or a one-off.

Sure. For her shadow weakness, I selected Forgetfulness. Is that a good hook for a mistake she's made?

Character crunch: "At 1st level, choose 3 regions + a number of regions equal to your Wisdom modifier from the Middle-earth maps. When you make an Intelligence or Wisdom check related to a land you know, your proficiency bonus is doubled if you are using a skill you are proficient in." That's actually pretty powerful!

Yeah, it seems like a very cool ability!

The Western Eaves
Western Mirkwood
Heart of Mirkwood
The Narrows of the Forest
East Anduin Vales
East Nether Vales

These six seem perfect. I'll update my profile as I get the crunch into it.

Name: Faem

Character Choices:
Culture: Hobbit of the Anduin Vales
Class: Treasure Hunter
Archetype: None (Assuming we start at lvl 1)
Virtue: None (1st lvl cultural limitation)
Background: Lure of the Road
Distinctive Quality: Keen-Eyed You are adept at spotting stormy weather and other dangers before they can affect you.
Specialty: Fire-making You can make camp anywhere.
Hope: If you only live at home, then you have never truly lived.
Despair: My travels are simply my excuse for getting away from problems at home.
Appearance: A mane of coarse red hair the color of flame when touched with a pure iron blade. At two-foot-nine, Faem is tall for her kin, and slender of bosom and hip. Her bright brown eyes flash as quickly as her temper to any who might threaten her or those she cares for.
Age: 27
Shadow Weakness: Dragon-sickness


"What is it?"

"Daa calls 'em Gobbies," Faem answered her younger brother. "We're supposed to run if we see one." The blackened corpse floated idly at river's edge, face down. A tear in the flesh from shoulder to hip festered in the cold water.

"Why ain't we running, then?" Gael brushed always-dirty hair away from his eyes, squinting into the perpetual fog of the marshes, should the thing that did this one in be prowling nearby. "It smells worse than the bog."

Faem poked the body with her fishing pole to try to push it off. "Come on, we'll catch nothin' here." She led her brother upriver another mile before casting her line among the rocks in the quicker action in the middle of the current. There, the Gladden narrowed and the waters rushed over large round stones where trout waited for smaller prey. It wasn't long before Faem felt the familiar tug on the end of her line. The fish lept from the water, a good catch that would feed her entire family for the night.

"Faem!" Gael's cry stole her focus and the trout spit the hook. Before she could muster a curse, her eyes followed her brother's unblinking stare. Across the river, not ten strides through the shallow water, a Gobbie glared back at them. Blood dripped from the fingertips of one arm, flowing from a nasty gash at the base of its neck. It glowered with a dark hunger. For the first time in her young life, Faem knew the face of evil.

She grabbed her brother's hand in hers and they ran as fast as his six-year-old legs could turn. Faem didn't dare turn to look until Gael's hand pulled out of hers. The Gobbie was on them - it had her brother! She had forgotten to drop her fishing pole, and so she swung it at the vile creature, snapping it off against its head. It leered at her, spitting in some wicked language. The thing picked Gael off the ground and looked as if it were about to take a bite out of the skinny lad. Faem kicked at the side of its knee and the Gobbie buckled and hissed, dropping Gael and reaching for her. She fell backward and it pounced, but another kick hit the open wound at its neck and the dark thing howled and spun, grasping in agony. It rolled toward the river, cursing and spitting, and if it gathered itself up once more, Faem knew it would kill them.

The young hobbit sped past it and pulled a stone from the rocky shore with both hands. In one smooth motion she swung it high and brought it crashing down on the Gobbie's head, smashing its skull. Over and over she hit it until nothing resembling a face remained and she was sticky from ears to toes in black blood. At last she dropped the stone, stumbled into the river's edge, and sobbed while the glacial whitewater of the Gladden rushed over her.

Quick tempered and capable, Faem chipped daggers from stones and whittled her first bow at age nine. Haunted by that day at the river, she taught herself how to fight, for there was no place in the Vales more dangerous than the fetid marshes of the Gladden Fields. She learned to be quiet, and to shoot rabbits, snakes, and large burrowing rodents which poked their unsuspecting heads up. She was a provider for her family and grew into a proud and well-regarded member of her scattered clan.

But while Gael did not die that day many seasons past at the River Gladden, he finally succumbed to years-long sickness on the eve of his twenty-fifth birthday. Faem blamed the marshes, for all its relentless gloom and the suffering it wrought. Dispirited, she packed up her few belongings, bid her Mother and Daa farewell, and set off on her own, across the mighty Anduin, toward the forest in the east. Something about the lure of the road not traveled attracted her - a persistent restlessnesses rather than a sense of adventure, but a compulsion to travel afar nonetheless.

Was it chance that guided her straight to the doorstep of Rhosgobel, or something greater?

Tolkien Level: Silmarillion? Did I spell that right? I've read the books twice. I do run another ME5 campaign, so there's that. Relative novice with a talent for improvisation.

Questions: DM_DM, the Animal Handling skill seems a poor fit with this Culture and my chosen Background. Instead, may I choose Nature, which better fits my backstory?

I added a paragraph to my backstory but was too late to complete the edit.

more Backstory:
During the spring of her twentieth year, Faem and Gael were out hunting in the lowlands near where the Gladden flows into the Anduin. As the floods recede, thousands of fish are beached, attracting birds of prey, rats and other vermin, and the occassional badger or fox, which are difficult to catch but good eating. It was there she saw him - it - the tall man in the black cloak. It reached for Gael, having appeared out of the very mist, and when its bony finger touched her brother, Gael fell to the mud. Faem was too far to do anything but scream and throw her spear, but the black thing only looked at her with red eyes like death and then vanished as quick as it had come. She did not know it was one of the Nine that had visited her that day, in search of Isildur's Bane, The Enemy's Ring.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to finish my character today. Let me know if you need a replacement in the future. Good gaming.

Okay, the two chosen are:

Veig Fairmane -- Dwarf Slayer
Amelina -- Woodman Healer

Get over to the Discussion thread and dot in.

Spazmodeus wrote:
As this is a real quick recruitment, forgive me for recycling my application to 'Wastrel's campaign, with what I hope are appropriate adjustments.

Spazmodeus, this wasn't bad! Definitely much better than your first try. Unfortunately, there were only two slots, and I had to pick someone in and someone out.

Thank you for applying, and better luck next time!

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Decimus Observet wrote:
I submit Veig Fairmane, a dwarf slayer under a pall of doom.

Needed: a backstory reason for you to be wandering alone near the southeast border of Mirkwood.

Also, just FYI: you will begin the adventure hanging upside down and helpless, in a cocoon of spider thread, with several spiders planning to make a meal of you.

Daniel Stewart wrote:

Character Name: Amalina "The Healer"

Outline of Mechanics/character choices:
Culture: Woodmen of the Wilderland
Class: Scholar
Specialty: Master Healer
Virtue: Hound of Mirkwood
Background: The Magician (Folk Healer)

Daniel, you're in. Now: you're not traveling to Dale... but don't worry, danger will find you right here in Mirkwood!

You can ditch the "problem fiance" part of your backstory.

I suspect this character is going to be the common sense / voice of reason in this party. Let's see.

DM_DM wrote:
Spazmodeus wrote:
As this is a real quick recruitment, forgive me for recycling my application to 'Wastrel's campaign, with what I hope are appropriate adjustments.

Spazmodeus, this wasn't bad! Definitely much better than your first try. Unfortunately, there were only two slots, and I had to pick someone in and someone out.

Thank you for applying, and better luck next time!

Thanks...have fun!

Liberty's Edge

Awesome...thanks! I will get changes made as soon as I can!!

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