Saturday, April 27, 9:00 AM . . . Club Éclair will muster for its first expedition into the Barrow Downs.
Anybody with a character at or below Level 15 wanting to participate in a walk-and-talk role-play adventure club is invited to attend.
Saturday, April 27, 9:00 AM . . . Club Éclair will muster for its first expedition into the Barrow Downs.
Anybody with a character at or below Level 15 wanting to participate in a walk-and-talk role-play adventure club is invited to attend.
I met my first orc today.
Don’t be worried. Orcs are big brutes to be certain, but not so much as a hobbit can’t handle – particularly a hobbit with friends. Indeed, my greatest pleasure and relief in these times comes from the friends that accompany me.
I went looking for the missing Bree-land farmer Robb Thornley in the northern Bree-fields with two of my friends, Winecup and Pintail.
You’ve likely heard me mention the Bounder Pintail a few times. He and I actually enlisted into the Bounders together at the same time. He’s accompanied me on more than a few expeditions against goblins or the corruptions of the Old Forest or brigands.
Winecup is a new Eclairian, having just joined us on our first expedition. She’s a fellow Bounder as well, whom I met while wandering around near Bree. Somehow, she had not heard of the Eclairians, so I explained to here that we are a group of Shire-hobbits and other free folk who are pursuing the source of our current Shire troubles.
On that mark, there's the leader of the brigands name of Sharkey who is trying to ally his brigands with the orcs of the northern Bree-fields, and the sources of the corruptions of the Old Forest what might be found in the Barrow Downs.
It might seem odd to be calling ourselfs Eclairians. One can wonder where the name came from and how it came to be ours.
That's an odd story, actually.
There's this group of Bounders who work out of Addernotch Station in the Shire. Not actually true Bounders, mind you, but citizens who got together as the troubles in the Shire got worse. And they, in turn, have formed a few clubs or groups to take on special projects.
I don't recall mention of the first two clubs, but I have heard mention of them. All I can say for certain is that the name of the first one is that of a food starting with A - probably Apple. And the second started with B and was called Bread or some such.
Since then, there has also been Club Crumb. And club Dumplin'.
So, when Pintail and I joined the Bounders and mentioned our project of seeking out the source of the Brigand troubles and the pale dwarf what stirred the goblins of the Greenfields against Brockenborings, they gave us the name Club Eclair to fit their tradition, and we're coming to be known as the Eclairians.
Anyways, it was three of us Eclairians - Winecup, Pintail, and myself - that went north along the Greenway in search of the missing farmer Thornley.
As we went searching, Winecup mentioned that she had seen orcs before. She said she was raised outside the Shire, south of the Bree-fields. Of course, we all know of hobbits living outside the Shire. There's the Bree hobbits and Staddle - and other places further east where we originally came out from across the Misty Mountains. So it shouldn't strike any as odd to mention hobbits not of the Shire.
Anyways, where she came from, her people were having troubles with orcs, and other creatures of an unsavory nature. So she was able to say with certainty that a brutish creature lurking in the trees nearby was an orc.
Once I noticed him, I noticed that the woods were filled with orcs, who had a small camp beyond.
Well, we couldn't have a camp of orcs so close to Bree and the Greenway, so we took on the camp. At first, we poked about the edges taking out skirmishers and pickets as we found them. Then, we assaulted the camp itself and got us into a fight with three or four orcs at once. It's times like this that I'm glad to have learned how to properly use this shield I carry. We dealt the camp a fatal blow so as the orcs were either slain or fled.
This was a mere outpost, it seems, and further north there was a proper camp, with fortifications and regular patrols. But the three of us were feeling confident and so we took on the beasts. We made our way into the camp. Again, at its heart, we ended up battling maybe a half dozen orcs at once, and held our own.
It was here where we found Robb Thornley and sought his escape.
Seems no sooner as he was let loose that the orcs put out a cry and came upon us. It was a long fight getting out of the camp we had just gotten into. But, in the end, Thornley was safe and went running off to be with his Rose on his farm. It were good to see him safe again.
Though news came to us later of other farmers being captured. No doubt, this will not be the first rescue the Eclairians will be performing.
We're already planning a return trip to deal the orcs of the Greenway another blow. But that will come after some rest.
I hope all is well back there in Little Delving. It helps me not to lose heart is the knowing that I'll be making the Shire safe for you and the girls.
Still, I miss home at nights, when it's dark and my thoughts are my own. Fortune will bring me home again some day, I do hope.
Bounder Alphred Troute
Hedgerow has asked the Eclairians to meet him at the west gate of Bree. He has been hot on the trail of this Sharkey fellow, and the strangeness of the Old Forest, and that has led him to search the old Barrow Downs for the source of the troubles. I, along with my friend Podie, Liatri, and Willameena have answered the call.
I was sure to bring along plenty of biscuits, brew and my own special crop of weed for my pipe to bring just a small bit of cheer to an otherwise dreary place. We marched steadily and dutifully to the Barrow Downs only to be greeted by the stench of a long dead corpse near the entrance. Long dead corpses near barrow downs entrances is never a good sign. We investigated and found a note in the poor fellow's pocket that led us to a small camp near the old forest. Onward we marched.
Upon arriving we found several of the big folk camped there. After a brief conversation we agreed to help them with some of their troubles they've had in the downs. We had a bite to eat, as hobbits generally want to do on long journeys, and afterwards we headed out into the barrows. We managed to have a fairly good time of adventuring together, and we even solved a few problems for the big folk in the camp.
The highlight of our foray was the open barrow we found. Inside was filled with huge spiders and headless dead things that didn't know they were dead for some odd reason. However we managed to convince them of their deadness all the same. Somehow none in our party wound up in the same condition, and for that I am thankful. I am ever more thankful for the skill and care of my fellowship. I look forward to more adventures with these folk.
So that's all I have to report at this time. I wanted to keep you abreast of my doings, and my comings and goings about the Shire, Breelands, and even Ered Luin. I am eager to get back to my garden and my comfortable chair by the fire. However I am equally eager to end the darkness that has crept over our lands as of late. I fear until we reach the desired conclusion to our adventures, there won't be any comfortable chairs by cozy fires to come home to. I do hope this letter finds you well, and if I am able, I shall write again soon.
Adventurer at Large
Rescuing Lalia has not been so much fun in a long time.
Roslyn will be leading an sedition through the northern Barrow Downs on Tuesday at 8:00 Eastern.
To: Bounder Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed - Addernotch Station
From: Recruit Hedgerow Sweetweed
It is my honour to report the events of our first patrol into the northern Barrow Downs.
I can confirm that the corruptions leaking into the Old Forest are thick here. One of the stranded travelers we came across spoke of a shadow going through, making the dead things buried here forget they were dead. There is life here - rats, millipedes longer than a hobbit is tall, giant spiders what seem can be found in corruptions, and angry dogs with an odd whine what clogs the ears.
We found some stranded travelers, rescued a lost lass, and Podie fell into a crypt we had to find our ways out of again, all in the course of a day.
Our day started with death. Always-dutiful Liatri met with new Bounder Podie and another hobbit name of& Jakki at the west gate of Bree just as the sun was rising - as none of us wanted to be in the Barrows at night. Right at the start we found a fresh body of a man clutching a note saying to send help to a stranded caravan between the Barrows and the Old Forest.
We found them in a pass that lead to Tom Bombadil's place - from where came Willameena - who had found herself a pet bear in the Old Forest and gave it a name I cannot pronounce.
That made five of us.
Six, if you count the bear.
Bob told us of the lost little girl Lalia, and the rest asked us to clear the area of diseased vermin and the howling Barghest while the sick among them recovered and they prepared to make their way from the forest again.
Of course, rescuing the stranded lass was the first concern. More so on account of the fact that we were told to start our search in the direction of some Dead Spire.
We found her easily enough - but it seems that the corruptions had infected her as she was wanting to find the last prince of a city that had died long ago and fell into ruins.
We were full of intent to take her back to Bob, but she went running off in the wrong direction. I shouted at her to stop, but she did not listen. And while we would have escorted her along a safe route mindful of the beasts and them who forgot they were dead, she mindlessly paid no attention to evils or dangers.
It was soon that we found ourselves in a serious battle. My mind's eye recalls a moment when I looked behind me to see Willameena and her bear and Liatri finishing off battles with a pair of forgot-they-were-dead archers, while ahead of me Jakki and Podie had the mindless lass flanked trying to keep a pair of skeletal forgot-they-were-deads from whacking off parts of her.
All the while she was calling out to this prince of hers who must have heard her on account of him crawling up out of the ground at her.
At this time, we were all in a state of battle ready and we all turned our attention to this last prince so as to remind him that he was already dead. Under our blows, he returned to the earth from which he came.
From here, we were nearer to the passage to Bree than to the camp of the stranded travelers, so we took her out that way. Then we pointed to the gates of Bree in the distance and sent her on her way.
It was shortly after this that Podie fell into a spider-infested crypt. But this report has already run on long enough.
All of us are well, but we will need to find the shadow that feeds all of these corruptions. We have a lot of work for us and I will not return to the Shire any time soon.
Rosyl, Alphred, Pintail, and others were last seen marching against the orcs of the North Bree-fields, trying to prevent an alliance between them and Sharkey's brigands.
I will report more later.
Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow.
I have just returned from a three day outing that was most relaxing.
I did not intend such an outing. I went out to help at Hengstacer's Pony Ranch - which is dangerously near the Orc camps I had written about. Indeed, I chased away a couple of orcs that had stolen a dwarf's pack on the very edge of the ranch itself.
At this point, I do not even recall who asked me to go east - whether it was somebody at the pony ranch or the dwarf whose pack I liberated.
Anyways, I went out to a camp set up by a pair of outdoorsmen in some ruins at the shores of a very large lake.
Seriously, Father, if this lake is not the size of the whole of the Shire, it is at least the size of the West Farthing. More importantly, it was the first uncorrupted lands I found outside of the Shire. No orcs or brigands, no crawlers or giant spiders. No things what forgot they were dead.
I did find one of them corrupted trees and pruned it 'fore it could corrupt the whole garden.
It rained fiercely the second day I was here, but even that was refreshing. It was a reminder of the way things were meant to be and the way they could be again.
I could have stayed here forever. I could have dug a smial into the hillside. There's lots of flat, fertile land for a garden. Some hunting for meat. Fishing from the lake - though I would have worries of monstrous fish in a lake that size.
I even found some gold nuggets laying on the ground, and sent them off to Li'l Meadowlark Sweetweed.
On that matter, it was good to hear that you are getting the money for the ores, hides, and such I have been sending to Sweetweed Industries. But I think it is a bad idea to give up the fishing business. Certainly, hire on some people so as the girls can spend their time getting a proper education. But a hobbit needs a vocation. You told me that yourself enough times when I tired of being a fisherhobbit's son.
I stayed in the company of Sage Hayseed and Walt Whitrose - a man and a woman. I'll not comment of the propriety of such a pair out in the wilderness alone. They were good hosts, though poor cooks.
I would like to return there sometime and think I will. I will make sure I have time for fishing. I would like to take some of my friends there. The hobbits among them will love the place.
However, while I was camping there I was made uneasy by the knowing that Sharkey was hard at work figuring out how to draw reinforcements from the orcs. That cannot be permitted. So, I have returned to Bree to take steps to thwart Sharkey's plans. I will be returning to the Orc camps on the morrow. Hopefully, I can find some company.
I will write again soon.
An expedition to the Orc camps of the North Bree-Fields Thursday, May 2, 10:00PM
If ever I should start to falter in my quest, I need only to remember Trestlebridge.
Trestlebridge is a town north of Bree. We suspected it had troubles owing to the fact that there were orcs in the North Bree-fields, and there is no way for them to come but through Trestlebridge. Yet, these orcs appear to be cut off, as if a force behind them was blocking their retreat. As I recall, the Mayor of Bree or one of his guards made mention of a messenger from the North saying that Trestlebridge still stood.
I sought to battle my way through the Orc camp to see what was beyond.
It sounds foolish now that I write upon it. But that is what I decided.
A dwarf I had met in the Shire from Needlehole offered to travel with me. We call him "Roy", but his dwarfen name is "Hroik".
We battled our way through a camp that contained near to thirty orcs. We did not battle them all at once. First, there were a couple of pickets. Then an outpost. Some guards on the trail between the main camp and the outposts. A camp where they kept their prisoners - whom we freed. That alone made me glad for my decision - their fate if I had decided to stay in Bree being one I do not want to think about. And a main camp.
Then, we were in the clear - with nothing ahead but a couple of wolfs.
We smelled smoke 'fore we saw the town of Trestlebridge, and saw the columns of smoke behind the wall. The wall itself seemed intact. We approached it cautiously, hiding behind trees and a pile of logs until we had a good look at the guards at the door. They looked human, and were armed and armored.
I stood hailed the guards, throwing my hands up so it could be seen that I held no weapons. They welcomed us, and brought us into town.
The town had seen violence, that is for certain. Three buildings as I could count had been burned to the ground. I have no count of the number killed and maimed in the fight, but many to most here mourn the loss of a friend or kin.
It brings to mind an image of Little Delving with the Post Office and a couple other buildings burned, and one hobbit in five to be buried or tending deep wounds. Or worse, for we can't count on the luck of Trestlebridge.
As I understood the battle here, a group of Orcs unexpectedly forced themselves across the bridge and was winning a victory in the town. They had the town's folk cornered. Then one of the Orc Lieutenants took his troops and moved off to the south - no doubt thinking that the battle for Trestlebridge was won. Against a diminished foe, the town rallied and reclaimed their homes, driving a wedge between the two Orc tribes. Those to the South, pressed by the Rangers and Eclairians, grow weaker. Those to the north await reinforcements.
Sadly, the people here seem not to be interested in our help. The Chief of their guard told us to visit the Forsaken Inn. To the east of Bree instead, and none admitted to having a use for us.
I do intend to be of service to Trestlebridge whether they care for my help or not. If Trestlebridge falls, then orcs &cross into Bree-Fields in numbers. It is only a quick right turn to the Brandywine.
Father, I do not wish to frighten you and wish more than anything to say not to worry, but to be forewarned is to be forearmed. See to your safety and that of the girls.
I am going to return to Bree to organize a caravan to bring relief. Food. Ammunitions. Medicines. Hand tools.
I am going to need some help, but there should be somebody around Bree willing to help. The safety of Bree also is on the balance.
I will let you know he things go.
Alphred Troute requests the help of anybody ((level 15 and below, plus chickens)) to deliver needed supplies to Trestlebridge. ((This event is NOT limited to Club Eclair members, but is limited to Level 15 and below.)) &We will break through the Orc camp at its weakest point ((for the purposes of this event, the west Orc camp)). We will leave as soon as a caravan can be organized ((Saturday, May 18, 2:00 PM)).
((Level 11 through 15 will serve as guards, Level 1 through 10 will serve as porters. Chickens will represent farm animals. I hope to have at least as many porters as guards. 12 people maximum. If more than 12 people volunteer, multiple caravans will be organized, spaced 20 minutes apart.))
In Bree, a young hobbit dressed in an old hand-me-down Bounder uniform - or what could pass for a uniform - climbs onto a box.
"Good gentilefolk, I am Alphred Troute, and I ask your assistance.
The town of Trestlebridge is near surrounded by orcs and has suffered a severe attack. They have fallen on hard times and I intend to provide them with relief. Food. Medicines. Weapons. Tools. I intend to form a caravan of sorts to take these supplies and break through the Orcan blockade at its weakest point. I would like any who consider themselves hearty enough to join the caravan. The fate of Bree is at stake. If Trestlebridge falls to the Orcs, nothing stands between them and Bree - or between them and the Shire for that matter - but open farmland."
This event is open to characters Level 15 and below - and chickens.
Level 11 through 15 characters will serve as guards.
Level 1 through 10 characters will serve as porters - representing the common folk carrying supplies. (No actual supplies will be needed.)
Chickens will represent farm animals - to be herded along to provide food for the people of Trestlebridge.
A maximum of 12 characters per caravan. Ideally, 4 guards and 8 porters (and an unlimited number of chickens) per caravan.
"The weakest point" in the Orcan barricade will be to go past the wolf dens and into the west camp - inside the south gate and out the east gate, then on to Trestlebridge.
There will be no reviving. Any character that falls must leave the caravan.
The caravan will form at the Prancing Pony and leave at 2:00 PM (EDT) Saturday, May 18. If there is sufficient interest for multiple caravans, they can leave 20 minutes apart.
If you have any questions, I would be pleased to answer them.
I attended a most wondrous lecture today.
I was having first breakfast at the Prancing Pony before heading off to Hengstacer's Pony Farm where I have been tending to one of their horses - who seems to like me - when a Regional crier announced a lecture at the Bree Town Hole on the history of the Barrow Downs.
I just had to go and learn what I could about the sources of these corruptions.
The Bree Town Hole has a room specially set up for lectures. There's a stage at one end and rows of big heavy wooden chairs facing it. There's no hobbit chairs, so you've got to choose between sitting forward with your feet dangling down towards the floor, or sitting back with your feet sticking straight out.
I'm more comfortable sitting back.
And I picked a seat in the front row where no tall person can sit in front of me and block my view.
This lecture was put on by a group called The Stonebluff Historical Society, and the speaker was Mordacai Mossfoot. You would figure him to be a hobbit with such a name, but he was a man. Adding his height to his being up on that stage and I got some strain to my neck watching him.
Anyway, he mentioned how the Barrow Downs was once a capital known as Cardolan, ruled by one of three brothers when the ancient kingdom broke apart. And one of the three kings sided with Angmar - whom I learned is not some warlord but a region ruled by villainous monsters. So when the brigands of Chetwood spoke of Angmar coming they weren't talking about a person after all, but about forces sent by whomever rules those lands. Which is a lot more frightening for the Shire than knowing that it was just one monster.
Well, Cardolan got plagued. I am still confused about the whole thing but, from the lecture and other things I heard, Angmar sent some lieutenants armed with two plagues and it all but destroyed the city of Cardolan.
Imagine some villain releasing some plague among Shire folk. I have imagined battling orcs and such, but I have not imagined a battle where an enemy enters a town, plants a plague, an starting the next day folk just get sick and die.
With all the sickness and the armies of Angmar about, people retreated out of the towns and into the underground crypts they had built for the dead. They used these as shelter. &Which wouldn't be so bad if these were genuine hobbit holes. But they were filled with death.
One of the plagues, it seems, did not allow people to die proper. The person using the body died true enough, but it left the corpse set to accept a spirit, who used the body as its own without even asking permission.
This is the corruption that has settled into the Barrow Downs. And it is the corruption that has seeped into the Old Forest. I'm thinking that the old oak we fought had one of these plague spirits in it. The plague killed the tree, and the spirit entered it and gave it the power to move.
We do need to keep these away from the Shire.
I will be here for a while longer, I fear. I will see you when I can.
Hug the girls for me and stay safe.
I was rescued today from an untimely end by a good gentileman . . . or gentileelf . . . it was dark and I could not tell for certain which . . . in the barrows.
I had gone to confront some of the corruptions that had grown there. There is a part of the barrows overridden by spiders - much like the quarry in Scary. Only, here, the corruption has a source - a master - in the form of a vicious spider matron.
There's stories that the spider matrons are intelligent with their own agenda. Some say they are all the spawn of a great ancient evil of some sort - a supreme matron seeking to ensnare the whole of the world in her web.
Either way, I set to battle this matron. I fear I may have taken on a challenge greater than myself. I think I was doing well against the matron herself, but some of her brood were there as well and they outnumbered me. The matron alone would have been no easy foe.
Anyways, as the battle raged, this gentileman or gentileelf - I do think it was a man, to be honest - stepped up behind me and smyted one of the matron's brood, allowing me the chance to finish off this villainous monster. He saved me, I am certain of it.
He said he knew me . . . or knew of me . . . though he was a stranger to me.
Anyways, by the mere fact I am writing to you, you should know that the trip to Trestlebridge went well.
Willameena was there, as was Galdyn. I have written of them before. And two others that I had met for the first time - Aufshere and Erikin. They were of great value on the trip.
There were a few times, truth be told, when the orcs mustered their strength and attacked us in great numbers. Three . . . four . . . six at a time would come upon us. And there were but four or five of us trained in battle to protect the caravan. And one orc . . . a monstrous orc . . . was among them. Fortunately, he came at us alone, and not in the company of an army.
We left two to three dozen orcan bodies laying on the mountain pass behind us.
Aufshare, the poor man, took a wound. Oddly, it was when we thought we were nearly safe and he went ahead to scout the remaining path. He returned with an arrow stuck in him - an arrow that turned out to be poisoned.
We had to stop for a good while to build ourselfs a sled he could lie on that were towed behind the pack animals we brought along. I know it sounds odd, father, but Willameena brought a huge bear along . . . a tamed bear that ended up towing the slay on which Aufshare rested.
We got Aufshare to Trestlebridge and left him in the care of a healer there . . . a healer whose skills concerned me as his shop was next door to the undertaker. It left me with an uneasy feeling.
You may also remember Penndinias, whom I mentioned on some of my earlier letters. He brought along bushesl of Shire apples and some chickens.
I must be honest, father. penndinias was a bit of a frustration, prone to wander ahead or off to the side, fetching this pretty rock or examining that oddity we passed along the way. I had to remind him more than once not to wander.
There was Lizyrose and Sigfrothr among the pack handlers who braved the orcs to get supplies through to the besieged town. I cannot but understate that these were the true heroes. Lacking the skills to battle orcs, or the equipment, they nonetheless braved orcan spear and arrow to see to the welfare of Trestlebridge. I had my shield and my spear. They came armed only in their faith that we could keep them safe.
I can say, when the mission was over, I near to collapsed. I kept myself going during the march as I needed to. Then, when I realized I was in Trestlebridge and safe, I near to collapsed. My knees grew week, my hands started to shake to such an extent I could not hold a spear. Had I tried to hold a drink it would have surely spilled. It took most of the night 'fore the sweating and the trembling ended.
We did lose some of our animals to Orcan archers, truth be told. A farmer Tobblin of the Shire - well known for coney pies, as I understand it - sent along some animals from his farm. It is hard to keep animals well behaved with battling about, and Tobblin's livestock broke free from the rest - and the orcan archers ended them.
The rest of the animals we kept herded and safe.
I have since returned to Bree and am back to battling the corruptions of the Barrow Downs.
Next week - truth be told - we're discussing that perhaps we should take some time and relax. There's a large lake northeast of here name of Nen Harn. I wrote to you about it - I spent three relaxing days there. The whole of the Eclair group is mentioning heading there on Saturday for some well-earned fishing and relaxing that we've earned.
That is all for now. Know that I am safe and that I draw my strength knowing that through my actions Little Delving may be spared some of the horrors I have witnessed.
Oooooh, still recruiting? I'm a returning player and this idea sounds fun to get a break from soloquesting. :)
Not sure any of my little alts are small enough for your current cap, but I do have one extra slot open. Please let me know!
We seem to have a fairly strong European membership with most people active during European hours. It'd be good to build up the American (north, central, south) membership in particular. But all people are welcome.
We are currently at Level 15 . . . in discussions for when to increase to 16 for the Othrikar and a few other Bree-land quests. Followed a few weeks later to Level 18 to Retake Weathertop. I'd like to see this Level 23 quest run a few times in full fellowship. (I have completed it with five Level 18 characters - though it was quite a challenge - so I know it can be done.)
Then . . . after that, we'll be raising to Level 20 and adventuring about Trestlebridge to the north of Bree and the Foresaken Inn to the east - getting skirmishes - and taking on the first of the Barrow Down instances.
All you need is a character Level 15 or below (though we have a few with higher-level characters waiting for us to catch up.)
And you can talk to us through the user channel /joinchannel club-éclair
My husband more than likely has some in that level range too so I'll ask if he's interested in playing along too.
Is the channel strictly RP?
We're having Pub Crawl (RP event) next Saturday, 1 June, at the Bird and Baby in The Shire starting at 9am Eastern.
This is an excellant opportunity for folks to meet everyone, tell stories, sing a few songs, drink ale ect... So kick back, order a round of ales and join us!
Bounder Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed
It is my honour to report on our progress against the corruptions of the Barrow Downs.
We have discovered that some form of evil came out of Angmar recently. As it passed through the Barrows - &and, indeed, settled into it as its home - it disturbed the spirits resting here and brought a slumbering infestation already here back to life.
There's an odd man here with the name of Thomas Bombadil who says he can direct us to the leader's lair. It seems as he might have gotten too much sun on account of his thoughts flutter about some, but if you catch him in a rare moment of lucidity he can be helpful. My guess is that he was once a wise counselor or great general, and people still respect him for past deeds.
Anyways, he won't direct us to the source of the corruptions until we've done some more training. So we are going to spend the next few days battling the lesser corruptions in the barrow downs then see to some additional trainings. Then, we will organize groups to assault the Great Barrow that this lieutenant of Angmar has settled in.
We've already been told as we will need a small army, and that's to be trusted given the quality of fighting we have had to do these last few days. The Bree-folk said they would &entitle a person who battles the major corruptions of the Barrow Downs "Slayer of the Wicked" - and it is a title I intend to earn before I battle their master in the Great Barrow.
But we have had to fight these battles in groups of two or three - and sometimes more. No doubt the source of the corruptions will require as much, even with the trainings.
That's our progress then. I will report at least once more 'fore we enter the Great Barrow.
Wish us luck.
Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow
((Eclair members have until June 10 to finish up their Level 15 objectives.
On June 10, the level cap increases to 16 for adventures into the Great Barrow, (Book 1, Chapter 11)
On July 1, the level cap rises to 18 for to start a series of adventures culminating in Retaking Weathertop (Book 2, Chapter 5). Full fellowships will be required. It is a challenge, but I have done it with 5 under-level characters.
Once Weathertop has been retaken a couple of times - giving everybody who wants it a chance at this challenge- the level cap will rise to 20 for adventures at the Forsaken Inn and Trestlebridge - including Inn of the Foresaken (Instance), The Maze (Great Barrow instance), Trouble in Tuckborough (Skirmish) and Siege of Gondomon (Skirmish).))
I must admit, I am apprehensive of the battle ahead.
As soon as we get a little more training, we are going to enter a barrow named Othringroth to battle the sources of the corruption.
A couple of days before, Roy and I will be going into Huadh Iarcith - the worst of the barrows excepting the Great Barrow itself with a pair we've met recently. To speak honestly, I can't recall their names at the moment.
I met them once, on the streets of Bree, and recognized them from Hedgerow's descriptions. I was walking out of the auction house one evening on my way to the hunter's lodge where I have been staying of late. It was early evening, but the street lights had already been lit and I recognized them from Hedgerow's description. I hailed them and introduced myself. We talked about the Barrows some and confirmed that they were the pair that travelled with Hedgerow. Then we made plans to muster at a campsite near the Great Barrow to hunt the master of corruptions in Hauth Iarcith a few days hence.
I am trusting to Hedgerow's judgment that they can hold their own amidst danger.
Hedgerow has had more than a few ventures in the Barrow Downs as of late. He went on a mission with Pintail and Liatri recently that swept through the northern Barrows. And on another with a woman warrior never before met in a party with two others that swept through Haid Iarcath. Plus this adventure with the pair mentioned above, and two patrols with the dwarf Andrig.
Yet, Hedgerow is the Bounder that I have said seems unfit for battle.
I've made my own patrols, but I have tended to travel alone. I don't understand it myself. I am personable enough . . . yet, those who travel in the Barrows say that they prefer Hedgerow's company on account of he keeps their spirits up in such a dreary place. Yet, I can't get myself to travel with him. There's just certain people who do not fit together, and I fear that Hedgerow and I are such a pair.
I will confess - in spite of the dangers - I am anxious and more than a little impatient to get this battle in the Great Barrow over with. With the corruptions on the Bounds taken care of, maybe I can come home.
I'm not certain of that, though. Fighting these corruptions has near to made me forget about what brought me here.
There was the dwarf Skogrim who was buying trolls captured from the Roshok Bog near Needlehole and who stirred the goblins of the Greenfields against the Shirefolk at Brokenborings. I have all but lost track of him - last seeing him in a brigand cave east of Bree.
And there is Sharkey, who tried to get brigands allied with orcs along the Greenway with an eye towards conquering Breeland - and we know he has his attention on the Shire as well.
It makes me curious as to how Skogrim, Sharkey, and the corruptions of the Barrow Downs all fit together.
We know that Skogrim also worked on mastering the brigands near Combe east of Bree and that they were waiting for villains from Angmar to arrive. We also know that the creature that brought the corruptions to the Old Forest came from Angmar. So, we see a connection there.
As for Sharkey, we have seen signs both that he is allied to and in conflict with Angmar. Perhaps it is a conflicted alliance, with each trying to maneuver to defeat the other while temporarily working for a common end. What master holds the leash of these two wild dogs and prevents their battling against each other?
Defeating the master of the corruptions in Othringoth will certainly be of good for the Shire and set back the plans of these villains. But I have another fear - that it will cause them to take notice of us. I think we are now considered beneath notice - but not once they see their plans stopped cold.
I can't allow these troubles to follow me into the Shire, so you will not see me home any time soon - not so long as these villains might have someone follow me.
Though perhaps it is vanity that causes my to think myself so importance when, to the great powers, I am naught but an annoying buzz at an otherwise pleasant picnic. I would hope not to be noticed.
As for what I am needing in Bree, I have picked up a fair amount of coin in my adventures . . . rewards for doing good deeds and treasures picked up in the Barrows and such . . . and can buy what I need easily enough. However, no matter how much coin I put in my pocket, I can't use it to buy what isn't being put up for sale.&
One thing that seems to be missing are soup mixes. I am speaking of the kind what one can put in a cup of boiling water for a hot meal when away from town. Onion soups, I have learned, are good for warding off diseases and infestations, and mushroom soups will neutralize poisons of the blood. I was surprised to learn that carrot soups will help the blood to clot and will stop bleeding. As useful as these things are, I can scarcely find them available in the shops. So, iffen you would be so kind to arrange the delivery of some dried soup mixes for the trail, that'd be appreciated.
Thank you in advance.
I am glad to hear that the Shire as well and the troubles, at least, have not gotten worse. Hug the girls for me. Tell them not to worry. I've got good friends here that help keep me safe.
Bounder Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed
From Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow
It is my honour to report on the events of the past few days as we prepare to enter Othrongroth.
Othrongroth, also known as the Big Barrow, is one of the tombs of the Barrow Downs between Bree and the Old Forest. I mentioned in the past that some villainy came through the Barrow Downs and awoke the evils that had been slumbering here. That's the corruption that is leaking into the Old Forest and threatening the Bounds.
Well, this villainous creature has found his home in the Big Barrow. And we've decided that our duties require us to take the battle to him and see to his destruction.
Our plans are this:
Tomorrow, those of us who seem to be travelling together on this mission will seek out our trainers and see iffen there is anything new we can learn that might help us against this monstrous evil.
We've been sweeping the Barrow Downs in preparation for the battles ahead, thinning the numbers of the corrupted and helping them travellers what got stranded taking Barrow Downs shortcut . . . though where they expected to cut to, I do not know.
Alphred, Hroik ("Roy"), Jasinthir, and Cimberleigh all made sweep through the greatest of the Barrows short of the Great Barrow itself, Haudh Iarchith. One of the greatest villains of the land, Fergandir, stands behind an army of wights and ghosty not-dead spirits.
I had been in that same Barrow myself . . . twice . . . aiding groups what had tried to drive off that villainous Firgandir. We did battle with him, and we drove him back into the ground. But once he retreats from us he regains his strength and is back again commanding the evil.
The worst thing about the place - other than them who have forgot they are dead trying to make you into one of them - is the stench. I think all of us have had the misfortune of encountering a dead body here and there. A farm animal who fell to misfortune or an animal in the wilds.
Well, the whole barrow smelled like that. And some of the wights are such that they seem to be able to harvest that stench and when they fall in battle the stench spreads like a yellow cloud and coats clothing and hair alike.
Cimberleigh was talking about how Jasinthir would have to wash her dress for her to get the stench out - though I think it would take less effort to buy a new one, what with all the treasures we have gotten from that place. The Men-folk of Bree are happy to take much of it from us - saying as we are connecting them to their history.
Anyways, Alphred's small group almost met their end in that Barrow, iffen what I hear is correct. From what I understand it, they entered what might be called the throne room that Ferdgandir has made his own. To gain enterance, they battled the gate guards and were fighting their way into the room itself. A small army of wights rushed them to do battle. While in the midst of this fight a patrol stumbled upon them and added their numbers to the battle. The battle took so long, that new gate guards showed up and immediately entered the fight.
It was as near to being defeated in the very nest of the enemy's corrupted stronghold as one could think of without suffering an actual defeat.
We are hoping that these sweeps through the Barrows are dissipating some of the corruptions infested there. But all of it is only temporary until we take out the leader. I am hoping we can muster a squad of sufficient strength to do so.
We may - as we have had to do elsewhere - tackle the place more than once before we secure our final victory.
With all due respect
Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow
((Club Eclair is setting up a couple of times to roleplay through Book 1, Chapter 11: Othrongroth. Anybody up to 16th level is welcome to come along, even if they are not a member of Club Eclair. All that's required is having an interest in roleplaying through a difficult adventure. This is a Level 21 solo quest, so it presents a moderate challenge to a small fellowship of Level 16 characters.))
((Note: In July, Club Eclair will be seeking to put together full fellowship groups at 18th level for Retake Weathertop. This is a Level 23 full fellowship instance that will be a serious challenge to a full fellowship of Level 18 characters. If you have an interest in roleplaying adventure and would like to go through Retaking Weathertop as a serous challenge . . . you'll need a Level 18 character sometime in mid July . . . watch this space.))
I have done my trainings and I am about to head out on another patrol. I am going to had into the South Barrow Downs again and prepare for the mission into Othrongroth on Saturday. I expect to return Sunday.
I write these things to you, worrying that some brigand might intercept the post or that they even have agents in the post office looking at letters. Yet, I seem to have a need to share my worries and fears with someone, and my family is still important to me. I have been assured that me posts in particular are kept secure and reach you undisturbed, which eases my mind. Still, I fear showing up at some barrow or at Othrongroth with a welcoming army expecting me.
I have also shared my pans with other Eclairians so I will need not travel alone.
I have mentioned in the past that the corruptions of the Barrow Downs are leaking into the Old Forest. Well, I think I know where this infestation is getting through.
There are two places where the Barrows touch the Old Forest. One is along an old roadway. But that road leads to the home of Tom Bombadil, and seems unable to get through.
The other is further back, where the Southwestern corner of the Barrow Downs meets the Southeastern corner of the Old Forest. I have learned of corruption-filled trees and bears all along this boundary. That is where my patrol will take me. I am thinking that I will need some help, and I have mentioned my plans to other Eclarians.
A day of patrols. A day of rest. Then, a visit to Thom Bombadil so see to defeating the source of these corruptions in Othrongroth.
Hedgerow is talking as if this ends our story and we can go home. I remind him of Skogrim and Sparky and Angmar. Once we have defeated the master of the corruptions, I intend to return to the Greenway to talk to the Rangers - check up on the brigands and orcs, and to see how the people of Trestlebridge are getting on since the Orc attack.
I can't say that you will be seeing me back in the Shire any time soon.
But I do this knowing that I keep the orcs and corruptions away from the Bounds, and that is what keeps me.
Dawn is breaking. Forgive the stains - a sausage escaped my fork and I have not time to rewrite this post.
Hug the girls.
Bounder Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed
from Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow
It is my honour to report of the mission I understook with Wilbus and Willameena this day to bring an end to the corruptions leaking into the Old Forest.
Yet, I must say it does not feel like an honour. I have to report that, now, things are worse.
Before I go too far, I must speak of the brave companions who actually lead this expedition - I being here only to provide morale support and what help I could.
Wilbus is an energetic hobbit, and perhaps the best bowhobbit I have ever seen. He was comparing the Barrows to the Hobbit smials of Buckland - and there are similarities. Indeed. some of the barrows would be livable iffen they were cleaned up and windows were put in to let in natural light. And the dead things were moved elsewheres.
Willameena seemed as interested in the barrow itself and the stories it told than in the reason for our being there. She brought a bird along - a bird what seemed like one of them spy birds, and she talks to it, but she's good folk. The bird is more companion than pet, and I took to trying to make sure I saw to its care as much as to the others.
As I saw our mission at the start, I was hoping to find the source of the corruptions that came through here and woke the spirits and corrupted the lands - to end this creature and allow the Old Forest to return to health. It was some spirit what came out of Angmar.
In that light, it was not a complete surprise to see dwarfs guarding the entrance of the big barrow. Well, it shocked me at first, until I got to thinking about it and knowing that the dwarf Skogrim was helping Angmar.
Then we saw Skogrim himself, standing at the enterance with a blackrobe.
We attacked. But while the dwarf guards held us at bay Skogrim and the Blackrobe wandered inside. Which was fine with me, or so I thought. This way, we had them trapped.
We didn't go rushing after them, in part out of fear we would be lured into an ambush. When we got into the Barrow, we moved slowly.
It was Wilbus who found the long-dead skeleton of a king, sitting in a throne chair, poised in a kingly state. "Hedge! Meena! Come!' he shouted as we entered the first of the chambers . . . making me fear he had been waylaid by some evil forces. Instead, he pointed to a skeleton with a crown poised upon an old wooden throne. I was relieved that the king stayed sitting, not rising to smite us. And somebody had lit braziers along the way, to give us light.
We were set upon by dwarfs near the entrance - but they seem not to have been warned of our arrival. I was thinking Skogrim and the Blackrobe did not know we were in pursuit, and had entered the Barrow before they knew of our fighting with the dwarfs outside earlier.
As we moved in, we searched each side room and chamber to make sure that the villains did not get around us and escape. Along the way, Willameena was making notes and taking rubbings of the carvings upon the walls. She was the one who noticed the blood-stained floor further in - which relieved me a bit. It meant that what was ahead was capable of bleeding.
She was also the first to notice that a mist had grown around our feet. It was waist high to a hobbit, and made it hard to see one's own feet. It made it easy to think of crawlers and smaller spiders underneath the mist where they could easily be missed 'till they were gnawing on an ankle.
By this time, Skogrim seems to have learned of our arrival somehow and set a squad of dwarfs to block our way.
Wilbus seems to have no fear - and I never met a hobbit more to thinking on his feet. Before we opened a door that blocked our way, he set out some traps and snares. And when the door opened, he draw the dwarfs inside right into his trap. The bird flapped around their eyes while Wilbus filled the dwarfs with arrows. There was naught for me to do but to watch and rally them on as best I could.
When the Dwarf captain had lost all his soldiers, he tried to flee. Yet, he got caught in a cave in as a second line of attackers broke into the room - wights that had been long dead.
There were two doors out of this room, but one seemed unused and jammed shut. Just to be sure, I pounded some blades we had picked up off the dwarfs into the woodwork to jam the door even tighter. Then the three of us continued along the route from which the wights had entered.
Skogrim and the Blackrobe seemed to have been content that their forces would have stopped us. We snuck upon them in another large chamber. And while they stood at one end in conversation, the three of us stood at the top of a stairway looking down, listening in as they spoke.
There were three creatures here. In addition to Skogrim and the Blackrobe, we met a new villain with the name of Ivar. By the looks of him, he was a wight - one of them gaunt lords what served as a wight wizard. Or, more to the point, he was like Willameena but with forces tied to death and disease rather than to live and nature.
As we listened, we heard the Blackrobe give Skogrim orders to attend to things to the north, while Ivar was to travel east. North of us is Trestlebridge where the village stands besieged by orcs. I have no knowledge of what is east - except the goblin camps in the Midgewater swamps, what we had already dealt with.
We also learned of a new villain, when we heard the Blackrobe say, "My champion has not yet finished her task." We learned nothing more of the identity of this champion or of the task assigned to her.
Well, Wilbus went sneaking down the steps for a better look. But the stairs had seen better days. There was a creak and a groan. The Blackrobe shouted, "You have hounded my steps for too long, and now the Dead shall take you." Then he summoned the dead from the ground itself and fled with Ivar and Skogrim in tow.
Wilbus and Willameena did dispatch the wights well enough. Willameena seems to have some power over them . . . and can make a wight stop in its tracks and stand transfixed. Perchance this is a power she has in virtue of her ties to life and nature over those who are of death and darkness. It evened the odds against us, allowing Wilbus to defeat the wights in detail. In the end, we stood victorious, and continued our pursuit.
But things here went horribly wrong, and I have yet to figure out how. We had kept the Blackrobe and Skogrim and now this Ivar creature ahead of us, trapped in the Barrows where we could corner them and defeat them. With no side routes for them to take, we found ourselves in the chamber of this long-dead king.
Like the king at the entranceway that Wilbus found, this one sat on an old throne. But unlike that first king, this one talked, stood, and summoned us before him.
Wilbus ordered me to stand back. While Willameena approached the king, Wilbus set about placing traps and snares on the ground, seemingly without the King's notice.
Samborg were intent on bragging about the great plans that lay ahead. He said, "The Pale Dwarf (by whom he meant Skogrim no doubt) shall go to the north and gather an army in the name of Angmar and the Witch-king! The gaunt one, a great power himself an to whom I owe this form, goes to the east. There, in Agamaur, he shall awaken a Power that lies sleeping in the waters. With her under his command, the skies will turn to blood and all shall despair!"
And these three - the Blackrobe, Skogrim, and Ivar, whom I had thought were trapped, must have found another way out, for they were nowhere to be seen.
Well, the King summoned his wights to dispatch us, but Wilbus' plan went off perfectly. They got snared in his traps where they were easy victim to Wilbus' deadly shots. Willameena defended herself as best she could against the attack of Samborg himself. As soon as Wilbus had finished off the henchwights, he turned his deadly shots on Samborg.
But it was Tom Bombadil what delivered the deadly blow. He came in all of a sudden from the back of the room and called forth a bolt of lightning that drove Samborg to the ground. Then summoned an earthquake to bring ruin to the tomb and . . . unfortunately . . . to block what entrances the three villains might have taken in escape.
That takes me to the end of my report, sir. We now have five villains to deal. There's Skogrim and the Blackrobe, plus Sharkey. To them we can add Ivar and another known only as a champion who has not yet finished her task.
The mission that I had hoped would end the corruptions has left us in even worse shape than before. And while I was looking to return to the Shire having dealt with the villainy on its bounds - or a good portion of it . . . it seems I am now stuck with deciding to travel either north against Skogrim, or east against Ivar, or South against Sharkey.
In the mean time I remain . . .
The Shire's devoted servant.
Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow
I've been out of the game awhile, but thinking about coming back. Something like what you have going on here could really whet my appetite.
A few questions: What are your general hours of play? (I am usually on weeknights from about 9:30pm to midnight Eastern time U.S.) also, are there any race limitations? Are you looking for only hobbits? Any class preferences? Are you short on tanks? healers?
I have a hobbit guardian that is level 19, which might be on the high side, a level 16 elf loremaster, and level 15 race of man minstrel. I must say I prefer to use the loremaster, but if it's hobbits you're looking for...
This being a game, I hold that people should play what they enjoy.
If we happen to cross paths with an eleven lore master, then an eleven lore master is what we cross paths with. And the story goes on from there. We're not actually "looking for" anything except players who would enjoy this style of play.
The only two hard and fast rules are
(1) Respect the level cap, and
(2) adventures are carried out in roleplay mode (walk and talk).
There is some leeway in level cap since a player will sometimes forget to equip their Disabler in a timely manner. We're not going to force the person out of the group for that (though such a person is not to train skills or equip items above the level cap).
For those who are interested . . . we seem short of healers. Also, tall folk are in short supply.
To reach other members of the club, just log on to user channel "club-éclair" - as in "/joinchannel club-éclair". (Note: For reference, you can also "/leavechannel club-éclair" and "/listchannels" to list the channels already in use.)
And one doesn't have to be a committed Eclairian to come along. If an event of ours sounds interesting, and you meet the qualifications, feel free to join in.
As for times, this is open. However, I have learned that people need times when they know others are on. Consequently, I have recently started to encourage players to gravitate towards particular times. Some recommended options are Thursday, 10:00 PM, and Saturday 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Of course, Eclairians can be on at any time.
Hedgerow steps out about 10:00 PM most evenings.
For the next couple of weeks, we will be working on tasks in Bree-Land at 16th Level - including Othrongroth. Two expeditions have already gone through (that I know of). Opportunities exist for more. But you need to be 16th level and eligible for Book 1, Chapter 11.
On July 1, the level cap goes up to 18.
The "big adventure" for Level 18 is "Retaking Weathertop" - roleplaying the assault up the hill. This is a Level 23 full-fellowship instance that can be entered at 18. It is challenging for Level 18 characters, and may require a couple of attempts while players work on their coordination and teamwork. A real adventure that will require a full fellowship.
So, I'm eager to ensure we can get 6 people together enough times for everybody who wants to can get a chance to go up the hill.
In particular, we're planning one (or more) attempts the morning of July 20. Figure we'll go up the hill and try to Retake Weathertop so as the bands can safely climb the mountain for the Weatherstock competition.
I met Gandalf!
The wizard from those Mad Baggins stories you told me while growing up. He's right here at the Pony, staying in a room at the end of the hall.
He looks a lot younger than I thought he would.
Now, I am laying here unable to sleep remembering those Mad Baggins stories you told to me as I grew up. I remember mother making me a gray robe and a beard I hung over my ears. I would get a stick for my staff and run around saving hapless dwarfs from their misadventure.
Well, Gandalf has an adventure for me, now.
We're not going so far as the Lonely Mountain, but instead to the plains east of Bree called th Lonely Lands.
For my adventure, Gandalf has asked me to find another wizard name of Radagast and help him fight a corruption growing in them lands - which doesn't sound near as bad as trying to reclaim a dwarfen home from a dragon.
Father, this part is only for you and not to be read to the girls, for it would no doubt frighten them: We already know something of this villain. There were those what went into Othrongroth who overheard a conversation between the Blackrobe and Skogrim and another creature what looked himself like a wight who went by the name of Ivar. And Ivar was told to go east, there to - as it has been told to me - "awaken a power that lies sleeping in the waters." This power, once awoken, will "cause the skies to turn to blood and all will despair."
As frightening as it sounds, Gandalf seems to think that I can make a contribution to ending this menace and keep whatever is under the water from awakening. I hope that he is right. At the same time, I fear what I might find and that I will be lacking in the qualities Gandalf thinks I have.
So, my adventure, straight from Gandalf himself, is to help Radagast thwart Ivar's plans.
Tomorrow, I will start making plans. I will need provisions and a pack. And I will need a pack pony to carry it. I'll talk to my friends and see who would like to make the journey with me. However, whether I am alone or in the company of 13 dwarfs, or some other assembly, this is to be my adventure.
But it means I'll not be back to the Shire any time soon. I am not even certain I will be able to get a post to you. But I will be working with a Ranger name of Candaith and Rangers seem to have ways of getting word to each other. I suspect that iffen I gave them a letter, they'd be able to drop it into a post somewhere and get it to you.
Well, you'll know when you get my posts - if you get my posts.
I am starting to feel a bit tired now . . . though nervous and excited as well. I do hope for some sleep. It's out with the candle in between the covers for me. This post will go out when I wake.
I am thinking that some changes are in order so as to improve Club Eclair.
Specifically, I think Club Eclair could benefit from having a few sets of regular players meeting at specific times for specific events. Even with 25 Eclairians, it is often difficult for two or more players to happen to be logged in at the same time - particularly given the wide diversity of time zones.
The answer, then, is to have players select some specific times when they will log in at the same time.
For example . . . I would like to create a group for Saturday mornings, starting at 9:00 AM (and finishing at 12:00 noon). This time should fit early-rising east-coasters and Europeans.
The idea is that other groups will also be formed fitting different schedules. For example, I am also thinking about having a group Thursday evenings starting at 10:00 PM for the west-coasters.
It doesn't have to be six players. Two or three players who like to travel together would be suitable. (Indeed, except for full-fellowship instances such as Retaking Weathertop, I have found 4 players to be the best size for a group.)
And two or more groups can play in overlapping times - perhaps even crossing paths as they adventure.
And there is the freedom to adventure between sessions. With the XP Disabler in place. somebody on the Saturday AM group could show up Thursday evening or vica versa.
Anyway . . . here is an idea of one hypothetical schedule: (I would put Hedgerow in this group.) This group would meet Saturday at 9:00 AM. That is to say, the group is equipped and ready to start walking at 9:00.
June 29: Muster at the campsite near the Great Barrow in the South Barrow Downs to make another pass through Haudh Iarchith, or any other barrows where people have tasks that need doing. (Hedgerow needs to slay more spirits for the spirit-slaying deed.)
July 6: Muster at Saeradan’s Cabin for a walk to Candaith’s camp at the foot of Weathertop. The walk will go along the back route - the same route Saeradan's pony would take. There's some Level 50 creatures along the way, so it would take some caution. It would be nice to have some lower-level characters along - messengers and such - who would need protecting. (Note: Alphred will probably make the walk on July 4 at 2:00 PM)
July 13: Muster at Candaith’s Camp to assault the orcs on the hill above and across the river and complete some of Candaith's quests - particularly book quests up to Retaking Weathertop.
July 20: Muster at Candaith’s Camp for the quest, “Retaking Weathertop” – to be completed before the Weatherstock festival. This would require 6 people - a full fellowship.
July 27: Muster at Candaith’s Camp. Pack up the gear, load the supplies on the pack ponies, say goodbye to Candaith, and make our way to the Forsaken Inn. At the Inn, select a room in the basement for our new base. During August, we will be working out of the Inn.
Once we get to the Forsaken Inn and get settled in, we can decide what to do next. Things to do include (1) exploring the sub-basement of the Forsaken Inn (the Inn of the Forsaken instance), (2) Missions into Minas Eriol – from the Forsaken Inn and from the camp to the east, (3) the goblin camp, (4) return to Bree for skirmish training and skirmishes.
A note on skirmishes – there’s no story sense in running about to Gondomon or being in Bree in late fall one moment and deep winter the next. So, the story the Bounders use is that “skirmishes” are practice battles that have been set up to learn how to fight – war games, as it were, with fake orcs and trolls and such in battlefields made to look like Tuckborough or the Prancing Pony or Gondomon.
This is a suggestion. Nothing is written in stone. Though Hedgerow will be at the South Barrows campsite Saturday AM at 9:00.
As I said, I would like to see similar groups (of three, four, six, more) organized at other times along the same lines. This way, new players will be able to find a group at a time convenient to them.
Addernotch Bounder Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed
It is my honour to report to you on our preparations for going to the Lonely Lands.
As I understand it, Ranger Candaith has a camp near this hill called "Weathertop" with no signs of civilization nearby - just an old derelict Inn on a nearby stretch of road not worth the effort to visit.
I am sure going to miss Bree. This is a city. It is big and exciting and full to the brim with interesting and colorful people. Mostly, proper beds with linen sheets. And music - on nearly every street corner - now that the Mayor's provisions against public luting has been revoked. Prepared foods for the asking for those who have coin. That is one thing I have no shortage of. The treasures found in the Barrow Downs and sold to merchants in Bree has left me with 40 gold in my pocket.
It's going to be hard saying goodbye to this place - exchanging the Hunter's Lodge for a sleeping bag in the wilderness.
I am thinking of renting a pack pony for carrying all of my provisions. Some here claim to fit all they need into a single backpack - and then carrying it all the way to Candaith's camp. The thought horrifies me. First, a five pound bag of flour weighs five pounds and has to be carried. Second, it is only five pounds of flour. I'll starve!
Nope, the trip can't be done without a good, sturdy pack pony. That's the truth of it.
Or maybe I will hire up some tall and strapping lad or two what can carry a decent amount.
Our plans . . .&
Alphred is going first. Saeradan is providing a map or a guide. ((Thursday, July 4, 12:00 noon. Mustering at Saeradan's Cabin. A good opportunity for somebody new - 18th level, who knows the back route to Candaith's camp.)) Then, I will go along a couple of days later ((Saturday, July 6, mustering at Saeradan's Cabin at 9:00 AM)). I am sure hoping I can find somebody to travel with. I am not much well suited to the wilds and a bit of company for me and my pack pony or porters will be greatly appreciated.
I can't really say what we'll find. Candaith is to help is find the wizard Radagast, and we are to help the wizard to battle Ivar and his corruptions. I'm expecting something much like the Barrows - with sickly wights borrowing the bones and bodies of them that died.
I will report as best I can in such primitive surroundings. In the mean time, I intend to enjoy what times I have left in civilization.
Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow
July 4, 12:00 PM - Walk from Saeradan's cabin to Candaith's camp. 18th level maximum. Roleplay opportunities exist for a guide who knows the way, and low-level people to carry supplies and carry messages to be delivered.
July 6, 9:00 AM - Walk from Saeradan's cabin to Candaith's camp. 18th level maximum. Roleplay opportunities exist for a guide who knows the way, and low-level people to carry supplies and carry messages to be delivered.
Dear brave Mr. Troute,
I greatly enjoyed meeting up with you and your caravan to Trestlebrigde, and one of the trips into the Northern Barrow Downs. Those were wonderful adventures and I really appreciate all the great effort you are putting in to save the shire from evil. I will hopefully be able and come along on one of your next endeavours.
((Saturday mornings will usually suit me nicely as its then saturday afternoon here. Too bad I missed most of the excursions into the barrow and unfortunately I will probably not be availabe for the trek to the Lonely Lands, as on July 4th we have an Independence Day Party at the office after work (6 pm GMT) and on July 6th I will probably be on a weekend trip to the Baltic Sea. But I hope to catch up with you Eclairians for future adventures at Candaiths Camp and the Forsaken Inn)).
Your friend and admirer from the Blue Mountains,