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  1. #101
    Quote Originally Posted by Craiden View Post
    ((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)).
    We have a fair number of Europeans, which is why I picked the time. That, and I am an early riser, so it suits my schedule as well.

    I am hoping that people other than me will find the interest in setting up events. Like, "I need a couple of people to go with me into the Inn of the Forsaken Thursday at 8:00. Email me if you are interested." And such. With the XP Disabler, there's no need to keep a tight group.

    Though I have learned that some regular meeting times is useful.

    A reminder for them who want to join the adventure . . . this is a club, not a kinship. Create a character and join the user channel club-éclair ((/joinchannel club-éclair)).

    July 1 . . . Level cap goes up to 18.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Jun 30 2013 at 10:31 PM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  2. #102

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - A Letter Home - Farewell to Bree

    Father

    Today's the day I leave Bree, eventually to end up in the Lonely Lands to the east.

    As I write this, I am in the Prancing Pony. I can't describe it to you in a way that would do it justice. It's noisy - far noisier than anything found in the Shire - except perhaps the waterfall near the house. There's often somebody standing near the welcoming hearth greeting each newcomer with music - and a regular stock of patrons there listening.

    Kaleigh, Fincin, and Melanie are good friends of the Bounder chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed. They are here often - dancing and listening to music. I have stopped and chatted with them a few times, and some days sat on the stairs near the fire and listened and tried to relax.

    Melanie is from the far east - a place called Dale, a town beyond the Misty Mountains mentioned in those Mad Baggins tales you told me when I was a lad. While Keleigh is a Bree lass, born and raised. Fincin is a hobbit . . . I think she's from the Shire by the sound of her. I don't know why she is here - but visits from the Shire are not so entirely unheard of, I have found out.

    For a time, musics were prohibited - I don't know why - and the Pony was strangely quiet. But that has ended now, and there is almost always music to be found.

    It's hallways are filled with people. It's not uncommon - 'tween here and the hobbit-sized rooms - to pass a half-dozen people in the hall. Tall folk mostly, and them what don't pay attention to who might be underfoot. I try not to listen to their conversations, but it is impossible not to catch a stray thought here and there. These people travel from all over, and mention lands I have not heard of.

    Gandalf has gone off. But he has given me my adventure and I intend to meet the challenge. And we - me and the other Eclairians who will share my journey - will not count on him rescuing us at the last minute as he did Bilbo and the dwarfs. We will fend for ourselfs, certain enough.

    On that regard, I am continuing to be grateful for this old and tattered Bounder outfit I was given in kindness. I may have told you already. I forget. Anyways, I was standing watch at the Bounder station in Michel Delving soon after I left home, when a hobbit name of Hoppa Joel came by and noted my rather plain outfit. It was soon after leaving home, and I had little money. So - judging me to be near the same size and build as his own gaffer was - he offered me an old outfit his gaffer used to wear while on the Bounds. Truth be told, it's too big for me. But that actually makes it all the more comfortable.

    I regret that I have added a few rends and tears to it. I've donned a few patches as well to keep it together. But it's fit for purpose.

    While I am in the manner of giving thanks, I am grateful for having learned my letters. I screamed in protest when you would force me over to Postman Newbuck's office to learn my letters. I couldn't see how a fisherhobbit had any use for learning to write proper, where papers were mostly used to wrap fish in. You kept saying that, some day, I would thank you for it. Father, that day has come. Of all of the things you have given me, other than my sense of duty and purpose even though it finds me here in Bree caring for the Shire, I am grateful for the ability to write proper more than any other.&

    Breakfast is near to done. A last fork full of egg scooped onto a crust of buttered bread, topped with a bite of sausage. My last morsel of food in Bree. I have sprinkled on some Shire salts - the men of Bree are not so familiar with the arts of fine seasonings, even though everything one can desire can be found in the shops of Bree.

    I'll toss a few extra silver on the table beside the plate for Butterbur, the owner of this inn, in gratitude for having taken such good care of me here these past weeks. I have no shortage of coin.

    Then, it's on with the pack. With my fishing spear as a walking stick, I'll head out the hobbit door in back and be on my way to Saeradan's Cabin. I have been offered to stay there while waiting for others, and will take up the offer. Maybe do some hunting about Saeradan's cabin for a couple of days. There's some troublesome wolf dens near by what can be thinned for hides.

    If the Rangers have a way of me sending a Post, I will do so. Try not to worry. I've become adept at fending for myself, and I have friends to look over me. We'll be alright. And we will see to the Shire.

    Keep the girls safe and hug them for me. Know that I miss you all.

    Alphred Troute

    Alphred leaves Saeradan's Cabin to take the back road to Candaith's Camp at 12:00 PM July 4. Hedgerow will leave for Candaith's Camp from Saeradan's Cabin Saturday July 6 at 9:00 AM.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Jul 04 2013 at 11:39 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  3. #103

    ((Club Eclair)) The Future

    Thinking of Club Éclair’s future.

    I am attempting to balance three elements;

    (1) A story element – I would like the progress of Club Éclair to fit into the context of a rational story.

    (2) A challenge element – keeping the characters sufficiently below the level of the quests that they are not boring.

    (3) A lots-to-do element. I do not want to force the characters on a narrow track that limits their options, but give them whole regions to play in.

    Here is what I am thinking at the moment . . .

    Candaith’s Camp/Retaking Weathertop (Level 18). We are currently on our way to Candaith’s Camp. The plan is to stay around this area – visiting the Forsaken Inn as well - at 18th level, until enough people have had a chance to complete “Retaking Weathertop” in a full fellowship.

    The Forsaken Inn (Level 20). After retaking Weathertop, increase the level to 20 – completing quests in the western Lonelands including the Inn of the Forsaken small fellowship instance.

    At the same time, get called back to Bree for skirmish trainings.

    A note on skirmishes: It will not fit the story to have characters “teleported” to various regions in different seasons to fight the same battles over and over again. Therefore, I would like to treat the skirmishes as visits to a training camp for skirmish exercises, with mock battles that aim to improve the ability to work together as a team.

    The Battle in the Barrows - return to the Great Barrow and defeat Sambrog once and for all.

    Also, while in Bree, those who are waiting to 20th level to get horses can visit Hengstacer’s Pony Farm.

    Still at Level 20, head up to the North Downs to deal with the orcs and goblins around Trestlebridge and the spirits in the Fields of Fornost.

    Later, increase the level cap to 23. This will allow us to finish every quest in the western North Downs – other than those in and near Fornost City. Then, travel to the secret Ranger camp at Esteldin. I wish to keep Hedgerow and Alphred out of Esteldin for a bit, and have the hike to find Esteldin as an event.

    After spending some time at Esteldin, increase the level cap to 25 and finish the quests in the region west of Esteldin, including the elf ruins of Maluinen and the dwarf town of Othrikar.

    When content to leave Esteldin, return to the unfinished business with Ivar in the Lone Lands at Ost Guruth. Complete Book II and defeat Ivar for the first time. Note: I intend to keep Hedgerow and Alphred out of the Garth Agarwen area until we can return at 32nd level for the Garth Agarwen instances.

    Still at Level 25, take the quest that sends us to Oatbarton - through the Shire ((HOME!!)). Once there, slowly travel up the road starting at Oatbarton and North Cotton Farm (Level 25) and ending at Ost Forod (Level 30).

    Return to Esteldin. Complete the quests around Esteldin such as Dol Dinen region and Fornost City - including the Fornost City instances.

    Then, raise the level cap to 32 and complete Book 3 of the Epic quest chain, which ends in a request to deliver a message to Rivendell.

    Take the long walk to Rivendell - stopping at Garth Agarwen in the Lonelands to complete the Garth Agarwen quests and instances - finally defeating Ivar and The Red Maid at Level 32.

    Arrive at Rivendell

    Increase the level cap to 35 for Book 4 and the quests in the western half of the Trollshaws.

    With the level cap fixed at 35, take the "sword that was broken" quest chain. Travel to Evendim. Complete the chain. One can also complete all of the remaining quests and deeds in Evendim with the exception of the three Annuminus instances (which require 40th level). Then return to Rivendell for the Reforging.

    Increase the level cap to 38, complete what quests are avaialble in the Trollshaws, then move into the western Misty Mountains for Book 5.

    Raise the level cap to 41. Begin the "Legendary" deeds, and move into the western half of Angmar for Book 6.

    Raise the level cap to 45 for Book 7 in the eastern part of Angmar. Then, keeping at 45 for the longest time, follow the Epic Quest chain. In each area we move into, spend some considerable amount of time doing the other quests available. In time, visiting such places as Goblin Town, Forochel, the Annuminus instances, Sardur. At the same time, be working on the Level 45 class deeds. For those who are interested in legendary weapons, arranging an expedition or two (or three or four) through Eregion and help to open up the gates of Moria. We can work it into the story that we helped the dwarfs open up Moria, but then give them some time to get settled while we finish up the Level 45 stuff.

    Raise the level cap to 50. Finish Volume 1 with the Book 15 quests. Run those instances we can that have a Level 50 minimum requirement. Also, move on into Moria.

    Note: I think it would be hard to fit the raids available at Level 50 into a story structure for Club Eclair. However, it would be a shame to pass this content by for such a reason. Consequently, it will be my preference - while at Level 50 - to form up some more traditional on-level raiding groups for some of the content that becomes available at Level 50. Perhaps we can treat them as we do skirmishes - as a challenge set up for the purpose of improving our skills, with special equipment going to those who perform well.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Jul 24 2013 at 09:39 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  4. #104

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - A Letter Home - An Ambush in the Lonely Lands

    Father:

    I am having a bit of trouble sending you this letter.

    I wrote to you earlier, and gave it to the Ranger Candaith to see to its delivery. What do you know but that he opened it up right there in front of me and began to read it!

    He cared naught for my protests.

    And when he was done he grunted that I had said too much, and tossed it straight into the fire!

    He instructed me that my letters can't say anything about where I am or who I am with or what we are doing or any such thing on account of the possibility of spies reading it, I suppose. And only if my letter passes his muster for saying absolutely nothing of consequence will he see that it is delivered.

    Well, that's not a proper letter at all. What's the use of writing to somebody 'cept to share with them how you are, what makes you fearful, and what gives you hope?

    I went ahead and wrote a letter what met his conditions and he read it and set it in his pouch. Then, when he wasn't looking, I took it and changed it over with this proper letter.

    As you can tell, we made it to Candaith's camp, but there was a struggle about it.

    The day started with surprises in that Cindersoot and Catfitch showed up surprisingly at the cabin with an intent to come along. Now, I hadn't seen them since we were fighting goblins together up at the Greenfields. But here they were right as rain.

    I asked her why she was here all of the sudden and she said she'd been reading the Bounder reports Hedgerow has been posting - and she knew of some interesting ruins about where we were going. I was surprised again when she reported that she had gone as far as Rivendell in order to find, what she called "scholarly things".

    Her good friend Catfitch showed up not long after.

    Roy made it. That's the dwarf named of Hroik, if you recall me mentioning him, who we have called Roy since the first days we met with him. He's the Needlehole dwarf.

    Then we got some strangers along what I haven't seen before. One of them being a man named of Milwin, who brought along a pet bird what did some of our scouting for us. And he came with a hobbit friend named of Evolgrim, what served as his servant, I think. I am not so certain how they relate one to the other, but Milwin gave instructions for serving us a meal before leaving and Evolgrim came around a most excellent hobbit breakfast - even though the sun was setting.

    That was one of the oddities of the trip. Saeradan was insisting that we leave at night, when prying eyes would find it hard to see us. Cindersoot wanted to have a lantern, but I objected on the grounds we would be seen. Yet our guide, Calonimir, said it was okay.

    Now, with Calonimir, things got odd.

    First, there was the matter of our leaving at night.

    Second, there was the matter of allowing the lantern even though we weren't supposed to be seen.

    Third, Calonimir did not show up at Saeradan's Cabin. And after waiting as long as we thought we could we headed out. Then, appeared Calonimir on the trail, standing boldly before us. Stepped right out of the woods in the dark, he did.

    He guided us well for much of the way - around the beasts and other dangers without a misstep or a mishap. But we ended up taking a route what went near some ruins what were occupied, or so we learned, by some of the fiercest brigands you can imagine.

    We had just started to enter their territory when Calonimir up and vanished entirely. He just vanished, straight into the shadow. He was gone.

    It wasn't long until we stumbled into one of these brigands in the dark. And it wasn't long after that when we learned that we were no match for him. I'd not seen anything like it. Six of us - or seven iffen you add Milwin's trained bird - and we couldn't land a blow to save our lives.

    What finally I got it to chase after me, and I went running as fast as I could through the brush and the trees until I thought I could cause him to lose sight of me, and spun and turned through some bush and over a rock and hid as quiet as I could. I didn't dare even peek out from around the rock to see if he was there for the longest moment. I held my breath and heard the normal sounds of the forest.

    When I got the courage to take a look, he was gone . . . and I made it back to where I had left the others.

    A lot had happened in the confusion of the attack. Evolgrim - I would say I did not care for him at first - but he had rallied the group up on the hillside and they were all safe. Nothing much will turn a person's mind as to another's character than to see him watching over those one cares to see safe.

    Milwin couldn't be found anywheres. Then his bird showed up and delivered a note saying he was off across the valley - not a few hundred feet away as the crow flies.

    We all got back together without any further mishap.

    Now, Cindersoot is suspicious that this ranger Calonimir was meant to set us up for an ambush. Indeed, Milwin let me know that there was a safer trail we could have taken - out through Combe and through the Midgewater Swamp - what would have missed the bandits.

    I'll not say anything bad about a person's character without good proof. Even if Calonimir did lead us into a trap of sorts - even that might have had a good reason behind it.

    Candaith, upon hearing our tale, suggested we give considerations to possibilities such as - perhaps - somebody else of import was on the safer trail and a diversion was needed to throw off our common enemies from that route. And the tale of a group of hobbits off on a back trail with a Ranger was . . . well, it might have been useful, according to Candaith.

    I know not. We made it here, and I will write again then I am able. I'll have to be careful, so long as I am here at Candaith's camp. Iffen you get a dull and empty letter from me, just know I wasn't able to get a proper letter switched out. I'll try again later.

    And there's an inn not too far from here, or so I hear, what might have a proper post.

    All is well here. I hope there as well.

    Alphred Troute

    A second group will be making the same trip starting at Saeradan's Cabin on the Greenway, Saturday, 9:00 AM, Eastern time. This will start a regular Saturday AM subset of Club Eclair that will then do the first Book 2 quests on July 13, then fthe "Retake Weathertop" instance July 20. Other groups will be forming up as well, at dates and times still to be determined.

    The current level cap is 18. You can contact Club Eclair in-game through the user channel club-eclair (/Joinchannel club-eclair)

    Post 103 http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.p...96#post6838296 of this thread has a proposed itinerary.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Jul 05 2013 at 09:50 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  5. #105

    ((Club Eclair)) Calonimir - Report to Saeradan

    Greetings, sir. You charged me with escorting a group of travelers along the back way to Candaith's camp at Amon Sûl. While I am pleased to report that the group made it there unharmed, it was not without misadventures. I have already informed Candaith about the situation, but I felt it prudent to report to you, as there is another group which needs escorting to his camp.

    I met them up the hill from your cabin as darkness fell, as you instructed. I must say, most of them thought me a brigand, and I fear that the events which followed bear that prejudice out. I can only trust that Candaith will put their minds at ease about me. One of the Hobbits, a maid by the name of Cindersoot, insisted on bearing a lantern. As the night was yet cloudy, I permitted her to do so for a time, at least until we passed into the Chetwood.

    The journey was uneventful as we passed through the Horsefields and the Chetwood. Isil showed his face just before we passed into the wood, so I instructed the Hobbit to snuff her lantern, lest we attract unwanted attention. Before we left the wood, however, I instructed my charges to wait for me while I passed ahead to scout the White Hand brigands and the Orcs in the Midgewater Pass. I slew some of their sentries and patrols, swiftly and silently, hiding the bodies.

    When I was satisfied that the path was safe enough without rousing suspicion, I returned to where I had left the group. They were gone! From what Candaith has told me, they thought I had deserted them and pressed on by themselves. For the moment, though, I only knew that they had passed onwards. Cursing the impetuousness of Hobbits, I followed their trail to a place where I saw the signs of a fight. As the tracks split into two, one (the larger) leading up the hill and the other leading away from the fight, I feared the worst.

    I followed the smaller set of tracks (the light footprints of a Hobbit and the heavy boots of a White-Hander) until the Hobbit tracks led behind a rock and the bootprints turned away from the pursuit. After some searching, I found a set of returning Hobbit tracks, which led back to those of the rest of the group.

    They must have passed down the old track at the foot of the Emyn Syl, the very way I had wished to lead them. From the signs, they met no further misadventures until they reached Candaith, for which I am glad. As the group slept, I crept close to the camp and had quiet words with our kinsman, informing him what had happened. He was actually pleased that the group encountered a brigand, for now, perhaps, the word will get back to our enemies. Hopefully, this will put them off the trail of Lord Aragorn and his charges.

    I understand fully, sir, if you wish to assign another to escort duty for the next group. However, I beg leave to redeem myself in the eyes of these folk, as I would not have the honour of the Dúnedain besmirched on my account.

    I remain, as always, your servant,
    Calonimir.

    I truly am sorry that I had to leave suddenly like that. My wife needed my help and I wasn't able to log properly. I should be able to escort the second group all the way on Saturday, if you are willing to have me. I just thought you needed an in-game reason for my absence.

    The Éored of the West-Mark ~ Lore-accurate Rohirric Kinship on Landroval

  6. #106

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - A Bounder Report - Looking for Radagast

    Bounder Chief Meadowdlarke Sweetweed

    Sir:

    It is my honour to report on our progress against the villain Ivar what is threatening the lands beyond the Bounds.

    The news is not good. We have made our way to Candaith's camp through a back route, but the Ranger didn't even know that Radagast was about. He made us a deal whereby iffen we battle the Orcs and Goblins that have come about - and there are many, it will free his time to find Radagast.

    Indeed, the evening of our arrival, after a long and troubled hike, we set out to attack one of the Orc encampments. It was not so much as to help Candaith but it was on account of having orcs camped so near made it hard to get to sleep.

    There are a fair number here helping out one way or another.

    Wilbus stayed behind in Bree on account of having last minute chores that kept him there. But I found him in the Forsaken Inn just by surprise a couple of days later. So he's about.

    Willameena was supposed to meet us at Saeradan's Cabin to make the trip with us as well. I never knew what happened to her . . . she wasn't at the cabin. But she was here at Candaith's camp when we got here, so she's here. She and her bird.

    Andrig came with us. Andrig is always good to have around. I travel quite a bit with that dwarf. He's a brave and competent fighters. He takes on orcs and wights without a hint of fear. I watch, and cheer him on as best I can.

    We had a Ranger guide to take us along the way name of Calonimir. He got us here safely enough. 'Cept for one run-in we had with brigands. When we got here we learned that he also escorted the group that came before us. Cindersoot is suspicious of him, though Candaith explains it was but a mishap in communication.

    We had one mishap with brigands on the way in. One spotted us. These brigands . . . they're not mortal. We could not touch them in combat. Calonimir commanded us to run and, indeed, showed us a spot earlier where we were to meet if we ran into such problems. The brigand was not willing to chase us so far.

    When we met there, the oddest thing happened. A dwarf named of Groren and a mounted hobbit name of Evolgrim showed up atop a most fine looking pony. Groren is the oddest character, much like Tom Bombidil in manner. No seriousness about him. Yet, in a playful way, he and Evolgrim went out to the brigands and taunted them. They chased the dwarf and the hobbit away, opening the route for us to escape.

    I met a new hobbit who came with us on this trip. His name of Nip. He seems to be a bit down on his luck . . . a bit scraggly looking and, I think, he does not have much money. He's always looking to borrow things.

    And there was another dwarf with us name of Runori. He was shy . . . didn't say much. I find it hard to imagine a dwarf being shy. He hides behind his beard and watches us. But not in a sinister way. He seems to be finding his way. When I asked him why he was interested in going with us he merely said he was looking for friendly folk to share an adventure with.

    I would hardly call this an adventure!

    We all arrived safely in Candaith's camp and, after the attack on the nearest orc camp, tried to get some rest. I could still scarce get comfortable. Candaith has only one tent - and that only so large as to hold two hobbits, yet he insists and using it all to himself.

    I tried half a night to get to sleep, and failed. Finally, I took my packs and trudged off to find this Forsaken Inn of which I heard mention.

    You would think that anything would be better than a night in the wet grass under the stars. Well, at the Forsaken Inn, even the indoors is outdoors. There's rooms alright in the basement. Some of the beds are naught but a sleeping bag placed on a door that was set across a pair of sawhorses. And the real beds have critters living inside of them.

    And then there's the awful wind noise what flows through the basement. It sounds near to like a voice and, just as I am about to fall asleep, I think I hear it threatening that I'll not see the dawn.

    I've never seen a place so horrible. I would rather sleep in the Big Burrow than here.

    All of this is a long-winded way to say I have nothing to report. Nip and Anistasa - another hobbit we met at the Forsaken Inn suited up for fighting goblins - made a patrol through some of the ruins near here. I fear I may do an injustice to Anistasa and get her name wrong. I am not so good with names. But she was brave enough to volunteer to scout out the ruins of Minal Eriol. We went through and cleared the place of wargs and wolfs. But most of the ruins are held by goblins, and we kept our distance of them for now.

    And I must tell you about this warg. We met it just as we entered the ruins. It came forward, confident and sure . . . like it had never lost a battle and intended never to do so. It went straight at Anistasa. Nip too to the shadows, skulked around, and got it from behind. The two could normally drop a warg quickly, but the fur on this thing could not be cut. At one point, it turned to me, but Anistasa called it back to her. It was a long fight. A fierce fight. The warg seemed surprised at learning it had lost.

    Well, it's night again here at the Forsaken Inn. And I will try to get some sleep what with the howling winds and the bed bugs. I will report to you again when I hope to have something more positive to report.

    Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow



    Saturday, July 13, 9:00 AM, a group will meet at Candaith's camp to complete Candaith's quests . . . leaving us ready to Retake Weathertop the following Saturday, July 20. I am still looking to create other groups meeting at other times and see Thursday at 10:00 PM as a possibility. Of course, Eclairians can get together at any time or adventure on their own. With the XP Disabler, it does not matter.

    The current level cap is 18. You can contact Club Eclair in-game through the user channel club-eclair (/Joinchannel club-eclair)

    Post 103 http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.p...96#post6838296 of this thread has a proposed itinerary.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Jul 07 2013 at 06:13 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  7. #107
    Father:

    I am well.

    The best that can be said about this Inn is that it is aptly named, and it does have a proper post.

    I have been spending my time battling orcs and goblins around the Forsaken Inn while Candaith looks - unsuccessfully, so far - for Radagast.

    Last eve, Nip, Andrig, Cindersoot and I raided a goblin camp to rescue a treasure hunter what got himself captured. The fool then had to find his sword and seek vengeance against all the goblins he could see. There was some fierce battling. These goblins did not fall easily either. You couldn't just toss a spear at one and move on. Battles became pitched and a test of stamina, with Pengail, the man we were rescuing, at times charging off on his own while the rest of us were still battling.

    Fool of a man, but we all survived.

    Nip and I seemed to have fell into working together quite well. With my training in shield and spear, I'm well fit to stand toe to toe with the goblins. While I have their attention, Nip goes along behind and delivers a fatal blow unseen until it is too late.

    Cindersoot has not battled near as much as the rest of us and there was some fear the goblins would lay her low. There were a couple of times when goblins or wargs targeted her. Andrig the dwarf took to looking out for her and making sure assailants were not able to keep attention on her for long. Nip stayed near to Pengail's side while I tried my best to stay ahead of the group and clear the way. Yet, the others would often pass by while I was still in battle.

    This was just one Goblin camp.&There's goblins and orcs all about this valley. Enough to keep us busy.

    All of this, I fear, is prologue for a battle yet to come.

    I do not think that Candaith has told the others yet, but he has told me of a company of orcs planning to capture Weathertop and turn it into a stronghold for controlling the region.

    He says that the group is too strong for a pitched battle. However, he suspects that once it reaches Weathertop, it will set up outposts of pickets and skirmishers. A determined group should be able to take out the outposts and lay siege the remnants on the mountain top, or so he says.

    I have mixed feelings about this. We have reason to hold that these orcs are well trained and fierce fighters. What are we but fisherhobbits, tinkers, gardeners, and clerks. But we are no longer new to battle. They will not find us easy prey.

    Well, they are not here yet. Indeed, I have been to the top of Weathertop, with nothing to hinder my way but gravity. There is a commanding view of the valley from up there. It is a good place from which to command. In the hands of orcs, It would effectively cut Bree off from help to the east - and the Shire as well.&I had a thought that maybe we should hold the mountain and they should try to push us off, but that is not Candaith's plan. I'm still just a fisherhobbit - I will trust to the Ranger's wisdom.

    Do not worry, father. One of the things my teachers keep repeating is, "Always know your way out." We may get chased back down the mountain a time or two - or three or twelve - but it's not so difficult to run downhill.

    Alphred Troute



    This Saturday, July 13, 9:00 AM, Club Eclair will focus on Volume 1, Book 2, Chapters 1 through 4.

    Next Saturday, July 20, 9:00 AM, six of us will try Chapter 5. It's hard to tell which six - though Hedgerow will likely be in the first attempt, and not Alphred. also, Wilbus, Wilameena, Andreg, Nip, and one other. Alphred will make his attempt later with Catfitch, Cindersoot, Hroik ("Roy"), and two others.

    We will, of course, make other attempts as opportunity arises. It may well take a few weeks of pitched battling to declare a total victory.

    The current level cap is 18. You can contact Club Eclair in-game through the user channel club-eclair (/Joinchannel club-eclair)

    Post 103 http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.p...96#post6838296 of this thread has a proposed itinerary.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Jul 12 2013 at 10:13 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  8. #108

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - Preparing to Retake Weatertop

    Bounder Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed
    Addernotch Station

    Sir:

    It is my honour to report today of our progress against the villainy threatening the Shire.

    I regret to write that our work here may soon come to a violent end.

    Perhaps some day a hobbit will climb Weathertop and find my bones among the refuse at the side of some trail. The larger bones, of course, will be broken open as the orcs dig the juicy marrow from the insides. And my skull will be shattered to get at the brain. But the bones will be there nonetheles. Unless the wargs gnaw them into nothingness.

    As I write, a company of orcs is moving to Weathertop. Candaith thinks we have no chance fighting against the company so long as they march together. However, he suspects that when they reach Weathertop they will set up skirmish camps and pickets about the edge. And we, at that time, should be able to defeat them in detail.

    I am not certain yet which of us are going to be making the first assault. I am suspecting Andrig the Dwarf, Willameena and her animal friends, the stealthy Nip, another dwarf what draws power from the rocks themselfs name of Runori.

    I'm thinking Wilbus should come with us, but he was not to be seen today - prob'ly off hunting.

    And me, of course.

    I'm told that they want me about to keep up morale . . . else their hearts may fail and they'll give up the fight. What all can I do? Stand back from the fight and cheer them on and tell them how great a job they are doing?

    Alas, if this is to be my end, then so be it. I am resigned to it. I have lived well in the short time I have been on this Middle Earth. I'd like to do more of it, but . . . the fates seem to be denying me that luxury.

    Afore I go, I should report that the ranger here name of Candaith has found signs of Radagast the Wizard. Perhaps after we become nothing more than slabs of meat on an Orcan dinner table, you'll see fit to send another team of Bounders and such to deal with the villainy known as Ivar. He's got ill intentions for the Shire, I assure you - or, more to the point, works to further the aims of those who have such ill intentions. Finding this Ranger named of Candaith . . . or someone who knows him . . . will be a good place to start.

    Indeed, I can tell you little else. Candaith is keeping the information to himself until our current battle has been won.

    Hah! Meaning, of course, I'll never hear it.

    I must be off. We've got some time to prepare ourselfs as best we can for the battle to come. And they have placed their spirits and will to fight in my hands.

    It has been an honour to serve under you.


    Fare Well,

    Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow.



    This attempt at Vol. 1, Book 2, Chapter 5, "Retaking Weathertop - Fellowship" is scheduled for July 20, 9:00 AM.

    Of course, it will not be the only attempt to Retake Weathertop. We will be running the instance as many times as it takes to get them Eclairians who are interested through it.

    We're 18th level characters on a 23rd level fellowship quest. However, Turbine has made the epic quest instances easy so that near to anybody can make it through them. Given the way Club Eclair progresses, we many of us have pretty good equipment and strong virtues for Level 18 characters.

    I am not at all certain that this is possible. I am not at all certain it is impossible either.

    Our level cap will stay at 18 until we have exhausted this instance and all Eclairians who want a shot at it at this level have had their chance. Then the level cap will climb to 20 - introducing skirmishes, the Great Barrow instances, The Inn of the Forsaken instance, and a large body of quests in the western Lone Lands and around Trestlebridge in the North Downs.

    You can find an itinerary of our expected progression above: http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.p...96#post6838296.

    You can contact Club Eclair in-game through the user channel club-eclair (/Joinchannel club-eclair)
    Last edited by Tiempko; Jul 14 2013 at 08:51 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  9. #109

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - The Eve of Weathertop.

    Bounder Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed
    Addernotch Station

    Sir:

    It is my honour to report on our progress against the growing villainy what threatens the Shire.

    Wilbus is missing.

    Tomorrow is the day we are to try to retake Weathertop, and Wilbus has turned up missing.

    Maybe he got lost hunting. Maybe he has business in Bree. Maybe, he's got captured by orcs and, under the searing pain of Orcan torture, has revealed all of our plans to them. Now they wait, at the ready.

    Saeradan will not risk us if we do not number six exactly. It's almost as if the Ranger believes in magic numbers. He will not lead more than six of us, and he warns that failure is near to certain with fewer than six. Six, exactly.

    With Wilbus missing, we will be one short.

    I've been trying to get word to the other Eclairians, but they are widely scattered. I've even walked to the Forsaken Inn - by myself - through goblins and wargs - to get word out among the Eclairians.

    I think some are afraid. I've said myself it's most likely we'll be served up as hobbit stew as anything else. Or dwarf stew - respecting Andrig and Runori. Or Elf stew - respecting Willameena.

    I wonder why somebody who is immortal would enter battle. They have so much more to lose than compared to the rest of us. And no matter how bad things get, I would have to think that goodness will rise again if only one could live long enough.

    Which makes me fear we may need another so as to satisfy Candaith's magic number of six - if any of the others should become riddled by fear or called away on pressing duties elsewhere - or captured by orcs and tortured. It worries me so that we will not hit the number exactly as Candaith commands.

    And it worries me that we will. The threat of being defeated by the orcs is all too real.

    It seems odd that, if more than six volunteer, we will have to turn the extras away. Yet, I am but a simple hobbit and I do not understand the ways of battle. Maybe, with more than six, people begin to stumble over each other and actually become less effective.

    Well, it is my nature to worry about such things.

    And if we do succeed, it would call for a serious celebration. I imagine a party with all the great bands of all the lands and a crowd of listeners beyond imagining. But that is just my imaginings.

    We will see what the morrow brings.

    This could be my last Bounder report. What an odd thought that is. I should close with something profound.

    I can't think of anything at the moment.

    Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow



    This attempt at Vol. 1, Book 2, Chapter 5, "Retaking Weathertop - Fellowship" is scheduled for July 20, 9:00 AM.

    It requires six players. One had to bow out due to other commitments so we are seeking a replacement among the remaining Eclairians - or anybody of 18 or 19 levels ho would enjoy a challenging - perhaps impossible - roleplay adventure.

    Other attempts will be scheduled.

    Our level cap will stay at 18 until we have exhausted this instance and all Eclairians who want a shot at it at this level have had their chance. Then the level cap will climb to 20 - introducing skirmishes, the Great Barrow instances, The Inn of the Forsaken instance, and a large body of quests in the western Lone Lands and around Trestlebridge in the North Downs.

    You can find an itinerary of our expected progression above: http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.p...96#post6838296.

    You can contact Club Eclair in-game through the user channel club-eclair (/Joinchannel club-eclair)
    Last edited by Tiempko; Jul 19 2013 at 09:42 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  10. #110

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - Retaking Weathertop

    Bounder Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed
    Addernotch Station

    Sir:

    It is my honour to report of our progress against the villainy what's been threatening the Shire . . . and I am most happy to report . . .

    I'm alive!

    Of course, it doesn't surprise me that we were successful. The others were worried, though, and as hobbit in charge of morale it was my job to keep their spirits up.

    Them of us who made the assault are me, of course. Andrig, the dwarf. Runori, the other dwarf what talks to stones. Wilameena and her bird. Anisata, a hobbit lass whom you might have heard about before, who had just gotten some particularly sturdy armor and a sturdy shield just to help her survive this challenge.

    And a hobbit just freshly met and summoned by Milwin to help us name of Conshohocken, who also brought a sturdy shield and lots of pointy sticks. "Conshohocken Cedarbrook from Overhill, son of Formica, come from a long line of hunters," he said of himself.

    There were some who showed up to see us off. There was Milwin, who accompanied us from Saeradan's Cabin when we came out here. Milwin and Wilameena each had their pet birds and had their own conversation involving a lot of chittering and whistling and such. Though Wilameena made certain to talk so as everybody could understand when she told of my need to be piggy-backed across a stream a few days earlier. It was on account of not being good at swimming. She, being tall and all, could wade across.

    Milwin warned us of a huge cage seen being hauled across the prairies and up the hill, as a way of warning. He said that while we battled our way up the hill, he would travel about and harass the camps at the bottom of the hill and cause a distraction for us. Which was a kindness, to be certain.

    And& Erikin showed up. He is a dwarf what has been wanting to travel with us for a bit now but was judged just not trained up enough for our mission. Candaith would not even allow him on the trail. I felt sad for him, wanting to help and all, but it was probably for the best. He mentioned that he was about to investigate some lightning strikes atop the hill when there was no cloud at all about. Orcan sorcery, no doubt.

    The conversation turned to banter as we waited for the time to depart. Erikin, Conshohocken, and Wilameena discussed ponies. Anisata tried to lend out a quality cloak she had brought along.

    Then, when Candaith signaled it was time, we made a final check of our provisions and were on our way.

    Seems as just as we got to the shadow of the mountain a storm was upon us. Orcs and goblins certainly seem to draw foul weather.

    Candaith joined us for the first part of the battle - and told us about a signal system the goblins had set up. If we light a particular signal fire, the goblins would send a patrol and we could defeat them a group at a time rather than fighting them all at once.

    Then, after helping us through the first camp, he went his own way and the rest of us on our own route.

    I was pleased to see him go, truth be told - what with his rushing about, he seemed a bit reckless - likely to get us killed. My father always warned me . . . iffen you go running ahead without looking where you put your feet you're likely to break an ankle in a shrew burrow you didn't see. That man that Nip and Cindersoot rescued from the goblins who had went to trade with them, he was testimony to the foolishness of rushing in.

    We entered into a string of battles as we climbed up the hill. Andrig took the task of using the signal fires. He's a good choice - patient, for a dwarf, and keen to make certain all are ready 'fore summoning more orcs or goblins upon us. We never had more orcs and goblins than we could handle.

    In a lull in the fighting, Andrig told Wilameena that he was near to killing her bird Nevermore a couple of times, on account of it looking a lot like the birds the orcs and goblins sent against us. Conshohocken himself near to tossed his spear at Wilamena's raven at least once as I saw. So, Wilameena sent Nevermore back down the hill and, with a whistle and a twitter, summoned a white bird named of Brannie in its place. "Perfect!" exclaimed Andrig, and we moved on.

    Well, things couldn't go so well forever. We came across a camp with what had what seemed an orcan commander in it. The fight was going our way as did those before when this commander broke away from the others and went running up the trail. I had this vision of him warning the others and rallying them and sending them down to us as a huge wave that washed over us, sweep us off the hill.

    We hurriedly set up our defenses and prepared ourselves for a massive strike. Conshohocken wanted to chase after them, but that was just the type of recklessness I feared would get us killed. I told everybody to stand ready to receive the assault. Our shield bearers of Anisata and Conshohocken formed a front line. Andrig stood behind them, ready to stop any who sought to come through to the back lines. And Wilameena, Runori, and I formed up that back line.

    Yet, when the orc returned, he was by himself. It was Wilameena what dispatched him with one of her powers 'fore he even stepped near them who formed our front line.

    Andrig was driven to comment, "Wilameena, once again, I bow to your powerful magic. It seems to have no bounds," or some such. You must forgive me for getting the words not exactly right. It's not as if I can have a scribe taking notes of every word and deed during the battle. But this was the sentiment.

    We were all pretty pleased with our victory and growing more confident as the battles went on. Anisata shouted taunts at the orcs and Conshohocken booted the orcan commander's body with satisfaction. Wilameena had a bite to eat, and we continued up the hill.

    At about this moment I was noticing that Conshohocken, for all his bravery, was being weakened by the poisons that the orcs seemed to coat onto their swords and arrows. I had soothing songs what would wash away the symptoms, but it was not so easy to do in a fight. Therefore, I stopped Conshohocken and gave him some milkthistle I had bought from the men of the Hunter's Lodge in Bree. They took barrow coins I had dug up in the Barrows as payment.

    Conshohocken treated himself with the medicines, and I could instantly see his color return and he seemed a bit less worn. I handed a half-dozen small vials to him - and our climb continued.

    Being towards the back of the group, I hadn't noticed that our trail had come to an end, and we were not near the top. All I noted was that Anisata and Conshohocken turned back and walked past us . . . what to me was seeming to be back down the trail. What they had noticed, and I did not, was a gate to a side trail that went up instead of down. That trail was blocked by a gate, that was closed and locked.

    Not for long, though. Andrig lit a signal fire and the goblins came down to investigate. One of them threw a flaming pot of oil right at Conshohocken, but he brought his shield up and it shattered against the wood - setting the front of it on fire. Except for some what spread across the ground.

    When the goblins were all taken care of, we found they had been nice enough to leave the gate open for us.

    All of us were a bit tired by now. We took a few minutes to have a bite to eat, to rest, and to prepare ourselves to climb still further. Anisata was having some trouble seeing what with the water in her eyes from the rain, so she reset the hood of her cloak against the weather.

    It was at our next battle that the goblins showed some cleverness. We had come to a camp with what seemed like near to a score of goblins in it. Once again, Andrig lit a torch so as to signal some of the goblins to come down and investigate - which they did. Conshohocken and Anisata met them and engaged in battle.

    I had climbed a bit of a slope on the left side of the trail so as I could see better. One of the things I saw, when Andrig lit the torch - was about 5 goblins - two of them carrying these flaming pots - gather into a group and walk off to the left. They were hidden, for a while, behind some goblin tents - but I kept an eye over to where they had gone. I don't think any of the others had even noticed. They were battling the goblins what had come at us directly.

    Then, those five goblins came through the tents and right at us . . . at me!, to be exact, since I had taken a place on our group's left side.

    "ON THE LEFT," I shouted, not having time for anything more as I turned and ran away from them. Andrig heard my shout and rushed over to our defense. Some of the goblins made it to Wilameena and Runori. I'm thinking that a couple of them followed me. I have this vision that is locked in my head permanently of two goblin faces and goblin swords as they stood right before me ready to cut me down. I sent one running off with a fearful cry and defended myself as best I could from the other until I was rescued. I don't know exactly who rescued me, but I was rescued.

    Conshohocken grew a bit of respect for the goblins when he saw the tactics, bidding us to take a bit more care as we continued our climb. "They have the high vantage," he reminded us.

    Spybirds, goblins, orcs, and wargs . . . they all stood against us as we worked our way up the hill. As we neared the top, we came upon the goblin what seemed in charge of the wargs with his favorite warg pet who was much larger than the rest. Conshohocken stood just before a rise in the hill where he could scarcely be seen and aimed a javelin at the monster warg. He carefully aimed his throw . . . and delivered it without any of the goblins or wargs suspecting it was coming. The king of the wargs went down, stunned by the unexpected blow. And the battle was on.

    The oddest and most frightening thing happened to me here - more so than the five goblins what tried to outflank us and picked me as their first victim. The big pet warg shook off the shock of Conshohocken's blow and directed the other wargs into the fight. Now, I don't speak warg, and I do not know how I understood the message, but the largest of the wargs was directing its minions to focus their attacks on me.

    ME!

    Conshohocken reported hearing the same thing - or understanding the same thing, so it wasn't my imagination.

    Fortunately, with such a sturdy band and with Wilameena and Runori calling forth their powers and throwing them into the fight, none of the wargs actually reached me. We finished the fight before I got eaten. But the mere thought afterwards of a half-dozen wargs coming at me and rending my limbs from my body . . . well . . . it was too much for me. I collapsed onto the ground.

    Course, with the battle over and the bodies of the wargs all about us, the rest did naught but make light of my fright. "They &might've choked on you Hedge... that would've killed it," said Wilameena. " Conshohocken said, "I'm a guessing that you are the meanest looking one here...he was afraid of you." Which we all know could not be true.

    I was shaky on my feet for a bit . . . 'till I had a muffin and a moment to put the thought behind me. It was true, as the others assured me. They had stopped the wargs, and none of us were actually eaten.

    We were near to the top by this time, and found Candaith around the next corner. He wasn't so lucky as all of us and managed to get himself wounded. It was a bad wound in his right side, cut deep, and poisoned. I cared for him as best as I could but judged him unfit to be of any good in a future fight. But there was only one fight left. There was the leader of the orcs, camped at the top of the mountain itself.

    This was the moment I had dreaded the most.

    The day is late, Chief. I'm going to set this in the post and send a follow-up on the morrow. You'll know we all made it through the battle alive, but the fates did not treat us kindly. Not at all.

    Until next time.

    Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow
    Last edited by Tiempko; Jul 22 2013 at 11:04 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  11. #111

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - Retaking Weathertop - Part II

    Bounder Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed
    Addernotch Station

    Sir:

    It is my honour to report on the final battle on Weathertop.

    Before I go to report what happened, I want to mention that Candaith considered us "minimally competent" to take on this mission. &We were made to believe that the battle would be lost unless we could learn to use our "meager skills" to their best effect.

    So we snuck up on the orcs to where we could barely glimpse what was there and started to discuss our assault.

    Truth be told, it was probably me who whispered too loudly, though it could have been a clattering of Anisata's armor or a cawing of Wilameena's bird. Regardless, Rigul, which was the name used for their leader - a very tall and very muscular Orc to be certain - ordered others to "take a look" and pointed them in our direction.

    I could scarce believe we had been seen. Even as I watched them approach, we continued discussing who would attack one targets.

    Then they saw us, and they charged us, and they summoned Rigul who came at us - sword in hand. Next I knew I had countless arrows flying at me - I shouted in alarm and could well imagine one of them pointed tips digging deep into my flesh.

    I have heard people say such things as, "It was all a blur - it happened so fast" and, truth be told, I do not clearly recall much of what happened.

    I found the fighting at the gate too crowded for my liking and charged ahead to the center of the clearing. That proved foolish, for it gave the Orcan archers a clear shot at me. I was spending all my efforts dodging arrows and screaming for help and none of my efforts rallying the others.

    Those others, it seems, seemed to pile their attentions on Rigul. They forced the commanding Orc to panic. He charged through the camp to a huge wagon where he released upon us a huge and monstrous troll!

    So, now we faced Rigul, his henchorcs, and a monstrous troll all at once and I could scarcely help as arrows came at me from all directions.

    It was then that I saw Andrig's back as he charged one of the archers, swords out. He cut it down quickly and moved on to another.

    Freed of this distraction, I could see who among us was in need of encouragement and aid. Conshohocken was standing up to Rigul, hiding behind his shield getting the occasional thrust with his spear. Anisata was battling the troll. I could not see what Wilameena or Runori were doing in the crowded melee near the gate. They may well have been providing Anisata and Conshohocken the encouragement I could not. While Andrig circled the camp dispatching henchorcs one at a time.

    I began giving aid as was my duty.

    Rigul fell next, and all that remained was the troll.

    Fighting near the gate, I feared the troll picking up one of us and tossing that person out the gate. I shouted to draw the troll into the center of the camp. Then, Anisata backed up slowly, and the troll followed. As the troll followed, Conshohocken, Andrig, Wilameena, and Runori all stood at the Troll's back. A couple more steps, and the weight of the blows landed on the Troll's back sent it falling forward, nearly on Anisata.

    And the battle had ended.

    I think it took a good long minute for each of us to look around and realize we had no enemy to fight. Their leaders were slain, and the rest of the orcs were cowering among the rocks. We had done as we had set out to do.

    We near to collapsed to catch our breaths.

    There was little time to rest. I crawled over to take a better look at Candaith's wound and directed that he be helped to his camp. Conshohocken lead the way, seeing to it that there was no enemy on the trail to bother us. Burdened by the wounded Ranger, it was daylight again by the time we reached the camp.

    Milwin and Erikin were waiting for us in the camp when we returned. Erikin was asking about the lightning, and Conshohocken was telling him about the storm we endured. Milwin reported that there was no storm, but a gathering of dark clouds about Weathertop alone.

    Wilameena was planning a song about our battle - asking about the size of the troll and the numbers of orcs. I hope not to be mentioned in her song, having spent half the battle cowering and dodging arrows 'till Andrig came to my rescue.

    As Milwin handed out tea, we relived the battle in our telling of it. Truth be told, I was all jittery and anxious and nervous still after such a battle. Slowly, the day waned, the conversation ebbed. Eclairians fell asleep by the fire or wandered off to the Forsaken Inn and the fire died down.

    When I did relax, I fell full asleep. In my dreams, I imagined all the bands in all the lands came to the top of Weathertop in celebration - and there was parting and fireworks and celebrations lasting a day and a night - the rain and the lightning ignored or enjoyed as to the taste of each individual.

    Ah, but it was only a dream. I am sure of it.

    Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow
    Last edited by Tiempko; Jul 25 2013 at 10:29 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  12. #112

    ((Club Eclair)) Update 3 - Sambrog Lives! - Level 20 on August 5

    ((Club Éclair))& Update 3 – August 5th

    Sambrog lives! From his lair in his underground fortress, his corruptions continue to seep into the Barrow Downs at the very gates of Bree, and seep into the Old Forest on the Bounds of the Shire. There, he rules, guarded by powerful lieutenants in a maze of underground passages, behind magically locked doors with keys entrusted to the most loyal and most powerful of his followers.

    It is time to put an end to this menace once and for all.

    On August 5, the level cap for Club Éclair goes up to 20.

    (1) Discover the secret behind the haunting noises below the Forsaken Inn in a massive three-person instance “The Inn of the Forsaken”.

    (2) Visit the Eglain Camp and adventure into the very darkest and most dangerous corners of the Goblin stronghold built among the ruins of Minas Eriol.

    (3) Skirmishes: Get your invitation to the Skirmish Camp of Bree – with repeatable mock battles set in replicas of Gondomon and Tuckborough where you can practice your combat techniques alone or in groups, learn and practice fellowship skills, and earn rewards that will allow you to get new equipment and supplies from the vendors at the camp.

    (4) Sambrog lives! Battle to put an end to this menace once and for all in three full fellowship instances that, combined, make up the new and more heavily defended Great Barrow.

    (5) Battle the threats from the north. Travel to Trestlebridge and confront the orcs, goblins, and other forces of villainy on the northern Greenway. Answer the threats to the farms of Annundir and battle the corruptions growing in the fields of Fornost.



    Have you ever wanted to EXPLORE the Great Barrow?

    You step into a dark and dusty tunnel – illuminated by a torch in the wall ahead. A torch lit by somebody who was here before you. There are monsters here. You know that. You have heard the stories of those who have come before. A dwarf companion sets a heavy hand on your arm and says, “Stay behind me – and try not to shoot me in the back.” To the right, a hobbit disappears in the shadows. You can barely see her as she sneaks up to the corner. She signals, “Three wights. 1 sword. 2 bow.”

    Club-Éclair is an adventure role-playing group that uses the XP Disabler to keep its members at a common level, so that we can enjoy the content in the company of others at the same level and under conditions that are challenging. We walk through the instance, allowing each participant to play their character and to use their abilities. Burglars are used to scout. Wardens are given time to set up ambushes. We walk. We talk to each other. We explore.

    We will be exploring The Inn of the Forsaken and Great Barrow at Level 20 – as well as skirmishes and landscape adventures into Minas Eriol near the Forsaken Inn and the western half of the North Downs.

    Our current level cap is 18 – rising to 20 on August 5th.

    If you want to join Club Éclair, you need a character at or below our level cap and a willingness to walk and talk with your fellow adventurers. We don’t have a lot of other strict rules.

    If you are interested, you can reach us in-game by joining the user channel club-eclair. (/joinchannel club-eclair). Note: You can also see a list of channels you have already joined with “/listchannels” or leave a channel with the command such as: “/leavechannel club-éclair”.

    Club Éclair members can be on at any time, but we have a scheduled group that meets every Saturday at 9:00 AM, and also tend to be available Mondays at 8:30 and Thursdays at 10:00.

    In exploring the Great Barrow, we will need to form up a lot of full-fellowship sessions, so your help would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Jul 25 2013 at 10:20 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  13. #113

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - A Letter Home - A Lonelands Patrol

    Father

    I am well.

    I've been busy. A band of orcs wandered into the Lonely Lands intent on building a stronghouse for themselfs up on this fortress hill called Weathertop. Since then, several of us have been battling them.

    I went on a patrol with Nip, Cindersoot, Conshohocken, and Hroik (a.k.a. "Roy") usually the Rangers insist on six people on a patrol, but five was all we could muster at the moment so we decided we would make a go of it.

    In our patrol, we came across an Orc camp where they were storing one of them troll wagons they had wheeled into the area - which we decided to attack.

    After having heard about how things went with the other Eclairians in an earlier battle, I decided I would take the task of going around clearing out all of the weaker henchorcs while others focused on the Orcan leader and their pet troll. So, as soon as we started into battle, I set my eye on an archer and charged ahead. Once I had cut that one down, I looked for another.

    It wasn't long after the battle started that all the orcs had been slain. The battle itself was in a tight space 'twixt a couple of large rocks. In that small space, there was a leader Orc and his troll and a couple of hench-orcs fighting Conshohocken and Nip.

    I thought Cindersoot and Hroik were in that tangle of legs as well, but it turns out I was mistaken.

    One of my duties was to make sure that nobody was doing harm to Cindersoot while she kept our morale from flagging. When I charged back into the melee, I looked for her, but I couldn't see her.

    Well, I noticed that Conshohocken was getting himself beaten back pretty fast and I lept to his aid. But I was too late. With a solid whack along the side of the head the orcan leader drove him to the ground.

    Imagine my shock and surprise when, after the leader was satisfied that Consho was out of the fight, he turned around towards me. Then he ran right past me.

    I turned, and there was Cindersoot fighting some orcan riff raff that I had apparently missed. No wonder she could not come to Consho's aid. And, just as I turned, Hroik took a blow to the jaw that sent him flying onto his back. Hrok wasn't moving after that.

    Fortunately, Consho and Roy had done such harm to their opponents that, when I charged into the middle of them, they fell before me with a couple of quick swings.

    When I turned back, Nip was alone with the troll. He was dancing and dodging about the Troll's feet, trying to keep from getting stamped.

    Having my shield, I figured it would be safer to have the Troll's attention on me rather than Nip. I shouted and screamed and poked and hacked and did all in my power to get the Troll to turn to me, but it would not.

    However, in a bit, it didn't matter. The Troll had taken so many wounds in the effort just to get him to turn around that he finally succumbed to his wounds and was laid out flat on the ground.

    There is a couple more battles being planned against the Orcs.

    Worse, we are starting to hear rumors out of Bree that Sambrog the villain what moved into the Great Barrow wan't defaeted. Instead, he's called his minions to him and, from his underground lair, still designs to release his corruptions into the world above.

    There's a chance I could be heading back to Bree in a couple of weeks.

    If I do, I will see iffen I can't arrange a couple of days for a return to Little Delving to visit.

    I will let you know as the time draws nearer.

    In the mean time, I remain

    Your son

    Alphred Troute


    Two more Retaking Weathertop expeditions are being arranged . . . for Monday, July 29 at 8:30 PM and Saturday, August 3, at 9:00 AM.

    Then, on August 5, the level cap goes up to 20. There's room for plenty more as we seek to make up a number of fellowships for entering the Great Barrow at various times and with various crews. Plus, there are skirmishes which we will use for learning tactics and such, and a visit to the Inn of the Forsaken, and questing in the western Lone Lands and North Downs.

    To become a member, you need a character at or below the level cap (18 today; 20 as of August 5) and an interest in role-playing your way through an adventure. In the game, you can reach us by joining the user channel club-éclair ("/joinchannel club-éclair").

    Enjoy.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  14. #114
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    178

    ((Erikin Begins))

    Father:

    I know I did not leave on good terms, but being away for quite some time now and seeing one of my new companions writing long letters to his father (he seems to be spending hours on it!) got me thinking about home a bit and I thought it would be nice to let you know that I am ok and get you updated about what has happened to me. And let me tell you, I have gotten myself into some of the wildest adventures you can ever imagine, almost as wild than some of the oven bedtime stories mom used to tell me.

    When I left our house in a bit of a grumpy mood someone told me to talk to one of the guards at Frerin’s Court. Now I am not a guard, but that would be a position I would be quite interested in. Apparently one of his people had not reported back and I should investigate why that is so. And all this got me started somehow, actually I didn’t have much rest since then…

    Some renegade dwarves had broken into the treasury of Thorin’s Hall and stolen some of the gold! We found out that it had been the Dourhands and when we (we… I mean there was even Dwalin in my company, so it must have been pretty important to him, and two noble looking elves who introduced themselves as the sons of Elrond) pursued them into the crypt of their leader of long gone times, Skorgrim, we came to witness a most frightening event. The half-decayed corpse of Skorgrim lay on an altar and some kind of foul smelling ghoul or wight was chanting strange words, killed some of the watching Dourhands “as a sacrifice” and then Skorgrim stood up! He was raised from the dead! Well, my companions started an attack and with the elves at hand we could defeat them. But that ghoulish shaman or whatever it was and that thing that once was Skorgrim managed to escape.

    Ok, I was happy that all this was over for me … BUT since they surprisingly seemed to be quite impressed by my performance in the crypt (at least by the fact that I made it out alive) they sent me out to recover the stolen gold. I managed to trace it to an old Dourhand fortress in Thrain’s Valley but it had already been used to pay off some goblins for the kidnapping of an elven prince. Nobody could make sense of that at first, but then in Gondamon it all fell into place: As the elves were rather of the biased kind and tend to be suspicious, the Dourhands plot to start a war between elves and dwarves in Ered Luin became obvious. There was a Ranger though, who they both trusted, and who helped me finding and rescuing Avorthal (that elven prince) from a boat in Kheledul just before it set sail to move him away (have you been to Kheledul? Now it was in the hands of the Dourhands, but it must have been a nice place once).

    With all of this uncovered the dwarves and elves of Ered Luin united and attacked a goblin and Dourhand army that had amassed in the Valley of Rath Teraig. They stood no chance against our joined forces and it was a battle to behold! At the very end I caught another glimpse of Skorgim, his eyes a fiery red glow. He didn’t seem to be too upset about losing this battle, saying something that he has business in Bree-land, a war is rising and soon the whole of Middle-earth will burn!

    Hmm, those were some big words but he didn’t sound like a hollow show-off to me… The ranger Langlas thought the same and, not sure why, maybe there was none other at hand, he asked me to go to the Bree-land to talk to one of his captains, a fella named Strider. Perhaps I should have said no, but well, I didn’t. I sneaked into grandma’s kitchen, got a lid from one of her pots for a helmet and a knife and set out. It was a very exciting feeling I must say, but also quite scary, I mean with the imminent war and all that.

    I first came to a land which is called the Shire. Small but very nice folk live there, called Hobbits. But what happened there I will tell you in another letter. As of now, I am in Bree-town and am doing ok, I found some nice company too.

    Your son,
    Erikin
    Last edited by Craiden; Sep 23 2013 at 09:26 AM.

  15. #115

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - Revisiting the Barrows

    Father

    I really do not like the idea of you moving the family to Michel Delving. It’s not just because I have fond memories of Little Delving and when I come back home I want to come back to the home I left.

    If things about the world turn sour – it may be best to be living in a nice out-of-the-way town that people really have no reason to visit. In fact, I would be pleased if you would take some of the money I sent and have another room dug out –one further back with no windows where you can store foods such as honey that keep a while and set a few large barrels of water or at least ale. And a secret door you and the girls can hide behind in case . . . well . . . in case villains come to call. One with its own vent and a door of metal in a frame of stone what won’t burn down if people set fire to the rest of the home.

    If you can build it secretly, a little at a time so as nobody notices, and keep it a secret, so much the better.

    If trouble comes to the Shire, I am thinking that the last place you will want to be is in Michel Delving because that is the place where those who would rule the shire – taking over the town hole and being a general menace to the shire-folk who are nearest and easiest to bully.

    I am not meaning to worry you. Truth be told, we have done well in our most recent struggles. We've scored a number of victories against the orcs as of late such that we no longer see them as much of a threat.

    We came here, if you recall, to look for news of Radagast to help him against the villain Ivar who is supposed to be bringing into the world a new and terrible power to enslave the lands. While Candaith says he has some news about the wizard Radagast, he has not shared it with us. We're waiting, but he remains silent on the matter - telling us that we must deal with the orcs first.

    Those orcs have been dealt with.

    Truth be told, Candaith has asked me to come to his camp in a couple of days, and it may be to give me the news about Radagast.

    Meanwhile, I am enjoying a bit of a rest.

    I even felt comfortable enough to take a pony in to Bree and spend a night there. While I was there, I visited the Hunter's Lodge. When I got there, I was expecting news that the corruptions in the Barrow Downs had faded and things were returning to normal. That was not the news that I got. Instead, I was told that the corruptions are as bad as ever.

    As I saw it, these city folk had no real sense of the corruptions of the Barrow Downs. I had gone there in person and done battle with the forces that took over there. They'd have no real way of telling iffen the corruptions were weaker, but I could tell sure enough.

    As fate would have it, Nip sent me a post that night . . . as he had come to Bree as well. Seems he was disturbed about our fighting the troll and, try as I might, I could not get the Troll's attention off of him. I think it frightened him a bit on account of Nip is not one for standing up to somebody in a fight. He's got no decent armour and seems to prefer light clothes what allows him to move around quickly. But one good smash from a troll would end it all for him.

    I can't say that I particularly care to have the troll beating up on me rather than him. However, with this heavy old Bounder uniform Hoppa Joel gave me and this heavy shield I've taken up, I stand a better chance of taking a blow from a troll than poor Nip.

    Anyways, Nip was proposing that we spend some time practicing our maneuvers, in case we came upon another troll or other villain what might want to end him – perhaps Ivar himself.

    Well, I took my fishing spear in hand and decided to go back and see for myself. So, the next morning, I picked up my spear and shield and headed back into the Barrow what I had thought I had left for good not too long ago.

    I mentioned my intention to return to the Barrow Downs to investigate these rumors. As I remembered, the wights of the Southern Barrow Downs were particularly dangerous, and I was not going to refuse the help. I said I would meet him the next morning at a campsite what was once set up at the foot of the Great Barrow.

    I left early so as to be there near dawn, but it wasn't long after that Nip came up.

    I'd picked out a Barrow for us to look into for signs of corruptions.

    I suspect some may cringe at what we've nearly grown comfortable doing. That is to say, we had to enter a crypt that were the tombs of those long dead. There's still bones . . . and dirt . . . and cobwebs . . . and an awful smell about the place. The smell gets into your clothes and you breathe in the dust and remember that you're breathing what's left of some Breelander what's been dead for a hundred years. It's hard enough to keep one's lunch from coming back up.

    But, then, as fisherhobbits we make our living harvesting animals what spend their lives living in their own toilet . . . so it’s not so bad to think about as all that.

    The people of the Hunter's Lodge in Bree brew a concoction that's good at warding off what diseases one might catch in the Barrows - and I had brought some of them with me. When I got to feeling too sickly, I would take a sip. Though I was cautioned not to take too much no matter how ill I felt. I had to ration myself, else I would discover that the cure would do me more harm than the disease.

    Well, the barrow I had picked was full of corruptions, sure enough . . . as bad as I ever recalled. I picked up my spear and took careful aim at one of the wights what seemed to be wandering around the place. It wasn't expecting a hobbit I suspect and was stunned by the sudden blow of my spear. I then charged up to strike at him 'fore he recovered his sense.

    And I near tripped over Nip. We both charged past the poor wight to fight it from the other side and nearly crashed into each other in doing so.

    In spite of our discomfiture, we managed to slay the wight.

    Seems as Nip was trying to get behind the creature so as to strike him from the back where his blows could have better effect. Meanwhile, I mentioned that I'd gotten into the habit of moving around a villain to turn them away from Cindersoot and Roy and whomever else might be with us, so they can't become afflicted with the effects of any powers the villain might wield.

    Once we got that worked out, we practiced on a few more wights. I would charge up and deliver my blow while the wight was still dazed, and Nipn would move up opposite of me.

    Nip is lethal, father. Once he got opposite of me, he brought them wights down in just a few moments. Whereas me and my shield and fishing spear would have been continuing the fight for several more long moments.

    We practiced against two and three wights at a time. Here, my challenge was to keep all three of the wights facing me while Nip came at them from the back.

    As we worked our way further into the crypt, we found what I had dared hope we would not find . . . a master among the villainy what controlled them and gave them direction. This was not such an easy target - and it had the company of two other wights what never seemed to leave its side.

    Nip and I prepared ourselfs . . . then I set up to surprise the villain with a sudden blow and then turn my attention on its accompaniments until I had all three of them fixed on me as their biggest threat, and Nip could get at them from behind.

    This was a true battle on account of the master wight was more powerful than any two of the creatures it commands, and there were still the other two henchwights to contend with. I was scattering my attention among the three of them trying to keep all of them focused on me where I was hiding behind my shield.

    We defeated it - the two of us. And I had learned what I set out to learn. The corruptions of the Barrow Downs were indeed as bad as before. It was as if Sambrog were still there, giving them strength and power.

    We'll be needing to back into Othrongroth and have a look.

    But not the two of us. I figured I was away from the Lonely Lands long enough, and Candaith was wanting to see me with news about Radagast. After reporting my findings to the Hunter's Lodge and suggesting I'd be back to make another look, and after another good night's sleep, I packed my belongings and returned to the Lonely Lands.

    I'm back at the Forsaken Inn tonight, and will likely make the trek to Candaith's camp on the morrow.

    In the meantime, know that I am safe and well.

    But take this as a reason why I’d rather you and the girls stay in Little Delving. Iffen corruptions like this are about the land, they might well reach an open and well-connected place like Michel Delving, but it may have no reason to migrate into the more distant and hard to reach corners such as Little Delving. Best to keep you and the girls there, at least until we know that things are safe again.

    Please heed this warning, father.

    Your son,
    Alphred Troute
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  16. #116

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - A Bounder Report - Waiting on Candaith

    Bounder Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed

    Sir:

    It is my honour to report on our progress against the villainy what is threatening our lands.

    Only, I have no progress to report. I went to Candaith's camp to see if he had news to share about Radagast. I found him sitting at the fire - resting properly after the wounds he got fighting orcs.

    Candaith is a bit reckless, as I think I reported earlier. He rushes to and fro charging into one battle after another without so much as time to think and ends up getting himself stabbed. It was good to see him resting and letting the wounds heal proper.

    Anyways, after trudging myself all the way back to his camp, as soon as he saw me he gave a nod so slight it could scarcely be noticed.

    "Really?" I asked.

    He answered with a shrug. I turned on my heal and trudged my way back to the Forsaken Inn.

    Well, the Eglain have more with which to keep us busy. They've got a camp set near the back side of the Goblin camp in the ruins of Minas Eriol. Some of us will likely check in with them.

    I recall looking into the back corner of the fortress on one of our patrols. Though it was mid day, the corner was dark with ominous glows of red and a sickly green. And, once, a patrol hazarded in that direction - and the dark seemed to envelop us and surround us.

    It was like the goblin camp in the Greenfields. When we got near the back, it was as if the very air absorbed all the sunlight - leaving a starless night like area even in the mid of day. While we wait for Candaith, we might take a patrol into the dark back corner of the goblin fort.

    Oh, and I do have news. Them orcs what wanted to capture Weathertop. They're Sharkey Orcs, I am sure of it.

    We came upon a big brutish Orc what seems to have been picked on by the other orcs. As we watched and listened he ranted against his abuse and at one point mentioned he was going to report his malefactors to "Sharku".

    Sharku must be Sharkey, the villain what is controlling the brigands in the Shire and trying to take over Bree lands. So, we're battling and setting back plans for one of the Shire's villains, while we wait for news of Radagast so as to battle the minion Ivar of another of those villains. We serve the Shire still.

    Oh, will I ever see home again? I dream of linen sheets and a real bed.

    Anyways, we've made a number of patrols, freeing captives and battling Orc captains wheeling their trolls into the area. Conshohocken has gotten himself pummeled handily in a couple of fights, but ended on his feet in our most recent battle.

    Each time, new free people join us.

    Wardrin - one of them whom befriends animals - was with us - I think, not for the first time. But I do not recall. Our ranks are fluid. He is of a brash no-nonsense make - always moving forward.#

    I do not remember then name of another man who joined us - but I remember then name of his brother, Squib. squib is mute and needs looking after. He tries warrioring, and I have seen him in the thick of things. Yet, he ended more than one battle hiding behind a rock or a bush. When the fighting ended, the one whose name I cannot recall coaxed him out again.

    I will get his name learned. Iffen I can remember Conshohocken, I can get his remembered.

    That's all I have. I'll report again if I hear more. I don't know what route we will take if Candaith cannot help us.

    Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow



    Apparently, we need to be Level 20 for Candaith to give us the next quest. Level 19 is not good enough.

    So, we'll be hanging around the Forsaken Inn a bit longer, taking new quests into the spider dens of Mina's Eriol to the south until Candaith will consider us fit for further instructions. There'll be some about Aug. 5 at 8:30 at the Eglain camp. Just east of Mina's Eriol, and Saturday at 9:00 - and other times at random.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  17. #117
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4

    From the personal writings of Throroc the Dwarf

    Well, what a stroke of luck I've had this afternoon. While carefully exploring in the Barrow Downs, I was able to have a good chat with a hunter by the name of Wilbus. Apparently, I am not the only one who wants to get to the bottom of all the goings on out here.

    I had merely intended to search the ruins a bit for artifacts (old vases and pots and the like) as that is my favorite hobby, so I entered what seemed at first to be a small and unoccupied barrow. 'Unoccupied' turned out to be an inaccurate description.

    As I studied a small urn in a foyer area, I was nearly knocked down by the fastest moving Elf I have ever seen. Clearly distressed, she just ran past me without a word and was gone. I soon realized why and if I had not brought my stoutest shield and best sword with me that day, I doubt I would have made it out again myself. There were huge spiders... so many spiders, at least a 1/2 dozen had been after her. And some shambling types too, they had a fetidness about them that weakened me and made it hard to find the strength to even hold my sword up. I persevered though, I had to.

    Unpleasant as the experience was, I feel I must go back. These barrows need to be cleaned up once and for all, there is more to this situation then meets the eye. Hopefully, I will meet more brave souls and together we will be able to get to the bottom of all this... we must try at least.

    Throroc the Dwarf

  18. #118
    Father

    You’re going to continue to hear me protest the decision to move to Michel Delving. I can see how it might be nice to live among the wealthy of Michel Delving, get a seat at the Matham Society, have lunch with the Mayor, and such. The Troute have never been among the wealthier of shire-folk. But it’s dangerous, I assure you. Stay in Little Delving . . . at least for a couple more years. You can always move later.

    I am back in Bree.

    As I said in my last letter, I was going back to the Forsaken Inn to visit Candaith and get news on Radagast, who we are supposed to help against the villain Ivar.

    I had gotten no further than the Forsaken Inn when I learned that he had no news. I sent a note saying I would come if he wanted to see me and volunteered instead to give some more help to the Eglain.

    This was a subject of nightmares.

    The Eglain make their living by scavenging amongs the ruins for artifacts that they sell to collectors and such. I’ve found things myself that Wilameena collects which may command a good price. But this group of Eglain came upon a most horrendous fate.

    Spiders, father.

    Spiders as big as our own home!

    It seems to me that where there are goblins, we are certain to find spiders nearby. It happened in the Greenfields where the sheep-thiefs of the Greenfields were near enough to the spiders what infested Scary. And in the swamps east of Staddle near Bree, infested with goblins to the south and spiders to the north. And now here. I near to expect to see the spiders riding goblins as mounts and hitching the spiders up to pull wagons and carts.

    They killed many of the Eglain outright.

    I hate to think of it! A spider, I have heard, prefers its prey living. The creature it stings does not die, but is paralyzed and fully awake as it is digested. Oh, how horrible!

    Well, in trying to fight back against these spiders a dozen of the Eglain were fortunate enough to have been slain outright, after which the spiders left their bodies alone. As a favor, we were asked to go in among the spiders, burn the bodies, and see to the collecting of what treasures we could as an act of charity to these poor folk.

    I am beginning to consider myself something of a veteran fighter and had little fear of these creatures. Nip was with me – and I have seen him lay down a creature faster than I can blink. Wardren was about with his bird, and a hobbit happened by I had not met before name of Gaskin . . . I think? I will call him Gaskin. He was a bowhobbit who proved skillful. With the five of us, I felt we had little to fear from the spiders.

    Indeed, I scarcely had cause to battle him. Wardren, for some reason, seems to have an enmity towards spiders and was out in front with his bird slaying them, with Gaskin firing and Hroik calling forth the powers of his stones. They scarcely got near us to where my shield and spear would have had a use. We did not try to bring the bodies out, but soaked them in oil and burned them where they lay, as seems to be the custom of these people.

    We had to fight our way to the spiders’ lair and out again through a goblin fortification. I am wondering iffen there’s a class of goblin akin to the rangers that we’ve encountered – them who are particularly skilled at fighting and legendary in their own way. If so, these were the goblins we encountered in this part of Minas Eriol. They put up a fierce fight.

    Once, while we were pushing our way through the goblin camp, a couple of goblins came around and came at us from behind. Roy saw them just in time to dodge their blows, but they were upon him and he was certain to succumb if he got no help. I was battling our way forward when I heard his calls for help. Bashing the goblins I was fighting back to give a bit of room, I turned and ran to Roy’s aid.

    Well, Nip was not to let an opportunity pass. As the two goblins gave me the chase it stepped past Nip, who spun quickly and put a dagger in its back. Gaskin arrowed one of the two goblins battling Roy ‘fore I even reached him. With Wardren dazzling another goblin with his lights, we had even these elite goblins on the ground soon enough.

    Still, there’s the matter of the goblin leader.

    But the goblins will have to wait. When I returned to the Forsaken Inn, I was handed a message from Second Watcher Heathstraw of Bree. He was saying that with the troubles about the watchers of Bree have organized a skirmish camp. They’re inviting the best warriors they know to come and train, and my name came up in their conversations.

    I have to say, it was a pleasant feeling to know they thought so highly of me.

    What they’ve done with these skirmish camps is they’ve set up areas to practice battling.# When I got there, they loaded me into a wagon and took me high into some nearby hills where they had made a replica of Bree’s south gate. They had watchers and such playing at being defenders, and I was commanded to assault the gate and clear the brigands out of South Bree. They assigned a squire of sorts to come with me . . . though I found him bothersome and sent him away.

    In another part of the camp, they build a replica of the Prancing Pony and said I was to pretend there were people inside needing my protection from villainous assaults.

    I hear there’s a place built to look like Tuckborough where the task is to rescue Paladin Took, and other built like the dwarfen fort of Gondamon what needs defending from an army of goblins. I can scarce wait to invite some of the others to these camps to practice our battling. They will, indeed, be useful.

    We’ll be needing the practicing, I think. What with the battles against Sambrog to come.

    Please take care.

    Alphred Troute
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  19. #119
    Father . . .

    I am so tearful tonight I can barely see to write.

    And it wasn’t even real.

    Nip and I went to the skirmish camp to go to one of them training areas they had set up. We heard of one made after Tuckburough where the goal was to rescue the Thane. I thought it’d be fun to be Shire hero.

    What they did to the place! They had it overrun by brigands and goblins and orcs and villains of all sorts. There was trash about – crates of fruits and vegetables laying out to rot even though we were told that the harvest was due and Shire-folk were starving.

    At one point we came across a Bounder in a cage. He wasn’t moving.

    I know this was probably some Staddle hobbit or some lad from north Bree, but still . . . to think of such a thing happening to Shire-folk. I tell you, I am afraid to sleep on account of the nightmares sure to come.

    Even though it was all pretend, I put a plate of food down inside the cage in case the Bounder hobbit should wake up. I hope he enjoys a nice treat.

    Later, Nip found another cage like the one with the Bounder – this one having a pile of hobbit-sized bones inside. I near to lost my appetite at the site. It made me angry. I had to remind myself aloud that it was pretend – they weren’t even real bones in all likelihood. Still, it could happen. They caged up Violet Underhill in their camp, and Gerebert Took over at Old Odo’s Leaf Farm.

    I can just see these brigands torturing the poor hobbits . . . putting out a pie just out of reach and watching as the hobbit starved to death . . . bringing the food a little closer till the hobbit could get the tips of his fingers on it, then pulling it back. These folk have just such cruelties. Until the hobbit is dead and no more fun to play with, so they find themselves another.

    The thoughts were enough to make me near to forget that this was pretend and want to pummel the fake brigands and goblins to an inch of their life . . . maybe half an inch . . . in my anger.

    “It’s just pretend,” I told myself, over and over again.

    But it could happen!

    Father, this is why I don’t want you to leave Little Delving. Please, father, heed this warning. Please! Do as I said and build yourself a hidden room, well stocked . . . that you and the girls can hide in if needed, maybe for weeks or months.

    The training session was actually quite easy – though we picked the easiest training session they had available for a pair of hobbits. Nip brought along an archer lad he has been working with from Bree that accompanied us. I was given the opportunity to bring along a warrior as well to aid us. Unfortunately, the lad who I picked had a habit of standing well to the front of us drawing unwanted attention, so I sent him away. I’ll see iffen I can find one less prone to getting itself and us into fights before we are ready.

    That’s all I have to say for today.

    Please take care.

    Alphred Troute



    The Great Barrow War is just around the corner.

    Sambrog lives at the heart of the Great Barrow. At 20th Level, Club Éclair must take on the task of defeating him.

    We are looking for a long-term adventure-roleplay event that will involve multiple trips into the Great Barrow fighting Sambrog's minions and lieutenants over the several weeks. We're looking for enough people interested to form several six-person fellowships.

    If you wish to join the Great Barrow War, all you need is a Level 20 character and an interest in roleplay-adventures (which means roleplaying one's way through an instance in character and taking one's time). If you have these, I encourage you to contact us through post (Hedgerow or Alphred) or, best, through the club-éclair user channel (/joinchannel club-éclair).
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  20. #120
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed
    Chief, Addernotch Station

    Sir:

    It is my honour to report to you on our progress against the villainy that threatens the Shire.

    Of which there is little.

    Candaith finally confessed to us that if we were to learn where Radagast is at, we would learn it from the Eglain, it they approve of us.

    Yet, in spite of the works we have done for them, they tell us nothing. Whenever I bring up the subject, they are silent. Or they'll change the subject. "It'd sure be good if some brave folk would do in that goblin leader" or "Them awful brigands east of Weathertop took our relics. It'd be nice if somebody could get them back for us."

    Indeed, we continue to do chores about the Forsaken Inn. For example, Willameena, Coshohocken, Runori, Pintail, and I made a patrol through the back corners of the goblin camp at Minas Eriol.

    We had a bit if trouble with Pintail suffering from spider poisons. There came a point where he was just standing there, staring off into nothingness. He was alive, though it would be hard to tell it without looking too closely.

    There are those who call such a state being "link dead" - on account of they seem to have lost all connection to the world. They're alive, but they can't seem to see or hear or feel anything. As awful as it sounds - isn't as bad as being regularly dead since the patient usually recovers.

    As luck would have it, Pintail fell into this state where we had battled three monstrous spiders. And more were coming.

    Willameena brought a bear along big enough to carry a hobbit. As more luck would have it, it wasn't but a moment after getting him securely tied on that he started to show signs of life. We quickly untied him and set him down and right away he was as good as new.

    I worry about him, though. It happened again on the Great East Road as he and Runori and I were walking back to the Forsaken Inn. We were just walking along having conversations about the adventure we just had and what our plans were when suddenly he stopped in the middle of the road and stared off into nothing.

    The third time it happened was the worst possible time.

    Without much progress finding Radagast, many Eclairians are migrating back to Bree. We're visiting trainers and updating our equipment and such. A lot of us are getting letters from the Watch in Bree what has set up a training camp. They are inviting us to use it for practices, so Eclairians are visiting the camp to find out about these skirmish training opportunities. I even got a letter, for some odd reason.

    Since I was in Bree, I decided to return to the Barrows to see about the reports that the corruptions were as bad as ever, and Sambrog may still live. I'm not so good at battling things, but Pintail agreed to go with me. We put thoughts of his earlier poisoning out of our minds and ventured into the tombs.

    I was certain that the corruptions were a lot weaker. Pintail and I were easily making our way through waves of wights that, earlier, would have required four of us to handle. Pintail was of a contrary opinion, saying that the villains were just as powerful as before but that it was our greater abilities that made it easier.

    There might be some truth of it. When I had visited a trainer earlier I was taught a most unusual skill of how to play a lute when I had a shield strapped to my arm. And after I visited the skirmish camp I used the skirmishing coins they gave us for completing our training and got myself a skirmishing shield. So, I was a bit better equipped than I had been, for certain.

    Anyways, there we were, Pintail and I, deep in the biggest and most viciousest of the barrows 'cepting the Great Barrow itseld, and Pintail went "link dead" yet again.

    I stood there a good long while waiting for him to recover, all the while fending off the wights that happened to emerge and wander across our path.

    Finally, with supper getting near, I figured I needed to get him into town. So, I set off.

    What I would do was clear the way ahead as best I could for a distance. Then I would return and drag Pintail into the cleared area. Then I would clear the next area and drag Pintail there.

    Wouldn't you know that right as I go to the skirmish camp and could summon help, Pintail recovered. Again, in about a moment he was right as pie. I suggested he see a healer and returned to the Hunter's Lodge for some rest.

    Later, I got myself a pony while I was in the Bree-lands, a young mare that I named Scribe. Getting a pony is a lot easier than it was in your day, Chief. I only had to ride once around the track and pay half a gold coin. Mr. Hengstacer judged me fit and let me have the pony. So, it is not so much a burden getting a pony now as I heard you talk about.

    Anyways, that's my report for the moment. I'll be heading back to the Lonely Lands in the morning on my new pony "Scribe". I've got a post from Willameena saying as she wanted to conduct a patrol of some ruins I hadn't visited yet and said it would be good to have my company. So, I wrote back and said I would be there in the morning.

    Which means I should get some sleep.

    I will report again in a bit.

    Hedgerow Shrewburrow


    A part of the type of adventure roleplaying one finds in Club Éclair involves trying to wrap a story around things that happened - such as Pintail losing his connection and his character just standing there. Or how the skirmish camps allow one to experience the same battle multiple times.

    The Road to Erebor, for those of us who have it, will be presented as stories told by Gandalf - or some thespian playing a Gandalf character - telling stories of battles back east.

    I am thinking we will probably try to make our first visit to the first of the Great Barrow instances on August 31 at our regular 9:00 AM session. In the mean time, it's skirmishes and The Inn of the Forsaken and finishing quests around the Forsaken Inn and helping new players catch up.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  21. #121
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    178

    ((The Shire))

    Father,

    let me tell you of The Shire. It’s so different from the snowy and cold place where we live, and I must say I liked it a lot. It was hilly, lush and green, mixed forests, clear streams with lots of fish in them and sometimes a rainbow. The people there are hobbits and a friendly folk, smaller than us, they run around with no shoes, the girls have no beards and they live in little villages scattered all over the countryside. There are lots of inns where some delicious food is served and ale that, I must say, matches if not surpasses our own brews in Thorin’s hall. They live in houses that they dig into the hillsides, a bit like we do but it is soft earth they burrow in, not our hard rock. So it must be a lot easier.

    It is a very peaceful place and it seems none of the inhabitants has heard about the “war”, and I didn’t tell any of them. But it’s not like there are no troubles; they even organized some sort of security, guards that patrol their roads and borders and keep everything under close surveillance. They are called the “Bounders” and, curiously, I was recruited into their ranks to help out if I come across something perilous or odd. Mind you, I had seen a stoned troll in a swamp on my way to their main town, Michel Delving. And it didn’t take long before I was asked to help.

    Now, there was one hobbit named Mr. Smallburrow who, it appears, was secretly attached to his neighbor, a Ms. Brownlock. When her farm got overrun by some wolves, he set out to kill the leader of the pack to impress her. Well, she got all worried about him and begged me to see if I can find him. I found him in a gully next to the wolf den alright, and he had a bucket there full of stinking, half-rotten meat to attract the pack leader. However, he wasn’t so self-assured and was definitely very very happy to see me, as I must have looked like a big guy with a big axe to him. And it was a good thing I was there as shortly after I arrived, an old scarred wolf showed up and Mr. Smallburrow was not of too much help to defeat him. He thanked me profusely and Ms. Brownlock told me later she would consider inviting him for tea, as he seemed to be such a brave and caring person.

    Then, in another village a bit further on, two young hobbits by the name of “Took” had taken some kind of history book from the library of a noble house (called “Great Smials”) and hidden it in a rather big tree. When I came by they were throwing rocks at the tree to get it back down, but all they hit was a bee-hive, which came crashing down and the bees were all over us. As if that wasn’t bad, some bears came running down the slope, being overly interested in the honey. It wasn’t too hard to scare them off, after which the two lads, who had been cowering with fear when I engaged the bears, happily took off, talking about their great “adventure”. Foolish Tooks! Their great-(great?) uncle, who happened to be the librarian, on the other hand was afraid of some ghost who was spooking around amongst the books. But that ghost, well… I cannot really much report on that, as I promised him never to tell anyone about it. But it was pretty harmless, and I shooed it out safely. That night though I had a strange dream where I was suddenly turned into a squirrel running away from shrews, boars and wolves.

    Next several postmasters asked to deliver some mail to distant villages, must have been really important letters. Well at least to them, but it then dawned on me that, even though the “hobbit-problems” were undoubtedly of great concern to them, they were rather mundane in the great scheme of events that I got entangled in earlier. So after I was asked to visit various of lovely Ms. Hornblower’s customers and bring back spoiled pies she had sold (unknowingly she had used not-so-fresh berries) I decided that I had more pressing matters at hand and left the Shire on its eastern boundary, stepping over a bridge that crossed the Brandywine River.

    I am pretty confident the hobbits are able to deal with their things on their own, as they appear to be quite resourceful and people that mostly take reasonable care and precautions. And who knows, I might come back one day, as I pretty much liked these lands and its inhabitants. At least that’s what I told myself, maybe to find some comfort (as you don’t leave the Shire so easily), when I stood on that bridge and set out to seek the ranger I was told to meet by Langlas.

    Father, I hope you and mom are alright. I also sincerely hope you are not too angry or disappointed with me having left like that and mom is not too sad. If you want, you can send me a note to the mail-office in Bree, if so I will hopefully be still here by the time it arrives.

    Your son,
    Erikin
    Last edited by Craiden; Sep 23 2013 at 09:27 AM.

  22. #122

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - A Letter Home - An Apology

    Father

    I am sorry for the tone of my last letter. I fear for you and the girls is all. I have seen horrors. We found a dozen Eglain bodies in a nest of monstrous spiders - and burned them in keeping with the customs of this land. I think of the spiders at Scary, and a dozen hobbits laying dead in the pit. Fathers, sisters, sons and daughters.

    Please keep yourself safe until the menace has passed.

    In that respect, we seem to be better at battling than the Bree Watchers expected of us. At the Bree training camps, they have set up three levels of difficulty - called Tiers. I have fought at Tier III - the greatest difficulty - both alone and with others. I do not find it challenging.

    Anomoso has given the same opinion. He came back from a training session with Brabbo set to Tier II #and said right off that there was no difficulties.

    Truth be told, I have done a lot of battling since I left home. Orcs and goblins, wolfs and giant spiders, wights and brigands. It is to be expected that those of us who lived through these battles have some measure of skill or talent.

    Come to think of it, I have left a lot of death in my wake. I suddenly come to wonder whether, if I continue this path, if I will become like those I fight - a bringer of death.

    Enough of such thoughts! I would not be here but for villainy threatening the Shire. Sambrog is an agent of Angmar bringing corruptions and disease. The orcs and goblins of the Lonely Lands serve Sharkey. Ivar still intends to summon a powerful evil that will bring darkness to all the lands. If not for their villainy, I would be home in the Shire.

    As for the practice skirmishes,#we talked of ways to make them more challenging. For example, we can ask the Watchers to set it up for a test anticipating a squad of six, and venture in with but four.

    Truth be told, and it should please you as well, it gives me heart to know we do well in these practicing skirmishes. It helps me to think we have a chance against Sambrog in his lair.

    I need to go scouting. I need to see what Sambrog has built in the Great Barrow - see what we are up against. I will do that. I will. Though, I admit, fear brings me to hesitate - just a little longer. Don't tell anybody. Some people here think I am brave, and they need not know the truth.

    In the mean time, take care.

    Alphred Troute



    The Great Barrow War draws near. If you want to participate, you need a Level 20 character and an interest in roleplaying an adventure in the Great Barrow. Just contact is in game. The first incursion will be Saturday, August 31, 9:00 AM.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Aug 21 2013 at 09:52 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  23. #123

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - Bounder Report - Hedgerow's Histories

    Chief Meadowlarke
    Addernotch Station

    Sir.

    I had a wonderful idea!

    I am going to write a history of the Great Barrow War. After all, I am here. And I have a chance to talk to everybody. And people should know what these brave folk did for the Shire and all the lands. Particularly iffen we are successful!

    I have a title. "Hedgerow's Histories: The Great Barrow War". And I have even thought of the first line of my book. The first line, of course, is the most important. It has to tell the reader what the reader will be reading about and why reading the book is the bestest thing they could be doing at the moment.

    So, here's my first line.

    "In a barrow in the ground, there lived a wight."

    What do you think?

    Anyways, I can be using my Bounder reports in order to keep my notes so as, when I have time, I can write up the story and add all sorts of sketches and maps and make a proper book out of it. And I will give a copy to Thane Paladin Took to put in his library so, ages from now, a hobbit going through the future Thane's library will find a book and think, "I want to learn about the Great Barrow War. Because the hobbits that fought the great wight Sambrog were the bravest of all hobbits."

    Anyways . . . that means I should be getting on with my report. But I wanted to tell you my idea first.

    I am honoured, as always, to provide you with an account of our progress against the villainy that threatens the Shire.

    We're continuing with our skirmish trainings and patrols in the lands about the Forsaken Inn. I am thinking that we are near to having the region of the western Lonely Lands in a state where the Eglain folk are a bit more secure, and we can trust that Sharkey's plans to take over the region have been thwarted. There's still patrols to make where we're finding orcs hiding among the rocks on Weathertop and an occasional Eglain what needs rescuing from goblins. And when a goblin leader is slain another takes its place. But we've been able to send a few patrols deep into the goblin camps of Minas Eriol whenever a strong leader appears.

    I just got back from scouting the lands east of Weathertop where half-orcan brigands and wargs and a camp of them dour dwarfs lair. I was in the company of Pintail and Roy trying to reclaim more properties from the brigands. These are the same brigands I visited with Willameena a couple of weeks ago.

    Alphred, Wilbus, and Brabbo did some explorings of the hauntings below the Forsaken Inn. They reported wights and spirits right below where people are stopping and expecting to rest for the night. Seems some malicious power inflicted all sorts of corruptions on some brigands long ago and, though the brigands are gone, the corruptions remain. They said that they left works undone in the tunnels and Alphred even went back - this next time with Roy and Nip. But there's still villainy down there that should be dealt with 'fore some hapless traveler comes to an ill fate. I woukd head there myself to take a look, iffen others thought I could be helpful.

    In addition, I think it would be good iffen we could muster some full six-person skirmish trainings just so as we can get some practice in working together in such large groups. That's what I'm going to try to do. I'll make my very best efforts in the days ahead to get full groups mustered to the skirmish camps so that, when we confront Sambrog and his minions we can be practiced.

    I'll report more as the time of the Great Barrows War approaches. I'm kind of torn about this now. I am wanting it to be a grand story filled with heroics and adventure and great deeds of bravery so as to make a good book. But I am reminded that these are my friends - and it shames me. I hope no harm comes to decent folk.

    Until later

    Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow



    Saturday, 9:00 AM - I am hoping to muster a full squad of six for some skirmish trainings. Also, Monday at 8:30 PM - and maybe once or twice elsewise in the weekend. The next weekend we'll be starting The Great Barrows War - providing sufficiently large musterings can be made.

    I am starting to get some concern with how easy things have been - even adventuring well above our level.

    We're regularly running skirmishes on-level at Tier III difficulty with a moderate amount of challenge.

    We retook weathertop repeatedly with under-manned (4 or 5 person), under-leveled (level 18 characters in a level 23 instance), under-equipped characters.

    We have been to the Inn of the Forsaken without great challenge - in one case duoing the final bettle when our third member was quickly incapacitated.

    In light of this, some other members are starting to adopt my personal rule of found-gear only - and of drawing others into a fight who we judge would have been close enough to witness and be willing to join the battle. There will be no policing of people's equipment or anything like that. However, if you're the type of person who may want to adopt some rules that might "disadvantage" your character in some way - e.g., a hunter or minstrel who refuses to use a bow or lute when in hand-to-hand combat - you're welcome in Club Éclair. Provided that you're willing to live by the two rules: (1) Respect the level cap - which is currently Level 20, and (2) engage in walk-and-talk roleplay adventuring as opposed to shoot-loot-and-scoot. A good character fen has a few weaknesses to overcome.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  24. #124

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow Bounder Report. - Skirmish Practicing

    Bounder Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed
    Addernotch Station

    Sir.

    It is my honour to report that I think we are ready to do battle against the villainous Sambrog.

    We had a practice skirmish training that was particularly difficult - but we got through it.

    There were seven of us who wanted to practice battling together 'fore taking on Sambrog - Willameena, Wilbus, Helkaer, Liatri, Nip, Andrig, and me, of course. We told the watchers that we thought we could handle a setup built to train a group of twelve - we had not found the skirmishes particularly difficult so far.

    Then we decided not to take our squire soldiers. After all, the skirmishing squires would not be there when we fought Sambrog, so we might as well train up right.

    Then Liatri fell ill, leaving us with six trainees - with no squires - going up against a foe meant to test twice our number with squires - or, in other words, six fighting where twenty-four would usually fight.

    We mustered at the Breefields skirmishers' campsite. There's a special feeling I can't describe at the start of an adventure when the group assembles. They show up one at a time, give their greetings, make small talk. There's usually something being cooked at the fire. People sort through their bags and see to their provisions. There's some trading back and forth. Some laughter.

    Some of us met for the first time, so there were introductions to be made. Liatri was returning from a long absence. It was good to see her again. Andrig had not adventured with Heklaer.

    Wilbus came in some type of party costume and needed to dress out proper for the battle. Nip stumbled in looking for free food and agreed to join us.

    Then, the moment comes when it is time to be off. We came together into a fine fellowship and hopped onto the skirmishers' wagon for a quick trip to the hill they built up to look like Tuckborough as occupied by brigands, goblins, and orcs.

    We named Willameena our leader as she has been asking about tactics for a bit now, and she decided tactics for us. Her tactics were to identify and incapacitate the enemy leader, draw the underlings into Wilbus' traps, dispatch those who came through the traps, and then deal those who got caught by the traps, then deal with the leader.

    Of course, the villains did not always cooperate with our plans.

    She sent Nip ahead first to scout and report on the enemies so as we could know what we were fighting. Then she would usually stun the leader, which would draw all the henchlings. Andrig and Willameena's bear friend would stand just this side of the traps and maul any who came through. I was rallying the troops and giving what help I could. Helkaer was drawing power from runes and stones.

    Wilbus proved his quality as we breached the town's defenses. There wasn't a goblin or Orc who fell what wasn't the result of being hit squarely by Wilbus' blunted arrow - except for one Willameena whalluped on the back of its head with her staff.

    That's not to say the rest of them weren't doing their share. They needed to make sure Wilbus could concentrate on his bowyering.

    Then, as we got to the edge of town, the counter-attack fell upon us.

    We handled the first wave easily enough - a half-dozen goblins.

    But then the leader came upon us with another group and they just swept over us like a big wave. A goblin came at us spinning blades about like a big pinwheel. You could see the horror on Andrig's face as the goblin cut through his defenses, and brought down Willameena 's bear. Then it seems they all took a personal dislike to me, and the watchers ruled that I had fallen. Nip managed to bring down one of the goblins before he was taken - but that was all we could manage.

    It seems it has worked out this way before. It takes that first defeat to get people focused on the training. We withdrew, regrouped, and did fine after that. The trouble is, in a real battle there's no picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and saying, "Let's try that again."

    I can scarce keep my eyes open at the moment. The training was exhausting. Let me get this in the post, and I will send a supplement it after some rest. There are matters at the final battle that speaks to the quality of the people I am with.

    Hedgerow Shrewburrow
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 45 in Forochel for Shadows of Angmar end-game content - Book XIII (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  25. #125
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    178

    ((From Brandywine to Bree; Great Barrows; First Meeting with Club Eclair))

    Dear Father,

    I still haven’t received any message from you, but it’s ok. I hope you get my letters, you and mom are doing fine and everything back home is going its normal way. How is the stone sculptor shop going?

    Ok, let me fill you in with what happened after the events I described in my last letter. There is a long, straight road leading from the Brandywine Bridge at the border of the Shire to the town of Bree, running along the edge of a huge forest. A couple of miles before Bree-town I noticed a trail leading up to a place called the Barrow-downs. As far as I know (or learned later) a big city once stood here, the capital of the old human kingdom of Cardolan. The city was attacked and destroyed by the Witch-King of Angmar, an evil, corrupted man about whom we heard stories when we were kids. Most people fled or were hiding in the underground burial mounds (hence the name Barrow-downs), the Witch-King sent in some evil spirits and the place fell into ruins.

    All this I didn’t know when I met a small band of hobbits on that path leading up. They were some sort of adventurers, nice and brave folks and invited me to join their patrol. That place gave me the creeps. It was barren, hilly, some big lone pillars and there were these mounds everywhere. It was crawling with all sorts of creatures, large worms, aggressive feral dogs… but the worst thing was that sometimes all of a sudden the earth split open and an animated skeleton or wight popped out, which attacked us on sight, some even shooting arrows. Seems the evil spirits sent by the Witch-King so long ago are still around. Or it is some new corruption.

    In the middle of all of this we found, of all things, a very terrified hobbit girl. She had heard a story told by the inn-keeper in Bree about a young and handsome prince of Cardolan and came here to look for him! Oh my, that silly! We escorted her safely out and she later opened a fashion-store in Bree. Never got a discount there though.

    Some of these mounds you could enter. One we found was crawling with spiders, another one was full of undead creatures, and a foul air made us sick. In yet another family-crypt kind of grave were the strangest of all creatures, no idea what they were, looked like giant toads walking on two legs. I was very happy about my companions, patient explorers who in all these evil surroundings took their time to investigate things, and capable fighters too. I was never too afraid in their company while I am sure without them I would not have survived here. Their leader was Hedgerow, a minstrel from the Shire whose songs lifted our morale during some of the harder fights.

    During this exploration I found a lot of silver coins, a bit of treasure even, and hides and other useful stuff like glistening filth or broken finger bones. My bags were bursting when I finally got to Bree and after visiting the market and everything I hurled there surprisingly sold like a charm, I was a well-off dwarf and could afford to stay in the biggest guesthouse in Bree-town, the Prancing Pony. Had a little word there too with the inn-keeper about being more careful about what stories he tells to little girls.

    I also met that ranger Strider, but there is so much to tell that I will do that in my next letter. I don’t want to strain you too much.

    Your son,
    Erikin
    Last edited by Craiden; Sep 23 2013 at 09:29 AM.

 

 
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