The Travels of Duinhir Tailwind: Session 8 is a game session report for The One Ring. We played in my living room on .
Before I dive into the session, I want to share a map I made .
I fired up Hex Kit and made a map to reflect the Travels of Duinhir Tailwind.
Now into the session proper.
Meeting the Dwarves Makelekgundu
Duinhir follows Gísla and Grór, the two elderly Dwarves. They lead him to a cleverly concealed crevasse; almost impossible to notice without being right on the precipice. This crevasse cuts deep and narrow into the earth. At it’s mouth there’s a subtle stairwell that descends ever deeper.
“Hello my brothers and sisters, we have a young visitor,” bellows Grór into the echoing crevasse.
Grór turns and whispers, “Now watch your step and your head, things may get a little tight for one such as yourself.”
Duinhir nods and stoops a bit to make himself just a bit shorter.
“I have a few questions, but I think I’ll wait until we’re all assembled,” says Gísla in a warm tenor voice.
“For your hospitality, I most certainly hope I can provide suitable answers.”
They continue heading further into the ravine; while walking several more elderly Dwarves join them from side various side caves and passages.
They arrive to a larger open area, Duinhir looks up, only the midday sun would peak into this ravine. This place would be most easy to keep hidden, muses Duinhir.
About 20 Dwarves gather in this area, all of them are white haired, many fully bald but for their wispy beards.
“It looks like most of us are here. I dare say the others are probably…” says Grór as he trails off then continues, “the others are probably out. This is Tailwind and he proclaims to have no love for the Dark Lord. And I and Gísla trust him at his word.”
The others squint and lean there heads towards Duinhir; their eyes all looking deeply into Duinhir.
“And what if he lies? It wouldn’t be the…” says one particularly thin dwarf with a liver spotted face, “it just would be something they’d do.”
Duinhir, fearing that this group might turn into a mob slowly lifts his hands and nods just a bit, then says, “My good Dwarves, of course I could be all that you say or worse. I ask how might I show you that my heart is true and hold only disdain for the Dark Lord and his ilk, as I am a traveler seeking a safe place to stay the night and perhaps folks with whom to share a tale or two.”
As Loremaster, my first thought is to call for Courtesy test. Not to convince them but to instead determine how involved his proof must be.
However, as it is just me, I take a break to read up on the rules. This is getting close to a Council type encounter.
From page 104 of The One Ring 📖:
To qualify as a council, a meeting must be a formal gathering during which the stakes are high and, depending on the outcome, the Company stands to win or lose something valuable.
I can make that work. My inclination for Courtesy does track to the first Introduction Stage of the Council. Let’s give this Council subsystem a whirl.
Duinhir Enters a Council with the Dwarves of Makelekgundu
Duinhir seeks a place to stay and some tale telling around the fire. The Dwarves want to know if they can trust him. And given those past auguries concerning Death, I think they are disinclined.
This sounds like a Bold Request, and I set the Resistance to 6. Were I running for a group of players, I might not set it so high. However, I want to strain and test Duinhir. Things have went far too easy thus far. Besides, I’m still operating under the “Joyful Sight: Peaceful Sanctuary” guidance. So even if he fails, it will likely mean that the proof remains more arduous.
Using Duinhir’s opening statement as the introduction, it is clearly a Courtesy test. This is a Favoured test but Duinhir only has one rank. Tapping his “True Hearted” Distinctive Feature, Duinhir spends a point of Hope and rolls three dice. Success with 1 Շ.
That success gives Duinhir more time to plead his case. The core rules The One Ring have very generous time limits; Ruins of the Lost Realm 📖 introduces more challenging time limit constraints. I decide to use those.
Given the introduction, Duinhir has 5 tests to garner 6 successes.
Upon finishing his introduction, Duinhir remains quiet. He’s more used to the road than banter with a crowd.
The Dwarves begin chattering amongst themselves.
Duinhir, begins wracking his brain, asking himself, Who are these Dwarves? How and why have they remained here?
As Duinhir, I’m looking at my character sheet and these social encounters are going to chew him up. He is ill-versed in the various skills for the Council subsystem.
Duinhir asks to make a Riddle test and draws inspiration from his “Folk Lore” Distinctive Feature. He’s trying to puzzle out some details about these Dwarves. Duinhir gathers and rolls the 3 dice…he succeeds.
Duinhir recalls tales of groups of Dwarves, in their shame, seeking a self-imposed exile. He had always thought they simply moved to another mountain. Who’d ever heard of a field dwarf? quips Duinhir to himself.
To succeed, Duinhir needs to get 5 more successes in 4 tests. And most of his tests give one dice. I really should’ve read these rules a bit better before finalizing my character.
“My good Dwarves, I have imposed on your hospitality and again ask, how might I prove my worth to those so far from mountain halls?”
I ask for one more Riddle test, to both speak but also to then listen to the different groups of chatter and see about pulling out some recommendation.
I’m all in on spending Fate and draw inspiration from Duinhir’s “True-Hearted” Distinctive Feature. I throw 3 dice and succeed with 2 Շ runes. Duinhir has 3 tests remaining to garner 2 successes. He’s also down to 6 Hope.
The Dwarves continue their small group deliberations, and Duinhir hears mention of the others who are in bed sick; not away as they had previously corrected.
He waits a bit longer, and Grór leaves one of the more chatty groups and says, “Ay’ lad, can’t you hear we’re figuring all of this out. It’s not often we get visitors. At least not those with whom we might share a meal.”
“My apologies Grór, Gísla, and all others of whom I’ve yet to properly meet and greet by name,” says Duinhir raising his voice as the half dozen dwarf voices echo through the crevasse, “I have been trained in medicine…and while I’m not a talented chirurgeon if there are those of you who may need tending, I might be able to lend a hand.”
As Loremaster, that sounds like a Persuade and I’ll grant a bonus dice as Duinhir learned of their need and offered to help.
Duinhir spends a point of Hope, though doesn’t have an applicable Distinctive Feature to invoke. I grab the Feat die and 2 Success Dice and roll a 16. One success. Duinhir has 2 tests remaining and needs to get one more success.
One of the other dwarfs, with yellow rotten teeth and half an ear missing asks, “A healer you say? Of some renown? Now who said anything about any of us being sick?”
“My good dwarf, if I spoke claiming to be a healer of renown, I apologize. I am trained in the arts, but in no way renowned nor gifted. At best a journeyman,” responds Duinhir, hoping to lower expectations to match reality.
Duinhir continues, “And regarding the sick, while you were talking, I couldn’t help but hear that there might be kin who are sick. And perhaps I could help to prove myself to you and yours.”
This sounds like another Persuade and Duinhir continues hitting on their need. I again give him a bonus die. And this time leverage his “True-Hearted” Distinctive Feature to be Inspired for this roll.
I grab the Feat die and the 3 dice and get an 11; a failure.
“Harrumph,” chuffs the dwarf, “one moment you’re claiming to be a healer of renown, the next you’d have us believe you know nothing of the sort. How can we possibly trust someone who billows as a leaf on the wind?”
Duinhir holds back a grimace, wondering if this dwarf is dense or playing the part or something else.
Duinhir hums and starts to sing a song, a ley he recalls, one of a traveler upon the road who stopped and helped a man waylaid and left wounded. The traveler a young woman of humble upbringing did what she could to tend to the wounded. The song speaks not of the skill of the healer, but of the kindness show by the young woman.
This is Duinhir invoking his “Folk-Lore” Distinctive Feature and rolling Song. I grab the Feat die and roll that plus 3d6. I get roll a 6; failure. And the Feat die comes up with the Eye of Sauron rune (e.g. ⏿).
Duinhir increases his Eye of Awareness score from 2 to 3. And fails the Council.
The Dwarves all stop and listen, but the intended message of healing and friendship is lost on them.
“Well, why you were busy singing a song to pass the time, we were all figuring out how you could prove your worth. And here are our terms, though I must say there are none other. First, you surrender your weapons for the duration of your stay. Then, oh singing journeyman healer, we do ask that you help our physician; attend to their needs for the next week and we’ll see if by then you’re trustworthy. And last I’ll be with you throughout the day. You know to keep you out of trouble,” says the rotten-tooth half-eared dwarf.
“And so as to not be so formal, the names Regin Irontooth. Though I dare say those fell out long ago,” chuckles Regin.
Duinhir, in no position to argue, nods and says, “My good Regin, it will be an honour to help you and your kin. Your terms are most agreeable to me under one condition, I am given warm meals and at least a place to eat them.”
Regin smiles, “Agreed. The food here is quite good and there’s space a plenty these days.”
As Loremaster, I read up on the End of a Council section on page 108 of The One Ring. Failure can be an outright “No”, which I don’t like. Or I can select Success with Woe.
Now that sounds interesting, especially the little recommendation of “they end up acquiring one or more enemies from among their audience.” The delay is almost a blessing; there are no time constraints on Duinhir’s present mission.
These 7 days should allow Duinhir to spend some Fellowship Points to recover Hope.
The “enemy” that I envision will likely refuse to release Duinhir at the end of the seven days. They’ll want more assurances. Perhaps creating cracks relational breaks and fractures.
Yikes! Duinhir’s skills are ill-prepared for Council. He’s better equipped to issue pleasantries then part ways. But the system provides adequate player facing resources to bolster the dice when needed.
I’m also glad I engaged the more involved sub-system. The constraints of Council are interesting. The Introduction Stage uses one set of skills and then the