The Travels of Duinhir Tailwind: Session 10 is a game session report for The One Ring. We played in my living room on .
Having proven that his is not an agent of the Dark Lord, Duinhir spends a fitful night in Makelekgundu. The Dwarves have accepted him as true to his word, and embraced him as a friend.
Yet he needs to deliver the letter from Gandalf to Saruman; a wizard should never receive late news. And deliver news of Orcs in the South Downs.
In the morning as he prepares to embark for Tharbad, he sees Regin Ironteeth approaching.
“May I join you for your morning meal?” ask the elderly Dwarf.
Duinhir nods and says, “I welcome the company. I suspect the road ahead shall not have such generous hospitality.”
Regin softly chuckles, “Aye. Nor those as fine as us here in Makelekgundu.”
They both laugh for a bit. Duinhir stops laughing, and asks “I will be sharing with the Rangers news of Orcs in the South Downs. And I wonder, what is the tale I should tell of the Dwarves who hosted me for a week?”
As Loremaster, I wonder “Do the Dwarves of Makelekgundu wish to remain a secret community to the Rangers?” Consulting the Telling Table the answer is “No.”
And Duinhir hears of this in his off-screen departure from Makelekgundu.
Continuing the Journey to Tharbad and then Orthanc
On June 14th, Duinhir sets out.
Stepping back into the Journey Phase, Duinhir tests their Travel, success with no additional Շ runes. He will move 2 (1d3+1) hexes then have his encounter.
He has a “Mishap: Sparse wildlife” which incurs 2 Fatigue and he must test Hunting or gain an additional fatigue and add 1 day to his journey. With his Endurance of the Ranger he doesn’t suffer Fatigue during the Journey Phase.
Duinhir fails his test and rolls a ⏿ (e.g. Eye of Sauron). I increase the Eye’s Awareness by one.
Over the next few days, Duinhir travels towards the Hoarwell to follow that to Tharbad. There is far less game than he would’ve thought. There must something foul afoot, thinks Duinhir.
Duinhir makes another Travel test on his journey to Tharbad. Success with one additional Շ. Duinhir advances 1d3+2 squares; rolling that I get 3. This puts him at the threshold of Tharbad.
Recapping, he traveled 5 hexes over 6 days. So he arrives at Tharbad on the 20th of June.
These are the dying days of Tharbad. Everyone knows it, especially those who have witnessed the city’s slow decline over the years. They know that Tharbad has always shambled on from crisis to crisis: the city is an immense wounded beast, a heavy creature wallowing in the muddy water, too stubborn and hungry to ever give up. But Tharbad has suffered a mortal injury, and soon it will fall. It will be one more ruin of the old kingdom, silent and abandoned.
Duinhir wonders What is my best approach for entering Tharbad? There are farms scattered around the outskirts. How should a traveler from the wilderness approach this city where he hopes to ford the Greatflood and also meet with Gwilleth.
With days to think of his approach he settles on the following plan: He’s going to approach the farms on the outskirts of Tharbad. He’ll try to find folks who know of Gwilleth and arrange to get a message to her regarding a meeting.
As Loremaster, I think I’ll leverage a Skill Endeavor. This sounds Laborious, needing 6 successes and he has only a short amount of time before folks catch wind of a stranger poking around. That sets it at 4 attempts. The stakes are standard.
For the first attempt, Duinhir’s going to skulk around the outskirts looking for folks who might interact with a scout. I’m going to call for two tests that will overlap in results: Stealth and Insight. Both stakes are Standard risks.
For Stealth, Duinhir rolls succeeds with no extra Շ runes.
For Insight, Duinhir spends a point of Hope to invoke his Folk-Lore Distinctive Feature. He rolls and fails.
He’s needs 5 successes in 3 attempts.
Duinhir spends the waning afternoon skulking about, looking to find folks who might know Gwilleth and could send her a message.
As he’s looking on and trying to find that person, he realizes he doesn’t know what he’s looking for. So he waits until early evening, with a hands width between horizon and sun, and finds an ale house with laughter bursting from it’s doors.
If he can find where Gwilleth lives, he can approach her directly. He stashes his weapons in a hay mound and then heads towards the noisy ale house.
As expected the laughter pauses as the villager look up at him and then get back to their laughing and story-telling. A middle aged ruddy-faced man approaches.
“Stranger, what business have you tonight?” asks the man.
“I seek a relative of mine, she came her a few years ago. Gwilleth is her name,” replies Duinhir.
Let’s go with a Riddle test. Failure. Two attempts to get 5 successes.
“Do you now? Well perhaps your her cousin and perhaps you aren’t. No matter, you won’t find her here. I suggest you go find a room at the Bridge Inn and then go knocking on the Red Palace’s very doors,” replies the ruddy-faced man, “Now get you gone.”
Duinhir leaves, heads to the hay mound, checks that no one is following him. At the mound he pulls out his detailed set of maps. His plan is to find a point of elevation that he might use to watch the Red Palace and look for someone coming and going.
Finding a good spot sounds like an Explore test. Duinhir spends Hope to use his maps for inspiration. He throws 4 Success dice plus the Feat die.
He succeeds with 1 Շ rune. He has 1 attempt to get 3 successes.
Over the course of the next day, from his elevated position along the river bluff he watches the Red Palace. Looking for folks leaving; knowing Gwilleth he assumes she might head out ranging.
As Loremaster, I call for a Scan test to see if Duinhir can recognize someone. Looking at his character sheet, I’m loath to spend more Hope; but the consequences of failure are definitely looking as though he could be captured and labeled a spy.
Duinhir has nothing that I can reasonably invoke, but I choose to spend the point. He throws 3 dice and succeeds with 1 Շ; not enough to overcome the Skill Endeavor.
As Loremaster, I’m going to go with a Success with Woe. He can talk with Gwilleth, but she’s in the presence of some of Captain Gurnow’s loyal scouts. In other words, they won’t be at full liberty to speak.
Duinhir spots and follows someone who is clearly Gwilleth. She leaves the Red Palace heading out the north gate; two women travel with her.
Duinhir gathers his things and lays out a course to intercept. As he draws closer, hailing the riders, he hopes they don’t think he’s a brigand. He also realizes that he’s uncertain of the other two’s loyalties.
“Hail, I am a traveler of the north, and have news for those who lead the ranging for Captain Gurnow,” says Duinhir hoping that Gwilleth notices his emphasis on of and mention of ranging.
As Loremaster, I call for a Riddle test. The stakes are very much Gwilleth doesn’t pick up on this emphasis. Duinhir fails.
“Traveler from the north, speak your news for we are on urgent business,” says Gwilleth.
The other two women appeared anxious, mirrored by their horses stamping and shifting, all eager for their day’s journey.
“I won’t keep you, and while I know not where you range today, I bring news from the north. Of Orcs in the South Downs,” says Duinhir.
As Loremaster, I call for a Courtesy test to see how the others receive him. The consequence of failure is that the others will mention Duinhir to Captain Gurnow.
Duinhir succeeds, and he doesn’t sour the meeting.
“That’s over forty leagues away. These are not our troubles,” responded one of the dour women at Gwilleth’s side.
“Traveler, if true these are ill-tidings, but tidings from afar need careful consideration. I will bring this to the captain. Now, we ride,” says Gwilleth as she spurs her horses forward and leaves Duinhir wondering his next steps.
Next Steps for Duinhir
Returning to his river bluff encampment, Duinhir considers his next steps. He needs to speak to Gwilleth alone. But he also needs to get this letter to Saruman. Perhaps on his return he can seek out Gwilleth under more favorable conditions.