Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies, Pt I

Welcome to Middle Earth.

All current role-playing will take place, here; record or post links to your die rolls, as well as anything you feel is relevant to playing your character in our present adventure, for ease of reference. All current Out-of-Character (OOC) discussions should take place here, as well, such as Fellowship/ Company planning. Please, keep your die rolls and short OOC notes in the main game thread; you may even use an OOC note to point to a topic (insert a URL into your post) or post elsewhere in this forum, as long as it is relevant to the on-going game.

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Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies, Pt I

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 14 Jan 2019, 09:03

LoreMaster Note ∴ Welcome to our Game of The One Ring It has been a long time in coming, taking this game from a state of hiatus back to being active, again. The hiatus turned out to be for many very good reasons, but now it’s time to return to the telling of our tale. For Artorius, Éadnes, Ellisidil, Frerin, and Moro, five of the original returning Player-heroes (PHs), this has been something of a bitter journey, I’m sure, for their Players; I apologize for such a long wait, fella’s. For Desyd, Mablin, and Moriel this will be a new journey; Moro is being taken over by our youngest Son, Kieran while Gavin moves from playing Moro to Desyd Shieldbearer, so it will be a learning experience for the younger, though he's played in a couple of my games, before. Mablin is being played by my very good and long-time friend Lee, who has played in a couple of my Play-by-Forum games, before, as well as one or two tabletop adventures (Aliens, most notably); he keeps coming back, so maybe I’m doing something right :D . Finally, Moriel is being played by my Wife, Sarah, who was already neither Muggle nor Mundane, but hadn’t been introduced to role-playing, yet; however, she is relatively new to role-playing still and not entirely comfortable, especially new to this medium of play. However, I know for a fact all of you are brilliant players and I look forward to continuing our tale, together.

Probably no one is wondering about this, but I'm going to address it, anyway, but if you wonder if I wouldn’t show Dan (Ellisidil), Gavin, Kieran, or my beloved Sarah any special treatment, just please remember all of the examples from our game, before, when it was just Dan and Gavin in the group; besides, Sarah doesn’t allow me to show her any sort of special treatment in matters such as these, so I would say you’re in good hands.

Welcome back, all!!! :D

I think the fires in the engine are already stoked well enough to kick this game off, again, so we’re going to start with something of a -hopefully fun- assignment for all of you. I have written some introductory paragraphs for you to read and write to as we close in on the 1st of November, which is the beginning of both Dragontide, for this year, and The First Gathering of the Five Armies -I will probably cut that down to 1st Gathering from here out, or some such. You can go write from as soon as the beginning of October, if you like, describing your character's thoughts and feelings as they close in on Lake-town; motivations for coming to Lake-town can be anything from mercantilism to desiring to find adventure to coming for the 1st Gathering to simple exploration. My recommendation is that you read your character’s Background and Calling information, perhaps even their Cultural information -from the character generation packets available to you all-, especially if they’re a Lakeman from Esgaroth, a Barding from Dale, or a Dwarf of Erebor and figure your research into your writing. The goal is to get you to know your character a bit better and help your fellow players, new and existing alike, to that same end.

There will be two parts to this assignment, the first being what you’re reading, now, thoughts, emotions, historical context, and WHY you’re coming to the city on the Long-lake to begin with. The reason I’m starting everyone off in Esgaroth, instead of just allowing the returning players to go wherever is because the 1st Gathering is your next adventure and it begins too soon after your arrival from the Elf-king’s realm. I welcome those returning to continue role-playing in both the closing Don't Leave the Path thread and here, if you so choose, on top of the post I’ve asked for, here.

Don’t worry about the second part of the assignment until we get there, hehe.

Alright, more instructions to think about at the bottom of this post, but for now...
 
26 October 2946 of the Third Age, the Woods or Rocks near Esgaroth, the City on the Lake
The last of the Autumn air, of Summer turning to Winter, began cooling nearly three weeks ago; the Northern climes of the Dale-lands, the wall of trees to the East of the Long Lake, the Lonely Mountain to the North and, further, the Withered Heath forming a perfect funnel for that cold wind from places closer to the poles. Winds from ice-locked Forochel beyond the Heath nearly forces you to adjust your hood or helm, or both to better withstand the breeze that has just blown across your face, an uncomfortable affair making your lips and ears tingle and your cheeks and chin blanch as you try to brave the coming cold. You will need to do that a lot if you are to face the long Winter to come, to prepare yourself for temperatures on a scale that comfort can no longer be sought within the confines even of your Winter clothing, and certainly not within the ramshackle walls of any structure upon that Lake. Yet, you watch silent and still from among the trees on the North-western shore near Esgaroth, or allow the rocks to provide a shield from the Eastern and North-eastern shore as you view the long brown hodge-podge of undefined shapes you know will turn, soon enough, into a bustling village of residents and barkers, merchants both local and from distant lands, and children of all ages and sizes.

Five years ago, so you have heard, and perhaps one of the ideals that brought you to Esgaroth, several things took place; you may not know the whole story, but what you’ve heard intrigued you enough to come here. First, a Company of Dwarves came to liberate Erebor from a Dragon who had sat on their treasure hoard for more than two centuries. Second, on stirring up said Dragon, Smaug the Terrible, it destroyed the fifth version of Lake-town, aka Esgaroth. The people of Esgaroth fled to Dale, lead by Bard the Bowman, who had brought the Dragon down. Unfortunately, third, before they could begin to rebuild that previously august city, the forces of darkness invaded from the Misty Mountains and, in particular, Gundabad and a battle consisting of five armies took place. Though it was a triumph for the Free Peoples of Middle-earth, Thorin Oakenshield -rightful King Under the Mountain- and many others paid for the victory with their lives. The Dwarves of the Iron Hills, the Men of Dale, Elves from the Woodland Realm, Goblin Mercenaries from Goblin-town in the Misty Mountains, and Orcs, Giant Bats and Urukhai from Mount Gundabad fought a wretched and bloody battle for that Lonely Mountain, and to destroy the forces of good and right in the world.

Now, preparations have already begun, have been under way since the horrible heat of August for many thousands of folk from across Middle-earth to come and celebrate a battle in which evil had a sound beating, and the re-establishment of a long-lost center of commerce in the world has come about, far more rapidly than anyone would have expected. Finally, though Bard has been King for more than a year, he is to be crowned at the end of November, a great feast in his honor to be held in Dale, where again many will come to celebrate; this is not for vanity or any other reason than to show that commerce will flow, once again, from the Dale-lands. These preparations begin with the clearing of many hundreds of trees along the Eastern and Northern shores, nearest the long bridge leading North-east out of the city. In Esgaroth, expansion continues at a fevered pitch, new buildings, especially inns and warehouses, as well as homes for existing and newer residents, alike, going up at an extraordinary rate. There is no lack of work in Lake-town.
 
LoreMaster Note Unless you have lived in Esgaroth or have visited from Dale or Erebor in the past, laying eyes on the marvel that lies on the lake for the first time is something to make you wonder. Never have you seen such civilization, not even in Bree-town -if you’ve been there. If you decide to write your character any time from the beginning of October to the 26th, as just coming into Esgaroth, you will have been there from a few days to a few weeks and you need to write what you would do for your character. Thus, I provide a map for you to use as reference only, and I welcome you to ask me questions; however, if you have a higher Standard of Living, do you just spend your time gambling and carousing, traveling to Dale and back, etc. Or, regardless of Standard of Living, do you find something to keep yourself busy and, perhaps, make a bit of extra coin...
  • Esgaroth is constantly under construction, new pilings being cut from the forest on the shore, bound and set into the Long Lake to aid in laying down new parts and buildings of Lake-town,
     
  • There are quays all around the city, for vessels ranging in size from rafts, reed boats and skiffs, up to flat barge’s (such as the one seen in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), and they run all the way from Girion’s Stair at the South end of the Lake, as it falls into the Long Marshes and to the West where the Woodland Realm exchanges goods and services with the Lake-men, beyond the Sentinel Oak. The Raft Elves often look for help in moving goods, and for protection from criminal types, and those quays around the city are always looking for Long-shoremen to help load and unload the vessels,
     
  • Merchants from the Grey Mountains and the Narrows, Erebor and Dale to the North, the Iron Hills to the East, Dorwinion and the East Bight to the South, and the Woodland Realm, Firienseld, the villages of the Woodmen, the Old Ford, and points West of the Misty Mountains to the West, are constantly in need of assistance to hawk their wares, to move and protect them, and they pay no small fees to do so and, finally,
     
  • Enforcing the laws of the Master of Lake-town, Hafgrim, and the peoples, merchants, and governing council is a full-time job, especially when the Town Guards are stretched thin as it is, and only to become thinner as the 1st Gathering approaches; it is a meager amount of coin, but then there’s satisfaction that you are allowed to help keep violence at a minimum, crime at a low ebb, and even get to know many of the folks in town, from the more prominent down to the normal street-folk.
Map Esgaroth Iso LtS Sourcebook.jpg
Alright, that should give you a basis to work from for this first outing in writing, whether it’s for getting your normal chops back, or trying them out for the first time. Have fun with it.
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Alright, some last thoughts for you to think about before you begin constructing your posts...
  • Don't forget about the 72-hour limitation, please? Everyone should post at least one time in the next 72 hours; even if that post is letting everyone know, in Out-of-Character (OOC) that you're still working on your writing. If I have enough response about that, I'll extend the time, of course,
     
  • Explore these forums; if you can go anywhere in The One Ring RPG forums, you are welcome to read there, especially when it comes to rules of the game. I have not updated my signature links, yet, but that should be within the next few days and, in all likelihood, you’ll not need them, just yet,
     
  • Explore your character journal and feel free to write all you want into it; future stories, character thoughts, actual journal entries for your character, and notes about the game you wish to preserve are all welcome topics. That journal is where I also work one-on-one with you for your...
     
  • Ask Questions of myself and/or your fellow players, please? If what you have to ask is private, you can send me a PM (Private Message) or Email ( fieranor.lm@gmail.com ). If what you have to ask is not private or personal, it may be helpful for another player to read what you have to ask about, and then hear an answer, whether from a fellow player, or from me.
     
  • Fellowship Phase. Mablin, I’m afraid you’re the only one who doesn’t have a Fellowship Phase to tackle, because yours is a brand-new character in my game. Desyd and Moriel come from my previous tabletop version of The One Ring, and I’ve had to back them off of a LOT of Experience already just to bring them back in-line with the present group, and then the returning five just finished an adventure. Anyway, we need to knock out those Fellowship Phases for each of you, because there will be an End-of-Year Fellowship Phase at the beginning of December, when all of you will be welcome to either stay in Esgaroth, Dale, or for you Dwarves and any guest(s) you might have with you, Erebor may be your destination for the Winter, should your Company decide together to disband for the Winter and meet back up in Dale or Esgaroth in the early Spring. We’ll see how all of that goes.
Welcome back, friends, new and returning!!!
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Re: Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies

Unread post by Artorius » 14 Jan 2019, 14:26

It was not exactly a familiar site, although some recollection did return to his mind.
Artorius approached Lake Town as the sun was setting into a cold twilighted night. As always, the Ranger liked to slip into places without too much activity happening around him. Folk usually eyed him up as he strode through towns and cities, partly due to his height and partly due to his garb. Whispers followed him, whilst most avoided him, some braver would cry out insults "Vagabond!" or "Transient!".

"This is better" Artorius thought to himself, "Light of the moon greets me back to Laketown. It's been many years, perhaps two and twenty?"

Licking a finger and lifting it to the sky, the Ranger frowns. "Hump, tôl hîth." He exlaimed in Sindarin, his first language. A foggy cold night was approaching and Artorius had become fed up of waking up on wet grass with a layer of frost on his blankets.

"Boe annin postad..." Exclaiming to himself he desired rest in an Inn, he hefted his backpack back to his shoulders and continued on into town.
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Re: Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies

Unread post by Eadnes » 14 Jan 2019, 15:11

Éadnes sets up his workspace in the town of Esgaroth most days and carves toys for children. When he has enought he tells the tales of the adventure on the Long Forest Road using puppets. If the light is not favourable a cloth becomes a screen and a candle casts shadows from the puppets to tell the story. He welcomes old friends and passes time with new arrivals to Esgaroth. He frequently meets his compatriots from the Forest path for a drink in the evening and passes the time telling old tales.
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Re: Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies

Unread post by Frerin » 15 Jan 2019, 10:37

Frerin, Son of Oín, stands up, looking towards the horizon, and watches the plume of his breath condensing before his mouth, as well as his friend Shathûr circling and wheeling in the skies above. It is good to finally be home - or at least, as close to home as to hardly matter, since one can clearly see the outline of the Lonely Mountain rising to the North from here.

Since the anniversary celebrations will take place in Esgaroth, there is no point in heading back to Erebor and spending most of the week on the road, so Frerin has decided to stay put and make himself useful in Lake-Town instead. No stranger to wielding hammer and axe, he has offered his help to the builders putting up new structures around town and clearing trees on the north-eastern shores, in return for access to one of the woodwrights' shop, so he can begin cleaning up the Lion-Head Shield the company found on their journeys and restoring it to its proper state again.

Nothing like some hard, honest work in the clean, cold air, under the open sky, to take a dwarf's mind off Mirkwood's oppressive foulness, lightless dungeons devoid of life and hope, and the hissing, snarling voices of orcs and spider-things scratching against the walls of his sanity. All that seems so very far away now, and to Frerin it almost feels like the frosty breeze coming from the north is also blowing the darkness and despair out of his heart and mind, and taking it far away, to wherever the shadows have retreated to lurk.

Seen from the lake's northern shore, the new Lake-Town is an impressive sight. It is amazing how quickly the smoking ruin left after Smaug's fateful last flight has been turned back into a lively, bustling city - one of the things that Frerin has always admired most about Men is their impressive resilience. No matter how many blows they suffer, they always seem to manage to get back up again. *Our people seem to have that in common, at least.*

Not wishing to impose on Gloin any longer than necessary, Frerin has moved out to one of the inns in town along with the other dwarves as soon as rooms became available when the foreign dignitaries had relocated to their respective camps along the lake-shore. Those hours not filled with work, he spends visiting Esgaroth's impressive markets looking for new things to trade, and the evenings eating, drinking and swapping stories at the inn, or at Gloin's house. For once, life is good.

Huffing, the dwarf pulls his cloak closer around himself, grabs the woodcutter's axe from a nearby tree stump, and goes back to work. No time for loitering around. A lot still remains to be done until the Gathering, to make sure it becomes a memorable event befitting the occasion.
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Re: Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies

Unread post by Desyd Shieldbearer » 15 Jan 2019, 12:23

The past few days seem to have flown by for Desyd. Though originally coming to Lake Town simply to witness the festival, he soon found himself under the temporary employment of the town guard. Seeing how thin the town guard was stretched, he felt almost duty bound to lend a hand. Having been among the town guard in Dale for several years, the job came naturally. He'd already solved a few simple disputes among townsfolk and those also here for the festival, and in one instance was able to crack a few heads as a bar brawl spilled out into the streets. The free lodging and meals at the guard barracks was a pleasant bonus. Not needing to spend his money on an inn room freed that coin up for baubles being sold, delicacies to eat, and the more-than-occasional game of dice at the tavern.
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Re: Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies

Unread post by Ellisidil » 15 Jan 2019, 19:47

Since Ellisidil worked with the guards of this town before the last two adventures, He knows who he needs to see about changing some money, and the lore of the sword that hangs on his back. So he is off to find the money first, and once that is done, and good food, He sets off to find the library and look up information about the area and the sword.
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Re: Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 15 Jan 2019, 20:04

LoreMaster Note Okay, Dan, I will need you to go to your Journal and start your Fellowship Phase stuff, the first part of which I've already put the primer for, and then we can get all of that squared away. If you don't know where your Journal is, scroll back up to your last post, look at the bottom of it, and click the word Journal... it's a link to Ellisidil's journal.
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Re: Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies

Unread post by Moriel » 15 Jan 2019, 20:32

Laying eyes on the city for the first time creates an inward sense of excitement within Moriel, that can’t help but put a smile on her face. “Another adventure awaits”, she thought to herself. Immediately upon entering the city, Moriel makes her way to the Elven Quarter to announce herself to the local Elven leader, Amras. Upon entering the District, Moriel passes the scrutiny of the armed guards by explaining that she is here to participate in the celebration of the gathering of the five armies. Moriel complies with the guards’ request to leave her weapons (bow, 2 daggers, and sword) behind while she is exploring the district. Before proceeding to Amras’ headquarters, Moriel stops at a merchant’s stand to purchase a wooden flute. Wanting an instrument that produces outstanding tone and volume, she chooses one made from ebony that measures 7.5 inches in length. Moriel then presents herself at Armas’ headquarters and requests a meeting with him.
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Re: Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 16 Jan 2019, 09:34

LoreMaster Note Thank you all for posting; these are a great start.

I'm still waiting on Kieran to post for Moro, but he still has time. Just, everyone please remember, the 72-hour posting cycle is not about waiting the full 72-hours before posting, it's to give everyone time to think, write, and then post, any time within that 3 days.

Speaking of posting... Mablin's player Lee will not be joining us right away. He's changing from graveyard to day shift, right now, and there are some unexpected things that have popped up. So, he'll join us when he's able.
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Re: Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 17 Jan 2019, 10:34

30 October 2946 of the Third Age, Midnight Into the Morning of the 31st, Lake-town
When the Battle ended five years past, because Bolg and the armies of the shadow served as a lynch-pin to secure the good will of the various races of Men, Elves and Dwarves, the dawn of a new era of cooperation and trade lit the Northern Dale-lands brightly, and their light was seen far and wide. Esgaroth became a place for all to visit, again, where they might find refuge, work and, perhaps, some adventure. The wonder of delving into places unknown or unseen for long years and discovering all that was lost has ever been on the hearts and minds of all the cultures of Middle-earth, regardless of origin, and now is the time to see the varied visions of each person fulfilled. From nearly two centuries past and into antiquity, Esgaroth was the center of trade in Rhovanion, what has come to be called Wilderland, until the cursed Dragon ruined life for all; now that Smaug the Tyrannical is slain, trade and work and adventure all have made their return. Esgaroth fairly boils over with new faces daily, arriving from lands all around, and a host of similar faces leaves each day, as well, seeking their fortunes or shuffling off to Dale to establish a new life or, for the Dwarves, the Lonely Mountain known as Erebor to continue lives that once belonged in this Mansion of the Dwarves, a homeland for many.

Shouts of joy filled the air near midnight when the snow began to fall; it is not that it wasn’t expected nor few and far between the days of the first fall, but only that the Desolation of Smaug kept the snow from falling as anything other than gray slush for nearly two centuries. Not a man of the Lake or of Dale lives today that also lived, then, when the snow fell white and furious on the shores and on the wood structures of Lake-town, though they celebrate this night because it is, for the first time a pure white and it is cold and the wind from Forochel continues, sometimes a gust so furious the hardiest of Men has to bundle within their long coats and the many layers of clothing that have begun to appear in the past three weeks, lest their nose or ears fall to the ground, frozen solid. Fingers are none too delicate either, and great care is being taken with wraps of all manner of materials, though those wraps make it difficult to work or trade or play.

As the Sun rises to the East and fires the day, four inches of snow is found all across the city of Esgaroth. Children play in it as if borne to its richness and gather it in their hands and arms as though it were as precious as gold itself. Older men and women who no longer work the long hours of their younger selves, and even the younger who fail to remember the curiosity of snow cease their labors for a short time to throw snow back and forth with their comrades, new and old, and laughter rings across the city. Barkers eventually begin to hawk their wares, doing all in their power to remain warm, likely having spent more money than they’ve earned to purchase garments freshly made by the finest stitchers between here and Erebor.

You have had time to explore the city more, having found the more important quays, each of the districts and quarters of the town, and three of the more popular Inn & Tavern combinations in-town, the Baby and Bird in the Merchants’ District, and the River-maiden and the Green Barrel, both in the Residential District. The River-maiden shares the South-eastern side of the square in front of the Hospital, a relatively robust three-story Inn with a fine eating establishment and tavern located in the forward half of the first floor; the back half is the residence of the owner and his family, who all also serve in the place. The Green Barrel is closer to the South-eastern corner of the Residential District, near the watch tower and is a much smaller establishment with a fair common room and ten moderately sized and inexpensive rooms for travelers, one of which is taken by the owner; this is a place for salts of the fifteen-mile Long-lake, fishermen and craft-sailors bringing goods and sundries specific to the Residential area of Esgaroth, and is not a place for polite company. However, the rooms are well kept and the prices inexpensive, so the place is most always full.
 
Out-of-Character ∴ So, What Do I Do Here? I am so glad you asked that question. The goal of this initial set of postings is to get returning and new players into the spirit of the game, to give a bit of ambience and put a bit more reality to the world you’re playing in, and to ease all of you into writing comfortably. Your first writing assignment, if you wish to consider it as such, was to describe the feelings and wonderment of your character as they were either approaching Lake-town and/or preparing to enter it, and why they would come to Lake-town in the first place.

Today, I want you to write a description, using your first post as a base, of your character, from head-to-toe, hair, blood, bad breath, all made for the Termin... oops, that doesn’t belong here :lol: ... put some detail into your character, into their demeanor and feelings, try to develop something for yourself and others in the group to refer to, to understand about you as a role-player and your character as a live entity in our game world. Like your first post, it only needs to be as long as you want it to be -my posts, right now, are long, but will not be, forever, as we’re just in the introduction, and the game will revolve more towards you writing the story, not just me. If you would prefer to write some parts as private, feel free to put them in your character journal.

Finally, if you want to start introducing your character to the other player’s characters, bumping into them, actually looking to recruit them, etc., feel free to do that, as well. For you folks who’ve been in the game for a while, you obviously don’t have to do a lot, here, except providing a description of your character.

Alright, on with it :D
 
LoreMaster Note ∴ What the Books Say...
The following information about Lake-town and the lands surrounding it is important, though not exhaustive. Be prepared to learn more, and give questions for clarification when you feel it’s time to ask them.

Descriptions of the region of the Northern Dale-lands, and of Rhovanion, what is also called Wilderland, where many of our adventures will take place, abound throughout the books produced for The One Ring. For those of you who are curious and keen to read, this section is for you, though mostly for those who do not already know it from their study of Tolkien. The materials in this section, though they may be condensed and edited, are copy-written to Cubicle 7 Entertainment and much thanks goes to Francesco Nepitello and Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan for constructing this amazingly detailed game. Enjoy.

Wilderland
The lands extending from the Misty Mountains as far as the Running River are known as Wilderland. There are many good reasons for such an ominous name. Not only did the region once host a Dragon’s lair, but its greater part is occupied by the forest of Mirkwood, home to giant spiders, Orcs and other dangerous creatures.

Nevertheless, Wilderland has changed significantly in recent years. Smaug, the Dragon of Erebor, bane of the Northern world, has been killed, and the Necromancer has been driven from his fastness in Southern Mirkwood. Many proud folk are reclaiming their lost dominions: to the north rises the Lonely Mountain, a solitary peak that houses an underground stronghold of Dwarves of the line of Durin; on the valley below stands Dale, a city of Northmen newly rebuilt from its ruins, close to the trading town of Esgaroth on the Long Lake; from hidden halls dug under the northern eaves of Mirkwood issue again the hosts of King Thranduil, ruler of the Wood-elves; near the Ford of Carrock on the river Anduin, the Beornings, a folk of Men following the lead of Beorn the Skin-changer, keep their watch; while to the south the settlements of the Woodmen are multiplying along the vale of the Great River.

Year 2946 of the Third Age
Five years ago, in the year 2941 of the Third Age in the reckoning of the Elves and the Men of the West, a fierce battle shook the roots of Erebor, the Lonely Mountain. Orcs, Wild Wolves, Men, Dwarves and Elves clashed under a sky darkened by giant bats, their hatred fueled by ancient quarrels. Many deeds of renown were done that day, and some heroes prevailed while others fell, in the end delivering a crushing victory for the Free Peoples of the North.

A new alliance was born from the aftermath of that battle, now remembered as the Battle of Five Armies. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the threat of Bolg’s invading host, rallying the Free Peoples under a single banner, the long years of petty misunderstandings would have flared into open warfare. The spirits of Elves, Men and Dwarves were embittered and made miserable by the growing darkness of Mirkwood and the ever-present menace of the great Dragon of Erebor.

Each community had become suspicious of its neighbors and limited their dealings to meagre trades. When the din of battle subsided, the surviving Free Peoples looked upon each other with an open heart once again.

Lake-town
Since the great days of old, when a powerful realm of Northmen stretched far from the Lonely Mountain, there has been a city upon the Long Lake. Grown out of a small community born along its western shore, the village of Esgaroth became a trading port when families of merchants decided to move there from Dale. They built warehouses and great residences to live in and closely followed the coming and going of their goods. For many years thereafter the boats of the Lake-men were seen going up and down the river, their holds filled with gold and their decks crowded with warriors in armor, ready to bring war to distant lands. It achieved its independence when the Lord of Dale allowed its citizens to appoint a Master, chosen from the old and wise.

When Smaug descended on Erebor almost two hundred years ago, the town of Esgaroth was miraculously spared. Dale wasn’t so fortunate, and those inhabitants who were able to escape its ruin with their lives were forced to seek asylum among the Lakemen. But in time, even the town along the shore had to be abandoned for fear of the Dragon, and the Lake-men built new dwellings directly on the surface of the Long Lake itself, in the hope that its deep, cold waters might keep them safe from the fire. Lake-town was born, and it endured under the shadow of the Mountain until the night Smaug fell upon it, and it disappeared in a cloud of steam and sparks.

Today, a great wooden bridge runs out from the western shore to reach the city of Esgaroth, built anew a few miles to the north of the spot where the bones of Smaug rest undisturbed. Larger than before, the new home of the Lake-people is also constructed upon stilts made of huge forest trees driven into the bottom of the lake, and its buildings, quays and streets bustle with the activities of a folk enjoying a greater level of prosperity than ever before.

Rivalled in the North only by the city of Dale, Esgaroth is a unique sight. In a region where most populated settlements are no larger than a group of farmsteads surrounded by hedges, Lake-town is an island made of timber rising from the waters of the Long Lake, and crowded with roofs, streets and towers. Esgaroth is a thriving port, measuring almost thrice the size of the town that Smaug destroyed. Beyond the falls to the south of the Long Lake, the Celduin River runs for many leagues, until it reaches the great inland Sea of Rhûn, past the land of Dorwinion. From there and beyond, travelers arrive in Lake-town aboard trading ships and rafts, bringing wares and goods for sale at the markets of the city.

Skillful Elves from the kingdom of Thranduil have helped in the reconstruction, and their cunning art is visible in the many arches that bend as gracefully as tree boughs across the wider streets, and in the delicate frets that grace several house facades. The Wood-elves have always been welcome in Lake-town, and much sought-after help arrived from them when the city was destroyed by Smaug. Elves have never stopped being an everyday sight for the Lake-men, both along the quays and in the houses of the most fashionable and influential merchant families.

To this day Esgaroth remains a free city, governed by a Master elected from among the old and wise, named Hafgrim. He conducts the affairs of his office from a Great House near the main Market-place, on behalf of the people of Lake-town and advised by an assembly of councilors. His duty is to safeguard and preserve the peace and riches of the city, administering its trades and policies. In recent years Esgaroth has started to suffer from the proximity of the city of Dale: fearing for the independence of Lake-town, the Master of Esgaroth is tightening his trading and political relations with the Woodland Realm.

Adventurers hailing from different places come in search of opportunities to make their name. In addition to Northmen of all extractions, Elves and Dwarves are a common sight, as both the Woodland Realm and the Kingdom under the Mountain have interests in the city. Even Hobbits may come to Lake-town without raising too much of a commotion, as strange sights are becoming the norm, with merchants from the south and east bringing their wares into town with increasing regularity.

Following is a listing of the most visited locations in the city. You may find them on the map linked in the initial post of this thread.

Market-place
In the tradition of the previous Lake-town, the market-place is actually a wide square gap between the buildings where the surface of the lake is directly accessible by long wooden quays with many steps and ladders. The area is surrounded by the tall piles on which are built inns, taverns and several large warehouses. In this area, many Raft-elves and more exotic merchants coming from lands to the south and east can be encountered.

Town-hall
The new Lake-town differs from the previous one mainly due to the magnificence of its Great House. Raised away from the Market-place (as tradition would have had it) it is removed from the nearby buildings by a stout palisade and is accessed through a portal that can be blocked by an iron gate when needed. Here the Master of Esgaroth meets the city councilors to discuss the town's policies on river-tolls, cargoes and gold. A flight of steps to the back of the hall reaches down to the surface of the lake, where the Master's great gilded boat is always ready to carry him about his business.

Bowmen's Guild Hall
One of the better known sights in Esgaroth is the large fortification rising to the right of the long bridge connecting the city to the mainland. This square building houses the Bowmen's Guild of the city of Esgaroth. Composed of free men, in time of war and danger they gather in companies and come to the support of the city guards. In time of peace, they enjoy the company of their peers and spend their free time at the guild-hall testing their skill with archery challenges and drinking an ale they brew themselves.

NOTE: I will be introducing all of the sections of Esgaroth in the following posts, one day at a time per section, and I welcome each of you to make posts about business your character has in that part of town, if you like, even if you have to back up the story a little bit at a time. If you’re curious about a particular part, I have no qualms going out of order with these descriptions.

Please do not forget to write about your character as you’re going along.
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Re: Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies

Unread post by Moriel » 17 Jan 2019, 21:18

http://www.wolvesau.net/wh/pics/Moriels_Bow.pngMoriel is tall, slender, with long red hair that looks like the sunset, and bright blue eyes that glisten in the sun. She is patient and kindhearted, with a determined and constant thirst for knowledge and learning. A scholar by nature, Moriel sees the world around her as an exciting place to be because of new information always being within arm’s reach. Moriel would rather talk herself out of a situation than fight. However, if called upon to fight, don’t be fooled by her outward beauty, she is well known to be deadly accurate with her bow. Moriel loves to read, write, sing, and play her new wooden flute. She enjoys being in social situations and part of a team. She is usually smiling, with a pleasant demeanor and says hello to everyone she meets and easily flows into a conversation. She is curious about the world, and wants to see every part of it, not just read about it from the comfort and safety of home. Moriel is a natural leader, but would rather earn the respect of her fellow citizens than take it by force.

Moriel arrives in Esgaroth carrying her treasured bow, made from Elderwood with leaves carved in the handle; a short sword made from silver with a leather-wrapped bone handle, and two small daggers that are easily concealed in her boots. Underneath her floor length, hooded, silver fox fur coat are a brown leather corslet stamped with leaves, trees, and flowers; brown breeches; and tall black leather boots.
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Fieranor of Imladris
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Re: Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 17 Jan 2019, 22:04

LoreMaster Note The new Out-of-Character thread is up, here! Feel free to check in, there, and remark on anything you're seeing that might not be great.

I know it's tough to get back into a game you've never played in or that you haven't played for a couple of years, but keep writing those introductions and descriptions, my friends, and don't forget there are Fellowship Phase things to take care of for most of you in your journal thread. If you don't remember how to get to that, go to one of your posts in this thread and, at the bottom of YOUR post you will see the word Journal... click on that to be taken to your character journal... go to the bottom of your journal page to see what's going on. Desyd, Frerin and Moriel are already done, and Mablin doesn't get one this time around... that leaves four of you to get this done, please? I'm trying to give you time to make this happen, but it's best to move on ASAP.
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Re: Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies

Unread post by Ellisidil » 17 Jan 2019, 22:40

Out-of-Character So it's been awhile how do we post OOC comments and what do we do for our fellowship phase, and wouldn't we go back to the person who sent us on our way to begin with? And let him know what we did and who we helped...
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Re: Dragontide & The First Gathering of the Five Armies

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 17 Jan 2019, 23:23

LoreMaster Note You can learn a lot by clicking here and reading the thread on the other side of the jump. :D
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Gatehouse and Bridge Defenses

Unread post by Fieranor of Imladris » 18 Jan 2019, 10:31

Esgaroth, large as it is, remains easy to get around in a single day. Nearly a thousand residents live on the massive wood island, and more homes and businesses are added each month; three times that many folk can be seen roaming, as well, from all the different cultures of Dwarves, Elves, Men, and even a smattering of Half-folk.

This morning, though the snow continues to fall, the flakes have turned from fluffy and large enough to catch in a glass, furiously flying about and covering all it alights on, to small and barely noticeable, almost the consistency of a drizzle. The wind also seems to have ceased for the moment, though it makes the air on this lake no easier to withstand.
 
LoreMaster Note I will try to write a short narrative each day describing, in the best prose I am able to muster, a quarter or district in Esgaroth, and I welcome all of you to post as you will for the area you would like to see most. From the map of Esgaroth available in the Lake-town sourcebook, which has been copied into the Opening Post (OP) of this thread, you can see there are seven (7) districts and quarters and, of course, the Bridge Defenses, as follows...
 
  1. Artisans' District
  2. Elven Quarter
  3. Gatehouse and Bridge Defenses (this post)
  4. Merchants' District
  5. Residential District
  6. Shipyards' District, and the
  7. Town-halls' Quarter
If you have a particular area you would like to have described, ask it. Today's is the Gatehouse and Bridge Defenses, and I will take requests in order of receipt. This information will not be new to Ellisidil, as he has been part of the Town Guard for some time, now; though it might still be a good idea to read it.
 
Curiously, you see a pair of men leaving the Town Hall early in the morning, obviously of the Town Guard, walking out to replace comrades in arms from somewhere to the South-east of the wood island on which you stand. Soon, however, another pair, this time a man and a woman, walk out headed toward the long bridge leading from the North-western shore of the Long Lake to the front gate of the city. You decide to follow them and find yourself crossing the bridge into the Merchants' Quarter, but they do not stop there. As you continue ambling along you might begin to study their dress, which is a little more ornate than other Town Guardsmen you've seen, and you come to the conclusion that, with the confidence in their swagger they must, indeed, be in charge of others of the Town Guard.

Soon, as you continue along Bridge Street, the tall building you know to be the Gatehouse comes into view. From there entry into the city is controlled and is the first line of defense for Esgaroth; the Town Guard are administered from that building. With a building so tall, perhaps there are other means of defense, as well, archers able to fire arrows a long distance across that bridge.

When the Captain of the Guard and his Lieutenant realize you've been following them for a while along the way, they stop and turn to confront you, wondering as to your business. Explaining that you are a traveler and curious, they offer to let you see what they do, here; secrecy is none of their concern. Indeed, the more know how useful the Town Guard is, the less likely they will be to cause trouble within the confines of this city of wood on a huge lake. Walking through the Toll House at the end of Bridge Street you see to your left and right stalls where city officials inspect the wares of merchants trying to enter the city and collecting a small tax from each as a form of license to be able to sell what they have. For many, this is a few copper coins at most; however, the larger sailing vessel Captains coming along pay as much as two gold for the right to enter and off-load. The lines of waiting merchants retreat all along the length of the bridge and, it is explained to you, sellers of goods are not allowed to remain for more than a few hours at a time before they must pack and leave, to allow others into the city to sell their wares.

Coming through on the other side of the Tollhouse, you find yourself on the palisade, a large open area designed to allow for some training of the Town Guard, when the city is at rest and few come to or through the gates, and also is used for more archers to ply their deadly airborne trade, should the city ever need it. To the right is a building larger than the Gatehouse and the Tollhouse, which is the Guard Barracks. You would suspect many of the Town Guard reside there, at least temporarily through the course of the week, a small standing army made to rapidly repel any invader. Attached to the North side of the barracks is a watch tower, manned night and day to watch over the town gaol (jail) and the approach from the shore on that side.

Your benefactors likewise point out the Bowman's Guild-hall, a place for the elite archers of Lake-town, indeed the Dale-lands, to gather, practice, drink and eat, and prepare for war, whither it come. With that, you are left to your own devices and, as long as you don't become a nuisance, are welcome to stay as long as you like.
 
LoreMaster Note If there's anything you can think of to do, here, please bring it to my attention, and we can continue to role-play through all of the postings. I'm ready to get hot on writing, again, if you are. :D
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