The Darkening Wild
Into the Wild
TA 2946, five years after the Battle of Five Armies
Following is information for Into the Wild. For further information about MIddle-Earth, a good place to go is The Encyclopedia of Arda. I will also be using and adapting things from Tales of Wilderland, the Lake-town Sourcebook and The Darkening of Mirkwood, so if you read through those supplements, expect some spoilers.
Places unlocked as Sanctuaries are noted in the list. At the beginning of the game, the players have no set sanctuary. A sanctuary can be opened by spending a Fellowship Phase there and all players agreeing that is what they want to do for an undertaking. You also have to be in the good graces of whoever lives there, of course, and some sanctuaries are harder to open than others.
Beorn’s House (Sanctuary)
The Iron Hills
Mountain Hall (Sanctuary)
TheLonely Mountain (Erebor)
The Long Marshes
The Realm of the Elvenking
The Running River
The Vales of Anduin
The Withered Heath
For detail on each of the story’s characters, check out the Characters tab. You can search by tag, by name, or just scroll through.
Patrons provide the PCs with news, information, quests and resources. Any NPCs unlocked as Patrons are noted here. At the beginning of the game, the PCs have none.
Ermendrud has unlocked Radagast the Brown as a Patron. The initial benefit is that when she forages for herbs as a Fellowship Phase undertaking, she rolls the feat die twice and takes the preferred result.
Grimbar currently has a standing of 1 among the Beornings.
Every story has two phases, the Adventuring Phase and the Fellowship Phase, usually in that order. The Adventuring Phase is composed of three different activities: combats, encounters, and journeys. Combats are obvious – the Wild is the Wild, after all. Encounters are situations when the PCs meet people who don’t already know them. Many living in Wilderland are suspicious, and rightly so – characters have to earn trust. Journeys are a fleshed-out method for getting from one place to another, with all the hazards and discomfort one would expect.
Common Rules for the Adventuring Phase, like combat, encounters, journeys and so on.
During the Fellowship Phase, the players take over and do what they haven’t gotten to do yet, as long as it doesn’t involve something like exploring a new location or meeting a new NPC – those are things better suited to Adventuring. But players can describe their characters doing anything mundane, interact with NPCs who already know them, and so on.
First, players choose their destination – to a Sanctuary, or perhaps they disband so that each can return to their home for a while. (If a character is away from home for a full year, their Standing will diminish by 1 unless they spend Treasure equal to their current Standing.)
Next, players have a chance to spend accumulated Experience points and Advancement points. Experience points are used to advance a character’s Wisdom, Valour and weapon skills for 2x the new level. Advancement points are used to advance a character’s common skills for 4x the new level.
Lastly, players choose an undertaking. This can be to unlock a new Sanctuary, earn a new Patron (individually or as a fellowship), forage for herbs, reduce their Shadow score through Craft or Song, purchase special supplies in a place like Lake-town or Dale, etc.
House Rules (if we need them)
Hopefully these won’t be necessary, but they often are. Including, custom made for Pam, an additional player-hero culture: the Rohirrim. I am also using some suggested rules clarifications and expansions available on Cubicle 7’s forum.
First house rule: during the Fellowship Phase, Advancement Points can be spent on common skills or weapon skills.
Books over letters and articles by Tolkien, things written by Tolkien over films, films over fan-created things, fun over everything. Don’t assume that the major stories are already being told off-screen. You might find the One Ring in a Goblin tunnel somewhere. While not “canon” so to speak, I will be making use of the sources that Tolkien used, including the Icelandic Eddas in particular. There is plenty that Tolkien left undefined in his world, and that is part of the fun. In spirit, I am hoping for closer to Norse sagas than to Peter Jackson’s movies, though I’m happy to use them as a resource.
The Free Peoples
The Tale of Years
Many of these events are passed down as part of songs or poems or rhymes of lore, but only a master of Lore would know this much history.
1050 A shadow takes shape in Greenwood the Great and begins to spread, and Orcs and Spiders make their home in the southern woods. The Elves confine themselves to the northern reaches, and Men begin to call it Mirkwood. The oldest tales of the Wandering Days of the Hobbits seem to indicate they originated in the lands around the wood.
1980 The Dwarves of the line of Durin delve too greedily and too deep, and awaken a nameless evil. Khazad-dum is abandoned, and they are driven out by fear and death.
1999 Thrain I, ancestor of Thorin Oakenshield, comes to the Lonely Mountain and founds a dwarf-kingdom there. The dwarves discover the Arkenstone.
2063 Gandalf, led by a young Woodman hunter named Balthi, comes to Dol Guldur to investigate. He is able to drive out whatever evil was dwelling there, and a 400 year Watchful Peace began.
2210 Thorin I, son of Thrain, moves the home of Durin’s folk from Erebor to the Grey Mountains.
2460 Mirkwood again darkens, this time more thoroughly than before. All fell creatures are drawn to the wood, and many who once lived there choose to move south.
2463 Lady Galadriel forms the White Council, and Saruman the White is chosen to lead it. A Hobbit named Deagol finds a ring.
2480 Orcs and Goblins emerge from Moria and Mount Gundabad, blocking travel across the Misty Mountains. In response, the Woodmen raise their Mountain Hall, building on a far older foundation.
2510 Eorl the Young leads his folk from the upper Vales of the Anduin south to live as free men in the plains of Calenardhon. He becomes the first King of the Mark.
2570 King Nain II of the dwarves faces a plague of Dragons in the Grey Mountains.
2589 The Dragons of the northern waste spread south. King Dain I and his second son Fror are killed by a Cold-drake at the gates of their fortress.
2941 Dwarves return to Erebor, Smaug is killed by Bard who becomes King of Dale, Lake Town is destroyed a second time, the Necromancer is driven out of Mirkwood by the White Council (Elrond, Galadriel, Gandalf, Radagast and Saruman).
2942 More Dwarves move to Erebor from the West, Lake Town begins to be rebuilt, King Bard begins to rebuild Dale, spending much of his part of the treasure of Smaug and with the assistance of King Dain and King Thranduil. He also affirms Lake-town as an independent entity.
2943 A few Hobbits make their way over the Misty Mountains, Beorn travels to villages and homesteads within three days of his house and offers his protection. People who accept come to be known as Beornings.
2944 Lake-town is partially rebuilt, and a new Master is officially elected.
2945 The Woodmen of Wilderland come together at Mountain Hall and Woodland Hall to select a representative to send to Dale next year at the Gathering of Five Armies.
2946 As winter retreats, our story begins.
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