08 October 2019

The One Ring - Don't Dream it's Over - Season & Campaign Finale

The One Ring

After several years, our campaign of The One Ring is over, climaxing with a brutal, bloody assault on Dol Guldor to drive the shadow from Mirkwood. Our company succeeded, but at great cost. Personally, I'm feeling drained, content but somewhat in shock. I spent most of the game session with my character one blow away from death.

We had spent the previous game year building an alliance of Elves, Men and Dwarfs to fight the resurgent agents of Sauron, slowly convincing and persuading the various rulers to join together rather than bicker and squabble. Meanwhile, we returned to our earliest adventures and killed the final Great Spider of Mirkwood to prevent her joining Sauron's forces.

Before this we had eliminated the threats of the Gibbet King, Barrow Wraiths, 3 Nazgûl, and the Werewolf of Mirkwood (twice). The latter had been a great cost, when the Hunter took the Werewolf and Beorn's spirits at the same time. We tricked two of the Great Spiders into killing each other.

We travelled; the Barrow Downs, Bree, Fornost, Angmar, Rivendell, all of Mirkwood and across the Misty Mountains several ways. We nearly died from exposure crossing the wastes to Carn Dûm. We learnt the importance of planned travel and having sanctuaries available. We ensured that the Dwarf Road could reopen and adopted its Watchtower as a base. We discovered that Courtesy was as useful as the Axe skill.

We had friends in Erebor, the Elven King's Halls, at Rivendell and amongst the Woodsmen. We were Heroes of the Woodsmen and the Lonely Mountain and Friends of Elrond. Radagast was our advisor and ally. The initial company all had winter cloaks made from the Hounds of Sauron we killed.

We won the battle, at huge cost, securing two generations of peace. Five Nazgûl fell permanently in the fighting. The Mountain trolls nearly finished us off. 

Dol Guldur was utterly destroyed, levelled by the Dwarfs of King Dain after the battle. The enemy was killed or scattered.

The cost was high. The fellowship separated, to retire. A ten year reunion was promised, at Rivendell.

  • Halbrog the Ranger had left two seasons before the cleansing of Mirkwood, recalled to the patrol the wastes of the North Kingdoms.
  • Hathus the Wanderer retired happily and went fishing in Anduin. 
  • Rathar the Beorning left before that, fed up of Mirkwood and became a leader of his people.
  • Eorgwyn the Shieldmaiden, departed, heading south.

Of those present at the final battle, 

  • Miriel the Wood Elf, bearer of the Standard of Glorfindel, possessor of the Werewolf of Mirkwood, cruelly fell into misery having slain her closest elven friend in the madness the enemy brought upon her. She fled into Mirkwood, living as a recluse and shunning all contact with society, consumed by guilt.
  • Aeldra became the leader of the Woodsmen, forever married to them and not her true love who was slain by the King of the Trolls in the battle in front of her as she battled the Ringwraiths.
  • Nolwë the High Elf was invigorated by the energy of the young peoples and travelled more with them, committing to a future quest to slay a Dragon. 
  • Nalí the Dwarf lost his constant friend and bickering companion Miriel, and his life felt empty. He retired to the Lonely Mountain and started to plan an expedition to kill a Dragon in the Dwarven Halls of the Grey Mountains and discover the Ring of Power that he sees in his dreams. Should this ever happen, he risks being consumed by the dragon-sickness like Thorin before him.
The campaign was born from the Darkening of Mirkwood and run by Paul Mitchener. It was a superb, slow burning game which left us massively invested in the characters. I will really miss it.

A big shout out to Elina and Jag, companions in our fellowship from the start. Hat tip to Simon for integrating so well into a long running campaign and becoming a really critical member of the fellowship, essential for our success.

Also fond memories of Jerry, Mik, Glen and Rich for the while they travelled in our company.

And thank you to Paul, once again. Well played, sir! You have scared, delighted and enthralled us.

I hope that our spin off series with the Quest to the Grey Mountains happens.

8 October 2019

UPDATE (21 October 2019): Paul posted his thoughts here, well worth a read as it shows the Loremaster's perspective.

The One Ring image - By Xander - own work, (not derivative from the movies), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1953341

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