Monday, February 6, 2017

The Dying Flames of Erendel

Campaign: Adventures in Middle-Earth

  • Heva the Small, Woodman Slayer -- a harrowed woman haunted by visions of the growing Shadow
  • Odo Hayfoot, Shire Hobbit Treasure Hunter -- a reluctant adventurer with a greed for gold
  • Thuradiel, Mirkwood Elf Wanderer -- a world-weary traveler who tires of life in Middle-earth
  • Nar Goldhorn, Dwarf Warden -- a seeker after a lost ancestral harp
  • Lillian, Bree-lander Scholar -- a student of the healing arts who feels the pull of the road

Objectives: Light the flames of Lost Erendel and return safely to Duryn.

  • Despite the season, the company finds themselves lost in a sudden snowstorm as they return to Duryn from Beruthiel's keep. Unable to navigate properly, they seek shelter in a castle that now lies in blackened ruin. 
  • Although the castle appears long abandoned, a small fire still smolders in the main hall and the feasting board is laden with freshly-cooked meats and breads. No one of the company eats or drinks of the fare. The castle is eerily silent.
  • The castle is explored by torchlight. The shadows seem to move of their own accord, on the periphery of the company's vision. They fear that Beruthiel has followed them to this place to seek revenge, but the shadows coalesce into the forms of ancient lords, revealing themselves to be the shades of Men forgotten by time. Each is clad in armor, their faces obscured by grim-visaged helms.
  • The company has an audience with the lordly specters, who inform them with thunderous that in a past age they were tasked with keeping a fire alight deep within the castle's dungeons. But the lords grew obsessed with their flame, and became cruel to their servants and stewards--who rose up to slay them with poison and treachery. Only by relighting the flame can the past be put to right with the current age.
  • The company searches for the entrance to the castle's dungeons, but they are assailed by the wraiths of the long-dead servants, clad now in ethereal funereal regalia. The touch of the wraiths burns like the coldest frost, and their mere presence makes despair grasp at the hearts of the company. The company presses on though their fellowship is pushed to breaking; their weapons useless against the wraiths, they flee deeper into the castle's depths.
  • It is unearthly cold in the crypts below the castle, and ghostly remnants chant the names of the company as they search for the extinguished flame.
  • After a melee with wights, whose skin is as parchment and whose breath is as dust, the company discovers the cold hearth of Erendel. It resists their attempts to light it again, until they all put their hands to the task and light it together. The flames burning once more, the wraiths and wights are banished from the castle--indeed, banished to the past to which they belong.
  • Outside, the unseasonable winter storm subsides. The company rediscovers the path to Duryn, and returns to wait out the coming frigid months before venturing forth once more.