In the village of Old Oak a group of Elves from Lothlorien stop for the night at the Four Coins Inn. Tasked with helping the remaining Dunedain in Eriador they have grown more accustomed to the ways of Men than usual.
At the Inn they are approached by a mysterious old man in a blue hood and cloak. He speaks with the Elven party leader, Fingaerion, about fabled lost Elven relics in the far north of the Blue Mountains. Relics rumored to be guarded by a fierce creature that has hoarded such things for a great many years.
The decision is made to head North. One of the group is immediately sent South to inform Queen Galadriel whilst the others decide to spend the night and head North in the morning.
From left to right, the party leader Fingaerion. Then his Galadhrim sergeant, Cailon, and his Wood Elf sergeant, Randil. Followed by the two Wood Elves Orcondil and Faeril. Trailed lastly by the Galadhrim Anwion.
However, unnoticed by them they are overheard by a curiously odd patron. Called the Southron by the villagers that care to call him anything, he slips out of the Inn just after the Elven messenger departs.
He seeks a local Ruffian named Viktor the Lame and they decide that there could be some wealth to be gained from these Elven travelers. So Viktor gathers his lads….
The Elves wake early and decide to depart at dawn given the terrible weather. Using our house rules for weather and time of day, from DeAgnostini issue 65, we determine it will be 7 turns until daylight and there is a torrential downpour. This will affect combat and movement greatly, requiring a 4-6 on a d6 to effectively charge or shoot and reduce movement by 1″.
Out step the Elves to find that despite the early hour and terrible weather a number of locals appear to be converging on the Inn. Slightly staggering, perhaps drunk, their intentions are unclear. As they show no signs of violence towards the Elves, Fingaerion gets priority and decides to immediately head North towards the forest rather than seek a violent confrontation. The need to head to the northern board edge was actually made by a roll of the dice as per the scenario but it suited the roleplay nicely! The Ruffians close in on the Elves.
With priority again in the second turn the Elves continue to refuse to attack but the Ruffians are not so inclined to avoid violence. Two fail to effectively charge in the terrible weather but one manages to close with Faeril, the spear armed Wood Elf. This proves a mistake for the Ruffian as he is swiftly cut down. Faeril is saddened at this senseless violence forced upon him.
One of our house rules has a direct impact on this scenario. Most profiles have the characters armored. We decided to have heavy armor reduce movement by 1″ and no armor to increase movement by 1″. The unarmored Ruffians will be moving quicker than the heavily armored Galadhrim!
The tables turn as Ruffians get priority and it makes a great difference in the chase to catch the Elves. Two of the Ruffians fail to charge but the others manage to find their way! Three of them charge Fingaerion, one charges Cailon and two charge Faeril.
Surprised by the unwarranted attack by so many Ruffians Fingaerion falls unconscious from an unlucky club blow to the face. Seeing their leader fall the Elves turn in anger to counter attack. But fortune is not in their favor. Two Ruffians fall to Elven blades after the gloomy conditions prevent the Elves from making the most of their famed archery skills. In the end however they are overwhelmed by the more numerous Ruffians. One by one they are knocked unconscious.
As the sun finally rises and the Ruffians gleefully prepare to loot their victims a booming voice, sounding like the thunder itself, interrupts them. The old man in blue strikes a terrifying figure as he advances on the Ruffians. All thought of worldly wealth is forgotten by the Ruffians in an overwhelming sense of self preservation and they scatter in all directions!
And so ends the first scenario of our first campaign. It did not turn out like either of us expected. My wife had sound tactics I thought but the dice seemed against her. Priority made more of a difference than we expected and in the future we will need to make better use of heroic actions as we both kept forgetting to use them.
I was pleased with the house rules we used but my wife is undecided. We will continue to play test them for now. We would love to hear if anyone has interesting house rules for us to consider.
We were both pleased with the table but it seemed to take a lot more terrain to fill it than we expected. So much more work for us to do!
Next time…. we will see how the Taken of Minas Morgul treat the Ruffians of Old Oak!