9- New World Order

Anduin Assault

The smoke rising out of the White Tower can be seen on the far side of the Anduin. The Balchoth push their raft armada into the water and begin a massive river crossing from locations stretching from Wetwang to south of Osgiliath. Makeshift bridging is dragged by horned beasts up to the piers of Osgiliath. The soldiers of Gondor are stretched very thin and the battle at Osgiliath is furious. As the Balchoth place bridging spans, Faramir drops other sections of the bridge. Raft hordes are met at the shore by spear wedges and flaming oil barrages. But breakthrough landings see dangerous concentrations of Easterlings building up on the west bank followed by pitched encounters flanking the shore defences.

Alatar joins the attack at Osgiliath late on the first day. He rides a huge sabre toothed cat and wields a large red bow whose arrows strike with the impact of a thunderclap. The bridge defence falls back under the assault and the crossings begin to gain traction. The bridge is still heavily contested but several footholds are gained along the shore especially where Alatar is able to land a timely shot.balchoth-ahunt

The Gondorians opposite Cair Andros mount a deadly shore defence slaying many in the fast flowing waters from behind hastily erected palisades. Reinforcements from Rohan allow them to hold off another concerted landing. For two days they inflict dreadful casualties before they are attacked from behind by the 500 horsemen. The shore defence falters and the Balchoth quickly get sufficient troops across to endanger the isolated northern allies. The blocking force soon withdraws south west under continual harassment by horse archers The Westrons come under increasing attack and flee at night to the relative safety of the Druadan forest. From here the ragged force threatens the Balchoth’s northern flank.

gondorspearmenv5Meanwhile Osgiliath falls under sustained attack from the bridge and from successful rafting ventures. Elessar deploys the city guard as a reserve force and crushes a thousand unwary Balchoth on the outskirts of the town. This allows the Gondorians in Osgiliath to conduct an orderly withdrawal to the Rammas Echor – the large ring wall about the Pelennor.

The Balchoth repair the bridge and cross the river in force. They bring over horned beasts, desert_spearmenbattle wains and the Mumakil of Harad. Huge numbers of cavalry, both light horse archers and merciless lancers cross over. They are joined by vengeful Haradi legions, levied slingers and spearmen, Variags of Khand, fierce bearded axemen and other strange folk from the eastern wilds, all welded into the Balchoth Federation.

Red Alatar has the wall probed guessing that the vast length cannot be held properly. The probes are easily repulsed so the assault is intensified at different points. Elessar uses the palantir to position his forces adjacent to major thrusts while Alatar masses his forces and constructs siege engines and vast numbers of ladders. Clandestine Balchoth units penetrate the wall and cause havoc in the rear but for 10 days the Rammas Echor still holds back the major assaults. The casualties from the simultaneous scattered attacks are mounting and Alatar realises surprise will not be achievable. He must use either attrition or overwhelming force. He opts for the latter and concentrates his army on the east gate.

Food for Thought

On the dusty road to Rhûn, in the shadow of the Ash Mountains, Aelindur and the Dragon Ruingurth fall upon the huge Balchoth supply lines. For two days the Fire Drake burns wagon upon wagon, devours horses and shaggy horned beasts of burden. The supplies are incinerated, crushed or eaten. The draft animals burn or go mad, the men are trampled, ruingurth-at-dagorladslain or chased into the wilds. The Dagorlad road regains its evil reputation.

But the Dragon becomes harder to control and Aelindur’s vision of tearing apart Alatar’s camp begins to fade. She leads the Wyrm past the black gate where she catches and destroys another supply train on the Morannon before relinquishing control of the lizard mind. Ruingurth gluts himself on the meat and wine then flies east into the fading light. Aelindur collapses exhausted. She rests high in the ruin of Durthang not knowing the full extent of what she has done.

Across the Anduin, the Rammas Echor is assailed by massive beast-drawn rams, siege towers and hundreds of ladders. They are supported by withering archery and Alatar’s own sorcerous bow. The Elves of Ithilien attempt to snipe Alatar but the cunning Wizard avoids even Legolas’ shots.

The walls are swept clear, the gate is sundered by rams and the sounding of the wizard’s kine horn. A terrible battle is fought for control of the broken gateway but, as the walls are overrun, not even Elessar himself can stop the Gondorians falling back. Much slaughter is done by horsemen pursuing the fleeing infantry. Alatar’s mounted hunters dart in for the kill but a heavy rain falls in the afternoon which slows the pursuit. The Gondorians again successfully withdraw and reach the White City under the cover of darkness.

The Easterling host cross the Pelennor looting and pillaging and Minas Tirith is besieged. Three days later Elessar leads a sortie that destroys four siege towers and many catapults. Haradrim Mumakil move in, protecting the remaining artillery park, and ending the attack.

The allied force driven from Cair Andros conducts successful raids out of the Druadan forest upon the Balchoth. The allies are reinforced by a company of Aglarond Dwarfs led by Gimli and another 500 Rohirrim spared from the Dunlending war. They fight a pitched battle one night near the beacon tower of Amon Dîn surprising several thousand encamped Balchoth. They inflict a severe blow to the northern force of invaders but soon have to withdraw to the forest when Alatar sends major reinforcements, including Mumakil, to root them out. The Woses tolerate the allied presence and guide them away from the enemy or towards isolated Balchoth patrols. The Woses also ambush many an Easterling intruder. The forest becomes a death trap for the invaders.

over-the-wallAlatar takes the siege in hand and mounts a massive assault on the first wall of Minas Tirith. The first tier is set ablaze, and the defenders are deliberately exhausted after a week of continual systematic probing at all hours of the day or night. Finally the entire wall is escaladed by tower and ladder supported by massed archery and Alatar’s own sorcerous thunderbolts. The gate itself is rammed but the Dwarfen doors remain unbroken. The wall is eventually surmounted by sheer numbers. Elessar has the retreat sounded to the second wall. Alatar has accomplished what even Sauron could not – he has taken the first tier of Minas Tirith.

That same day, word of the supply failure and the Dragon of Dagorlad, reaches Alatar. Can 90 000 men forage enough to feed themselves and conduct a siege? Red Alatar immediately dispatches all of his light cavalry north and south. Their orders – strip Gondor bare. Elessar’s scrying reveals Alatar’s quandary and the Gondorian resolve hardens. The siege of Minas Tirith stalls but Anorien and Lossarnach are pillaged, their populations slaughtered, enslaved or in full flight.

A Balchoth patrol raids a small farm in Anorien. Here on the shores of the Entwash they encounter a dying horse. The nag bears an isolated remnant of the horse plague. The Balchoth strip the hovel and infect their own mounts. Within a week their northern army is walking. Attempts are made to quarantine Anorien but soon the entirety of the horse going Balchoth invasion force is now infantry. Their wains become stationary save those few drawn by slaves or shaggy monstrosities.

The blockade of Pelargir and the rape of Lebennin ends as the raiders’ steeds die beneath them. The muster of Anfalas and Lamedon brings another 2000 men that sweep the raiding parties back towards Minas Tirith. Many isolated raiding groups are cut off and massacred in retaliation for the treatment they have been dishing out. Balchoth pillaging has raised another month of food and Alatar is faced with a conundrum: Continue the occupation and siege using the pillage and smoked horseflesh as food, or attempt to return to the Balchoth homeland whilst they still have supplies for the army. He can also move into Rohan and/or Lebennin and begin settling. Many of his subjects travel with the gear to till the earth or herd animals. They could take over the farms and begin here now…but without capturing the cities and fortress’s it will be like sleeping amongst serpents.

In the lull Elessar is able to revive Radagast enough for the wizard to magically purge himself of the poison. Together they coordinate the external forces of Anorien and Lebennin via the palantir and Radagast’s bird messengers. These comparatively small forces can only nip at the heels of the Balchoth juggernaut. However, with the King’s minas-tirith-from-tier-1advice, these attacks uncannily avoid enemy counter-strikes and gradually sap the invader’s strength.

Alatar takes one look at the next six painful levels of the White City and decides to abandon any hope of rapid conquest by siege. He will starve Minas Tirith into submission and take Rohan in the meantime. The horde moves north-west. A mere 15000 soldiers invest the city. The rest swarm into Anorien and towards the fertile plains of Rohan.

Spy Game 4

The adventurers who helped foil the assassination join the defence of Osgiliath and then the retreat to the Rammas Echor. After exhaustive marching, counter marching and defending the wall, they survive the final retreat to Minas Tirith and again help in the siege. During this time they investigate the seers further and uncover a supporter of the Sons of Denethor.

This seer leads them to Lambeth the Younger, a bookbinder and orator of note. They observe him delivering subtle subversive speeches and, after searching his house, discover he is another spymaster like Beregorl the merchant. After interrogation by Radagast the network is further unravelled. Two more agents are caught and message destinations to a shipping company in Pelargir (and Aeglif in Edoras) are revealed. Finally it is discovered that the Moon Princess of current rumour and the Queen of the Shadows are one and the same. Aelindur’s plot begins to unravel.

Meanwhile…Itangast Quest

Far to the North an expedition of Beornings, Dwarfs, and Elves led by Thranduil set out from the battered frontier fort of Maethelburg. They cross the Anduin and journey to the Forest Path. They are hunting Itangast, the greatest known Wyrm in Middle Earth.

They have faint hope of success but are determined. The brute force of Itangast cannot hope to be matched. That said, the two Beornings, Alorn and Beora, are resolved to come to grips with the Dragon’s tender regions and make lewd jokes aplenty with the five Dwarfs accompanying them. The Dwarfs will assemble and operate a small ballista borne on two ponies. They bring three bolts forged with mithril tips. It is hoped they will penetrate the ancient hide. Failing Dwarfish weaponry and Beorning muscle, Thranduil and his hearth guard intend to end the Urulokë with arrow and blade.

Thranduil also bears a secret weapon. The precious vial of Shelob’s venom, sent courtesy of Elessar.

Two weeks into the wood they come across the tracks of Hraunfile. They almost divert south but the smaller tracks and discovery of reddish dragon-scale is unlike that of the blue tinged Itangast. Soon after they cross the Enchanted River, they come upon the desolation of Itangast. Thousands of acres of burnt forest. Former glades of the Wood Elves are now but black rolling hills of ash and charred trunks.

There is no sign of the Wyrm, so they make for the Elvenking’s halls, following the low ground, staying upwind and out of sight. The hill comes into sight –smoke lazily drifts out of the broken gate. The Dwarfs turn the ponies loose and assemble the ballista. The enormity of what they attempt hits them. No mere ‘burglary expedition’ this, but full blown madness. Thranduil gets them all to drink the miruvor of Aradhrynd and then they embark on the final leg.

The ballista is quietly lugged by the Beornings and set up by the Dwarfs across the river from the main gate. Elven cloaks camouflage it and the nervous crew who will use the phial of Shelob to envenom the bolts. One Beorning climbs above the broken gate. Another hides under the bridge. Five Elves gather on the path, away from the ballista. They will distract the Dragon to give the Dwarfs an optimal flank shot if Itangast should emerge. Thranduil and the remaining Elves enter the halls of the ‘guest eater’.

The halls have been despoiled. Within are burnt bones, ash underfoot and a pervasive Wyrm stench. The feasting hall is heaped with treasures. But no Dragon! Where is Itangast?

The shadows lengthen as they search the halls. At sunset the last rays of the sun bathe the hilltop and glitter upon the Wyrm that quickly slithers over the top, laughing.itanagast-vs-beorning A recent dream sending (from Aelindur) warned the vast lizard of the attempt on his life. The Beorning Alorn, on the hill above the gate, charges the Wyrm but is incinerated and ripped apart. Itangast mocks the Dwarfs beneath their cloaks and the Elves on the path. “Where is your king? Doth he send you handful to be his fist?” Their arrows glance off his hide while the ballista is hurriedly wound back.

Canst not Thranduil clean his own house? Tell him I have done it for him, purged the rubbish, the Avari offal from the house of the oh-so-noble Sindar.” Itangast pokes his head upside down into the hall and ignites it, catching two elves of Thranduil’s party by surprise. They burn.

The first ballista bolt strikes the Dragon’s shoulder – it sticks in deep but is not fatal. The bolt is tainted with Shelob’s poison – but only a fraction enters the Wyrm.

Itangast shudders at the sting but collects himself. “Was that thy best shot? The sons of Durin grow old, their metal is weak and their eyesight fades.”

Forlin of Ered Luin shouts “Twas but a ranging shot o mighty one. And in truth we had not expected you to be so very vast and shod in iron.”

The Wyrm smirks, flattered and is about to answer when a volley of arrows make the Dragon blink. It rushes onto the stair above the bridge spitting fire, making the Elves beyond scatter.

Do not interrupt me. I was thinking of letting one of you tree rats live to deliver my message to your king.”

Thranduil and his retinue sprint out of the flaming halls, hair ablaze, bearing ancient weapons recently taken from the armoury. They nimbly sprint up the dragon’s tail and spine. “Feel my message get-of-Morgoth, for I do not wish to hear thine.”

A dozen spears plunge into it’s back and shoulder joints. Even these enchanted blades mostly glance off or fail to penetrate the thick scales. But some few do touch tender flesh beneath. Thranduil’s own thrust lances into Itangast’s neck. The Wyrm ripples and thrashes and Elves leap clear or grimly hold on.

Two Elves are crushed and a third breaks a leg. Four remain atop pushing their weapons deeper. Dismounted Elven soldiers dart in, thrusting at underbelly or knee joints. The beast swipes and pounces but the Elves dodge and leap aside. Itangast only catches and pulverises the broken legged warrior. Another volley of arrows injures the Dragon’s mouth. Frustrated fire erupts and the Wyrm breathes down its body length immolating half a dozen Elves.

Thranduil uses the pause to stand and thrust his spear deeper. Itangast screams and rolls into the pool of fire at the bridge’s mouth. The Elven king leaps clear but two of the Elves atop the Wyrm perish.

The Dwarfs launch a second ballista bolt but Itangast hears the distinctive twang and jerks aside. The mithril head gouges a funnel on the beast’s flank and is torn out in the struggle. Itangast feels the sting of this too. The few drops of Shelob’s best brew is not enough to sicken, let alone kill the colossus, yet the Wyrm’s reactions begin to slow nonetheless.

Still gauging the range I see, Shortbeards?” Itangast flicks his tail and swats another Elf to his death. Then he slithers down the stairway and onto the bridge “This is how one does it…” A huge gout of fire arcs onto the distant ballista. The flaming torrent lands atop the half-cocked machine and crew. Swathed in dragonfire, the Dwarfs die screaming, all save Forlin who plunges into the river.

Now the Beora the Beorning leaps up from beneath the bridge. She claws the tendons on Itangast’s rear left leg and hauls backward off the span. The Dragon roars in surprise and pain, gripping the bridge trying to avoid the fall onto the rocks and water. Thranduil recovers a ballista bolt while the Elves across the bridge close in with their bows trying to blind the Wyrm.

The bridge foundations begin to crack under the weight. Itangast looks beneath and sees the she-bear. “Though hast not grabbed a bee hive but a hornet’s nest!” The Drake breathes again but the great bear scrambles up onto the bridge avoiding the flames. Itangast wriggles awkwardly on the narrow bridge as Beora mauls his flanks. Thranduil leaps atop the Wyrm again, running along its back. Itangast twists to see the Elf and breathe upon him.

But Thranduil is quicker than the sluggish lizard – he dives at the head, spearing the poisoned mithril shaft downward. Driven by his weight it plunges through the Dragon’s eye into the brain pan. The Wyrm writhes like a decapitated snake flinging Beora into the Forest River. Itangast smashes his head upon the river bank, seemingly trying to end the pain. In doing so he dashes the life from Thranduil the Elvenking, son of Oropher. The Wyrm’s struggles subside and its mighty carcass slides into the river partially damming the flow. Thus passes both Itangast, mightiest of 4th age Dragons, and Thranduil Dragonslayer, father of Legolas.

The survivors of the Dragon quest are few. Beora the Beorning woman, Forlin the Dwarf, and a handful of Wood Elf scions of Thranduil, led by the former butler, now fervent warrior, Galion. But Itangast is dead! Forlin and an Elf will journey to Erebor, then Celduinford to spread the news. Beora and Galion will journey back west towards Caras Amarth and the Anduin vales. The few remaining Elves will guard the Halls til Thranduil’s folk return and Legolas can be summoned. It is a costly but momentous victory – the settlements of the North East are free of the scourge of Itangast.

The New Gondor

Driven by Ruingurth’s severing of supplies along the Dagorlad road, the bulk of the Balchoth horde moves north-west. The Easterlings occupy farm land in Anorien and slowly move west crossing the Mering stream into Eastfold. Edoras is evacuated and the Rohirrim debate whether to withdraw to mountain holds including Helm’s Deep or fight on the banks of the Snowbourne. Aid is requested of Lorien and the Northmen, but the Rohirrim know that few can be spared from the siege of Goblin town and the hunt for Enna San Serab.

Aelindur secretly returns to Minas Tirith. She locates Fytaris and helps him slip through the lines to reach the camp of Alatar in Anorien. She mind numbs his guards and together they confront the Istari. The magic of Alatar is diminished while Aelindur has the advantage of possessing the Ulûkai. While the Queen of Shadows locks the fallen Maia into a battle of minds, Fytaris slays the wizard’s guardian sabre-tooth, then runs Alatar through. Alatar’s final act is to return the favour with a hunting knife. Fytaris perishes along with Red Alatar. Enraged, Aelindur flees back to Minas Tirith.

Overuse of the Ulûkai is affecting her judgement. She glides onto the seventh level that night and primes her remaining contact in the Seer’s Guild. Together they will murder Elessar and the royal family. She can live with the Balchoth settling in Rohan. With Alatar slain she foresees the Balchoth will supplant the Rohirrim and become part of Gondorian culture within two generations.

Aelindur gives the traitorous seer her remaining black powder orbs. He leads her into the royal apartments. They enter and find Elessar meditating with Arwen. The seer calls “Your majesty…” and Elessar stands whilst Aelindur readies her most powerful Mind Melt. Elessar casually turns and swiftly places his sword at Aelindur’s throat.

The seer transforms into Radagast. The master of hues and shapes has tricked the Queen of Shadows. The Lords of the West had uncovered the 5th columnist traitor and had been waiting for Aelindur to return.

Aelindur’s contact in Pelargir had been scryed a month ago via palantir. Radagast used birds to convey messages to the lord of the port town- who interrogated the spy, revealing the link to the shipping company based near Lond Daer. Messages to Rivendell had allowed Elladan to lead a mission via canoe down the Gwathlo. Aelindur’s house was discovered and searched. The Amon Sul Stone, documentation and a portrait were found building a detailed picture. When Turinbar had arrived soon after, returning from the stalemated Dunlending uprising, the Elves captured him. Despite his reticence they were able to learn something of the Queen’s upcoming plans.

Aragorn holds Anduril at the Queen of Shadows throat, resisting her hypnotic eyes. He hisses “Try any magic and your life is…

aelindur-at-bayThe Queen of Shadows throws the dice one last time – she will be no captive to a human and his feeble Istari henchman! Aelindur simultaneously unleashes a cognitive banishment and a displacement shield at maximum power, amplified and corrupted by the Ulûkai she bears. Radagast counters aggressively, shedding his human form in the magical backlash. Everyone in the room staggers under the immense power discharge. The Elendilmir blazes, Radagast snaps up a feedback containment globe, Arwen invokes Ilúvatar and Aragorn thrusts once.

There is an agonised shriek and, with a flash of light and a thunderclap, the walls buckle, the ceiling partially collapses and the Queen of Shadows vanishes. Her palantir and the sizzling Ulûkai gem fall to the ground. When the smoke drifts away there is no sign of Aelindur.

There is speculation that Aelindur used her magic to escape. Or perhaps her final weeks of overusing the Ulûkai in tremendous mind grapples with a Dragon, two Istarii and the King of the West undid her ties with Middle Earth and she destroyed herself. Radagast only gives a sad smile and will talk no more of it. The last palantir Aelindur used, shows only uttermost darkness to all but the strongest minds.

oo00oo

Fealty of the Balchoth

The Balchoth lose their drive with the death of Alatar. They are strangers adrift in a hostile land. Peace overtures are rapidly made and Elessar takes pity on a people driven awry by another fallen Maia. They will become Gondorians and Rohirrim.

The integration of the Balchoth is a source of trouble for many a year. The Easterling folk are culturally very different. Many skirmishes are fought and rivalries drawn.

After much negotiation, major settlement areas are specified in portions of East Emnet and the Wold (to much Rohirric consternation) and Western Anorien. They swear fealty to Éomer or Elessar depending on where they dwell. Major Balchoth settlement sites are also established in depopulated regions of Rhovanion like the East Bight, and throughout Ithilien. Small parties settle in Tharbad, the Gladden Fields, even as far afield as Fornost and Anfalas. Horse herds are gradually built up from surviving populations and those few who were immune to the disease. The love of steeds becomes common ground between the Balchoth and the Rohirrim.

Mundane issues ranging from taxation, common law, and road maintenance must be painfully ironed out over the years, but most importantly the advantage of converting an enemy into a friend is a huge boon for Gondor. The population losses from the Awakening of the Wyrms and the Queen of Shadows War are replaced and order is mostly restored unto the West.

Integration, whilst rocky at first, is eventually achieved. The Balchoth have been under the sway of the wayward Istar for centuries, and many are little more than slaves. The rule of Gondor is an improvement for their lot. They have a proud hunting culture and rival the Rohirrim in the saddle. These similarities enable gradual integration into western culture over several generations.

The Easterlings also bring intelligence of distant Rhûn and lands beyond. Alatar’s invasion was not just an opportunistic power grab, but was also prompted by expansive empires further east. Elessar takes note and aligns long term scouting and defences accordingly.

Rebuilding the 4th Age

The Queen of the Shadows campaign ends with an altered 4th Age. The Dragons remaining become somewhat quiescent but still loom large in the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood.

Daelomin senses the Queen of Shadows demise (or absence?) and ceases her vengeful questing. She avoids Glorfindel and the terrible sword he bears. She snoops around Uthrael Beoac occasionally but the Eagles put a cramp on any overly ambitious ideas of the Ghost-Wing. Hraunfile continues his southward crawl and wanders into southern Mirkwood. The travelling Wyrm may have encountered the Spider’s core, but none can say how that encounter ran its course. The massive cold drake Ando-Anca makes residents near north-west Mirkwood decidedly uneasy for many a year. He sallies forth to raid Beorning lands but soon retires to the depths of the sheltering forest. Blind Hyarleuca retreats into cave systems beneath the Misty Mountains. Ruingurth is rumoured to lair in the Ash Mountains while Throkmaw sleeps within the labyrinthine halls of Mount Gundabad.

Goblin Town is finally sacked after a siege and mountain skirmishing lasting nearly two years. The gates are broken open by Dwarves and Northmen and many of the vast caverns are collapsed. Mount Gram becomes the preeminent base of Goblins in the north. The free peoples are too weakened to wipe out this bastion of evil. However Cameth Brin and central Rhudaur are purged by the Elves of Rivendell and Arnorian soldiery. The road- forts are maintained and enable (mostly) safe travel along the Great East Road. The High Pass trade resumes with the addition of regular clearance and path maintenance patrols – the Beornings establish a mountain presence in this part of the Hithaeglir.

The presence of Ando-anca, Throkmaw and Daelomin rule out any major colonisation of the Anduin vale north of Maethelburg. Enna San Serab and Slyardach form a dark heart within the core of Eryn Lasgalen. Elves and Woodmen learn to avoid going too close to the Spider’s Core – a shadowy domain towards the East Bight. Celeborn hunts for the elusive demons and will later request aid from Legolas and Radagast regarding this insidious threat.

The realms of Erebor and Aradhrynd rebuild. The inn of Midmirk prospers as life returns along the road to the East though few venture south towards the dark heart. Trade along the Dwarf Road is encouraged by the flourishing town of Celduinford which in turn brings more trade to Long Lake and the Iron Hills. Dale and Esgaroth are rebuilt, smaller but vibrant. The Barding population is now spread further afield, both south to the ford and with small communities in the Anduin vale and East Bight.

The Elvish Forest Road sees more use too: Legolas encourages a less isolationist policy at Aradhrynd. The Enchanted River is bridged, and the open grassland (formerly the Desolation of Itangast) makes the Elvenking’s Halls more inviting to humans and Dwarfs. Nonetheless strong walls and even stronger gates are built throughout the north. Dragon watches are instituted. Drake traps like massive deadfalls, huge spike pits, concealed ballistae and the like are constructed.

The loss of Thranduil and despoiling of his lands deeply affects the Wood Elves. Legolas takes up the mantle but many will hear his tales of the sea and seek out the havens. The taint of Enna San Serab does not wash out of Lorien either. The trees she supped upon wither and die, saddening many an Elf who would have dwelt another age here til this outrage. The joy of cleansing Eryn Lasgalen is similarly tainted and the dream of East Lorien is soiled. Some Elves that do remain develop a bitter or vengeful streak.

The Beornings gain the mountains but lose many a great warrior. Fewer skin changers are left to them. The Rohirrim lose their herds and much of their lands but eventually the Balchoth meld with them forming a stronger culture. The Shire recovers from the Earth Wyrm and adapts smials and its militia to cope with such perils. Dwarven life continues much as before – they are used to Dragons. The clearing of Goblin Town is a source of much satisfaction. Dwarfs are employed for years afterward checking the remaining tunnels for signs of re-habitation.

The cult of the Moon Princess endures for many years in Harad and Umbar. In a decade Gondor reconquers the nearer lands and brings them into the Gondorian sphere of interest. Gondor itself has many decades of enduring the secretive schemes of the remaining Sons of Denethor and the Moon Princess cult, but now the King is aware of the problem and can take gentle steps to subvert the misguided grievances and hopes of its adherents.

Final Impact

The sudden rise and fall of the Queen of Shadows illustrates to the people of Middle Earth that the Fourth Age might not be as stable as first expected. The sweeping of the Withered Heath has displaced more than a few lesser Wyrms that will plague the north for years to come. Many a dark hole is now exposed and treasure hunters will bring relics out of the north that were perhaps best left to lie. The Wind Thrones also contain a terrible power that is being experimented upon by the Werewolves of Uthrael Beoac. If Calindel, (Aelindur’s Sorcerer daughter/ now Werewolf), can discover their secrets then much trouble will again be unleashed.

Aelindur’s use of the Ulûkai has aroused the giant spider and demon in Eryn Lasgalen. Many other entities that might have lain sleeping have been stirred out of their shadowy repose. The emptying of the Withered Heath and the Balchoth lands will also prompt migrations of new cultures and/or species to fill the vacuum.

Lastly Aelindur’s passing may rouse vengeful powers of those related to her, or perhaps her final obscure death is only temporary… if she can find a way back through the doors of night?

fin?

More information is available at to the Guide to the Awakening of the Wyrms  (including a final timeline, GM aids, Glossary, and Character overview)

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