Uthrael Beoac and the Wind Thrones
Wilderness RPG adventure in the Grey Mountains of Tolkien’s Middle Earth
Page 3: Inhabitants, Adventures, Timeline, & GM’s Notes
7.0 Inhabitants and Regular Visitors
Hermit– Aldebrand the Beorning, lives in hiding near West Hollow geyser. He appears a hairy, fur clad loon. The aging son of a Beorning chieftain, he was abandoned up here many years ago during a Beorning pilgrimage. Aldebrand will be happy to speak to the players, once he is sure they mean no harm, but later will inform on the players to his friends – the Werewolves. His shapeshifting abilities have been mutated by the magic using senior Werewolf. If under great stress or duress he will transform into a large wolf– otherwise he has no control over this ability. He may be convinced to join the players. No doubt his lycanthropy will manifest at a very bad time.
Werewolves– Malignant spirits bound into wolf (upright and quadrupedal) forms. These three ancient fugitives from Angband rule this high valley, relishing the quiet life and irregular but tasty explorers. Five of them came to the valley in the mid-Second Age and finished off the already failing Edain. One was killed in the final battle with the Edain Lords and another at the hands of a Greater Wight. The remaining three are worshipped by the Warg packs that roams this part of the Ered Mithrin.
- Kreyelgar the Elder is one of Draugluin’s litter and the true lord of Uthrael Beoac. He is unusual for a Werewolf in that he is a sorcerer. He dabbles in necromancy and blood magic, and seeks something more from this existence. Kreyelgar can speak with the dead, animate mindless corpses and entrap souls, but Wights are beyond his powers. His Were companions do not interest him anymore. In time he will seek a suitable vessel to create another Werewolf via sorcery. His magical abilities tell him the Edain Stone Circles and Thrones have enchanted this valley in some way but he cannot read their runes and parchment scribblings. He has been seeking captives to help in this endeavour. Kreyelgar has a slight limp – a reminder of the giant he slew many years ago. This ancient being has served both Morgoth and Sauron and has no intention of being slain by some feckless explorers. Not to be underestimated, he is a cunning and dangerous opponent.
- Fecund Morfuia has cannibalistic tastes – she eats Wolves and Wargs when she can’t get bipeds. She was injured by Wights when they excavated a barrow centuries ago. She still will not go within 50 yards of barrows or graveyards. An animal of simple desires: hunting, killing, eating and pandering to Kreyelgar. She climbs out of the Mist Maze to prowl the steppe area at night.
- Carchavad is the smallest werewolf and is not as malicious as the others. She is prone to portents and may talk to players. She is often out roaming the heights hunting Fell Beasts. She wears the belt Sulthost as a collar – it gives her the ability to glide up to a mile. Carchavad is different to the other Weres. She has forgotten she was once a Sinda Elf. She was “made” into a Werewolf by Kreyelgar and Sauron via arcane blood magicks that transferred her tortured spirit into the wolf form. An inquisitive creature, she may be enticed to talk to players given the right situation. Magical True Seeing may reveal her past (Her Elf name is Elenid, and she was born in Doriath). She cannot be unmade but might very well slay Kreyelgar if she found out her origin. Delucardh (an Elf) has formed a relationship with her – he sings and plays the flute and she will listen and talk with him.
Warg Packs– 5 to 50 of the nastiest lupines this side of the Sea of Rhûn. These Wargs are from two related packs. They are under the thrall of Kreyelgar and co and will resist all attempts by Orcs to communicate, manipulate or treat with them. They winter in Uthrael Beoac in two cave systems on the north-west and south eastern walls of the valley. Most of the pack seasonally divides and migrate out of the valley in late spring onto the plains of Forodwaith or down into the Grey Mountain Narrows. A few of the older beasts remain in the valley year round, feasting on whatever, or whoever, they can run down.
The Northwest (white warg) pack is dominated by a snaggle-toothed horror called Thawnag (S.rotten-bite). Gawcarch (S. Howling Fang), a huge Warg, runs the Eastern black pack. Wargs are more intelligent than wolves and are quite persistent and cunning in bringing down their prey. They will send a lone runner to the Mist Maze to summon help if they encounter anything beyond them.
Wights – Supernatural beings of pure evil that manifested here in the mid Second Age. Terrifying ethereal spirits that are only affected by magic weapons. Unusually there is a free agent Wight in their midst. A Wight in the Mound of Heroes is the incorporeal remains of the Edain Lord and Dragon slaying hero Bainor. His unusual spirit is strongly motivated by duty and has retained its purity thanks to the power the Edain tapped in this valley. Bainor’s Wight is very quick and wields a +30 sword of Dragon slaying but is bound to within 50 yards of his barrow. His corporeal body lies in state wearing a +30 protective holy torc which helped the Wight retain his mind. If Bainor can be induced to speak he can tell many secrets of the Wind Thrones and the Eastern Dell. The Werewolves are aware of this formidable presence and are careful stay clear of his barrow. After excavating a Mages Barrow and losing a Werewolf to another Wight’s embrace the Werewolves also avoid the other mounds too!
Fell Beasts – These winged lizards are only partially affected by the Dragon Repulsion Ward. They will not lair in the valley but will still briefly fly in to take prey. They often hunt in pairs. Nearly 20 of them nest to the south in the broken granite valleys of the Shattered Fold. Travellers on the Stone Avenue crossing the Central Steppe are likely to be targeted day or night. The unwary will be swept up and carried off before they even realise what is happening. When mountain goats prove elusive they often prey upon the Wargs of the valley. Carchavad the Werewolf has sworn to kill the large white coloured Fell Beast Curuthaur that lairs in a cliff overlooking the Eastern Dell.
Losrandir & Mountain Goats –tasty ungulates. The former migrate though the valley in autumn, a portion of the herd overwinters in the valley despite the wargs. The latter are to be found on the slopes year round.
Giants– visit the vale roughly every 50 years. They carefully worship at the stone circles. They can feel the power here but just treat it as part of their animistic belief system. They usually bring a musk ox or two to offer as payment for passage to the Werewolves. They are just as likely to ignore or talk to explorers as they are to crush them to a pulp for trespassing upon the Stone Circle area. The largest Giant carries an amulet gifted to them by the Edain millennia ago. If placed upon the sun circle sarsen at Midsummer’s dawn it charges the amulet, giving the wearer a 50’ aura of Dragon repulsion.
Kraken: The Watcher in the Sinkhole emerges from the Underdeeps in the latter half of the Third Age. It is perhaps the mightiest inhabitant of Uthrael Beoac and the most secretive. Only Delucardh and the Wight Bainor know of its existence. A stealthy lurker, it will patiently wait for prey to get close, then swiftly grapple and whisk it away. Only the Giants or the entire Werewolf pack could threaten it and then only out of water. If the magic of the Sun Circle is manipulated it will be roused and climb up to investigate that night. The magic of the Shard attracts it, but perversely the Watcher cannot draw too near as the power of Valinor will sicken this foul ancient thing. If presented a choice of targets it will grab the person with the most powerful magic item.
Great Eagles – These huge birds prey upon the Losrandir and goats here. Thiadir the Old nests within the peaks to the west and regularly overflies the valley. The Eagle may prove a deus-ex-machina for players in need. She knows of the Werewolves, the Warg packs and all the main passes out of the valley.
Celethrarian – Silvan Elf, Mage/scholar of Aradhrynd (Thranduil’s Halls). She visited the Edain here periodically from the late First Age to the early Second age but stopped visiting whilst she had a child. When she returned centuries later the Edain were long gone. The sadness of the loss of her Edain friends (or their descendants) made her cease travelling here. Her son returns every few centuries to study the site and she retains an interest in his discoveries.
Delucardh– Silvan Elf, Bard/Mage of Aradhrynd (Son of Celethrarian and a Snow Elf). Intrigued by the valley as his mother was, this scholar still regularly visits Uthrael Beoac, particularly during equinoxes and solstices. He knows the three main passes into the valley, but often travels via a very difficult mountain goat route over the south east rim. Elf like agility, fearless climbing ability, and an intimate knowledge of the mountains allows this passage.
Delucardh knows of the valley’s dangers and is very careful to hide from its inhabitants. He is also a lethal practitioner of the short spear. Delucardh has slain more than a few Wargs and Fell Beasts during his visits and has even fought Carchavad the Werewolf to a standstill – they now talk occasionally. He avoids the other Weres and holes up in an empty cliff tomb on the south face when in the valley. He has deciphered parchments in several cliff tombs as well as the Throne runes and is fairly certain of the Thrones purpose. By the end of the Third Age he will have deduced the Thrones’ dweomercraft and commit his discoveries to text. News of Delucardh’s work will filter out and inadvertently precipitate the Awakening of the Wyrms by Aelindur early in the 4th Age.
Beorning Pilgrims – Every generation or so a few Beornings of the northern-most clans make a pilgrimage up into the valley. These well-equipped folk do not understand the true power of the Thrones, but revere the Valar and value the solstice effect of the circles. They have been maintaining the Ruined Tower and Lordsholme and other spots as defensible campsites. A party of 4 to 12 strong individuals will not take kindly to people trespassing on the sacred lands of their ancestors. Those players who have patently been looting will be attacked.
The Beornings will worship at the stone circles and gain morale and magical effects by doing so. At least one of the party will be a skin changer. As with most Beornings near the Mountain Narrows they will be interested in news of their ancestral enemy, Bairanax the Dragon. The 3rd age Beorning graveyard in the Eastern Dell is visited (and sometimes added to) by these pilgrims.
Explorers – Small parties of explorers randomly visit the valley over the centuries. Brave or foolhardy groups of Orcs, Lossoth, Northmen, Angmarim & Dwarfs have ventured up here. Any who make it into the valley will either be hardened well-equipped groups, or lost, injured travellers in need of assistance. The Werewolves eventually find and kill any who linger too long in Uthrael Beoac. The large Warg pack and random Fell Beast attacks provide similar disincentives. Previous expeditions of various ages are still evident:
- The remains of a recent Beorning pilgrimage are to be found on a stretch of the central steppe. They were attacked by Wargs and fled north towards the Slide. Exploring the relics leads foragers northward. Remains of this pilgrimage are scattered in the grass along a 5 mile trail that ends amongst the rock fall/ see ‘The Slide’ location. Following the macabre path will reveal several items including an ornate belt buckle, a cloak pin, an engraved +10 broad axe, and an emerald ring (on a finger bone).
- Remains of a Lossoth exploration party are scattered across a forest glade in the West Hollow. They were torn apart by the Werewolves. Apart from some amber beards and obsidian spear heads the only salvageable items are an enchanted sealskin rope and a curious steel dagger of Umlitic origin.
- An adventuring party of Northmen and Dwarfs were slain in the Barrows area. They entered the Mages barrow and two were captured and sacrificed by the Wight inside. The remaining four were killed by the Werewolves outside the barrow. Their broken skeletal remains lie covered in grass around the mound. A magic pole axe (+15) is under the bones of a Dwarf.
The GM might like to introduce a rival NPC party of adventurers exploring Uthrael Beoac at the same time as the players. Possibilities include:
- A hardened bunch of Lossoth Rangers escorting a questing Shaman.
- Beornings searching for Aldebrand and/or the lost pilgrimage.
- A Half Elf sorceress and her entourage of Black Numenoreans exploring the Wind Thrones. This group can tie into the Awakening of the Wyrms campaign.
- Dwarfs and their Barding mercenaries looking for Dragon treasure/ easy loot.
- Capable Goblin thieves led by a half Troll from Carn-Dum/ Dol Guldur/ Gundabad are sneaking about on a mission: Talk to the Were’s and/or loot the Barrows.
- Wood Elves sent by Thranduil to seek out these Thrones. The Elven King has been visited by dire portents regarding this vale and wants the area investigated.
These groups may function as adversaries, friendly rivals or even allies when the going gets tough. Dead players could recruit new characters from their ranks. Perhaps the NPCs are spying on the players from the 4th Throne and waiting to rob them as they exit the valley?
8.0 Adventures in Uthrael Beoac
The valley is ripe for exploration and adventuring. Players might set out from Maethelburg and Framsburg in the West, or Erebor/Dale, Esgaroth or Thranduil’s Halls in the East. Small Beorning or Wood Elf settlements may be found near the Grey Mountain Narrows in various time periods. Evil parties may start out from Angmar or Mt Gundabad, or smaller but closer fortresses like Turwurdrog or Kala- Dulakurth. Either way the journey to the valley is likely to be an adventure in itself.
Note that Uthrael Beoac has an area of nearly 300 sq miles. The Werewolves (and Wargs) will detect players within 2-3 miles if the players are upwind. However rain, snow and intervening terrain will reduce this possibility. Wargs who discover the players may send a runner to inform their masters.
8.1 Holy Mission
Time: late 3rd Age /Early 4th age
The Task: Accompany a Beijabar pilgrimage into the mountain valley. The last pilgrimage 9 years ago never came back. You are the extra muscle to help the mission succeed. Whilst in the Holy Valley you are to search for remains of the previous expedition and that of Aldebrand (the aging chieftain’s son) who disappeared up there years before. Non Beorning players have been hired at 2 silver a week (payable on return).
The Tale: The Beijabar are embattled by Goblin and Warg raiders. But their aging chieftain wants to gain the blessings of the Valar. Accompany the irascible shaman Velgar, his wilful daughter Ursula and her eager to impress new husband Beoren and three spear carriers high up into the Ered Mithrin. Guard them as they journey to worship at the Stone Circles. They are also to search for Aldebrand who was with Velgar when he disappeared in the West Hollow many years ago on a previous pilgrimage. The pilgrimage 9 years ago was attacked by Fell Beasts (and then Werewolves) on the Central Steppe. Some remains still lie on the Stone Avenue. A trail of debris (gnawed bones +equipment) heads north to the landslide where the last survivor died of thirst.
Obstacles: Just getting to the valley is perilous and 1 or more Werewolves will detect their presence as the GM sees fit. Pairs of Fell Beasts will swoop on anyone crossing the Central Steppe. Spring melt is late this year and many lakes are overflowing in the valley – the Watcher is active in all this water.
Aldebrand will initially hide from the party but his footprints will soon be evident in the mud near their campsites the longer the party remain. Velgar abandoned Aldebrand to his fate as he was a rival suitor for the hand of the Cheiftain’s daughter (who is now Velgar’s wife!). Aldebrand’s story is that he woke up and Velgar was gone, whereas Velgar has always said that Aldebrand disappeared (Velgar actually abandoned Aldebrand to his fate after hiding his weapons and backpack). Aldebrand’s Beorning heritage has been corrupted by the Werewolves. He may transform into a huge wolf if under enough stress.
8.2 The Valley of Death
Time: Anytime from the mid-Third Age onwards
The Task: Accompany a Mage or Seer into Uthrael Beoac as they attempt to unravel the secret of the Wind Thrones. 50gp payment and an equal share of any relics and treasure looted from the Tombs.
The Tale: The player’s employer is a Mage who is able to activate the Wind Thrones but cannot control them. The GM should attempt to get the players safely through to the Thrones but from there the fun can begin! The Mage will accidentally ‘switch off’ the Thrones such that several Wyrms in the Eastern Gorge will come slithering into the valley after the players. The Watcher in the Sinkhole will emerge to investigate/eat the players. Their best bet is to run and don’t stop!!
Obstacles: The Mage has just enough knowledge to be dangerous but not terribly helpful. The Lesser Drakes in the Eastern Gorge will be hungry for flesh and will pursue for days if necessary. Bainor the Wight is capable of slaying one or two Wyrms but if the players take refuge with him they should be overwhelmed by the sheer number of Dragons soon enough. The Watcher in the Sinkhole may take an NPC as an incentive and/or a Dragon to allow the players a lucky escape.
The fastest way to the west is speeding down the Rapid Rill on a dugout canoe. The river will keep them ahead of Dragons but not out of sight. Exiting the river will have them near the far end of the Central Steppe. From here it should be a harrowing trek assailed by Fell Beasts and Wargs (they will also conveniently attack each other and allow the players to slip into the forests). In the forests the players might be able to hold the Werewolves off long enough until a Drake arrives to even the score.
Just when the players think they have survived the worst, the deactivation of the Thrones triggers natural forces: geothermal activity will get a lot worse and evolve into a small volcano with associated pyroclastic cloud, poisonous gases and/or lava bombs +flows. The heat bloom will set off flash floods, avalanches and mudslides from the surrounding peaks and hanging valleys. Of course an unseasonal blizzard will be waiting to give any surviving players a fitting send-off once they are out of the valley of death.
8.3 Collector’s Quest – Queen’s Pawns
Time: TA.1640 or the Late 3rd/Early 4th age
The Task: Investigate the mountain vale at the behest of a mysterious collector.
The Tale: The Elvish lady Mephitabel, formerly of Edhellond, is seeking persons to explore the Grey Mountains in the uttermost north. Mephitabel’s agents, a Woodman named Legros and Calindel a beautiful Half Elf conjurer, need the help of capable explorers to dare the mountain heights and bring back one of the mythical Laen crystals of the Edain. A silver a day, plus a completion bonus of 50gp (plus another 50 for Legros +Calindel surviving the trip) are offered. Recovered artefacts are for Mephitable but other treasure is negotiable! The expedition is timed to be in the valley before the summer solstice.
Obstacles: A hungry Great Bear will attack the party on the way in. Shapeshifters (wolves+bears) in the valley will also prove irksome. If given a minute Calindel can charm the Werewolves with an ancient (evil) spell. Two Beorning shapeshifters are also on a pilgrimage in the valley and will object to Calindel’s expedition. Fast talking may avert initial problems but they will observe the party from a distance and may well spot the party looting and thus attack.
A Giant will enter the valley at the solstice – it will also decide the player’s party is up to no good. Calindel will seat herself upon a Throne and, by virtue of her skill, will be able to use the primary powers. This use will awaken the Watcher in the Sinkhole. Fell Beasts will avoid Calindel but the players will be fair game. Delucardh is in the valley too, investigating the Thrones use as a star observatory. He will also secretly observe the players via scrying from one of the Thrones and see what they can come up with. He may introduce himself and then he will recognise Legros, he met him in Celebannon once. It will not take him much to deduce what they are up to…
Lastly the employers will prove bad eggs (yes, that old chestnut). Mephitabel is actually Aelindur (the Half Elf daughter of Sauron – see Awakening of the Wyrms), and Calindel is her daughter. The black bearded Legros may seem villainous but is actually just in love with Calindel. She bears him some measure of affection but knows it won’t last (to an immortal, men never do last). They are here to investigate rumours that Legros learned via gossip about Delucardh’s work in Celebannon. Aelindur and Calindel want to determine if there is a Dragon Repulsion Ward and if so, can they use it. However the GM should work to avoid the players discovering this…
Calindel will flirt, increase their pay, and especially seem like a resourceful and reasonable person. She will seek to extend their stay even after they have found a Laen crystal- solving the puzzle of the Thrones is the real prize. After the solstice there is less reason to stay, especially if the weather turns sour. Players are expendable once they leave the valley. If her motives are discovered Calindel will use Wind Throne magic to fly over the south wall and/or summon a Fell Beast to escape upon.
The GM might like to combine elements of adventure 8.2 with this one.
8.4 Other Adventure seeds
8.4.1 Tomb Raid
Get into the valley and check out the barrows. You are seeking for Sulthol (the Wind Helm), identified from Elvish translation (by Celethrarian) of a Rhovanion parchment as being entombed up here. Unfortunately the tomb was looted eons ago and the helm is now with Itangast.
8.4.2 Retain the Edain!
Second age 1750 – You are hired by the desperate Edain Lords to help defend Uthrael Beoac from being overrun. Organise the defence of the passes into the valley. Can you answer the challenge of the mysterious Kreyelgar in single combat? Can the Mist Fortress be held or should the Wargs be met in the open? Can the Warg Sword be retrieved from the manor house or can the Thrones be manipulated to repel the demon dogs? The Edain can muster only about 120 warriors in the Valley at this time, defending the west and north passes and the Mist Fortress. There are some 30 non-combatants and several magically skilled folk.
The Beijabar catch you coming out of a tomb. Discuss (or die). Only the intervention of some unworldly power can save you now. Enter the Werewolves! Perhaps the players can be chased into one of the Valleys many cave systems… the Beornings/ Werewolves pursue them further down and down and before long they are exploring the Underdeeps- escape from that robbers!
8.4.4 Missing Breadcrumbs
Deleucardh has gone missing. Thranduil and Celethrarian want you to search the Valley looking for the long overdue Elf. You are given some clues from his writings and from his mother. He has left a trail by writing the letter ‘D’ with charcoal. It leads into the valley through various locations. Kreyelgar discovers these marks and writes others leading into a trap. Deleucardh is either reading in a cliff tomb, sitting on a throne using the power to stargaze, romancing Carchavad or, a prisoner of the Werewolves.
8.4.5 Clear the Way
Dwarves have founded (TA 1440) or cleansed (FA 100) Silverplunge and want a nearby mountain valley to provide them with an agricultural base. They know from the writings of their forefathers that Uthrael Beoac is safe from Dragons. You are employed to investigate and clear the Eastern Gorge to the valley. A large perched glacial lake is in the Eastern Gorge – ripe for catastrophic flooding of the Valley. Numerous lesser Drakes inhabit holes overlooking the trail.
8.4.6 An Ounce of Prevention
The Wise become aware of the Shadow Queen’s plot via the Palantiri. You are sent to Uthrael Beoac to find out what it is about this valley that Aelindur wants. Whilst here you encounter her minions. Defeat the minions and the valley’s inhabitants or witness the awakening of the Wyrms.
8.4.7 A Pound of Cure
Enter the valley after the Awakening of the Wyrms – try to use the Thrones to drive the Dragons away. Players may have Delucardh’s writings (salvaged from the wreck of Aradhrynd) or may have to investigate the Valley tombs themselves to work out how to use the Thrones. The Werewolves have mustered the Wargs to prevent just this sort of intrusion. They have the half elf sorceress captive and hope to use her power. The Watcher is lurking nearby too.
8.4.8 Clear out
The Beijabar are reclaiming their ancestral homelands. You are the advance party. Blaze the trail up into the valley. Prepare the way for the pilgrims. This mission will soon devolve into a clearance. The Werewolves will avoid large parties and conduct hit and run raids from their hidden fortress in the Mist Maze. Other adventurers and Orcs are drawn to the prospect of easy to access loot. Eventually they will be the besieged ones in the Mist Fortress. If the Werewolves are outmatched then their leader will flee to Steel Fall and use necromancy to control Uruial and attempt retake the Uthrael Beoac with the undead Dragon!
9.0 A Timeline relating to Uthrael Beoac
? The pillar of the sun is thrown down by Melkor. A shard of Illuin lands in the Ered Mithrin.
~200 Edain explorers visit the Ered Mithrin and note the holy power within the valley.
~250 The Edain establish themselves in the lands about the Ered Mithrin. Some settle in the valley and build a sacred retreat for their kings. They name it Uthrael Beoac.
~300 Simple passage graves are built in the valley for seers. Some tombs have slit openings to accurately observe and time the rising of Aldebaran, other are elaborate burial mounds.
~400 The Edain build stone circles/ henges for astronomical observations and calculations. The Sun Circle is built above the shard of Illuin. Ceremonies within the circle are notably efficacious.
~450 Celethrarian the Silvan Elf makes friends with the Edain. She offers advice on enchantments and will sporadically visit Uthrael Beoac for many centuries. Orcs establish settlements at Turwurdrog and Ice Orcs at Kala Dulakurth.
~520 The Edain seer Odavacil is able to harness the shards energy by use of polished Laen reflectors placed atop the central sarsen. The Wind Thrones are built as receivers for the reflected power enabling enhanced viewing of the stars.
~600 The Great Battle. Morgoth is cast out of Ea. The changing of the world at the end of the First Age. Earthquakes damage the Edain habitations but with little loss of life.
1-32 The Edain repair damage to their constructions and build a new village further east. Dragons fleeing Thangorodrim begin to arrive in the Ered Mithrin. The Edain fashion weapons to fight the Wyrms but another solution is sought.
32 The seer Vidulavnir and the hero Beoran incapacitate and imprison the Dragon Malathrax. The Wyrm is sacrificed and the Sun Circle’s enchantment is altered to repel Dragons. The repulsion ward is projected over the valley, tethered by the thrones. Dragons exit the valley or are turned away. However Uruial lairs in nearby Cirith Himninond and many smaller Drakes dwell in the eastern gorge. Fell Beasts are able to endure the ward for short periods.
78 The curse of Malathrax begins: Feuding starts amongst the Edain in the valley.
~300 Ice Orcs settle at Kala Dulakurth. Orcs of Tuwurdrog begin interdicting movement within Cirith Himninond.
~400 The Dragon Uruial dies but his corpse remains as a potent revenant in Steel Fall.
~500 The start of the long war against the Orcs in Cirith Himninond. Orcs and Edain attempt to control the pass.
~600 Edain build a guard tower just below the western pass into the valley.
1100-1200 Daelomin the Ghost-Wing, intrigued by the magical repulsion field, repeatedly probes the valley.
~1500 Wargs begin to follow migrating Losrandir into the valley.
1636 The tombs of the Edain are corrupted. Wights inhabit them. Only Bainor’s spirit retains a sense of his original intentions. The Edain are unable to drive them out- they are too embattled fighting the Orcs to the west and Wargs entering from the north.
1701 Sauron defeated by Elves and Numenoreans. Orc attacks on the Grey Mountain Edain peter out.
1722 Werewolves fleeing Sauron’s defeat move east across Forodwaith. They gain control of the Warg packs. The Wargs begin to enter the valley in force.
1738-9 The remaining Edain construct the Mist Fortress.
1749 Five Werewolves enter Uthrael Beoac with the Warg packs. They begin concerted attacks on Edain.
1751 The Mist Fortress is captured and the Edain in the valley are wiped out. The Werewolves are the lords of the valley. Uthrael Beoac becomes a breeding ground for the Warg packs. They overwinter here then migrate north or east in spring.
1823 Werewolves enter a barrow: one is slain by the Wight, the others retreat.
1970 Throkmaw the Black probes the valley following Losrandir. He briefly enters via the northern cleft but quickly retires.
2121 Celethrarian and Delucardh enter the valley to visit the Edain only to find them gone and the place in ruins. Celethrarian will never return but Delucardh begins visiting every few centuries as part of a hobby trying to solve the puzzle of the Thrones.
~2300 Giants begin to periodically worship at the stone circles in the Valley
~2800 Lossoth exploration parties first enter the valley following the Giant trail. Sulthol, the Wind Helm, is taken. Years later it ends up in Itangast’s hoard.
~3100 Beorning ancestors of the Edain begin to visit Uthrael Beoac in pilgrimages every generation or two.
683 The Troll feast: 15 Snow Trolls enter the Valley in winter. The Wargs and Werewolves ambush them in the West Hollow. Many Wargs die but the Werewolves tear the Trolls apart.
1300-1350 Angmar founded. Rhudaur soon falls under the Witch King’s control. Emissaries from Angmar visit the Orc fortresses of Mount Gundabad and Turwurdrog.
1408 Turwudrog sends soldiers to fight in Angmar’s wars. Beornings are able to gain access to Cirith Himninond and Uthrael Beoac more easily.
1440 Silverplunge founded by Dwarves beneath Mt Gondmaeglom.
1450 Angmarim explorers enter Uthrael Beoac. They are wiped out by Werewolves.
~1600 A score of Fell Beasts settle in the peaks south of the valley.
1635 Scatha exterminates the Dwarves of Silverplunge.
1637 Plague decimates the Orcs of Turwurdrog. Scatha enters Uthrael Beoac via the Eastern Gorge but quickly departs.
1640 Uthrael Beoac is visited by many different parties this year: Adventurers from Maethelburg, Delucardh the Elf, a Beorning pilgrimage and 2 Giants. The Warg population takes a hit but the Werewolves and Fell Beasts eat well.
1786 Bairinax probes the valley pursuing Beornings. He is unable to linger more than a few minutes.
1972 More explorers from Angmar. They survive the expedition and take some relics.
1974-5 Arnor falls, Elves and Gondor destroy Angmar. Gundabad is diminished and Turwurdrog left to its own devices. Frumgar settles the Eotheod in upper Anduin.
1994 -2150 Dwarves found assorted holds in the Grey Mountains including Thundercleft, Silverpit and Norr-Dum. Delucardh meets and fights Carchavad to a standstill. They talk briefly.
2001 Scatha slain by Fram. Framsburg built.
2230 Ancestors of the Rohirrim explore Uthrael Beoac. They are driven off by Wargs.
2510 The Eotheod migrate to Calenardhon and Framsburg falls into ruin. Gundabad soon begins to dominate the Northern Anduin. Delucardh and Carchavad meet again.
2563 Khuzudrepa the Dragon takes Thundercleft from the Dwarves.
~2580 The Watcher in the Sinkhole arrives near the surface in Uthrael Beoac.
2589 Ando- Anca sacks Norr-Dum. Dwarves abandon Grey Mountains and return to Erebor or the Iron Hills
2632 Throkmaw enslaves the Ice Orcs of Kala Dulakurth. Delucardh befriends the she-wolf Carchavad and then talks to the Wight Bainor. The Elf then translates the writing on the Thrones and begins to unravel how they work.
2758 Long Winter freezes the valley of Uthrael Beoac. Many Wargs die.
2770 Smaug takes Erebor.
2911-12 The Fell Winter. The Wargs escape the freeze this time and are led south by Kreyelgar. They terrorise Beorning and Woodmen communities for nearly a year before returning to the mountains.
2941 Smaug slain, Battle of the Five Armies. Orcs diminished in the North for a generation.
2949 Delucardh revisits the Valley. He enters a seer’s cliff tomb and finds a parchment. He translates the writing and unlocks the secret of the Thrones. He returns to Thranduil’s halls and begins to commit his discoveries to scrolls.
2973 Beornings enter Uthrael Beoac emboldened by the victory at Erebor. Young Aldebrand is separated from his group and begins to dwell in the valley.
3018-19 War of the Ring. Orc numbers in the Ered Mithrin are again diminished. Delucardh revisits the valley in search of a Laen stone and to seek out Carchavad.
6 Adventurers from Esgaroth and Maethelburg again risk entering the valley of Uthrael Beoac.
21 Framsburg re-founded by Rohirrim and Northmen. Rumours of Delucardh’s work filter out of Thanduil’s Halls.
27 The Orcs of Mount Gundabad begin to regain their strength.
31 The Queen of Shadows, Aelindur, sends a force to enter the Valley and unlock the secret of the Wind Thrones. They charm the Werewolves and learn much about the Edain’s enchantment.
32 Aelindur attempts to use the Thrones to initiate the Awakening of the Wyrms?
10.0 Gamemaster’s Notes
Uthrael Beoac is a remote location with numerous sites to explore and opponents to defeat or escape from. There are also several opportunities for complex interactions with other beings.
Natural Beauty – Don’t miss the opportunity to have the players marvel at this amazing location on the roof of the world. Uthrael Beoac is a beautiful mountain valley with a spectacular ring of white teeth. Glacial features like pretty moraine lakes, tillite, erratics, grooved and striated pavements, hanging valleys, pale blueish water etc combine with geothermal vents, geysers and hot springs to make a unique environment. This place would make a cool villains lair or even a Shangri-la location for a hidden village. Aelindur, the Queen of the Shadows will consider hiding up here should her plans fail.
Hidden Power – Terrifying forces are hidden here. Ancient evil entities lurk in the Mist Maze, the Barrows and the Sinkhole. Hear the distant rumble of avalanches & rock-falls, the thrum of waterfalls, and the exhalation of geysers. Witness sunrise at the solstice as the Stone Avenue is illuminated west to east until, in a flash, the Sun Circle is ablaze. Feel the sub aural throb of power through the ground. Experience true majesty seated on a Wind Throne at that moment…
Land that Time Forgot -The Shard of Illuin subtly affects the valley and its denizens. Beings up here experience an increase in longevity. Magic is also more effective up here – GM to slightly increase spell effects, portents and perceptions. Tinkering with the pre-existing enchantments of the Edain will have a butterfly effect: volcanic, climatic and biological.
Investigation – make the players work to find out how the Thrones are operated. They need a laen crystal, and a scroll or parchment on how to use the thrones, and ideally some other source like a translation of all the runes from all 4 thrones, or the works of the mage who created the Sun Circle, or at least a different parchment on Throne usage. Talking to Delucardh, Bainor’s Wight, or some kind of speak with dead with other Wights might also be of use.
Pathos – the abandoned hermit tainted by Werewolves; the Wight who must slay every night and watch the legacy of his people disappear into the gulf of time; the introspective Werewolves forgotten by the world; the Were-elf who knows not her origins; the mighty magic of the Edain brought to naught by the unexpected gnawing of dogs; the scattering of bones marking the site as an adventurers’ graveyard.
Spookiness – Sit upon a Wind Throne and see across this huge valley… witness a mountain goat giving birth, or an eagle’s feathers riffling in the wind, or see a ghost floating across the moor, observe a Werewolf on the prowl -it pauses and feels your eyes upon it, or look at another Throne miles away where a strange elf sits staring right back at you! Is that noise a geyser or a wolf howl. Is that something on the slope above you or just an avalanche? Where did the NPC go in the middle of the night on the moor? Where did the other NPC get to whilst filling the water bottles? (and then there were only 4..).
Situational – Sitting on one of the Thrones and pulling up the rope because there is a huge pack of Wargs scratching at the base of the cliff 50 feet below you. Trying to concentrate on evoking a gale when an upright bipedal Wolven monstrosity is scaling the cliff! Riding a dugout down the rapids whilst a cold drake snaps at you from the riverbank. Dodging a rolling rock trap followed by a Wight attack in a small shaft hundreds of feet above the valley floor. Losing levels talking riddles with a Wight who doles out secrets.
10.2 GM-ing Uthrael Beoac
There are numerous threads to follow up here. Pick an adventure and let the players’ curiosity dictate which other threads they pick up. Have a couple of encounters ready to roll when the play bogs down.
- Have a competing adventuring party up there and ready to use. The players can sight them from a distance so they know there are other humanoids up here, and/or find their campsites. Close encounter the other group as a deus ex machina if the players are overmatched by monsters OR have them mugged by this party if the players are having an easy time of it.
- A Fell Beast attack is a good quick random encounter that doesn’t necessarily have to be a fatal slug fest.
- A lone rabid Warg can easily surprise cocksure explorers.
- An avalanche or even just a boulder that randomly lands near them can keep the PCs on edge.
Weather in the mountains changes quickly. When they are doing something mundane (like climbing a cliff) have a fog roll in, or an heavy snowfall, or a rainstorm.
Wolves howling at sunset is always a good player motivator.
Is there someone following the party? Was that a hairy human? Or a wolf? Or a ghost?
Much of the valley floor is limestone which often has caves. This gives the GM a good excuse to insert a convenient cave/ hole to hide in. Also players should beware of sinkholes or warg dens etc.
If players attempt to use the Thrones it is possible they will be trapped up there by a Warg pack/ Werewolf/Kraken? Can they use a magical Wind to bring down a boulder or fly to safety?
Players should be fed clues about the Thrones – encourage investigation.
Don’t forget food – players supplies should be running low by the time they get up into Uthrael Beoac. Make them forage.
It doesn’t all have to be about killing things: Negotiation is possible with various NPC’S: Aldebrand, Delucardh, a giant, and possibly Carchavad, Bainor or even Kreyelgar.
Players stuck in a bad situation? The Great Eagle and Delucardh are obvious ‘get out of jail free’ cards. Canny GMs will include a fleeting sighting of an Great Eagle and/or an Elf before this assistance is needed. As a last resort the spirit of Bainor could be unshackled from his mound to assist if the GM felt the need to move things along.
Remember, this is a wilderness adventure, so make it wild! Good luck.