Herein are various timelines, glossarys, character bios/backgrounds and adventure ideas relating to the Awakening of the Wyrms (a 4th Age Middle Earth campaign background)
Spring Year 4
71. Ruingurth abandons Barak Shathur and secretly flies south to the borders of Dorwinion
72. Khuzudrepa sacks Amon Sul, Enna San Serab eats mallorn seeds.
73. Numerous adventuring groups sally forth – most never seen again
74. High Pass is cut by Goblin fortifications. Numerous escalating skirmishes fought in the mountains
75. Goblin forts broken and the High pass is opened again. Preparation for siege of Goblin Town.
76. Elessar perceives some of Aelindur’s plans via of the Palantir. Aelindur ensares a Seer.
77. Mound of Chieftains entered on the Barrow Downs. Sulring recovered.
78. Radagast meets Tom Bombadil
Summer Year 4
79. Tragic events of the Earth Wyrm in the Shire.
80. Siege of Goblin Town begins.
81. Itangast tricks the Dwarfs of Erebor.
82. Celduinford thriving but Hraunfile’s passage, empties the Barding village of Midmirk.
83. Quest for Shelob’s poison enters Cirith Ungol.
84. Werewolves reactivate Dragon Ward
85. Daelomin interrogates the sorcerer of Sarn Goriwing
86. Khuzudrepa slays wandering Elves in Rhudaur.
87. Vial of Shelob’s poison recovered and sent north.
88. Daelomin enters Uthrael Beoac but cannot withstand the repulsion ward.
89. Khuzudrepa slain by Elladan, Elrohir and Glorfindel using Sulring.
90. Siege of Goblin Town bogs down. Glorfindel begins solitary hunt for Daelomin.
91. Goblins move south from Mount Gram and take Mitheithiel bridge fort.
92. Aelindur begins rallying scattered Goblin tribes and sending them south down the Anduin valley
93. Greyflood bridge fort retaken by Arnorians and Elves.
94. Aelindur fails to charm Throkmaw, but then finds Hyarleuca easier to impel southward.
Autumn Year 4
95. Attack of Hyarleuca and the Siege of Maethelburg. The Dragon and Orcs are repelled and the town holds.
96. Radagast and Adventurers capture Aelindur’s spy in Maethelburg. The wizard journeys to Thranduil’s Halls, the Adventurers head south to Edoras
97. Dunmen revolt and cross the Isen.
98. Webs in Lorien – Enna San Serab and Slyardach invade Lorien but are driven off.
99. Harad and Umbar revolt. Gondorian embassies destroyed and border forts attacked.
100. Radagast enters Aradhrynd and finds notes pertaining to the Wind Thrones.
101. Haradrim cross the Poros. Corsair armada defeats Gondorian fleet.
102. Dunmen attack Helms Deep but are driven off. Dunnish horde moves east.
103. Eomer calls for the Rohirrim to muster, Aelindur’s agents release the Horse plague.
104. Adventurers arrive in Edoras and attempt to capture Aelindur’s agent.
105. Dunmen fight Rohirrim on the road to Edoras. Rohirrim driven off by black powder bombs.
106. Pelargir besieged.
107. Beacons are lit. Horse plague takes hold. Rohan dispatches 2000 men to Gondor – the rest will fight the Dunmen on foot.
108. Rohirrim and Dunlendings battle indecisively to the west of Edoras. Dunmen move off to the north.
109. Aelindur charms Turukulon to attack Fangorn. The western forest is burnt drawing the Ents out of Rohan.
110. Corsairs ferry many Haradrim across to Pelargir. Faramir fighting a defensive war in South Ithilien.
111. Rohirrim and Dunlendings fight again at Dunlostir. Another indecisive encounter. Dunmen withdraw to the west.
112. Siege of Pelargir is lifted when armies of Amroth and Minas Tirith approach the port.
113. Faramir withdraws army of Ithilien close to Osgiliath.
114. Elessar defeats Corsairs and Haradrim at Pinch of Lossarnach
115. Balchoth enter North Ithilien
116. Cair Andros is taken by surprise
117. Aelindur enters Minas Tirith in her guise as the Moon Princess
118. Balchoth and Haradrim fight at crossroads
119. Faramir retreats across the Anduin in the face of massive Balchoth force.
120. Aelindur departs for Dorwinion.
Winter Year 4
121. Gondor sends troops to hold the river line. Aragorn returns to Minas Tirith.
122. Assassination attempt and running battle in the citadel.
123. Balchoth begin river crossing. Relief force of city guard sent to Osgiliath.
124. Osgiliath falls, retreat to Rammas Echor.
125. 2nd Major crossing at Cair Andros – Allies fall back to Druadan forest
126. Siege of Rammas Echor.
127. Aelindur finds Ruingurth.
128. Rammas Echor falls – retreat to Minas Tirith.
129. Minas Tirith is invested. Aelindur’s spies in Minas Tirith and then Pelargir are uncovered.
130. Ruingurth wipes out Balchoth supply line along the Dagorlad road.
131. 1st wall of Minas Tirith falls. Balchoth begin massive foraging effort.
132. Itangast is slain by Thranduil et al.
133. Bulk of Balchoth forces move north into Anorien and towards Rohan.
134. Elves from Rivendell find Aelindur’s house in Lond Daer and capture Turinbar.
135. Aelindur returns to Gondor. She and Fytaris kill Red Alatar.
136. Aelindur attempts to kill Elessar but is caught by the King and Radagast. The Queen of Shadows destroys herself in the magical confrontation.
137. Balchoth peace settlement – they swear fealty to the Kings of the West
This glossary is not meant to be all encompassing but merely to cover non-canon names including those from Iron Crown Enterprise’s MERP, and the imagination of Anders Blixt.
Aelindur – daughter of Sauron and Celebrimbor’s Sister. [Originally created by Kathrin Barkö (née Vestergren) and expanded upon by Anders Blixt in his Queen of Shadows campaign.] Half Noldor. Sorceress, seer, mind mage. aka The Queen of Shadows. Hijacks the recovered palantiri from Forochel. Starts the Moon Princess cults in Gondor, Harad and Umbar. Also linked to the Sons of Denethor. Steals the Ulukai of Morgoth from Mount Gundabad. Uses the Wind Thrones in Uthrael Beoac to Awaken the Dragons of the Withered Heath and drive them south. Creator of the Horse Plague. Provides black powder bombs to the Dunlendings and Southrons. Instigates revolts in Dunland, Harad and Umbar. Briefly charms/controls Hyarleuca, Turukulon and Ruingurth into performing her bidding. In turn she is charmed/dragon-doomed by Throkmaw.
Calindel – Half elf 500 yrs old. Sorceress. Daughter of Aelindur. Married to Turinbar. Captured by the Werewolves of Uthrael Beoac. Later seduced and transformed via ancient magics into a Werewolf herself. She begins to use her formidable magical skills to assist the pack in using the Wind Thrones.
Delucardh – Sindar scholar and resident of Aradhrynd. Studied the Wind Thrones of Uthrael Beoac for many years and deduced their workings. His research was revealed to a spy of Aelindur’s.
Forlin – Dwarf of the Ered Luin. Slays a troll in Goblin Town and joins the Itangast Quest.
Fytaris – Half Elf Half Orc, Son of Aelindur and an Uruk Hai of Dol Guldur. 95 yrs old. Sorcerer/ Assassin. Advisor to Gundabad and later Goblin Town.
Red Alatar – formerly Alatar the Istari, one of the Blue Wizards. Fallen from grace by seeking earthly dominion, he gains controls of the Balchoth, an Easterling people, and creates a federation of tribes and allied cultures.
Turinbar – Black Numenorean. Formerly of Tharagrond. Ranger. Spymaster for Aelindur. Married to Calindel and allied closely with Aelindur. Acts as military advisor to the Dunlendings.
Volog – the new Goblin King of the High Pass Region.
Ando-Anca – Huge wingless cold drake. Lairs in north west Mirkwood
Angurth – Winged fire drake. Killed in the First battle of Gundalok. Hates Dwarfs.
Bairanax – Winged cold drake. Killed in the First Battle of Gundalok. Hates bears.
Culgor – Wingless cold drake. Decimates the Bardings and Dwarfs after First Battle of Gundalok. Possibly returns to Withered heath?
Daelomin – Winged fire drake. Magical ability. Lairs in misty mountains. Destroys Sarn Goriwing, freeing Slyardach. Discovers the WInd Thrones influence upon Dragons.
Hraunfile – Wingless cold drake. Wanders south through Mirkwood.
Hyarleuca – Wingless cold drake, son of Scatha. Inhabits Framsburg then is blinded during the assault on Maethelburg.
Itangast – Huge wingless fire drake. Captures the Elven kings halls. Slays (and is slain by) Thranduil.
Khuzudrepa – Winged cold drake. Magical ability. Lairs at Penmorva in the Ettenmoors. Sacks Amon Sul. Slain by Glorfindel.
Ruingurth – Winged fire drake. Captures Barak Shathur, later ravages Balchoth supply lines with Aelindur. Possibly lairs in Mountains of Shadow.
Thraxus – Lesser wingless cold drake. The Earth Wyrm. Scourge of the Shire.
Throkmaw – Large winged fire drake. Captures Gundabad.
Turukulon – Stunted winged fire drake. Poor flier. Dwells secretly in the southern Misty Mountains. Influenced by Aelindur to torch Fangorn.
Enna San Serab – Huge spider. Child of Shelob. Former guardian of Dol Guldur. Devours Mallorn seeds and develops a taste for the sap of the great trees. Joined by Slyardach and Wodurishak. Raids Lorien. Spawns more giant spiders and forms the Spider’s Core in south west Mirkwood.
Slyardach – Shadow demon/ Dindae. Formerly dwelt at Sarn Goriwing in the Mountains of Mirkwood. Released from service by Daelomin sacking the fortress. Joins Enna San Serab. Raids Lorien. Later dwells in Spider’s Core.
Wodurishak – Troll (Olog Hai) aka HorseSlayer. Resident of the Emyn I Thang. Leader of small Goblin force. Joins Enna San Serab. Slain in Lorien.
Aradhrynd – Elvish name for Thranduil’s Halls/ Halls fo the Elven King in north east Mirkwood.
Barak Shathur – mountain in the Iron Hills beneath which the second largest Dwarf settlement in the region is delved. Captured by Ruingurth.
Caras Amarth – Former residence of the Elves of Mirkwood. Abandoned after the rise of Dol Guldur.
Celduinford – a town built by refugee folk of Esgaroth+Dale upon old ruins at the ford of the Celduin where the Old Forest Road crosses it.
Celebannon – Silvan Elf village on the forest river a short distance to the east of the Elven Kings Halls (Aradhrynd). Used for trade rafting to Esgaroth and beyond.
Dunlostir – Rohirric village in the Westfold, on the Mering Stream.
Eryn Lasgalen – Mirkwood, as renamed by the Elves in the 4th age.
Maethelburg – Small fishing town on the west bank of the Anduin, 40 miles north of the Carrock. Becomes a hub for the fight against the resurgent powers of darkness. Populated by Northmen of Rhovanion and possibly Beornings. After the Awakening it is reinforced by the Rohirrim and Gondor and becomes quite cosmopolitan with Elves, Dwarfs and even the occasional Hobbit passing through.
Midmirk – Small Barding settlement several days march west into Mirkwood along the Old Forest Road.
Penmorva – Ruined fortress in the Ettenmoors. Inhabited by Khuzudrepa the Wyrm.
Sarn Goriwing – Fortress of evil hidden within the Mountains of Mirkwood at the headwaters of the Enchanted River.
Tharagrond – Small semi-autonomous Gondorian fief near Andrast. Black Numenorean population obedient to Gondor but with secret sympathies for the Sons of Denethor and Aelindur.
Uthrael Beoac – isolated valley high in the Grey Mountains. Contains the Wind Thrones – relics of first age Edain seers. Spells of farsight and Dragon Repulsion are bound within. Werewolves and feral Wargs dwell in this valley.
Ulûkai – Gem of Morgoth. Magical stone enchanted by Morgoth. Carried out of the ruin of Angband by the Orc warlord Skorg who founds the Goblin realm of Gundabad. Grants the owner powers of control over minions and significantly boosts magical ability. Stolen from Gundabad in the 4th Age by Aelindur.
Aelindur the evil Noldo (Sauron’s Daughter) is the fourth age puppet-mistress aka Queen of the Shadows. Working behind the scenes from an unassuming cottage in Enedwaith (across the estuary from Lond Daer) she is manipulating forces to topple the reign of Elessar and put herself on the throne. She is a very powerful mage specialising in mind altering wizardry. Born to an Elf seduced by Annatar (aka Sauron) during his tenure in Ost-in-Edhil in the second age, Aelindur grew to become a powerful sorceress under Sauron’s tutelage. Her skill with mind alteration and nature manipulating magicks saw her administering the province of Nurn during the War of the Ring.
On Sauron’s fall she fled Mordor and entered Gondor at the time of Elessar’s coronation. There she learnt of how Sauron was deceived and the ring destroyed. Cultivating and reactivating spy networks she helped build, Aelindur plans to end the reign of Elessar and put herself on the throne.
Working behind the scenes from a cottage in Enedwaith hers in an empire of the shadows rather than one of force. She manipulates people and ideas through subterfuge, controlling events, and via her powerful magics. Aelindur lives near a small community who just ignore her as ‘Old Crow’, the wise woman on the edge of the forest, though some secretly worship her. Several flocks of crebain answer to Aelindur: One flock dwells around the estuary providing her local information and security. Others lurk near Bree, Rhudaur and Dunland. Aelindur has 3 dedicated (and lethal) bodyguards / assistants who live nearby, and she herself is one of the most powerful Elves left in Middle Earth.
Aelindur’s immediate assistants are Turinbar, Calindel, and Fytaris. The latter two are Aelindur’s second and third born children. Her eldest child is left out of this account as an option for the Gamemaster to reboot this campaign and/or as a final unexpected adversary (think an ancient Elven sorcerer living in Far Harad/Umbar, or the product of a union with another Maia possibly ruling over an Empire in the distant east or dwelling in Forochel?)
Turinbar is an 80 year old (looks like 35yr old) Black Numenorean Ranger from Tharagrond (in Andrast) and functions as her spymaster. He rides several times a year to Tharbad and Edoras to pick up & deliver messages. He runs a small merchant business dealing in dried fish and wool as a front for spying activities. Turinbar is married to Aelindur’s daughter Calindel. This man has ranged much of North Western Endor, and is a highly skilled tracker and hunter. He is a master of the horse, sword and bow and is trained in military manoeuvring and command.
Calindel is a 500 year old half elven Mage, trained by Aelindur and the Necromancer. Calindel and Turinbar often lead expeditions into the wilds to seek out knowledge and items at Aelindur’s behest. Calindel’s father (known only to Aelindur) was another Black Numenorean (the aforementioned Ranger’s grandfather). Calindel is skilled at Mind Alteration, Charms and Divination spells. She is dedicated to her mother though seeks to come out of the shadows into her own right. She loves Turinbar though not enough to decide to abandon her immortality.
Fytaris, an accomplished assassin and sorcerer, is the fey product of Aelindur’s union with an Uruk of Dol Guldur more than a century ago. His Elvish blood and some ability with glamours allows Fytaris to pass in human society. His Orkish heritage has proved very useful in recruiting allies in Sauron’s old domains. He grew up in Nurn and Mordor and has recently survived visits to Coron Iaur, Goblin Town and Dol Guldur before its fall. Fytaris’s unique bloodline and twisted upbringing has made him a somewhat unbalanced individual. Aelindur has cast multiple spells of mental adjustment upon him to stabilise his temperament.
The small seaside fishing village near Aelindur’s cottage exports dried fish and wool. This business is owned and controlled by Aelindur. Her merchants regularly trade in Tharbad, Dunland and Rohan where coded instructions are delivered via handlers and dead drops to her spy network. Turinbar, with Aelindur’s help, owns a fishing and shipping business. He has acquired a small fishing fleet and two trading ships which regularly ply the waters north to Lindon and south to Anfalas, Pelargir and even Umbar. These ships all pass the Shadow Queen’s messages.
The Shadow Queen has read chronicles about how Sauron was defeated and has factored that knowledge into her plans. She even employs small groups of adventurers on occasion, most of whom have no idea who they really work for. If she learns she is on the verge of being discovered Aelindur will leave Turinbar and Calindel (to masquerade as her) and tell them she is residing near Amon Hen above Rauros. She will actually relocate to an herbalist’s house on the 4th tier of Minas Tirith. If totally rumbled then she will flee to one of several possible remote locations: Sarn Goriwing in Eryn Lasgalen (Mirkwood); a mountain village in western Anfalas; or even Uthrael Beoac in the Ered Mithrin. Once there she will lay low, putting her plans on slow burn for a century.
Aelindur is working numerous plans simultaneously. She has fostered …
– The hijacking of the seeing stones (recovered Palantiri) of Forochel. To aid coordination of her Shadow puppetry.
– A Freedom Queen cult in Harad and Umbar. To herald her ascension and restart war with Gondor.
– A Moon Queen Cult in Gondor (and Nurn) preaching an end to plague, old age and death (similar to that of Numenor). Her disciples await her coming and are planning to topple Elessar’s regime during the coming Harad war.
– Simmering discontent in Dunland. They plan to revolt when the Rohirrim go south.
– The development of a horse plague at Turinbar’s stable. Research into old Arnorian plagues, herb lore and exploring the ruins of Lond Daer has helped her develop a debilitating equine virus. This is to be unleashed at muster of Rohan prior to the Harad war.
– Support from Petty Dwarfs in the Eryn Vorn and exiled Dwarfs in the southern Ered Luin to experiment with gunpowder weapons sourced from the wreck of Isengard and Helms Deep. These are to aid the Dunmen, Haradrim and/or Gondorian revolts. Fused bombs are being constructed to be fired from catapults, thrown as grenades, used for wall breaching, as assassination weapons etc.
– Relations with the Orcs of the Hithaeglir: Gundabad, Gram, Goblin Gate and Moria et al are being put in contact with each other and are sent arms, information and magical assistance (items and magical training). She wants the Orcs to pin down Arnor, Anduin Vales, Greenwood and/or Erebor.
– A search for a Dragon ally from the North – three parties have been sent into the Grey Mountains and the Withered Heath. A Dragon would be invaluable by laying waste to Arnor, Anduin Vales, Thanduil’s Halls, and Erebor. Possibly to surprise attack an army besieging Gundabad?
– The subversion of two guards of the White Tower. These men have been bribed, coerced and corrupted. Aelindur has also inspired the Sons of Denethor to consider using force when the time comes. More zealous members have created several hit squads in Minas Tirith to perform assassinations and hold key positions. Hamring of Lebennin is the 2IC of the Sons of Denethor and is devoted to Aelindur heart and soul. Already enamoured of her, she magically bound him and via a magic necklace can communicate with him via his dreams. Hamring is the Captain of the 6th gate. He influences decisions by the Sons that further Aelindurs aim’s and will take over if their leader has an ‘unfortunate’ accident.
Aelindur is a key member of a shadow network of evil domains and lords: primarily Turumbar of Sarn Goriwing; the High Priest of Darkness in Gundabad; the Coven of Umbar; the Vizier of Harad; the Duke of Tharagrond; and Red Alatar (the Istarii) of Rhûn.
Aelindur is in regular contact with Orcs holds in Gundabad, Goblin Gate, Mount Gram, Moria, the Caverns of Pain (near Fangorn), and assorted hidden caves in Mordor. She has cordial relations with human warlords in Sarn Goriwing, Umbar, Harad, Khand, Tharagrondrost, the Temple of Justice in Dunland, the Sons of Denethor in Minas Tirith, several communities in Nurn, and the Easterlings of Rhûn +Urd.
This alliance of the shadows ultimately aims to bring down the realm of Gondor, though Aelindur plans to subvert that aim by putting herself on the Throne. Other goals include exploring the far north for rumours of fallen Maia (Jaanienen, and Durlach the Balrog); influencing a Dragon; establishing an alliance with the remains of the Court of Ardor (via Taurclax); and harnessing Caradhras.
More prosaic aims include contacting orc holds like Coron Iaur, Cameth Brin, Turwurdrog, and locating Shelob. Turukulon (a winged fire Drake of the southern Hithaeglir) has already rebuffed or eaten her agents, but a Dragon like Itangast or Daelomin could be interested in manipulating the realms of men. The Illuin shard in the north of Angmar may be of some use to Aelindur’s plans. She is also interested in the Wind Thrones of the Uthrael Beoac (her agent in Thranduil’s realm has found indications that the Thryn Suel may have some kind of Dragon influencing dweomer). Lastly her Half Orc son Fytaris has established an embassy with the Goblins of Mount Gundabad. In the next few years this contact will enable Aelindur to determine that the fortress holds a powerful relic of Morgoth. This relic could enable her to awaken the Dragons.
Mostly Aelindur is a realist and banks primarily on controlling the world of men via her powerful mind altering/controlling magic.
Radagast is activated by the Queen of Shadows actions in the Fourth Age. It is possible the Valar had fully intended for Radagast to be utilised as Aelindur’s foil. He is no bumbling loon interested in only birds and animals, but rather a capable and insightful wizard fully alerted to the danger Aelindur represents. As well as the possible progenitor of the Beornings he is a master of shapes and hues. The GM can use him as a subtle plot instigator via impersonation or advanced knowledge via his animal friends. The trick will be in creating points of difference between him and Gandalf. In direct conflict he is nearly equal to Aelindur (she is boosted by the Ulukai and unconstrained in using force).
Red Alatar, the fallen Istari, is somewhat diminished from his origins. He has put much of his essence into dominion of humans and the manufacture of items. As a Maia of Orome he is involved in hunting and similar pursuits. His empire of herders and hunting cultures reflects this.
The following are some suggestions for adventures/campaigns within the Awakening of the Wyrms/Queen of Shadows campaign.
A little knowledge…
Delucardh, the elvish scholar and explorer from Thranduil’s realm who discovered the purpose of the Wind Thrones, is currently missing. He departed the Army of the Anduin and went up into Ered Mithrin, but is yet to contact the Elves. Delucardh is hiding high on a ledge in Uthrael Beoac waiting for the Werewolves to leave and watching them puzzle over the Wind Thrones. His sister Cauledonna escaped from Aradhrynd and knows of his work. Given what has happened, she brings it to the attention of the Bardings she shelters with, and later Thranduil.
Delucardh’s writings should still be in his room or the library deep in Aradhrynd. Cauledonna’s husband, Avadiôn, is the blackmailed informant. He passed the info to Aelindur’s spy, a Northman Minstrel/Merchant called Ailgarth, in Celebannon. Ailgarth the spy, escaped the rampage of Itangast and now resides in the new village of Celduinford, waiting for word from his contact with Aelindur. He will soon travel west to reside in Maethelburg to be closer to the Elvish community at Caras Amarth.
Find Delucardh or his writings. Ask who else knew about his work (Avadion looks guilty) and track down Ailgarth and his contact with the Queen of Shadows.
The Best Defence:
The sword Sulring is enchanted to slay dragons. It lies in the mound of Princes in the Barrow Downs. Glorfindel has the key to this Edain Barrow. The Barrow is infested with 3 major Barrow Wights …a match for almost any mortal. Aelindur’s informant in Rivendell hears of this sword – Aelindur wants it for herself to deny the Allies and as an insurance policy.
Aelindur has the Barrow Downs watched (by Tom Ferny from Bree, Melegand in Tharbad, and by crebain), waiting for a recovery attempt hoping to intercept the sword before it can even the odds for Arnor. She will send a team led by Turinbar and/or Fytaris along with a squad of Beffraen and Dunnish mercenaries. Options: Her spy is captured and must be killed before he blabs; the Sword is recovered and snatched – the players must dodge Wights and chase the thieves through the Downs at night then across Cardolan.
Spies in Rivendell/Maethelburg/etc.
This scenario is essentially a spy thriller in fantasy clothing. Wherein the players are involved in intelligence and counter intelligence operations as Aelindur’s minions and the western alliance attempt to outfox each other. The information below is needed to establish what Aelindur and Elessar are trying to find out about each other’s plans. The GM will need to weave the story around the search for spies and rooting out the intel network.
The Second Council of Rivendell meets and after much debate recommends the following as a counter to the Awakening of the Wyrms:
⦁ Poisoned cattle are to be herded close to Dragon lairs (the poison is a rare herb found only in Eryn Vorn/ Gorgoroth/ Dead Marshes/difficult place);
⦁ Beorning Hunter-Killer pack accompanied by tooled up Elvish assassins may attempt to kill wingless drakes like Itangast or Ando-Anca;
⦁ Dwarfs are designing twin-linked Ballistae with cable to entangle Dragon wings; Dwarfs have also made several ballista bolt heads from Mithril (these bolts killed Angburanar)- they are searching for more Mithril items to melt down. A desperate long term plan is for some miners to delve into the 7th Deep of Moria and locate the Mithril Road/lode;
⦁ Radagast proposes a climbing mission to seek out the Eagles and get their assistance either as steeds for knights and/or in combined arms actions;
⦁ Beornings +Sons of Elrond propose besieging and exterminating Goblin Gate- the High Pass must be held.
⦁ Finally the cause of all this is suspected to be the so-called Queen of Shadows – teams are to hunt her down. She is suspected to be a woman (based on Elessar & his seer’s impressions). Prior to the Awakening she was scrying Gundabad and an area in the Grey Mountains. She has since been seen looking to Dunland and Maethelburg.
This information will be very useful to Aelindur!
One of Elessar’s senior seers is a recent convert to the Sons of Denethor. He had been watching what Aelindur was scrying but she became aware of him. Her powerful mental enchantments entrapped and twisted him. He is being subtly manipulated to reveal information as well as being groomed as an assassin. He has since accepted two other Sons of Denethor into the seer school and passes urgent messages to the cult leaders via the Palantir.
Aelindur also has an elvish informant in Rivendell. It is Fëamírë from the castle of Amon Lind in the southern Misty Mountains (cf. Dunland campaign book). Aelindur caught him cheating on his wife many years ago and uses that as leverage. Fëamírë has been a regular visitor to Rivendell since the start of the 4th Age, keeping the connection between the two elvish communities alive. Aelindur or her agents usually meet him in Dunland on his return journey to Amon Lind to hear what he has learned.
The departure of Elrond and Galadriel and the destruction of the One Ring means the realms of Rivendell and Galadriel are more susceptible to scrying by Palantir now. Some lesser wards do remain and secret meetings are usually screened by certain more powerful attendees (ie Radagast, Celeborn et al) but Aelindur has had some success in observing patrols leaving, guests arriving etc which allows her a measure of intelligence.
Turinbar and Calindel act as go-betweens, running several spymasters in Edoras and Tharbad, who in turn pick up from dead drops and receive letters from across NW Middle Earth.
The contact in Tharbad is the Gondorian merchant Melegand. A middle aged dealer in wool and smoked fish, he is an adherent of the Sons of Denethor. He has a family here plus three strong hired hands/ bodyguards. Melegand knows the contact in Bree (Edvard Ferny), and receives anonymous coded mail from Caras Celairnen, Annuminas and Annon Baran. He has met Calindel but knows her by the name of Morwen – he thinks she comes from Edehellond.
The contact in Edoras is a widow by the name of Aeglif. She owns a smithy where her two brawny sons work. Her young husband was killed at the Hornburg. She has met Aelindur and believes she should be the Queen of Gondor after the Elf magically healed her grief and the cured her sons fever. Aeglif receives coded letters from Minas Tirith (2 different handwriting), Maethelburg and Esgaroth. She sometimes has these couriered to the fords of the Isen where they are collected by either Turinbar or a Dunnish man called Ecbert. Other times Turinbar meets at her smithy with a consignment of raw iron.
In Bree (Edvard Ferny), Maethelburg, & Esgaroth (Ailgarth) et al the spies are townsfolk who listen carefully and are observant. They merely write down what they hear and see without asking too many (or any) questions. They write a letter using a simple pinhole code and mail it to the designated address in either Tharbad or Edoras. Most believe they are keeping Gondor appraised of developments as a failsafe upon diplomatic channels. They are typically connected to the trading industry and are paid a silver a month, with a bonus for good information.
In Dunland the road town of Larach Duhnnan is the hub for Aelindur’s activities. The Moon Queen cult is infecting and uniting the Daen Coentis and Iontis factions. Gwen Enion and Eonglas Duhb are the principal spymasters here. Both are traders and farmers.
In Minas Tirith there are two spymasters running numerous agents. Beregorl is a merchant and supplier to the army – he has several informants in various positions in the town guard, the cavalry, and the tower guard, plus sources within his business and its contacts in the city. Lambeth the Younger is an aging man and adherent of the Sons of Denethor. He is a bookbinder and an orator of note. He runs 2 agents in the seers of Gondor plus a contact in the royal library and another in the royal court. The family next door has 2 fanatical Sons of Denethor who will defend the old man with their life. Both Beregorl and Lambeth do not know of each other, but Lambeth knows there is another spymaster in town. The both send coded messages, one month by mail to Aeglif in Edoras, the next to Morwen in Pelargir.
In Pelargir a shipping business “New Moon Traders” is run by Morwen Tavish. A hardy Dunnish lady with a sailors tongue and brawn to match. She is employed by Turinbar to run the business here and pass on ‘business mail’ (all coded). She knows that her employer lives in Lond Daer where the parent business is, and that he is married to a half elf. Morwen is devoted to Turinbar, as he has provided for her, and her two teenage children. She provides him with written reports on military movements and city politics – ostensibly so that he might plan shipments. Morwen has 2-4 casual labourers and is well liked on the docks.
Umbar, Harad, Khand also have a spymaster each, running several sources of information. The spymaster in the East, beyond Dagorlad and Rhun, with the Balchoth has stopped sending reports – he has disappeared.
Tharagrond in Anfalas is sympathetic to Aelindur and provides her with the little information of relevance from Andrast and surrounds.
The Goblin realms of Mount Gram and Goblin Town leave sporadic messages for Aelindur in dead drops near the Mithethiel Bridge in Rhudaur and on the trail to the Anduin Vale.
Follow the Action
This is a no-brainer wherein the players are at the scene of many of the major plot points of the Awakening of the Wyrms. This storyline can be combined with the Spy Game above.
The players participate in retrieving Sulring from the Barrow Downs. They are then involved in the hunt for the Earth Wyrm. They participate in clearing the Mitheithiel Road Fort of Goblins. After attending Rivendell and possibly being involved in rooting out Feamire’s spying they cross the High Pass with Radagast, uncover a spy in Maethelburg and then defend the town from Hyarleuca and the Goblins.
They journey south, possibly assisting in repelling the Spider from Lorien, then journey to Edoras to uncover Aelindur’s spy network. They are conscripted to fight against the Dunmen in the Westfold, then they journey to Gondor tailing another courier. In Minas Tirith they uncover the Sons of Denethor and help prevent the assassination of Elessar. They they participate in defending the Rammas Echor.
They join the retreat to Minas Tirith and are involved in the Balchoth siege whilst uncovering another spy in the Seer’s guild. Lastly they are present when Aelindur returns to kill Elessar herself.