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PROLOGUES GAP OF ROHAN Elturion Elturion started in his room in The Black Mare, sole inn of Eldburg, a small

Roh irrim town some thirty miles east of the Isen fords. The GM explained that according to chronicles that Elturion had perused in Minas Tirith during his recent visit, the town was much older than the kingdom of Roh an itself and predated even Numenorean settlement in the area. Moreover, the sam e chronicles also talked about the existence of ancient ruins in the area, so El turion had decided to visit the place to investigate a bit, on his way back to t he north. After going downstairs, he had some breakfast and tried to listed to the headlin es of the local rumor mill. However, since it was early in the morning and nobod y felt like talking much with the queer "Gondorian" with the disfigured face aro und, he only got some very minor stuff totally irrelevant to the actual plot, an d eventually decided to head for the obvious plot hook in the ruins. Upon reaching the ruin, he discovered that at first glance there really wasn't m uch to look at. It seemed that at some point there had been a large fortificatio n of some kind, but the stones used in its construction had seemingly been repur posed for new construction over the centuries, leaving only mounds of earth and what seemed to have been a deep moat originally. However, he discovered that the re were some clearly artificial tunnels that might have served as storm drains b ack in the day. After checking that the tunnel was in good condition and that it apparently wasn 't trapped through use of a ten foot pole, Elturion decided to crawl in, hoping to find underground levels in better condition than the ruin's aboveground. Unsu rprisingly, he found exactly that, but that's a story for later. Estrecca Estrecca woke up in a campsite near the Greenway and, first thing in the morning , rolled a rune-marked knucklebone, a talisman attuned to one of the relics stol en from the tomb of his ancestor capable of telling him the general direction of the stolen heirlooms, as well as the distance (actually, this thing allowed me to cast once a day a level eight spell that does what I describe and would have been useful at several points, but for that I'd have had to retune the talisman and I couldn't justify such a thing in-character until midway through the campai gn, when the heirlooms were finally recovered). In any case, talisman says that the relics are now one hundred and twenty miles south-east, so Estrecca realizes that there is no doubting it now that he is in the territory of clan Dobac (Dobac being the southern-most of the clans of Dunla nd) and that he is going to have to cross the land of the horse lords. Although he has never actually met one of the forgoils, he knows all there is to know abo ut them thanks to the songs of the bards. So he doesn't like it one bit, but sin ce he cannot fly and it doesn't seem likely that he will learn to in the close f uture, he is going to have to make his way through Rohan. After packing up and walking for a while, Estrecca encounters three riders weari ng long cloaks with hoods that hide their faces. This being not exactly normal f or early summer, he tries to memorize something useful about the strangers, just in case, but fails to determine anything noteworthy about them (fumbled the Per ception roll pretty bad, here). Some hours later, when about to make a stop for

lunch, he hears shouting and barking from a nearby forest and goes to investigat e. A few minutes later, he is walking towards the sound when he hears something lou d coming his way, fast. The loud thing turns out to be a very pissed and lightly injured boar that upon finding itself face to face with a human charges and doe s some damage despite my shield. My character uses a spear as his primary weapon , rolls decently and manages to do some damage to the hog in retaliation, includ ing a small bleeding wound from a critical hit. However, with the boar having th ree or more times the hit points of my character, I got the worst part of the de al by far. So I decide to play it safe, use the shield and swap my attack bonus for defensi ve bonus. This lets me withstand pretty well the next boar charge, but my attack is left strictly to luck, so I am a tad surprised when I do well and land a nic e critical that hurts the boar pretty bad and stuns it for a round. Then, I am e ven more surprised when I roll badly in the next round and my fail makes me trip , leaving Estrecca stunned for two rounds, at the mercy of a pissed pile of baco n. Gruon Seeing that Gruon came with no backstory, the GM made the hook for him. Essentially, he was a dwarf who had left the Blue Mountains along with three oth er fellows looking to find fame and fortune away from the mountain-homes (where there wasn't a whole lot of either thing to find) and who had been wandering Eri ador for several months, working as mercenaries and skilled labour in different places. A month before the start of the adventure, they had been hired by the Ma yor of the Shire to deal with a gang of Big Folk undesirables who had been steal ing and assaulting good gentlehobbits all over the Southfarthing. Through a combination of guile and courage, the dwarves managed to deal with the robbers with extreme prejudice, but upon seeing the magnitude of the loot the g ang had collected, decided to keep it for themselves and headed for Bree at best possible speed. However, after enjoying the hospitality of the Prancing Pony fo r a few days, their calm was disrupted by the arrival of a Shirrif looking for t hem (or, more particularly, restitution of the valuables) whom they left tied in a closet after beating him up a tiny bit. While preparing a hasty departure from Bree, the group of dwarven fugitives hear d from a local merchant that in recent times a group of Dungledings (so called t hem the Bree man) had visited the Bree-land hoping to hire masons of skill to ma ke repairs in their clan-hold, but returned home empty handed (after all, they w ere known as a brutish short that paid poorly and decent Bree folk knew better t han to start dangerous travels south down the Greenway to barbarian lands). Seei ng that following that direction put them farther away from the Shire, the dwarv es decided to try their luck in Dunland. As it turned out, this was the wrong decision. Gruon started roleplaying right in the middle of a bandit ambush that had caught the dwarves not far from their de stination. By the time the dust settled, several bandits were dead or dying, alo ng with two of the dwarves. And Gruon's last companion, despite not having taken an arrow to the knee, had lost his nerve and decided to go back to the Blue Moun tains. Gruon, however, did not want to go back home with the tail between his legs, so a fter dividing the money with his last surviving companion and entrusting him wit h the bodies of the fallen, Gruon walked the rest of the distance to the clan hol d of clan Leonn (an old Gondorian watch-post occupied by the dunlendings a thous

and years before, when Gondor abandoned definitely Eriador). Between bad influen ce rolls and Gruon's very poor command of Dunael (and the poor command of Westron of the dunlendings), it might have ended in blows, if the GM hadn't felt mercif ul and make a Leonn rider arrive at this point bringing news of the death of sev eral bandits, identified at this point as dunlendings from a rival clan. After revealing his involvement in this action, Gruon was invited to enter the cl an hold.