Snow and Subterfuge

So looking at the other adventures in the adventure module, and having seen the characters in action, I figured that we needed a little more bedding in time. The players were still crashing in like they had five other adventurers with a variety of useful skills, such as healing. Two man parties have to pick their battles with care. They need to use brains more often than brawn, even if one of them could stand toe to toe with a troll for a minute. I reviewed material I had and went back to this one by Seeking Solis. It is really set in the Trollshaws, but does have a link to the right period in the  timeline, and could easily be adapted. In addition, I get to work with a narrative story arc that can lead me into Arthedain and up to the Angmar if we so choose.

Pick and Limolas have returned to Culwic after being scared away by the mysterious phantasm. So after a day of recovery and collecting a few items they feel they need they have settled back into the Two Rivers for the night. This time their rest is interrupted by the arrival of Ulwarth a local farmer who tells them about seeing a wolf-rider near his farm and asking for their help. They agree but won’t leave until the morning, much to Ulwarth’s regret.
At the farmstead the duo discover a tin box containing papers detailing troop movements, a map, and a message with a fragment of a dwarf poem. They also find a bone tube surrounded by strange writing which they take to be a magical trap. Pick determines that spies must be involved and although the find the wolf tracks they decide to wait and see if they can catch the spies. Eventually, worried that they have left Ulwarth’s family exposed, believing the orcs to be a random raiding party and the spies are the greater threat, they guard the farmstead.
The orcs attack the farmstead using a frontal assault as a diversion. Pick and Limolas although ready are caught off guard. In dealing with the scouts who have attempted to enter the farm by stealth they are caught outside with no additional support. Limolas is knocked unconscious leaving Pick to dispatch the scouts alone. He is badly wounded and although managing to get into the farmhouse collapses from blood loss.
When the two come round they discover Ulwarth has died fending off the attack, but the orcs have left after taking the sheep and setting fire to the barn. With nothing left, the farmer’s wife and son are forced to travel with Limolas and Pick to Culwic for refuge.

Rewards
The party now are in possession of several items they believe to have been left at a spy cache. They have yet to decide how to act on the information.
Reputation has now taken a further blow as Ulwarth has died. They are no longer well meaning but…For now a man’s family have been put in jeopardy by their actions. Furthermore, their inability to defend the farmstead calls into question their skills as fighters.

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