The Haunting of the Thunder Massif

By Steven Lan­ders

The Tale

The First Age was a tur­bu­lent time throu­ghout all of Middle Earth. Mor­goth unlea­shed hor­rors beyond ima­gi­na­tion upon the deni­zens of Middle Earth. The Elves and the Valar fought him until finally he was defea­ted in the far away Ang­band in the frozen north-wes­tern part of Middle Earth.

In the last years of this great war there was a Noldor elf named Tur­guin who was figh­ting the minions of Ang­band in sou­thern Middle Earth. He was ori­gi­nally from Gon­do­lin, he and his belo­ved Elonin had left long before its fall. They had made their home in the south with others of their rela­tives and fought long and hard against the forces of Mor­goth. Due to their mostly unno­ti­ced efforts, the south was rela­ti­vely safe throu­ghout most of the latter por­tion of the First Age. It was after the defeat of Ang­band that disas­ter visi­ted Tur­guin.

After his defeat, many of Morgoth’s minions fled to other parts of Middle Earth. One of these was a Maia named Blor­dak. Blor­dak had a form simi­lar to a troll, and was often mis­ta­ken for one, but he was actually quite phy­si­cally weak. Howe­ver, what he lacked in phy­si­cal might, he made up for in power. Blor­dak had an incre­dible, but twis­ted mind. He had the power to men­tally attack those who came against him, and break their mind. As he tra­vel­led south he gathe­red a large band of Orcs to guard him, and he pilla­ged all that was in his path.

When Blor­dak ente­red into the sou­thern lands, Tur­guin soon recei­ved word of a large troll lea­ding a band of Orcs and atta­cking local people. Tur­guin and Elonin along with four other Elves began to track down the rai­ders. They finally found them in the high­lands near what is now Clyan. They atta­cked the Orcs with great fero­city killing half of Blordak’s band. The Maia retrea­ted hea­ding north with the Elves in pur­suit.

Blor­dak began to use his power to affect the fol­lo­wing Elves. In the first night of the pur­suit, one of the Elves atta­cked ano­ther killing him while he rested. The elf then killed him­self. The next day the now enra­ged Elves caught up with Blor­dak and his band, and the fight was fierce. Ano­ther elf fell, but all of Blordak’s Orcs were slain. He slip­ped away into a cave that lead into the Thun­der Massif. The Elves pur­sued him there.

Blor­dak conti­nued to exert his influence upon the Elves, and they became more enra­ged and vicious as the pur­sued him. At the same time, there was a small far­ming com­mu­nity of men nearby. Blor­dak sent his will against them, and they became mad­de­ned and star­ted after the Elves.

In the hidden valley of the Thun­der Massif, the Elves finally cor­ne­red Blor­dak in a small cave. They were pre­pa­ring to attack him when the humans came upon them. The humans atta­cked with an incre­dible fero­city, and soon a pit­ched fight ensued. The humans were driven by a lust for blood that made them a potent foe, and soon they had killed the last of the four accom­pa­nying Elves. Then Blordak’s influence tou­ched Turguin’s mind and he began to go after the humans in a ber­serk attack that was devas­ta­ting to them. It was then that Elonin unders­tood what was hap­pe­ning. She tried to get Turguin’s atten­tion to tell him that they had to stop Blor­dak, but when she called out to Tur­guin, he turned on her, and in his ber­serk rage he saw only ano­ther enemy. He atta­cked her, and slew her before he even knew what he had done. When he saw her fall the last moment of cla­rity that his mind would ever see came upon him. He fell at her side and cried out in agony. He held her in his hands wee­ping as the humans backed away trying to flee the scene. Blordak’s influence then once more took over and Tur­guin rose and saw the humans, and in his mind he saw them as the cause for her death. He char­ged after them and slew them all. After he had done that he retur­ned to Elonin only to dis­co­ver that she was not yet dead. He held her beg­ging for for­gi­ve­ness. As her last words she whis­pe­red into his ear a spell that would shield his mind from Blordak’s attacks. Unfor­tu­na­tely his mind was already quite warped. He could no longer be driven into such a blind rage by Blor­dak, but he would always be tor­men­ted by the Maia’s dark thoughts.

After that, Tur­guin would never again leave the Thun­der Massif. He forgot about Blor­dak in the cave, and Blor­dak deci­ded to wait until a better time to escape. Before he could escape, a land­slide trap­ped him in the cave. From that time on Tur­guin has always remai­ned on the Massif, and Blor­dak has fore­ver sent the dark thoughts into his mind. Turguin’s insa­nity conti­nued to grow, and though he never went out after anyone, if anyone made their way through the secret cave, they would never return again.

Unfor­tu­na­tely this ended a month ago when a small band of trea­sure see­kers went onto the Massif fol­lo­wing rumours of great trea­sure stored there. They mana­ged to find the tomb where Tur­guin had buried Elonin, and broke into it. Tur­guin found them when they were lea­ving the tomb, and the sight drove him into a new rage. Blordak’s words now once more took root in his mind. Tur­guin now saw all men as the enemy. He killed the trea­sure see­kers, and now dis­co­ve­red a new, darker art. He dis­co­ve­red how to raise their bodies up to be his ser­vant. He was loath to leave the Massif and Elonin, but these new ser­vants he could have leave. So he sent them out to find new vic­tims to become his ser­vant.

Now, for the past month, there have been local people disap­pea­ring every few days. At first it was one or two, but now whole fami­lies have disap­pea­red, and some have said that they have seen their friends and family at night, and have clai­med that they were the wal­king dead. Great fear is begin­ning to grip the region.


This is a chal­len­ging adven­ture, and should be taken on only by a well expe­rien­ced group of adven­tu­rers. There will be some figh­ting, so skill at arms is needed, but a strong will, and some magi­cal aid is of even grea­ter value as one begins to make their way onto the Massif.


At the base of the Massif is the Shrine of the Thun­der. This is a small temple with a group of priests who lead in reli­gious cere­mo­nies to the Massif. The priests here are keenly aware of the pro­blems that have been stri­king the sur­roun­ding lands. They also know of the cave that leads up to the Massif.

In addi­tion, Khas­tas, one of the ori­gi­nal trea­sure rai­ders esca­ped before the group actually looted Elonin’s tomb. He can tell the group about the oppres­sive hatred that set­tled upon all of them. He fled in terror when two of his friends turned on him to attack him. He will tell the group that he saw one of them a few nights later, and it was clear that he was dead. He will refuse to go to the Massif, saying that the place is cursed, and that there is nothing holy about that place.



Blor­dak is still a phy­si­cally weak foe, but his mental powers are incre­dible. As soon as the PC’s enter the caves that lead to the Massif, they will begin to be affec­ted by his powers. An anger will build up in them, and whe­ne­ver they enter into combat, they will be filled with blood lust. For­tu­na­tely though, Blor­dak is so consu­med with his attacks against Tur­guin that only a small por­tion of Blordak’s influence is sent against the PCs. Fur­ther­more, once Elonin has iden­ti­fied the players as the ones who can des­troy Blor­dak, her pre­sence will also shield them for a time.


Turguin’s mind is broken, and he is filled with hatred, but he does not rea­lize that Blor­dak is the source of this evil. He will make a potent foe, but it is still pos­sible to reason with him, and if someone men­tions that they have seen Elonin, then he will be willing to listen. Once he is aware that Blor­dak is the source of his fury, then he will be able to assert enough power to shield the PC’s from Blordak’s powers for a couple of days. If Tur­guin manages to sur­vive the final fight, he will leave be consu­med by guilt. He will leave the Massif, and attempt to find a way to depart from Middle Earth.

Ghost of Elonin

Elonin’s spirit has dwelt in the Massif since her death. Even as she died, she knew that Tur­guin had been trap­ped by Blordak’s powers, so she was not able to pass pea­ce­fully away until she knew that Tur­guin was freed, so her spirit has remai­ned wai­ting for the day when someone would come who could finally kill Blor­dak and give Tur­guin release from his anguish. Unfor­tu­na­tely, Elonin has faded far away over the many long cen­tu­ries, so her powers to reach people are limi­ted. She will be able to plant dreams in people’s sleep. She will attempt to show them the story of what hap­pe­ned, as well as Turguin’s loca­tion. If people actually enter into her res­ting place, she will be able to grant them visions while they are still awake.

High Priest Arzaran

Arza­ran is somew­hat reluc­tant to give the players any infor­ma­tion about the Massif. He is convin­ced that it is the will of the gods that bring these undead upon the land. He believes that it is some sort of jud­ge­ment against their weak belief. He consi­ders him­self above this jud­ge­ment, but once the temple is atta­cked, he will be more quick to offer help to the players. He is an arro­gant man, but is fai­th­ful in his ser­vice to the gods.

Untulik the Priest

Untu­lik was raised on a farm near here, and as a kid he had ven­tu­red into some of the caves that lead to the Massif, but he him­self has never been there. There was always some­thing in the caves that scared him and his friends away. Untu­lik has always longed to see what was on the Massif, and if he is asked, he will follow the players and offer wha­te­ver know­ledge he has.

The Undead

There are couple of dozen of the undead far­mers guar­ding the caves. These people’s spi­rits are trap­ped within their decaying bodies, and they have no control over them­selves. The magic that Tur­guin used to raised them from the dead has cor­rup­ted their minds, and now all they want to do is to kill. They posses wha­te­ver skills that they had when they were alive, so most are poor war­riors, but they will fight until their bodies are com­ple­tely des­troyed. In addi­tion, Blor­dak has sur­roun­ded him­self with seve­ral undead orcs that had been killed in the ori­gi­nal battle with the elves. When Blor­dak dies, the dead will be relea­sed from their spell, and all of the bodies will simply drop where they are as their spi­rits depart.


This man is staying at the temple where he is under the care of some of the priests. His mind is warped by some of the things that he saw, and he is now somew­hat inco­herent, but he clearly remem­bers what hap­pe­ned to his com­pa­nions and him­self, and he is convin­ced that they are out to get him. If the players speak with him, he will constantly change sub­jects, but the story will come out in bits and pieces, but the players will have to find out how to put the parts toge­ther.


When the PCs first reach the area, they will begin to hear rumours of attacks by those that were thought to be dead. As they jour­ney towards the temple, they should encoun­ter the ruins of a burnt out farm, but no dead bodies. On the night that they reach the temple, a band of the dead will make an attack. They will attack until all are des­troyed.

The jour­ney through the cave to the sur­face of the Massif will be dan­ge­rous. The cave has some very tricky areas to navi­gate as there are seve­ral steep climbs, and a few dan­ge­rous drop offs. In addi­tion, there are seve­ral undead who are within the cave and will attack whe­ne­ver they see the cha­rac­ters.

Once onto the Massif, the two big­gest chal­lenges will be Tur­guin and Blor­dak. Tur­guin is an extre­mely skil­ful figh­ter and as an elf of the First Age, he has many other powers to aid him, so he will be a power­ful foe, but if he can be per­sua­ded to help out, then he can be an extre­mely power­ful ally.

Blor­dak is the big­gest chal­lenge. Once Tur­guin is either slain or convin­ced to help, then Blor­dak will assert his full powers against the players. If Tur­guin is with them, then his pre­sence will lend the players some strength to resist Blordak’s influence. In addi­tion, Elonin’s spirit will also grant some strength to the players. In any event, the players will have to try to resist Blordak’s mental attacks, and if they fail, their mind will slowly weaken till the point that it will break, and he can then use that player to attack the other players. Tur­guin will have assert his own powers so much that he will be of little use in the fight to kill Blor­dak, so it will likely be up to the players to do this.


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