–– · Coup de Théâtre Final

Ce cha­pitre n’est pas uti­lisé dans la ver­sion tra­duite et modi­fiée de la quête. Il est pré­senté ici à titre d’information.

11.0 Search in the Wold

The adven­tu­rers again sense the com­ple­tion of their task as they travel to the last-known loca­tion of the Palantíri. This time, they may even manage to keep the enchan­ted orbs ! Des­pite their suc­cess, a nasty sur­prise awaits when they return vic­to­rious to Minas Tirith.

11.1 A twist in the tale

As detai­led ear­lier (in Sec­tion 7.5), Taladhan fore­saw the Jug­glers” trea­chery. In a dream, he ove­rheard the plot devi­sed by the Jour­ney­man at a mee­ting in a high tower contai­ned within an immense cavern. He lear­ned that the double-cros­sers inten­ded to steal back the Palantíri after they had deli­ve­red the orbs into Taladhan’s hands. The vision was accu­rate. The sus­pi­ciously large sum of money that Taladhan offe­red the Jug­glers to smuggle the Stones over the White Moun­tains was enough to convince them that the cargo was extre­mely valuable and thus worth kee­ping in addi­tion to the deli­very money.

Taladhan ori­gi­nally inten­ded to have the Palantíri brought to a spot on the west bank of the Anduin River about 5 miles north of the sou­thern edge of the Wold. After his pre­mo­ni­tion, the sor­ce­rer chan­ged the deli­very site to a loca­tion 50 miles far­ther north on the east bank. The change was ini­tially made to hinder any ideas the Jug­glers had of sen­ding an advance force to scout the area. Then, Taladhan evol­ved his master plan. He deci­ded that the best way to foil the greedy Jug­glers would be through tri­ckery rather than force of arms. Taladhan ins­truc­ted Elegar to covertly order two replica Palantíri from the Glass­works of Minas Tirith. The terms Palantír and Seeing-stone were to be avoi­ded ; rather Elegar was merely to des­cribe the pro­ducts wanted : two orbs of trans­lucent black glass, one a foot in dia­me­ter, the other two feet across. Since know­ledge of the Palantíri is extre­mely limi­ted at this time in his­tory, a des­crip­tion of their exte­rior appea­rance is unli­kely to attract atten­tion. The very few people who have heard of the Stones tend to think that they exist only in myth.

Taladhan hopes to fool the Jug­glers by let­ting them steal the fakes, ins­tead of the true Palantír, thus rid­ding him fore­ver of the rogues” atten­tions. Unfor­tu­na­tely for the PCs, the intro­duc­tion of the repli­cas will add a wholly unk­nown and extre­mely trou­ble­some ele­ment to their quest ; they too may mis­take them for the real thing !

The fakes were crea­ted in the Minas Tirith Glass­works which lie on the Fourth Tier of the city. From there, they were ship­ped, by water and land, to Lake-town. Taladhan arran­ged to have the false orbs pass along the Old Forest Road (see Sec­tion I 3.6.1) where he ambu­shed the wagon car­rying them (the­reby avoi­ding revea­ling him­self as the recei­ver of the deli­very and avoi­ding the ship­ping costs as well!) and brought the fakes to his tower, Sarn Gori­wing. The jour­ney to Sam Gori­wing from the ambush point was slow due to the size of the glass spheres and the increa­sing Elven pre­sence in the Green­wood (not to men­tion marau­ding giant spi­ders). Howe­ver, they arri­ved safely at the tower. There, Taladhan wove subtle enchant­ments to render the false glass spheres more like the Palantíri in their appea­rance. The enchant­ments were mainly cos­me­tic, confer­ring no powers upon the fakes, the excep­tion being a spell which tou­ghe­ned the glass spheres and allows each to be drop­ped twice without brea­king.

The enchant­ments com­plete, the fakes were trans­por­ted to the newly arran­ged ren­dez­vous in the Wold. As soon as the real Palantíri were deli­ve­red and the Jug­glers had depar­ted, the Stones were swiftly taken north by Vacros into Green­wood and on to Taladhan’s tower. The fakes were left in their place in anti­ci­pa­tion of the return of the trea­che­rous Jour­ney­men.

Upon the Jug­glers” return, the adven­tu­rers arrive at the ban­dits” lair in the hope of reco­ve­ring the Palantíri. The simul­ta­neous pre­sence of a band of Orcs, who are inter­es­ted in the contents of the large wooden cases, contri­butes to a very inter­es­ting situa­tion indeed !

11.2 Travelling to the Wold

The jour­ney to the Wold takes about 6 days, assu­ming a moun­ted speed of 5 mph over the 375-mile dis­tance and a 12 hour tra­vel­ling day. (The adven­tu­rers should be hur­rying now. They are nea­ring their goal and cannot want to be denied the Stones again.) The PCs are not far behind the Jug­glers and arrive just before these rogues attempt to steal the fake Palantíri.


The first day’s jour­ney brings back memo­ries as you retrace your steps bet­ween the Juggler’s Hall and Edoras. Whe­reas Rohan was in the midst of autumn when you last tra­ve­led this ter­rain, the first stir­rings of spring now green the cold-blea­ched grasses and soften the arc of the sky with mare’s-tails. The snow in the moun­tains is mel­ting and the rivers are swol­len. Old men wander the foo­thills to the south, hoping to find gold in the sedi­ment washed down from on high. Deer graze in com­placent herds. Edoras surges with Rohir­rim pre­pa­ring to leave their winter homes for moun­tain cha­lets or summer-long tent-living while fol­lo­wing their belo­ved horses. You cannot linger and stop only to refresh your mounts and repro­vi­sion your sup­plies.

Lea­ving Edoras, you head nor­th­west toward the Iach Onodló : the bridge that spans the River Ent­wash. Late on the second day after lea­ving the Juggler’s Hall, you near the swol­len water­way. The ground is spongy, soaked by spring floo­ding. The bridge still stands, howe­ver, and pro­vides the only way to cross the tur­bu­lent waters.

The old bridge stands, but it is far from safe. The over­full river has seve­rely wea­ke­ned the piers sup­por­ting the span, and this has not gone unno­ti­ced by two large Forest Trolls named Gugle (Gûga) and Drudge (Drûdâg).

In an incre­dible piece of brain-work, they have deci­ded to hide under the bridge until a decent-sized meal arrives. When dinner crosses the Ent­wash, the pair intends to ram the bridge piers with their stony shoul­ders, the­reby dum­ping their prey into the water. The brilliant part of their trap is a crude net woven from rope and posi­tio­ned across the river downs­tream. The Trolls hope to pull in the net and their vic­tims after these unfor­tu­nates have drow­ned or ceased strug­gling due to exhaus­tion.

It is Extre­mely Hard (-40) to spot the Trolls : they are well hidden, and it is late after­noon when the PCs arrive, the low sun cas­ting deep sha­dows under the bridge. (Forest Trolls can ope­rate in dif­fuse sun­light without being turned to stone.) When at least three of the PCs stand on the span, the Trolls strike. The bridge col­lapses, sen­ding all cha­rac­ters on it into the waters below. Each receives a +20 Fall / Crush attack from fal­ling masonry and is car­ried swiftly downs­tream to the net. As each PC hits the knot­ted ropes, there is a 5% cumu­la­tive chance that the strands will break.

Once the bridge is down, the Trolls charge to the net, one on each side of the river. They are big and heavy enough to wade the raging stream, unai­ded if neces­sary. Any PCs not in the river may attack the Trolls.

Ren­contre :
Gugle (Gûga — Troll)
Drudge (Drûdâg — Troll)

Cha­rac­ters in the water may drown and must make swim­ming maneu­vers. At least 1 skill rank is needed to avoid auto­ma­ti­cally com­men­cing to drown. The dif­fi­culty of the swim­ming maneu­ver cor­res­ponds to the armor worn by the cha­rac­ter with an addi­tio­nal –10 penalty due to the swol­len state of the river. (Plate=Absurd, Chain=Extremely Hard, Rigid Leather=Very Hard, Soft Leather=Hard, Heavy Clothes=Medium) Three maneu­vers must be made before the net is rea­ched ; fai­lure on any of them means a loss of 25 tem­po­rary Consti­tu­tion points (reco­ve­rable at the rate of 2/​hour). If any cha­rac­ter reaches 0 points, he or she losses conscious­ness. If still in the water, the uncons­cious cha­rac­ter loses 30 points/​round until dead (death ensues when the total passes a nega­tive value equal to the normal tem­po­rary Consti­tu­tion stat ).

It is Sheer Folly (-60) to climb out of the river before hit­ting the net, because the cur­rent is so strong. Howe­ver, it is only Very Hard (-30) to climb out at the net, so long as a Hard (-15) maneu­ver is made to avoid get­ting entan­gled in the rope (contor­tions skill is sui­table for esca­ping entan­gle­ment). Par­tially drow­ned cha­rac­ters ope­rate at a penalty to all actions equal to the number of Consti­tu­tion points lost.

No cha­rac­ter will drown, if he or she is conscious when rea­ching the net : it is easy to keep one’s heads above water with the aid of the ropes. Howe­ver, par­tially drow­ned cha­rac­ters will be tho­roughly exhaus­ted and unable to fight when and if the Trolls drag them out of the water. Should they sur­vive this extre­mely nasty encoun­ter, all those PCs still on the west bank will have to figure out how to cross the now-brid­ge­less Ent­wash !

Iach Onodló — The bridge that spans the River Ent­wash

She is the ghost of a Rohir woman whose lover was killed during an Orc raid on the tower in TA. 3001. The tower was their home, and she threw her­self its roof two months after her mate’s death. Her ghost does not speak or answer ques­tions, but jumps from the tower’s blind side bore anyone can reach her. No body can be found on the ground. Howe­ver, if anyone digs in the area where the body should lie, a ske­le­ton is unco­ve­red. It wears a silver amulet around its neck. The ske­le­ton belon­ged to the dis­traught woman, and her amulet allows its wearer to remain com­ple­tely calm in all situa­tions. Fear, sur­prise, and any­thing that affects demea­nor does not affect the wearer. The wearer’s calm­ness may cause a 4th level Fear effect in all foes vie­wing the wearer in situa­tions in which any sane indi­vi­dual ought to be ter­ri­fied or awed. The Rohir woman did not know of the powers of the amulet.

The tower has three levels. The ground level contains nothing. The middle level holds merely burnt fur­ni­ture. Here, a Very Hard (20) per­cep­tion (sight) maneu­ver will reveal a loose stone behind which lies a pure white Holy dagger that slays Orcs. The top level is open to the sky, and a ske­le­ton lies on its stones. The bones are the remains of the Rohir woman’s lover. Should the PCs bury the two ske­le­tons toge­ther, the ghost will rest. (The GM may award a spe­cial .XP bonus for this.) Grip­ped in the skeleton’s hand is a war mat­tock with a red-wood shaft. It is a +20 weapon that also allows the wiel­der to knock down any non-magic door with one blow.

A good tra­cking maneu­ver at the small ruin can esta­blish fur­ther details of the comings and goings there. A group of ten Jug­glers stayed the night at the ruin after having deli­ve­red the Stones. As the stars whee­led ove­rhead, they were joined by ano­ther twenty Jug­glers, who ente­red the camp in twos and threes from all direc­tions. In the mor­ning, the group headed north to attack the ban­dits. An extre­mely good tra­cking roll will reveal that three Jug­glers left the main group, tra­ve­ling east (see Sec­tion 11.5.1).

11.3 The NPCs

Juangert Ferillot

Although Sun­len­ding is present to lead the Jug­glers in the Wold, his right-hand man Juan­gert Feral& coor­di­nates the group’s tac­tics. His dis­cre­tion direc­ted that rein­for­ce­ments join Jug­glers after the deli­very of the Palantír, and he will spe­cify who scouts the ban­dits” lair where the Stones now rest and who sneaks in to make the theft. Juan­gert is a full member of the Order of Jour­ney­man Jug­glers and is well versed in sub­ter­fuge.

Juan­gert hails from the far lands of Olyas Kriis. Chy blood runs in his veins, and he pos­sesses the creamy skin, almond-shaped eyes, and kinky hair of that kin­dred. He is of medium height, 5′10″, and wields a strange weapon called a pelarn. (It resembles a short lance with a slightly enlar­ged boss. It attacks as a spear with a +10 modi­fi­ca­tion. The two-handed pole arm has a +15 bonus when used to parry due to its boss.) The pelarn is a family heir­loom from the Utter South where it is com­monly used by war­riors.



A large man, with a full red­de­ned beard, Angrus leads twenty ban­dits who live by haras­sing traf­fic on the Anduin. Angrus pos­sesses a power­ful per­so­na­lity, a boo­ming voice, and a great bas­tard sword, which he wields with fero­city. He needs these attri­butes : his men are a trou­ble­some bunch, mainly thieves, cut­throats, and bri­gands.

Angrus fought as a mer­ce­nary seve­ral years and has expe­rien­ced two stints in jail. He is well content with his career as a bandit and with his small band of men, since the pros­pe­rity of the Fourth Age brings much trade down the river and into his hands.


Nagan leads a small bunch of excee­din­gly vicious Orcs who sca­venge in the Wold. The Uruk fled Dol Guldur in T.A. 3019 when it was clean­sed by Gala­driel. Set­tling on the Wold as his home away from home, he gathe­red other fleeing Orcs under his banner. The band shel­ters in chalk caves by day and emerges at night to hunt tra­ve­lers and trea­sure.

Thus far, Nagan has done well. His suc­cesses have embol­de­ned the Uruk chief­tain, and now he plans to take the obviously valuable contents of the cases guar­ded by Taladhan’s men guard.

11.4 The setting

The action takes place in a small valley over­loo­king the Anduin. Ruins of an old house lie in front of a cave which is home to Angrus and his ban­dits. There is more to the ter­rain than meets the eye, because a narrow pas­sage at the back of the bandit’s lair des­cends to an under­ground river flo­wing through a series of limes­tone caverns.

Mil­len­nia ago, the limes­tone cham­bers were home to a strange group of cave dwel­ling people known as the Gon­drim (S. « Stone-people »). All know­ledge of the pecu­liar tribe is now lost, and the only trace of their exis­tence is the burial cham­ber of one of their Kings. The tomb lies on an island in the midst of a large under­ground cavern, through which the PCs are likely to pass after having reco­ve­red the Palantír.

11.5 Ups and downs

11.5.1 Four-way fight !

Four fac­tions, all with dif­fe­ring aims, confront one ano­ther in the Wold. GMs should be pre­pa­red to keep their eyes and ears open as the conflict unfurls.

Ren­contre : (Jug­glers)
Juan­gert Ferillot — Chyan Warrior/​Fighter lvl 10
Jug­glers — 30 War­riors and Bards Lvl 5

Ren­contre : (Ban­dits)
Angrus — Human Warrior/​Fighter lvl 10
Ban­dits — 20 Rogues and War­riors Lvl 4

Ren­contre : (Orcs)
Nagan — Orc War­rior lvl 10
Orcs — 30 Common Orcs Lvl 3

The four adversarial forces

  1. The PCs. They are here to claim the Palantír for the King. They sup­pose that the ban­dits don’t expect the Juggler’s return. The adven­tu­rers are pre­pa­red to fight both.
  2. The Ban­dits. Angrus and his men have been hired by Taladhan to sub­stan­tiate the sorcerer’s grand plot. They expect a fight and are being well paid for their ser­vices. Howe­ver, Angrus is decei­ved concer­ning his appoin­ted adver­sa­ries : Taladhan led the ban­dits to believe the Jug­glers are less nume­rous and dan­ge­rous than is so. The rogues anti­ci­pate overw­hel­ming the Jug­glers easily when they return. Fur­ther­more, the ban­dits are not expec­ting the advent of the PCs or the Orcs.
  3. The Jug­glers. The Jug­glers jour­neyed to the Wold in two groups. Sun­len­ding, accom­pa­nied by Vacros, led ten men who car­ried the Palantír to the ban­dits” lair. Unk­nown to both Vacros and the ban­dits, an addi­tio­nal twenty Jug­glers, led by Juan­gert, tra­ve­led to the Wold in advance and hid while the smal­ler group deli­ve­red the Stones. Retrea­ting a few miles after the deli­very, Sunlending’s Jug­glers met with Juangert’s and all stole quietly back towards the ruins the fol­lo­wing mor­ning. The Jug­glers know nothing of the PCs or the Orcs.
  4. The Orcs. These sca­ven­gers are present to grab wha­te­ver they can get. Their main tar­gets are the cases in which sit the fakes, but they’ll be happy to abs­cond with any­thing valuable or useful. Nagan saw the Jug­glers deli­ve­ring the cases to the ban­dits and dedu­ced that some­thing of value was up for grabs. The Ores know the ban­dits will fight to retain their goods, but have not anti­ci­pa­ted the Jug­glers” return and do not expect the PCs to arrive on the scene.

The course of the conflict

At dusk, the PCs approach the ban­dits” lair by way of the narrow path along the east bank of the Anduin. Ahead, the Jug­glers pre­pare to com­mence their attack. Three Jug­glers have clim­bed to a van­tage point above the ban­dits” cave, while the rest clus­ter on the path just out of sight of the lair (see the map). Meanw­hile, una­ware of the Jug­glers” pre­sence, Nagan’s Orcs gather on the north side of the ruin, ready to pounce.


The ban­dits have not spot­ted the Orcs, but ready them­selves for the jug­glers. Ten ban­dits lie well hidden amongst the ruins, bile the other ten stand just inside the cave entrances.

As the PCs move for­ward, it is Very Hard (-20) for them to per­ceive the Jug­glers on the path before them. (Close to the Jug­glers posi­tion, the PCs view is obs­cu­red by the brow of a hill.) The course of the battle hinges upon whe­ther or not the PCs spot the Jug­glers. Both pos­si­bi­li­ties are des­cri­bed below.

The PCs per­ceive the Jug­glers

If the PCs spot the Jug­glers, they have the option of lea­ving the path and clim­bing to a van­tage point over­loo­king the lair. This requires Medium (+0) clim­bing maneu­vers and Light (+10) stal­king maneu­vers. If a stal­king maneu­ver is failed, the adven­tu­rers will be imme­dia­tely spot­ted by the three Jug­glers above the cave. If a clim­bing maneu­ver is failed, the PCs must remain on the path. Should this occur, the PCs must either wait until the Jug­glers have moved or else attack them (in which case, pro­ceed along lines simi­lar to those des­cri­bed under The PCs Do Not Per­ceive tk, e jug­glers).

Once they reach their van­tage point, it is Very Hard (20) for the PCs to see the Orcs gathe­ring and Extre­mely Hard (-30) to notice the three Jug­glers. Howe­ver, they have gained a deci­ded advan­tage : their foes dimi­nish one another’s forces while the PCs observe and suffer no casual­ties. Figh­ting ini­tially breaks out amongst the ruins, and the Jug­glers have the upper hand by weight of num­bers. After a short time, some of the ban­dits leave the cave to assist their fel­lows in the ruin. At this point, three things happen :

  1. The Orcs attack
  2. The three Jug­glers above the cave bom­bard the ban­dits with rocks and mis­siles.
  3. Having now revea­led their posi­tion, the three Jug­glers shout to their col­leagues and point towards the PCs” loca­tion (unless of course the PCs have already joined the fray). Eight Jug­glers move towards the PCs. If the PCs decide to charge down the hill and meet the advan­cing Jug­glers, they gain +10 OB for their first strike (due to the slope). The battle now rages with all four fac­tions invol­ved. (Go to Climax.)

The PCs do not per­ceive the Jug­glers

If the PCs do not spot the Jug­glers on the path ahead, then the Jug­glers hear the PCs coming, hide, and let the adven­tu­rers pass before them. The ter­rain is lit­te­red with many small caves, ruts, gul­lies, and large boul­ders, making it Extre­mely Hard (-30) for the PCs to see the concea­led Jug­glers.

  1. Should the PCs fail to spot the Jug­glers, the hidden rogues do not ambush them, but permit them to attack the ban­dits first. Hence, the PCs pro­ceed towards the lair and attack as they wish. If the PCs pass through the ruins, some of the ban­dits make sur­prise attacks on them. Once figh­ting begins bet­ween the PCs and the ban­dits, the Jug­glers and the Ores attack simul­ta­neously (by coin­ci­dence). A four-way fight ensues. (Go to Climax.) (2) Should the PCs notice the hidden Jug­glers, then the Jug­glers attack them. Juan­gert shouts orders, cau­sing eight Jug­glers to stay and engage the PCs while the remain­der charge the ban­dits” lair. As these Jug­glers assail the ban­dits, the Ores swarm down from their hill. The three Jug­glers above the cave aim their fire at the Ores. If the PCs are able to defeat the eight Jug­glers, then they may join in a four-way battle at the lair.


As battle pro­gresses, an oppor­tu­nity arises for the PCs to break free and enter the cave through the smal­ler entrance guar­ded by two ban­dits. The GM should attempt to mani­pu­late all of the PCs into the lair.

Seve­ral Jug­glers and Ores follow the adven­tu­rers, and then the three Jour­ney­men above acci­den­tally cause a land­slide. Huge rocks and boul­ders plum­met down the cliff face, totally blo­cking both cave exits. A final conflict takes place inside the dark cavern, around the cases contai­ning the fake Palantír.

11.5.2 Escape

Pro­vi­ded that the PCs won the battle, they are now in pos­ses­sion of what they should believe to be the true Palantír. Howe­ver, they are faced with the pro­blem of esca­ping from the blo­cked cave with their prizes.

It would take many hours for the PCs to dig their way out. They should be encou­ra­ged to explore the narrow tunnel lea­ding from the back of the cave. The pas­sa­ge­way, little used by the ban­dits, twists and turns down­ward to a small cavern, about 20” lower than the lair. Here two boats are moored in a under­ground river. The water is cold and flows swiftly ; it requires a Medium (+0) maneu­ver to board the boats.

After 100” the river widens to fill a magni­ficent limes­tone cavern. Formed by the dis­so­lu­tion of rock, its roof is 50” high. Tor­chlight catches glis­te­ning beads of water drip­ping from large sta­lac­tites han­ging from the vaul­ted cei­ling. At one end of the cavern, sta­lag­mites pro­ject upwards from a small island.

While pas­sing the island, it is Hard (-I0) for the PCs to per­ceive that amongst the natu­ral beauty of the cal­cium car­bo­nate columns rests a flat man-made struc­ture. Those who ven­ture on to the islet notice the top of the burial site. The entrance to the tomb is a large flat stone slab requi­ring at least four men to move. The slab forms part of the roof of a single sunken cham­ber, and the PCs should be able to slide it hori­zon­tally, making just enough room for a man to climb through the crack. The floor of the cham­ber is 30” below, and on it rests the stone bier of an ancient Gona­dan King. The corpse lies on its back, eyes sta­ring upward to the cei­ling. It is garbed in a simple white robe. To obser­vers above, the King appears to be carved from stone. Should one of the PCs be lowe­red on a rope, he or she will qui­ckly esta­blish that there is a real body present. Across the chest, with both hands, the royal corpse grasps a single grey-stone sword which rests leng­th­wise on his body. No other items are loca­ted in the cham­ber.

The walls of the tomb are per­fectly square and pocked with small 1 » dia­me­ter holes (about 50 holes on each wall). It is Sheer Folly (-50) to climb the walls. Should anyone wish to take the sword, he or she must peel back the King’s fin­gers which grasp the hilt tightly. Any shift in the sword’s posi­tion is fol­lo­wed imme­dia­tely by the shat­te­ring of the four walls of the cham­ber, revea­ling a stone golem behind each (see Sec­tion 16.0). The four stone war­riors are I0” tall and charge the thief as he or she attempts to escape. The golems will not damage the King’s bier.

Should the thief escape with the sword, he or she obtains a great prize, but not without its shadow. The sword is forged of simple grey stone. The weapon is heavy (7 lbs.) and magi­cal (+15 OB, +10 DB). It deli­vers an addi­tio­nal crush cri­ti­cal and gives the wiel­der auto­ma­tic ini­tia­tive twice per day. Howe­ver, it is cursed : should the wiel­der come within IOU” of any pure stone statue (por­traying man or animal), the statue comes alive and attacks the wiel­der for 1–50 rounds.

Lea­ving the large cavern, the PCs hear the shriek of bats as the river flows swiftly into a small cave. The still-dark air surges with small flying crea­tures, and the PCs are dea­fe­ned by the bea­ting of bat wings. Each PC takes 1–10 bat attacks as the adven­tu­rers pass through the cave (see Sec­tion 16.0 for stats).

After ano­ther 300”, the under­ground river emerges from a narrow entrance beneath a sheer rock face. The PCs have rea­ched the Anduin and should be encou­ra­ged to keep their boats, since the river pro­vides a quick and easy route back to Minas Tirith.

11.6 Gamemaster’s notes

11.6.1 Enemy moves

The GM should refer to the rela­tive time­line in Sec­tion 16.0 to gain a clea­rer pic­ture of the acti­vi­ties of the NPCs in Search in the Weld.

Before the Jug­glers deli­ve­red the true Palantír to the ban­dits” cavern, a group of Taladhan’s Half-orcs arri­ved at the lair with the fake Palantír and the balance of the Jug­glers” pay­ment. The Half-orcs were led by the Eas­ter­ling Shakal Draik (see Sec­tion 14.3).

When the Jug­glers and Vacros arri­ved, the Half-orcs hid with the fake Stones in the cave. Vacros ensu­red that the trans­fer of the true Palantír pro­cee­ded in a digni­fied manner. Shakal and Angrus met with Vacros, Sun­len­ding, and two other Jug­glers in the ruin. The packing cases chan­ged hands, and the Jug­glers were paid their due. Vacros bid Sun­len­ding fare­well and she­pher­ded the true Stones into the cave as the Jug­glers depar­ted.

Sus­pec­ting that the area was wat­ched by other Jug­glers, Vacros stayed with the ban­dits until night­fall. Then, while the Jour­ney­men gathe­red at their camp­site to the south, Vacros, Shakal, and the Half-ores swit­ched the real Stones with the fakes and left for Sarn Gori­wing. Angrus and his ban­dits remai­ned on guard by the fakes in order to convince the Jug­glers that they were stea­ling the true Palantír.

11.6.2 Suggested new characters

Because the PCs will, in all like­li­hood, be retur­ning to Minas Tirith with what they believe are the Palantír, it would be inap­pro­priate to intro­duce new cha­rac­ters at this stage. New cha­rac­ters should be intro­du­ced in Minas Tirith after it has been esta­bli­shed that the PCs” quest is incom­plete.

11.6.3 Experience points

It is recom­men­ded that the GM award a bonus of 10,000 XPs for the reco­very of what the cha­rac­ters believe to be the true Seeing-stones, but then retract 80% of that bonus when they find out that what they have reco­ve­red are fakes. They should regain this 80% when they reco­ver the real Stones (in addi­tion to a bonus for achie­ving their goal).

11.6.4 Encounters

The GM should uti­lize the encoun­ter tables in Sec­tion 16.0 to enhance the jour­ney and should apply XPs as the encoun­ters dic­tate.


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