Last time, we were deep within a goblin hole, attempting to rescue Dinodas Brandybuck. Having slain the goblins and done some light looting, we spent several hours getting back out of the tunnel network and managed to rejoin the caravan making its way through the High Pass of the Misty Mountains.
After many more days of travel, we finally arrived back at the Easterly Inn. Dinodas and Doty were reunited, though Doty made no mention of the promised payment for rescuing him. We spent several days there resting up and did a short fellowship phase to establish the Easterly Inn as a sanctuary for our group.
With Midsummer’s day fast approaching, we decided to journey back to Rhosgobel for the Woodman Folkmoot. The evening before the moot was spent in revelry and feasting and gathering rumors. Brand got drunk with Boarslayer’s uncle Many-Drinks, who told him the history of the Lamp of Balthi, a sacred artifact of Woodmen Town. Denethor learned of strange green fires in the East Bight. Beli spoke with Bofri, son of Bofur, who was attempting to assemble a party to scout the Old Forest Road in preparation for repairing and re-opening it as a safe passage through Mirkwood. There were also rumors that King Bard was smitten with a twerking trollop named Una, back in Dale.
The folkmoot was attended by a plurality of influential woodmen. Amaleoda the Eagle of Black Tarn was there to press her case for being recognized as a new woodmen settlement, and Ceawin the Generous was there to make a similar claim for Sunstead in the East Bight. Mogdred, the terrifying ruler of Tyrant’s Hill arrived and announced himself to be the long lost son of Ingomer Axebreaker, the respected elder woodsman of Woodland Hall. He wanted similar recognition for Tyrant’s Hill, though he radiates a strongly negative vibe.
In the end, all three proposals were accepted. We made plans to travel back across the Narrows of Mirkwood, marking a trail as we went. We escorted Amaleoda and her party to Black Tarn, then carried on with Ceawin and Bofri to Sunstead. Though biting black flies plagued us, Denethor’s keen eyes allowed us to avoid the attercops.
Once in Sunstead, we started digging into the reports of the strange green fires. They had been happening along a line, spaced about ten miles apart. We scouted where we thought the next one would be and found it. Cultists(?) of some sort were burning a live stag suspended over the enormous bonfire, chanting something about serving the Lady of the Tower, the Queen of the South. But part of their chant was also about keeping the shadow at bay. Brand was all for rushing in and attacking them. Boarslayer and Denethor, though disliking the torture of the stag, wanted to talk to them first and try to understand their agenda. Beli had no opinion. But Brand was persuasive so we jumped in and attacked them. Denethor shot the stag first, to end its suffering. After a few rounds of melee, the surviving cultists threw themselves into the fire. Boarslayer was wounded in the battle.
The fellowship returned to Sunstead to explain to Ceawin and the other locals what they found. We’re still unsure whether we did a good thing or a bad thing. While Boarslayer is convalescing, he is visited by a squirrel bearing a message from Radagast the Brown. In effect, we are to seek out Minas Raug, the Tower of the South, and observe it. Also, there is an abandoned hall of the Elves of Mirkwood in that direction that may provide us resources to fight the Shadow. It is magically concealed. We resolved to do this next time.