Clue, But With Trolls

When Boron arrives at the Prancing Pony he finds the fellowship has already left and he has to track them. But can he arrive in time to save them from the trolls?

Session Log

Back on Chithing 3rd Boron arrives at The Prancing Pony, expecting to find his companions and Gandalf. But instead he finds a message from Gandalf telling him his friends are likely in danger and a secret way to the Weather Hills.

Knowing it’s dangerous to go alone Boron recruits Floki and Hornbori to travel with him, knowing their suspicions of Jari based on his sentence of exile for the crime of looting Kazad-Dûm.

Following the strange directions of Gandalf’s map the dwarves make their way through the Midgewater Marshes and into the Weather Hills with magical speed. Entering the valley Boron finds clues to the fate of his comrades:

  • Ithildir left behind a piece of wood carved like athelas, but to Boron’s eyes an old elf could have carved it.
  • Nob’s kettle full of beans is a sure sign Nob was here and that something odd happened—Nob would never leave his bean and mushroom kettle behind.
  • Tarandis’s arrows from the fight with the trolls puzzle Boron. “Any old elf could have shot this.”

Apparently Boron doesn’t get elves. But with some clues to work with Boron explores the lake. Boron decides to swim to the raft with Floki and Hornbori staying on shore with a rope. As he swims out he feels something try to grab him from the dark, deep water. On the raft Boron finds a woman, two children, and a man in shabby clothes. They tell him that the troll Nelly Longarms lives in the lake, and that they’re her prisoners (and future meals). Boron cuts the anchor line and yells to Floki and Hornbori to haul them in, getting them to land just before Nelly can grab them.

Safely on land the woman introduces herself as Gudren, the wife of Diarmoc. The children are theirs, and the other man on the raft is their servant. Trolls captured them on their way from Tharbad and used his family to force Diarmoc to draw more people to the valley. Nelly lives in the lake while her two children live in the older ruins.

Meanwhile in those very ruins Nob, Tarandis, and Ithildir sat in an old storage cellar the trolls use as their prison and larder by blocking the door with a huge boulder. From a small crack in the ceiling a small child wriggles into their prison. Cautioning silence lest the trolls outside should wake she names herself Scylda Heather, the last member of the family that lived in the now-ruined farm on the other side of the valley. Her family lived here until the trolls arrived, killed everyone but her, and took over.

Scylda knows secret ways out, but the only ones large enough for elves and men are on the other side of the boulder. Nob uses his elven rope to silently move the stone and they escape up a tunnel and into the afternoon sunlight to see none other than Boron Firebeard!

Reunited, the fellowship makes plans for how to defeat the trolls. Deciding that Nelly is the largest threat, they start with her. Boron tricks Nelly into coming close to shore where Nob lassos her with his elven rope and the craft of elven thread is enough to enable the combined might of the fellowship to drag Nelly into the light, turning her to stone.

Moving on to her children in the dwindling light Ithildir sets brush fires around the ruined tower to force the trolls out. As smoke settles into their lair the trolls blunder out and one stumbles directly into sunlight, turning him to stone as well. The other troll seems to be cloaked by the smoke as if some spirit moved it to protect him, but the fellowship defeats him with force of arms.

With the threat of the trolls settled the fellowship explores the valley more completely and discover’s Nelly’s hoard, including a green gem that aids in travel which Nob tucks away.

Diarmoc and his family reunite and leave the valley while Boron pronounces dwarven justice on Jari for his complicity with the trolls: he must travel the North and fight drakes until he dies. Nob adopts Scylda, and the fellowship returns to Bree.

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