Welcome to the Palantir Quest Campaign Site!

This is a write up of our Middle-Earth roleplaying campaign. It is heavily based upon the ICE MERP supplement 'Palantir Quest', but with significant changes to the published adventure, mostly to get rid of things I didn't like. I've tried to add a more epic, world-spanning plot 'over-arch' to what is a pretty linear adventure, although I really like the core plot premise: That the Palantir stones of Arnor, two of the most powerful magical items left in Middle-Earth in the Fourth Age, have re-surfaced and our heroes have been chosen to recover them. At times I stuck closely to the published adventure, but I also re-wrote whole sections and have extended it a lot. In many places I've relied upon other ICE MERP modules for things like maps of locations and NPC stats.

I shall post each chapter one at a time. There are 36 chapters in all, so it will take some time. They are divided into three books (of course!). The chapters roughly divide into the game sessions we played. I have also included an overview of the Chronicle (below), mostly adapted from ICE's Palantir Quest itself, to give readers the same background knowledge that I had as referee. Also each player character has his own character sheet, illustration and background. The character sheet is as the PC finished, not as they started. I'll try to include sheets for the major NPC's as well.

The group consisted of the referee (me) and 5 or 6 players and has been playing since January 2001, meeting about once a month, generally in Nottingham or Stoke-on-Trent (in the UK). We started the campaign using the Middle-Earth RPG rules but immediately changed over to Decipher's LotR RPG when it was released in 2002.

I hope you enjoy our Chronicle and please come back to read the next chapters as I post them.

 

It is fourth age (F.A) 12. The War of the Ring is over, Sauron is defeated and Aragorn rules Gondor as King Elessar. Gondor is growing in power again, the cities and towns are being rebuilt, and trade with distant lands is increasing. With the new King comes justice and relative peace. But, whilst the great threat of the Dark Lord is gone, many servants of evil survived his destruction. With their black hearts thirsting for vengeance, they remain a danger to all the free peoples.

The King rules in Minas Tirith aided and advised by Gondor's Council of Seers, of whom the High Seer is a man named Tarquillan. Old, very wise, but also blind, Tarquillan is the guardian of Gondor's only remaining Palantir stone. Safe at the top of the tower of Ecthelion, the Orthanc stone (recovered by Gandalf from Saruman) is the only Palantir stone which remains of the original seven. The other six have been lost in wars or through the plotting of the enemy - that is until now!

Whilst using the Palantir stone to observe the rebuilding work at Tharbad (Tarquillan can see in his minds-eye using the stone), the High Seer detected a powerful presence far to the north. Pushing the stone to its range limits he scanned for the source. He saw a brief, hazy image, then the strain took its toll and he collapsed unconscious.

When he was revived Tarquillan became sure he had felt the power of another Palantir stone. Aided by his talented apprentice, Elegar, Tarquillan set about researching ancient lore in the royal library. There he discovered the tale of how the two Palantir stones of Arnor (the Anuminas stone and the larger, more powerful, Amon Sul stone) has been lost in the Icebay of Forochel along with the last king of Arthedain (see the Unfinished Tales for full details of this history).

Tarquillan and Elegar also discovered reference to a spell for locating items of great power, contained within a book called the Diary of Mistan. Research revealed that the diary was stored in one of the royal libraries of Arnor. If it could be found and the spell cast, then the Palantir might be located and recovered.

Sure that the two stones had somehow resurfaced, Tarquillan reported his findings to the King and a plan to recover them was made.

***

The re-emergence of the Palantir stones not only interests the King of Gondor and his Seers. There are others, learned in ancient lore, who also have the power to use the stones. One such man is Taladhan the Black (as he is called today), who was once Alatar the Blue, one of the five Istari Wizards. He travelled into the far east of Middle Earth, but there he was corrupted and became a powerful servant of Sauron.

Taladhan survived Sauron's destruction, and now seeks to make himself a new power in Middle Earth in the fourth age. There are few still residing on the western shores who can resist the great power of the maia-spirit Taladhan.

Since the War of the Ring Taladhan has not been idle. In the last twelve years he has established a sanctuary at Sarn Goriwing in the Mountains of Mirkwood, an ancient tower once used by 'the Necromancer'. From his own 'dark tower' Taladhan has taken control of the local Orc tribe, the Uruk-Thang, and they provide his labour force, along with a few half-orc refugees from the destruction of Isengard. Taladhan also has other useful allies.

The first is Elegar, a young, ambitious man with a talent for the magical arts. Just after the War of the Ring ended Elegar was corrupted by Taladhan's promises of power and arcane knowledge. The young Elegar was sent with a secret mission to infiltrate the Council of Seers in Minas Tirith. Charming and clever, Elegar has done well for Taladhan. Elegar is currently chief-apprentice and aid to the High Seer Tarquillan, but all the time is secretly reporting back to his true master.

Taladhan's second ally is Captain Vacros. A noble-borne Easterling, fully of hatred for Gondor and Rohan and seeking revenge for his defeat in the War of the Ring. Once Vacros served Mordor, now he serves Taladhan. He is cunning, cruel and totally loyal to Taladhan. The black wizard has promised to make him the 'Huz of Amov', or the Great Headman of the united Easterling tribes. From this position Vacros will build his strength to eventually invade and destroy Gondor and Rohan.

When news of the resurfacing of the Palantir stones reached Taladhan via Elegar, Taladhan summoned Vacros and sent him forth. His orders were to recruit and equip an expedition to the Icebay of Forochel, to find the Palantir and bring them both to Taladhan at Sarn Goriwing

Taladhan's third ally is Angrus, a huge, red-bearded Northman. Thoroughly evil at heart, Angrus is a boar of a man, fearless in a fight, but quick-witted as well. Angrus leads a band of outlaws and bandits currently hiding in the Wold.

Whilst Vacros is away seeking the Palantir, Taladhan will manufacture two false seeing-stones. These stones, made in the likeness of the Palantir, will have some small magical power, but only enough to fool the casual observer. He will then send both of them to Angrus. Angrus will use the new stones to create a false trail, hoping to fool King Elessar's pursuit and allowing Vacros to return to Sarn Goriwing unhindered with the real ones.

With the true Palantir stones at his command Taladhan then plans to make his next move. The capture and subjugation of the Orcs of Mount Gundabad. With Vacros as the leader of the Easterlings and the Goblin High-King under his power, Taladhan will have forged an alliance powerful enough to threaten Gondor's King.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
         
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