Community Project: Struggle in the East Supplement

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Community Project: Struggle in the East Supplement

Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:46 am

Hi Everyone!

I would like to announce the beginning of a community project focusing on the happenings in the East before the War of the Ring. While Games Workshop has done a fair bit of work in the area, there is still a lot of detail which can be developed as an outlet for creativity and to enjoy the works of J.R.R.T that little bit more. While Games Workshop has naturally focused on developing the 3 cultures of Harad, Khand and Easterlings in order to bring out new products, there is a lot of storytelling which fell by the wayside. This supplement aims to capture the story aspect of the happenings in the East during the Third Age of Middle Earth.

The foundations of this supplement begin with the work of 2 mysterious figures created by JRRT: The Blue Wizards. Near the end of his life, Tolkien saw these two wizards as having an influential role in the outcome of the War of the Ring. Without their work, the men of the west would have been overrun and Middle Earth would have fallen under the domination of Sauron.

To make this happen and to produce the best material we can, we need everyone's help, whether its storyline, character development, playtesting or feedback, please leave your comments and questions in this forum. Once all the details have been compiled, the supplement will be released as a PDF.

Please note: The name of the supplement is not final, just what I conjured at this time. Suggestions welcome. Estimated project end date: September 1st. Allowance to the end of October
Last edited by Hodush on Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Community Project: Struggle in the East Supplement

Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:46 am

Background
To kick off with a bit of background regarding our main protagonists, I have linked some work from CouncilofElrond.com

In canon, the Blue Wizards are hardly mentioned, being known from a single sentence – “the rods of the five wizards” in “The Two Towers” (“The Voice of Saruman”). But in other writings, particularly from “Unfinished Tales” and “The Peoples of Middle-earth”, much more information can be learnt.

Tolkien originally suggested that when in Middle-earth, the Blue Wizards went east with Saruman:
“…But there were others, two dressed in sea-blue…of the Blue little was known in the west [of Middle-earth], and they had no names save Ithryn Luin ‘the Blue Wizards’; for they travelled to the east with Curunír, but they never returned; and whether they remained in the East, pursuing there the purposes for which they sent; or perished; or as some hold were ensnared by Sauron and became his servants it is not now known. But none of these chances were impossible to be.” (“Unfinished Tales”)

Letter #211:
“I really do not know anything clearly about the other two – since they do not concern the history of the N.W. I think that they went as emissaries to distant regions, East and South, far out of Númenórean range: missionaries to ‘enemy-occupied’ lands, as it were

When “The Peoples of Middle-earth” (HoME XII) was published, it contained a lot of material originally considered indecipherable when “Unfinished Tales” was edited, and this new material gave a whole new perspective to the Blue Wizards: “No names are recorded for the two wizards. They were never seen or known in lands west of Mordor".

But the other two Istari were sent for a different purpose. Morinehtar and Romestamo [which name corresponds to Alatar and which to Pallando is not know]. Darkness-slayer and East-helper. Their task was to circumvent Sauron: to bring help to the few tribes of Men that had rebelled from Melkor-worship, to stir-up rebellion … and after his first fall to search out his hiding (in which they failed) and to cause dissension and disarray among the dark East … They must have had very great influence on the history of the Second Age and Third Age in weakening and disarraying the forces of the East … who would both in the Second and Third Age otherwise have … outnumbered the West.”

So from starting out as a couple of Istari who ended up almost managing to aid the forces of evil, they gained a late redemption and ended up an essential – but little known – part of the victory of the forces of good.
Last edited by Hodush on Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Community Project: Struggle in the East Supplement

Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:47 am

Alatar & Pallando - The Blue Wizards Pts: 150 each
F___S_D_A _W_C___M _W_FT
5/-__4_5_1__3__7 __3__6*_3
5/-__4_5_1__3__7___3__6*_3

Wargear: Alatar carries his staff and a sword. Pallando carries his staff, which doubles as a Halberd (counts as spear or sword or axe).

Special rules:
*Staff of Power: See main rules manual

Innate partnership: The Blue Wizards have spent many long years by each other's side, and have formed an innate partnership, each working to help the other. To represent this, one Wizard may declare that his free point of Will may be used by the other wizard that turn, meaning that one Wizard may use two free points of Will in one turn.
Additionally, any spell which would normally take effect on the caster, may be cast on the other wizard, with a casting range of 6". The normal rules for powers ending apply and if the target runs out of will, the spell ends.

Magical powers:
Alatar:
Terrifying Aura 2+ See main rules
Sap Will 3+ See main rules
Immobilise 3+ See main rules
Righteous Fury 4+ Follows the rules for Fury but may be applied to Elves or Men or Dwarves (allies)
Sorcerous Blast 5+ See main rules

Pallando:
Panic Steed 2+ See main rules
Drain Courage 3+ See main rules
Renew 3+ See main rules
Aura of Dismay 4+ See main rules
Doubled efforts 5+ All friendly models within 6" gain +1 FV (including caster) for the duration of the spell. If the target models will drops to zero, the power fades.
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Re: Community Project: Struggle in the East Supplement

Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:48 am

Story-line as it stands:
While Tolkien later indicated that the blue wizards arrived earlier, we will stick with the timeline found at the end of The Return of the King, which places them arriving around 1000 T.A. As the wizards were not known by the men of the west, I propose that we begin the story with Saruman, Alatar and Pallando arriving at the city of Umbar and then heading east for their assigned purpose. As the city would fall out of Gondorian hands, it may be assumed that the blue wizards also fell out of memory as a result.

Scenario 1: Three Old fools - Saruman, Al and Pal visit a province. Saurman impresses with his knowledge and wisdom but the three offend one of the men of the kings court. As the three step out before bed they are ambushed in the city streets by a gang of men, led by the man of the court.
Alternate story: The three gain audience with the king, they disclose that they are travelling across East ME, looking for news of Saurons emergence and to assist those in standing against him. Adjourning the matter until the morning, they are on their way to their accommodation when they are set upon by a group of men
Play the scenario with the three wizards in the centre of a city on a 4'x4' or 3'x3' board. They must reach a designated point at a boards centre edge to win (inn or gatehouse etc). Enemy forces are composed of 24 men, 2 captains and are deployed in at least 2 groups in designated buildings (deploy in the four corners of the board if possible or opposite corners). Streets should be of varying width but generally no more than 4 bases wide, so a fair bit of terrain will be needed such as walls, houses, hedges etc.
Resultant story: The leader of the men escapes and flees in the direction of Mordor. He becomes a main antagonist. Another man who is part of the royal guard is saved from execution by Palando and becomes their aide in gratitude (he first calls him helper but the name east helper comes later).

Scenario 2: The Old Ways - The kings lands are attacked by a rival king the kings son is taken captive. He is taken to an area of old barrows where bandits roam. The 3 Istari travel with the king to recapture his son and to see more of the land. Evil forces are bandits (rangers/men of rohan) and some barrow wights/spectres. Pallando heals the kings son of the touch of the wights/spectres so he calls him east helper.

Scenario 3: The Messenger - The mouth of Sauron (not the same as the one in ROTK necessarily, but same profile) comes demanding tribute. The king wants to rule freely so declines. Antagonist can play a role in this scenario to develop story. Possible battle between the MoS and the King/Wizards.

Scenario 4: New alliances - The king sends an envoy with the wizards to neighbouring kings to propose an alliance/treaty so they can live in peace. The wizards are seperated in this scenario(s).

Scenario 5: Advance Party - Returning with news from the kings, the wizards are engaged by an advance party from Mordor seeking to assert dominance for tribute. Alatar defeats the wraith which leads the party and earns the title darkness slayer.

Scenario 6: Battle for the East - 3 Nazgul leading a sizeable force looking to force tribute or take slaves are opposed by the new alliance - kings, wizards, free men.

The problem with this story-line so far is that it does little to incorporate other provinces in the region. I imagine the region as being controlled by 4-8 "kings" or lords who may have a different influence (easterlings, harad, khand) but are all "free men" so no more than 1/2 the force is comprised of these troops. The rest would be normal men of gondor, rohan, dunland etc as they would not be particularly large provinces, and with borders constantly fluctuating, little wealth.
Also, while I accidentally removed Saruman from scenario 2 onwards, there is no story-line for this. It really is necessary to come up with a total of 10-12 scenarios to aid in the development of story-line. More ideas need to happen about Mordor's side of diplomacy which may include Black Numenoreans if desired. There also needs to be more on the neutral men who throw off the yoke of Sauron out of greed, self-determination for their kingdom etc. If you have any ideas, please post them and we can integrate them into the story-line.
Last edited by Hodush on Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Community Project: Struggle in the East Supplement

Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:57 am

Current Notices & Tasks

Decide Supplement Name
Test Scenario 1
Last edited by Hodush on Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Community Project: Struggle in the East Supplement

Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:21 am

Cool project! I'd love to help.
Maybe a separate forum for this project would be nice. It will keep things a bit more structured (which I think really helps to actually finish the project).

Check out this Fan Supplement by the way:
http://www.one-ring.co.uk/download/The_ ... e_King.pdf
It is about the Fourth Age and also includes the Blue Wizards. Might hold some good inspiration.

Who will be the good guys in this project though? The Blue Wizards and their followers? Or also Elves, Dwarves and Northmen? East of Mordor there were not many Elves and Dwarves left.
Also known as "Fëanor, the mighty elf"

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Re: Community Project: Struggle in the East Supplement

Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:45 am

Read that one when it was first released Feanor :) It has given some good inspiration indeed!

We want as many people to be able to play as possible, so hopefully people can contribute storyline to involve as many races as possible. As this primarily concerns the realm of men, it is true there will not be elves or dwarves featuring much (or at all), however we will be including orcs and some of their associated troops/commanders so most people should be able to contribute.

I'm just about to go back and edit the profiles. The good forces will be the wizards and people rebelling against Sauron (even if they aren't "good") and evil will be anyone who sides with him.

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Re: Community Project: Struggle in the East Supplement

Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:14 am

Okay, all sounds great!
Have you already made profiles? EDIT: just saw you made a reply dedicated for that.

Here are some good resources of accurate information:
- Very interesting article on the alliances of the Easterlings and Haradrim:
http://middle-earth.xenite.org/2012/11/ ... il-people/
- Rhun & the Easterlings
http://thainsbook.net/rhun.html
The Blue Wizards
http://thainsbook.net/otherbeings.html#Wizards

On the subject of including Dwarves:
Four of the Dwarf-houses originated in the East: the Ironfists, Stiffbeards, Blacklocks, and Stonefoots. Some of these Dwarves may have turned to evil under the influence of Morgoth as did many Men who lived in Rhun.

Thain's book, Rhun and the Easterlings (see link above).
Seems like it would be very reasonable to include some Dwarves!

I could help with many aspects of making the supplement: making profiles, making some background, making scenarios (playtesting a couple), maybe make a painting tutorial or a tutorial for making a terrain piece. I could also do some basic 'research' on what is known of the East and of the Wizards, and try to deduce some aspects of life (and war) in the East.
Also known as "Fëanor, the mighty elf"

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Re: Community Project: Struggle in the East Supplement

Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:42 pm

Thanks for the links Feanor - I just spent a few hours on them :)

Indeed it would seem that we could have Dwarves but I for one will not be spending much effort on them for two reasons. Firstly, there is already a lot of potential material purely regarding to men without needing to delve into what is a more complex topic of bad dwarves. Secondly, my dwarf army consists of Dain, Balin, 8 Khazad Guard and 3 warriors - not nearly enough to get me heading down that track at this time. If someone else comes up with a story that fits, excellent.

Thanks for specifying your interests, I'll keep you posted.

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Re: Community Project: Struggle in the East Supplement

Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:10 pm

Nice, good to hear you enjoyed it. There's tons of information in there, all very useful.

Well, the Dwarves don't need to be evil. They could just as well be sort of neutral, just trying to make a (huge) profit and protect their interests. Anyone who treats them bad is an enemy. Quite some potential. They could be allies to either side, settling a feud with the enemy or something else.
Just lots of possibilities, none of which have to be taken.
Also known as "Fëanor, the mighty elf"

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