‘The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.’
With The One Ring – The Lord of the Rings™ Roleplaying Game the Tale of Years is advancing closer to the events of the War of the Ring and the lands of Middle-earth are growing dark. But this does not mean that there are not places of life, joy, and respite. The folk of Middle-earth still laugh, drink, and sing and below are two such places your Company can find respite.
We are told that Imladris is `a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all’. Merely to be there brings relief from weariness, fear, and sadness. Heroes lucky enough to find Rivendell are likely to meet with Lord Elrond, Arwen, Glorfindel or one of Elrond’s other advisors such as Erestor, Lindir or Damron the Smith.
They might join Elrohir and Elladan, the sons of Elrond, on quests into the Trollshaws, Coldfells or beyond. While some heroes might wish to meet with Aragorn, the young chieftain of the Rangers, he is elsewhere, on errantries in the south.
Rivendell is an island of peace in a sea of wilderness. In the far north is the ancient land of Angmar, once the kingdom of the Witch-king. Now his capital Carn Dûm stirs once more, as evil spirits, Orcs, Trolls and other unknown dangers gather in response to the rising Shadow. Below that is Mount Gram, where crafty Radgul rules and plots against fellow Orcs and the Hobbits to the west at the same time.
Below Mount Gram are the Ettenmoors, a wild land in which only Wargs and some tribes of Hillmen live. To the south are the Coldfells and the Trollshaws where Trolls rule. There are many places where danger hides in the dark forests and houseless hills of the land.
Only in the secret refugees of the Dúnedain are there any safe places in the wilderness. To the south of the Dwarf-road, the Rivers Hoarwell and Loudwater come together in a land called The Angle. It is said that somewhere in those desolate reaches are the last great outposts of the Dúnedain, where they raise their young and protect their elders.
The peaceful land of the Hobbits, the Shire is bounded by the Far Downs to the west, the Brandywine to the east, the North Moors and the South Marshes. Buckland, on the other side of the river, is dangerously close to the Old Forest. Most Hobbits live their entire lives here, never travelling more than a few miles from their birthplace. Visitors are not entirely unknown — Dwarves walk the Great East-West Road and it is said that you can sometimes see Elves in the Woody End or other remote areas of the country. As for Men, they are very rare, but at least one Wizard makes a point of visiting on occasion.
If you can gain the trust of the halflings, you can meet such luminaries as the Mayor of Michel Delving or the current Thain of the Shire, Fortinbras Took; the master of Buckland, Rorimac Brandybuck (he may ask how his siblings are doing in the land of Beornings, see below) or the most famous Hobbit of all, Bilbo Baggins, who lives in Bag-end, Hobbiton, under the Hill and over the Water. Folk who make trouble might come across the Bounders or one of the Shirriffs and find that, while most Hobbits are exceedingly polite, they are quite capable of dealing with a few ruffians.
Most visitors will seek out accommodations along the Great Road, where Hobbits are at least a little used to dealing with strangers. Popular places to visit include The Bridge Inn next to the Brandywine, The Golden Perch (rumoured to have the best beer in the Eastfarthing), The Green Dragon Inn in Bywater or Hole Inn at Michel Delving.
Rivendell art by Michele Parisi & The Shire Art by JG O ‘Donoughue
The One Ring, Middle-earth, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises and are used under license by Sophisticated Games Ltd and their respective licensees. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.