Expedition to the Haunted Vale
The Hillman Camp
Copyright ©2000 Phillip Gladney
Edited for The Guild Companion by Joe Mandala, October 2000
Moiric leads the Hillmen in all three camps from this hidden lair. Situated in a cave close to a small lake, this refuge provides shelter to the nine Hillmen who reside here. Sleeping on beds of straw and leaves covered by furs and eating by means of a simple campfire, these experienced rangers roam the southern reaches of the valley that Minas Brethil dominates. They also safeguard the main cache of supplies - mostly extra spears and foodstuffs that cannot be obtained through foraging or hunting, such as nuts from the Trollshaws region and various grains. There are also valuables from the raid on the caravan stored here. This is the Hillmen's share of the booty and is worth approximately 22 gold pieces. There is little else of value here.
At any time during the day there will be four of five Hillmen out on patrol led by Moiric. These patrols never come within one-quarter of a mile of the ruins of Minas Brethil and never go further than three miles out. Therefore, any group of people moving towards the ancient castle will have an excellent chance of being seen. There is also one guard outside the mouth of the cave - the remaining Hillmen lounge inside performing necessary tasks.
Moiric is himself a kinsman of Broggha, the current Targ-Arm. He was entrusted to this mission for two reasons - his unwavering loyalty to Broggha and his woodland knowledge. Even among the Hillmen, Moiric is considered a preeminent ranger. Given Moiric's position among his people, he has obtained rather powerful magical items. His spear is Dwarvish and has a bonus of +15 due to its impressive quality. A bear totem, specially magicked by his clans' Wegec, is a +3pp adder, and the heavy furs the ranger wears protect as Rigid Leather (+5 DB). He also speaks Westron, Dunlending and a little bit of Logathig, the language of the Easterlings, in addition to his native tongue, Blarm. Moiric stands only 5'10" tall, but for a man of his race this is quite large. His billowy mustache and the braids in his long hair show others to what people Moiric belongs.
The twenty-odd Hillmen under Moiric's control are not technically part of the expedition to Minas Brethil. They are an independent military force and have no knowledge of what is occurring under the castle for obvious security reasons. Most of them think that this is a secret supply base set up for future campaigning in the Angle. They are, in fact, only here for their outdoor skills and as a sign of their Targ-arm's loyalty to Angmar. The Hillmen have no personal loyalty to the Witch-king and they will not sacrifice themselves for any of the Angmarim and could even disappear into the surrounding hills if things get too hot. However, this action will cause their leader to lose face among both the Angmarim and ruling Rhudaurim, and this they will be loathe doing.
Located at the northern end of the hill upon which Minas Brethil sits, this camp guards against intrusion from the north. Three simple huts made of bark provide shelter while a defensive ring of sharpened stakes and piled rocks surround the encampment. There is one fire pit for preparing food and providing warmth to the seven Hillmen who reside in this temporary enclosure. There is always one Hillman standing guard overlooking the valley below. The Hillmen are, as a race, very perceptive (+30 to Perception) and have excellent vision. Any group moving through the valley to the north will have a chance of being noticed by whichever guard is on duty. A failed Stalking Maneuver by the party will set many events in motion. One Hillman will automatically travel to each of the other two Hillman camps and warn them. Another Hillman will have the onerous task of warning the Angmarim and orcs in Minas Brethil. The rest will move into positions for an ambush unless they feel that the party is too strong. If that is the case they will watch the intruders and wait for reinforcements.
There is nothing of value located in this camp. The Hillmen themselves don't even carry anything. All of the booty acquired by the Hillmen located here is kept at the main camp with Moiric. It is to be divided up at the end of the mission (which is supposed to last throughout the summer). Ironically, the only things that have any worth at all are the heads of the Hillmen. After the raid on the caravan a bounty of one silver piece was put on every Hillman killed or captured.
Much like the camps to the north and south of Minas Brethil, this hidden refuge guards the perimeter. It also has seven Hillmen living within its bounds and is laid out similar to the northern camp. The procedure used by the northern camp toward intruders is also utilized here. One difference between the three camps is that the Hillmen from this camp have been known to go on longer patrols. If any Hillmen are encountered a mile or more from Minas Brethil, it will be the watchmen from this encampment.