Expedition to the Haunted Vale
Vale of Brethil Encounters
Copyright ©2000 Phillip Gladney
Edited for The Guild Companion by Joe Mandala, October 2000
The locale surrounding Minas Brethil is a pleasant, hilly country with sporadic stands of both
deciduous and coniferous trees. Abundant pastures in the lower portions of the valley provide
a veritable feast for any grass-eating animals. Occasionally, sheep, deer or even losrandir
can be found feeding in the meadows, although this is becoming rare as the years go by. Other
animals encountered could include wolves (the most common), bears, moose or even one of the great
Cats that are known to inhabit southern Rhudaur.
During the period when Angmar has a small force located in the nearby castle (T.A. 1643),
encounters will be comprised almost entirely of wolves, crebain, Hillmen or orcs. These are the
four groups that bear the responsibility of patrolling the perimeter of Minas Brethil. The Hillmen
will probably be encountered if the encounter occurs during daylight hours. They sleep during
the night (close to their spears) and will only be encountered then if a general alarm has been
raised or if the party stumbles onto one of their camps. In addition, Althaur sends out his
crebain daily to seek out meddling interlopers. These avians fly out further than any other
patrol and have been known to check up on events at Thuin Boid. During nighttime the wolves have
free reign. They are sent out at dusk and will hunt for food and guard against any intrusion until
dawn. If the wolves do perceive strangers they will howl loudly to alert any Hillmen or Angmarim
in the vicinity, and then attack. One wolf will always go back to the castle and inform (by
the use of Althaur's Animal Speech spell) the garrison there what they are up against and what
the situation is. Once or twice a week common orcs under the command of an Uruk-hai, will go
out and patrol along with the wolves. These are the strongest of all patrols and include five
Larag-mosh orcs, one Sulmog-vras Uruk and four wolves. The Uruk will always be riding one of
the wolves, while the common orcs travel on foot.
There is a high possibility that an encounter with one of the Angmarean expeditions' patrol forces will occur. They are diligent and have a good understanding of the local terrain. If trespassers are located and deemed a danger to the groups' mission, they will be hunted down with everything the Angmarim have available. This includes the Hillmen, the Uruk-hai wolf-riders and the regular Angmarim mounted troops. The wolves have an incredible sense of smell and can root out hidden enemies, while the Hillmen posses excellent tracking skills. The Angmarim, on their horses, provide needed muscle and can pursue any intended prey with alarming speed. All three groups will cooperate fully with each other and together make a formidable hunting party.
Of course, other encounters are possible, but they are not as likely as one of the various lookout bands. Wandering monsters such as Trolls or Undead are one likelihood as are normal animals and other Free Peoples investigating the recent developments in local politics. There is a good chance that Elves could be in the vicinity since Rivendell is aware of Angmar's growing influence in the area. A group of wandering Elves could be a great help to beleaguered party members on the run.
- Encounters should be rolled for once during every period of day or night. More than two rolls per 24 hours may be made at the GM's discretion