Fire and Ice
Part II - The Watcher of Carn Dûm
©2001 Craig Pay
Edited for The Guild Companion by Joe Mandala, February 2001
The Dwarvish masons
A long lost friend
This event can occur any evening in Temple Inn.
On entering the Inn the PCs notice a group of four Dwarves huddled in one corner, sat around a table supping at their ale with their hoods pulled down low over their heads. Although Dwarves are not as rare a sight as Elves they are normally uncommon enough to turn at least a few heads in any Inn. However no one seems to be taking any notice of them at all and if anyone, such as Dumfa the Innkeeper, is asked...
"Them's workin' for the Watcher, doin' stone repair and such like. Mostly keeps 'emselves to 'emselves."
If any of the PCs is a Dwarf one of the Dwarves then stands and with a look of surprise on his face, calls out to the PC in Khuzdul...
"Cousin! Been a long time. Come sit with us and share a tale or two."
It would appear that they are stonemasons and Jari their leader is a cousin, perhaps once or twice removed, of the Dwarven PC. The Dwarves do not take warmly to any other non-Dwarven PCs, but will allow them to sit next to them, though they will continue to talk to their Dwarven cousin in Khuzdul.
This is their story...
"We have travelled here from the Blue Mountains to the West on a contract to carry out masonry and mechanical works for this so called Lord who calls himself 'the Watcher'. Never actually met him though, his lackeys take us blindfolded from the Inner Gate to wherever in the Fortress work's needed, mainly stone masonry and mechanical works fixing locks, traps and door mechanisms and so on. And look here..."
With that Jari pulls out a silver coin from a pouch around his middle.
"A solid Mithril coin. There's three more of these as payment when we're done, that's one each, worth as much as 100 gold nowadays. A small fortune indeed!"
The Dwarves know that there are Orcs in the lower Warrens, which they are disgusted about but they're convinced that the Watcher has nothing to do with them and that they're treated more as pests to be kept under control. Perhaps their greed has blinded them somewhat.
Most useful, even though they have been taken everywhere blindfolded within the Fortress, Mim is gifted with a keen sense of direction which means that they could be persuaded to sketch out a fairly accurate map of the lowest Warrens, 1st and 2nd Levels of the Fortress.
Talk continues for the rest of that evening with the Dwarves perhaps even warming to the other non-Dwarven PCs and talking to them in Westron.
A friend is lost again
This event can occur anytime after the 'A Long Lost Friend' Event. Preferably on the day of the ritual see 'The Summoning of Eloeklo'.
If any of the PCs happen to be anywhere near the Middle Gate on the third day, they notice a small disturbance near the front of the gate. Mim, Nothri and Farin are standing there in an obvious state of distress. When asked they explain that Jari has been taken to the fortress alone and that they've all been sacked, without pay! The guards said something about breach of confidence.
The Watcher has heard a rumour that the Dwarves have been talking to someone in town, perhaps even about the layout of the fortress, and his punishment is to take the Jari captive. He needed a live sacrifice for the ritual anyway and it means he no longer has to pay the rest of them.
If one of the PCs is a Dwarf related to Jari, these events may well distress them and serve as a push to get the PCs into the Fortress.
Pug the pitiful
This event can occur any night just outside Temple Inn.
Tied up outside the Inn and under the window of the PC or player most likely to be suckered in for a 'good cause' is the feeble figure of a small Orc called Pug. Starting every evening just as the PC is about to drift off to sleep, Pug starts whinging and crying about how sorry his life is and carries on pretty much all night. See Pug's NPC description for sample quotes.
Pug's owner, Dûmra, is also staying in Temple Inn. If any of the PCs complain to him about Pug's noise he will go out and spend several minutes beating Pug until he is quiet. Occasionally Dûmra staggers out from the Inn after an unprofitable gambling session and again beats Pug into near unconsciousness.
Hopefully the PCs will take pity on this poor wretch and at the very least release him. Pug originally comes from Carn Dûm and if the PCs think of it he may be a useful guide through the Orc warrens. Pug is bright and might even lend his services as a guide to the PCs if they don't seem sure about releasing him. He knows that the Backdoor is not guarded very well, though he wouldn't want any of his Orcish tribe members harmed by the PCs. He might even intervene and persuade the Orcs to let him and the PCs pass through.
However, if Dûmra even gets a sniff of any plan to release Pug or if he suspects that any of the PCs have had anything to do with such a plan, he will immediately launch into threatening behaviour and violence, only stopping if badly wounded or outnumbered.
Pug will attempt to escape at any opportunity, but any threat of violence will send him into a foetal position crying and whinging.
This event can occur at anytime in Temple Inn.
Staggering into the Inn comes the sorry figure of Farrenar (see the NPC descriptions). One of his arms is in a sling and he has a grubby bandage around his head. After buying two pints of ale from the bar and fumbling around for several minutes trying to pick up both with one hand, he resorts to making two trips back to a table near the fire where he sits down and starts mumbling into his pint. Several double trips later Farrenar becomes quite loud pointing at different people in the Inn and shouting...
"Bastards... they all Bastards!"
And then going back to drinking his ale.
If approached Farrenar is sullen but looking the PCs up and down holds out an empty pint glass...
"Ale for a poor cripple?"
He's obviously no cripple, looking more like a ranger, just badly beaten up. But a few more pints will persuade him to part with his story...
"I was one uv thur group shee... Watcher's inner circle... Mor-sereg like the old days he says. But dis short smelly chick shows up with this pretty big gem and He says I ain't been doin' so well lately... lettin' them farmers kids go 'n all so He gets 'is big stupid furkin troll Dâ... Dâgûl... gûlrog what'sis name to beat's be up... furkin 'urt! Did! Be gettin' anuvva job now..."
After failing to extract full payment from a local farmer Farrenar was ordered to put the farmer's children to his sword, but unable to go through with this request he let them go and told the Watcher that they escaped. Correct in not believing him the Watcher was just waiting for the first opportunity to get rid of Farrenar without disrupting the nine required members for his Mor-sereg. The Watcher had Dâgûlrog his troll bodyguard beat Farrenar and thrown out of the Middle Gate. The only reason he didn't have him killed outright was the possibility that he might have to resort to using him on some errand again in the future.
The dark stranger
This event can occur anytime around town or in Temple Inn soon after the PCs have arrived in town.
A few years ago Sauron passed word to all his servants that the One Ring was no longer lost and must be found. His dark servants started a search which was to last many years.
As the palantûri are uncovered in the events that took place in The Horn of Nimraug, Mûrazôr the Witch King and Leader of the Nazgûl receives a 'waking dream' in which he hears a voice telling him that an artefact once lost has now been found, in the frozen lands North he once ruled. Could this be the One Ring?
Mûrazôr has a supposedly loyal servant, Camthalion, in Carn Dûm. Why has Camthalion not sent word of this? Has he heard nothing? Or is he hiding something? Over the last few hundred years Mûrazôr has become increasingly distrustful of his once loyal servant Camthalion, but has remained undecided how to act, preferring to wait and observe from distant Mordor.
At Sauron's instruction the Nine will soon be travelling North to the lands that used to be ancient Arthedain in search of the Ring. While there he can travel to Carn Dûm for a one-to-one discussion with Camthalion. Meanwhile he sends word to a more loyal servant, a spy by the name of Konihrabn, to travel to Carn Dûm and find out what is going on.
What the spy knows
Soon after Konihrabn arrives in town, a strange looking Lossoth woman arrives riding a White Warg and is then escorted into the Fortress by Camthalion's guards. Soon after the PCs arrive, apparently in hot pursuit and looking to follow the Lossoth woman into the Fortress. What is going on? He will start by watching the PCs...
One of the tools of Konihrabn's trade is the use of small animals and birds for spying on others.
Konihrabn grabs the attention of a local Magpie and instructs it to follow the PCs and keep an eye on them.
Have the PCs make Hard (-10) Perception rolls to notice that a curious looking black and white bird seems to be following them around. If the PCs make it obvious that they have noticed they are being spied on, the Magpie flies away and does not return.
After using the Magpie to rather unsuccessfully observe the PCs, Konihrabn decides to act more in person.
Have the PCs make Hard (-10) Perception rolls to notice that Konihrabn appears to be watching them. He carefully watches the PCs from a dark corner in Temple Inn. Sometimes even following them at a distance when they leave. Repeat this event until the PCs decide what to do.
If the PCs approach Konihrabn, he will slip into his cover story that he is a travelling fur trapper. Then, if pressured, he will do a very good job of convincing them that he is actually a bit of a rogue and maybe adventurer, with some skills that the PCs might find rather useful. He says he noticed them arriving the other day and that they seemed to have been following the 'strange Northern woman who arrived some days before'. He might even then start to persuade the PCs towards going into the fortress to recover 'whatever it is they are looking for', with him along to help, of course!
Once in the fortress with the PCs he will back them up until they recover the palantûr in the final scene. Then at the first opportunity he will attempt to steal it for himself and make an escape, to later rendezvous with his Master, Mûrazôr who he knows is travelling north to meet him. However, if there is any chance of risking his own life he will simply escape and supply Mûrazôr with the information that the PCs have a palantûr. He is intelligent, very loyal and cannot be dissuaded from his task. He seeks only the prestige from his Master of recovering such a fabulous item.
See the 'Watchful Rangers' NPC descriptions. The Rangers are a good source of True rumours and could even be persuaded to accompany the PCs into the Fortress.
The Rangers did observe Kylmyyskala entering the Main Gate with her White Wolf. A party of Rangers set off immediately but by the time they arrived in town she had entered the Middle Gate bound for the Fortress interior.
In the ruins
If the PCs decide to investigate the Ranger Ruins (see the 'Rangers Ruins' Location) they may well be confronted by D6+1 of the Watchful Rangers, half of them hiding in nearby bushes with bows drawn and arrows notched. If any of the PCs are openly wearing an eresselen, from the previous Horn of Nimraug scenario, the Rangers will take a serious interest. Only their leader Flamgar wears such a badge of authority and they will question the PCs until they are convinced of their sincerity and how they came in possession of such a valuable item.
In town the PCs may find themselves being observed by a small D3+1 group of the rather shady looking Rangers, until the Rangers are sure that the PCs are not agents of the Enemy. If any of the PCs is wearing an eresselen openly the Rangers will continue to follow them until they leave Carn Dûm, waiting for an opportunity, such as a dark alleyway, to approach them and question them as to how they came across such an item.
Into the fortress!
The PCs should eventually figure out that they must make their way into the Fortress to recover the palantûr. There are a number of 'pushes' to get the PCs to realise that they must go into the fortress:
Konihrabn could intervene and persuade the PCs to go in and 'get whatever it is they are after'.
The Dwarven Masons might be asking them for help to rescue their friend.
The Rangers will not be enthusiastic about going into the Fortress, unless the PCs have persuaded them that there really is a palantûri in there (in which case they will tool up to go in there anyway and the PCs can 'come along if they want').
Pug the Pitiful might even catch on to what the PCs are after and try persuading them to go in. All he really wants though is to get in so he can escape and rejoin his tribe.
Perhaps Gundric (see 'Rosamunda the Seamstress') starts hanging around the PCs and encouraging them to go in and 'kill the evil Orcs!'.
Before the PCs set off for the Fortress they will notice that the weather seems to be getting a little worse, with cloud starting to gather around the summit of Carn Dûm.
Have any PC with a Weather Watching skill make a Medium (+0) roll. A success indicates that this weather is a little unusual and not predicted.
This is the start of the Summoning of Eloeklo, the most powerful Maiar storm spirit in the entire North.
A little B&E
Quite how the PCs get in is up to them. They could enter via the Front Gate, Back Door or even try the upper entrance, though this is fraught with danger.
Let them wander around the Warrens levels perhaps guided by either Pug the Orc or the Dwarves. Then let them navigate up through the levels, making random encounter rolls, until they reach the levels inhabited by the Mor-sereg (see 'The Fortress, The Upper Levels').
As they approach the uppermost Level have them make Perception rolls starting at Very Hard (-20) and getting progressively easier to hear the following...
From the depths of the mountain itself comes a rhythmic beating, like the sound of a distant mighty heartbeat...
A while later and further Perception rolls reveal...
The sound is clearer now and is no great heartbeat, but the sound of a drum being slowly beaten and along with this a steady chant in some unknown Dark language.
Outside there must be a terrible storm brewing for even within the depths of the mountain you can hear the distant howling of the wind.
These are the sounds of a ritual that Camthalion is leading to summon Eleoklo. As Eloeklo's Fana starts to materialise a storm is forming around the summit of Carn Dûm.
As the PCs climb up through the Fortress levels the sound of the ritual gets gradually louder and louder.
The summoning of Eloeklo
Camthalion knows what a palantûr is when he sees one and knows that it is capable of seeing anywhere the viewer wishes. He knows that Sauron has his own and suspects that Saruman does also. His immediate thought is to use it to seek out the One Ring for himself. However, now that he has his own, he still doesn't know how to actually use it. After a few days study Camthalion realises that learning to control the palantûr will require much further study in a library away from Carn Dûm, such as exists at Litash. Time is something he does not have, his master Mûrazôr the Witch King or even worse Sauron himself may find out at any time. He needs to learn how to use the palantûr now.
So he decides to summon an ally that he has only used occasionally in the distant past that he thinks may be able to help him.
That ally is the most powerful storm spirit in the whole of the North, an immortal and evil Maiar spirit by the name of Eloeklo.
Any PC who has lived in the North who sees Eleoklo will instantly know it for what it is: the stuff of childhood nightmares. Other PCs can feel the power of this Maiar. Imagine a similar feeling to seeing a Balrog, on a slightly lesser scale.
The PCs can follow the sounds of the ritual towards their final goal, what used to be the Council Chamber (room 11, Level 5) of the Fortress.
As the PCs near the final chamber the sound of the drum beating, the chanting and the howling wind has risen to an almost unbearable level, making it difficult for them to talk to each other.
A Routine (+30) Stalk/Hide roll is likely to succeed and the view that meets the PCs may surprise them...
You round the corner and look into a strange circular chamber illuminated by candlelight. Painted on the floor is a great green lidless eye, surrounded with blood soaked vines. The air is thick with a pungent herbal smoke that makes your head feel light.
PC's with either Foraging or Herb lore skill can make a Medium (+0) roll to identify that the smoke smells like Breldiar. Normally this is a flower found in volcanic areas which can be eaten picked straight from the stem, but would appear to have been made into incense sticks that are burning all around the chamber. These incense sticks were actually made in Litash, to the east of Carn Dûm, from flowers picked on the slopes of the volcanic Gundalok pass at the very Eastern end of Angmar.
|Effects: AF7. Subtracts 30 from maneuver and melee. Adds 50 to spells and missile attacks. Euphoria. Lasts 1 hour.|
In case the PCs decide to take some of the incense sticks away with them, note that this herb has an Addiction Factor of 7%. Each subsequent use after the first in any week gives a 7% chance of addiction, doubling with every subsequent use after the 2nd in that week. Addiction will result in a -50 when not using the herb, a loss of the beneficial effects of the herb, a lack of ability to resist the herb when under stress and unpleasant, possibly violent withdrawal symptoms without usage. There are bunches of Nine incense sticks burning equally spaced at Nine points around the room, for a total of 81 sticks. Each stick is equivalent of one dose and burns for one hour. The sticks are all about half burnt when the PCs enter the chamber.
Camthalion keeps this herb for use in only the most difficult summoning rituals to aid the casting of all the groups' magic. All of the Nine Mor-sereg have inhaled enough of the herb to be full under its effect. This could well be an advantage for PCs wishing to close and use melee, but a disadvantage if they decide to stand back and use magic or missile attacks. If they think of it, PCs can cover their mouths with a cloth and remain unaffected for several minutes.
Around the chamber stand nine individuals. It is these Nine that are chanting and one of their number, a huge black skinned and plate armoured troll is striking a drum in rhythm with the chanting.
The others are a varied bunch indeed, mostly Men, local and one an Easterling. But there are two more that stand out. The first is the familiar figure of the small Lossoth woman you have been chasing for the last two weeks and behind her sits her great White Warg.
If the spirit wraith Dîndae survived from the last scenario have the PCs make a Hard (-10) Perception roll to notice it skulking around near Kylmyyskala's feet. It is immune to the effects of the Breldiar smoke.
However, standing in between her and the great black troll is the most unusual figure of all. The tall gaunt figure of... what must be an Elf, but a strange looking one indeed with slanted eyes as if from the East and wearing a resplendent green-scaled cloak! He seems to be leading this ritual and lying prone on the floor in front of him is the figure of Jari, the missing Dwarven mason.
And on a stone pedestal in the centre of all the Nine sits the palantûr!
Eloeklo is here...
Suddenly, the chanting and drum beat stops. All that can be heard is the distant sound of the howling wind, which if the PCs make a Perception roll now seems to be getting closer... Then a blast of frigid air blows in from the outside via the Hall of the Fell Beasts on High (room 19, Level 5) and straight along the corridor leading directly to the Council Chamber. Any PCs standing in the way and with the option of diving out of the corridor must make a Hard (-10) MM roll to get out of the way or take an 'A' Cold critical. Any caught in the blast must make a further Very Hard (-20) MM roll or be blown over.
This blast of cold air is focused on the centre of the Council Chamber just above the palantûr on its stone pedestal. Above this it starts to form a dense whirling cloud.
What happens next is now up to the PCs; they may well have already reacted.
From the folds of his green-scaled cloak Camthalion takes out a long thin knife and bending down to Jari holds the knife at his throat. Looking up at the cloud Camthalion speaks in Quenya...
"Eloeklo Demon of the North Wind, Master of the Wind-horde and immortal tyrant of the Northern Waste... I am unworthy to have called you and have not done so for many centuries. In exchange for this small offering and my continuing loyalty I ask of you only to show me what the palantûr knows. Give me the knowledge to control it... so I may find that which my Master once lost and which has now been found again."
In this invocation when Camthalion refers to the 'finding of that which was lost' he is referring to using the palantûr to find the One Ring.
The shape of a huge figure then starts to form within the cloud and the howling wind seems to intensify. On its pedestal a dull glow starts to appear from the very centre of the palantûr as if an image is starting to form.
At some point the PCs should intervene or Camthalion will slit Jari's throat and learn how to control the palantûr. If they need a push perhaps the spirit wraith Dîndae spots the PCs and launches to the attack. Perhaps one of the other Mor-sereg notices the PCs and loses their concentration. Whatever the event, the ritual is disrupted.
The stability of the ritual is extremely important in keeping Eloeklo bound and under control. Any disruption is likely to lose Camthalion's control of Eloeklo. As soon as any interference in the ritual occurs Eloeklo, extremely angry at being forcibly summoned, appears in it's fully demonic form 'a semi-transparent horned and fanged demon some three times larger than a Man' surrounded by a whirling frigid cyclone. Eloeklo then lashes out at its summoner, Camthalion.
The battle is a mighty one indeed! Camthalion hurls dark tendrils of raw power Channelled straight from his Dark God Morgoth at the Maiar with seemingly little effect, while Eloeklo strikes again and again with his mighty whip at Dâgûlrog who bravely stands in between Eloeklo and his Master.
Meanwhile, a stray blow from Eloeklo clips the stone pedestal bearing the palantûr and it crashes to the floor, sending the palantûr, still glowing, rolling across the floor to come to rest exactly halfway between Kylmyyskala and the PCs!
Kylmyyskala immediately drops her concentration and rushes to grab the palantûr before the PCs get it first. Camthalion and Dâgûlrog are busy defending themselves from Eloeklo. The other members of the Mor-sereg start attacking the PCs using whatever method they favour most.
If the PCs have any sense they should get in, grab the palantûr and run for it.
Dâgûlrog falls a few rounds later, how many is up to the GM - either pick an appropriate moment or roll 2D10. Eloeklo then turns and starts picking off other random targets. At some point Eloeklo, satisfied with stealing several souls and feeling his Fana beginning to weaken, leaves the same way he came in, knocking anyone over as before. Again when this occurs is up to the GM. Eloeklo usually waits around for 2D10 rounds after the last prey has presented itself, then leaves. The PCs and/or members of the Mor-sereg could simply be hiding during this time with Eloeklo drifting around the chamber, sniffing and listening for any sound. A second 10th Level Fear roll might be required to avoid making a noise.
If the PCs decide to hang around and tackle Camthalion, he starts making his way towards an exit, blasting anyone stupid enough to get in his way. In the PCs try, don't be afraid to kill or maim any that get in his way. Likewise a lucky strike could take Camthalion out and award that PC with some serious bonus Experience Points. Escaping to the side of the mountain Camthalion makes good his escape in some imaginative way, such as on the back of a Fell Beast that appears out of the night sky.
If the PCs look like they are getting a beating and need help, the Watchful Rangers could appear at the last minute.
The PCs may fight until all have been defeated or they may leave early on, hopefully with the palantûr intact.
Leaving the Council Chamber they are free to navigate their way out of the Fortress with little or no hindrance. Word has spread amongst the Orcs and Guards of a great army laying waste to the entire Fortress and most have fled! A few remain, wandering the halls in a daze or in search of something valuable perhaps. Such folk run or drop to the floor in fear as the PCs approach bearing the glowing palantûr.
At some opportune moment read the following to the bearer of the palantûr...
You feel your eyes drawn to the palantûr, even if you resist, like some great force is pulling you in and you see a vision...
'A green land, to the South of here, rolling hills and strange mound-like dwellings. Little people wander around, not Dwarves... but Hobbits. And on into one of the strange little homes atop a hill. In to a parlour where one of the little folk sits in front of a fire, looking at something in his hand... a ring. A gold ring. Even from your viewpoint you can see strange writing as if etched in pure light about the inside of the ring. And the little person looks over his shoulder, straight into your eyes with a look of pure fear...'
Then the vision is no more and the light fades from the palantûr.
This is a vision of Frodo holding the One Ring and though the PCs will not be aware of the importance of this vision, the players will be.
During the ritual Camthalion requested Eloeklo to instruct him how to use the palantûr to find 'that which was once lost', the One Ring. Somehow, call it either Luck or Fate, Eloeklo has called forth an image to the palantûr of the exact location of the One Ring with Frodo in the Shire, something that Sauron and his palantûr will never achieve. Perhaps there is some ancient link between this Palantûr of Amon Sûl and the One Ring, this was after all called the 'Chief Stone of the North', indicating that it was the most important of all the Northern palantûri.
Make note of which PC saw this vision. They will not be aware of it but they have learned something of how the palantûr works. In effect they have earned a single rank of Use Palantûr skill (an Intuition based Lore skill).
The PCs will eventually leave the Fortress and possibly even return to Carn Dûm. If they do they find the town rife with rumours about what events have happened within the Fortress, but life is continuing as it did before. Some of the Watcher's guards are even in town negotiating with the townspeople to offer their services as town's guards in return for food and lodging.
A surprise meeting
In The Horn of Nimraug, Gandalf sent Alaric 'up North' to investigate some strange possible future event about to unfold. Having not heard from Alaric for some time, and hearing 'whispers on the wind' that an ancient artefact has been discovered 'up North', Gandalf decides to visit in person to see just what is going on.
Gandalf arrives in Carn Dûm just as the PCs have left the Fortress with the palantûr, perhaps while they are back at Temple Inn and deciding what to do next.
If the PCs are out in the wilderness instead, have them make a Very Hard (-20) Perception roll to see the shape of an Eagle high in the sky. A couple of hours later, Gandalf comes trudging through the snow into their camp, perhaps causing quite a stir until they realise who he is.
Either way, Gandalf introduces himself and enquires about Alaric's whereabouts, appearing visibly upset when the PCs talk of Alaric's death. If the PCs are wondering how he knew who they were, they are carrying much of Alaric's equipment, which Gandalf immediately recognised, especially Alaric's staff. And again if they ask how Gandalf knew that they were here in Carn Dûm he answers...
"Well you've not really been that, ahh, quiet now have you? And whenever there's something to be heard, you can always guarantee that there's someone, or something, there to hear it... which is never really a good thing."
He will then persuade the PCs to show him what they and Alaric were chasing after. As soon as Gandalf sees the palantûr he exclaims
"My, my! Well I've not seen this old thing for some time. Not since that weak willed Arvedui ran off with it... mmph, anyway, enough of that."
Realising he has spoken out loud, he quickly shuts up. He is, after all, talking about events that took place over a thousand years ago. In fact Gandalf himself was granted the use of this very same palantûr by the Arthedain Dunedain when it sat in the watchtower at Amon Sûl.
The players may even recall Alaric telling them the tale of Arvedui's fateful journey North to escape from the invading Witch King's forces and his death in the icy waters of the Bay of Forochel. Gandalf talks of 'weak willed Arvedui' as if he knew him, which of course he did but will deny.
He then turns to the PC who saw the vision of the Shire in the palantûr...
"And now we will find somewhere a little more private to talk and you will tell me what you saw in the palantûr."
If this event is happening at Temple Inn he will adjourn to a room upstairs, making sure that windows are shuttered tight, if out in the wilderness a tent will have to do. Then he will question the PC until all is revealed about what was seen in the palantûr even if Gandalf has to shoo away the others so they can discuss the matter privately. If asked how he knew that the PC has seen something
"When you look into something that old, it forever reflects in your eyes. I have used this very stone before and I have met those who have used others like it... [he pauses with a quiet, almost sorrowful look in his eyes]... Those that know how to look for such things can see it."
Then Gandalf asks for the palantûr to be given to him and if the others are elsewhere, he calls them around to watch. He places the stone on a convenient surface, then moves it this way and that, sitting back every now and then as if making sure it is the correct way up. The PC who saw the vision before can now make out the small sign of the invisible 'upper' and 'nether' poles on the surface of the palantûr which Gandalf seems to be lining up to point straight up and down. None of the other PCs can see these points.
Seeming finally satisfied with the position of the palantûr, Gandalf settles back to watch... and a steady glow appears in the centre of the stone, then an image begins to form...
'...flying South away from Carn Dûm, the flat plains of Angmar, scattered settlements, ruined ancient towns and fortresses. Gentle rolling hills now, North-East Arthedain, and then woodlands, the infamous Trollshaws. Somewhere near lies hidden the legendary vale of Rivendell and to the West, Bree. Then a flat grassland plain and in the distance a group of horse riders, all dressed in Black and heading North-West towards Bree. One breaks off from the rest and heads North, you know heading straight for Carn Dûm.
'Then he has changed, not cast off his black cloak, but changed. Now he wears armour as if made of silver under long grey robes and upon his head a crown... He looks up, his eyes shining as if with a light of their own and a shrill cry emerges from thin barely parted lips that makes your blood run cold...'
With that Gandalf knocks the stone to the floor and the vision vanishes. Taking out his pipe and lighting it from the fire, he walks away silently to ponder what he has seen and blow a few smoke rings into the air. Minutes later, or when a PC asks, he replies...
"What you just saw is something that may be happening now, or in the past, or perhaps soon... or maybe never will. There is no way to tell.
"What is certain however, is that this rider is one of the Enemy. Who or what, is of no concern to you, but I believe he comes to find the palantûr. Alaric's advice to seek a Haven was wise, but Rivendell would be foolhardy. The Rider is perhaps not far from there now.
"But there are others... [then mumbling to himself] ...the Havens, mmm a long way, open country across the North and trouble from the others perhaps. Lothlorien, but to cross the Mountains [looks at the PCs] ...mmm... [again a long pause].
"Ah hah! I have it! My old memory nearly lets me down. You will travel north, to Evermist! Few legends even tell of it, none will suspect.
"Perfect! You must leave at once! Travel northwest from here to a village called Ruskea Vene. Be careful who you talk to there, but hire someone trustworthy to guide you around the Bay to an inlet which the Lossoth call Pitkävesi. At the head of this inlet lies a hidden valley that may be difficult to find. This is Evermist; you will know when you are there. Give the palantûr to the Master of this place, Nestador, and it will be safe. Your job will then be done."
If the PCs need persuasion to complete this mission Gandalf will remind them that the Enemy will seek them out whether they keep the palantûr or not, if only to silence them. They are now unfortunately involved. Anyway, they will have the silent thanks of all the Free Peoples of Middle Earth, and the Noldor of Evermist have bountiful wealth to grant in exchange for such a fabulous gift.
The events now continue with the third and final scenario in the Fire and Ice campaign, Escape to Evermist.