Thugs will attack the Great Smials, and the ~The Scouring of the party will need to drive them off. Shire~ Part Four – A Jail-break at Michel Delving

An Adventures in Middle Earth The party will need to rescue Everard Took scenario for heroes of level 2 from the Lockholes in Michel Delving. The jail break is complicated by the presence of both a • When: This adventure takes place in and . September, October or November of TA 3019, towards the end of the War Epilogue – Back to the Great Smials of the Ring. The party will hopefully return Everad to • Where: This adventure begins in the Tuckborough in one piece and may join a troll Prancing Pony, . for cake along the way. • What: The company are asked to travel to Tuckborough to help Paladin Took against the agents of Lotho What the Loremaster should know Sackville-Baggins. • Why: Lotho has taken over Lotho Sackville-Baggins, under encouragement with the aid of thugs from of Saruman, bought a great deal of land in the and the thug’s leader, whom they call Shire. Some of Saruman’s Thugs were then Sharkey. sent to help Lotho in gathering food, drink, and • Who: Paladin Took is the thirty-first crops from the . Lotho started calling Thain of the Shire himself Chief Shirrif, and then just Chief.

Adventuring Phase Saruman, or Sharkey as he is called by his thugs, has now arrived in the Shire, and was the real power behind the Chief, until he had This adventure is divided into five parts, Grima Wormtongue murder Lotho in his sleep. comprising meeting Barliman Butterbur at the Prancing Pony, entering the newly fortified Now Saruman, under the guise of Sharkey, Shire, having an audience with Paladin Took, runs the Shire, while his thugs pretend that and helping him fight off brigands and rescue Lotho is still alive and in charge. his youngest daughter, Pervinca.

Part One – The Prancing Pony Maps The party will meet Barliman Butterbur, who will give them a letter from Paladin Took, Maps are not included as part of this begging to come to Tuckborough. They may adventure, but if either Loremaster or the also encounter one of Sharkey’s spies. players need a map of the Shire, they can consult the following maps: Part Two – Journey to Tuckborough The party will travel to Tuckborough, with r_Tolkien_-_A_Part_of_the_Shire.jpg different paths available to them. They may meet Farmer Maggot or even of_the_Rings_Online_-_The_Shire_map.jpg along the way.

Part Three – Skirmish at the Great Smials

The party will meet Paladin Took, father to Pippin, and have tea. However, Sharkey’s may prefer to play with dice, and the ~Part One~ players can choose to join in.

The players can suggest how much The Prancing Pony they want to bet, and then they will roll three opposed Wisdom rolls against a Thug (see pg. 73 of the Loremaster’s The current barkeep and owner of the Prancing Guide). Pony is Barliman Butterbur, son of Barnabas. He is short, fat, red-faced and rather forgetful, If they beat the Thug on two out of although he means well. three rolls, they will win however much money they bet against him. If He received a letter from Paladin Took the Thug beats them on two out of sometime ago asking for aid against the three rolls, they will need to pay that tyrannical usurper Lotho Sackville-Baggins. money to the Thug. This letter will either take the form of a message offering employment as a mercenary Once the Thug has lost 40 Silver in the fight against Lotho, or it may be a Pennies, he will lose interest in further request to a friend or family-member gambling. asking for aid. The Thug can also choose to cheat Normally, the party will have been in the with loaded dice, which will allow him Prancing Pony for several days before to roll his Wisdom rolls with Barliman remembers about the letter. The Advantage. It will take a DC 15 party might be in Bree on some business, or Wisdom (Perception) roll for the player perhaps they are returning home to recuperate to notice this at first, but every from any injuries after having participated in subsequent time the Thug cheats, the one of the battles of the War of the Ring. DC to notice the cheating will decrease Loremasters can choose to relay some of the by 1. events that might have happened in those few days, or they could choose to roleplay out a Thugs will react with hostility to few events. Some suggestions are as follows: accusations of cheating, and unless the tension is relieved with a successful DC 13 Charisma • Perhaps they meet an old Hobbit who (Persuasion) roll, the Thug will attack has fled the Shire. He’ll mutter about the party. gates and gatherers but refuse to talk any further about what is currently • They might meet a Gondorian rider, going on within the Shire, saying he who has brought news about the doesn’t want to dwell on dark deeds. coronation of , who has taken the regnal name of Elessar and married . Instead, he’ll be much more interested in playing the Game of Smoke Rings Folk in the Prancing Pony will (see The Eaves of for generally react to this news either with details), drinking and reminiscing disinterest, or disbelief, with the about the Shire’s good old days. exception of Barliman, who would be shocked to learn that a former patron • While less wholesome than playing the of his, whom he knew as Strider, is Game of Smoke Rings or riddling, now king. some of the guests of the inn (particularly those from the South) • Upon speaking to Barliman, the party If the Intimidation check is unsuccessful, the will need to introduce themselves with spy will still try to leave Bree and report to a DC 15 Intelligence (Traditions) or Sharkey. Sharkey’s Thugs will all gain in Charisma (Persuasion) check. If they confidence, and any groups of Thugs the mention the Shire or the Tooks to him, players meet for the rest of this adventure will he will suddenly remember to give the become Bloodthirsty (see Loremaster’s guide party the letter from Paladin (see page 119). Barliman Presents the Letter below). If combat with the spy becomes inevitable, use If the Loremaster wishes further information the Thug statistics on pg. 73 of the about the Prancing Pony, they should consult Loremaster’s Guide. If the spy is killed, the Bree Region Guide. then he will obviously be unable to report anything to Sharkey, and any of the effects mentioned above can be ignored.

An encounter with a spy One of Sharkey’s spies is in the Prancing Pony. Barliman presents the letter He will wear a dark cloak and hood and mostly stay in the shadows, listening in to Unless the party spoke to Barliman about the other people’s conversations. Shire, it will take a few days for Barliman to remember that he had a letter to give. Any characters who is especially Wary, or who has a Passive Perception of 13 of higher will notice the spy soon after arriving in the “You must beg my pardon, I’d been sent this Prancing Pony. letter from Paladin Took some time ago, but Otherwise, any player who specifically asks to until now, I’d forgotten all about it! After last- look at the other guests of the Prancing Pony time I forgot about a letter, Master may make a Wisdom (Perception) check with a was furious with me, and I told myself it DC of 13 to notice the spy. wouldn’t happen again. Still, every time I remember something, then something new If the spy goes unnoticed, he will listen in to drives it out!” their conversation with Barliman, leave Bree and warn Sharkey. This will put all of Sharkey’s thugs onto high alert. If the If the party have not already introduced Loremaster is using the Hunt rules (Eriador themselves to Barliman, they must do so now region guide pgs.110-115) then the Hunt Score with a DC 15 Intelligence (Traditions) or will be increased by 1. Charisma (Persuasion) check. If they notice the spy, they may confront him. Motivation He will warn them to stay out of Sharkey’s business, but will refuse to say who or what Barliman is curious what the letter is about Sharkey is. One of the party members can then and wants to make up for failing to deliver attempt a DC 13 Charisma (Intimidation) roll Gandalf’s letter to Frodo in time during the to scare him away. events of Fellowship of the Ring.

If the Intimidation check is successful, he will Expectations attempt to leave Bree and warn Sharkey about well-armed, threatening and inquisitive +2: If the party bring news of Gandalf or of adventurers. News of this will spread around Strider Sharkey’s Thugs, and any groups of Thugs the +1: If the party reassure him about his players meet for the rest of this adventure will forgetfulness gain Weak Willed Alliance (see Loremaster’s guide page 119). -1: If the party reproach him for his and the bolsters and rugs were slashed. He forgetfulness demands the party leave the inn at once. The company will not roll on the Embarkation -2: If the party were involved in any sort of fight table and will instead automatically get a Fell within the inn and Foreboding Start to their Journey. What the letter says if one of the party is a Success by 0-2: Barliman appears frightened friend or family-member to Paladin Took by the letter, and wishes the party good luck, Dear (party-member’s name), but doesn’t want any further involvement.

I have terrible news to share with you. Lotho Success by 3-5: In a fit of guilt, Barliman gives Sackville-Baggins has usurped the Shire! At the party fine food and drink for free, and the first, he just bought seemingly endless Embarkation roll for this adventure may be amounts of land, then ruffians from the south made with Advantage. He might also advise came and started confiscating whatever they the party to avoid the East Road, for fear of felt like! He calls himself Chief now. I beg of being seen. you, please return to Tuckborough at once, Success by 6 or more: In addition to the result and if you know of strong and reliable folk, given by Success by 3-5, Barliman will also call bring them too, and I’ll reward them. We need over Giles Heathertoes. all the help we can get. Giles was injured earlier that year fighting Yours faithfully, Sharkey’s ruffians, and his older brother Mat Paladin Took was killed in the fighting. Giles is eager for revenge, and though he can’t travel due to his injuries, he will hobble away and return after some time with his brother’s hunting bow and What the letter says if no one in the party is a gift it to the party. It is a short bow which deals friend or family-member of Paladin Took 1d6+1 damage. To whom it may concern,

The events of the Shire might seem small and unimportant to the Big-Folk, but now we need aid! A foul usurper by the name of Lotho Sackville-Baggins has taken over the Shire and stolen power from the rightful Thain of the Shire. We are resisting as best as we can, but we need good men with strong arms, and we will handsomely reward those who come to our aid.

Interacting with Barliman

Barliman will be very concerned about the contents of the letter, and won’t want much involvement, but the players can ask Barliman for advice. At this point, the hero should roll another Intelligence (Traditions) or Charisma (Persuasion) check to end the audience.

Failure: Barliman remembers the last time a letter like this was delivered in his establishment: the Prancing Pony was attacked be allowed to enter the Shire, by order of the ~Part Two~ Chief.

The party can either climb over the gate or Journey to have an Audience with the gate-guards. Climbing over the gate requires a DC 13 Tuckborough Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. If necessary, one of the players can From Bree to the borders of the climb over the gate to unbar it from the other Shire side to allow the other party members through. The guards might object to this but will make The party has two options for entering the no effort to physically stop the players. If the Shire: they can either travel along the East players climb the gate without permission of Road and cross at the Brandywine Bridge (see the guards, the guards will send warning to the Travelling by the East Road below), or if they First Eastfarthing Troop of Shirrifs at are worried about attracting undue attention Frogmorton. (perhaps the spy of Sharkey escaped), they If players attack the guards, the guards will flee could travel through or by the (see rather than fight back, but this will be worth at Travelling by the Old Forest below). Either way, least 4 Shadow Points. the journey will have 1 Journey Event. Motivations The East Road is within Bree-Land, which is a Free Land and is considered to be Easy, while The guards aren’t happy at all with the task of the Old Forest is within the Barrow Downs, guarding an entrance to the Shire, but they’re which is a Shadow Land, and is considered to too scared of Lotho and of Sharkey’s Thugs to be Daunting. do anything else.

Travelling by the East Road Expectations

If the party travels by the East Road, and if the +2: If the players sympathise with the plight of Journey Event is either Agents of the Enemy or the guards. The Enemy is Abroad, and the spy left Bree to report to Sharkey, then Sharkey’s Thugs may +1: If the party has at least two Hobbits attempt to ambush the party. This encounter -1: If the party has no Hobbits will involve one Thug for every player (see page 73 of the Loremaster’s guide for stats). -2: If the players insist that having gates in the Shire is ridiculous If the heroes defeat and then search the Thugs, they will find a note written by Grima to bring Failure: The guards will refuse to open the the adventurers back to Sharkey alive for gate. The players may still climb over the gate questioning. Any Rider of might be able as above, although the guards will send word to guess that this was written by Grima to the First Eastfarthing Troop of Shirrifs at Wormtongue, who served Saruman. Frogmorton about intruders.

If they successfully travel along the East Road, Success by 0-2: The guards will agree to they will arrive at the Brandywine Bridge gate. conveniently look the other way while the party climbs over the gate. The party will still need to Arriving at the Brandywine Bridge gate make Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity After having resolved the Journey Event, they (Acrobatics) checks as above, but Hobbit will come across a gate at the Brandywine player-heroes will gain Inspiration upon seeing Bridge. This gate will be guarded by several this minor act of defiance. Hobbits, who will insist that the party cannot Success by 3-5: The guards will open the gate and let the party through. Hobbit player-heroes will gain Inspiration upon seeing this act of Willow, the angry willow tree that trapped defiance. Merry and Pippin.

Success by 6 or more: In addition to the result Old Willow will wrap his roots around from Success by 3-5, the guards will advise the the players as they are sleeping. Loremasters party to avoid Frogmorton, and to seek out should emphasise the creeping terror of being Farmer Maggot’s help. drawn under the roots of the tree. Any attempt by the party to escape will prove fruitless.

Again, when all hope seems lost, then Tom If the party fail to climb over the wall or to Bombadil will appear. and gently reproach the persuade the guards to open the gate, they will tree and ask it to let the party go with a song. need to travel south and attempt to cross the Meeting Tom Bombadil Brandywine by Bucklebery Ferry instead (see Arriving at Bucklebery Ferry below). Tom will happily take the party back to his house, singing nonsense songs the entire way.

Tom is exceptionally merry, has a long bushy Travelling by the Old Forest beard, and wears a blue jacket and yellow boots. He refers to himself in the third person, The Old Forest is more dangerous than the and especially likes singing songs about East Road would normally be, but Sharkey himself. He appears too short to be a man, and would not expect the party to travel through too tall to be a Hobbit, and he is clearly too the Old Forest. If the Loremaster is using the powerful to be a mere mortal. Hunt rules, then as long as the party is in the Old Forest, the Old Forest will be considered to Motivation be a Free or Border land for the purpose of Tom is happy to help people who get into calculating the Veil Modifier only, i.e. it would trouble within the Old Forest but generally is grant a +2 Veil Modifier rather than a -2. not interested in things that occur further If they cross the Old Forest, they will arrive at afield. Even if he could be convinced that he Bucklebery Ferry (see Arriving at Bucklebery should intervene in the Shire in some way, he Ferry below). would likely only forget about the idea before he could do anything about it. If the Journey Event is A Chance Encounter or Many Meetings, then the party may meet Tom He will share Cultural Attitudes with Hobbits of Bombadil (see Meeting Tom Bombadil below). the Shire. If instead the Journey Event would result in a Expectations fight, then they may be attacked, either by either Barrow-Wights (Eriador region guide +2: If the players join Tom in singing and pg.83) or Wood-Wights (Rhovanion region telling nonsense tales guide pg.138). +1: If the players bring news of There will be one Wight for every two -1: If the players request any additional help adventurers. The party should not be able to win this encounter by themselves; as soon as it -2: If the players imply that Tom is in any way appears all hope is lost (perhaps when one of ridiculous or foolish the party reaches 0 HP), then Tom Bombadil will appear. As soon as he arrives, the Wights Failure will flee. Tom would never throw guests out of his Alternatively, if the Journey Event is A Fine Spot house. The party may stay the night and for a Camp, and the Scout fails the benefit from a Long Rest before leaving in the Investigation check by 5 or more, then the morning. party may have inadvertently slept by Old Man The party must then cross the Old Forest again, generating another Journey Event, although Tom will not come to their rescue a second From the Borders of the Shire to time. Tuckborough

Success Meeting Farmer Maggot

The party may now consider Tom Bombadil’s If the party crossed at the Bucklebery Ferry, or house to be a Sanctuary, and may come and if they go out of their way to find Farmer go as they please, as long as they tolerate Maggot after being advised to do so, they can Tom’s nonsense and lack of interest in the meet Farmer Maggot. Otherwise skip this wider world. section and go straight to Travelling through Frogmorton or Stock. Tom will also safely escort them to the eastern edge of the forest in the morning, near the Soon after crossing the river, the party will Bucklebery Ferry, although he’ll refuse to go come across a farm. The party could either any further and leave his lands. Finally, he’ll walk on the road which runs to the side of the tell them that Farmer Maggot is a friend of his, farm, or they could walk straight through the and that they should seek him out. fields if they want to avoid the roads. Either way, they will be stopped by an angry looking Arriving at Bucklebery Ferry Hobbit farmer with a scythe and three large Upon arriving at Buckleberry Ferry, the party dogs that almost resemble wolves. Any Hobbit will discover all the boats have been smashed. will recognise him as Farmer Maggot. The sight of this is quite distressing to Hobbit player-heroes and they should make a Corruption roll. If they roll a 1 or 2, they will “You there! Stop! Who goes there! Are you one gain a Shadow point. of the Chief’s men?”

The party can either travel north, to cross at the Brandywine bridge (see Arriving at the Brandywine Bridge gate above), or they can If the party pretend to be one of Lotho’s Thugs, attempt to swim across the river. then Farmer Maggot will threaten to unleash his dogs on them unless they leave at once. Most player-heroes will be able to swim, but The dogs share stats with a Wild Wolf (see the Loremaster might decide that Hobbits and page 111 of the Loremaster’s Guide) expect Dwarves are unlikely to make good swimmers that they don’t have Fear of Fire. (unless they have proficiency in Athletics perhaps). The Loremaster might then decide If they say that they are there to help fight those heroes need to pass a DC 13 Strength against Lotho, or against Sharkey, then Farmer (Athletics) check to swim across, or they might Maggot will instead bring them into his home, decide those heroes simply cannot swim at all. which is a brick house.

Note that the Fellowship of the Ring states that Motivations most Hobbits of the Shire view Bucklanders as Farmer Maggot can’t stand unwanted people strange because some of them know how to trespassing on his land, and Lotho’s thugs are swim – clearly the ability to swim is not unwanted people. The sooner someone deals common among Hobbits. with them, he thinks, the better! If the players cannot or will not swim across, Expectations they will need to travel north to the Brandywine Bridge. +2: If the party bring news of Tom Bombadil

If they do cross at the Bucklebery ferry, then +1: If they compliment his field or crops soon afterwards, they will meet Farmer Maggot (see Meeting Farmer Maggot below). -1: If they walked through his fields rather than If the Shirrifs see the party, but were not on the road forewarned, then they will instead demand to know why the party is travelling through the -2: If they tried taking any of his crops for food Shire and who let them in, but they will stop Failure: Farmer Maggot thinks the party will short of trying to arrest anyone. bring nothing but trouble, and he doesn’t want Either way, if the party is seen by the Shirrifs, to give Sharkey’s thugs any more reason to be then the Hunt score will increase by 1. suspicious of him. Farmer Maggot will demand the company leave his house at once. Arriving at Tuckborough

Success by 0-2: Farmer Maggot will let the Like most parts of the Shire, Tuckborough has party stay the night if necessary, and therefore many Hobbit holes, or smials. Yet the largest benefit from a Long Rest. Hobbit hole of all is the Great Smials, built into one of the Shire’s largest hills. Success by 3-5: In addition to the benefits gained from Success by 0-5, he will also offer The Great Smials contains a dining hall, an to take the party to Tuckborough by cart, in even larger banquet hall, various pantries, a which case skip forward to Arriving at school, an armoury, many spare rooms, and Tuckborough below. even has a second floor for Paladin Took’s immediate family. Success by 6 or more: The party gains the benefits of Success by 0-5, as above, but also As soon as the party approach the Great Farmer Maggot lends the party one of his dogs, Smials, the front door will open and one of Grip, as long as they promise to look after him. Paladin Took’s soldiers will come out. He is a For the duration of the Adventure, Grip will Hobbit armed for war, with a strung bow, a follow the party and aid them in combat. Note sword he seems uncomfortable holding and that if Grip dies however, everyone in the party leather armour reckoned to be ancient by must pass a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or Hobbits. To anyone in the party who is not a gain one Shadow point. Hobbit, he looks faintly ridiculous.

Again, Grip shares stats with a Wild Wolf (see He will look suspiciously at the party for a page 111 of the Loremaster’s Guide) expect second, but as soon as he is reassured the that he doesn’t have Fear of Fire. party has come to help them fight against Lotho, he will hurry them inside.

Once inside, they will be brought to the dining Travelling through Frogmorton or Stock hall, and told that Paladin will be with them If the party did not get a lift on Farmer soon, and that afternoon tea will be brought Maggot’s cart, they will need to travel along out. Even when preparing for war, Hobbits will the East Road through Frogmorton or take the not skip afternoon tea. southern road and pass through Stock. Either At this point, the Journey is over, and the way, they will see several Shirrifs. If everyone Guide should roll the Arrival roll. in the party passes a DC 12 Dexterity (Stealth) check, they may pass by unnoticed. If the Shirrifs see the party, and the Shirrifs have been warned about the party in advance (either by Sharkey’s spy from the Prancing Pony or by the guards at the Brandywine Bridge, Shirrifs will insist that the party are all under arrest. These Shirrifs are Hobbits, and while they may protest if the party refuse to submit themselves to arrest, they will make no actual effort to apprehend the party. feels the need to prove himself as a worthy ~Part Three~ Thain in this time of great need.

Paladin had hoped to pass down the title of Skirmish at the Great Thain to his son Peregrin, also known as Pippin, but now he despairs, believing Peregin Smials to be dead. He has accepted that he will need to choose a new heir, perhaps from among his daughter’s husbands? An audience with Paladin Took Expectations “I’m so glad you’ve come, and not a moment too soon! Ever since my son Peregrin and his +2: If the party shows respect for the office of friends disappeared in the Old Forest, things Thain, or if any of the player-heroes are Tooks have gone from bad to worse! Lotho’s thugs +1: If the party are impressed by the Great have been threatening us, but I am the Thain Smials of the Shire, and I won’t bow down to him, even if he calls himself Chief Shirrif! -1: If the party besmirch the good names of either Everard or Pippin My youngest daughter, Pervinca, she’s getting married you see, and I don’t want any of -2: If the party imply that Lotho’s regime might Lothos’ thugs getting in the way of that! Only in any way have some legitimacy problem is that her betrothed, a good strong Hobbit by the name of Everard, has been In the unlikely event that the party have met captured and taken to the Lockholes! I’d go Pippin, and can vouch that he’s alive, the and rescue him myself, but then who would audience will automatically succeed at the look after the Great Smials?” highest level without needing to make a final roll.

Failure: Paladin Took will pay the adventurers If asked for more information, he will reveal when they return Everard to him, but he’s that Everard Took is a distant relation of convinced they are nothing more than Pervinca, and that he was dragged to the mercenaries, and are only doing this for Lockholes for refusing to hand over produce money. from Tookish farms. He will give each player 40 silver if they return Hobbit heroes may recognise the name Everard, but each member of the party will Everard: he danced the Springle-ring on a table also gain 1 Shadow point. together with Melilot Brandybuck during Bilbo’s farewell speech. If pressed, Paladin will Success by 0-2: Negotiations go well with reveal that Everard hasn’t always been Paladin, and he will promise to pay each responsible, but he’s grown into a far more player 40 silver upon the safe return of steadfast Hobbit recently. Everard.

Motivations Success by 3 or more: Along with the result of Success by 0-2, Paladin will allow the party to Paladin wants to rescue Everard and see Lotho stock up on equipment in the Took armoury. overthrown, though he doesn’t think the Shire Regular ammunition, light armour (i.e. leather is ready to rise up yet. He is the Thain of the jerkins and leather corselets), and simple Shire, and proud of it, and is loath to see melee or ranged weapons can be found there. anyone usurp the power of the Thain.

He only became Thain in the last few years after the death of the previous Thain, Regardless of the success or failure of this Ferumbras, who was his second cousin, and so Audience, afternoon tea will be brought out, and in great quantities. There is of course tea and cakes, as well as toast, butter, ham, The party has two choices: they can open the various cheeses, scones, cream and different front door and attack the Thugs head on, or kinds of jam. Paladin will seem somewhat they can sneak out the other side entrance and embarrassed by what he considers to be the try to get behind the Thugs. poor showing of his pantry: Lotho’s thugs have If they try to sneak up to the Thugs, all the made it hard to acquire all the creature party must pass a Dexterity (Stealth) check comforts that Hobbits are used to. versus the Passive Perception of the Thugs. If The Loremaster should spend some time here they pass, they will gain Surprise for the first making the Great Smials feel homely, and round of combat. there may even be the opportunity to talk with The front door of the Great Smial however is Paladin’s daughters: Pearl, Pimpernel and built on a hill, providing a shallow slope Pervinca. (characters who are closer to the door and Pervinca is distraught over the arrest of therefore higher on the slope will have Everard, although Pearl and Pimpernel will Advantage on attack rolls against characters both try to comfort her and will welcome any who are lower on the slope). There are also attempt by a player-hero to comfort Pervinca. hedge rows ringing around the Great Smials which either the players of the Thugs can use Pearl is the oldest and wears a priceless pearl for cover (see Passable hedge of tree limbs on necklace around her neck. Companions page 92 of the Loremaster’s Guide for details). spending any time with her may notice she seems to be the steeliest and most If players open the front door, then they will be uncompromising of the sisters, and she would in a narrow corridor, and only two of them will not advise showing any of the Thugs mercy. A be able to directly engage in melee combat successful DC 15 Wisdom (Insight) check will with the Thugs on the other side of the door, reveal that Pearl has seen death before: she unless they shove the Thugs further back, so was once the caretaker of Lalia the Fat, an that they can exit out of the door. Once outside immensely annoying matriarch of the Took of the door, there will be more space for the family, who fell down some steps and died in rest of the party to fight. an ‘accident’ when Pearl was attending to her. During the combat, the Tookish archers will Pimpernel is the happiest of the sisters, and the randomly shoot at one of the Thugs to provide one most likely to believe everything will work covering fire: for that turn the Thug will make out in the end. She also has the brightest, all attack rolls with Disadvantage, and all reddest hair. attack rolls against him will be made with Advantage.

There will be two Thugs for every player-hero An attack on the Great Smials (see page 73 of the Loremaster’s guide for stats). At some point during or soon after tea, the sounds of angry men outside can be heard. Once the Thugs have been defeated, Paladin The soldier who the party met when they first will encourage the party to rescue Everard at arrived at the Great Smials runs into the dining once; he is worried that Everard might be hall and explains that Thugs have arrived with harmed in revenge if news of the defeat a great wood chopping axe: they clearly mean reaches Lotho. to smash down the front door!

Paladin Took says he will lead a contingent of slingers through one of the side entrances, and says he will provide covering fire for the party as they attack the Thugs. The party can also talk to the troll. No roll is ~Part Four~ needed here, the troll is eager for friends and conversation. He explains that he is the last troll from Weathertop to the Sea, and that he is A Jail-break at Michel eager to share his cooking with someone. If the party trust the troll, he will be eager to take Delving them all back to his cave at once, although he can be persuaded to wait a little until they Michel Delving is the unofficial capital of the rescue Everard. He is far too large to fit into the Shire and is now the site of the Lockholes. The Lockholes, so he can’t come with them, but Lockholes were once unnamed storage tunnels perhaps he can aid them later if any of but have been converted into prisons. Sharkey’s Thugs chase the party out of the Lockholes. Even before Sharkey’s arrival, there were many above-ground houses of brick and stone in If the party befriend the troll, then this account Michel Delving, although construction of more will later be anonymised and sanitised by has begun, and these houses are being built in his poem Perry the with little regard for Hobbitish aesthetics, and Winkle. most of the trees in sight have been cut down Entering the Lockholes to provide the building materials. The Lockholes are actually less well guarded There are however no people in sight, neither than might be thought: the Thugs too are Thugs nor Hobbits, and all the windows are scared of the troll, and it was assumed in any shuttered, and the doors closed tight. No one case that no one would get past it. will open their doors for any reason. A DC 12 Intelligence (Investigation) check will As the party comes closer to the Lockholes they be needed to find Everard’s cell. If the party will see the reason: a Hill-troll has sat in front fail, they will instead come across Lobelia of the main entrance! Sackville-Baggin’s cell. The Lonely Troll Lobelia Sackville-Baggins In fact, Sharkey’s men have deliberately let the Lobelia will loudly demand to be set free, troll into the Shire in an attempt to scare the shouting that her arrest is an outrage, and that Hobbits into submission. Sharkey thought that once her son Lotho hears of it, all of the Thugs if the Hobbits saw the dangers of the wild first will come to regret it. hand, they might be more willing to accept the ‘protection’ of his men. Unless she can be calmed with a DC 12 Charisma (Persuasion) roll, her shouting will While the troll is certainly intimidating enough attract the attention of 1d4 Thugs. If these for regular Hobbits of the Shire, a party of Thugs are slain, the party will find the keys to adventuring heroes might find the troll a little Everard’s cell, but not to Lobelia's cell (Lobelia less intimidating. He sits on a rock, crying and should canonically remain in her cell until she wailing about the fact he has no friends. is rescued by Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin). The troll is distracted, and is stupid at the best If she is calmed, or if the Thugs are defeated, of times, so sneaking by is relatively easy, she will be able to tell the party where Everard requiring a DC 8 Dexterity (Stealth) check from is, although she will make some rather mean- all of the party. If everyone passes the stealth spirited comments about Everard, and about check, they can enter the Lockholes without the Tooks in general. being seen by the troll. If Lobelia’s shouting attracts the Thugs, and If they attack the troll, then the Hill-Troll stats the party decides to run away from the Thugs on page 108 of the Loremaster’s Guide should rather than fight, they must all pass a DC 12 be used. Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) “That Hobbit is my prisoner, and it is impolite I check, and then at least one party member think to skulk around and release my must pass a second DC 12 Intelligence detainees. Mark my words, I do not suffer (Investigation) check to find Everard’s cell. If insults lightly, and you will not be the ones to this fails, the party will have no choice but to undo my plans! No, I cannot allow anything to flee the Lockholes and abandon their mission. damage my plans before that accursed Ringbearer comes!” Everard’s cell

If the party found Everard’s cell, they will see a gaunt, troubled-looking Hobbit, a far cry from Sharkey will be dressed in a grey cloak, who once danced the Springle-Ring although at that moment, he will throw it on a table during Bilbo’s farewell speech. down to reveal robes that while stained and dirty, were clearly once white. Any character If the party acquired a set of keys from the with Proficiency in History, Lore, or Shadow- guards, they can unlock the cell. Otherwise, Lore will instantly recognise this as Saruman, they may attempt a DC 15 Thieves Tools check the fallen Wizard. They may suspect him of still to pick the lock, if any of them have Thieves retaining his power, but in reality the only Tools and are proficient with them. They may power he has left is his reputation and his also make a DC 18 Strength check to force the ability to influence men. cell door open, although this will be loud and will draw the attention of 1d4 Thugs, as well as If the party attack, use the Sage stats (page 72 Sharkey (see An encounter with a fallen Wizard of the Loremaster’s Guide) but also give him below). the following abilities: Call for Aid, Commanding Voice, Denizen of the Dark and Finally, they may also make a DC 12 Survivor (see Loremaster’s Guide 116-119). Intelligence (Investigation) to find a nearby Additionally, if Saruman is joined by Thugs, Thug with keys. This guard will be asleep the entire troupe will gain Foul Alliance (see unless any alarms have been raised. If he is Loremaster’s Guide page 119), a feature that asleep, a DC 15 Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) Saruman will always use to encourage one of check can be made to steal his keys. his Thugs’ attacks. Otherwise, he can be fought and the keys looted off his body. If Saruman is reduced to 0 HP, instead of dying he will instantly Disengage, Hide and An encounter with a fallen Wizard disappear somewhere into the tunnels If the players forced Everard’s cell door open, (canonically Saruman shouldn’t die until they will have drawn the attention of 1d4 Frodo returns to the Shire). Thugs, as well as Sharkey, as mentioned Leaving the Lockholes above. Exactly what will happen when the party leave If they open Everard’s cell in any other way, the Lockholes will depend a little on their the entire party must make a DC 12 Dexterity previous actions. If the troll was not alerted (Stealth) check. and the party are not being chased by, then the If they all pass, then they may leave the troll outside will still be crying, and the party Lockholes without detection (skip to Leaving will need to sneak past him, fight him, or the Lockholes below). befriend him, as before.

If any of them fail the check, then Sharkey will If the party did not befriend the troll, and they appear close to them, as if he had appeared are being pursued by Thugs, then the troll will from nowhere, although he won’t have any be agitated and will attack both the party and Thugs with him. the Thugs without discrimination.

If the party is being pursued by Thugs and they befriended the troll earlier, then the troll will aid them in the fight.

If the party befriended the troll and they are not being pursued, the troll will insist on taking them to his cave where they will all share his cakes.

~Part Five~


If the party befriended the troll, then the troll will take them back to his cave, which is not so far away, and serve them his cakes. He will boast about how good his cakes are the entire way, but in reality, the troll is a terrible cook.

His ‘cakes’ are just under-seasoned roasted sheep decorated with an ‘icing’ made of various plants that he has thoroughly sat on to make a paste. He will stick various small twigs into the ‘icing’ and attempt to light them as if they were candles.

Nonetheless, the ‘cakes’ are given in a spirit of friendship, and the party should not offend the troll, lest they upset him.

Upon returning to the Great Smials with Everard, Paladin and Pervinca will be overjoyed, tea will once more be served, and the party will be paid as agreed earlier.

The Loremaster might choose to follow this scenario with more adventures in which the Tooks wage guerrilla warfare against Sharkey’s regime, or they might instead choose to have Pippin appear at the Great Smials at that moment, asking for Tooks to join him in the overthrow of the regime, promising tales of his adventures in return.