Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tactical Tips : Active defenses.

It's not what you fight with that matters, it is where you will fight.

When someone strikes at you, you've got many options: Dodge the blow, Parry with a weapon or block with a shield. From these three options, you can always yield back by one step and get +3 to Dodge, or +1 to parry/block. Remember that a medium shield gives a +2 to any types of defense, not just block. This means that for as long as you can give away terrain, a fighter with a shield has a +5 bonus to dodging. For a "normal" person with some encumbrance and a Dodge of 7, this means a final Dodge of 12, or 75% chance to avoid being hurt. This also applies to your opponents, so there is value in trying to corner your foes as soon as possible (where they will Get Dodge-9, or 37% chance of success). 

Against missiles

Against arrows and bolts, you can always "hit the dirt" and dodge with a +3 bonus  (plus shield bonus). The downside will be that you will find yourself prone on (-4 to attack, -3 to defend, but from now on at -2 as you are a smaller target). Getting back up will cost you two turns, and this can be a long time in some situations.

Getting Fancy: parrying and blocking

Parrying and blocking can each be used only once per turn (1 second). They usually will be more potent than dodging since they are not affected by encumbrance. The down side is that both your weapon and your shield may get trashed in the process. Weapons made of steel shouldn't break unless parrying a critical hit kindof blow, or a very large and spikey weapon. A typical shield could get dinged when blocking strong blows, and require that you fix them up every now and then. It is unlikely that a shield will fall apart without any kind of warning, unless you block a battling ram with both hands. Also, unbalanced two handed weapons can only parry OR attack in a given turn. 

Of course, working as a team to use up the better block with one allies and forcing a dodging of the second attack is even better. But fighting as a team is a whole story in itself.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Open slots for new PCs

This posts describes believable characters to be added to the company for session 2:

  1. Kharmel, Ranger of the North : (age 35) Kharmel is a mid-aged Dunedain of Numenorean descent who has been an associate of Aragon II for almost 15 years. Kharmel has spent a large part of his life containing the wights of barrow-down and patrolling the regions of old Arnor for signs of the enemy. Kharmel may be summoned by the Lord Chancellor at any time if the his knowledge or sword is required. [Kharmel is unique in his knowledge of the North and his experience in fighting dark and wild creatures in Eriador. He is an elf-friend and has received the Gift of Healing from Celbrant, elf lord of Lorien. A past encounter with Barrow-wights has scarred him, he experience flashbacks from time to time. ]
  2. Araliniel, Seer of Gondor: Araliniel (age:33) is a seer appointed by Tarquillian to the commission. Since Tarquillian cannot travel, Araliniel is entrusted with the duties of seers in the eventuality that an expedition must be struck. She is petite and of frail built. She has a keen interest in history and geography, and is considered a rising star by the King's High Seer. [Araliniel is unique as an oracle, she, however, suffers from nightmares and little life experience other than looking for "signs". There is a bad dynamics with on the of the PC already: Sir Galdor, due to the fact that she is a commoner, and a female.]
  3. Kasper Murkeshan, squire of Anorien : Kasper (age 19), Kasper is the son of a small time Anorien knight with an exceptional intellect. He has avoided serving as a squire by enlisting to the beacon guard of Eilenach (One of the beacon of Gondor). He is fighting with a bit of a weight issue (GURPS "overweight" disadvantage). He has put his hand on an old Tome called "Treatise on the mind.", which proved to be difficult to decipher, but appears to contain ancient valar knowledge on manipulating people's intellect. He has developed an not-so healthy protective instinct with respect to his treatise. His father hosted a company of the King's official a few nights ago. Kasper has seized his chance to escape his natal backwater by enlisting as squire to Sir Galdor of Dol Amroth, who is a member of the company. He has been chasing the company in the last few days in hope to catch up with them. [Kasper is unique because of his vast intellect and his budding interest in some mysterious arcane studies. He, however, has to play the squire in order to get his chance at seeing the world.]

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Training Dogs in GURPS

This article is prompted by one of the character in my current campaign. The rules on training animals in BS:Campaign pp.458-459. 

Base Dog

Great Dane
ST 9; DX 11; IQ 4; HT 12
Will: 10; Per 12; Speed 5.75; Dodge 8; Move 10
SM +0; 150 lb

Traits: Chummy, Loyal, Discriminatory Smell, Domestic Animal, Quadruped, Sharp Teeth, Pacificism (Self-defense), Gluttony, 

Untrained Skills:
  • Brawling-10 [1] (Dex/A)
  • Tracking-11 [1] (Per/A) 
  • Survival-13 [4] (Per/A)
  • IQ2 : (Only for wild animals) "Come Eat", "Don't attack me"
  • IQ3 : (Single step tasks) Such as pull, stop, tolerate people, increase Mount skill (horse),  
  • IQ4 : (Multi-steps tasks) Fetch, Sit, Stay, attack, increase Will be 1 (can only be done once), increase tracking, brawling, etc.
All tricks count as a character point, unless it is a skill which cost as much as the skill would. Animal can't learn on their own and must be instructed. Animal handling serves as teaching skills. Treat all tricks as long tasks with a base cost of 200 hours of taught learning per point. Each hour of teaching triggers a Animal Handling roll, with the number of hours deducted from the margin of success.  There should be no more than 4 hours of active teaching per day. 

If you don't like to roll, or the exact timing is not important: here are the hours gained for each level of Animal Handling. Handling-10: 0.5 hr/hr (400 hours), Handling-11: 1.5hr/hr (130hrs), Handling-12 2.5hr/hr (80 hrs), Handling-13 (60 hours), Handling-14 (45 hours), Handling-15 (36 hours), etc A long task can never go into negative hours. However, this implies that Handling-9 teacher just can't teach anything to their animals. All combat training done without an assistant or some training facilities is done at -2.

Can an untrained Dog Attack to defend his owner?
Without the trained trick "attack", their disadvantage Pacificism (self-defense) would prevent them from attacking on demand. They will growl and hover around aggressive people, which can be intimidating and cause a minor distraction to the attackers, but will assume a full defense stance. If an attacker strikes or holds his owner, they will attempt a grapple (with their mouths) and a slam (large dogs only) as a full attack until the attacker backs down or flee. Use DX for grappling, it makes no sense to have a separate wrestling skill for dogs. The grapple counts as a strike if successful (because of the teeth). They will flee if they suffer a wound, trained attack dogs will not flee until ordered unless they suffer a major wound (at which point they need to succeed a will check). Multiple dogs will attempt to swarm from all possible directions so as to go for the arms, then legs, and eventually the head if the target is prone or kneeling.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chivalric Code of Gondor

This post explores the a definition of the code of Honor (-15) disadvantage specifically for Gondor Nobility. 

Fundamental Principles

It is the duty of all nobles of Eriador to:

  1. Fullfill all formal pledges.
  2. Be loyal to the King's feudal hierarchy. 
  3. Protect all from injustice.
  4. Prosecute all forces and individual endeavouring to disrupt the work of Iluvatar. 
In absence of a law enforcement officer or a judge, each noble is required to identify injustice and prosecute perpetrators. Appropriate punishment are as follow:

  1. Noble failing to fullfill a pledge: Take culprit to the nearest lord of the land, or directly to the culprit's feudal superior.
  2. Disloyalty : Commoner: From fines and lashing (vandalism), execution (treason) Other Nobles: duel.
  3. Injustice: apologies (insult to one or others), restoration with fine, force labor, lashing, imprisonment, death (murder, rape)
  4. Working for the dark forces : Death.

003 - I demand an apology!

This encounter created the cliffhanger for the end of the first session. It will be concluded in update 004.

The Inn of Geys, its doesn't get old school more than a tavern brawl.
September 10th, FA 15
The spirits were high with anticipation for the Inn of Grays was coming up. For the first time since September 5th, the company would sleep in an Inn and enjoy the amenities of a warm meal and a large pint of ale. The company passed the peak of Halfirien, famous for the tomb of Eraendil, and entered the Firien Wood. The sun had sunk already and the company found themselve plunged into a moonless night. A few questioned the wisdom of night travel, but the Inn was just "round the corner". 

Eventually, a two stories stone building emerged from the dark near a small bridge over the Mering Stream. "Here comes the midpoint between Minas Tirith and Edoras, and here comes a warm bed for the night." exclaimed Araliniel from the rear. The Inn has attracted a number of people and dwelling over the centuries. The crossing of the Merign stream is a famous fixture for anyone travelling through Anorien. Some 30 or so building are strewn across a wide clearing centered around the bridge. The company rode to the Inn and disembarqued.  Galdor opened the wide door of the Tavern and beconed a stable boy. "A bowl for my hounds!", he demanded while tossing a copper coin into the air. The stable boy ran back to the rear and roused the landlord who was busy rolling a new barrel of ale into place. The landlord, a middle-age man with a rough nervous demeanor welcomed them inside and offered them a table, not before shooing off a few of the unpaying locals playing dice in the corner. He brought to them, on the house, a drink of their choice and offered them a bowl of stew. Araliniel promptly filled her cup from a large bottle of rustic wine that the landlord placed on the table.

This evening would have come down just fine had it not been of the ruckus caused by three locals at the back. They were loud and rude. The landlady was clearly trying to get her husband to kick them out, but he refused to cause a fuss. Beside, the drunkards were armed with shortswords, which was a foreboding sign of trouble. Sensing that HIS time had come, Sir Galdor seized the chance to make his knightly presence felt. He stared at the ruffians, with no effect. These guys were tough looking, and obviously the condemning stare of a young dunedain noble wasn't enough for them to keep quiet. If anything, it encouraged them to made ruder comments. Galdor stood up and, putting his hand on his sword's hilt, asked them to to quiet down. The ruffians simply smirked and carried on. Halin and Arnadil then stood up, going so far for Halin such as to pull the warhammer out of his seat in his belt in the best menacing way that he could. This worked, the ruffians nodded and lowered their voices.

As things should have simply fallen into place, Galdor asked the landlady whether she still wanted the men to leave the premises. She assertively responded that yes, she wanted them out despite the dissaproving look of her husband. The ruffians, in no mood for a fight, downed their ale and began walking slowly toward the exit. One of them, however more intoxicated, sent his gobelet rolling to Galdor's feet. A good chivalric code lawyer may have argued that this didn't constitute a valid insult to his rank, but Galdor decided to demand an apology for the insult. The ruffians simply smiled and walked away.

Galdor grabbed the ruffian by the shirt and re-asserted his demand for an apology. The ruffian took a wild swing at Galdor's head but the knight dodged the blow. There was a bit of a contest until the ruffian broke the hold of Galdor on his shirt. One of the ruffian's friend pulled him away through the open door. Galdor roused his three great danes and walked out of the tavern, certain that he will get an apology from these dirty commoners.

002 - In the Shadow of Eilenach

This is a minor encounter that played out as a role playing as everyone is working out their characters. 

September 7th, FA 15
On the second night, the travelers arrived in the shadow of the Eilenach, one of the famous beacons of Gondor in the forest of Druadan. Halin, was seriously aggravated by a full day of horseback riding. As the afternoon lights were turning to gold, the company decided to find lodging for the night. Eilenach is a needle-like hill which acts as a highly distinctive landmark for the folks living in Anorien. There was much dwelling to consider. Galdor, grumpy at the prospect of sleeping in the abode of a commoner again, was desperately seeking for a more opulent looking home in the vicinity. He took his chance at a small stone home near a brook. The man who answered turned out to be a local knight of Northmen stock. Galdor claimed his right to hospitality. However, upon seeing the rest of the company, the knight opened his door to all for the night at no charge.

Much food and much drinks were to be had on that faithful evening. The host insisted in having the hobbit and the dwarf to sing folktales from faraway lands. Halin resisted the request for as long as politely possible, letting an inebriated Finbert sings his heart out. Halin eventually acquitted himself with grace and sang a few of his favourite songs of the Iron Hills, songs of Moria and songs of Erebor.

The host eventually inquired as to why such a fine company was travelling so swift to Edoras. There was a silence. Arnadil then replied, we're travelling to a mountain to cast a ring into the fire. The host, speechless, decided not to pry for the fear of having the Nazgul on his tail for the rest of his days.

001 - Ithilien-hens stuffed into a large bird.

This is a retelling of the first encounter of the first session of the Palantir quest campaign. The purpose of the scene was to introduce the coming adventure, and give a chance to the player to get into character. This, they did very well.

September 3rd, 15th year of the Fourth Age 

Very few people in Gondor have ever set foot on the Seventh level of Minas Tirith. With utmost anxiety, Finbert Brandibuck received an invitation for a supper with select members of the Palantir commission. He had heard of such supper and was anticipating the best meal served outside of Buckland in his lifetime. In the afternoon of the given day, he headed to a fancy tailor on the third level in search for better attires. There were not a lot to offer for a hobbit, but he managed to purchase what he was told to be a very fancy bowtie. "You'll look smart on your date tonight" said the woman in the store, with a disinterested and vacant look as she cashed the few silver celebins.

Finbert arrived late, there were some debates as to whether he should be wearing the special slippers that all visitor are required to wear to protect the marble floor of the reception hall. It was argued, by one of the butler, that hobbits were dispensed from the requirement because they never wear footwear. Finbert just smiled and slipped into the luxurious hall, the cool marble feeling astonishingly smooth under his hardened soles.

He expected hundreds of guests, but there were only a few: first and foremost, the Lord chancellor Carandon was present. He welcomed and introduced him to the company. Other present was the Royal Seer, Tarquillan and his smartly dressed personal scribe Edoras. A dunedain knight was present, his name was Sir Galdor of something something. He was haughty to most other guests, but clearly interested by Finbert's pedigree as a relative of Meriadoc Brandibuck. An older man, a northmen with a good touch of Dunedain was sitting quietly at the table and conversing with other guest, his name was Arnadil: an important captain of the Watch and a fixture in the commission. There was an elderly dwarf, quiet and with a fierce eyes who kept on demanding ale rather than wine. Finally, a woman arrived shortly after and was introduced as Araliniel the Seer. Sir Galdor immediately objected at sharing the table with a commoner. It took much pleasant talk for the Lord Chancellor to put aside the issue and get everyone to enjoy the incoming meal.

And what a meal it was: fine wines, exotic fruits and a spectacular giant bird stuffed with smaller Ithilien-hens which were themselve stuffed with herbs and cheese. By the time that the meal was done, much of the company was slightly inebriated  except for the Seer, his scribe and the elderly dwarf who abstained from drinking wine.  

"It is time for a talk", declare the Lord Chancellor.

"You may remember the buzz in court about palantirs in the last few months. There was some developments recently and the Royal Seer and I selected you to participate in an expedition to seek new information on the lost Palantir of Arnor.", he continued. The Royal Seer took over:

"The lost Palantir of the North was lost at sea ages ago. It is thought that it slipped under the frozen waters of the Bay of Forochel. The King and I have been investigating some irregular flashes in the Palantir of Orthanc which suggests that a lost Palantir has fallen, probably by accident, almost in the correct alignment. We really think that this should be this Palantir, but we cannot find out more about its location.

The guest agreed that this was an unfortunate situation, but also agreed that it was great news that the Palantir of Arnor could be found again. The Royal Seer proceeded to reveal that very recently, a small bundle of scrolls were found in the Royal Libray of Minas Tirith.

"We found the Diary of an advisor to an old King of Arnor that mention the presence of a section in the Royal Library of Annuminas which contained books and scrolls about the Palantir. Most interestingly, there is the mention of a treatise on shrouding palantirs. The treatise also alledgedly contain a charm that can help reveal information on shrouded palantirs."

Tarquillan proceeded to explain that the Royal Library of Annuminas was lying somewhere underneath the ruined city, and should still be sealed to this day. He presented a large and elaborate key and stated that this was a masterkey for the library. "We don't know much about the library, and very few people have been in Annuminas for centuries". Sir Galdor swiftly reached for the key and brought it to his chest. "I will make this key my own burden". A few grins could be seen around the table, but Galdor held on to the jewel encrusted device.

Captain Arnadil then stood up and solemnly declared that unraveling the secrets of the lost library was a task fitting for the company. "This is going to be a long journey, but a worthwhile quest." The company broke up and agreed to reconvene in two days.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Arnadil Erwoen, Captain of the 5th Gate of Minas Tirith

 Arnadil Erwoen
Title: Captain of the 5th Gate of Minas Tirith
Ethinicity :  Dunedain.
Birthday: 14 June

Physical Traits
Arnadil is a man of strong built, with a booming voice and a confident smile. He has been leader of men of Gondor for the last 20 years, and was Lieutenant of the 3rd gate during the siege of Minas Tirith. Has Arnadil be from a noble family, he probably would have become a scholar, but this was not meant to be. Arnadil has a keen interested in Elves and Elf culture, can read and speak both Quenya and Sindarin and is knowledgeable in many topics of history. He is occupying the highly prestigious position of Captain of the 5th Gate, which is one of the highest honor for officers from the gentry class. 

Early Life (age 0-14, year TA 2992 to TA 3006)
Born of a family in the gentry class, Arnadil was schooled in young age and literate by age 8 or so. His family owned a flat on the 2nd level of Minas Tirith, and a small estate in the foothills of Mount Mindolluin, a dozen league south west of Minas Tirith. At the estate, the family was producing a decent regional wine and selling their wares to both Minas Tirith and exporting to southern Gondor. Arnadil had the chance to go in hunts in the hills, help with the harvest and wine-making and with shipping over land of the family wine. 

Skills: Animal Handling [2], riding [2], literacy (Common Language), Profession (winemaking) [3], swimming [4], bow [4], Area knowledge (Gondor) [2], Area knowledge (Minas Titrith) [2], short sword [1], farming [1], fishing [2], Masonry [1], Naturalist [1]

Traits : Cultural Familiarity (Gondor) [1], Honest Face [1], Status 1: Gentry [5], Honesty [-10], Curious [-5], Fit [5]

Page of Gondor (age 14-17, year TA 3006-3009)
At the ripe old age of 14, the Erwoen family sent Arnadil to Minas Tirith to live with his aunt and Uncle. He began working for the King's court. Because of his literacy, Arnadil was assigned to the Royal Library as a page. There, he spent three years in a damp, cold and dark antechambers fetching material for the library's patrons. He wasn't getting along with the clerks at the time, and eventually decided to leave the library and join the City Watch as soon as he turned the legal age of 17.

Skills: Literature [2], Research [4], Sindarin read/write @ broken level [2], Administration [1], Bookbinding [2], law [1], Search [6],   

Watchmen of Gondor (age 17-20, year TA 3009-3012)
Arnadil enlisted in the City Watch in 3009 and was assigned to a number of posting around the city. During this time, he got a chance to build a network of friends throughout the service. Basic training was not as demanding as he thought, but he was told that the regular service was more demanding and more glamorous. What kept him in the watch is that he had plenty of free time to spend reading and discussing elven literature with others of alike interests. Because of his affinity for letters and numbers, Arnadil took on some overtime work as a clerk of the watch and befriended officers and NCOs. 

Skills: Allies Watchmen of Gondor [], soldier [4], spear [4], crossbow [2], shield [2], tactics [2], Sindarin @ accented level [+2], literature [2], Knowledge (History of Numenor) [2], Search [4], Streetwise [2]

Sergent the watchmen of Gondor (age 20-24, year TA 3012-3016)
At the age of 20, Arnadil was promoted to the rank of Sergent. After a brief stint in the mounted service, he settled back into the a fortification branch and took on a day watch based in the first rampart. During this time, he adjusted to the night life cycle and learned to function with little sleep. His free time almost vanished as he sank into his position in the watch. With the rumors of war in the North, it became obvious to the Watch that the service would require replacement armor, while none was forthcoming from the stewart. Arnadil became actively involved in the illicit purchase of mail shirts and other pieces of armors. His ring was uncovered by an officer, who demanded that he cease smuggling. The officer was moved by the intention, however, and diverted some of the meager resources to the watch, and put Arnadil forward for promotion.

Skills : leadership [4], soldier [2], riding (horse) [3], engineering (military) [2], tactics [2], spear [2], broadsword [4], Sindarin @ Native [+2],  Intimidation [4], Interrogation [2], Search [2], First-Aid [2], Smuggling [2], Merchant [1]

Trait: Less Sleep 1 [2]

2nd Lieutenant of the Night Watch, 3rd Gate (age 24-25, year TA 3016-3017)
The war is about to happen. Arnadil is assigned as a commander of the Night Watch on the 3rd gate of Mina Tirith. The main difference with this new assignment is that he is also commanding a battery of trebuchet. Arnadil is also responsible for training new NCOs. During this time, he also marry Lwellyn Maisk, the daughter of the Captain of the Day Watch on Pelenor's field. Arnadil is soon invited to most officer's functions due to the sponsorship of Captain Maisk. Arnadil begins using his expandable income to acquire book and documents of historical and linguistic value: the Steward has lost touch with the realm, library clerks are selling books to compensate for their missed salaries.  Arnadil and a number of other individuals felt that they had a duty to rescue as many of the books from the royal shelves. Some of these individuals will become pro-eminent in the Palentiri Commission, such as Tarquillan the Seer.

Skills: Leadership [2], engineering (military) [2], wrestling [4], shield [2], broadsword [2], First-Aid [1], Administratrion [2], tactics [1], Intimidation [2], Interrogation [3].

Trait: Library (linguistic, history) [5]

War of the Ring (age 26, TA 3018)
During the war of the ring, Arnadil was a second lieutenant at the same post since TA 3016. This was a time of chaos and tumult in Minas Tirith. A parallel chain of command from the official chain lead by the Steward of Gondor was in operation, where Captain Maisk played a predominant role. By day, Arnadil was to keep an eye on the Royal library as a civilian patron and report crooked clerks to a secret court. When the forces of Sauron overtook Osgiliath, he had to divert his attention to the defense of the city. During this time, Tarquillan gave Arnadil a small "Treatise on Enemity" which explained how to develop a keen sense to foresee foes and dangerous situations. Arnadil devoured the treatise and acquired some rudiment of thaumatology, but did not achieve the mastery of foresight in time for the siege of Minas Tirith. On the eve of the battle, with Lwellyn heavily pregnant, Arnadil lead his family to the relative safety of the inner keep where she joined a number of families associated with the secret court of Gondor. Among the others were Tarquillan and other seers. Arnadil was overrun at the third gate and lead a small group of watchmen and about 100 civilians to safety in the sewer system until the Oathbreakers swept the orcs off Minas Tirith. 

Given the decimated ranks of the City Watch, his heroic action on the day of battle and association with the secret court of Gondor, Arnadil was cited for bravery and promoted to the rank of first Lieutenant shortly following the siege. He did not participate in the battle of Morannon Gate as he volunteered to participate in a sweep against the remnants of Haradrim forces fleeing to the South.

Arnadil's son, Emer Erwoen, was born a few weeks after the siege of Minas Tirith.

Skills: Leadership [2], shield[1], broadsword [2], ridingar (horse) [2], crossbow [1], animal handling [1], armoury [1], hiking [1],  Thaumatology [1]

Trait: Less Sleep 2 [+2], Dislike (Orcs) [-1], Dislike (Harad) [-1],
Notable Possession: 
  1. "Treatise on Enemity", Intro to Thaumatology and foresight of enemity. 
  2. Chip of a Oliphaunt tusk, later carved into a small Oliphaunt.
  3. Bravery Pendant, Battle of Pelenor Fields.
  4. King's pendant, Battle of Pelenor Fields.

Lieutenant of the Day Watch, Pelenor Gate (age 26-29, year TA 3018 - 3021)
With the city in shamble and structurally unsound, Arnadil sent his wife and son to the family estate. He volunteered for a prestigious post at the gates of Pelenor fields. Arnadil, assisted by an insufficient skeleton staff, became an efficient manager of Tax and Fares as well as a leader in the rebuilding of the shattered outter defenses. Durign this time, Arnadil befriended a large number of craftsmen from all over Gondor that were flocking to Minas Tirith to seek opportunities in rebuilding the capital. The position was rather lucrative and Arnadil managed to step up his lifestyle significantly: carousing with more important people and the higher echelons of the watch.

Skills: engineering (civil) [2], Administration [3], Merchant [3], Quenya @ accented (written only) [2], Sense Foes (spell) [1], Law [2],  

Traits: Allies (craftsmen of Gondor), Status (2) [10], Rank, military (1) [5], 

Captain of the Ithilien Gate, Osgiliath (age 29-34, year FA 1-5)
Upon the coronation of King Elessar, a wave of promotion was enacted mainly on the basis of merit rather than birth. Arnadil leveraged his network of contact to get promoted to the rank of Captain, with the initial assignment to command over the derelict gate of Osgiliath, on the Ithilien side of the Anduin. This assignment was very demanding: with raids from marauding orcs, Haradrim and Easterlings regularly attempting to pilfer the material and food ferried over the river for reconstruction. Arnadil took on the excavation work of a ditch and a temporary pallisade. 

Increasingly over these 5 years, Arnadil spent time patrolling the wilderness in an attempt to uproot the encampment of the marauders. By then, he had mastered the foresight of Enemity from the Treatise and put it to great use. He got the reputation to be able to zero in on any camp, no matter how well concealed it was. He got the nickname "the hound of Osgiliath", and was instumental in the pursuit of the Treaty of Osgiliath which took effect on FA 5. 

Skills: Intimidation [2], diplomacy [4], riding  (horse) [2], soldier [2], leadership [2], Area Knowledge (Ithilien) [4], engineering (civil) [2], broadsword [2], shield [2], Administration [1], Sense Foes (spell) [3], Thaumatology [1], Detect Lies [2], Hiking [2]

Traits: Cultural familiarity (Orc of Mordor), Cultural Familiarity (Harad), 

Captain of the 3rd Ithilien Lancer Company (age 34-38, year 5-9)
The treaty of Osgiliath stipulated that all former forces of Mordor and their families would be ensure safe passage to the East IF they remained on the road to the Black Gate heading North, or within a league of the Ash Mountain heading East. Arnadil transfered from the watch to the army and took on the role of commander of the 3rd Ithilien Lancer Company. The lancer were based off the Black gate, tasked to patrol the evacuation route, and prosecute any orcs and Easterlings not on the road. 

The most interesting assignment was in FA 8-9 when Arnadil volunteered to explore the pass of Cirith Ungol and secure the fortress itself. The regions was desolate, and mostly free of orcs. These orcs didn't recognized the treaty of Osgiliath and had to be pushed deeper into Mordor by force. Arnadil discovered a large volume of documents, weapons and other mundane orc artifacts which were destroyed on site (except for the documents, which were cataloged and sent to Minas Tirith). The constant presence of ash and dust in these parts caused Arnadil to develop a respiratory condition. He eventually had to return to Minas Tirith for health reason.  Arnadil remembers this time as both filled with dread and adventure.

Skills: Climb [2], diplomacy [1], leadership [1], Mordor @ accented (written only) [2], Area Knowledge (Ithilien) [4], Area Knowledge (Ephel Duath), [2], riding (horse) [2], tactics [1], Intimidation [1], Interrogation [1], Sense Foes (spell) [3]
Trait: Affliction (asthma) [-4], Rank (military) 2 [5]

Captain of the 5th Gate (age 38-44, year 9-15)
A weakened Arnadil returned to Minas Tirith. Upon his return, his family returned permanently to the City. His son was then 13 and got enlisted as a page at the Royal Library, under the supervision of Tarquillan. Arnadil transferred back into the Watch and assumed a command position on the 5th level of the City. In FA 10, Arnadil was put forward by the Lord Chancellor as a member of the Palantiri Commission and started to take an active role in the quest to recover the artifacts. Arnadil's health will probably always remain a bit frail, and he avoids exertion when necessary. At the time of the beginning of the Campaign, Emer is now 19 and employed as a clerk of the library. Arnadil is the obvious leader for an expedition: he is a Nominee of the Lord chancellor, but was strongly supported by the King's Seer. He is seen as one of the main player and an avid student of anything that would allow them to recover the master stone of Osgiliath.

Skills: Research [3], Knowledge (History) [2], carousing [4], Literature [1]

Halin Mithrilheart, Fatherless.

Birthday: 4 July
Early Life (age 0 to 50, year TA 2836 - 2886)
Halin was born son of Garad Anvilheart, descendent of a long line of master metallurgists in the mountain home of Iron hills. The gift that was to define the first half of his life was his inordinate physical strength. It must have been that his built and sheer strength overshadowed all of his other attributes because he soon was famous in the craftsmen circles as a the "strong one". This reputation caused a conflict as the guard wanted to recruit him while his family intended to make him their eldest son the new generation of master founder. As a result, a strange agreement was struck between the Captain of the Citadel where Halin would train a a militia member in order to pursue the family's traditional trade. This arrangement was unusual because very few of the dwarven nobility is member of the militia. 

skills:  Metallurgy [4], warhammer [4], brawler [4], Geology [2], tactics [1], first-aid [1], Politics [2], lifting [2], battle-axe [2], spear [2] 

Traits: Status 2 [10]

Life in the Iron hills (age 50 to 105, TA 2886 - 2941 )
Upon his coming of age, Halin had to make a decision as what his trade should be. He took on the extreme decision to break with the family trade and join the Army. He was then accepted as a ward in the royal family of Dain II, King under the Mountain of Iron Hills. To celebrate the adoption into the family, the King commissionned the royal weaponsmith to create a war hammer that only Halin could wield. Thus "Krorden" was created: a 45lb behemoth of masterwork quality which could not be wielded by more than a few of the strongest living dwarf in the land. Halin was then assigned as a private in the kingdom watch deep into the heart of the mountain. This turned out to be a sharp dissapointment as the only warfaring that Halin did for some 20 years was sparing with his peers and drink inordinate quantity of ale. 

Things turned up for the better in TA 2906 when, feeling forsaken by his adoptive family, he requested to be transferred to the royal guard. After the third and more forceful request, he was granted a position in the Keep Watch, still the least prestigious branch of the royal guard. Halin had the chance at this time to reunite with his original family: his brother Kren was now the family heir to the master founder position. Halin's bitterness did not receed.

Skills: soldier [4], tactics [2], leadership [2], cooking [2], singing [4], Musical Instrument (drum) [4], gambling [6], warhammer [4]


Battle of the five armies (age 105 to 108, TA 2941 - 2944)
When Thorin Oakenshield begged Dain II for help to protect the lonely mountain, Halin ceased the opportunity to distinguish himself and regain the glamour that his legendary strength strength had gained him in his early life. As Halin was a member of the Royal Family, he was given a small command as a Captain. His unit distinguished themselves well enough during the battle, and he personally performed multiple feats of strength and bravery. After the Death of Thorin Oakenshield, Halin took on a command role as in the Watch of Erebor, where he performed with distinction in structuring the new defensive forces.

Skills: soldier [2], leadership [4], Warhammer [4], brawling [2], singing [2], administration [3], 

The Kingdom Dale ( age 108 to 141, TA 2944 -2977 )
By the time that Bard was crowned King of Dale, Halin was ready for a new challenge: the royal family, although it had adopted him formally some 50 years ago never warmed to him and he found himself on the sideline most of the time. Halin figured out that he stood a better chance to distinguish himself as a dwarf emissary to Dale. He put down his soldier's boots and donned fine fur and fancy robes and moved into Dale as a diplomat and advisor to the court of Dale. There, his knowledge of metallurgy was much sought by the reconstructing city. Halin became the link between the architect and engineers of Dale, and the metalsmith of Erebor. After about 20 years, he started his own small scale foundry where he refined formulae for high grade steel and quality bronze. 

skills: merchant [4], metallurgy [4], diplomacy [4], fast-talk [2], intimidation [2],

At Dain's table in the Kingdom under the Mountain ( age 141 to 182, TA 2977 - 3018 )
A minor plague decimated the royal family in Erebor. Dain II demanded Halin to leave Dale and rejoin his adoptive family in Erebor. Halin, reluctantly, passed the operation of his foundry to a human apprentice, but kept the ownership. Back at the court, Halin was asked to become the royal vice-accountant. He disliked the position with passion, but complied with the royal edict. During this time, Halin made contact with his old family and expanded his foundry in Dale further. His foundry was now the only supplier of steel and bronze for the Kingdom of Dale, a situation that caused tension with the business interest of Erebor. However, Halin masterfully pulled the royal familu card to maintain his monopoly. As the war of the ring was drawing near, the dwarves of Erebor were increasingly focus on building their own defenses.

Skills: Administration [2], accounting [3], merchant [3], warhammer [1], weaponsmithing [2], Politics [3]

War of the Ring (age 182 to 183, TA 3018 - 3019)
By the time that the Easterlings were drawing near Dale, Halin had shutdown his foundry and either moved or destroyed its infrastructure. He joined the King's personal guard as a family member and revive the legends of his notable strength. He was nearby when Dain II died in battle, but could not intervene. Thorin III, heir to the throne, rapidly takes over. A prophecy stipulates that Thorin III's eldest son will be the reincanation of Durin. The consequence of this prophecy is that Thorin III moves to "clean up" the family roll and push aside all relative not related by blood to the royal line. Halin is for the last time sidelined and is ordered to leave the family. 

skill: warhammer [1], tactics [1], brawl [1], siege engine [2], solider [1], 

The Quest for Mithril in Moria (age 183 to 185, year 3019 - 3021)
Abandoned, Halin volunteer for a folly of a quest where some 130 dwarves vow to bring back some mithril from the dept of Moria. Halin, returns to Krorden and his own steel boots. Once in Moria, the dwarves conduct a masterfully planned operation to force their way to the lower levels of the fortress and causing cave-ins to cut the pursuit by the orcs. They manage to reach the Mithril vein and extract a few kilogram over a period of a few months. When the ammunition and food stores ran low, they mined a series of shafts, exited Moria by a new exit and returned to Erebor. Thorin III rewarded each of the returning 88 dwarves with 1000 large silver pieces (equivalent of a Gondorian silver lord). Halin took the money and turned his back to Erebor, and has yet to set foot in the kingdom under the mountain yet.
skills: warhammer [2], engineering (mining) [3], singing [1], leadership [2]

Rebuilding Esgaroth (age 185 to 188, year TA 3021 - FA 3)
With lots of silver in his pocket, Halin decided to leave Erebor and try his chance in Esgaroth. The lake-city was then still in shamble from the war with the Easterlings. Unfortunately, Esgaroth by virtue of being on stilts was not a very good location to establish a foundry. With the wilderness around still teeming with brigands and Mirkwood creature, Halin decided nonetheless to spend a few years in Esgaroth, importing dwarven ware and selling them in bulk to to either importers from Gondor, or other commercial interest in lake-city. Halin vision also suddently plummeted: a genetic inheritance from a family that he has long forsaken. He now has to wear spectacles to cirrect his vision. All of the money got spent one way or another. These few years were a low point in Halin's life. 

Skills: merchant [4], Area Knowledge (Rhovanon) [2], Survival (prairies) [2], brawling [2], gambling [3],  streetwise [2]

Trait : Bad sight, Nearsighted [-25] (corrected with spectacles).

The Glittering Halls year (age 188 to 195, year FA 3 - 10 )
Gimli, son of Gloin and newly appointed Lord of Glittering Hall, was looking for companions to revive the lost Glittering Halls, located behind the Hornburg of Helm's deep. Gimli personally paid visit to Halin to ask him to join him in his quest. Halin accepted gladly and left Esgaroth. In the Glittering Hall, Halin took on the role of Captain of the Night watch of the deep halls, a position which called for more engineering than soldiering. Halin became enthralled with lore and history, which becoming a skilled architect and mining engineer. 

Skills: Geology [2], Engineering (fortifications) [6], engineering (mining) [4], leadership [3], History (Gondor) [2], research [2], literature [1], tactics [1] 

The Gate of Mina's Tirith (age 195 to 200, year FA 10 - 15 ) 
In FA 3, Halin was sent to Minas Tirith to contribute his fortification engineering skills to the reconstruction of the city defenses. Halin found in Minas Tirith an unlikely soulmate. He rapidly took on the beat of the city and made lots of new relations. One of which was with Arnadil Erwoen, an important Captain of the watch. Arnadil introduced him to the other members of the Palantiri Commission and encouraged Halin to participate as a "dwarven erudite".  Halin also deal in gemstones that he imports from the Glittering halls and for which he keeps a healthy percentage. 

Skills: Merchant [2], Engineering (fortifications) [4], History (Gondor) [4], research [4], 

Finbert Brandibuck

Birthday: 9 August

Finbert is a hobbit of his own time: walking in the footsteps of his Uncle Meriadoc. He spent an early life as a dissipated hobbit. He traveled more than the typical one because of his apprenticeship as an Apothecary which took him into the wild borders in search of herbs. To escape his family, her moved to Bree where he spend a good many years. Finbert finally was sent by his Uncle to Minas Tirith. Unsure of his path, he fancy himself as a "burglar" like good olde Bilbo Baggins. he develop a nasty poison that causes throbbing pain. He learned to deliver the poison using a large blowpipe that he can use very effectively. Even more than most hobbits, Finbert can slip into tight spots, unseen and unheard. Looking for Palantirs may just be what he was born for...

Childhood up to the battle of Bywater (age 0 to 10, year TA 3009 - TA 3019)
Finbert was the third and last child of Grema Sackville and Ernest Brandibuck in a hole near Bywater. Finbert was a mischievous kid who spent much of his childhood doing what hobbits are doing: roving the shire, sneaking into people's firlds and listening to tales. 

Skills: Filch [2], Survival, woodland [1], Signing [2], Area Knowledge, Shire [4], stealth [4]

Apprenticeship in Buckland (age 10 - 25, year TA 3019 - FA 12)
Finbert was sent to his uncle's home in Buckland to learn about medicinal herbs. Finbert's uncle held a dispensary for common medicine that he prepared from local herbs. Finbert has the chance to roam beyond the Hedge and on the skirt of the old forest. The old forest was a dangerous place, this is when Finbert took on the Blowpipe as a defensive weapon. He also started to develop his oily sting with a base of Emory's blade. These years did not make Finbert a settled man as hoped by his parent, but gave him the impulse to travel beyond the Shire. 

Skills: Survival, woodland [4], Area Knowledge, Shire [6], Cooking [6], Singing [2], Naturalist [3], Area Knowledge, old Arnor [1], herb lore [4], weather sense [3], stealth [2], First-aid [4], Blowpipe [4]

Years in Breeland (age 25 - 28, year FA 12 - 15)
Once that his apprenticeship was over, and when it became clear that he would not settle like a respectable hobbit, Finbert took off to Breeland to seek new stories and adventures. In Bree, he befriended a number of Bree's Hobbits and got aquainted with the tall folks of the North. He worked for a year at the Prancing Pony, then as a farm's hand. During his idle time, he refined his recipe for his oily sting. He finally opened a small dispensary in a friend's hole (euphemism for a basement). There, he prepared simple medicine and sold them to Breelanders (mainly hangover elixirs).

Skills: stealth [4], Area Knowledge, old Arnor [3], merchant [4], riding, horse [3], detect lies [2], shortsword [1], survival, woodland [1], Filch [2], Blowpipe [6], singing [2], survival, woodland [1], 

Minas Tirith (age 28, year FA 15)
In late FA 14, he got a letter from his uncle Meriadoc. Uncle Merry was asking him to travel to Minas Tirith and report to the King's court as a representative of the Shire. Finbert knew that his parents were behind the move somehow, but accepted the opportunity. He traveled with a small group of humans who were seeking employment in the South. 

In Minas Tirith, Finbert reported to the King and was admitted in the King's retinue. This is there that he met Galina, a fantastic signer and all-round well connected member of the court. She introduced him to the Lord Chancellor and convinced him to let Finbert join the Palantiri commission. Finbert is a bit out of his depth there, but Galina assured him that all good companies in Gondor ought to have the benefit of a hobbit in order to be successful. 

Skills: riding, horse [1], Blowpipe [2], Area knowledge, Minas Tirith [1]

Sir Galdor Ghent-Ylinen, Knight of Dol Amroth

Sir Galdor Ghent-Ylinen, Knight of Dol Amroth
Birthday: 22 December

Galdor is a hereditary knight of Dol Amroth. He barely has acceded to the age of majority and was sent by the Lord of Dol Amroth to Minas Tirith to gain some experience and perspective. He has lived a very sheltered life made of games and feats. As a result, the Lord of the land deemed that he would be of little use as a magistrate on the Gondorean coast until he acquires usable skills such as law. He is currently training as a man-of-law at the Estate office, but is definitively yearning for more. Galdor is hoping that the glory of finding a Palantir would get around the expectations set by the Prince in him.

Early Life in Dol Amroth (age 0 - 7, year TA 3014 - 3021)
Galdor claims elven descent as most of the Numeronean nobility of Belafast. Galdor was born in the small urban estate of Dollum Maru, in the heart of Dol Amroth and in the shades of the Prince's castle. During his hearly life, he was raised at the hard school of Dunedain's nobility: with tutors, lessons and the occasional beating with the cane by his instructors. Galdor emerged as a clever and strong willed child, ready for the next challenge.

During the war of the ring, Prince Imrahil set out with the Swan Company to defend Minas Tirith from the forces of Sauron. His father represented himself well, but eventually fell while charging an army of Haradrim. It is said that Sir Ghent-Ylinen and six colleague felled a Oliphaunt, but he himself succumbed to a mortal wound caused by the monster's tusk. A shard of the Oliphaunt's tusk was presented to Galdor as a memento of the greatest battle of his time.

Skills: Westron, native speaker [0], Sindarin, elven-tongue, native reader, accented speaker [5], bow [3], Falconry [1], Animal handling (dogs) [2], wrestling [3], riding, horse [1], Poetry [2], History, Eriador [2], Area knowledge, Gondor[4], Thaumatology [1] 

Trait: Elven Heritage [5], claim to hospitality [2], Status 2 [10], Code of Honor, Chivalry [-15], Dislike, commoners [-1]

Page in Edoras, Rohan ( age 7 - 14 , year TA 3021 - FA 7 )
By the time Galdor was ready to become a page, Prince Imrahil has agreed to wed his daughter Lothiriel to King Eomer of Rohan. galdor was sent to Edoras as part of the queen consort's retinue. He was placed under the tutelage of Sir Roman Ylinen, a cousin of his father and chief of Dol Amroth's guard of the queen. Galdor loved the Rohirim, despite their mundane Northernling origins. His life mostly consisted in tending to horses, hunting dogs and the queen's falcons. Galdor performed his duty with high distinction and was cited in most year by the queen in her letter to her father.

Skills: Falconry [5], Animal Handling, dogs [8], Animal handling, horses [6], riding, horses [10], Area Knowledge, Rohan [6], bow [4], Leatherworking [4], Armoury, armor [4], Armoury, melee weapons [6]

Squire in Dol Amroth (age 14 - 21 ,year FA 7 - 14 )
Completing his assignment as a page with flying colours, Galdor comes back to Gondor and becomes a squire to Sir Theros Ghent-Ylinen, a second cousin and husband to the Prince's older sister Ivriniel. His tenure as squire did not go as well as his time in Rohan: Galdor became complacent due to his birth and past records and slowly drifted into idleness. He was very dedicated to the hunt, but shirked on military arts. He became a wicked gambler, and a heavy drinker. Being an hereditary knight, he was waiting for his time to come. The Prince, however, was told to send the man away to make him a man of law: "He is not much of a man-of-war, but he is a clever man of words". 

Skills: Falconry [2], Animal handling, dogs [2], Animal handling, horse [4], riding, horse [2], Area Knowledge, Gondor [4], Thrown weapon, spear [6], Lance [6], Broadsword [6], gambling [10]

Knight in Minas Tirith (age 22, year FA 15)
Galdor reported to a relative in Minas Tirith and began his apprenticeship in the Office of Estates. There, he started to learn about law and politics. He did not get around to go on hunts, and became rather an urbanite by necessity. The Lord Chancellor has appointed him to the Palantiri commission out of pity for his idle soul, knowing that the commission was about to set on an expedition which could bring Galdor his much needed life experience. There is no need for him to have a retinue of squires at the moment, but he made the purchase of two good palfrey as well as maintaing a small kennel of three mature great danes.

Skills: Law [4], Politics [2], Area Knowledge, Gondor [2], gambling [2], 

The Great Danes : Fire (blond), Ice (blue), Storm (gray). All three are fully trained to: sit, fetch, attack, stay and "come back". 
The Palfreys : Luck and Kerbo, both as black, pure bred Southern Gondor. They are not combat trained, but have been used in hunts. They are both outfitted for hunts (briddle, saddles).