Está en la página 1de 5

A Middle-earth Timeline: Exciting Periods In Which To Set Middle-earth Campaigns Here is an article on when to set LOTR adventures, which

is one of the most difficult things when playing in Middle-earth: Settings This article presumes that adventures within Middle-earth are set in the late Third Age or early Fourth Age, and it provides only those racial and cultural packages which exist in that time period. Several time periods seem to be appropriate settings for adventure, some more difficult than others, being more removed from Middle-earth as described in the Lord of the Rings. For example, in any of the settings below before the Great Plague much would have to be changed from the world as described in the Lord of the Rings: Fornost and Annuminas are still whole, as is Osgiliath (though burnt in 1430), and the Northern kingdom is still intact. There is still a king in Gondor. The Rohirrim have not yet aided Gondor and been granted the lands of the Mark. Moria is still full of dwarves, since Durins Bane had not yet been awakened. Hobbits have just begun to settle Bree, and the Shire has not yet been founded. However, any of the time periods below more than adequately provide the necessary thematic backdrop against which epic adventures may be set in Middle-earth. The only restriction on using a setting before the events of the Lord of the Rings, of course, is that the necessary story components must not be altered. 1. TA 1300-1389: The Rise of Angmar: The Witch-king has established Angmar and makes war against the Dunedain of the North. Orcs and other evil creatures increase in the world. There is much intrigue between the three sundered Arnorian realms of Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur, backed by the Witch-king. A campaign set in this time would stress the vigor of Gondor and the growing strife with the Witch-king as well as the internal struggle in Arnor. 2. TA 1409: The Invasion of Arnor: The Witch-king of Angmar invades Arnor. King Arvaleg I is slain. Though Fornost and Tyrn Gorthad are defended, the Tower of Amon Sul (Weathertop) is destroyed. A campaign set in this time would be against a backdrop of constant and open military hostility. The threat of Angmar, hinted at above, now is poised to overthrow the Northern kingdom. 3. TA 1430-1450: The Kin Strife: A fertile time for adventure, King Valdacar of Gondor dies and the civil war of the kin-strife begins. Soon, Osgiliath is burned and the palantir lost. Eldacar of Gondor flees to Rhovanion and his son, Ornedil is murdered. Castamir the Usurper seizes the throne of Gondor. Ten years later, Eldacar returns and drives out the Usurper. Pelargir is besieged and the rebels escape and seize Umbar. A highly political setting, the players could be cast as loyal supporters of Eldacar. 4. TA 1634-1640--The Years of the Great Plague: Starting in 1634, the Corsairs ravage Pelargir and slay King Minardil. Then, two years later in 1636, the Great Plague devastates

Gondor. New King Telemnar and his children are slain. The white tree dies in Minas Anor (later to be named Minas Tirith). The plague spreads and there is great loss, with parts of Eriador becoming desolate. The Hobbits in the Shire survive but also at great loss. A campaign set at this time would stress the great theme of decline and decay, as Osgiliath is in ruin, Pelargir is destroyed, the white tree dies, and Tharbad begins to fall into decay. 5. TA 1851-1944: The Wainriders and the Battle of Dagorlad: Forty one years after King Telumehtar retakes Umbar and drives out the Corsairs, the Wainriders begin their attack on Gondor. Gondor loses its eastern territories and Narmicil II falls in battle. King Calimehtar defeats the Wainriders on Dagorlad and builds the White Tower in Minas Anor. A campaign set in this time would end on a happy note with the building of the White Tower and with a defeat of the Wainriders. It would also allow the characters to take part in the famed Battle of Dagorlad. 6. TA 1940-1945--The Reunification: Gondor and Arnor renew communications and form an alliance. Arvedui, the last king of the North, weds Firiel, the daughter of Ondoher of Gondor. Ondoher falls in battle. Earnil defeats the enemy in South Ithilien and then drives the last of the Wainriders into the Dead Marshes after the Battle of the Camp. Arvedui claims the crown of Gondor, but his claim is not yet accepted and Earnil II receives the crown. Peace and reunification seem to be at hand. A campaign set here would include much intrigue, requiring the characters to involve themselves willingly or not in the claims to the throne of Gondor. 7. TA 1974-1976--The Destruction of Arnor and the Fall of the Witch-King: In a final assault on the North kingdom, the Witch-king overruns Arthedain and Fornost is taken. Fleeing from the destruction, Arvedui, the last king, drowns in the Bay of Forochel. The palantiri of Annuminas and Amon Sul are supposedly lost. The Witch-king of Angmar in the end is defeated at the Battle of Fornost when Earnur brings a fleet to Lindon. The Witch-king vanishes from the North and comes to Mordor where he gathers the other Nazgul to him. Aranarth takes the title of Chieftain of the Dunedain, and the heirlooms of Arnor are given into the keeping of Elrond. A campaign set in this time is very near in feel to the Lord of the Rings itself. There is great loss and sacrifice, but final victory over evil. The characters could take part in helping to deliver the heirlooms to Elrond in Rivendel, which Aragorn will later use, giving an ending of hope to an otherwise dark campaign. 8. TA 1980-2050--The Fall of Minas Ithil and the End of Gondor: Evil grows. The Witchking, driven from Angmar, has called the other Nazgul to Mordor. The Balrog appears in Moria and slays Durin VI. The dwarves flee Moria and many of the elves of Lorien flee South. Amroth and Nimrodel are lost. Thrain I founds the "Kingdom Under the Mountain" at Erebor. The Nazgul besiege and capture Minas Ithil, which is ever after known as Minas Morgul. The Ithil stone is captured by the Nazgul. Earnur, the final king of Gondor, is twice challenged by the Witch-king. The second challenge is accepted and Earnur is slain in treachery at Minas Morgul, thus ending the line of kings of Gondor. Mardil becomes the first ruling steward. As with the fall of Arnor above, this time is similarly ripe for adventure. Arnor is in ruin, Gondor is besieged now by the Witch-king, Moria is deserted. Sauron as of yet has not been unmasked as the Necromancer of Dol Guldur, and his power is growing. The loss of the kingship of Gondor is an epic tragedy, and embodies the theme of decline. The ceremonial appointment of the steward foreshadows the Return of the King: Aragorn II.

9. TA 2060-2460: The Watchful Peace: The wise fear that the Necromancer in Dol Guldur is Sauron, and Gandalf confronts him. Sauron flees and hides in the East. The Watchful Peace begins. The Nazgul are quiet in Minas Morgul as Sauron builds his power now in Mordor for many years. Finally, in 2460, Sauron returns in strength to Dol Guldur. This setting would be appropriate for running a campaign where the players do not want to meddle in the larger affairs of Middle-earth, as Sauron and the Nazgul are in hiding. The dwarves return to the Grey Mountains and Hobbits settle Buckland. The one Ring has not yet been found by Smeagol. A GM would be given much leeway in developing and allowing the characters to overcome some lesser evil. A campaign could be run at this time with one of the characters finding the ring, as long as it ends back up in the river for Smeagol to find. 10. TA 2509-2515: The Sons of Elrond and the Victory of the Rohirrim: With an increase in Orcs and evil creatures in Moria and the Misty Mountains, Celebrain is waylaid on her journey from Rivendel to Lorien and receives a poisoned wound. Eladan and Elrohir, the sons of Elrond, ride errant seeking to exact revenge on all evil creatures for the passage of their mother. Orcs and Easterlings overrun Calenardhon. Eorl and the Eothraim win the day at the Field of Celebrant and are rewarded by Gondor with the land of Calenardhon. The Rohirrim now settle the lands of the Mark they occupy throughout the Lord of the Rings. A campaign set in this time would certainly include the players in the activities of the sons of Elrond and in the relocation of the Rohirrim to the lands of the Mark. 11. TA 2740-2759: Rohan Besieged and the Long Winter: Prior to the Long Winter, Orcs renew their invasion of Eriador. Rohan is attacked from the west and east and overrun. Gondor is attacked by fleets of the Corsairs. Helm of Rohan takes refuge in Helms Deep. Wulf seizes Edoras. In 2758-59, the Long Winter brings great suffering into Eriador and Rohan. Gandalf takes interest in the Shire, and comes to its aid. Helm is slain. Frealaf drives out Wulf and begins the second line of Kings of the Mark. Saruman is given the keys to Isengard. A campaign set in this time would allow the players to partake in the original battle at Helms Deep, prefiguring the story in the Lord of the Rings. A skilled GM would place his or her players in situations similar to those faced by the Grey Company. Also, as the history of the Mark is not fully fleshed out by Tolkien, a GM would have quite a bit of "breathing room" to set adventures in this time period. 12. TA 2790-2799: The War of Dwarves and Orcs: Thror is slain in Moria by Azog. The dwarves gather for a war of vengeance and the War of Dwarves and Orcs begins, culminating in the Battle of Azanulbizar (Nanduhirion) before the East-gate of Moria where Azog is slain by Dain Ironfoot after killing his father, Nain. At the conclusion of the war, Dain Ironfoot returns to the Iron Hills and Thrain II and his son Thorin wander westward, settling in the South of Ered Luin beyond the Shire. This campaign setting is perfect for those groups of players who just dont ever want to play any character other than a dwarf. Its a dwarf-orc melee-fest. 13. TA 2911-2912: The Fell Winter: The Baranduin and other rivers are frozen and White Wolves invade Eriador from the North. In its thaw, great floods devastate Enedwaith and Minhiriath. Tharbad is ruined and deserted. This setting is a favorite of mine, because it has unity of time and location--a very short time period with action focused in the North. I ascribe the Fell Winter to an agent of Sauron (possibly the Witch-king or some other evil lieutenant) who has

returned to Angmar with an item of power over the weather. The players aid the Rangers of the North in uncovering and defeating Saurons servant. I personally love Angmar and this setting allows me to use it in a time frame closer to the War of the Ring. Additionally, setting a campaign during this time allows for a heroic explanation to what would otherwise be a strange though natural occurrence. 14. TA 2941-2944: The Hobbit: Just for reference, this is when Thorin arrives in the Shire, Bilbo finds the Great Ring, the White Council drives Sauron from Dol Guldur, Smaug is slain, the Battle of the Five Armies occurs, Thorin II dies, Dain reestablishes the Kingdom Under the Mountain and Bard rebuilds Dale and becomes king. In my mind, this is not a good time to set a campaign; so much is going on that there is little "breathing room" for a game master to set a story. Though adventurous and skilled game masters may succeed. 15. TA 2951-2980: The Journeys of Aragorn: Sauron declares himself openly, gathers power in Mordor and begins to rebuild the Barad-dur. Sauron sends the Nazgul to occupy Dol Guldur. Elrond reveals to Aragorn his true heritage and delivers to him the shards of Narsil. Arwen meets Aragorn. Aragorn goes into the Wild. The Last meeting of the White Council, Saruman fortifies Orthanc. Mount Doom bursts into flames. Aragorn meets Gandalf and their friendship begins. From TA 2957-2980, Aragorn begins his great journeys and errantries, serving Gondor and Rohan under the name of Thorongil. In TA 2980, Aragorn and Arwen plight their troth upon the hill of Cerin Amroth where he gives her the Ring of Barahir. Gollum makes his way to Mordor. This setting has quite a bit of "breathing room." Characters could be part of Thorongils company in the service of Rohan and Gondor. Either here or later in the hunt for Gollum, Aragorn goes to Moria, and possibly the characters can go with him. The characters would certainly also meet Gandalf. This is an outstanding setting for a first Middle-earth campaign because it is near in time to the Lord of the Rings and thus many of the characters and places are as described in the trilogy. Additionally, it allows for player contact with Aragorn (in disguise as Thorongil) and Gandalf. 16. TA 3000-3017---The Hunt for Gollum: Saruman uses the Orthanc stone and is ensnared by Sauron. Gandalf suspects that Bilbos ring is the one Ring. The guard on the Shire is doubled. Gandalf seeks out Aragorns aid in finding Gollum. Starting in TA 3009, Gandalf and Aragorn start their search for Gollum in earnest, searching the vales of Anduin, Mirkwood, and Rhovanion to the confines of Mordor. At some point during this time, Gollum ventures into Mordor and is captured by Sauron. In TA 3017, Gollum is released from Mordor and is captured by Aragorn in the Dead Marshes and brought to Thranduil in Mirkwood for keeping. A campaign set in this time would have similar advantages as the Journeys of Aragorn, above, though it has a little less "breathing room," since the driving force is the location of Gollum. However, it does allow for some good gentle moments where the characters can aid in keeping secret the love of Aragorn and Arwen. Also, the GM may decide that it was during the search for Gollum that Aragorn entered Moria, so the characters could go with him. 17. TA 3018: The War of the Ring: The events of the trilogy are in motion: Gollum has escaped Thranduils realm, Boromirs dream disturbs Gondor and he is sent to Rivendel, Denethor is snared by Sauron, Saurons emissaries wait at the Gate of Erebor hoping for information on hobbits and the Black Riders are abroad with the name "Baggins" on their lips. A

campaign set during the time of the trilogy has several advantages and disadvantages. It would require no historical modification; things would be exactly as they are in the trilogy. 18. TA 3019-3021/FA 1: The Return of the Shadow: As Gandalf explains after the War of the Ring, the downfall of Sauron is not the end of evil, for he is but a servant of Morgoth, whose evil persists though he has been cast out. In fact, a fragmentary story started by Professor Tolkien exists which takes place after the War of the Ring. See History of Middle-earth XII. Also, if a campaign is to be set after the War of the Ring, consult the timeline regarding the End of the Third Age in Appendix B of The Return of the King. While this setting certainly has the greatest "breathing room," as there are no subsequent events to be concerned about disrupting, this setting also lacks some of the thematic force of pre-War of the Ring settings. The Age of Men has arrived and the Eldar are passing and all their works are fading or have faded from the earth. Though even in this the great theme of decay can still be played out, as Aragorns reunited kingdom, no matter how glorious, is but a pale shadow even of Gondor of old or of Isildurs Northern Kingdom. Final Notes: In my experience, there are four major things that persons playing in Middle-earth want to do, all of which can be accommodated in any of the above settings (except possibly the last): --Meet and interact with their favorite character from the Lord of the Rings --Go to a famous place described in the Lord of the Rings --Be the cause of, the explanation for or participate in a famous event --Assist in the success of the War of the Ring in some way, usually without notoriety, so that they may smugly claim that the Fellowships quest, or the War of the Ring, or Aragorns return could not have been accomplished without their small but significant contribution.

Intereses relacionados