Flavor text: Shadows of Mirkwood

It was brought to my attention that there isn’t really one place where the narrative printed on the paper rule sheets can be found. So I have decided to start and copy the narrative of each cycle in a new series so that you can follow along with the story if you are playing the game digitally or are too lazy to grab your rulebooks after finishing each scenario. This text will be directly copied from the rule sheets, so I am not going to attempt to fluff up the story in any way. I decided to do this by cycle, as I otherwise have some very short articles if I do it per quest. That means that you shouldn’t read on if you want to spare yourself from some spoilers, but I think everyone knows the story by now. The flavor text on the quest cards are excluded from this series, as you will be able to read those as you play the game.

For the first two cycles (Shadows of Mirkwood and Dwarrowdelf cycles), the stories will be pretty bare-bones, and the articles will be a bit short. I promise that the articles will improve after that, as the narrative picks up at the beginning of cycle 3. Each quest in this cycle will have two segments of text to be read. The first is the introduction to the quest that you can read before you start the game. When you beat the scenario, you can read the next segment, which tells you how the quest wraps up and how you move to the next quest in the cycle.

Passage through Mirkwood

Start: Mirkwood has long been a dangerous place, and recently one of King Thranduil’s patrols has uncovered disconcerting signs of a gathering menace in the vicinity of Dol Guldur. A party of heroes, controlled by the players, has been assembled to carry a message through Mirkwood, down the Anduin, and eventually to Lórien, to warn Lady Galadriel of the imminent danger.

Journey Along the Anduin

Start: Having survived the dangers of Mirkwood Forest, the heroes continue their journey along the banks of the Anduin river, toward Lórien, with dire news of a gathering threat in Southern Mirkwood.

Escape from Dol Guldur:

Start: While exploring in the vicinity of Dol Guldur at Lady Galadriel’s request, one of the heroes’ companions is captured by the Necromancer’s forces, and is now awaiting interrogation in a dungeon beneath the hill. Knowing their friend’s time is short, the heroes decide to attempt a desperate rescue.

The Hunt for Gollum

Start: At the request of Gandalf, the heroes are searching for Gollum in the Anduin Valley between the misty Mountains and Mirkwood forest. Rumours have suggested that Gollum is in this area, and the heroes are looking for clues that might put them on the elusive creature’s trail.

Conflict at the Carrock

Start: While searching for Gollum along the banks of the Anduin, the heroes hear rumours of a group of Trolls that have come to the Carrock, bringing chaos and strife to the valley. The Beornings, led by Grimbeorn the Old, are known as the peacekeepers in the area, so the heroes set out to find Grimbeorn and assist him in driving the intrusive Trolls back to the mountains from which they came.

A Journey to Rhosgobel

Start: While travelling in the Anduin Valley, the heroes come across a fallen Eagle, dreadfully wounded from a recent battle with Goblins, and on the verge of death. Given their location, the heroes attempt to transport the Eagle to Rhosgobel, on the edge of Mirkwood, in the hope that the wizard Radagast can save the Eagle’s life.

The Hills of Emyn Muil

Start: Pursuing Gollum to the south, the heroes were led to the hills of Emyn Muil, but there the leads grew cold. Somewhere in this region, Gollum is hiding, and the heroes must explore carefully to regain the trail and resume pursuit.

The Dead Marshes

Start: After regaining his trail in the hills of Emyn Muil, the heroes have tracked Gollum to The Dead Marshes, into which he has fled in a last ditch effort to avoid pursuit. Feeling that the hunt is coming to a close, the heroes enter the treacherous marshlands, ready to capture the creature alive.

Return to Mirkwood

Start: After cornering and capturing Gollum in The Dead Marshes, the heroes must now escort the creature north, through Mirkwood forest, so that he can be held and interrogated at King Thranduil’s palace. The journey will not be easy, however: Mirkwood is always a dangerous place, the Dark Lord’s forces are eager to take Gollum for their own purposes… and Gollum himself is eager to escape.

That concludes the first cycle of the narrative story of LOTR LCG. I have to say that I quite enjoyed doing this, as I haven’t read the flavor text on these quests in a long time. The next cycle will be done soon, as it will be about as long as this one was. The others will take some more time to complete, as the stories there include a lot more dialogue between characters and more detailed descriptions. I hope you enjoyed this article though, and will join the party when it takes on the deeps of Moria in the Dwarrowdelf cycle!

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