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Having mercifully traversed the marshy Nin-In-Eilph, Elrond and Glorfindel find themselves at the ruins of Ost-In-Edhil, home to Celebrimbor's hidden forge if Nalir can be believed. Unfortunately, Bellach and his orc gang have already arrived and are scouring the ruins for the forge. Nalir is done; he quickly describes where the forge is, gives his fondest farewell, and is never seen from again. Bellach is having his orcs search with only half a map; if they are quick and very quiet, perhaps they can still get to the forge first.
1 O Elbereth! Gilthonial!
1 Will of the West
Turn 1 (18 threat - 0 progress - 3 time)
Currently, Bellach is searching the Ancient Foundation of Ost-In-Edhil; thanks to Nalir's information, Elrond is sure that the Secret Chamber is a good ways past that. Gleowine, under strict instruction to avoid any of his usual music and loud-mouthery, joins the ranks. Glorfindel dons the Light of Valinor, careful to keep it tucked under his garments to avoid detection.
As the group begins to push further into hostile territory, they silently begin tailing an Orc Hunter, trying to weave their way through enemy lines.
Turn 2 (19t - 1p - 1 time)
A Resourceful Elrond is always glad to have a Stargazer, trained in the ways of the great rings, at his side. Now if only he could remember where he stashed Vilya...
Elrond Counsels the group to trust stealth above all else; Glorfindel shakes his head, but the group plods quietly on.
Turn 3 (17t - 1p - 3 time)
A second Orc Hunter can be seen off in the distance, searching the area for the hidden forge. While contemplating their next move, a wealthy Zigil Miner shows up to aid the group; this fills Elrond with Unexpected Courage. As the group readies to set off again, following Nalir's directions, an Orc Skirmisher is spotted ahead, directly in their path. Elrond Counsels the group to push on; if they happen upon a Hunter or Skirmisher, they'll have to try to take them down before they can sound an alarm.
Elrond successfully leads the party past the Skirmisher, but runs head-long into an Orc Hunter. The Hunter, although surprised to learn the heroes successfully navigated the Nin-Il-Eilph swamp, quickly regains his composure and manages to land several blows on Glorfindel before the two elven lords cut the orc down. Bloodied, Glorfindel urges his companions to hide the body and continue on undetected as long as possible.
Turn 4 (18t - 1p - 2 time)
Elrond Risks some Light and is rewarded by his long-time friend Gildor joining up with the group! The party has reached the City Remains as Nalir indicated; they're still not to the forge yet, but they're on the right track!
The second Orc Hunter enters the City Remains, realizes the presence of unwanted visitors and lashes out with his sword violently at Elrond. The sudden attack catches the elf off-guard and does massive damage; the two elven heroes strike back and put an end to the orc before more damage can be done.
Turn 5 (21t - 1p - 1 time)
A Northern Tracker, adept in searching out the nearby ancient locations for clues as to where Nalir's directions are supposed to lead, joins the group. A massive Orc Hunting Party is passing through the ruins, ahead of the group; the heroes lie low for the moment, choosing not to Test their Will against such a large group.
As the large Orc Hunting Party departs, it seems that the heroes still have the element of surprise on their side.
Turn 6 (22t - 1p - 3 time)
The group spies their third Orc Hunter ahead in the ruins; this place is crawling with them! Sensing that Bellach is sparing no expense in searching the ruins, Elrond searches out and dons Vilya, the ring of air. With its power, he calls forth Beorn to aid our group in case things turn violent in the ruins. Asfaloth trots up behind Beorn; two wonderful additions to the group searching through the Broken Lands.
Not fully understanding the secretive nature of their enterprise, Beorn walks ahead and grabs the Orc Skirmisher by the throat, dragging him back to the group. The Skirmisher hacks back at the mighty skin-changer, but the damage he can deal is nowhere near to what is needed to get free. Glorfindel helps run the orc through before they draw any more attention; both elf lords playfully chide Beorn for being so reckless.
Turn 7 (24t - 1p - 2 time)
The group presses onwards and finds themselves in a Ruined Plaza, crumbling buildings all around. It isn't until a Warden of Healing shows up that Elrond and Glorfindel realize how hard this trip has been on them. Both elves sport extreme and grotesque wounds that need immediate attention; the Warden gets to work right away. While lying on the examiner's table, Elrond lifts Vilya and summons Boromir to watch over the group while the heroes are tended to.
Unfortunately, it seems that the group's growing size is drawing attention from the orcs. The third Orc Hunter is now tailing them, presumably reporting their movements back to Bellach.
Turn 8 (25t - 1p - 1 time)
Arwen and a second Northern Tracker join the group's increasing ranks. Seeing his daughter fills Elrond with a second wave of Unexpected Courage. Having two Trackers and the skillful Asfaloth searching out the nearby ruins greatly speeds up the group's ability to find the Secret Chamber that Nalir's directions described. The Trackers guarantee that it must be close by. As they head off to find the Chamber, one of Bellach's Scouts takes off at full speed to warn his master of the impending discovery by our heroes.
Glorfindel and Beorn race ahead to cut down the Scout before he can report to Bellach. Thankfully, orcs are not well-known for their speed, and the two reach him quickly, hopefully before his shouts reached Bellach's ears. Boromir and the Zigil Miner make short work of the trailing Orc Hunter before jogging to catch up with the rest of the group.
Turn 9 (26t - 4p - 3 time)
A fourth Orc Hunter can now be seen, tracking the heroes from an increased distance. Undeterred, the Trackers lead the party the last few steps of Nalir's directions, culminating at the entrance to the Secret Chamber! Inside, they discover Celebrimbor's Mould, a prize worth of returning to their benefactor, Saruman. Elrond Counsels that the group should leave as quietly as they arrived; perhaps they will be lucky enough to avoid Bellach altogether.
Immediately after stepping out of the Secret Chamber, the group is attacked by a Prowling Wolf! What? How a Wolf came to get lost in these ancient ruins crawling with Orcs is beyond comprehension, but none-the-less the party cuts through the rogue Wolf and is on their way out of the ruins of Ost-In-Edhil.
Turn 10 (24t - 13p - 2 time)
Gripping Celebrimbor's Mould tightly in his hands, Elrond pushes his friends' pace as they continue towards the edge of the ruins and hopefully onward to safety. Unfortunately, Bellach hasn't been idle while the heroes have been unearthing his prize; Bellach stands tall at the very edge of the crumbling Ost-In-Edhil, flanked by an Orc Hound, yet another Hunter, and one of his finest Scouts.
(+6p, complete stage 1)
Glorfindel and Beorn peel off from the main group, heading straight at the Scout, cutting him down as his master watches. Bellach's eyes fill with rage; he lunges forward and strikes Elrond squarely, sending the elf flying, injured. Boromir takes advantage of Bellach's offensive, slips past him, and cuts down the Hound. Only a single Hunter and Bellach himself stands between the heroes and their escape.
Turn 11 (25t - 0p - 2 time)
Seeing the bodies of both his Hound and Scout at his feet gives Bellach a momentary shock of clarity. Here, at this Ancient Foundation, could be his last stand. Desperately, he throws the remaining Orc Hunter at the elves as he frantically searches for a quick escape.
The elven lords have no difficulty ending the betrayed Hunter; the heroes move swiftly to cut off Bellach's retreat... there will be no word leaving to the dark lord of what great treasure has been found today.
Turn 12 (26t - 10p - 1 time)
Bellach senses his doom; a calmness comes over his face. In among these Collapsed Towers is where he must make his last stand.
Skilled as he is, even surrounded, Bellach is a formidable foe. As the entire force of good converges on him, Boromir slips only for a moment, but in that moment, Bellach drives his sword in between the joints in his armor, laying the Gondorian warrior low. Before he can even remove the sword from the kill, Bellach is cut down by several mighty blades, never to rise again. Elrond and Glorfindel carry the bloodied Boromir between them as they somberly head back to Isengard with Celebrimbor's elusive Mould.
(complete stage 2)
The enemies in this scenario are right in this deck's sweet-spot. An enemy (such as the ever-present Orc Hunter) that takes 6 or less attack power to kill can usually be put to rest by Glorfindel (since Light of Valinor lets him quest for free) aided by one of the power allies (Boromir or Beorn). Since I was able to get both Boromir and Beorn into play rather quickly, taking care of the enemies that Bellach was putting into play every 3 turns was really no sweat. In the end, this is not the most exciting quest, but the time mechanic really makes you evaluate how you choose to progress through the stages; when do you make a push, when do you hold back, what is the payoff if you can get done before the next big trigger? Also worth noting is how good two Norther Trackers are together. Secret Chamber doesn't have any text preventing them from putting tokens on it in the staging area, so they definitely made the first part of the quest easier than it should have been. Also, at this point in time, Boromir is pretty much an auto-include and Will of the West and Power of Orthanc are really the sideboard cards... but I think I'll leave the original decklist the way it is and keep "sideboarding" Boromir in each and every game.
= 26 + 0 + 0 - 8
i am certainly intrigued to try out a secret deck at some point. Just a question on the final score, I am new to LOTR LCG, but reading the rules, wouldn't it be 12 turns * 10 + 18 = 128?