Mr. Pepper Stumpdumpling, of Lake Town, rose early on Sunday morning. After his usual routine of washing, cooking breakfast, cleaning his home and tending to his ponies he decided that he would seek a more robust meal in Lake Town.
To this point Pepper has been a resident of Lake Town for some time. 5 years ago his parents made the great adventurous walk east. They were inspired to make the great journey from the Shire to Lake Town after the triumphant and fantastic return of Mr. Bilbo Baggins. Upon his return all of the Shire was filled with a buzz as his tale was told and retold at every home and tavern. Upon hearing of these adventures and fortunes many Hobbits took to The Great Road!
Pepper’s parents raised him to live freely and boldly! He has learned that one must brave The Wild in order to claim fame and fortune! Pepper has had several small excursions to the outskirts of The Wild and proudly returned home with minor treasures and trinkets.
So on this particular Sunday Pepper found himself ready for second breakfast! Donning his fine cloak and trusty walking stick he made for Lake Town! As he crossed the bridge and was thankful that he had remembered his cloak as the morning breeze blew stiffly and cold down from the Lonely Mountain. As he entered the gate he joined the masses of people, Hobbits, Dwarves and even a few Elves as they began the day. Merchants opened shops, fishermen eased onto the lake and workers struck out for the fields.
As he walked the well known streets to the tavern he felt a peculiar bump at his side. Not the typical bump that a Hobbit would normally encounter walking a crowded street full of tall men, but a very specific bump….at his purse! (Successful Awareness Roll of 16 vs TN 14). He spun to find a small local boy with his hand firmly grasping Pepper’s purse! Pepper smiled and gently pulled away asking “What ever are you doing lad?” The boy half turned as if to run and apologetically stated, “Beg pardon Sir but you see I’m hungry with no coin for bread!” Pepper smiled wide, dug into his purse and flipped a coin at the boy. The hungry young boy snatched the coin from the air, looked once more at Pepper, and with a smile turned to run; disappearing into the crowd.
Pepper continued on his way towards the tavern, stopping to check in on one of his favorite trinket shops “Took’s Trinkets.” As Pepper peered into the window he noticed a particularly fancy trinket that sparkled in the morning sun’s rays. He leaned in to get a better look (Successful Lore roll of 18 vs TN 12 to ID a Compass). Pepper knew right away that he had stumbled upon a great prize! Being an adventurous Treasure Hunter such as himself one know’s a good adventuring item if found!
Pepper entered the shop to the ding of the welcoming bell only to find the store empty! The old Hobbit, Mr. Bumblebottom, was no where to be seen. Pepper heard rummaging from the back room and thought ‘Perhaps I could just nick this compass for myself? I’m sure no one would mind, or else there would be someone here!’ He quickly came to his senses remembering the ever vigilant town guard. So Pepper walked to the back and found Old Bumblebottom rummaging through boxes of odd things. A stout clearing of the throat did the trick.
Pepper and Mr. Bumblebottom discussed the trinket and soon it became clear that Bumblebottom did not know what the item was, let alone the price! “Ah well you see Mr. Stumpdumpling what ye have here is a very rare and expensive Dwarf-Lady evening neckless! Yes, yes! These are worn on only the most specialist of occasions in the Dwarf Kingdom” exclaimed Bumblebottom! “Nonsense,” replied Pepper, “what you have here is a simple compass, nothing more! It aids you in finding your way in The Wild you silly man! It tells the direction!”
It was clear that Bumblebottom was not inclined to believe such a simple explanation for such a lovely thing. Surely this nice, shinny, Dwarf-Lady neckless is worth a small fortune! (Failed Persuade roll of 9 vs TN 12). It would seem that Pepper would have to pay more than he wished for this prize! Pepper though for a moment and decided to show Bumblebottom just what he meant. He opened the compass and began spinning the needle explaining “You see old man, this needle points to the north as you move about the country side and aligns with these numbers here, they let you know the direction you are traveling! This has never seen a Dwarf hand, let alone a Dwarf-Lady’s evening dress!” (1 Hope point is spent for a successful Persuade roll. Pepper now has 18 Hope points remaining).
Mr. Bumblebottom finally gave in to Peppers silly idea of a compass and agreed to sell the item. Pepper offered 6 copper pieces which impressed Bumblebottom indeed! (Merchant rolled Eye of Sauron when haggling the price). Bumblebottom was so pleased with the offer that he even provided a lovely purple felt pouch with a silver draw string saying “You musn’t go out with that, er…whacha say it is…compass, seen by all the burglars and pick pockets in town! They would surely nick it form you!”
Pepper thanked the old Hobbit and continued on his way to second breakfast! After more crowded street walking he finally made it to The Drunken Dragon Tavern! He entered the small Hobbit door, next to the regular human door, to find Mrs. Potts, the tavern keeper. Mrs. Potts frowned down over the counter as she cleaned many piled up mugs. “Have you got any eggs today?” asked Pepper. “Well we wouldn’t be much of a tavern if we didn’t have no eggs now would we!?” snapped Potts!
Pepper entered the great room to his left and found some of his Hobbit friends, who seemed to have the exact same idea of a second breakfast at the tavern as he did! He sat at one of the special made Hobbit booths and joined in on the feast of eggs, meat and milk! They each shared the latest news about the weather, crops, fishing, trading and even some news from The Wild!
As their meal continued Pepper’s friend Trotter leaned in close. “Have you heard of what is happening in the fields?” (Successful Courtesy roll of 18 vs TN 14). “Why no, what is happening?”
“Oh well!” exclaimed Trotter, “There seems to be some illness affecting all of the workers! They are not allowed to enter Lake Town! They have all broken out around the mouth, nose and eyes with a strange black rash! It weakens the men and brings a fever! So far those struck are only ill and unable to work but the Mayor does not dare risk an outbreak here in town, so he has instructed the Guard to keep them out!”
Pepper thought for a moment. Before adventuring to Lake Town Pepper’s parents were renowned farmers in the Shire. As a child he learned many things form his father and mother concerning farming, herbs and plants. He thought to himself, ‘Perhaps I could take a look at these men, or even their fields, and find out what this is all about!’
END OF SESSION: Pepper earns 1 experience point for end of session, 1 advancement point in perception for Awareness rolls, and 1 treasure point for discovering the compass.