Mallorn tree upgrade suggestion:
Mallorn roots: slows nearby enemy units. Does not affect elves.
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Posted by Mathijs on 27 June 2018 - 09:49 PM
I have some thoughts on the hero rosters you've got. What about this:
Recruit: Gandalf the White
Recruit: Thorin Oakenshield
- Mouth of Sauron
Recruit: Witch-king of Angmar
- The Great Goblin
Recruit: Azog the Defiler
Basically make the most powerful heroes available as recruited heroes, and removing Aragorn from Gondor's selection so he can be a big one in Rivendell, which would look like this:
Posted by Mathijs on 25 June 2018 - 06:34 AM
How about the following arrangement:
We give you permission to use the HD Edition assets that you have already used.
In exchange, you give us full credit for those assets in your Readme or when you post them in public ('The following assets were made by the HD Edition team: *insert list of assets here*, find them at https://www.moddb.co...-2-hd-edition).You'll also not use more HD Edition assets or Age of the Ring assets in the future without asking us first (and accepting the outcome should we say no).
What do you think?
Posted by Mathijs on 25 April 2018 - 08:17 AM
I appreciate the effort put into this post, but I must tell you that we will not be using Hobbit designs for the Dol Guldur orcs, nor for the Nazgul. I'm tired of copying other people's designs and would rather design them myself. My Dol Guldur orcs will not look like heavily armored Uruk-hai, but like thin, ghastly scavengers under the corrupting influence of the Necromancer, wearing bone and hide armor and carrying bone weapons.
I might make an exception for Krimpûl - the original Bolg design from The Hobbit was neat and there's a lot of concept art of the creation process available, so he might get based on those.
As to the book, I have it too.
Posted by Mathijs on 14 April 2018 - 09:19 PM
It's not a bad hero concept, but as saruman_the_wise said above, removing Saruman from the core roster is an impossibility. He is too iconic and important.
I recently updated Isengard's faction plan to include a version of Saruman as the Isengard Ring hero. It's likely we'll do this at some point. The player would be able to deliver the Ring to Saruman rather than the Fortress, which would trigger the original Saruman to change into Saruman of Many Colours.
Posted by Mathijs on 02 February 2018 - 12:41 AM
Because we're coming up with a variety of new characters, creatures, and locations, I thought it would be nice to create a little alphabetical compendium of all of the Age of the Ring-canon that we've come up with so far.
It's a work in progress and will be updated over time.
Dunland. Formally known as the hilly land just west of the Misty Mountains, north of the Angren river, the land stretched further south at the end of the Third Age, when the descendants of Freca an exiled Rohirrim King, still contested the fertile land that lay further south.
Ever since Freca’s time, there have existed two distincts cultures within Dunland: the descendants of the House of Haladin, second house of the Edain, having dwelt there for years beyond counting, and the descendants of Freca and his people, a much younger culture, through whose veins runs the mixed blood of the Dunlendings and the Rohirrim. The latter dwelt mostly in the lands between the two rivers and the White Mountains, which they named Frecalund,or the Triangle. It’s capital was Wulfborg, named after Wulfgar, a prominent Dunlending King during the War of the Ring.
Wulfborg, T.A. 3018.
The final shafts of sunlight fell through the vents at the top of the long hall. Dust danced like fireflies. Long banners hung unfurled from the rafters, depicting scenes of victory and lamentation – the history of Dunland, of Rohan, and of the House of Freca.
At the end of the hall, upon a raised, wood-carved throne inlaid with green gems, sat Wulfgar, King of Freca’s folk and the Dunlendings. Beside him, on a lowered seat, sat his son: Brant, a boy of sixteen.
A sudden creaking and cracking was heard, then the doors of the hall swung open. A guard, bearing the Black Crow on a long, oval shield, hurried through and spoke to Wulfgar.
‘There is an emissary of Orthanc here to see you, lord.’
Wulfgar’s expression grew dark.
‘Send him in.’
The doors creaked and cracked, then swung open. The failing light of dusk bathed the hall in silver-grey. A hooded figure, surrounded by several of Wulfgar’s household guard, was escorted in. He was of small stature, with a bent back. He walked slow and steady, but bore no staff.
When he reached the throne, he cast back his hood, revealing a mangled, pointed face. Silence fell over the hall. A maid, upon seeing the face of the visitor, made herself scarce.
‘Hail Wulfgar Brynjarsson, of the house of Freca,’ he spoke. His voice was cracked and whispery. Then he noticed the boy. ‘And hail to you, Brant Wulfgarsson.’
‘Greetings, half-orc,’ Wulfgar replied. ‘What business have you in Wulfborg? Speak quickly, for we do not lightly tolerate your presence here. Any of my men’s spears could slip from their hands and into your belly. I would not fault them.’
‘I come on behalf of Saruman of Many Colours, Lord of Orthanc, First of the Five Wizards. In his wisdom, he has decided to intervene in the unjust treatment of the Men of Dunland by the strawheads to the east. Many Dunlendings have already joined his cause. Will you give him your allegiance?’
Wulfgar remained silent for a while. Brant looked at the emissary, then at his father. Then his father met his gaze, rolled his eyes, made a vague gesture, and slouched down on his throne.
Brant spoke. The emissary’s face grew puzzled. ‘We have heard tell of Saruman’s generosity. But we have no wish to go to war. We have achieved a tenuous peace here, south of the Adorn, and reap a plentiful harvest. Théoden Horsemaster has not troubled us for several years. As you see, Wulfborg has grown prosperous of late.’
Wulfgar clapped in approval. ‘I have taught you well, my son. Now make yourself scarce, mongrel, before I test my newest blade.’
The emissary did not look impressed. ‘Théoden has grown lethargic, it is true. And so you have been allowed to thrive. But for how much longer?’
Wulfborg, T.A. 3019.
The heart of winter. The cold stalked the streets of Wulfborg. The King was in bed, covered in layers of furs. His wife lay beside him, snoring softly. But he could not sleep. His gaze was trained upon a particular rafter. In the gloom of night,its rough wood reminded him of something of his childhood. He grasped at the whisp of memory, but it would not take hold.
Suddenly, horns were sounded. The King leapt from his bed, strapped his sword to his belt, and hurried outside, where he was met by his guards. Horns answered horns – a great racket echoed over the snow-covered fields beyond the walls. Followed by his guard, Wulfgar climbed them in great haste, and was dismayed at what he witnessed. There was a sea of torches, held in hand by great orcs and men dressed in the garb of the wildmen that lived north of the river.
A familiar voice called forth.
‘Hail Wulfgar Brynyarsson, of the house of Freca,’ it spoke. ‘The war will soon commence. Does your decision yet stand?’
Wulfgar did not answer. Instead, he turned to his guard, who had hurried up the walls behind in great haste. Einar then spoke: ‘They appeared suddenly my lord, setting their torches alight in concert. We received no word of warning.’
On the black horizon, a faint glow could be seen. ‘Ravndal burns,’ said Wulfgar. He laid his hand on the pommel of his sword and closed his eyes.
‘Think fast,’ said the emissary.
Wulfgar did not need much time. ‘I accept,’ he yelled. ‘Saruman will have my sword! Now leave this place!’
‘Saruman is kind. He understands the risks of marching in winter. But he requests that you bring your men to Isengard once the snows melt.’ answered the emissary. ‘Before springtime. Or you will all suffer the same fate as Ravndal.’
Wulfborg, T.A. 3019, February 23th.
Women lamented as the host departed through the gates of Wulfborg. Wulfgar rode at the head, with Brant at his side. Behind them rode the men of the King’s household guard: fifty of his finest warriors. Behind them came a long line of riders bearing spears and long rider shields, no less than fifteen-hundred. Lastly there came a company of archers: five-hundred, carrying great bows and long quivers full of black-feathered shafts. No more men could be found: Wulfgar’s people were not numerous. The King had emptied Frecalund.
As they trudged through fields made muddy by the recently vanished snow, Brant spoke to his father.
‘When do we tell them?’ he asked.
‘When we must,’ answered Wulfgar. ‘And no sooner. The White Wizard is skilled in the art of subterfuge. No doubt there are spies in our ranks.’
‘What if they will not listen?’ continued Brant. ‘What if the Prince rejects us?’
‘These are dark times,’ answered Wulfgar. ‘This is not mere political strife. Saruman sought to blind us with the plight of my our people, to use our weakness to further his own goals. Those that have fallen under his sway will never find the world they hope for. Orcs do not congregate around the righteous.’
The difficult terrain lenghtened what would have been a two day’s march to three. It was the 26th of February when they reached the Gap of Rohan. When they approached the crossings at the Fords of Isen, they came upon a terrible sight. Bodies were strewn about the landings. Streaks of red and black blood colored the fine stones. As they continued, the tragedy expanded: numerous more bodies could be seen, scattered beneath tattered Rohirrim banners. A great battle had taken place: Orcs on the one side, the Men of Rohan on the other.
Wulfgar dismounted, told his men to hold, and walked alone into the stream. His mind raced. Dead men in shining mail, stained in blood. Orcs marked with the White Hand of Saruman.
His mind grew numb as Wulfgar calculated his position. His plan had been to cross into Rohan and set up some manner of alliance with the Rohirrim. To set aside their differences and stand against a common foe. He had never trusted Saruman: often the White Wizard had sent him gifts of tribute, demanding nothing in return. He had appeared at Wulfborg once, when his father was still King. Saruman’s voice had been compelling. He had spoken of the injustice inflicted upon the Dunlendings, and of how justice would inevitably be served. His words had been met with praise. That night, Wulfgar could not sleep. The image of the Wizard, appearing without notice and saying everything his father wanted to hear, would not leave his mind.
In the distance, a horn was blowing: the Horn of the Mark. What choice was there now? If he remained, the strawheads would not hear his words. They would blame him for the atrocity that occurred there, and would take up arms against his men. He could march to Isengard and lay siege to it, but he would have no hopes of winning: the Ring of Isengard was wide, Saruman likely outnumbered him, and even if he had the advantage of numbers, he had no means of setting up a supply line to maintain the siege. He could march his men back home, where they would be left to await either the wrath of Saruman or that of Théoden, who would surely come for him, having seen Wildmen in his enemy’s ranks.
There lay but one path before him, if he desired to have a chance at sparing his lands and people.
Time passed slow. For a moment I drifted away upon the invisible path of the cold wind - but then I heard the cracking of twigs and branches. I sat up and peered through the openings in the foliage towards the center of the clearing. There it stood. A monstrous creature, as tall as three elves, unlike anything I've seen lurking beneath the dark canopy of our tainted forest. Its limbs were like gnarled birch-branches, white and knotted and twined together like bone and sinew. Poisonous mushrooms grew from its shoulders. Its head was like the skull of a deer, but much larger. A pale light flickered inside deep sockets. And atop its head grew strange, malformed antlers. Bloodied and razorsharp, and hung with loëwmorn, a a fell, devouring moss.
I drew an arrow from my quiver and laid it against the string of my bow. It had not seen me, but it wouldn't take long for it to catch my scent. I recognized this creature that stalked me: it was the gwanthaur - the pale horror - the subject of many ghost stories as told by the woodsmen. I never believed them. Men are so easily swayed by hearsay. I had drawn my conclusions: a vicious orc, at most, wearing antlers on his cursed head, in mockery of our King. It appeared I had severely underestimated my quarry.
It stood there for a long time, not moving, not even to breathe. I found it hard to keep my eyes open. I must've lost more blood than I thought. I began to drift in and out of consciousness. Then everything went black. In the darkness of my mind, I saw scores of thin, lumenescent shapes, flickering in and out of vision. Elven spirits, bent and broken, unable to journey to the Halls of Mandos. Their voices were terrible - they clamored in chorus, full of rage and anguish.
When I opened my eyes, the creature was still there, standing as still as before. It was now or never. If I stayed in this tree much longer, I would sink into darkness and likely fall from its branches. I had to take the shot. The arrow was still in my hand. I sat up, nocked it, and held up my bow with shaking arms. When I went to draw, my strength failed me. I dropped my arrow and listened to it clatter down the tree and onto the clearing...