15 June 2009

That Which Is Sought

The latest preview for Middle-earth Quest!

The sunlight faded across the rolling hills of the West. But there would be no rest tonight. The journey was far from over.

 

As Sauron’s power grows, so to does the power of the heroes grow. Each side has many missions and tasks to complete before their work is done. As mentioned in the By Strength of Will article, each hero has unique quests they will embark upon during the game.

Beravor, a human ranger, is a deadly character in these dark times. She is an excellent ranged fighter, and has enough cunning to be a wicked close combat opponent as well. One of her starting quests sends her to the Grey Havens. There she will consult with the powerful Gandalf, but before she can speak to him, she must defeat one of Sauron’s evil spies. The Crebain is not the strongest, nor the most foul of foes, yet they can spread Sauron’s will rapidly if not defeated. As she has a Strength of only 5, she will need to be selective in which cards she chooses to dispatch her opponent.

Once she has defeated the Crebain, Beravor will receive both training, discussed in a future article, and a boat. The boat makes it much easier to travel the aquatic pathways found in the lands of Middle-earth. In addition she will reveal her advanced quest.

The massive stone figures were certainly imposing. But if, as the story goes, they had fallen prey to their own greed, perhaps the Dark Lord himself was not as unstoppable as he seemed.

A noble of Gondor, Eleanor is able to quell the taint of Sauron in her people. She is able to gain additional favor each time she consults with a character or completes a quest. This favor is the coin which buys back the loyalty of the peoples of Middle-earth. Once she has completed her starting quest, she moves onto the advanced quest. This is far more treacherous, and will require her to travel deep into the enemy held territory. Though well equipped to deal with the machinations of Sauron, she must journey to Barad-dûr. Nestled deep within the lands held by Sauron, this black fortress will present Eleanor with a challenge the likes of which she has never seen before. However, if she is successful in her quest, she may gain two favor or one level of Agility, both of which are welcome additions. Above this reward, she may also remove influence from Sauron’s total pool of influence.

The Dark Lord is not without his own plots and schemes. One of his starting plots, Monsters in the East, places a large amount of influence on the board, and provides Sauron with a couple of options for Shadow cards, wicked powers and options Sauron can employ, and options in his Plots. A wicked start for the heroes, as they must journey to the Sea of Udûn and spend two favor to undo this foul design. As this is a fair distance from where the heroes begin their quests, it will take time before they can undo the beginning gambit.

As Saruman spoke, all the suspicions and accusations simply washed away. Just the sound of his voice seemed enough to inspire unquestioning trust in the White Wizard.

Once the game is under way, Saruon can turn his eye upon the Istari wizard Saruman. This once honorable wizard has turned to darker paths to power. Now he has fallen under the sway of the Dark Lord of the Shadow. Once Saruman is Shadow-sworn, Isengard becomes a perilous location. Anytime a hero consults with Saruman, they gain a corruption card as the fallen wizard poisons their minds. This plot is particularly difficult for the heroes to overcome, as it takes five favor to remove.

The Broken Line of Kings plot is another nasty turn of events for the heroes. Focusing on a haven, a place to rest and recuperate for those not sworn to the Shadow, Sauron prevents the heroes from resting or drawing encounter cards in this place of peace. Even worse, this plot advances Sauron’s marker two spaces every turn, and will require a hefty donation of four favor to remove.

Each side will seek to hinder the opponents as much as they can, in addition to furthering their own plots and quests. As the fate of all Middle-earth is at stake, this is a mission of utmost importance.

Next we look at third minion revealed, the Lieutenant of Sauron, Gothmog of Gorgoroth.

Middle-earth Quest is a game of adventure and conflict set in the time leading up to the creation of the Fellowship. One player will adopt to mantle of Sauron and do his best to spread his evil influence across the lands. Up to three players become heroes and will do their best to foil Sauron's foul plots, and rally the peoples of Middle-earth to their side.

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