Monday, August 17, 2020

Insurgent Middle Earth

If we take The Silmarillion as Elvish mythology (which it is), then most of the doings in Middle Earth are a proxy conflict between two super-powers: Sauron and his minions and the Valar and the Elves. We needn't assume either side is particularly good, In fact, we know the Valar unleashed a devastating weapon of mass destruction against their former allies in Numenor just for getting to cozy with Sauron.

In the modern era, Sauron's forces have been engaged in a protracted occupation of  Eriador. Through the action of the Mordor proxy Angmar, the Western kingdoms of Man were shattered, much of the population fled south, but fanatical bands, the Rangers, structured around the heir to throne of Arnor and Gondor, and supported by the Elves, continued to fight an insurgency against Mordor's Orcish forces and her allies.

Sauron has been a distant and not terribly effective leader for sometime. He has been unable to consolidate Angmar's victory over Arnor (a victory that saw Angmar destroyed in the process) and unable to wipe out the remaining Elvish enclaves and human insurgents.

You get the idea. Shorn of much of it's epic fantasy trappings, Middle Earth becomes a grittier place, where Men, Orcs, and local Elves, are all dealing with the aftermath of a terrible war wrought by super-powers that they perhaps only have the smallest of stakes in, but yet are forced to take most of the risk.

Seems like an interesting place to adventure. 


JB said...

I’m currently rereading the Fellowship of the Rung (first time in decades). It is far grittier than I’re not too far off the mark.

Michael Gillis said...

This is a really interesting take! I may have to approach a new campaign this way...

Marc said...

I prefer the term "Elvish propaganda" myself.