Below is the introduction of a scenario I was going to run for my group taking place in Middle Earth with some substantial lore changes to support Clockwork and a few other items...
The Yule Tide
“In the Second Age of Middle Earth, Celebrimbor crafted the Rings of Power under the
deceptive tutelage of Sauron. The Three Rings of the Elves allowed the Eldar to preserve their
realms on Middle Earth.
Alas, this was not enough. The Valar repeatedly called the Elves home, both in life and in death. Those who refused the call in death stood to have their spirits enslaved by the Enemy, while those who refused in life would eventually diminish without the power of the Three Rings to protect them.
Before his demise, Celebrimbor crafted the Esgal, intricate clockwork forms that could house the spirits of the Avari to protect them from the Enemy after death, and created a means for the Unwilling to forego their immortal, but diminishing forms for a body that would last until the breaking of the world.
This was seen by many as a crime against the natural order on par with the creation of the One Ring.
The Elves who were willing to answer the call, did so quickly, those who wished for immortality as an Esgal, or who were forced into a shell after death became the dominant Elvish presence on Middle Earth.
The Dwarves soon learned the secret of crafting Esgal of their own, and were not so selective as to where the souls for these 'machines' originated. They saw the Esgal not as a means to immortality, but as the key to non-stop mining, allowing them to dig deeper into the bowels of the earth than would otherwise be possible, oft times with tragic consequences.
Now we near the end of the Third Age.
Some true Elves remain, Thranduil and his mad court, now lurk in their fortress beneath the Mirkwood, emerging for missions of mercy, malice or madness.
Galadriel herself dwells in darkness, her power was instrumental in holding Sauron at bay, but only as she herself covets the one ring, and sees it as the last hope to resurrect her people and bring all of Middle Earth into her domain.”
The Prancing Pony is never a quiet place, but two days until the start of the Yule festivities, the noise of the inn-goers was enough to drive the fleas out of the bedding in search of more peaceful environs.
Aragorn departed yesterday in search of Gandalf who was due in town a week before, the common yarn about Wizards never being later or being early notwithstanding.
You have been asked to travel to the Shire, to inquire about the wellbeing of a certain 'Mr. Underhill',
who was also instructed to await the arrival of the Wizard.
Mr Underhill has an item of great import to all of Middle Earth, though what it is Aragorn could not say.
Although it is winter, and a storm rages, the warm hearths of the Shire at Yule await you at journey's end...