Dungeon Master of Middle-earth
I just wanted to return to this because I think The New Shadow has some evocative elements that would be a great jumping off point for a series set in the Fourth Age. I'd go with Tolkien's later decision to begin the story in the year 220 of the Fourth Age, one hundred years after the death of Aragorn and near the end of the reign of his son, Eldarion. The old man, Borlas, son of a captain of Gondor and old enough to remember real orcs, makes a great contrast with the young man, Saelon, who, as a child, played at being orcs with his friends. Together they uncover the roots of the "Dark Tree", a rising cult led by the shadowy figure, Herumor, a name which means "Dark Lord".Middle-earth: The Fourth Age. One of the great literary losses of the last century is that Tolkien didn't complete (barely started, really), his follow-up to the Lord of the Rings: The New Shadow. Evidently he didn't write more than 13 pages because it was just too depressing. Anyhow, I'd fast forward from LotR by at least a couple hundred years, maybe longer. Make sure all the canonical characters are dead or have passed over to the West, and then create new characters, with some new evil arising - perhaps a cult of Morgoth, or maybe another Balrog turns up, or one of the blue wizards comes back and is set on domination. Elves are dwindling and diminishing, dwarves becoming more insular. Etc.