Bounder Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed
Addernotch Station


It is my honour to continue my report on a recent skirmish practice we had which, I think, proves us fit to challenge Sambrog in his lair.

Recall, there were six of us working without squires in a skirmish practice set up for twelve people with squires. We suffered a defeat on the first counter-attack and were forced to #retreat. Then we got ourselves properly organized and our minds set on our taks and moved on, clearing the town as we went.

There is far too much happening to mention in any report. Moreover, I feel bad in not reporting other things that are going on - such as continuing patrols into Naerost and Mina's Eriol that I hear about - and even some Eclairians working out of Trestlebridge to the north recently. This report should serve only to give you a taste of our efforts in what I think is our most important mission at the moment - the defeat of Sambrog.

Even here, there is much that could be said about a maneuver we practiced on the skirmish that summons a ghost from the distant past - some sort of oath breaker as I understand it seeking redemption. Not all spirits are malevolent, as I learned aiding the ghosts in the Barrows. It was odd at best to be visited by such a creature. We scarcely had time to recognize him 'fore he was off to his final rest.

I am aware of how odd it is to write of such things - but oddness is mundane beyond the Bounds.

Clearing the villainy out of Tuckborough was not without mishaps. One enemy counter-attack caught me trying to inspire the others before the battle as I often try to do. That must have attracted the enemy's attention since the next I knew I was being swarmed upon by goblins. Wilbus, I think, tried to draw them off me to too much success. He was taken down by a blow quickly enough. Meanwhile, the goblins kept forcing me back until I was nearly inside one of their goblin bonfires and had nowhere to go. It was all I could do to hide behind my shield and shout for help.

However, Heklaer took to the job of keeping up morale and encouraging the others without which I am certain we would have suffered a second defeat. At the same time, Nip proved his worth in bringing down the attackers. It seemed his daggers were everywhere as one goblin after another fell before him.

After the battle, Helkaer tended to poor Wilbus and made him fit to continue the battle and I offered him my thanks for stepping up to the task of seeing to morale so efficiently.

After a few more battles, Wilbus, it seems, thought we had all gone to the Thane's courtyard and went rushing in to join us. What he saw was a hoard of villainy. And they saw him. They stood and stared at each other for a moment - I am sure each as shocked as the other as to what they saw - before people started to move. They charged Wilbus and brought him down quick enough. Then they came at us.

Willameena took a blow that drove her to the ground and, without her guidance her pet bear abandoned us.

Things looked grim.

But Nip and Andrig made a determined stand against the hoard with Heklaer right behind them. I moved from the fight to a pile of crates where I could see the battle and shout my encouragements. We were helped by a fellowship maneuver - an opportunity I am certain Nip provided - that boosted our courage #in the fight just as our will was waning. After what seemed an endless struggle, we found ourselves standing in a field what the Watcher referees declared to be fallen enemies.

After seeing to Wilbus and Willameena, we formed ourselves up again and entered the courtyard. After removing a few more guards, we were left with the leader of the brigands himself - a creature name of Filzof - and his personal guards to deal with.

Here, I figured that the battle would be beyond our abilities and I called for the squires. However, when I made the suggestion, Wilbus asked if we could try it without the aid of squires and Nip backed up the request. Indeed, Nip said the soldiers would be a hindrance since they complicate things.

Well, this was just practice, after all - a time for us to learn. I'd never agree to refuse help in a real battle. But, we were here to learn how to work together to defeat Sambrog where we would have no squires, so I agreed. We dismissed our squires and hoisted the flag indicating that we were ready for the final battle.

Filzof first sent his personal guard against us, but we swept them aside without much effort. This left just Filzof himself to contend with, until he started to summon lieutenants out of the Great Smial to his side. Soon, the battlefield was getting crowded with powerful villains.

I came to the view that we needed to defeat Filzof to silence him and prevent him from summoning more of his lieutenants to the battle. When I looked for him, I found him standing with his back to me battling Nip. Rushing forward, I swung my sword, which did nothing but bounce off of his armour of toughened hide. Then I drove my sword into him point first and put all my weight behind it. With this, the Watcher referees flagged me as the one who defeated Filzof!

'Course, I would never have had the courage to do so without knowing that this was some Bree watcher dressed up to play Filzof.

Still, with him defeated, it was a simple matter to defeat the lieutenants in detail and to claim the battlefield as ours.

I could scarce believe that we had done this - six of us, without squires. With that victory, I declare that we are fit enough to challenge Sambrog in his lair - with whatever lieutenants and minions he may put in our way. I'll be heading out to the campsite before the Great Barrow as soon as I drop this in the post. Out there, I may not be able to send reports on a regular basis. However, when I can, I will send you a report on our progress.

Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow

Hedgerow throws another bag onto the back of his pony, Scribe. The pony struggles under the weight. These are his provisions - food and medicines - for the battle ahead. A camp has been set up before the Great Barrow to tend to them who will be entering the lair to do battle. Hedgerow determines himself to reach the camp by dark. Others know to find him there. He fears that Sambrog can never be utterly defeated, but he can be driven deeper and deeper into his lair and weakened. That will be their purpose in the weeks ahead.

Last, Hedgerow stuffs a bundle of bound pages into a side bag and pushes it in deep. The pages are blank, for the moment. However, gold letters have been set into the leather cover. THE GREAT BARROW WAR is about to be written.