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  1. #176
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry XII ((Of dragons))

    One day Brabbo and I met at a beacon outside of Othrikar, some stack of firewood on top of a hill that probably can be lit to warn others. To the east loomed a massive rock-wall with a pass cut through that leads into Angmar. We headed in that direction because the rangers had told us that there was an aurochs herd and they needed some meat and hides. Those animals were a beautiful sight, peacefully grazing among the trees. Brabbo even walked up to one an padded it on the head! They made rumbling noises, but never threatened to harm us in any way. Except maybe an old male, a silverback, who seemed to be the alpha male and a bit protective of his herd, so we made sure to stay away from him. It didn’t feel right to slaughter these wonderful animals, an we contemplated if some warg-meat and fur would also do, but then the rangers were hard pressed and there were quite a lot of buffalos so we thought it might not hurt the herd too much. But dworf, when enraged they did pack a good punch and were not so easy to take down.

    Brabbo told me that sometimes a dragon can be seen here. I was very curious, I had never seen a dragon. We searched for it but couldn’t find it. Brabbo went back to Esteldin, while I decided to spend the night hiding in some bushes between a small grove of trees. There were wargs and sipders around, but I thought I was well hidden and safe. Then, when I woke up the next morning and peered out of the bush, lo and behold! The dragon was sitting right there, no less than 40 m away! Hadn’t heard him land at all, I must have been really sound asleep. Glad I don’t snore as many dwarfs do. It was a lot smaller than I thought dragons were, at least from the stories I had listened to from Mount Erebor, but it was still an amazing sight. It looked as if it was cleaning itself like a little kitten, licking its wings and scratching its head on the ground. Sometimes it rose and flapped it wings.

    I went to get Brabbo as I knew he was out there working for the rangers too and he also was awestruck. We wondered how many dragons exist in the world. Maybe it was an offspring of Smaug and flew over from the Lonely Mountain looking for its own treasure hort. Ha, Brabbo even noticed it had landed right next to a gold deposit! And if it was very young that might also explain its small size. For a dragon at least.

    We pondered what to do. Should we just leave it? Brabbo thought it was too dangerous, it might attack Esteldin. I remarked that it might also eat some of the wargs or even trouble the camped orc armies. We could also go back to Esteldin and tell the rangers of our find and then see what they thought would be the best thing to do. The nearby aurochs at least didn’t appear to be troubled. Well in the end, we decided we should try and chase it away, even though it looked mighty powerful. It was a most foolish thing to do.

    Shouting “Baruk-khazad” like a real hero I charged in, swinging my axes while Brabbo was… well, he played a theorbo and sang. Apparently that annoyed the dragon quite a bit and it started attacking him. Could also be it was just defending its gold. Anyway, it was not a dragon that would let itself be chased off so easily. I saw Brabbo taking a serious beating, so I shouted at the dragon and hit my axe against its tail. It turned around and suddenly it became very very hot. The air was scorching. And the dragon all of a sudden looked much bigger than it had from a distance. It rose and flapped its wings and I was blown back 10, maybe 20 meters. While I ran back I saw Brabbo go down. Noooo, Brabbo!!! There was no chance I could win this, all I could do was save my skin, and I ran away as fast as I could, tears streaming into my beard. We lost Brabbo… We should have never tried this, it was pure insanity! And why must I be a dwarf, my legs are so short! The angered dragon was in hot pursuit and closing in fast, so I ran through some trees, hoping he might get stuck. But he just ran around them!

    From the corner of my eye I could see Brabbo also darting off. Oh, I was overjoyed, it looks like he had just played dead! The dragon must have also noticed him, it swung around and breathed a column of fire at Brabbo. As if a last reminder to leave him alone. And then it went back to the gold deposit. It stopped chasing us, maybe it was afraid that someone might steal his gold while it was unguarded. We barely survived this encounter and I swore to myself to never fight a dragon again, at least not unless with a big group of the most able companions.

    The hunter becoming the hunted

    The next day, back at Esteldin’s Skirmish camp, I found Hedge sleeping in his tent. The others arrived shortly after. It was another rainy day (yes, it rains a lot in the northern-downs) and he was lazy. He wanted to stay in and listen to stories of the city of Dale and Mount Erebor and the dragon Smaug. Well, Brabbo and I had another story to tell of a REAL dragon we had seen and that was closeby, ha! So we went back to where it was but the dragon had flown off. Even took the gold deposit with him. There was a path leading into the angmarian rock-wall and we speculated that could be the way the dragon went and so we followed the pass upwards into the mountains. Hedge was not too excited about it and yes, we were about to see dragons, and not just one!

    First all we saw were some big lizards, a few of them guarding nests with colorful eggs. Willameena cut one of them open and disovered a small sac. Don’t know what she was doing with it, but there were talks about a purse or a bag. As we walked further up, the sun was blocked out and it got dark. Then we saw the first dragon! It was on a ledge a bit above us, walking upwards. But it was reddish and not the one Brabbo and I had seen the other day. We found a corpse, maybe the owner of an abandoned hunter’s cabin we had seen in the valley below. Hedge grew more and more uneasy and pleaded for us to go back, but our curiosity won and so we continued going upwards. Then the dragon saw us and charged! I was frightened at first but then it turned out that it was not really that powerful. It breathed a bit of fire, yes, and it had wings, but we were five and able to kill it quite easily.

    As we went on we saw more of them walking this mountain area. We even fought more. They were not too big, so we wondered if they were really dragons or just closely related dragon-thingys, wanna-be-dragons so to say. I examined what looked like dragon pooh when suddenly there was a dark shadow of big wings on the ground and a rush of warm air passing over me. Looking up, I saw a really BIG dragon flying deeper into the mountains. Now, THAT was a dragon! Might be the same one Brabbo and I had seen. The others had seen it too and we discussed if we should continue to go even further up to find the place where it may have landed, maybe even its nest. We did not arrive at a clear agreement and went on a bit more, but there were more and more of these dragonlings walking the gills, some of them looked bigger and there was an overall feeling that we were getting ourselves into too much trouble perhaps. So we finally decided to leave this gap and go back down. Hedge was really happy about it, I was happy too and I guess the others also. There were more urgent things to do than perishing in the mountains looking for dragon-trouble.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 09:03 AM.

  2. #177

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - Honourary Ranger


    I have so much to tell you.

    First, I have been named an Honourary Ranger!

    This is second only to being named an Honourary Shirriff and getting my two-feathered Bounder hat in terms of being one of the proudest things I have ever done.

    Oddly, there wasn’t any ceremony or any such thing. Instead . . . well . . . I have been going about near every day patrolling the lands around Kingsfell, fighting back the corruptions of orcs and spiders and wargs. Each day, I would bring back trophies and such to show my day’s successes. Then, just yesterday, when I turned in what I had collected on my most recent patrol, I was told that the Rangers appreciate my efforts and I should consider myself an honourary Ranger. And that was it.

    They said I could buy a Ranger pony and help myself to some other Ranger presents if I wanted. I looked at their supplies and none of it seemed to actually fit me. So I left it alone for now. ‘Cept I did buy myself a Ranger pony. Her name is Damsel - an odd name for a pony but that was the name what came with it. I could change her name, of course. But I am thinking a pony should keep the name it was given.

    Second, my honour comes with some sad news. It’s not real sad – it is not as if somebody died. It’s that, I had been planning to come home to the Shire for a bit. We have reasons to be concerned with happenings at Oatbarton. The Rangers said they usually get news of the festival in Oatbarton by now. Many of us Eclairians stopped by there not long ago and gave a bit of help and arranged for the shipment of oats to the Forsaken Inn. And there was this big stone that was spilling green corruptions into one of the pipeweed fields. And though we had reason to be concerned, we couldn’t find anything we could do about it. Even Willameena and Roy the dwarf were perplexed by it.

    What if the corruptions have grown and spread?

    As Bounders, I feel duty-bound to go and take a look myself. But I also have to make sure that these Rangers are set and secure on account of them being one of the gateways through which the orcs of Angmar might pass to reach the Shire. And they just named me an honourary Ranger for my efforts. I would seem most ungrateful iffen I just turned and walked away now.

    So, me and the others will be staying just a bit longer to look into the trouble among the Earth Kin what live near by.

    I don’t recall iffen I mentioned Earth Kin before. We met some near Ost Guruth in the Lonely Lands and we helped them out a bit.

    If I haven’t . . . well . . . I actually call them “Elf Trolls”. They are as tall as a troll – if not taller. But they are really, really skinny, like an elf. They are so frail that it looks as if they must break something iffen they were to fall to the ground. And the ones that are living near the secret hidden Ranger camp of Esteldin are fighting among themselves. The smaller group seem helpful and friendly but something of a burden on the Rangers who can scarcely defend themselves. The larger group lives out on the plains and, apparently, are throwing their lot in with the evil forces of villainy that seem to be growing in Angmar to the north.

    So, I am going to put in a bit more time here seeing if I can resolve things among the elf trolls – at least to help those who are willing to side with the rangers settle in as outcasts of their community.

    I still promise to be coming home. I just fear that it will be a bit later I thought.

    When we take up the task of patrolling the North Farthing out of Oatbarton, that’s in the Shire! That’s not far from home at all. Oh, I suspect it may seem so to hobbit folk who are not accustomed to long travel. However, for a hobbit who has travelled to the Last Bridge to Rivendel, and to the passes on the very boundary of Angmar, from Oatbarton to Little Delving is just a wee bit of a stroll, as Roy would say.

    The time will pass faster than you think. Then I will be home again.

    Don’t tell the people of Little Delving. I’d like it to be a surprise.

    Your son,
    Bounder Recruit Alphred Troute

    Club Éclair Level Cap now 27:

    Today, Monday, March 10, Club Éclair is raising its level cap to 27.

    This will open up a dozen or so new quests in Esteldin, mostly concerning the Earth Kin to the north and east of the secret, hidden Ranger camp of Esteldin. It will also open up the remaining quests at Oatbarton and of Dwaling in the Shire. Club Éclair’s intention is to spend a couple of weeks at Esteldin completing those quests, then moving off to Oatbarton and Dwaling.

    I am not expecting us to spend much time here. After a few weeks, we will be raising the level cap to 28 and move up to the Bounds of the Shire at King’s Crossing. Then, the level cap will go up to 30 as we move to Tinudir and Ost Forod in Evendim. The increase to 30 will also open up new quests in the North Downs - though its new update will be up by then.

    It is my sincere hope that Turbine will not destroy Dol Dinen in its upgrade. For a roleplaying group like Club Éclair – the ability to go on group adventures in a region like Dol Dinen is a nearly unique opportunity. Certainly, they can allow for one such version, can't they?
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 48 and working on The Rift (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  3. #178

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - We Killed a Dragon


    I fought a dragon and won!

    Well, I wasn’t alone, of course. Brabbo and Algowyn were with me. And the truth of the matter is that no two of us could have defeated this beast. It took the three of us.

    It started when I announced that I was going to go on a warg hunt in the lands north and east of the secret ranger camp at Esteldin. I sent out messages to any other Eclairian who wasn’t busy to see if any wanted to join me. Brabbo and Algowyn both agreed to share the journey with me.

    It turns out that Brabbo was on a mission to scout “the Ram Duath”. This is an odd name for a set of passes through a ridge of high mountains between the North Downs and Angmar.

    I’ll admit that I am not the perfect student of history, so I may be wrong with this. However, as I understand it, Angmar was one of the seats of ancient evil in previous ages. Its agents were responsible for spreading corruptions through the lands to the south – conquering the city of Fornost and delivering the disease and pestilence that created the Barrow Downs outside of Bree. I remember the villainous folk around Archet and Combe and in the Chetwood forest claiming to be working for Angmar, telling us “Wait until Angmar gets here” and such.

    The orcs that have migrated into the North Downs and set themselves up at Fornost, Nan Wathren, and Dol Dinen came down out of Angmar through the passes – I think that has been solidly established. They certainly could not have just sprung up out of the ground.

    Anyways, one of the passes goes to a dragon lair. We know this because a squad went up into that pass earlier and slew many salamander-like lizards and even some of what we have been calling hobbit dragons. I haven’t seen one of them dragons yet.

    Anyways, we got to the mouth of this pass and there, just at the entrance, there was this huge and most vicious dragon!

    It was actually quite pretty, truth be told. It had golden skin trimmed out in red where his bones went through his wings and on much of its body. But for the horns on its head and on its underbelly there was the prettiest sapphire blue and emerald green. Iffen it had been a gem-encrusted statue it could not have been made to look any prettier. I felt quite the twinge of upset over the idea that we would slay such a creature. But then I thought of the rangers and dwarfs he might eat iffen he were allowed to stay in the valley. I had a picture in my mind of it landing in the middle of Esteldin and Othrikar and realized that I had a duty.

    All three of us knew our duties. Brabbo got out his favorite lute and tuned up the strings. It may sound somewhat odd, but one of the things we have learned is the benefit of having somebody about who would stand away from the battle where he had a good view of what was happening helping to direct the fight and to rally and encourage us. The reason for the lute or drum is because they could often be heard in a battle where a human shout could not – and their notes carried meanings and encouragements. Brabbo was skilled in those arts. That left Algowyn and I to do the actual battling.

    I got a bit closer to the dragon and hefted up my spear. I had hoped to get the first blow in ‘fore he knew we were there, and then charge in with Algowyn. Indeed, when my spear struck in seemed the dragon was totally confused for a moment or two – long enough for us to get up and close to the dragon while it was still trying to figure out what was happening.

    But once it recovered it put up a fierce fight. It would stand up on its hind legs and flap its wings, delivering a force of wind that sent me flying well away from him. He would spit fire, where I would hide behind my shield until the flames passed. And there were its fearsome claws and fangs I had to avoid while I probed for a weak spot in its thick scaly skin for the point of my spear.

    Algowyn got in behind the best where, when she wasn’t dodging its tail, she was able to drive her sword between the scales on its back. Every once in a while, the dragon would see Algowyn as an irritation and turn on her, showing me her back and giving me a chance to absorb Brabbo’s encouragements. It was during one of Algowyn’s distractions that I was able to run up its back and deliver a spearpoint between its wings. It threw me off – well across the field where I landed on my back in the soft grass. From the distance, he sucked in a lung full of air and spat fire at me. Again, I hid behind my shield until the heat passed. Then I charged forward once more into the fray.

    I cannot say as to any particular blow slayed the creature. Rather, it got worn down from a hundred cuts, and when it stumbled, Algowyn and I finished it off.

    I was sad to see it die, but I know we did what needed doing. If I knew of a dragon in the mountains far from people, I think I would be angry at any who hunted down such a creature just for the pleasure or glory of it.

    Now, the rangers tell us we didn’t fight a true dragon. Yet, they also tell us that they haven’t seen a real dragon and only heard about them in stories. Naturally, stories would make dragons larger and more fearsome than they are in life. I am pretty certain this was a real dragon.

    In closing, I will add that we did our scouting and patrols. I am looking forward to the day that I am done here and can head on home. It should not take too much longer. Just a few more patrols to secure Esteldin from the east as we have done from the west, and I will be home again.

    Save a spot for me at the table.

    Your son,
    Bounder Recruit Alphred Troute
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 48 and working on The Rift (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  4. #179
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    ((Postcard to mom))

    Scribbled on backside:

    Dear Mom,

    I am sorry that I have not written to you for so long. I hope you have not been too worried. You know I am a stalwart little dwarf and nothing can knock me down so easily, right? My friends and I have made our way into the Northern Downs now. It is nice country, very green, rolling hills, forests and the ruins of a big human kingdom. It rains a lot here, but it is very pretty, also nice wildlife. There is a very large herd of aurochs here, hope you like the picture I drawn of them. Ah, I forgot to inclue the old male that watches the over the herd, a true silverback! They are brown and graze peacully among the trees. And, believe it or not, I have seen a dragon! No, really! He was not as big as Smaug, at least from our tales, but it was a real dragon, maybe a hatchling. Don’t worry, we didn’t get too close of course, we just watched it.

    There is also a dwarf mining outpost here, most of them came from the Blue Mountains. They had just settled in and we helped them a bit to get on track. We found them a vein rich with gold and ore and chased away a band of pesky Dourhands, who were looking for trouble. Now they can peacefully work the mines and prosper. Well, what else can I tell you. The business on which we were sent here has to remain a secret, but I feel we are doing the right thing and I still enjoy my endeavors.

    Love you mom, hope you and dad are alright.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 08:57 AM.

  5. #180

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburro - A Patrol Into Dol Dinen

    To: Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed
    Bounders of the Shire - Addernotch Station


    It is my honor to report on our progress against the villainy that threatens the Shire.

    Will I never be free from this place?

    There seems to be some changes in the air. The rangers have been having us investigate the Orc tribes that moved into the area. The discovery was that they are all linked, working towards a common end. Fornost. Dol Dinen. Nan Wathren.

    I adventure into Dol Dinen yesterday with Erikin, Liatri (who is back after recovering from her wounds sustained earlier), and Brabbo. Erikin announced his intent was to just march down the road as far as we could go.

    We fought our way through wargs, goblins, and some lesser Orcs to where we battled some of the meanest and fiercest Orcs the enemy fielded. They put up a good fight. But they were poorly organized and never launched a strong counter attack against us. We got all the way up to the gate itself. That was when the fates turned against us.

    Erikin decided to attack the gate guards. Well, he was not so foolish as to charge the gate itself. Instead, he moved up to where only a dumb old Troll could see him. There, he enticed the troll over to where we might fight him without drawing half the camp.

    Liatri fell out of the battle at the start ((link dead)). This meant that we couldn't retreat. That would mean leaving Liatri with the Orcs to be eaten. But it was three of us against a troll. Though this was a particularly well trained battle troll, it was a bit dim.

    I stayed a step away from the fight offering my encouragement, and I saw the trouble as it came at us. A lumbering Orc on patrol. And not one or them lesser Orcs out as pickets, but one of them trusted Elite Orcs.

    As soon as he saw us he shouted to the gate and summoned aid. Now, the three of us battled an elite battle-trained troll and two Orcs, with Liatri laid up helpless.

    I just knew we were dead, and Liatri would wake up to find herself bound to some fiendish torture device, or trussed up and seasoned for the oven.

    But the fates were not done with us. Another Orc came up on patrol from the opposite direction as the first. Now, we were outnumbered.

    Well, my voice trainer had trained me to give a most annoying and frightful roar. I put it to use, driving one of the Orcs away in a fright. Then, I helped fight the Troll, trying desperately to even the odds. We were too slow.

    The Troll I had fought thought it was my turn to be taken from the fight. But Erikin made his presence known and I guess the natural hatred of Orcs and Dwarf took over.

    Well, we did get the Troll felled and, battling at better odds, threw ourselves against the remaining Orcs. All the while we worried about yet another Orc coming to find out what all of the noise was about. I bet they thought the Orcs were fighting among themselves, not even seeing a dwarf and two hobbits in the mêlée. Then Erikin and Brabbo got the Orcs felled. We picked up Liatri and headed back to report to the Rangers.

    Liatri recovered as we carried her and was helping us fight our way back to Esteldin. There was still some hard fighting on our way out. In one fight, we battled a pair of Orcs as a patrol came up and stuck Erikin right up the back of the head. There he was, laying flat on the ground. He was the only quality battler we had. The rest of us are good at assisting, but neither trained nor equipped to stand toe to toe with three brutal Orcs.

    Our only hope was to even up the odds. I frightened away one of the Orcs, and Liatri were laying down traps and snares giving Brabbo a chance to put some distance betwixt him and some of the Orcs. We got one isolated and beat him into the ground. Then we focused on the second, then the third.

    Brabbo tended to Erikin and got him on his feet, and we headed out of these lands.

    I was so tired when I got to Esteldin, I crawled into the corner of the Tailor's Guild that I have made my home and fell asleep in my clothes - without supper.

    Something is stirring here, that is for certain. There is change in the air. It has everybody on edge.

    There's no telling for certain when we can get back to the Shire.

    I will report as I can.

    Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 48 and working on The Rift (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  6. #181
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry XIII ((Helping Esteldin))

    It is another rainy day in the northern downs. Did I already say it rains a lot here? Well, I am lying in my tent at the back wall next to the crafting hall in Esteldin, trying to sum up what happened lately. We been here since a few weeks now and it looks we are making progress in helping the people here. It is slow, but there is also a lot to do. No sign of Skorgrim yet however.

    Othrikar is all safe and settled. We found a new vein for the miners with a lot of ore, even gold. And one day Hedge, Hroik, Brabbo and I decided to take the trouble to the Dourhand’s doorstep. We walked right into the enclave where their leader, Torfi Hammerhand, resided. He had a few guards, but nothing that we couldn’t handle. Told him to get lost but he wouldn’t listen. In fact, he called on more guards and attacked, but, well, let me just say he paid for it. Walked back to Regin and Hrathi and wished them farewell. They were happy. May the ore be with them now.

    With Othrikar wrapped up, we turned our attention to the north and east. As said earlier, orcs poured into the land from the north and the Rangers are preparing for war. We helped by digging up weapon caches, culling more wargs, and collecting plants with which a tailor wanted to dye banners to lift their spirits. We were asked to scout the big rock-wall in the north and the passes through it, and Hedge, Hroik, Willameena, Aearthor, Nipn Tuck and I made a wide sweep across that northern boundery. In one pass we found rock-worms (we already been there), in another one Aearthor ran ahead and came back after a while, saying the path was clear and there was no enemy in sight. All the while Hedge scribbled notes in his notebook to report our findings to the Rangers.

    On the easternmost pass we found something alarming and which was worthy to report. There were several camps with men and the pass was guarded (or adorned) by two huge statues. One looked like the Witch-king himself, the other appeared to be a female, but I don’t know who she is. Judging by the statues and the defenders this pass was more important, probably the main route of the enemy out of Angmar. When we got closer, it became dark as if from some evil witchcraft, there were many tents and hillmen and cages with rotting corpses hung from poles.

    The path into Angmar

    Then there was the matter with the Earth-kin. Thinking they were friendly as in the Lonely-lands I was surprised that I was attacked when I approched one of them who I saw walking around. I later heard that for a long time the skinny-trolls guarded the passes into Angmar and went down into the northern-downs to hunt the aurochs, their main source of food, leather and fur. Now one of their hunting parties split into two groups and started fighting each other in some kind of fracticidal war. A part of that tribe, led by the self-proclaimed “First Hunter”, became corrupted, betrayed their tribe and now serves Angmar.

    I learned this from a fellow dwarf, Ragnarr, whom I met in the last holdout of the friendly guys. He is kind of an ethnologist and came here to study and live with the Earth-kin. He needed to earn their trust and asked me if I could bring him an aurochs skull that was now in the possession of the bad guys. Well, I did in the end after some confusion because I first got the wrong one and the real one of the “Great Aurochs” looked extremley big and heavy. But when I lifted it, it was surprisingly light and I ran across the plains and past many aurochs, wargs and bad earthies back to their camp. I guess this special skull is a totem, because the aurochs are so important for them and sustain them. We did in fact see a shrine on one of our patrols, dedicated to aurochs and with many skulls attached to a large rock on a small island.

    So, what else. I sometimes see Alphred, who is also in Esteldin and whom I first met when he organised the relief treck to Trestlebridge. He is so busy and industrious, always going on patrols, proudly wearing his Bounder’s hat and helping them Rangers a lot. So much that he even became best friends with them! And he together with two others slew the big dragon Brabbo and I saw and that almost killed us. Wow, what an impressive deed! That brave tale spread like a wildfire amongst all in Esteldin. I must say, this Alphred, small as he may be, he is really something.

    I got my first training lesson in the skirmish camp just outside Esteldin’s walls. It didn’t go too well and I need more practice. But I nevertheless got a few marks of honor which I could trade for some nice new shoulderguards. And one Sunday afternoon, while it was another rainy day, we just stayed in and listened to a story from the Misty Mountains that Hedge told. I was about a stone-giant, who had stolen an eagle’s egg and wanted to eat it. The egg was saved in the end, although it was cracked a bit and the Lord of the Eagles swept down and thanked us. Was a nice little tale and Hedge made it really vivid, so that we had the feeling we were really there.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 09:00 AM.

  7. #182

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - Scouting Dol Dinen

    To Meadowlarke Sweetweed
    Chief, Bounders of the Shire (Addernotch Station)


    It is my honor to report on our progress against the villainy that threatens the Shire.

    We had one of our biggest battles ever - and pulled off an accomplishment that I think even the Rangers never thought possible. We went into the very heart of the Orcan camp of Dol Dinen, where I was able to make a number of notes and map-sketches that I am sure that the Rangers will find useful. We counted and marked the locations of their siege weapons, marked their camps and troop concentrations, noted the strengths and weaknesses of their soldiers, and measured the extents of their patrols - all useful information for the Rangers.

    It was Erikin's idea to try to find a secret back entrance to the Orcan stronghold. He lead us down a trench where we couldn't be seen by anybody except a few Orc guards put to watching the valley. Erikin and Aearthor dispatched them. Then we made our way through a swamp with just a few of the weakest Orcs, then up a hillside dominated with trolls like an ant mound, but well away from us. There, we got a first look at the siege weapons the Orcs had built.

    Roy was with us, and Liatri and Brabbo.

    I was not expecting near as much adventure as we found, so when Aearthor asked about bringing his squire Aden, I answered, "Let him rest."

    We could have certainly used him.

    From our vantage point aside a small hill, we could see that the next part of our path into the heart of the enemy encampment was well guarded for a stretch. Elite Orcs and massive trolls blocked our way.

    Our first challenge was against three Orcs standing guard over a roadway we needed to take up a steep cliff. Erikin and Aearthor lead the way. I went running for high ground where I could see the battling. From my perch, I saw the Orc patrol coming to the path heading right to where Roy was drawing power from the stones. I shouted a warning. If Roy had not looked up right then, he would likely have been cleaved in two.

    As Roy fled before the Orc, I can't say for certain if it was Erikin or Aearthor who rushed over, challenging the Orc and drawing him off of Roy. When the battling is heavy, everything blends into one big blur.

    We defeated the Orcs, then had another battle just as fierce against trolls at the top of the roadway. But when we broke through, we were into the soft interior of the Orc camp

    We were among the siege weaponry. I carefully noted each one on my Ranger report and marked them on my map.

    Just as Erikin had promised, we found ourselves climbing up a seldom used trail - we needed only skirmish against a few stray Orcs - right into the unguarded side of the main camp. On the climb, I found as I could look down upon the whole of the Orcan camp. I marked siege weapons and concentrations of troops and where the patrols went. I had no doubts that it was the best report on the forces of Dol Dinen that the Rangers hoped to see.

    It was here that I decided that I may have found a place for me in this war. I am no good at battling and, though I want to protect the Shire, I always felt poorly suited to do so - particularly as I see the bravery and skills in battle of the likes of Erikin, Andrig, Alphred, and Aearthor. Nor could I shoot like Liatri or Heminhaw, draw power from stone like Roy, stealth among the enemy like Nip, command the forces of nature to my aid like Willameena, or command a battlefield with my voice like Brabbo.

    But I was accustomed to filing reports with the Mayor of Michel Delving. When I looked over the notes I had written for the Rangers, I felt like I finally contributed something.

    When we got our look into the main camp itself, well, that made me certain that our maps and notes would be a treasure to the Rangers. The problem was that we needed to survive long enough to get the papers to the Rangers. I was afraid that a long fight back the way we came would not work as the Orcs would be alarmed. So, we pushed on ahead, looking for another way out.

    We did find another route. Unfortunately, it went through a guarded gate. We assaulted the guards but, as we did, a champion troll came upon us. The fight was long, and the Orcs just kept feeding reinforcements into it. We would defeat a couple, and a couple more would see the struggle and join in.

    The Champion Troll decided that I was his personal enemy. He chased me into a corner and battered me into a wooden wall and left me there, on the ground, bruised and senseless. I recall nothing up to the point that Aearthor picked me up bodily and set me on my feet and said I was needed. The rest had fought their way through the gate to the hillside I had run to and were trying to make a stand. Somebody had fallen the Champion Troll, but we still had a squad of elite Orcs in the battle, two or three of them being defilers giving strength to the other Orcs.

    The battle was moving on and on. We had gotten through the gate, but the Orcs had us trapped against a side wall. When they came after me, they left me curdled up against a tree, hiding, my hands about my head wanting only to be saved from any more blows. Roy lay sprawled out on the hillside, knocked on the side of the head.

    Somebody gave a shout to run.

    Erikin picked up Roy and carried him from the battle. The bulk of the Orcs chased after him, more concerned about the one that might get away then the rest of us. Liatri set up a quick snare that caught one of the pursuing Orcs.

    If not for Erikin leading the Orcs away, the rest of us - all of us - would likely perished.

    With the Orcs gone after Erikin and Liatri, Aearthor reached a hand out to me and said, "Come! Give me your hand! Come!"

    I reached out hesitantly and he launched me to my feet, commanding, "Now, run!"

    We did get separated. Aearthor, me, and Brabbo hid in the Orc camp. Erikin, Liatri, and Roy fled to the fields beyond with the Orcs in pursuit.

    We waited a bit to catch out breaths, have a bite to eat, and to restore our wits. Erikin and the others came back for us, and we met on a seldom-traveled side road with a trio of elite Orcan guards between us. Erikin charged at them and they must have thought the dwarf mad, until they found themselves hit from behind, as Aearthor charged in against all expectation. We dispatched the three of them and enjoyed a happy reunion.

    We were tired of fighting and made our way out through the easiest route we could find. I gave my reports to the rangers, who were most grateful, then got myself a proper breakfast and a bath in which to soak out my bruises from my battering.

    I can't help but think that we did some great harm to these Orcs. We had to have weakened them. Though, better yet, we gave the rangers good notes as to their strengths and weaknesses.

    We will likely stay around and finish our work here. Meaning you will not see us in the Shire for a while yet. I hope all is well there. We will work to keep the corruptions as far away from the Shire as possible.

    I will report again.

    Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow.

    I will be sad to see Dol Dinen gutted in Update 13. It is one of the few areas in which to find true adventure remaining. Because Turbine is lowering a number of quests down to our range, we have decided to stay around and finish up the region before moving back to Oatbarton. If you want to join us, feel free. We will be at 27th level for a while longer.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 48 and working on The Rift (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  8. #183
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry XIV ((Near desaster in Dol Dinen))

    We done our first forays into Dol Dinen, the place south-east of Esteldin where the orc army is camped. There is a road leading from the Angmarian Gap all the way into that place and one night we dediced to simply follow that road to have a first look at it. I was with Hedge, Liatri and Minno, all small Hobbits. I always thought the Shire-folk were not that adventurous, but here they were, going right into the heart of darkness. Hedge though wasn’t sure if that was a good approach, going right through the front door.

    The closer we got, the more wargs we saw roaming around. The road went up and over the crest we could see an orange glow. It was just after midnight, so way too early for sunrise. We found a cave and in it some notes written in a speech that none of us could decipher. Hedge took the paper with him. As we crossed the ridge we saw where the glow came from. It was the glow of the fires of a very large army. And the air became hazy from all the smoke. There were small camps with tents and orc-soldiers, goblins patrolling around, trees felled, trenches and barricades and in the distance we could make out a lot of siege weapons.

    The glow of Dol Dinen

    As we went deeper along that road we got noticed by some orcs sometimes and when they attacked, the fighting was fierce and tough as the orcs were armoured and carried long spears. Luckily not many were seeing us, there was a lot of noise and clamor all around, so that was probably why only a few realized there were some intruders in their midst. At the end of the road was a wooden palisade stretching from left to right as far as we could see through the haze. There was a main entrance, but it was guarded by a troll and a strange orc wearing a deerskull mask. We took them on but after another very hard fight we discerned the gate was too heavily guarded, especially as we saw more big trolls and orcs patrolling nearby.

    On our way out we got ambushed by another orc patrol. As I fought, I felt a mighty blow to my head and everything around me grew dark. The others won the fight and as they brought me back to conciousness they explained that one battle-orc had sneaked up from behind, knocked me out and I fell flat on my face. Lesson learned, always face your enemies and don’t get caught unawared. When we got out and walked back to Esteldin, the sun had risen and it was already mid-morning.

    The Rangers were alarmed by our report. One of them, Daervunn, wanted me to bring him the banners of the three orc armies that were known to be in the North Downs, in Dol Dinen, the Nan Wathren and outside the capital of the old kingdom, Fornost. There, I found a camp of Rangers and around a table a hobbit, an elf, a dwarf and a human were discussing something. But they seemed to be too busy or worried to talk to me. The orc-banners, although in different colors, all bore the symbol of the Iron Crown. Daervunn set them up next to each other and looked at them. He deduced that those orcs are not merely ravaging hordes but under a single command and work together towards an unknown purpose. Also the orders we had found earlier testified to that. They mentioned two leaders, one in Dol Dinen and one in Fornost, and the orcs are organized under a unified leadership. What exactly their goal is he wasn’t able to tell though.

    On a second patrol into Dol Dinen with Hedge, Aearthor and Hroik we thinned the ranks of the goblins and orcs on the outskirts a bit, and climbing one of the siege towers we again caught a glimpse of that wooden palisade in the back. Is Skorgrim behind those walls, is he one of the two leaders the orders mentioned? We should find out… Also, the Rangers sent us back to infiltrate the fort and get more information.

    So, out we went again on another night and this time desaster struck. Hedge prepared us (a very early) breakfast and declared me the leader of this patrol. He also meticulously noted in his report for the Rangers, that, if we all die, “it’s going to be Erikin’s fault.” Ha! The idea was to sneak through the trenches where we might not be seen so easily, and then south-west, to find out if there is a way around the palisade and to maybe discover a less guarded backdoor. The trenches however were watched by a couple of orcs and a bit further on, trolls. The going was tough and our captain took a heavy beating. It lead to a small lake which we skirted and then, a bit further on, a path leading up and around.

    The only problem with this plan was, there was no backdoor. The palisade ended right next to a cliffside. We could climb that a bit and peeked inside the fort. There was an inner ring and another palisade, and it was full of heavy-armoured trolls and orcs. We walked along the wooden fence back towards the main gate. As we were a full squad (Hedge, Brabbo and Liatri from the Shire, Hroik the dwarf, Aearthor from Gondor and me) we decided to try and breach the gate. We fought our way in, then, huddled to the wooden wall or hiding behind stacks of wood, we went further, Hedge drawing a map of the layout of the fort for the Rangers. We all were tense, as if one orc would see us and rise the camp we would surely die here.

    But it was impossible to go any deeper and we decided to turn around. We had collected enough information and Hedge’s notes and drawings would be invaluable for the Rangers. As we didn’t want to go back the same way (we feared the orcs had found some dead bodies and were particularly watchful now) we carefully went through the inner ring to the other side, where we found an opening. What we we unaware of was that this exit was well defended and we took on more than we could handle. There was a nasty archer shooting poisoned arrows and there were two of those strange orcs with the bone-masks. To make matters worse, one of the trolls from the inner ring saw our fight on his patrol and chimed in too.

    We felled the troll, but we simply could not make any headway against the others. We concentrated on one with a mask and it looked as if he would drop and then he got encouraged again by the other. And vice-versa. Also, they healed the archer, who had a go at Hedge or Brabbo most of the time. I shouted insults at him, but he wouldn’t pay attention. Maybe I was too polite, “Bloody orc!” just didn’t really cut it. Need to see my trainer to learn some better swear words. So, the battle dragged on and on and on… I felt my energy wane, my arms hurt and it became harder and harder to lift my axes and swing them at the orcs.

    I saw the others tiring as well… Then Hedge collapsed, and shortly after, Brabbo. And then Hroik. Without their encouragement I panicked. I think I heard Aearthor cry “Get out!” and then it happened… I lost my nerves and ran off… Through the gate, jumping over barricades, down a trench, right through the middle of a camp and pursued by what felt like the whole army of the enemy. When they finally stopped chasing me, I had run far, almost out of Dol Dinen. I turned around and the only one by my side was Liatri, the Shire girl. I looked back through the haze at the flickering fires. Somewhere back there my friends had perished… and it was all my fault. I had led them there, and they followed me, and then I ran away like a coward and they met their doom in Dol Dinen… I despaired and started to cry.

    Then a miracle happened. We saw Hroik dashing towards us. Now, he doesn’t have any protection, he just wears thin black robes and instead of a sword and shield he only holds small stones in his hand. I don’t know why he was alive. He was calm, asking if we were ok and that we should look for the others. I was thinking maybe we can get revenge and find their dead bodies, so they are at least not dragged away and be roasted over a fire and eaten. We walked another path up and then suddenly between two more orcs I saw the tall figure of Aearthor coming down, and he was followed by Hedgerow and Brabbo, the two Hobbits. They were alive! Oh, the joy of seeing them! I started crying again… To this day I still don’t understand how they got away from there.

    Killing the last orcs on our way out and then getting back to the meadows below, where the smoke lifted and we breathed the fresh air, never felt better. We were bruised and battered, our armour broken, but we were all alive. I was so ashamed. I ran like a chicken and left the others behind to die. There is no trying to explain it and no apology. I told the others how devastated I felt. I was secretly thinking about leaving the group and going back to the family in the Blue Mountains. But they took it really in stride and tried to console me. Talking about “tactical retreats”, and better to save oneself than another dead body… Hedge actually thought it was great adventure, nobody would have ever dared to go as deep into the heart of the orc army as we had done and our report and the maps will make the Rangers very happy. These Hobbits, when all else falter they stand tall. Hroik said running is one thing but then going back into danger to look for your comrades was a brave thing to do and something to be proud of.

    Well, I don’t know. I had the worst day of my life and I promised myself I will never lead a patrol again. And I will never run away again. Dol Dinen surely has taught me humility and shown that the task we are working on is not an easy one. And then, that night, I had the weirdest dream ever. A horde of angry farmers assembled in the central square of Dol Dinen, wearing straw hats and wielding pitch-forks, and Hobbit lasses in their best Sunday dresses and with frying pans. I wore my scarecrow outfit with the pumpkin-head, and we rode out to Dol Dinen and slew all the orcs there. They were MAD about something, but I don't know what it was. We even went all the way up that fort to a tent where the general was having his headquarters. But what was even more bizarre was that when I woke up, I was in fact wearing the scarecrow outfit and I was clutching some orc-badges the Rangers had asked me to bring.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 08:53 AM.

  9. #184

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - Lord of the Streams


    It is with heavy sadness that I must tell you that I must put off my return to the Shire.

    The Rangers want us to stay here in the North Downs a while longer. They are thinking that we have inflicted some serious harm to the Orc tribes that invaded here, and they will have more for us to do shortly.

    They are discussing things among themselves. If the scouting reports come back as expected - that the Orc tribes are severely weakened - we expect that the Rangers will ask us to weaken them further. If we can defeat them outright, then things will be safer here - just beyond the Shire. I think this will give us reason to trust that the Shire itself is more secure.

    Right now, we are in the proverbial calm before the storm. I have been able to take some time fishing, bringing back troutes and salmon for the Rangers. On my last return, some of the Rangers started calling me "Lord of the Streams," and bowing and such as if to a real lord. They were having fun with me, but I know they appreciate having fish for dinner from time to time.

    Did I mention, I did take a trip to Bree a while ago. I don't recall that I mentioned it in my last letter. It was a long walk. I was able to get some provisions - food mostly. Esteldin does not have the best shops. I wanted to keep going and head to the Shire, but it is just too far. If I had been given enough time, I would have written you and asked if you could have made it to Bree. The Pony has some nice hobbit-sized rooms. But the opportunity came upon me without warning.

    Bree has not changed much, if at all. Except for some brigands, it is still a restful place. It was nice to spend a few days without violence and bloodshed. In Esteldin, even on days I do not patrol, there is a tension - a worry about an impending attack. It wears on a hobbit. When I went fishing, I could sometimes see a warg on a nearby hillside, or a goblin behind a shrub. I kept my spear in easy reach. In contrast, I did some fishing at Staddle near Bree where there is a stocked pond on the edge of town itself with catfish and dace that make a good place to relax.

    But I soon felt guilty, relaxing in Bree while the Rangers and Eclairians faced the possibility of violence in each day - and in most of their dreams. I packed up some extra provisions, loaded them on my pony (and I thank you again for getting her for me) and headed back to Bree.

    There is definitely something stirring here. There is a sense of change in the air.

    All we do is sit and wait.

    I hope it does not last long. I miss the Shire terribly.

    I hear the Bounders are planning a fishing party at the Oatbarton Farm when we get back. That will be fun. You can certainly come and meet me there, father. And bring the girls. You don't even have to leave the Shire.

    Of course, I will keep you posted on what happens. And hope to see you soon.

    You son.

    Bounder Recruit Alphred Troute.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 48 and working on The Rift (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  10. #185

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - Patrolling North Downs


    As expected, the Rangers have some more chores for us to do.

    Oddly, rather than talking to us directly, they’ve taken to posting some of them up on bulletin boards. I was expecting, when I got out of bed yesterday, to be having a dozen Rangers all clamoring for my attention with new assignments for me to do. Instead, there were just a couple – mostly wanting me to deliver messages to this or that other village.

    For some reason, everybody seems to think, “There’s a hobbit! Nobody better for delivering the Post!”

    Which is true, of course. I can’t fault them for that.

    Anyways, instead what I noticed was a line of bulletin boards up against one of the bare walls. Actually, what I noticed was one of my hobbit friends Brabbo staring at them. I didn’t take any notice of the boards until I saw Brabbo studying one so intently he did not even answer my greetings. So, I went down the line seeing as to what the Rangers wanted done.

    It also appears to be the case that the Rangers are expecting us to show a bit of initiative on our patrols. Instead of sending us out into a particular area, we are expected to head out on a patrol and see iffen anything occurs to us as what needs doing.

    As is my normal habit, whenever I see one of them spybirds flapping about – a crow or caraban or some such – I dispatch it lest it carries a message off to the enemies of the Shire. I got the idea that it may be useful to the Rangers for me to go to the effort of clearing out the area of spy birds to the best of my ability.

    And when I got to Trestlebridge - I got the idea that I should patrol the routes to Trestlebridge and get an inkling of an idea as to what may have changed in the world – I noticed the orc camps nearest the town on the north side of the river and thought I could make Trestlebridge secure by thinning out the population of orcs some. This, I did.

    The orcs were not at all dangerous. I charged in, shouting and screaming so as to startle them some and throw them off guard, and found myself in battle with four orcs at once. I would not say that it was a quick fight, but I dispatched them quick enough. Then I went to another Orc camp and set upon them so as to let them know they weren’t welcome. Finally, feeling that the town was at least a little more secure, I headed for Trestlebridge itself.

    The town is still in poor shape, and the folk look beaten and bruised. They moved their shops from an area in the north side of the town somewhat near the bridge, to a place further from the Bridge. That was probably wise. For the first time, I saw children out and about in the town – no longer being hidden in some secretive place out of fear of another Orc attack.

    The Mayor offered me a place to sleep in payment for my services, so this is where I am.

    Tomorrow, I intend to go out and patrol a place called Nan Wathren. This used to be a place of particularly fierce orcs – we fought some hard battles against them when we first came to Trestlebridge. I hear that the constant battling has left them a lot weaker than they used to be. I figure to patrol into the region and come back with news as to what the truth of the matter is. It’s always better to see the situation with one’s own eyes than to trust to rumor.

    I’ll be safe – not to worry. As safe as I can be. Just you remember that I am here for the Shire, and I am more than willing to take a bit of risk if it is to see the Shire safe. And I fully respect the fact that I can’t do the Shire much good from inside an Orcan cook pot, so I intend to keep myself out of one as long as possible.

    I fear it will take more than a few days to set things up here, but it will not be so dangerous either. I will write to let you know that I am well.

    Take care of yourself and the girls.

    Alphred Troute.

    PS: I must tell you of a dream that I had.

    In this dream, I got dreadful news that Ivar Bloodhand - the Gaunt Lord we battled in the Lonely Lands with Radagast – was gaining strength. Brabbo and Wilbus and I were sent in to deal with him. It was a most frightening quest – what with creatures about who had far more skill than most anything I had fought. I went through the whole dream thinking that this was going to be my doom. I even recall thinking, “If a person dies in a dream, do they wake up dead?”

    It was a most frightening dream.

    Yet, Wilbus was the brave one. I kept suggesting that we should turn back – that the battle here was beyond our meager skills. And he kept insisting that we push on.

    We came to a creature that I somehow knew held the key to getting into Ivar’s chamber. At Wilbus’ insistence, I set up to attack him. While I did so, he kept summoning aid – servants of the dead that would pull themselves literally out of the ground. Wilbus would deal with them quickly enough while I battled the key master. Eventually, we felled the key master and the way to Ivar’s chamber lay before us.

    Again, Wilbus insisted we go on and, soon, we reached his crypt. He was already in a ceremony to add another servant to his army of undead.

    I charged Ivar, knowing with no doubt at all that I was about to wake up dead. Ivar charged directly after Wilbus and soon had him lying on the ground, either dead or knocked senseless. Then, he turned his attention to me.

    Well, I am better suited for stand toe to toe with villains than Wilbus, so he was not able to get through my defenses so easy. I retreated slowly to where I had my back against the wall. Ivar summoned aids, who were beginning to overwhelm poor Brabbo. At one point, I caught that Ivar was calling more help. I knew Brabbo could not handle the enemy so I carefully waited and caught the attention of the henchwight as soon as it emerged from the ground.

    Wilbus – praise the fates – proved himself only stunned and was soon on his feet again. Just as with the key master, Wilbus took deadly aim against the henchwights that Ivar had summoned until he and Brabbo were free of them. Then they focused their attention to help against Ivar.

    I sincerely could not believe it that the Ivar of my dream fell at our feet. I would not have thought it possible. When I did wake up, I had a sense of elation that I scarcely remember ever feeling. It may be strange to hear me say this, Father, but I can sometimes understand how some man-folk and dwarf-folk might actually get to enjoy battling. But it does require winning. Elsewise, I trust it would not be so pleasant.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 48 and working on The Rift (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  11. #186

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - The New North Downs

    Meadowlarke Sweetweed
    Chief, Bounders of the Shire – Addernotch Station


    It is my honor to report of our progress against the villainy that threatens the Shire, though I have little progress to report.

    Just last week we were thinking that we had near defeated the villains in the North Downs. We were expecting to find them severely weakened in all of their strongholds, and for it to be a simple matter of sending a force against each to obtain victory.

    We were all wrong.

    Alphred went to Trestlebridge to patrol the area near there. He reported back that Nan Wathren - the orc camp to the east - was just as strong or maybe stronger than he remembered.

    On a second patrol that he took with Brabbo, they did learn that the leadership in the farthest corner of Nan Wathren did not have the overpowering orcs we had met earlier. In a battle lasting a full day and night they were actually able to reach places we could not have gone to a few weeks ago. They even slew one of the orcan generals. But they had some nearly disastrous battles.

    The lands before the heart of the city of Fornost certainly had been cleared out of many of the orcs and goblins that caused problems in the past. And most of the diseased animals had died out, leaving only a few weakened survivors behind. However, the city itself was filled with powerful orcs, goblins, and even spirits of soldiers long dead.

    Wilbus and Brabbo participated in an excursion into Fornost City. A second patrol into involved Aearthor, Roy, Heminhaw, Brabbo, Erikin, and myself. The six of us fought our way through the courtyard before the city proper to where the commanding wight had made a lair. We defeated him, but we think he was just the weakest of the four that controlled the region. As the weakest, he was given the lowest station. We searched him for a key to the higher regions but found nothing. We will likely return and search again.

    We had a moment of sadness in discovering an old lady – short and feeble – who had been mistreated by the orcs and goblins. We sought to aid in her escape, but a pack of wargs descended upon us and she was lost in the battle.

    If you recall from history, a company of hobbit archers were sent to defend Fornost ages ago when a king still lived here and the armies of Angmar came south. We came upon a few remains of them hobbit archers on our patrol. Apparently, there had been no opportunity in the battle to bury them, and we were certainly under too much pressure to take the time ourselves. However, we looked upon the ground where they lay and picked up as many buttons as we could find. I will ship them to you to add to the collection of Bounder buttons.

    The day after the battle in Fornost City, Roy and Brabbo and I patrolled the hills south and west of Fornost – and found it filled with villainous dogs and the spirits of the oathbrakers. We tried to release the oathbreakers of their earthly ties. Yet, even in yielding in defeat to us they merely faded for a short while and returned. There were some among them fiercer than those we had met in the past. It is as if the corruptions have grown stronger, and are starting to stir a stronger form of villain. We also became set upon at one point by a particularly large and vicious barghest – a pack leader in the company of others.

    These lands are getting worse, and they are the ones nearest the Shire.

    After some rest at Amon Raith, I headed back to Esteldin to take up some learning about what happened in the old battle for Fornost. I had hopes that history would tell us something of these wights that now rule the city that would make it easier for us to defeat them.

    Nip found me there, reporting that he was going to go out on a patrol to scout out the hillmen northeast of Esteldin, standing astride one of the roads to Angmar. I offered to help, and off we went.

    On the way, he was telling me that he had gone into the dragon valley north of Esteldin and nearly lost his life among the lizards and drakes.

    Anyways, we snuck into the Hillman camps and destroyed their food supplies and weapons. Then we went around looking for them who we judged had the power to replace what we had destroyed and sought to eliminate them. And, finally, we looked for their leader. Whether this was a leader or not, we found a woman what seemed to have knowledge of brews and potions in the camp.

    When Nip attacked her, she summoned help from what seems like a half-dozen nearby guards. That caught us unready. We ended up in the middle of a fierce battle - one I do not think either of us could have won on our own. Iffen they had summoned any more reinforcements, it would have been the end of us. It was only with luck that we managed to dispatch her guards – and her – and escape with our lives intact.

    This report should make clear that we Eclairians are fighting everywhere – Nan Wathren, the Fields of Fornost, Fornost City, the dragon lairs north of Esteldin, the Hillman camps. Other than the grounds closest to Fornost City itself and the furthest back corner of Nan Wathren are we finding no signs of a weakened enemy.

    I was hoping we would be done with this place soon and be able to return to the Shire. But it seems we will be here for a while longer.

    I will send another report when I have time.

    Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 48 and working on The Rift (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  12. #187
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Diary Entry XV ((Halbarad and a first visit to Fornost))

    A big storm has passed over the North Downs. I stayed in my tent for most of the time, recovering from the last patrols and only getting out once to listen to another story. This time it was told by the Elf in the Skimish Camp, Dimbassoneth, and it was about the town of Dale and the bell-tower. The city was under attack and we needed to ring the bells to warn the inhabitants. It was a nice story (incl. some strange rats) and I could almost see Mount Erebor, although she had to tell it a second time since she made the first troll-enemy much too hard to get by.

    Now that the storm cleared, it seems like the war-preparations of the Rangers are coming along. It also seems we have earned the trust of the Rangers finally. After all, we did a lot for them. We went on many patrols, scouted the land and purged the threat in Nan Wathren by killing the two biggest dangers, the defiler and the half-orc that was overseeing the production of the explosive powder. And we have not only thinned the orc host on the fringes of Dol Dinen, we even went deep inside the army’s camp to report the structure and the layout. So, it was now that the Commander of the Rangers, Halbarad, wished to speak with us.

    Halbarad fears that Esteldin and the Rangers alone cannot face this threat. Too many orcs are moving and on too many fronts. Therefore he plans to call a council of the Free People, to see what can be done if they all work together. But before he can do that, he needs more information, especially about Fornost and whether those ruins have fallen into the Enemy’s hand again. He sent us out to Mincham once more, the Ranger who is keeping watch over the Fields of Fornost.

    While on the topic of Fornost… We learned more about those ancient ruins of the former capital of Arnor. When the city was besieged by the forces of Angmar a long time ago, four captains of the guard betrayed the King and opened the gates. The Witch-king’s army marched in and thus the stronghold was overthrown. Istuienn told us they were beguiled by a woman called Amarthiel, a champion of the Witch-king, who had entered the city in disguise, earned the respect of the people and held great persuasive powers. She learned all that from some texts of an elf named Laerdan, who had apparently extensively studied Amarthiel and the history of Fornost.

    The ancient ruins of Fornost (all the way in the back)

    Now, this got me thinking. There was an Oathbreaker captain in the Fields of Fornost who said he and his “men” are now following Amarthiel (before he attacked us). Halbarad was dismayed about this when I told him, saying these were indeed dark times if her name is spoken again. And I remember hearing the Witch-king talk about his “champion” when I saw him in the Great Barrow outside Bree. So maybe this Amarthiel came back and is that champion and is now leading the orc armies either from within Fornost or Dol Dinen?

    Also, scouts have reported that four powerful wraiths have been seen within the ruins of Fornost. Those are feared to be the ghosts of the four traitors who had aided in the downfall of Fornost by opening the city’s gates. They had sworn their neverending loyalty to Amarthiel by throwing themselves into morgul-blades, effectively killing themselves. Istuienn charged us with the task to retrieve the morgul-blades from Fornost, because if they are destroyed, the wraiths will dissipate. Well, I don’t know anything about all this witchcraft and dark magic, but if she says so, sure… We will look for those blades or whatever is left of them. We will be heading over to Fornost anyway.

    So, one morning Hedgerow, Hroik, Aearthor, Brabbo and me saddled our horses and rode back to Mincham’s post. We met another Shireling there, Heminhaw, who was on the same mission. Mincham said from what he has seen, it is most likely that the Enemy has retaken Fornost. But he doesn’t know how strong the forces are and wanted us to check. We found two small orc-camps outside the city walls, but the opposition was quite weak.

    In the camp I had discovered before, some people now were talking to us. They wanted us to get rid of the rock-worms and their alhpa-animal, an especially large worm they call Gajarpan. They also gave a explanation for the apparent sickness that has befallen the animals that are roaming in the outer ruins. Those poor beasts have become very aggressive and are obviously even attacking each other, as they had lots of ghastly looking, open bloody wounds in their hides and furs. Somewhere hidden amid the rubble is another orc defiler, who is poisoning the water and the grass and is responsible for the animals’ sickness. Yes, we should end his evil corruption.

    They also wanted us to look into Fornost to defeat the orcs there and trolls and captains and what else. So after clearing the rock-worms, we set foot inside the city proper. First we found some smaller groups of orcs who were apparently searching the rubble for something. They were pretty strong and we had to be alert to win our fights. We also found several small Hobbit skeletons. Hedge said they had been Bounders and sent to help defend the city at the Battle of Fornost a long time ago. Didn’t want to speak more about it, but it was obvious that the findings grieved him much. He was going to send their buttons and some arrow-heads he recovered back to his Chief in the Shire.

    We came to a small alley with wooden doors at both sides. Looked like a possible ambush. At the back a strong goblin-leader was waiting for us, calling into the battle several waves of minions. After we beat them, one of the wooden doors opened and strangely enough what we found inside was an old woman, who wanted to be escorted outside. Hedge carefully helped her stand up but then she ran off as fast as a small child and started to open more of those wooden doors. Those were prisons in fact, where humans, Elves and even some Dwarfs were held captive. They took off, but on their way out got attacked by a band of orcs. I ran after them and tried to protect them, and at the same time (I hadn’t noticed) the old lady opened another door, behind which some wargs were held and sadly they ripped her apart. Things is, we never found her body, so maybe the wargs had eaten her very quickly.

    We proceeded deeper and came to a big, shallow pond. The water was foul and smelled horrible. There were toppled columns and large slabs of stone, as if this once was big hall where the roof has now crumbled and collapsed. The place was swarming with ghosts and whenever I stepped into the water it stung and I got distracted. But we managed to fight our way through to the end, where a large wooden door was guarded by three more spirits. Hedge was anxious to get inside, because all of this makes for another great report for the Rangers. He is very meticulous and takes great pride in his notes and sketches, which have proven to be very helpful for everybody.

    Inside, there was more foul water and more spirits. And in a back chamber, where beams of light shone in from holes in the roof and slippery stones were covered with moss, we found a very powerful looking wraith. First he apeared friendly and welcomed us to his lair, but then he noticed that we were not who he expected and said he “will not allow us to stop her” and that he was “sworn to protect her by the blade he fell upon”. Oj, this could be one of those four wraiths we heard about! He attacked and we fought back, then a wall came down and it looked as if he was levitating across deep water to a platform in the newly opened chamber.

    As he was out of reach I jumped into the water to get to him, but as soon as I did, another wall came down at the far end and he floated over to another platform opposite of where I was. Again I had to jump into the reeking water, but I could not get out on the other side. I tried to pull myself up to the platform, but it was too steep. I kicked and splashed and struggled and swallowed a lot of those foul waters. And then I passed out. I must have been floating in that water for quite some time, unconcious, while my comrades fought on and managed to best the wraith. Cheers, good job, guys!

    They pulled me out and revived me. I had an awful taste in my mouth afterwards, and it will take a couple of days and many drinks to get all that muck out of my system. Then I saw that there were some stepping stones hidden beneath the surface, maybe that was his trick. On the dead body (was it dead? Is it possible that an undead spirit dies? Anyway…) we found the hilt of an old blade, the morgul-blade into which he had thrown himself. We took it and will bring it back to Esteldin for Istuienn to destroy it. We retreated back to the base-camp to rest and regain our strength before going deeper into Fornost on another patrol. We now know Fornost is taken by the enemy and they have considerable forces inside, led by powerful spirits and wraiths.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 08:45 AM.

  13. #188
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Land of Hamlet

    Sounds really interesting

    Hi! I'm intrigued by Club Eclair! Very impressed by what you have achieved here. I'm fairly new to the game and want to see it all, but everybody else seems to have done everything already. Club Eclair might be something for me. I have no interest in power-levelling, leeting and looting, for me the game is about immersion, grouping -and instances.

    Some questions:
    1 do you meet up at a specific time for the grouping? Otherwise how do you do it? That might be hard for me as my schedule varies. I'm on central european time but rarely log on before 9 or 10 pm, so that's 3 or 4 servertime.
    2 how many are active in the channel?
    3 do you need any specific classes? Anything that would fit particularly well with the others?

    Last edited by Clabauterman; Apr 26 2014 at 05:51 PM.
    "The turtle is my trinket". Founder of Club Slowtro.
    Tolkien fan and LOTRO completionist, taking my time to see all the places. Clabauterman on Steam.

  14. #189
    Quote Originally Posted by Clabauterman View Post
    Hi! I'm intrigued by Club Eclair! Very impressed by what you have achieved here. I'm fairly new to the game and want to see it all, but everybody else seems to have done everything already. Club Eclair might be something for me. I have no interest in power-levelling, leeting and looting, for me the game is about immersion, grouping -and instances.

    Some questions:
    1 do you meet up at a specific time for the grouping? Otherwise how do you do it? That might be hard for me as my schedule varies. I'm on central european time but rarely log on before 9 or 10 pm, so that's 3 or 4 servertime.
    2 how many are active in the channel?
    3 do you need any specific classes? Anything that would fit particularly well with the others?


    Well, we'd be pleased to have you join us.

    Question 1: When and how do we group?

    Do we have a specific time for grouping? Well, we tend to have a large group session Saturday's at 9:00 AM server time. However, smaller groups - two or three players - can get together at any time. During the Great Barrow War, larger groups met more frequently. We have a user channel set up called "club-éclair". A player logs in and announces in the "club-éclair" channel something like, "I am heading out on a patrol through Nan Wathren if somebody wants to come along," or "I'd like to listen to one of the Erebor stories if there were a couple of people around willing to join me." If one or two people agree, off you go. I can't say I don't know what players are doing at 3 or 4 server time, but you can talk to our European players.

    Question 2: How many are active?

    Well, there are four regular players from the European side of the ocean, and five regular players on the American side, and 2 new members (Americans, I think) who have just gotten characters to 27th level where they can join us. There is an unknown number (6 to 12) who will join from time to time - who have a character in the appropriate level range and will enter into an adventure every once in a while.

    Question 3: What type of characters do we need.

    Well, I always advise people to "play what you enjoy" - and we'll make due. I (for one) play two characters - a warden and a minstrel - so I can bring along what the group needs. Currently, of those characters who have been showing up regularly each week, we have 2 minstrels, 2 champions (dwarfs), 1 burglar (hobbit), 3 hunters (hobbits), 1 guardian (hobbit), 1 warden (hobbit), 1 lore master (elf), 1 rune keeper (dwarf), 1 captain (man). If it matters to you. One of the two new characters is a dwarf minstrel. The other new character is a tall person (elf or human) guardian. But . . . I can't say what new characters we will pick up. There are some I know about who have characters at higher levels than us who say they want to join once we reach their level.

    If you (or anybody else) has more questions, I would be pleased to answer them. The more Eclairians we have, the better the chance of finding help when you want it. I would be more than pleased to have a European group gathering in the European evenings for adventures.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 48 and working on The Rift (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  15. #190
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Land of Hamlet
    Tiempko, thank you for your extensive, thoughtful reply. I will create a character and join the channel and see where it takes me. Thanks.
    "The turtle is my trinket". Founder of Club Slowtro.
    Tolkien fan and LOTRO completionist, taking my time to see all the places. Clabauterman on Steam.

  16. #191

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - Formong a Council

    To: Meadowlarke Sweetweed, Chief, Bounders of the Shire, Addernotch Station


    It is my honor to report on our successes against the villainy that threatens the Shire.

    The villainy of the North Downs may not have been as weakened as the Rangers had thought, but we are helping them bring together the elfs, dwarfs, and man-folk who live here to make a united stand against them. When we are done, then these lands will be more secure against the villainy, meaning that the Shire itself will be more secure.

    What the Rangers did was send a lot of us to the dwarfs and elfs to help secure their own local areas in order that they could be free to send somebody to the Council. The Dwarfs have been plagued by villainous dwarfnappers demanding control of the mines in exchange for the lifes of the dwarfs that had been dwarfnapped.

    Well, we mustered our strengths and liberated the dwarfs - doing battle against the Dourdwarf army along the way. To confuse the enemy, we divided ourselfs into two groups. Andrig took Liatri and Brabbo to attack from one direction, while Aearthor, Roy, Heminhaw, and I moved in from the other direction. We captured the wall of the fort, and were able to fire arrows and such down on the dwarf camp as the others charged in.

    It turns out that the Dourdwarfs put their best guards on these prisoners. As soon as we started our rescuing, an alarm went out and we found ourselfs fighting the best of the best of the Dourdwarf soldiers. But Erikin and Aearthor are well-practiced soldiers now. And Heminhaw and Liatri thin the enemy numbers with their well-placed bow shots. Roy brings forth his powers from the rocks and Brabbo commands the battlefield with his voice, disenheartening the enemies with his shouts and cries.

    I watch and make sure nothing unexpected happens. If a villain seeks to attack me, I try to hide behind a tree or a rock or a tent until one of the others can rescue me.

    After our rescue, Roy went back to the enemy forts a second time, this time with Alphred, to free yet another dwarf, and I expect we will be freeing more Dourdwarf prisoners in the days ahead.

    Then, it was off to the south to talk with the elfs. They felt under threat from the Orcs of Nan Wathren. So, once more we went into that stronghold, to find and slay their leader.

    This was no quick and easy rescue. This was a long and stressful battle against countless enemies in a battle lasting from dawn until dusk. Liatri stayed back with the elfs on account of not feeling well. But the rest of us kept her in our thoughts all during the battling.

    We had little trouble getting to the Orc commander. And we found him alone - with no guards of any kind. Aearthor challenged him directly. He was bigger and stronger than any two of us, but against six he dis not last long.

    The hard part was getting out. We got a little lost. When we found ourselves in a corner of the camp we remembered from earlier battles, we were closer to Trestlebridge than to the Elf ruins, so we continued on that way.

    I am embarrassed to report that on account of battling the Nan Wathren Orcs so often, I forgot to take careful notes for the Rangers - even after we got list. I did not even think of it until Aearthor mentioned it on our way out. I said that we had to go back, but the others were tired of battling by then.

    The Trestlebridgians are refusing to be in the council on account of facing too many Orcs. We told their leader that we had just marched though Nan Wathren, cutting the size of the orcan force considerably, but we could not sway her - their leader, Nellie. We explained the advantages of having dwarfs and elfs helping in the defense, but she saw it only in terms of losing defenders to help the elfs and dwarfs.

    We were all needing rest by now, so we agreed to return to Esteldin in our own way.

    As it turned out I did go back into Nan Wathren the next day with Minno, and we found beasts much more threatening than even the Orc leader - a warg pen with the pack leader of the wargs - a most fearsome beast - and their keeper and three wargs all in one place.

    That turned out to be a battle worth writing home about with Minno beset upon at all sides. I was certain that the wargs were going to rip him apart, and me after. And all I could do was offer words of encouragement while I hid behind a tree. I also managed to frighten a warg away for a while so as the odds against Minno were not so daunting. And though that warg came after me when he got his wits again, Minno shouted and swatted at it to leave me alone.

    It seemed a good long while before he was able to get a deadly blow into the goblin warg keeper, and then one of the wargs. As the fates would have it though, a sixth warg happened into the pen during the fight.

    By then, Minno had been cut in nearly to a hundred places. I could see the dark stains of blood oozing through the gaps in his armor. Still, I urged him on, and even took a stab at one of the beasts when I saw a chance.

    Once we had the odds down to a mere two wargs, we were able to relax a bit. Minno was more confident that we would see victory and needed less of my encouragement. I could help direct his blows with a bit more precision.

    Then the battle ended, with the warg pack leader, the goblin warg keeper, and four wargs on the ground. We wanted to be far from there before anybody noticed.

    We fixed up Minno, tending to his cuts with lineaments and salves rendering him good as new, though he'd be paying good money to get armor mended when we got out.

    We did get out safely, and I am back in Esteldin now. The Orcs are massing for to attack Trestlebridge, it seems. As soon as we can muster we will be off to defend Trestlebridge. And then we want to attack the orcan fort of Dol Dinen and try to kill their leader. Finally, we are looking to slay the master of all dragons to the North. Then we will be done here and can return to the Shire.

    Home at last! It will be so nice.

    Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow

    If you have a character at or below Level 27 (or even 28), you are free to join us on our adventures.

    If you have a character at 29th or 30th level (or even 31), we will be in Tinudir in a little over a month and you can join the adventure there.

    Club Eclair should be finishing up the new North Downs in the next few weeks.

    Afterwords, it will be off to Oatbarton to find out what is happening with the festival, and to have a picnic and fishing contest at the Northcotton Farms stocked pond. And the Shire folk will get a chance to go home and visit friends and family.

    But, there will be trouble at Dwaling to look into, and stories will come of brigands and other villains beyond the North Farthing. The level cap will go up to 30 and we will spend some time in Tinudir adventuring through the eastern half of Evendim - level 34 and 35 quests.

    But, there will be a nagging need to go to Rivendell. We have already had some requests to go to talk to Aragorn and Elrond there.

    With the level cap increasing to 32, we will begin a long journey. We will stop by Esteldin for a bit to catch up on things left undone, then south through Bree where we might stop to confront Sambrog again. Then east to the Lone Lands where we will battle Ivar the Bloodhand and the Red Maid.

    From Ost Guruth we will enter the Trollshaws and make our way, camp by camp, to Rivendell. What waits for us in Rivendell, at this point, I have no idea, other than this:

    We will pick up the Sword that was Broken quest line and return to Evendim. There, the level cap will climb to 35 and, in addition to completing this quest line, we will finish the west half of Evendim and Annuminus - and then return to Rivendell.

    Back in Rivendell, we will follow Book 4 of the epic quest line, then Book 5 will take us into the Misty Mountains.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 48 and working on The Rift (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  17. #192

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - Seeing the End of the North Downs


    After much too long of a delay, I can see the day when I will be returning to the Shire.

    We are wrapping up the last chores here in the North Downs.

    A squad marched into Dol Dinen recently and went as far as the Orcan command tent, where they attacked and defeated the occupants. I was not among them, but they came back with reports of having taken out some important Orcan leaders.

    Wilbus and I launched our own assault later - and actually got pretty far. Wilbus is an excellent hunter with a good tactical mind, allowing us to take greater challenges than one would have expected. But, alas, by the time we reached the command tent they were ready for us. They set upon us with far greater numbers than we could have handled, and forced us into a full retreat. However, our intent is to continue to harass and weaken them, so as to leave this area more secure for the Rangers who are working here.

    Wilbus has also been helping people hunt down some of the rare and exotic villains that seem to show up from time to time. People here, and elsewhere, seem to give them names as if they were unique creatures. For example, I have slayed "Darkwing" twice - once with Aearthor and Brabbo, and once with Heminhaw.

    In fact, these creatures have to come from somewhere. When one is killed, another shows up eventually. Still, maybe we can teach them that this is a dangerous land to migrate into.

    We have also continued to make assaults on Nan Wathren, and fending off orcan assaults on the town of Trestlebridge. I have mentioned earlier how important it is to us that Trestlebridge holds. If the Orcs can take the bridge, then it is a short trip south and to the right for them to reach the Brandywine Bridge.

    Brabbo went with me on a second patrol into Nan Wathren to attack their commanders. He went with me earlier when we assaulted the warg pens and killed off most of the Orcs' prized battle wargs. Brabbo and I work well together. This was a simple mission - a patrol into the lands to find and eliminate some of their commanders, and out again. The elfs gave us a magical stone that they said would give us . . . I can't think of what they called it. Oh, "Inspired greatness". The whole idea of using elf magics makes me nervous. I put it on the bottom of my pack and left it there. We did not need it.

    Brabbo and I also went on another of these "skirmish trainings" set up by the Rangers to help us learn how to work together. We were told recently that the skirmish trainings would be more difficult - that the enemies will be recorded as inflicting more harm upon us. However, I noticed no difference. Brabbo and I elected to battle at Tier III without any assistant soldiers, as we usually do, and fought our way through to the end with only one encounter causing us any worry.

    We have put off battling into Fornost City while we do research to discover how to get into the higher regions of the city. We defeated the orcs and goblins and swamp creatures and the "Water Wight" of the first region. We were told the Water Wight had the key to the next region, but we could not find it. Without such a key, we have done as much as we can do against the stronghold at Fornost City. We may come back later, if a way to the upper parts of the city can be found.

    There might be a bit of a delay around Bree, though. I got a post from Chief Meadowlarke of Addernotch Station saying that there is a trio of Bounders who have been called upon to see to it that Sambrog, in the Great Barrow, remains deep in his underground crypt. We have been asked to have a few Eclairians go down there and support them.

    These particular Bounders are looking to join the Eclairians, as I understand it. This is good - we can always use more numbers. It would have been particularly handy in organizing patrols into Nan Wathren and Dol Dinen.

    I am surprised that more men did not join us once they figured out what we are about. But in Bree, in the Lone Lands, and among the Rangers of Esteldin, even though they see what we are about and call us a great help, we have not seen volunteers joining up with us. We have three dwarfs - Erikin, Roy, and Andrig.

    I also have not seen Willameena about recently. I have heard others talk about her as if she is still about. I hope she is well. She is the only elf who has come to join us so far.

    Anyways, the major reason for this letter is to tell you to expect me in the Shire in the near future. We need to stop at Oatbarton and find out how they are faring.

    Oh, I don't know if I mentioned this - when we were last in Oatbarton we saw a strange stone in a pipeweed field that seemed to be spewing corruptions onto the land. There was one here, too - near Esteldin. It is also at once of the farms. The one here moved. It vanished from the farm we first saw it at, and showed up across the river.

    I am curious as to whether there is any change at the stone in Oatbarton. It will be one of the first things I will check on when I get there.

    But I will stop by home along the way. And I hope to see you and the girls then.

    Until then,

    Alphred Troute
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 48 and working on The Rift (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  18. #193
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry XVI ((Bringing the council together))

    Dear Diary,
    it’s been a while after my last entry and a lot of things have happened since then. So, I will try to sum it up quickly.

    1. Fornost
    We could not get deeper inside the ruined city. Although there was a path up from the great crumbled hall and we could see through a gate, there appeared to be some kind of magic barrier through which we could not pass. But we came here to find out if the Enemy has retaken the city and he sure has. So we went back to Mincham to report our findings. He sent us back to Halbarad and we rode to Esteldin.

    2. The Council
    Since Fornost has also fallen to the orcs, Halbarad was more eager than ever to call for a council to discuss how this threat can be best dealt with. There are three orc armies in the Northern Downs, in Nan Wathren, Fornost and Dol Dinen, all working together, but there are also three places where Dwarfs, Elves and Men live. He wanted us to convince their leaders to meet him in Esteldin, which meant we had to get back to Othrikar, Lin Giliath and Trestlebridge. After a bit of discussion we decided to start in Othrikar, as this was the closest place, and bring the Dwarf leader. But that turned out to be not as easy as we thought. Dori had been kidnapped by the Dourhands in the meantime (they wanted to set him free only after Othrikar is handed back to them) and we had to rescue him from their stronghold. It was outrageous, they held him a cage like an aurochs! And the cage smelled really badly. After retrieving some seemingly very valuable jewels he told us he will attend the council.

    At the Elves’ place it was also not without difficulties. Gildor Inglorion, who had come here initially to warn Esteldin about the Nine Riders, feared that Meluinen will soon come under another attack out of Nan Wathren. He was willing to join the council, but only after we had defeated the great Uruk captain, who was commanding the orc army and supposedly has his post in the deepest part on that canyon. So, we went in again and discovered that the orcs there were much less powerful. Looks like our previous forays into this area have really weakened them. I tried my new two-handed axe and although it’s really big and heavy, I got used to it fast. And it does pack a punch! After a bit of searching (where Hedge forgot to take notes) we found and quashed him. He was not as great as Inglorion thought. We now also know that Skorgrim is at least not leading this army.

    We were not too far from Trestlebridge by now, so we went there to talk to Nellie Boskins. With the Uruk commander gone, and the defiler and the one overseeing the black powder, we were pretty confident that she would agree to go to the council. But, unfortunately she wouldn’t have it… She was angry at the Rangers for not coming to their aid and that the people in Trestlebridge had to face the orcs alone and endure their constant attacks. We tried our best, but there was no point in arguing with her. We left, a bit befuddled, but I could understand her to a point. She is just worried about the safety of her town… and we should not forget that her father was killed by the orcs only recently.

    I stayed in Trestlebridge for the night, hoping that by next morning she might have changed her mind, but it wasn’t so. My friends had already left for Esteldin, and I went after them. On my way I made a detour up to Fornost again. It felt like my duty to take out the Defiler who is poisoning all these poor creatures. I was alone, so a bit apprehensive if I would be able to pull this off, but everything went well. I found him in the back of some outer ruins which were crawling with orcs and I had to be careful and sneak by a few. Also found and destroyed many wood-planks and ropes that the orcs used to build their siege-weapons. The Defiler looked a mean beast and was another one wearing a bone-mask, but when he fell I was happy. And hopeful that the animals that are grazing here will recover some day. The upper parts were still inaccessible.

    Met my friends again at Halbarad’s office. He was happy that the Dwarfs and Elves had agreed to come to the council. But he also wanted Nellie for her great leadership qualities. Nellie’s beef with the Rangers was that she felt left high and dry by them, but now an opportunity to prove different arose. Halbarad had heard about a very strong orc-squad moving in, and Hedge, Aearthor, Brabbo, Liatri and I rushed back to Trestlebridge with him. Night had fallen as we arrived and it was just in time. As Halbarad tried to warn Nellie (and she was still quite unforgiving) guards came running, shouting that orcs tried to cross the Trestlespan! We all ran to the bridge and together we made our stand. The orcs came jumping over the hastily put up wagons and boards in several waves and they were of the stronger kind. They had sent elite warriors and champions, but when we managed to kill the chieftain of their raid the attacks ceased.

    Nellie was thankful and finally reconsidered. Was actually a bit ashamed about her earlier stubborn behaviour. She will now answer Halbarad’s call to the council. So yes, we have all three, we brought the band back together as we say in the Blue Mountains. And the Free People of the Northern Downs will unite against the forces of Angmar! This is a great relief and I think a good achievement by us, as we played a big part in it. Halbarad is sending us to Aragorn, saying he was in Rivendell by now. We are to tell him about the happenings here, but it is really awfully far away. In fact, none of us knows exactly where it is. Let alone having been there. It is somewhere along the Great Eastern Road, across the Last Bridge, or so I heard. And I don’t know how he got that information, those Rangers surely are knowledgable. But before we leave, there are a few things left to do here. And we have a score to settle with the orcs in Dol Dinen.

    The council meets
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 08:32 AM.

  19. #194

    ((Club Eclair)) Notes on Future Adventures

    Club Eclair Schedule

    Preliminary Note: Club Éclair usually does quests 4-5 levels above character level. So, when Éclair is at 30th level, the quests it does are 34 to 35th level. Except where prohibited (e.g., one can't get into the Annuminus instances until level 40).

    May 19: 9:00 PM, gather for some last group quests in the North Downs if anybody needs them. Also, around this time, some groups move south to Bree and engage in some new battles against Sambrog in the Great Barrows.

    After this, Club Eclair will shift its focus to Oatbarton and Dwaling in the Shire.

    May 24, 9:00 AM and May 26 at 7:00 PM help at Northcotton Farms preparing for the festival. End the day with a picnic and fishing at the stocked pond. (see if Ales and Tales can be held at Northcotton Farms)

    May 31, 12:00 Noon - Buttoning ceremony at Addernotch Station. (Hedgerow and other Bounders of the Shire kin members who are with Eclair).

    June 2, 12:00 AM - Level cap goes up to 28. Finish up chores at King's Crossing.

    June 14, 11:00 AM - Level cap goes up to 30. The group travels to Tinudir to begin adventures in Eastern Evendim.

    Note: Evindem - at least at this level - has no group content. For group content, we will commute to Fornost City and see if we can conquer the four parts there. We also have the option of Erebor stories and Skirmish trainings. And, in our spare time, pass through the lizard den at Fornost to advance the worm slayer deed. On that matter, we will have two new skirmish training grounds to visit - "Attack at Dawn" and "Thievery and Mischief." We can also sit around the campfire and tell stories about the Great Barrows War (rerunning those instances at a higher level).

    August/September: Decide that the lands beyond the North Farthing are secure enough that we can make our way to Rivendell, as we have been asked to do, but put off so that we can secure the Bounds. When we get to Ost Guruth we will discover that the Red Maid and Ivar Bloodhand are a serious threat. We will raise the level cap to 32 for the Garth Agarwen instances. At the same time, players can commute to the western Trollshaws for solo quests.

    Once the Red Maid and Ivar have been beaten into submission, we will move on to Rivendell.

    I am expecting that we will start the Blade that was Broken quest chain and return to Evendim. Once back in Evendim, we will raise the level cap to 35. There, we will complete the chain, complete quests in western Evendim, and explore Annuminus (though we will have to leave the Annuminus instances until Level 40). Also, we get a new skirmish training grounds: "Defense of the Prancing Pony".

    When done there, return to Rivendell to see The Blade that Was Broken reforged and work on Book 4 of the epic quest chain.

    After completing Book 4, we may increase the level cap to 40. This will allow us to complete quests in the Trollshaws (except epic story quests we will come back for), then start Book 5 and move into the western Misty Mountains. New skirmish training grounds: "Ford of Bruinen" and "The Icy Crevasse". Then again, we may break this up into two jumps, from 35 to 37, then from 37 to 40. This depends a lot on the recent revamp.

    After completing Book 5, march to Angmar. At Angmar, the level cap goes up to 41.

    (Somewhere around here we should hunt for an excuse to adventure in southern and central Forochel before we out level it.)

    After completing Book 6, raise the level cap to 45.

    Because there is a huge amount of Level 50 content, and 9 books of the epic story to get through, we will likely stay at level 45 for a very long time. My characters would like to follow the epic story, taking other quests and deeds when the epic story takes us to that region. For example, when the epic story sends us to Thorin's Hall, spend some time in Sarnur. When it sends us to Goblin Town, spend some time adventuring in Goblin Town and the eastern Misty Mountains. But that's just me.

    At long last, the Level 45 class quest items will actually be useful!

    As we reach the end of the epic quest chain, we face a conundrum.

    If one wants to enter Moria as a place of wonder and danger, this should be done at Level 45. The first books of Volume II are also best done at 45. However, one cannot complete volume I until level 47, enter many of the good instances in Angmar, Eregion, and the Misty Mountains until level 50, or make serious progress on legendary weapons until level 51. Or, maybe, all of the above?

    So, do we start Volume II at level 45 and finish Volume I later? Do we raise the level cap to 51, finish Volume I, and explore Eregion and Moria 6 levels higher where the challenges are not as great? We will need a discussion of what people like. I have changed my mind on my preference twice.
    Last edited by Tiempko; May 09 2014 at 11:30 AM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 48 and working on The Rift (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  20. #195
    The worm slayer deed has unlocked with 13.1

  21. #196
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiempko View Post
    So, do we start Volume II at level 45 and finish Volume I later? Do we raise the level cap to 51, finish Volume I, and explore Eregion and Moria 6 levels higher where the challenges are not as great? We will need a discussion of what people like. I have changed my mind on my preference twice.
    My opinion is to do all of Eriador and Volume I first before entering Moria or starting Vol II. This includes not getting any Legendary Items before entering Moria - that way the various weapons one can get as quest rewards or drops will actually be useful and be something to look forward to.

    This would mean starting Moria at level 50 (assuming some of the earlier instances require level 50), which might mean that the early parts of Moria is a bit easier than they could be, but so be it.
    The later parts of Moria, as well as the instances there, would still be quite dangerous and most likely require raising the level cap beyond 50 at some point.

  22. #197
    Quote Originally Posted by Craiden View Post

    Scribbled on backside:

    Dear Mom,

    I am sorry that I have not written to you for so long. I hope you have not been too worried. You know I am a stalwart little dwarf and nothing can knock me down so easily, right? My friends and I have made our way into the Northern Downs now. It is nice country, very green, rolling hills, forests and the ruins of a big human kingdom. It rains a lot here, but it is very pretty, also nice wildlife. There is a very large herd of aurochs here, hope you like the picture I drawn of them. Ah, I forgot to inclue the old male that watches the over the herd, a true silverback! They are brown and graze peacully among the trees. And, believe it or not, I have seen a dragon! No, really! He was not as big as Smaug, at least from our tales, but it was a real dragon, maybe a hatchling. Don’t worry, we didn’t get too close of course, we just watched it.

    There is also a dwarf mining outpost here, most of them came from the Blue Mountains. They had just settled in and we helped them a bit to get on track. We found them a vein rich with gold and ore and chased away a band of pesky Dourhands, who were looking for trouble. Now they can peacefully work the mines and prosper. Well, what else can I tell you. The business on which we were sent here has to remain a secret, but I feel we are doing the right thing and I still enjoy my endeavors.

    Love you mom, hope you and dad are alright.
    Ha, ha! I love this, particularly the above bit! Keep it up and I look forward to reading more!

  23. #198
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Brucha View Post
    Ha, ha! I love this, particularly the above bit! Keep it up and I look forward to reading more!
    Oha, thank you! I feel proud and honoured. Especially since I greatly enjoy your Total Immersion stories. I think what you are doing there is really fantastic. In fact, I had hoped to meet Brimbur one day in the North Downs, as he seemed to be at the same place at the same time (more or less), but sadly it never happened. Probably due to time difference and infrequent and eratic playtimes. Well, maybe another time!

  24. #199

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - The Second Great Barrow War

    To: Bounder Chief Meadowlarke Sweetweed
    Addernotch Station


    It is my honor to report on our progress against the villains that are threatening the Shire.

    I received your post about the new Bounders wanting to visit the Great Barrow to make certain that the villain Sambrog remains properly subdued in his crypt within the Barrow Downs. It is quite near the Bounds, oozing corruptions into the Old Forest that can be felt even in Crickhollow and Buckland.

    So, I packed up my stuff and marched myself to Bree to meet up with them.

    My intent was to stop in Trestlebridge that first night. Nellie there has a spare bed that I use. Lo and behold, I get there and the guard won't even let me to the door. I mention that Nellie and I are friends, that I stayed in her home many nights, that I helped protect the town! He cared nothing about my protestations. His answer was always the same. "You do not have permission to use that."

    Truth be told, I am not any good at battling and only helped out a little as I was able. Aearthor and Erikin and the others did most of the battling. But I did help. That should count for something.

    With much of the rest of the town being char and ash, I decided it would be best just to go on to Bree. I did imagine the real bed with linen sheets in a warm dry inn filled with the smell of cooked foods. That sped my feet along. It was of so nice.

    After that, it was off to the Barrows camp set up to host soldiers battling Sambrog.

    Brabbo showed up, much to my surprise. We talked about Nellie not letting me stay at Trestlebridge. He brought up the chance that Nellie was not even home - that she had traveled to Esteldin to attend the council and didn't want her absence broadcast. That made good sense, truth be told.

    Well, we met two of those new Bounders you mentioned at the camp, Halno and Perilena. And word apparently reached a woman friend we had not seen in a while, who had decided to stay at Bree. Her name is Adaninim. Together, we made a squad of six. Poltho cane down from the North Downs to help us, making a company of six.

    We had heard stories that Sambrog's soldiers had been trained up some - that they were hitting harder. We did not find it so. The strengths of the enemy was what we remembered it being. That's not to say that there was no fierce fighting. Sambrog has a worm master leading one of his forward stations. I didn't see where the shot cane from, but somebody announced our presence with a shot that alerted most of the room of our presence. And here they came, charging right at us. Several of us turned and fled a short distance, but rallied to a defensive line in the room above the worm master.

    The worm master is known not to like leaving his personal crypt so he returned promptly, leaving his guards to deal with us. But they alone were not a match for us.

    When the guard had been dispatched, the worm master had a little less protection. Though he summoned a bowl full of pets to battle us, we kept our feet.

    We determined that the enemy might have been wilted a bit on account of not battling since we were here last. However, that did not last long. With each battle, the enemy grew more skilled. By the time we were on our fourth incursion, they were learning to battle properly again.

    For this fourth battle, Adaninim, Poltho, Hllno, and Perilena were no longer there. Instead we had a couple of women up from Bree wanting to contribute to the fighting - Sagla and Myrelis. Roy was here this time. Along with Brabbo and me, we made five. And yet the enemies were as trained as any we had yet battled.

    We encountered a type of creature we have been told is called a Thadur. It has a power to summon all manner of villainy. In their presence, he cannot be struck, so we must dispatch them to make the Thadur vulnerable to our blades.

    Myrelis drew his attention early, and The Thadur tossed her aside with a sweep of his arm. She recoiled from its horribleness. But Sagla called out to her in a strong and commanding voice, and in this Myrelis found courage.

    Upon seeing who our leader was, The Thadur moved quickly to dispatch her. It threw a bubble of silence around me, than tore into Sagla with all of its fury. I could do nothing but whisper. I shouted, but no sound left my mouth. The silence absorbed the notes that I play to inspire others in battle. If I moved, the bubble of silence moved with me. As the Thadur drove Salina back, I could not even tell the others that I could do nothing. I shouted and screamed, but nobody heard. Then with a heavy whack from his staff, Sagla lay unconscious at the edge of the pool.

    There was now Brabbo - more used to using his voice to command a battlefield, Myrelis - recovering from her earlier blow, Roy - drawing power from stone, and me.

    Brabbo commanded The Thadur's attention next. I gave Brabbo all of the encouragement I could muster - as did Roy. But The Thadur drew in more of its allies and, with that, made himself invulnerable to our blows. Having the same commanding voice as Brabbo, Myrelis disenheartened our enemy and took from them their will to fight. Once again alone, The Thadur became vulnerable - and his attention remained fixed on Brabbo.

    I have some choice in that I can keep the sprite of my companions up so they do not give up the fight, or I can encourage them to fight harder and more fiercely. I inspired them to attack more fiercely while the Thadur was vulnerable. With the constant attack of the four of us left standing, we pummeled the Thadur into submission. It fell to the ground - and its essence faded into the floor. No doubt it will rise again, but weaker - and knowing that those on the surface will not let it win.

    Sagla was fine, and only needed a few moments rest 'fore she was back on her feet again. We had defeated The Thadur and the rest of Sambrog's minions in this area, and decided it was time to rest.

    We are going to launch a few more incursions into the Great Barrow in the days ahead. We still have not battled Sambrog himself - only cleared the way through some of his lieutenants. We will get to Sambrog soon, though. Then I will be coming home for a bit - on my way to Oatbarton.

    Oh, we're organizing a picnic in Oatbarton - at the Northcotton Farm stock pond - Saturday at 9:00 AM. You can spread the word if you want among those who might want to meet us - or even join us. We will be helping the folk at Northcotton Farm with some chores, then settling down to catch some fish, fry the fish, and eat the fish - as well as some music and dancing I would hope.

    I will report on our battles against Sambrog when we have our victory.

    We've heard of another dwarf in Bree summoning a muster to battle in the Great Barrow. We invited him to join us and have more expeditions planned. And there's another Bounder coming out to join us, as I understand it, by the name of Ruach. I haven't seen her yet. I hope she knows where to find us.

    Bounder Recruit Hedgerow Shrewburrow.

    We adjust the level of difficulty in the Great Barrow by adjusting the level. Having heard that Turbine had made battles a bit harder, we set the level for our first incursions at 29 (or level + 2) for a 6-person fellowship. However, we quickly learned that the instances, in fact, are no more difficult than they had been. We raised the level to 30 (level + 3) for a 5-person fellowship - and faced some challenge, though with a seriously unbalanced group (a captain, 3 minstrels, and a runekeeper). Future battles will likely increase the danger a little more - level 31 for 5 people and 32 for 6 people.

    Oh, and the picnic mentioned above is real enough. There are two picnics at the Northcotton Farms stocked pond being planned. Saturday, May 24, 9:00 AM and Monday, May 26, 9:00 PM.
    Last edited by Tiempko; May 23 2014 at 02:11 PM.
    Meadowlarke Sweetweed on Landroval. Also nephews and Bounders Ayrhawk, Wrennsong, and Little Meadowlark Sweetweed
    Club Eclair roleplaying group on Landroval currently capped at Level 48 and working on The Rift (Alphred Troute, Hedgerow Shrewburrow).

  25. #200
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry XVII ((A run to Isengard, Revenge in Dol Dinen and Wrapping up the North Downs))

    I had another strange dream the other day. There was a crazy Hobbit named Hadacar who wanted to run all the way to Isengard, where in a all tower a mighty wizard lives. Maybe he heard Bilbo’s fantastic stories and now wanted to have his own adventure. He wanted everybody to help him and a huge crowd of all kinds of folks had gathered at the Prancing Pony to do so. Brabbo was there too! So, we took off, through the Combe Gate, across the Midgewater Marshes, passing the Forsaken Inn and Weathertop, when… yes, somehow I lost contact to the large group of people. I ran across the Last Bridge, followed a winding road and later a river through a colorful forest, then up and through another forest (I can swear I saw a tree moving!), across wide open heather-fields and then, suddenly I had caught up again with the rest!

    Great, because it was getting dangerous. There was what looked like a wind-swept high plain with a large mountain range in the far distance, a narrow valley with many undead, then lots of canyons and rugged country to get lost in. We were attacked from all sides, even bulls came running at us! But the Hobbit’s mighty escort fended them all off and kept us safe. And then, finally, we jumped down a cliff and there it was. I could see a tall, slim spire in the distance. Orthanc I heard, where Saruman, the White, resides. What a sight that was! We all ran up the stairs and there was great cheering all around and fireworks exploded.

    But it was also a very dangerous place. There were trolls so big and strong as I have never seen before. People started to disappear and I asked Brabbo how we should get back. He didn’t answer. And then, after a while, I was the last one left standing on the stairs of that black tower. I knocked on the door, but nobody answered. Maybe the wizard was too far up to hear me, or he was out collecting stuff for his sorcery or he had left because of all the trolls. I was a bit desparate and didn’t know what to do. And I was terribly exhausted from the long run. I found a tiny niche next to the door where I crawled into and collapsed.

    When I woke up the next day I was back in Esteldin. So strange! I first thought maybe the wizard saw me lying on his steps and somehow teleported me back. But then Alphred told me I had been walking around sleepin’ and talking about massive trolls… Maybe it’s the Old Toby pipe-weed that gives me these dreams.

    Well, anyway. One of the next days Hedge, Brabbo, Aearthor, Liatri and I went to Dol Dinen again. Hedge had heard about an orcan General in a tent behind the inner ring of the fortress, where we had turned around the last time. That must be the leader in the South, that those orders we had found were talking about, them who were written in the Black Speech. I trudged along unwillingly and was not particularly excited to go to that place again, as I well remembered our last attempt and my miserable moment of shame when I lost my nerves and ran off. In fact, Hedge asked on the way if we all remember the moment “where Erikin bravely led the orcs away to give us a chance to escape?” I deeply blushed, but I didn’t say anything.

    We passed by the Ranger’s camp, who was used as bait by the unfriendly and annoying Earthies before. This time he had a quest for us, to find and slay three captains of the orc-army who were in command of some platoons.
    When we arrived at the front-lines we found the orc forces to be considerably weakened. Either our previous raids had taken their toll or the stronger orcs had been transfered to other places. This time, we didn’t have major difficulties breaching the gate and managed to defeat many an orc and troll. It helped that we focused on the shamans with the weird deer-skulls, something we had learned the hard way. I also tried a new tactic, to position myself behind the enemy, in the hope of catching them unaware (something I was a victim of before). And it worked nicely, the orcs dropped fast and hard. We also sabotaged a lot of catapults and trebuchets, when Hedge pulled out some bolts and other vital parts. Ha, when the orcs try to move them now, they will simply fall apart!

    Inside the inner ring, there was a particularly big and armoured troll with large red hands, who we encountered on the slope up towards the tent. We later learned this was Patonka, the siege-master overseeing the construction of all these war-machines. We battled our way up the path until we reached the big tent, which was made of leather hides and decorated with frightening, yet somehow beautiful, symbols showing a fire and two scraggy dragons, if I recall correctly. We carefully peered inside and yes, there stood the General, protected by two bodyguards. But apart from them, the tent was full of orcs, shamans and even a few trolls.

    The General’s Tent

    Hedge said we should not fight them all at once, so we sneaked in and ever so cautiously engaged one group after the other, working our way along the inner tent-walls. It was a bit odd, I wondered why the General and all the others didn’t notice us. But finally the tent was almost empty and we took on the General himself. He put up some fight, but in the end he fell and we barely had a scratch. Just like the leader in Nan Wathren, it appears those leaders are nothing but hot air in armour and let their troops do the actual fighting. Then we left and this time we got out without any trouble. Walking back to Esteldin in the clear night breeze, under a full moon, felt really good. We not only got our sweet revenge on them orcs, we also put their great General away.


    On another excursion into Dol Dinen we were joined by Halno and Myrelis, who we met in Esteldin. Now Halno is another of those little Hobbit Bounders who left the Shire to battle evil and corruption before the darkness can reach and threaten his home. Like Alphred, he is carrying a shield and a spear and seems a well-practised fighter. And Myrelis is an elf lady (beautiful, but too tall for me), who was using loud shouts to fight. She was a bit shy but good company and we hope to see her more often in our adventures. Ah, speaking about elf women, we wondered what happened to Willameena. I am not sure, I think she said she was going back to Bree for some important errand, but so far she has not returned and we miss her and hope nothing serious has happened.

    We searched, found and defeated the platoon commanders, captured a couple of hills, destroyed all the siege-weapons we could find and further depleted the orc forces. To such an extent that I think Dol Dinen is more or less tamed now. And we did that almost single-handedly, I have never seen any of them Rangers coming along and help us. All they did was commanding us around, to be honest. The General is dead, the captains too, siege-weapons destroyed, remaining orcs and trolls severely weakened. The Rangers should now be able to take care of the rest, especially since the leaders of the different places have united and sit in council. We dealt such heavy blows to the orc host in Dol Dinen that Esteldin should be safe for now.

    Before leaving Esteldin, there were still a few things to do. There was a falconer for example who trains the freshly hatched birds to spy for the Dourhands. And an Earth-kin guy who had lost his brother to the dark side. Unfortunately the brother would not listen and come back. Then the Hillmen camp guarding the Angmarian Gap where Halno kindly went along and helped me to destroy their weapons and food crates, even defeating an evil sorceress with her bodyguards.

    And during one warm and sunny day Brabbo, Podie (another Shireling who I believe I had not met before) and I went back into the drake-area of the mesa between the North Downs and Angmar. We went on a real killing spree and slew A LOT of those poor rock-worms. I almost felt sorry for them. They have long and very thin teeth, protruding from their upper lips and I wondered what their diet might be. We destroyed a few of their clutches and when I did so, an egg popped open and the yolk spilled right into my beard. The stench was horrible.

    Far up on a nice platform, we found a large female drake, who we also killed. The two Hobbits said it needs to be done, those creatures are evil and dangerous. And then, a large black dragon flew above our heads and landed right where the dead body of the female lay. Seemed like he was looking for his wife or something, and he was not happy it was dead… An enraged lesser dragon is a fearsome foe and it was a close battle, but the three of us managed to subdue him in the end. Podie sometimes smashed his shield against the dragon with all his power and I could almost feel how this shook the dragon up and the blows rippled through his body. So that part of the Ram Duath should also be safe now.

    Now, with all that done. The Northern Downs should be able to hold its ground against the invading forces of Angmar. At least for now and except for Fornost where we will need to go back another time. We also know that Skorgrim was leading none of the armies here. He doesn’t seem to be in the Northern Downs at all. We lost track of him, to be honest, and he could be anywhere. Halbarad told us to go to Rivendell and tell Aragorn what is going on here. But before doing that, Hedge wants to go back to Oatbarton to help the farmers some more and to have a party. Hopefully, it will be a big party, the last days in Esteldin has seen our band of brothers grow a lot and there was hardly time to get to know the new adventurers who joined us, like Taleah, Sagla and Finggers, a small burglar dressed like the kid in Budgeford who pretended to be one of the Black Riders. He was sent here by a mysterious Scotch to fill the coffers of the Buggins. I brought the coins I had on me to the bank, just in case.

    He might also visit home. Well, the Blue Mountains are much too far away for me to do that, but I may stop over in Bree for a few days. I think while we are up in Oatbarton we may look around Evendim a bit, see if we find any trace of Skorgrim. He was sent north after all and Evendim is in the north as well. I looked at a map of the place and am excited to see the big lake and the King’s city of Annuminas.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 08:29 AM.


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