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  1. #226
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry 21 ((Progress in Fornost))

    After we had cleared out the outer city (and found one of the wraiths that had betrayed the defenders of the city by opening the gates so long ago) in a tower full of foul water, we now walked through a passage into a higher part of the ruins. I was in the company of my fine friends Hedgerow, Perilena, Heminhaw, Hroik and Finggers. We first came to a small courtyard with a balcony on the left. There was some kind of strange ritual going on. In the middle of the courtyard stood two groups of five goblins in a row facing each other, wielding spears and scimitars and screaming at each other. Might also be they were encouraging each other as they were about to join the battle they had heard going on a bit further down. At the far end, in front of a closed wooden door, a very large orc stood, undoubtedly their squad leader.

    The others said I should walk up to the big guy and ask him if we could pass. They were going to hide and cheer me on. Well, great idea… I mustered my courage, but he became aggressive right away, saying that we came far enough. All the goblins stopped screaming and attacked our backline, while on the balcony orc archers appeared. I saw Finggers running up the stairs taking them on and followed, while, unfortuately, the goblins started to swarm all over the small hobbits. It was a chaotic fight, we had to retreat and regroup once, then I was running back to help them out, the big orc close behind me. Heminhaw lay down a lot of traps and Finggers was hiding in the shadows, becoming almost invisible and attacked them from behind. The goblins fell and we were now only facing their leader, but without his guards we managed to drop him.

    Next to the door was a chest. Finggers picked the lock and inside we found a key to open that wooden door.

    Behind the door we entered what looked like the former inner city. Now it lay all in ruins, with big crumbling walls, dry fountains and cobblestone walkways. But we were not alone here. Trolls and goblins wandered around or were gathered in small groups around fires. We had to fight them if we wanted to make any progress and venture deeper into the heart of Fornost. Some of the trolls wore heavy armor and sometimes the goblins ran away to call for help, but we we were not deterred and advanced nonetheless. We also found a couple of catapults that Finggers destroyed by making use of powder-crates the enemy had conveniently placed right next to them.

    In a corner we encountered a particularly large troll who we took on. Seeing that he focused his attention on me, I stepped behind him, so that he had to turn around. I hoped to divert his attention from the rest of my friends that way, so they wouldn’t get hurt, as that troll was getting really angry and wildly swinging a heavy club which could have also hit the others. They were quite happy with this strategy and able to poke on him most of the time without him really noticing.

    As we continued on, we walked under a bizarre, full red moon and had to disrupt the dinner of a group of trolls eating ants or maggots by a fire. Finggers tried some of those roasted ants. I know hobbits can eat anytime and almost anything, but this even got the other hobbits a bit dismayed.

    Walking through Fornost under a full red moon

    We finally reached the entrance of a large tower. Inside were what looked like cages with trolls trapped inside. The noise and smell of the enraged trolls was almost unbearable. Why were the trolls imprisoned, or were it just holding pens like for animals, as Hroik suggested? The way further up was blocked and we had to fight through a few of these trolls to reach several levers which in turn opened more of these cages. But finally, one of the levers yanked open a gate to a set of stairs leading upwards. Finggers scouted ahead. I had a hard time seeing him and he totally scared my beard off when he suddenly reappeared right next to me!

    He reported trouble, a hallway full of trolls and goblins. They weren’t too difficult though and we got past them. One toppled over and broke a door leading to another stairway. Again, Finggers scouted ahead and this time he came back screaming. “There is a monster up there with no face!” he said. And it was true. It looked like a walking suit of armor, but there was nobody inside… Hedge immediately realized that this must be another one of the four wraiths, one of the commanders that that had thrown himself into a sword after his betrayal, thus becoming immortal or something and now rules over Fornost. He (or it) was standing in the middle of the room, smoke around him.

    Again, Hedge told me to go ahead. An then, when we entered, it started talking. “Please, come in dwarf. I have been waiting for you.” Eh, did he know me? “You think to find Amarthiel here, do you?” That name again… The same the oathbreaker captain mentioned and that worried Mincham and Halbarad so much. Then he called forth trolls and small pale goblin-kind of people. A big fight broke out and I got confused by all these monsters that were suddenly rushing in on us. I don’t know where they all came from, maybe some side chamber. It was a trap, yes must be. They noticed our infiltration and set a trap for us.

    Perilena lost her courage early in the fight, but the rest of us all fought back as good as we could. Heminhaw laying traps and shooting arrows, and Hroik doing some things with his stones. Finggers sneaked around somewhere, I didn’t see him much, only sometimes I caught a glimpse of him, standing behind a troll or the wraith. I half-blindly whirled around my axes and was encouraged by Hedge's beautiful singing. Well, at that moment I thought it was beautiful at least. Maybe it was not singing either, more like cries for help, but ha, useless in battle? No way! I lost track of the big boss, but then, when the last troll fell, he was somehow gone too… And on the small platform in the center of the room lay his smoking armour, and in it we found the hilt of another blade. I have two of them in my possession now, but I hate that things and it frightens me. Black-magic items, I don't want them, they give me the shivers and bad dreams too. I think we should bring them back to Esteldin as fast as possible, lest the wraiths may rise again.

    There were also a few stoned trolls in that room. I wondered, maybe Gandalf was here before us? I had seen him stone a troll once, back at Thorin’s Hall, or was it just another one of my weird dreams? If Gandalf had been here, when was that, just days before we came, or years? Or was it the wraith’s wrath that befell them trolls? Anyway, we did make good progress, that is what matters. One of the next days we will try to go even deeper, or rather higher up? There was another exit in that tower, but we didn’t go through it yet.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 10:25 AM.

  2. #227
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    ((Postcard to mom))

    Scribbled on backside:
    Hi mom,
    sorry that I haven’t written for so long. I think last time was from the beach? Well, we walked up that river until we came to a bend and found that it flows out of a very big lake. There, at the confluence, is a big statue of an old King, holding a sword that broke in a battle that took place many centuries ago. It is a grandiose piece of stone-work and I am sure father would love it! There was even a rope dangling from its head and I was allowed to climb all the way to the top and had the best view ever, across the lake to the west, and the beach to the south and a big forest in the east!

    We stay on a sandy island in the lake, in a large house. It is almost like a palace, with soft beds and a lot of food and kegs filled with ale. The Rangers that watch the lands here provided for these quarters and in return we help them with some errands, nothing too big. There are many old ruins, former houses of rich or noble people and we pick weeds, hunt some wolves and retrieve vases and other trinkets of history for them. One of them even sent me on a treasure hunt, but I yet have to find any hints for that treasure.

    Across the lake, on the far shore, lies the spectacular city of Annuminas and I will send you a painting of that place soon. So, well, yes, that’s all. We enjoy our stay here, the weather is usually great, and so is the swimming in the lake. My shrew-friend is also around and I see him from time to time. And Hedgerow, the Hobbit that is with me most of the time, went back to his hometown to receive a reward for all he did for the Shire. A nice hat with feathers on it and a badge of honor. I am very happy for him, he really deserves it. I for my part have become better with my crafting, in fact I managed to make me a nice cuirass that I sometimes wear.

    We will stay here for a while longer I think and after that, I don’t know. One of my new friends is a man from the coast of Gondor in the south and he said pirates are troubling his hometown. So we may go there. But it is awfully far away, many many days, maybe weeks, by horse. I will let you know of course what we are up to.

    I hope you both are doing fine and to see you soon again,
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 10:00 AM.

  3. #228

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - Chores About Evendim and Fornost


    You must allow the workers to do their work. I know that it is a nuisance having them in your home. And there is a reason they have to take their time. It would hardly serve as a good place to hide if everybody knows about it. This means that there have to be just a few hobbits working on it. And the fact that they are from Buckland means they would not be around to tell folks about the room.

    Of course, we all hope that you will never need to use the room. It's like the bucket of water you keep in the kitchen. You hope that there us no fire for you to throw the water on. But you keep the bucket filled with water anyway - just in case.

    I'm happy to report that there seems little threat to the Shire from these lands beyond the North Farthing - with one exception. Some Angmar folk have come into the region and have taken over the ruins of an ancient city right here on the borders not the Shire.

    They don't seem to be here to conquer. They are looking for something. Hopefully, they will give up looking for it and leave. No doubt, if they find it they will make the villains in Angmar a lot more powerful. I have no doubt that they will take over all these lands if they can, including the Shire. If this happens, your secret room may not help - not if we can find no way to defeat him. It's best to keep them from getting this power.

    The Rangers insist on handling this. What we're doing here is taking care of other chores that would otherwise distract the Rangers.

    I already mentioned our battles against the wraiths that have returned to the ruins of Fornost. That's one of the ways we are helping the Rangers. We are making repeated attacks into the ruined city - pushing our way further and further into it - so as the Rangers can focus their efforts elsewhere.

    I can't even count the patrols we have made of the middle city, the realm controlled by the Wraith of Water. He's got some fancy name, but I can't remember it for the life of me. If I were to estimate, I would say we have made 8 to 10 patrols in this region. I am expecting at least a couple more. There are still some corners of the middle city that the forces of the Wraith of Water control.

    Then there's the wall separating the middle city from the inner city. To get to the inner city, you have to enter the buttom of a tower on this wall and climb the inside to the top. There once was a gate that would allow somebody to bring a wagon to the inner city directly, but that seems to be blocked off entirely.

    We've taken five of these towers now.

    Each time, the Wraith of Earth has shown up and tried to stop us, but we have always defeated him. It's frustrating knowing that we can never kill such a creature. When the man he once once killed himself with that morgal blade, he bought himself eternal life, in a sense - serving the forces of Angmar. We can defeat it. We can drive it to the ground. But within a few moments it simply dissolves into the air only to come back the next time we try to take one of these towers.

    And now we are sending patrols into the inner city - the place that the Wraith of Fire commands.

    I wasn't on the first patrol into the Inner City. In fact, only four people were mustered for the squad to make this first patrol. It was Erikin, Aearthor, Roy, and Brabbo who made that patrol. Part of the reason is because a second patrol was going into the realm of the Wraith of Water at the same time - Hedgerow, Adinium, Halno, and Periplum. Perhaps, with the two separate squads, things might have been easier for them with the enemy dividing their attentions. But more than likely the Wraith of Water took his forces against the one group while the Wraith of Fire stood against the other. I don't thing the Wraiths fully get on with each other or cooperate much.

    I went on a patrol to take another of the middle towers a couple of days later.

    However, mostly I have been spending my time patrolling about eastern Evendim.

    I've been working as a Bounty Hunter. That job makes me a bit uncomfortable. Folks about Ost Forod pay people to out and hunt villains, and then to come back and collect a reward. I really don't like this on account of maybe the people being hunted are not villains and the real villains are those who are paying the money. If these are true villains, a person should be eager to help without getting any kind of reward. At least, a Bounder should be.

    Well, I am not about to let a villain continue to threaten good folks simply because I am uncomfortable with the way the local folk go about seeing him brought to justice. I have hunted down these villains. I have also been helping the people of Ost Forod prepare for the coming winter by collecting firewood, bearhides for blankets, and meat.

    There's another goblin village in the hills north of here. It's not particularly large, though it has a few vicious wargs wandering around the place. Still, it's not so large that there's any threat of it forming an army and coming down to the Shire.

    I just thought of something that I need to go check out. See, all I've done is wandered the fringes of the camp to battle the goblins that I can find. But goblins are like dwarfs and ants. The few you see on the surface can mask a whole city hidden underground. I think it may be important to go up to the goblin village and see iffen there are any underground tunnels. I'd hate to discover a whole underground city like Mad Bilbo Baggins' "Goblin Town" waiting to bubble to the surface and flood the Shire.

    I'll see iffen any of the Eclairians want to go with me.

    For the most part, I'm doing quite well. I am well fed, sleeping in a good bed, well fed and provisioned.

    Remember what I said about that extra room. Let the workers get their work done and soon you will wake up to realize that it is all over and the workers have gone back to Buckland and you have the house to yourself again. They'll be done all the sooner iffen you just leave them to do their work.

    I'm not so far away that I can't come back to visit. I will see iffen I can fit in a few days for another trip back home.

    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).

  4. #229

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - Nearing the End in East Evendim


    There is getting to be more pie tin than pie in Evendim. I see our work here coming to an end.

    Our patrols about the lands here on the east shore of Lake Evendim have tamed the lands considerably. There is still some wildness north of Ost Ferod in need of attention, but we are making progress helping the people of Ost Ferod prepare for the winter months and seeing to the goblins and wargs that can be found nearby. There are no great goblin armies here, just a few scattered camps.

    As for Fornost City itself, we have made four incursions into the inner city of Fornost now that I know of . . . and maybe one or two that I haven’t heard about. There are still orcs in this region for us to battle – and a different kind of wight than any I had seen before.

    Wights, by the way, are the walking dead. We have battled them before – in the crypts of the Barrow Downs out of Bree and in the lands of Angamar near Ost Guruth. But these are more fierce than any we have battled.

    The dead cannot be killed. The best we have been able to discover is to burn the bodies so that there is nothing left what can be walking around. But that didn’t work with these, They were already burning – a perpetual flame that surrounds them but does not consume their flesh.

    Gad, I hear these words in my head and I know they’re not fitting for the girls. But this is what is happening to the world. There is a corruption, and a part of the corruption brings the dead back to life, where they serve at the will of the forces of darkness. It’s a true part of the world and one cannot prepare for it if one does not know it is out there.

    Not all of them. It may surprise you that we can sometimes summon an oathbreaker - one seeking an act of redemption that will end his curse.

    By our patrols of the Inner City, we are trapping the strongest of the four wraiths – the Wraith of Shadow – in the keep that dominates the ruins. We have him cornered. I suspect that it will only be a matter of days and we will be summoned into a squad to confront this villain. As with the others, we cannot kill him, but we can weaken him. We can teach him a lesson against bothering free-folk, for he will get not one thing what he desires from us. If we destroy his troops, and weaken him enough with repeated losses at our hands, we can at least help to ensure he has not strength enough to worry the Shire.

    And then what?

    Well, then we will be done and I can come home, I hope. We will have battled the corruptions that are leaking out of the Barrow Downs and corrupting the Old Forest. We have dealt with the orcan threats north of Bree and in the North Downs helped form an alliance that will stand against any armies marching out of Angmar. And, now, we have weakened the villainy beyond the North Farthing and subdued the orcs and wights of the Ruins of Fornost. I am thinking that we have done a bit for the shire.

    Though, truth be told, we left some work at Ost Guruth half done. The gaunt lord Ivar the Bloodhand was hiding in his fortress at Garth Agarwen, in the Lone Lands near Ost Guruth, when we left. And he had awakened a powerful evil known only as the Red Maid to help conquer and corrupt the land. Though Radagast the Brown said he would confront this villain in our absence, we are hearing tales that our help might be needed there.

    Radagast seems to be easily distracted.

    And, for some odd reason, folks here seem to think I should be going to Rivendell. I have three letters now to carry to folks at Rivendell. These people see a hobbit and they immediately think, “He can carry my post for me!” It’s almost like seeing a dwarf and thinking, “There’s somebody who can mend my armours.”

    Mayhaps . . . after we vanguish Ivar the Bloodhand and the Red Maid, I may venture a bit further east to Rivendell. It would be a pleasure to tell folks back home that I had seen the elven city. “Oh, really, Mr. Troute? Tell me of Rivendell, Mr. Troute. You actually spoke to Elrond, Mr. Troute? What was he like. Oh tell us, please!”

    I can confirm whether some of Mad Bilbo Baggins’ stories are to be believed. Or not, depending on what I find.

    After all, when we are at Ost Guruth, we are more than half-way to Rivendell. It is not so much more of an effort to go the rest of the way.

    And then I can come back home, to the fishing stream and you and the girls and the other fine folk of Little Delving.

    In the mean time, I will likely stop by home when I finish here at Evendim, on my way to Ost Guruth. I will almost certainly pass through the Shire, and there is no sense seeing the Shire and not see home.

    I would hope that the secret room is built by then and you can show me what I paid for.

    Love, as always.

    Alphred Troute

    We seem to be coming to the end of our time at Tinnudir. Many of us have completed all of the landscape quests – and others are getting close. Meanwhile, over at Fornost City, many of us have completed the third zone and we should be starting to enter the fourth and last zone in the very near future.

    Some characters will be migrating back to Ost Guruth for adventures in that have opened up there and in the western Trollshaws since we left it. Eventually, we will need to raise the level cap to 32. This will open up the Garth Agarwen instances as well as the Thalenhad near the Ford of Bruinen. This will become our new home, from Ost Guruth to the Ford of Bruinen.

    Then a quick trip to Rivendell to pick up The Sword that Was Broken quest chain, followed by a return to Evendim.

    After spending some time at Evendim, raise the level cap to 35 to finish The Sword that was Broken and explore Annuminus.

    A potential roadbump . . . I do not know if we can enter The Tomb of Elendil instance at Level 35. It is a level 40 instance. Some instances we can enter 5 levels early (all of the Epic Story instances such as Retaking Weathertop, which we ran at Level 18 though it is a Level 23 instance). Some we could not (The Great Barrow, Garth Agarwen, Fornost). Even if we can get into this instance at 35, can we finish it? I remember it being very difficult. It would sure work out better for the story though if we do not have to go away and come back 5 levels higher.

    Assuming we get over this roadbump, we return to Rivendell, see to the reforging of the sword, and prepare to move on to the western 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).

  5. #230
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry 22 ((Going ever deeper into Fornost))

    We are slowly but steadily retaking Fornost and freeing the old ruins from the enemy’s forces. One day Hroik, Finggers, Brabbo and I went back to the tower where the last wraith had resided and found it exited to yet another, higher part of the former city. This time, we didn’t come across any trolls, but to a lot of orcs instead. We usually made short work of them, although we were only four. Finggers showed us some special combat maneuvers that really helped a lot, we simply flanked and outmaneuvered them. We also found several idols, probably showing the Witch-king. One of them was particularly interesting, with a big menacing head and short wings. Was it a puppet of a dragon, or an image of Durin’s Bane? Anyway, whenever we could, we took a torch to these idols and burned them down to demoralize the orcs.

    We came to a patio where a translucent ghost hovered. The air grew cold around him and he started to talk in my head when we got closer, saying this is as far as we’d go. The fight wasn’t too hard, although he called forth some more ghosts into the battle and became invulnerable while they were there.

    Then, a bit further on and around two more corners, we came to a kind of theatre, or arena, a round square with a grandstand, or walkway made of stone, all around. Maybe, in times of old, it was used for music performances or fight shows. At first it seemed almost empty and at the far end was a podium with another of those idols. As we put the torch to the idol, suddenly lots of spectators poured in and filled the stands. Oh-oh, we had an audience now… They were mosty goblins, all cheering and wielding their weapons, with a few orcs amongst them. And we noticed a particularly large orc patrolling the stands, without doubt a leader of sorts. This didn’t look too good, there must have been close to 100 of them!

    Hedge and I having different perceptions of the impending battle

    We were trapped, the door that led into the arena had also been closed. They looked at us, shouting and wielding their weapons and surely expecting a great show. I felt excitement rising up in me, maybe they’d throw in some big orcs for us to fight. I had great confidence in my companions' abilities, although I must admit the whole scene was quite intimidating. Well, they got their spectacle. I tried to intimidate them back, and shouted at them that they should better leave if they wanted to live! Then the commanding orc stepped forward, saying “Do you think to goad me into battle with your strength? We will have a bit of fun. Boys, get them!” He jumped into the arena and attacked, followed by a first squad of the onlookers.

    I moved into a far corner to not be outflanked and get attacked from behind, the big orc general right in front of me. More and more goblins and orcs jumped down and joined the fight. We nearly got overwhelmed by their sheer numbers. Finggers dashed back and forth, Hroik’s hands started to glow and Brabbo was fending them off heroically. We slowly thinned their numbers until only the big guy remained and then he fell too! We cheered and breathed a sigh of relief. This had undoubtedly been the hardest of our battles in Fornost so far. We survived, but barely, it had been very close.

    After we had regained our strength, we continued on and reached the entrance to another tower. Inside, the air was very warm and I started to sweat. We soon saw why – there were burning skeletons and undead things walking around in that tower. I don’t know why they were not consumed by the flames that swirled around them, must be another of that dark-magic tricks. We also saw a different kind of flag, showing a big eye instead ot the Witch-king’s crown. And there were orc heads on sticks, maybe of them who did not obey their masters. Finggers put one of the heads inside his bag, to bring it to the leader of his gang.

    We won our fights and went up several flights of stairs. At the very top, in what looked like a cozy library, was another hollow suit of armour, covered in flames. Yes, this must be the third of them wraiths on our list to defeat! We boldly went forward, when he welcomed us. We were “late for the festivities”, he said, “but witnesses to something hundreds of years in the making. Amarthiel has reawakened us!” He got aggressive and we found ourselves in another hard battle.

    And he was very strong, sometimes his blows knocked me back several feet, right into the fire, and I had to be quick to run out of it. In the end, the four of us prevailed, even against this frightening monster with its mysterious powers. He didn’t call in reinforcements, but he still was up to some trickery. He laid down a carpet of fire, which seemed to grow all the time and at the end of the fight it covered almost the whole floor of the room. That fire burned extremely hot and we had to be careful to find spots without flames.

    I believe who really stood out in this fight was Hroik, he saved us all. I don’t know what exactly he did, but once I was all covered in flames and I felt them singing my hairs and eating my flesh, when I saw him raise his arms, like calling out to the sky, two small stones in his hands, and I felt a soothing breath of freshness and vigor flow over me and the fires were quenched.

    Inside the still smoking armour we found yet another hilt of a blade. Just one more, I think… before I can go back to Esteldin where they can hopefully be destroyed. I am afraid the wraiths will come back if we do not shatter them. And if they do, will they just materialize right next to the hilts? I don’t want any of them come back into this world while I am asleep right next to them!

    For my personal roleplay I will do any instance only once, then it is completed and all things done. Defeated enemies do not come back. I am however very happy to help out and roleplay though an instance again, as it is fun and I enjoy running them with great company. But it is OOC for the story of Erikin. The image above is from another great run I did with Hedgerow, Aearthor and Periplum. Fighting Riamul proved very difficult this time and in the end I stood against him almost alone, all power gone, so we whittled him down with auto-attacks only while Hedge healed me and saved us that time. It also took us four attempts in the arena, but we talked strategy and tactics and won when Aearthor brought his servant Adan into the fight.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 10:32 AM.

  6. #231

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - The First Battle of the Shadow Wraith


    I am so happy to be writing to you today.

    It is the morning after I got back to Tinnudir after another expedition to Fornost. This time, we decided to challenge the Shadow Wraith himself. I figured he had to be the most powerful of the wraiths, and I was right. It was a battle like none that the Eclairians have fought before. When it was done, we were the most giddy bundle of adventurers than any you could imagine.

    We have a meeting room in the place we are calling Palace d’éclair what the Rangers gave us to stay in while we are helping. The squad was made up of me, of course, Brabbo, Periplum, Aearthor and his friend Adan, Roy, and Heminhaw – who I kept calling Hedgerow for some reason. I hope he is not insulted by that. I suspect I would be.

    They don’t even have the same skills. Hedgerow, as I have said before, doesn’t even belong on these adventures. He was a clerk for the Mayor, and is underfoot more than he is helpful. While Heminhaw is a skilled hunter – a bowhobbit of exceptional quality.

    Anyways, so – we went to one of the towers we had captured on the outer edge of the palace grounds and made our way into the grounds itself.

    It was still littered with the bones of the last company that fought here. It was . . . odd, father. It would seem that the spirits of the dead had rested here all these years. These had to be the bones of those who followed the orders of the four wights that had betrayed the city who were now suffering as a result of their poor judgment.

    But what is a person to do when their leaders go bad? A soldier is told to follow orders – that their leaders know what is best and there is no value in trying to get the universal agreement of those who must fight. In fact, often times the nature of the fight has to be kept secret in the hopes of surprising the enemy, so soldiers are told to follow orders and that their leader must be trusted.

    Some of the spirits of those who fell thanked us for their release when we reached them. I have been trying to puzzle it out. Were they waiting for the forces of goodness to return?

    And then there were others who assaulted us as we came near. I fear those are the spirits of soldiers who pledged fealty to leaders that betrayed the city to the forces of Angmar and will still serving the weights that the four traitors had become.

    They are naught but bones, now – what was left behind whether the spirit left the world on its own accord or under our . . . persuasion.

    We battled through orcs and goblins and wargs, as well. There were some powerful leaders we went up against what the Shadow Wraith put between him and us. I would tell of those battles, but this letter will be too long, I fear. It was the battle against the shadow wraith that proved by far the greatest challenge.

    The shadow wraith had summoned magic such that he was vulnerable unless we could bring great light to the place of battle. However, he had also trained his minions such that if they saw a light where their leader was battling, that they would come to his defense. So the only way for us to defeat the wraith was to light great fires on the field of battle, but that summoned his minions that we had to fight before we could turn our attention on him. Meanwhile, with his powers of shadow, he would squelch our fires and turn the battlefield again to darkness.

    We worked up a strategy where each of us had a task to do.

    Aearthor and his bannerman Adan were to battle the shadow wraith and try to defeat it. But the shadow wraith could not be harmed so long as the battlefield had even the smallest shadow upon it.

    Therefore, Heminhaw - the bowhobbit I mentioned – took the task of tending to the fires and keeping them lit. When all of the shadows had been vanquished, he could fire upon the vulnerable wraith. Elsewise, he needed to be lighting fires.

    We knew the fires would summon the shadow wraith’s minions, so I followed Heminhaw about to challenge the minions. I would shout and beat on my shield to get them to battle me, while Heminhaw tended the next light or tried to sink and arrow into a shadow wraith.

    Periplum and Brabbo, were to work with me to defeat the creatures I had summoned around me. We needed to defeat the minions as they arrived to prevent them from being too many. And when the fires had been squelched and there were shadows about, they would turn their attention to the minions that I battled.

    Finally, Roy would draw power from the stone and feed it to us in order to keep our morale high and keep us in the fight.

    It took all six of us. Against the lesser wraiths, four of us sometimes entered the fight and banished the creature, at least temporarily. Against the shadow wraith, if any one of us had not been there, we could not have won the battle.

    Still, it proved a long fight. The shadow wraith could only be taken under arms when there were no shadows – and even then we faced distractions from his minions. So the battle proved slow. But, everybody did their jobs exceptionally well. Heminhaw would stoke up a fire to vanquish the shadow, which would summon minions, that I would call to me by bashing my shield and shouting, so that Periplum and Brabbo could attack the whole group.

    There were many times where one or the other of us was near to falling and giving up, but Roy kept them in the fight. I remember more than twice when I had grown exhausted and could not muster the strength to continue, only to feel the a comforting warmth as if from a blanket that Roy threw around me that gave me the energy to continue.

    Brabbo and Periplum made quite the duo, who put their talents to use where they were most needed. They would shout encouragements to us when we needed them, summon powers with their words to weaken the summoned minions, and challenge the shadow wraith when he was vulnerable. Each of us got the help we needed when we needed it.

    I had never fought so long and so hard against what seemed the near certainty of our defeat. All it would take was a missed step, a stumble or a fumble, and our whole system of battle would collapse.

    We were all quite surprised when the shadow wraith finally gave up the fight and left the field of battle – admitting defeat. He lives, as wraiths tend to live, but he lives as a creature who knows he can be defeated, that he cannot keep the free folks even from territories he claims as his own.

    As I said, we were still giddy when we returned to Palace d’éclair. We drank from the kegs that the rangers provide us. We swam and fished in the pond that sits in the middle of our room. We enjoyed our victory.

    If only . . . this were the last of it. I have gotten more letters from Ost Guruth saying that Ivar the Bloodhand and the Red Maid have gained their former strength, and Radagast seems to be distracted. They are begging for our return to deal with the menace of Garth Agarwen. With the Shadow Wraith of Fornost suffering his first defeat, and with most of the tasks around Tinnudir that we could help with taken care of, I may be heading off to Ost Guruth in a not-too-distant future.
    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).

  7. #232

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - Finishing Touches

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


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

    And we are making progress.

    I am writing to you from a camp near Fornost, where our battles against the villainy that hold these ruins continue.

    Two teams, that I am certain of, have made patrols into the inner keep. I may have heard talks about a third - but I don't recall for certain.

    There were 11 different people on the patrols I know about - two groups of six with Brabbo on both patrols. He's like that - volunteering for everything that comes along - day and night. Nobody here does as much work as he does - and that is true by a good measure. In fact, you will scarcely find a roster with his name missing.

    Aearthor, Calthand, Gharnet, Alphred, Wilbus, Kahla, Heminhaw, Erikin, Hroik, Brabbo, and either Perilena or Periplum, I do not remember which - all have patrolled the central keep and entered the central castle. I haven't seen it yet.

    I would like to have my turn on a patrol just to see for my own eyes that the Shadow Wraith has been driven from his lair.

    I have not confronted the Shadow Wraith myself.

    I was going through my paperworks a few days ago and discovered a note, off in the margins, that I had promised the Esteldin rangers to deal with an infestation of worms and drakes what got into the mountain valleys north of their camp. I remember going into those passes when we were camped at Esteldin. They were filled with fierce creatures that looked like dragons to my eyes, and one that almost certainly was. However, I have grown a bit more confident since those days, and learned the commanding voice that Brabbo uses so effectively.

    So, I went into the valleys, booming and shouting and acting menacing and frightful, driving the worms ahead of me and out of the valleys. I an not some hunter who can go about slaughtering everything in sight. And all of that death and blood and violence would bother me, I fear. But I can frighten things away.

    Imagine that - monsters being fearful of Hedgerow Shrewburrow, who would have imagined such a thing.

    I did avoid the dragon that flew above. I am too foolish for my own tastes but I have a drop of hobbit sense left.

    Before going to Esteldin, I took one last patrol lands northeast of Lake Evendim itself out of Ost Ferod. Actually, it was Minno, and Aearthor, and Roy who made the patrol. I followed along in case I could help in some way. We patrolled the road north up to where it entered the mountains and freed it of brigands what lurked waiting for weary travelers.

    The Brigands had set up a camp - brazenly near the road, as it turns out. When we reached it, we did wade in and engage the whole camp in battle. The four of us against every brigand they could muster. There were a half dozen of them, and two I know of that had trained up and practiced some owing to how they fought.

    I had arrows flying towards me from all directions, and Minno and Aearthor struggled to protect me. I went and hid behind a tree where they couldn't see me. But they hunted me down, with Aearthor and Minni chasing after them. Finally, the bow brigands could not ignore the soldiers any longer and turned on them, whence I stepped out from behind my tree to see if I could help. Roy yelled at me, saying that drawing power from the stones to strengthen me is useless if I am running about trees and rocks. Aearthor suggested that I stand still and hide behind my shield.

    We also had some fierce battles at a goblin camp up the hill that we visited after dispatching the brigands. They occupy a pass through the mountains - the goblins and their warg pets, including a warg king we were asked to dispatch. When the battle started, it seems as if half the camp descended upon us - as well they would if the camp were attacked. But we prevailed.

    After that I took my leave of Tinnudir to do my chores for the Rangers frightening away the drakes. Then I came to this camp near Fornost to do my share in patrolling the city.

    I just came back from a patrol through the inner city with Roy, and Minno - and, of course, the always present Brabbo. It is interesting to see people learning to work together as a team. The first groups of four who patrolled the inner city struggled. They suffered any number of retreats - or we did, for I was among them at least some of the times - retreating as far back as the main gate to reorganize and try again.

    This time, we scarcely broke a sweat.

    Minno was the only one of us truly competent in battle. Roy drew fire from the stones and proved greatly effective, but couldn't stand to having orcs cleave on him as he did so. Brabbo, with his commanding voice, was much the same way. I stood back and provided morale support. At one point we encountered an Orcan company with a sturdy commander and near 50 goblins and orcs in his band. Minno took on their leader, while Roy and Brabbo were able to sweep away whole waves of lesser attackers. I doubt a wizard could do as well.

    In a little while, I think our work here will be done.

    We will not be able to come home just yet, I fear. Word has reached us that Ivar the Bloodhand and his summoned Red Maid are gaining power in Garth Agarwen. Have I mentioned this before? Well, if I had, it still worries us.

    Gharnet, after finishing his patrol through the inner keep in Fornost and reporting to the rangers of Esteldin, left for Ost Guruth to see if we are truly needed. He will report what he finds. His letter will determine if our work just beyond the Bounds is done, or if one last chore awaits us. Breeland, the North Downs, the Lonelands, and the eastern shores of Lake Evendim either have been tamed - or soon will be once we ferret the villains out of Ost Guruth.

    Except . . .

    There's another worry I have.


    It is right on the Bounds, and it is filled with Angmar folks who truly know how to fight. They are just across the hills from Dwaling and the North Farthing. I know that the rangers here tell us, "This is Warden business. Don't you worry your little hobbit head about it,"

    I do worry my little hobbit head about it. Maybe some patrols of Annuminus are in order 'fore I consider our work beyond the Bounds complete.

    Garth Agarwen, THEN Annuminus, THEN I can come home and put my shield up and take down a good book in its place.

    Bounder 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).

  8. #233
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry 23 ((Fornost reclaimed and an empty holder))

    Finally, on our next expedition, I climbed up even higher inside the ruins, being in the company of Gharnet, Calthand, Sagla, Brabbo and Wilbus. It was a long climb, and all was quiet, but we had heard from the Rangers that this was going to be not only the last, but also the most fearsome of the four wraiths we had to face. Below, we could see the crumbled ruins, now clear of enemy forces. But here, close to the highest point, there were still defenders: Orcs, spirits, wargs, and Angmarim. We could see the last tower, with a flat top, not too far ahead. This must be the place where the last wraith was still holding out. But the bridge leading to the massive doors was broken. We had a short discussion about tossing Gharnet across the chasm, but decided against it. Nobody tosses a dwarf! We had to find another way in.

    The last tower in the ruins of Fornost

    We entered a maze of broken walls, roadblocks, dead-ends, went up and down stairs and across bridges, the stones and walkways covered in moss and weed. We arrived at a courtyard with many piles of bones, and, as we got near, spirits rose up from them. They spoke with hallow voices, thanking us for freeing them at last. “My nightmare has ended…” I don’t know why our presence set them free and we wondered who they once were. Soldiers who had broken their oaths to defend the city and had been cursed because they followed orders which they knew were wrong? Or civilians who had been slain during the battle so long ago and been trapped here ever since by the powers of evil?

    The whole place was not as well defended as we had feared, the groups we encountered were rather small. We came to an orc camp made up of furry tents and it looked empty at first. But then, as we entered, we got surrounded by a sizeable number of brutes. Yes, they lay in hiding behind or inside the tents and then jumped all over us. They shouted and swung nasty weapons, but we were too skilled for them. And then, coming around another bend, we finally found a side entrance into the base of that last tower. The door was wide open, as if the wraith invited us in. We were a bit wary, but now was not the time to turn around.

    We carefully stepped inside and were greeted by a horrible stench. The reason for it became obvious right away, the basement was full of wargs. We found a food dish which looked fit for the pet of a King and someone of our group put something on it, I didn’t see what it was, probably food. Then, out of the shadows, stepped the biggest warg I had ever seen. And it started talking! I couldn’t believe my ears! Now, I heard stories about talking wargs before, Hedge had said that, when they were driving away the orcs from Weathertop so long ago, he heard a warg talking to him. Well, I never really believed that… I mean, not that he was lying, but it must have been a pretty stressful situation for a small hobbit who was the mayor’s clerk in a little village, and his mind might have played some tricks on him.

    But here was the warg, and I heard him talking as well. Or did I also got stressed out a bit now? “Who awakens me? Wait… You are not from Angmar, I can smell it in your blood!” he said. It was too late to back off and he went after us, teeth bared and his barking alerted all the other wargs. The fight took a while, but with the help of Calthand’s big shield behind which we could hide, we managed to drop all of them.

    Then we started climbing up many more stairs, until we came to the central room at the top of the tower. There we saw a woman, lost in prayer or meditation. Around her, three big wargs were sleeping. This was not the wraith we had expected, or was it? We might have just sneaked past her, but the door behind her was locked. When Wilbus stepped forward and greeted her, she got out of her trance, saying she was both amazed and enraged about our progress and how we had managed to foil most of Amarthiel’s plans in Fornost. And then she ordered her hounds to attack! Wilbus put up some kind of puppet, which one dog was very much interested in, most of the time ignoring us and chewing on the scarecrow instead. Another one ran away whining after he was scolded by Brabbo. Yes, we had also learned some tricks to use in battle and so we won.

    When she was dead, we found not only the key to the locked door, but also saw what she had been meditating over. It was a … holder. Where, according to Gharnet, a Palantir was placed once. I heard about these stones before. Round, magic orbs, where you can see the past, the future or to far away places when you look into them. But now, the holder was empty. We don’t know if such a stone was here, or when, and where it could be now. We searched the room for clues but couldn’t find anything. Maybe it had been taken or destroyed long ago, or maybe Angmar claimed it just recently. I wasn’t too disappointed that we didn’t stumble upon a Palantir, a powerful object like that would surely have made us a prime target for the enemy. I wouldn’t want one of them. First I thought it might be nice to give it to mom, so she can always see where I am, but then, well no. Not always. I surely don’t want her to see where I was then, standing at the top of a tower in dark ruins that were falling apart and overrun by orcs and ghosts.

    Now the time had finally come to confront the last of the wraiths who had brought such disaster to the old capital. We stepped out onto a surprisingly large balcony, only dimly lit by the moon. And sure, there was another suit of armor, covered in a dark, purple shadow. The Hobbits ate something and he greeted us with the usual verbiage of these wraiths, that we came far, but this would be as far as we’d get, and our time will come to an end, bla bla.

    When the talking was done and he attacked we soon discovered that it was impossible to even put the slightest scratch on him as long as the place was shrouded in darkness. But there were three braziers conveniently placed by the walls, maybe used for some long-forgotten rituals.

    Wilbus ran over to light them and yes, when all three were fired up and the shadows had retreated, it was actually possible to hurt him. There were two problems with our great idea though. First of all the braziers burned out pretty quickly. I don’t know what Wilbus used to make the fires, maybe some of his precious bread and he didn’t want to waste all of it, but his fires surely didn’t last long. So he had to run back and forth and always rekindle them. The other problem was that every time he did that, bats came sweeping down from the skies or skeletons and ghosts popped up. I hurried after Wilbus and tried to protect him as best I could. And then, in the short window where all fires burned, took a few swings at the wraith until one of the braziers went out again.

    Then I had to run back to Wilbus, cursing and sweating and thinking that he should use something that makes the fires last longer. Meanwhile, Calthand and Sagla stood toe-to-toe with the wraith and absorbed most of his attacks while Gharnet and Brabbo did their best to keep our morale high. The battle wore on and it got pretty hectic, mainly because of Wilbus’ lack of fire-making skills I believe. By Durin, he just couldn’t keep a proper fire going! Well, to poor Wilbus’ credit, I might add that it was also entirely possible that the wraith did cast some spells to extinguish the fires, but if he did, I didn’t see it!

    Well, in the end all turned out well enough. We also won this, our final, fight in Fornost. We stood on that balcony and cheered. We had a spectacular view across the moonlit, and now quiet and peaceful, ruins below, where we had fought so many battles. I could not see a single orc, or troll or whatever else, left. We had conquered and reclaimed Fornost. The Rangers will be very pleased! Wilbus started a lot of fireworks, not only to celebrate but also to let the Free People, the Rangers and Esteldin know that Fornost had been wrestled from the grasp of the enemy. The fireworks could surely been seen miles away and lit up the whole place. I was wondering why he didn’t use them in our earlier fight though.

    But, when we left, my spirits sank a bit again. Angmar, alerted by the fireworks, may send more troops to retake Fornost. The Free People in the camp below where happy though, especially about the eviction of the warg-chieftain they called Krithmog. Since I had also found the last morgul-blade on the vanished wraith’s remains, I can now go back to Esteldin, to have them destroyed as Istuienn promised. Then Angmar has at least lost several of their most fearsome leaders, as we had also finished off another orc-general within the ruins.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 10:44 AM.

  9. #234

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - The Fiercest Fight in Fornost

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


    It is my honour to report of our progress against the villains that threaten the Shire

    It was the fiercest fighting I have been a part of.

    Maybe things were worse in the Great Barrow. Maybe Sambrog or one of his lieutenants put up a stronger defense than I remember. Them notes were ruined in the rain, if you recall. I was going to write a book. I should have planned for the writing of a book of the battle at Fornost City, if I had known that it would be such an epic story. Full of danger and heroes struggling near the point of surrender but for knowing of these villains wanted to be masters over us.

    Our party had two veterans from earlier battles. Aearthor and Roy both were in the first battle against the Shadow Wraith. They first discovered his weakness and worked out the tactics. The Shadow Wraith threw them out of the tower three times. All three times they rallied and returned to try again. By the fourth battle, they had figured out the need to remove all shadow from the battling grounds by lighting fires about the edges, for the beast gains strength from any shadow he can find. They are the ones who worked out the need to protect the fire keeper from attacks while he tends to the fire.

    But Wraiths do not die. They can be weakened and driven away for a while, but their strength returns. Our goal is not to destroy this being, but to at least make him know that the free people will not accept his rule. He doesn’t have an army strong enough to gain control over us.

    The second patrol used what the first patrol had learned in their battle, and defeated the Shadow Wraith on its first attempt.

    There was a third patrol that I know of. Podie was a part of that – and Wilbus, I think. But they did not have enough people to defeat the Shadow Wraith. Podie didn’t talk much about the experience, except to say he still needed to complete the mission to battle the Shadow Wraith.

    Our patrol had three who had never confronted the Shadow Wraith before – me, Nip, and Adaninim. But I had talked to them who went on the first two patrols, because I certainly was not going to be caught flat footed when it came to battling. I will take any advantage I can get, and learning tactics from them who battled to victory was high on my list.

    But we had a hard time of it. The Shadow Wraith threw us back not three, but four times. I think we would have fallen into despair and retreated to leave him the victory but for two things. The first is that it would have convinced the Wraith that it COULD force its will on the free folk – and even the Shire – because we lacked the will to resist him. The second was our knowledge that it had been done before. We knew we could do it, if we only could coordinate our efforts well enough.

    It was the fifth battle where we got our victory. But it was no easy battle. The battle lasted over half an hour – and that did not recall over two hours worth of struggles just to get to the top of the tower. Nip would go about lighting the fires, but we had a struggle to keep them lit. Aearthor battled the Shadow Wraith itself and, when the fires had gone down and threw shadows across the field – he knew enough to simply focus on defending himself until the fires were lit and the opportunity to strike came again. Podie protected Nip and Adaninim, I am thankful to say, protected me and Roy. When the minions that the Wraith summoned – bats and skeletons and ghosts – came upon me I would shout for help, and Adaninim would be defeat the foes that had come upon me.

    In the first battles, Roy summoned fire from the stone to try to defeat the minions of the Shadow Wraith. But we needed his power from the stone to boost our own strength. In such a long fight, we grew tired, and without renewed strength we could not endure long enough to see to the villain’s defeat.

    For half an hour, we fought. I cannot count the number of times that the villain doused the fires and returned shadow to the field of battle, and Nip stoked them back up to chase shadow away. But we had gotten into a routine to keep us battling through the minions and the struggles to keep shadows at bay. It seemed the battling would never end.

    Many had grown so tired that we were merely running on the coals of our inner fires. There are certain maneuvers we have learned – maneuvers that renew the spirits of them who are battling. I called again and again for “stallion spirit” – the maneuver that would give us the power to continue the fight. But the opportunity for such a maneuver did not come. Minutes kept going by with many of us nearly too weak to continue.

    When the opportunity came, many folks were confused about the call for a new maneuver rather than the one agreed upon earlier. Some contributed an eagle’s cry instead of stallion spirit. It took a bit of dancing, but we ended up coordinating ourselfs for into a maneuver called

    Then the empty uniform – the suit of armour that was moved by the mere will of the shadow wraith alone – fell to a heap on the ground, and the battle was ours. We took mere moments to finish off the minions that remained. Without the power of the wraith, Nip’s fires blazed bright and it was an easy matter to dispatch the last of them.

    Surprisingly, after four previous defeats, not one person fell to despair in this fight. All of us who started it ended on our feet. We had truly learned how to work as a team. That was, perhaps, the greatest thing of all. It was not the defeat of the Shadow Wraith – though that certainly seasoned the sauce. It was the six of us learning to work as a group.

    Well, with the Shadow Wraith having defeated our third patrol, and standing so well against our patrol, we think yet another patrol will be needed to convince him of our determination to resist his domination over us.

    I will let you know how it goes when the party returns. I think it is just mustering to leave – Alphred (veteran of the first battle), Adaninim (veteran of the fourth battle), Minno and Hal (battling the wraith for the first time), Brabbo (veteran of the first and second battles), and Roy (veteran of the first and forth battles). Here is hoping for them a convincing victory. I’ll have warmed apple pies and iced creams for them when they get back.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow

    P.S. I heard from Gharnet. The villains Ivar the Bloodhand and the Red Maid are certainly gaining power in the ruins of Garth Agarwen. He felt that the enemy were too strong for him to take on by himself. He went further east, across the Last Bridge, to deliver a message – and got caught up helping a dwarf in the western Lone Lands. He sent news of a spider den nested in the northwestern Trollshaws that will likely take an army in its own right. So, don’t expect me to be returned to the Shire when we are done here. It seems there is still work to be done.

    By my count, 15 characters belonging to 11 players have completed the four parts of Fornost. 2 more characters and 1 more player should finish tonight. Others have not gone through the instances, or not all of them. There’s no requirements to do so, but the opportunity is available for them who want to take advantage of it.

    There are others waiting for éclair to catch up to the level of their characters. We will get there in time.

    Current plans:

    (1) Before the end of the month we should move from Esteldin to Ost Guruth. This migration may involve some adventuring and roleplaying in the North Downs and Bree – with perhaps another mission or two into the Great Barrow and the Inn of the Forsaken (which Hedgerow still has not done).

    (2) Explore into Garth Agarwen and the western part of the Trollshaws at Level 30 for a bit, to keep it challenging. Also, organize some treks to Rivendell to deliver some messages we have to deliver (and perhaps start Book IV).

    (3) Raise the level cap to 32 (sometime in September – possibly set it for when we enter Rivendell) to open up the Garth Agarwen instance and the Trollshaws west of the Ford of Bruinen for adventure – and also to pick up the opening quests of the Blade that was Broken quest chain.

    (4) Return to Esteldin at Level 32 for the quests available.

    (5) Raise the level cap to 35 for Annuminus region and The Blade that Was Broken quest chain chain.

    (6) Head back to Rivendell to finish The Blade that Was Broken quest chain and to adventure in the Trollshaws at Level 35 (doing quests up to Level 40) . . . go through Book IV of the Epic Quests.

    (7) Raise the level cap to 37 to do the final quest in Book IV of the Epic Quests and other Trollshaws quests. Also, perhaps, head north to explore the western half of the Misty Mountains.

    (8) Raise the level cap to 40 - for Book V of the Epic Quests and more adventures in the Misty Mountains

    (9) The epic quests will direct us to Angmar next. However, I am thinking it may be best to return to Tinnudir in Evendim. From Tinnudir, we can head north to patrol the southern section of Forochel, work on the Annuminus instances that were not available to us when we were last in Evendim at Level 35, and perhaps make a return visit to the city of Fornost.

    (10) Raise the level cap to 41 for western Angmar – Book VI of the epic quests.
    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. #235
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry 24 ((To Esteldin and Ost Forod))

    I went back to Esteldin to bring Istuienn the hilts of the blades of the four wraiths from Fornost. She told me to hand them over to her quickly, as it is not wise even for the strongest of will to handle them for long. Well, I did have them in my possesion for quite a while, but I didn’t really handle them more than necessary. I was scared of them. She also said the wraiths may return if they are not destroyed and that she can read strange markings on them. She didn’t break them right away, but told me she has another task for me. What that would be, she wouldn’t say however. Maybe she has to study them a bit longer. I am becoming a bit suspicious of her though, I must say. Maybe she wants to keep these hilts for herself, to do whatever. I will have a close eye on her and will come back later to see how she is doing with the hilts and what this task might be.

    There was nothing more to do in Esteldin. Halbarad, Nellie, the elf Gildor Inglorion and Dori were still sitting in council. I am not sure, but I think Dori was a member of Thorin Oakenshield’s fellowship that went to the Lonely Mountain to fight Smaug and reclaim Erebor. If so, he is one of the bravest and most famous dwarfs there ever was. And what blasphemy, the Dourhands had locked him up in a cart made to transport pigs! I was too shy to ask him though if he really was the same Dori that traveled with Thorin so long ago.

    So I rode back to Tinnudir. A long ride and it was past midnight when I arrived at the Keep. I found it empty, seems my friends were either out on patrol or moved on. I heard about another fort to the north, Ost Ferod. After bringing a bit of peace to the so-called Twilight Fields on the mainland east of the lake (several large estates of former rich or noble people where I chased off either tomb-robbers, Angmarim or goblins and also did some weeding and retrieved many trinkets of the Rangers’ past like tapestries or vases) I had actually no intention to go there, especially as I heard it is not a friendly place. I was looking forward for some vacation, spending time at the lake, relaxing by the beach, go swimming or fishing, visit some of the islands and enjoying the beer in the Keep. Ah, it sounded so nice…

    But Orchalwe sent me up there and what is one to do if a Ranger tasks you. As it happened I met Hroik who was also about to head north. The Rangers and the people of Ost Forod had some kind of agreement. The Rangers were supposed to provide aid and food while Ost Forod was to watch the northern road that leads into Forochel. Them Rangers had not been holding up their part of the agreement though and Orchalwe wanted me to help out there.

    Night had fallen when Hroik and I arrived there. The town was a busy place with lots of folk around, but also quite neglected. Some of them were ok, but most rather unfriendly and pushing us around. I heard a lot of young people had left to join forces with the tomb-robbers, in fact many of them were recruited here and they took to it to earn some money. I didn’t feel welcome, they surely didn’t regard us as the “Heroes of Esteldin”. We met Alphred there and Hroik showed me around the town. Posters on the walls offered rewards for various villains around the lands. Bit ignoble if you ask me, but if that is how they handle things here, ok… The bandits seemed to be bad enough, so I took up the task to hunt them down. To earn back their trust in the Rangers, there were also other things to do, like collecting wood, meat and hides for the winter.

    Then, still before midnight, we started out on our patrol. We went north first, towards the gate into the iceland of Forochel. We hunted deer on the way for the meat. There were plenty of deer around and I am certain that taking some wouldn’t hurt the overall population, but we made sure to kill only the bucks. With the does you never know if they carry a young one, so we decided to leave them to repopulate. At the gate we had no difficulties to defeat the first ruffian on whose head a bounty was placed.

    Being out on a night patrol in northern Evendim

    We walked back through beautiful pink flowerbeds shimmering under the moonlight and into a valley full of bears, where we collected the hides and wood. The bears were everywhere and their heavy breathing and the rumbling noise they made was actually quite wonderful. We were defintely not at the top of the food chain, as some dead bodies made clear, but since we were three and watched out over each other, I felt safe enough. We even did some exploring and climbed all the way up a tall, singular spire of rock, where we had from the distance seen another bear-den at the top and had a splendid view over the lands to the south and the city of Forod to the west.

    The sun came up and it had started to rain when Hroik put up a fancy hat with feathers. Now I was pretty certain that he is a female. No self-respecting dwarf would ever wear a hat like that, hoho! To conclude our patrol, we finally walked over to the goblin-ruins. I been there before with Hedge and we put out their fires and killed a few of them from the shadows, hoping they would leave then, as they are supposedly a bit superstitious and easily scared. But they had rekindled their fires and were still there. Among them we found another of those brutes on whom a reward was placed. Guy had allied with the goblins and murdered a couple of decent people, so we showed no mery towards him.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 08 2017 at 05:36 AM.

  11. #236

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - Making Plans

    I have noticed a significant increase in the number of views for this thread - so somebody seems to be getting something of value out of it. Welcome, and I appreciate your visitage.


    No, you can't be inviting everybody in Little Delving into your safe room. You can't even tell them about it.

    I know they are friends and you want to help them. You won't want to leave them to the mercy of whatever villains may visit Little Delving. But a safe room everybody know about will not keep you or the girls safe. It has to be a secret.

    Chances are, you will never need it, and you won't have to worry about it. If me and my friends all do what we aim to do, the Shire will stay safe.

    We have driven Sambrog underground at the Great Barrow. We have defeated the Orcan general at Dol Dinen. We have bested the wraiths at Fornost. The Shire is certainly safer than it would have otherwise been.

    But we have another job to do. Back when we were in the Lone Lands, we helped the wizard Radagast fight the villain Ivar Bloodhand. We left this villain to Radagast. However, the wizard seems to have become distracted and Ivar is growing in power. He has summoned a creature we know of as The Red Maid and has fortified an old ruined fort called Garth Agarwen. And though he grows in power, Radagast does not confront him.

    Gharnet went back to that region and reports as much. So, I have to help deal with this villain before I can come back to the Shire.

    Heminhaw also went out that way. He sent a message not long ago saying he as hunting trolls beyond The Last Bridge.

    I still want you to let the workers finish that safe room. These villains we have fought are not the root source of the corruptions that threaten the Shire. The serious villains we started out after are still free - these are but their lieutenants. But those real visions have moved away from the Shire - not like when Skogrim was stirring up the goblins in the mountains overlooking the Greenfields and the Blackrobes - the Black Riders, as they are the same villains - were causing mischief within the Bounds themselves.

    I fear those villains will be back if they are not held in check where they stand. For that, we helped set up a council in the North Downs, helped the wardens of Annuminus and the Eglain of the Lone Lands both secure their lands - because as long as they remain free the Shire is insulated from this villainy.

    But Radagast is not holding Ivar the Bloodhand in check. And we can't let his power grow to where he can conquer the Lone Lands. We have to go there and do something about this threat.

    And there's another issue bothering me. I've been asked to let the elfs of Rivendell - and a leader of the Rangers named of Aragorn - know what is going on in these lands.

    I remember you telling me the tales of Mad Bilbo Baggins and the awe and wonder with which he spoke of the elven city. Am I actually to look upon it with my own eyes? Is it as wonderous as it was described to be in the tales?

    If I do go, it will just be to deliver the messages. I shan't be gone long. There and back again, as quick as you please.

    I will likely come home again before heading off to Bree. Expect to be seeing me. Then I will set out for my one last adventure - Garth Agarwen and maybe . . . maybe . . . I'll see Rivendell . . . then back home again to stay.

    Alphred Troute

    Some Eclairians . . . . three, actually . . . have expressed an interest in seeing time pass as the club migrates from Tinnudir in Evendim to Ost Guruth in the Lone Lands. Specifically, they have asked for some time in the Shire, and to gather at Bree as we pass through, and to investigate the rumored hauntings below the Forsaken Inn. We will likely fit some of this in before we actually get to Ost Guruth.

    And after we get to Ost Guruth . . . but before we raise the level cap to 32 . . . one has asked that we make a treacherous march to Rivendell. Well, that one was me, actually.

    But, first, Erikin wants to make another attempt to explore Annuminus - while we are still at 30th level.

    So, what we may see in the weeks ahead:

    (1) An attempt to deliver supplies to Annuminus (Sat, Aug 23, 9:00 AM)
    (2) Some roleplaying in the Shire (Sat, Aug 23 to Fri, Aug 29)
    (3) Eclairians wandering around Bree - perhaps with an expedition into the great Barrow (Sat, Aug 30 to Mon, Sep 1)
    (4) An investigation into the hauntings below the Forsaken Inn (also the weekend of Aug 30 to Sep 1 by subgroups of Éclair, since it is a 3-person instance)
    (5) Some initial adventures in Garth Agarewn at Level 30 (Sep 2 to Sep 12) (Alphred will be attending a Bounder buttoning ceremony on Sept 6 in the Shire.)
    (6) A trek to Rivendell and back again (weekend of Sep 13-14)
    (7) Raise the level cap to 32 and finish out Garth Agarwen as well as the western Trollshaws. (Sep 15).

    We don't tell players what they can or can't do. Our only requirements are to respect the level cap and roleplay during group events. It simply identifies some landmarks that players can plan around.

    Anybody with a character that fits the level cap and wanting to roleplay - or who don't fit the level cap but would like to do some non-adventure roleplay with the Eclairians - are encouraged to participate.
    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. #237
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Dear Sister!

    First of all, it feels so strange to be penning such words as "dear sister", having spent my life, up to recently, not knowing I had a sister. Our parents are so far away in Mirkwood and so watched by the Silvan elves, I fear sending them such a letter would cause more harm than good. Since my exile, I have really not had the opportunity to send a "dear anyone" letter. So for me to even write these two words fills my heart with such great joy!

    As I have advised you to find a means to help local Free Peoples, so has the opportunity to help a local unit of (mostly) hobbits not been lost by myself. This small group, many from the elite Addernotch subgroup of Shire Bounders, graciously accepted my help with fierce foes in the former mannish stronghold of Fornost. (Without a hobbit king, though, I don't understand why they train a palace guard of their own.) They may have regretted their decision for a tagalong, when friend Lynx and I began to scatter foes they had rightfully thought were off at a distance and no threat to their ongoing skirmishes.

    This lesson I share with you, do not think for a minute that fighting enemies by yourself is conducted the same way as coordinating combat with a well trained militia! A few days after Fornost, Second-watcher Heathstraw of Bree took me through the basic training for small unit tactics. It took a few salmon fished out of the marble pond in Palace D-Eclair before friend Lynx would even speak to me again. You can never tell a feline how to hunt without them taking offense, so I shall just forgo calling her into coordinated battle until the situation requires it again.

    Assuming they will have me back, I will certainly continue training with and aiding these hobbits in the defense of their homeland. Had other people helped us long ago with defending the Great Greenwod, perhaps it might not have turned into the Mirkwood that it is today. There are those of us who believe the evil can still be reversed even after an Age, but we are in the minority, and not yet strong enough to take on the task. That hasn't stopped Prince Legolas from asking for our assistance with the orcs from Dol Guldur, even though he perhaps defies the wishes of his father, King Thranduil. (I know that only the first years of your life spent in Mirkwood before the kidnapping were not enough to inform you on its current state of affairs.)

    If we are to fight together, back to back, you must also find a group to train with. Of course you can stay at our homestead among the Dwarves as long as you need to, but a warrior's place is in the field. Do not be so proud as to not seek out Heathstraw of Bree for further training. He may put you in touch with other Free Peoples who actively engage this northern threat.

    I will write you again when I found out more about Angmar's operations in Eriador. If there is some link from there back to Dol Guldur, you will be the first to know. Our parents would want that.

    Galdhron the Outcast
    Landroval EN-RP -- Club Eclaire: Galdhron-Elf LM, Twostep-Human Burg, Medloth Bearlady-Beorning || Laurelin EN-RP -- For RP; Join Club Slotro; bit.ly/slowtro

  13. #238
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    ((Postcard to mom))

    Scribbled on backside:

    Dear Mother,

    we are still at the lake in Evendim, and it is so beautiful here. I am having a great time! We fish and swim in the clear waters, and sometimes we take a boat over to one of the islands where we spend an afternoon at the beach. I even built a small sand castle on one! I also had time to make another painting for you, of the sun rising over the lake. I hope you like it!

    The big building on the left is where we stay. No, it’s true! It is an old palace, maybe where the King of Men once spent his summers, and now I spend mine there. It has soft beds and a swimming pool and lots of good ale. We go hunting sometimes and collect wood and furs and help the nice people to prepare for the winter. Winters also get cold here, for it is close to the icebay of Forochel.

    You may think I am strange, but I really enjoy being outside, to feel the breeze and the warm sun and to hear the birds singing. I know dad would think it’s strange. But for me, I think it’s better than being inside a mountain, sitting in a dark and damp cave. The world outside is so big and full of wonders!

    My friends are talking about moving further east, to go to Rivendell, a valley where Elves live. I will go with them and we may leave here this weekend. I don’t know how long it will take until we get there. But I just wanted to let you know that I am fine, and I miss you and dad and that I think about you often.

    I will write to you again as soon as I can. And don’t you worry about me.

    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 07 2017 at 06:06 AM.

  14. #239
    NOTE: The price of the XP Disabler - the official pocket item of Club Eclair, has been reduced to 100 Turbine Points - a drop of 80 percent.

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


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

    We consider that we have done our best to defeat the wraiths of Fornost and help the rangers of Tiny Deer so as they can focus on holding the villains of Annuminus in check.

    It is time to return to the Lone Lands and deal with Ivar Bloodhand and the lady known as The Red Maid.

    It’s another long walk ahead for these poor, tired feet. At least I have ponies to carry most of my stuff. I am collecting a goodly number of ponies for my pony farm. I think I mentioned my pony farm, didn't I? That's what I am going to do when I get back to the Shire. I am going to buy some land and grow ponies. I am collecting ponies from all of the lands that I visit - and I even rescued one from among the trolls in the Lone Lands. A frightfully mistreated thing that was naught but bones when I found him. He's still too skinny for his own good.

    I’m actually writing this from Brockenborings, where I have ended the first leg of my journey.

    It was an accident that I got here, in a way. I had done most of my packing up at Tiny Deer and decided to make another patrol hunting illuminaries on the shore of the Brandywine before making my final departure. The illuminaries are glowy creatures that hover over the beach. I don’t know what they are, exactly, but they can be quite bothersome. Trying to defend oneself from salamanders or bog lurkers with one of these things glaring in one’s eyes can be truly dangerous. So, the Rangers and the folks of Dwaling have asked us to reduce their numbers.

    It’s best to hunt illuminaries at night. They shine like a beacon. It would be wonderful to harvest these things and stuff them into the street lights in Michel Delving. Their bright white glow can light up the whole city – but I fear they’ll die and I have no idea what to feed them.

    Anyways, I patrolled along the beach and, when dawn came, I found I was closer to Dwaling than to Tiny Deer. Rather than walk ALL THE WAY back to Tiny Deer for my stuff and then ALL THE WAY back to Brockenborings, I decided to just head on off to Brockenborings and send a note to the Rangers at Tiny Deer to send my stuff down to me. And my mules.

    I felt bad. I had suggested to Erikin that I would travel with him, and here I was already in Brockenborings ahead of him. I hope he’s not mad at me. It sure would be nice to have company.

    We mentioned the possibility of meeting up at Bree along the way. Some of the folks who travel with us have never battled Sambrog in the Great Barrow – they joined up with us after those adventures. And it would be a service to see that Sambrog is not rebuilding his army and making his way back up to the surface.

    Gad, I wish we could slay these creatures and be done with them. I did here that there was a ritual – what the Rangers called a “Tier 2 Challenge” – that would defeat the villains fully and permanently iffen we can ever pull it off. One has to confront them in their main lair where they are protected by their most powerful and vicious defenders. And one has to complete some sort of ritual. Then, and only then will the villain be truly and permanently gone.

    Or so I was told.

    We tried this against the water wraith in Fornost before we left. We went to its main lair and discovered that his defenders truly were the most vicious of orcs that we had ever fought. We decided to retreat. We actually did give up, I am sorry to say. But it will take a serious commitment to get to these villains in their lairs and complete the rituals. We will have to be at our uttermost best.

    Well, in the mean time we can continue to convince these villains that their power is limited to that small realm and remind them what we intend to do any time they should extend their power beyond those realms.

    Maybe we can defeat the villains of Garth Agarwen utterly. Maybe we can complete the Challenge rituals there that will break the magic that keeps them tied to this world. It is worth looking into.

    Well, iffen you write to me – or iffen you decide to send me some more of them delicious apple pies that you make so well, it may be best to send the package care of the Prancing Pony in Bree. They have real beds there with linen sheets and woolen blankets and feather pillows and so I am not going to find it easy to take the last part of the trip from there to Ost Guruth. It'd sure be easier on me iffen I had one of your superior apple pies stowed away.

    I will keep you informed as per always.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow

    Eclair is mostly going to be in Bree this week, makin g Level 30 trips into the Great Barrow, as well as enjoying the city life. A few can be expected to wander down to the Forsaken Inn to investigate hauntings in their basement.

    Iffen you have a character at level 30 or below (level 31 actually - we give a little bit of leeway for them who accidentally end up being one level too high) and want to participate in an adventure, you are welcome.

    Iffen you are any level and see us wanding the streets of Bree or on the road, you can say hullo as well.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Aug 28 2014 at 04:18 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).

  15. #240
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Diary Entry 25 ((Another attempt at Annuminas and back to Bree))

    We had another excursion into Annuminas and this time, we made it to the Ranger Camp and brought them the much needed supplies. At the planning table in the Keep a large group had assembled, consisting of Hedgerow, Hroik, Calthand, Nipn, Sagla, Tubli, Galdhron, Podie and Haldrand. We agreed that another attempt at the eastern gate would be futile, as it was too well defended, so the idea was to see if we could sneak into the city from the western gate. Hedge had gotten a map from the Rangers and we learned that their camp was also much closer to that entrance. The problem was that the gate was far away, on the other side of the city, and, as Hedge can’t swim, meant that we had to walk around the whole lake.

    So we saddled our horses and rode the first part, up until we came to a waterfall at the northern edge, where the water fell into the lake far below. On the way we had a few encounters with the white wargs I heard about. I think they must have come down from Forochel, where their white fur helps them to blend in with the snow, rendering them nearly invisible when they hunt. We were able to find a path across the stream just above the waterfall and continued down to the lake’s shore. There was not much resistance, just some wildlife that we passed by and ignored as long as they also ignored us. Galdhron commanded his pet lynx if we got into any fights, and it certainly seemed to be a powerful feline. I was thinking that maybe I can train my shrew too to fight for me, but he is very small and weak and would get killed easily. Besides, he wanders off a lot and then, when I thought he was gone for good, he just pops up out of nowhere. We also saw some humans dressed in wolf-skins, which looked fierce and Hedge took notes about them.

    A bit further on we came to a clearing where Elves had made camp. There also was a strange tree, on whose head a beam was shining and which moved in a weird way although there was no wind. Elves were preoccupied with something and wouldn’t much talk to us, so we went on. Had a nice picnic across from Salamander Island with a full Hobbit Lunch. Then we came to a steep cliff where we couldn’t cross and had to swim a short distance. Hedge put all his stuff in a bag, handed it to me and used his shield as a bodyboard. So we also managed to get by this obstacle.

    Hedge preparing for his swim

    Our path later led us along a pebble beach with beautiful views of the old city. There was no sign of any Angmarim guards or watchers and we managed to get to the western gate without any trouble. There we found a weeping Ranger. He wasn’t able to talk, an ill portant, as Haldrand said. Was the Ranger Camp overrun and he the sole survivor?

    We carefully stepped into the city and had a few tough fights, but the Angmarim on this side were rather few. We stopped and Hedge looked at his map. We were very close in fact and finally made it. The Rangers were hard-pressed and barely holding out. A lot of wounded soldiers there and we witnessed several battles where the Rangers threw back attacks from the forces of Angmar. We delivered our supplies to their Captain, but they were not asking for our help. I believe they knew that we would not be of much help here, more a burden actually and they might have to send troops to rescue us.

    So we didn’t stay, but we were not sure how to get back. We went for the lake, the harbor was not too far, but we encountered resistance and had to retreat. Then we went down a road eastwards. I saw Hedge walking ahead a bit too far perhaps. He got spotted and chased by some Angmarim and fell (or jumped?) down a bridge. His pursuers ran off in the opposite direction, maybe looking for a way to get to him. Then they came back and the Rangers had to help us win that fight.

    In the end we did get out by the harbor. The boat there had no oars, so we jumped into the water and swam back to Tinnudir. As it happened, the second Annuminas adventure ended as my first, but this time I was not alone. At the fire we were reunited with Hedge, who had hidden himself and was somehow able to sneak out, bruised but no major harm done, thank Durin.

    Our time in Tinnudir had come to an end. The next morning I packed my stuff and left. Hedge was already gone, but I guess I will see him again in Bree soon. We had a good time here, but there was nothing else to do. At least for now, I hope to be back one day. When I passed by the King’s Crossing, I climbed to the top of the statue again and waved good-bye, before I went down the Baranduin and finally stopped over at Brockenboring.

    I wanted to see if that cute Hobbit lass was still there. Yes, she was still sitting alone at her table in the Plough and Stars, but I was too shy to talk to her. And now I am angry with myself… But what could I have said? “Hoho, I am a Hero of Esteldin!” didn’t really sound right. “Hi there, you want to taste some pie?” Better, as I heard the way to a hobbit’s heart goes through her stomach. But what if she said yes? The pies I had in my backpack were several days old and gotten a bit mushy. And I still had some of Brabbo’s fishes in there too, several weeks old now. I mean, they are just perfect now but I do understand that some folk may just be put off by their smell and I wouldn’t want to open the pack indoors anyway.

    The next morning I went down to Budgeford, where the Hobbits grow a lot of pigs, helped out a bit here and there (there was a kid dressed up as a Black Rider for the fun of it) and then continued across the Brandywine Bridge to Buckland, where I spent the night. Next day it was through the creepy Old Forest, where I found some odd flowers. Goldberry, the River Maiden and girlfriend of Tom Bombadil, told me those were actually Entwives, that somehow melted into the weave of the forest. Ents are sapient trees, as far as I know. Very odd! And then I went to Bree where I intend to stay a few days, enjoy the buzz of the town, the music, markets and shops. Might do some trainings, the people here set up one that is about defending a large wall from a siege.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 07 2017 at 06:35 AM.

  16. #241

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - Back in Ost Guruth

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


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

    I am writing to you from Ost Guruth, where I am once again sleeping in a bag in a room with a solid stone floor.

    At least it has a roof.

    I have given up nice beds with linen sheets and wool blankets and fluffy feather pillows for a while, it seems.

    Quite a few folks are here already. Gharnet, Galdhron, Aearthor, and Brabbo have all been around. Brabbo went on a patrol by himself into Garth Agarwen and managed to get through the patrols to where the Eglain have set up a camp at the very gates of Garth Agarwen.

    Gharnet, Galdhron, and Aearthor went on a patrol through Agamaur. That’s a corrupted swamp between here and Garth Agarwen – a corruption that is much worse than what is found in the Old Forest and Barrow Downs – and comes near up to the walls of Ost Guruth itself. At least the parts here that are closest are also of the weakest corruption. The closer one gets to Garth Agarwen, the worst it gets.

    Which is why Brabbo’s attempt to reach the Eglain’s camp at the foot of Garth Agarwen was so foolish! It’s dangerous out there!

    On the way here, we did step into the Barrow Downs as we passed through Bree to visit Sambrog so as he will stay in his hole and not rise to the surface to threaten decent folks. His lair is just too near the Shire.

    Liatri and Andrig were both back from long absences. Andrig had stayed back in Othrikar to help the dwarfs there open their new mines. Liatri returned to the Shire where she does some teaching or some such. I never asked her about the details but I heard talk that she teaches hunting and gathering and other crafts to young Shirelings.

    Calthand and Galdhron went with us. Neither had been into the Great Barrow before, so we gave them a tour of all of the interesting places. I showed them the Tomb of the Unknown Hobbit.

    There was me, of course. I was there. And Erikin went with us as well.

    Liatri got called away part way through the expedition, but Brabbo stepped in to take her place.

    I wish there was a way to slay these creatures utterly. The dead should not bother the living – it is simply rude. When I die I promise to be truly dead and not to go bothering folk.

    Anyways, Sambrog was rebuilding his army as we suspected.

    We battled our way to Sambrog without great misfortune. Usually, the first battle goes poorly as we have not gotten ourselves organized proper yet. However, in this case, we made it through easily enough. We first passed through the realm of one of his Lieutenants – Thadur – which went easily enough.

    When we got to Sambrog himself, Calthad lead the fight and, though it took a bit of time, he was driven into defeat and sunk into the ground. I trust he has been properly subdued for a while, at least.

    For us, we continued on to Ost Guruth. I left early the next morning. Erikin caught up with me just a short distance away from the Forsaken Inn, where we got a room for the night.

    One nice thing about Erikin’s snoring is that it drowned out the wailing that came from somewhere in the basement.

    The next day, I actually got up and left late in the day. For a while I was worried whether I would reach Ost Guruth before dark, but I did. Just barely.

    Well, after getting to Ost Guruth, I made it a point to visit with the Eglain and find out what the true situation is. I even went down south through the Harloeg swamp to talk to Aric the Stonespeaker. The title of ‘stonespeaker’ makes me laugh. He’s a historian who reads the carvings on ancient walls, but he talks as if the walls actually talk to him. I think he’s been alone in the swamp with nothing but ghosts to talk to for too long.

    What I wrote in earlier reports seems accurate. Ivar Bloodhand and the Red Maid are growing in power in Garth Agarwen and Radagast is distracted and not able or willing to stand against them. So we will organize expeditions to do battle against them.

    However, we may postpone the assaults on the strongholds themselves for a bit – maybe make some patrols through their area but not battle the leaders just yet. We’ve been charged to deliver some messages to Rivendell – and we’ve put it off. There’s talk going on among the Eclairians, since we are here, to just make a trip to Rivendell and get the messages delivered without further delay.

    As more folk show up at Ost Guruth, I think we will discuss it further. We will do some battling against Ivar’s forces to make sure the Eglain can hold until we get back from Rivendell – but we have been holding on to these messages for too long.

    I will let you know what we decide.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow

    Sept. 2-12 Adventures about Ost Guruth – mostly around Garth Agarwen.

    Sept. 13-15 Walk to Rivendell to deliver messages

    Sept. 15, Level cap goes up to 32.

    This is not a rigid schedule. These are guidelines for better coordinating group events. There's no law against arriving at Rivendell before the 13th or after the 15th.

    We will then stay in Rivendell for a week or two for roleplaying and starting The Blade that Was Broken quest chain – maybe pick up the first quests of Book IV. On our return trip we will stop at Thorenhad for a couple of weeks and work on other adventures in the western Trollshaws. Eventually, we will return to Ost Guruth for the Garth Agarwen instances. After finishing those instances we will be back through Bree, then through the Shire again, and on north to Tinnudir in Evendim.

    After a couple of weeks back in Evendim at Level 32, raise the level cap to 35 for the rest of Evendim and the region of Annuminus.

    A reminder, we are usually doing quests at 5 levels above the character level. So, at level 35 in Evendim, we will be working on Level 40 quests.

    At some point, we will be Level 35 having done all of the quests in deeds in Annuminus other than the three Annuminus instances. There is an open discussion as to what to do next.

    Option 1, raise the level cap to 40 so that we can do the instances before returning to Rivendell.

    Option 2, return to Rivendell at Level 35 and fit the Annuminus instances in between Book V (western Misty Mountains) and Book VI (western Angmar) of the epic quests.
    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. #242

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - The Making of a Bounder

    If any Eclairian or anybody who wants to be an Eclairian does not have the Trollshaws quest pack, Turbine is offering it on sale this weekend - Sept 12-14 - for 75% off.


    I am sorry that I had to leave suddenly. I really needed to get to Fornost and report to the free people camped there on what I had seen. I was truly surprised to see the materials that I had collected and promised to give to them in my bags when I started to unpack. I was seriously looking to some free time at home.

    I did enjoy my time back in the Shire.

    I truly wish that you would have travelled to Addernotch with me to have seen me get my Bounder button. The Bounder Test of Bravery is . . . well, I promised not to say anything but it was not what I expected. Either way, I was given my button. Successor Shirriff Daffodilia told a very good story about an old Bounder and his battle to protect the people of Oatbarton from a warg - a story that went to the heart of what it means to be willing to the protect the Shire and the people in it.

    I wish Chief Meadowlarke could have been there as well - but the Mayor called him away on special duties, or so I heard. He was the one who hired me when I first showed up at Michel Delving after leaving home what now seems like ages ago. I remember him directing me to Rob Hemming, and his first lesson when he asked me to demonstrate how to use a spear. I threw it at one of his practice dummies, then he stuck a knife in my ribs and asked, "What are you going to do now that you have thrown away your weapon?"

    Well, I have learned a lot since then. It is almost as if I am thinking back onto the life of a whole different person - one who had never even seen the lands outside of Little Delving.

    The trip to Fornost City was uneventful. I made good time. I had travelled these roads enough that I wasn't worried about what I might encounter - at least until I got into the Fields of Fornost. I dare say that our previous efforts at Adso's Camp and on the Greenway helped to make the trip uneventful. But the corruption near Fornost City is still worrysome. I had to fight my way through a squad of five orcs and two wargs to get into the gate. These are not the toughest orcs and wargs in Middle Earth, though.

    The people of Fornost City were happy to get my report and to see the things I had brought them.

    Oh! I have to add . . . speaking of things I brought out of Fornost. You see, the buttons the Bounders give out are - well, they have a history to them. They are passed down from one generation of Bounders to the next. At Fornost City, we found the remains of a company of hobbits who answered the call to defend the city, who fell when the city was betrayed by them four commanders who became the wights he battled. Well, we found some of their buttons and took them home.

    When Daffodilia gave me my button, I recognized it as one of the buttons we got from Fornost. I'm wearing the button of what of the hobbits who defended the Shire by going to Fornost to join the battle against the forces of Angmar. It was such a stupendous honor! I will prize this forever and hope to be able to live up to all that it signifies.

    Anyway, after reporting in to the fields of Fornost City, I next had to go to Esteldin to report in to the Rangers. I reported that we defeated the wights multiple times and gave them good reason to believe they will never rule the free peoples of Middle Earth. However, we were not able to get into any of their lairs. That which the Rangers call the "Tier 2 Challenge" (for whatever reason) was beyond our abilities. The wraiths were just too well guarded. Right now, an uneasy stalemate exists, with the Wraiths still holding on in their strongholds but not able to have much influence far beyond it.

    After resting for a bit at Esteldin, I went south to Ost Guruth, where my companions were gathering to battle Ivar the Bloodhand and his minions.

    Instead of taking the road through Testlebridge to Bree, I headed south. I went through the elven lands of Muilenin (I forgot to ask them what Rivendell was like), then down the east side of a huge lake called Nan Harn. Then I went through the wilds towards Weathertop in the Lone Lands.

    I need to alert the people of Bree that there are villains camped in the wilds - them odd creatures such as commanded Sharkey's villains in the lands south of Bree. Except these did not appear to be simple ruffians.

    I kept my distance. Honestly, I was not certain I could best them. I have learned to judge by how a person carries themselfs how competent they are in fighting, and I have met few if any with the bearing of these folk. But I did watch their campsites for a bit and there were a goodly number of them.

    These are actually the same tribe of villains we encountered when we first went to the Lone Lands - where a single villain drove a half-dozen of us out of their lands. I had no idea at the time that the tribe was so large.

    I am now at Ost Guruth with the others.

    I met quite a few of them there. Roy, Nip, Galdhron, Calthand, Liatri, Brabbo . . . I joined them in some patrols to weaken the army that Ivar is assembling. There was talk among the Eclairians of going to Rivendell to deliver some reports we had been trusted to deliver. These aren't the types of reports where we could simply send a pigeon - but we are to make ourselves available so that the Ranger leader in Rivendell can ask questions.

    I fully plan on being back in the Shire next week, so I am not heading out to Rivendell with the rest of them. You will be seeing me again, I promise.

    Besides, I agreed to be in Hoppa Joel's fashion show. Hoppa is the one who gave me the uniform that I am wearing. It belonged to his Gaffer. And though I have added some more tatters and tears, it is holding up quite well. At the show - which he will be giving at the Bounder Museum of Antiquities in Addernotch - he asked me to model the uniform I am wearing. He was kind enough to give it to me. I wouldn't be properly grateful if I did not agree.

    So, you will be seeing me in the Shire again before too long. While the rest make their trip to Rivendell and come back, I will be making my trip back to the Shire. Then, I will meet them back in Ost Guruth for battling Ivar Bloodhand. So, my stay will not be so long as you or I might like.

    Whenever I feel the longing to stay I finger this button I now have sewed on my uniform - the button of a hobbit who left the Shire to battle against the villainy that threatens the Shire and never had a chance to go back. He made a great sacrifice but, as a result, the villains were stopped short of the Shire. I've got duties Ineed to perform.

    I will see you when I can.

    Alphred Troute

    Club Éclair level cap = 32 on Monday, Sept. 15.

    Club Éclair march to Rivendell musters at Ost Guruth at 9:00 AM Saturday, Sept 13th. (So, we will be making the trip there, at least, as Level 30 characters and be working on going up to Level 32 after we get there.)

    If it were to interest you to join us for some of these events, consider yourself welcome. We would ask (require) that anybody who exceeds the Éclair level cap by more than one (1) refrain from any battling or the use of other level-dependent skills. But there's no reason not to enjoy some roleplaying along the way. Or feel free to say hello and enjoy some conversation if you should encounter us on our appointed rounds.

    These days, we will be working in Ost Guruth.

    Oh, and - in particular - please consider coming to Hoppa's Joel's Fashion Show, Fryday, September 19, at 9:00 PM, at the Bounder Museum of Antiquities - on the southwest corner of Addernotch homestead, in the Shire. Addernotch is the very first Shire homestead, so it is the easiest to find. You don't even have to remember the name.
    Last edited by Tiempko; Sep 11 2014 at 11:36 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).

  18. #243
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry 26 ((Preparing for Rivendell))

    Dear Diary,

    I am back in Ost Guruth, tomorrow we will pack our bags and walk to Rivendell.

    I spent a good time in Bree, listening to some concerts and doing a siege training. The people had built up a defensive structure with a small dike and some ramps leading up to it. It got attacked by orcs and me and my fellow soldiers had to defend it against what seemed a neverending wave of attacks. The first time I failed, one of the important officers got killed, and everything was quite confusing. Second time I just manned a catapult and pelted the army below. Didn’t go really well either, but somehow I passed the test and can now practice in bigger groups I think.

    Then, after a few days, I rode over to the Forsaken Inn. Met Hedgerow and Wilbus there and we went down into the basement and the big cave again. The boat was still there, but so were the traps. I heard from Hedge that Alphred had his “Buttoning ceremony” in the Shire, where he was awarded with a special badge for bravery. So well deserved! I wish I could have attended too, would have been really nice to be there when my friend receives such a big honor. Next time when he or Hedge or some other Hobbit I know gets one, I have promised myself that I will go with them.

    I continued on to Ost Guruth the day after. I was much concerned as the last time we were here, we left while there were some major unresolved problems. It was still unchanged, and I was very relieved. So, Radagast, the Eglain and Dannasen and the other spirits were still holding the ghoul Ivar in check and he couldn’t make his promise to turn the sky into blood come true. Not yet, that is. He is still lurking in the Fortress of Garth Agarwen, gathering strength and getting ready to come forth and bring destruction over the land. Together with the fallen river-maiden, now the Red-maid, who must be a very powerful foe, as she can command nature itself.

    In Ost Guruth I met a guy named Slade Ransford and together with him I went to Ost Cyrn to defeat the orc commander Mosal-ruk. He turned out to be pretty weak, but Mr. Ransford was still highly impressed and said he will relate our tale to some minstrels he knows, so they can craft “The Song of Slade and Erikin at Ost Cyrn”, haha! I can’t wait to hear that on a stage in Bree one day!

    Down at the small Eglain outpost and further on in a swamp called Agamaur, it is evident that things here are far from right. Everything is still turned into a reddish color, the water, the sand, the stones of the ruins, even the light and the sky shine red. I think it is the Red-maid who does it, she shows the color of all the blood that was spilled here during the war, for everyone to see what horrible things happened and what it was that made her so crazy. I was sent out to defeat some of Ivar’s minions and also retrieved an urn. Although Radagast thinks the River-lady is beyond salvation, there might be some hope. This urn once belonged to her and Dannasen told me to fill it with water from her altar to bring back innocence and beauty to her sanctuary.

    A Walking Tree in the red swamp of Agamaur

    But this has to wait until later. Tomorrow we will leave for Rivendell. I am very excited, I heard it is beautiful and full of Elves. I have no idea how far it is and how long it will take us to get there. We were also advised to go through the Trollshaws during the day, as by night, when it gets dark, the big trolls come out and wander the roads. I hope to find Aragorn there. The last time I saw him was so long ago in the Prancing Pony in Bree, before he was gone when I was about to tell him of a task I had completed for him. The Rangers think he is there, and I am certain they know what they are talking about. Halbarad from Esteldin wanted us to tell him about what is going on in the North Downs (the invasion from Angmar) and ask for his advice.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 10:02 AM.

  19. #244
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Pittsburgh, PA

    On the care and feeding of felines

    Dear Sister,

    In my earlier letter I was telling you about my friend lynx, but without a proper introduction, I'm afraid. Her name is Mousebane, and until now she was the only lynx to answer my summons in lynx-speech. Recently, my call has been answered by her mate, GoreFiend, who is a slightly different breed (spotted lynx). Let me tell you there could be no two different personalities among the felines than these two. Mousebane will do what she doesn't like if there is a promise of fish (especially trout from Palace D'Eclair's marble pond), and GoreFiend will just scratch your legs to ribbons if he doesn't get his way. She is a little negotiator, and very tactical in battle, always seeking to go stealth first before pouncing. He is a demon of claws and teeth and hiss, who will not give up until one side or the other is defeated. She fights like a burglar, in fact, he fights more like you, a champion. Sometimes I think he even uses his back claws to get extra strikes in.

    Together they have a kit who I named MousebaneJr, who will answer my call when he's not feeling too shy. When Jr first appeared, the hobbit Hedgerow had commented that he didn't even know Mousebane was "married". I didn't have the heart to explain to him about the birds and the bees and the lynxes. Not sure how hobbits even have that conversation with their young ones.

    It may seem like I'm paying more attention to my animals than to the people in our party. Well for now, that may be a necessity. This group already fights well together when they don't have a green lore-master mucking things up for them. When the pets are under control, I can focus on peoples' needs, and the battle goes smoothly. Just to guide GoreFiend I must use the beastmaster specialization, but with Mousebane I can either use the mystical or the elemental specializations. Since we elves don't sleep much, I'm also training them alone at night in the wildernesses of North Downs and Evendim to get where we don't even have to animal talk, we'll just have intuition to what needs to be done next. There is also ongoing training with Stumpy the quiet bog guardian, Bull the noisy bear, Crabcake the raven, and a gorgeous and sweet natured eagle named Sienna. Please save this letter in case I mention these friends in the future. (Oh yes, and there is Chum the bunnie, who is just fun to have around.)

    Our group has been clearing the swamps of Agamaur and Garth Agarwen of foes (Lone-Lands), and just made an expedition to your hometown of Rivendell. I showed Hedgerow some elven hospitality by introducing him to Elrond, as well as his kinfolk Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins. I understand the Baggins are notorious back in The Shire, heroes by some and ne'er-do-wells by others. Please let me know if there is any spare housing available that we didn't know about in Rivendell, as a skirmish camp is not the proper lodging for my guests. It shouldn't take an Aragorn or a Gandalf to give some folk special treatment and not others.

    I understand you are making excellent progress in your champion fighting skills. They say you swing two blades like a hummingbird beats it's wings! But you know that without a group to fight with, it will impress the weaponmasters but not make a scratch in the evil that has taken root in this land. It is good that you have slowed your training to focus on the fine arts of fighting, but real training takes place in the field of battle.

    Enough of the scolding, though. Please let me know how things fare with you!

    Your brother,
    Galdhron the Outcast
    Landroval EN-RP -- Club Eclaire: Galdhron-Elf LM, Twostep-Human Burg, Medloth Bearlady-Beorning || Laurelin EN-RP -- For RP; Join Club Slotro; bit.ly/slowtro

  20. #245

    ((Club Eclair)) Hedgerow Shrewburrow - In Rivendell

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


    I am pleased to report on our progress against the villainy that threatens the Shire.

    I am writing this report from the Elf town of Rivendell. The most grandest city in all of Middle Earth on many accounts, and I was given a bag to sleep in with a gnarly root right under the small of my back.

    Erikin is here with me, as well as the dwarfs Andrig and Tobli. I had not seen him much and was pleased to see him come with us to the elfs. And the elf Galdhron was with us. Aearthor marched with us and Sagla caught up with us on the road. For hobbits, Bounder Liatri - she came along. And Brabbo, of course.

    We used to be all hobbits, but recently we have become quite a mixed group. I actually did not notice it happening until recently.

    As for that gnarly root I mentioned. Well, I borrowed a hatchet from one of these other campers and did away with that villain the very next day. And I used the same axe to turn and break up the ground as well to make it soft - adding some leafs and mixing it in with the churned up soil. With a bit of a hollow dug for my hips, it is a lot more comfortable.

    The reason they have me sleeping in a tent is because the city is filled with visiting dignitaries - elfs and dwarfs and men from all the lands!

    Well, I don't know all the lands so I don't know that for a fact. But there's a lot of people here and they seem to be important folk in whatever lands they came from.

    We have an elf in our company, Galdhron, who called one of the dignitaries we saw in one of the proper guest houses "Prince". He asked about his exile, Galdhron did, and learned that no pardon had yet been offered. I pretended not to be listening.

    And Mad Bilbo Baggins is here, so you can tell the Bounders to quit looking for him. And Frodo, and Samwise Gamgee, and Meriweather Brandybuck, and Peregrine Took.

    And they all have guest rooms with proper beds.

    I am afraid I called him "Mad Bilbo Baggins" to his face. Well, it's about the only name I ever heard use, and I never expected to see him in person - he must be 130 years old by now! I full tripped over my tongue when I saw him and begged pardon to leave before choking on my own words. I never felt more embarrassed and am of some hope we may never cross paths again while I am in Rivendell.

    And don't tell anyone that I mentioned that Frodo is here. Gandalf made absolutely certain that I wasn't to tell anybody. He goes by the name Underhill. Frodo does, not Gandalf. Gandalf is just Gandalf. Of course, he - Gandalf - could not have meant for me to keep the news from you. I am a Bounder of Addernotch Station and to leave things out of my reports would render them useless. But you might want to know that the word should go no further. Iffen Gandalf finds out he may . . . well, I dare not dwell on what a wizard may do if he finds out.

    Well, Aragorn - who I met at a Guest House and, no doubt, has a proper bed - asked us to stay for a couple of days. He says that he has reached "a momentous decision" and will summon us to help him once he has made certain arrangements.

    Well, we met him in the Guest House but he mayhaps was just there visiting guests. He must have his own place about this city somewhere, perhaps even in the main house - what they call the Last Homely House, since he has lived here since he was a child, or so I heard.

    I mentioned to Aragorn that I fully intended to return to the Shire - as soon as we had driven the villainy out of Garth Agarwen. But he asked that we stay just long enough to hear what he has to say when he is ready. He doesn't give us any hints, other than to call it "a momentous decision". He has listened with interest as we told him about our battles against Sambrog in the Great Barrow, and the Orc armies of Nan Wathren and Dol Dinen, and the wights of Fornost City and he says that this makes us just the people he needs.

    Well, I suppose . . . as a Bounder I promised to be helpful. Just one little task after we defeat Ivar the Bloodhand. We did tell Aragorn that Ivar was a true menace and we had put off our promise to protect the Eglain of the Lone Lands from this menace for far too long. We will be battling him before we take on any new chores.

    But that will be it. I have near a dozen ponies now for my new pony ranch and enough coin that I have gotten on our adventures to pay for a decent staff to tend to them while I retire comfortably to my sitting room with a good book and some pipeweed with some ale cooled in a clear mountain spring, or on ice I will have had shipped down from Forochel.

    Ah, some day.

    I will be enjoying Rivendell until Aragorn summons us to tell us about his 'momentous decision'. And though the sleeping arrangements are not fully to my liking, the city is fresh and warm, with grand shops serving foods from all over these lands - and people from every possible land one can imagine.

    I wonder as to the occasion. I must ask around and see what I can learn.

    Bounder Hedgerow Shrewburrow

    Saturday, 9:00 AM, we will be roleplaying our way through the opening scenes of The Blade that Was Broken quest chain. Then we will leave Rivendell behind for a while.

    I estimate that we will spend a couple of months adventuring in the Western Trollshaws and Garth Agarwen. In the last few days, one group of Eclairians went into the north Trollshaws to confront the spiders, while another group has started the Garth Agarwen instances with an adventure to take on Grimbark. If you are in the region you may see Eclairians either walking or running, alone or in groups, through this region, earning reputation with the Eglain, Thorin's Hall, and Rivendell while the patrol these wild lands.

    If you have a character at or below Level 32, you are free to join us - even just for a few adventures if that is to your liking. Just join the user channel club-éclair and let us know you are coming.

    (Technically, level 33. Eclairians sometimes forget to put their turtle stones back in their pocket as they climb to the top of Level 32 and slip a short distance over the line. We're not going to banish them from Club Éclair for such a mistake. Though, Eclairians are on their honor to try to avoid these happenings.)

    If you are wanting to join us with a character at or below level 35 (technically, 36), you should look to joining us in Tinnudir near the end of the year as we raise the level cap to finish that region.

    And if that alt character is languishing at or below Level 40 (technically 41) you may want to look at joining us in Rivendell sometime early next year. When we raise the level cap to 40, we will be looking to do all of the Misty Mountains including Goblintown, the Annuminus instances, the first region of Forochel, and the western half of Angmar. If we know of your intent, and there are a few, maybe we'll arrange a meal and introductions in the Hall of Fire.
    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).

  21. #246
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry 27 ((The march to Rivendell))

    When we set out to Rivendell, many of our group had assembled in Ost Guruth. Hedge and Andrig, Brabbo, Aearthor, Liatri, Tubli, Galdhron and a bit later Sagla all walked with us to the famous Elven valley. We left around midnight, Brabbo waved goodbye to Frideric the Elder and I was in a good mood, singing “Hi-hi, hi-ho, to Rivendell we go”. Hedge was nervous that the Elves may not like him, but as far as I know, they don’t like Dwarfs too much, so I also got a bit nervous. I changed into a robe and walked barefoot, to disguise myself as a Hobbit. The others poked fun at me and the small stones and pebbles at first hurt a bit. Walking on soft grass was much better. I don’t understand how those Hobbits can always walk around with no boots on.

    At the Last Bridge, which led into the Trollshaws, we felt like at the end of the world. Many of us had never been that far away from home. There were two Elves, and Hedge introduced himself and asked for the way to Barachen’s Camp, where he had to deliver some mail. They told us to look for a stone marker on the road and also advised us to stay on the road, as the Shaws are full of danger. They also said that Enemy riders had passed across the bridge about two months ago, “pursueing a small company”. Hmm, can they be the same Black Riders that had attacked Bree? That company was apparently brought to safety, but some of the riders are unaccounted for, they have not left the Trollshaws and might still be lurking around somewhere.

    We proceeded along the road. As it was dark we were wary, expecting to be surrounded by trolls any minute. I shouted “TROLL!” just for the fun of it and to ease the tension, but all I got was a scolding look from Brabbo, whom I had startled. All we saw were cave-claws, boars, bears and wolves though. Galdhron’s lynx had a good time hunting, running around on its own mostly. Sometimes we could hear a little brawl, then he came back with a bloody snout.

    We found the marker and then made our way to Barachen’s Camp. Barachen is an elf, but there was a dwarf too, Heithur Ironfist. He seemed a bit lost and not too excited to be here. Turns out he was in a company of dwarfs that were bringing relics of historical value from Thorin’s Hall to Rivendell. He said Gloin stays there at the moment, and he wanted to give the relics to the Elves as a present. Hoho, Gloin, one of Thorin Oakenshield’s fellowship who went to the Lonely Mountain, is in Rivendell! Very good, then I probably don’t have to worry about being not liked and welcomed as a dwarf and can put on my normal clothes again!

    Well, Hreithur’s group got somehow split up and we was worried about his comrades and what might have happened to them. We searched for clues, but the forest was dark. All we found was a mauled boar corpse and a scrap of cloth stuck on one of the tusks. There was not much we could do at the moment, Rivendell was far and we wanted to get on our way. We promised him to come back later and, if the dwarfs were still missing by then, to continue our search.

    We continued on and, after a while, morning broke. The trees around us were of beautiful colors, their leaves blazing red, orange or yellow. Large boulders were strewn along the way, we could see the stones of old ruins and sometimes small paths were leading into the hills and valleys to the north or south. I was happy, as I thought that now, with the sun up, the trolls had surely retreated into their caves. The road went up and down, ever winding, until we finally saw a massive wall ahead of us. “Do we have to climb that?” we asked ourselves. At the foot was a river, but we were able to cross at a shallow ford. The Bruinen Ford, as I later learned.

    It was a hard and tedious climb up and we were out of breath when we finally reached the top, looking into the valley below. We had reached a high pass, the trees had mostly receded and it became difficult to follow the path, as it was mostly overgrown by grass. The wildlife also got fiercer and more aggressive, there were mountain cats appearing out of nothingness, large flies with long stingers and then we were attacked by a most odd creature. It was like a small tree, with branches for arms and twigs that looked like braids – a wood troll, as Galdhron said. It was very strong and I don’t think any of us would have survived against him alone.

    Finally, the path led to a gap between two rock-walls, where two Elves stood. They looked like they were guarding the way and yes, they said this was the entrance to Rivendell! We had found the valley of the Elves! As we gazed with amazement into the valley deep below, we could see trees and streams and small lakes, a waterfall and elegant, lofty buildings with red roofs. It was a stunning sight, serene, majestic and beautiful beyond description.

    Looking down into Rivendell for the first time

    On the way down we were welcomed by an elf. He told us to find Aragorn in the guest-quarters just down the road. But we were tired and spent from the long walk, so we first looked for accomodation. There was no elf to offer any to us, as had been done by the Rangers in Tinnudir and the only thing we found was tents in the training camp. Well, this has to do for the moment, the valley seems to be rather big and maybe we can look around later to see if we can find a better place.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 11:03 AM.

  22. #247
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Dear Mom and Dad,

    I hope this note finds you well, and that your researching and teaching still proceeds as before. It has been several months since you heard from me, and likewise since I left our forest home east of the Anduin under less than favorable circumstances. Since it will be hard to say how many eyes read this letter before it arrives to you, I will be discreet, and trust you may know the means to read between the lines.

    My residence is now with the dwarves of Thorin's Hall, not far from Mithlond. It was better that I settle with other than elves, given my now infamous and undesirable status. As long as I am useful here, the kingdoms do not treat me as a criminal, but let me pass freely to do what good as may be possible. This homestead is underground, similar to your King's palace. The quarters are shared with my re-discovered sister, a hunter dwarf named Twoing (my most trusted companion), a Dale man Brohnson (who is also a Lore-Master), and a human woman Twostep (who I bailed out of the stockade for criminal associations). Also temporarily hosted is grouchy dwarf warrior from the Iron Mountains, Hamloin. Poor Hamloin thinks us as sorcerers and criminals, and no convincing can put that thought out of his head. However, since he has joined a hunting party, we rarely see him. You would like Brohnson. He is looking for a purge to Mirkwood's corruption, and believes that elves watching men watching elves is a waste of good talent, when the enemy to the South needs watching more.

    I told as much to a member (Hedgerow) of my present travelling group, the Club Eclair. This Club is mostly halflings seeking to protect their borders from enemies far afield. They are not waiting for a call to vassals as occurred at Fornost, but rather scouting the enemy's strengths and weaknesses far from their homes. For a halfling to leave hearth and home is already a brave thing, doubly so to confront the enemy face to face. Their courage encourages me in my mission here, as well as the eventual return across the Anduin to deal with our nearby domestic threat.

    Speaking of mission here, the following must be taken to heart and not dismissed as fancy. The former enemy of Eregion is on the rise! Fornost has been inhabited by the shades of men, orc-kind, and other fell beasts. What was left of Arnor is overrun with evil from one border to another. Angmar is now ruled by a False King, Mordirith, which leaves the true leader at-large to cause true mischief! And all this evil chasing has given me a portentious dream which I know you two can properly interpret: "Mr. Gladden has given up his smallest, but most prized trinket as a re-gift, wrapped in Grey foil with Brown ribbon, but conspicuously missing a White bedding in the box. To deliver this parcel arrived a one-eyed coachman driving nine black horses, but the gift had already been sent via Quick Post. A dull pair of steel scissors are being mended in order to cut the packaging, but misses only the linchpin to hold the edges together. Until this gift finds it's way to the givee, no celebration shall proceed."

    I know this sounds more like a riddle than a dream, but I trust true meaning will reveal itself to the virtuous.

    One more thing. A Prince has requested my assistance east of the Anduin, but it is not yet safe for me to make that journey. In a few months Twoing will be directed in my stead through the Hollis Pass to first pay you a visit, then deal with the request. He will bring me back word and transport when all is safe. If the wheels in motion roll in our direction, you will see me again soon.

    Your devoted son,
    Landroval EN-RP -- Club Eclaire: Galdhron-Elf LM, Twostep-Human Burg, Medloth Bearlady-Beorning || Laurelin EN-RP -- For RP; Join Club Slotro; bit.ly/slowtro

  23. #248
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Pittsburgh, PA
    [Letter left in the homestead, not sent through post]

    Dear Sister,

    I have just dispatched a letter to our parents, letting them know where we are and that we are safe. There was more about our mission in that letter, but knowing the Enemy might intercept it, I made sure it was encoded. At home we used to play "The Dream Game", where one person would take a bit of history or lore, and tell the tale in the form of a dream. Others would have to guess which story it was based on the clues given in the dream. You and I will have to practice it sometime when we get a chance together for awhile.

    Most of my time will be spent back and forth between the North Downs, Evendim, and the Trollshaws. (As a reminder, if you can recall a spare cottage or library for the Eclarians to stay in, that would be most kind. All the guest quarters have been occupied by important guests.) I am retracing the Eclarians steps through these regions until such time the Rangers of Eglain, Esteldin, and Annuminas treat me on equal standing as the rest of the Club. This poor Festival horse is being ridden into a froth taking me from one place to another. Do the Rivendell elves have an "elf horse" that sleeps as little as we do, or shall I invest in multiple mounts?

    That's all for now, take care of yoursef,

    Landroval EN-RP -- Club Eclaire: Galdhron-Elf LM, Twostep-Human Burg, Medloth Bearlady-Beorning || Laurelin EN-RP -- For RP; Join Club Slotro; bit.ly/slowtro

  24. #249

    ((Club Eclair)) Alphred Troute - Returned to the Trollshaws


    I am writing this letter to let you know that I have arrived safely in the lands beyond the Bounds.

    The fashion show in Addernotch went well, I think. I showed off the outfit I had been wearing, which I had gotten from Hoppa Joel's gaffer Tobblin.

    For the show, they also gave me this outfit called the Ayrhawk Avenger. Gad, the outfit weighed a bloody ton! On top of it all, there was a heavy pack, for Ayrhawk apparently believes that it is irresponsible for a Bounder to go to the Bounds without being fully provisioned. The outfit was so heavy, I feared landing on my back and laying there, arms and legs flailing, unable to right myself - like the turtles I would play with on the banks of the stream back home.

    When I was done at the show, I came right back here, out of a fear that my friends might fall to some unpleasant fate and I would not be here to stand by them. That is how we keep ourselves safe - we are all willing and eager to see each other through this.

    Specifically, I an staying at a place called Thorenhad in the Trollshaws - a place governed by elfs. Specifically, Elrond's two sons are here. You should remember Eldrond from them tales of Mad Bilbo Baggins that you would tell me as a child. Remember when Mad Bilbo and the Dwarfs got to Rivendell? Well, Enrond is real, and his two sons are standing by the fire not ten paces away from me.

    Somebody mentioned something about the stone remnants of Bilbo's three trolls being nearby. I have to see that if I get a chance.

    It is a rough land. Filled with trees and rocks, it is difficult even to find a single acre on which one could plant a decent field. The soil is rich, where you can find it. And the land gets enough rain and clean waters from the rivers and streams flowing from the mountains for irrigation and fishing (unlike the Lone Lands). But it would take months to clean out the rocks and debris from a lone acre before one can think of plowing.

    It is, I think, the least hospitable land I have seen.

    I think that this is part of the reason why the land is so wild - because it would be so hard to cultivate.

    There are bears and wolfs, giant boars, diggers, bats, And there are trolls, of course, though they seem to mostly come out only at night - which is understandable as some of these species turn to stone in sunlight, as you know.

    In spite of this being a land of elfs, the sickness that is growing in other lands - in the old forest, in the barrow downs, in Garth Agarwen, in the fields of Fornost - that sickness is here, too. It shows up in the viciousness of the wolfs, and in vermin cave claws and crawlers spreading through the lands. The most certain sign of the sickness taking hold has been spider dens - and the spiders that we have found in the north are the biggest and most vile ever seen.

    I think it is telling that, north of these lands, there is a place called Ettenmoors, which is at the heart of much of much of this vile sickness. And the corruptions we have found are on the north side of this region. No doubt, the contamination that is Ettenmoors is coming into these lands, and not even the power of the elfs can keep it out entirely.

    Father, I do not tell you this to frighten you, but to warn you. Take cares to keep yourself and the girls safe. It truly is important. Do not ignore the signs that are made known to us.

    The Eclairians are making themselves quite busy fighting back this corruption as best as we are able. There have been nearly daily patrols - two or three or four Eclairians at a time wandering along the roads and through the wilderness, fighting back the trolls and the spiders and the vermin. I went out recently with Liatri and Brabbo. I heard Galdhron was in the forest somewhere, though I never saw him. We did see Aearthor running along the road with his servant Adan. We chatted and parted ways only to find each other again. Oddly, it was right when Brabbo vanished and Liatri and I were setting up a pattern to use in searching for him. It was night, and easy for a hobbit to get lost, and he did not answer our hails.

    Indeed, it was right when we were talking to Aearthor about our search that Brabbo came bounding through the forest - found again and none the worse for wear.

    Some of our party went to Rivendell to deliver some posts. They came back to report that they have signed us up for another good deed. We are to go to Tiny Deer, deliver a note, and pick up a relic what is needed to make - or remake - a powerful weapon. They say that Aragorn - the direct descendant of the kings what gave the Shire to Marco and Blanco Fallowhide - will wield this power.

    I dislike kings. All that power in the hands of one person is simply dangerous. It may be used for good, but it may be used for great evil. One thing is certain is that once the power exists, evil people will go to great effort to take it for themselves, while good people will be going about their day to day chores taking care of family and the farm and their neighbors and not care about the power.

    So it seems to be the case with this struggle we are finding ourself involved it. Rings and swords and crowns - these are things of great power and men and orc seem content to shed limitless blood to claim these for themselves. If such things did not exist, there would be no great struggle to take possession of them, and we could go about and live our lives in peace.

    Folks seem to be content that this Aragorn can handle this power responsibly. But, even if true (And how true will it be once Aragorn has this power and none can prevent him from wielding it as he pleases?) that won't prevent evil people from trying to slay him and take it for themselves. Nor does it guarantee that it will fall into good hands at the end of Aragorn's life.

    Nope, I stand by my opinion that it's best that items of such power not exist then that they exist to be the target of violence, betrayal, and oppression. If they are needed for the moment, then they are used, and then they are destroyed. That is not only true of rings and swords, but of crowns and the command of armies as well.

    Yet, we are told - if Aragorn is not given this power, that we will fall to a worse fate.


    Of course, maybe them seeking power simply put up mention of this vile creature Sauron to scare us into doing their bidding.

    Gad, just look at me making proclamations as if I am some wise and powerful wizard. Who am I to have opinions on such things? I am a fisherhobbit of Little Delving and nothing more. I am of half a mind to put these pages on the campfire and forget that they were written. But it is too late in the night for me to start over. I must get some sleep, so I will deliver my seal to these pages and talk to the elfs about seeing them carried west.

    We are slowly making our way west. Then, we will go to Tiny Deer again. It will give me yet another chance to pass through the Shire, for which I will be grateful.

    I will see you then and I will certainly write before.

    Take care of yourself and the girls.

    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).

  25. #250
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Erikin, Diary Entry 28 ((About Aragorn and a broken sword))

    A lot of important things have transpired in the last days and we learned many things where I am not sure it is good to know them. But let me start from the beginning.

    It was raining the next day. I didn’t know it could rain in Rivendell, I thought here the sun was always shining. But, as Galdhron said, the mountains trap the clouds and it in fact rains pretty often. Makes sense. We mustered at the Skirmish camp and talked about the dignitaries we had seen. Gloin was not here, but his son Gimli, Aragorn of course, then a man from Gondor (Lord Boromir, the son of the Steward of Gondor), and an elven prince from Mirkwood, a forest on the other side of the Misty Mountains. Also heard about a couple of hobbits over at Elrond’s house, but I haven’t seen them. What all these important people were doing here, we don’t know, maybe some kind of meeting or get-together, but it seems they have taken up all the good places to sleep.

    So, Aragorn wanted to see us and we decided to let Aearthor do the talking. He is a Captain after all, and a human, so probably the most noticeable in our group. We told Aragorn what happened in the Northern Downs and he said he was going to write a message to Halbarad with some instructions. I thought we were again going to deliver the post, but this time, no! He said he will send out one of the Elves from Rivendell instead.

    Then he was telling us that he wishes to reforge a sword. Not any sword, but a very famous sword, which even has a name, Narsil. It once belonged to Elendil (a former King whose tomb we had seen in Annuminas if I remember correctly), and he wielded it in a big battle at the Gates of Mordor. But… it broke apart when he fought Sauron, their enemy, and Elendil was slain. But his son Isildur picked up the shards and cut off a finger from Sauron, on which he had a ring. And thus, it seems, that war which happened so long ago, was ended… Now the remains of the sword are here in Rivendell. It was never remade, but Aragorn said “The shadow has returned and we have need of Narsil’s light once more”.

    He sent us over to the forges, to see if the master-smith there can reforge the blade. When we stepped out of the guest-quarters, we didn’t really know what to think about all this. The shadow? Sauron? Sauron should be dead… if he ever existed and all the stories about him were true and not tales spun to frighten the young ones. But Aragorn thinks he exists. We were baffled. It seemed like a mighty important task, but then all we had to do was to talk to the smith, have it reforged and maybe bring it back to him. No big deal, or?

    The group discussing what we had heard

    Well, as it turned out, the smith was unable to reforge the sword. He would need a Silithar to do that, a gem that had captured the light of the stars and which caused the blade to glow in battle. However, all of the Silithars were lost and without one, the sword will never regain it’s old powers.

    On the way back to Aragorn we further discussed everything we heard and learned. If Aragorn wants to reforge Narsil, it must be his sword, right? So he must be the heir of the Kings of old, and, being of their lineage, he must be a King himself. The King of Gondor! Can it be, we are working for a King? But why is he here and not in Gondor? And why was he in Bree, dressed and acting like a common Ranger? And if he is the King and Boromir the Steward’s son… He may not like that there is a King, as his father actually rules now. Do they all know that he is, and if not, who does and who does not? Hedge also immediately realized the implications this means to him and the other Hobbits. Aragorn’s forebears gave the Shire to the Hobbits, and in return the hobbits swore an oath to serve the King in times of need. As they did, when they sent out their archers to defend Fornost. And now, his time has come to fulfill that pledge!

    Well, as for now, serving only meant bringing him the bad news. Aragorn indeed confirmed that he is the rightful King. He was brought to Rivendell as a small boy and grew up here with Elrond’s sons. When he turned 20, Elrond told him about his true heritage. He went in search of a Silithar, but did not pass the test to get it. He sent us to Elrond, to tell him that he “now knows what was wanted from him in the watery darkness”. Hmm, he sure was talking in riddles and it didn’t sound very homey.

    So, many of our group put on their best Sunday clothes (especially Andrig looked really nice) and we went to see Elrond. On the way I wondered that, if, as was said, Elrond was there at that battle against Sauron, he must have seen Sauron. And that battle… it took place… what, like 3000 years ago? He must be very, very old then. But when we met him inside the library full of books and banners, inside his house with the large courtyard and the shiny marble floor and all that, he didn’t look so old. Hardly a wrinkle, I’d say. He is also much slimmer than I had expected. What an imposing figure, I can not fathom all he must have done and seen over all these millennia and was so intimidated that I was unable to utter a word. But he was kind and gentle and treated us with great respect and I soon felt calm and at ease in his presence.

    He confirmed everything Aragorn had said. He says the Silithar lies within Annuminas, deep inside a flooded tomb. A maiden named Gwindeth apparently has something to do with it, she denied him access as she didn’t deem him worthy. Aragorn said he cannot go himself, as they are peparing for another, even more important, journey. So we got this mission from him, to return to Tinnudir and tell Calenglad, a friend of him and a fellow Ranger, that the time has come and that they have a true need for the Silithar.

    Seems like a mighty great and noble mission, but… We had been in Annuminas and it was full of Angmarim, they had kicked us out twice before. And now I think I know what they are looking for there – the Silithar of course! Hopefully they haven’t found it yet. And I also wondered about another thing. If Aragorn, the King and one of the noblest men I had ever seen, was considered to be not worthy, how are we, or Calenglad for that matter, going to get a hold on that precious stone?

    Well, only time will tell… We will soon set out. But on the way I believe we may stop again at Ost Guruth and try to have a go at Ivar and the Red-maid. Oh, so much to do and so little time. But my friends and I are a resilient bunch and we are pretty thrilled by this mission and that we can help a true King! Yes, in fact we were asked to do so by himself! And I better make sure that my diary with all these secrets is never found and gets into the wrong hands.
    Last edited by Craiden; Aug 09 2017 at 11:19 AM.


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