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  1. Obstacles - Part 13



    I led us away from the camp, to a place more quiet and hidden.



    Once we had found a place somewhat secluded, I went about gathering kindling for a fire.



    "All right, then," I smiled, as I stood before the fire I had created. "I am going to turn my back and get some things ready. No peeking now!"

    "Oh, very well," laughed Deverell, though I could tell she was eager to see what I was cooking up for her.



    I turned around and fetched my pack, settling down with my back toward the fire.



    From my pack, I took the plates, forks, and knives I had secreted there from Adso's camp while no one was looking. I also brought out the pie that Gennyrose had gifted me from the Chief while back in Bree-town and cut a slice for each us.

    Lastly, I fetched two of the six bottles of Honeybrew that Master Dannigan had gifted me, from the parcel I found in Bree that morning, all while keeping an eye out for Deverell trying to sneak a peek at what I was doing.
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  2. Obstacles - Part 14



    Finally, I stood and brought her a plate and a bottle of Honeybrew. She took it in hand silently, while looking to me as I went back to the other side of the fire and sat down opposite of her.

    "We can set these near the fire to warm them up a little," I said, setting my plate with a slice of pie near to the fire. "It is not much, I know, but I just wanted to show how grateful I am to you by gifting you some of what has been gifted to me."

    Deverell smiled at me from across the fire. "Kaleigh, there is not a greater gift that you could give in this moment that would have more meaning for me. Thank you."

    Soon after the smell of warming pie overcame us, and we gave ourselves over to our supper. Neither of us wanted to take even a moment for anything else.

    Deverell was the first to finally speak. "Kaleigh, this has to be the most delicious pie I have ever had. And the honeybrew goes with it wonderfully."

    I finished my last bite before responding, "The Chief and Dannigan are both masters of their respective crafts, to be sure. There will be more opportunities for us to have meals such as this once we reach the Shire, but they may not quite reach this level."

    She laughed. "A bit lesser I could still handle, I daresay."

    We ate in silence for a while afterward, each of us taking another slice of pie and bottle of Honeybrew.

    "Your mother was a wonderful cook, as I recall," Deverell said, as she was finishing her most recent slice of pie.

    I nodded, finishing my current bite before laughing. "She was, yes. It was one of the things in her that did not take, sadly."

    "It might have, had you not lost her so early," Deverell said softly. "But so many things have. She was always so kind to me, I remember."

    I smiled at her and said, "I remember. She used to hold you up as an example to me as to how I should behave."

    We were quiet for a moment. Memories of the terror of a child I once was came to me, and I shook my head at the sight of those visions, as if I might somehow shrug myself free of them...

    I opened my eyes and looked at Deverell. "She was right, of course. She always was, though I oftentimes did not realize it until it was too late."

    "She would be so proud, so very proud, were she to see you now," Deverell said softly.

    "Were she to see me now," I repeated, "had I not run her ragged and worn her out with my silliness, so that the Fever might not have claimed her as easily as it did."

    Deverell set her fork down on her plate and looked at me. "Kaleigh, there were many who were lost to us that summer due to the Fever, not just your mother."

    I sighed. "I know. It is just that I want to do right by her, you know?"

    She came over to sit with me and embraced me. "I doubt that there is a woman in all these lands who would not be proud to have you as her daughter. You know it is true."

    "No," I replied, "but it is nice to hear, nonetheless."

    We had finished supper and were gathering up our things, when Deverell noticed there was one slice of pie left.

    "What should we do with this last piece, do you think?" she asked me.

    "Oh, I think we should gift it to Master Adso, and give him a little slice of the Shire he is missing, don't you?" I asked.

    We put out the fire and gathered up our things. Master Adso was very pleased with our gift, and the giving meant as much to the two of us as the supper we had shared together.



    We took our rest beside one of the campfires and slept through the night.



    We awoke the next morning and made ready to resume our journey. The stable hand went to fetch Dandi and Dancer for us.

    "Here they are, ready and raring to go!" he said with a laugh.

    "Thank you kindly!" I said, offering him some more coins.

    "Thank you, miss! Safe travels to you both."



    We returned to the Great East Road, turning westward, heading toward the Brandywine and the Shire.



    The road wound back and forth, but always onward.
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  3. Obstacles - Part 15



    I slowed Dandi to allow Deverell and Dancer to catch up to us, and we rose alongside each other for a spell.

    "So, you have never seen the Shire before, yes?" I asked her.

    She shook her head. "No, but I have heard nice things about it."

    I smiled at her, "Every time I return, it happens to me all over again. You will know what I mean when we get there."

    "Do not build it up so much that it cannot live up to the expectations you are creating!" she exclaimed with a laugh.

    I lay my hand on her arm as we rode down the path. "Trust me, that could never happen."

    Her eyes widened, but she said no more.

    "Oh, one last thing," I mentioned. "The Bounders patrol the Shire and keep the peace. They can be a bit wary of strangers in their lands, and rightly so, I am afraid. You will understand better when we arrive. Just be honest and forthcoming with them, and all will be well."

    "That will be easy enough," she said. "We have nothing to hide, do we?"

    "Not a thing in the world," I smiled.



    We passed by the Old Forest and Buckland along their northern boundaries. Not long after, the Brandywine Bridge came into view, spanning the river and leading into the Shire.



    A Bounder was stationed at the Bree-land side of the bridge and waved us over to him.

    "Good day to you both!" he exclaimed. "A lovely day, isn't it?"

    "Greetings, Master Bounder!" I replied. "It is a gorgeous day, indeed. My name is Kaleigh, and this is my friend, Deverell."

    "Good day to you!" said Deverell to the Bounder, favoring him with a smile.

    "Passing over into the Shire today? What brings you this way, if I may ask?" inquired the Bounder.

    "Oh, we are just passing through on our way into the mountains further west," I said. "We mean to travel to the elven settlements, near the river Lune.

    He seemed rather pleased with that answer.

    "Good, good." he replied. "Just be on your Shire-like behavior while here, if you would, please."

    He gestured for us to come closer, and we did.

    He looked around, to be sure no one else was listening, before he made a show of saying, "We don't care much for that patty-caking and lookie-loos that go on in Bree-land places, like the Prancing Pony." And then he gave us a wink.

    He reminded me so much of someone, someone very dear to me. And, in a way, I was home again...

    "You can count on our discretion, Master Bounder. I can assure you of it." I said with a smile.

    "Have you both been to the Shire before?" he asked.

    "I have, many times," I said.

    "This will be my first time, but I can already see from here how lovely it promises to be," replied Deverell.

    "Oh, let me have a quick word with you about things here, my dear," he said, gesturing for Deverell to dismount and go to speak with him.

    When she did, I took hold of Dancer's reins and made a face at her before leading Dancer and Dandi away.



    We waited, as patiently as we could bear it, while the Bounder laid down the law of the Shire for Deverell. I wanted us to be on our way, however, and Dandi did as well, I could tell.

    Finally, the Bounder waved us onward, and Deverell came over to fetch Dancer.

    "What did he have to tell you?" I asked her, as she mounted up.

    "Oh, inns to stay at on the road, and which ales and pies to choose at the various taverns," she said, with a laugh. "But it came from the heart, I could tell. I see what you mean by this being a special place."

    "It is long past time for you to find that out first-hand," I replied, with a smile.



    With a final wave to the Bounder, we guided the horses onto the Brandywine Bridge and began to cross the river.
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  4. Obstacles - Part 16



    The slow cadence of the horses' hooves upon the stone, and the gentle, flowing sound of the Brandywine winding its way past lulled me into a state of wistful solemnity. We had only just arrived, but I knew our time here was fleeting...



    ...this land, and its people, have ever been as a balm to my spirit, from the time I first came to find myself here...



    ...and a light shines upon these lands...



    ...like no other that I have ever known...



    We found our pace slowing soon after we crossed into the Shire, but neither of us made mention of it.
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  5. Obstacles - Part 17



    Though our pathway was cobbled and smooth, the journey that our senses took was over slower ground, yet far more lovely to travel.



    I looked back more than once to see that Deverell and Dancer had come to stop in the middle of the road, having become lost upon other pathways, ones that neither foot nor hoof could travel, at least for that day.



    We traveled the Great East Road, going westward into the Eastfarthing of the Shire.



    The beauty of the land we traveled formed an obstacle to haste and urgency that we could not go around.



    It is the way things were meant to be in this place.
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  6. Obstacles - Part 18



    Oftentimes, Deverell would ride beside me, and I would point out landmarks that others had shown me in past times. It was getting late in the day as we were nearing Bywater, and I pointed out the Three Farthing Stone to her.

    "There are the four farthings of the Shire, you know. North, South, East and West. And this stone is said to sit upon the meeting place of three of them. All save the Northfarthing meet right up here."

    I watched Deverell look about, wondering if I shared the same look of wonder during my first visit to these lands.

    "Where does the Northfarthing begin?" she asked.

    "Well, north of here, of course." I said. I pretended to ignore the face she made at me and continued, "Up near Bindbole Wood and the Greenfields."

    "These lands must have some wonderful stories to tell," she said softly, as she looked around.

    I laughed, "The curator of the Bounder Museum of Antiquities would be very happy to get a hold of your ear for a few hours and fill it with such tales. Perhaps, one day, we will return and can spend more time exploring."

    "I would like that," she replied.



    We stopped in Bywater for the night and enjoyed the company of those who shared the evening at the Green Dragon with us.



    The next morning we continued our journey westward. The new day promised to be as glorious as the one before.



    I had my hands full with keeping Dandi from bolting down the road, into the sunshine and the early autumn breeze that graced us that day...



    ...while keeping the others from coming to rest in the middle of the road and continuing onward.
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  7. Obstacles - Part 19



    We stopped to rest under the shade of a Great Shire Oak at mid-day and had a bit to eat before pressing on.



    The merchants of Waymeet beckoned to us, and the temptation to stop and browse their wares and visit was nearly too much to overcome.



    But we pressed onward, toward Michel Delving, where we planned to take our rest for the day.



    I laughed as I spied Deverell and Dancer stopped in the road again.

    "Come along!" I beckoned. "We are nearly there, and then we can look around as much as you like!"

    Deverell waved and slowly urged Dancer forward.

    "This must be what it is like for fishes swimming upstream," I mused with a sigh.



    We finally arrived in Michel Delving late in the day, where we were greeted by the sound of hammer and saw, and the sight of a good many around the Founders' statue, just south of Town Hole.

    I waited for Deverell to come up alongside me.

    "I wonder what they are up to," I whispered.

    "Why not stop and ask?" replied Deverell.

    "The Bird is just down the road. We can stay there for the evening, but why not have a look at what they are doing with the statue first, if you would like?" I asked her.

    She laughed. "No need to ask me twice to stop for a look around here."
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  8. Obstacles - Part 20



    We brought the horses to the fence that bounded the Founders' Square.

    "We will just be a moment, Dandi," I said to her, scratching her behind her ears before making for the statue.



    We walked up to the rise upon which the statue lay...



    ...and we beheld the renewing of a symbol, a rededication to a way of life and the principles upon which this precious land was founded, long ago...

    ...it was a boon, not only to Shire-folk, but to all willing to rededicate themselves to pursuits right and noble...



    "It is quite a marvel you all are working here," I said to the workers nearest us.

    A few of them looked up from their work to smile and wave to us.

    The nearest one said, "Thank you, miss! It should be ready before the winter, so come by then and see it finished!"

    "We certainly will!" said Deverell, and I nodded my agreement. I noticed a donation cup nearby, and I fished out some coins from my purse to put inside.

    "A round for you all at the Bird this evening, and the rest for building!" I said, to which Deverell quickly followed suit. A cheer went up.

    "Thank you, tall lasses!" cried the worker. "Bounders' Luck to you both!"



    We found that the importance of our endeavor had been reframed for us...

    I turned to Deverell.

    "Tomorrow, we began anew."
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  9. Obstacles - Part 21



    But haste does not suit those of the Shire, and we found obstacles lying in the way of our progress in that regard...



    ...obstacles of all manner and type...



    ...but, in these lands like no other...



    ...such things are welcome...



    ...and there is quite a chance that what one finds lying in the way of what they might first have desired to be even more to their liking...
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  10. Obstacles - Part 22



    I waved to Deverell from across the stream and laughed.

    "Hurry, before the day gets away from us!"



    We wound our way down the hills to Rushock Bog, skirting it toward the west as we could, when a familiar sight gave me the chance to tease my dear friend...



    "Deverell, look!" I cried, pointing in the distance.



    "More rocks!" I laughed.

    "Enough!" she grouched, smacking me across the shoulder before she laughed as well.

    "These rocks only like certain climates and being near waters, so we many not see many more for a while," I said.

    She sighed and shook her head at me before urging Dancer forward.



    We pressed on northward, skirting the bog, until Needlehole came into view.
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  11. Obstacles - Part 23



    As we gained the bridge leading into the settlement, many cast wary eyes upon us. Most outsiders came from the western side of town, I surmised: the elves, and the dwarves, and those that dwelled in the mountains beyond.

    Most of the hobbit-children here had not likely seen many big-folk and were curious about us, though their parents keep them safely nearby.



    I could see that they liked Dandi, however, and she was more than willing to put on a show for everyone. The children laughed and returned our wave of greeting.

    And, maybe, a small obstacle was felled that day.



    The next morning, we crossed the bridges leading into Falathorn and to the Ered Luin beyond.



    The sight of the hedgewall, and the gate bounding the Shire, was not an easy one to bear, but I took comfort knowing that the elven lands beyond were possessed of great beauty as well, though of a different sort.



    We left the Shire behind, heading north and west, where we would cross the river Lune and hopefully reach Duillond by end of day.
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  12. Obstacles - Part 24



    Deverell marveled at the sight of the elven lands.

    "Oh, Kaleigh..." she trailed off.

    "Mmm... a bit like going from the kettle into the fire, is it not?" I said, smiling at her.



    We wove our way across Falathorn that day...



    ...reaching the high, Eastern bank of the river late in the afternoon.



    A chill wind, one seemingly too early for the start of the Autumn, flowed eastward against us, over the river.



    It could not take way from the feeling of being near to our destination, however, nor the beauty of the lands that it sped through.
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  13. Obstacles - Part 25



    Deverell and I got the horses settled and then hurried across the settlement, toward its Western edge.



    We arrived just in time...



    "Haste sometimes come in handy, at least outside of the Shire," said Deverell, as we watched the remainder of the sunset together.



    "We best keep that between us, though," I smiled.



    The chill of the mountain air rushing downward upon us the next morning was even stronger that the day before, and we begrudgingly packed away our lighter garments for warmer fare.
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  14. Obstacles - Part 26



    We ventured north from Duillond, having resumed our path upon the Great East Road, leading toward the Vale of Thrain.



    I set a good pace, hoping that we might reach Gondamon by light's end that day.



    The road carved through hill and stone, meandering like a dry riverbed.



    We passed by Thrasi's Lodge, still determined to make it to Gondamon that day.

    Not long after, the road forked to the west and east. We took the westward path, upward into the mountains, away from the river.



    A light snow began to fall as we ascended further into the highlands. There was a shadowy tinge upon the air, and a smell, both familiar yet elusive, was carried past us briskly by the mountain breeze.
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  15. Obstacles - Part 27



    I halted in the path, letting Deverell ride up alongside me.

    "Do you smell that?" I asked.

    She took in a breath of the air, wincing with the cold.

    "I cannot really say. Something faint, like a cooking fire, perhaps," she finally said.



    We reached the final rise before the descent into the Vale. The smell of burning was now stronger upon the air, and its murkiness persisted.



    "We best be ready for trouble," I said to Deverell. She nodded her agreement and made ready her staff.

    We eased up the rise, fearing what we might see.



    Once we had gained the rise, we were able to see campfires strewn all throughout the Vale and around the walls of Gondamon. Many beings were milling about outsides its walls.

    We backed down the rise to avoid being seen.



    "I fear the signs Candaith spoke of were true," I said to Deverell sorrowfully.

    "The Dourhand?" she asked.

    "Yes, and whatever minions they have lured to their side," I said with distaste. "We had best make sure, though. We can circle about and scout the rest of the southern and eastern walls, at least. Follow me."
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  16. Obstacles - Part 28



    We took cover in the Low Lands and rode eastward at intervals, riding up to the ridge now and then for another look before continuing on...



    After a time, we had traveled as far eastward as we were able...



    ...still finding Dourhand at every spot we scouted along the southern wall...



    We then rode northward, only to find the same...



    ...Dourhand surrounding not only the eastern wall but the northern as well, as far across as our eyes could see...

    There was no cover to the west, nor to the north for us to scout further, but we knew what lie in wait there just the same...

    Gondamon was under siege...
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  17. Obstacles - Part 29



    "What can we do to aid them?" Deverell asked. "Could we bring word of this someplace else and ask for aid?"

    "Sarnur lies higher in the mountains," I replied, gesturing toward the West. "I am sure Gondamon's Scouts saw the Dourhand coming and have already sent word to any they think might lend aid."

    We were silent for a spell, while trying to form some sort of plan to bring aid to those within the settlement.

    I heard Deverell whisper, "There is nothing to be done, is there?"



    I looked to her and shook my head, before glancing down into the vale once again...

    Within my mind, I tried to envision both the whole of the settlement, and the pathways that gave access to it...

    Wide roads from the North, the West, and the South led into the central courtyard. Those gates would be difficult to defend, requiring a good many on foot, and archers above on the higher levels and ramparts. They would also make for a quick escape from the walls, but those would tried risked being swarmed and surrounded by the enemy on either side of each road...

    They surely meant to attack from each of those sides, to spread out and separate Gondamon's defenders. Most of the Dourhand forces must lie near those pathways, I surmised...



    ...and then my mind's eye came to the southeastern corner of the settlement, where a steep and narrow path led up the rise upon which Gondamon was built. From there, a narrow stair gave access to the second tier of the settlement...

    I knew the stair could be held by just a few soldiers, and archers would rain death upon any foe who tried to climb the rise and met with resistance. It was the most easily defended position of the settlement, without question... yet it could offer no escape. Not only would the narrow stair slow any sizable number who made for safety, but once free of the walls and into the open, any who fled that way would find themselves surrounded, swarmed from either side by the Dourhand that lay in wait...

    Still, most of the Dourhand force would be on the other three walls. Even if it was not to be a way out, might it still be a way in, I mused...



    "I have an idea, but it is a risky one," I said.

    Deverell looked at me, "One of those, is it? What is your idea?"

    "We make camp in the Low Lands, keeping cover so as not to be seen," I replied. "Then, at the dawn tomorrow, we storm through the eastern line of the Dourhand and into the settlement."

    She laughed, thinking I spoke in jest for a moment. When I did not respond, she said, "You are serious. That is your plan?"

    "The morning sun will be at our backs, making us difficult to make out for those looking into it. They may mistake us for many more than we are," I said.

    I looked out at the force surrounding Gondamon for a moment before turning back to her. "Deverell, I cannot think of anything else we can do, can you? We either do this or we watch and hope for the best."

    She took in a deep breath. "Kaleigh, we are only two. And this is an obstacle beyond our means..."


    I winced, as the grip upon my heart tightened...
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  18. Obstacles - Part 30



    "Amon Sul was held by only three, and you and I made up two of that number," I said softly.

    She nodded. "Yes, but..."

    I smiled, "And we two are too many for most anyone."

    "Most everyone as well, I hope, if we are to do this," she replied, with a faint smile of her own.

    "There is not much else we can do today," I said. "We can make camp and sleep on it, and decide then."



    We found a dry place, above the snow blanketing the Low Lands, where the rise leading to the Vale would give us cover. We made camp and discussed our plans before taking rest.

    At the dawn of the next morning, we gathered our things and made ready for our charge.



    I took in a deep breath and whispered wishes for our success upon the frozen air, watching them cling together for a moment in a mist, before they were taken by the wind and hurried away...

    I looked to Deverell and, when she nodded, we set out...



    We charged toward the rise before the Vale, keeping to snow-covered ground to muffle signs of our approach...



    ...the dawning sun rose behind us, its light gleaming over our shoulder...
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  19. Obstacles - Part 31



    We rode over the rise, keeping behind the monuments and whatever cover we could, before riding into open ground...



    ...the Dourhand rose, still waking from their slumber. Their eyes were pierced by the morning sun, and their ears were beset upon by the sound of hooves striking stone, charging...



    Deverell and I cried out, as the walls of Gondamon rose before us, hoping to give a moment's pause to the foe before us...



    The Dourhand near us clustered together, meaning to cut off both our advance and our escape...

    "Jump us over, girl," I whispered. "Carry us through..."



    Dandi leapt into the fading night, shooting past those taking aim at us from either side, and over any who dared stand before her...
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  20. Obstacles - Part 32



    ...she cleared the last embankment, slowing any who thought to pursue us...



    I urged Dandi up the steep pathway leading to the stair, keeping her head low while also leaning forward as arrow and bolt sped past, from the ramparts and walls of Gondamon, into the Dourhand horde behind us...



    The Dourhand ceased their pursuit once we started our climb, settling for hurling curses our way, rather than their axes and hammers...



    We gained the hill upon which the stair leading to safety beckoned...



    ...but not before we took one last look at the teeming masses that we had infuriated, and I feared their wrath would come soon...
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    [url=https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?549928-Legendary-Items-Tips-Tricks-and-a-Guide-to-the-Grind[I][color=gold][i]'Legendary' Items - Tips, Tricks, and a Guide to the 'Grind'[/color][/I][/url] - a Legendary Items guide! (And a [url=https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?572652-Imbued-Legendary-Items-Tips-Tricks-and-a-Guide-to-the-Grind[I][color=gold][i]new Imbuing guide![/color][/I][/url] and [url=https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?574560-Essences-and-How-to-Make-the-Most-of-Them[i][color=gold][i]Essence guide!)[/color][/I][/url]

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  21. Obstacles - Part 33



    But, for that moment, the walls of Gondamon rang with the cries of joy and triumph. Our small victory had given Gondamon's defenders something to cheer for, and a moment to rally themselves before what was to come...



    I waited until Deverell came alongside me...



    ...and, together, we made our way to the stables, greeting the throngs who had barricaded themselves within the settlement walls, forced into making a prison of what should have been their home...



    As wonderful as it was to see spirits lifted and hopes rekindled within the eyes and the hearts of Gondamon's people...



    ...my heart was heavy with the knowledge that we did not herald the arrival of a greater force, nor had we aught to offer but ourselves, merely two more to add to the line...
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  22. Obstacles - Part 34



    We were brought to meet with Lord Mathi, who took the news in true dwarven fashion...

    "You lasses are daft!" he grumbled, and Deverell and I could do naught but agree...

    "Still," his voice softened, "we be glad to have you both."

    Mathi summoned his garrison's generals. They explained their plan to defend their home, and what our part in it was to be...

    "They will strike soon," Lord Mathi warned us. "Be ready!"



    There was naught to do but wait for the attack to begin. I found a place in the library alcove to record our journey, warming the phials of inks I had brought along within my hands to make them fluid...





    It was at mid-day, while searching for a map of the northern lands to show Deverell, when we first heard the drums of battle...



    "The Dourhand are marching for the gates!"

    "To arms! To battle!"
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  23. Obstacles - Part 35



    Neither closed eye, nor covered ear, could turn away the sights and sounds of what promised to come...

    Deverell and I made for the command square that had been prepared, from where Lord Mathi would direct his defense of Gondamon...
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  24. Siege of Gondamon



    Siege of Gondamon



    Amidst the falling snow that obscured our vision, and the beating of the drums of war that shook the stone upon which we stood, I remembered Hithlim's warning...



    “Kaleigh, the foes you go to meet are not the sort that fill legions upon the battlefield. They are of the highest Tier one can imagine dwelling in this realm. And with most of us scattered in distant places, you will not likely find any to aid you, nor to run to should things go badly. If you should fall, there is no retreat.”

    [While running the ‘gauntlet’, a permanent death rule applies. Any that are forced to 'retreat' have instead died and are forever lost from these lands.]



    ...the gauntlet had begun...

    [Siege of Gondamon. Size: Duo. Tier: 3]



    Mathi's words brought me back to the present...

    "Gondamon has been a free city so long as I have ever known. The Dourhand wish to take that from you. To take your homes, and slaughter your families! But I say not today. I say we stand. I say we fight!"

    We cheered, rousing our spirits for the battle to come...

    "Now to the walls! We defend Gondamon to our last breath!"

    As the defenders moved to the gates they each were assigned to defend, Deverell and I took our place in the central courtyard. Lord Mathi had tasked us with assessing the threats the Dourhand presented at each of the three gates, and to strengthen the defending line of each as needed.

    That need was swift and sudden...
    Last edited by Valkrist; Mar 16 2015 at 01:46 AM.
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  25. Siege of Gondamon - Part 2



    The Dourhand had forged an alliance with the Blue Crag goblins entrapped within Rath Teraig. The barricade that had held them fast was overrun...



    Together, they had laid siege to Gondamon for nearly two weeks before we arrived, and they now launched their final assault...

    Under the bleak light of an early Autumnal day, they meant to wrest control of the settlement from the Longbeards' hands, forevermore...



    We raced over cobblestone slick with melting snow, from Northern gate, to Eastern, to Southern, and back again, filling the line as needed...



    A call went up...

    "To the north! The enemy has nearly broken through!"



    At the Northern gate, we met a horde of goblins with the wolves they had bred for war...
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