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    The Fall of Thaurlach

    Highday, 1st of Astron, Year 1418 Shire-reckoning
    Iorelen's Camp, Somewhere in the Land of Angmar

    I awoke to a pounding headache. At first I thought there was another monstrous thunder-battle on its way, but the skies overhead were calm (although they remained overcast). Then I realized I hadn't eaten a thing since breakfast yesterday: we had encountered Minasse after leaving Gath Forthnir, then we traipsed all over the mountain-sides to reach the valley of Nurz Ghashu, and finally we had encountered Guloth, driven him off, and saw the arrival of a small army of reinforcements out of the south. In all the excitement I must have lost my appetite, but now my stomach was objecting loudly to my neglect. I fished through my pack, shoved the first morsel of food I found into my mouth, and promptly choked.

    "What's the matter?" asked Drodie as he passed nearby.

    "Cram," I wheezed, while still trying to cough it out of my throat. I seized my water-skin and took a long draught.

    "Ah yes, it's not a good idea to eat that stuff so quickly," he said. "Gets stuck in your craw, it does, unless you give it a proper chewing. You're welcome to keep trying it if you want to, but... More

    by Padhric on 2018-02-18 10:51:22

    Into the Rift

    Mersday, 30th of Rethe, Year 1418 Shire-reckoning
    Iorelen's Camp, Somewhere in the Land of Angmar

    We marched side-by-side down into the valley of Nurz Ghashu. Guloth, meanwhile, descended from his perch and planted himself directly in our path. The others had already drawn their weapons, so I unlimbered my shield then unsheathed my dagger. All around us the thundering gale of a rising storm raged while the wind became swift and strong. Our Company began to spread out slowly in an effort to surround the Steward of Angmar and give ourselves an advantage, but I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was Minasse, our newly encountered High Elf ally.

    "Stay close to me, little one," he said. I obeyed, but I kept my weapons at the ready. There was another blinding flash of lightning and the thunder boomed around us for miles, echoing fearfully off the mountain-walls. Even though the Sun had not yet set, the boiling clouds made it so dark it could have been night, but still the rain did not come.

    "Well, well, if it isn't my friends," the apparition said in a mocking tone. There was no trace of Lagodir's soft but strong voice in the speech of Guloth, and his eyes remained dead and... More

    by Padhric on 2018-02-16 10:52:54

    A Race to the Rift

    Mersday, 30th of Rethe, Year 1418 Shire-reckoning
    The Rift of Nurz Ghashu, Somewhere in the Land of Angmar

    I had thought the mood of defeat and depression would be tempered by a night of restful sleep, but it was not to be. Upon waking, I saw long and grim faces among my friends as we tried to plan our next moves in the wake of our disastrous mission from yesterday. Now that Guloth had resurfaced and claimed both the 
    palantir and the mantle of the Steward of Angmar, our position was more dire than ever. As soon as we were all awake we assembled to take counsel among ourselves.

    "Maerchiniath and his lieutenants are busy trying to arrange for the evacuation of Gath Forthnir," Gaelira said as she updated us on the latest developments. "His scouts are already spying out the roads southward, for it will be along that way these folk must flee ere Guloth is able to send his newfound strength against them."

    "And what of us?" asked Nephyn. "Shall we not flee with them?"

    "It seems to me there might be little else we can do," I said, downcast.

    "Bah!" huffed Drodie from where he sat casually leaning up against the stone walls of the cavern. "If these people wish to flee then... More

    by Padhric on 2018-02-14 04:14:52

    A Game of Thrones

    Hevensday, 29th of Rethe, Year 1418 Shire-reckoning
    The Refuge of Gath Forthnir, Somewhere in the Land of Angmar

    We passed a few hours in that foul, rancid tunnel. We all remained quiet and spoke only in the softest of whispers when we spoke at all. I was the only one of the Company who attempted to eat a little food, but the overwhelming stench of the sewers under Carn Dum made that impossible. We also each took the time to examine our gear and make sure none of our equipment had been damaged during our crawl beneath the evil city. Laddalld was having an especially difficult time trying to navigate his bulky spear and shield through the narrow passages, and his muscular frame did little to help matters.

    "I'm beginning to think I would have preferred a direct assault on the front gate," he muttered angrily. "How much longer must we remain here like so many vermin in this malodorous hole?"

    "Not long," answered Gaelira as her bright eyes watched the nearby opening unwaveringly. "We should take this opportunity to recover our strength, for it is uncertain whether we might have another such chance while our mission lasts."

    "What mission is it that requires so... More

    by Padhric on 2018-02-07 12:38:56


    Trewsday, 28th of Rethe, Year 1418 Shire-reckoning
    The Orc-city of Urugarth, Somewhere in the Land of Angmar

    I don't know whether any of us (save Drodie) got much sleep last night, but we were all up and active quite early this morning. I had been so intent and nervous about today's impending adventure that I had already done all of the preparing I possibly could the evening before, and so found myself with nothing to do while the others completed a few final tasks. To pass the time, I borrowed a short fishing pole off one of the Rangers and cast the line into the central pool of the caverns. This drew more than a few laughs from my friends once they took notice.

    "Even in face of the direst peril does our Halfling find time for the simple pleasures of life," said Lagodir with a broad grin. "Or, mayhap, his thoughts reside only on food, as is his wont?"

    "What can you possibly hope to catch in there?" Nephyn asked as she rolled up and stowed her blankets.

    "Two golden mullet and several perch so far, as it happens," I answered. "It turns out fish somehow managed to spawn in this secluded hole, but no one seems to know when or how."

    "I don't suppose you'd consider frying some... More

    by Padhric on 2018-01-29 12:50:23

    The Deep Breath Before the Plunge

    Monday, 27th of Rethe, Year 1418 Shire-reckoning
    The Refuge of Gath Forthnir, Somewhere in the Land of Angmar

    Have you ever had one of those nights when you knew you just 
    had to get some sleep, and that fact was what made it completely impossible to get to sleep? Such a one was this -- midnight had passed and I had been lying in my bedroll for a couple of hours already, but I was no nearer to sleep than I was before, despite the tiring day we had chasing down Wenhair's mother. I tossed and turned as I tried to distract myself with memories of the Southfarthing or of Bree-land, but nothing worked. Finally, I rolled over and opened my eyes.

    It was very late, and it was very dark. The first thing I noticed was that Drodie was the only one of our Company who was asleep nearby. He was snoring as loudly as ever and the other three were not within sight, so I decided to get up and walk around a bit. Despite the early hour there was always something going on in this place, so I was disturbing no one with my little nocturnal romp. There were, of course, still a few torches lit, for this was a camp of war and ever vigilant, and I was able to steal quietly... More

    by Padhric on 2018-01-25 01:21:31

    A New Way Forward

    Sunday, 26th of Rethe, Year 1418 Shire-reckoning
    The Refuge of Gath Forthnir, Somewhere in the Land of Angmar

    Today passed much the same as yesterday. Gaelira and Nephyn insisted I was not yet recovered enough to be daring the outer edges of Carn Dum, and so they went with Drodie and Lagodir to once again attempt and locate a passable entry into the evil city. I tried to stay useful by offering my assistance to Lunathron and his healers, but I think I succeeded in doing little other than getting in their way. I also poked my head outside on more than one occasion, thinking some fresh air and sunlight would do me good after the close stuffiness of Gath Forthnir, but the heavy winds and perpetually dark skies of Angmar offered little reprieve.

    As you can imagine, I was excited when I heard from the sentries that my companions were on their way back. Yet, when they re-entered the caverns I could see from their faces they had no more luck today than they had the day before in identifying a reliable method of entry into the fortress of Mordirith.

    Dinner was a gloomy affair with tensions running high among ourselves in the face of our repeated failure to make any... More

    by Padhric on 2018-01-23 12:02:22

    A Conspiracy Explained

    Sterday, 25th of Rethe, Year 1418 Shire-reckoning
    The Refuge of Gath Forthnir, Somewhere in the Land of Angmar

    I hope you will be pleased to know, Dear Reader, that I, your lovable furry-footed friend, have returned to provide you with full-quilled, all-hobbitic reportage once again. I must thank Nephyn for her capable fill-in entries during my brief (albeit still too long) period of incapacitation, but I am feeling quite myself again, despite everyone insisting I ought to be dead, or at least mostly dead. Allow me to resume my scribal duties by telling you about my recovery.

    It seems that gash I received on my arm happened to come from a Hillman's blade which was drenched in some foul poison. As luck would have it, the leeches and healers here in Gath Forthnir have encountered this venom before now -- and more than a few times, it would appear -- which makes me believe it is a tactic frequently utilized by the tribes of Men loyal to the Iron Crown. As such, they were well-equipped to counteract it, although the time which had elapsed since my wounding and returning here for treatment was greater than they would have liked. After applying their arts,... More

    by Padhric on 2018-01-17 12:08:20

    Murder and Milkthistle

    Highday, 24th of Rethe, Year 1418 Shire-reckoning
    The Refuge of Gath Forthnir, Somewhere in the Land of Angmar

    Padryc shrank to my side while Lagodir stood still as stone. My hands strung an arrow without even thinking about it, but as yet there was no target. As a huntress I knew the look of a fresh kill, and for now I would have to put aside my grief to track down the murderer.

    I tore my eyes away from the corpse and started to rapidly scan the area. My first instinct was to search for footprints, but here the ground was little more than cold stone. Still, from the slowly spreading pool of blood before us I knew whoever had slain Areneth was likely very close by -- they might even be lying in wait for us.

    Dusk was not yet come, and in the dimming light I spotted a strange-looking hump further up the path. I think Lagodir must have noticed it too, because just as I was about to say something to him, he strode toward it. The hump moved -- it was coming closer with an odd shuffling gait. As it separated itself from the cliffside I could see it was of goblin-kind. I gritted my teeth and prepared to fire, but Lagodir signed for me to wait. The goblin raised its... More

    by Padhric on 2018-01-14 10:18:37

    Reflection and Reconnaissance

    Mersday, 23rd of Rethe, Year 1418 Shire-reckoning
    The Refuge of Gath Forthnir, Somewhere in the Land of Angmar

    I must begin by immediately telling you that this is Nephyn writing today's journal entry. Padryc is not well, and so I have taken this task unto myself for the time being.  If nothing else, it does help me pass the time while I keep watch over him, but I will try to relate everything as it happened. It will be a fitting tribute to our dear friend, should the worst befall him. Lagodir and I are not certain whether he will recover, but we hold out hope. If only Gaelira were here.

    I suppose it's already obvious I don't possess Padryc's ability to write things down in some kind of logical order, so I will just begin at the beginning and go from there.

    This morning I awoke suddenly and I was very alert, as if I was being called for some purpose. I am normally an early riser anyway, but today was different. Perhaps I somehow knew that today was going to be a dangerous one, but... there I go jumping around again. Let me start over.

    Gath Forthnir was very quiet when I opened my eyes. I was rather tired last night, for we were up later than usual, and... More

    by Padhric on 2018-01-07 06:07:34

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