The Darkening of Mirkwood

TA 2947

The Wizard’s Man

Ceawin the generous, chieftain of the people from The Bight in South Eastern Mirkwood, sent emissaries to request that his people join with the Woodmen of Mirkwood for mutual protection and the opening of trade. Ingomer Axebreaker has called a Folk Moot for the following midsummer to hear Ceawin’s request so the Woodmen Chieftains may decide upon it.

Various members of the fellowship, particularly those with an interest in trade, met with these emissaries at The Stout Head in Woodland Hall.

In the spring a dwarf trade caravan from Erebor strayed from the Elf Path and were never seen from again. Fiomir, Hagnus, and others investigated for a few weeks in the late spring. They found the Elf Rangers who guarded the path at the time had heard a great wolfen howl the night the dwarves disappeared. Nobody has found a trace of them since.

The Fellowship made preparations for the forty mile journey north through the Forest to the supposed location of the Old Forest Road. Provisions were bought, Tharfi and Orri spending some of their last coin. Routes were decided upon, Gerold suggesting they follow the Dusky River north before making the final twenty mile hike through the dense woods.

As soon as The Fellowship left the edges of the river they became lost in the dense and dark wood. They set a miserable camp, failing to even make a fire from the damp and sodden wood in the area. Later that night on the first watch Anders of Lake town saw a light through the trees. He awakened Gerold, who in turn awakened Orri and Broggo. Fiomir watched on from his lookout among the branches nearby. As Gerold and Anders stalked towards what were now apparently three lights hovering in a clearing, the two dwarves, Orri and Broggo, along with the Elf, Fiomir, began marching towards the lights without regard for their own safety.

When it became apparent that the three were somehow ensorcelled, Gerold tried to tackle Fiomir but without any luck. The Elf leapt free and joined the other two in the clearing standing among what were now clearly ancient barrows. Gerold drew his axe and followed his companions fearlessly.

Then the corpse candle lights went out, casting everything in inky darkness.
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At the last moment Fiomir whirled to the sound of scratching over stones, and behind him was a great spider of Mirkwood emerging from the barrow portal. He shot it with his bow, dropping it mid leap to the ground. It screeched in pain as it lay twitching on the ground before him. Broggo bashed one back with his shield and Gerold buried his axe into one of the barrow openings, preventing the emergence of another spider. Orri called out instructions for a defensive formation and the companions edged back out of the trap the spiders had laid. The next morning they retrieved Gerolds axe and again fended off the waiting spiders without injury!

Soon the companions discovered that they were not too far from the old road and decided to divide their energies between a few tasks; to set a central defensive camp, and to search for the old road in easterly and westerly directions.

Tharfi and Hagnus set camp while the others searched east and west. Both search parties found signs of the Old Dwarf Road, which was in pristine condition just beneath the forest floor. Orri read the ornately carved knot-work runes on a section of road and deciphers directions to the “Yew Fort waystation” some six miles to the east.

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At that point Tharfi and Hagnus were surprised by a figure stumbling out of the woods towards them. He was a Woodsman who appeared to have been badly poisoned by spiders. In his hand he clutched a note which read:

“Orcs seen gathering at Fenbridge Castle. A contingent left traveling north through the wood. I tracked them to the southern foothills of the Dark Mountains”

Below the text was a rough map that showed the position of Fenbridge castle, just north of Dol Guldur, and another tower called Tyrant’s Hill, just at the southern edge of The Narrows of the Forest.

When the others returned to camp Gerold recognised the Woodsman as a famed tracker by the name of Beren.

As the Fellowship set about making a hammock to carry the delirious and poisoned Woodsman, the sound of men and dogs was heard through the woods. Fiomir darted off into a flanking position while the others resumed a defensive stance behind the stakes that Tharfi had whittled.

Bursting into the clearing came six well armed warriors led by a woman with red braided hair. She introduced herself as Dagmar, a woodman of Tyrant’s Hill, and a member of Mogdred’s Hall. She claimed that Beren had stolen papers and information pertaining to her lord’s lands, and demanded that he be handed over to her. When questioned about the reports of orcs at Fenbridge she thrust what appeared to be an Orc scalp from her belt, and continued her demand for Beren and his notes. Negotiations faltered as it soon became apparent that the Dwarves (who had assumed the defensive formation known as a “Dwarf Ball”) were not going to give up beren to the warriors.

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The men from Tyrant’s Hill set their dogs upon the group and readied crossbows and axes. Gerold wrestled one to the ground. Fiomir/Anders (I can’t remember who – which was it guys?) let off an arrow that struck Dagmar in the shoulder blade, dropping her to the ground. However, two dogs and a crossbow bolt found Fiomir, and he was knocked from his feet with a severe gut wound, bleeding badly. Orri called out that they would not surrender Beren, and the warriors gathered their wounded leader up and retreated back into the forest, although Gerold kept his man prisoner.

Fiomir’s wound was dire and so was the state of Beren, so the Fellowship decided to retreat back to Woodland Hall, but only after Broggo managed to sketch a map of the location of the Old Forst Road that they had found.

Fiomir, once treated by Hagnus with all herbs at hand, has started to mend and will be able to run and fight once again after a few months of rest, although he will always feel the wound in his side.

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