Middle-Earth Session Logs

Session 1: The Fellowship Unites

[Apr 19th, 2022]

In the Inn of the Prancing Pony, six travelers arrive after their long travels. They find the inn is quite busy and they are forced to share a table with strangers. They introduce themselves:

First, is Lasko Underhill, a hobbit of the shire with a cheery disposition. He seems quite loyal to his taller friend. He travels with Thandr Vandill, handsome and well-dressed nobleman-warrior from the far off land of Dale. The two have more recently arrived from the far west, having traveled with dwarves headed to the Blue Mountains. It is through the Shire that Thrandr acquired Lasko as a travelling companion. They have been travelling ever since, for the past year.

Sitting across from these two are two dwarves of nearly opposite disposition, Khervun, a very hairy dwarf with a fine helm and many braids running down his backside and through his beard. He travels with Snasgror Graybow, a treasure-seeking dwarf with scars on his face and secretive eyes. The two dwarves have traveled far from the lands of Erebor where Dain Ironfoot reigns as King Under the Mountain.

The last companion to sit among them is a shrouded fellow, his eyes glint under his hood and his silvery hair shimmers in the inn’s glow. He is Isilmion i Quentaro, a high elf and learned scholar from Rivendell. He has heard rumors that dwarves passing through Rivendell decades prior had found relics of the first age, of long lost Gondolin, where Isilmion once dwelt. He seeks to learn more about these artifacts and if more have been discovered.

After sharing their stories and some drinks, the group is asked by the proprietor of the Prancing Pony, Barnabas Butterbur if they are travelling east and if they’d be willing to bring some supplies to the Easterly Inn near the Last Bridge. The group agrees to do so and receive some free drinks and a few coins for their trouble. Overhearing their conversation, a hobbit named Burgo Balebuck tells them about the Easterly Inn, as it was started by two hobbits from the Shire, wanting to create a comforting stop for travelers heading east. Snasgror and Khervun chat with a dwarf named Thabur Redbelly about the road to the east. He warns them that he saw lights in the Old Quarry three days along the east road and that he has heard rumors of goblins as well.

The new fellowship rests for the night and prepares to set out on their errand quest the next morning, after second breakfast. The five of them gather their ponies and horses and pack the many bags of vegetables, grains, and salted meats onto their mounts before heading out.

On their way out of Bree, they find a stranger cloaked in shadows approaching them. He has a well-behaved dog at his side. He introduces himself as Aidan Taurferoth, he seems to be a tall and capable warrior. Isilmion instantly recognizes him as one of the Dunedain. Lasko recognizes him as sitting near them in the corner of the tavern. He tells them that he is concerned with the lights seen in the Old Quarry and asks to join them. They agree and Lasko seems to appreciate the man’s hunting dog, Brisket.

Khervun proves to be an excellent guide and the fellowship travels quickly to the Old Quarry, reaching it at sundown. They decide to rest for the night and approach the forgotten quarry in the morning. The fellowship find out that the food bags were tampered with overnight, the salted meat bag is missing. Aidan finds prints of a large wolf in the mud, heading towards the Old Quarry. The fellowship approaches cautiously heading down into the abandoned pit. Snasgror finds more wolf tracks heading into the cave at the bottom and Isilmion hears a low growl. They head down to the pit where they are greeted by a massive white warg.

The warg introduces herself as Zedrul and admits she took the salted meats. Thrandr is able to instill some fear into the warg with the many drawn blades and Zedrul does not fight them. She agrees to let them take the remainder of the bag and promises to leave the place. She tells them that a band of goblins once dwelt in this pit and were the reason for the lights. However, they have seen headed to Weathertop to raid travelers. She also gleefully warns them that goblins and orcs are on the rise and the “shadow is coming.”

The fellowship decides to hurry to Weathertop to stop these goblin raiders. They continue east, and with Khervun’s guidance, reach the watchtower of Amon Sul without issue on the night of the second day. They see no lights and head up there to camp with their ponies and horses. They find it empty and deserted. Isilmion and Aidan find no sign of goblins. The fellowship prepares to rest as night falls, but they become aware of the clatter of many feet climbing up the tower’s steps.

There is a call to arms as Isilmion, Aidan, and Thrandr prepare for battle, the others are caught unprepared. A great melee begins as nine goblins charge onto the top of the watchtower. Aidan and Snasgror begin chopping them down, one by one. The others manage to help and defeat the goblins. At the end of the battle, there is only one wounded goblin remaining alive. Isilmion questions him, and the goblin procures a stone marked with the Lidless Eye of Sauron. The fellowship find a few sacks of coins and a magical stone as well. The stone, however, proves to the an ancient Seeing Stone of Angveliar, created by the Witch-King of Angmar in the early Third Age.

Isilmion and Aidan are greatly worried by the threat these goblins represent. Only Isilmion truly understands what the Eye means. The fellowship rests for the remainder of the night. Isilmion gives Lasko the Seeing-Stone, hoping that the hobbit’s nature will protect him and the rest of the fellowship from its malign influence.


Session 2: Danger in the Mountains

[Apr 26th, 2022]

The travelers spend the night camping upon the high tower of Weathertop. The next day they continue their journey towards the Easterly Inn, though the shadow of their discovery darkens their moods. After a few more days of travel (Sept. 14th, 2965), Snasgror and Lasko scout some noise in the nearby thicket. Snasgror then finds himself with his foot in a bear trap, it seems to activate when his foot is pulled up. He gets Lasko and the others to help him and he avoids a great injury. The travelers decide to find and remove all the dangerous bear traps so close to the road.

After another day of travel, the travelers reach the Easterly Inn. It is a comfortable little building with fine hobbit holes under a larger building. They greet Frier, a dwarf who helps around the inn, and Shadrach the friendly dog. The travelers enter the inn and deliver their goods to Dodinas “Dody” Brandybuck. He thanks them and gets them settled in the common room with food and drink. The travelers speak with some dwarves at the inn, and learn that there have been increased goblin sightings in the Misty Mountains to the east. Dody seems particularly worried by this.

Dody returns to the travelers and offers them each a fine beverage, seemingly tailored to their individual tastes. He then asks them if they are heading east and if they would be willing to undertake a quest. The heroes agree and Dody promises them a sack of coins and some fine silverwear for their efforts. He asks them to head into the mountains and find his brother Dindy, who was due to return with goods for the inn at the end of summer. With the talk of goblins, Dody is quite worried about his brother.

The heroes take on this quest, as Aidan and Isilmion are eager to learn more about the goblins in the mountains. The heroes rest for the night in the fine inn and take off the next day (Sept. 16th, 2965). Khervun guides the heroes along the East Road and they make great progress on the journey. After a few days (Sept. 19th), the heroes come across a pair of robbers just past the Last Bridge. They seem intent on robbing the Easterly Inn. The heroes are able to sway them from doing so by appealing to what remains of their morality. After a couple more days of travel (Sept 21st), a great storm besets the fellowship. Snasgror and Lasko are able to lead the group into a nearby cave in the Trollshaws. They find three large troll statues outside, where cave trolls found their untimely end.

A few more days go by (Sept 24th), and Thrandr fails to find additional forage in the dry heathlands and foothills of the Misty Mountains. As the heroes reach deeper into the mountains, they meet a traveler at night, who warms himself by the campfire without an invite. He is a thin, traveled man with rotten teeth named “Shanker”. He reveals that he bought some find Longbottom Leaf from a halfling in the mountains, but laughs as he expects the goblins have got the caravan already. Snasgror trades some stew for some leaf, but then the stranger takes his leave.

A couple more days into the mountains (Sept 29th), Aidan and Thrandr chase a mountain goat along a steep cliff. Aidan nearly falls, but is saved by Brisket and Thrandr before he slides down into a narrow crevasse. The next night (Sept 30th), the heroes come across the ruins of an old town on the eastern side of the Misty Mountains. There are signs of previous campfires, so the heroes spend the night. During the night, however, an undead night-wight sneaks into their camp while Aidan is daydreaming, and kidnaps Lasko, and buries the hobbit into the mud along a nearby brook.

While the wight returns to grab another companion, Aidan spots the creature. He shouts to the others and they leap into battle. Isilmion, Aidan, and Khervun charge at the creature, with Snasgror and Thrandr joining shortly after. They are able to wound the shadowed creature and send it fleeing into the night. They then find Lasko in the mud. Isilmion recognizes the creature they fought and mentions it might had other victims. Snasgror and others search for any remains and find a few treasured gems on a ruined torc upon a skeleton in the mud.

The heroes sleep through the rest of the night and head out the next day (Oct 1st). They find a lone pony in the hills with a pack of mead upon it. It has been pierced by a goblin arrow. Lasko and Aidan mend the pony and follow some goblin tracks into the hills. By nightfall, they find a burning bonfire on a nearby hill with an old ringfort where they find Dindy Brandybuck and some caravan guards. They have prepared a defense and welcome the heroes’ help. An orc named Ubhurz calls out a challenge to them as the goblins skitter in the shadows and wolves how in the darkness. Battle is upon them.


Session 3: The Battle of the Ring-Fort

[May 3rd, 2022]

The goblins and orcs charge into the fort as the heroes form a defensive wall on the south as Iwgar Longleg and his men hold the northern entrance. After a quick volley of arrows and spears, a melee breaks out and the fierce warriors draw their weapons and engage with the frenzied goblins.

The clattering sound of metal upon metal and wood fills the top of the fort. Dindy throws more wood on the bonfire and tries to hide among the crates. Snasgror, Aidan, Thrandr, and Khervun hold the line as Isilmion and Lasko take the flank. Many goblins falls to their blades, but more keep coming as waves and waves of them enter the fort. The shadows of more goblins lurk in the darkness beyond the bonfire’s light. The howling of wolves continues as the animals prowl the outskirts.

More waves of enemies close in and as the heroes are engaged in melee, no one notices a goblin that sneaks past the northern defense and grabs Dindy. The goblin runs off with him in the chaos. The heroes continue felling goblins after goblin, and then the larger orc soldiers. They become quite weary and exhausted from the continuous fighting, but seem to hold their defensive position. Aidan is stabbed with a goblin knife and takes a minor wound. Snasgror is struck with an orc blade. Then Lasko tries to hide in the boxes, only to have a goblin sneak past the defenses and strike him with a dagger. Isilimion is then cut by an orc blade as well.

It is then that great orc leader, Ubhurz charges in. Thrandr and Khervun stand together to fight the great orc. With some exchanges of heavy blows, the orc captain is slain. With the last of the larger orcs felled, the gatherings of goblins surrounding the fort begin to fade and they slunk back to the caverns and holes where they came from.

After the battle, they notice that Dindy was taken. But given their many wounds and weariness, they decide to rest for the night, despite Isilmion’s protests. On Ubhurz, they find an ancient circlet of the Rhudainor, once worn by the kings of Rhudaur before the succumbed to the power of the Witch-King. The next morning, the heroes gather their belongings and many torches from Iwgar, and head into the caverns to search for Dindy.

Faintly, in the distance, they hear the goblins singing:

Goblins live down in the caves, Ain’t had nothing to eat for days!
Empty bellies, sharpened teeth, Sharp blades in a blackened sheath!
Goblins are a courteous folk. Always polite and real well spoke!
After a fight when we’re the winner, Bring the foe back home for dinner!
Dwarves is tough and mostly beard. Elves are stringy and taste weird.
In better times we eat Man-flesh, Smoke it, cook it or eat it fresh!
Put the Hobbit in the pot! Eat him up, we’ll have the lot!
Bring him to the Goblin feast! Bring him to the Goblin feast!


Session 4: Into the Goblin Caves

[May 10th, 2022]

The heroes charge into the caverns, trying to find sign of the goblins, now that the singing has long faded away. They find the caverns have numerous branches and Khervun does his best to lead to group safely. They come across a narrow section and are forced to squeeze through, crawling and climbing. The long day goes on as they hike through the dark passages, the dread eating at them throughout the day. They are forced to take an uneasy rest in the caverns and continue on the next day.

The next day, they come across some fragile rocks, but Snasgror and Lasko are able to lead the group through without incident. They spend the rest of the day travelling through the lightless tunnels with a single torch to guide them. They then find a larger cavern ahead, and Snasgror is able to sneak around the bend and finds two orcs guarding the entrance to the goblin caves. They pass stolen wine back and forth.

The heroes decide to leap around the bend and charge at the orcs, felling them quickly before arousing attention. They sneak into the next chamber, where they find Dindy Brandybuck, laborously preparing meals for the goblins. They find that Dindy is chained to the wall with a fine locked chain of Westernesse. The heroes have to hide as goblins come in and grab more dishes. The heroes then ambush the goblins and fell all but one, learning that there are many more within the caves.

Snasgror sneaks ahead, past a couple orc guards, and finds a mighty feasting room, filled with many goblins. They feast away and pretend to use napkins and utensils, making a mockery of Dindy and his folk’s sense of manners. The great goblin chief makes a toast, showing off the key from his pocket. Snasgror returns and pulls the two guards in, and the heroes fell them quickly.

Snasgror and Khervun explore further south and find and old smithy and a side entrance to the feasting hall. He then explores the east, finding the great collection of wine and mead stolen from the caravan. Snasgror and Khervun try to swap the kegs, but are caught by goblins refilling, this causes a small uproar and soon Aiden and Thrandr rush in to help them fight off the goblins, while Lasko and Isilimion hide the bodies near Dindy.

The heroes successfully swap the watered-down drinks with the strong ones and let the goblins have their fill. They wait a good half-hour, letting the goblins get good and drunk. Aiden and Snasgror then head off to the western entrance as the others head to the northern entrance. Isilmion throws his voice, pretending to be an orc, and gets the orcs to bicker and fight among themselves. This distraction allows Snasgror to sneak his way towards the sleeping goblin chief. However, he is spotted and the goblins stop their bickering and rush to fight.

Aiden rushes in to aid his comrade and Khervun and Isilmion charge into the room from the north. Thrandr and Lasko sneak off to the side of the room. Snasgror and Aiden begin cutting down the drunken goblins as Isilmion and Khervun fight the rest. The great goblin chief then wakes up and draws a blade, ready to wade into the fray. However, Thrandr then emerges from the shadows of the room and charges at the chieftain, felling him in one deadly blow, driving his sword through the goblin’s bulbous stomach.

Thrandr is then surrounded by more orc soldiers. His is cut along his side and his blood splatters on the cavern floor. Lasko then summons his luck and manages a deadly shot in an orc neck. Aiden then narrowingly avoids being skewered by a goblin knife. Meanwhile, Snasgror and Aiden finish off their orcs and move in to aid Khervun and Isilmion finish the rest of the orcs as Thrandr grabs the key.

Thrandr, Lasko, and Isilmion head to Dindy to free him, while Aiden, Khervun, and Snasgror search the chieftain’s rooms. The two dwarves find the treasury and load up three small chest with silver and copper coins. Snasgror finds an ancient Númenórean axe called Shadow Feller (Nâluaganân), while Khervun finds a magical Raphithlain, an Elven rope from the First Age, which he gives to Lasko. Aiden finds another stone with the Eye of Sauron, a dark tiding indeed.

The heroes then rest and feast before returning to the surface, finding a much easier route that only takes a couple hours. They find Iwgar and the other guards have loaded the wagons and found most of their missing ponies. They all then spend the next couple days, lugging crates and kegs back to the surface and loading them on the caravan wagons.

After ten longs days, the heroes and the carvan, with Dindy in tow, return to the Easterly Inn. There is much celebration and feasting as the heroes are invited to stay free of charge. They all spend over a week regaling in the stories of their success against the goblins and their journey. During this time, Aiden is visiting by a fellow Dúnedain ranger named Celerion. He speaks with Aiden and Isilmion about their findings and the rise of the Shadow.

In conversation, Isilmion realizes that the Circlet of Rhudainor could be useful to combat the growing Shadow. As it is clear that the forces of Sauron are gathering allies, and the hill-people of Rhudaur once sided with Angmar during the war with the Witch-King. They may once again be swayed to follow the Shadow if the Free People do not gain them as allies first. Therefore, they devise a plan to offer the Circlet to the greatest chieftain of the hill-people of Rhudaur in the hopes to unite them as allies with the people of the West.


Session 5: The Hill-People of Rhudaur

[May 31st, 2022]

After a week of relaxing at the Easterly Inn, the heroes prepare for their next quest and set out towards the Etten Hills to find Chieftain Cynbal and form an alliance between the hill-people of Rhudaur and the West. The heroes let Lasko guide the group on their travels northward following the river. The journey is through darkened lands. After a few days, they come across a group of Dunedain who offer them rest and respite. On another night, Khervun spots something in the darkness that fills him with dread, but is unable to pin it down. Another evening, while checking his rabbit snares, Thrandr comes across torn and ripped deer carcasses and finds their ravaged bodies quite dreadful. But after eight long days of travel, they reach the hillsides and begin searching for signs of the hill-people.

They come across signs of an ancient fire, where the Dunedain burned the bodies of the foul hill-people who fought with the armies of Angmar. It is then they see two wolfdogs charge towards them. Snasgror and Lasko fire their bows at the beasts, and Lasko manages a glancing shot. However, the dogs are soon followed by a large band of hill-people who seem quite angry that their dogs were attacked.

Thrandr does his best to calm the people, using his awe and splendor to get them to back down. The leader and Chieftain introduces himself as Cynbal and introduces the other members of his tribe. Thrandr introduces himself and his comrades, highlighting their acomplishments, but it does not seem to impress the Chieftain. They begin to share information and the heroes state their purpose. Cynbal seem reluctant to state any alliance with the Men of the West, perhaps holding to their old alliance with the wargs of the mountains.

Cynbal grows bored with the negotiations, and begins to show off his weapon skills. Thrandr sends out Aidan who shows his skills with his spear. Cynbal is impressed and invites Aidan to participate in a feat of strength called the Black Helms. He offers a lush fur cape, a roast of cow, and his beautiful niece Essylt’s hand in marriage.

Aidan fights with three other men, brutish Bedwyn, bodyguard of the Chief; crazed Taredd a wolf-like warrior covered in scars; and Fraech, the second-in-command who seems to have feelings towards Essylt. The brawl begins and Fraech takes out Taredd quickly, pulling off his helmet. The next round, Fraech takes out Bedwyn. Then Aidan manages to defeat Fraech, ripping off his helm and winning the match. Cynbal gives Aidan the coat and brings Essylt to meet him. Aidan manages to whisper to her that he does respect her wishes and earns some of her respect.

Fog then rolls over the hills and Cynbal offers to have the ceremonial feast in their grand hall. However, they then hear screams in the hills. The heroes and the hill-people rush over the hills into their village to find it is covered in flames. Essylt begs for them to enter the flaming hut to save her family. Thrandr and Aidan rush inside as Snasgror looks for an alternative entrance. Thrandr and Aidan are burned and worn out by the smoke and fire, but find no one but the dead inside. Snasgror manages to find and rescue the Chieftain’s daughter-in-law who is pregnant with child. She screams in panic, that goblins have taken the children and disappeared into the tunnels.

The hill-people try to enter the tunnels, but find flames block their path. Meanwhile, the heroes are attacked by a group of wolves led by a mighty warg. The chieftain’s father, Forgall, who has had only disdain for the heroes, speaks with the wolves and sends them to attack. The heroes draw weapons and fight off the wargs. Snasgror confronts Forgall in the fight, but let’s the old man run away into the dense fog. The heroes fell the remaining wolves, but then hear the crows calling in the dense fog, “Return to Angmar! Carn Dûm! Carn Dûm!” 


Session 6: Journey to Carn Dûm

[June 21st, 2022]

The hill-people approach them after the battle with the wolves. Forgall tries to work up the crowd against the heroes, proclaiming them wolf-murderers, bringing doom upon their tribe. However, Snasgror is able to intimidate the old man to back down as the Thrandr and Lasko appeal to the crowd and remind them how they tried to help them with the fires.

Cynbal eventually agrees that the heroes are not their enemies and offers them rest in some hidden burrows outside the ruined camp. The heroes rest, but in the night, Thrandr has a nightmare with a frozen bridge and great terror. The next morning, Isilmion feels a growing threat from the events of the previous day and leaves to spread a warning to Rivendell. The heroes then find that the chieftains of the nearby tribes gather in a council to discuss the previous days events. The heroes are unable to convince Cynbal to invite them, but they listen nearby.

The hill-people consider calling out to Nagrhaw, Chief of the Wargs for aid. Another calls for sending a rescue mission, but he is quickly dissuaded. It becomes clear to the heroes that the hill-people are too afraid to leave their lands to find the missing children. Lasko then sneaks into the center of the council and proclaims that he and his friends will set out to find the missing children. Essylt is emboldened by the halfling’s words and tells the council that she will go as well. Fraech decides to join her and protect her on the journey. The council accepts this course of action.

Cynbal brings supplies for the heroes’ journey and bids them farewell and wishes Essylt and Fraech good luck. The heroes then head over to another hill-people camp to find a woman named Hwalda, a guide who knows the northern mountains and cold plains. The heroes are able to convince her to join them for three shares of any treasure. They set out the next morning into the cold mountains as Autumn takes hold of the land.

After many days of travel, they find themselves hiking in the rough mountains, walking carefully along a treacherous ledge. The sky grows dim as evening begins to fall. The group then passes by a wide cavern entrance. A great crab-like beast then lurches out of the cavern and attacks them. It is some great forgotten beast from the time before the sun and moon. Snasgror, Thrandr, Khervun, and Aidan charge at the beast, their weapons ready. Fraech joins them with his spear as Lasko stays back offering morale support. Essylt and Hwalda flee the area.

The battle is fierce as the creatures sword-like legs pierce through their shields, shattering them with quick blows. But the brave warriors hack and cut into the monster. Aidan takes a heavy blow and is knocked down as the beast begins to pull back, away from the swords and spears piercing its body. Snasgror reckless hacks at the beast as it flees deeper and deeper into the cave, until it slinks down into a great vertical tunnel and disappears into the darkness.

In the antechamber of the cavern, the heroes find an engraving about the fall of a man named Bergil of Dol Amroth, who lived in Gondor over 1000 years ago. It seems an elf named Glorfindel marked the fall of this hero. The heroes also find a great collection of treasures: gold coins, jewelry, and trinkets, mostly of Dwarven make. Khervun finds an ancient suit of mail armor created in Belegost in the First Age. Snasgror finds a magical ring worn by Khovad Blackeyes in the halls of Khazad-dûm in the Second Age. Many of the heroes bury their treasure with Hwalda, Fraech, and Essylt who will return for it later. The dwarves, Snasgror and Khervun, however, refuse to leave it behind and pile it upon their ponies.

The heroes continue on, travelling the desolate frozen lands north of the Ettenmoors into Angmar towards Carn Dûm. After over a week of dangerous travel, they reach the great ruined fortress of Carn Dûm. The grand bridge stretches over great chasm with ruined towers on the far side. Smoke boils out of holes in the great mountain, indicating working furnaces below. Snasgror finds a set of stairs and the heroes head down, though many slip and fall on the icy steps. At the bottom, the red-colored river flows in the valley, red from the iron-rich ore.

Snasgror then finds a secret entrance in the stone wall along the cliff that opens into a long dark tunnel. They light some torches and the dwarves lead them through the dark tunnels. After a long way, it opens up into a series of chambers. Snasgror sneaks ahead and finds a reinforced door guarded by two wolf-dogs. He and Thrandr charge in and fell the dogs quickly. Thrandr then breaks open the barred door. Inside, they find five hill-people sprawled on a fur rug, seemingly asleep. Essylt gasps, as she sees her father among them.

It is then that the heroes turn around to find they are surrounded by wargs growling at them…


Session 7: Rescuing the Children

[June 28th, 2022]

The heroes turn and face the spirit wargs before them, charging at them with weapon high. The wolves bite and growl, but the heroes’ steel proves more viscous and they manage to fell a few of them. However, when the wolves are slain, they simply disappear into vapour. It is then that Essylt screams, as the hill-people laying upon the floor, including her father, rise from their slumber. Heddwyn grimaces at the outsiders entering his lair, he and his men brandish their spears and charge in to attack.

It seems the spirit wargs are embodiments of the sleeping hill-people, with their defeat, the heroes then charge into the chamber to meet the hill-people in combat. Essylt seems torn as her father fights with Aidan. Behind her, Freach takes a deadly wound and collapses. Aidan is speared as well, but manages to continue the fight. Snasgror is knock out by Heddwyn and his dark shadow magic. The others then fell the remaining hill-people and defeat Heddwyn, but a dark shadow envelops the room and fills them with dread. Lasko tries to save Freach, but he has died. Aidan comforts Essylt.

Thrandr dons Heddwyn’s ancient ring and is overcome with a sense of purpose. The heroes continue on, eager to find the children. They find themselves lost in a maze of chambers and corridors, and after an hour, finally emerge where they hear sounds ahead. Khervun and Snasngror sneak in, finding a group of orcs guarding walls of prison cells stuffed with the missing children. Khervun accidently alerts the guards and the heroes charge in to fight. Aidan takes a mortal wound, falling in battle. But the others press on. Isilmion then suddenly appears at the opposite door, sword at the ready, already glistening with goblin blood. The heroes take out the orcs and free the children from the cages.

Isilmion leads the heroes and the children out the way he came, out into the cold snow of the ruined fortress. They head to the great bridge, but are then assaulted by an unearthly scream as a shadow circles above them. They rush across the bridge, sending the children to safety as the heroes stand firm to face the coming darkness. At the last moment, a great light erupts behind them, and they find the elf, Glorfindel, has come. His very presence chases the shadow away.

The elf had received Isilmion’s message and came as quickly as he could. He helps the heroes take the return trip to the Etten Hills. The heroes find that Cynbal has perished in a fight with the goblins and Essylt takes control of the hill-people. She promises to maintain the alliance with the West and never to let her people succumb to the promises of the Witch-King.

The heroes continue with Glorfindel and Isilmion to Rivendell, where they are greeted by Elrond Halfelven. He rejoices in their fight against the shadow and seeks their help in ensuring these lands remain safe against the growing darkness. They are escorted to a council chamber where they find an old man smoking a pipe, dressed in gray robes. “Greetings”, he says. “And I presume you do know my name, though you don’t remember that I belong to it. I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me.”


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