28th Thrimidge, Spring, 2947, evening
Dagmar and the Servants of Tyrant’s Hill have gone ahead, out of sight. Alberic realises that they are off the beaten track, and that they’ve been lead astry, and it looks like they’ll have to make camp soon, or force march through the night to reach Rhosgobel. Wilibald scouts ahead, and finds the warriors nearby, seemingly waiting for the Company to catch up to them. A boggy expanse of land, almost hidden in the thick forest, lies ahead, blocking the path. He sneaks back and tells the others, but before they can decide what to do, Dagmar comes back with one of her men, as well as the hounds that always follow them.
“Why tarry?” she asks. “I thought you were in a hurry; which is a shame, as we’ve come across some boggy land and will have to go around. As the day is drawing to an end, we’d best make camp here.”
That doesn’t sit well with the Company, and Dafydd point blankly refuses to join their camp, and the others agree that it would perhaps be best to continue on, through the night. While the Barding keeps her talking, refusing to listen to her even when she spells out the possible dangers of camping alone in the woods, and that there is safety in numbers, Wilibald sneaks off again, and finds the other five men and their hounds getting ready to fight; shields are unslung, helms donned, swords are drawn. Popo, meanwhile, edges away towards the ponies, where Beran sleeps draped over one of the more sturdy ponies.
Dafydd pushes Dagmar too far when he accuses her of being untrustworthy, and that he fully expects her and her men to try and take Beran by force; turns out he is right, as Dagmar shrugs, gives a hearty whistle to signal her men, and draws her sword before the companions can react. She swings hard at Dafydd, the blow as he parries her blade making his arms ache; her hound leaps at his ankles, biting down but manages to not draw blood. Her warrior-in-arms goes straight for Alberic, swiping out low, which the Woodman just barely parries, the blow forcing him back a step. Behind them, Gilthannas draws his bow, and sends an arrow flying at the Servant, drawing a thin line of blood across his arm.
Dafydd and Alberic turn their attention to Dagmar, and between them, they bash her sword aside, knock the shield from her arm, and club her into unconsciousness; a swift kick sends her hound off into the forest. Her ally screams for the others to come, and slay them, believing his leader to be dead, and attacks Alberic in a frenzy, knocking the Woodman back and tiring him out from the parries. Dafydd jabs the shaft of his spear in the man’s guts, winding him, and leaving him open for an arrow to the throat, as the Elf shoots him down.
The Hobbits, meanwhile, are also busy. Popo disappears in the forest with the ponies and Beran; while Wilibald distracts the other warriors for a few moments, by shooting a warning shot across their path and hurling a stone into the undergrowth on the other side from where he hides. They might have been delayed longer, but the shout for vengeance from their brother-in-arms spurs them on, and the five men and their hounds burst out of the trees, attacking savagely as they see Dagmar and their fellow warrior lying on the ground.
Such is the ferocity of their attack, that both Dafydd and Alberic are knocked to the ground, beaten into unconsciousness, and even an arrow from Gilthannas does little but attract their attention. Then Wilibald charges out of the undergrowth, stabbing at their ankles, and a moment later his brother comes charging out from the shadows between the trees, standing over their fallen comrades as the Servants of the Lord of the Hill turn their attention to the two Hobbits; while the Elf fires arrow after arrow into their midst.
The battle seems to be going against the companies at first, the flurry of sword blows and snapping teeth quickly wearying Popo; Wilibald, small and elusive and fast on his feet, manages to dodge blows and teeth with surprising ease. The Elf takes out one man, then a hound; Wilibald moves into to protect his brother, and stabs another warrior in the chest, sending him crashing to the ground. Another hound falls, then Popo stabs one of the men, and an arrow transfixes him before he can raise his sword again. He collapses on top of his fallen comrades.
The battle suddenly turns. Their initial frenzied attack has worn the Servants out, their blows more laden and slow; the Hobbits dodge and duck, the Elf shoots another hound as it leaps into the air, then an arrow takes out the next to last man; leaving the final man to fall to Wilibald’s King’s Blade.
Popo rouses his companions, and Dafydd and Alberic come round to find themselves surrounded by dead men, Dagmar, it turns out, is alive but unconscious. They truss her up and gag her, retrieve Beran and the ponies, and with guards set throughout the night, they make camp after burying the dead as best they can.
The following morning, weary but alive, they head off. Beran wakes a short while after, and tells the Company that he was out scouting for Radagast, but was captured by Dagmar; he escaped, was pursued, stumbled into some webs and got bit by a spider, and then staggered upon the companions. If it wasn’t for them, he expects he’d be dead; and he is in their debt.
When the Company arrive at Rhosgobel, they are welcomed and Radagast is sent for. He is overjoyed to see Beran safe and well, troubled by the news he brings, and grateful for the help the Company provided. They remain guests in the settlement for a week, resting up and asking Radagast about Wolfbiter. The Brown Wizard says it is a powerful heirloom, best reforged with its other pieces, and by a dwarf-artisan. Since they saved Beran, he agrees to send out his ‘eyes and ears’ to find the missing pieces, and to let Alberic know where they are located. Then it will be up to them to find and retrieve the shards, and have them reforged.
In the meantime, they have his patronage, and his gratitude. Before the week ends, he even finds an old Woodland Bow, which he had stuffed away in an old cupboard and has no further use for. He hands it over to Gilthannas, asking him to treat it well.
As the week draws to an end, with the Summer months ahead, a message arrives for the Hobbits. It is from Agatha Brandybuck of the Easterly Inn, and she is worried about her husband’s brother, who has not yet returned from his trip to the Shire for more trade goods, including the Pipeweed for the Took brother’s enterprise. She wants their help.
The Company agree to help, and the next morning they bid farewell to Radagast and Beran, and head off into the woods.
End of Session
XP Awarded: 2 each.
Gained: Radagast as a Patron.