8th Winterfilth (29 September) 2946
Dusk has fallen by the time the Fellowship reaches the Falrock. Hiding amongst the heather and long grass they spy the thieves camping in the ruins on the island that stands in the Rushdown waters, 10 or so miles downstream from Eagle Falls. There are four in all, three tired and desperate looking men, and an archer that is looking North, watchful.
As dusk lengthens, the Took brothers head upstream and find some driftwood, then cross the river by half-swimming, half-floating, to the other bank, tiring Popo out a bit by the time they reach it. They sneak closer to the ruins, taking advantage of their small, elusive size and the tall grass. From the South bank, Gilthannas, with his Keen-Eyes, keeps watch on them; to the rest of the Fellowship, the brothers are invisible. Up close, the three desperate men bear the marks of manacles, while the archer carries the Sickle on his belt. They head back up the river and cross back over, stealthily making their way back to the others, both wet and tired.
The Fellowship decides to wait until full dark, while the thieves camp, then send in the Hobbits to sneak up and steal the sickle. To cover them, those with bows will keep watch, ready for a signal to fire if the need arises. As they wait, as the sun begins to set behind the Misty Mountains, another figure arrives from the North: a tall, thick-set man carrying a great axe. He calls out to the thieves, addressing the archer by the name of Cenric and asking if his has the prize. Cenric holds aloft the sickle.
Then it begins to rain. Soon, the rain is pouring down, rippling the waters as they flow around the island and rocks sticking out. The thieves huddle around the camp fire, using a cloak and a few sticks to make a crude shelter to keep the worse of the rain off. They cook a couple of rabbits, while the newcomer and Cenric quietly talk.
As soon as it is fully dark and all but the two talkers are asleep, Dafydd heads upstream and swims across to the other bank, wet and chilled as he slips out of the water and carefully approaches the camp. He almost comes unstuck when he slips closer to the ruins, but the resulting embarrassment that would occur if he buggered up the plan gives him a surge of hope, and he manages to keep his footing and draws close enough to hear the two thieves talking. The newcomer is called Guthred, and in the morning he and the three other men will head back to East Upper Vales, to hand the sickle over to Viglund. Cenric will head off on his own, his part done. Guthred orders Cenric to stand guard, and rolls over to sleep, sheltering from the rain by huddling up against the rubble. Cenric sits with his back to the wall, watching the guttering campfire.
Dafydd signals to the others, and with his Keen-eyes Gilthannas spots him and gives a nod to the Tooks. The brothers once again head upstream, then slip into the cold water and let teh flow take them to the middle of the island; they are cold when they reach the island and haul themselves out of the water, unseen by Cenric. Meanwhile, Alberic, Veig and the elf stand watch on the South bank, bows and mattocks ready in case the burglary fails.
To distract the half-alert archer, Wilibald sneaks up to the wall and dislodges a brick, ducking out of sight as Cenric gets up and comes over to take a look: he sees nothing, but while distracted, Popo crawls along the outer wall and makes his way over to where Guthred sleeps; with extraordinary stealth and nimble-fingers, the Took brother steals away the sickle without disturbing the sleeping thief, and manages to slip back into the rain and darkness without being seen as Cenric shrugs and returns to his wet vigil.
The brothers slip back into the water and swim tiredly back to shore and rejoin the others. Together, the five wet adventurers sneak upstream and send Gilthannas across the river to fetch Dafydd back, both getting cold and wet; the elf is almost swept downstream, but manages to swim to the shore before he goes too far.
Together again, the Fellowship shoulder their packs and quickly head back, following the Rushdown and hiking through the rainy night to put as much distance between themselves and the thieves before they notice that the sickle is missing.
End of Session
XP awarded: 2 each.
Gained: the Sickle of the Full Moon