1st Afterlithe, 2498 (Summer)
As the moot draws to a close and the various traders, representatives and envoys return to their homes, the Company takes it upon themselves to head through the Narrows of the Forest into Southern Mirkwood, to scout out the threat posed by Tyrant’s Hill.
They set off on a fine sunny morning, the long days of Summer ahead, and track the horses that Mogdred and his men rode in on, travelling along the Western edge of the forest until the horse prints disappear into the Narrows. Alberic lets his boots guide him to a sheltered dell a mile inside the forest, a defensible and comfortable spot to make camp. The night is uneventful and in the morning they follow old gaming trails that the horses took, making slow progress as they follow the tracks, sometimes losing them amidst the overgrown thickets and carpets of ivy and brambles. Soon they find themselves moving deeper into the South of the forest, the trees now black firs with thick canopies that block out the light. The mirk is deeper here, the shadows darker, and there is a staleness to the air.
Scouting a short distance ahead, Dafydd spots several Men approaching; all armed with swords and bows, one leading with a hound sniffing at the ground. They bear the markings of Tyrant’s Hill: a silhouette of a dragon coiled around a tower. The Barding slips back to warn the others, and they try to hide in the foliage. Both Hobbits disappear, fading into the dark; the Elf clambers up a tree, whilst the Woodmen and Barding simply duck behind the black trunks of trees.
Dafydd Ap Alfred lets loose with an arrow, his unprovoked attack catching the leader of the Men in the arm; another arrow flies from the Elf’s bow, glancing off the leader’s mail. They cry out, a warning to each other, and a call to arms, and with swords draw the Men charge! Their leader lets loose his hound, while he takes up his own bow and lets loose an arrow at the Elf in the tree, striking his arm and almost knocking him from the branches.
Suddenly, Wilibald Took springs up out of nowhere, his brother Popo Took close behind, their King’s Blades striking at the man as he struggles to bring his sword up to defend himself: the man’s hound leaps at the Hobbits, but is cut down by Wilibald’s blade. Behind them, Dafydd and one of the Servants of Tyrant’s Hill clash, the Barding’s spear clashing against his opponent’s sword. Another charges at Alberic, who swings his axe high, decapitating him with the vicious blade of Wolfbiter.
The leader parries a blow from Popo, then bashes him on the head, and kicks the Hobbit in the chest, winding him. The Hobbit jabs with his own blade, and the small sword slips through the leader’s mail, piercing his heart and ending his life.
The other Servants jab and cut, driving Dafydd back with a series of blows; his mail keeps the blades from wounding him, but he is quickly worn out from the effort of parrying their blows. Another slips past, catching Alberic a glancing blow with his sword. That Servant suddenly staggers and falls as Gilthannas shoots him from above, then slips down from the tree. Dafydd rallies and thrusts with his spear, taking out another of the Men. One turns tail and flees, swiftly vanishing into the forest. The last Servants tries to follow, but finds his way cut off by the Hobbits.
“Surrender,” says Dafydd, trying his best to persuade the Servant to throw down his sword. The Man shakes his head: “Never!” He hurls himself at the Barding, but is knocked back by an arrow from Gilthannas, a kick from Alberic, and a shove from behind by Popo. The man trips over a root and crashes to the ground, his head striking the earth with enough force to knock him out cold.
The companions quickly grab some rope and tie him up. They pick him up and move away, seeking a safe place to camp. They decide to abandon scouting out Tyrant’s Hill and head back to Rhosgobel instead, with their prisoner in tow.
Three days later, pulling their laconic prisoner (whose name is Baldac) behind them, they arrive safely back at the settlement. Over those days their prisoner barely said a word, but now, he looks up at the hedge and the warriors guarding the gate, and smiles a cruel smile.
End of Session
XP Awarded: 1 each.