Midyear’s Day, 2950 (Summer)
Accompanying Radagast, the three companions take a lovely boat shaped like a swan down the river to The Black Tarn, where they stop and wait for the Brown Wizard as he ascends a hill and speaks to the eldest of the River-Maidens. He looks troubled when he returns.
“It is as I feared,” he says. “There have been stirring in the South of the forest these past few weeks, and how much that is to do with ”/wikis/mogdred" class=“wiki-page-link”> Mogdred and his men, or this Sorceress you nearly encountered, I don’t know. We’ll need to head to Dol Guldur and see if there is anything lurking there."
They head off, travelling across the Narrows of the Forest and skirting the land firmly under control of Tyrant’s Hill and into the twisted, gloom-ridden depths of Southern Mirkwood. It takes them ten days to reach the Fens that surround the ancient Elven ruin, and the gloom is upon them, the fog thick, mists of foul smells and deep shadows making it difficult to see far. Looming in the distance, a silhouette in the weak sunlight, the Brown Wizard points out the Fenbridge Castle, a fortress of Orcs. They avoid the bridges and islands that lead to the castle, and Alberic leads them safely through the marshes, taking their time, moving with as much stealth as they can. Three days it takes them, following a long route around the marshes, but eventually the ruins come into view. There is a haunting beauty to the former stronghold, much of its Elven design still plain to see. Marred by Orc-work. They camp outside, no fire, guards set and spend a cold night starting at shadows.
The following day, the sun all but hidden by the gloom and mists, they begin to explore the ruins. They cross the moat by the bridge, weapons ready, Radagast keeping alert for anything Evil stirring. Gilthannas looks about with his Keen-eyes, but sees nothing, and hears nothing other than the wind, There is no wildlife here. Passing through the gatehouse they find signs of occupation, but nothing recent, They press on, following the inner wall around to the inner gate, passing into the walls of the keeps, around to the gardens.
There they pause before the statues that watch them with dark eyes. It takes an effort of will to pass, but all do so without incident. Radagast sends the three companions into the High Keep, while he keeps watch.
Inside, Dafydd comes across a dead Orc, stabbed in the guts, only a few days old. The blade is Elven-made, from the Woodland Realm. They press on, looking for any signs of Evil or any documents, maps, anything that might tell them if there is something they should worry about. After a couple of hours they come across a heavy iron door, partially hacked apart, a lock freshly picked (days ago at most). Beyond are corridors with cells, dungeons, and a library hastily abandoned, manuscripts and scrolls scattered and trodden on. They gather what seems useful and intact, and while doing so spot a side room, which they discover another dead body inside. This is a Man from Lake-town, a gaping wound in his side, fingers outstretch to a grill in the floor. He’s been dead a couple of days. Aside from a few coins, which are the sort minted in the Woodland Realm, there is nothing much on him.
Down the grill, however, are blood-stained documents hastily rammed down out of sight. These turn out to be accurate (within a few weeks) documents and maps of the Woodland Realm, its military strength, passages in and out, all highly detailed.
They take the documents and head back outside, showing them to Radagast. “It looks like we have a spy or traitor in the Woodland Realm,” he says. “We’d best take these back with us”.
They leave immediately, taking their time to cross the fens and forest, and safely arrive at Rhosgobel a couple of weeks later. There Radagast heads them the documents, and asks them to take charge of them. He’s meant to be more an advisor and lore-master than getting directly involved, especially when it comes to the Elves, so he passes on the responsibility of what to do with them, to the Company.
Taking the documents, the companions rest up, then head off to their new holding on the edge of the forest, where their new home on the Old Forest Road awaits them.
End of Session
XP Awarded: 2 each.
Current Date: 27 Afterlithe, 2950, Summer.