Rangers of the North

S02E08 - On the river
In which our heroes finally reunite, and another epic journey begins.

Some time has passed since the Undead assault on Minas Brethil, with Lord Baran away on business. After having repelled the attack, Jack Fleetfoot is now a name that calls respect. Although his foot has mostly recovered, he still feels the pain when he’s moving around. Without the supporting device he’s invented, he probably would not be walking around at all.

Suddenly word reaches his ear, bringing news of the best sort. His friends are all returning to Minas Brethil! After having been scattered to the winds on separate missions! This calls for a mighty feast!


Our friends arrive in Minas Brethil on their way to Tharbad and the library there. They find the old keep much changed. Indeed it is now far from just a keep, more a small town and around it many farms have been carved out of the landscape. It is peopled and bustling, indeed it is thriving. Baran and Jack have been busy.

Baran gives the group a kingly welcome, a feast is drummed up and the group share tales after having been apart for such a long time. When Jack pulls Beoraborn aside and shows him the forge he has set up, Bragol takes the opportunity to have them reforge his sword that was broken when defeating a troll.

Later on the eaving Salabon arrives, with him a thin, frail lady, his sister. Once again tales of the last months is shared, mostly by Salabon who is eager to tell of his meeting with Sauroman the white. While cool towards Salabon, no open hostility is shown by Hunter.

During the early morning hours Brago walks around Minas Brethil, taking in all the changes and size up it all. When the rest have gotten out of bed and are ready, they make all haste to Fennas Drunin.

In Fennas Drunin they spend the night, and the following morning they charge two boats. A barge for the horses to follow them, and a smaller vessel to make as much speed to Tharbad as possible.


Jack, who has felt somewhat weary for some time now due to pain, exhaustion and overwork, now feels lighter again. But alas, soon they are all travelling again on a mission together, this time on a small boat down a river. On the water! Jack, in shades from white to green, sits absolutely motionless most of the journey, his fingernails digging into the wood about him…

The river is strong and flows fast this time of the year and they make good time. When they finally pull along side the riverbank that evening to make camp, they are many, many miles closer to their target. Unfortuantely their good luck is about to change.

They have sailed for some time, but as night falls, everyone disembarks to set up a camp. It’s peaceful and quiet. Bragol and Hunter investigates their perimeter when they notice something strange along the river bank. A nest of large eggs, of a type unknown to both of them. Suddenly Hunter spots something in the river, something moving. “Quick, back to camp. We must warn them!” he shouts and the two sprint back towards the encampment. But too late.

Just as they arrive back a large shape launches itself rom the river, huge jaws clamp around one of the rivermen, tearing the unfortunate mans body in two. A monstrous Sea-Crocodiles, more than twenty feet long! Long, conical grasping teeth protrudes from its elongated snout, covered in the blood from a dead man. The beast proceeds to damage the boat, rendering it useless. And what is worse, more shapes are streaming towards the shore and the party.

A hard battle follows, with beasts seem more like dragons than crocodiles and Baran finds himself paralysed by fear. Arrows fly and the monsters jaws snap at the brave men and elf, fighting for their life. Finally they succeed in driving the monsters off, but a terrible prize. Beoraborn is gravely wounded, his leg torn open by the sharp teeth of the beasts. One of the sailors is dead, and the rest of the group has cuts and scrapes.

During the aftermath Hunter explains what they need to aid Beoraborn, while Salabon stabilizes and gives second aid to the Beorning. Jack and Baran follow Hunter, crossbows at the ready to provide cover for Hunter. He knows where to find the very herbs he needs, a special type of reeds called Arpsusar. He remembers seeing them earlier. The only problem is that they grow exactly where they beast has laid its eggs…

Nerve-wrecking minutes follow as Hunter carefully sneaks up to the nest, where the mother is now resting, guarding its young. So close is he that he can feel the hot breath from her nostrils… Fortunately he succeeds, returning with the herbs.

Together, Salabon and Hunter starts administering to Beoraborn’s wounds. They chatter away amicabily about natural philosophy and the proper application of herbs, all animosity seemingly gone. Feredir’s new apprentice Briar stares on in mute fascination as they place hot coals on the wet Arpsusar reed, binding it around Beoraborn’s leg. The Beorning is equally astonished to find that he can’t feel the searing heat from the coals through the wrapping.

“Where are Baran and Jack?” Salabon asks. Hunter is not sure. “I’ll go and look for them” says Bragol.


Baran and Jack have decided to pursue the eggs in all secrecy in the hopes of turning them into a valuable asset to the security of Minas Brethil. They both approach the nest, where they find the massive animals sleeping. Jack observes the area, and the two companions decide to try and silently take out one of the crocodiles. However, their attacks fail to mortally strike the beast, and they both wake up and charge Baran and Jack. Baran realizes the danger, and takes off with everything he has into the woods. Jack, however does not move. A million thoughts rush through his head and in desperation he strikes the first crocodile with his bare hands. It retreats, but only for the blink of an eye, before it attacks again. The other returns to guarding the eggs.

As Jack sees the huge gaping maw only a few feet ahead of him, approaching in terrifying speed, it’s like the time simply stops. Jack thinks about the way that led him here, all the choices he made along the way. About his reputation as a hero, about his friends. He stands his ground as the massive jaws, now only inches away, seems like a tunnel towards a black void, the wild eye of the beast, wide open, glaring right through him. Is this the end of Jack Fleetfoot, the Hero of Minas Brethil…?

View
S02E08A - The Palm of the White Hand
In which Salabon recounts some of his adventures on the way from the Angle to Minas Tirith
Dearest Sister.

Having ventured early to Fennas Drúnin to make sure that my traveling arrangements were all in order, I enjoyed the hospitality and exceptional food at The Oak Grove as I usually do on my respites here. I do believe you will find it every bit to your liking. The proprietor is a gracious lady of some stature, by the name of Jayelle. She will go far out of her way to ensure her guests feel every bit a welcome. Only the best of fares are served here, and I find I am progressively relishing the taste of the “wild” foods better than the more select foods of Minas Anor. I don’t quite know how to explain it other than that it is somehow more fireish.

Finally having enjoyed a respite of a couple of days to myself, I feel rejuvenated. Excellent fare and adequate sleep is a rare luxury for one such as I: yes, I do rather fancy myself an explorer, a thoroughbred adventurer, as it were. However, I have also purchased some fine new clothes and I must say that despite the toltho-o-rhaw – the “Call of the Wild”, one should say, of which we adventuring types so regularly suffer – the high life quite suits me. I have some standing here, as you will see. You will enjoy it here.

I have also gotten acquainted with a rather rambunctious gentleman colourfully known as Adamar the Easterling. He has some fascinating tales to tell, and professes some unique and surprising outlooks I find challenge and intrigue me. And he possesses some remarkable connections! A most agreeable traveling companion, we have found that we are destined for Minas Tirith in tandem.


Adamar and I have been traveling as part of a convoy – a caravan, just like in the stories. Well, life in these caravans are not as romantic as the tales will have you believe! With no privy save What you can muster from a few shrubs and bits of wood, hard, sharp, flea-infested pallets for beds, and scarcely a blanket between us, and the same, ghastly fare of cooked salt pork and biscuit (one should think we were on a ship!) unless the outriders manage to bring down some game. As I have recounted afore, you may recall that II have seen the mighty Feredir fell a giant boar with a single arrow! I am not impressed with these amateurs posing as archers, they’d fare better with slings than those primitive short bows they sport. But I digress; another challenge of the open road is bandits, or worse, Orcs! And would you not believe that we were, indeed, set upon by these wile (sic) creatures! And I am proud to tell you, dear Sister, that anon it was indeed your own brother that came the bravo and wiped their eyes, indeed I did! I now have rather extensive experience with these creatures and matters, on account of my travels and encounters. Well, I can tell you that Adamar and the caravanserai – oh how I love these provincial names! – were quite in a take, and I for once indulged myself in feeling like a bona fide Hero. Did I forget myself, or was it exculpable on account of the circumstances? I, who have struggled so to shake off these shackles of self-importance that plague our people: but surely, it was justifiable as it was, indeed, I who had saved the day? Adamar seems to think so, in fact, he positively encourages me, and insists we make a detour from our proposed itinerary to visit his Master. And would you believe it, his Master resides in Orthanc tower in Isengard, and that he is none other than that legendary, most learned and respected fellow Saruman the White? I swear it is so! And thus it was that we parted from our gracious company, I with my purse somewhat less light – a Hero never wants for nothing, they say, and double negatives aside, they appear to be right, as everywhere one goes a spontaneous collection seems to start, whereupon a Hero is thereby presented with a trove of bits and pieces of copper and silver. This seems to be a standard procedure in these matters, though I confess to never having seen Hunter indulge in anything like it. Maybe customs differ between Bree-land and the Gap of Isen? An interesting thought, and I will continue this account after I take some time to deliberate on it in a socio-political treatise I am currently composing. Indulge with me, please, Sister dear, for you it will have taken no time at all, whereas it for me will doubtless take tens of minutes!


And Here I Am Again! After narrowly escaping the Orc attack with our lives (at my behest, you will recall, Your Brother The Hero!) my very good new friend and I went to call upon his Master. And what a visitation that was, and no mistake! We positively spent the entire day. The Word in Gondor is that Saruman affects to be Lordly and arrogant, but I tell you nothing could be further from the truth! He appeared very kind of countenance, a gracious host, presenting the most hospitable service. As a gift I presented him with some of my last Bree Pipe-weed, and how he beamed and like a child at the gift! Would you believe that he did not lecture on as most elderly men have a penchant for, but was infact very eager to listen to all I had to say. And what I had to say! I found that my tongue quite ran away from me, spilling more and more as the audience grew more affluent in his responses. I must have chattered on like an old fishmonger’s wife, but I felt incredible: never have I been such a center of attention and eager interest! I am starting to form an opinion that those former companions of mine – Hunter, Baran (the so-called “Lord of Brethil”, hah!) and Eldacar in particular – tended towards hogging all the attention, whereas Adamar, the dear, why, he never uttered a word outside of confirming what I said, or indeed building it up! With the recent experience with the Orcs, I will freely admit I have rarely been in such great spirits, if ever at all! I will cross-reference with my own diary, written in a secret shorthand I have developed myself and which only I can read, what deliberations I had made upon my former companions. Could it possibly be that I have seen them in entirely wrong light all this while? Was it my own sense of inadequacy and fear of egotism that made them appear so lordly and righteous?


I could not form any opinions, but it bears keeping in mind for further deliberations. Now where was I? Oh, indeed. Saruman was graciously very interested in anything I had to tell, so I recounted for him our proud family heritage, and how we once were fervent followers of the Lord of Gifts. I then went on to describe my mission in Minas Tirith. He was surprisingly eager to hear of the battles at Harnalda and Minas Brethil. I told him in every detail I could muster about the enemy’s folly, and how simplistically they were defeated by nothing but farmers with sharpened sticks. Saruman seemed positively offended at the sheer stupidity of this White Hand’s commanders. He held a great staff in his hand, and as he banged it into the floors the room shook, and he spake in a booming voice of their folly and stupidity. Well, this led onto a deliberation about Fennas Drúnin and Minas Brethil, so I told him all I have gathered regarding the current political situation and the plans for the reconstruction of Minas Brethil. I can tell you he was well impressed with my observations and deliberations, for would you believe that he asked me to advise him on matters regarding the Angle! I swear it is so, I now have employ with that great man, albeit in an unofficial capacity, but I believe if I play this game right I will soon be one of Saruman’s trusted spies. What an honour to our House! And also to me, personally! Although he offered to pay me in gold, I refused, boldly announcing that the chance of wiping the eye of the Dark Lord is payment enough to serve him. I could tell that he was impressed with me yet again, but in the end he persuaded me to line my purse. No agent of his would walk the streets like a common beggar, said he! He also stated that learning of how Sîdoneth has a tunnel into the South Downs was invaluable, as he struggles to get hold of pipe-weed down here. Imagine your Brother having a finger in establishing new trade routes! Inconceivable, no? And then again, it is so!

I was graciously allowed to spend the night in Sarumans guest house inside the outer walls where I met a strange little man called Grima, I did not catch his last name. I felt as if I was already one of his proper villeins (sic), and the following day as we were making our sortie he graciously replaced some of the effects that perished in the Orc raid, and gave us lavish gifts. I tell you Sister, be proud of your brother, for he is doubtlessly going places and bringing great honour upon our House!

Faithfully yours,
Brother.
View
S02E07 - Strike Back
In which our intrepid adventurers risk all to save their friends

The Trollshaws. Having left the Twisted Tower in pursuit of a lone Orc carrying an unknown object that undoubtedly carries some meaning, Hunter, Eldacar and Beoraborn are set upon by a Stone Troll. They have no difficulty disposing of it, and nearby they find the remains of some unfortunate who met his end by this Troll. There is some small monies, a weather-worn but obviously good quality armour, and a masterwork Scimitar.

By using their birds as their eyes, the companions manage to follow the Orc’s quick succession down the river Hoarwell by boat, though they themselves are on horseback. Thus it is that they discover that the Orc has taken up with some unseemly fellows, and Hunter crawls forth to investigate. What greets him shocks him to his core: No trace of Puck, but a severely beaten pair; Wolf’s Bane and Mabs, in shackles. Surrounding them are twenty mercenaries, all bearing the White Hand insignia, and the Orc. They start methodically marching up an old road, leading into the thick forests.

Hunter manages to have counsel with his companions, and together they warp ahead of the column unseen, and set up a makeshift ambush.

Eldacar draws upon his mystical Arts, and employs the Orb of Brethil to coat the woods in a dense fog. Thus veiled, they attack, and manage to destroy the entirety of the Company, save the Orc, who after drawing a dagger on the Company’s Captain to gain ahead, takes off into the woods. Learning that there is a fort nearby, with many more enemies, the companions secure two prisoners they managed to subdue without killing, and with their two severely wounded friends make their laborious way through the Trollshaws towards Rivendell.

Rivendell. There is no laughter and song greeting Hunter and his friends this arrival in Rivendell, the situation is far too grave. Hunter and Eldacar receive what counsel they can, but there is little aid to find. Helvorn can spare one green Ranger recruit – the training of which is Hunter’s last test before finally being counted among the Masters of his craft, and the companions are ordered to proceed to Tharbad, there to visit the Great Library and try to intercept Treadstone and his black-hearted companion. On the way, they will repair to The Angle, there to evaluate the situation and deal with it as befitting.

Thus Hunter’s Companions move toward the place where their fellowship last fell apart, to meet those they left behind.

View
S02E07A - The White Gauntlet
This spring in The Rangers Of The North

Treadstone awakes to the smell of pipe-weed. It is still night. “Caremnir. Remember? Strict light discipline.”
“Do not worry. They will not be following us for a while. They have other affairs to take care of.”

- – -

Grohl tries to hold on to both the book and the boat as the dingy bounces down the river. He escaped, barely. Now he’s hoping for calmer waters and that the Gruth tribe will be marching for the Angle. Grohl is pretty sure that’s what Ahrm said they would do. The book must be kept safe, else ill will befall him as the white handed man spoke.

- – -

The gavel strikes the table as Faegwin speaks. “It is decided. We must take action agains Lord Sîdoneth. We simply cannot sit still and watch as he lures all our best workers into the woods with sweet words of gold and green land. The winter has been hard, springs flood will soon follow and the forts need repairs after the war. I know, Paetric, that these are your friends, but we simply cannot abide this theft. If you are no longer with us, then you are against us, and we will be forced to take action. It is decided.”

- – -

Dear brother.
This will be the last letter I write before i come north.
I cannot stay here any longer. The shadows keep haunting me, whispering to me. Tales of burning. Tales of darkness. Tales of yearning and utter nonesence. Ill fares the land and I am afraid if I stay, I wll not be me any longer. Meet me in Minas Tirith.
-Love sister

- – -

“He is bleeding out! Do SOMETHING!!!” Mabs, on the brink of hysteria keeps shouting at Wolf’s Bane, who tries to stop the flow of blood coming from Puck’s neck.

View
S02E06 - The Witching Hour
In which a band of loyal Orc soldiers find themselves haunted by something far more terrible than themselves

Cameth Brin: The two Men had departed. The Orcs the White Man had ordered to accompany them were left reluctantly guarding the deserted tower on Twisted Hill, far away from any battlefield, and any prospect of the glory the White Man had promised. Among these stood, Grohl of the Urughâsh, a lowly goblin of no particular repute, but cunning and wily, and able to maintain against his more brutal cousins. Their leader, Urk of the Uruk Uflag, is starting to lose his grip on his power, a power he has maintained by brute force, when the keep is penetrated by an unknown force, striking terror in the otherwise fearsome Orch.

One by one Urk’s warrior falls to the unseen foe, some sort of monstrous form bellowing in the darkened halls, until at last Grohl finds himself in a last stand beside Urk himself, Ganrosh the Ashkai and Ragnok of the Thrakburzum. As Urk and Ganrosh take their stand, Grohl and his only friend Ragnok steal away, and break into the most guarded of places in Cameth Brin, the Secret, unknown sanctum and treasure of the Men. Here they find only sleeping quarters, a treasure chest, and an old book resting on a raised plinth. Desperate, Ragnok attempts to break the lock on the treasure chest, only to be stung by a posion needle, the toxins spreading quickly through his veins.

As Grohl can hear Urk and Ganrosh retreating up the stairs, the attackers on their heels, he does the only thing he can think of to save his life. He steals the book, quickly ties together linens and bedsheets to make a makeshift rope out of the window, picks up his fallen comrade and – - drops him out the window. Then he makes for the ledge outside the door, where he can stand unseen until all have passed.

Within minutes the intruders have Ganrosh within the chambers, and Grohl has stolen away. They attempt to interrogate Urk about where his last men have gone, but he is unable to explain, so they slay him as well.

Meanwhile Grohl slips away and creates as much distance between Cameth Brin and himself as he possible can.

Left behind are Hunter, Beoraborn and Eldacar, with no clues and no leads, and a lot of dead Orcs.

View
S02E06C - Tiny teeth, tiny claws
In which two sleek, minute and furry forms play havoc on the Orcs

Out into the winds, the rain, the sleet, the cold. Swift Jaws runs through the underbrush, his paws finding their footing without any visible effort, his hide continuously below the protecting heather. Near him runs the larger ferret, its musk both familiar and alien – dangerous – to the small weasel. Together they hunt tonight, for their masters, Green Hide and Shaggy.

It takes them long to find their way safely into the buildings of stone below the looming hill, the weather threatening the whole way, and leaving both mustelids irritated and snapping at each other. But they use their tempers to good effects when they see one of the smelly fangmen coming from the long slope up to the opening – the opening Green Hide and Shaggy wanted them to find. They’ve found it! Swift Jaws jumps excitedly, fuffing at the hulking creature. It stops in its tracks, and licks its lips with a red tongue, its pronounced fangs almost in the way. It moves to draw a weapon, and as it takes half a step forwards the ferret drops onto hits head, a blur of claws and teeth, as Swift Jaws simultaneously shoots up its legs and goes for the jugular. It is over before the fangman has even properly registered what is happening.

The two mustelids leaps about with pride and joy, but both refuse to feast on its blood or flesh. It’s foul! Instead, they make off with its heavy key chain, taking turns at dragging it all the way back to where Green Hide, Shaggy and Fluffy Head rest…

View
S02E06B - Who Goes There?
On the Next Rangers of the North

There was a creak. Grohl was startled awake, and his armour clanged as he awkwardly stood to attention. Now there was a clatter. It took him a moment to realize that the sound was coming from himself, from his breast-plate vibrating with his own shudders. He forced himself to calm down. There was nothing here, surely? No living thing apart from the troops to which he belonged. Nothing would be stupid enough to come to this ungodly place. Nothing stupid enough – - or powerful enough? Weren’t the legends steeped with weird and horrible things? He swallowed. He knew that he was the thing that went bump in the night, it was he that mothers told their children about to scare them into sleep. What did he have to fear? But there it was again. The creak. His grip on his javelin tightened, and his spare hand felt for the assuring coldness of the hilt of his scimitar.
The lads had said… The lads had said that Ugrot had simply disappeared in the day, leaving no trace. And didn’t Ugrot carry the keys to the gate? But that made no sense: If there was anything in these horrible halls for him to fear, surely it wouldn’t need keys? Or maybe they also needed the keys to unlock the doors from the inside? He swallowed again, wishing he’d never thought that.
Then, a short scuffle, and a stifled groan from where Borath should be standing. His eyes widened, and he noticed he was gaping. Remembering himself, he shut his mouth. He gripped his javelin tight with both hands, and brought it up to bear.
“Who goes there?!” he shouted, a nervous twinge in his voice that made him even more unsure. “Who goes there?!”
And then he saw the shadows on the wall.
And then he fled.

View
S02E06A - Ghouls, Ghosts 'N Goblins
On the Next Rangers of the North

Minas Brethil.
Jack Fleetfoot opens his eyes, finding himself tucked in a comfortable bed in a room bathed in light. The pain in his foot is there, but it’s not nearly as extremme as he’d thought. It’s obvious that he’s been healed. By the bed he finds a couple of wooden cruches. Jack carefully finds his way down the stairs and finds himself in a familiar place. Minas Brethil. How he has missed this place, despite not having been away for a very long time. First things first. Food! Jack’s stomach is aching from hunger. He makes his way to the kitchen, and he’s being served a tasty breakfast. As he’s eating, one of Baran’s servant approaches him. Jack is eager to hear tidings of the battle of which he missed most parts of. After a while, Jack almost wished he’d never asked. The servant tells a very grim story. So many of the red lances fallen in battle. Jack shudders, feeling heavy guilt for those who did not make it back. So much he could have, and should have done different. The servant carries on, and Jack learnes that Baran has left for Fennas Druinen to complain about the Red lancers decision to leave his cause. Jack is also told that there’s a crate waiting for him in his forge. Curious of nature, Jack bids his farwells, and stumbles his way to the forge, where he finds the crate. Opening the massive construct proves littles issue. Inside he discovers to his enourmus surprise a massive anvil. Something’s different about this anvil. I’t not made of the metal normally used for anvils, and there are runes inscibed in it. Jack dont need much time to get a feeling for this magical anvil’s unparalelled possibilities. There’s not much time to test it, though. With Baran far away, all the paperwork of the city is laid in Jack’s hands. It’s ALOT of work. After a couple of days, mostly used to designing items of basicly any form of use with the anvil, or manging the heaps of paperwork constantly flowing in, Jack wakes up late at night, hearing sceams outside the keep’s gate. “Help us, save us!! The UNDEAD are attacking…….!”

View
S02E05B - The Road of the Healer, Part One
In which Salabon faces some hard choices make, and some hard roads to walk.

Salabon’s Journal, Early Spring, T.A 3011

«I believe I have finally found the solution to my sister’s madness. Having caught the first caravan out of Fennas Drúnin heading south in Spring, all I need do is make a brief stop at Minas Tirith. My hopes are high, but my spirits are low. I had to leave Minas Brethil far too early. The new House of Healing is understaffed and underfunded. My poor replacement has the heart but not the skills, nor the experience needed to successfully run the House. I keep telling myself what I already know all too well. That I am only one man. That I can’t help them all. That this world has been dying a slow and painful death for the last two millennia, and that the only thing I as a healer can do is ease her passing. Perhaps time and distance from my friends will ease my pains. Still, I cannot help but wonder whether I truly am lost in darkness without Feredirs guidance. Time will tell.»

View
S02E05A - The White Man in the Tower
In which the White Man sends out his most trusted agent.

These events take place during Episode Five, Weathering.

The tower. The Grandfather, the Wise One, he who the Orcs call The White Man.
A dim room, the only light emanating form a glowing Orb, and a few, scattered beams of light from high-ceiling windows.
The White Man bends awkwardly as he stands there, huddled almost protectively around the Orb, his hands stroking the air around it. He turns to another man, a shadowy character standing with a surprisingly nonchalant air in a doorway.
«They call him Salabon.» the White Man booms.
The man in the doorway grins. «Herbs? How droll.»
«He is becoming quite powerful, and he is walking a narrow path. I want him to take a path that leads him to me. The Path of the White Hand. Can you manage that?»
«Yes, my lord» replies the other. «I can, at that. By any means?»
«Any means necessay. Take these gems, they should be sufficient to tide you over.»
The shadowy man bows, and retreats. «My lord».
As he stalks these dark, jagged halls, he grins despite himself. He is doing what he was born to do, and he is loving it.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.