Rangers of the North

S04E00 - Epilogue

And so it was that, bedraggled and beaten, Herbs and the Huntsman were brought forth from the hole in the wall where they were kept, and were stood before their liege lord, known to them as Strider, sometimes Aragorn, son of Arathorn, but now King Elessar. After all these years of hardship, growing ever more hardened and bitter, his fists tempered like steel on the jaws and skulls of oppressors and fellow inmates alike, his face never before such a testament of abuse and violence, his back so scarred as to resemble a map of nearby Lebennin, his will more resolute and unbending as never before. And yet never once a smile, never a saddened shine in his eye, never a frustrated sigh. Only cold, pure anger. But now, brought reluctantly before his King, the Huntsman finally wept. He fell trembling to his knees, and so knelt and kissed the royal seal, and asked his King’s pardon. And Elessar laid his hand upon his broken subject’s bowed head and wept tears of grief of his own. He lifted the Huntsman to his feet and kissed his cheeks, and proclaimed him Barhador, son of Tauron, a champion of the Rangers and all peoples of Middle-Earth, and that to have been so abused and ill-kept was a horrendous crime. The prison-master was brought before the King and asked to answer for his sins, but he creature, having turned sides as the prison was taken by the Enemy, and then changed his colours again as the War was over, only hid behind weak excuses. King Elessar in his justice banished the wretch from both Realms, cursing him to walk the wilds until his death.
Then, turning to Barhador, the King spoke, “I believe this belongs to you.” To Barhador he presented a beautiful, ornate sword, clearly of Elvish make, with nary an equal. Aeglin of Gondolin. “I cannot, my lord,” protested Barhador. “I am not worthy”. Then King Elessar laughed, the great, booming laughter of his people, echoing down the corridors and prison walls, and causing fright in many a poor soul already humbled by the presensce of their majesty, no-good miscreants, murderers and criminals of all sorts that they were.
“If not you, then who in all of Middle-Earth?” asked the King. “Did you not clear the Chetwood of bandits, the Midgewater Marshes of goblins and dread ghouls? Was it not you who led the band who ended the threat of Wargs in the Angle, and saved Thuin Boid and Harnalda from invasion, reclaiming the ancient fortress of Minas Brethil? Are you not the hero of Fennás Drúnin? Did you not root out conspiracy within the very ranks of the Rangers, a traitor who had blackened your name to further his own cause? And were you not he who rallied the Rangers of the Hills of Evendim to end a terrible threat brewing in Annúminas, right behind our backs? And was it not you who slew the Werewolf of the South Downs? Did you not lead the quest to slay the Worm Colargon, and reclaim this very blade, for the glory of Men? No, dear fellow, there are none so worthy as you.”
Barhador breaks then, his knees buckling. The men at either side have to hold fast as he shakes uncontrollably.

King Elessar orders Feredir and Salabon brought to better quarters: Isíl Lúna, a nearby villa untouched by the terrible war, with instructions to appear before him in his capital Minas Tirith when they are restored. And so they rest and recuperate, very slowly regaining a modicum of their former vivre, though both men will show their tribulations likely for the rest of their lives. Salabon soon recovers his fine spirits, but finds Feredir keeping to himself, closeted in his quarters, and hardly even accepting the offerings of fine food and drink set before them by the King’s orders. Soon he does not even accept this. Concerned, Salabon eventually makes his way into Feredir’s quarters. Shocked, he finds them vacated. Outside he discovers the paw prints of a large wolf, and nothing more.

His blood-brother Feredir has vanished.

Tharbad. Infested by bandits, the broken city is a gruesome place. But there are parts of that even the worst of the bandit gangs fear to tread. Parts where they say a terrible wolf-monster hunt and rip to shreds those fool-hardy enough to enter.

The South Downs. Bands of maurauding Orcs have plagued the area for years, having no leadership after the war, and the Crown not having the organisation to root out as of yet. But lately the bands of Orcs have started to dispersed. The ripped-up bodies of Orcs with their faces locked in pure terror start showing up on the borders. Rumours have it that the Wererwolf has returned, others say it is a vengeful Wraith… But why does it only prey on Orcs?

Hobbiton. A small remnant of the Great Wargs plague the outskirts near the Old Forest for a short while, but when a band of braves dare the hedgerows to confront them find them all mysteriously skinned and tanned, in convenient bundles. All around the area are large wolf prints, and some say they have seen a mysterious figure in a large hat moving about, someone not wearing yellow boots…

Minas Brethil. Having weathered the War by playing both sides, the Brotherhood have started preparations for abandoning the old keep and returning east. Rumours have it
the ancient citadel is haunted. Some say by a large apparition in tattered cloaks and hat, other say it is a wolf-demon, as evidenced by their leader turning up in pieces scattered all across the master’s suites…

Cillien. The small town near Healer’s Hall was repopulated right after the War, but has since fallen prey to a band of vicious bandits. Cowed and driven into the woods, the locals have begun emerging after rumours of someone or something driving out the bandits. Very few are found alive, and those are scared stupid, muttering about a terrible monster.

There are also other rumours of a mysterious vagabond with a wide-brimmed hat and a large wolf traversing Eriador, some times as far as Ghundabhund and the Númeriador, some times as far north as Angmar, his blade thirsty for the blood of fiends and brigands. But can this person really be Feredir, or is the mysterious stranger simply a rural legend?

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S03E15 - Betrayal in Minas Tirith

Salabon, Bragol and Gauthir return to Minas Tirith. They are soon beset upon by soldiers, charged with treason. Bragol and Gauthir manages to escape, but Salabon is caught.

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S03E14 - The Star of Elendil

The party discovers the whereabouts of the Star of Elendil, but learns that it is long gone, now in possession of the Oathbreakers in the Paths of the Dead.

Adamar leaves the party, and travels to the Paths, where he is given the Star by swearing allegiance to the rightful King. He agrees on the grounds that there is no rightful king, and that he therefore has nothing to lose. Returning to Orthanc, he brings his master not only the requested information on Palantíri, but also this new prize. He smiles contentedly.

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S03E13 - By Isildur's Hand

The party learns that the letter from Isildur contain information on the whereabouts of the Star of Elendil.

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S03E12 - Pelargir
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S03E11 - Friends and foes

Bragol and Salabond are finally given the name of noble the mysterious agent of the dark lord wants, them to subvert or kill. They are surprised to find that it is the third son of a noble lord, a young dilletant without any apparent value to the enemy. Why would this person be of any interest? Salabond vaguely remembers the young man, he used to hang around the society of the written word, always trying to gain their attention and praise, never succeeding.

Together the two formulate a plan to initate contact with the youg lord. Bragol follows the man for a few days, learning his movements and routines. Once this is done, they choose the place and time when Salabond just “happens” upon he man, recognises him and offers him friendship.

But an unforseen event complicates matter. The courtyard is filled wih people in quite an upheaval. It seems that Gandalf the grey is visiting the White City and many are wondering what he is doing here. Seeing and opening Bragol shouts: “Look, is it not Gandalf that cometh this way?” And with all faces turned and attentions busy Salabond "accidentally walks into Egel, spilling his books and begging his pardones. Then he “regonises” him and the two falls into discussion.

It would seem that the Egel is much given to study the history of the old seeing stones of Arnor. Could this be why the enemy is after him? This and if the two are not mistaken there is an aura of some power about the lad, could it be that he has some potential for magic? This could explain why the enmy would be interested in such a little waif…

Suddenly Bragol notices something disturbing. The air seems filled with signs of some form of magic, as if someone is scrying upon them. Scanning the crowd he attempts to uncover their source, but before he can succeed his attention is drawn to a most peculiar and disconcerning sight.

A gaunt figure of a man, dressed in rags and with long, wild hair is approaching the Salabond and Egel, drawing everyones attention towards them. Even more disturbing is what the old vagabond is crying out: “Eldacard, I am searching for Eldacar. Are you him? I can see power in you, but you ar enot him. Where is Eldacar? I must speak with him!”

Fearing what is afoot, but not wanting to expose himself the elf remains quite and watches. It does not take long for the guards to appear and apprehend the beggar. Salabond ends his meeting with promises of seeing hte youg man again and unable to locate the source of magic he detected, Bragol decides to follow the guards and the strange man in order to uncover who he is and what his purpose might be.

Salabond however is surpised, gladly so, by the sudden appearance of an old aquitance, one Adamar, whom he knows through Sauroman the white. The two falls into conversation and retire to Salabonds office.

Bragol however employs his special skill set and succeeds in breaking the old man out of the guards prison. and brings him back home. Learning that the man suffers from visions, visions that directed him to search for one Eldecar. Uncertain of what to make of it, he offers the homeless tramp to stay with him in hopes of uncovering the meaning of it all.

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S03E10 - The White Tower

A long time has passed since Bragol and Nestaron first entered the White City in search of the enemy agent that they believe is situated there.

At first all went well. They were successfull in infiltrating the city and keeping their cover intact. They opened a breakfasthouse named Eldecar’s Breakfast house in the first ring, and later a shop dealing in fine goods in the forth ring. With the help of Mabs Bragol began to set up a spy network.

But they soon hit a dead end; the enemy agent made no contact and the months passed. More than a year and stil no word. Then one day Nestaron arrives at the breakfasthouse and discovers a message, finally the game is afoot. But who are the mysterous strangers that follows Bragol to the drop sit? One is a young ruffian, clearly hired by the enemy. But who is the other one? The professional?

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S03E09 - The Battle of the Borderlands
Wherein our heroes and their Dwarven allies wage war
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S03E08 - Halls of Stone
Wherein our heroes visit the fabled Thorin's Halls to call the Dwarven host to arms

Well ahead of the Horde, the Companions arrive at Thorin’s Halls. They marvel at the grandeur of this living Dwarven citadel, where before they have only experienced long-dead such wonders.

They declare their intentions, and are soon brought before the Lord of Thorin’s Halls, Dwalin himself, of which Feredir has read in Bilbo’s memoirs.

They waste no time in delivering their dark tidings, and Dwalin, that wise and noble creature, instantly believes them. He sends Feredir and Idhrhis to scout the Horde’s progress, while Brolin, Beoraborn and Svendir join him in preparing his forces for campaign.

The following day the two scouts return with the news that the Horde is moving south, as Dwalin had suspected. Two mere days’ march will bring Dwalin’s host to a glen where they can meet the Horde with every advantage their own. However, he can also select, as many would, to close his gates and let others fend for themselves, such as he himself has experienced done to his people. But his noble heart forbids him so, and therefore it is a easy decision to order his troops to move out.

The Dwarves of Thorin’s Halls are going to war.

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