Rangers of the North
Combe is the most isolated of the villages of Bree-land, lying some four miles east of Bree in a deep valley. The Great East Road bypasses Combe, for the engineers of Elendil’s time chose to avoid the rather steep hills guarding the entrance to the vale. Combe was burned down in T.A. 1409 and used as an Orc-hold for two years — rebuilding was complicated by the foul refuse left by Angmarrim, but the village was rechartered in T.A. 1420.
Unlike Staddle and Archet, Combe does not rely upon Bree for its finisned products, and it is home to a number of independent craftsmen. Currently, a single, small, dirt track passes through Combe and unites it with the wider world outside. However, Combe must and does have craftsmen of its own — including a blacksmith, a cobbler, a tanner, a carpenter, a stone mason and a weaver. It also boasts a tiny inn, the Blue Trout, for travelers too weary to go on toward Bree. Two private chambers and the taproom — available after hours for thrifty sleepers — are the extent of the Trout’s accommodations. The inn is a popular meeting place for the Men of Combe, and the beer is excellent. Combe contains some fifty homes edged by a few scattered farmhouses. Remote farms he to the east and south and are also considered part of the community. The area’s soil is fertile, due mainly to a small river, the Rushlight, that meanders through the valley and, indeed, right through Combe itself.