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Author Topic: Campaign: Unsung Heroes  (Read 59146 times)
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jdizzy001
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« on: January 22, 2011, 10:46:36 AM »

(This campaign takes place after Bilbo leaves bagend, but before Gandalf returns.)

The 3rd age.  In the wilds of Ithilien, Radagast the Brown trudges southward.

No Mithrandir, I don't have time to worry about a hobbit and some ring you think to be of some importance.  Radagast thought as he trudged through the mud.  He was soaked from the top of his head to the bottom of his robes.  The shower was not letting up and the clouds covering the moon made it difficult for Radagst to see in the dark.  Regadless, he had to continue southward.  If I don't reach the border soon, all could be lost.  A spell of endurance had sustained the wizard all day, but now its aura of sustaining energy was fading.  Radagast grew weary.

Ahead, through the trees, Radagast could see a flickering light.  A campfire?  Travelers!  He thought.  With a renewed vigor Radagast moved through the shadows till he was just outside the light of the campfire.  He peered into the lighted area.  He spied from his hiding place a small number of people.  Radagast perceived them to be sturdy folk with an latent heir of nobility about them.  

Feeling confident they were free folk of middle-earth, Radagast stepped into the light.  It was only a moment till all eyes rested on the ragged wizard....

(There you have it.  Take it away!)
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 06:15:08 PM »

"These Gondorians are weak. No wonder the orcs have grown bolder and take more land by the day. I should get out of this place while it's still standing. The only one actually doing anything here is the stewards son, Boromir, but he alone can't save this place. It won't be long until the orcs would grow so bold as to attack Minas Tirith itself." thought Kane as he was moving through the First Level of Minas Tirith. After traveling for many weeks, he stopped in Minas Tirith to gather some supplies before continuing on his way. "There is nothing for me here." He said to the guard as he exited through the Great Gate.

"I should probably go to the east. Men of Harad rule there, but I shouldn't have any trouble from them. They'll see me as just another beggar and there I might learn something of their battle techniques. They are said to fight differently than men of the west." thought Kane as he was nearing a broken bridge over the Anduin. "Very well... ", he said. "Haradwaith it is. Although, I should first find some way to cross this river."
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 11:22:05 PM »

"To Harad?  For a wizard you are a crazy one!" said the Captain.

Radagast was not amused.  He surveyed the fighting men surrounding the campfire.  Some were clad in armor, others were not.  Some were soldiers, others were not.  The weary wizard took a deep breath, "If you truely value this land, you will follow me southward!"

"No, Master Radagst, we are but soldiers in a convoy heading to Minas Tirith.  There is nothing for us south of Gondor, we are sorry.  You may stay with us as long as you wish, but our road lies north, for it is the will of the steward Denethor," explained the captain.  The company dispersed.  Some returned to their meals, others were caring for their weapons or armor.

Radagast felt dismayed.  He hung his head low for a moment, What shall I do? he asked himself.  The wizard was deep in thought, when he noticed someone approaching.  Radagast looked up.  He met the gaze of a steely-eyed man.  His hair was dark and stringy, wet from the rain.  He wasn't dressed in the garb of a knight, nor the trappings of a travller.  His clothes were simple and over his shirt he wore a heavy chain corslet.  An arming sword also hung in a sheath at his side.

"You're going to Harad?" asked the man.

"Yes.  There is much occuring in Far Harad which will effect us all.  I must get there in haste," explained Radagast.

"I am Beowdil, son of Wulf.  I've been searching for my wife and sons.  They were taken by a party of Uruk-Hai.  After months of searching I have reason to believe they were taken to Harad," Beowdil paused.

"Then our roads lead us to the same place," suggested Radagast.

"I am only searching for the ones I love, but I will accompany you till I find them." explained Beowdil.

Radagast nodded, "I would hope for nothing less."  The wizard extended his hand.  

Beowdil grasped it and they shook.  He noticed a strange tenor in Radagast's voice.  There was a hidden meaning in what the wizard said.  Though Beowdil only promised to travel with him till he could find his family, the retired farmer could tell he would be traveling with Radagast for a long time.
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2011, 01:43:05 PM »

The journey southward was quickly becoming humid. The rains had passed, but Radagast and his traveling companion, Beowdil son of Wulf, were still wet. However, the moisture came due to sweat as they reached southern Ithilien.

Just after noon, the small company stopped for lunch, "Eat quickly Beowdil, we must make haste."

Beowdil glanced at the wizard then knowingly nodded, "Very well," he answered.  The two moved to sit down before eating their rations.  Radagast paused mid-squat. He lifted his head as if listening to something.

"Did you hear that?" he asked.

"No," Beowdil responded. The fighting man stood up straight once more.  His hand instinctively went to the hilt of his sword. 

Radagast stuffed the dried rations back into the folds of his robes and gripped his wizard's staff.  He looked over at his raven haired companion, "Quickly, this way!" Radagast turned and dashed into a thicket of trees.  Beowdil followed.  They fell to their stomachs in order to hide behind the low bushes just off the main trail. In silence they waited.

Beowdil strained to catch a whisper of what Radagast seemed to hear with ease. It came softly at first, but quickly the noise grew in volume. Beowdil then caught a glimpse of what the wizard had warned them against.

A small company of three Haradrim were moving north through the forest.  In tones hardly audible Radagast spoke, "Southron scouts.  Clearing the road for a larger force no doubt." 

Beowdil said nothing.  Slowly he began to pull his arming sword from its scabbard.  As he did the sound of metal on metal was heard as the blade dragged across the scabbard.  The Southrons spun in place, spears in hand, searching for the source of the sound.  Beowdil felt his heart beat faster and his rage begin to kindle as their eyes fell upon him.  He fought the urge to grin. 

Radagast glared at Beowdil, "You fool!" he barked in a low whisper.

The Haradrim let out a war cry, it sent shivers down Beowdil's spine.  With incredible speed, the Haradrim charged.  With greater haste Beowdil, son of Wulf leaped from his hiding place, "WULF!" he yelled as he raised his sword above his head.

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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2011, 08:36:20 AM »

Beowdil could feel his rage building, and with that fire he met the Haradrim. In a wide, arching overhead strike Beowdil attacked the nearest Haradrim. The lithe warrior caught the blow with the haft of his polearm. The farmer turned warrior leaped back as the other two Southrons attacked with their spears set to charge. Beowdil spun a web of steely defense about himself parrying the oncoming attacks. Quickly the fighter feinted, causing the third Haradrim to lose balance and tumble. With a vicious stroke Beowdil's blade found its mark. One of the Southrons were now dead. Beowdil's rage was burning in his stomach.

The first Haradite moved in against Beowdil for a second time. Beowdil's building rage narrowed his vision until all he could see was the Southron in front of him. The second southron turned and struck at Beowdil with a poorly placed attack. The spear turned almost harmlessly off Beowdil's corslet of chainmail.

The fighting man could feel the bruise forming on his back. His vision widened momentarily as the painful attack reminded the farmer he must pay attention to all of his surroundings. However, as he gripped his rage once more and his vision narrowed. Beowdil spun around and with a quick stroke downed the second foeman. Once he was certain the Southron was dead he turned to face his last opponent. With a loud bellow, Beowdil released his red hot fury.

In a crash of sinew and steel the two warriors met. Strikes and blows were met with feints and counters. The warriors were bleeding from many wounds which would have been fatal had they not been avoided by late parries and last ditch evasions. Radagast watched from the bushes. He was certain he had found the right hero, I just hope we can find more companions, he thought. The wizard pushed himself up from the ground and with staff in hand he raised both arms into the air.

It's a shame I have a wizard with me who won't fight! Beowdil thought to himself. His back was to Radagast so he couldn't see the wizard conjuring a spell of power.  The Southron however, was staring right at the wizard who seemed to grow in stature. The woods surrounding Radagast became sinister and dangerous and the wizard's spell grew in power. An inner light materialized within Radagast growing in intensity. The Southron had to cover his eyes. He screamed in pain as he was momentarily blinded.

Beowdil capitalized on Radagast's distraction, and with a mighty strike supported by his fury, he disarmed his foe.

The Southron fell into a puddle of his own blood. He was only on the ground for a moment before rolling and rising back to his feet. He let his spear lay on the ground still gripped by his severed arm. Beowdil leveled his blade at the beaten Southron who turned and fled southward. The reluctant warrior could feel his burning rage subside.

"Well done," stated Radagast as he walked out onto the main path, "He will report back to Harad's army about what happened."

"Perhaps they'll think twice before attacking the freemen of middle-earth," stated Beowdil. He felt a trickle of blood move down his swordarm. The fighter looked at it in time to see his blood run from the hilt of his sword to the blade and mix with the blood of the Haradrim.

"Where did you learn to fight?" asked Radagast.

"I didn't, I let my rage guide me," answered Beowdil. He looked up and saw the wizard was staring at him.

"I'm no sword master, but I know a few things about the blade. Perhaps you will let me teach you what I know?" asked the wizard.

"I will gladly accept any aid you offer me in finding my family," stated Beowdil.

"Excellent. Then lets bandage your wounds and eat lunch. I'm starving."
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2011, 10:31:37 PM »

With a few days march behind them, Radagast and Beowdil noticed the trees began to thin as they neared the ford in Pelargir which crossed the Poros River. Radagast served as guide, knowing the route from Gondor to Harad. He kept a sharp eye out ahead, and communed with the birds from time to time in order to ensure a safe passage.

The companions crested a hill and looked down towards the ford. There was a winding path of switchbacks leading down a short cliff. Once at the bottom of the cliff, they would be out of Ithilien and free to cross the ford. They would no longer be in Gondor. Once across, the road became The Harad Road which cut through Harondor and skirted Khand before crossing into Near Harad.

Radagast was prepared for that trip, but not the one he was about to experience. His eyes traced the path down the cliff and across the Pelargir Field. To his surprise, the ford was already being crossed. A company of Haradrim sloshed their way through the ford into Gondor. They made a great tumult of noise as they moved. To both Radagast and Beowdil's surprise, the company included three Mumakil.

"Iluvitar be merciful," whispered Radagst.

"O Elbereth Gilthoniel," stated Beowdil, "I have never seen a monster so large!" As if on cue one of the massive grey beasts raised its trunk in the air and let out a bellow. The rider responded by blowing the horn which dangled at his side.

"We can not linger here," Radagast said. There was a hint of concern in his voice.

"We have nothing to fear wizard. The Southrons will not be able to bring their Oliphants up this trail. They will have to go around," explained Beowdil.

"That is what worries me. To the East lies Mordor, the Oliphants will need a straighter pass than the Mountains of Shadow. They will have to go through Pelargir. Pelargir is weak. It is the last free city before Harad and they are nearly broken. They will not be able to withstand the company before us. At least not alone," explained Radagast.

"You are thinking that the aid of a wizard is what the Gondorians need in order to vanquish them?" ventured Beowdil.

Radagast chuckled, "I have sworn an oath to defeat Sauron. No doubt these Southron are traveling to the Dark Lord's lair to bolster his numbers. If we can defeat them, or at least hinder their march, then I will be one step closer to fulfilling my oath," he paused, "I know you are here to find your family Beowdil, and I would not ask you to help, but Pelargir will not have the strength to fight against these Southron. Your blade will be most appreciated in the river town."

Beowdil sighed. He looked out across the slowly moving Haradrim forces. They were already nearly across the ford and beginning to move west around the cliff, towards Pelargir. The farmer thought of his wife and children, What shall I do my beloved? If I go with the wizard I may never find you. However, would you still love me if I refused to aid the helpless? Would I still be the man you married if I turned my back against the defenseless? With a grin on the corner of his lips Beowdil answered, "Do you really think we can stop three Oliphants?"

"Perhaps not, but wouldn't you like to boast about it in a tavern?" Radagast smiled.

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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 09:10:39 PM »

Pelargir wasn't far from the border of Ithilien, but even with only two companions the journey lasted a full day and night's march. Nevertheless, Radagast and Beowdil now stood at the river town of Pelargir as the sun began to rise.

"We arrived ahead of the Southrons. Nevertheless, time is against us. We must find the town's leader and prepare what defenses we can to thwart the Southron," said Radagst. His brow was sweaty and smeared with dirt. He and Beowdil had marched through the night. This would give the people of the river town more time to prepare for the defense of their city.

"Do you really think a small river town can thwart the company we saw?" asked Beowdil.

"We must trust to hope. Come Beowdil," Radagast turned and looked skyward. He whistled loudly and waited in silence for a few minutes. Beowdil looked at the wizard, then looked into the sky, then back at the wizard. He turned once more and looked skyward in time to see a black raven soaring downward. Radagast reached out with his free hand and the raven landed on the wizard's open palm. Beowdil was amazed.  Radagast leaned down towards the bird and whispered something inaudible to Beowdil. Once finished Radagast raised his hand into the air and sent the raven skyward.

"What was that?" asked Beowdil.

"That was my friend. I asked him to serve as a scout to us and inform us the moment the Southron are within 10 leagues of here," explained the wizard. Beowdil opened his mouth to say something, but he didn't understand the ways of the wizard so decided to say nothing.

With a smile and a wink, Radagast turned to face Pelagrir and lead the way into town leaning on his staff as he walked.

Beowdil had never been to Pelagrir before. Despite the urgency of their quest, the farmer paid close attention to the township and how it was built. Homes and small shops were crafted from wood, taken from the forest, and stones, which were sent down stream from quarries in the north. The road was paved with brick and was used to traffic goods to the river front. Over the townsfolk and to the west, Beowdil could see the riverfront. Its bank was covered by a boardwalk leading to docks of varying sizes. He could see barges and boats coming and going from the docks, some were loaded with cargo and others were empty.

Beowdil turned and looked forward. Radagast was leading them to a large manor not far from the riverfront. Two guards stood in front of the manor's main gate. The gate was made of iron bars and a low wall no more than ten feet high. Beowdil noticed the guards wore shirts of mail, much like his own, simple helmets of iron rested on their head, and in one hand they held a spear and on their hips were slung a sword.

Radagast stopped a few paces away from the guards, who were eyeing him with great suspicion. The wizard looked each guard in the eye, then spoke, "I am Radagast the Brown. I seek and audience with your master. It is of dire importance."

"Master Radagast, you are known to us. I will summon my master at once." The foremost guard placed a fist to his heart and bowed slightly. He then turned, opened the gate and soon vanished into the manor. In silence the small company stood. A cool breeze crept by from the river and was a nice reprieve from the humid air. Beowdil glanced over at Radagast. He stood tall and proud and despite his aged appearance the Istar carried himself with the grace and stability of a young noble. Beowdil noticed the wizard seemed to be listening. Listening for a sound only he could hear.

The sound of a heavy door shutting was heard from the manor. Beowdil turned his attention forward once more. The foremost guard was returning with another behind him. He was a greying man, he too carried himself with noted pride and nobility. He was certainly the Lord of Pelagrir. The gate was opened and Radagast, along with Beowdil, were motioned inside.

"Radagast the Brown, a most welcomed guest. I am Corinir, Master of Pelargir and Lord of this river!" There was a smile on his face as he spoke.
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2011, 05:09:51 PM »

It seemed to Radagast that Lord Corinir was unaware of the Southrons moving against him. The greying Gondorian was rather jovial and didn't seemed bothered by much. Radagast looked across the marble table. Beowdil seemed dwarfed by the tall chair in which he sat. The wizard was certain he too looked rather small in his chair just opposite the reluctant fighter.  Radagast took a sip of the wine given him from Corinir's servants, set down the fine goblet, then spoke.

"Lord Corinir, I thank you for the hospitality given my companion, Beowdil son of Wulf, and myself. However, we must speak with you about an urgent matter," Radagast paused as one of Corinir's servants stepped forward to top off the wizard's goblet.

"Urgent news?" Corinir's smile didn't fade, "And what may that be? More Corsairs? Fear not master wizard, the fighting men of Pelargir know how to defeat river-born pirates. We have driven them back countless times."

"Lord Corinir, I do not doubt the men at arms of your house, however, the threat approaching you is not one from the river. A company of Haradrim are marching upon your city even as we speak. Beowdil and I are no more than a day ahead of them. I have a spy watching their movements, and he will alert me when they are closer. I am here to warn you of their advance, and offer my service in the defense of your city," Radagast explained.

Corinir, Master of the river, was silent for a moment. His smile slowly vanished, "Yes, I am aware of their presence. Master wizard, I must confess something to you. There will be no easy way to tell you this, but inform you I must."

Radagast could see Corinir shifting nervously in his seat. The Gondorian was fidgeting with his goblet spinning it around and around with his fingers. His eyes were cast downward, staring at the white marble table, "Don't keep me in the woods, tell me," stated the wizard.

"As I said, we are aware of the Southrons' company. We have been for some time," Corinir paused and waved his servant forward. He lifted his goblet and the servant filled the offered mug. Corinir continued, "Perhaps I'll start at the beginning. As you maybe aware, we have defended the coasts of Gondor for some time. Many attempts have been made by the Corsairs to assail our lands. However, we have always been able to stop their attacks, sink their barges, and reinforce our port town against future assaults.

"Nevertheless, to our dismay, the assaults have become grievous and more frequent. Many of my strongest men have perished in the frequent assaults. At the start of this past year, the Umbars attacked us yet again. It seemed nothing new to us, however, they fell upon us with such strength and force we could not repel their assault. Our fair city had been taken," Corinir paused as he watched Radagast's brow raise in slight confusion. "Yes, the city of Pelargir fell. However, the Umbarians came ashore and I met with their shipmaster. He didn't come with a flag to conquer. He came with a bargain: Allow Mordor to use Pelargir as a staging ground or perish. It was a hard bargain but I could not willingly choose to kill my own people here in this once fair city.

"To deny the Black Numenorians this request would spell the death of every man, woman, and child in Pelargir," Corinir paused as Radagast stood up. The wizard's gaze was fierce and blazed with fury.

"And to grant them this request will spell the death of everyone in Middle-Earth. Lord Corinir, after centuries of fighting and bloodshed, you allowed the Dark Lord's allies to walk into Gondor!" never before had Radagast felt a rage in his stomach burn so brightly.

"I wish now I could take it back. I do, Master Radagast, I understand now the folly of my ways. But in the time we have had since finalizing the treaty, Pelargir has been rebuilt. Now all we do is allow the Southrons to cross into Ithilien where they can trek to Mordor where Sauron lies. Yes, I sold my soul, but the people who call Pelargir home have been able to return to a state of normalcy. We can trade again, live without fear of attack. Do you know how long it has been since the people of Pelargir lived so?" explained Corinir.

"But for how long? The Dark Lord will advance again, he will attack Middle-Earth and your precious city. What will happen then Corinir? Will you again trade your freedom for life of luxury? An empty facade? Which is all you will have under Sauron's rule. You will not truly be free, you are not so even now! Your docks are defiled by Haradrim plotting your destruction. It is only a matter of time before your city is razed to the ground! Are you caught so far in the enemy's web that even now you will permit the Haradrim to cross your lands? Have everything your father's fought for been for naught?

"For an age they warred to keep our lands free. They paid with their blood, and now you will betray that blood?" Radagast fumed.

"What would you have me do? My people are spent, broken, and dying! We have nothing left to give Radagast, we have been beaten," Corinir leaned forward into his hands and struggled to maintain his composure. In silence Radagast stood.

From across the table, from the reluctant fighter, Beowdil spoke, "I would have you perish Master Corinir,"

Both Corinir and Radagast looked over at the raven black-haired man, "What?" they said in unison.

"I would have you perish. Perish, standing on your feet instead of living on your knees. You allowed the enemy into your home, now thrust him out. Give your people a taste of freedom my lord, and they will war against these Southron till their last breath. The enemy thinks you are spent. I do not believe you. Radagast does not believe you. You are sons of Numenor, sworn enemies of Sauron. Make him remember, remember it was the Numenorians who rose up against him. Take back what is yours and drive these invaders from your home!" Beowdil was standing now. He was leaning forward, gripping the edge of the table.

Corinir looked over at the fighting man, "Will you stand with me? My men may find courage in your words." A sudden flutter of wings was heard at the window. All three men turned and saw Radagast's raven standing on the stone window seal. It cawed. Though Radagast was the only one who understood exactly what the raven said, both Corinir and Beowdil knew why it had come.

Beowdil turned and looked at Cornir, Master of the river. He nodded as he spoke, "Yes, Lord Corinir, I too will stand with you against this darkness."
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2011, 09:09:55 AM »

"Rally the archers, post them on the wall by the main gate!" the Captain barked orders as loud as he could over the din of his company. They had only a few hours till the Haradrim reached Pelargir, "Deploy the men-at-arms just behind the gate, spears at the ready. Send the light infantry to the east gate, and put the heavy infantry just outside the city."

The crashing sound of metal on metal was accompanied by the hustle of women and children gathering what they could to move away from the main gate. Radagast looked down on the mobilizing forces from Lord Corinir's manor. Beowdil left about an hour earlier to support the light infantry. The wizard wasn't sure how this relatively small force would be able to withstand the assault of three oliphants, but they had no choice.

Lord Corinir had ordered every able body man to fight in defense of the city. This greatly fortified the ranks of the archers, the men-at-arms, and the light infantry. However the heavy infantry that would bear the blunt of the assault and their numbers were limited to a few hundred. They were placed just outside the main gate, as close to it as possible so they would not be flattened by the advancing mumakil. From their place along the wall they would skirmish with the haradrim. The light infantry would then flank the company of harad while the archers along the wall would spray the howdahs of the oliphants. For the limited time given them to prepare, this was the best plan Lord Corinir and Radagast could concoct.

The bearded wizard lifted his head and looked to the southeast. A rising cloud of dust marked the advance of the Southron's. They were still a distance away, but Radagast's raven ensured him the army would be upon them within the hour.

Radagast stood in silence drawing in and focusing his magical powers. I'll need as much magic as I can focus to drive off the Oliphants, he thought. The magic flowing through him heightened his senses. He heard the door on the far side of the room click and open. The new occupant was wearing robes. The fold's of the robes swished as the new occupant entered the room and shut the door. His boots tapped on the ground as he moved. The door closed with a second click and Radagast turned to greet the visitor. He met the gaze of Lord Corinir and nodded.

"Master Radagast, My men have been deployed. We're ready for the assault," stated Corinir.

"The Southron are close. They will be upon us within the hour. Did you tell your heavy infantry to stay close to the wall? It will be harder for the Oliphants to harm them if they stand close by," said Radagast.

"Yes, and the light infantry has been ordered to flank the Southrons as soon as they hear the skirmish begin. Do you really think we can ward off this assault?" asked Corinir.

"It is only a single company of Haradrim. We have the element of surprise on our side. I've seen this company of Haradrim before. As long as your archers keep the Howdah busy Harad's fighting men will prove easy to defeat. Remember, they've been marching all day in this humid weather," Radagast spoke with confidence.

"And what of the Oliphants?" pressed Corinir.

"That is why I am hear, Lord Corinir. I am Radagast the Brown, master of shapes and hues. By mandate of Yavanna I am here in Middle-Earth. I am friend to all beasts, and I will remind these Oliphants of my station. Do not fear them," stated Radagast.

There was a lingering silence in the room for a moment. Corinir moved to the window, looked at the approaching cloud of dust which signaled the oncoming Haradrim company. He swallowed the swelling lump in his throat then turned to Radagast, "Come master wizard. It is time."

----------------------------------------------------

Beowdil made a few last minute adjustments to his chain mail. He grabbed the rag he carried in the pouch which dangled at his side and wiped the sweat from his brow. He looked around at the company of light infantry he chose to assist. They, like himself were clad in chain mail and carried swords and shields. The heavy infantry bore the same but also carried spears in addition to heavier armor. This allowed them to hunker down and deflect enemy assaults. It was the job of the light infantry to flank the assault and deflected force.

Beowdil could tell the fighting men of Pelargir were nervous. He looked around at the organization of the company. The career soldiers were leading the charge as they bore the finer weaponry and possessed greater skill at arms. They stood at attention ready to charge at a moment's notice. The volunteer force, which included Beowdil, was made up of young boys and old men. Some of them bore armor, others did not. They were all given swords and lacked organization. Beowdil could tell who had served in Pelargir's army in the past and who had never seen combat.

From his position on the eastern gate, Beowdil could see the on coming Southrons marked by a cloud of raising dust. The Howdah was beginning to crest the horizon now. It would be less than an hour before the assault began, and from the way the Haradrim were marching, Beowdil knew they were unaware of the resistance awaiting them at the city's main gate.

The sound of a Southron horn rang out in the air, signaling the arrival of the Haradrim. A hushed murmur echoed through the ranks of the volunteer fighting men. Beowdil forced himself to focus as he reviewed in his head what Radagast had taught him about fighting: Don't overstretch your arm, focus on what is in front of you, pace yourself and maintain situational awareness. The horn sounded a second time. Beowdil took a deep breath. From the depths of his gut, The Son of Wulf felt his fury ignite.
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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2011, 04:36:07 PM »

Instantly, Beowdil's vision narrowed. His fury burned hot. He could hear the Southron clash with the heavy infantry. Arrows were loosed upon the Howdah as planned. The captain of the light infantry raised his sword above his head, "Charge!" he yelled.

Beowdil let out a war cry and charged. He struggled to widen his vision. Beowdil quickly found himself at the front of the charge. He could see a Haradrim struggle with soldier from Pelargir. With both hands he raised his sword above his head Beowdil and clove the Haradrim's skull in two. Beowdil quickly spun on the ball of his foot and met the advancing polearm of another southron he saw from the corner of his eye. With a quick parry followed by a powerful thrust, Beowdil impaled the bearer of the polearm. Arrows littered the ground as Haradrim from the Howdah regrouped from the surprise attack and began supporting allies on the ground.

Beowdil quickly blinked as he struggled to control his raging fury. He wanted to grasp the internal wrath and use it, but among all the chaos of battle, he knew he couldn't afford to narrow his vision further. A sense of relief washed over him as he realized he had a greater degree of control over the flow of battle as he kept his fury at bay.

Wave after wave of Haradrim attacked. Like a crag against the oceans currents, Beowdil stood his ground. He accepted the challenge of every Haradrim he encountered with an unyielding, controlled wrath. Despite the success seen among the infantry, the growing sense of hope began to fade as the Oliphants accompanying the Haradrim approached with a thunderous advance. The animals bellowed and began stomping their way towards the city. Gondorians and Haradrim alike dove out of the way of the incoming animals, but to no avail. each step seemed to crush soldiers in groups of ten or more. However, Pelargir's infantry stayed close to the city walls, and those who did, avoided the Oliphants trample.
---------------------------------------
From the city's parapet, archers loosed arrows into the advancing howdahs. There was a great chaos below the city's wall. From behind Pelargir's archers stepping through a near by door of a guard tower, emerged Corinir and Radagast. The wizard quickly passed Corinir, the city's steward, and stepped onto the parapet.

"Protect the wizard!" shouted Corinir. A volley of arrows drove home into the Howdah, rending cloth and flesh alike. Radagast raised his staff over his head and in the language of magic commanded the Oliphants to cease their onslaught. There was a brief silence from the parapet. The archers, however, soon broke that silence with astonished gasps. Slowly, but surely, the three rampaging Oliphants stopped moving. The animal drivers urged the great beasts forward but their urgings were ignored.

Radagast turned to the archers, "The Howdah is yours, but do not harm the Mumaks. They will cause you no more harm," he warned.

The Haradrim within the Howdah loosed arrows upon the city's parapet and the soldiers below, but the song of their bowstrings was quickly silenced as they were exposed to Pelargir's sharp arrows.
-----------------------------------
Beowdil reigned in his fury and with a new found control met his next antagonist. The Haradrim's face was masked and he twirled a scimitar in one hand. He circled Beowdil slowly, preparing to attack. Beowdil wiped the sweat from his eyes with a bare forearm. He felt grit move across his forehead. His fury raged. He felt his vision try to narrow, but with great concentration he pushed is back. As he did, from the corner of his eye, he saw a second Southron emerge from a battle with his spear at the ready.

Beowdil quickly found himself outnumbered two to one. The son of Wulf breathed and let his vision expand. He parried the first attack and dodged the second. With his trailing foot, Beowdil kicked the Southron's spear into the ground. He used his sword to knock the Haradrim's spear away before twisting it in an arc and planting it into the spear weilding Southron. Beowdil ducked under the scimitar a second time, pulled his sword from the dead body of the second Southron, and with a quick strike, caught the first Southron in the stomach with the edge of his arming sword.

He looked at the still Oliphants. They had ceased their rampage, and once they did, both Pelargir's heavy and light infantry launched their counter assault. Despite their greatest efforts, the Haradrim stood no chance against the fully armored troops of Pelargir. Without the support from their Oliphants the Haradrim force fell quickly. With great haste the surviving Southrons turned and fled from the city.

"Let them go!" came the Captain's orders. With great restraint Beowdil calmed the storm in his stomach and lowered his bloody sword. He heard the captain as the heat in his face subsided, "This battle is over, our city has been liberated!" A victorious roar echoed across the plains and danced over the river's surface.
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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2011, 10:06:59 PM »

Bodies were piled high. Lifeless corpses piled upon stretchers. The newly tamed Mumaks were used to haul mounds of bodies to the river's bank where the remains of the battle, bodies, armor, and useless weapons, were all cast into the water to be swept out to sea.

Corinir watched from his tower. Radagast stood nearby puffing on a clay pipe. Wreaths of smoke circled his head like a halo. Corinir turned to look at the wizard, "How long will those Oliphants be under your spell?" asked the lord of Pelargir.

"No spell," began Radagst, "I simply convinced them that a life of quiet service was better than one of war. As long as you never demand them to make war, they will be yours till the end of time."

Corinir chuckled quietly to himself. His expression quickly turned serious, "And what of the Southrons? Will they return?"

"The Southrons, the Corsairs of Umbar. You did not rid yourself of your problem, but you are no longer under the sway of Sauron, the Dark Lord," explained Radagast.

Again, Corinir sighed, "At least we'll die on our feet."

From the back of the room Beowdil agreed. He was smeared with blood, sweat and dirt, "And that," he began, "is a reason for which to die."

"And what now Radagast? Do you plan to stay? Stay and witness our downfall as the followers of the Dark Lord descend upon us? It was, after all, your idea to resist him," Though Corinir was relived to be free of his foul oath, the reality of his future began to weigh heavily upon his mind. "My people are spent. Exhausted and trodden down. Yes, this victory has prolonged the inevitable, but what more can we do? Should the Corsairs assail us we won't stand a chance."

"Look to Minas Tirith. That city still stands. They still defy the Dark Lord. Call for their aid. Your valor here today has lengthened their lives as well. Perhaps an emissary to the Steward. Perhaps he will send a garrison with which to aid you," suggested Radagast.

Corinir cast a glance at the marble floors of his dining hall, "No, I fear not. Minas Tirith has its own trials. Osgiliath is weakening and with the number of Southrons we aided in reaching the Black Gate, that city will not stand for long. I'm afraid we are on our own Master Wizard."

"Perhaps, but at least your people have found their courage. That must count for something," a grin was on the Brown Wizard's face as he spoke.

"What will you do now?" asked Corinir.

Beowdil perked up as Radagast looked his way. The wizard grinned and looked back to Corinir, " My companion and I will continue our journey south. He is in search of his family, and I must confront the power rising there. If I fail my quest, then the free folk will face more than Mumaks in the war to come."

"Allow me to send you on boat. It is the least I could do to repay the aid you offered us," Corinir began to walk towards his large wood table.

"No," Radagast refused, "We will travel by foot. I feel drawn to the slave road. There is work their I must complete."

"The slave road? Only brigands and slavers use that route, Wizard. If it is some great power you seek to vanquish, I doubt you will find it there," stated Corinir.

"The feeling I possess regarding the Slave Road is not one of challenge. Someone there needs our help," Radagast explained.

"Wizard, there are many people who need help on that road. You will be busy for the remainder of this age. You will never accomplish your task if you travel by way of the Slave Road," Corinir was doubtful.

"Yet, I must. Perhaps it is Beowdil's family who is calling to us. Perhaps that is why I am drawn there."

The reluctant fighter straightened his back, "Do you really believe my family may be there?"

"I don't know, but would it hurt to search there for them?"
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2011, 11:04:24 PM »

Plant life was almost absent on the slave road. Beowdil was wary. For days now they trekked along the dirt road. His rest was uneasy, and he was constantly on edge. In just the few short days they had been on the road, he and Radagast had already been attacked by thieves on three separate occasions. Beowdil did his best to keep a watchful eye to his right and left, nevertheless, regardless of his vigilance, the brigands who haunted these roads always seemed to slip passed his watchful eyes.

The increasing heat did not help him either. More than once he had to wipe sweat from his eyes, and more than once the dancing heat waves played with his vision causing him to see mirages. Radagast however, did not seem affected by the ever increasing harsh environment. Ever since their small company entered the main road, Radagast had kept to himself. Beowdil wasn't sure, but he hoped, the wizard was hard at work silently casting spells which would protect them from the eyes of bandits.

After what seemed like weeks, Beowdil wasn't certain. After the third bandit attack he stopped counting the days they spent on the Slave Road. Nevertheless, a day after the third attack Radagast finally spoke, "Someone is approaching. Get off the road."

Beowdil cast a glance to the west. A few crags were jutting upward from the barren landscape. They were no more than twenty feet from the road. He nudged the wizard with his elbow and hustled to the spire shaped boulder. Crouching silently behind his cover, Beowdil waited quietly.

Radagast must have used some sort of spell to detect the approaching party because nearly an hour passed before Beowdil even heard the sound of their approaching wagon. Silently the fighting man waited. From around the crag Beowdil spied a horse drawn carriage pass by. Four Southrons marched by. They each bore a polearm with a scimitar dangling from their belts. Each one had their face veiled. Beowdil shifted his focus to the wagon. It was no more a wagon than a cage. The small cage was empty saved for a pile of discarded garments and, to Beowdil's surprise, a dwarf!

"There he is," muttered Radagast. The wizard was crouched behind the second crag. He was leaning heavily on his staff.

"Do you know him?" Beowdil whispered from his hiding place.

"No," began the wizard, "but he's been waiting for us." Radagast stepped out from behind his hiding place and with a quick shake of his staff, a thread of magic frightened the horse and caused it to rear. The Southrons quickly turned their attention to their panicked steed trying to calm it. "Now, Beowdil!" yelled the wizard.

With great haste, Beowdil rose from behind his crag. He sprinted towards the nearest Haradrim. In a blur of steel, Beowdil drew his sword and downed the first Haradite. Three to go, he thought. Almost on cue, Beowdil felt his vision begin to narrow.

One of the Southrons was busy trying to calm their horse. The other two were now moving in on Beowdil. With a quick parry and a feint, Beowdil avoided the attacks of the two haradrim. The fighting man cast a longing glance to Radagst as if asking for help, and seemingly from nowhere, the wizard was at his side. With practiced finesse and tact, Radagast the brown fought the Southron using his staff. Beowdil was impressed.

The magically fortified staff blocked and parried incoming attacks just as well, if not better than Beowdil's sword. The two free-men danced with death as the two Haradrim tried to land a death blow. Through a sweat dripped brow, Beowdil noted the third Haradrim had calmed the horse sufficiently to join the fight. Quickly, and only for a moment, Beowdil allowed his fury to take control. His vision narrowed till all he could see was the combatant in front of him. With ferocity which almost matched a feral warg, Beowdil struck his foe acoss the chest. The Haradrim fell to the ground dying of a gaping chest wound. He quickly refocused in an attempt to bring the world back into focus. The third haradrim was upon him. With raw talent and budding skill, Beowdil meet his next opponent.

Radagast clubbed his adversary across the top of his head, causing it to crack like a melon. The wizard glanced at Beowdil who was locked in combat with the last Southron. Had Radagast not invested a few nights training Beowdil in sword play then the fight would have favored the Haradrim, but the wizard had been honing Beowdil's skills. He was a talented fighter, now Radagast would change him into a skillful one. The edge clearly belonged to Beowdil.

The wizard moved to the carriage. Immediately, in the dwarven tongue, Radagast stated, "We're here to help you." He waved his hand over the lock and muttered a few words. The lock fell open.

"You have my thanks," the dwarf stated in the common tongue.

As the stout fellow climbed down from the wagon, Beowdil ended his battle with the Haradrim. A powerful strike removed the Haradrim's fighting arm. He dropped his pole arm and looked up at Beowdil.  To the farmer's surprise, there was no fear in the Southron's eyes. The Haradrim said something in a language Beowdil didn't understand. To further his surprise, the Southron spoke calmly.

From behind, the dwarf spoke up, "He says to, 'finish it.'" Both Radagast looked and Beowdil looked at the dwarf in surprise.

"You speak Haradish?" asked Radagast.

The dwarf nodded, then turned to Beowdil, "Are you going to honor his wishes? He is useless to his Lord with only one arm. An armless Southron cant fight."

"Who are you, and how do you know what this man wants?" asked Beowdil. He never took his eyes from his opponent, nor did he lower his sword.

"I am Belok, son of Frori the Beardless. I have spent a long time among the Haradrim, as a slave. I've learned a lot about them. The least you can do is grant that Southron an honorable death, one at the hand of his adversary in battle." explained Belok.

Beowdil looked back at the Haradrim. The Southron's eyes revealed a longing to die, Beowdil obliged. With a quick stroke his sword found its mark. He pierced the heart of the Haradrim who died instantly, feeling nothing. Beowdil withdrew his sword and his opponent's body landed on the ground with a thud.

The company salvaged what they could from the Haradrim caravan. They found some water and rations, the dwarf found his axe, and just when they were about to set the horse loose and remove the carriage from the road, Beowdil caught a glint of silver coming from the rags piled in the cage, "Wait a moment," called to Radagast who had already began pushing the carriage.

The farmer climbed into the cage and reached into the pile of rags. He withdrew a small amulet hanging from a silver chain. In silence his companions watched as Beowdil stared at the amulet slowly spinning in the dry wind.

"What is it?" asked Radagast.

Beowdil stared at the amulet in disbelief. It was unmistakable, the silver chain, the small metal pendant, and the letter 'A' etched onto the back of it, "It belongs to my wife, Ariel."
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2012, 08:16:00 AM »

From high above over the burning sands of the Harad waste the sun bore down upon the small company. Of the three, the dwarf, Belok, could feel the greatest amount of vigor.

"How is it you seem so unburdened by this oppressive heat?" asked Beowdil.

"I told you, I was a slave. I have spent many long hours laboring under this very sun. The Haradrim are a nomadic people, but when they establish a camp they usually send their slaves out to fetch water and chase down game for the hunters to slay. Hard labor is always performed by the slaves as well. Slaves and women," Belok explained.

Beowdil wiped his forehead with his brow. At the sound of the word, "women," he straightened his weary back, "Women? Belok, did you ever see any women among the slaves? I mean, women from from Gondor, Rohan, or Dale?"
 
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2012, 10:46:59 PM »

Belok scratched the top of his blonde head, "I'm sure I saw some, but I don't recall ever seeing the women who wore that amulet you carry. She was probably sold to some chieftain and transported to his dwelling before the slavers came for me," explained the dwarf.

Beowdil sighed. He looked over at Radagast who shrugged.

Beowdil turned to look straight ahead once more. In the distance he could see rising above the endless dunes a plume of smoke. He pointed up ahead, "Look."

"I noticed it earlier," commented Radagast, "It is too big to be a camp fire, and too small to be a signal fire. We should approach with caution."

Belok cocked his head to one side as he examined the rising smoke. He tried to recall if he ever had seen something of this nature during his time among the Haradrim. To his dismay, he could think of nothing. The company approached the rising smoke, and as they neared it they slowed their pace and ducked low as they reached the top of the nearest dune. They peered down into the sandy valley below.
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2012, 09:01:03 PM »

They reached the dune closest to the rising smoke. One by one the companions dropped to their bellies and crawled up the final dune. The fine sand wriggled its way under their clothes, Beowdil was annoyed, foul sand, he thought.

Radagast reached the peak first. He gazed over the dune into the sandy depression. With his beard gathering copious amounts of sand he pressed himself closer to the ground to avoid detection. He gazed down and despite the blazing sun, Radagast spied another caravan. However, this van was not for slaves. Haradrim bodies lay strewn across the ground. The dead men all had spears in their hands but none of them bore the wicker type armor common among Southron warriors. To the east of the depression Radagast noticed a cluster of bald men. Their faces were covered in black, red, and white war-paint. Some of them carried wicker shields and all of them carried clubs made from bone.

Beowdil and Belok reached the creast. Beowdil immediately noticed the robed women surrounded by the war painted warriors, "who are they?" he asked.

"The Mahud," answered Belok.

"What are they doing?" Asked the farmer.

"It looks as if they just finished raiding that caravan," Belok stated matter of factly.

"What will they do with those women?" Beowdil was shifting in the sand. His hand inched closer to his sword.

"Calm your fury Beowdil," began Radagast, "We are out numbered and the Mahud should not be taken lightly. They have-"

As if on cue, from behind one of the smouldering wagons, out stepped a foul creature. Beowdil was taken aback. Taller and broader than a man, massive hands gripped a leather wrapped bone club. Supported on massive trunk like legs, this creature walked with a hunched back. A small head was cradled by sinewy shoulders, and smaller eyes conveyed the look of minimal intellegence and an unquenchable taste for blood and gore.

"-Half trolls." Radagast finished.

"By the Valar...." was all Beowdil could muster.
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