Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Long Darkness Indeed...

Well, where shall I begin? After clearing the rubble and knocked down trees and such, we were ready to commence opening this Hollin Gate and enter Moria. Some of the dwarven workers were resting and throwing rocks into the lake behind us and this gave me pause. Before long, something seemed to be slithering beneath the surface and I bade the dwarves to stop throwing the rocks. But it was too late, something had been stirred from it's ancient slumber and before we knew what to do several extremely large tentacles burst forth and took several dwarves into the lake, never to be seen again. We fought and fought but to no avail. In the end we had to retreat. Our weapons were of no use against this ancient demon. I was handed a weapon of old found by one of the foremen and was tasked with getting it identified in Rivendell. I learned that it had been forged in the early Third Age and had several hidden qualities and almost had a life of it's own. It was forged anew and after learning to wield this weapon, I was able to help the dwarves drive back what they had hence named the Watcher. After assuring the creature was not stalking us, we proceeded to open the gate and enter. A simple password, so simple it was genius. Speak Friend and Enter said the runes on the door. With that one word, the gate opened and we entered, my eyes adjusted and once we reached hall named Durin's Threshold I knew I had been mistaken, but when I delved deeper into Moria I was amazed at the workmanship of the Dwarves. Whole cities built beneath the Misty Mountains, awe-inspiring indeed.

But there were also Orcs and Goblins and other creatures to be dealt with, and hanging over everyone's darkest thoughts was the Terror that was awakened so long ago, Durin's Bane they called it. I knew it's nature though I had never come face-to-face with a Balrog of Morgoth. I must follow the road of the Nine if they indeed passed through here. I will rest now and continue exploring these caverns at a later time.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Turning Point

The lands of Eregion must have been aweinspiring before the Shadow destroyed everything in it's wake. I've met with several Elves at the new encampments dotting the landscape and have lent my aid. I've followed the tracks of Nine as best I could and cleared up a couple of hastily abandoned campsites and even battled with spies tracking them as well. I've also helped with several issues that have arisen, including what amounts to a worm nursery (I'm sure either the White Hand or Mordor are trying to grow these into dragons, curse them both). The Dunlandings are ever a problem with their jealousy of every sentient Race that crosses their paths. I've also waged battle against those who would despoil the lore and art of Eregion. Let's just say Eregion has not been a vacation, and it's definitely not a no-man's land anymore.

Back to my tracking of the expedition, I'm at a loss. I figured that making for the Gap of Rohan would be the logical route for them, but it is heavily watched by Crebain and Dunlanding forts keep watch over the road leading to the Gap. I back tracked and made my way to the Redhorn Pass, it is also heavily watched but there are side paths that if known, can get one stealthily past the fort the Halforcs have erected there. I'm sure Aragorn took the Company up these paths. Surely they scaled Caradhras and are making their way past the Misty Mountains as I write this, but no...I chanced upon a final campsite. Not far from there I also found the frozen remains of a Dwarf, though he did not match the description of the Dwarven component of the Company. Nevertheless, the path of Caradhras has been completely blocked by an avalanche and the mountain is extremely angry, I must make my way down before I join that poor Dwarf's fate.

I was hoping not to have to try this last route, for it has long been a place of unrelenting evil and terror. I had a premonition about entering a "long darkness", but it seems more and more clear that instead of passing over or around the Misty Mountains, some madness or extreme urgency caused the Nine to consider passing UNDER the Misty Mountains. Through the Mines of Moria, I shiver at the thought of them braving those dark caverns, however skilled the Dwarves of old may have been, I can't imagine anything more that shafts and soot-covered mines snaking here and there and, above all else, the Terror that resides within those mines which the dwarves, in their never-ending greed freed with their relentless search for wealth.

In any case, I chanced upon a company of Dwarves searching for the fabled Hollin Gate and helped them clear it once they had found it. I must now rest and prepare for tomorrow.
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Sunday, November 30, 2008

In The Footsteps of the Nine

Lord Elrond has tasked me with following the route the Nine may have taken in order to assure that none follow them and learn of the Burden they carry. The route has taken me into Eregion. Once a place full of beauty and grace, Eregion is now a vast ruin laid waste by Sauron after his true identity was unvieled and the Elves went to war against him, but too late to stop the forging of the Rings of Power in order to enslave all Free Peoples. I've never travelled to this part of Middle Earth, but I hear now that Elves are trying to reclaim parts of it in preparation for the coming War. I will do my part to help secure the settlements.
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Redemption (LOTRO Spoiler)

Narchuil has been destroyed and both Mordrambor and Mordirith have been defeated at last. Narmeleth has joined her sire in the Halls of Mandos, having sacrificed herself for all Free Peoples. The fight was gruelling and without her selfless help, we would not have prevailed. I am sure she now stands beside Laerdan in a place of honor in the Halls. Glorfindel foretold that only by Narmeleth's hand would Amarthiel's evils be undone, and so it was. I must now journey back and report to Glorfindel and Elrond as well and bring the news of Narmeleth's demise.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Path to Redemption?

Narmeleth's aid saved Esteldin and the Rangers of the North Downs from certain destruction. The spy was caught just as she was to enter Angmar and was dealt with. Upon returning to Rivendell, Glorfindel and I interrogated Narmeleth further and he found no lies coming from her words. He ordered her free to pursue Mordrambor and destroy Narchuil once and for all. Before parting, he made it clear that I would answer for any betrayal or mischief coming from Narmeleth, since I advocated on her behalf.

We are making preparations to head out to Angmar and destroy Mordrambor and the ring Narchuil and after much debate, I convinced Golodir to allow Narmeleth entrance to Gath Forthnir so she could undo the evils she had committed. She is now resting in what were her father's quarters during his long vigil at Gath Forthnir. I would rather face all nine Nazgul as well as the Enemy himself before facing Glorfindel's wrath should she betray us, but my heart tells me that all will be well.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Detour...Part II

I have met with Glorfindel and he has informed me of my task and the gravity of the situation. He has bidden me to go and speak with Narmaleth and gather what information she may be able to share with regard to Angmar's strategy. He also warned me to not let her words sway me in any way for even he is not entirely convinced that Amarthiel's influence has been completely eradicated.

Once I reach her prison, she informs me of Angmar's plans to seek out and destroy the main Dunedain outpost of Esteldin somewhere in the North Downs. I know of the place, but will not divulge that information in this journal. She warns me that a spy was sent to infiltrate the outpost and return with it's coordinates to Angmar, which would then invade Esteldin and stomp out the main resistance to an Angmar-dominated North Downs. I must ride swiftly and investigate this alongside the leadership at Esteldin.

I must not tarry overlong, for I must reach our allies and warn them of their danger!
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A Detour From Darkness Into Darkness

My plans have changed since my last journal entry. Master Elrond has a task that cannot wait and I accept it freely, although with a little trepidation. He has asked me to speak to Lord Glorfindel regarding our most perilous prisoner, Amarthiel or Narmaleth as is her true name. Amarthiel's evil influence has, we believe, been finally ripped from her mind and heart, though at a great price with the loss of her father Laerdan, may he find the solace that eluded him for so long in the Halls of Mandos.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

The Last Homely House

As I stand here in Imladris, my adopted homeland since I first travelled here from Lindon so many centuries ago, I ponder what my contribution has been to Middle Earth and if it is worth saving at all. My ambivalence comes from dealings with the Numenoreans who escaped the cataclysm that sank their Westernmost isle, where it is said the Undying Lands were visible on a clear day. These Men have been given chance after chance and have failed miserably. I even sense a wavering of sorts in whom Master Elrond has confided to me as being the last great hope for Men, Aragorn Son of Arathorn.

I have had many conversations and even sparred with Aragorn and he has demonstrated an inner fire that burns brighter than any Man I have known or heard tell of since the days of Elendil. Yet I fear for him, for Isildur had such promise before he came into contact with the Enemy's weapon, his Bane, which consumed his will and in the end betrayed him to his death. Elendil's strength is present in Aragorn's bloodline, but so is Isildur's weakness in the face of temptation. He is now, as I write, on the most dangerous and important mission he has ever faced. I will not mention this mission here nor in any subsequent writings because to do so would be to betray all the Free Peoples of Middle Earth in our fight against Angmar, the Great Eye and as I have just come to learn, Orthanc.

I shall stay and do my part for Middle Earth, the shadow upon my heart is lifted as I enter the Gates of Imladris and I converse with Master Elrond as well as Gandalf the Grey. I was greatly surprised to have come across Glorfindel, an Elf Lord upon whom the Light of the Valar is still present. I was delighted to see him and converse with him at length since I marched under his banner at the Battle of Fornost. He has both great wisdom and strength and I learned much from him. That he caused the Nazgul to dread and run from him is a testament to his terrible wrath and might.

I am now going to prepare for a long and arduous journey where the strength and knowledge I have gained in my 2039 years of life will be put to the test. Suffice it to say that I face, along with my fellowship, a long darkness.
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