Book 7: Act 1 - A Darkness in the Marshes

It is the year 2946 of the Third Age, and the lands east of the Misty Mountains are astir. From the cloud-shrouded peaks above the High Pass to the spider-infested gloom of the forest of Mirkwood, paths long-deserted are trodden once again. Busy merchants carry their wares to new markets, messengers bring tidings from foreign realms, and kings send forth armed men to extend their influence and the rule of law. Some say that a new age of freedom has begun, a time for adventure and great deeds to reclaim glories lost in long centuries of oppression and decline.

But adventures are not really things that people go out and look for. They are dangerous and rarely end well. While it is true that a handful of valiant individuals set out to make their mark on the world, for others it seems that adventure chooses them, as though it is the path they are fated to tread. They are restless warriors, curious scholars and wanderers, always eager to seek what was lost or explore what was forgotten. Ordinary people call them adventurers, and when they return successful, they call them heroes. But if they fail, no one will even remember their names...

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Book 7: Act 1 - A Darkness in the Marshes

Post by Vardaen » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:18 pm

Image In the afternoon of the thirtieth day of their journey they were passing the north borders of the Gladden Fields.... The fair day was waning; above the distant mountains clouds were gathering, reddened by the misty sun as it drew down...; the deeps of the valley were already in grey shadow.... To their right the Forest loomed above them at the top of steep slopes running down to their path.... Suddenly as the sun plunged into cloud they heard the hideous cries of Orcs, and saw them issuing from the Forest and moving down the slopes....

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 1, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields

June 27th, 2949, The Third Age, Summer


Spring has past and summer has arrived even in these northern regions of Wilderland. For the last few weeks Varuthil and Rathar has been traveling the well known paths from the Woodmen villages in the south to the Easterly Inn. Outside the dwarf Frier is chopping wood as the smoke from the small forge that he and Borir share is putting off signs of its use. The clang of hammer on anvil sings as Borir busies himself making nails for the Hobbits, they seem to have an endless need for more nails. Its not glamours work, but it is useful work. The dog Shadrach lays in the shade watching Frier, who comments at it, "I wish you wouldn't just lay there doing nothing!"

The smell of roasting lamb drifts on the air out of the open kitchen window on the other side of the Inn. Bees buzz around the herb garden, and laughter, filters out from the propped open door. Inside the others are listening to Agatha Brandybuck tell a tale about a pair of foolish Hobbits from a family known as Bracegirdles from some place they call Hardbottle.
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And away we go!
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Book 7: Act 1 - A Darkness in the Marshes

Post by Blubbo_Baggins » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:53 pm

Knowing they must soon prepare to depart, Finn finds a chance to speak with Varuthil. "Did Radagast say he would come here, or that we must meet him somewhere? What was his worry, that he would have need of us? Or was it merely a warning he needed to send?"

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Book 7: Act 1 - A Darkness in the Marshes

Post by shipwreck » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:56 pm

Rathar plainly ignores the worried words of the Lake-man friend, laughing in his throat as soon as he hears the merry Hobbit voices. He remembers some time ago, when he'd first met the companions, a night that he called one of the most important of his life. He'd talked with elves (well, an elf), learned to smoke a pipe from a hobbit, chatted with a dwarf, and otherwise known the feel of the world beyond Mirkwood. He was eager to relive account.

Rathar called for a cup of wine and sat and listened to Agatha intently, feeling the last bits of dread slough off of him.

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Book 7: Act 1 - A Darkness in the Marshes

Post by Muskrat » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:43 pm

Varuthil takes a seat and orders some food. She is pleased to see Finn eager to get right to business--but she shrugs uneasily in response to his question, since she has little to tell him. "I am afraid I can tell you no more details than Radagast fears some evil is afoot and that he has need of us. I was staying at Rhosgobel, but he was away much more than usual. He sent word to me via a bird that I should gather our company together and so I have done so. I sent word to him that we would gather here. He may come here himself--or he may send word for us to go elsewhere. I don't know."

She takes a drink of wine, then adds uncomfortably, "While I was at Rhosgobel, I did hear that the giant spiders of Mirkwood were becoming more aggressive than ever, including one larger than any seen before--I suspect the same one we fought. I hope our actions did not make things worse by stirring up the monsters. Perhaps some greater power of the Shadow has stirred them up. I do not know. It may be that this is what Radagast fears--or it may be something else."

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Book 7: Act 1 - A Darkness in the Marshes

Post by Blubbo_Baggins » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:03 pm

"Well, if we must wait for word from him," replies Finn, "Then let us relax and enjoy what time we have left here." He whistles to Shadrach, wanting to pet the dog or throw him a stick. But the dog doesn't move from his comfortable spot. Finn stands and takes the lyre down from the wall and begins picking on it. He wanted to write a new song, but hadn't had the time and concentration for too long now. Perhaps he'd get a chance to someday return to Rivendell and stay in the Hall of Fire.

Hild remained quiet in the corner, just observing the life of the Inn - the visitors, the Brandybucks, the children playing. Though she had not interacted much, she seemed more at ease and content with life than when Finn had first met her. He was glad to give Tom a break from the road, and to have a companion who was good with a sword along.

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Book 7: Act 1 - A Darkness in the Marshes

Post by Shurijo » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:36 pm

Borir walks out of his smith with his hammer in hand along with a bag of nails. "We be off soon?" The dwarf asks, "Ah'll be ready in a few minutes. Just need to fetch mah gear." He says as sits the bag down on a pile of wood. "Now, where'd I put mah axe at?"

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Book 7: Act 1 - A Darkness in the Marshes

Post by Muskrat » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:16 pm

Varuthil says to Borir, "For now, we're waiting for word from Radagast. We will probably be off some time soon though, but I cannot say for sure."

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Book 7: Act 1 - A Darkness in the Marshes

Post by Vardaen » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:06 pm

Dindy Brandybuck, the owner of the Inn makes his appearance from upstairs with a big smile, "Varuthil! Good to see you!" He pads up on his hairy feet with a smile and pats the elf on her arm, "Let me get you something from the kitchen." He looks to Rathar, "Oh and who is this? I never forget a face, but if we've met sir I have forgotten yours! Hahah, Dindy Brandybuck at your service." He bows to Rathar, and calls for his wife, Agatha, and introduces her and gets the orders for everyone. The hobbits head back to the kitchen and in about 15 mins return with hearty stews, an apple pie, and plenty to drink even enough for Borir.
I can't recall if Rathar has been here or not but you can check the OOC thread to learn more about the locals.

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"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Book 7: Act 1 - A Darkness in the Marshes

Post by Blubbo_Baggins » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:33 pm

Finn begins to play the lyre and to sing. Most of it is upbeat, the kind of music one might find difficult not to dance to. He breaks to eat and drink, and then continues on. As evening winds down he begins to entertain guests, particularly the Brandybuck children, with old tales told in song, including his own Lay.

Roll up Song 4 +2 (lyre) for singing our Fellowship song Lay of the Northmen.
I know this post is summarizing Finn's evening, but I'm happy to "back track" for conversations and all. Just adding this to be clear I'm not trying to move us on, but to paint a picture of what's going on from Finn's perspective.

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Book 7: Act 1 - A Darkness in the Marshes

Post by Muskrat » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:03 pm

Varuthil says to Dindy, "This is Rathar the Wood-goer, a fine warrior and woodsman, now a member of our company." After that, she returns to her customary silence, letting Rathar speak for himself.

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