The Bane of the Ever-Young

Adventure I
A Party Too Soon

The third squad of the second platoon of High Warden Took’s brigade found themselves on an early morning scouting patrol. Half the squad was bright and alert, while the others were still recovering from the previous night’s festivities. This was a bright and glorious morning: The Army of the Free Peoples was gathering momentum- even more than its previous incarnation some 50 years prior. The whole army was in celebration. Even Vanya’la wouldn’t be able to stop them now!

The green soldiers of second platoon stretched and tried to shake the sleep out of their eyes and limbs as they prepared for the week-long walk they were about to begin. Third squad had the furthest patrol, out to the overlook in the center of Annundir. The journey began as a routine one with little to slow them for the first couple of days. But on the third day, they witnessed something quite strange: some shy phantoms on the road. The oracle was able to detect that there quite a few of them and they were quite powerful, but the shades did not molest the living that night. Soon the sun rose and the squad pressed on toward completion of their task, trying to master their unsettled nerves.

It didn’t take long before the squad found their way to the top of their lookout – to find a terrifying sight: an enormous army stretched before them. But the members of the little band weren’t able to wallow in their fright and shock for long, some of the invader’s scouts had already found them! In a few seconds, the squad of four became a retreat of three, fleeing for their lives from a forest full of battle horns and a horizon full of magical lights, dodging the arrows that fell from the sky all about them.

They hardly stopped running until they reached their outpost at Ost Forod and then continued to the fortress at Annuminas to spread the news of the impending invasion and to begin what meager preparations they could make before the seemingly unstoppable force that was bearing down on them.

Dark and ominous clouds gathered on the eighth day after their arrival at Annuminas. There was an obvious atmosphere of fear among the rag-tag Army of the Free Peoples, but there was courage, too. A courage fostered of people who had no option left to them but to fight, of men and women who had no life to return to if they escaped, men and women who recognized that the world couldn’t go on as it was.

With those dark clouds came the thunderous noise of wheels of war machines, hooves of dark and powerful cavalry, and boots on the feet of a bloodthirsty army. The men atop the walls clung tightly to their few weapons. Some were dispatched to hold the peaks high above their battlements. The enemy could not be allowed to mount their massive weapons upon those mountains. Took’s second platoon was among those climbing the escapement.

They climbed through a deadly rain of arrows and stones, to reach the bristling row of steel that defended the top. The battle was fierce and costly. The trail they had climbed now served as a path for the blood of its travelers and their enemies. As the last defender fell and squad of free men dared to hope they might turn their assailants massive weapons against their own armies far below, disaster struck. The clever engineers destroyed their own weapons.

The disappointed squad’s hopes had been dashed. They were bloody and exhausted, surrounded by the corpses of their friends and foes. Yet, at least they had taken the plateau, maybe they had bought their comrades below a fighting chance. The thought occurred to the mounted cavalry officer first. He spurred his exhausted mount to the precipice to survey they success of the defenders so many feet down the slope. As his vision crested the ridge, he let out a gasp and numbly waved his squad about him. The oracle helped the wounded limp to the overlook, and then dropped to his knees in despair. The scene below was hopeless. The invading force was impossibly large, there seemed to be more soldiers than bricks in the massive pile of stones that had once been a sturdy and massive city wall. The sounds of the horrific battle echoed up to them.

What had they been thinking? Who could stand against the might of Vanya’la? She had the very power of the Valar and commanded the might of an entire enslaved world. There could be no victory this day.

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Adventure 2
Turn of the Tide

The end was near, all hope seemed to have slipped away, and then came the Tempest. The violent storm worked in the favor of the Rebellion, destroying and laying waste to the on coming tide of doom. Goren, Alrik, and Omri watch as the tornadoes and hail fly about the battle field, ripping stone, earth, metal, and flesh asunder.
There was a blackness that followed the four companions. And something they did not expect happened. There both mind and spirit they found themselves in the presence of four Valar, bestowing them words of affirmation and rings of power, the likeness of these rings have not been matched for that of hundreds of years. Coming back into the real world they found themselves watching the end of the massacre, the battle was won for the free people! The three of them meet back to report to High Warden Took and were given orders to join Brutus’ Platoon were they met Gimlit the dwarf, and head swiftly East to waylay the caravans holding valuable supplies. And so, mounted they took to the road to see what plunder they can acquire from this victory. The first few days go without incident. But by the second night they spot glowing shapes, similar to the ones on their patrol, which seemed so long ago. The lights approached and the battle was joined. The squad was quick to use their wands to vanquish the fell shadows while others unintentionally healed the ghosts. In the mist of the chaos Gimlit the Dwarf struck Bartomos, the platoons cleric. Despite the set backs the group came together and defeated the haunting threat.
In an attempt for speed the platoon leader; Brutus, bid the platoon to move faster the next day. During that day of travel they came across a Cyclopes, and as a peering threat Equire Gimlit makes a charge right toward the large beast. The Platoon following suit charge in and slaughters the one-eyed giant with hardly any resistance.
Reaching the northern parts of North Downs they came across a swamp filled with lizard-people. Ambushed the Platoon found themselves outmatched, and outnumbered. But with Alrik charging to and fro, Omri throwing his bombs, Gimlit swinging his new great ax and Goren providing support with healing the group slew their foes and pressed on to the location high Warden Took commanded them to go to.
The last day they found themselves surrounded yet again by archers, but high up in the trees. This seemed no problem for the sturdy dwarf who began to swing his great ax and cleaved the tree in two. Some of the other more stocky troops followed suit and began to cut down the trees, while the Alchemist threw his Bombs up into other trees. Goren released his eagle and Alrik while mounted attacked the rangers who thought they were safe in their lofty branches.
Finally reaching the Pass, the platoon quickly went to work in creating a blockage. Ormi lead the project by using his explosives, and placing very crafty traps for the oncoming caravan. While some of the stronger folk, such as Gimlit, Alrik, and Brutus, moved more stone, and collected boulders and rocks to throw down upon the unwelcome travelers.
The Platoons Ranger; Ararath, spotted the troops from afar on the second day and with the trap in place the chaos began. The Troops tried pushing through, but to no avail, the mist, tar, and voices of “retreat” that was created by Goren made it difficult to move further. The Mountain of stone created by Omri’s masterful engineering and the help of others made the crossing of this pass impossible. Time and time again the body of troops struck the Mountain Pass, and again it withstood them. The Platoon was Victorious!
On the following day there, to be seen by all, coming with the sun, the bright blue banners of the free people charging forth and to waylay and destroy the fleeing troops of Vanya’la. Battle was joined and was ended just as fast as it started, the dazed, exhausted, tired troops were no match for Arathorn and his army.

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