Part one - the adventures of a few Hobbits (and some other people)
In the year 2063 of the third age, a company came to Rivendell. They came out of the West, from the Shire in fact, with their leader Gandalf. This company included three Hobbits, Timbo Timberlake who wanted simply to travel, Dan Gamgee who desired to see his sister who had travelled to the wild many years ago on a colonizing journey and he had never seen since, Mandy Dan's girlfriend, three Dwarfs, Imran, Nabi and Dis a Ranger called Beregond and an Elf, called Naomi who journeyed simply to keep them company. It had taken them all a while to get to Rivendell and through many perils. But staying in Rivendell was nice and relaxing, especially for Imran who could find information about a little ring he had discovered on the way which was apparently called Stargate and had the hopes of his house of Dwarves in it.
Unfortunately after Rivendell they were all waylaid by Orcs in the Misty Mountains. Fortunately Imran was able to use his ring to find as he put it, 'Wormholes in the mountains,' to travel quickly in the dark tunnels to avoid the evil Orcs. Unfortunately this was only for a little while. Imran had only succeded in finding the Mountain of Mount Gundabad, the capital city of Orcs and others and frankly the worst place anyone of a civilized nature could find themselves in for miles and miles. 'You bloody idiot,' was Dis's comment.
However for a few moments things were fairly quiet for people. Then, just as the company were passing across a stream, this particular stream turned suddenly into a bigger stream, then a turrent of water which scattered the company into two, Dan and Mandy into one tunnel and the others elsewhere.
Dan and Mandy found themselves in a dark tunnel, alone in the mountain. They looked at each other, sighed, curled their furry toes and walked on hand in hand. Both were rather small as even adult Hobbits were, around 4ft. Although to be fair, both were youngish adult Hobbits around 35, fairly young for Hobbits who live longer in general than man. But their small size did not stop them been spotted. As much as they cowered the two were spotted by a patrol of black men. They were taken to the leader. Now the leader was called Captain Paul Beaumont. He was under instructions to take any strangers that he could find to the Orcs or worse. But as he said it was a friday night and was time for fun. Almost against his better sense, although it was by the suggestion of his wife, Denise, he played the Hobbits in a game of cards. In fact he ended up playing Mandy. As it happens, Mandy had a real gift at cards and ending up upsetting the odds in beating Captain Beaumont in a game in which the Hobbits freedom was the main stake. Much to the amusement and it has to be said, the delight of the onlookers. Mandy had played with much bravado which had won them over. 'Well, that was a bit of a surprise,' was Beaumont's comment.
But Captain Beaumont was true to his word and agreeded to set the Hobbits free. Quite against the instructions of his sort of overlord, a man called Lord Whitesnake who had been trying to find out some information on the movements of Gandalf as an old enemy. 'You mean to tell me that you are going to set those Hobbits free over a game of cards?' cried Whitesnake in exsaparation. Whitesnake, coincidentally was a rather thin if a little handsome, white man with a big nose. 'Sorry, that was what I promised, I am a man of honour,' was Captain Beaumont's reply. 'Stuff your bloody honour,' muttered Whitesnake. But Beaumont was entitled to some leaway in his home country and he was a popular captain with his people and his will prevailed. He did free the two and re-united them with their friends, scaring Timbo in the meantime who seemed to think that the 200 well-armoured riding men meant him no good.
But Captain Beaumont was not finished with Whitesnake. Beaumont was by no means fond of him, a feeling rather common amongst his people the Hiunongs, who were in the thrall of the Necromancer, a powerful but very evil lord in the wild. The Hiunongs did not like this but could do nothing about it. But they were occasionally allowed a little leaway in their own affairs and did not like Whitesnake in particular who was very dominareaning and unsubtle and proud in his way. So the Hiunongs decided to give him the same treatment as the Hobbits and let the cards decide Whitesnake's fate. Fortunately for Whitesnake the odds where in his favor this time and he was let go.
In the meantime, the company began to split. Firstly, Gandalf and Beregond both departed on a journey of their own. 'Hope to see you some time,' said Gandalf with a departing wave. The others journeyed on through the dark forest of Mirkwood. After a time a rather nasty encounter with Giant spiders ensured, but everyone was, just, good enough with throwing stones to survive, although Timbo did fall through a pit and was covered in, harmless enough, large black spiders, but it did not improve his mood any.
The three Dwarves left for their own city to hope that their ring would prove their fortune. In the meantime, the Hobbits, after passing more perils, 'I'll give someone perils if this keeps on happing,' muttered Timbo at one stage were relied on the Elf Naomi's tracking skills through the pathless dark of Mirkwood to after many dark weeks arrive in the western edge of the forest, distressingly near to the Necromancer's home, but also near to a country of their kin who had been left behind centuries earlier.
Just in time, the four exhaustingly arrived at an Inn on the forest's edge to recieve, they hoped, food and drink.
'At last, Beer,' cried Dan in delight. He actually had to go to the bar twice as he downed his first glass in one gulp. 'Steady on there,' advised Naomi. Quite to the surprise of the Hobbits, the drinkers of the rather full Inn included quite a few other Hobbits like themselves. Dan explained after thinking, 'ah, I believe that these Hobbits are the descendents of those who remained in the lands on the border of Mirkwood unlike our desendents who crossed the mountains and reached our home in the west.' 'There are in fact, a large number of Hobbits around here, living alongside men in various communities. Just to the north of this Inn there is a small group of farmers mostly that have created a home they call the county,' said Naomi as she had travelled in this area more than the 3 Hobbits had.
Timbo said, 'rather odd finding this Inn here, I would think,' 'no, not really in fact there has always been some sort of drinking spot here, or around here even in the past ages the elfs had a tavern here. Probably why this Inn grew up. It's called the Smeagol Inn, by the way, as you might have seen.' Naomi informed. Dan in the meantime was finding out some useful information. It appeared that some of the men playing darts had recognized the name of his sister. 'yes, I remember her, she passed this way,' said a player called Gibbo. 'On her way to the county,' that however was not all good news. All was not well in the County Dan had found out. Apparently it was currently under the control of an imposing leader who was fashioning it into his own will, ignoring the views of its population and turning the County into a Satellite of Dol Guldor. Its borders where shut and information about what was happening to the people inside it was very sketchy. 'It's quite possible she could be trapped there and in trouble,' finished Gibbo.
Dol Guldor, as Dan had found out, was the home of the evil sorcerer known as the Necromancer. Most of it's population lived in slavery and squalor leading unhappy lives subservient to the sorcerer's every whim. The Necromancer had also claimed lordship over the lands to the north and west of Mirkwood which meant he would be in control of tens of thousands of free people which he had no right to and would rather be independent. Most of the people had rejected his claims, and in response, Dan had learnt The Necromancer had sent out his people including Wolves and his slaves, the Orcs to press upon the free lands.
Timbo and Mandy were discussing this very thing with Naomi. Naomi was saying very softly, 'I hear that Gandalf is coming this way with the intention of doing something about this. He says that the Necromancer is getting more powerful, but there is still enough resistence in this part of the wild to do something about him, which is what he is doing.' Timbo asked, 'but what is he going to do, precisely, he is only one wizard, what can he do against such a powerful sorcerer in the south of the Forest and all his minnions?' 'Not sure, really, I'm afraid Gandalf was a little vague in his details,' was Naomi's rather unhelpful reply.
Dan, in the meantime had a sudden alarming encounter. As he had finished talking to the darts players, he bumped into someone. Someone who was a little thin, bearded, rather handsome in a weady sort of way. The man smiled at him. But he was Whitesnake. Whitesnake recognized Dan as a companion of Gandalf's and Dan was sure he had seen Whitesnake in mount Gundabad from a corner while Whitesnake was arguing with Captain Beaumont. Whitesnake looked at Dan and said, 'Well, a Hobbit from the west, how delightful to see you, how would you like a drink?' rather nervously, Dan decided to decline. He wasn't completely sure about Whitesnake but there was a definite look in Whitesnake's eyes which despite Whitesnake's charming manner Dan didn't like. Whitesnake replied by smiling and ruffling Dan's hair. 'Well, well, never mind. I look forward to seeing you soon I hope. It will be advantages to me, er, of course I mean all of us,' Whitesnake turned around at some of his fellows and laughed at this and so did his entourage. Dan was sure that by all of us Dan wasn't included in this statement. Frightened, Dan scurried back to Timbo and Mandy.
Whitesnake, was fustrated by this encounter. 'I want him, I want that blasted Hobbit,' he was saying to two of his entourage. 'But I can't take him here there would be too much fuss. We're outside our own territories and we would be in trouble ourselves. But never fear. We'll keep a watch on them. Once they leave this Inn and go into the country outside we'll have them or at least that one. I need to speak to him in the proper, manner, shall we say. He's been travelling with Gandalf. I need to know what that troublesome foe of the Necromancer, or the boss has been doing'.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006
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The next morning, after a hearty breakfast of mushrooms, bacon and cheese, the four companions left the Inn to try to seek the County. Unfortunately for Whitesnake, he had forgotten that Hobbits are rather good at shaking off pusuit and also that the morning weather in this country could sometimes be a little foggy. As was the case this morning. One bit of bad news for the Hobbits, however, was that Naomi was going to say goodbye. 'I'm really sorry, but I'm not really part of your journey at the moment. I mean to return to Lorien, and as such I have to do. There are people I hope to be able to tell them about events in the wild. However, I may well be back and I hope to see you soon.' With sorrow, Timbo, Dan and Mandy watched Naomi disappear into the distance.
For a few hours the three walked on in the vague direction which they considered the county to be in. 'Dan, I think it's your turn to collect some water, use that stream beside the hill over there,' asked Timbo. Dan was happy to follow this. However as he was just returning from the stream he ducked in fright as he saw some men on horseback ride on the grass below. He recognized Whitesnake. As Dan looked on through a bush, he thought he saw Timbo and Mandy scatter into the distance. But Whitesnake was continuing to look and was coming closer to him. Dan quietly retreated into the distance to avoid him. But as a consequence he became hopelessly lost. He just attempted to walk forward in the wild lands as much as he could.
After a time, Dan came to a collection of cottages. He could see some people who appeared to be woodmen working outside. Dan was hungry and tired. He decided he would try to trust these people. As it happened, it was the right decision. These people were brave woodfolk in the wild and were willing to accept him as a refugee from dangerous men. In fact he was taken to the main hut, where their lord Duke Harold and his wife, Miceal stayed. Many of the men were fascinated to hear Dan's tales of lands far away and Dan was offered some hospitality.
But just as Dan was feeling comfortable he heard some bad news. The Duke rose to make a speech and spoke of a 'impending attack the next day from Orcs in the mountains. From what we know they appear to outnumber us so we must prepare for trouble. But if we stick together and follow orders and remember our freedom, we may pull through,' Dan was beginning to become worried for these people who had shown him much hospitality but appeared to be in some danger. He was giving one task to do by Miceal. 'Potatoes,' she had said, 'and pealing.' She pointed to a rather large pile of potatoes. 'You can earn your keep by pealling those. Come on get to it. Ahh, I can see you're a natural,' and Dan was kept busy for a while. Dan did have one question on his mind. 'Who is the commander of the foes which we face?' he was not greatly surprised by the answer. 'Lord Edward Whitesnake from Dol Guldor.'
Dan was offered the chance to depart and not take part in the ensuring battle. It wasn't so much that he was heroic, but he did logically think that if the Orcs won that been alone with thousands of Orcs after him would not be a very happy situation for him, so he decided to stick with the Woodlanders. So the next day which dawned cold, dark and rainy, he travelled with the Woodlanders army to confront the Orcs. His heart pounded as he saw from a fort, yet again, thousands of Orcs issuing from the mountains, under a cover of squawking flock of Crows. He could also see some men under Whitesnakes command reinforcing the Orcs.
Well, it proved to be a very desperate fight. At first the Orcs were winning. In fact they came as far to Duke Harold, and it appeared that Harold was slain, and many thought that he was. But, no, this was mistaken as Harold appeared an with a great cry called, 'Look on my face. I am alive, I am with you. By the grace of the Gods, we will emerge triumphant in this.' Even as he said that the battle begun to turn. Dan didn't really notice this, as he was waylaid by Orcs and spend much of his time trying to avoid drowning in the mud, although he did manage to bag around 3 Orcs in the battle, but eventually more of the Orcs were slain than the Woodmen. By the time of evening the Orcs had enough and retreated back to the Mountains before their fell Woodland enemies.
Dan was as gratified as anyone else by this but felt it was time to try to rejoin his companions. 'The County is due south of us, try to follow the River Anduin southwords,' was his advice. So the next day he was on his own walking south in the grassy plains. When he heard a great shout. To his horror he saw some of Whitesnake's entourage behind him. Dan tried to escape, but this time it was too late. He was picked up and chained to a covered prison wagon. The last thing he saw was the gloating face of Whitesnake. 'At last I have you Hobbit, do you know I think that this might even make up for our slight reversal with the Woodlanders, in the meantime take that,' Dan felt a massive bang to his head as a hammer hit it on the back and he fell into unconsciousness.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006
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Timbo and Mandy knew that Dan had disappeared, but could do nothing because of Whitesnake's people in between. 'Where's he gone?' asked Mandy, 'Well, who can say but he's quite a careful chap, he's got as much chance as survivng on his own as with us, I expect we'll see him again.' The two Hobbits managed to cross over the Anduin, with assistence and to make it into the nearby land of Hobbits known as the County. However, as has been hinted all was definitely not well there. The County was populated by those Hobbits who at the time had not made the journey over the Misty Mountains hundreds of years ago and to found the homeland of Timbo and Mandy. But as they had discovered almost as soon as they had crossed the border, the County was under the control of a Hobbit called Major Johannus. He was someone who had had quite a brilliant early carier but had moved into politics and had quickly become clearly corrupt. He had established a totelatarian society, had tried to take over everything for himself, had imposed heavy taxation, not very fair taxation either, 'Water tax, that was a good one, imposing a fixed rate over anyone who had used any stream in the county. As almost anyone has to that was a very effective way of raising money, just a shame it was so regressive,' had muttered Hussein, a Hobbit who was very much opposed to the regime. Also, Johannus had imprisioned many who had openely opposed him, so his opponents had to be cautious.
Mandy had urged Timbo to do something. But Timbo was a little unsure what to. 'Yes, I suppose I could use our experiences and help the Opposition. But I'm not sure I should pursue that road. I haven't travelled half the world, through extreme danger, just to start a civil war between Hobbits. To my knowledge, Hobbits have never fought with one another and I don't intend for that to start know.' But it did seem that events would naturally overtake Timbo's wishes. A whole series of strikes started up, Timbo personally urged an economic boycott of Johannus's regime, a surprisingly effective tactic, actually, and it seemed that Johannus had declared martial law.
In the midst of all this Timbo had discovered a person he had been looking for. Dan's sister, Sarah had bumped into him in a village where she had been trapped in for a few years. Sarah was keen to hear from him news of the Shire and what Timbo, Mandy and Dan had been doing. Timbo happily ruffled her red hair as he told her. Sarah was, however, a little worried by Dan's abscence. But events rolled quickly on. It did seem like some sort of conflict was ineveitable. Especially as Johannus had met Timbo and promised dire retibution if Timbo didn't concede to him. 'I think I've been too kind up to now. Maybe imprisonment is too good for you people. I ought to execute a few of you as well. Starting with you.' he snarled as he marched off with his millitia. But there was just something about Johannus. 'You, know, considering his background, I really don't think he's utterly evil, I think we could work with him,' suggested Timbo, but this was not a popular suggestion. Despite that, one day a mass demonstration was organised. Just about everyone in the County turned up in a major expression of disapproval against Johannuss's regime. The strange thing was that Johanuss was quite upset by this. He really did believe that he was popular with his people and the truth came as quite a shock. Johannus did have an opportunity, with his well-armed militia to fire on and disperse the crowd. But seeing how many people were there and the strength of his opposition, plus of course his unlikehood of succeding, he didn't. He collapsed in a giggling mad heap and offered his resignation. The only person who was hurt was Timbo himself who had felt Johannus's sword in his shoulder as the President debated with himself. However, Timbo wasn't too badly hurt. 'Only you could get yourself injured in a bloodless revolution,' was Mandy's unkind comment. Just after these events, Timbo and Mandy were re-united with Gandalf.
In the meantime, Dan had woken up and had instantly regretted it. He remembered sometimes drinking a little too heavily and having a very bad hangover the next morning. This was rather how he felt now. He was chained up, with a group of unhappy prisoners in a horse-drawn caravern moving slowly but relentlessly. He was unaware of how much time had passed. As he pecked out as much as he could from the curtains, he seemed to be passing through rough countryside, but with the added factor that it was snowing. As Dan knew it was spring, he thought this must be a cold country he was coming to. After a time, the caravern halted and he was marched to a cell. A prison cell by himself as well, which he didn't think bode well. Dan smelled a ghastly, hideous smell from behind his door and thought a creature from the pits was about to enter. But it appeared to be a rather short, very ugly, man. 'I am hear to ask you a few questions,' the man said. Dan wondered what he was going to be asked. But the man then looked confused, stuttered, then sort of continued, 'Damn, I fogot what I was going to ask you.' Then a voice behind said, 'Baldrick, if you ever, ever use your initive with me again, remind me to have you brutally killed,' 'right you are, sir,' and Dan recognized Whitesnake.
Whitesnake slowly approached Dan's bound form, then grinned. 'You know, normally I don't enjoy this type of thing, not been of too much of a sadistic mind, but in your case I could make an exception. I've heard of you Hobbits. Fearlessly cheerful, loyal, a little bit dim, maybe a bit tough in regards to withstanding pain. Well, this could be a challenge. I wonder how cheerful you people can be when subjected to extreme pain.' Whitesnake couched down opposite Dan. 'I want to know what you are up to. What Gandalf's plan is. I don't trust him. I'm sure he must have some idea to counter my power. Some kind of secret magic, no doubt. And as for you. You have been recently countering my plans at every turn. You cunning, devious, illusive being. But it stops here. You will tell me everything you know.'
Dan was a little confused, not to mentioned frightened by Whitesnake's words. 'I'm sorry, I think you have me confused with someone else, I don't recognize that statement about me.' He also decided to try to be a little evasive. 'Gandalf? I don't know any Gandalf, er, do you mean Godwine, Greatgulf, Goodgulf?' Whitesnake was not amuzed. He hit Dan's face hard with his elbow. Blood run from Dan't nose. 'I know that you know Gandalf, my people have spotted you with him, don't try to be funny.' Whitesnake hands slowly ran across Dan's furry feet. 'Such funny little furry toes you Hobbits do have. I wonder how you would react to losing one of them. Baldrick!' Baldrick handed Whitesnake a very sharp knife. Whitesnake pinched one of Dan's big toes and pressed the knife at its base about to cut it off.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006
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Dan yelled. Just as he did so, the cell door opened and a young woman entered the cell. She coughed, 'Whitesnake, just what is going here?' Whitesnake turned around in irritation and replied, 'just a little bit of interrogation nothing for you to worry about Susan,' 'Oh, interrogation. I trust you know that all matters of interrogation, or as it looks like to me, torture, has to be cleared by the Queen first?' 'Oh, I'm sure that will be a mere formality', 'oh, will it, I'm don't think I quite share your confidence.' Susan smiled at Dan. She was under the impression that he looked cute. She might have a little job for him. Dan made a little effort to smile back. Susan continued, 'Whitesnake, put a stop to this. I'm going to take Dan to the Queen personally to see what she thinks of him.'
Whitesnake face was a picture of absolute fury and frustration at this suggestion. 'What?' he spluttered, 'this, hobbit, is under my authorization. He's very probably a dangerous enemy of the Necromancer's. He needs to be questioned.' Susan looked at Dan. She didn't think his little form looked very dangerous. Still one could never be too sure. She might have to be careful. 'Whitesnake, the Queen's authority is paramount around here. If you wanted to torture him in complete control, you should have moved him to one of the jails in your country rather than ours. You know, this type of thinking that you are above the rules, while insisting that everyone obeys you is just the main reason why you are so unpopular amongst us.' Whitesnake did boldly reply, 'Well I couldn't give a stuff about what you people think of me, by the way, I hope you know that I am now the main lieutenant of the Necromancer's since the rather unfortunate dimise of Lord Melchit?' 'yes, I heard that Lord Melchit made an honourable gesture after the unfortunate defeat by the Woodman, took responsability personally I believe,' 'I saw it. A unfortunate and rather messy demise it has to be said'. But after some wrangling Whitesnake did agree to let Dan go. It was his own fault, he thought. He was in a hurry and wanted to torture Dan quickly, rather than travelling further to one of the jails under his more direct control rather than his allies the Fuinging with whom he was very suspicious about anyway. Melchit had commited suicide after the defeat by the Woodman rather than face the wrath of the Necromancer and Whitesnake was able to move up a notch in the wheels of power.
Susan lead Dan out of the jail and into the country where it was snowing hard. 'Damn weather.' she muttered to herself. 'Where are you taking me?' Dan asked. Susan smiled, 'to the Queen. My mistress. Despite here apparant power, she can be a bit, er, lonely shall we say and could probably do with the company of a young, cheerful, energic, Hobbit. She isn't that far away, ah, here she is.' Susan waved as a raindeer drawn carriage stopped just in front of Dan.
In it there sat in front a black women of around 50 wearing a modest crown and some flamboyent robes of green. She beckoned Dan and Susan to join her. Her hand touched Dan's cheek gently. 'You're right he is rather cute isn't he? Come on then,' With a pull of the reins, the 2 raindeers trotted on, pulling the carriage. She introduced herself, 'I am Queen Deborah of the Fuinging. I do have a certain amount of power although it is not absolute. Like ability to control this infernal snow. It's been like this for weeks. A little unseasonal. Some say it is something to do with the Necromancer's power. Would you like some Ereborn delight?' she offered to Dan some rather sickly looking sweets. Dan wasn't sure that he would like them. 'I think I'll pass thanks. You wouldn't happen to have some beer by any chance, would you, I'm parched. Getting tortured by Whitesnake is thirsty work.' The Queen laughed, 'Oh one of those hang on a moment,' She looked under some boxes and pulled out a bottle. 'I think there's something in there,' 'Oh, ale, thanks' replied Dan and took several swigs from it. The carriage drove on through the snow.
As evening fell, Dan arrived at the Queen's, palace, for want of a better word, though he privately thought it just looked like a vaguely superior type of hall. Susan decided to leave the two together. As it happened Dan and the Queen began to get on quite well. Dan ended up telling a lot about what had happened to him due to the Queen's gentle probing and in fact he did some cooking for her. Nearly all Hobbits are good cooks, but for Dan cooking was a passion. He was one of the best ones in the Shire. Many Hobbits would have been put off by the amount of spices, sauces and very exotic foods in Queen Deborah's kitchen, but not Dan. He had made dishes for Dwarves in the Shire before and some of them can have very fiery tastes. He made a very tasty Rogan Josh for her. It turned out that the Queen had a bit of a thing for Hobbits, a fact which her maid knew full well when she saw Dan at first. At one point in the evening she tickled Dan's toes, 'furry feet, I just so much love furry feet,' she chuckled. Dan was a little bit puzzled. 'What is it about these people and my feet?' he wondered. But despite this he did feel a sense of loneliness coming from Deborah. He began to feel a little bit sorry for her. Dan put his arm arond Queen Deborah's shoulders. She smiled at him, then made a suggestion. 'I intend to retire to my bedchamber now. You could stay down here but it is a bit cold. You can try to escape if you like, but I can't see you getting far in this country and this weather. I'm sure some of those wild wolves outside would just love you for supper. Or perhaps you could join me upstairs? You could find this..... profitable for you.' Dan nodded to her an agreed.
It was the next morning. Dan was thinking hard. He was lying on a sofa in the main room wearing shorts and a rather bright strippy shirt which he had found from the Queen's wardrobe. He supposed that he would have to catch up with his sleep soon. Dan didn't actually get much that night with the Queen. Despite the fact that she was older than him, Dan had still enjoyed the experience. However, what was to happen now? There was also the small matter of his girlfriend Mandy who he had not mentioned about the precise nature of their relationshp to Queen Deborah. Despite the dangers of his situation, he was not sure of her reaction should Mandy ever find out. The Queen came down to join him. She smiled gently. 'Dan, why don't you just stay with me? I can keep you safe from Whitesnake's intentions, I do have a certain amount of power. You could be useful. In more ways than one. You might even find live with us quite comfortable.' Well it couldn't be said that Dan wasn't tempted. Sorely so, in fact. But he came up with an alternative suggestion.
'I might stay with you for a while, but why don't you join us? That's one thing I don't understand about you people. I might say that I know those who live in terror of you, but now that I found you I can see that you are basically good. But why do you work for Whitesnake and therefore the Necromancer and ally yourselves with the cruel Orcs? The Necromancer has one intention and that is to collect all the lands for his own personal use. Which seems to be to bind them in darkness. You are on the wrong side. If I stay with you, why don't you join us?' Queen Deborah laughed. 'You are a very cheeky young Hobbit, in more ways than one as I've discovered, to make such a bold suggestion. We are somewhat allied to the Necromancer because we have to be. Yes, he's cruel we know that. We have suffered from him on more than one occasion. But the only reason we live is because we obey him. If we don't, he has made it clear to us that we will be cut to pieces as a people and any that survive will be taken to the dungeons of Dol Guldor. Nobody who may be your friends will ever look out for us. The men from the west basically ignore us. The elves have long ago mistrusted us and will do nothing for us apparently because thousands of years ago some of our ancestors were on the wrong side on some battle. I know it can be harsh, but the priorities of my people have to come first for me. It's just a fact of life. If I don't look after the Fuinging, who will?' Dan replied, 'I think that possibly you are underestimating your own strength. Gandalf has come west over the mountains and so to will some men of Numenor descent. You could ally yourselves with them, I've seen them do amazing things.' 'A little tip Hobbit. Don't mention Numenor too much amongst us. You might discover that word of those who enslaved us for thousand of years is not to popular. But how can we change sides just like that?' 'Well, don't change sides. Just become neutral. Do nothing. That's surely better than working for evil.' 'Maybe. I do have to say that the Necromancer is becoming more powerful and overbearing. Witness Whitesnake for example. I'm no fool and I do not believe his designs for us are good for the long-term. But I don't know. Tell you what, leave me alone for a few hours and I will ponder. Why don't you play with Maxie outside?' the Queen suggested. Dan did as she asked and ran around the courtyard in the morning air with a border-colly scattering around him.
Dan spend a nervous day waiting. But later on, the Queen had some good news for him. 'I think I will take your advice and do as you suggest. The times certainly are changing. Time for a different stragety for us I believe.' She informed her council of the decision later. Many were surprised at her decision but followed it. Captain Paul Beaumont, who was a member of the council and greeted Dan again with a nod, said, 'so we are going to follow our foreign policy basically on your lustful desires? Ar, well, I suppose we have followed it on worse ideas in the past.' But events transpired for the decision to be followed up quickly. Whitesnake ordered a large number of their warriors to be transfered to his control for the inpending invasion of the lowlands. The Queen issued a rejection of this request. Trouble was predicted. Which came. A few warriors of Whitesnake's people invaded the Hiunongs lands. The Hiunongs outnumbered them, but the trouble was that Whitesnake's forces were armed with rods of magic power which could cause death to their enemies at a short distance.
There was one other matter. Captain Beaumont read of a report of a 'cunning magical person hiding in the grassy country defying our efforts to capture him, apparently he's travelled from the west, but we'll get him.' Dan put his thinking cap on. 'Travelling from the west, I wonder if that could be Gandalf by some chance, I'd like to meet him again.' Dan suggested travelling with Captain Beaumont to try and find the person. Who turned out not to be Gandalf, but actually Beregond. 'Good grief, I thought you were Gandalf, what are you doing here?' 'Partly looking for you. Odd things are happening around here.' Beaumont wanted to imprison Beregond as a spy, but Dan managed to persuade him that Beregond was a friend.
Meantime, the war was going badly for the Hiunong. The men of Whitesnake seemed invincible while they used their magic stick. Beregond was a little skeptical of this when he heard about it, 'Magic wands, what's all that about?' he asked. He was taking to the main town of the Hiunong to see. But there were perils on the way, indeed, it was only the quick thinking and a sharp thrust from Dan's sword which prevented Beregond from been fatally mauled from a wolf which had attacked. In the town, the houses seemed, as far as Dan could see, almost chocking with the wounded soldiers of the Hiunong. It was an evil night. Things went from bad to worse. Beaumont shook his head, 'I can't see how we can survive even one more day of this,' he commented. Some of the looks towards Dan became less than friendly. He saw the maid of Queen Deborah again. She frowned at him, 'If it transpires that you have been the death of us, things will not be so good for you, we will have our revenge', she threatened him, and Dan couldn't really blame her.
He found Beregond again in the main hall. Beregond was surrounded by various smoking bottles, liquids, cut off bits of plants and tools, looking quite the wizard which Dan had mistaken him for. 'How's it going,' he asked hopefully. 'Not all that well,' came the reply, 'Oh, why did it have to be me that had to find out the secret of this wand. I'm not that great at this sort of thing. If only Erkonbrook was here, he was much better at this than I am,' Beregond was referring to his ex-leader who had in fact been killed before even making ths Misty Mountains. Beregond continued. 'The thing is, that this wand', he held up a wand which he had managed to cut into pieces, 'is a fairly simple device. It's obviously using some sort of relay system, I would make a strong guess from Dol Guldor. Now it's really an old type of weapon. In fact, it was used a little in the old wars. But we haven't had the necessary craftmanship to create this for a long while. What I really need is some method of blocking that relay. Usually we use something like this,' he held up a small box with some wires in the middle. 'But sadly, I just can't get it to read the relay waves, if I can't do it soon, it will be too late.' 'So, what are you going to do, then,' 'Well, I suppose I could, I could, ah,' screamed Beregond, suddenly struck with inspiration, 'I suppose that I could reverse the polarity of the neurtron flow. That might do the trick. Funny how I didn't think of that before in fact,' Beregond made a few adjustments with a thin iron rod which Dan had noticed that the Rangers carried out with them for craftwork. Beregond cried out, 'Done it,' he then called in Captain Paul Beamont.
'Here it is,' he counselled. He held up the box. 'Use this transmatter defusor. Switch it on at this switch here. That will block out any use of that so-called magic wand which Whitesnake's men use,' Beregond held up a little tin box he held in his hand. 'You can in fact wear in tied up on your forehead. Only trouble is that it takes up fuel to use. But the good news is that this only a little and is plentfilly supplied by a common plant around here called Grimscale. I have seen it around. We do need to collect as much of this stuff as possible. Dan will help. But as far as I can see, if we do this that should work.' Beaumont was busy taking notes.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006
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A leader in a patrol of Whitesnake's men was deep in Huioning territory as morning arose. He was thinking to himself that this was almost too easy. The last few days his men had caused slaughter amongst the Huioning with little lose to themselves. He did wander what the Huioning game was. But any that opposed Whitesnake were destroyed, that was how things were in this land. He saw Captain Beaumont and a few more black-skinned Huioning. What did they think they were doing out in the open like that? He gave an order to his men. He moved to within range of Beaumont, raised his wand and pointed, expecting Beaumont's heart to stop. But nothing happened. He raised it again. Again nothing happened. Beaumont remained clearly alive. Beaumont moved closer to him, grim-faced. The last thing the man knew was Beaumont's sword in his chest. Beregond's plan was clearly working.
The fortunes of war were now changed. Captain Beaumont's men outnumbered Whitesnake's and in quick time, the Huinong had regained what they had lost and Whitesnake was forced into a hasty retreat. Dan was kept busy hunting for various useful herbs which the Ranger Beregond had suggested the Huinong needed for healing. But he was now feeling lonely and was eager to see some of his other companions again. He suggested this to Beregond, but Beregond replied, 'Well, fair enough, but I'm afraid that I have to stay here for a while, I need to find out a little about what is happening here seen as the situation has taken an unexpected turn for me. Still, the Smeagol Inn is not too far away, no more than a few days march in fact. Just find the River Anduin which you can't miss and travel north.' Beaumont interrupted laughing, 'What about the dragon?' 'Oh, yes, the Dragon Stauning,' explained Beaumont. 'Well, if you see a twenty foot, red winged, fire-breathing lizard with scales, large teeth and claws, avoid it!' advised Beregond. The Dragon Stauning was a Dragon which had it's lair very close to the evil tower of Dol Guldor. It was not that powerful in itself, but it was very awkwardly situated in the forest of Mirkwood. Gandalf was making plans to deal with it in fact.
However, well packed with supplies, Dan said a fond farewell to the people he knew in the Huinong and left their borders and travelled north. The going became tough. It was rainy and drizzly and despite the fact that Dan found the river right enough but also bucketfulls of mud which had to be seen to be believed. He became glad of the mud, however, one morning when he suddenly heard a dramatic roar in the air. He looked up, ducked, and saw a large Dragon flying overhead. It was red, and if anything Dan thought that Beregond had underestimated it's size. It flew around for a minute, gave out a great firery roar, then flew off towards the south roaring as it went. So this was the Dragon Stauning which he had heard speak. Dan hoped it would not be coming anywhere near him. He made his weary way on.
Dan was beginning to feel very lonely on his own. Looking at the wild land, he began to wish heartly for his home in the Shire and the familiar faces of his friends there. He heard a cry. A desperate sounding cry. Almost famliar as well, in fact. It went, 'Help, help, heeeeeeeelp, please, you have to help meeeeeeeee,' Dan walked towards it and then recognized Whitesnake's servant Baldrick. Dan almost laughed as Baldrick was in a patch of quicksand, his head up to Dan's hobbit knees and slowly sinking, smelling worse than normal if that was possible. Dan looked towards him, 'What on earth are you doing here?' he asked, 'Well, I was on an errand for my master, when I became a little confused, I missed my way in the mist and fell into this quicksand. Please help me, I don't want to die like this, Pleeeeeese,' Dan didn't feel much inclined to help, however. He crouched down towards Baldrick's face. 'Tell me, why should I help you, I was under the impression that we were rather enemies in fact,' Baldrick began to cry pathetically. Despite this Dan couldn't help but feel sorry for the wretched man. In the end his heart showed pity. 'Oh, very well,' he agreed, crouched down, and with an effort pulled Baldrick out of the quicksand. Been covered in sandy mud did nothing for Baldrick's usual aroma, no-one in Dan's experience pounged quite like Baldrick. 'Baldrick, how did you manage to get yourself in such a fix, last time I saw you, you were in the land of the Huinong, looking for Frum for some reason, the most useless plant in existence,' 'I know, I was in these parts, but I became lost, look these lands are so featureless and barren,' Baldrick gave his map to Dan to look at. Dan replied, 'That's because you have the map the other way around you idiot,' he explained, simply turning the page over. He muttered, 'really, Baldrick, you are such an idiot, that if there was such a thing as an annual Middle-earth village idiot competion you would be a five times champion.' Baldrick than laughed. 'Idiot I might be, but I've just outwitted you,' picked Dan up and threw the Hobbit into the quicksand. Baldrick laughed again. 'ha, ha, now you can die. Wait till Whitesnake hears about this. I've managed to kill one of his worst enemies, ha, ha,' Baldrick then ran off laughing.
It was now Dan's turn to feel very wretched. For some hours he slowly sank downwards. The fact that his nemesis seemed to be Baldrick made matters worse. It became late and a crow landed near him. 'Push off, you could at least wait until I'm dead before you pick out my eyeballs,' growled Dan. The crow flew off. Then Dan heard a voice, 'Well, Dan Gamgee, there you are, I've been looking around for you,' and Dan saw his sister, Sarah, standing above him. 'You look in a troublesome situation, how did this happen?' Sarah asked. 'Well, you know, I came out to the Wild to look for you, primarily as you seemed to be in trouble,' was Dan's rather lame reply. 'Oh, I was in trouble was I? Well, if you don't mind me pointing out, you came all this way to help me, and hear I find you, up to your neck in a pool of quicksand.' Dan could only shrug in response. 'I suppose I'd better help you out, come on,' and Sarah pulled Dan into safety. The two Hobbits looked at each other lying on the ground and started laughing. Despite Dan's rather muddy atire, Sarah embraced him. Of all the various reunion of siblings which have taken place in the history of the world few were as joyful as this one.
'Good thing I met this crow which showed me the direction to you or else I doubt I would have found you', Sarah explained. As it happened, Dan was close to the Smeagol Inn, and he and Sarah managed to travel to it with plenty of time before close.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006
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The following evening was quite a joyful one for Dan. He was re-united with all of his travelling companions, even those Dwarfs who returned from the Khmer City to see them again. Naomi had returned also. It proved a merry throng. And Dan certainly needed a few pints of Beer after his wanderings.
The Dwarfs, Nabi and Imran, had appeared to be doing well. Probably due to the influence of their Ring, Stargate, their city had come along in leaps and bounds in recent weeks. 'Almost suspiciously well,' commented Gandalf, but the Dwarfs were not really too bothered by this. The only thing which Dan was cautious about was his girlfriend, Mandy, about whom he didn't really want to tell the whole story about his relationship with the Huoning Queen. 'I think she might just kill me,' he thought and hoped that Mandy would not guess. Over a tasty meal of Bacon and Mushrooms, Dan learned interestingly to him what Gandalf and Beregond had been doing to make them depart from everyone else in the first place.
Gandalf began to explain, 'It's a little bit complex, but fine I think, as long as you pay attention. We thought that it was about time that we dealt with the dragon Stauning. Now how to do this? Well, long ago, the Elfs had certain magic spells, many of which were powerful. Now over the centuries and with the decline of the Elfs, these have been largely forgotten. But there was one which could deal with beasts like Stauning. No-one can remember what it was, unfortunately, but there have been little bits of it popping up, or still existing, seperately in the Wild. So in the last few weeks, Beregond and myself have been wondering in the Wild, in some unlikely places, trying to piece it together, which I do believe we have done, here have a look.'
Gandalf handed over a little book, full of quite detaled drawings and text explanations. 'A lot of it is picture coded,' continued Beregond, 'See here we have a King, so we have stated the Elven word for "king", in that piece of the spell,' The Hobbits looked over the Documents, 'Yes, I see, look here we have a Dog, a door and what looks like a cloud.' said Timbo, 'Oh, look, Dan one for you, some kind of Duck, isn't it? Oh, I also see you have named the pictures in the common-speech as well.' 'Yes, Gandalf insisted on that for documentation purposes, I'm not sure why,'
Dan meantime was looking hard at the Duck picture. A Dwarf who Imran had introduced as Mr.N said to him, 'Come on, Dan, fancy a game of Darts,' 'In a moment, N, I have just noticed something, Er, Gandalf, oh, he's gone off somewhere, Beregond, how accurate are these pictures?' 'Very', Beregond replied, 'In fact these spells are renowned for their precise nature,' Dan said nervously, 'Well, because I don't think this picture of that Duck is quite correct,' 'What do you mean,' 'Well, this is a Brandywine Sprite which roasts largely on the borders of the shire yet this picture is labelled a Mountain Sprite which likes the woody borders of the Misty Mountains and only rarely visits the Shire, look there quite different, one had a distinct shade of blue on its beak. Does that actually mean anything?'
'How desperately exciting,' yawned Mandy. Dan was quite an expert Ornithologist, however. It was a pastime amongst some Hobbits who could spend hours quietly creeping up in the bushes to observe many speeches of Wildfowl which entered their country. Those sharp-sighted ones like Dan could see a whole variety of Birds. In fact Timbo did confirm, 'Dan knows what he's talking about on this subject,' Beregond frowned, 'You sure about this, Gandalf was sure this was accurate,' 'Yes, I am, sorry is this important?' Dan muttered nervously, 'It could very well be in fact it could change the entire nature of this spell I'll have to get hold of Gandalf,' sighed Beregond.
Gandalf made a return to the table. To Dan's eyes he didn't look happy. He looked at the document, at the back then to Dan's amazement started laughing. 'Oh, this is too sweet,' laughed the wizard. 'It's in the nature of these things that one word changed can change the spell. Even turn it on it's head. This spell, at least so we thought, was purely designed to destroy this Dragon. But that one word changes the emphasis. It now seems this spell would actually help it. Increase the Dragons power enormously. We can't use it now. Dan, I think you've stopped us making a serious error.' Beregond sighed, 'Just a shame I've wasted weeks of my life, however, I'm not sure why you find that funny, Gandalf,' 'Just appreciating it's irony.'
'But look, can't we just use the spell with one revised word?' suggested Naomi, 'We could, I suppose, but I doubt it would work. These spells are usually designed with a purpose, which I think we've totally misread. We would be lucky in the extreme if we found the word which suited our purposes. We'll only use it if we're desperate.'
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006
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With that, Gandalf said a polite farewell and retired for the evening. There was not much more to be said of the night. The only thing of note been that Dan started chatting to Imran and made the mistake of encouraging Imran to talk about his home city. Now Dwarfs if encouraged with undue patience do have a habbit of talking an infim about their mines, and Dan was treated to an hour of information about tunneling, minerals, mining, sorting, shafting, shifting and just about anything to do with Dwarf craftsmanship. Most people would have run away screaming or at least made a polite exit, but the odd thing was that Dan found Imran's talk quite interesting.
The next day, however, there was an important council. Held upstairs in the meeting room of the Inn, Gandalf and other people with information held counsel. The Hobbits were present as well, although as can be seen, Gandalf had cause to regret this invitation.
Gandalf started the meeting, 'Well, my friends, these are dark times. Many are the perils of the wild, and now we face invasion. Yes, Dan,' Dan had heard this type of talk before and could not help but pipe up, 'But are these times really so dark, I've heard that times in the past were quite evil as well, what with the Angmar dominion and everything,' Gandalf was not to used to been interrupted at this and responded grumpily, 'Look, who's the wise wizard amongst us? If I say that these are dark times, these are dark times, understood? but at least we do face invasion,' he continued with a little ironic smile.
'From the Necromancer. He has recently claimed lordship over all the lands between Mirkwood and the Misty Mountains, regardless of the needs of those that live there. Under the leadership of his chief captain, Whitesnake, we are in great peril. He is taking this seriously friends.'
'Oh, yes, we know about his lordship claim,' said a chieftain, whom Dan recognized as the king of the woodmen, 'we have in fact received his ultimatum in writing recently,' he flourished a piece of paper. The man smiled while reading it, 'it says that unless we lay down arms, taking an oath never to take them up again, accept many of his men to rule us, acknowledge his rule in this area, we will face the consequences,' the acceptance of Necromancer rule would basically have meant the average person in the lands, now happily roaming free been under the slavery of the Necromancer. The precendents were far from good. Most of those under the control of the Necromancer or his chief, Whitesnake lived in poor slavery worked to death at the whim of the Dol Guldor aristocracy.
Whitesnake might be personally polite and charming but he did represent a vicious soceity. He was good for the small group of those in power but woe betide the people who were not. The downtrodden had no basic rights for themselves and their very existences were often at the whim at the feelings of the cliques in charge. Worst than that were the summary executions of any who showed independent spirit or even behaviour too far from the norm. Many children of Orcs or men in Dol Guldor control who did not show apporpiate behaviour were known to be summarily killed. The necromancer wanted this system to be adopted universally. This was one reason why he was opposed so.
Gandalf continued, 'I don't think we need face invasion quite today, but it will happen soon. Whitesnake's plans are far advanced. But we do have allies. Dwarfs from their cities are coming to our aid,' Gandalf paused for a while as heard an irritating muttering coming from the Hobbits who were whispering amongst themselves, 'plus some Elves from Rivendell and Lothlorien in the South. Also some of the men from the northern vales. Now as for stragety,' The woodman's leader's wife, Miceal interrupted, 'Yes, we think we know the strength of Dol Guldor's forces around ten thousand we think, a lot but...' with a wave of his hand Gandalf cut her off, 'One thing about fighting the Necromancer. Whatever forces you think you are facing, increase them, he always has more.'
There was more irritating muttering from the Hobbits unfazed from a stare from Gandalf towards them, the king said, 'Fine Gandalf, you are fill of good news as always. But what of the dragon Stauning? We need to be aware of him in our plans.' 'Yes, agreed. I had hoped to have plans to take care of him, but it would appear that I have to think again. I don't think he's so powerful in himself, but it is what he might do together with Whitesnake's forces which I am worried about. I wouldn't put it past the beast to turn up at the battle itself.'
Beregond asked, 'But what are we to use as a base? it has to be somewhere strong to be able to withstand the forces of Whitesnake,' Gandalf suggested, 'What about the fort of Southwold? That could be hold for a while. An old Dwarf fort as well, which should be good for us. Technically speaking, it is in Dol Guldor's country, but we should be able to retake it with relative ease, indeed Silvano and his band of Dwarfs are not far away, and...' Gandalf suddenly paused and looked towards the Hobbits, 'If you Hobbits don't stop muttering amongst yourselfs, you will be removed from this meeting. This is a serious council, not an excuse for idle Hobbit chit-chat. Dan I don't want to hear about the doings, of your cousin, Spridget, one more time, please,'
Dan coughed an embarrased apology, 'Sorry, Gandalf, it's sometimes hard for us Hobbits to concentrate on important matters for a long while,' Gandalf replied, 'Yes, don't think that I haven't noticed that rather annoying habit of your people. And in your case, I would think about not been outwitted again by one of your enemies,' Gandalf rather unkindly referred to Dan's incident with Baldrick. But this seemed to work and The four Hobbits were quiet for the rest of the meeting.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006
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Which, to be honest, there was not much more of note to report. Well, for a few days, the Hobbits did stay at the Inn. But if there is one thing which Hobbits do not like it is been coped up. Timbo in particular was aching for a chance to explore some of the woods to the south, and Dan was interested in the Birdlife.
So, while it might not have been the most wise thing to do and while Gandalf, Beregond and even Naomi had advised it, Dan, Timbo, Sarah and Mandy took a little exploratory journey. The four Hobbits were accompanied by Dwarfs. 3 Dwarfs, the two whom had been their companions, Nabi and Imran, and a new one whom Dan had met in the Smeagol Inn, called Mr.N. Rarely for a tribe of the Dwarfs which the Hobbits knew, Mr.N was white skinned. Although he did have a nice example of a long Dwarfish beard.
In fact, Mr.N was saying, 'lots of examples of useful rocks around here we could use some of this one day,' but no-one was too keen to discuss Dwarf workpractices with him too much. But the day seem to darken dramatically during the afternoon. Timbo was finguring a rather expensive bracelet he was found off while saying, 'I wonder if it's going to rain around here?' Mr.N replied, 'While, I think it might well could, you know, I have a certain feeling about the weather and I think I feel wet systems coming along.'
Mr. N was correct about this. Now the author of this tale supposes that the reader might well be found of Middle-earth, and might well have a desire to spend time in that place if it were possible. Maybe. But the author doubts if the reader would like to be in the country which this party was in right now. As it started to rain. In fact, it bucketed it down. With strong wind, cold and the air began to darken considerably. It was not very nice, indeed Dan couldn't see beyond his hand and tried miserably to hide his face from the storm. Just to add to matters a flock of Crows appeared from nowhere and flew about to confuse Dan some more.
Dan decided he needed to take shelter from the elements. He did a large barnhouse in front of him and decided to make for it. With considerable relief he staggered through the entrance and collapsed down. Dan saw some of his companions but not all. He could see Timbo and Nabi taking shelter. 'Well, it is nice to see you two at least, have you seen any of the others, man, this country can be cold.,' 'Well, you shouldn't have been so eager to come, then,' replied Timbo grumpily, 'No, I haven't seen the others in this murk,' 'I suppose we should look for them, but where I have no idea, oh, at least I need to sit down for a moment.'
Dan sat down in what he thought was the safety of a barrel of hay. However, to his surprise the hay started to move of it's own accord. 'What the........' thought he, but the hay was pushed to one side and from the ground up popped Goblins. Scores and scores of them. Well, in short distances, Goblins were known to travel underground in tunnels and obviously this was the case here. In an instant, Timbo, Dan and Nabi were tied and in the hands of many Goblins.
The leader of them looked at the Hobbits. 'Well, what do we have here? I don't think I recognize you people. But I expect you squeal under pain. You are not us, so I reckon you are them. I wonder what form of torture you like?' Another Goblin suggested, 'eyeballs scratched out perhaps? Hot irons in the nipples? or maybe your toes cut off one by one? We should enjoy this whatever it means,' Goblins do like generally the satistic torture of any they do not know.
One stood behind Nabi, 'Oh, look a Dwarf,' Goblins and Dwarfs are old foes, 'I don't think he'll last long, poker anyone?' 'One moment,' said a voice, 'Remember we are supposed to interrogate anyone we find in this country, just to get what information they have before our attack,' 'Oh, bother you, why to you have to play it by the book so much? Lets just cause pain.' Naturally Dan and Timbo were terrified by this turn of events.
When one of the Goblins looked at Timbo's bracelet. 'Now lets have a look at this pretty toy, valuable it is, it appears to me,' 'Well, in that case, it doesn't belong to you, your not worthy, give it here,' another Goblin said. It doesn't take much for Goblins to row, sometimes violently with each other. The first Goblin replied, 'No, I want this pretty thing,' before the other sliced his head clean off with a broadsword. Well, that was the cue for a mass fight amongst the Goblins. With much hacking about, stabbing, cursing and scratching, the Goblins were saying, 'this belongs to the Uruk-hai, no not the Uruk-hai, we all hate them, I'll have it, no chance you won't,' and the Goblins continued to fight.
Virtually forgotten, Dan and Timbo just tried to remain annoyminus and looked at each other in fear. Before long, only four of the Goblins were left alive. They raised the Bracelet high and said, 'And now this bracelet belongs to us,' declared they, then looked at the prisoners again, 'Oh, and what will we do with them?' when with a swipe of his axe, the Dwarf Nabi slew all four of the Goblins in an instant. 'I thought your hands were tied,' declared Dan in surprise, 'Nah, that was just for show, don't think I'll let any Goblins have whatever way they want with me, do you?' Nabi replied.
It was all quiet so Dan risked a look outside. He heard the hoofstamps of riders riding from the north. Many of whom he could see where his friends. He gave a loud yell. Beregond swooped down with his horse and spotted Dan. 'Oh, hello again, glad to see you are all right now at least,' commented he. Dan also recognized many of the Woodmen. Miceal looked at all the fallen Goblins which numbered many hundreds, possibly more than a thousand, 'You've been busy, did you kill all these by yourselves?' asked she. Dan was tempted to confirm this, but decided that the truth was best. Miceal laughed, 'that does sound more likely knowing the habbits of Goblins.'
Then Beregond declared, 'You Hobbits had better come with us. These are dangerous times, and you would be better off in the safety of numbers.' Although he was honest enough to mutter to Dan as Dan was pulled to his horse, 'But I have to admit that where we are going you might have been better off with the Goblins.'
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006
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In the meantime, to the South a little and in his own country, Whitesnake had just finished a war council. He had just finished by saying, 'everyone stay very careful, I feel that something is up,' 'Oh, something is up you say,' Whitesnake looked down and saw an exceptionally foul looking peasant grinning at him. The peasant looked as if a boil had just exploded in his face. 'Will somebody take this foul object away from me,' and turned away, only to find his servant, Baldrick.
But Whitesnake noticed something odd about him. Baldrick seemed to be wearing a very flamboyant ring on his forefinger. 'Nice ring you've found there,' Whitesnake commented, 'More than nice,' exclaimed Baldrick taking the ring off, 'This is my ring of power,' Whitesnake coughed, 'don't be ridiculous Baldrick, a ring of power can only be used by one of the wise, not a pillock like you. Also they are extremely rare, how did you come by it?' 'I made it,' 'Oh, you made it, and what were you planning on doing with it anyway, confuse the councils of the wise, rule whole realms, or perhaps simply disappearing,' said Whitesnake hopefully on the last part.
'Anyway, hand it over,' Baldrick handed over the ring. 'Hammer please,' asked Whitesnake, he took out the hammer, placed the ring on a table and smashed it with the hammer into many pieces. 'Not much of a ring of power was it? I somehow can't see you using one of those things anyway. Get out of my sight.'
Whitesnake moved towards his tent for his evening meal. A voice said below him, 'hello, me again, think of the ways I can entertain you, look you can watch one of my fingers rot away,' Whitesnake looked at the peasant again. 'Look, will you get away from me. If I wanted to converse with a pointless animal, I have Baldrick for that.'
'WELL, MAYBE YOU WOULD LIKE TO TALK WITH A WIZARD, GANDALF THE GREY FOR EXAMPLE,' said the 'peasant,' and with a flash of light turned into Gandalf who picked up Whitesnake layed him down in a bush, near a stream and stood before him towering in the evening light.
Whitesnake stammered, 'Ah, yes, Gandalf, I was looking for you as it happened, they told me you were a master of disguise, that was a good one.' 'Never you mind about my illusionary capabilities. Lord Edward Whitesnake, I need information from you. Information which you shall give me. I am on my way to Dol Guldor. In disguise. I need to know what is the safest, most direct route. I don't want to get into trouble before I arrive there,' 'Ah, Dol Guldor, now from here what you do is to enter the forest of Mirkwood from the west, travel down the Stingray river and continue southwoods, can't miss it.'
'DO YOU TAKE ME FOR A FOOL? I want the safe route not one where I encounter dangerous wild trees. If you lie to me a second time, it will be the last words you say,' Gandalf lifted Whitesnake into the air with his staff and pushed it into his neck.
Whitesnake then told the truth of the best route to take to Dol Guldor. He didn't even think of lying a second time he was so terrified. Gandalf found his information very useful. Curious thing was that Gandalf was not certain that Whitesnake had lied to him the first time on the basis of the information which he was given. He just assumed that Whitesnake would do so. Gandalf was quite clever like that.
Gandalf moved his staff away from Whitesnake's form. He finished by saying, 'Lord Edward Whitesnake, a little advice from me. Stop working for the Necromancer. It will be bad for you. Use your talents for the good of Man, not their enemies. We could use one like you. Farewell!' with a flourish Gandalf disappeared as quickly and elusively as he had appeared.
Well, Whitesnake did think about Gandalf's advice that evening. Over dinner, he wondered if he was on the wrong side and if his talents and men could be used for the men of the vale of Anduin. But then thought, 'nah, that's the losing side, I like to be with the winners, more comfortable that way,'
Over to the north amongst the deserted farmyards of Oxhey, the two lady Hobbits, Sarah and Mandy were not having a good time. They were trying to hide low to hide from the Goblins, when Imran the Dwarf said, 'Come on, down here, there's tunnels underground, and my ring says fortune to be found.' Sarah and Mandy dived into a rather dark, dangy and cold tunnel.
'What are we expecting to find here, apart from safety?' Mandy asked Mr.N who was also with them. 'Treasure, I'll be bound. Imran is a master of finding it. I think it's the influence of his ring, Stargate. He's been building us up a fortune in recent months.' Which was true enough. Imran was Mr.N's lord.
For many hours the four marched in the dark. Mandy had difficulty seeing most of the time although she was guided by the Dwarfs who could see very well in the dark. Imran was guided by instinct as much as anything else. Eventually, the tunnel appeared to be coming to an end, entering a large, cave where light was glowing from. Was it Mandy's imagination or was it an eerie light.
'This way, to treasure,' declared Imran and hastened towards the cave. Well, he was right about the treasure. Pieces of Gold, silver, diamonds, crowns, rubys of many types were in abudence. He and Mr.N shouted in delight and virtually swam in the prize. 'What did I say, it works every time, that Imran is a genuis.' cried Mr.N.
Mandy grew extremely nervous, however. 'Look, can't we be more careful, I'm not sure about all this, you don't think all this treasure could just be lying around unclaimed, do you?' but the Dwarfs did not heed her advice.
But Sarah did. 'LOOK OUT! screamed she and pointed. A large dragon flew into the cave from above. This was the dragon Stauning and this was his treasure. He also didn't appreciate Dwarfs of all people fiddling about with it. He gave out a roar and let loose puffs of flame. The four took cover in the rocks on the edges of the cave. Mandy couldn't help but think it was not cover for long. She hissed at Imran who was next to her, 'You bloody idiot, dwarf, why is it that every time we follow you we end up in trouble?' but Imran was more concerned at his companion.
The dragon roared, 'intruders, eh, intruders after my treasure I'll be bound. Well, you can have a look, but it comes at a price. I doubt you'll be around to tell anyone about your find!' He turned his head around looking for them. The dragon found Mr.N quickly enough. The Dwarf had foolishly emerged from his hiding place and yelled at Stauning. 'You, Stauning, how many of our friends have you haunted and eaten? You are the devil of the lands. You have my family's blood on your hands. Come here and have at the,' he raised his axe aloft.
Imran was concerned, 'stay down,' he told his servant, but Mr.N was beyond reason. Stauning laughed, looked down at Mr.N then let loose a river of fire from his mouth engulfed the Dwarf. Mr.N was killed, his life ending in a ball of flame roasting his flesh. 'Oh, that poor dwarf,' declared Mandy, 'bit of a fool if you ask me, why did he come all over hot-headed, that's not his character at all,' wondered Imran, 'looks like he's roast meat now,' commented Mandy. But the surviving three were soon concerned with themselves.
Stauning now let off a low flame, slowly heating up the rocks where Mandy, Sarah and Imran were hiding. The heat flushed them out and Mandy had to scramble about on the rocks for cover. Angrily, Stauning gave out flames after flames at the three. Imran had broken away and was forced into more of the centre of the cave. He had fallen over and had dropped his ring. Sarah had noticed this. The ring was a few meters away from him. Stauning flew up high and prepared to dive down to flame the Dwarf. Sarah had a choice. Mandy was away in a different part of the cave, her view was hidden so Sarah had seconds to decide. She could not save both the ring and Imran. She choose Imran. She dived out and dragged Imran into cover just before Stauning flamed the area. As she watched, the ring melted in the dragon's heat to it's destruction.
Imran had passed out in the heat and rolled away out cold. The dragon was now near to Sarah. But it was getting annoyed. Sarah was a small lady Hobbit and was much harder to hit than the creatures the dragon was used to hunting, Men, Elves, or even Dwarfs. Sarah could dodge the flames more than he was used to.
But eventually he cornered her. He crouched opposite Sarah, her back to a columm looking at her rather pathetic for the occasion knife. She didn't think it would be of much use against a creature like Stauning. Stauning said, 'Well, you are a tricksy creature. But your luck has now run out. I have had enough of you!' He raised his head and opened his teeth covered mouth. Sarah closed her eyes, expecting fiery pain.
Then she heard a cry. She looked and saw that Mandy had leapt out of the dark edges and stabbed at Stauning at his tail. As it happened, his tail was the weak point of the dragon. Mandy also had a more effective sword which had been leant to her by Naomi before she had left the inn. Mandy cut a few brave strokes. This turned out to be too much for the dragon. Stauning gave out a desperate cry, looked at the Hobbits with hatred, but fell down, twitched, and sighed, dead from Mandy's blow. Mandy and Sarah sat down together, panting with exhaustion.
Imran was recovering. He looked at the stricken body of the dragon. But he was less than grateful when he heard the news of his ring. 'What destroyed, why did you let that happen?' 'It was the ring or you,' said Sarah, 'Well, you should have gone for the ring, do you know how much that was worth to me, it would have made my fortune,' 'yes, but you'd have been dead,' 'I would have been rich though,' the dwarf muttered, just about summing up the Dwarfs general dilema when it came to money matters.
But the two Hobbits had no desire to stay in that cave a moment longer. The original entrance to the tunnel had collapsed in Stauning's demise so they had to choose an alternative route. In a moment of weakness, the two decided to follow Imran's lead. They had emerged to a rather evil looking wood of tangled trees. Imran walked along a path, when there was a cry and a patrol of Goblins headed in their direction. Sarah and Mandy dived down into some bushes, but the Goblins seemed reluctant to look for them.
Mandy saw why. The bushes ended abruptly on the edge of a hill, and then Mandy saw it. She was overlooking Dol Guldor, the home of the Necromancer.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006
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Yes, Dol Guldor, the home of all the evil in this part of the world. Mandy could see the tower of the Necromancer in all it's black glory stretching before her. She hid, as far as she hoped to, in the bushes opposite. Dol Guldor looked a strong place and deadly in the night's darkness. But it was well lit with plenty of night torches.
At it's edge was a thick, circular, strong, black wall, sprinkled with gates guarded by Orcs and Men. Inside, there were not really streets as such, more paths covered in foul mud and throns. Many houses were in the circle with barns, sheds, dome's, huts and what seemed to Mandy to be entrances to tunnels. Mandy assumed that much of the stronghold was underground. Many Orcs, Goblins, Men and Trolls toiled in labour. Wolves howled and black horses occasionally galloped in unseamily haste. Many of the buildings were decorated with deadly runes and many seemed designed for prison and the cry of some over-worked unfortunate slave could be heard often in the night air. There was also the feel of unearthly spirits around beyond the reach of sight.
But the centrepoint of the evil ensamble was a tower of immeresauable dark strength stretching hundreds of feet upwards in front of Mandy. It was black, iron-wrought, with many juttering edges and windows containing what type of creature Mandy dared not think. Bats, dark birds and even more evil flying things circuled it. Despite herself Mandy was almost drawn up and up. She looked up to the circular top floor of the building and then saw it. Something was there of ancient, powerful and deadly evil. Enough for its very presence to scramble Mandy's poor Hobbit mind if it so choose. Mandy could see only a ball of flame, but it's presence was enough.
In fact too much for her. With the biggest effort of will that she had ever made in her life, Mandy cried and tore her eyes from the sight and crouched down in the brambles. The only sign of hope which Mandy was not sure was her imagination or not was that could she see a tiny dot of grey light in the distance?
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006
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Dan was standing on one of the ramways of the fort of Southwold. It was on the dawn of a new day, even if it appeared to be a rather murky, dark, kind of a day. It had not taken much time for him to travel there on Beregond's trusty steed from the time which he had met Beregond again. He remembered the haste in which they had travelled there, been met by Sam the cheif advisor of Silvano, who had cried, 'the fort is ours for now, we need all the people we can find, please use it to your advantage.' He was himself standing towards the back with Timbo, Naomi and some of the women-folk who were trying to prepare the food for the fighting men and Dan was helping them. Well, he was good at it. He was not expecting too much frontline duty at the moment, although, as it happened he was not entirely safe as it turned out.
Dan looked around and could see men from the Woodmen that he had known, around the dwellings near the Smeagol Inn, from more of the North, Dwarfs from the city of the Khmer, Elves from Rivendell and down south from Lorien. A cosmopolition gathering indeed. But he also looked forward and could see the green, foreboding forest of Mirkwood not too far forward. Above the trees, Crows were gathering and columns of smoke belched upwards. Dan was sure that if he looked closely he could see figures mustering between the dark trees. The wrath of the Necromancer and also, Dan was sure, of Whitesnake had been aroused. Dan gulped as he understood the signifigance of it all. One thing which had puzzled him as he looked around was the abscence of Gandalf. Dan had thought that Gandalf would be about on an occasion like this.
On the opposite side, sheltered in the trees of Mirkwood, Whitesnake was finishing off his own council with his chiefs. He said, 'Ok, everyone, this is the big one. The battle upon which we have been wagering our hopes in the last few years. Compared to this the last few events, irritating as some of them have been are minor. This is our major invasion force, and I have full confidence it will sweep all before it, and you should as well. What are the numbers we face?' 'Many thousands,' replied one of his underlings, George, 'We have more,' Whitesnake answered, 'Indeed, this should be the day in which my power is infinitely enhanced in these lands,' 'You mean the Necromancer's power, surely,' said someone, Whitesnake looked at the man and smiled, 'Of course, I do, of course, slip of the tongue.' 'Don't forget that this is a D-situation as well,' said Baldrick helpfully, 'Yes, thank you, Baldrick, I know,' replied Whitesnake. A D situation meant that orders from Dol Guldor meant that it was win or be killed. At least the commanders would, when they returned to Dol Guldor. 'Well, signal our forward companies. Advance.'
Out of the eaves of the forest, under the cover of Crows, black clouds, bats and storm-clouds, emerged many Orcs and men under the control of Dol Guldor. They were bravely met by the forces of the free peoples of the lowlands of Anduin. But the companies of the enemy pressed steadily towards the fort of Southwold. Miceal the wife of the lord of the Woodmen, breathed at Dan, 'Oh, look, they are setting up a Fireball,' which was when many soldiers gathered their arrows in one, ignited them and fired them at their enemy and in this case hit at the defenders of Southwold. But this was not that effective. In fact, most of the defenders were able to duck this with their shields.
Then, it seemed to Dan that the defenders gained the upper hand. Their frosty steel was doing untold damage to the enemy many of whom were already shrieking in fear towards the safety of Mirkwood. Dan even saw something which took his interest. It seemed that Whitesnake had been unable to resist coming out to look at how his forces were doing. And had badly underestimated his enemy. Dan saw some arrows from the Elven-archers aiming straight at Whitesnake. For a moment Dan thought Whitesnake was going to be hit. When something quite remarkable happened. Whitesnake's dim-witted servant, Baldrick, had for probably the first time, seen something which Whitesnake had not, and pushed Whitesnake out of the trajectory of the arrow-flight, just before the arrows hit where Whitesnake had been undoubtedly saving Whitesnake's life.
Dan tutted to himself. More bitterly did he rue his decision to save Baldrick from the quicksand on that occasion which he did. Then events took a blacker turn. More forces of the enemy emerged from the forest. Strong forces. More than the defenders of Southwold could cope with. It would appear that they had not yet encountered the main forces of their foes. Man, Dwarf and Elf were pushed back. Then Dan saw a sight which broke his heart. It was the friends the Huoning. But they were in the train of the enemy. There they were, bringing up the rear as invincible back-up. Dan cried out in agony. He could see Queen Dawn, Paul Beaumont and many of his what he thought of as his friends turned against him.
He cried out in misery, 'This I don't understand, I thought they had broken off the yoke of evil,' Naomi replied, 'The roots of evil run deep, Dan, does anyone know of what lies, threats, or coercian they may have suffered.' Then the enemy were close enough to threaten Southwold itself. A torrent of arrows clattered towards the fort, close to Dan's position. 'Down,' yelled Miceal, but it was too late for Dan. An arrow landed on his foot, cutting one of his big toes clean off. He yelled in pain and cursed in a way that some didn't know Hobbits could then passed out in agony.
So he missed the conclusion of the battle. But his friend, Timbo didn't. Just as it seemed that the Orcs and Goblins would enter the fort a great cry went up. From their rear, the forces of the Huoning crashed into the Orcs and Goblins. There was some confusion at first, but then it was clear that the Huoning were charging into the Orcs causing at least as much damage as the hosts of Southwold were doing. The Huoning were on the side of the forces of good after all. Dan had badly mis-read their intentions. Faced with foes too strong for them, the Orcs convulsed. Opposed by white-skinned woodmen, black Huoning, brown Dwarfs and Elves some of whom had a slight ring of yellow-skin about them. Many were slain by the wolves whom they were riding, the others had no choice but to fight on, to die, or to surrender to the superior forces.
The field was all but won. But there were more obstacles yet to overcome. Beregond, Beaumont, and Harold of the woodmen met for a brief council . 'We appear to have triumphed, but look over their, the stoutest of the followers of Dol Guldor have pressed together. They are trying to create a fireball,' Beregond explained and continued. 'Although we will undoubtedly triumph, they will still cause untold casualtied amongst our numbers. This could yet be a day as remembered for the slaughter of our men as for victory.'
Some of the same thoughts were occuring to Whitesnake. He was looking around, trying to find some consolation from the wreck of the situation. Whatever happened it looked like his own power was about to be severely curtailed. He spoke to his council, 'Well, this looks like a very desperate event indeed,' 'yes, nothing remains to be down, except for us to die as heroes in loyalty to our Lord,' said George. Whitesnake gave him a very black look. 'I'm not so sure about that. In fact I might have a situation which could yet save our lives. A remarkably simple but untried idea.' 'What, what,' 'It's called running away. If we retreat right now, we could yet escape.' 'But that's against everything we've been fighting for, surely we should lay down our lives in glory in memory of our lord,' 'I don't think so, in fact, I've no intention of doing that, my life belongs to me I'll thank you Baldrick,' Whitesnake ordered.
George replied, 'But what of the D-instruction. If we retreat, The Necromancer will make sure we spend the short remainder of our lives in an evil dungeon. How will we prevent that?' Whitesnake gave a particularly secret and smart little smile. 'You know, I don't think that we need worry about the Necromancer for a while. I'm not so sure he will be around here. We should just look after ourselves.' Whitesnake was keen not only to retreat but to do it with as much of his force as he could command with him. He did, do to him credit, have the power of command over some warriors. But he wanted in an uncertain world with the tides of power shifting to have as much of his people as he could take with him as he retreated.
'Oh, but surely shouldn't we fight on, it would be glorious in death,' argued Baldrick. 'Oh, you can shut up, what do you know about military tactics, didn't you once say to me, "how about an attack of Goblins at midday, because, consider the surprise factor?"' 'Yes, that was one of mine,' said Baldrick, unembarrassed. Whitesnake then ordered strongly, 'Come one everyone, let's get out of here,' and his people followed his orders, much to the surprise of the Captains of Southwold who encountered remarkably less resistance on the edges of Mirkwood than they had expected.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006
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Dan awoke. He was lying in a comfortable, well-made bed in one of the rooms that he recognized from the Smeagol Inn. The clock said ten o'clock and he could see the morning clouds from the windows. He moved his legs and could feel a dull throbbing from one of his feet.
'Good morning,' said a cheerful voice and Dan looked up to see Gandalf smiling down at him. 'Oh, hes awake,' said Timbo and Dan looked at Timbo, his companions Mandy and Sarah as well. Everyone seemed very happy. 'So perhaps we won after all,' he suggested. Timbo confirmed what had happened in the battle. 'But what about the Necromancer? did Whitesnake survive? What happened to you two girls? and when will my foot get better?' Gandalf chuckled, 'Well, Mandy, you were telling me that you wanted to write down one or two of your adventures, why don't you practice by telling Dan what happened to you?'
'Fair enough,' agreed Mandy telling, in dramatic fashion, their encounter with the dragon up to seeing Dol Guldor. 'I have to say, that I then thought, what's the point in surviving an encounter with the beast of the wild, only to walk slap bang into Dol Guldor. A desperate sight it was indeed. I didn't think I was going to get out of it. When, at the edge of vision, I noticed Gandalf here, coming up to the citadel. "What's he doing?" I wondered. 'We soon found out, however,' continued Sarah. 'He galloped right up to the gates entrance. Some poor fool tried to question him. When he raised his staff high and started firing into the dark fortress, creating raging fires. He exploded the gates, and galloped through what passed for the streets.'
'At one time I thought he was done for. Many of the denzins surrounded him and charged at him. I could not see how he, by himself, could withstand such a force. But he did. He waved his staff around, invisible power surged from it and more of the citadel exploded in flame and smoke and many of his foes fell dead, those that didn't ran,' continued Mandy. 'I watched in shock and awe as flames which I had never seen the like of light up the night sky.' 'You were wrong about one thing though,' explained Gandalf. 'I wasn't alone for long. As soon as I started my attack, many of the slaves of Dol Guldor seemed to feel renew hope and rebelled against their masters, helping me considerably. Also the citadel was much less populated than I had feared. I later found out that many of the soldiers had gone to the Battle of Southwold. Also, I had help from Whitesnake of all people. I wanted to finally deal with the main source of evil in the forest of Mirkwood directly, not with it's effects so much. There is much evil in Mirkwood, Giant Spiders, spell-bound trees, ghosts, even haunted rivers which are helped by the Necromancer, but not necessarily directly allied with him. I did not want to wast time or danger by encountering them, I rather wanted to deal with evil at it's source. Whitesnake told me, a little unwillingly I admit, how to avoid them. Anyway, with assistance, I managed to make my directly opposite to the tower of Dol Guldor and could even see the Necromancer's spirit.'
'I saw a beam of light from Gandalf's staff, a faint, evil cry and the foul light at the top of the building disappeared,' described Mandy, Gandalf went on, 'I suppose that I was both lucky and unlucky. Lucky in the respect that I as Mandy rightly said, was nearly destroyed in the first stages of my operation. Only a fraction of a second and a quick duck saved me from an arrow in my forehead. But I was a little unlucky in that I didn't actually destroy the Necromancer. I only put him away for a long time. But I believe he'll be back. And we, or at least those of us in the future, will rue that. I had a chance, just one. I saw the spirit of the Necromancer depart in haste from it's tower. I pointed my staff in an instant and fired. But in my haste missed by a fraction. That was the only shot I had. I snatched at it. I didn't need to. I had a few moments which I could have steadied myself and taken a better aim. However, then he departed in a desperate hurry. Oh, well, that's the only thing which spoils the happy events of this day.'
'We had a final encounter with Orcs fleeing Dol Guldor's destruction. We were captured and searched. I thought we would be quickly executed, but just in time we were rescued by Gandalf.' said Sarah. 'Yes, which is why it is probably a good thing that that ring of the Dwarfs was destroyed by the Dragon Stauning. If not, it would undoubtedly be on it's way to wherever the Necromancer is now, strengthing his spirit.' said Gandalf.
'Oh, wow,' said Dan at the telling of these events. But then Mandy stood before him looking very cross opposite his form. 'Speaking of encounters, I don't think you told me the whole truth of what happened with you in the hands of the Huoning, about, um, Queen Dawn. Well?' asked she. Dan stammered. He couldn't even lie, properly to Mandy, she could tell. 'well, sorry, it just happened, you know, I honestly didn't expect to see you again, hey, look I did it for freedom I think it ended up for the best.' Mandy did not seem to agree. She reached over and slapped Dan, hard, causing him to loose consciousness again.
When he awoke, Mandy growled, 'Oh, very well, I suppose that you did do it for freedom. But next time, just make sure you slay a dragon like me, or something like that or you'll end up having more than just your big toe cut off. Still never mind. It's party time. Many of our friends are downstairs, today there will be a major celebration of our triumph. You'd better have something to eat and get ready. Knowing you, it could be a long day!'
Mandy was correct. Dan managed to hobble down to the bar to see many of his friends in celebratory mood. His entry was greeted by cheering and applause. He smiled and waved back. He did complain, 'When will my feet get better do you think?' 'I don't think it will properly,' said Timbo. 'You had your left big toe sliced clean off by an arrow. There's no cure for that. You'll just have to get used to using nine. Oh, don't look like that, our feet are very adaptable. Remember cousin Tom. He lost four of his toes in a farming accident, yet still is able to outrun those half his age.'
The first people Dan met were his friends from the Huoning. Queen Deborah in fact. She decided to let him off his 'arrangement,' with her. 'No, cute as you are, I'm not sure it would have worked in the long run. But the agreement worked out fine for us. I believe that we have managed to free ourselves finally as a people. The possibilities of what we can do now are endless. This is largely thanks to you, you know.' Dan was still a little miffed by their tactics during the battle of southwold and questioned her about making him think the Huoning were on the wrong side. 'Ar, sorry about that. It was tactically wise of us to make Whitesnake think that we were still on his side so that we could attack at the most effective stragetic position. We didn't have time to tell you that. Mind you, it was touch and go with some of us. We of the Huoning enjoy a fight so much that sometimes what side we are actually on is mere incidental detail.' Dan wasn't sure if she was joking or not. He did hear a gentle scoffing from Paul Beamont. He was one of the casualties of the battle, at least, he had been hit in the bottom by an arrow and was going to have a very sore butt for a few days. Paul was not willing to hear much talk about the glories of war right then.
Of the Huoning. In the centuries of peace which followed these events, they greatly expanded themselves. It was only when one of their future leaders became too proud and made the mistake of attacking the Orcs in the Orc home territory in the Mountains that they suffered a reversal and remained stable. But the Huoning still remained a force for good peoples right up until later years, though often unreported, a valuable ally. As it happened The Queen and Paul Beamont married and started a dynasty which lasted through the ages.
Dan hobbled a little towards were Beregond, Gandalf and Naomi were sitting. There was still some things he was puzzled about. Information about Whitesnake for one. 'No-one really knows where he has gone, he seems to have disappeared, although I could make some guesses,' explained Gandalf. 'It was very unexpected the way he retreated like he did, most of the time, the enemy's forces fight to the last man in those situations,' 'Maybe Whitesnake was at least sensible,' suggested Beregond.
'Or maybe he was aware of the downfall of the Necromncer and was allowed to make his own decisions,' further suggested Naomi, 'Well, I'm not sure how he would have been aware of that, as I understand it the destruction of Dol Guldor and the battle of Southwold happened simultaniously.' informed Gandalf. 'Perhaps he had some magic way of been in contact with Dol Guldor,' 'I very much doubt that, Mandy, Whitesnake never did like magic tools, just wasn't his style, he couldn't get his head around them,' said Paul Beamont who had joined them. 'Well, it will just have to remain a little mystery for now, we can't expect to know everything,' laughed Gandalf. He then looked at Dan scratching his beard. 'Do you know, I think you helped us out in some ways in a way I didn't expect. Your showing mercy to Baldrick.' Dan smiled a little embarassengly, 'no, no, it was good. You saved Baldrick's life and he saved Whitesnake's life in the battle. I can't see any other general taking the action which Whitesnake had done. It was completely original for them. I think you showing mercy had long-term good for us. Now I understand the idea of showing pity in general but pity for one's defeated foes? That's a new concept for me. I will have to think about that,' confessed Gandalf.
Dan took a long swig from his beer then had one final question. 'We do seem to have been a bit lucky in many events. On more than one occasion just when we needed somebody with a certain talent, we got it. Everything from me, as you say showing mercy, to Mandy here been good at cards,' 'even Queen Deborah taking a fancy to Dan,' agreed Mandy. Gandalf looked up. 'Do you think so? Well, I suppose it depends on your definition of luck. I think what has actually happened is that certain events which have been long in the making, have in this year come to furtition and we just needed certain people. It may have been partly down to me, I have always liked the look of you Hobbits, you three in particular, though I was not sure on the details. It was no plan of mine that we would be so dependent on your girlfriend's cardplaying skills, for example. Also, I suppose that we have not done anything totally earth-shattering. Good, yes, better than I would have dare hope for one year ago, but this whole series of events was really about the fate of the wild. Had we lost, the wild in these parts would have been virtually unpassable for us. Now that was the case in the past, and I suspect will be the case in the future. But not now. In fact, things should improve considerably in the next few years or even decades, particularly with the Huoning on our side.'
'Well, that's one good thing at least,' said Dan smiling, 'It always used to annoy me how those older than me used to go on about things been better in the good old days, even if it was true, it's nice to see things getting better for a while,' he finished. Of Dan. He ended up marrying Mandy, and they both lived comfortably until old age, Dan finding his cookery and woodcraft skills very useful to him.
Then there was a shout from the bar. It was from Timbo who was playing a version of bowling. 'Oh, look at that,' boasted he, 'a strike of five on the trot. These fingers still work their magic. I will look forward to the Cricket season next year.' Dan could not help but put him down a peg by saying, 'Oh, yes, Timbo and what was the result last time you played the Oldbucks?' 'Oh, well, all right, it was a 5-0 whitewash defeat. But the Oldbucks are good, you know, no-one in the Shire touches them.'
Of Timbo. He married Sarah, had a family and lived happily, if a little eventfully in the Shire along with Dan. Sarah patted Dan, 'Will you look at that, Nabi's singing a song and it's not the old Hi-Ho song or the one about Gold. Now that has to be an improvement on his musical range. Which which was.
Of Nabi and Imran. Despite the loss of his Ring, their city continued to steadily grow in influence over the next years of peace. Unfortunately of the two Imran did not live to an old age, his curiosity in many years time finding getting the better of him and he met an untimely death. After Nabi, Beregond and Naomi got up to sing a duet, Beregond been a dab hand at playing the spoons.
Of Beregond and Naomi. Beregond found that in the decades of watchful peace which followed these events his old role of chasing wild creatures where not really necessary any more. He took up Bird-watching and made many journeys to look at wildfowl, often with Dan. Naomi, unusually for an Elf in the third age, had a few children and started up a family which had some modest influence of sort down the ages.
Which, just leaves Whitesnake. Well, he didn't die. He retreated way into the East and never troubled the westlands again. Whitesnake did have to explain away the events of the battle of Southwold, which he sort of did by saying it was not his fault, and by the way it was not of great significiance anyway. Whitesnake was well versed in the art of politics. One of the victims of this was Baldrick, of whom Whitesnake managed to pin much of the blame upon, and Baldrick met a painful death. But Whitesnake's power and influence was much reduced, much to his annoyance.
There was a band playing in the Inn. But not necessarily well. The big joke was to supply the members of the band with many alcholic drinks, getting them a little bit drunk and seeing them attempt to play. A little bit purile, but the joke had been played many times and never failed to produce much hilarity.
Gandalf made an announcement. 'Do you know, as it's a beautiful evening, I think I will show you all some firework display,' 'Oh, yes please,' said many of the Hobbits in excitement. 'Just don't let Dan anywhere near a firework, I'm not sure it's safe the amount he's had to drink,' muttered Mandy.
So late on in a Starlight evening overlooking the Inn, grassy country with a blue forest in the background, Dan smiled as he watched a whole variety of colours wizz up into the air. He was joined by Mandy, Sarah and Timbo. Timbo looked at his glass and said, 'You know, I think it's time for another journey.' Dan groaned, 'not a journey into peril again?' 'Oh, no, Dan,' 'Maybe the journey home,' suggested Mandy, 'no,' answered Timbo, 'a journey of self-discovery,' offered Sarah, 'What on earth is one of those things?' said Timbo. 'No, I meant a journey to the bar, to the bar. I've run out of drink. Anyone fancy a beer?' 'Now that's the type of journey I like,' laughed Dan and everyone laughed in happiness with him.
Here is a little alternative tale of the Silmarillion. Start of which anyway. I thought I would post it here as an alternative to starting a new thread!
Manwe looked down from the peaks of mighty Taniquetil and sighed. How had things gone so wrong with the Valar's children in the paradise of Valinor? Or at least paradise it was supposed to be. Yet now there was turmoil amongst them and a large part of the headstrong, but independent Noldor were in flight. Their high-king had even been slain and his spirit was not returning for quite a while even for immortals yet. The trees, the pride of Yavanna, her greatest works had been destroyed and their light was only now trapped in the jewels of Feanor, the Silmarils.
Manwe frowned in anger. It was his brother, Melkor, now christened Morgoth who was responsible, solely. He had slain Finwe, devised cunning policies to divide the Noldor, setting brother against brother, or at least half-brother against half-brother and child of Illuvatar against child of Illuvatar. But he was happy about one thing. The time for fear and indecision was past. He had consulted with Eru. His advice was clear. The Valar were to gather a host and take the war to Morgoth to take him for his past sins and recover the precious jewels. He was to gather a council of the Valar to tell them of the decision.
Tulkas was delighted at the chance to get to grips with Morgoth as it Ulwe, but Yavanna grieved at the hurts that would inevitably happen in such a conflict, even in victory. Also, she was not sure that victory will be as easy as her brethren seem to think and she asked what about Feanor's oath and the fate of the Silmarils.
Manwe didn't regard this as a problem as he wassure that the Silmarils will be used for the good of the world and the oath incorporated. But just as the council disperses, word reaches them of the slaughter at the havens. Feanor hears of the decision of the Valar but he payed itt scant regard. Indeed he laughed and says, 'So, the Valar follow my lead do they? No doubt trying to cash in on my glory. But what of it?' He does not think that the Valar can do anything which his Noldor cannot anyway, and so he doesn't change any plans.
One creature who was very angered at the slaughter of his favorite Elves is Osse. The vassal of the sea refuses flat to work with those that have carried this deed out slaughtered and will take no part in any campaign to recover the Silmarils. In fact the sea angel was very close to outright defection again to Morgoth. This is a serious handicap as Osse did vital work in the first campaign.
Indeed, the seas now become rough indeed. Even Tulkas was discomforted. It took him a while to take the journey from Valinor to Beleriand under the seas even as a Valar. After much wonderings when he did finallly make it to Middle-Earth he found that Feanor and his host are ahead of him. Tulkas can see in the distance the dark peaks of Thangodoruim, at his height, but also noticed Feanor and remembered that the headstrong Noldor is wanted by the Valar. He paused, wondering what to do. Brains was not Tulkas's strong point. Also, Olwe who might have given council is away at the moment.
Tulkas called upon Feanor to give himself up. This is met with a cold, negative response! Tulkas moved towards Feanor and forced Feanor to hide in the hills. Feanor wondered what to do. Then a dark, shadowy figure came to his tent and says that whilst Tulkas cannot be killed, Tulkas is a Valar, he has a sword with powers that if Tulkas is penetrated in his heal will put the Valar out of action for many hundreds of years. Feanor accepts the sword, but does not question who the messenger is.
Years later it is found out that the messenger was in fact Sauron, servant of Morgoth. If Feanor was thinking, he might have realized that weapons of sourcery would come from Morgoth, but at the moment he is only to happy to have a plan to deal with Tulkas. He chooses his eldest son, Maeodhras to carry out the deed. This is successful and Tulkas falls to the sea in a slumber, but Maeodhras is slain as well. Morgoth laughs at the fact that two of his greatest enemies have conspired to eliminate one.
Feanor's host comes first to Beleriand, followed by the Fingolfin Noldor and the host of the Valar lead by Eonwe, Many of the host of Feanor welcome Fingolfin and are amazed by him and his peoples crossing of the Ice, but Feanor remains unimpressed. There is little love, indeed outright hatred between the brothers. But he cannot take Angband by himself. Though his peoples do take the best stragetic ways to attack the fortress and deny access to them by those they don't trust such as the Valar's host. The Valar assail Angband, but right at the time of Angband's weakness, right at the time when there might have been triumph over Morgoth, the cause is weakened by firstly the lack of Tulkas and also divisions amongst the Noldor and Eonwe. Angband survives!
But is under siege. Although there is an outright hatred between Feanor and Fingolfin, the same is not so true amongst their sons and some rapprochement takes place though if there is not outright war, there is still considerable distrust between the parties. But Feanor has some sense not to take on both the Valar and Morgoth and a peace comes to Beleriand and some joy as realms are established and Men come to the fertile country of the North and prosper after a fashion for many decades.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006
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