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Thread: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 10/11/2019]

  1. #121

    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 17/11/2018]

    A very nice update! Aragorn the Kind and Halbarad the Just...I can feel the goodness flowing from here, lol. Nice to see our heroes reclaiming Osgiliath, I remember reading somewhere that it was once an even more beautiful city than Minas Tirith. These look like some easy victories, but no doubt the orcs did not expect the Dunedain to come south and ravage their armies. The battle descriptions are vivid as always, and the pictures are a nice touch. Just one query - in the picture "Situation of Ithilien at the arrival of Arnor", did you edit out the unit flags so we could see the armies more clearly? If so, that's pretty neat!

    *cough cough* fool...you will not beat us so easily...you simply won because you fought dishonorubu night battles!

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  2. #122
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 17/11/2018]

    The way that you highlight the importance of weather on the campaign, causing significant delays, sounds authentic. It sounds like the stubborness of the Steward forced the brave Dúnedain to take the risk of landing troops on a hostile shore.

    The screenshots are particularly good (I especially like the one where the ranger archers are opening fire against the backdrop of the Moon and the frosty trees) and the idea that Hirvegil has no name for the strange, giant beasts he encounters is well done.

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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 17/11/2018]

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    A very nice update! Aragorn the Kind and Halbarad the Just...I can feel the goodness flowing from here, lol. Nice to see our heroes reclaiming Osgiliath, I remember reading somewhere that it was once an even more beautiful city than Minas Tirith. These look like some easy victories, but no doubt the orcs did not expect the Dunedain to come south and ravage their armies. The battle descriptions are vivid as always, and the pictures are a nice touch. Just one query - in the picture "Situation of Ithilien at the arrival of Arnor", did you edit out the unit flags so we could see the armies more clearly? If so, that's pretty neat!

    *cough cough* fool...you will not beat us so easily...you simply won because you fought dishonorubu night battles!
    Thank you Swaeft, as ever, for your enjoyable commentary! You are right, Osgiliath used to be the jewel of the Kingdom of Gondor, the Dome of Stars unparallelled in beauty throughout the human kingdoms. The Orcs were indeed taken by surprise hence the easy victories, or at least that's my canon for it. I was inspired by the Dagor Aglareb, a battle fought in the Silmarillion where the Elves absolutely crushed the unsuspecting Orcs. Dagor Aglareb is Sindarin for Glorious Battle. Thank you I do put some time in polishing the pics so it's nice to see they are appreciated. As for the banners, I wish my skills in photoshop were so good that I could remove the banners so cleanly. No if you press the J-key on the campaign map the banners of armies will be turned off. I don't know if this is the case in the base game but I would assume so. Also if you press the Scroll lock key, the HUD interface on the campaign map will disappear. Again don't know if this is DaC only or also in the base game. It does give that extra aestetic feeling to your screenshots I find.
    I would think Orcs love night battles since they hate the sun so much and are said to have superior night vision. I guess we are just that good eh. Fighting Orcs is easy, gaining acces into Mordor is a whole other thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    The way that you highlight the importance of weather on the campaign, causing significant delays, sounds authentic. It sounds like the stubborness of the Steward forced the brave Dúnedain to take the risk of landing troops on a hostile shore.

    The screenshots are particularly good (I especially like the one where the ranger archers are opening fire against the backdrop of the Moon and the frosty trees) and the idea that Hirvegil has no name for the strange, giant beasts he encounters is well done.
    Thanks very much Alwyn! I did some "research" on sea-voyages in the medieval times, because Middle-Earth is basically the Late Middle Ages. I also had the problem that time in the game goes quicker per turn than it would realistically take the ships to cover that distance so I had to come up with something for it. Glad it all worked out! I will repeat myself a bit here but it's always wonderful to hear that the screenshots are appreciated since it does consume some time in editing them. (that one, together with the one where arrows are flying over the Rhudaur pikemen, are my favourites) It was partially coincidentally but also a bit deliberate that I took Hirvegil for this. Hirvegil, a scholarly man who encounters something he has never seen in his life, lost for words at what he is witnessing, really made the encounter more significant than, if for instance, Halbarad would've fought them first. He would not care for such things and would just focus all his energy on killing the buggers and think no further on it.

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  4. #124
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 17/11/2018]

    Book II, Chapter III: Land of the Moon

    Januari to March 3023 T.A, Eastern Bank of the Anduin near Osgiliath


    The Arnorians spent the winter camped in the fair land of Ithilien, waiting for spring to advance north. Hirvegil was camped the furthest to the east, bordering the hills leading to the Ephel Dúath (Mountains of Shadow). His two subordinate generals, Arfandil and Damrod, joined him, shortly after the Battle of the Beasts, in the defence force that would hold back any attack that might come from Minas Morgul. Halbarad and his two lieutenants, Nirven and Celephinndir camped in and around the broken city of Osgiliath while Aragorn and Araphor took their abode further north. The only one not present was Melion. His ships had been blown too much off course by the storm and were trailing behind. He would accompany Aragorn and Araphor north and aid in the siege of the Black Gate once he arrived. When that was was a mystery. Either case, the King would march come spring.


    Winter this far south was mild and while the forested hills of Ithilien were covered in snow, the men enjoyed the chill weather, being used to the cool of the northern lands. Back in Eriador, that is where winter really came, not here in the soft lands of Gondor. Veterans jokingly recounted their time from the winter campaign into Angmar, all those years ago, where the howling wind would rip through your clothes and numb you to the bone. To them, the weather here didn't even feel remotely cold. Winter in Ithilien was an enjoyable time and the black trees in contrast to the white snow was a very soothing sight indeed. The Dúnedain often wandered the woods together with the young Breelanders, letting the beautiful scenery bleed into their senses and they were content. Even the men from Rhudaur lost their grim appearance, a smile cracking on their hard faces while hunting in the hills that reminded them of their distant home and the Wildmen were happy to have firm soil under their feet once again, after the terrifying experience of sea-travel. They were used to navigating the many small rivers of Enedwaith and had been shocked to see the vast expanse of water that was the Belegaer. The Greyflood to them was big, the Belegaer was incomprehencibly large. They had been nervous to board the, to them, huge ships yet they had done so as not to appear weak in front of the others. However when the storm had hit, their nerves had found a breaking point. Many of them had panicked and thought they would never see land again and had been restless ever since. The following days had been very tense and the Arnorian commanders tried everything not to further agitate them, fearing all out pandemonium and mutiny. Eventually the Wildmen regained control of their senses seeing the Dúnedain had remained calm during, at what had really been, a minor storm. Now in the serene lands of Ithilien they could find rest once more.


    Nevertheless soldiers soon grow restless when idle thus Aragorn made them take turns in building and manning the fortifications to the east they called the Rammas-dan-Morgul, the Wall against Dark Sorcery or shortened Morram, the Black Wall. Hirvegil was in charge of the construction of said fortifications and the defence of Ithilien for most of the war. His calm demeanor and defensive approach to battle would come in very handy here.


    Ithilien had always been known as the Garden of Gondor, the most beautiful of lands in the entire Kingdom, and even after years of being under the control of the Dark Lord it still beheld a dishevelled dryad loveliness* that no Shadow could touch. It's air clean, supplied from the sea down south, the Land of the Moon was still fair and good.


    Winter in Ithilien was like a wonderful dream, a dream that soon would cease to be.



    Author's Note
    *for the keen eyes amongst us, I have shamefully taken these three words from Tolkien's, the Two Towers.
    Last edited by Turkafinwë; December 27, 2018 at 04:02 PM.

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  5. #125

    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 01/12/2018]

    A short and sweet update, now I feel like going to Ithilien for another holiday

    It is true that armies get restless when they are not doing anything, that was a nice touch! The Rhudar men panicking about a minor storm immediately brings to mind a newbie in an MMO going crazy at all the monsters attacking him whilst a pro player (The Dunedain) sits back and laughs.


    *deep mysterious voice* Fool...Mordor does not rest...

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  6. #126
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 01/12/2018]

    I like the way that you show us the reactions of each group of soldiers, each influenced by their homelands and their experience of campaigning. I also wonder how soon the Wall against Dark Sorcery will be tested. That's a very well-chosen picture, it fits your description very effectively.

  7. #127
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 01/12/2018]

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    A short and sweet update, now I feel like going to Ithilien for another holiday

    It is true that armies get restless when they are not doing anything, that was a nice touch! The Rhudar men panicking about a minor storm immediately brings to mind a newbie in an MMO going crazy at all the monsters attacking him whilst a pro player (The Dunedain) sits back and laughs.


    *deep mysterious voice* Fool...Mordor does not rest...
    A holiday would be nice to have, especially one to the peaceful region of Ithilien. I couldn't have made a better comparison myself. The Dúnedain really are like the lvl 90 characters where the Wildmen are indeed the newbies. Thanks very much Swaeft, as always!
    For the blood of Arnor!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I like the way that you show us the reactions of each group of soldiers, each influenced by their homelands and their experience of campaigning. I also wonder how soon the Wall against Dark Sorcery will be tested. That's a very well-chosen picture, it fits your description very effectively.
    Commanding such a diverse group of Men does have its merits, each having its own experiences and skills. If I were Sauron I would test its defences as soon as possible. Let's hope for Hirvegil and his friends that the Dark Lord isn't as impetious as I am.
    Thank you Alwyn!

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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 27/12/2018]

    Book II, Chapter IV: March!
    April 3023 T.A.


    The snow had subsided and the ground had dried enough for the armies to start their march north. The king's forces were acting as the vanguard together with Araphor's. They were shortly followed by Halbarad, Celephinndir and Nirven acting as the rearguard. All would be used in the direct assault of Mordor. The Black Gate was the only way in for them. None could enter the Morgul Vale and lay siege to the cursed tower without the risk of going insane. The Morgul Vale was an evil place, its waters poisoned and wildlife deformed. No man would stand a chance of coming out of there unscathed as long as the Dark One's power resided there. Aragorn, together with his advisors, had divised a plan on how to take on Mordor. The plan was as follows; The bulk of the army would encamp on the plain of Dagorlad facing the Black Gate, another portion would secure the river-crossings into the vast lands of Rhûn while another portion would secure the northern plain of Dagorlad and defend against any threat that might come from Dol Guldur. Hirvegil, Damrod and Arfandil would stay south, just outside the Morgul Vale, near the fortifications they had built, essentially cutting off the Orcs of Mordor from the outside world, and defend the Arnorian's supply line. Once the Black Gate was breached they would advance into Mordor and lay siege to Barad-Dûr itself. Aragorn hoped his perceived arrogance to take on Sauron would prompt the latter to challenge him in the field. A siege of the Morannon could take months, even years and Aragorn wished to enter Mordor swiftly and start the pacification of the region as soon as possible. They would have to hold Sauron's lands for quite some time until the Ring was found which then they could destroy and be rid of Sauron's influence once and for all. Aragorn knew Gandalf had been researching the subject for years now but didn't know how close he was in finding it. All their hopes rested on finding the One Ring if they were to get rid of Sauron indefintely.




    Hirvegil watched from his tower, built in the middle of the Morram, as the stream of men snaked northward, flanked on the east side by the Ephel Dúath. Hirvegil thought on how many of them he would see again when this was all over. He sighed and turned his gaze east towards the mountains. Somewhere crested in the base of the rock wall, just out of sight, lay the cursed city of Minas Morgul. The thought of the citadel alone brought a chill to his heart but he was also intrigued by it.


    What wisdoms lay within this ancient fortress of Isildur? were his thoughts.


    Hopefully he would one day set foot inside its walls and discover its secrets for himself. With a wave of his hand he cleared his mind and returned his gaze back north, where his countrymen would surely face the brunt of the enemy's wrath.


    “May the Valar protect you all” he muttered.





    It was on the third of April that the King of Arnor arrived on the plain of Dagorlad. The air was chilly but clear, a fierce westwind caught on the white tree banners of Arnor. The Black Gate loomed ominousely a couple of miles to the south from where the Arnorians stood.


    “Malcolm!” the king commanded.


    “Plant my personal banner on top of that hill” Aragorn nodded towards it “it shall stand as a challenge to the Dark Lord!”


    “Yes my king!” the young Breelander happily obliged, a grin on his face as he ran to do his duty.


    Aragorn had taken young men from all over Arnor to work in his personal household. He was accustomed to it by now it but in the early years of his kingship, Aragorn really had to adapt to the life of a monarch, having lived so many of his years as a Ranger in the wilds. It had felt strange to have so many people at your disposal to do the most basic of things like writing a letter. Now it was like second nature. Still he was happy to be in the field again, away from the politics of home. As the king pondered, his seven-starred banner went up in defiance against Sauron. As the wind caught the king's banner, Aragorn was interrupted in his train of thought.


    “You asked for me, my king?” said the dour faced Araphor.


    “Yes indeed my friend.” the king replied with a smile.


    “We have finally reached our destination, the men have done well and I feel we should have some sort of celebration!” Aragorn added.


    Araphor's brow knitted as he answered.


    “Is it wise to hold a feast so close to the enemy's stronghold? What if we are ambushed?”


    Aragorn waved his friend's concern away.


    “The men are nervous as it is being so close to Sauron's domain, they have marcehd hard and beneath the shadow of the mountains, they need some form of distraction. I think it is worth the risk. ”


    “It would lighten the mood considerably, also” the general added “it might be a long time before we have the chance to party again.”

    A smile appeared on Araphor's face.


    “I'll see if I can find that fine wine from Dorwinion.” throwing a wink towards his liege.


    “Do you remember.” he added knowing full well Aragorn did.


    “How could I forget!” the king exclaimed. “You ruined my best boots that night!”


    “And you tore my cloak!” Araphor yelled. “You can still see where the hole was!” he roared as he showed the patchwork that was his ranger cloak.


    Both laughed heartily, reminiscing the old times when they had been young.


    Still laughing Araphor excused himself to look after his troops making camp.


    “See you tonight then!”

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  9. #129

    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 27/12/2018]

    Lovely lighthearted chapter, great to see the men getting a break from war - lest they turn on Aragorn like they did to Alexander. A very ambitious plan though, I wonder if Aragorn has enough men for it to succeed.


    *cough, stutter, cough* Foolish creature...feasting right outside Mordor...that will be the end of you...

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  10. #130
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 27/12/2018]

    It sounds like the armies of Aragorn are in a stronger position than they were in the book, to plan not just to approach Mordor but to seize Sauron's lands and hold them. However, it sounds like the quest for the destruction of the One Ring may not even have begun, if Gandalf is believed to still be searching for it. Even if Aragorn takes Mordor, I wonder if Sauron's allies to the south would make this evil place impossible to hold. If Aragorn becomes lord of Mordor, will he face a similar fate to Balin, lord of Moria?

  11. #131
    Turkafinwë's Avatar Cheerful Nihilist
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 27/12/2018]

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    Lovely lighthearted chapter, great to see the men getting a break from war - lest they turn on Aragorn like they did to Alexander. A very ambitious plan though, I wonder if Aragorn has enough men for it to succeed.


    *cough, stutter, cough* Foolish creature...feasting right outside Mordor...that will be the end of you...
    Thanks very much Swaeft! If Aragorn can hold his troops together for almost ten consecutive years of campaigning I think he can be a very happy man indeed. That having said I hope it doesn't take them ten years to find the Ring and destroy it. Aragorn is indeed a very ambitious man, in the movie this isn't the case but in the books more so, and I also hope he has enough fodder, I mean soldiers to throw at Sauron's Orcs.

    Don't they have coughing pastilles in Mordor? You seem to be suffering from a serious pneumonic infection. Has Mordor got no healthcare like Sauroncare, because the Dark Lord cares for your well being?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    It sounds like the armies of Aragorn are in a stronger position than they were in the book, to plan not just to approach Mordor but to seize Sauron's lands and hold them. However, it sounds like the quest for the destruction of the One Ring may not even have begun, if Gandalf is believed to still be searching for it. Even if Aragorn takes Mordor, I wonder if Sauron's allies to the south would make this evil place impossible to hold. If Aragorn becomes lord of Mordor, will he face a similar fate to Balin, lord of Moria?
    Indeed they are better off than in the books having a united North to support the Free Peoples. Though it's more of a all or nothing strategy since that is their only hope for victory, no half measures. Indeed Sauron is weaker and the Dúnedain are stronger in this version, let's not forget Aragorn's raid into Mordor with the army of the dead in the first book. Still Sauron is a very powerful enemy to take on not only in strength but also in cunning. Sauron's main weapon is fear meant to divide everyone. From the south no real threat will come as Khand has joined the "good" side and is battling the Haradrim. The Easterlings however are a serious threat (They often become a real powerhouse in the game overrunning Rhovanion and defeating Dorwinion, Dale and sometimes even the Dwarves of Erebor) and I really hope they step up their game to make it difficult for me. Even without other incursions bothering our brave heroes I believe Mordor will be a difficult place to hold. Hold it yeah, but at what cost.

    Oh god I hope Sauron hasn't got a spare Balrog lying around.

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  12. #132
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 27/12/2018]

    Book II, Chapter V: A Sense of Foreboding

    April 3023 T.A. Rammas-dan-Morgul


    We've been sitting here for nearly four months now without any sign of the enemy and it's driving me up the wall. I'm itching for battle and though I know you don't share my lust for battle, I feel the need to tell you. We are not allowed any raids into enemy territory and are tasked only with the defence of the Morram, our line of fortifications along the Morgul Vale. Hirvegil has always had a passive approach to warfare. He is brilliant on the defence and his reaction speed to events during battle is phenomenal yet his inability to take a aggressive stance is infuriating me. I'm pretty sure the Orcs are spying on us, biding their time, preparing to overrun us in one fell swoop. I have requested we send some scouts into the Vale but every time Hirvegil has denied it. The man seems to fear the Vale more than anyone else, yeah a siege we wouldn't be able to sustain but going in and out to get some information should be fine.


    “My Chief Damrod!”


    The flap of his tent openend and in it stood one of his household.


    “You are summoned by Lord Hirvegil. He awaits you in his tower.” the dark-haired boy said.


    Damrod sighed. Another of his lectures.


    “Tell the Lord Hirvegil I'll be there momentarily.” the Chief of the Weather Hills replied.


    The boy bowed and left. Damord returned to his letter.


    I know it will please you to hear I'm on the safest place of the war and even though it grains me so to be here, I'm smiling in the knowledge that you're pleased about this.

    Your love,
    Damrod


    Sealing the parchment with a wax seal, showing the fortress of Amon Sûl, he tucked the letter into his cloak. Leaving his tent he entered the Rhudaur encampment. While still rising from his crouched position he nodded towards a group of them standing around a cooking pot. They nodded back before resuming their quest for food. Damrod's tent stood amongst those of his men, no distinct difference apparant between them. When Damrod had become Chieftain of the Weather Hills after the great war of the North, he had immediatly mingled with his subjects by going to their villages and communities, go hunting with them and tell stories around their fires. These years of integrating himself into their society was now rewarded by the Rhudaurians' loyalty and respect for him. Where other Dúnedain still looked at the men of Rhudaur with suspicion, Damrod had none whatsoever. He went to look for the quartermaster while he ordered someone to make ready his horse. On the way he chewed on a piece of smoked deer one of the hunting parties had brought back a couple of days ago. After a short walk he entered the main supply tent. He handed over the letter to the quartermaster and ordered him to send it to Arnor when the next ship went thence.


    “A letter to the wife, sir?” the one-toothed quartermaster grinningly asked.


    “Yeah, we wouldn't want her to think I'm dead and run off with another man now would we.” Damrod replied in his dry tone.


    The quartermaster let out a guffaw and placed the letter on the rest of the pile that would be returning north.


    Still chewing on his piece of deer, Damrod returned to his tent where waiting for him was his horse. A sturdy, rough-haired one, the likes all the Dúnedain rode, not bred for strength but for endurance. Gruith was her name in Sindarin, Fury in the Common Tongue. Fury was a fearless horse and matched her rider in his rage when roused. For now she stood calmly eyeing her master.


    “We're going for a little ride, girl.” Damrod whispered in her ear.


    Fury snorted as if to say she already knew this much.


    Damrod chuckled.


    “No need to be sarcastic.” he said patting her head before mounting.


    “Let's see what the old man has to say.”




    After a rather brief ride Damrod arrived at the great tower of Hirvegil, he could see the general standing at the top, looking out towards the west. He dismounted, told his horse to stay and started his ascent. Dúnedain horses were trained not to be stolen, throwing anyone off that wasn't one of them, nor to leave on their own. Very clever horses, Damrod always thought, some were smarter than humans. Damrod, being in his forty's (still young for a Dúnadan), quickly climbed the stairs reaching the top without being a bit out of breath. On top he quickly saw he wasn't the only one present. His nephew Arfandil was there as well. Great love between the two existed, both men being of a fiery nature. Arfandil had been in the care of Damrod since he had been 12, as was the custom of the Dúnedain. Arfandil was only in his twenties, very young in the eyes of the Dúnedain, yet had his own command. His Wildmen army was stationed to the south of Hirvegil's position. Together the three formed a semi-circle that cut off the Morgul Vale from the outside world. The two quickly embraced and queried about the other's doings. Hirvegil calmly waited for the two to end their conversation.


    “Hirvegil, you called for me?” Damrod asked turning towards the waiting general.


    “Yes indeed, I've summoned both of you here to discuss something.” he said.


    Discuss something? Damrod thought. There's something new. Usually it was Hirvegil talking and them listening.


    “Discuss? Discuss what may I ask?” Damrod asked.


    “I'm concerned about our flanks.” he said.


    “Our flanks?!” both Damrod and Arfandil exclaimed.


    “Hirvegil how is that possible. To the west lies Gondor, the Steward may not like us but he won't attack us and the lands to the south are held by their allies Khand*. And lest you forget that the bulk of our forces have gone north so no danger will come from that way.” Damrod said flabbergasted.


    “An attack on our flanks is IMPOSSIBLE!” he yelled.


    A hint of a smile touched Hirvegil's mouth.


    “I knew you two would react in such a fashion but I must consult with my most trusted commanders about this, which are you two. I have a strange sense of foreboding that some threat will come from the west. I thought you should know.” the general said.


    Damrod and Arfandil glanced at one another with a look saying they both thought Hirvegil had gone insane.


    “What makes you think such a thing?” Arfandil asked, perhaps more briskly than intented.


    “Nothing factual if that is what you wanted to hear young Arfandil, I have no proof for this, I just sense it.” Hirvegil answered.


    “It's just a feeling.” he added seeing Arfandil didn't fully understand.


    Arfandil looked dumbfounded while Damrod replied, his anger rising.


    “Is this the only reason you summoned us?”


    “Yes.” Hirvegil said.


    Damrod exploded.


    “You could've just sent a letter telling me this, there was no reason for me to come here and waste my time on 'just a feeling'!”


    Hirvegil, ever the calm man, replied thusly.


    “If there really is a threat coming from the west I don't want them intercepting the message telling you of said threat. Surely you understand that.”


    “Also”, he added lowering his voice, “you would take my warning even less serious in a letter than you do now.”


    This was too much for Damrod and he stormed off. Arfandil suddenly freed from his dumbfoundedness bowed to Hirvegil and followed his former tutor. Hirvegil sighed and thought. The young have no respect for anything that can't be proved.


    He hoped he was wrong but he rarely was when this befell him.




    * Author's Note
    *Khand is mentioned only briefly in the Return of the King during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields as being that their men were savage axe-wielding warriors. In DaC, Khand is an quote on quote evil faction from the start of the game but DaC has a script that can change this disposition. There is a 50% chance that Khand joins the quote on quote good side. This has to do with the coming of the Blue Wizards, Khand can choose to join them and forsake Sauron or stay with Sauron and fight the Blue Wizards. In this game Khand chose to stand with the Wizards and turn “good”. There is a reference to this in Chapter VIII: Lay of the Land back in Book I. The two Blue Wizards are of the same order that Gandalf and Saruman are, the Istari. In the books they are the ones who went into the far east and were never heard from again. Whether they succeeded in their endeavors is debatable, and wholly succeed they certainly did not for Gandalf is the only one who did. It is alluded to that they prevented more clans in the far east from joining Sauron and thus save Middle-Earth from more invasions, though this is only conjecture. In DaC they do succeed into getting the support of several human clans and especially that of the Dwarves of the Orocarni (the Red Mountains), the Blacklock and Stonefoot clans. In this mod they return to Middle-Earth and demand the allegiance of the Khandish clans.
    Last edited by Turkafinwë; January 11, 2019 at 04:34 AM.

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  13. #133

    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 11/01/2019]

    Oho! Now things are getting even more interesting. Turkafinwe you better not pit my favourite two factions of TATW against each other, your soul shall suffer if you do! Though it would be a really good twist...and the letter writing thing was nicely written.

    In any case, another good chapter. Loving the little details such as Damrod talking to Fury, and his response to the quartermaster, those were great! I find it hard to imagine that they haven't had to deal with an orcish incursion yet, it must mean that I'm planning something with my little pets...

    One thing though, I'm not sure if you added any photos in this scene but I can't see any.

    *coughs* Yes unfortunately in the dark depths of Barad Dur a lot of smoke is present. You think the Dark Lord needs to provide for my health? FOOL! I AM THE DARK LORD.

    Edit: Right I had to go for dinner but I'm back.

    I see the author's note! Thanks for the link to the chapter you had written previously. I re-read it, and the link is clearer now. Also I like how you contrast DaC with the books, it's a good parallel to draw, and one that will surely help the book lovers read through this overpowered strong Arnor AAR.
    Last edited by Swaeft; January 11, 2019 at 08:03 AM.

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  14. #134
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 11/01/2019]

    Great chapter, I like the way that the set the scene, with the tension over whether the remain on the defensive or to switch strategy. It sounds like Damrod has lost all confidence in Hirvegil's leadership. I'm worried about what this might lead to on the battle-field. (Like Swaeft, I enjoyed the additional feature of the author's note and the difference between the Khand in the books and the Khand in the mod, if the script is used).

  15. #135
    Turkafinwë's Avatar Cheerful Nihilist
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 11/01/2019]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Great chapter, I like the way that the set the scene, with the tension over whether the remain on the defensive or to switch strategy. It sounds like Damrod has lost all confidence in Hirvegil's leadership. I'm worried about what this might lead to on the battle-field. (Like Swaeft, I enjoyed the additional feature of the author's note and the difference between the Khand in the books and the Khand in the mod, if the script is used).
    Thanks very much Alwyn! Indeed the differing opinions of the different generals is cause for serious concern, Hirvegil really has his hands full with these unruly subordinates. His advantage however is that he is an old and experienced general and his troops are the most experienced and best equipped of their fighting force. His disadvantage is that Damrod's troops are loyal him first and second to Hirvegil. You are right to worry at what this could mean on the battlefield. Glad to hear the author's note is working as intented and that you are enjoying these parts of lore, book and mod related. I'm planning on doing this more. I realised I am sometimes referring to things that I know the origin off but most people probably won't. It's not very important for the story I'm making but if some of my readers are a bit like me then I know they will appreciate the extra information so they can understand everything. (I like to understand every aspect of something otherwise it will drive me nuts, I can't help it.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    Oho! Now things are getting even more interesting. Turkafinwe you better not pit my favourite two factions of TATW against each other, your soul shall suffer if you do! Though it would be a really good twist...and the letter writing thing was nicely written.

    In any case, another good chapter. Loving the little details such as Damrod talking to Fury, and his response to the quartermaster, those were great! I find it hard to imagine that they haven't had to deal with an orcish incursion yet, it must mean that I'm planning something with my little pets...

    One thing though, I'm not sure if you added any photos in this scene but I can't see any.

    *coughs* Yes unfortunately in the dark depths of Barad Dur a lot of smoke is present. You think the Dark Lord needs to provide for my health? FOOL! I AM THE DARK LORD.

    Edit: Right I had to go for dinner but I'm back.

    I see the author's note! Thanks for the link to the chapter you had written previously. I re-read it, and the link is clearer now. Also I like how you contrast DaC with the books, it's a good parallel to draw, and one that will surely help the book lovers read through this overpowered strong Arnor AAR.
    I wouldn't dare.

    Thank you for your kind words, I must say I'm pretty proud of this chapter. I think it's of an acceptable quality. (Not saying it's bad, it's just the way I think about my own creations, I am always harsher on myself than on others)

    The foul Orcs are lying low it seems which can only mean one thing, like you say, planning for something big. And I'm alone and afraid. Gondor please send help.

    There are no pictures in this update, except for the one I always put at the top of my chapters, a banner I made for To earn a Kingdom. So don't worry you're not missing any pictures this time.

    Dusty lungs must be a real issue in Mordor. Poor Orcs, they're not only practically slaves to their evil master but also have a high risk of lung cancer. #PrayforMordor Then it's up to you to provide a better live for our disfigured friends. Vote Swaeft as your Dark Lord and get the healthcare you Orcish scum deserve. Then again do Orcs get a vote?

    Yeah at the time it was a minor event I thought had to be mentioned since it is a special feature of the mod but then did nothing further with it because it wasn't relevant to the story back then. I would be surprised if someone would've remembered it seeing it was like two lines in a chapter long ago, if someone did I commend thee good sir. *tips hat* They shouldn't play a big part in the story unless the AI decides to backstab me, which always can happen. Like I said to Alwyn, I'm glad you liked the author's note and it's informative nature. I'm glad you commented on it because it was a bit of a try-out and I didn't know if people would appreciate it and since you two are my fangirls regular commenters I'm using you as my testing group. I guess I'll be doing more of those in the future, which is A Okay with me because I LOVE to talk about the lore, so beware.

    Strong? We? Noooooo surely not. Overconfident, arrogant even; these things are more likely to be the case On a more serious note I don't know if book lovers would like what is essentially a fanfic and though I try to stay true to the lore on things like the history of nations/peoples and their characteristics, it usually isn't possible with the mod lore and my own creations combined. Unless they are like me and they can seperate the fact that the book is one thing and this has got nothing to do with it, only that it is inspired by it. This AAR is purely my intake on a game I am playing and a poor first attempt of building a story, nothing more and nothing less.

    Anyway I think it's good to showcase the mod a bit because it's very good, in my opinion, and deserves some recognition. Making an AAR playing said mod is one way of doing this but also by telling a bit about its features.


    Thanks both of you for your comments! And of course thanks to all the silent readers, I know you're out there Skotos, for sticking around with this story.

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  16. #136

    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 11/01/2019]

    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    I wouldn't dare.

    Thank you for your kind words, I must say I'm pretty proud of this chapter. I think it's of an acceptable quality. (Not saying it's bad, it's just the way I think about my own creations, I am always harsher on myself than on others)

    The foul Orcs are lying low it seems which can only mean one thing, like you say, planning for something big.
    Yeah you better not. That dialogue was too suspicious to just let it go though...

    Yeah I know how it feels to impose a more severe judgement on yourself than others. Somehow it only feels right, gotta get yourself together before commenting on others, ya know?


    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    And I'm alone and afraid. Gondor please send help.
    You can't spell gondor without NO

    Edit: Darn it immediately after posting I realized you can't spell gondor without 'Good' as well...sigh

    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    There are no pictures in this update, except for the one I always put at the top of my chapters, a banner I made for To earn a Kingdom. So don't worry you're not missing any pictures this time.

    Dusty lungs must be a real issue in Mordor. Poor Orcs, they're not only practically slaves to their evil master but also have a high risk of lung cancer. #PrayforMordor Then it's up to you to provide a better live for our disfigured friends. Vote Swaeft as your Dark Lord and get the healthcare you Orcish scum deserve. Then again do Orcs get a vote?
    Ahh I see, glad I didn't miss anything. And you're right. Orcs don't get a vote


    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    Yeah at the time it was a minor event I thought had to be mentioned since it is a special feature of the mod but then did nothing further with it because it wasn't relevant to the story back then. I would be surprised if someone would've remembered it seeing it was like two lines in a chapter long ago, if someone did I commend thee good sir. *tips hat* They shouldn't play a big part in the story unless the AI decides to backstab me, which always can happen. Like I said to Alwyn, I'm glad you liked the author's note and it's informative nature. I'm glad you commented on it because it was a bit of a try-out and I didn't know if people would appreciate it and since you two are my fangirls regular commenters I'm using you as my testing group. I guess I'll be doing more of those in the future, which is A Okay with me because I LOVE to talk about the lore, so beware.
    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    Strong? We? Noooooo surely not. Overconfident, arrogant even; these things are more likely to be the case On a more serious note I don't know if book lovers would like what is essentially a fanfic and though I try to stay true to the lore on things like the history of nations/peoples and their characteristics, it usually isn't possible with the mod lore and my own creations combined. Unless they are like me and they can seperate the fact that the book is one thing and this has got nothing to do with it, only that it is inspired by it. This AAR is purely my intake on a game I am playing and a poor first attempt of building a story, nothing more and nothing less.
    I love it when you add the lore in, you have my support for that. I think it's really cool to see AARs link to the world that authors have already created. Also the little references to previous chapters makes me read them even more carefully, so I daresay that's a good thing, for those with the time at least.


    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    Anyway I think it's good to showcase the mod a bit because it's very good, in my opinion, and deserves some recognition. Making an AAR playing said mod is one way of doing this but also by telling a bit about its features.


    Thanks both of you for your comments! And of course thanks to all the silent readers, I know you're out there Skotos, for sticking around with this story.
    Indeed, and I think you're doing a fine job of showcasing it. Maybe a tad bit more of campaign screenshots would do, but that's just personal preference.

    Is that your attempt to lure out lurkers? I might need to try that sometime...
    Last edited by Swaeft; January 13, 2019 at 08:46 PM. Reason: Counter argued myself

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  17. #137
    Turkafinwë's Avatar Cheerful Nihilist
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 11/01/2019]

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    Yeah I know how it feels to impose a more severe judgement on yourself than others. Somehow it only feels right, gotta get yourself together before commenting on others, ya know?
    Indeed, it is at least a part of the reason.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    You can't spell gondor without NO
    Edit: Darn it immediately after posting I realized you can't spell gondor without 'Good' as well...sigh
    You make an excellent point. We'll have to see which one prevails. I hope it's 'good' but fear the 'NO'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    I love it when you add the lore in, you have my support for that. I think it's really cool to see AARs link to the world that authors have already created. Also the little references to previous chapters makes me read them even more carefully, so I daresay that's a good thing, for those with the time at least.
    Noted and thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    Indeed, and I think you're doing a fine job of showcasing it. Maybe a tad bit more of campaign screenshots would do, but that's just personal preference.
    Why thank you *takes a bow* You're absolutely right that is one way of doing it and I know you are a great supporter of screenshots, unsurprising since you have so many great screenshots in your AAR's (for which I give you mad props), so I am not surprised you mentioned it here. Not saying it's unjustified because this AAR does lack campaign map footage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    Is that your attempt to lure out lurkers? I might need to try that sometime...
    Do you believe me to be that clever? If so, I thank you, if not then you're probably correct in that regard. Lure is such a disgusting word, I would use encourage if that is what I was doing rather than just thanking everyone. Perhaps a bit of both, who's gonna tell.
    Last edited by Turkafinwë; January 14, 2019 at 11:37 AM.

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  18. #138

    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 11/01/2019]

    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    You make an excellent point. We'll have to see which one prevails. I hope it's 'good' but fear the 'NO'.
    Or it could also be 'no good'


    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    Do you believe me to be that clever? If so, I thank you, if not then you're probably correct in that regard. Lure is such a disgusting word, I would use encourage if that is what I was doing rather than just thanking everyone. Perhaps a bit of both, who's gonna tell.
    Okay, my bad...how about...ensnare? Bewitch? Capture? <--- I am too fond of this emote

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  19. #139
    Turkafinwë's Avatar Cheerful Nihilist
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 26/01/2019]

    Book II, Chapter VI: Arrival at Osgiliath
    April 3023 T.A. Osgiliath


    As the ships sailed up the river Anduin, the Eastern Bank came into view with on it the once great city of Osgiliath. While Gondorians were doing their daily business on the western side of the city, the small Arnorian garisson, on the eastern side, were busy organising the supplies for all the different armies in the field. Hirvegil was responsible for the organisation and protection of said supply lines but rather than him taking his residence in Osgiliath, to oversee it, he preferred to stay in his tower on the Rammas-dan-Morgul. Many said this was not out of personal liking that he stuck close to the battlements. Rumour had it, it was to keep a close eye on his impetuous commanders. Whatever it was that kept him from the city it meant a subordinate was placed to oversee the arrival and distribution of the supplies. It was this subordinate that welcomed our latecomers, arriving at long last.


    ***

    “Lord Melion, I bid you welcome to Osgiliath!” the man, who probably was the captain of the garrison, proclaimed.

    Melion waved his hand in answer and disembarked, finally setting a foot on solid ground after such a long time of seaborne travel. His men were gaunt and famished after a rough journey from Eru knows where they had been blown to, but spirits among the men were high at the prospect of a good dinner at the well supplied Dúnedain camps. Melion too had suffered from the journey, his otherwise plump cheeks sunken and his grey eyes hollow and apathetic. Melion's orders were, the captain of the garrison told him, to immediately march north and haste to the King's side. Melion however ignored the immediate order to march and permitted his men to set up camp around the city. They deserved a rest after the trying journey as well as they desperately needed to stock up on new supplies, especially food, before they could march, since everything they had taken with them had been all but spent. The Arnorian supply line was lengthy, going from the port of Osgiliath all the way across the Belegaer to Lond Daer, and goods from Arnor took very long to reach them on the front line. For food they had to primarily look elsewhere and even though Denethor was very much opposed to a North-South relation he did not refrain his people from selling the Arnorians supplies. These supplies consisted mostly food, of which he had aplenty, at extortionate prices that is of course. The Prince of Dol Amroth also supplied the armies of Arnor albeit in smaller amounts but at a decent price, further defying the Steward. An army lives on its belly, Melion knew, is it full then the army marches and fights with fervour, is it empty it begrudginly does so or not at all and breaks. Arnor's armies would not run out of food but at a great price. The Northern Kingdom's riches, acquired over the years, would all go to Gondor and enrich its people. This way the Southern Kingdom of the Dúnedain gained all the benefits from Aragorn's war and the Arnorians all the drawbacks, causing a resentment to gradually grow towards the Dúnedain of the South.

    Osgiliath was still very much the ruined city it had been for the last millennium and a half and though the eastern side had been abandoned for most of its existence after the conquest by the Uruks in 2475 of the Third Age, it was once again rife with life and reconstruction was full on its way. A temporary bridge was built to connect east and west until the great bridges could be reinstated in their absolute glory. Central in the city and on the river stood the crumbled remains of the Dome of the Stars. Once it had been the residence of the King of Gondor and had housed the master palantír of the South. The structure was destroyed when Castamir the Ususrper ordered his men to ransack Osgiliath during the Kinstrife*, also leading to the loss of the Seeing Stone. This conflict marked the beginning of the end of Gondor's golden age. The Dome of Stars was destroyed and the palantír lost forever in the Anduin. Ironic how the biggest blow Gondor could've gotten originated from within itself. The same thing had happened to Arnor, Melion reflected, with the dividing of the Northern Kingdom into three parts and how it had sowed dissent and eventually had led to the downfall of Arnor. Greed was something that lurked within every man's heart, a evil which had to be fought at all times. It had been the downfall of many a man and kingdom.


    ***

    After an enjoyable but brief period in Osgiliath, Melion started his march towards the Black Gate. He was not far gone when some of his scouts returned at all haste. A strange sight indeed, Melion thought.

    “Do you have something to report?.” the Lord of the Angle asked.

    “Ea-, Ea-” the scout took a moment to catch his breath. “Easterlings, my Lord.”

    “Easterlings?! In Ithilien?!” Melion replied a slight panic settling in. He was no great general nor a particular good fighter. He had been appointed to command an army because of his station and history not because he was particularly skilled.

    “What are they doing this far south? How did they get so far without being noticed?” Melion's mind was flooded with dreaful things. Talrim, his first lieutenant, stepped in while Melion was preoccupied with the horrors in his mind.

    “Have they seen you?” he asked the scout, in a firm deep voice, who shook his head in answer.

    “Good, good.” Talrim said, more to himself than to anyone else. He looked the scout in the eye.

    “What is your name?” he asked.

    “Malborn, sir” the scout replied.

    “Well Malborn you've done well and you deserve a good meal but that will have to be sometime later, but I can give you a drink before sending you on your next assignment, here.” Talrim handed over his water flask to Malborn who took a great gulp before handing it back over. Talrim adressed the scout. “You are to keep a close eye on the enemy and keep us informed of their every move. Try to see if you can figure out how many fighting men they have and what sort of equipment they bear. Try...”

    Malborn interrupted Talrim.

    “Begging your pardon sir but I already know these things. I would say they have a fighting force of roughly two-thousand men strong, some of them wearing shiny golden armour. I have also seen something utterly dreadful.” Malborn's voice softened. “They have chariots, like the ones they say the Wainriders had when they invaded Gondor.” the fear visible on his face.

    Talrim's face didn't reveal anything but inside he chuckled a little bit. Chariots were very useful on open ground but less so in forests. The dreaded wagons would be of little use to their foe amidst the trees.

    “Very good Malborn, I believe you've earned yourself a promotion. Now return to the Easterling camp and keep us informed of their movements.”

    Malborn inclined his head and turned his horse around returning whence he came. Talrim turned to Melion who was looking a bit sheepishly towards his lieutenant.

    “My Lord,” the lieutenant said in his calming deep voice, “I would advice us to advance quickly towards the enemy position. They have not spotted us as far as we know so we can easely take them by surprise. Their camp is only a couple of miles further to the east.” Talrim awaited his superior's approval.

    “Yes, yes Talrim, that seems like a good idea. Prepare the men for battle will you.” Melion said mildly irritated, waving away his subordinate. The irritation in Melion's voice did not escape Talrim who bowed slowly, his eyes fixed on Melion's before carrying out his orders. He started shouting to get the men in good order while he left his commander. Melion hated it when he took over the effective command making him feel useless. A envious anger arose in him whenever he saw his lieutenant but he needed him desperately which he detested even more. Melion slowly unclenched his fists and tried to regain his calm. He took a deep breath and banished all thoughts of his lieutenant as he reached for his bow and methodically strung it. He hung it on his back while he felt the sharp of his sword. He was ready to go into battle.



    Author's Note - Lore
    *The Kinstrife was a brutal Gondorian civil war fought between the King Eldacar and his distant relative Castamir the Lord of Ships, later known as the Usurper (his epithet Lord of Ships denotes his position as chief admiral of Gondor's fleets). The spark of the civil war was the ascension of Eldacar as King of Gondor. Eldacar was a man of mixed blood, his father being of Númenórean descent and his mother being of the Northmen of Rhovanion. This mixing of Númenórean and Middlemen blood caused outrage in parts of Gondor, predominately the coastal parts where the pure blooded Númenóreans took residence, while the inland provinces were inhabited mostly with the orignal Middlemen population or men of mixed blood. In 1437 T.A. Castamir, with the help of the people of Umbar, (who at this point were still under the governance of the Kingdom of Gondor) attacked Osgiliath (at this time the capital of the kingdom) and ransacked it, destroying the Dome of Stars and slaying Eldacar's son, Ornendil. Eldacar fled north to his mother's lands in Rhovanion and for the next ten years Castamir ruled as a tyrant king. In 1447 T.A. Eldacar returned with a great host of Northmen and aided by the Gondorians from the interior provinces defeated Castamir in the Battle of Erui, slaying him. Castamir's sons fled to Pelargir where they were besieged for a while. Eventually they fled the port city and left for Umbar. Since they had control of all the fleets, Eldacar couldn't give chase and thus the Kingdom of Gondor lost its control over Umbar which would become the sworn enemy of its kingdom for the next 500 years. The Kinstrife left Gondor very weakened and together with the Great Plague it contributed much to the abandonment of the forts watching Mordor. The Kinstrife is said to be one of the most woesome moments in Gondor's history, as civil wars often are.

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  20. #140

    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 26/01/2019]

    Another good update! The point about food and armies was brought across well, I think, and although its annoying to see Denethor continue to be somewhat hostile to the Dunedain, I'm sure that yarn will unravel itself in good time. This new general, Melion, seems rather inept if you don't mind me saying. Talrim's interaction with the scout (Malborn...there is a wood elf in Skyrim in the main questline named Malborn, lol) was pretty funny to read, and just as I was expecting that to be it, we have an Easter(ling) surprise on the cards! This is getting better and better, better get myself some popcorn.

    P.S. Interesting backstory about the Kinstrife! So that's how the Umbarans came about, good to know.

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