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Thread: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 18/01/2020]

  1. #201
    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 - 10/12/2019]

    I wonder whether Eldarion's feelings about the hobbits' decision to accompany him will change. I'm also wondering how safe the High Pass will be. Good update!

  2. #202
    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 - 10/12/2019]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I wonder whether Eldarion's feelings about the hobbits' decision to accompany him will change. I'm also wondering how safe the High Pass will be. Good update!
    Thanks Alwyn. Only time will tell.

    Chapter XXI: Journey Across the Mountains


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  3. #203
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 21/12/2019]

    Book II, Chapter XIX: Passage

    High Pass was a passage way across the Misty Mountains, situated to the north of Rivendell, and was along with the Pass of Caradhras (better known as the Redhorn Gate), Caradhras being one of three mountain peaks that lay on top of Khazad-Dûm, one of the main ways to cross the Misty Mountains. Unlike the Redhorn Gate, which was narrow, the High Pass was broad enough to march an army through, at least the lower pass was. Those who took the High Pass had a choice of two ways, the broader, much more used lower pass or the less travelled narrow high pass. The lower pass was a very established and well-known crossing point. In the First Age, before Man was born – or it has been told – , the Dwarves used it primarily as a trade route to connect the western and eastern Mansions of their peoples. In the Second Age Elendil and Gil-Galad used it to march their forces across the Misty Mountains to link up with the forces from Lothlórien, Khazad-Dûm and the Woodland Realm before striking south towards Mordor. When they defeated Sauron at the Battle of Barad-Dûr the Third Age began and the High Pass was once again a safe way to travel between Eriador and Rhovanion. When evil started to spread again and the caverns of the Misty Mountains started to be inhabited by Orcs once more, the main pass fell into disuse. Only the bravest souls would choose to use it, these being mostly Dwarven parties travelling between their Mansions. Peace was returned to the High Pass when the united armies of the Dwarven Clans raged through the Orc strongholds of the Misty Mountains during the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. However that war was fought more than two-hundred years ago and Orcs multiply quickly and though the Dwarves had been very thorough in their slaughtering, many Orcs had survived the massacre by fleeing to the deepest caverns. Supplemented with Orcs from Mordor they had become a menace once again, conducting raids both into the Vale of Anduin and into Eriador. The Pass only stayed open because of the bravery of the Beornings guarding the way. These skin-changers were the folk of Grimbeorn, son of Beorn and they hated the Orcs more than anything. They were fierce in battle, uncompromising to their enemies, quick to anger and difficult to befriend. Luckily for their company Gandalf was one of those few friends, a sort of friend anyway.

    It was accounted that, in the mythological Years of the Trees, the Vala Oromë created the pass to ease the passage of the Eldar's Great Journey to the Undying Lands. Whether Oromë had found the pass or created it was unclear yet the Elves believed the former. That is what Eldarion had learned anyway from his time perusing the books in Imladris' library and now that he stood before it's magnificent and daunting gate he could easily believe it had been created by the Vala himself. A wide opening, almost splitting the mountain range into two, flanked by the enormous mountain peaks was the gate leading to the pass. Eldarion could see that the path narrowed as it gradually climbed up into the mountains. Gandalf had told them the crossing would take them approximately five days, less if the weather was generous, more if not. When they set out from Rivendell the hobbits had been given ponies and Eldarion a horse along with provisions, Gandalf had his own horse. Summer was nearing it's end and Eldarion and Gandalf assessed that they would probably get across before the heavy autumn snowfalls would descend upon them. In the best case the snows would come quickly after their crossing, this would make pursuit across the mountains impossible. Should the Enemy try to follow the Company they would have to go around the mountain range through the Gap of Rohan. The sky was a clear bright blue and a chilly breeze blew down on them as they passed the gateway into the mountains. They trotted for an hour when they saw a huge man brandishing a double-headed axe on their path. He stood in the middle of the road and looked rather grim, a bushy brown beard covering his face. He seemed to have traded all of the hair on his head for a beard for the sun reflected brightly on his cranium. He remained silent while the Company moved closer. When they were but ten paces away he ordered them to halt. His deep voice was kept low and he seemed to struggle to keep it down.

    “State your business.” his bushy eyebrows were furrowed while he waited for an answer. Eldarion thought that this was a man not to be trifled with. Not only stood he as high as Eldarion seated on his horse, he was burly and a fire gleamed in his eyes. For attire he wore not much, merely a cloth pants and longsleeved brown shirt yet he seemed impervious to the cold.

    “We are seeking passage through the High Pass.” Gandalf kindly replied. The big man's face remained stony.

    “Who are you.” he asked. Gandalf introduced the hobbits first, to which the man nodded respectfully. Gandalf then introduced himself to which the man's eyes' widened only in the slightest and one could have easily missed it, Eldarion hadn't. When Gandalf introduced him the man's face became its stony self once more.

    “Grey Wizard, news of your coming had already reached us, courtesy of a little bird. You may pass free of charge. The Little Folk may pass freely also but the Man, Prince or no, must pay tribute for the passage.” Gandalf nodded in agreement and if you could've seen his face you would've discerned his pleasure with the bargain. Eldarion, however, was not too pleased and he replied angrily.

    “What is it that you desire brute? Gold, silver?” the man laughed, not contained like he had his voice but a rumbling sound that vibrated through the pass so hard, Eldarion feared it might cause an avalanche.

    “We have no use for your gold or silver, royal man. What we do need is furs, food, drink and men who can fight. Do you possess any of these things, little man?” A vicious smile had widened on the Beorning's face. Gandalf tried to smooth things over by offering the carefully prepared gifts of tribute, but Eldarion had already dismounted his horse and had marched right up to the huge man. Eldarion had to really crane his head backwards to look the man in the face. The Prince only now came to the realisation how big his adversary actually was. Still he was insulted in his pride and he didn't fear this clearly savage man.

    “Why don't you find out if I can fight for yourself.” Eldarion said, spitting the words into the man's face. The Beorning's smile had disappeared and had been replaced with an inquisitive look as he eyed the Prince up and down.

    “Very well.” he simply said before beckoning the entire Company to follow him. Eldarion, taken aback by the simple reply and having thought they would settle this immediatly, returned to his horse, mounted it and followed the man. While they continued through the pass Eldarion saw that more of the Beorning's kin had joined their party. Another two hours of silent journeying passed, with Eldarion stewing in the juices of his anger while Gandalf had turned grim and the hobbits unsure of what was happening, when they reached the Valesmen encampment. It was situated in a shielded cove and provided for no more than twenty-odd men. There were also women and children roaming the camp, which was much to Eldarion's surprise. A palpable tension hung in the air of the camp, the men were dour, the women huddled together and the children silent. They were greeted by the guard on duty.

    “Customers Grimdar?” he asked. Grimdar, the Beorning who had been leading them, simply nodded before turning to the Company.

    “Leave your horses and ponies here with Harohd. They will be taken good care of.” The Company dismounted and each handed over the reins to Harohd. The animals were to Eldarion's surprise calm and at ease with the giant of a man. The Prince was the only one reluctant to give up his horse and Grimdar noticed. It was the Beorning's turn to reply in anger.

    “Savage we may seem to you but we take care of animals better than any, what you call 'civilised' peoples.” Eldarion wanted to sneer at the man but Gandalf interceded.

    “The Beorning's are true friends to the animals Eldarion, just give Harohd the reins.” it was clear Gandalf had had enough of this so Eldarion gave the Beorning the reins to his horse. Grimdar led them towards the fire in the middle of the camp where a group of five men sat. A particularly old and grey Beorning, probably their Chief (Heororic), sat in the middle of the group. The men were discussing something when their Company reached them.

    “We must do something!” one of them yelled. Grimdar cleared his throat and the five men became aware of him and the foreigners he had brought. Grimdar introduced the Company to the Chief and his men. As an introduction for Eldarion he shoved him forward into the ring of light adding:

    “I've found someone who will help us with our problem.”

    Eldarion stumbled forward, not the first time, confused.

    Chapter XXI: Journey Across the Mountains


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  4. #204
    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 - 21/12/2019]

    I like the way that that you weave the history and legends of the places they're travelling through into your tale. Like Eldarion, I'm surprised by the outcome of his challenge to the Beorning. I wonder what the problem is - and what it will take to solve it!

  5. #205
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 21/12/2019]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I like the way that that you weave the history and legends of the places they're travelling through into your tale. Like Eldarion, I'm surprised by the outcome of his challenge to the Beorning. I wonder what the problem is - and what it will take to solve it!
    As ever, thank you Alwyn! You've summarized all the things I wanted to convey perfectly, which gladdens me. The next update will shed some light on the situation.

    Chapter XXI: Journey Across the Mountains


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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 21/12/2019]

    Book II, Chapter XX: A Quest Worthy A Prince

    “There.” said Grimdar, pointing at a crevice further along the road. Grimdar had been his only companion for a day now as they travelled further into the pass northward. Meanwhile the rest of the Company had stayed in the Valesmen camp. The Beorning was a man of few words and the hostility between the two men remained only just beneath the surface, in order not to compromise their mission. Eldarion looked at the opening in the mountain and it seemed to be unguarded. He relieved himself from every burden not necessary: his thick ranger cloak, bow and arrow and battle-axe would stay behind. The only weapon he would carry into the cave was a long dagger. Grimdar would stay behind guarding his horse and awaiting his return for he was, as he himself had said, 'too big' to go in. Eldarion had to go into the cave alone. Without a word of farewell the Prince started crawling towards the entrance, his senses hightened. All was silent but for the gailing wind that tore at Eldarion's skin. Eldarion tried to ignore the biting cold while he steadily crept closer towards the entrance. He took a roundabound route so he would approach the crevice from above. Still there was no sign of any enemy. The Prince reached the spot above the entrance with ease and dropped himself right in front of the crevice. At the cave's entrance Eldarion smeared his exposed flesh black with soot that he had gathered from the Valesmen campfire two days prior. For the occassion he had donned his dark clothing and strips of leather. The only thing he could not darken were his grey eyes. His camouflage ready, the Prince entered the cave.

    It took some time for his eyes to adjust to the darkness but a small flickering of fire could be discerned around the first bend. Probably the guardhouse, Eldarion thought, as he could see that there was a main way going deeper into the mountain. Hunched down a bit he slowly crept closer, staying close to the wall, towards the opening. Eldarion had been right about the guardhouse, inside two goblins lay sleeping, bottles of a thick black liquid spattered across the room. Even from a distance Eldarion could reek their foul smell and with great effort he repulsed the reflex to gag. The way broadened as Eldarion ventured deeper into the Goblin lair. Luckily for him the underground road didn't split too often, the few that did led to large abandoned rooms or branching off to armories and rudimentary pantries. The deeper he went, the more light was shone into the dark corridor. I must be nearing the main chamber, Eldarion thought. The road ended in a massive room and Eldarion hid himself on one side of the opening and peeped around the corner. In a quick glance Eldarion could see that the room was filled with goblins, most of them were either drinking, sleeping, eating or rummaging through piles of filth – in other words minding their own business. Eldarion's eyes scanned the room until he found what he was looking for. There in the far back, in a dark corner it lay in a bundle. A large fire burned in a pit in the middle of the cave, casting many shadows. A sort of rudimentary pillars held the roof from collapsing on itself. Eldarion needed to come up with a plan. Getting to his objective wouldn't be all too difficult, getting out again would be more problematic. He steadied his breath and entered the chamber. From shadow to shadow he went, avoiding puddles of water and loose rocks, making as little noise as possible. Noone seemed to notice he had entered the chamber. Just before he had reached his target a particularly large goblin emerged from the shadows. Eldarion threw himself against the walls and closed his eyes, hoping the goblin wouldn't see him as he held his breath. The goblin stood still and Eldarion could hear him sniffing the air. The Prince had his hand on his dagger, ready for battle. The goblin sniffed one last time and Eldarion heard his footsteps carry him away. Eldarion slowly opened his eyes. The monstrous creature had entered the center of the chamber and was yelling at his fellow goblins in some foul language Eldarion could not understand. He let his breath go and when he had steadied himself once more, he continued towards the dark corner. Crouching ever closer he could see it clear now. Hunched over he saw that the child was sleeping, covered only by a tattered piece of brown cloth. The boy had a iron collar around his neck with a chain attached to it. The chain connected the collar to a ring embedded in the wall behind him. Eldarion quickly glanced around the room and saw that the enemy was still not aware of his presence. Gently he shook the boy but he did not wake. Eldarion placed one of his hands on the boy's mouth while with the other he firmly shook him again. The boy's eyes sprang open and he would've yelled were it not for the Prince's hand.

    “Shhh. I'm here to rescue you.” whispered Eldarion. The boy calmed down a bit but his eyes were still filled with terror. He could only see a large dark figure hunching over him and were it not for the man's gentle voice the boy could've mistaken him for a large Orc. The child was in a severely weakened state and he did not fight back when Eldarion tried to search for a way to open the collar. Luckily it was a goblinmade one and not a scavanged Dwarven collar. The Dwarves could make seamless collars that only could be removed if one knew the mechanism and Eldarion did not know how they worked and few Men ever learned its secret for Dwarves are very secretive. Still the locked collar, goblinmade or otherwise, posed a real problem. Without a key Eldarion could not silently remove it. The Prince asked the little boy if he knew where he could find the key. The only thing he could say was that a large goblin had shackled him. A large goblin, the Prince thought. Who would not seem like a large goblin to this boy.

    “Can you stand?” asked the Prince. The boy shook his head before laying himself down again, exhausted. Eldarion threw his gaze back into the chamber and could discern a couple of things better than when he had stood near the entrance. The huge goblin was still harrassing others of his kinfolk, shoving them around while cursing. Eldarion assumed it was cursing. Everything in their language sounds like an insult to be honest, he thought. Through further investigation he saw a large chair, probably used as a sort of throne for their leader, at the back of the room. It was made out of bone with feathers springing upward from the back. It was adorned with shackles and shiny multicoloured metal rings. It was there that Eldarion saw what he needed, a small rusted key, hanging from one of the metal rings. The question now was, could he sneak to and fro without being noticed. The big goblin seemed still busy with pestering the rest, his target at the moment being a sniveling small goblin. The throne, if you could call it that, stood in full view of the room. Eldarion rummaged nervously in his pockets while trying to come up with a plan. He started fidgetting with the Ring, unsure of what to do next. He felt it slip on one of his fingers. Instantly he felt different. The room seemed more lit yet the figures had turned into vague blurs and he could understand what the goblins were saying. Eldarion looked at the child and saw that he was looking in his direction, yet seemed not able to focus on him.

    “What is it?” whispered Eldarion. The boy startled at the sound, unsure from where the noise had come.

    “You're gone.” piped the boy.

    “Gone? What do you mean gone?” inquired Eldarion.

    “I can't see you, it's like you're not here but you are.” said the child. A little voice in the Prince's head said: Now. Without further or do Eldarion started sneaking towards the rusted key. He reached the throne without being seen. Though his senses were keened his vision was impaired and he had to walk extra carefully not to bump into things. If a goblin would've looked at it he would've only seen a key floating across the room. Luckily none did look his way and Eldarion returned to the boy-child without any trouble. The boy startled once more when he spoke.

    “I've got it.” said the Prince. He couldn't believe his luck. What had happened? Then he remembered he had put on the Ring. He looked at the hand wearing the jewel and saw that it was glowing fiercely, the only thing that seemed to radiate light. It was like a beacon in the dark. Could this be the reason, the Prince thought. With effort he removed the Ring from his finger, it didn't seem to want to come off. Instantaneously the world returned to normal and Eldarion was temporarely blinded by the sudden darkness. He pocketed the Ring and started working on the collar. Eldarion put the key in the lock as it protested, grinding loudly. Carefully he tried to turn the key but it wouldn't go. The Prince tried again with a little more force. It clicked once but then refused to move any further. Again Eldarion turned the key, jamming again after the first click. Eldarion dared to push a little bit harder, to no effect. He pressed the key gradually harder up until the point he thought the key might break. If that should happen they were in real trouble. Then the lock sprang open with a loud groan. The goblins seemed to have heard something and you could hear them sniffing all around. No time to lose then, Eldarion thought. He took the child into his arms and started bounding for the exit. A goblin came out of nowhere and Eldarion barreled right into him, almost losing his footing. The goblin shrieked as he fell to the ground. Eldarion rushed into the corridor that led to the exit, the child clinging firmly to his neck. Behind them he could hear the angry screeching of the goblin horde and the banging of the drums of war.

    Chapter XXI: Journey Across the Mountains


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  7. #207
    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 - 04/01/2020]

    I felt the tension as Eldarion travelled further into danger and towards the goal of his mission. It looks like the danger is about to get worse and that Eldarion has discovered a powerful way to evade pursuit, if he can conceal both himself and the one he's carrying. It also sounds like it's already difficult to stop using this new source of power, when he starts to use it. I hope he'll escape!

  8. #208
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 04/01/2020]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I felt the tension as Eldarion travelled further into danger and towards the goal of his mission. It looks like the danger is about to get worse and that Eldarion has discovered a powerful way to evade pursuit, if he can conceal both himself and the one he's carrying. It also sounds like it's already difficult to stop using this new source of power, when he starts to use it. I hope he'll escape!
    Thanks Alwyn! That means that everything I wanted to convey reached you (and hopefully the other readers as well). The Ring is, as we all know, a treacherous and dangerous item. Only time will tell what effect it will have on Eldarion. It would be pretty tragic to die in such a place.

    Chapter XXI: Journey Across the Mountains


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  9. #209
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 04/01/2020]

    Book II, Chapter XXI: Journey Across the Mountains

    Grimdar could hear the goblins shrieking and feared that the Dunadan might never resurface again. Not that he cared for the arrogant man of the West but if the man did not come out, the child would also not see the light of day. Grimdar could not go into the cave for he was too large and he was forced to stay where he was. The noises starting coming closer. Grimdar realised he had underestimated the Dunadan. Oh he would come out alright, just not alone. Hearing it, it looked like he was bringing an entire party with him, Grimdar thought.

    “Bugger.”


    Eldarion came rushing from out of the cave and though he was immediatly blinded by the sudden light, he kept moving forward, away from the cave. Mere moments later the first goblins burst forth from the crevice. They too were struck by the sun's light but were driven by their anger and hatred. When Eldarion regained his sight he realised that he had stumbled into a corner where the goblins were hemming him in. He put the boy down and drew his large dagger and positioned himself between the goblins and the child, shielding him with his body. They outnumbered him five to one and goblins continued to stream out into the open. Eldarion lunged forward and hit one of them in the face with the point of his blade. The goblin fell down shrieking as Eldarion retreated back towards the boy. Another goblin jumped into the fallen one's place. Fear started to creep into Eldarion's heart. He was cold, sore and he was tired from the ordeal in the cave. He knew he could not win, they would both die here. Where was Grimdar? The Prince thought when a deafening roar rent the air. The goblins shakingly turned around. What they saw was a gigantic brown bear bearing down on them, flinging them apart with his paws like they were but a twig in a child's throw. Their dark blood stained the mountainside and most of the goblins chose this moment to flee for their lives, back into the cave. That moment the exceptionally large goblin exited his underground lair and rallied some of the routing goblins, spewing many threats and curses, forcing them to follow him. The Chieftain's vicious red eyes locked with Eldarion's and he started coming the Prince's way. Eldarion parried one of the goblin's strikes and tried to counter but the creature was elusive and jumped back in time to avoid the strike. Unlucky for him the bear was standing right behind him. The goblin cried in terror as the beast locked him between his jaws and bit down hard. Eldarion could hear ribs crack and black blood dripped from the bear's maw. It shook its head furiously and threw the goblin against the rocks where he lay as a broken mess. The animal roared one last time and the already wavering goblins now began to panick. They fell over each other stumbling in their retreat underground.

    The bear turned its nuzzle towards Eldarion and the Prince could inspect him better now. He saw that it had a bald patch on top of its head. How peculiar, Eldarion thought. What was most peculiar were the creature's eyes, Eldarion thought they looked almost identical to those of Grimdar. The bear seemed no longer hostile. Was this bear Grimdar?, Eldarion thought out loud and the bear's only response was a loud sniff which the Prince took as a yes. Grimdar was unlike any other bear. For one he was huge and Eldarion did not know why but he knew this bear was more than it seemed. He had never seen someone skin-change and was in awe seeing one right before him. Truly remarkable. The bear ignored him and walked towards the child and nuzzled it. The boy hugged the bear. Grimdar turned his face to Eldarion and the Prince knew exactly what he wanted, though bears can't speak nor do they have a great plethera of facial expressions to choose from. He grabbed the boy and put him on top of Grimdar. Eldarion returned to his horse and mounted after reequipping himself. The horse seemed at ease with Grimdar, even in bearform. What a sight they must be, Eldarion thought. A boy, his pet bear and a lordling of Men. Like this they returned to the Valesmen camp.

    “We are very grateful to you, Dunadan.” said Heororic, the Beorning Chieftain. They, the Company and leading Beornings, were all sitting around the campfire. Grimdar had changed back into his human form and despite looking a bit pale, he remained his stern self.

    “If it wasn't for Grimdar we wouldn't be here right now.” said Eldarion, having found respect for the big Beorning. Eldarion had told them what had happened in the caves, how he had snuck in and rescued the little boy, and most of the Beornings had been impressed with the Prince's skill, even though he had alarmed the entire hive in his retreat. Even Grimdar had nodded the slightest in approval. Eldarion did not speak of the Ring and that he had used it. He thought it best to keep that part to himself but he saw Gandalf was looking rather suspiciously at him, as if he knew or at least guessed as much. When Eldarion had finished with his side of the story, Grimdar continued by reporting on the battle that had occured outside the cave. Again most were impressed by this lordling's resolve to fight, even against all odds. If nothing, Eldarion had earned their respect.

    “Be that as it may, you still showed courage and ingenuity by returning from that cave with Raddoc.” They all looked at the boy who had been reunited with his parents. Heororic stood up and shook Eldarion's hand.

    “You have earned your place here.” said Heororic while the others nodded in agreement.

    “We'll stay here for a couple of days until Raddoc is strong enough to travel. Then we cross the mountains.”

    For the next four days the Company remained in the camp while the boy regained his strength. As it turned out Beorning children recover rather quickly. On the second day Eldarion saw Raddoc come out to play with the other children and though he limped slightly, he was energized and his laughter rang clear and fresh in the air. Not a shadow of the trials he must've have endured in that cave hung over him and he played free of any darkness. It reminded Eldarion of his own children when they had been young, so many years ago now. On the fourth day Raddoc seemed to have recovered entirely, the only marks of his capture some bruises around his neck where the collar had been. With the boy ready they could start their journey across the High Pass.

    Gandalf often resided with the Chieftain, talking about the coming and going-ons of the Vale. Eldarion mostly made himself useful joining the hunting parties as well as the sentries, while the hobbits travelled alongside the children. In the evening everyone would sit around the campfire and eat together and tell stories. It was not uncommon for the children to ask Eldarion or one of the hobbits to tell a tale. Eldarion told stories about the Kingdom of Arnor and how it had risen from the ashes but this didn't interest them very much. He taught them about the history of Arda, the years before Man and the Valar and the great deeds of the First Age and this did spark some interest if only because the stories were heroic and interesting to follow, not necessarily because they believed them to be true. What interested them most however was the Shire, a bountiful land in the West – a land of honey and cream just like the Vale of Anduin only safer and more cultivated. The Beorning children listened dearly to the hobbits their tales and even some adults sometimes seemed to dream away for a second. It was a love for the land and living things all Beornings shared.

    The children told that they too had hobbits living in the Vale but that they did things much differently, exercising a simpeler lifestyle one could say. They had their communities near the Anduin river, mostly around the Gladden Fields, south of the Beorning lands. Frodo later spoke to his friends that these must be the descendants of hobbits that stayed behind during the Great Migration. The Beornings had good relations with these communities and they protected one another from danger. It was a confederation of Hobbit, Northmen and Beorning communites that made up the peoples of the Vale. It was Grimbeorn, son of the famous Beorn who fought in the Battle of Five Armies alongside the Dwarves, Elves and Men, that led this confederation of peoples against the Shadow that spread from Dol Guldur (and Mordor by extension).

    On the third day after they had left the Beorning camp (the seventh after Eldarion had rescued Raddoc), their party was ambushed by goblins. Revenge for the death of their leader had driven many goblins out of the mountain caves and they had trailed the Company for two days. The battle was very shortlived for Gandalf used some of his magic to drive them off. Flames in red and blue and green were flung from the wizard's hands and the goblins scattered back west.

    “Now they will know that I was here. They won't bother us for any longer.” said Gandalf. It seemed to Eldarion that Gandalf didn't want to take any chances but he sensed the wizard was conflicted about what he had done. In mere seconds Gandalf shrugged off the discord that resided within his mind and looked at peace. The rest of their journey went smoothly and they had seen nor heard of any presense of the enemy.

    On the sixth day after they had begun their journey across the mountains, the Company reached the eastern gate of the High Pass. Still standing on a considerable height they were met with a beautiful, panoramic view of the Vale of Anduin landscape. To the north they could discern the Ered Mithrin, a grey shadow which housed the Orc strongholds of Gundabad. To the east they saw the grand forest of Mirkwood, a dark green strip of leaves and trunks that loomed ominously. To the south an open green and fertile country, split in half by the river that was called Anduin the Great. A sparsely populated land with a wild character, it wasn't called Rhovanion – Wilderland – for nothing. The Company stood in awe looking over this vast expanse of foreign land, their journey bringing them that bit closer to their goal.

    Chapter XXI: Journey Across the Mountains


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  10. #210
    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 - 18/01/2020]

    It's interesting that Eldarion chose to hide his use of the Ring, I wonder if that will continue and whether Gandalf's suspicions will grow. (Maybe the tale of the ambush could have been expanded a bit, although I understand that this isn't the main focus of this chapter). Will Eldarion and his companions meet the hobbits living near the Gladden Fields, or will their journey take them on another road - I look forward to finding out.

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