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Ohtacárë i nwalmë úquétima: The March from the North

Snaga

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In the high places of the Misty Mountains, a new evil awoke. Its coming unlooked for, yet no less horrible for its long dormancy. Beneath the shroud of night, came a hammer blow, a cruel and sickening assault. And it was set against the ancient refuge of Imladris. For an age and a half this place had been a waystation for the weary traveller and source of counsel and merriment for the troubled mind.

That epoch was now shattered, as the troll guard descended by night.

What stealth is needed besides the dark of night and the endless of roar of a raging mountain torrent? Even a vast gathering of trolls, beyond all that were seen before and mayhap since, can in these circumstances make surprise their ally. The more so when they are aided by the dark arts of the Olosingolë

Thus, from a shimmering shadow to a bellowing tide of destruction they were transformed like a whisper, right on the very threshold of the house that had been Elronds.

Doors thrown down. Oak timbers strewn like matches.

Walls shattered. Rocks crushed.

Lintels fall, steps cracked, statues disfigured, artifices marred.

And defenders tossed aside, their skulls smashed, limbs ruined, throats mauled. A reek of blood dripping in the black of night, and crying of sad voices of beauty, then the anguished wails cut short. Boulders flying, clubs swinging, vast axes crashing on brittle heads. And the bellowing deep and raucous, yet not mindless but filled with malice and cunning as though poured from the heart of Mordor itself.

Some defence there was, but arrows skittered from the trolls scaly hides, bereft of purpose in their very flight. Swords notched, spears thrusts rebuffed, the shafts shivered and failed. Shields buckled beneath appalling blows. And in their wake a swarm of orcs, thousands strong jeering their derision at the long awaited downfall of the hated name of Rivendell.

Some refugees on fast horses made their way west along the great road, perhaps pursued by marauding wargs and some few outrunning pursuit to bring at last belated news to the men of Bree. Some could not speak still mute with terror, and only the aghast expression telling more than even elven words could say. Yet those who did in their clear and troubled voices, made clear a new woe had befallen the west.
 

¤-Elessar-¤

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The mists of battle rose in a ghostly shade on the morn after the battle. The trolls had found themselves places within the ground to spend the day, and the Hunter looked out from a ruined wall over the city. His forces now occupied it, but soon they would move again. The grass here, or what was left of it, was good for their steeds, and the ale was rich, and the fine wine richer. He would hearten his men here, for a day maybe. But after that it would be too risky. After that other garrison's from other cites could arrive, and their numbers were unknown to him.

But for now he stood on the wall, and for now he looked to the westward sunset, and it was not yet as bloody as it would be in the days to come.
 

Snaga

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Snaga sat in the castle of Angmar, darkly brooding, watching a slow plan unfold. Irontooth grinned balefully at his feet, as messengers came and went, bringing fearful reports.

Since the flight of Lorien, and surrender of the castle the northern campaign had slowed. But Snaga was patient, and used the time well. Angmar, evil from the earliest of days, was a land that fell smoothly under his control, apt to his hand. Dark-hearted men, cowered at a new lords surveying their endeavours, sharpening their swords, and hardening their hearts. And they prepared for battle.

In the fortress itself, built on a high rocky crag, the loathsome army of the Necromancer was no more. Without his dark arts to bind sinew to bone and undead flesh, the ghastly patrols of deathly soldiers ceased. Carcasses had fallen, and lain hideous upon the icy stones.

Snaga, coming last to the scene, when all was safe, had called upon his old ally Artos, Wolf-tamer of that land. And they brought a pack of ravening wargs, and fed them on the unnatural meats, and succoured them, and they grew to be stronger and evil than any, even than Irontooth himself. Only a hundred there were, but that would prove scant consolation.

And still the great armies of dwarves and Easterlings of Mornclaur stood ready. While the north of Eriador, outside the ring, was all but deserted outside those few towns that yet had militia. Deserted save for gangs of orcs that looted and burned in wild delight.

'Bring to me the commanders!' Snaga snarled at an aide, who fled immediately to do his bidding.
 

¤-Elessar-¤

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Dawn had come and past, and so had the hours of noon, and now dusk was falling over the land of Arnor. He called to the commander of the soldiery of Khazad, and there he was told that the men of the dwarven realm had neither received nor been given any orders, save to take the valley. And that in that valley they would stay, until their superiors spoke otherwise.

The hunter nodded. This would play well, for the great mass of soldiers of the dwarves would keep the city from the hands of the Arnorians, and he was free to go on his way.

Suddenly, though, as quick as a fly he turned on his heels, and looked to the east. His stare was hard, as though he was trying to pierce the mountain with his bright green eyes. He smiled. He now knew something that he had wondered as of late.

As the sun set, the hunter and his mass of war-painted soldiers arose from the valley. They made their way off to the west, and dissapeared into the darkness and gloom. Until at last their hoof-beats faded to silence. For not even the insects had withstood the ferocity of the battle the night before.
 

Anamatar IV

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The soldiers of Heren Istarion rode on at a quick pace across the grasses. The sun glinted off their spears and the grasses sprang up from under their hooves. A strong blast of wind blew back the horses mane.

Though Ingolemo looked not over his shoulder at the seas he thought of his allies fighting the black ships. But soon his mind trailed back to his own soldiers. The horses were tiring and the riders were weary. They would have to stop and rest soon. But for now they rode on.
 

Anamatar IV

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After a short rest the company rode off again. Ingolemo rode ahead of the others. Soon the soldiers saw Bree loming ahead, with rolling hills and dense forests. It would be some time before they reached the villages, but seeing Bree gave a lift to all hearts.
 

Dáin Ironfoot I

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Careful not to show his discomfort, Dain grumbled to himself as his horse carried him across the undulating terrain. This horse especially seemed to dislike the heavy burden upon its shoulders. A young lieutenant of Heren Istarion, his spear gleaming in the fading sun, rode next to Dain, despair on his face. "What troubles you, young one?" asked the Dwarf.

"My fellow soldiers were prepared to fight to protect Mithlond, yet battle never came. We fear for what may lay in store for us at Bree. Perhaps it was folly for us to travel to Mithlond and leave Bree undefended. My heart warns me of trouble ahead and terrible power, and I pray to Eru every waking moment that the refugees will still be alive when we arrive," he said softly.

"Young one, I do not think it wise to think with such despair in our time of need. I sense you and your comrades will have their chance in battle before we return to Heren Istarion. May Mahal bless you with the strength of his forges, for I fear we will need it when our trial is at hand," Dain replied. The lieutenant nodded and rode ahead to his platoon, for Dain was at the rear. The sun had started to sink in the open sky, its rays pouring over the horizon lighting the grass on fire with its orange glow. Dain's face was grim and foreboding, for in his heart he knew he would be tested before the end.
 

Anamatar IV

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Among the councils of Heren Istarion an air hung about Ingolemo. An air that had not been felt before from him. A change of heart in deep matters, maybe. Or a tempest of the mind, perhaps.

"Excuse us, Ërvûrkeá," Ingolemo said. "The council and I will leave you for a moment to discuss matters our own briefly." All but Ërvûrkeá left the tent.

Moments later Ërvûrkeá heard the sound of horse hooves beating quickly. He sped out the tent to see the last of the soldiers of Heren Istarion riding away from Bree.
 

¤-Elessar-¤

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Noon rose in Arnor, and the men of the hunter gleamed in their armor. And all over the land, the wind brought whispers of death, and of evil. And the first news of the fall of Imladris began to rise to the ears of the war-torn nation...
 

Ciryaher

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Ërvûrkeá narrowed his eyes. "His Majesty will hear of this," he said, mocking the figures now fading into the distance. Taking a look around, he stepped back into the tent.

From a small pouch he pulled a small yellow stone along with a cylinder of plain stone with a small indentation on the top. The Northman set the pedestal upon the ground and then placed the tiny golden globe in the indentation. Sitting cross-legged on the earth before the stone, he closed his eyes.

His mind reached out to the east, and then swung south as he connected to the stone's maker. Lord...

Yes? a voice came back, as if through a tunnel.

There are strange goings on. The Heren Istarion has just left, even though the Emperor ordered me to remain with them.

I see. I will continue to monitor them, Ërvûrkeá. Do not fear betrayal, for that would only give strength to our side of the struggle. The voice reassured sternly.

Yes, m'lord. Ërvûrkeá opened his eyes and collected the stones and replaced them as he rose to his feet.
 

Arathin

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Arathin, her Dunedain, and her militia traveled along the bay until they saw the navel fleet of Umbar ahead. Remaining hidden in a forest, they watched and waited so see what would happen to these people in their land. Arathin called down an eagle and instructed it to fly toward Bree and check up on her militia that had been lent to HI.
 

Dáin Ironfoot I

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Dain was proud of being a part of Heren Istarions finest moment, in which they openly disobeyed the orders of the Lord of Arnor. He did not care for such large Empires, and especially the West. Erebor was his home, and there was his only feelings of security and trust. The West was full of deceit and lies, and Heren Istarion had just embarked on its own personal goals; this would prove to be their greatest moment of triumph- or utter defeat.

The troops rode hard into the night, desperate to leave the lands of Arnor before being cut off and slaughtered by the oppressive Arnorians. Dain's axe gleamed with a deathly glow of white, and no stars shone in the dark sky.
 

Arathin

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An eagle circled for a few moments above the fleeing forces of HI, then turned and winged with the wind back to Mithlond. When it gave its lady, Arathin, its news, she was in a silent rage. She immediately sent an rested eagle in search of Ërvûrkeá. This betrayal of HI would never do... Also, she wanted to make sure HI hadn't made off with her people whom she had sent with them.


Ërvûrkeá saw the eagle overhead and lifted his arm. It landed upon his wrist with a message of Lady Arathin's concern and inquiry.
 

Anamatar IV

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Ingolemo and the others of the Council of Heren Istarion rode with sixty soldiers behind them. Twenty spearmen, archers, and swordsmen.
Ingolemo knew where he had told the other groups to go, yet he did not know where they were, which route they took, or whether they took rode or plains. But he would lead his company over the roadless grasses slightly south eastward from Annuminas.
 
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¤-Elessar-¤

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And there, some two miles before them, lay a segment of the horde of the Hunter. And indeed, the hunter was with them. From the direction they were headed, the Heren Istarion could see an inverse light coming from the distance, a dark blackness that clung to the sky, and suck the light and joy from the hearts of those who beheld it. They came at last over a small embankment, and before them they saw 300 men, all of them painted like blood-thirsty savages. And Ingolemo knew that these where the ones he was told about that these were the ones who had sacked and destroyed Imladris.

With a cry of savage insanity, the horde began to lurch foreward.
 

Anamatar IV

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Ingolemo halted the soldiers. The horde was coming at a moderate pace, so they had time.

"Knock your arrows!" Ingolemo cried. His band of archers whipped their long wooden arrows with red feathers out and put them to the long, green string of their bows. Without command, the spearmen rode their horses between the archers and pointed their pikes straight. The swordsmen divided into two and rode to either side. Ingolemo planted the banner of Heren Istarion firmly into the soft soil. He glanced at the other leaders of Heren Istarion: Sulime held his axe aloft, taking glee in the oncoming battle. He seemed to be the only one enjoying the coming of the soldiers outnumbering they greatly. Ingolemo drew his rapier.

"To the fore!"
 

¤-Elessar-¤

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as the horde advanced, it split into three distinct sections. One came on a straight path, and it was a group of the hunter's own, his first men, and his highest captains. The other two were of his newer men, and of the men of mornclaur. Each of them split from the main group, and headed to the right or to the left. They rode oh fell horses of the far east. The hunter drew, for the first time in months, his fell sword. The flames forged of blood flamed in the sunlight. And with ferocity unmatched in the histories of the west, the horde came within one hundred yards of the Heron Istarion.

(my men are at 10, 2, and 12 o'clock. Just in case that confused you)
 

Anamatar IV

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The riders of Heren Istarion swiftened their pace. Once in range the archers bent their bows and let fly a hail of arrows upon the middle group of the horde. The two groups of swordsmen branched off and attacked the two side groups. The spearmen, though, followed no order and drove into any battle that they felt fit for they were the dominant force in the army of Heren Istarion.
 

Ciryaher

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As the forces of the Hunter and the Heren Istarion clashed to the southeast, the gates of Fornost Erain opened and a host marched out.

Their armour was of a blue shade, just as the Emperor's axe, Bregoldramb Naurlhûn. Upon their blue and silver breastplates was the Crest of Atannore emblazoned, and their blue swords were covered with silver runes. Their silver helms bore each an azure plume (ooc: think corinthian) and they word pale blue capes. These were the dreaded elite of Arnor, the Praetorian Guard of the Emperor, the Makarlhûn.

They marched at steady speed towards the city of Bree.
 

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