Snaga’s Finest Hour in Mirkwood

Snaga and his orcs bullied their way through the forest.  The elves had to be near, and they would not escape the wrath that was due them.  Snaga swore the oath to see the remnants of their cowardly company slain and their heads put on pikes.

The others gave Snaga a wide berth.  Since the night time encounter with the dark master, and the battle with the elven battle company, the orc had undergone significant changes.  Once small, he now appeared larger.  Not hulking, but larger in presence.

His skin had darkened and cracks appeared like dried mud.  Snaga’s eyes were the most disturbing of all.  Filled with an ethereal light, they were empty pools of hate that terrified even the stoutest of his orc warriors.

The forest darkened around them and soon they realized that they were lost.  Snaga said not a word.  He kept along the ancient path, letting the fates guide him to his destination.  He had heard of Mirkwood, full of elven sorcery and witchcraft that was built to confuse and befuddle those that went in.

Forward.  Forward was the only way.

Webbing became visible.  A little at first, like wisps of silk, but getting heavier and heavier as they progressed further in.  Large shapes, cocooned in webs, hung from the tree limbs.

Snaga’s orcs were clearly nervous.  Fear began creeping into their bellies.  The scent of it was thick.

Lister, the warg riding orc scout, padded up next to Snaga as they walked.

“There are enemies about great Snaga.”  The cowardly scout said, avoiding eye contact.  “Spiders and other fell creatures.  We can sense them watching.”

Snaga regarded his scout for a moment as they walked before speaking.  His voice was darker, deeper, and full of the dark master’s authority.

“If they are foolish enough to attack, we will claim their forest kingdom for our own.”  Snaga said with bravado.

A screeching sound was heard off beyond the thick trees.  Scuttling shapes could be seen in the canopy of leaves above.

“And foolish they seem to be.”  the orc barbarian Grumshaz muttered, taking a swig of brownish liquid from his skin before hefting his large military pick in two great hands.

Scenario:  Mirkwood Forest
The game lasts 9 turns.  Snaga’s orcs must last until the end of the game, or the game ends when their force drops to 25% of its size, meaning if three models remain the orcs lose.

The orcs would face four respawning mirkwood spiders which would randomly spawn in up to six different forest locations on the table.

Spiders dont’ care about terrain and climb over intervening terrain with ease, so trying to bottleneck them would be a challenge.  The key would be to try to keep the spiders engaged with either a swarm of orc attacks, or find a way to keep them one on one so only one orc could drop as spiders have two attacks each and could drop two warriors a turn each with good rolls.

Three of the four spiders spawned in the same area to the left of the image above, while one spawned to the right.

Turns 1 – 3

Snaga had his main force back to the cliff to defend it, while Lister on his warg broke off the flank to keep himself safe and look for opportunities to charge a flank as needed (provided he could pass a Courage 2 terror check… )

Snaga wanted to minimize contact as long as possible.  The two orc archers climbed the tree behind them to get better vantage.  Blish, the orc assassin, managed to land a poisoned arrow into the eye of one of the spiders coming in.

However… the spiders did not care about the tree and one climbed up and over it, taking Blish out while leaving Tasty to remain in the tree.

Still, going into the middle of the battle with only losing a single orc was doing pretty well!

The spider along the right side of the picture (shown as the bottom above) attacked the cliff edge twice but couldn’t get through the orc defenses stationed there, even taking a wound for its troubles!

Turn 6

The spiders managed to whittle down a few orcs, but by turn 6 there were still 8 models standing.  Snaga kept himself and two others nearby, hoping his Terror would keep the remaining spiders at bay, while the three on the cliff were succeeding at holding that down.

With three spiders moving in, Iggy Yellow Mug charged forward at one of the spiders.  It was a reckless move but one that would hopefully buy Snaga and his warriors time.  The other spiders had to charge him as well since he was the closest enemy, and then Iggy did something that was amazing… he shielded and with his two attack dice won a duel against six duel dice coming back at him… surviving an additional turn and keeping the attacks off of Snaga’s main group.

Iggy’s sacrifice would be remembered, for he rolled a ‘6’ on promotion later on, becoming an orc hero…

Turn 9

The spiders were dying, but more were spawning.  Fortunately for Snaga they were spawning in the same areas.  The cliff wall was eventually lost, and Lister couldn’t manage to pass a single courage check to charge a spider, preferring to keep himself and his warg safe.

The final turn approached and the spiders had to drop two orcs to feast on their rancid flesh and win the scenario.

One orc fell…. then the cliff side battle was won in favor of Snaga.  It came down to Mr. Snaga and the last spider.  The spider won the duel… but failed to wound the terrifying orc leader.

With that, elven hunters moved into the area and began dispatching the spiders.   Snaga, realizing that he was best off not seen at all, took his injured company and slunk off into the shadows where they were able to rest and recoup.

Snaga’s finest hour and first victory in the campaign… and what a turning point it could be!

5 influence gained
Rolled a special which turns out to be a Black Numenereon (with influence bump to add 1 to the roll)

Almost all of the orcs leveled as they were all on the cusp.

Meetles, Tanakash, Yoz, and Iggy Yellow Mug all rolled “6” on their promotion roll, making them heroes.

Eskir the Oiled was promoted to a Morranon Orc.

Gorn the Black was recruited into the warband as a black numenereon warrior.

Grumshaz the barbarian hero bumped his fight value to 4.

Bilsh the orc assassin received Steady Aim.

Now that Snaga and his warriors are out of Mirkwood… vengeance will be dealt.

Beneath the Boughs of Mirkwood

Having long departed from home, your battle company has begun a long journey in pursuit of enemy forces.  Your company must either traverse the dense woodland terrain of Mirkwood, or spend many more weeks going around.

Opting to press onward along the winding and gloomy paths, it is not long before the powers of the wood begin to take hold.

Doubt and confusion start to seep into the minds of those within the forest, clouding their judgement and leading them away from the safety of the path.  Now they are hopelessly lost within the constant gloom of the forest, and some cannot shake the feeling that they are being watched…

The truth is far worse than they feared.

Over Caradhras

The trek through the wilds was a journey that the Company fared well in. After having fought the Uruk Hai and the troll, the path toward Rivendell was clear. It would still take the company of rangers another week to reach the hidden valley of Imladris. When they finally reached the vale, their hearts were renewed with vigor and hope. They were greeted by Elrond and given shelter in his Homely House. Each member of the company was given leave to wander and delight in the elvish paradise. Most sat in the hall of fire and enjoyed its warmth along with the songs and poetry of the elves. Others wandered about the beautiful valley from end to end, basking in its sight. As enjoyable and refreshing as Rivendell may have been, the mission to Mirkwood was still uncompleted. After three days of rest, the company was ready to go back on the road again.

As they were preparing to leave, two fellow rangers in full battle gear approached the company. These two were not unfamiliar to the company, as they had conversed with them greatly during their time in Rivendell. They strode up to Tarandir and said “we wish to join you”. With a smile on his face and a pat on their backs Tarandir replied “we would be happy to have you”. Their names were Eradan and Calenor. With the coming of two new comrades, the company of seven became nine.

The happiness that Eradan and Calenor’s coming was however short lived. The pass over the Redhorn gate is typically a treacherous one. The snow and rocks of the pass have proven in the past to be as deadly as any orc. To make matters worse the goblins of the misty mountains had been seen prowling about during the night, doing some unknown bidding for their dark masters.

As the company climbed up the slopes of the Misty Mountains, the snow capped peak of Caradhras got closer and closer. Brognir began to speak of the mountain as it grew above them. “Elrond lost his wife atop this pass underneath the looming peak of that damnable mountain. It is said that orcs and goblins, otherwise afraid of the sun are given shelter from its rays by the shadow of Caradhras. Some say the mountain itself grew so that orcs may wander atop the world in defiance of the sun.” For indeed this seemed true as they made their way through the pass, the shadow of the mountain seemed to grow longer and longer.

In the midst of the shadow, despite the darkness, something could be seen glittering resplendently. The company was drawn toward this light by their own curiosity. But as it turns out they were not the only ones to have been drawn toward the shining light. A group of Goblins began clamoring over the rocks and skittering toward it. Along with them was a cave troll. Shielded from the sun by the Mountain, it lumbered toward the small light.

Quickly Tarandir shouted for Courinir to help him cover the right flank, along with Amdir and the two brothers. Eradan, Brognir, Calendor and Adenhad went up the middle. As the troll advanced, Tarandir and Corunir peppered it with arrows hurting it gravely. In fear it was driven back toward the other goblins. The three warriors were then free to move up and secure the source of the light. They were however too late, two goblins had already taken hold of the object and were making off with it. The three of them made after them in a dead sprint. Meanwhile Corunir downed a goblin with his bow and the four men in the middle made way toward the right flank. The troll had regained his courage after having reconsolidated with the goblins and was now making his way back toward the object. Amdir, and Eadrick were the first to meet the two goblins in combat. Quickly they killed him, and he dropped the object. They could see that it was a stone with a pale blue light that was very pretty to look upon. They were drawn toward the objects beauty, but were pulled away from it by the battle that surrounded them. Having been distracted by the stone, they were open to assault whilst the rest of the rangers were still out of range. Just then the troll came barreling down the mountain in a rage.RIGHT before he made contact, Amdir charged the troll head on. Seeing him charge the troll, the two brothers forgot all fear and followed into the combat with him. In a major feat of prowess and strength, Amdir parried the blows of the troll and with his sword, and cleaved off its head. For an instant the battle stopped as the goblins were paralyzed in fear, and the rangers stopped in surprise. The interlude was short and both companies continued on with their bloody business. The three began fighting again and slew another goblin. Finally the other goblins and rangers met In combat, but at this point the goblins were severely weakened and stood no chance against the rangers. Quickly they fell one by one until they either fell or fled the field of battle.

Strewn across the battle field were many dead goblins along with the severed head of the troll. However not all of the goblins died. One goblin lay in a pool of his own blood whimpering and crying. Tarandir strode up to the pitiful creature and asked its name. It replied “Me Gitnick. You kill my pet. You will die!” Tarandir put his sword to the creature’s throat. In recognition of the gesture, it put its arms up to indicate surrender. He asked the creature “where are the orcs coming from”. Gitnick replied “me only tell if you no kill”.  He replied back “I shall keep my word, only if you keep yours”. Gitnick was reluctant at first, but said “me no like orcs, they mean. Me show you where they come from”.

Mr. Snaga faces the woodland elves

Scenario:  Hold the Line
The elves are traveling through the pastures near their woodland realm when Mr. Snaga and his orc raiders bar their egress.  They must get 33% of their company off of the opposite table edge, which turns out to be two of their number.  Mr. Snaga must prevent this.  The game is over when all elf models are either casualties or off of the table.

Mr. Snaga must set his force within 6″ of the center of the table.  The elves will move in from the table edge in front of them.  The elven roster currently has 37 more battle value, so Snaga gains two re-rolls and an additional two influence points.

Snaga still has not managed to gain any skills and neither have the disgruntled orcs that he has been leading.  With the terror of the dark master in the heart of Snaga, he knows his time on middle earth may be coming to a close if he cannot post a victory on this country lane.

“He’s watching Snaga.  Maybe we ought let these elves get the best of us if only so Meetles leads!”  The orc barbarian Meetles called over to Snaga.  Snaga grimaced at his rival and ran the edge of his poisoned blade over his tongue, relishing the sting of the venom.

“Maybe Meetles head be adoring my lovely spike tonight.”  Snaga retorted.

The elves move onto the table.  The elf ranger Thessia and two of her warriors head into the woods while the remaining elf battle line occupies the other side of the road.

The orcs clamber up the country lane, with the warg rider peeling off to the flank in an effort to either draw the elves off to the side of the battlefield, or funnel them back over the road.

Meanwhile, the orc archer Tasty begins climbing the ancient tree to get a better vantage.  Sadly, he slips and falls to the ground, knocking himself out of the battle.

The orc hero assassin Bilsh shakes his head and runs over to take his place, vaulting up the tree with a bit more dexterity and positioning himself with a good vantage point to take some shots with his poisoned bow.

The orcs hurtle toward the elf line.  There is a large gap on the right side of the road though, and Thessia begins to take advantage of this hole in the orc line.

The elves run toward their commander and consolidate their position.

The warg comes into view as the orcs drive into the elf line.  An elf with a glaive takes on one of the orcs with a great weapon, and the greater skill wins the duel and the day as the orcs drop another of their number.

The clash of weapons rings out across the countryside.

The elves charge into the orc line while Thessia and her archer and glaive warrior move through the forest while Bilsh pelts at them with his bow.  The elves are able to drop another orc and win the rest of the duels, pushing the orc line back.

To this point, the orcs have lost all six duel rolls and are down three warriors with the elves having a wide open shot to getting off the battlefield and winning the scenario.

The orc hero Grumshaz, favored by the dark masters, begins evening the odds… sinking his double handed axe into an elf warrior.

The elves take advantage of the distracted orcs and begin quickly moving up the road.  Mr Snaga begins giving chase, while Bilsh continues his ineffective pelting of the elves with his orc bow.

Thessia and her two heroes cross the middle of the battlefield… Mr Snaga and his warriors giving chase and the warg rider closing the gap.  The elves continue to win priority rolls and continue to keep outpacing the orcs.

The warg and his hunter ride hard into the lead elf, attempting to intercept the woodland warrior and cut off his escape!

The warg hits but the orcs cannot catch a break on the duel rolls and he is repelled.   The shielding ability is really doing wonders.

The elves continue winning all of the priority rolls and are easily outdistancing the pursuing Mr. Snaga and his raiders.  Victory is almost in their grasp!

Bilsh is finally able to connect a shot to the ranger Thessia as she is now out in the open, and scores a fatal wound!  Alas fate and the use of a might point keep Thessia in the battle…

The warg hits again, and is once again repelled by the shielding elf hero.

Mr. Snaga scores his second kill of the game by dropping the elf ranger for good, leaving her two heroes to try to get off the table and win the game!

The warg rider hits one of the heroes and is again repelled while the other is hit with three orc warriors.  Shielding wins the day yet again and the elf heroes will not go down!

Winning priority, one of the elf heroes makes it off the table while the other is a mere inch away from ending the game.  The warg strikes again and is once again repelled by the shielding hero.  It will come down to priority!  If the hero wins it, he is off the table and wins the game!

The orcs win the priority and the elf hero is hit again by the warg, this time losing the duel and falling to the ground!  Once again priority roll can end the game as the elf can crawl off the table…

The orcs win priority!  Surely this is it!  The elf hero is surrounded on all sides!  Five orcs rain hell down on the elf who is hiding underneath his shield.  He manages to score a “6” on his duel dice… and thus defeats the other five orcs and drives them back an inch…

…. where he then wins priority and bolts off the table, leaving Snaga once again in defeat.

End Result:  Two elf warriors escaped the table, thus securing the victory for the woodland realms.

This was not without its cost though.  Thessia suffered an old battle wound which will haunt her, and three of her warriors will miss the next game from serious injuries suffered at the hands of Snaga.

The orcs lost Meetles for the next game with an injury.  Mr. Snaga finally reached a bonus skill, and reaching deep into his twisted black heart, summoned forth the flames of his dark master.

His skin cracks and a dark aura radiates from him… for now Mr. Snaga causes Terror.

With another defeat underneath him however… his future remains uncertain.

 

The Trials of Snaga

The sun had finally set when Snaga and his defeated band of orcs scurried within a clearing of a thick copse.  Darkness surrounded the group, but the starlit sky provided more than enough light for the dark creatures of the mountain that spent so little time outside of the earth and stone.

All were bloodied, bruised, and battered.  All were ill-tempered and set upon with a foul mood.  The defeat by the dwarves twice told now was as infuriating as it was embarrassing.

“We done no better with you as our leader than we ever did with the old knicker you done killed.”  The bowman Bilsh complained, bent over catching his breath.

“Meetles thinks that Slave should stay a slave and that someone else be the boss!”  The huge barbarian orc Meetles declared, pounding his chest with bravado.

“You stupid maggoty wankers were getting thumped on by those lads just as hard as I was.  If you wants to be leader then you be tellin the master that you are the best.”  Snaga snarled.

At the mention of the master, the clearing became frozen.  Wisps of ice formed on the edges of tree branches, crackling in the night air.  All of the woodland creatures songs and calls were silenced.  The breath of the ragged band was visible under the pale moon.

A shadow crept on the perimeter of their clearing.  The absence of light and of goodness could only have come from a creature of Mordor.  It was a nazgul.  One of the nine ring-wraiths of Sauron.  The Eye had not been heard from for generations, but it was said that he was stirring and recovering his power, and that his most trusted of minions were on the move once more.

Snaga and his band knew that this was true, for the dark master resided in the mountain and oversaw the creatures in their comings and goings.  The shamans dealt directly with the master, though this time there was none to stand before Snaga and the dark shape that had crept from the night.

All cowered in terror before the wraith, and the slithering audible screech sent waves of abject fear through their hearts.

“FAIL.”  It spoke.  “FAIL Snaga and FALL.”

The orc fell to his knees, his poisoned blade rattling off of the cold earth.

“Master please!”  He begged.  The other orcs backed as far away from the nazgul as they could.  None were brave of heart nor were they mighty warriors to face the minion of the ring master.

The nazgul pointed a blackened shadowy finger to the south.  “Our master will rise in Dol Guldor.  To Mirkwood you will go.  To Mirkwood you will gather our allies and in Mirkwood you will kill our enemies.  If you fail me again Snaga.  Die you will.”

The nazgul stood mere feet from Snaga now, who closed his eyes in terror as tears leaked down his bruised face.  Then like that, the night became warm once more, and the sound of night creatures could be heard.

The ring wraith had gone.

Snaga knew that there would be no more room for failure.  The elves of Mirkwood must fall.

In Defense of the Farmer- Ondoher and the Brigade of the White City

Ondoher and his men had been traveling long. They had finally reached the southern regions of Eriador, when they happened upon a cheerful smoke rising from a chimney.

They had arrived upon the homestead of elderly man of the North. Clearly he was not of Numenorean descent, but he had kind eyes. Likely one of the Middle men of Bree. They approached, their arms away, to show their peaceful intentions. After some pleasantries, Ondoher talked to the man and asked if it were too much trouble for them to camp nearby. The man welcomed them and said, “It would not be any trouble at all, friends! We have food if you need it and there is a river nearby for drinking water.”

Another younger man who was working the land approached and, as they were speaking of local news, he said that things had become queer of late. Not any birds nor beasts had been about in the last weeks. “Strange times these are, sir! Though, It is good to know that the Stewards hold the North in their memory.”

They thanked the man with many bows and blessings and setup camp a mile or so out. It was nearing night and it was during the watch of Ondoher that he noticed another rising smoke yonder. It was not a cheerful one as he had seen at the farm. This was a sinister fire, one that seemed out of control.

He calmly woke his brothers in arms. He ordered quietly, ”To arms brothers! To arms!” They headed in the direction of the smoke to find that a band of goblins of the misty mountains were gathered, and headed in the direction of the homestead. This was their time. So the men of Minas Tirith gave a battle cry and Moved in the enemy. “Let us show these foul creatures the bight of Gondor steel!” Cried Ondoher , and he lead the charge forward. “Turgon! Hurin! Get to that hill and fire at will!”

The evil vermin saw them and also knew what needed to be done. The goblin captains new where their strength lied. The men of Minas Tirith lined themselves against a pillar, trying to give their bowmen a wide berth and an opportunity to get some arrows flying. Though this allowed for Turgon to bring down a bow-goblin, the stunted orcs took advantage of their numbers and trapped the shieldmen. Ondoher was nearly wounded, but  avoided the strike of the goblin leader only barely. Hirgon, however, was not so lucky, and was struck down by a Goblin spear. fortunately, Turn and Arveleg were able to slay some of the vermin, allowing the four men with spears and swords to fall back.

It was during this retreat that Turgon and Hurin came down from the hill. But their bows could do no work from being their comrades. Ondoher was able to bring down another enemy, and Turin and Arveleg continued to hold back the line of goblins.

The goblin hordes charged again, and it was in this moment that Ondoher was hewn by the goblin Captain’s  thrust. There was no way for them to gain a victory in this show of force. Turin, seeing his Captain down, took the lead, and continued to fight back. The bowmen joined the line, and with the slaying of the other monsters, the battle ended when the goblins had all fled, even the captain.

The men retreated back to their camp. Though fighting off the goblins and preventing the raiding of this orc menace had been achieved, it was at a cost. Fortunately, Ondoher is made of sterner stuff and recovered from his wound. Hirgon would need time to recover, but his spear arm would indeed be missed.

So it was that, in time, hearing of the state of this band, Beren, the Steward’s son, sent forth a another warrior of Minas Tirith. He was a young recruit, daring and ready, named Mablung. His name suited him, for his heavy hand indeed had slain an orc or two, quite brutally.

Their camp now made into a place of healing, the men of Minas Tirith tended their friend. They awaited any message sent from the Dunedain, willing to take on any task.

The Dwarf Outpost- Haarith and the Scorpion’s Sting

Haarith  Finally looked out onto the land of Eriador. It was not a country he had been to, nor the kind of land he was used to. In fact, it was cold. Colder than he had expected. They built 2 fires their first night.

Haarith and the Scorpions received their orders quickly. A small goblin arrived on a warg that was (quite honestly) too large for him at the rendezvous point, carrying a bundle in hand. “Golfimbul sends his regards, Southron,” He hissed, thawing the parcel at Haarith’s feet. “Do not disappoint, or his wrath will be swift.” He then turned tail rode away, barely clinging to the wolf as it rushed away.

Haarith stood to draw his bow, aimed at the runt. “What sort of insult do these allies send us.”

“Peace, child,” said Yazan, bringing Haarith’s bow arm down. He had dealt with their kind many times before. “This sort of insult is common, even among themselves. They have little care for anyone.”

“They should treat their long-traveled allies with respect,” said Haarith.

“It is their way. Learn to live with it, or step down,” snapped Yazan “They are the only allies we have against those bastards of the white city. And if dealing with their insults is what we must suffer to destroy the Gondorians northern cousins, then so be it.”

Haarith was surprised to see such fire, but also glad to have Yazan’s experience and rage at his side. He then opened the bundle to find some supplies, though none that any of his men trusted; meat and bread from an orc was something even the Haradrim would not do. It also came with a scroll written in poorly scrawled Black Speech. Yazan read it to him.

The orders from the local orc chieftain were attack  a band of dwarves protecting a local trade route. If they could chase them off through force of arms, the Haradrim and orcs could setup their own way station here to guard the way for trade.

The dwarf leader and Haarith eyed each other across the ruins… they knew that if they could prove their strength here, they could solidify the claim of the area… but to whom would go the victory? And at what cost?

The enemy did as you would expect from dwarf vermin, staying in a close formation to begin. Haarith then used the dwarves’ initial speed to his own advantage. He had his men separate across the ruins Haartih was followed by Abaan and Bakr on the left flank, while the companions Maazin and Na’man took the right, and the brothers  Udyal and Unar took the center, backed by Yazan. this formation forced the dwarves to spill their forces. “Foolish squatted looking imps,” thought Haarith. “Staying  together would have been their advantage. Their brains must be made of mumak dung.”

Due to their stunted legs, this formation allow the men of Harad to fire multiple shots. The keen-eyed bowmen hit the dwarves many times, but then they appeared to keep coming… “Curse these bearded churls! Their armor could turn back a charging Bull Mumak!” cried Udyal. Though an enemy, one had to admire the heavy armor that was born by these little dogs. Even poison of the Jungles of Deep Harad are no match for well crafted armor.

By battle’s end, Haarith slew 3 of the dwarves,  though he had the help of his companions. However, the mighty hero of the battle was the mighty Yazan, the elder. He slew 2 of them on his own, striking true into the parts of the armor that a less experienced soldier would not know to look for.

Finally, the battle came down to a dwarf with shield and their leader. Surrounded, the dwarves fought back mightily, wounding both Maazin and Abaan. The brave Maazin will need time to heal from his wounds for the moment, but Abaan was able to make a complete recovery, but he does have a sudden dislike for dwarves and their kind

Much was learned from the skirmish as well as earned. With hearing tales of his strength of arms and his prowess, Haarith was given much by his benefactor, Aqil, servant of the Golden King of Abrakhan. He was sent a scroll, explaining the details of the best plants and animals from which to extract the most vile toxins in all of Middle-Earth, making Haarith a Master of Poisons. He was also supplied with a war spear and a horse, making him a much more deadly foe.

A Mission to Mirkwood

 

Pendants of the star of Arnor were given ceremoniously to the newly minted rangers. While they might not be of Numenorean blood, they now have the responsibilities as if they did. Adenhad, Erik, and Eadwin were nervous, but displayed a sense of pride and accomplishment as well. They had risen above their simple station as farmers and now had a greater purpose to aspire to. One by one each of the rangers at the ruined tower paid them their due complements. Brognir’s statement of support was the most impassioned, and brotherly. This was a quick turnaround from before when he cursed their presence and looked upon them with disdain. Tarandir and Corunir thanked them together, happy to see their deeds recognized and carry on with them in their travels.

After the ceremony had commenced and congratulations had been given, Garafon, the Ranger Captain made it clear to the company that he wished to speak with them. They followed the captain into the tower through the large reinforced door. The tower was plainly furnished with the necessities of life. Very little ornamentation was present except for the many banner of Arnor, which adorned the stone walls of the tower. Garafon led them in and took a seat behind the small desk in the middle of the room. After a brief pause and a shuffling of papers he addressed them. “Word has come to me that a council has been held in the ruins of Fornost. The raids we have been experiencing have larger consequences than we first believed. A shadow is growing in the east. Orc chieftains are calling their fowl kin to their banners in the misty mountains. Darkness grows in Mirkwood while evil creatures stir beneath its bowels. This growing threat must be met, but we must first know our enemy before we can defeat him. The council has advised that we send a company to Mirkwood and find the source of this evil. If we can identify it, we may cut off the orcs from receiving reinforcements. You will be given provisions to help you along the way, and my son Amdir shall accompany you. I advise you to take the road to Rivendell and from there through the Red Horn Gate and toward Mirkwood.”

The company looked at each other warily, not entirely prepared for receiving such an important task. Corunir reacted a bit differently; he wasn’t as concerned with the mission, as he was with greeting his childhood friend Amdir. It was then as Corunir’s mind turned to his old friend that Amdir stepped into the room. They embraced each other as brothers would, and many smiles were shared between them. Corunir introduced his old friend to the company who were all happy to have another among them who could help in the days to come.

After having received their orders and greeted Amdir they headed outside toward one of the many campfires. They helped themselves to the food that had been provided and began discussing the many paths and means to Mirkwood. The conversation was short as the way was straight. They decided that they should make straight toward Rivendell and through the Red Horn Gate just as Garafon suggested. After the decision had been made, each of them was free to do as they pleased for the remainder of the day, but they had to be ready to leave the next day to pursue their journey. The day of leisure passed quickly and turned into night and then day again.

The company awoke before first light, gathered their provisions and were off, but not before each of them said their goodbyes. They were now back in the forests of the Trollshaws and it would be several more days before they reached Rivendell. There were no roads between Rivendell and the Ranger’s Tower, but it tarried them not. They were used to the rugged back countries and forests, for that is where a ranger is truly at home.

The first few days were uneventful, but good progress was made. On the fourth night, a small glow could be seen from the hill on which they made their camp, but it was several miles away and could barely be seen. The next day they made their way toward the location of the fiery glow. As they made their way, an unspoken wave of apprehension spread amongst the company and they proceeded quietly and cautiously. As the camp came into view, their apprehension was justified as it was occupied by a group of larger and more brutish orcs. The orcs were oblivious to the rangers presence until the rangers let off their first shots. From there each side attempted to maneuver around the other and each split into two groups. This maneuvering lasted a while, until Amdir and the two brothers cornered two orc archers and slew them. With the enemies’ archers having been slain, the rangers were free to advance. Corunir and Tarandir advanced whilst loosing their arrows. Corunir got one orc between the eyes and he fell dead. Now the orcs had suffered gravely and were outnumbered. The rangers and the orcs then closed ranks and a swift combat ensued with all of the orcs having fallen. The rangers did suffer a scare in the melee as Brognir fell after one of the brutes smacked him across the arm with his sword, but his armor saved him. The company searched the camp and found nothing of use. Tarandir told the others that the orcs they faced were called Uruk Hai, a stronger and more deadly breed that had recently appeared. Afterward they continued on toward Rivendell with more experience and knowledge.

The next night they heard howls and unearthly cries in the distance, but rising up to meet the discordant cacophony was a loud thundering cry that seemed to shake the trees. The loud voice said “SHUD UP STOOPID WOOLVES! I’M TRYNA KOOK ME SOME ROAST GOAT!” When the voice had stopped, and the echoes had sounded off the hills, a deafening silence followed. The calling and baying of the hounds ceased, and the rangers were free to sleep.

The rangers were awoken again by another series of shouting in the morning. “COME OUT TO PLAY ME WANTS MEATS. COME OUT TO PLAY ME WANTS SHEEPS!” after the shouting the howls began again, except this time they were moving toward the shouting. Quickly the rangers tried to move toward the shouting as well to see what was going on. As they ran toward the location of the shouts, the howls got louder and louder. They burst through a bush and found a hill troll fighting a group of wargs and their riders. Tarandir told the others to wait. He wanted both sides to wear each other out before engaging. The fight continued and slowly but surely the troll began to weaken. Tarandir then indicated the group to advance. Corunir took a shot and slew a warg, but the wargs had wounded the troll too much and it fell. Before the rangers had a chance to engage them they fled. The group was disappointed that the troll got away, but was also thankful that they didn’t have to fight a troll. After the fight, they would have no more troubles on their way to Rivendell.

Mr. Snaga Fights the Dwarf Dorin

Mr. Snaga’s first encounter with the free people as the leader of a company of warriors did not go as planned.  The dwarf named Mhulo had proven to be a stubborn pillar of rage, and Snaga’s orcs had bloodied themselves against the steel wall and retreated in stalemate.

Now, several months later, they encountered a small dwarf patrol led by the warrior Dorin.  Dorin had been defeated handily by the morian goblins during the great defense of the Greenlands, and was looking to even the scales.

The farmstead bloomed with life in the late spring sunshine, and Snaga directed his warriors across the fields to engage.

The scenario was simply a clash of warbands wherein the game would end when one side or the other was dropped to 25% of their starting force.

The dwarfs start with five models and would end the game if taken down to one model.

The orcs started with nine models and would end the game if taken down to two models.

The dwarfs, hearing the ruckus being caused by the orc raiders, took up defensive formation on a nearby hill.  Snaga and his orcs swarmed forward.

The dwarfs had a single warrior armed with a crossbow, and he began firing at the company as it moved through the cover afforded them.  Once they crossed the halfway point of the battlefield, however, there was a wide open area of space that gave no cover from the unforgiving dwarven crossbow bolts.

The dwarves took advantage of the space, enjoying six turns of firing while the orcs snarled battle curses and tried to close the gap.

Snaga directed his orcs to split and try to hit the dwarves from two different angles.  Snaga led from the left flank, and the grumpy Grumshaz led the right flank force, along with the speed of the warg rider Lister.

The warg rider hits the open field and runs hard for the cover afforded to him by the ancient statue.  The remaining raiders keep their heads down and continue running while the dwarfs smack their rears and throw taunts at them.

The warg makes it up to the hill and takes cover.  Will he prematurely charge?  Mr. Snaga has other plans.  The warg-rider would attempt to draw some dwarves away as well as draw some fire from the advancing raiders.

The assassin Bilsh was finally in range with his poisoned bow and prepared to try to return some fire at the dwarfs.

The dwarf with the crossbow turned and fired expertly at Bilsh, dropping the assassin with one shot.

The warg-rider moved to the base of the hill, prompting two of the dwarves to peel away to seal the height advantage.  The raiders were closing in…

The accursed crossbow wielding dwarf took out his second victim with another well placed shot.  The orcs were now down two warriors.

With the dwarfs peeling off two of their members to deal with the warg, the warg turns around and darts around the hill to reinforce the left flank, where Mr. Slave and his warriors were rapidly approaching.

Finally combat was engaged.  The warg rider came charging in but promptly lost the duel and was beaten back.

The orc assaulting the hill went into full shielding and won the duel, locking the dwarf with the heavy axe down while Mr. Slave and his spear-orc could come up and attack soon.

The right flank was preparing to crash in as well…

The battle atop the hill was brutal.  The warg-rider was taken down in short order, and Mr. Slave’s forces were systematically chopped down one by one.

The orcs managed to drop two of the dwarves, leaving three, but they were just unable to amount any other meaningful offense.

The dwarfs cheered as Mr. Slave and his supporting spear-orc fled the field of battle.

He would have to answer to his dark master for his consecutive failure.  The dwarves were proving to be a hated foe…

Final Outcome:  Dorin’s Dwarfs Win
The dwarf hero Flin gains the ability to re-roll wounds of 1 against orcs and goblins and with their now six-influence gain another crossbow wielding warrior and a spear dwarf.

Mr. Snaga’s forces gained another bow, replacing the one killed by the cursed Mhulo’s forces.