Edra snapped awake from an extremely troubled sleep – one where he was all alone in the dark, underground somewhere. There was only one other person in the room, and while he could not see who it was, he could feel hatred radiating from them.
Once he got his bearings, he discovered what woke him was the sounds of pounding on his door. He opens it and is face to face with Glorfindel, who urges him that they leave immediately. Edra says that he wants to talk to Glorfindel about a theory that he has first – their source of trouble may be Dark Elves. Edra believes that may be one of the only explanations that he could think of that would draw Easterlings this far from their homeland. Glorfindel believes that is an interesting thought, and mentions that he will meditate on it. Speaking of Easterlings, he says, he spotted them heading towards the Northwest on his way here – the area where he and his men can feel pulses of evil radiating.
Besides Glorfindel, only Alfrin and two other elves seemed ready to accompany them on their jounrey. Edra wondered if the other elves that were in Glorfindel’s entourage were too afraid of the forest, due to the evil radiating from it. Glorfindel agrees, adding that it’s probably due to the stories from the Second Age, where Elrond lead a mix of men and elves into the forest to defeat an evil witch, and only the men managed to escape alive. When asked about the events that happened in the forest, Elrond only would mutter “It is contained”.
Once the rest of the group was awakened, they assembled in the courtyard. The elven horses refused to move any further towards the forest, shaking their heads in disobedience. The regular horses, seeing this, followed suit, so the party decided that it may be best to head out on foot.
After the rest of the group has been awakened, they assembled in the courtyard. The elven horses refused to move any further towards the forest, shaking their heads, and the regular horses followed suit.
On the way, Glorfindel says it’s likely that the Bronze Guard will be between them and the deep end on the forest. Since his men are heavily armored, Glorfindel wants to keep to the back while the rangers go on ahead and whittle them down using any means necessary.
Addromyr, Alfirin and Niana go on ahead to see where the Bronze Band may have gone in the forest. As they head up the hill, the footprints start to diverge, which they find interesting – they may have gone to a post that they are possibly guarding. Looking closer, Alfirin can see a set of footprints going up a tree, and looking up she sees the man that she scarred aiming for him with a bow and arrow. She tumbles forward as the arrow grazes past, catching part of her coat.
As Alfirin dodges two more arrows, a cloud moves in front of the moon and it goes pitch black. The group moved in formation – Adromyr and Einar moved up in the trees, while the others pulled out their bows and broke out in all out battle with the Bronze Band. The enemy fell quite quickly, all but two, which Addrok captured for questioning.
Edra tells the two remaining that they will spare their lives, if they follow Placro back to the castle and submit to Meryndil in surrender, after they give further information. They tell him that Ethnakali is an Easterling, a powerful mage, and is in the northeast with his men. Edra then says to the two men, if they know what’s good for them, will reject their life of sin and danger and return to Rhaudar. He also says that while he is the master, who is very strong, his servent Placro is even stronger, and they should be afraid of him if they were to escape his presence. Placro prods them with his cooking knife as they start marching back towards the castle, everyone else saluting as he heads off.
Alfirin asked the trees for any information – they say that there is an evil in this forest, both old and recent. As they move in further, they run into a group of Easterlings, though they managed to stay unseen. They discuss a plan with Glorfindel, where they distract as the rangers pick off the Easterlings from behind. Glorfindel and his men charge into the camp, glowing and blowing their hunting horn and completely decimated their forces.
As the group travel further, they eventually make it up on top of the hill and viewed the valley from below. The trees in the valley below are completely dead, seemingly from unnatural forces, though there is an unusual patch of woods that is burned instead. There is also a large group of Easterlings that are making a camp below.
Edra has an idea of lighting pine on fire and volley arrows on the Easterlings, to scatter their forces as they take them out. After a few rounds of fire, it was enough for the Easterlings to begin fleeing, and the group set fire to their camp to destroy the supplies. They were unable to find anything of value, and took a very short rest before moving forward towards the center of the forest.
Niana got a vision of a group of people creating a temple, the second group of people slaying them and creating a mound on that spot, while a third decided to live there though some evil was unleashed during their time there. It seems that when a fourth group decided to come across it and dig, it disturbed the forces there again. She can also feel a feeling of great sorrow coming from the ground, along with a feeling of great hatred.
Shortly after, they come across very unusual footprints – large, round and bipedal. They follow it to the center of the forest, where they find the mound, though cannot find the entrance inside. The group decide to go as a group around the perimeter and eventually come across a spot where there is disturbed earth and a hole that descends further underground.
Glorfindel thanks the group for accompanying him, and agrees to go first. He pulls out his sword, which starts to glow blue, and begins to descend further underground, with the group following behind. Eventually the hole leads to a staircase, which leads to an unnatural tunnel.
As they move forward, they suddenly hear a voice chuckling, “Come closer… please… come to my sanctum, where I am most powerful.” Edra starts to run towards it, believing it’s his time, though Glorfindel catches him. He says, “One should not run towards his destiny, but rather savor it.”
They come towards doors that are 40 feet wide, made of marble, with red veins running through it. Entering inside, they see three doors. Tracks suggest that most go to the right, some go to the center, and none go to the left. By looking at the tracks, there are troll tracks on the right, though the rest are completely humanoid.
The group decide to pursue the middle path – they begin to see skeletons, all looking as if they were felled in combat, all human. There are one set of tracks that lead to the very end of the room, then appear to have turned around and left. After some investigation of the door at the end, some words appear in black speech, saying “Keep Out – Heavily Trapped Treasure Room”.
As Edra looks over the room, Addrok asked someone to look over the rear, and one of the elves happily agrees. As he goes back, suddenly, he was hit with a large rock, crying that he wasn’t told that there would be trolls here. He chuckles and then starts running away.
The rest of the group turns to the door and try to figure out the riddle to open it. Edra says numerous things in Black Speech but it doesn’t work. It wasn’t until Alfirin stood up and said “Password” that a small door pops open and reveals a panel of three numbers and a button. After some arguing, the group decide its not a good idea to pursue, so they leave the room and instead go to the right.
As they go down the stairs, they finally come across a door that has runes pulsating in red. Glorfindel throws a rock into the door and it bursts in flame for a few seconds before petering out. He turns to the group and says that they should be safe to cross through now. They are confronted with two doors, and they proceed to go down the hall of one of them.
It didn’t take long until they are faced with three cave trolls. The group, while taking major injuries initially, manage to fell them eventually. Once they are done, and Glorfindel works to heal the rest. They find nothing in this room – it appears as if it was just used for storage.
As they turn around, they are suddenly faced with a human female, clearly dead, standing in the hallway where they came in. She asks Glorfindel if he recognizes her. He wonders why should he, she is a creature of Sauron. She says that she wasn’t always, and she introduces herself as Sabriel. Glorfindel, surprised, says that she was the most beautiful human he had ever laid eyes on, why did she do this herself? Sabriel said that she loved him but could not join him in eternal life, so she went to Morgoth to find it. She was given to Sauron as a toy to experiment with, but Sauron succeeded where the elves could not – she is still here, still alive.
Glorfindel creates an illusion of a mirror and had her look at herself, and she backed away in recoil – completely disgusted. Glorfindel then says sadly, “You gave up everything and I’m not impressed.” As he turns away, she lunges forward, the two of them engaged in grapple. Sabriel’s dagger slices through his armor and makes a clean hit with his arm. Ditching the dagger, she then makes a quick exit.
One of the elves picks up the blade with a cloth, saying that Elrond needs to take care of this, though the evil force in here needs to be defeated as soon as possible. They say that they need to take him to Rivendell as quickly as possible, and ask the scouts if they will continue on to defeat the evil inside of this cave.
Glorfindel stirs slightly, mutters one last time that “Her vanity was always her biggest weakness….” before passing out. Bidding the elves well wishes and safe travels, the rest of the party continues on further in the cave.