The morning came and our friend Petra Dribble Cup was stolen from her home and brought to the center of hamlet for the trial of her son, Siglund. He was also taken in front of the towns people and was set before the executioner. The trial of Siglund for the murder of his step-father, Berren, was afoot. Our party took a moment to prepare for the defense of Siglund as the crowds gathered. As the proceedings began, I prepared fireworks and plotted a rescue route in the event that the trial did not go well.
Viglar stood before the crowd and tears fell from Petra’s cheeks as she gazed upon her son. Viglar shouted to the crowd that he has already reviewed evidence and was prepared to pass judgement. Yet, he allowed the party of the Whiskey Drinking Bear to bring forth any new evidence to change his decision.
Elabrimborn began the defense of Siglund singing the tale of the hard working people and how they bravely face the Shadows of the Land such as the Path of the Serpent. He sings of Siglund, his step-father and his friend Walden and how they faced the owl-faced guardians of the Serpent’s Path. He sings of how the guardians slew Berren and instilled fear into Walden. The people responded with fear as they may have now incurred the wrath of the guardians. Siglund was furious and shouted at Elabrimborn that there was no such evidence from his song.
Loreth stepped forward and let the crowd know that the owl-faced guardians are known by lore to be protectors of sacred places. She brought forth the evidence that Walden had recounted his story and how he was in fear of the guardians. Walden stood and acknowledged these facts. Siglund again was upset and stated that the fellowship had manipulated Walden to recant his testimony. Siglund called our fellowship barbarians.
At that point, I stepped forward and denounced his words. I addressed the crowd and let all know that I was a Prince of Erebor and Ambassador to many lands. How dare Siglund call our party barbarians who spread fear and discord. I exposed the truth of how he had been the only one to review the evidence of the arrow and had destroyed it. The feathers of the arrow would tell the truth and yet he destroyed such evidence. It was Siglund who brought forth the wrath of the guardians and it was he who should leave this land. Those such as Siglund were envoys of the Shadow. My words brought the crowd to a fervor.
Siglund threw insults back at our fellowship and our words responded to bring the crowd to a frenzy. The crowd started to push forward and press upon Siglund. A few people started whispering about Siglund wanting to take Petra as a slave. Loreth and Elabrimborn responded to this and let the crowd know of this treachery. Siglund strikes back that he never stated such a thing and that Petra was being bound because she is a warrior. I then brought forth more evidence on how Siglund was bitten and Walden confirmed of this truth. I approached Siglund and cut open his pant leg to show the scar. Siglund again responded with his insults.
Elabrimborn tried to incite the people to take arms and throw out Viglar. Viglar ordered his troops forward and set themselves in front of him and Petra. Loreth further incited the crowd and they threw themselves forward. Some of them were cut down as they stood before the troops. Siglund shouted that he was ruler and that they must obey or more death would ensue. His troops further secured their position and our fellowship and the people were pushed back. Just as the crowd was ready to strike, Viglar then acknowledged that his verdict had now changed.
Viglar announced that the Whiskey Drinking Bear would be deputized and that they must bring forth the truth of all this. They were to bring forth the perpetrators in two months time at the Forest Gate where his father Vigland was preparing to attack the Beornings and claim their lands. If we fail, he would hunt us down and hold us accountable for this misdeed.
We were tempted to slay Viglar and his guards but Viglar released Petra and the boy and then stormed off. We paid the families of those that were lost that day and healed as many as we could. We would have slayed them but Viglar’s father would have destroyed this village. We coached Petra that she and her son should leave as we did not know how this would turn out. We all departed the town in the morning and sent word to the Beornings.
We journeyed towards the Path of the Serpent through the old dwarven lands that are now inhabited by orcs and goblins. This was the lands of Mt. Gundabad and we were fell upon by a tribe of orcs. They were led by a giant orc, named Gorgo. He is the son of Bolg and he is contesting the rule of Mt. Gundabad. He immediately attacked me and used his commanding voice. He threw upon down upon me his wrath and fury. Loreth stepped in and sliced through his attack. I was able to dodge his first attacks and slammed my mattock into Gorgo. It took out his tusk and teeth. He will now be known as Gorgo the Toothless.
Elabrimborn cast his magic onto the butt of Gorgo and his alluring light attracted his minions onto his ass. Gorgo then raised his great scimitar and slammed it across my chest. The might blow struck but my new armor protected from a grievous wound. Loreth swung again and slashed into him. Gorgo then shouted at me and demanded the ring that I carried as it was his by birthright. He said it was stolen by the Great Goblin of Goblin Town. It was taken from his grandfather Azod and it was sacrilege that a dwarf would now have this ring. I then swung my mattock wildly at him and smashed him squarely in the head. He fell before me.
Elabrimborn shouted at the orcs to flee before us. He then brought down an archer with his arrow. As Gorgo fell, Loreth and I also became entranced by Elabrimborn’s light. At that moment, a host of elves arrived and slayed the remaining orcs before us. Ruithel and her guards of Rivendell routed the orcs and Ruithel addressed us. She wanted to know what brought us this way. I responded that we were on way to the Path of the Serpents. She stated that this was a dangerous and unused path. She had no knowledge of the owl-women. Osred, a Beorning, accompanied Ruithel. He told of us of a tiny path at the end of the Anduin River and Path of Serpents. It leads to a small island and many foolish adventurers have perished.
Osred and the elves were looking for alternate routes so that they can safely travel to the West lands. He was unable to take the message of Vigland’s attack on the Beornings. We must still take forth this message. We rested and camped with the elves and Osred for the night. We broke camp and went our separate ways. It was about a day’s more journey to the path. The Veil of Shadow was treacherous that we traveled. We stumble into a camp where trees had been dragged and made into huts. Large beasts, likely trolls, had built this encampment. The camp was abandoned and we found nothing of value. We buried the bones of the fallen and stayed one more night.
I spoke again that night with my companions about the ring and how I came upon the ring at Isengard. I spoke of my parents and how they were lore masters. They had somehow entered the realm of Goblin Town encountered the Goblin King. They had sliced off the toe of the Goblin King upon which this ring sat. They stole away with the ring and were tracked by orcs and goblins back to Isengard. I only recall being hastened out of Isengard in the middle of the night and seeing my parents slain. There was a ruby in the ring and combined there is some sort of power to it. It is Numenorian. Loreth believes the ring may not be of the Shadow as there are tales of the Numerorians teaching Sauron their ancient ways. There may be knowledge in Gondor and other lore masters that may have more knowledge.
It is interesting to note that Gorgo could smell the ring on me. I can no longer leave this ring with Mair or my family. Elabrimborn also helped to tell us the stories of lost rubies and their artifacts. He spoke of dragon hoards and spiders that liked to consume the gems to watch their light fade. We must search Gondor and possibly return to Isengard. Although Saruman is still likely angry with my bringing the great birds onto his lawn and shitting on his castle.
As the others slept through the night, I stayed awake on watch and pondered what I learned from my companions. I wasn’t aware that rats had gotten into our food satchels and destroyed the food. Elabrimborn stood watch next and drove the rats away. On Loreth’s watch, she noticed smoke from a large campsite far away in the distance. We were likely being followed by men on horses and we must make haste to the Serpent’s Path.
We reached the North Ford and heard the howls of dogs in the distance. We can cross the River Anduin and decided to build a raft to take us down the river. We disembarked down stream to find the island. The chase was afoot. We traveled until we were set upon by dark birds. Elabrimborn and Loreth shot their arrows and brought several down. I flashed my rear at those dirty birds. At that moment, the sky darkens above us and the waters of the river raise. The great eagle flies above us and slays the remaining dirty birds.
He lands near us and Loreth addresses the great eagle poorly. Kingfisher Lord is taken aback by how he was greeted. I do my best to by bowing before him and letting him know that I am the prince of dwarfs and that we would give honor to him. He is not interested in the lives of men. He was taking insult to the dirty birds who didn’t support him in his pursuit of ruler-ship in the aerie. We thanked him again and for his kind that helped our people in the past. He took umbrage when I mentioned the name of Gandalf. Elabrimborn sang to the Kingfisher and praised his greatness.
The Kingfisher knew not of the owl-women and only knew of the bandits that pursued us. He knows of the island and speaks of horseman that have traveled to the island and wait outside of a human nest. He stated that the horses came from both the north and south. We committed to fight the Viglands and assist the Beornings in the battle to come. The Kingfisher committed to assist in the great battle to come. At that moment, the Viglands arrived and the Kingfisher took flight and covered our retreat.
We traveled onto the Path of Serpents. I was fortunate to find a gem along the way. We made our way to the end of the path and we see a series of stones that lead to the small island. There are three horses outside the cabin. We approach and Elabrimborn speaks to the horses and learns that they are Viglands and one from Beorn. He sends the horses away from the cabin. We are caught by the guards as we circled the cabin. They are bearing owl masks and we begin to battle. At that time, a Beorning man and a familiar faced woman come out of the cabin. They stop the guards from attacking. We recognized the woman Aestid, daughter of Vigland.
Loreth shouts to hold weapons. She speaks of love and how they should not attack us to hide their tryst. Elabrimborn disarms one of the guards and demands to speak with the lady. He can’t persuade them to drop their weapons and I use my words to threaten them with the hatred of the dwarves if they do not drop their spears. Grimfarah and Aestid hold back their guards. Aestid tells us that she was sorry for killing Berran. She states that she will tell Viglund that she and her handmaidens were responsible. We thank Aestid for coming forth with the truth.
Loreth tells them of her father’s plans to war on the Beornings. She encourages her to take power from her father and his lack of justice. Aestid is betrothed to another man who is older. She wants to remove this man and then she will slip away. His name is Trevarga. She knows of no ways to stop this war from coming. She will travel with us to the lands of the Beornings. Grimfarah says that he will ride swiftly and take word back to his homeland. Unfortunately, his horse had left him. Once again, Elabrimborn has endeared himself to new allies.