The Company of the Whiskey Drinking Bear

Rhyme of Lore of the Lurker
Recalled by Elabrimborn

To enter Gundabad valley, you must be brave
For a misshapen colossal crab inhabits a cave
hiding its vulnerable hind body for years and years
Its massive legs are kin to trolls’ bladed spears
Its eyes like pearls of your impending doom
are like twin moons shining upon your tomb
And its piping voice birthed of its foul breath
Is the song of shadow, the song of your death

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Deliverance from Angmar
Thorr's Journal Entry 18

Our journey has led us deep to the North and into the Grey Mountains. Here dwells the home of the Hill men. Our first encounter with the Hill men went better than expected. Their leader, Cynbal, withdrew his wolves and spoke with us. He was not fond of elves and those of us from the South and he spoke of his alignment with the goblins.

Elabrimborn recalled the Witch King of Angmar as being the root of our past conflicts. He then offered the sweet honey from Beorn to sway Cynbal to treat with us. Elabrimborn even had the stones to court one of the lovelier maidens. He bested Cynbal’s men to win her hand in marriage. I should not have helped Elabrimborn win his new bride, Essylt. But, it was good fun.

If it were not for that damnable fog, Elabrimborn may have wed her that very night. It was unfortunate that Loreth happened upon us at that moment. I know that Elabrimborn is truly interested in Loreth. Hopefully she is not too upset with him. It was foolish to tempt fate and love.

The cries and lamentation of the women drew us out into that fog and it was dreadful to see what those evil goblins had done to them. The fires raged and consumed all. We were fortunate to find the one remaining woman Brigga alive and with child. If only we could have saved the children from being dragged into the caverns, we may have brought the Hill men to our cause.

Essylt is courageous and only she stood before the clansmen and offered herself to rescue the children. The others were too frightened. At least they offered to outfit us for this journey. Fraech also stepped forth as he truly must desire her.

Seeking out the guide Hwalda to lead us through the Gundabad was wise. Without her aide we may have fallen to the lurker in the valley. If the journey had not been so hard, we may have defeated the monster. At least we made it to Carn Dum without losing anyone. We were fortunate to find the rocky stair and made our way down.

To come upon that dark and evil creature was more frightening than any child’s worst nightmare. Our fellowship was destined to do battle against this darkness. Our combined efforts were able to bring it down. It was fortunate that Essylt and the others joined us. I am certain that we would not have been able to defeat it without their help.

We again were fortunate to find the rock that covered a path towards the children. A tunnel would lead us to the children. But first we must slay the wolves of Folgar.

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Metamorphosis of Strangers or the Calming of Beorn
As recalled by Elabrimborn

A stone of Middle Earth so great the raging Anduin gives Gonorod its berth
As wild as the river and as tall as the Carrock you will find a man called Beorn
Bilbo could walk between his legs with clearance of his garments
He is distrustful of strangers as the darkness of Mirkwood is to the light

Will he recall his elven friend from the Battle of The Five Armies?

Or remember the dwarf that bested his son at the Dragon Tide competition?

Mithrandir overcame his suspious nature through his thirst for the brave tales of Thorin and company.

The skin changer also knew of Oakenshield’s name day and his fearlessness over the goblins at the Battle of Nanduhirion

Beorn is unbridled nature, can reason be used to calm a storm, or tame the ferocity of a charging bear.

Would the intrusion of such a man’s homestead not reap the anger of the swarm for raiding the hive?

Yet I know of him to have good heart, to eat of no flesh, and talks to the animals as if they were free people of Middle Earth.

In this way, I am a kindred spirit with this Ent sized man

For it was my kin who awoke the animals and taught them to speak.

For the Firstborn wished to speak to all manner of creation, the trees, mountains and rivers

To tame the keeper of bees, is it best to use honeyed words

Nay, for the beekeeper uses smoke to calm the violence of the hive

I shall smoke Old Toby with him and share songs and ryhmes of Thorr and my valor

The passage of time in relaxation and the smoking of the pipe is the answer to the riddle of one who is the personification of nature.

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Wood wight of Mirkwood
Thorr's Journal Entry 17

Our quest to Sunstead started off pleasantly enough until we ran into those foul bandits of Tyrant’s Hill wanting to take our money. Little did they know, our funds have been running low for some time. I am disappointed. I’m letting myself believe too easily that all people are good. In these times, I must learn to be cautious. At least I can still trust my mattock and our fellowship to set right what is needed.

And these woods are needing to be set right. There is much evil that roams in them. I miss me mountain home. I miss Mair. Seeing Betony rise up to strike the wood wight brings hope and inspiration. We were fortunate not to lose her. And just as I think we shouldn’t be so trustful, we find new friends in Olwin and Avina to help us. Without their aide, I’m not sure she would have made it. I am now uncertain as to how to judge who to trust and who not to trust.

I must listen closely to my heart and question with my mind. In showing Baldac the error in his ways, my heart believes this was the right thing to do. My mind still ponders if he will stay the course.

At least it is clear when it comes to a wood wight, we do not hesitate. I have grown fond of Elabrimborn and trust that he has me back. Destroying the gem seemed clear to me and this allowed us to strike down that wicked wood wight. Helping the people of Sunstead rid themselves of this evil allowed us to gain good standing with its people.

Ceawin is a strong leader and his lore knowledge helped save Betony. He may have accepted the offer to attend the folk moot even without our defeating the wood wight. His people desire to stay in contact with their Woodsmen brethren to the north. He seems wiser than his age and this will help to keep his people safe.

We fulfilled our quest and we kept our word and helped Olwin and Avina with their harvest. We enjoyed their celebrations and Betony is doing better. With each adventure we keep the shadow at bay. I only hope that we are strong enough to keep it so.

Our return to Rhosgobel was uneventful and getting word to Radagast of our success was well received. I am grateful for the wise advice of my patron and I will get to the bottom of this toe ring that I carry. My destiny will lead me to Goblin Town. For now, we go north. and maybe our paths will lead me to the goblins of Mount Gundabad. I wish to know more of my parent’s past.

Radagast bids us on another quest. We head towards the Grey Hills that are north of Mirkwood. We are not to go to directly to Carn Dum. We must find new allies in the Wild Men of Rhudaur. They will not accept us as friends and so we must walk into danger. Our path may take us past Beorn’s lands. With a letter of introduction, we should be able to obtain horses to take honey, honey cakes, shire ale, tools and fine wood to barter for the good will of the wild men. descendants of Rohirrim. . We must find the furs of wolves to return to Bearuwyn, who is a fine woman. I hope the medallion depicting horses will also bring good will.

The thought of Gitsere’s treasure now weighs on my mind. I must find ways to gain the King’s favor so that Mair can be mine one day. I will find those strong iron bound doors in some underground cavern. This I must do.

Our trip first passed through the Old Ford and the Brandybucks. It is a pleasure to see our friends and happy to get more shire pipe weed and mead. These will be good to take north and more furs are to be returned. Meeting Ennalda outside the inn was fortunate as we traveled to Beorn’s home safely.

On our journey to Beorn’s home, It was surprising to hear that Petra was no longer with our friend Baldac. This calls for some special attention from Throrr else Baldac will never get his bride. It will take some Throrr magic to save the day. The introduction to Beorn was uncomfortable. I thought he would thump me good. His love of dwarfs needed mending. Our mentioning of Gandalf helped to win him to our side. Beorn was magnanimous in giving us ponies to take north alone with his special honey cakes.

Our progress North went well on the ponies. My thoughts traveled back often to our ride North from Erebor on me precious goats. They carried us well and hopefully they returned home safe. Tis good to travel and see the world, even when it turns bleak and grey. One night, our camp was met by a haggard warrior named Faranour Farmin, the March Warden. He rode into camp on a stout mountain horse. I hung onto each word that he spoke. The woman amongst the mutants who foretold of our future. A fair-haired and fair-skinned woman who believes our mission will fail or succeed in an amazing fashion. I have no doubt that we will succeed. I must have faith in our fellowship. Was he really a ghost or a mirage? He looked so old and he mentioned his homeland in the Dale. He took us to a watchtower and faded into the light of the dawn. A touch of the shadow lifted from us and our destiny awaits.

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Radagast Reveals All
Thorr's Journal Entry 16

Seeing the man in the green cloak brought dark memories flooding back to me. I am still haunted by the remains of those tortured souls in Laketown and seeing the face of the man who we first slayed for beating the whiskey drinking bear. If only I could have been the one to drive my mattock through his skull, then I may have felt that some of those poor souls could now find peace.

Finding Modgred and learning that he had slain the green cloaked man seemed to have brought some satisfaction. Yet, I only wish I had not been so naive in thinking that he was now to be trusted. We were fools to take him to Tyrant’s Hill and help him to recover from his wounds. His allowing that poor boy to be beaten should have been enough to doubt him. At least we got away before he turned on us.

Coming upon Radagast’s scout, Bargrim, was fortunate. At least we now know the truth. We will need to make amends for letting Modgred return to his home. Radagast has revealed to me the curse of the red stone and I am grateful for his ridding me of this curse. He also took the time to mentor me on how to heal others. It is good to help those that are in pain and it brings hope to my heart to see them get better.

We now must venture forth to find Ceawin and invite him to the next folk moot. This Ingomar seems wise and it will bring more honor to our fellowship to unite these good people. When we return, we can only hope that Radagast has learned how we can help save Gandalf.

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Brave Blood of the Brandybucks
Sang by Elabrimborn

In Southern Mirkwood a halfing heroine is revealed

In her flows the Strength of Buckland’s field

Surrounded by the fog of the Gloom Reeks’ Mists

Her fellowship grows as a dwarf and elf enlist

Confronted by the scaled Sarnlug and its venomed jaw

Poisoned, weakened and a breaths length from its maw

Not elven arrow nor dwarven axe strike the basilisk dead

Till Bentony’s hobbit sword plunged deep in its head

The Brandybucks were not idle in matters of defense

Perhaps due to their proximity to the Old Forest “fence”

And the attack of the White Wolves over the frozen Brandywine River

The heroism of Buckland she’s sure to deliver.

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A Rhyme of Lore of the Orc
Spontaneous poem by Elabrimborn

The Orcs of the mountains
The Heralds of the Dead
Cracking their whips
And bashing others’ heads
Scarred by the Shadow
Twisted by Melkor
They are the Evil Folk
Denizens of Mordor

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From the frying pan into the fire
Betony diary collection 1

When I joined those hunters I thought all I would have to put up with was condescending remarks. But Orcs. We managed to shoot a single deer then walk straight into a troupe of Orcs.

I do not believe in the gods of Man, nor those of the Elves or Dwarves, but I also cannot chalk my lack of luck up to chance either. I must’ve angered some force to face orcs so frequently in one lifetime.
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I had hoped that maybe Orcs were common in the area and I could just swiftly leave said area, but instead Radagast decided I needed to be emissary and convince an Elven king to give aide. An Elven king. Thranduil I believe his name was. Us small folk don’t have royalty. Either way this king was a delight to meet, let alone converse with. Such extravagance to hide what can only be described as inertia.

My mother would have piqued to hear me (rather blatantly) insult a king’s land, populous, and honour. To his face. I shouldn’t have done it, but (for reasons out of my understanding) I apparently got through to him and he has agreed to send a trope of soldiers to protect the hunter’s town. I will be keeping my eye on the trees from long-limbed assailants for the foreseeable future regardless, just in case.
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Well, these. . . mercenaries? that have accompanied King Thranduil’s forces are a surprising duo. A Dwarf and an Elf no less. Though I suppose I have no where to stand as a lone Hobbit wandering so far from the Shire. Their friendship is refreshing though, they must have been through much together. It seems we’ll be travelling together for some time, in that time I wonder if they will value me as they do one another? perhaps I will be safe for that time.
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Bless Elabrimborn and his long limbs, this swamp is not suitable for those of a reasonable height, I owe the Elf for carrying me through that place. The Dwarf Throrr is a boisterous fellow but certainly reliable in the continuous encounters we find ourselves in that involve Orcs, even if he is rather singularly focused on gathering trinkets and such treasure.

I must be mad for I still believe this is better than the shire.
I have been poisoned, chewed on and thoroughly terrified but I still dread encountering anymore family in this world.
Who knew my cousin Donidas would have fallen in with Bilbo Baggins and come so far to set up an inn for what can only feel as a specific attempt to remind me of how large my family is.
As if I needed reminding.

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A small adventure begins
Thorr's Journal Entry 15

Changes are inevitable. Years ago I would not have dreamed of traveling through Mirkwood with a host of elves and now it seems as normal as my time in Laketown. Being alongside my good friend Elabrimborn keeps me focused on our mission and takes my mind away from my beloved Mair. I must do all that I can to win the favor of her father and we must do what we can to save Gandalf and find Aegir.

Having a Brandybuck join our fellowship seems right as rain. This one is a bit odd but she has a wicked bow. Definitely she is kin of Donidas and Dodi. To wander alone out into the world takes courage. These folk always bring surprises. She’ll come out of her shell soon, I’m sure. Haven’t seen a hobbit yet that didn’t enjoy a good drink and some story telling. Spending time with the children at Donidas and Dodi’s place would surely do the trick. We needed that night before we started off to that damnable place.

What foul creatures these are that we hunt. Their forest is eerie and horrendous to pass. All that filth and decay is intolerable. My mallet thirsts even more to crush the heads of those orcs and trolls. Standing before that troll as he bore down on me was surreal. It took all that I had to stand my ground and bury my mallet into him. Thanks the elves for the regalim.

Me only wish we had some left. At least I have the ruby jewel. It means as much to me as the red amulet that Mair gave me. The jewel is so lovely and I keep wanting to hold it close. I can’t share it with anyone, even Mair.

I was hoping for more clues. Finding the green cloaked man at least solves one mystery and puts an end to those that killed the archivists in Erebor. If only I had been the one to have taken him down with my mallet. At least their souls can rest now. There wasn’t much left but at least we have another lead to follow.

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Finding Aegir
Thorr's Journal Entry 14

Our year has begun anew and I was hesitant to leave my Mair after spending a wonderful winter with her. Yet my obligations to our fellowship are just as strong. I knew I must take the new ankle bracelet to Saruman in hopes that we can save our friends.

As I departed Mair, I gave her a long kiss and promised that I would return. I traveled to Laketown to meet up with our fellowship and was met by Elabrimborn. We found that Aegir had already left town. He had omens of ill about his family and left days before we arrived. We made haste to chase to his family cabin and came upon rogues who had taken up residence at the cabin during the winter.

Aegir had happened upon these rogues to learn that his uncle had fled them during the winter. Aegir made them pay for their misdeeds and again was off before us. I am surprised by Elabrimborn’s compassion as I was ready to throw them to the wolves. Again, we gave chase after Aegir.

In our pursuit, we next came upon Frar the Beardless and a peddler of shovels in a heated argument. Elabrimborn was able to negotiate a peace and befriended the peddler’s son. Helping Frar to build the road through forest helps all of our people. Hopefully, my side bargain to aide Frar will help bring more people to build this needed road.

We now take the peddler and his son on to the House at the Ford. As the norm in these dark woods, we ran afoul from our path and were fortunate to find a dwarven safe-hold. Speaking the magic words to open it, we took refuge. As is the madness of this forest, our peddler was drawn out into the night. Elabrimborn and I took a risk leaving the son alone as we searched for the father.

Again we crossed paths with scoundrels and ettercaps. If only those scoundrels who looked a lot like Aegir’s people would have listened, we would not have been forced to take their lives. A grave lesson that they did not learn.

Meeting up with the elves was a pleasant surprise and it was good to return and visit with them. Learning that Aegir had also been with the elves brought hope to our hearts. We must not tally here long as he could be heading into great danger alone. For now, we rest and heal from our battle.

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