I made my way to Bree to meet with the man called Strider. Truth to tell, the journey was long and dull. After leaving Stock and crossing over the bridge to the East Road, there was nothing along the way save a small hunter’s camp run by a man called Adso. I also noticed, to the south, a desolate land that I immediately resolved to avoid! So, I arrived in Bree.
Without pausing to explore, I went to the Prancing Pony as instructed to speak with Barliman Butterbur. He told me that Strider kept a room at the inn and that he was there now.
“The Dourhands’ lord fled to Bree-land after his defeat, and not by mere chance. I see the hand of the Captain of the Nine in all of these affairs, in the west, in the Shire, and in Bree-land. We must unravel the thread of his plans, and I believe I know how” Strider said.
“To the east of Bree, there is a Blackwold camp which my men have been watching closely. A shadow has recently spread across the camp…I believe it is here that Amdir has gone, and this dwarf-lord as well. There we must go, and there we must end Amdir’s life, if he can still be called living. We will wait for night-fall and then make our move against the Blackwolds”.
Ah, we wait for nightfall, time then for a meal or two.
That evening we set out. Strider and his kinsmen, Torthann and Lenglinn, led me to the outskirts of the brigand camp. Strider beckoned to me and told me to go with Torthann and search for Amdir. He said he and Lenglinn would find a back way in.
As we made our way throught the camp, we found some of the brigands cowering in fear. Some however, attacked us; but with the ranger’s help, we defeated them.
Torthann sensed the source of the brigands’ fear in the southern corner of the camp. We investigated. A Wight! That is what the brigands feared! Fortunately we were able to defeat it. But why was it there? Where did it come from?
We found Amdir, but, as we feared, it was too late. Amdir’s transformation was complete. And there, with Amdir, stood a black rider and a mysterious dwarf. We thought it might be our end as well. But suddenly, Strider and Lenglinn appeared from the shadows and the other two fled leaving poor Amdir to deal with us.
Later, I spoke with Strider again. We reflected upon the events at the Blackwolds’ camp, and he said:
“I am curious to know who the dwarf you encountered at the Blackwolds’ camp was. Dwarves are by nature honourable and cannot be dominated by the will of any. Why this one would serve the Enemy, I cannot say. Worse yet is the appearance of the Nazgûl. I must go watch the East Road, for I am expecting some travellers and now fear they may be in danger. Would you travel to Combe and speak to a constable there named Underhill? You may know him already…stout little fellow who loiters about town centre. You may suggest to Underhill that he investigate the Blackwolds’ old hideout”.
We bade each other farewell and I set off to Combe, a small settlement to the east of Bree.
I found Constable Underhill just outside an inn in Combe and recounted Strider’s message. With some encouragement, the constable agreed and we set off to investigate the brigands’ old hideout.
In one of the deeper chambers of the Blackwolds hideout, I encountered the mysterious dwarf threatening a brigand. The dwarf gravely wounded the brigand, then fled, commanding his dwarves to attack me. We beat them off and Constable Underhill chased them from the cave.
Meanwhile, I spoke with the dying brigand. He revealed that the Blackwolds were being paid by both someone from the south and agents of the Witch-realm of Angmar. When he tried to reform the band without allegiance to either, the Pale Dwarf struck him down. I told the Constable about this and he said:
“You should take that news on to your friend Strider in Bree-town. If he sent you out here, he likely wants to know what we found! He’ll probably be at The Prancing Pony. Those Rangers surely like their beer, and the Pony has the best!”
Well, what a to-do in Bree. While I was away investigating the Blackwold brigands, five Nazgûl attacked The Prancing Pony in search of four travellers from the Shire, which Strider had under his protection. Strider has told you that there are a total of nine Riders, and that he must know the location of the other four.
Strider has asked that I speak with Lenglinn, and learn if he has seen any other Nazgûl passing out of the Shire.
But, first, I will spend a day here in Bree recovering and exploring the town.