After my recent activities at Dwaling, I returned to Sardan at the High Crossing to see what other tasks needed doing. Sardan sent me to speak with Gaelnarthan who, indeed, had a task for me:
“There are some ruins on the hill above the turn in the river of which we only recently discovered the purpose. There was a lighthouse there, believe it or not, to guide ships as they made the turn from the lake into the Baranduin.
The keeper of that flame was tasked with recording all of the wrecks and tragedies he witnessed from his perch so search parties could be sent to attempt to retrieve what was lost. But in the waning days of the kingdom, they could not have been focused on recovering too much.
Head to the lighthouse and see if you can find any old papers from those log-books. If we can get a lead as to where some of the wrecks happened, we might be able to recover some ancient valuables.”
I travelled the short way to the ruins. There wasn’t a lot to see, tumbled down stones, a few pillars remaining and, of course, the usual wildlife that had taken up residence. I had a good look around and eventually came across some, nearly ruined, papers that seemed to be what Gaelnarthan was looking for. I returned and handed the bundle over for his study. After a short meal and a satisfying nap, I returned to see what he had made of the papers.
“After much time and patience, I was able to read what was on the page you found. It was very faded and in a bad state. I nearly destroyed it trying to get the last few sentences.
It was from near the end of the kingdom and detailed a shipment of keys from down the river to the Rangers encamped here. They knew they were leaving but they wanted to safeguard as many of their treasures as possible. The locks came on a separate ship that arrived safely. The keys never made it. They still swapped the locks out, believing it was safer that no one could get in. One of the doors locked was to the basement of the lighthouse itself. We need to get inside urgently, for an evil has made its den there.
This page gives the location of the wreck that should contain those keys. Search the waters and bring back whatever containers you can find.”
Off I went down to the Baranduin. I have to say that the task was a pleasure involving as it did a great deal of swimming. Unlike other hobbits, we Stoors enjoy the water. I soon collected the containers and returned them to Gaelnarthan.
“I was able to open all of the containers you recovered and found the key in the final one. These are great tidings for us as we can finally go on the offensive.
“As I mentioned before you left to get the containers, we have been constantly harassed by a creature we believe lives beneath the ruins of the lighthouse. The door is locked so we cannot enter. We have found no other entrance. At this point we do not know how it comes and goes. We are sure that is where it lives though.
We have lost enough good men to this creature. Take this key, venture beneath the lighthouse and slay whatever you find down there. Do not return until we are safe from its threat.”
Aha, a bit of fighting to be done, splendid!
I would like to boast a little here and tell you of the mighty creature I overcame, of the long and hard fight and of all the clever moves I made to defeat it. Truth to tell, it was a weak creature and I felt a little sorry for it after I sent it to whatever afterlife it might have.
After I left the lighthouse, I made a quick foray down to Barad Tharsir thinking to collect a little loot. There, I had a moment of serendipity as I encountered a fellow kinmate, Dhakhaz. Ooh, he looked a bit scary in that mask, I think I shall call him Beetlehead!
He told me he was a Runekeeper and gave me a long and boring explanation of what a Runekeeper does. Far too complicated for me. Bash ’em with the shield, stick ’em with the pointy end and, if possible, kick ’em in the nadgers as Great Aunt Keli taught me.
Anyway, we decided to team up as he had a task to do in Barad Tharsir – he had been asked to find a room hidden within the ruins of Barad Tharsír and discover what is within.
The room was close by and we entered to discover an ancient tomb. While we were examining it (ok looting it) we were disturbed by a brigand called Bart Madgett. He was a bit full of himself and didn’t realise what he was dealing with. Whilst I engaged him and held his attention, Dhakhaz was busy preparing a spell of great potency which he proceeded to call down upon Bart’s head. Goodness, I wish he had warned me first, I got fairly singed from the afterblast! Hmm, maybe a Runekeeper can be a useful ally after all.
We reported back to Sardan who told us
“You have done much to aid us here and for that I am grateful. But this Colossus and Barad Tharsír are but minor points within Evendim. Annúminas to the west and the estates to the north hold more value than the ruins here. Follow the road north and then head west at the crossroads until you reach Tinnudir. There, speak to Orchalwë to learn more.”
So, Tinnudir next. I shall journey there after a day or so of resting, repairing my equipment and selling my loot.