The Darkening of Mirkwood

Down by the Riverside

After spending a night in the halls of the Elven King, the group awakened to find a frugal but filling breakfast waiting for them. After finishing their meal, they were summoned to Thranduil’s private study where he told them that after their conversation the night before he has decided to send a small expeditionary force to the south to aid the Woodmen in whatever perils they may face and reconnoiter the activities of the Shadow. Following this short audience the party was instructed to gather their things and were escorted to the banks of the nearby Forest River where they boarded a small ship bound for the king’s mountain palace in the east.

Their travels upon the river were mostly without event, with the exception of witnessing a couple of great cataracts along the river around which the elven crew guiding the boat had to port the vessel. The only other unusual event was one night when the group spotted an unusual light hovering over the south bank of the river. Telearel said he saw this same sort of unusual light in Stillwater a few weeks before, however when one of the boat elves left the boat to investigate the sight nothing was found except a few half-eaten fish.

Things got hairy when the group ported around the last waterfall, and ran into a mixed bunch of orcs and trolls traveling south through the forest toward the river. The largest troll of the bunch was in charge and actually appeared to have the mental faculties to lead, much to the chagrin of the group. The leader attacked the party while the other two trolls put down whatever was in the cage they were carrying and attacked the boat elves who had drawn themselves up into a battle formation. After a long struggle the team finally managed to bring down the behemoth, but not before he seemed to give some final commands to the two remaining trolls who were engaged with the wood elves. One of the trolls broke off the attack, ran back to pick up the cage, and started running for the river. The elves, who had not fared quite so well with the two hill trolls, continued to engage the remaining troll and the party worked on bringing down the rest of the group. Omund and Telerel peppered the fleeing troll with arrows while Olo ran after it with his short sword and Pytr swept off the remaining orcs with his axe. Olo managed to catch up to the troll in mid-stream and land a few solid hits before the troll dropped the cage and was finally swallowed up by the river. Whatever sort of beast was in the cage was obviously not accustomed to water for it lashed about in the cage as it sank and let out a hideous roar and belched out noxious fumes before is sank beneath the water and was also swept away downstream. Due to his close proximity to the beast Olo took a blast full in the face, but managed to overcome monster’s vile effusion and made it back to shore to join the others. Upon rejoining the group Olo realized that they were busy questioning the troll leading the group who, while mortally wounded, was still alive. When asked why it was there and what was in the cage, it just mocked the party and informed them that his mistress was a mighty one and that they could not resist ‘her.’ With that the group ended the beast’s suffering.

The battle was now over, but three elves had fallen in the fight and their comrades gave them a proper funeral before boarding the boat and traveling the final leg to the palace. On the way to the palace the group did find debris which looked like the remains of a wooden cage caught among rocks in the river, however the beast was nowhere to be found. All that was found were teeth embedded in the wood, presumably from the monster. That night they finally arrived at the mountain palace of the Elven King where they succumbed to much needed sleep.

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