New Companions

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Starlock 121

Starlock has a newer deck inspired by this one: New Companions

New Companions

Call me Starlock. Most do. I am a man of no great import or skill, and I cannot say why the king of the silvan elves named me as his emissary. I travel with others, a Dúnedain, an elf, and a dwarf. They are well-trained and knowledgeable, and I will rely on them to see me through the difficult paths to come. I cannot say how much I will write in this journal, but it is my good hope to chronicle my adventures through this middle earth. Should I fall to the shadow before the end, perhaps someone else will take heart from these missives and set himself a task worthy of song.

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Aug 26, 2021 Starlock 121

A Passage Through Mirkwood

It was a closely fought battle today, but bloody and bruised, we found Beorn's Path. However, a moment before we stumbled upon the secret trail, we came upon one of Ungoliant's Spawn. That spider was the foulest enemy I have ever fought, but as the silvan elves would tell you, I am new to these parts and have not yet tested my strength. Why King Thranduil entrusted me with such an important missive, I do not know. Yet here it is next to me, a small parchment rolled and sealed with the king's symbol. My companions are friendly enough, if grim. One is Legolas himself, and I am honored to be in his presence. The other two I did not know previous to this quest. Gimli, the dwarf lord, is gruff in spirit but hardy in nature. He seems to have some great friendship with the elf Legolas. My other companion, a Dúnedain by the name of Strider, is our leader. He was not chosen to be our leader, not as such, but the other members of this coterie deferred to him in all matters. So I thought it only prudent to do likewise. Strider is quiet, though friendly. I would not have thought so before today, but he is also robust and wise in all manner of lore. It was his idea to seek Beorn's Path, a secret trail that cuts through Mirkwood. Strider claims it is named after some mystical creature known to transform itself into a bear when angered. To be honest, I hardly believe it, but Strider speaks with such conviction. He is a difficult man to ignore. Perhaps this Beorn exists. Who can say? The night wears thin, and I must rest. My watch is nearly over. Tomorrow, we continue our journey to Lórien. I only hope we escape the attention of the foul beasts that call this place home.

Aug 26, 2021 Starlock 121

Journey Along the Anduin

We emerged from Mirkwood at midday, prepared to travel by river to Lórien. As we approached our raft, however, we were ambushed by a hill-troll of enormous size. I said before that the spiders of Mirkwood were the most fell beasts I had ever encountered. I was wrong. The hill-trolls of the Ettenmoors are terrible things to behold. I cannot say why, but Strider, upon beholding the creature, charged with such a rage. There must be some hidden wound in that man inflicted by one of these beasts, but I cannot say what it is. It is unfortunate that Strider did not step more lightly, for following the hill-troll was a band of orcs, Dol Guldur by the looks of them. They screamed in their dread speech and did grievous hurt to Legolas. The attack was relentless. Goblins from the Misty Mountains attacked us from behind. The forces of the shadow laid a well-planned ambush, and there was little we could do but survive. The sky darkened as a flock of crows flew overhead, but Legolas and Gimli, beneath the shadows, drove back the orcs and goblins. Their whirring and swiping was a sight to behold, but it was not enough. More orcs and goblins poured down the hillside, overwhelming us with superior force. I would be lying if I said I was not scared. I was terrified and made my peace with death. Then, to my utter disbelief, a man, bent over and leaning on a staff, appeared by Strider. He uttered words I cannot remember, and the hill-troll tumbled to the ground. It was enough, for the orcs and goblins both reeled back in surprise. We ran to the raft and let the river sweep us away. The strangest thing, however, I looked around, and the old man was nowhere to be seen. I had little time to think on it, for I noticed that the forces of shadow had recovered from their shock and were in fast pursuit, shooting bolts from their dark crossbows. It was too much for us, and soon our raft was riddled with holes. We debarked on the shore and made our stand. It was an ugly, bloody battle, and I am surprised I still live to write the tale. Yet somehow we survived. After the fighting was done, and the sun set, I asked Legolas who the man was who came to our aid and then disappeared. He named him Gandalf the Gray, a man of immense power and wisdom. I said I had never heard of him, but the elf only laughed in his high, melodic voice. Few have, he said, outside the great men of our age, but Gandalf is a power not to be ignored. I shook my head, still disbelieving our luck.

Aug 28, 2021 Starlock 121

Escape From Dol Guldur

We trudged along the Anduin for days on end, hiding from orcs and goblins. I do not think we would have made it so far as Lorien if it were not for Strider and his woodlore, but make it we did. There was small trouble at the gateway, for elves and dwarves have a deep suspicion of one another, but both Legolas and Strider stood in honor for Gimli, and the elves relented. The realm of Lorien is like nothing I have witnessed. It is both beautiful and tragic. Beautiful because the mellyrn trees are ancient and regal, bathing the forest in their crisp, golden shadows. Tragic because the elves of Lothlórien sing melodies that would make even the strongest man weep. I could not help but wonder how long such a bulwark could last in these darkening days. We rested in Lorien for a time outside of memory. The Lady herself greeted us and thanked us for safely delivering Master Elrond’s missive. I do not know what the missive said, but soon after the Lady Galadriel tasked us with entering the wilderness beyond her protection to spy on the workings of Dol Guldur. We left the Lady’s forest as the moon rose over the Misty Mountains and followed Strider upon paths rarely trodden. We crossed the Anduin once more and traveled into the vales neighboring Mirkwood. All the way to Amon Lanc we journeyed, nearly a fortnight in all. Perhaps it was because we were tired from the day’s trekking, but that first night beneath the lush boughs of Mirkwood, L