Monday, February 11, 2013

008 - The fords over the Isen

There shall be no separate stories for the stop-over at Glittering Halls. Lord Gimli welcomed the company and his dear friend Halin. Much role playing happened as the characters tried to established whether good quality wine could be found in a dwarven mountainehome. Arnadil also attempted to snatch magic weapons from Gimli: which didn't worked. 

The company has reached the Isen River.

October 3rd FA 15 - The Edge of civilization

After a stop in the Glittering halls over the holiday of Yaviere, the company resumed their journey to the fords of the Isen. To their left, the peaks of the white mountains while to their left they could see the spire of Orthanc and the extreme south-end of the misty mountains. The journey happened without incident, although at a slower pace since they now had a covered cart that was to limit their overland speed. They were also escorted by four Rohirims who much enjoyed the opportunities to see the inside of the Glittering caves.

The arrived on the banks of the Isen on the third day of October. The temperature was cool and dry. A wind is blowing from the East. What was once a wild area has changed substantially. Since King Elessar has pledged to rebuild Tharbad, more overland traffic is coming through Rohan. The crossing of the Dunland is complicated by the tumultuous history between the Rohirims and the Dunlendings. King Lessar brokered a peace agreement with the Chieftains of the south, but this peace is very fragile. According to the treaty, the Chieftains agree to leave all travellers unmolested for as long as they remain on the road that runs from the fords to the town of Tharbad. It is not unheard, however, that some tribes have collected tolls for the passage of caravans through their lands. This toll is not legal according to the treaty, but there is not a lot that can be done without starting a war with the wildmen.

Because of the tenuous situation through Dunland, a company of mercenaries called the "The red hand" is operating in the area. They are offering an armed escort to the tradesmen willing to travel to Tharbad, and back to Rohan. Much of the transport of goods is done by the sea lane up the Gwathlo river, however. The company is large enough that it deters the wildmen from approaching travelers. The trip to Tharbad is a 100 leagues journey, or some 25 days of slow slug with carts. The company leaves the fords of the Isen approximatively every 50 days.

Because the departure to Tharbad is rare, the Rohan side of the fords has transformed into a small village of temporary dwellers and opportunistic merchants. There is also a small contingent of soldiers of Gondor (Rohirim are not allowed there as part of the treaty). It is thought that there will be another departure overland in something like 20 days or so, and this should be the last for the year.

Across the fords, a small tribe of wildmen has setup camp across the road. They claim that they do not belong to any of the signatory clans and thus are in their right to demand a toll. These wildmen have been deterring travelers from entering Dunland without an escort since the last spring. The rumour in the village is that they may be paid by "The red hand" to convince travelers to pay for their services.

The company considered the options: winter is coming, they have food for about 30 days and they should be making haste if they want to get to Annuminas within a reasonable timeline. They plan to cross the Isen on their own on the following day, talk (or sneer) their way through the wildmen opposite from them, and make for Tharbad on their own.

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