Tuesday, February 26, 2013

013 - An audience with the Commander of Tharbad

Oct 14th, FA 15

The company finally reached Tharbad in the waning lights of mid-October afternoon. The air was heavy, but the freezing rain had seceded for the time being. Tharbad, once a mighty city, appeared like a walled enclave build on the bank of the Gwathlo river. From their point of view, only an imposing wall with matching fortifications could be seen. There were no suburban farming, no traffic in and out of the city. Maybe a dozen of workers laboring on the fortification itself. The road met the wall at a drawbridge that was yet to be functional, and a large barbacane structure with its porticullis left up. A small group of watchmen met the company as they arrived. 

They exchanged the usual formalities. Arnadil specified that the company was on a royal errand and wanted to meet with the commander of Tharbad to discuss their business. The watchmen let the company through and described how to find the old King's house from the city's entrance. 

The inside of the city was desolated. The bulk of the old city was still left as flooded ruins: with rubbles and 400 years old wooden beam strewn across the old alleyways. The main road was clear, and in heavy use. It lead to the old bank, where many workers were hurrying in and out. Passed the old bank, the company reached the south bridge which was newly renovated. Again, the porticullis was left up and the company passed without interrogations. To their left was the old port, where there were some labor done by longshoremen, and to their right was a small group of newly renovated buildings. One of which was a large Alehouse, the other was the old King's house. Kasper, Galdor and Finbert decided to let Arnadil do his job and meet with the commander while they were kicking back and plotting their next mischief (or just find food). 

The door of the old King's house was opened by the gruffiest butler that Arnadil ever set eyes on. The an was probably an aide-de-camp converted into butler for this assignment. He invited Arnadil, Halin and Araliniel to enter the manor and be seated while the commander was getting ready to met with them. 

Arnadil presented the letter from Lord Carondor, stating that the Palantir commission was on a royal errand and were to be supported by all reasonable means in their mission. Commander Ciril was a tough looking man: amputated above the elbow shortly after the battle of Pelenor fields, he proceeded to fight alongside the king in the battle of Morranon gate shortly after. His distinguished records earned him esteem in high places and landed him as the commander of the most important Gondorian settlement in the North at the moment. Commander Ciril told them that he could not spare men, and very little resources at this time. He told them that winter was coming fast and that it would be reckless to travel into the North at this time. He offered them lodging for winter quarters, stating that Tharbad could use men of valor for the coming winter months. 

Arnadil and Araliniel interrogated Ciril further about Annuminas. They found that he had sent a party to scout the ruined city two years ago. He found the city to be in a desperate state of disrepair: after about 1000 years of abandonment, this was not to be surprising. He also stated that the old library was still standing, but that he doubted that any books would be salvageable from the building. He must not have known of the sealed underground library, and the company members didn't think it important to let him know about this detail. 

Finally, commander Ciril invited the company to lodge in the old King's house and the old bank while they intended to remain in Tharbad. Arnadil, Halin and Araliniel took their leave and left to rejoin the rest of the company at the Alehouse. 


  1. I resent the statement that we were plotting mischief. Although as it turned out that may have been what we were doing.

    1. To be fair, I changed the text to reflect this. Thanks for keeping me honest ;)

    2. I was just teasing of course. Some of the characters were up to something. I was going for food and was kindly reminded at the bar what we had learned from the oracle.

  2. and if Mark looks close enough at that picture he may see the shop where I bought my SPQR shirt.