Saturday, March 9, 2013

016 - The road to and through the Shire

Walking in the wake of a winter drake

October 15th to 28th (map)

The company resumed their long journey to Annuminas on the morning of October 15th. Provisions were purchased for the coming 10 days. With the early light of Fall, they set out across the Gwathlo river, heading north to Sarnford: a fording point into the Shire.

The road was reasonable, and the weather cool. Finbert expressed his concerns that it was unusual and worrisome to see this much frost and snow on the ground south of the Shire at this time of year. His concern kept on growing as the accumulation on the ground began to increase. His chief concern was that the apple season may have been shortened, but to each its own fears.

On the morning of the 20th, they ran into Irina Took, bounder of the Shire. She was returning home after a previous incident where she diverted northmen sheep rustlers from raiding around Sarnford. Finbert immediately recognized her as a local celebrity: both for her singing voice and for the key role that she played in fighting back against Saruman. Irina also recognized Finbert as a young and reckless Brandibuck that she knew had been sent to Gondor to tame his wild streak. Finbert introduced Irina to the company in minute details. The company was glad to see a friendly face, as they all were getting a little tired of each other's company.

Irina invited the company to her home. To her husband's dismay, she prepared a large meal, and invited them to spend the night. She explained to her guests that she was on the look-out for a winter drake hatchling that was thought to have descended from the Blue Mountain during the spring. The bounders and the rangers suspected that the drake was prowling beyond the northern boundary of the Shire. There are reasons to believe that the drake had entered the Shire in a number of incident to steal sheeps and other livestock.

The company expressed concern over the possibility to run into a drake, no matter how young, on their way to Annuminas. Halin, with his usual wisdom, suggested that Astor be given to someone capable to wield it in combat. Finbert also echoed this opinion. Araliniel confessed that she found the sword to be a burden for her to bear, and put it down on the table for all to see. Arnadil decided that he would wield the sword for the time being, and that it would be given to the king upon their return to Minas Tirith. Sir Galdor, a bit disappointed  noisily acquiesced to the leader of the company and offered a toast to the road ahead.

In the Shire

Crossing the Shire happened without problems. On the 25th, Finbert invited the company to his family hole-in-the-ground and had a feast prepared. The company member will remember this meal for a long time. By the time that the company reached the northern edge of the Shire, in a small village called Long-Cleaves, it was October 28th. The snow on the ground was thick. Looking out to the north, the rolling hills of the Shire gave way to the lowlands where Annuminas lay. The company entrusted their cart to a local farmer that Irina suggested. Had one last Shire-grade meal and went to bed. The next few days will be rustic compared to this (but probably less expensive to go through).


  1. sorry I wasn't as responsive at the visit to Brandybuck hall. Ithinkt he sound had gone a bit wonky. I was wanting to see if I could get a dinner with Uncle Merry and cousin Perigrin (we can't call him Pip now that he is so important a Hobbit.)

    1. No problems. I sortof accelerated while in the Shire as I wanted to get to Annuminas early in the gaming session. There will always be the hero's return...