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Transfer Durin's Day & The Long Dark of Interlull


There are older and fouler things than foxes in the deep places of Leicestershire. To approach this journey like some Hobbit’s walking party would be folly. Alas, our riders were not on their guard. We swiftly took the bridge - the Alessar struck down the enemy’s fiendish outriders – but could not advance to the second hall.

Lord Wengermir, already weary after holding the lines against the hordes of Istangard mid-week, was forced to shuffle the ranks for the battle at hand. Ramsagast the Red was red-carded no more, while Sanogolin (son of Sanogondolin, Lord of Sanogondor) slotted into the front lines. While we had hoped that Glorfindel’s absence might go unnoticed, his stay in the Houses of Healing made us thin - like butter spread over too much bread.

As battle commenced, neither army looked particularly keen to strike. Then, as our riders began to press on through the thickets of Leicesthlorien, Laurentlas was nearly skewered by an enemy pikeman. The collision made him grow blind, and in that blindness the enemy grew strong. Just after the Alessar gave the Rohirrim a 1-0 advantage, the foxes of Leicesthlorien poured their malice and greed into the back of Samwise Szczesnee’s net to level the field of battle.

Seeing imminent doom through the Palantir in his magic hat, Lord Wengermir called on Charadhras to relieve our wounded centre half just before the whistle signaled for halftime.

That whistle would be found wanting shortly thereafter, as the Tom Fool of a ref kept his forked tongue behind his teeth to deny Sandheaver Cazorla a clear penalty. The sides began to trade glancing blows at either end of the battlefield. Shin guards were splintered, and the tide appeared to turn. Sandheaver launched a mighty effort wide, and Ramsagast nearly followed his nose to a second goal. Alas, our eagerness (and perhaps our love for the Halfling’s leaf) clouded our judgment, and Leicesthlorien threatened to swallow our armies whole. The Ulloak-hai, hungry for man-flesh after their appetizing equalizer, bent their every thought on taking three points.

Wengermir lit the beacons once more, calling upon Poldomir and Oxlade-Celeborn for aid. Though they made great efforts to answer, the King’s Power was stern. As the Rohirrim charged forward again and again, their spirits outpaced their limbs. Mesut Oakenshield was betrayed by his ankle just before Oxlade-Celeborn found himself in similar circumstances. In the end, neither side could muster the strength or the will to dominate all three points.

Durin’s Day

With performances leaving much to be desired in the run of battles that began our campaign, our eyes were fixed on the transfer market. The men and women of Arsedor longed to see reinforcements knighted under our banners. The beacons were most certainly lit, though none could say who might come to our aid.

Determined to discover what dealings might be lurking on the horizon, I rode swiftly to Skysengard to seek council from Sarjiman the White.

Smoke rises from London Colney. The hour grows late and Gandalf the Red rides to Skysengard seeking my counsel. For that is why you have come, is it not…my old friend?”

Sarjiman” I said, bowing to greet the head of the White Council. I confessed my suspicions that the Manczgul might scupper Wengermir’s advances for Radamel Falcao.

“You are sure of this?”

Beyond any doubt.”

“So, the Knee of Falcao has been found.”

Indeed, all these long weeks it was in Monaco, under Wengermir’s very nose. But there was still time, I added, for Arsedor to make an approach.

“Time?!” he scoffed, “What time do you think we have?”

I began to sense something afoot. The years had taken their toll on Sarjiman the White, though none of his servants at Skysengard had the courage to tell him.

“Van Gaaldur has regained much of his former strength. He cannot yet take physical form, but his spirit has lost none of its potency. Concealed within his fortress, the Witch-King of Traffmar sees all – his gaze pierces cloud, shadow, earth and Twitter. You know of what I speak, Gandalf – a great Eye…lidless…wreathed in flame. He is gathering all mercenaries to him. Very soon he will summon an army great enough to launch an assault upon Middle-Table.”

The Eye of Gaalron.” Suddenly, the fog that had clouded my judgment was lifted. “You know this? How?”

Sarjiman the White stood before his throne. “I have seen it.”

Upon a plinth in an adjacent chamber, he revealed to me the source of his “connections” to the transfer market – a iPalantir, one of the old seeing stones. They were not all accounted for, and therefore perilous to gaze upon. I told him as much, but the old wizard was unconvinced.

“Why should we fear to use it? The hour is later than you think. Gaalron’s forces are already moving. The number 9 shirt has already left Minas Oldgul.”

“The Nine!” But how could he know such things? The situation became clearer with each passing second.

“They will find Falcao…and dress him in it.”

sarjiman the white

I knew then that there was no time to waste. I turned my back to Sarjiman, intent on returning to warn Wengermir of what I had just discovered. But as I approached the threshold, the chamber doors came crashing together. I had walked headlong into a trap.

“You did not seriously think that Arsedor could content with the financial power of Gaalron? There are none who can. Against the power of Manczdor there can be no victory. We must join with him, Gandalf. We must join with Gaalron. It would be wise, my friend.”

Disgusted, I turned to face my mentor. “Tell me, ‘friend’, when did Sarjiman the wise abandon reason for MADNESS?!”

I fought the White Wizard with all of my strength, but there was a power in the walls of Skysengard that rendered my spells fruitless.

I was imprisoned at the very peak of Skysengard as Durin’s day wound to a close. Then, perhaps by chance or the will of the Valar, a messenger found his way to my lofty cell. Taking care not to alert my captors, I passed these words on to Wengermir:

O Welbereth! Goalthoniel!

Long is thy stride and swift thy step!

Kick on! Kick on! We sing to thee

Find your new home in London Colney.

For it was then, in the final hour of Durin’s Day, that Wengermir brought forth Dwalin Welbereth from the clutches of Van Gaaldur.

The Long Dark of Interlull

With the wastelands of Interlull fast approaching, despair nearly took me. Imprisoned at Skysengard by my old friend, I could not take part in welcoming Welbereth to our keep or in discussing the dregs of news that came our way. In time, my dear friend Gwaihir swept over the Misty Mountains and lifted me from my skyward prison. I come back to you now – at the turn of the tide.

Welbereth may not be the signing we longed for at the dawn of Durin’s Day, and there are certainly other reinforcements that many would have Wengermir acquire. Many among our ranks will wish that he had never come to us. They will say that other signings should have happened.

So do all who live in such inflated markets, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to chant for the players that are given to us.

An affluent enemy lurks at our borders.

We travel light. Let’s hunt some orc.

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Tags: Welbereth, Van Gaaldur, Leicesthlorien

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