This week’s lost text is from the champ Schezar of Esgaroth from Landroval server. You may recall a previous submission he posted about the Icy Crevasse skirmish. This time he is telling us about the instance “Fangorn’s Edge”.
Declassified report from the 17th Scout Unit, under the advisory command of Lord Elladan of the House of Elrond, yet authorized for independent ranging and errantry in the Untamed Lands. Written in the year 3019 of the Third Age, during the War of the Ring.
To the remaining Wise Ones of the White Council,
We bring you greetings in haste. It is with deep regret that we must inform you of the truth of our previous reports – Saruman the White, also formerly of the council, has turned against the Free Peoples. Even now, he is gathering allies unto himself of the most monstrous nature – not just Dunlendings of the Dragon Clan, but also orcs, and trolls, and apprentices of the darkest arts. It would appear that the wizard aims to make himself a Power, to rival even the Dark Lord in the Black Land.
Nan Curunir as it once was is all but annihilated. The armies of Isengard have been hard at work hacking and cutting down the trees that once stood beautifully here. Smoke rises daily from the Ring of Isengard, and we fear that the trees have burned to feed Saruman’s engines of war – where birdsong could once be heard, there is naught now but the sound of grinding machinery, and the whips of yrch. The wizard has been turning his attention to the ancient forges of the Numenoreans who raised Orthanc – for weapons of war, and for other horrors we have yet to witness.
And yet this is not the only mischief that has become known to us. Orcs that walk as tall as Men, bearing the mark of the White Hand – more and more of them depart daily, in steadily increasing numbers, heading for the old forest of Fangorn. They call themselves the fighting uruk-hai, some monstrous product of foul breeding pits, as in the horrific days of ancient Angband. Now that the wizard’s vale has been completely consumed, he sends his trolls and these uruk-hai to establish a new lumber mill at the very edge of Fangorn itself – these machines, this madness, Saruman has called ‘industry.’ It has already begun. If left unchecked, his creatures will spread across the woods like locusts, ravaging and burning all in their path.
We encountered the man who was traveling with the Grey Company – the Barding, whom you sent to aid them and the Riders of the Mark. This man of Esgaroth has already parted ways with the Dunedain, riding hard and fast for Fangorn despite our warnings, while the rangers continue on to seek their chieftain. Despite the clearness of his purpose and the sternness in his gaze, we fear that the Barding rides to nothing more than his own doom – for the armies of Isengard are vast, and far too bloodthirsty for any single man, woman, or elf to face alone. He is likely lost, and slain by now.
Again, we beseech you – send aid. The Free Peoples here are already hard-pressed from all sides, while Saruman’s minions consume the resources of Fangorn to fuel the flames of war. We shall continue to do what we can, but we fear there is no more hope left – neither for the beauty of the forest, nor for the free folk.
Elbereth have mercy upon us all.
- Unit 17
* * * * *
* * * * *
He is angry again.
Wormtongue knows. Wormtongue always listens and hears. My lord has different ways of showing his anger, with the power of his voice. When it is raised, he is but showing his authority, and there is less to fear, no… there is less to fear than when it softens, and it twists inside of you. Willing you to destroy yourself, with no gesture from him.
“Worm! Come, now. Our guest has arrived!”
I can only but obey. Faithful Grima always obeys. The master’s resplendent robe of many colors swirls as he strides forward into the hall, and faithful Grima follows. Yes. I follow to see the blood-red carpet sullied by the mud and filth of two of master’s creations. His uruk-hai, standing tall and terrible. A smaller orc has been shoved down to his knees between them, groveling, trembling, awaiting the worst. Covered in a mess of blood and dirt, a single blade of grass poking out from the muddied stain upon his left ear.
My lord does not even care to learn the filth’s name. His voice is soft and commanding, inexorable, and all of us who hear can do naught but obey. “Tell me what happened,” he says, almost kindly, even with nothing but coldness in his gaze. “Only this time, strive to make some sense. Do not lie to your lord and master. How is it possible that one man – one single man – was responsible for the destruction of my lumber camp?”
The lesser orc’s eyes are wild with maddened terror. In sharp contrast, his voice is a desperate pig’s whine, unbearable in its snorting and pathetic cadence. “It, it weren’t no man at all, m’lord Sharkey sir! No! No! It were a demon, a demon with flames upon ‘is back, and th’ star of the bloody-’anded Tarks upon his breast! I swear upon me own blood, please, please believe me—”
* * * * *
* * * * *
“Be silent!” The orc cowers at the harsh snap of my lord’s voice, deadlier than any whip. “Clearly you are nearing the end of your limited use to me. But before I decide how best to reward you for your service, you will explain again. How did a single man – not a demon, a Man - overcome my own handpicked Uruk-hai? How could he defeat Undurz, or even Gathaz and the others? Those very trolls whom I birthed from the fire-pits?!”
The orc’s eyes are wide, teetering upon the edge of insanity. “Th’ demon,” he continues to insist, able to do little more than mewl helplessly. “He had help, y’see. He wore tha’ Tarkish star on his breast, and ‘e had them dragon’s eyes and th’ heat of flames upon ‘is back… the trees. Th’ trees, m’lord Sharkey! They rose up an’ helped him! All on account of him stoppin’ us from choppin’ them down like ye ordered! Ye ordered us to, master! He stopped th’ axes of Undurz with his awful blades, then the trees – they rose up and roared!”
I stare in wonder at this creature that now shivers uncontrollably before us, at one point scrambling to flee, yet caught and bodily thrown down again by the uruk-hai at his side. I look upon my master, whose eyes are unreadable, inhuman, and… troubled? It cannot be so. My lord knows all, sees all. He must know that this single orc, this sack of filth before us, is lying. It is what his kind do – lie, steal, bleed, and die. Even I know this to be the truth. How could my lord in his robe of many colors even allow for the shadow of doubt?
Finally, he turns to me. “Worm,” he says calmly, “Kalbak is hungry in the steamworks.” His eyes flick for only a moment toward the orc. “See that he is fed.”
Even as I motion to the uruk-hai to drag away the maddened orc, screaming in absolute terror, I watch my master turn and stride back to his inner chambers. To where his seeing-stone awaits. I do not know what he shall endeavor to see, to find… but for the first time, on the very cusp of what should be our victory… fear touches my heart. I must endeavor to ensure that Meduseld remains ours. Grima is ever-faithful.
Declassified after-action report from previously unnamed, undocumented Special Forces Unit Zero. Written in the year 3019 of the Third Age, during the War of the Ring.
To the White Council,
The Ents have awakened, and they are going to war. The White Wizard attempted to send Ghash-olog to burn down Fangorn, but I have done what I can to stop them.
By the time you receive this missive, I will have ridden forth with other allies to break the pits of Isengard, to put an end to the other horrors that Saruman has been breeding.
Send whatever other aid you can to the Grimslade and his men. They will need it, now that their prince has fallen. And to Unit 17, as well.
- Schezar of Esgaroth
Stormbreaker, Swiftheart, Skyblade
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