Prologue!   Posted by Gandalf The Grey.Group: 0
Gandalf The Grey
 GM, 75 posts
 The Grey Pilgrim
Wed 3 May 2017
at 01:39
The wood was dark... not just lacking light, though the forest canopy certainly prevented all but the most determined rays from reaching the forest floor, but the very air felt oppressive. So much so that the animals themselves walked with care and avoided any contact with others. The birds' sweet songs sounded almost tentative when compared to elsewhere in Middle Earth, not like in the Great Green Wood of old. The Great Green Wood? It had been a very long time since anyone, either man or elf, that had named this forest by that name. Most knew it by a different name... that of Mirkwood.

Mirkwood itself had known a brief time of peace for the Council of the Wise, at Gandalf's urging, had indeed drove the foul Necromancer, which turned out to be Sauron himself, from beneath the great wood's boughs. Five years have passed since that fateful day. Five years that has seen both dwarf and man grow in strength and wealth. For Dale has been rebuilt and the dwarfs of the Lonely Mountain are again forging items of beauty and skill. Their eyes are ever turned inward... toward their markets, their craft, and their coin.

Not so for those who live within the shade of Mirkwood. The darkness... the Shadow was slow in coming, almost subtle in the way it returned. Yet, for those who relied upon the great wood for their livelihood and homes, they could feel the change. At first, the Elves had enjoyed the increase in trade with the Lake-men of old and music again filled the Wood King's hall. Yet, those who traveled south of the old forest road seldom returned. King Thranduil himself reduced his borders and patrols to the region north of that very road.

Radagast the Brown, one of the Wise and a wizard himself, felt it too. The animals whispered into his ears and the very trees and plants spoke in their own ways to him. All of this darkness stemmed from Dol Goldur, as it had before. There were wolves a plenty, there always were, but now wargs have joined their ranks. Golbins and Orcs of the Misty Mountains have been seen leaving their mountain fastnesses for the dark shade of Mirkwood. Radagast has heard what he believes is a calling to such vile folk. In a tongue not meant for the light of day. He has begun to warn the Woodmen, the stout men and women of Mirkwood, to have a care. To prepare for a conflict to come.

Nor has Eriador been spared by this darkness. The quiet and sleepy places there, like Bree and The Shire, have felt the uneasiness grow. Wolves and bandits plague the Great East West Road. Trolls have once again wandered south from the Trollshaws and Ettenmoors. Orcs and goblins from Mount Gram, Goblin Town, and Angmar are beginning to raid south. Rangers, sworn to protect the region through ancient oaths of old, have seen these things and spoke to Elrond himself. The Bounders that guard the Shire's borders have turned away wolves and worse of late. Many there talk of Bilbo Baggins, the Master of Bag End, and his recent... adventures and that this may somehow be the reason for the troubles.

No one knows for certain. Even the Wise argue among themselves and as they debate and bicker the Shadows grow ever longer...