The words of Khorum, son of Vidor, Spring 2947, Third Age
After wintering at the Easterly Inn and enjoying the food and beer of our host, Master Hobbit Dody, he asked our fellowship to travel down to a river island one week south of the inn to check on product prices and to purchase ale and beer to restock the inn after the long winter.
Duty-bound to our host, we readily agreed. Falco was eager to make some profit on the pipe weed he purchased in Bree anyway. My brother Bifur, having injured his leg decided to sit this one out and rest up in the comforts of the inn. Myself, Falco, Hunter, Dog and Bill set off.
It was cursed journey downstream on some elven-made (of course) hellish craft (called a boat, I believe). The rocking and motion of the water kept my stomach ill at ease and only the nautical knowledge of Hunter and his advice kept me from losing my dignity and lunch over the side of the craft. The motion of the boat on the river threw off our rhythm and our music to start the journey was quite unacceptable. Hunter clapped politely at our song but I know he was just humoring us. The journey took a week to reach the river isle.
Happy to be on solid ground again, the fellowship did some exploring of the isle. After selling his pipe weed for a nice profit, Falco and I spent the day gambling and drinking with the locals and had a thoroughly fun time and have been welcomed back. Hunter and Dog had found several bottles of fine Southern Wine when we met up later to purchase Master Dody’s beer.
Back on the boat and back up the river. However, after 3 days heading north, adventure found us. We saw another boat beached on the western bank. Two dead men, Beornings, with orcish arrows sticking out of their chests were in the craft. Upon searching the area, we discovered that the two dead men were men of standing with Beorn. They were marshals transporting a prisoner back to Beorn for judgment but the prisoner was gone. Bounds having been cut and a sword missing. The two men did not die without taking a couple of orcs with them though. A mighty throw of a spear skewered two of the filthy creatures together not far from the boat. The Beornings died in battle, as it should be.
Hunter tracked the orcs a full day but the tracks went into Mirkwood. We decided to return to the boats and travel back up river to bring the bodies home to Beorn for a proper burial. Even that last leg of our journey was not uneventful.
A couple of nights later, just as we stopped to camp for the night, we heard the quiet but rushed footfalls of more than a half dozen creatures coming towards us. The fellowship quickly moved into battle positions to ambush them as I stood under the moon and waited for them to come. The orcs saw me as I saw them. “Flithy dwarf”, one of them growled as my companions let loose a volley of arrows dropping two of the smaller orcs because combat was joined.
My blood up, I charged into the fray and planted my mattock into one of the bigger orcs chest but he moved at the last moment, making it a brutal wound, but not a lethal one. I took a return hit from his spear as a second orc moved in to flank me.
Luck was on our side that evening. The gods curse the foulness of the orcs and their inferior weapons broke against dwarven mail. Each of the fellowship fought well and killed an orc or two a piece. Even little Falco finished off one of the bigger orcs with a surprising vicious slash of his sword while Dog decapitated one orc with his long-hafted axe (though I suspect it was a lucky blow as he really doesn’t know how to use an axe properly. He really needs to ask Bifur for pointers). Hunter took out the last orc with an arrow through the eye. Best place for them.
That little fight done, we settled down for the night and the rest of the journey back to Beorn’s was without incident. We arrived onshore and I expertly fashioned a litter to drag the bodies of the two Beornings back home. It took the better part of the day to reach Beorn’s House.
Fierce looking men, the Beornings. The look like Durin’s Folk… only much taller. I can respect a human with a beard, a taste for red meat off the bone and a thirst for strong ale. Beorn welcomed us into his hall as Hunter explained what had happened to his men and why we had returned with them.
Beorn offered his hospitality of drink and food as we entertained him with song and riddle and Southern wine. To be honest, the Southern wine was the best of the three as my riddle hit a nerve with the one of the womanfolk and wasn’t well received. Regardless, Beorn was a good host and asked us to stay for the funeral of the two dead men whom were called Meeravek and Odo. Beorn asked us to speak at the funeral as we found their bodies and returned them home.
I am not much for speeches and prefer to lead by example and action, not through words. However, I did give a rousing speech that promised one thing – vengeance for Meeravek and Odo. The Beornings, much like the Dwarves, understand that concept so I hit a chord with them.
Beorn asked us to look into matter of their deaths. Return to the scene and find out more information about the prisoner they had. Likely, the marshals were returning from Stony Ford so that is a probable place for the prisoner to return.
Naturally, we agreed to help, to cement our new friendship with the Beornings. Beorn said that he considers our fellowship family now and no dwarf lets down family. Some of his men headed back to the Easterly Inn with Master Dody’s beer (and word to my brother, Bifur, that we are headed to Stony Ford and he should meet us there) while the fellowship set off south again.
Reaching the scene of the killing again, the keen eye of Hunter noticed something on the opposite bank of the river. It seems that the prisoner escaped from the orcs, swam across the river with a sword and headed south. Hunter followed the tracks for a day and more but eventually lost them. The tracks were two weeks old, after all, so it is remarkable that he found them in the first place. The prisoner was heading south in the direction of Stony Ford.
A chance encounter a few days later with some Woodmen travelers gave us the identity of the prisoner as his story is being told in the river isle. Apparently, he is a rapist and a murderer; a kin-slayer – the vilest of sorts. The kind of thing that only orcs would do. He is called Odderick and he killed his kinsmen after raping that man’s wife. Meeravek and Odo rightfully arrested the man and were returning him to face justice when the orcs attacked and killed them.
Odderick thinks he is free and clear now. He is wrong. The Fellowship of Five is on his trail and justice will be served.