[A set of old leather bound journals were found in the abandoned elven homestead of Falathlorn.  The outside covers are inscribed with the name Eldaeriel of Mirkwood, who appears to be a hunter and explorer who had her home here.  It looks as though she travelled extensively, as there are notes and diagrams of flora and fauna found in various regions of Middle Earth.  A few pencilled maps also decorate the pages, and it looks as though flowers were pressed amongst the leaves of the journals although they turned to dust when touched. The first journals in the sequence seem to be field logs and assessment reports but around 3016, there is an entry of a different kind]

I’m not sure where to commence my tale as it seems to me as though the roots of the events I have just experienced started nearly 600 years ago.  Perhaps I ought to briefly outline this tragic tale first…  I was visiting my mentor Talagan Silvertongue at the refuge of Edhelion but during my stay,  Skorgrím Dourhand with his clan and goblin allies attacked and tried to steal powerful relics.  I had been tasked with hiding the relics and helping defend the courtyard at this point.

Edhelion at the time of Skorgrím's attack

I was on the way to the courtyard with Dorongúr Whitethorn when we were attacked and stunned by a troll, fortunately Elrond arrived in time to defeat it.  We continued up to the courtyard to find Talagan surrounded by the Dourhands with their leader Skorgrím.  He was defeated by Talagan casting a spell which caused the building to collapse on top of them, killing them both and sealing the building.

In tears, I informed Elrond that the relics were safe inside the building.  Elrond, full of sorrow, told me that the refuge of Edhelion will no longer provide respite for elves and will fade.

Edhelion, faded

I felt too full of grief to consider returning but return I have.  Due to my experiences here, I was asked to return with a party of elves led by Elrond’s sons, Elladan and Elrohir to investigate a vision that Elrond had experienced. A party of dwarves were also there to investigate the stewardship of the Dourhands. I ventured into Silverdeep mine to locate the body of Skorgrím.  I found no evidence of his corpse but I did find a strange red flower, the like of which I have never seen before.  I followed a trail of these flowers to Skorgrím’s tomb.  After investigating his bat-filled tomb to find black ritual stones, I found out that an important ritual was to take place tonight.  I was advised to speak to Dwalin by a Longbeard watching the Dourhand activities.  I was honoured to meet Dwalin as he fought alongside my kin in the Battle of Five Armies around 70 years ago.

His people were falling sick and asked me if I could apply my skills to find out the cause of the illness.  There were sick bears, who once slaughtered, gave up only rancid meat, they were roaming near some foul-looking sludge.  I was advised to seek Elrohir’s counsel who could be found near the Rockbelly Pit.  Inside the pit, I found some mossy herbs which would cure the dwarves.  I also found a shrine, which when I examined it produced a fell-spirit.  I drove it off but I fear it will return.  I returned to Dwalin and was glad to see the mossy herb revive the sick.

The elves and dwarves joined forces to investigate the ritual being performed in Skorgrím’s tomb.  I was accompanied by Dwalin, Nos Grimsong, Elladan and Elrohir.  We sensed evil in the air.  Dwalin thought it reminded him of the time he crossed into the Mirkwood all those years ago.  He must be speaking of the necromancer who was driven out of Dol Guldur by the White Council, although evil remains there still…  I fear for Ered Luin if this evil’s tendrils have found its way here… We were not enough in number to storm the tomb directly, so I and the dwarves took the path to the left, whilst the elves took the path to the right.  We fought our way to the altar and found we were too late, the ritual to restore Skorgrím had already commenced.  We were heavy with dread whilst the evil of the ritual permeated the tomb, we were unable to act and had to helplessly watch as Skorgrím was restored.  He left with Ivar the Blood-hand (who had performed the ritual, a wight by the looks of him) and left Gormr Dourhand to deal with us.

We slew the fool dwarf and escaped from the tomb which was falling about us.  Elrond’s sons stayed to protect our exit.  Dwalin was pleased with the results of our efforts, for even though we did not manage to stop the ritual, we have at least driven their influence from Thorin’s Hall.


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