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Author Topic: The history of The Shadows  (Read 2377 times)

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Offline Achazia

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The history of The Shadows
« on: 06 August, 2009, 11:23:53 am »
The History of the Shadows (Also known as "The Shadows of the Past")

One year ago, this night, a merchant and his daughter were hurrying homeward - north across the Breeland fields - towards the town of Trestlebridge. Times were tough. It was getting harder and harder to make ends meet. Rumours abounded of great evil stirring in the lands to the north. Mysterious figures travelled the roads, fearsome creatures roamed the lands and strange lights flickered in the hills. This once peaceful and bountiful land was becoming dangerous and hostile. People were becoming frightened.

As the travellers reached the brow of the last hill in the pine woods of the Northern Bree-fields they saw a sight that filled them with horror. Trestlebridge was afire! A horde of hideous goblins was laying seige to the town - killing and pillaging. The merchant seemed to be staring blankly into the distance, a grim expression crossed his face.

The merchant urged his daughter to get out of the cart, which she did, thinking he purposed to turn it around and make good their escape. Instead, the merchant suddenly spurred his horses onwards, down towards the town and into the chaos and clamour of battle. His daughter cried out and ran after him but but he seemed to pay no heed. Into the town square he burst, riding down goblins as he went, and then onwards down the hill towards the bridge. Still his daughter pursued him, thinking him gone mad with rage.

The cart reached the bridge and hurtled onto it, the horses at full gallop. As the daughter watched, she saw across the valley a great body of dark and hideous figures stepping out of the shadows onto the bridge from the other side. Reinforcements were arriving for the goblins. At last the she understood - her father had seen this new threat and realised that, if it was not stopped, the town would surely fall and everyone in it would perish.

Realising at last what he must do, she cried out in fear for the life of her father and her cries brought the townsmen running - men who saw what she could see and took up her cry; raising the alarm. As she watched, her father's cart met the head of the goblin army full on and broke upon it like a gigantic wave. The crash of splintering timbers and screaming horses rent the air, along with and the hideous cries of the goblins. Scores of them were thrown high into the air. Others threw themselves from the bridge in terror and plunged to their deaths in the icy waters far below. Still more turned and fled the field, fearing for their lives.

As the daughter wept for her father, the townsfolk ran forward and began pulling together wood, barrels and anything else they could find to raise a barricade across the bridge. By the time those few goblins who remained found the courage to cross the bridge, they found the town ready for them. After a short and bloody battle, a few surviving goblins turned fled back northwards. Still more of them perished upon the bridge.

The next morning the townspeople raised a pyre to burn the dead. But, though they searched far and wide, of the merchant no sign was ever found. His daughter was hailed a heroine for helping to raise the alarm but, though they cheered her name, she did not feel deserving of such praise, for she felt shame that her tears came from her own fears and selfish concern, while her father had bravely given his life to save the town.

From that day on, the daughter determined to act in honour of the memory of her father, to live to his selfless standards and serve the greater good. Speaking to her close kin, she swore an oath to stir the peoples of Eriador to stand as guardians against the shadows of the north. Never again would she allow the innocent to suffer and live in fear. Never again would the shadows be a place for evil to call home. She would call to her those whom she most trusted and gather a fellowship of noble heart - unafraid to stand in the dark places and challenge evil. These people would become the darkness that evil feared.

Taking a horse from the town, she headed southwards to find those people; those guardians. And that day was born the kinship known as "The Shadows"

As weeks passed into months, the merchant's daughter quickly developed in skill and became a guardian of the free peoples, recruiting people to her cause. The Shadows grew both in number and repute. From the southern swamps of Haragmar to the northern wastes of Forochel they quested relentlessly to free the innocent from terror and enslavement, under the guidance of their young guardian leader, who led them to greater and greater victories. Their bravery was renowned and folk of all races flocked to their banner.

While fighting in the dark places of Angmar, an alliance was formed that struck fear in to all those that would hide in darkness. A leader of men and women of like-mind approached the young guardian leader of the Shadows and requested a joining of forces. And so the kinship swelled and among their ranks they numbered loremasters, guardians, captains, burglars, champions, hunters and even minstrels. All had their valuable part to play - especially the minstrels, as you can hear for yourselves this night.

But though The Shadows rose to challenge darkness in all places of Middle Earth, it was not enough for their founder. Noble in heart as she had become, her desire for conflict consumed her soul and she vowed to journey on to lands untrodden by her kin in search of greater victories. And though masters of lore counselled her to remain true to her cause, she silently resolved to travel on alone and face the darkness if she must.

And so she left, without word or warning, one night not long ago. It is said that she journeyed northward and eastward, across the wastes of Malenhad, past the desolation of Himbar and through the Gate of Gath Ulor. It is rumoured that she found a great rift in the earth and from there journeyed to other lands in search of conflict. But none can tell for certain.

But we who remain stay true to the cause. Never again will evil spread across the land unchecked, for we will be waiting. Darkness is no place of safety for evil we are The Shadows and our cause is good.

(written by Abergar Gildensong)

Playing both LOTRO and TSW at the moment.

 

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