Sunday, September 13, 2009

Here follows the tale of Ellote Wyrmsbane.

In the middle years of the Third Age, there came forth from Imladris, Ellote the bard and her companion Morde, the rune caster. They sought adventure in the kingdoms of Men, now under threat from the realm of Angmar in the north. In Bree, they found kindred souls in Nimwillyn of the Shire, Hugh of Dunland, and Avacar of Gondor. From there, they ventured forth into the Great Barrow, defeating its dark lord. From his lair, Ellote claimed the sword Sulring, which she bore for many days. But also in that lair, Morde laid his hands upon a book of ancient magic, and it began to consume him. For the Rings of Power are not the only artifacts of evil in the world.

After gaining a new companion, a shield-maiden of the Eotheod, Ellote journeyed ever northward. They came to Cammeth Brin the capital of Rhudaur, now under thrall of Angmar. There was her first battle against the Nine and their minions. As they entered the palace, seeking to rescue the captives therein, the power of the book took hold of Morde and he felled many foes. Ellote herself struck down the king of Rhudaur, servant and slave of Angmar that he was.

From Rhudaur, they ventured further north, to Gundabad, for they had learned that Angmar's assault upon Arthedain was imminent. They entered the fortress by secret ways, through the lair of a great dragon. Greed however took hold of Hugh and the swiped a mere trifle of the dragon's horde in its absence. That act would come to haunt the companions in time to come.

Within the fortress, they found the battering ram, Grond, and sought to destroy it. But it was guarded by many foes, not the least of which was Angmar himself, the dread Witch King. As Ellote succumbed to his evil power, Morde unleashed the full power of the book, summoning forth a daemon of the outer world as he did so. In the chaos of the battle between the two minions of darkness, the companions escaped.

No longer was the evil of the book concealed and as they fled, the companions made an oath to seek the book's destruction. In the archives of Fornost, it was learned that only the fiery breath of a dragon could destroy the book. So once more, the companions set out to find a dragon's lair. The closest known lair was on the southern border of Angmar, the home of the dragon Corligon the Red.

Within the lair, the companions faced down the wyrm. Morde cast himself into the dragon's maw, breaking both his body and the evil power of the book. This act sorely wounded the dragon, but just as victory seemed certain, another dragon joined the fray. For the dragon of Gundabad had sensed his stolen treasure was near and had come to reclaim what was his.

Then Ellote took up her bow, and the shield-maiden her spear. Avacar charged forth, as Ellote loosed. Her shot was true, piercing Corligon's brain through his eye and casting down the great wyrm. Its body struck down Avacar as it fell. But the Eotheod's spear was also true and the dragon of Gundabad fell also. The surviving companions fled to the south to nurse their hurts of both body and soul.

So ended Ellote's first Fellowship and from thereafter, Ellote became known as the Wyrmsbane, for she and her companions had slain not one, but two of the great beasts at once. Yet despite this great glory, her heart was heavy, for her companions had died or deserted her. She gave birth to her firstborn son soon thereafter, Saemonades, whose father could be none other than Morde. But even this act brought her no joy. She departed Imladris for lands of the south, hoping to sooth her troubled heart with more adventure, perhaps seeking her death at the hands of the servants of the Enemy.

She came to the city of Men on the borders of Mordor, Minas Ithil, and there sought solace. To buy room and board, she played music and soon her renown with a lute brought her to the attention of the queen of the city. She performed before the royal court and there joined with a new group of companions: Tu-Amarthanon of the Southrons and Nonamae of Minas Ithil. A dwarf there was also. Together these were conscripted by the queen to seek out servants of the Enemy within the city. After uncovering and destroying a nest of them within the city, Ellote journeyed forth into the land of Mordor to find the rest.

Their journey was beset with ill luck from the start. Tu-Amarthanon fell before a band of orcs and Nonamae fled into the night. Only Ellote and the dwarf remained to be taken in thrall. The orcs took from Ellote her mighty blade Sulring and the bow that had laid low the dragon and threw her into a vile dungeon to rot.

But when the orcs came to torture her, she and her remaining companion won free against many foes. For in her torment, Ellote became fell and terrible and none could stand before her. They escaped from Mordor and then parted ways. Ellote went north to Lorien.

But few have ever escaped from the dungeons of the Enemy and Ellote's own people believed her story not. Forsaken by her own, Ellote ventured to Mirkwood, where she was espied by the Necromancer of Dol Guldur. For he had a task and found the elven bard, now abandoned and alone, much to his needs.

Servants of the Necromancer brought Ellote to Dol Guldur and there he offered to restore her former glory, if only she would serve him in a single task. Far to the south, he said, was a group of elves, the Court of Ardor, who had found a means to cast down the Sun and Moon from the sky. Such an act would throw the world into chaos and loose the bindings that held Morgoth, the Great Enemy, in the outer darkness. Fearing this doom, Ellote heartily agreed, knowing not the true identity of the Necromancer.

The Necromancer then opened his armory to Ellote, allowing her the pick of his stores. She chose from among them the infamous sword of Maeglin, Anguirel, and an elven bow taken from a fallen Galadhrim. So armed, she journeyed far to the south and passed out of all memory and knowledge for a time.

After nearly a century, she returned, appearing in Imladris before Elrond with a fantastic tale of how she and numerous companions had cast down the Court of Ardor and prevented the return of the Black Enemy, Morgoth. But to Elrond, it was an idle tale, full of falsehood, for he could not see beyond the truth that Ellote had taken refuge with the Necromancer of Dol Guldur. Seeing her as in league with enemies of the Free Peoples, he declared her life forfeit and would have had her slain had not the words of Saemonades, her son, persuaded Elrond otherwise.

Thus, it became Elrond's judgment that she remain confined in Imladris. The accursed sword of Maeglin and her bow were taken from her and placed in Elrond's armories, tokens to be held there until Elrond judged her faithful once more.

Although vexed by her confinement, Ellote made the best of things, marrying and giving birth to a daughter. She herself commissioned a group of adventurers to retrieve her lost sword, Sulring, when rumor of it coming north again reached her ears. Although the companions were successful in this quest, Elrond again saw fit to take the blade from her and extend further his distrust of her.

For a thousand years, this continued. The Kingdoms of Men rose and fell in the north. Angmar was cast down and left in ruin. Great events and tales, but Ellote entered not into them, for she remained a prisoner in Imladris. But when the Ring of Power was discovered in the lands of the Shire late in the age, Ellote petitioned Elrond to be given the chance once more to be proven faithful, and in this, Elrond relented., but with a single condition. Her weapons of old would remain in Imladris and that only when she had proven worthy of them could she take up Sulring and Anguriel once more. Ellote then headed for Bree to continue her quest. What be her doom from henceforth remains to be written.

1 comment:

Nord said...

Many I'm sure will recognize names and events from our MERP campaigns at Virginia Tech. Ellote figured into four games there, three run by Jeff and one by me, and allusion to all of them is within this story.

There is also oblique reference to the D&D-in-Middle-Earth game I ran at Philadelphia, although I left this vague.

Tried to write this in a Tolkien style. Hope I was successful in using some of his more archaic language and grammar.