Azgrask the Cruel

V

Thus fell Barrak of the line of Durin’s Folk, son of Torrak son of Dorrak who fought in the War of The Dwarves and Orcs in 2793, Dwarf of the Lonely Mountain, fellow to Balin son of Fundin for whom he fought and died, and servant of the throne of King Dáin II Ironfoot and veteran of the Battle of Five Armies. His remains were buried at Amon Naugrim on April 26th, 2946. Iglishmêk mazarb. He will be avenged.

April 26th, 2946

Arriving shortly after the scouting party, Azgrask's forces fell into the opening volleys of Javelin and Agmund, hidden as they were in the ruins of the old inn. Their aim was sure, their arms strong and their metal fierce, and one of them struck the lumbering outline of Azgrask himself sure and hard. A raging roar rang out across the forest, and rang in The Battle of Amon Naugrim.

 Azgrask

Azgrask

Perched on Amon Naugrim, by the old Dwarven watchtower were Balin, Barrak and Haggol, and as the two forward men fell back onto the hill, they covered their retreat against the deluge of orcs of every manner. Goblin archers invaded the inn, orc soldiers sprawled out across the clearing with their rusty spears and bent blades driven on by the shouts and threats from the larger brutes. And in the midst of of it, Azgrask himself. Massive and powerful he marched in the midst of his forces. Halting, he shouted up at the defenders.

"Surrender now, ye meggots, before Azgrask the merciful!"

He was answered spitefully by a spear from Javelin's arm. A gasp from the surrounding orcs, who could not fathom how anyone could so defy Azgrask the Mighty. A roar went up, and full of hatred they fell on to hillsides and stairs as .

Balin and Barrak barred the stairs, creating a bottleneck entrance to the hilltop, while Javelin and Agmund scrambled up the stairs, so as to from there rain down arrows and spears on the  invading orcs. Soon the orcs were throwing themselves, driven by the brutes up the sides of the steep hill, while spears chinked the tower walls and battle cries filled the night.

Orcs piled onto the stairs to the tower, led by Azgrask's lieutenant, Gorog wielding a cruel, bent piece of metal akin to a sword. Balin and Barak defended the hilltop valiantly. Then Azgrask himself locked eyes with Balin and charged his way through the other orcs, casting them aside. Heaving his 2-handed schimitar with a mighty war cry. Balin was brought to one knee from the blow and Barrak stepped in to defend his friend.

Thus did the battle rage back and forth, with each side suffering blows from one another, fighting nail and tooth. Agmund and Javelin concentrated their missiles on Azgrask; but soon Haggol, exhausted from defending the hilltop from the sides was being overwhelmed, and Javelin sped to his aid.

 Barrak

Barrak

Suddenly Balin was knocked unconcious by Azgrask! Gasps and cries sounded from the company. Just then an arrow from Agmund's Great Bow caught the great orc causing him to step back from his position, saving Balin from a certain death. In the next moment, Barrak, stricken with sorry caught Gorog's cruel, bent sword in his gut, and bent over.

Raising his spear over Barrak's chest, Gorog let out a cry of pleasure as he drove the spear through Barrak's ripcage!

Azgrask meanwhile had retreated to the area in front of the tower to find respite from Agmund's arrows,

Just as certain doom faced the company. Arrows sped from the nearby trees into the prevailing orc mass, and a high beautiful note sang out across the clearing. Elves!

Galion, Anarië and Veö of the Woodland Realm all appeared out of the forest, firing into the orcs, and now engaged them at close quarters. Azgrask, seeing the tide of the battle turn, tasting his own blood, and finding his options exhauseted, fled the field of battle into the far forest edge along with the scattering of his forces.

April 27th, 2946

In the early rays of the morning sun, the company gathered around the fallen dwarf. They gathered rocks for a proper tomb, and laid his remains to rest there at the foot of the Amon Naugrim watchtower. Galion sent Vëo north to connect with elven scouts to organize a hunt for the remaining orcs, but pledged himself and Anarië to the company for the remainder of their journey, to protect against their common enemies.

With heavy hearts and battered bodies the company now set out as swiftly westward as they could bear, one less dwarf, two more elves, wanting to put distance between themselves and any rallying orcs that might decide to return in the night, or in force.

April 29th, 2946

Depleted, the company found themselves in a larger clearing, and looking for a place to rest Javelin came across a large hollowed out tree, inside of which a Woodmen dwelling of sorts had been made. Replete with a primitive bed, dangling pieces of dark... meat? and furs and a ring of stones around a simple fire place in the middle, and a bark and thatched roof overhead.

Deciding to settle there for the night to rest their worries and wounds, Javelin set out to hunt for food, and slay a beautiful young buck.

 The Woodman Hermit

The Woodman Hermit

But no sooner had the company settled into what they thought was an abandoned traveling hut, when a disheveled-looking, scarred older man appeared, irate, shouting incoherently at the company.

Choosing his words carefully, Agmund of Dale calmed the hermit down, and explained that they were simply looking for a place to rest, and that they had meant no offense, having thought his house to have been abandoned. An offering of well-made deer meat helped tremendously Inquiries into his name lead nowhere, as he mumbles about having had it taken away from him. Grabbing the hand of Javelin, the hermit pushed a bit of metal into it and talked about how the shadow hides in things, and that he had carried this shard for far too long already. Javelin immediately recognized the piece as a shard from Wolfbiter, a famous heirloom of the folk of Woodland Hall, lost when one of the chieftan's sons was captured by Orcs.

April 30th, 2946

Just before dawn the hermit started screaming at his still sleeping visitors, throwing their gear out of his house and forcing them up and out. Not ones to outstay a welcome on purpose, they soon moved on, sharing looks between one another, having found some rest nevertheless. Balin's mood however remained low throughout the journey.

May 7th, 2946

Air. The company reached the edge of Mirkwood, and fresh air filled their lungs for the first time in some forty days, and their eyes stretched across the far Vales of the mighty Anduin river. And far away on the horizon, a vague jagged line marked the border of the Misty Mountains.

Some took a dignified rest, some simply let themselves fall into the lush spring grass, but all were equally relieved to have come out of the forest alive, if bruised.

For a time they let their worries evaporate and enjoyed the moment.