I Ain't Eating No Ghost
The Fellowship sets off in search of The Eater of Ghosts, a Dunlending who took captives from Tharbad. When their rescue mission turns into a desperate escape will they be able to return whole in body and mind?
Far upriver from Tharbad agents of Saruman pursue Black Númenóreans. One of their number has some magic which takes control of the weather, drawing up a storm to cover their escape—and flooding Tharbad downriver in the process.
Meanwhile the fellowship sets off from Tharbad, past the rough attempt at a wall being built. The Dunlending raiders prove easy to follow in the mud and rain. Before long their tracks aren’t the only sign of their passing—Nob comes across the grim scene of a farm where the Dunlendings slew a family. Before he can steer the others away they all behold the wreckage and hope fades in their hearts.
Tarandis finds the off-road path the Dunlendings took, and with the help of a gully shortcut spotted by Nob the fellowship catches up with the Dunlending rearguard. Mounted on ponies the Dunlendings charge. Nob suffers mightly in combat as the Dunlendings yell battle cries about a mysterious “eater of ghosts.” Boron ain’t afraid of no ghosts and charges the final Dunlending, ending the battle.
Among the spoils Boron finds a dwarven shield of note and the dwarf sickness gleams in his eyes. As the fellowship plan their next move the winds whip up around Griff and he sees a vision of a skull-faced woman with a rictus smile for him.
Boron leads on to the Dunlending camp. Tarandis’ elf eyes see 20-30 tents with the captives tied to a rope picket. The camp is painted with the skulls of Eater of Ghosts, who was the woman in Griff’s vision. Her soldiers are fearless, and they’ve recruited Harradrim from further south.
Taking “fearless” as a challenge, Boron sings a song that unnerves the captors. With the help of the distraction Griff and Tarandis sneak into camp and wreck mischief to keep the Dunlendings busy. Griff finally makes his way to the captives and cuts them loose for a daring escape.
With time and speed now of the essence Nob carries the children among the captives and makes haste. With days on the road ahead the chance sighting of a deer enheartens everyone, all the more so when Nob is able to hunt it for a hearty meal. As the journey wears on Nob enlists the former captives to help hunt, which leads to one of them dying on the tusks of a boar.
The efforts of the fellowship are not enough and the Dunlendings set upon the refugees not far from Tharbad. Darkness falls on the thoughts of the fellowship, but on Boron most of all. Lashing out he beats a Tharbad gate guard in a rage until Griff and Captain Kaeldor are able to de-escalate the situation.
With the situation in Tharbad gone from bad to worse the city is on the brink of collapse.
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