The Fourth Age

Memories of the Dead

Shadows of Angmar, Part 3

The Shadows of Angmar: Memories of the Dead

The Undertowers Adventuring Company travelled to the Barrow Downs on a gamble. Éowyn Fairbairn pointed to a passage in the Red Book of Westmarch where Meriadoc Brandybuck awoke from slumber after he was dragged into a tomb by the barrow wights. In his dreams, he had relived the memories of the one buried in the tomb. Éowyn suggested that if they were to enter the old tombs in the Barrow Downs, they might relive the memories of the kings and heroes of Cardolan, and in those memories they might find clues as to the locations of the morgul blades.

First they discovered the tomb of Beregorn, one of the last kings of Cardolan. His body was raised as a barrow wight, which the companions defeated. Nawfal laid upon the tomb and relived one of Beregorn’s last memories. As he lay on his deathbed, Argeleb of Arthedain sent an embassy demanding that he recognize Arthedain’s suzerainty, as it was the only of the three kingdoms split from old Arnor that was still ruled over by a descendant of Isildur. During the discussion, one of Beregorn’s advisors mentioned that Findegil did not succeed in destroying all of Angmar’s caches.

Without, the fog on the Barrow Downs separated the companions. A fell wraith sent by the Dark Lord to hunt the company caught Thorondir and attacked him. The battle attracted the other companions, who together were able to defeat the wraith, who swore that the Dark Lord would send more like him until they were destroyed.

Beregorn’s last memory directed them to the barrow of Findegil, a captain of Cardolan. This tomb, too, was guarded by a barrow wight. There Éowyn laid upon the tomb. Her dreams relived the fall of Findegil as he and the soldiers under his command attacked a watchtower guarding the path to Carn Dûm, the capital of Angmar. In those watchtowers, the Witch-realm stored their weapons caches. It was Findegil’s mission to destroy those caches, and in particular the morgul blades kept there. They had destroyed several, but here they faced endless waves of orcs. Findegil was slain. With his dying breath, Findegil ordered his men to fall back, that Yiltîg must lead them back home.

The company next sought out the barrow of Yiltîg, a man of Rhudaur who turned against his kingdom when it allied itself with Angmar and acted as Findegil’s guide to destroy the Witch-realm’s most potent weapons. Yiltîg led the survivors back down the Frozen Path, and in the end turned to face the orcs who hunted them at a narrow pass so that the men of Cardolan could make it back home with their warning: not all of Angmar’s morgul blades had been destroyed, and worse, Angmar was excavating tunnels into the ancient Pits of Utumno.

From Yiltîg’s memories, the company knew where the remaining morgul blades were, and how to navigate the Frozen Path to reach them. If this new Dark Lord possessed these morgul blades, did he control the ruins of Carn Dûm? And if he did, was he going to gain access to the Pits of Utumno, that hell from the First Age where Morgoth created orcs, trolls, dragons, and all the other great evils of Middle-earth? What other ancient evils might remain in those dark, festering pits? Winter was approaching, though, so the companions separated to go home, promising to meet again in the spring to mount an expedition to Carn Dûm.

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Jason

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