Dawn broke over the peaceful forest of Mûr. It was a warm morning with a slight summers breeze.As usual, the scouts of the land were at their posts far before the elven-folk had even risen.The captain of the scouts,Gwindor Culnámo, had been working overnight. He was very drowsy and had already slumbered for two hours. He had been guarding the head city, Aldaríon Mûr, for five days on end.His duty began at 3 am. This left him twelve minutes to get to his station.
“Come Hambut,” Brega grew weary of his hobbit companion’s lack of courage.
” From the stories I’ve heard of this place your lucky I’ve come even this far!” Hambut replied.
“Lucky? It would have been lucky for us if we had left you in the Shire!” Brega chuckled.
“Bah!” Hambut snorted, angrily.
” I would say that we are very thankful for having our companion us in the unhappy environment.” Reno replied to Brega.
“The more the merrier!” Reno and Hambut remarked together.
“Bah!” said Brego, picking up speed to try and leave his ‘friends’ behind.”There is nothing to be happy about in this foul land,” he muttered to himself.
Gwindor’s first alarm was at a strange looking party of travellers coming from the west.
“Sir! Travellers ahead heading west! Travellers from the east can only mean one thing sir!” a scout whispered to him.
” And that would be?” he asked, knowing the answer but testing his apprentice.
” Our assisstance sir!”
” Correct. Stay here. I’m going down there.”
” Yes master.”
Dropping down from his branch, Gwindor landed silently on the damp forest floor. Advancing slowly, he heard faint voices. Something about not trusting elves and why they should visit the dwarves instead. Gwindor detested dwarves, and at this, he leaped out behind them and startled them all. Swiftly, Brego drew his sword, Valandil, not knowing what lurked behind him and threw a mighty blow of it at his target. Gwindor, learned in all forms of combat and archer, drew his elven blade and parried the blow with ease.
” And what are a halfling and two men doing in the realm of Mûr?” he said, still with his blade locked against his opponents.
“We are seeking your assisstance, Master elf.” Reno replied, “The west of Middle-earth has become a dark place once more.”
” And why, in the Fourth Age, is that so?”
“Well……….” Reno began.