Just over ten years have passed since the Battle of Erebor and the slaying of the Witch-king of Angmar. Much of Rhovanion stands free of the reign of Shadow for the now, though its stalwart defenders – Men, Dwarves, and most of the scant few known remaining Eldar – are hard-pressed to hold fast against the ever-growing might of Mordor and the vindictive wrath of Sauron, who has not forgotten the grave insult of losing his most powerful servant at the foot of the Lonely Mountain, and neither has he forgiven.
In answer to the injury done him, the Lord of the Rings and self-proclaimed Master of Middle-earth has summoned forces from both the North and the East, to assail the Free Peoples of Wilderland and break their spirits amidst great and terrible bloodshed. Orcs of Gundabad and Men of Angmar-that-was have joined with armies out of Rhûn to besiege the foes of the Black Land, for Sauron abides no challenge to his authority.
The designs of Morgoth’s foremost lieutenant, however, are not the only ones at work in the world, for the cunning counsel of the Istari is not utterly vanished. Ázeruin the Red, new-made Istar, has repaired to the North whence he came, to answer the summons of Rómestámo the Blue, the only survivor amongst those Wise who appeared from out of the Uttermost West in ancient years, and now leader of the much-diminished Order of Wizards, returned from centuries abroad in the unknown East. With Mordor’s forces occupied in Rhovanion, a window of opportunity exists in which another telling blow might be struck against Sauron’s domination of Middle-earth.
Thus, a great gathering has been called, to be held amidst the still and silent halls of Imladris (the enchantments of which hold fast, still, against the tread of Shadow’s servants), and leaders amongst the Free Peoples of the West have traveled to it by secret ways, their passing unseen by the Great Eye.
Representing the Woodland Realm is Queen Nimrodel, accompanied by the young Princess Gelendiel Half-elven, her daughter with Ázeruin, and Tauriel, general of her armies. Brand, son of Bain and grandson of Bard the Bowman, stands for the restored Kingdom of Dale, with his friend, Haleth, son of Háma, speaking for the Rohirrim in exile in the absence of Lady Éowyn, even as whisper and rumor tell of her great deeds in far-off lands. King Thorin Stonehelm has only very recently succeeded his father, Dáin Ironfoot, who was, at long last, laid low by his long years, the one foe he could not conquer. King Thorin comes in the company of the Lady Dís, bearing with her the legendary Orcrist.
In addition to these worthies, Prince Legolas leads the small contingent of Silvan Elves who have taken up residence amidst the lonely trees of Lórien, to guard that sacred place against the encroachments of Mordor. Paladin Took, still grieving the loss of his only son, Peregrin, at Weathertop, has come as the representative of the Hobbits; while his people are now a wandering folk without a home since Mordor’s occupation of their lands, yet still is he called Thain of the Shire. Prince Elphir of Dol Amroth stands in the stead of both the Kings of Gondor and its few remaining free common-folk, with the disappearance of Faramir, sole surviving son of the late Denethor and heir to the House of Stewards. The doughty Dwalin, now King of the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains, attends with an escort of not only Longbeards, but also Firebeards and Broadbeams.
Last, come two most unexpected guests. Queen Vingathrâgé of the Hwenti tribe of the Avari, whose people have been driven out of their ancestral territories by the Men of Rhûn, now seeks new lands in which her people might dwell. Prince Iriwínga of the Windan Avari, follows the queen, his ally of old, even in defiance of his high king, who has brokered a tentative truce with the Easterlings under Mordor’s command.
What the Blue Wizard intends to ask of the assembled, however, remains a mystery to all, as do whatever portentous tidings led him to request such a grand gathering in the midst of these perilous times.
Hosted and narrated by:
Stephen Michael DiPesa (Nocturnalchemy)
Scenes played: 9
License: Community License