“When the Shadow first fell upon the wood,” Allydial had explained to use as we trecked through Mirlwood toward the ruins of the old fort.“My people built a fortified town in the mountains.”
“They ringed this place with silver beeches,” She explained further, a hint of reverence in her voice as she spoke of the legendary trees.
“and hid their many of the treasures they took from their old halls at Amon Lanc.”
“We had to abandon the refuge nearly 1,500 years later, as the Shadow returned with greater strength and loosed the Werewolf of Mirkwood upon us.”
She said an edge coming into her voice. “ Today, the Refuge is mostly in ruin. I here that a few overgrown walls still stand, but that the Orcs cruelly cut down any of our beloved silver beeches that they can find.”
The journey there, while not as long as one that we took from Rhosgobel, was just as tasking if not more. It was as if that evil wood knew that we were close upon are query, and thought to throw every many of ill will upon us as we traveled.
Spans that should have been covered in a hour, seemed to take days and I fear that Sigmund, are barding from Dale, seemed to feel it the worse of any of use.
For he retreated into himself so completely that he would not speak to any of us, or join us by the fire, as if some grave illness had pulled him away and there was not anything any of us could do to help him.
I wish to say that are arrival at the ruins relieved this oppressive gloom, but at its sight, and all the hewn stomps of silver beechs that we saw scattered about a pure ruin of a what had obviously been a grand town of exquisite elven design.
But that now had follow into rot and ruin, as everything else did this accursed forest, I fear many of our hearts sank ever the deeper.
Sigmund collapsed, the heavy tangible weight of the shadows will at last too much for his barding shoulders to bare and as I and Narvi tried to help him up, Garrick, are scout at that time, caught sight of something moving fast and hard through the trees in the distance.
Weak as we were, we had no hope of facing whatever it was that was coming for us, so he searched frantically for some place to hide, some place to make a stand, but all we found was rubble and the hapless ruin of once great people.
Fate however, at that moment, seemed to send us a ray of hope, fur as me and Narvi struggle to carry Sigmund deeper into the forest.
The old dwarf let his hand stray to some odd bit of stone wall that had someone managed to survive the woods oppressive degradation and yanking his hand back he explained.
“This wall his hallow!” The pronouncement brought everyone near, as Narvi set all of Sigmund’s weight upon my shoulder and set to feeling up and down the stone.“There’s a….a room beyond this wall…a door…just here…but…I can’t find a way to open it.”
“Let me.” Allydial whispered as she strode forward and Narvi reluctantly stood aside. The young elf stood there, before the hidden door, hand placed upon the stone, eyes closed in concentration and all the while we could feel it.
Like the monster of some vicious nightmare, barring down upon us though we had yet to see or anything.
I feel my legs start to quiver, though if it was from my efforts to hold Sigmund up on my own or the ever growing terror that was currently tingling its way down my spine I could not tell.
Allydial said something, I couldn’t make it out, but instantly the wall shuttered and stone ground against itself as the wall pulled itself out with agonizing slowness.
From somewhere, I swear I could hear the sounds of a wolf bawling in rage, but I had no time for it, the instant the door was open enough for us to travel through.
Away from certain threat and into the dark unknown of the elves fallen fortress.