Ghan’s Eagle Windwing is happy to help observe the ambush from a safe height.
June 12 Hejren Portents: 2 12
Gilraen is given the Water Walking Spell by intervention of Ulmo. The party heads south a bit to cross the Great Anduin with both Ghân & Gilraen each cast Water Walking so all the mounts and 14 others are all enchanted for the next hour.
Meanwhile the birds do some high altitude scouting. They see the forces waiting in ambush numbers over 100 humanoids, all equipped with missile weapons. It does look like far too much for the party to have risked.
About the time the party is crossing the Anduin Hejren is contacted by Mirëgol who then relays the info to Ninthel.
Crossing is successful.
June 15 Hejren Portents: 17 11
Well into Mirkwood in the gloom, the party runs into a large troop of Wood Elves heading west.
Gwaelur grabs his axe.
Ghan welcomes the elves and tells them about the ambush at the ford (including numbers.)
Ninthel pulls her hood back and nods to them respectfully. “Greetings elves of Greenwood, I am Ninthel of Lothlorien. What tidings bring you west in such a large numbers?”
Ceol, too, greets the wood elves from in the saddle. “Well met. May we share tidings with you, and information on what the road before each of us holds?”
“Hail and well met, we are in fact racing west to ambush some orcs that are threatening the Ford. We expect to meet up with others as we near. The road east is clear with extra sweeps being made to keep it safe. A good time to be traveling.”
A another Elf appears, she is clearly important and very beautiful. She rides another Minaras. “I am Elenwë, daughter of Thranduil. That is a very interesting mount you ride cousin of the Galadhrim. May I inquire to what it is and where you found her?”
Gwaelur looks at Bitur and quietly says “can you remember the last time we had to put up with so many elves on a quest? How can we know they are friendly?”
Bitur discretely responds:
“Ah, old friend. I think we know they’re friendly by the fact that even though we’re travelling through their home turf, they haven’t turned us into pin cushions by now. They have all the advantage in Mirkwood. No, friend, I think in this case having this many elves running around is a good thing. They don’t want Saruman returning any more than the rest of us do. Having them keeping the roads clear is a blessing. Every delay means more time for Saruman to gather his power. Word of our mission has gotten out, and as the ambush at the Ford proves, the Enemy is pulling out all stops to see us fail. I know we dwarves are reluctant to ask for outside help, but this isn’t about us. This is about all good folk. Saruman almost helped destroy the world once, we can’t afford him that level of power or opportunity again.”
Ghan’s keen senses enable him to overhear the Dwarves muttered conversation.
He realises Bitur is the Dwarf to reassure Gwaelur (and Ghan therefore resists the temptation to set Gwaelur’s beard on fire. )
Thoroncir bows from the saddle and listens closely to what the Wood Elves have to say. He will add to Ghan’s report to them, including all we know of Saruman’s threatened return.
"Yes, yes. Of course. You are right. Level headed as always. "
Gwaelur puts his axe back away.
Ceol adds, “We suspect that the ambush has been set specifically to waylay us. Thankfully, we were forewarned of it by a pair of friendly bears, and we were able to cross the river elsewhere.”
“Greetings Elenwë. Thank you for dealing with the menace at the ford. This creature here is Wraith. He is an okapi from the most southern jungles of Harad where there lives a somewhat forgotten settlement of elves. I bonded with the beast while trying to establish contact with the hidden elves of Linwen’s jungle.”
“I wish we could talk longer, but we must make haste.”
Felareth greets the Elves of the Wood respectfully. He will mention that the Orcs and other humanoids, who are all armed with missile weapons, are oriented to attack travellers crossing the river.
He invokes the blessings of Olorin to lift hearts and strengthen minds in the battles to come.
Date: June 17 Hejren Portents: 7 12
You’re travelling across the open wilderness of the plains between Mirkwood and the Mountains of Rhûn. You’re about 2 days from your goal. The water walking has proved a huge time saver time and a again crossing uncharted rivers, swamps and streams.
The party begins to notice that strange flight patterns from birds high in the sky. They’re over 2000’ up.
Send my bird to have a chat with them. [If they’re just normal migrants or such, and not some sort of abomination, which should be clear at a reasonable distance] Or at least check them out.
Aithorn flies up and realizes they are some sort of strange raptors. Maybe with the glint of metal on their talons. They appear to be very red as Aithorn got closer. They don’t look too natural.
Ceol looks up into the sky, with a frown. “I’m reminded of the crebain. Saruman seems to be consistent, at least.”
“Perhaps Saruman has bred his own spies. Metallic talons would certainly speak to his technique. Though by your description, niece, these sound like they may be more offensive than crebain.”
Ninthel draws her elven cloak in a little tighter and narrows her eyes to scan out across the land, “While we should certainly keep an eye to the skies, we also must be wary should their allies be near. I’d rather not fall into an ambush. The one we avoided was quite formidable.”