The Courage of Men
The following story can be experienced in Bree-Land by starting the quest “Prologue: Burying the Dead”
The man adventurer and Jon Brackenbrook had stood against the Blackwold assault, but many good folk had perished. In the cold light of day, they buried the dead and began rebuilding their lives. Strider had gone and Amdir’s fate was unknown. However, the adventurer would soon find himself facing off against the Blackwolds once more...
While the hobbits returned to the Shire, the man made for Combe. He had been summoned by Toradan, one of Strider’s rangers, who told of their duty to protect the Shire, the coming of the Nazgûl, and of Amdir’s fall.
Toradan sought to rescue Amdir, who had escaped from Archet with the Cargûl host. Deep in the Chetwood, the adventurer found, among their abandoned belongs, a recruitment letter that exposed a Blackwold Spy by the name of Ellie Cutleaf.
Ellie, however, had turned over a new leaf. Having witnessed the atrocities committed by the Blackwolds, she sought to leave that part of her life behind. In exchange for information on Amdir’s whereabouts, the adventurer would have to help put an end to the evils she had engaged in.
She told of her part in the breeding of wolves and wargs and sought to put an end to the abominations. Within the borders of the Chetwood at Skunkwood’s Farm, the adventurer slew the warg den-mother and her pack.
Thankful the wargs could no longer breed, Ellie and the adventurer turned their focus to the Blackwold Warg breeder, Jagger Jack. With the aid of the local healer, they concocted a drought that would poison his remaining wolves. With the poison in hand, the adventurer made for the Blackwold stronghold deep within the Chetwood.
The adventurer bravely fought through the Blackwold stronghold, poisoning the wolves’ food supply along the way. Deep within the fortress, the adventurer encountered Jagger Jack and warriors from Angmar whom were swiftly defeated.
With her mistakes rectified, Ellie revealed the location of the Blackwold hideout. The adventurer infiltrated the hideout, masquerading as a Blackwold.
William Skunkwood, chief of the Blackwolds, took the adventurer to see Amdir, who was being held captive.
To the adventurers surprise, Amdir had changed. His face had all but began to disappear and he was full of anger and fear. Before the adventurer could act, Amdir broke from his prison and ran away.
Within the cell stood a lonely old woman by the name of Sara Oakheart, whom he helped escape. Amdir had slaughtered the Blackwolds in his path and those that had survived stood against the adventurer whose disguise had been exposed.
At the entrance of the hideout, they came upon Amdir and Toradan, who had come to aid the adventurer. Seeing how far Amdir had fallen, Toradan resigned to kill his friend.
Fueled with rage, Amdir overpowered Toradan and mortally wounded him with his own sword. As he escaped, Amdir cursed Toradan and all the other rangers and vowed to bring them to ruin.
Amdir had become a servant of the enemy. With his final breath, Toradan pleaded for the adventurer to bring warning to his kinsmen hidden throughout Bree-land. The adventurer made for the mustering cave at Toradan’s behest, on the border of the Weather-Hills. There he found found Mundol, a ranger, defeated.
Mundol told of Reniolind, a scholar among the rangers, who had been investigating the ruins of the old Marshwater Fort in the Midgewater Marshes. The adventurer raced to the fort in hopes of saving at least one of the rangers from Amdir’s fury.
Reniolind was safe within the ruins. Upon learning of his kinsmen’s fate, Reniolind made for Strider, chieftain of the rangers. They took a secret passageway through the ruins towards Bree.
In the darkness, they encountered Amdir. Reniolind tried to reason with him, but Amdir mortally wounded the ranger where he stood.
The adventurer bravely fought against Amdir. Before the adventurer could defeat him, he escaped once more. Reniolind commanded the adventurer to make for Bree at once to warn Strider of Amdir’s treachery...
Further Reading: Interlude - The Bonds of Fellowship