The Ring Goes East
The following story can be experienced in Bree-land by starting the quest “Book 1, Chapter 1: Unraveling the Thread”
Frodo Baggins did not expect to encounter enemies on the road to Bree, where Gandalf the Grey awaited them. In hopes of avoiding them, Frodo and his friends took the road through the Old Forest where they encountered greater evils still. Strider, who had been keeping watch of the Shire and of Frodo, now desperately sought news of his charge
Strider listened attentively as the adventurers recounted the news from their home-lands. He speculated that the Captain of the Nazgûl, the Witch-King of Angmar, was likely behind the evil deeds. His rangers had been watching a Blackwold camp south of Bree where recently, a shadow had spread across it. With the cover of nightfall, they made for the Blackwold camp to learn more of the evil that stirred within it.
As the adventurers prepared to strike, brigands were seen fleeing from the camp in fear of what lay inside. The adventurers steeled their resolve and began their assault.
The adventurers battled their way through the camp until they finally came upon Skorgrím who was surrounded by the mutilated corpses of brigands.
Before they could engage Skorgrím in battle, he summoned a barrow-wight to defend himf and fled towards the altar at the apex of the camp. Determined to put an end to the dwarf-lord, the adventurers disposed of the wight and made chase.
Upon reaching the altar, the adventurers encountered five of the Nazgûl who were performing a ritual to turn Amdir into a servant of the enemy.
Overcome by dread, the adventurers were helpless against the Nazgûl. Aragorn had arrived in time to combat the Nazgûl with fire; which they feared greatly. Eógan, a servant of Angmar who had aided the goblins of the Shire, sacrificed himself so the Nazgûl could escape and Amdir’s ritual could be complete.
The adventurers fought with haste but they were too late, Amdir had transformed into a Cargûl; a lesser type of Nazgûl. With no other options left to them, they slew Amdir upon the altar, bringing an end to his suffering once and for all...
Strider and the adventurers returned to Bree where they learned of a curious group of hobbits led by a Mr.Underhill that had arrived at the Prancing Pony. While he went to investigate the arrival, he sent the adventurers to Combe to make sure the Blackwolds had dispersed from the land.
Together with Constable Underhill, the adventurers returned to the Blackwold hideout. As they reached the cells, they encountered Skorgrím harassing the Blackwold leader, who had pledged allegiance to the White Hand and had forsaken Angmar.
Before they could reach them, Skorgrím killed the Blackwold leader and escaped, once more, from their grasp. With the death of their final leader, the Blackwolds were no more...
With the Blackwold threat over, the adventurers made for Bree where Strider told of five Nazgûl that had attacked the Prancing Pony in their absence. Strider recalled that they had encountered five of the Nine at the Blackwold camp as well. Before he could depart with Frodo, who had been traveling with his friends under the name "Underhill", he needed to learn of the whereabouts of the other four.
At Strider's behest, the adventurers sought the ranger Lenglinn, who was watching the borders of the Shire on the Greenway, for news of the Nazgûl’s movements. The adventurers rode west to find him collapsed at his camp near Buckland.
Lenglinn told of four Nazgûl that had crossed the Brandywine river towards Bree and of Frodo, who had purchased a home in Crickhollow, a cottage within Buckland. When he saw the Nazgûl fleeing from Buckland, he assumed the worst and stood against them. He could not overcome them, however, and was wounded in the process.
The adventurers made for Crickhollow. They came upon Fredegar Bolger, a rather large hobbit, who had nearly escaped the Nazgûl as they raided the cottage. He revealed to the adventurers that Frodo carried the enemy’s ring of power. Creban scouts, birds loyal to the enemy, had overheard him and flew towards the Old Forest to inform their masters.
If the enemy learned that the ring was no longer in the Shire, all would be lost. Upon their return to Bree, Strider sent the adventurers towards the master of the Old Forest, Tom Bombadil, to learn of the crebain’s whereabouts.
Bombadil spotted the crebain flying towards the Barrow-Downs. Following the old barrows road, the adventurers located the crebain and their master, Andraste, who had learned of Frodo and his quest. The adventurers defeated her and her crebain before could escape and reveal this to the Witch-King.
Before her death, Andraste revealed the Witch-King's journey to Othrongroth, greatest of the barrow-mounds. With the aid of Bombadil, the adventurers made their way towards the great barrow to learn of the Nazgûl’s plan.
The great barrow was heavily guarded by Dourhand dwarves and Barrow-wights. The adventurers fought their way through the barrow until they came upon the Witch-King and Skorgrím.
The adventurers followed them deeper into the barrow where the Witch-King, Skorgrím, and Ivar the Blood-Hand, a Gaunt-lord, revealed what they knew of the ring.
The adventurers continued their pursuit until they encountered Sambrog, wight-lord of the great barrow. He told of the enemy’s plans for Skorgrím and Ivar before attacking them.
The enemy proved too great for the adventurers. When all hope seemed lost, Tom Bombadil arrived and put an end to the wights. The adventurers, safe from harm, escaped the barrow alongside Bombadil.
The adventurers returned to Bree to warn Strider of the enemy’s plans. At the Inn of the Prancing Pony, they discovered that Strider and the hobbits had departed. Barliman Butterbur, the inn-keeper, directed them towards Gandalf the Grey, who had only just arrived.
Gandalf was distraught by the news of the Witch-King’s plans but he could not afford to abandon his task, as the fate of Middle-earth depended on it. The burden of ending the Witch-King’s plans would have to instead fall upon the adventurer’s shoulders...
Further Reading: Shadow of the White Hand & Into the Misty Mountains