Andared took second place in the RoI guest writer competition with this letter to Elrond. Enjoy!

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Just as Elrond stooped to pick up a book which had fallen off one of the shelves in his library, the doors swung open and an Elf messenger hurried down the steps, and after a quick bow, the Elf revealed a scroll with an elaborate wax seal and held it out to Elrond.

“News from General Lainedhel, in the Ettenmoors, my lord.”

“Thank you,” Elrond said, with a dismissive wave of the hand.

After the messenger left, Elrond broke the seal and unraveled the scroll to divulge its contents.

Greetings, Lord Elrond,

I write to you concerning matters which have recently unfolded in the Ettenmoors.  Four nights ago, an Orc stumbled upon one of our scouting parties as he sought to make his way over the pass in the mountains, heading south towards the Trollshaws. This was nothing out of the ordinary, as our scouts have encountered many Orcs in previous situations similar to this one.  However, this Orc bore with him a strange message in black speech, which I have thus translated, and reads as follows:

“Greetings, man of many colors. This is Tyrant Akulhun, leader of the forces of Angmar. Over the past weeks the Elf dogs combined with help from the Longbeards, little folk, and Man-flesh have gained considerable victories over my forces.  These maggots tend to be more useful for making walls than fighting, but we won’t be able to assault Rivendell if we don’t have any Orcs surviving their first fight.  After inspecting a few of my soldiers, and watching them train, I notice several defective spots in their armor. These maggots seem to be weaker and less able to mitigate attacks than they were before.  I need new armor for these scum before the Elf dogs assault Gramsfoot itself, and quickly! With the new furnaces you’ve…acquired, you should be able to craft us better armor than what we make do with here.  Get those maggots to work, and quickly!

Angmar-Ur!”

It seems that the “Man of many colors” that the Uruk mentions in this letter is Saruman, our newfound enemy in the South.  I also regret to inform you that while we did manage to stop this messenger, it appears another one somehow managed to slip through our watch, because two days later, we received word from the Rangers that the forges of Isengard blazed anew and the shouts of Orcs felling trees could be heard from their furthest camps.  How they plan on shipping the armor to the forces of Angmar at Gramsfoot is a mystery to me.  But for such a large army, it will take many days, regardless of what route of delivery they should choose.  In the meantime, I seek your council on what I should have my armies do in light of these words.  Would you have me attack, and storm Gramsfoot in an effort to eradicate the forces of Angmar before help can be received, or would you have me hold back my forces, and keep an eye on the borders, to stop the shipments from ever arriving?

My own inclinations tell me to attack and wipe out the threat to Rivendell once and for all.  But, if such an attack were to fail, the route to Imladris would be left dangerously unguarded.  Open to a counter-assault from the forces of Angmar.  Because such a decision could determine the fate not only of my own fighting force, but that of Rivendell itself, I feel it is my duty to allow you to make the judgment on what must be done.

Please respond as quickly as possible so I may arrange my forces accordingly. And may the grace of the Valar be upon you, and us all.

 

~General Lainedhel

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