The Dark Mage of Rhudaur
“When the scrolls of the loremasters and the sagas of the bards turn to the subject of war, they tell of fierce battles and mighty captains. Perhaps the course of history is determined by these epic events, yet such clashes are, perforce, rare — occurring only a few times in an Age. Elves would hold that great wars come only too often, but the Eldar measure their years in yens. Among Men, only a few of the noble Dunedain see their lives encompass an entire yen of 144 Mannish years, and, for most of the dwellers in Middle- earth, entire generations may pass in this span. The Elven Queen, Galadriel of Lorien, once spoke of the Long Defeat, she perceived but one continuous conflict against Morgoth and his avatar, Sauron, in all her long sojourn in Endor.
The ceaseless battle between Light and Darkness has made no less an impact on the multitudes forgotten in the histories, especially those inhabiting the frontiers. Even in centuries otherwise considered peaceful or quiet, humble folk fight against evil. Yet their unremembered struggle is no less desperate, no less final for those who fall in the myriad little skirmishes, and, perhaps, no less important in the eyes of the One. The following tale recounts the deeds of the last faithful Dunedain of Rhudaur in northeastern Eriador, but it is also the story of those who hold back the Haradrim in South Ithilien, the Easterlings in Rhovanion, the foul Orcs of the Necromancer under the eaves of Mirkwood, and of all those who fight what the Elves call the Oiodagali, the endless little war.”
This campaign will be taking place in 1408 of the Third Age. A full 1,600 years before the War of the Ring, and almost 200 years before the founding of The Shire. The Dunadan, a race of which Aragorn is descended, has sought refuge in the lands of Middle Earth after the majority of their race was swept into the sea by the Valar (the gods) when the Dunadan, deceived by Sauron who, in those times was able to take on a pleasant and trustworthy appearance and demeanor, sailed upon the Undying lands, intent upon taking the gift of immortality from the elves and the Valar. A small number of Dunadan (The Faithful) that were not deceived by Sauron foresaw the destruction of their homelands of Numenor, and sailed east onto the continent of Eriador. Here, they founded the northern Kingdom of Arnor, and the southern kingdom of Gondor. It is in Arnor that our attentions will turn. There was peace for a time in Arnor, until the death of a king led to a fracturing of the kingdom between his three sons, and the smaller, lesser kingdoms of Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur were formed. Small squabbles followed between the three city states, especially when it came to the watch tower of Amon Sul (Weathertop), which housed one of the palantir. However, for the most part the kingdoms got along well enough. The Witch King, with the assistance of Rhudaur launched a brutal attack on Arthedain and Cardolan in 1356, resulting in the death of the king of Arthedain. Weathertop and its palantir were barely saved from the Witch King’s onslaught. Now, both Arthedain and Cardolan band together, awaiting the inevitable strike from Angmar and Rhudaur.