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Subject:Battle of the Tunnels
Date:Tue Dec 10 01:37:49 1996
There was a fierce battle in the War earlier this week, it being the
middle of Solmath.  A group of orcs and evil sorcerers was reported 
advancing on Bree from the east, and some casualties had been taken on
the Nen-i-Sul.  There were many legends in Bree who were ready to
take them on, though, so I believed there was little danger to
the Bree-land, and conducted some business in the Shire.  But then we
heard terrible news.  Our heroes had been overwhelmed and scattered.
There were at least 15 of the monsters, and they made short work of
the Bree gates.  They occupied and ravaged the entire town.  Soon it
was reported that some trolls were among the invaders.

As the grim daylight dawned, orcs were still reported on the roads
all around Bree.  I plucked up all my Tookish courage and advanced
to the Brandywine, believing I could do little in such a fight, yet
feeling a sense of responsibility somehow.  The legendary fighters
of the west began to regroup at the crossroads west of Bree, and to
scout the area.  Then we heard strange reports - of a new, sinister
tunnel which the invaders had somehow dug...

I rode my pony toward Bree, under the eaves of the Old Forest, to find
our fighters, but even as I did, disaster struck again; refugees from
the battle dashed headlong past me, fighters with prominent names.  Clearly
our resistance had been broken again.  Again I retreated over the Brandywine,
and waited, resolved to give my life for the Shire if necessary..

The day wore on.  Our forces began to regroup.  Tuor had gathered a
large force in Fornost.  Some of us who had grouped at the Brandywine
began to think of rejoining the fight.  From all over Middle-Earth,
names of renown were heard, promising to help recapture the Bree-land.
At length we reassembled at the crossroads, perhaps 25 or 30 strong,
with more on the way.  Darkness was falling..

We heard noises to the south, the clank of armour and the grunts of
the beastly foe.  I prepared to do what little I could.  We moved out
from the crossroads, and, to the southwest, marring a productive vineyard,
we found a great black hole dug in the ground, leading down into unknown
depths.  Some of our number plunged boldly down into it.  A human
sorcerer of evil race came out.. he was attacked.. then a mixed party
of orcs and trolls came out of the hole.  Chaos erupted, and the battle
broke up into many battles.  I found myself matched with a fierce troll,
more than matched in fact; with one smite of his sword he hurt me
grievously, forcing me to flee.  But the roads were not safe; orcs were
moving around everywhere.  I rejoined the wild fray.  Tuor, our leader,
was nowhere to be seen.  Some were retreating back into Bree to rest,
and I went with them; the town was beginning to recover from its
occupation.  Tyrion was there, and told us the news that Tuor had died
in the fray.  We followed Tyrion and set out.  Tyrion got on the track
of a fleeing orc and we chased it all around Bree to the northeast,
tramping through the swamps, but were unable to catch it.  Then we
found some trolls on the road going east, leaving the area.  It seemed
that we had recaptured the Bree-land, or the foe had abandoned it, but
at heavy cost.

As the sun rose, I and some others went back to the tunnel that had been
dug in the vineyard.  It was a grim place.  I went down into it, and
was shocked by the mass of equipment, discarded supplies, and corpses,
orc and dwarf and human, that were to be found there.  Grim tokens of
brutality were everywhere.  From one orc corpse I recovered a sack
containing four elf ears!! you can imagine my horror.  (I later disposed
of them honourably in a hallowed place in Bree.)  I moved on further
into the tunnel.. it seemed to go on a long way, branching here and there.
Then, out of the blackness, came a fearsome and huge sight, death itself
in the shape of *Wintermute the Troll*!  Yes, he was still there, waiting
either for night, or to pick off those who came to recover equipment!!
I escaped by a hair's breadth and fled up to the sunny surface.  Quickly
a party assembled which was large enough to easily defeat the beast.
Then some other trolls were discovered in the Golden Cave, at a place
accessible only by water.  At length, after some canoes were assembled,
they too were dispatched.

Although I myself won little glory in the fight, still there were
acts of heroism done.  But it was an ill fate for those who first
went into the tunnels, including our gallant Tuor, who fled into
dead end passages which had been dug by the trolls' brute strength
into the very soil and rock of the peaceful Bree-land.
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