The ring goes South, but having forgotten to bring their priority passes, they encounter a huge queue for the "Balrog ride" and rather than wait they carry on into Dunland.
Who should appear their but their old fiend, Witchking chief of the Nazgul.
"Strider what do we do?"
"This is no time for sound-bites Frodo. I feel histories hand upon my shoulder" (and off he went to be crowned in the safety of Dol Amroth).
"You shall not Arrgha ahahahah"
"What was Gandalf trying to tell us?"
Meanwhile in Orthanc
"Ride! my pretties ride!" a wolf army overwhelms the fords and Helms deep "Mwahahah!"
" Sire I have a demand from the White Wizard for our surrender. We are conquered and broken people!"
"Tell him, "Nuts""
Elsewhere, in the heart of Elvenesse;
"Lady a foul host beats upon our very gates"
"This is the heart of Elvenesse, we don't do gates"
"GROND! GROND! GROND!"
"Tell that to them Oh Queen"
Somewhere nearby in the woods, watching the smoke rise:
"Hoom hoom told you this was the place to reincarnate. Three ages of the world and she thought she knew it all. Hasty, that's what I call it"
"Holy crap a talking tree! Where am I? What happened to my cloak...it's clean!"
"23rd Guards regiment reporting for assignment by the Steward, Sir!"
"And where am I supposed to put you all?"
"Garrison duty sir, fending off Johnny Orc. The men are keen to get stuck in sir"
"Look I don't have room for any more men"
"Sir between you and me Dol Amroth is full to bursting too sir, that's why the sent us 'ere, begging your pardon"
"Well I can't take you, march down to Pelargir and swell the forces there, be a good chap"
"but sir! We sent another 25.000 men there already...
"that is an Order!"
"Nuts?....Burn them alll!!!!!"
Somewhere in Rohan
"Shame about the Golden hall, but it worked, there nothing between us and Helm deep"
"Hey you, yes you! Elf, dwarf and man, I'd get those children out of here PDQ if I was you, there going to be a big battle"
"We're not childmmmmmmm"
"Certainly. We're looking for the mountains of Shadow, and we've kind of .. well got lost"
Rider points East with his lance , dark peaks visible on the horizon.
"Got ya, Ta"
Elven Army outside Dol Guldur
"Just the one orc sire"
"They left just one orc!"
"CHARGE!" (Dol Guldur seized by the Thranduil!)
Other side of the Misty mountains
"WHO COMES HITHER TO DISTURB THE RULER OF MORIA!!" (slight flames and smoke)
"I' think we'll just queue here then"
"Look over there Glorfindel..."
"Why unless my extraordinarily far seeing eyes deceive me, 'tis the Witch king still hunting in Dunland! Well I suppose even he gets a day off"
"Lord surely you cannot harm him with an arrow?"
"Not an arrow minor elf soldier, SAM7 -heat seeking -radar guided" Wooooosh
"Fools! not by the hand of man shall I BOOOOM" Burning scraps of cloak and winged beast descend.
"Ride my pretties..."
"you've done that one"
" Eh, Burn them..
"That one too"
"Well go look it up then. What's my line for the third warg host"
" Fourth host sir. They rode the third one down last turn"
"What was my gloating maniacal line for that then?"
"You didn't have one sir, the narrative was elsewhere"
"What! I'm not some minor bit player in someone else's tal...."
Cut to charging Rohirim and Stomping Ents
"This is a lot more fun than we usually get! "
The banks of the Anduin, two giant armies glare across the river
WestBank East bank
"We wait for them to attack us,
then we counter attack an "Sash dash gash and nash"
"What if they're waiting for us?" "Bash rash clash?"
"We lure them out!" "Cash mash dash!"
"So, while we're waiting, you got any cards?" "Fash, slash slash?"*
* Orc do not commonly play cards - they eat them. Their principle entertainment is bar-billiards, but on campaign the sometime play "slash slash" to pass the time.
Near Minas Morgul.
"Thranduil, I'm scared"
" You're immortal. The spirits of the dead have no power over those who have dwelt in the light of the two trees"
"YOU didn't even dwell in the light of the two trees. That was thousands of years before you were born!"
"Good point. Say this place is a bit spooky, lets go home"
"There's an awful lot of orcs outside now....."
Slopes of Mount Doom
"You know I'm getting a little fed up with his eager to please, happily capering attitude"
"It doesn't really fit with the epic Wagnerian feel does it? Anyway, how does he know where to go"
2 corruption falls from the sky and squashes Smeagol flat.
"Oh that's gotta to hurt! You're up then Pippin."
Gorgoroth Army recruitment centre (be all HE wants you to be)
"I said next!"
"That can't be everyone surely?"
"I want this finished!!! Send everyone!!!" spit flying, arms waving.
"There's someone to see you"
Pleasure boat on lake Nurn
" Check the phone again dear? Oh well, I don't know why he hasn't called, I guess he's busy. Ring this, conquer that, you know what he's like when he's got his eye on something. Try one of these - pleasures of Morgul they're called. Not quite as good as the ones we had in Numenor"(wistful sigh)
Path to Sammath Naur
"PEEK A BOO!"
Close, but as we say , no cigar. The military win was nowhere, although every orc and troll, easterling and mumakil, and well nigh every wolf was on the table. But then so was the entire garrison of Gondor, and Helm deep still flying the flag of freedom! Great fun and a very different game. There was a moment when I thought king Aragorn could have lead the army into Mordor and just kicked butt, however with the fall of Dol guldur the Shadow was briefly on the back foot and became very cautious (that and several turns with no army dice and a heap of musters). After that it was clearly going to be about the ring, and that's where all the cards and dice went.
Darkness fell, but not in the way we'd hoped for....