Credit goes to Joel Allen for this great narrative. I am posting for him, I sat home in the Mines of Moria with my family recovering from flu and a busy weekend. Looks like I missed a fun game session!
------- "Once upon a time": --------
The Second war of the ring began with a roar as The Warg riders out of Rhun came together with the Oliphant warriors of deep Harad under a banner of total darkness. These forces encroached the borders of middle earth in the early days of conflict, suffering relatively few losses and experiencing a soaring of confidence.
Sauron the dark lord attempted to consolidate power in his kingdom, only to be twarted early by a small group of Warg-riders who had holed up in the Tower of the Eye. This was quite embarrassing for the dark lord, but he perservered and eventually brought himself to complete power in his own dark dominion. Of note in this bizzare alternate reality was that Sauron's primary troops were dark elves (of deep shadow. ())
DeniBar the new steward of Gondor began his reign with a blaze of trumpets in the southland. With a series of lightning strikes he secured the borders of Gondor (!) and made preparations for a unstoppable expanse across middle earth. In a strange twist, Sauron himself was forced to steel his defenses against the possibility of an overwhelming menace from the west.
Elrond of Rivendell found himself without a home as his armies were dispersed throughout the northlands, with stragglers in Rohan and Gondor falling to DeniBar and the new armies of Saru-Ken, while simultaneously facing a threat from the north. The elf lord consolidated his power in Mirkwood and awaited the advance of the Warg Riders.
The west and the northlands were a vast waste of unconsolidated forces in the early days of the war. But as time progressed, subtle patterns began to take shape. Besides a company of Sauron's Dark Elves that clung to the coastline near the grey Havens, a slow stirring of Golden banners began to build, largely unseen by other commanders.
And the Red Orcs of Saru-Ken rampaged in Gondor and Rhovaion, never fully vanguishing the region, but spilling much blood on the land while turning a nervous eye to Gondor and Mordor in the South.
Soon, the Warg Rider/Oliphant Army menance faced setbacks. DeniBar's forces of the consolidated Gondor pushed south into the city of the Corsairs and smashed through to several neighboring terriories. Oliphant battalions were swept away as if on the wind, and the black banner retreated to deep Harad. Meanwhile, a savage strike from Elrond out of the Heart of Murkwood pushed the Goblins to the brink of anihilation and nearly routed them from their ancestral home of Rhun. The Goblins, for their part, were probably busy trying to enlist Smaug in their cause. The Dragon was taking no calls at the lonely mountain, and the Black banner was thus doomed.
In the South, "Aragorn returned" to a much Minas tirith to bolster the already strong position of Gondor, at the same time as the dark gate of mordor opened, spilling hordes of dark elves into the war. The dark lord Sauron still had to take pause with vast armies of the freeborn on his doorstep, and could not expand north from his domain, where the red hordes of saru-Ken still held sway. Sauron made a foray into Gondor to break total control of the region, but was outnumbered and had to withdraw following.
The red orcs were thus caught between Elrond/Warg carnage in the North, and the titanic stalemate on the Gondor/Morder border. they could not consolidate power in a region and were doomed to a slow, suffucating defeat.
in the north, a last offensive by the Black Warg riders expanded their territory but ultimately succeeded only in thinning their forces to the brink of annihilation. Elrond's forces fared no better, and the price of the war was high on both sides. SmeaJoel was last seen holed up in the mines of Moria.
And in the west, in the final days of the war, the slow gathering of the Golden banners reached a fever pitch and signaled the eminent return of Gandalf the Grey.
Gandalf himself was much changed by his experience at the hands of the Balrog, this time. Wounded and enraged, but by no means weakened, he led his Golden elves out the Grey havens and down the coastline of Middle earth. It was as if the elves had returned from the far off west to reclaim the globe in a tornado of hate. After dealing with some Saru-Ken surviors on the coastland of Rohan, Gandalf's forces entered Gondor's flank and proceeded to lay waste to the coutryside. His golden elves fought with such bloodlust that the human armies of the free peoples were smashed like so much kindling, and Minas Tirith itself was laid wasted before him. Thus ended the reign of DeniBar, steward of the new Gondor. (Rumor has it he escaped with the Orange Fanta Girl)
at this point the fellowship arrived at mount doom, and Middle earth "performed an illegal operation" and was forced to reboot.
What form will the next war take?
Nick (Gandalf the vicious) 27 (saved his fury for the final days of the war and exploded into glory)
B (Sauron the pensive) 16 (unuable to expand, due to the stength of DeniBar)
Joel (SmeaJoel the unwise) 16 (spread thin, but with fortess points)
Bar (DeniBar of Gondor) 14 (former glory, laid low by circumstance and the attention of others)
Kris (Elrond the homeless) 12 (spread too thin by cruel fate)
Ken (Saru-Ken the red) 8 (the last days of the war were cruel)