Eotharl sheathed his swords, confident they had been sufficiently sharpened, and look to his left, seeing a tall and slight man, a friend of his. The man was called Tarithil, or Tracker by the Bree-landers, he was garbed in a hauberk of cloth and furs, and a long bow and quiver adorned his back, his hair hung to his shoulders and was raven-black. His sword on the black belt at his waist had carefully crafted elvish runes carved into the blade. Tarithil held out his arm and a black falcon landed on it, silentley.
To his right Eotharl heard the clang of metal and looked to see another friend of his, Edwin Stoutoak, standing tall and mighty whilst cleaving the head from a taining dummy with his long two-handed sword. Edwin was broad shouldered and stood at a height of almost seven foot. He was as dauntless a Bree-lander as you were every likely to meet and wore thick and heavy chain-mail breastplate and leggings. He had short red hair covered by a heavy helm and a short red beard covered his chin. His grey hound, Angus, lay at his feet.
"We should get moving." Said Eotharl "We need to reach Ost Narmor by tomorrow's nightfall. Our quest must be accomplished quickly, before I leave for Rohan." finished Eotharl. "Aye! We've go to get a move on or we'll never get there!" Said Edwin in his loud, gruff voice. "Then the three of us are of one mind." Said Tarithil, then whispering something to his hawk and sending it off towards the Chetwood. And so the three mounted their horses and set off towards the Chetwood and eventually to the Weather Hils to complete their quest.
Their quest was a dangerous one indeed. They were to carry out a raid on the White Hand fortress in the Weather Hills known as Ost Narmor and kill the dark lord there, Tarsereg. For Tarsereg was one of Saruman's main envoys in Bree-land and carried out many of his operations there. with his death Saruman's strength in Bree-land would be greatly weakened.
Rain began to fall heavily as the three companins rode towards the lumber camp outside the Chetwood where they where to stable their horses and continue on foot so they could move unseen. As they grew closer to the lumber camp Eotharl spoke up, pointing ahead "there it is! Our horses will be well kept there." "They better be." growled Edwin, patting his horse's neck. As they rode into the camp the companions dismounted and tied their horses in the stable and then planned their approach to the Weather Hills. "It is too dangerous to go straight through Chetwood" said Eotharl, looking towards the dark and ominous looking forest. "Yet nor can we go through the Midgewater marshes" said Tarithil. "Well then how are we to get through?" Said Edwin, looking at the two others. "Perhaps if we go on the edge of the Chetwood and the beggining of the marshes we can go unseen." The three looked at each other. If they were seen it is likely they would all be killed. "Very well Eotharl, I will accompany you." Spoke Tarithil "To the grave and beyond it." And the ranger bowed before Eotharl. "Well of course I'm coming with you!" Laughed Edwin. "Why you two wouldn't last a minute without my strength!" The two others sighed but smiled all the same, knowing that they would have Edwin Stoutoak's hardiness to aid them.
The three had not always been on such good terms. Eight months ago, when Eotharl had only just arrived in Bree-land. He had ventured into the Chetwood ,despite the warnings of his friends and neighbours, and had set up a small fire when he was suddenly grabbed from behind, gagged and blindfolded. In seconds he was being pulled off in to the wilderness. Atleast an hour later he was unbound and ungagged and he found himself on the ground, looking up at four hooded faces. All had long, dark hair and were garbed in green hoods and cloaks. For a time all the faces stared down at him without movement, until finally one spoke, "He doesn't look like a brigand." He spoke in a strange voice, one that Eotharl had not heard the like of before. "Aye. And his clothes are of good quality. Not that of a brigand." Said another. "Don't be too sure." Said the tallest of the four, perhaps the leader "Do not be a fool Nangorlin. Not all brigands look like brutes and thugs. And the man's clothes show that perhaps he is some sort of general." Finally, Eotharl spoke up "I assure you gentlemen, I am no brigand. I am Eotharl Eothaine, son of Theogar-" Eotharl was cut off as the leader struck him in the face. "Idilnar!" Cried one of the other men. "You harm him unduly!" , grimaced at the man "Nangorlin, you of ten forget, anyone that can speak, can lie. You must expect deceit." Nangorlin frowned, but said nothing. Eotharl wiped the blood from his mouth and spoke again "I know what you are friends. You are rangers, Ghost men, Dunedain. I thought your folk had left these lands." All of the rangers frowned and then Idilnar spoke again "Thus proving how little you know of us horse-lord. We have not left Bree-land, far from it. We continue to protect the free peoples and smite the monsertous however we prefer to carry out our business discreetly." Eotharl nodded, glad that there were others protecting these lands. Suddenly, another one of the rangers spoke, he had been silent all the while and his voice seemed fairer than the rest "What are you doing here, Horse-lord?" Eotharl looked up at the man and spoke "I was seeing how bad the situation in Chetwood truly was. My brother came here and told me of the evils, I wished to see if his report was true." Idilnar snorted, "Well as you can see, it is. The darkness is very strong here and brigands and their wolves roam freely. We can barely keep them from invadin-" Before Arathil could finish, an arrow shot through the bushes, hitting Idilnar's chest but missing his heart. He gasped, but pulled the arrow from his chest and quickly shouted to his men "We've been spotted! Quick! Get to cover!"
Imedietley the rangers ran to the bushes and ducked down as arrows whizzed past them wildly. Eotharl was pulled away by the silent ranger and all five of them met in a ditch behind some bushes. "How did they find us!" Said Nangorlin, his bow at the ready. "The fire was too bright, I warned you Arabner." Said Idilnar, clutching the gushing wound on his chest. Nangorlin pulled out his knife and cut Eotharl's bonds saying "We can escape if only they were distracted. They're closing in on us!" Idilnar nodded and drew both his swords. I can hold them. You four go on." The others stared at their leader in amazement. "You cannot do this Master! Cried the silent ranger. I will not leave you here to die." Idilnar winced and clutched at his wound again. "I will only be a hinderance if I go with you Tarithil. Go. Take the prisoner." Just as Idilnar finished two brigands jumped down into the ditch. Idilnar swung his blades, cleaving the head from one of the brigands while stabbing the other through the heart. Nangorlin and Arabner then ran, firing arrows at the brigands from behind them. Tarithil and Eotharl stayed as Idilnar slayed more and more brigands. Idilnar turned to them, blood splattered on his face and an arrow in his leg and shouted to them "Go!"