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Imraleth Berithoniel
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re: Journal of Isilene Valcrest

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The following is an excerpt from the Journal of Isilene Valcrest, Captain-General of the 7th Legion and commander of the expeditionary force, errant from Gondor:

"...I was left with little choice in the matter. Winter had come on strong, and already the elves have reported fell birds within the tree's watching our camp. In the north and to the west their was a great darkness upon the sky, and in the late hours of the watch my men reported feelings of unease and dread upon them..."

The following event occurs a fortnight later in the journal, following several entries of insubordination and misconduct:

"...So it was I gave the order, to break camp and leave Thorenhad abandoned. The Elves had warned that a great darkness was approaching the camp, and that the evil of elder days had been awoken to the north within the hills of the wood. In an uneasy haste, my people broke camp swiftly, I mustered my guard and rode out swiftly into the west to discover what may be approaching and in hope of bringing some news to our fellows and our companions, the Rangers..."

The Following occurs on the next night and the entry appears hastily scribbled with a shaking hand:

"...were upon us. We felt the dread they instilled upon us, long before our eyes caught glimpse of them. In ernst I marshalled my guard around me and we prepared to make our stand. I sent a rider with all do swiftness back into the east to bring word to my people, and to the Rangers and Elves, that the enemy was closer than we believed."

"...our horses bolted, and I and several others were thrown from the saddle as the riders bore down upon us. Never in my life had I known such terror and still, though I live, my heart races beneathe my breast to recall the events of the past hour. It is said that they were once Kings of Men, twisted by the powers of Sauron to become shadows of great evil and his most chief of servants. I can say with all truthfulness that I would think nothing less of the legends of these creatures..."

The Following is an excerpt from the journal that gives a brief glimpse into what was later named the Battle in the Vale:

"...Amril shown with pale fire, Sword of Captains, my predecessors. Of my Guard, great courage and resiliance was displayed. The Angmarim came upon us from the shadows of the dread that their dark masters had crafted. Once more and certainly not for the last time, Gondorian Steel drank deeply from the blood of the slaves of Angmar. Yet we were outnumbered gravely, and in the dawn that seemed to be approaching, but offered little comfort and hope to us, I could see beyond the forrest, the Last Bridge... Orcs manned the bridge and had established fell craftsmanship upon the stone. On the far side, a great line of our enemies marched in full force, crossing the bridge in multitude, the banners of the Iron Crown held high to the voices that sang darkly in the cursed tongue of their people..."

"...ordered to fall back. My guard and I fought valiantly, but the horns of our enemy, obviously now a skirmishing force that had stumbled upon our camp, sounded clarion in the vale. Smoke rose from the wood around us and blood spilled. Horseless we fell back into the wood, my guard remained at my side as we fought our way into the east, over rock and through wood. At times we were overcome and turned to drive our pursuit back, only to turn and retreat further into the east. In the eyes of my Guard I could see the weariness that I felt overtaking my own body as well. My lungs burned for air and my muscles were exhausted. I had not the strength to wield Amril further, and so I forfited the blade of Gondor upon my back and fought on with my shield, bludgeoning my foes with determined will to survive. Of my guard, our number dwindled, the wounded were aided as best we could while the fallen were left behind upon the hillside. Our number dwindled and our fortitude faltered..."

"...The sun cast no light through the overcast of cloud and mist that hung in the air, snow fell upon us as we pressed deeper into the east, and for what seemed a short moment we came to a halt and took what breath we could. In the eyes of what remained of my Guard that I had chosen for companions in this task, I could see the zealous loyalty and devotion bruning within their eyes and I drew strength. For a time I had remembered that I was but a woman, born to companion a man and create a house and heirs for his line, not to fight in battle and lead men. Yet now I remembered, through the gaze of my Guard upon me, that I was an equal, a sister and a Leader of Men. I was a Captain of Gondor."

"...we pressed on after that short rest, weary but desperate to reunite with our company. I could only hope that my paige had delivered my warning to the Rangers and the Elves of Rivendell in time. Captain Gimiladun would by now, led the main echelon of the Company across the river ford and be nearing the hidden refuge of the elves..."

"...we came to a halt in a small clearing, breathing heavily as we saw a contingent of Rangers step from the tree's on our flank. At once I recognised the tallest of their number, Berenhathol he was called and I had met him twice before. He was a great man among his people and I had come to respect him to a degree. While my men took rest and saw to their wounds, I imparted to Berenhathol of the crossing of the Last Bridge by the host of Angmar and the Orcs and of the vast numbers that now drove with purpose and bloodlust into the woodland of the Trollshaws. I was grieved to note that my paige, Tariglir, was found slain, pierced by many arrows his steed had born him east, driven wild with fear until Berenhathol himself had managed to ride the steed down and rally him. My friend and traveling companion, Turchon, who led the Rangers, never recieved the message he bore."

"...After a period of rest and a meal, and escorted by the Rangers of Berenhathol, my guard and I accompanied the Rangers into the east, I would meet with Turchon and deliver my message in person. The Rangers of Berenhathol led us through glen and dale, over hills and along the great Bruinen itself on what seemed to be a pathless route known only by his kinsmen until at the setting light of day, we came at last to within sight of Delossad, hidden encampment of Turchon and his folk."
Imraleth Berithoniel
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re: Journal of Isilene Valcrest

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The Following is an excerpt from the Journal of Isilene Valcrest, Captain-General of the Seventh Legion of Gondor, during the time of the Expeditionary Force, and its stay in Rivendell. The following entry details the meeting with a traveler from Gondor of some importance...

"Thus far our hearts have been made light, despite the enemy that encamps itself on the western side of the Bruinen River. As of yet, we watch and maintain our sentry upon the ridge overlooking the Ford of the River that leads after some time to the only hidden entrance to the Valley of Imladris, for so it is known in the Songs of my people. Imladris, I can't ever have imagined I would see this valley or the truth in its existance outside of a legend, yet here it is, none the less. Here to is another most unexpected surprise! On our third day in Rivendell I was greeted by none other than the High Warden himself, Lord Boromir, eldest son of Denethor, the Steward. He was tall and fair, and more handsome than I remembered him to be. The meeting, unfortunatly was a secretive one, for under the wisdom of our host, Elrond Half-Elven, it was deemed wise that the nature of Boromir's visit, and his existance here in Imladris should remain a secret. While I duely wished for my men to share in this meeting with the Steward's son, I have come to trust in the Wisdom of Elrond of late...."

The next entry occurs a few days later...

"I spoke with Boromir again today in his room where I was summoned and brought to him. Thus far his stay in Imladris has been a secret and still after my meeting with him today, I could learn nothing as to the reason that he has come. We spoke of the Battle of Osgiliath, and he listened as I recounted for him the journey north from Gondor, comparing it to his own travel. He was most interested in the deeds of my Company and it seemed to have pleased him greatly. Boromir has asked me to return to dinner with him this night, as his guest at a feast held by Lord Elrond. Admitedly their has been so many feasts of late I have no reason to understand or even to care what the occassion was for this one... But I do find myself pleased to be invited to be a guest by Boromir, his smile could melt the ice of the peak of Methedras itself, and his shoulders are like the mighty Citadel of Ecthelion, doubled..."

Later that evening, a second entry was made, it was short and seemed to be penned hastily...

"...has invited me to walk with him tonight under the stars! I can hardly believe it! I do so wish that Boromir would return with us to Gondor, I've asked him twice already but he has refused, gently. He would give no reason suffice to say that he has business to see to 'ere he can return to Minas Tirith and the house of his father. Would that he would return home with my Company! And would that he would... The Valar strike me down for such thoughts! Alas!..."

The Final Entry on the subject of Boromir, Elder Son of the Steward follows after. While it would seem that hereafter in the many days and months ahead, the thoughts of Isilene would drift back fondly to the Steward's son, nothing further was ever mentioned in detail of him.

"...Many thousand blessings upon the House of Denethor for raising a son so handsome, strong and tender as Boromir. My heart was on fire as he treated me with the respect of a Lady of the high court, and with the respect of a fellow Soldier. I would have come back to his room had he asked it of me. Nay, he would not, for so noble and gracious a Lord is he that a simple kiss to my hand was more fair than I would have ever imagined..."
".....In secret did we linger long under the stars, and he told me that on the morrow he would journey home to Minas Tirith, yet under strange companionship it would seem. This company he would travel with posessed a weapon that could turn the tide of war against the enemy forever. The ending of our walk I was given a kiss upon my sword hand, and to which I promised to expect him in Minas Tirith by next Yule for a dance in the Fountain Court. A promise I intend to hold upon him. Boromir, son of Denethor, I do believe that tonight he has taken a piece of my heart with him. Would that he return next Yule to Minas Tirith and steal the rest of it from me...Fair thee well my Lord, my Heart, my Love! Wherever your journey takes you, until we may meet again... Fair well!"
Imraleth Berithoniel
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re: Journal of Isilene Valcrest

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The Following excerpt was scibbled hastily in the flowing script of the author, Isilene Valcrest. It details the dawn of what would become known as the Coldfells Campaign:

"...arrived in the early dawn. Among him we're his two sons, Eladan and Elrohir. Turchon of the Dunedain, Guthmyr of the men of Rohan, and so to came Goladas of the Theryn en Forod Tradesmen, no doubt he smelled an opportunity to profit. Lord Elrond gave message that a great host of the enemy had appeared overnight from the hills of a mountain called 'Gramsfoot' in the Western Tongue. Only a small force stood between them and the possibility of them joining the host of Angmar which was now encamped on the western banks of the Bruinen. It could be that this force from Gramsfoot is what the force of Angmar had been waiting on. I have marshalled my Guardsmen to me and swiftly we gathered what little supplies we could. I would lead a force north into the Coldfells swiftly to intercept this enemy from Gramsfoot, and prevent their joining with the Angmarim."

"As my small group of Riders prepared, their were others who joined us, compelled to lend their aid in this grave matter of importance. Riders from the Rohirrim who were among us, Dunedain from Turchon's Company, and even a few of the Traders of Theryn en Forod were ready to depart, and more to follow with heavily ladden waggons of supplies which would arrive some time after us. With haste and great speed we departed before the end of the dawns light from Rivendell, riding swiftly into the mountains to intercept the enemy from Gramsfoot."

"... During a brief rest stop a few hours from the begining of the cursed 'fells, I marked a location on a map that Elrond had given me. Ost Ringdyr it was named, and it was once a mighty fortress of the North Kingdom, now little more than ruins. Here I would establish a base camp and begin rotations of our force to and from this outpost until the threat was ended, and the advance of the orcs of Gramsfoot had been halted. It was my hope that we could at the least, slow their joining with the great host of Angmar that now lie encamped and awaiting their allies from Gramsfoot, before the full might of the enemy was sent across the Bruinen and towards Imladris.... Elendil as my witness, we will hold them here..."
Imraleth Berithoniel
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re: Journal of Isilene Valcrest

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The following is an excerpt from the Journal of Isilene, daughter of Imralor and details the events leading up to what would later be known as "The Battle of the Ford":

"...No sooner had we retreated back from the Coldfells, and come at last to the hidden refuge once more, than we heard the warning horns of our watchmen. The enemy was on the move. It would seem from early reports that the enemy had erected great siege engines with which to breach the ford and the power that the elves held over the mighty river which was known as the Bruinen. A thousand curses on the men of Angmar and their slaves..."

"...Though weary from battle in the coldfells against the orcs of Gramsfoot, my guard and I mustered what few we could in short time and rode in haste to the Overwatch where we joined our watchmen. Their too, came Turchon and a few of his kinsmen, brave Rangers and cousins of the north, mail-clad elves of Elrond's folk their were too, and Guthmyr and few of his horsemen of Rohan were assembled as well. We formed our battle lines and awaited the first advances of the enemy on the eastern banks of the Ford of Bruinen, it was then that all beheld the power of the elves. Like a mighty power of the elder days, the Bruinen's waters roared and washed over the first wave of our enemies, all were smitten in its wrath. Yet no sooner had the waters passed than the foul craft of the enemy was set upon the Bruinen and the second wave of the wicked host rushed into the water, eager to test our resolve. In defiance we waded out to meet our enemy, my blood coarsed and all sense of weariness vanished from me as the battle began..."

"...at the center of the formation did we march through the freezing water of the mountain river. Like a great, mobile stone we pressed against our enemy and they broke upon us like the sea upon the fair rocks of Dor-en-Ernil, my home in the south, though long has it been since I last smelled the scent of the southern sea. With tall shields and long spears and swords of light we drove hard into our enemies and our cries rang mightily in the gorge. Liken unto our fathers of Numenor before us we were filled with an ancient courage of elder days and mightily did we drive our host back to the western bank of the river. At our left flank did our kinsmen of this northern land fight. Mightily they fought, at our right flank the Rohirrim of Guthmyr drove a wedge, harrying the enemy from the backs of their tall steeds..."

"...The test was over, and the enemy withdrew for the time, and so to did we, for the enemy knew now that the Ford would not be idley won, or defended by lesser foes than they. Our watch was doubled and all knew that the true battle would soon come..."
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