Awakening of the Wyrms – The Second Battle of Gundalok
Whilst Eomer and Thranduil were approaching Gundabad, across the Misty Mountains the Army of Eregion were engaging in their own struggles. After crushing a premature ambush by Goblin forces from Mount Gram, they entered the Gundabad passes. The Rohirric vanguard lures a mob of Hill Trolls into a devastating archery kill box. Then the Knights of Dol Amroth run down the lumbering remainder. It is the Rohirrim’s turn next when they are startled by a lesser Cold-drake that crawls out of the mountains. They recover from their surprise and charge it en-masse, spearing the lizard to its doom. At this point Radagast rides up from the south into the line of march and belatedly advises the king that the Dragons have awoken. Cautiously the army crests the pass.
They are a day late. Before them is the wreckage of the battle upon the plateau. Thousands of Goblins pick over the corpses of free folk and foul. The keen eyes of the sons of Elrond can make out the retreat of the allies far to the east and south. The Goblins on the plain form up to engage the men exiting the mouth of the pass, whilst more hideous troops issue from the Drake gate.
Elessar draws up the Gondorian infantry in the front whilst archers on the upper slopes thin out the Orcs. A huge pack of Wolf-riders comes howling up the pass from behind the Army of Eregion, pursuing the rear guard. Hobbitry in arms and Bree folk quickly form a wagon laager of the baggage train. The defensive wall and Shire archery holds long enough for the Blue Mountain Dwarfs to counter attack and chase off the wolves. Meanwhile on the slopes of Mount Gundabad, the Rohirrim and cavalry of Imladris drive off flanking Wargs. The Orc regiments withdraw hoping to lure the men into open ground, but now it is the Goblins’ turn for a nasty surprise. The huge fire-drake Throkmaw wings south out of Forodwaith, glides around the mountain fortress and descends upon the throng. It immolates swathes of Goblins and more than a few pursuing Rohirrim. The huge lizard lands greedily amidst the shrieking Orcs and begins feasting.
Radagast steadies the Captains of the West and points out yet another Drake far off swooping down out of the Ered Mithrin. “Even Anduril cannot prevail against this gathering of monsters”. In the face of the ravenous Urulóki before them, and another approaching, the western allies make the difficult decision to retreat and abandon their allies. Elessar and the Army of Eregion hastily turn away from the rampaging Fire-drake and march back into the pass, but in her mountain eyrie, Aelindur senses that this is her chance.
She attempts to use the Palantir, Throne and Gem to personally charge Throkmaw after King Elessar. Radagast halts at the top of the pass and incants some blend of wizardry. Between Radagast, the vast mind of Throkmaw and the Shadow Queen’s exhaustion, the moment is lost. Throkmaw turns and hungrily follows the fleeing Orcs into Gundabad itself. Elessar’s forces escape and retrace their steps south west, across Angmar, harried by Wolf riders. The Army of Eregion has taken minimal losses, and inadvertently seen Gundabad purged, but now must face a changing world order.
Continued in Part 5