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Old 07-12-2020, 03:34 PM   #1
Haunting Spirit
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Combined armies of the west vs Mordor

Hypothetical scenario: What if the war of the ring started before Smaug destroyed Dale and Erebor? Sauron feels he has enough troops to launch a assault on Gondor. He starts his invasion of Gondor with Osgiliath. Beregond, the steward at that time send emisarries to all realms in Middle-Earth for help. All responds yes and sends their forces to Minas Tirith. Could the combined armies of Gondor, Rohan, Dale, Erebor, Rivendell, Lorien, Woodland Realm and Dol Amroth push back Sauron and eventually destroy his army completely? Assuming Sauron has the same strength as during the real War of the Ring.
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Old 07-12-2020, 03:47 PM   #2
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During the War of the Ring, Sauron doesn't just send forces against Gondor. He has enough armies to reach into Rohan/Lorien lands, and towards Dale too. The Men and Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain are also fighting a great battle simultaneously as it is. The northeastern corner of the map didn't sit out of the fight, we just know less about it.
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Old 07-13-2020, 08:58 AM   #3
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The Eye

This is actually quite an interesting scenario. Let's see...


It is 2765. The short and troubled reign of Steward Beren of Gondor has come to its end, with his son the war-hero Beregond taking the rod. The Corsairs of Umbar have been routed, and the Dunlending occupation of Rohan is six years in the past. One of the fabled Wizards, Saruman the White, has been granted leave to reside in the old watch-tower of Orthanc.

The Free Peoples

Gondor - though much shrunken from its ancient heights, Gondor is still a power to be reckoned with. The White Tree grows in the court of Minas Tirith, where Steward Beregond has just begun what should be a 50 year reign. Coincidentally, the sixteenth Prince of Dol Amroth will also reign for 50 years; he has held his sceptre for nearly two decades now, and fought at Beregond's side in defeating the Corsairs who slew his father.

Rohan - Rohan is recovering. King Fréaláf never expected to wear his uncle Helm's crown, and it still sits uneasily on his shoulders. That said, with the Dunlendings driven out and Orthanc in friendly hands the Mark is more peaceful than it has ever been.

Eriador - the lands west of the Misty Mountains are much as they have been for centuries. Cirdan rules in Mithlond; Elrond presides over the Last Homely House; Thain Ferumbras II ostensibly runs the Shire, but is overshadowed by his brother, Bandobras Goblin-slayer (inventor of the Shire pasttime known as 'golf'). There are no armies to call on here.

Lorien - Lothlorien fades, as it has and will for hundreds of years. The Lady Galadriel keeps a watchful eye on Dol Guldur, where for three hundred years a dark power has lurked. She likely has contact with the Wizard Radagast, who lives closer to Dol Guldur than any others dare; and the wandering Mithrandir passes through from time to time about his mysterious business.

The Longbeards - spread from their stronghold and capital at Erebor to the Iron Hills many miles to the east, the Longbeard Dwarves are a powerful nation. It is said that they can call upon the other Six Houses of the Dwarves at need - the two who range westward as far as the Blue Mountains, and the other four who dwell in the unknown lands to the east.

The Northmen - The Northmen have many towns between the Woods and the Hills, of which Dale is perhaps the foremost. The nearby former city of Esgaroth has dwindled into a mere Lake-Town; possibly this is because it used to trade with Framsburg along the Forest River, but Framsburg is abandoned now, the Eorlings passed into the south.

Mirkwood - the elves of Northern Mirkwood are content in their caverns and trees. They trade with the Northmen, but tend not to talk to Dale much - that city is too close to the dwarves, and Thranduil remembers well the death of Thingol Greycloak at their treacherous hands.


The Enemy

Dol Guldur - Sauron rules his dark empire from the forest fastness of Dol Guldur. He is known to the Wise only as the Necromancer - a sorceror of great power over death, but no more than that.

Minas Morgul - the haunted city lurks in its valley, its poison seeping into the soil of Ithilien. For three hundred years, Ithilien and ruined Osgiliath have been subject to regular attacks by the Nazgul and their armies; few Gondorians live nearby now.

Mordor - the Black Land is a wasteland. Its fell tower is in ruins, its mountain sleeps restlessly - and its walls and gates are guarded by unseen black bows. It's hard to know how large an army might be summoned from it, if its Master had need.

The Misty Mountains - for three centuries, the Misty Mountains have swarmed with Orcs, cutting off all passage across them. From Gundabad to Moria, every cave and cranny is an Orc stronghold. And in the depths of one, beneath the High Pass, a wretched creature huddles over a golden ring, muttering to himself and coughing - gollum, gollum!

The Grey Mountains - little has been seen of the dragons of the Withered Heath since they drove the dwarves south some two centuries past. But there are always rumours, of golden hoardes and magic rings, and of worms that crawl and serpents that fly...

Rhun - the Easterlings of Rhun were driven back some 250 years ago by the Riders of the Mark. That's plenty of time to rearm, and they have always been under Sauron's contro.

Harad - although the Corsairs have been defeated, Harad as a whole is still a powerful force. They likely hold sway as far north as the river Poros, though the shores of Anduin itself are probably under Gondorian control. They are, and have been for a long time, Sauron's people.


The Cause

Why does Sauron move now? One possibility that springs to mind is Smaug - if Sauron has been in contact with him (as indeed Gandalf later feared), he could have learned that the dragon was looking restlessly south. That would have suggested a certain plan to him...


The War

With no urgent need to recapture the Ring (which he doesn't even know still exists), Sauron sets up a crushing and well-timed blow. Smaug comes down from the north as a rushing flame, destroying Erebor, Dale, and half the Northmen towns in the area. The dwarves of the Iron Hills fort up - out of the fight.

Orcs swarm down from the Misty Mountains. In the west, Rivendell is surrounded, and the Rangers of Arnor take brutal casualties. Eastward, the Vale of Anduin is desolated. Mirkwood becomes an orc hive. Thranduil's people take to their caves, emerging only to fight.

Lorien is attacked from both sides: the goblins of Moria charge over Nimrodel as another army emerges from Dol Guldur, a black shadow spreading over them. Galadriel realises too late who she faces - the same Sauron who slew her eldest brother.

The Easterlings flood down over the Brown Lands into the Wold, falling on an already weakened Rohan. The Rohirrim fall back to the west, where their mountain fastnesses can protect them. They are cut off from Gondor - but with the aid of Saruman, they do hold.

In Gondor, there are some raids across Anduin, but without the Corsairs to draw on it is once again Ithilien that takes the brunt of the attack. The Witch-King attacks Osgiliath with armies from Minas Morgul and Mordor itself, while the Haradrim march into Southern Ithilien. If the three forces can join up, Minas Tirith will easily be besieged.


The Hope

That all sounds dire, but there's one big hope for the Free Peoples - Sauron's plan is too clever. If the timing breaks down at any point, he's left himself open to defeat in detail.

Perhaps Smaug comes out early, putting the elves of Mirkwood on their guard. Perhaps the Orcs of Gundabad attack before those of Moria, giving Galadriel time to prepare. Perhaps the Easterlings are delayed, so Rohan comes to aid Gondor. Perhaps Minas Morgul and Harad don't manage to link up, allowing for a repeat of the defeat of the Wainriders.

Or perhaps, even if the timing is right, something slips. Traders from Dorwinion report armies moving around the Sea of Rhun, putting the Northmen on their guard. Elrond's scouts see Orcs pouring from Gundabad. Gandalf visits South Gondor and learns of the Haradrim's part in the plan. The Enemy has the raw power to win, but if the Free Peoples can combine their strength, they can pull off the victory.

Of course, if they do, half of their lands will probably be devastated regardless, and they have no way of destroying Sauron. He will just retreat, possibly far to the east, but probably just into Mordor. Why not? There's no rush - it's not like there's a magic ring out there that will kill him if it falls into a volcano or anything.


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