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Old 10-06-2003, 01:10 AM   #81
Gwaihir the Windlord
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Wait for Rumil, as always... actually, he'll be back to start on the occupation of Moria soon. Consolidating his material or something, I think.

Anyway, look out for it.
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Old 10-06-2003, 06:50 PM   #82
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Hello all,

Please accept the usual apologies for my tardiness, RealLife(TM) intrudes once again!

Well, we move on from the sunny shores of Near Harad to the darkened caverns of Khazad-Dum, specifically Balin's attempt to re-conquer Moria.

Quote:
We cannot get out, the end comes, drums, drums in the deep, they are coming...
Balin was a senior dwarf of the line of Durin and had gained fame, glory and plenty of good hard cash as part of the expedition to Erebor. After rebuilding Erebor, there was a desire amongst many dwarves to re-take Moria, their ancient stronghold. Balin was persuaded to lead this 'party' and eventually got Dain (unwillingly) to authorise an attempt. For Balin's posssible motives (including mithril, the last dwarven ring, good old fashioned adventurousness etc.) see here
Balin 1
Balin 2

Balin took Ori and Oin and 'many folk' from Erebor, including Floi, Frar, Loni and Nali. The number of dwarves is a matter for speculation, I'd guess some hundreds, perhaps 500. I also wonder if any female dwarves came along, after all it would have been difficult to start a colony without them? Their route would probably have taken them down the Old Forest Road, across the Anduin, then skirting Lothlorien into Dimrill Dale and past Kheled-Zaram to the gates of Moria.

There seem to have been two major periods of fighting, though probably interspersed by plenty of minor skirmishes.

The first battle occurred in 2989 when Balin's dwarves assaulted Moria. The book of records states that they drew out the orcs from the Great Gate (still standing at this time) and guardroom and slew many in the bright sunlight in the Dale. I think that some cunning stratagem must have been used to 'draw out' the orcs, perhaps some dwarves went up to the gates as 'bait', antagonised the orcs, who pursued and then were then ambushed by the main body of dwarves. No doubt there's scope for Fanfic here! The orcs were at a great disadvantage in the sunshine and were faced with some extremely hyped-up dwarves - Khazad ai menu indeed! Dwarven casualties included Floi, killed by an arrow.

The number of orcs involved is impossible to say, though Tolkien did note that Moria was fairly sparsely inhabited at this time, also orcish numbers had been reduced by the Battle of the Five Armies, some 48 years previously. I'd guess perhaps some hundreds of orcs were involved, with some hundereds or thousands more lurking within the caverns. Moria orcs are noted as using spears, scimitars and bows and were physically smaller than Mordor orcs. The dwarves used axes, swords and bows, possibly mattocks too, they would likely have been far better armoured in dwarven mail than their opponents.

The next phase would have been to destroy any remaining orcs around Moria. It was a vast and intricate place, so this could have gone on for years, with parties of dwarves tracking down small groups of orcs.

Meanwhile, Balin was set up as Lord of Moria, with the 21st Hall of the North End and the Chamber of Mazarbul as his base. Finding the chamber may have been desirable in order to look for old maps of Moria, which would have been very useful to the dwarves. The good news was sent back to Dain, gold and mithril was found and all seemed well. Intriguingly, Durin's Axe is mentioned. Had they indeed found the axe of their great kings? I'm sure it would have been a very powerful object.

By the fifth year of occupation, Balin felt secure enough to send an expedition under Oin to seek the upper armories of the third deep and to proceed west to Hollin Gate. However, his confidence was misplaced. Balin son of Fundin was killed by an orcish force coming up the Silverlode from the east. This force must surely have come from Dol Guldur, now re-occupied by the servants of Sauron, but may have included orcs from other dens in the Misty Mountains. It must have seriously outnumbered the dwarves.

This 'second battle' in 2994 was more of a siege. The orcish vanguard slew Balin while he was unaware, the dwarves took revenge but soon it was apparent that they must retreat into Moria and bar the Great Gates. Eventually the orcs broke through the gates. Perhaps they had Trolls and battering rams with them or Sauron sent explosive charges. Conceivably they could have been led by one or more of the Nazgul.

By this time it had been learnt that Oin had been killed by the Watcher in the Water and the lake at Hollin gate was impassable.

The orcs (surely including the 'black uruks of Mordor' mentioned in LoTR) eventually took the bridge of Khazad Dum and the second hall. The bridge appears almost impregnable, but maybe the orcs simply lined up enough archers to shoot down any dwarves attempting to defend the bridge, or maybe the dwarves were running low on supplies. By this time Frar, Loni and Nali (presumably dwarven leaders) were dead.

Eventually the last stand, probably led by Ori, was made in the Chamber of Mazarbul, but there was no escape for the dwarves..... we cannot get out.......they are coming!

One major point not mentioned at all in the Book of Records is what Durin's Bane (ie the Balrog) was doing during this time. Could he simply not be bothered by a few pesky dwarves, or perhaps did he appear for the final assault and 'encourage' the orcish invaders? It is interesting that the assault only occurred after mithril had been found. Perhaps the dwarves had 'delved too deeply' once again.

I also find it strange that Dain hadn't bothered to find out what had happened in Moria in the nearly 30 years before the Coucil of Elrond. Was he really that annoyed with Balin, or did messengers simply not return?

[ October 06, 2003: Message edited by: Rumil ]

[ October 06, 2003: Message edited by: Rumil ]
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Old 10-09-2003, 07:50 PM   #83
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I've got a few questions for that. Where orcs sent to the West Gate? Why? If not, then why did they go there?

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Old 10-10-2003, 05:01 AM   #84
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No wonder it took you so long, Rumil; you've been doing your research pretty well I should say. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Only one or two points for discussion in that.

Nilpaurion, I don't believe Orcs were sent to the West-Gate, unless you mean that they sent forces down there from inside, to sweep the area after the stand in Mazarbul. The Watcher in the Water held that entrance so that neither Orc nor Dwarf could have passed -- unless, being plainly some vile primeval creature of Melkor's, it recognised the Orcs and let them pass. But if that was the case, then the entrance was still barred to the Dwarves and didn't need to be guarded.

As far as I know, the attacking army came from the East as Rumil points out.

Actually, there is an interesting point here. When the Company themselves were assailed in the Chamber of Mazarbul, the door they had came through from the West was blocked. So was another door, and the only one that was free led to the East entrance and the way that they took out. As they had not bumped into any armed legions of Orcs in the passageways, they must have come around from another chamber.

This would possibly be the passage that Gandalf said contained 'bad air', or the one that he had a bad feeling about;
Quote:
'I so not like the feel of the middle way; and I do not like the smell of the left-hand way; there is foul air down there, or I am no guide.'
I say the bad air passage, because it led down, and the Orcs seem to have infested the lowest dungeons as well -- the signal that Pippin's stone awoke. In the attack on the Dwarves, we know that Orc armies came through the Hall of Khazad-Dum and the East end, and it is probable that they then divided (requiring knowledgable and pwoerful leadership; there may well have been Nazgul, although not, probably, the Witch-King himself) and came around from these tunnels to trap the Dwarves in the Chamber inescapably.

They seem to have fleed and tried to get out from the West-Gate, but couldn't because of the Watcher. Then they retreated back to the Mines, were met with more Orc-forces which decimated them, and eventually came to hold the Chamber of Mazarbul. There they were surrounded and massacred.

Quote:
I also wonder if any female dwarves came with them?
Definitely, I should say. They'd be needed to start a colony, and at any rate, as they behaved very much like the men folk and were tought anyway, they would not have been a liability for the dwarves in their hard situation.

Did female dwarves fight in battles? I don't know, but it doesn't appear so. It may be that they like to hide themselves away and live quietly with their more numerous male counterparts, but either way, there doesn't seem to have been any reason why they wouldn't have come.

And where indeed was the Balrog? I have myself always imagined it coming at the last, when the Dwarves were trapped in the Chamber much as it did to the Company, although since they couldn't escape it would then have walked in and slaughtered them at its will.

Durin's Bane was the chief reason why Moria could not be recolonised. It does actually seem rather odd, here, to think that it was armies from Dol Guldor and not the Balrog that destroyed the Dwarven colony. Could he just have done nothing? Maybe, as you suggest, he couldn't be bothered stirring.

Perhaps he did not want to be discovered by Sauron? There seems to have been a reason for this, a reason why he did not seek Sauron out (who would probably have been known to him) and serve him directly. He must have wished to haunt Khazud-dum forever and not leave until the End; waiting for the return of his true master, most likely.

Interesting indeed!
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Old 10-10-2003, 08:31 AM   #85
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I always thought that the Balrog was "unearthed" by the Dwarves who "delved too deep" for the mithril. Like he hid in a cavern at some deep point close to the vein of mithril, which is the only element unsullied by the evil of Morgoth, no?
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Old 10-10-2003, 06:09 PM   #86
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Couldn't the Balrog have "helped" hem the Dwarves into the Chamber of Mazarbul? From one side, they would have had the Watcher in the Water, from the second side, they would have had a horde of Orcs, and from the third side, the Balrog. That could have also effectively hemmed them into the Chamber.

My own little speculation: Could Ori have been the Dwarf skeleton holding the Book of Mazarbul, or is that just the movie?
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Old 10-11-2003, 02:16 AM   #87
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Possibly, Finwe. But there's nothing to say any way.
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I always thought that the Balrog was "unearthed" by the Dwarves who "delved too deep" for the mithril.
Yes, it was awoken by the Dwarves that had lived there in the time of Eregion -- not Balin's little group, who went to reclaim their ancient halls. (Check up on your ME history [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img])
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Old 10-11-2003, 11:00 AM   #88
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You guys seem to have already covered it quite extensively [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Just one thing: Is it possible that the Balrog had nothing to do with the dwarve's slaughter? After all, i would think that whoever was recording their final moments would have said something about the monsterous fire-shadow of death standing outside the door. Its possible they didnt know what it was, but that doesnt seem likely considering even Gimli, a young dwarf, had some knowledge of it. I think the balrog probably just hit the sleeper during the whole thing. After all, the dwarves certainly wouldnt be a threat to it, and the moria orcs didnt have the power to summon it forth as Sauron probably did.
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Old 10-11-2003, 01:26 PM   #89
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The Balrog could have paralyzed everyone with fear, or he could have charged in at the end, so that there wasn't enough to time jot down "And as we had our last cup of tea a great flaming monster came up out of the depths. Oh dear, I think we must run!" [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]
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Old 10-12-2003, 07:50 PM   #90
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Quote:
Was he really that annoyed with Balin, or did messengers simply not return?
I think the messengers simply did not return, and Dain is can't afford to send more. After all, his kingdom is under diplomatic pressure from Sauron, which threatens to break out into all-out war. And...remember Dain's fear as he looked into the East Gate? (OK, I'm supposed to connect that to the topic, but I forgot what to add...)

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Old 10-12-2003, 08:28 PM   #91
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I don't think Dain really believed in Balin's little "Questlet." Since he had looked into Moria, and seen the Balrog (although probably not face-to-face), he knew that there was no point in trying to set up a colony there again, because the Balrog (and Orcs) would just destroy it. He couldn't hold Balin back, so I guess he just let him go, and figured if he didn't come back, people wouldn't try leaving.
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Old 10-12-2003, 08:48 PM   #92
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Why would Dain do that? Let Balin be killed?(well, technically, he didn't let Balin be killed, but he knew(more or less) what would happen, and just let them go?) He could use his kingly powers to stop him, and, if Balin still goes, he can say, "He's on his own now."

But then, why let Balin go to Moria?

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Old 10-13-2003, 01:42 AM   #93
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Perhaps it was the popular thing to do. And once the messages had ceased, it would have been clear to the king what had happened; not much point wasting more men in sending them there.
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Old 10-13-2003, 03:29 PM   #94
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Hello all,
[img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
just a quick note on some points raised here,

Gwaihir, I like your idea about the orcs 'outflanking' the chamber of Mazarbul from underneath, sounds like an appropriately sneaky plan!

I've been wondering about the Balrog too. Perhaps it was not involved in the physical fighting but, having been roused (maybe by the 'new' mithril seekers?) engendered a feeling of terror in the surviving dwarves. Was that the reason for their swift defeat? I'm also impressed by the dwarves choosing to defend the tomb of their fallen lord, much like their 1st Age ancestors.

On the Dain-Balin thing, to speculate (wildly), the way I see it is that after Erebor was rebuilt and stabilised many dwarves (probably mostly the younger ones?) became dissatisfied and agitated for an attempt on Moria (I've got a strange image of young dwarves graffiti-ing Erebor with "FREE MORIA" !). Balin was probably persuaded to lead the 'adventure party' as they needed his prestige in order to carry out such a plan. Dain (as it turned out) knew better, but could he have sanctioned the attempt in order to 'get rid of' politically unruly elements within his kingdom? If they retook Moria, Dain would have asserted his sovereignty over them as king of the Longbeards, if they failed, then everyone would have said he was right all along!
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Old 10-13-2003, 09:25 PM   #95
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Dain's motive is politics?

Quote:
speculate (wildly)
Yes, very wild... ...but considering the agitation the Moria-or-bust-ers are causing, might be considered. But why Balin? Is he a political enemy?

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Old 10-14-2003, 01:43 AM   #96
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Not political, as such. Pressured is probably more like it. Surely you understand?
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Old 10-14-2003, 11:06 PM   #97
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Yes, I know, but...

Quote:
'get rid of' politically unruly elements within his kingdom
That involves even the slightest hint of politics...those agitators will surely find a way to go to Moria, whether sanctioned or not, or if Dain stops them, they might stage a coup. I know they wouldn't win (unless they're more than I think they are(reminds me of Matchbox 20...just a stray thought...)) but they could do damage to the kingdom. Now I know Dain's aim is not to quash dissidents, but to protect the kingdom, and the best way to do it is to preserve status quo, minus the unruly ones.
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Old 10-15-2003, 01:33 AM   #98
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I suppose it would be a possibility, entertainably.
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Old 10-15-2003, 08:55 PM   #99
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Hey! Has anyone a spare map of Moria around? *looks around, sees none* I thought so. Anyways...

After pondering about this for a while, I've got a few questions to ask...

~Did they make a last stand at Hollin gate?

I know it looks impossible, but...

Quote:
The Watcher in the Water took Oin. We cannot get out. The end comes...
It looks like they were trapped in the West Gate, but how did the book get to Mazarbul? Am I contradicting myself here?

~Two colonies?

Yes, we have the main colony at Mazarbul, but...

Quote:
Oin to seek for the upper armouries of Third Deep...go westward...to Hollin
Ever since I've read and reread and re(to the nth power)read this part, a thought danced in my mind. Logically, there would be two headquarters/colonies. One at the East(Mazarbul) and at the West(somewhere near the West Gate). If it does exist, Oin must be its leader...but I've no concrete evidence of it. Feel free to bash it.

By the way, about the Balrog leading the assault thing, I see him playing the role not unlike the Witch-king's during the assault on Gondor. He lies behind, driving his forces mad, and bringing fear to the enemies. He will only fight personally when a superior enemy comes(Gandalf in both cases)

That's all for now!

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Old 10-16-2003, 02:05 AM   #100
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Damn... well I've not got my books near. But I hadn't considered that, it seems about right. The last stand of the Dwarves was made in Mazarbul alright; who would carry the book there? And all the dead bones? Anyway, it is written on the pages.

But the West-end gate probably did have a dwelling that was overrun first, led by Oin. Destroyed by Orc armies issuing from the three tunnels, perhaps. Good thinking.
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Old 10-16-2003, 02:08 PM   #101
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Hi both,

as I see it, Ori's trip to the west (Hollin) gate was simply a small expedition sent to find out if there was still a way out, and presumably to find weaponry in the armouries of the 3rd deep. After Ori was killed by the Watcher and the lake was found to be impassable, I'd reckon the survivors headed back to Mazarbul where they reported their sad news to Oin and were caught up in the final stand.
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Old 10-16-2003, 04:45 PM   #102
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Right, deep breath time, now we move on to (the preliminary moves) of the War of the Ring. The first being the attack on Thranduil.

In February 3018 Aragorn captured Gollum in the Dead Marshes and took him to Thranduil's wood-elf kingdom in Northern Mirkwood, arriving on 21st of March. Meanwhile, Sauron had set spies on Gollum's trail, hoping for him to lead them to the ring. News (via Dol Guldur) reached Sauron by late April and he instructed Khamul (presumably) to attack Thranduil in order to capture or kill Gollum.

On or about 20th June, Gollum was being guarded by the elves in an isolated tree. Gollum refused to come down, and the elves had no desire to go and get him so they sat there late into the night.

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It was that very night of summer, yet moonless and starless, that Orcs came on us at unawares
Though they were driven off after a time they were many and fierce and the guards were taken or killed. Gollum escaped both sets of pursuers, making his way eventually to Moria. The elves pursued the orcish invaders but gave up the chase when they neared Dol Guldur.

The orcs were said to be many and fierce, but this was not an all-out invasion, so I'd imagine some hundreds were present, probably selected for this special mission from amongst the Uruk-Hai. They were, however, not used to the woods, perhaps they were from the reinforcements Sauron had sent to Dol Guldur when it was re-occupied with 'sevenfold' strength. Although Khamul would have had overall responsibility for the attack, I consider it unlikely that he was personally involved.

Of the elves, there would likely have been only a few guards, perhaps half a dozen, who were quickly overwhelmed. Someone must have raised an alarm, then reinforcements would have started to arrive. We know Thranduil had at least 2000 troops, probably more, but a full mobilisation was surely not necessary. I'd think the most useful troops in Mirkwood would have been the lightly armed elven bowmen, maybe led by Legolas.

I'd imagine that the orcs would have an elite snatch squad, with some blocking forces to slow down the pursuit.

I do wonder about a few things though. First, where was the territorial divide between the elves and the area controlled by Dol Guldur? Dol Guldur's power is said to have extended to the Old Forest Road, but the area upto the Forest River seems to have been a sort of no-mans land, inhabited by spiders etc but probably with elf patrols and parties occasionally. However, the Mountains of Mirkwood had an evil reputation, perhaps this was the orcs' base for the attack.

Secondly, I wonder how the orcs managed to take the elves by surprise, perhaps too much partying and fine Dorwinion vintages! Though maybe (to speculate!) the orcs had constructed a tunnel system (like the Viet Cong) in order to penetrate elven territory.

Legolas indicates that the rescue attempt was pre-arranged with Gollum, Sauron had many spies in Mirkwood, perhaps Crebain, bats or even the fabled black squirrels carried the messages.

I also wonder if the elves could use 'magic' against the invaders. In the Hobbit, Bilbo falls asleep immediately he steps into the elf ring, sounds like a D+D level 1 sleep spell to me!

[img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 10-16-2003, 05:50 PM   #103
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I don't think there was a specific territorial divide between Dol Guldur and Mirkwood. At least we know there weren't any signs saying, "Welcome to Dol Guldur: Prepare to undergo everlasting torment for the rest of your pathetic life." [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] I think that the "border" of the land stretched as far as the Orcs or other evil creatures were willing to go, to harry travelers in that area, and perhaps even raid the Elves. I think Dol Guldur's main function was to act as a distraction and an annoyance for the Free Peoples, so that their full attention would not be fixed upon Sauron. Khamul would probably send forces out now and then, perhaps in league with Isengard, to perform specific "functions" or "missions."

About the surprise of the Elves, I don't think they were expecting an all-out attack. All they were prepared to deal with was Gollum's little hissy fits and arguments. The reason that the Orcs' ambush succeeded was that the Elven guards probably became used to the routine of "let random slimy Hobbit-creature up into the tree, let random slimy Hobbit-creature come down the tree, take random slimy Hobbit-creature back to the dungeon, and repeat." They were probably only lightly armed, and were definitely taken unawares by the (relatively) large number of Orcs in the ambush. I'm sure that once the fighting started, other Elves "sensed" the Orcs' presence, and supplied reinforcements to those guards. But, of course, it was too late, and Gollum had escaped.
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Old 10-16-2003, 07:28 PM   #104
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take random slimy Hobbit-creature back to the dungeon
Just a correction: Gollum was not imprisoned in a dungeon.

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...and we had not the heart to keep him ever in the dungeons under the earth...
OK, back to topic. About the assault; Thranduil's kingdom is not far from the eastern eaves of Mirkwood, right? Maybe the assault came from the east...unlikely?

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Old 10-16-2003, 07:32 PM   #105
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Where was he imprisoned then? In a random room?
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Old 10-16-2003, 08:01 PM   #106
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Maybe in a random cage hung above a random tree?
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Old 10-17-2003, 02:46 AM   #107
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[img]smilies/smile.gif[/img].. Probably a DUNGEON but he would be let out at times to climb trees for fresh air or whatever. Damn Legolas why does he have to be such a pansy and let Gollum loose. *Prepares to be mobbed by fangirls*
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Old 10-20-2003, 08:58 PM   #108
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Hello people!

*Warning: Pure Speculation Ahead.*

Forces from the Mountains of Mirkwood came to the lands between the Eastern eaves of Mirkwood and the River Running, where there is little watch(after all, it looks to Esgaroth) They were small enough not to be noticed, but strong enough to drive away Gollum's guard and capture the Slinker. 100 would be the maximum estimate.

They were organized as a lightly armed hit-and-run force(you would have to be light if you had any hope of escaping from the elves on their own turf...and some did escape) How they crossed the Forest River? Probably by boats(unless there's a ford there I haven't heard of)

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[ October 20, 2003: Message edited by: Nilpaurion Felagund ]
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Old 11-16-2003, 04:33 PM   #109
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Hello again all,

many apologies about the non-continuation of this thread, but this was due to my ISPs cutting me off for reasons best known unto themselves. Happily its all sorted out now, so we proceed to the assault on Osgiliath.

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This very year, in the days of June, sudden war came upon us out of Mordor and we were swept away.
Well then, on the 20th of June 3018, Sauron's forces launched an assault on the ruined city of Osgiliath. The one-time capitol city of Gondor had been fought over and devastated many times but in the youth of Denethor it had been re-occupied and a strength of arms kept there. The real prize in Osgiliath was the last bridge over the Anduin. This was not, however, a straightforward military action, as Sauron had an ulterior motive. The objective was to capture the bridge only briefly to allow the passage of the Nazgul. They were being sent to search for the ring, the finding of which had been revealed by Gollum. Rather oddly (I've always thought), the Nazgul were afraid of water, so required possession of the bridge.

Putting together information from Boromir, Beregond and UT, the battle seems to have gone something like this. It seems that the Gondorian forces were engaged on the Eastern side of Osgiliath by an army of orcs, Easterlings and Haradrim. They were heavily outnumbered, but only broke and ran when the Lord of the Nazgul revealed himself in all his terror. Horse and man gave way before him and the bridge was captured for a brief time. On taking the bridge, the Nazgul dismounted, disrobed and made their way through Osgiliath unseen, but terrifying the inhabitants.

Facing only 'conventional' forces, Boromir and Faramir rallied their troops and re-captured the bridge, but realised that it would have to be destroyed to protect Gondor. With one company they bravely held the Eastern end of the bridge while it was demolished behind them, then swam back across the Anduin. Of their company, only two others survived.

The forces involved aren't detailed, I'd imagine perhaps 1000 Gondorian infantry, with chainmail, armed with spears or bows, against some thousands of orcs with smaller contingents of Haradrim and Easterlings. Gondorian horsemen are noted, perhaps a squadron of cavalry was present, or maybe this refers to the officers' horses. Perhaps some of the Rangers of Ithilien were caught up in the battle as well. Six or seven of the Nazgul led the Sauronic forces.

As I said above, the Nazgul's fear of water is a strange reason for this battle, surely Sauron could have sent them directly to Dol Guldur over Dagorlad? Also they had to cross many other rivers before they reached the Shire.

Sauron's secondary motivation was to test the strength of Gondor. Perhaps he had hoped to secure the bridge intact to facilitate the passage of his great army the next year.
More on Nazgul and Water

[ November 16, 2003: Message edited by: Rumil ]
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Old 11-16-2003, 09:35 PM   #110
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Welcome back, Rumil!

Anyway, I need time to process the new information. I'll be back with a post before 36 hours expire.

Later days!
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Old 11-17-2003, 02:15 AM   #111
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Not only were the forces of Mordor depending upon the bridge at Osgiliath, but they were probably counting on the black ships of the Umbar to tack their forces across to the western shore.
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Old 11-17-2003, 02:38 AM   #112
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Pathfinder, welcome to the 'Downs! Enjoy decaying, the stinky aroma of unembalmed carcass, and the slow change of your skin to a gross, rough, slightly Mummy-like complexion...OK, stop.

Anyway...

Quote:
Perhaps he had hoped to secure the bridge intact to facilitate the passage of his great army the next year...
...or gain a foothold on the shores of the Great River to build his amphibious assault force.

What I remember about this assault on Osgiliath is...*drumroll*...Saving Private Ryan. Hitler values bridgeheads to Normandy like pure gold, just like Sauron did. The 101st Airborne troops defending the bridge blow it up when they are pushed to the brink, just like what the Gondorians did.

Well, except the P-51s, the Tigers, the Panthers..oh, well. You get me.

Later days!
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Old 11-17-2003, 08:58 PM   #113
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Quote:
As I said above, the Nazgul's fear of water is a strange reason for this battle, surely Sauron could have sent them directly to Dol Guldur over Dagorlad? Also they had to cross many other rivers before they reached the Shire.
Rumil, I believe that the Nazgul were needed elsewhere, and thus, couldn't all be sent to Dol Guldur. Even though the Nazgul had a fear of water, I think that they could ford a river if they absolutely had to. At the Ford of Bruinen, a few of them began crossing the river right before the flood came and wiped them away. They were probably afraid of rivers in full flood, not of fords, which had a relatively small amount of water.
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:35 PM   #114
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Sure, no one may fear a trickilng stream(except the ones full of parasites... ) but the Nazgul(except the Witch-King) fear water for its inhibiting property.

Quote:
..but the river was a barrier to his sense of its movement...

(UT, Part Three, The Hunt for the Ring)
It's like an allergy. Would you drink milk if you knew you'd puff up as big as an oliphaunt?

But I agree on this part:

Quote:
Even though the Nazgul had a fear of water, I think that they could ford a river if they absolutely had to.
Sauron's will rules supreme over their pet peeves(or allergies). And what
Sauron wanted is his Ring, found on a place called the Shire. If they had to cross a river for that, then, they'll have to.

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Old 11-18-2003, 05:18 AM   #115
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Hey Rumil and everyone,
Its good to see the thread up and running again.
Saurons motives for this clash seem more complex than I previously thought.
Firstly the Nazgul had to cross the Anduin, nice quote Nilpaurion about rivers being a barrier to the Wraiths, in UT p.344 it then goes on to say that "the Nazgul would not touch the 'Elvish' waters of the Baranduin".(I wonder if any residue of Ulmos power also helps to spook the Nazgul when they approach running water?)
Secondly, the action at Osgiliath definately helped to distract the Wise from the Gollum rescue caper too, two attacks by Saurons forces at the same time in vastly separate regions is a cunning way to feint and cloak his true intentions from the Wise.
Thirdly, the unveiling of Angmar and his brethren upon the Gondorians:
Quote:
On taking the bridge, the Nazgul dismounted, disrobed and made their way through Osgiliath unseen, but terrifying the inhabitants.
This is a definate Psychops tactic to unnerve and dishearten Gondors military and populace, "the terror of their passing was so great that many folk fled from the land, and went wildly away north and west" UTp.339 But the appearance of the Nazgul was percieved, by the Gondorians at any rate, as the vanguard of open war, their true primary mission however was always to find the Ring, a strategy of upmost secrecy and importance in Saurons thoughts.
In UT p.338 perhaps another more subtle motive is also touched upon for the Osgiliath action:
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Thus Sauron tested the strength and preparedness of Denethor
Given that Sauron had been trying to break Denethors spirit through the Palantir for some time preceeding this clash, he probably expected to meet low morale and limited resistance, making immediate all-out invasion at least a possibility in Saurons mind. It is therefore a credit to Denethor and Gondors valour (and a blessing for free-folk everywhere) that Sauron 'found them more than he had hoped' and thus they managed to take out the bridge (unsure how they did this though?) and buy some crucial time to reset their border defence tactics.
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Old 11-18-2003, 09:53 PM   #116
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Quite true. But then, Sauron has a history of underestimating his enemies. Most Dark Lords or evil heads of governments end up doing that, and it results in their ultimate downfall. Sauron knew that Gondor would try to fight back, he just didn't know the full measure of its strength. He really didn't give Men the credit that they deserved, since he probably realized that Isildur had claimed the Ring for his own (weakling! [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img] ) without destroying it. He hadn't counted on the resistance of Boromir, Faramir, and the Rangers of Ithilien (the first assault) and Faramir and the Rangers (the second assault). He thought that Denethor held full sway over Gondor, and thus, didn't bring Faramir and his loyal men into the reckoning. Perhaps that underestimation gave the Gondorians a bit of an advantage.
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Old 11-21-2003, 07:47 PM   #117
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Hello again,

good points on the Nazgul and their aquaphobia. I'd also agree that this battle was instigated partially to test the defences and preparedness of Gondor.

The point has been raised in a different thread that Sauron's grasp of strategy sems to be rather weak. The smart thing to have done in the War of the Ring would have been to concentrate all available forces against Gondor and Rohan. After all, due to the distances involve and general lack of communication, its unlikely that the elves of Lothlorien, or the Lakemen, for example, could have come to Gondor's aid. Sauron seems to suffer from trying to emulate his ex-boss!

On bridges and fords, as many have pointed out, bridges have been viewed as valuable throughout military history, not only for practical reasons, but as symbols of military success. Eventually Sauron's forces had to build rafts and boats and a pontoon bridge to carry them across the Anduin. The Corsairs did not travel so far upriver.

I've noticed, however, that 'fords of Osgiliath' are mentioned in RoTK. Seems like a bit of an effort to go to if you can just wade across the ford, while the Nazgul, by this time, could fly across. Perhaps bridges were necessary to move the heavy equipment such as Grond and the artillery across.
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Old 11-21-2003, 08:01 PM   #118
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Quote:
The point has been raised in a different thread that Sauron's grasp of strategy sems to be rather weak. The smart thing to have done in the War of the Ring would have been to concentrate all available forces against Gondor and Rohan. After all, due to the distances involve and general lack of communication, its unlikely that the elves of Lothlorien, or the Lakemen, for example, could have come to Gondor's aid. Sauron seems to suffer from trying to emulate his ex-boss!
I would disagree with this, Rumil. He had more than sufficient forces at his disposal. He struck at Minas Tirith too soon, but could not have foreseen the events that led to his forces' defeat at the Pelennor. But, even with this set-back, he would easliy have vanquished the force at the Black Gate had it not been for events on Orodruin. Given his overwhelming strength in force, it made perfect sense to strike at Lothlorien and (via Erebor and the northern passes) Rivendell. They would have been great prizes indeed. Their capture would have demoralised the remaining forces of the Free Peoples and ensured that the Elves were taken out of the picture (either by their elimination or by their retreat to the West).

Sauron's failure was in underestimating the forces deployed against him (especially the smallest among them [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ), not in military startegy or the deployment of his own forces.
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Old 11-21-2003, 08:41 PM   #119
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Don't they sort of go together, Saucepans? You generally deploy your forces according to your estimate of the strength of whoever you're going to attack.

But Sauron did do a good job with his vast armies, or would have done, in the sense that they would have conquered Middle-Earth had the Ring not been destroyed. The Free Peoples could fend off his first couple of attacks but not much more.

That's the whole point, isn't it?
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Old 12-13-2003, 07:58 PM   #120
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Are we gonna move on to the next battle or what???? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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