Those who hear of those who have traveled into Mirkwood know that such travelers are exceptional – either in their luck, courage, or foolishness. Those who travel through great lengths of the dark forest and live are recognized by others as almost certainly being all three. Baldor and his compatriots did not need to tell others what they’d accomplished; rather, it was obvious once the merchant announced goods from Dale, Erebor, and Esgaroth. And as some would-be buyers perused his wares others, standing back, would murmur among themselves as they took stock of the portly trader, his gangly son, and the four road-worn adventurers who kept watch over the two.
And so this continued over several days as the small group made its way south, along the eastern banks of the River Anduin, stopping at a few inns and settlements within Beorn’s realm, and in their wake spread talk of news from the East and of a group of adventurers.
The days were growing longer and warmer by the time they reached Woodland Hall, and Beldar’s profits were good, leaving both him and his buyers happy to have done business. Eventually the merchant and his son headed back to the north and a return trip through the forest, with a new team of guards, hired from among the Woodmen. They’d entered into the journey as strangers under contract, and parted nearly as friends, with a strong sense of goodwill binding them.
The team accompanied Baldor as far north as the Old Ford, some miles south by within sight of the Carrock. Gelvira‘s Hall stands there, and serves as an inn to those making the crossing, under the protection of the Beornings who call the area home. Alaric’s family lives in one of the farmsteads within Gelvira’s holding, and the team was welcomed there, eventually establishing themselves as new friends to the wary Beornings.
The Old Ford is now a Sanctuary, although technically everyone is supposed to choose that Undertaking to establish it as such. Since Alaric did so, and Galmod made it clear he was going to try and make himself useful, I don’t see a reason to be a stickler over the rules. The Old Ford is now a Sanctuary, and can be used with all its benefits from here forward. Additionally, Morwen has familiarized herself with the lands immediately around the Old Ford, including gaining a general idea of what’s around the Carrock, which is a sacred site to the Beornings – full access to the rock itself will require more than a first-time visit to gain the trust of the locals who control access to it.
Finally, Belecthor does his research, mostly by talking with some of the Woodmen at Woodland Hall and doing the same at Gelvira’s Hall, the closest thing to an inn around there,
I will write another post detailing the trip northward to the Easterly Inn, giving you all an opportunity to expand on your character and the story, and putting us in a position to get right into that story when we meet again in late August.