Queen’s Brothers Bag Record-Breaking Warg!
By Karlmir Stonewain
Pelennor Press Weekly
Hísimë 15, 52 FO
THE WOLD, ROHAN – After more than a decade of terrorizing farmers and stockmen from woodlands as far north as Eriador to the southern dales of Lebennin, Old Nemesis the killer Warg finally met his well-deserved end at the hands of professional hunters. The hunters, under the leadership of Himdir Toughleather, surprised Nemesis and his Warg pack as they were tussling over scraps on a midden near one of the numerous campsites along the Downland Road. The incident took place last week about ten miles southeast of the Rohirrim village of Roaring Meadows.
“The old rogue escaped us five times during the last two years,” Toughleather remarked of Nemesis in an interview the day after the hunt. “Twice we tried to run him down in the northern foothills of Emyn Uial, then again two months later, a couple of days’ ride north of the Grey Havens. All three times, he managed to outrun our horsemen and make his escape into terrain too steep and brushy for us to follow on horseback.”
Himdir Toughleather is a seasoned Gondorian army veteran, as are most of his men. All served as youths in the War of the Ring and several years later against the King’s enemies in Cromwell’s Rebellion. Hard times after the wars caused most of them to turn to bounty hunting as a way to supplement their meager incomes as farmers or hired hands. In stark contrast, the royal princes, Elladan and Elrohir, have been known to join the hunters’ pursuits of dangerous animals almost entirely for sport and the thrill of the chase rather than for a share of the bounties.
“They [the Princes} told me that they intend to send their share of this hunt’s bounty to King Elessar for the maintenance of Rivendell,” Toughleather remarked. Rivendell, once the permanent home of Elladan and Elrohir, is now an official park and historical landmark maintained by the government.
Prince Elrohir had this to say about two of the hunts in which he and his brother participated in the southern Provinces: “Old Nemesis was the cleverest Warg Elladan and I ever encountered. We joined Toughleather’s band just over a year ago when news surfaced that Old Nemesis had taken cattle, pigs and sheep from over a score of farms in Lebennin. At that time, he was a rogue beast, not running with a pack. We surrounded him just east of the Hills of Tarnost, but he slipped through our net and escaped into a thickly forested area. He then led us on a merry chase westward, all the way to the River Lefnui where we cornered him again.
Prince Elladan next took up the story. “At that point, we had Old Nemesis boxed in with his back to the river. Toughleather ordered the hunters to close in. There were over twenty of us mounted, armed with long spears and short bows. Another dozen wearing chain mail and similarly armed followed on foot, closing the gaps in our line where the terrain was too rough or brushy for the horsemen. My brother and I were mounted and armed with short, but powerful, Elven bows. It seemed certain that we had Old Nemesis in a trap he could not escape.”
“Nemesis wasn’t as brave as we anticipated,” Elrohir continued, “or was smart enough to know when the odds were stacked against him. He stood his ground for only a minute or two as we closed in. A vicious mêlée ensued. After killing two of our band and maiming their horses, he plunged into the river──over a mile across at that point──and made his escape toward the northwest.”
The bewildered hunters could only watch their prize swim toward the safety of the opposite bank, although it was reported that they lost sight of him well before he was halfway across the river. It was mightily hoped that the beast had been swept under by the strong current and drowned, but that later proved not to be the case.
Months later, news came from farms and villages in the western reaches of Dunland that Old Nemesis was on the attack again. The creature had apparently made his way through a pass in the Ered Nimrais and roamed for a time in the wilderness of Enedwaith, where he recovered from his wounds and plotted his revenge. Reports emerged last spring from Dunland that Old Nemesis was raiding farms again, this time accompanied by a pack of several Wargs.
“Over the next couple of months,” Toughleather commented, “the knights of Rohan, after losing many horses from their prized herds, drove Nemesis and his pack eastward into the increasingly rough foothills of the Misty Mountains. The Rohirrim horse soldiers are brave and strong, but they’re not professional hunters. Although they managed to put a few arrows into some of their quarry, none of the Wargs were run down and killed.”
It was at this point that Old Nemesis made his fatal mistake. Toughleather sensed that the Warg pack and their seemingly intelligent leader would cross the mountains into Parth Celebrant where they would take the hapless farmers by surprise and begin their devastations all over again. It was there that the hunters next traveled, establishing a base of operations and routinely scouting the area. They didn’t have long to wait.
“Nemesis and his gang took cows from a pasture less than half a day’s ride from our camp,” said Lagorúth the Lame, so named because as a teenager he once dropped a keg of nails on his foot and limped about for months. The former Ithilien ranger, now a grizzled and experienced tracker, soon picked up the beasts’ trail and the chase was on.
Hot on the Wargs’ path, Toughleather led his hunters on a pounding ride southward along the Downland Road where they received more information on the Wargs’ latest activities and whereabouts from travelers and villagers. Shortly after crossing the River Limlight into Rohan, the hunters sighted Old Nemesis and his pack scavenging at the edges of one of the many campsites frequented by caravans and convoys along the Downland Road.
That afternoon, the hunters split into three groups and stealthily surrounded the Warg pack as it picked over the trash middens for edible garbage. Their intent was to surprise the beasts and separate Nemesis from his fellows with the least danger to the horsemen. “The wind was in our favor and plan couldn’t have worked better,” Toughleather later remarked.
On this part of The Wold, the terrain consists of many narrow, shallow valleys interspersed with rocky ridges. The low, steep ridges and rolling terrain present some problems for horsemen, but offer little safety for a Warg pursued by determined hunters. The attack was designed to drive Nemesis to the southeast, away from the safety of Fangorn Forest. It worked. As expected, the Wargs, once seeing they were pressed, cleverly scattered in every direction, but the horsemen ignored them and focused their attention on driving Nemesis into one of the many scrubby Wold valleys.
“The beast soon found himself pursued on three sides,” an unnamed participant in the chase reported. “A frightened Warg can easily outrun a pursuing horseman, but Toughleather had already planned for that. He and the Elvish princes, along with Lagorúth the lame, left off their mail and helmets to minimize the weight on their mounts, relying on thick leather jerkins for their only protection.”
A group of Toughleather’s riders followed closely on Nemesis’ tail, forcing him down one of the many valleys, while the other two groups took up a flanking pursuit along the crests of the surrounding ridges to prevent him from fleeing to higher ground. In his confusion, Nemesis zigzagged from the base of one ridge then another, thus losing his advantage of speed.
Toughleather and the princes soon closed in, riding to within several yards of the fleeing beast while loosing arrows from their recurved bows. Within a short time, Nemesis received several serious wounds. Foam ran from his ugly maw as he finally collapsed, fatally weakened by exhaustion and loss of blood.
No sooner did the beastly villain crash to the ground, when Lagorúth the Lame rode to within a few yards and hurled his spear with deadly effect. “The Elven Princes and I let loose another volley of arrows,” Toughleather reported, “but it proved to be unnecessary. Lagorúth had delivered the death blow.”
Old Nemesis was immediately skinned and his carcass left on The Wold for the scavengers. His weight was estimated at 1000 lbs. (455 kg.), the largest Warg ever killed by hunters. The beast’s teeth were divided amongst the hunters as grisly souvenirs. Nemesis’ hide will be displayed for many years in Meduseld, where it will soon be turned over for a £500 bounty. An additional £500 bounty will be paid by the Gondorian government, leaving a tidy sum to each of the hunters and their camp workers even after expenses have been paid.
Without a doubt, people in the villages and farmlands throughout Rohan, The Shire and the Reunited Kingdom will soon be rejoicing and breathing easier now that the infamous killer Warg lies on The Wold as food for the vultures and maggots.
The hunting expedition now ended, Elladan and Elrohir departed for East Lorien immediately after their interviews.
In Minas Tirith, Queen Evenstar could not be reached for comment.
Disclaimer: This story is fan fiction based upon the world and characters created by J.R.R. Tolkien. It is written solely for the enjoyment of my readers and I make no profit from it of any kind.
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