Ash Nazg durbatuluk (One Ring to rule them all),
Ash Nazg gimbatul (One Ring to find them),
Ash Nazg thraktuluk (One Ring to bring them all)
agh burzum ishi krimpatul (and in the darkness bind them).
It is the year 3018 of the Third Age. The Shadow of the East has been growing, and even now war rages between the realm of Gondor and the armies of the Dark Lord Sauron. In these grim days Gandalf the Grey has made a discovery that will in time determine the fate of all Middle Earth. The One Ring has been found, held in the care of a mere halfling in the remote and mostly unknown land of the Shire.
But word has reached the mind of Sauron that his prize has been discovered. Even as the month of September opens the nine great servants of The Lord of the Rings begin to probe the borders of hobbit country.
Not knowing of this looming peril, Gandalf has already ridden away to the stronghold of Isenguard to meet with Saruman the White, head of the order of wizards. He leaves behind him Frodo Baggins, the hobbit in possession of the Ring, with advice to leave his home of Bagend and to make for Rivendell and the house of Elrond Half-Elven as soon as may be. Yet as Frodo and his companions (Samwise Gamgee, Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck) prepare for the journey to the borders of the Shire, the Nine Ringwraiths take their first steps inside of hobbit land.
Hello there! I’ve been collecting Lord of the Rings miniatures for the better part of eight years now, and for many of these years I have had a particular goal in mind: to play a narrative campaign that runs from the Fellowship of the Ring all the way to the final battle at the Black Gates. Every time I’ve ever really thought about doing it I have always found these excuses to stop me: I don’t have the time and I don’t have the terrain and the models (or the money and skill to get them).
Recently however I happened upon the most excellent narrative campaign by Celevue over on the One Ring forums (and I give full credit of inspiration to him). This got me hankering for a campaign of my own again, but of course the big reasons as to why I could not possibly do it flared up like a rash. I could never build amazing battlefields like that, or field the participants: I don’t even have nine Ringwraiths! This time though I said to myself in newborn adult wisdom (much sarcasm intended): “you don’t need all that snazzy rubbish! Do it with what you have!” And so I said to myself “I will.”
I expected my motivation to peter out by the time First Semester began, but to my surprise I am still going. Thus far I have played six scenarios, built a series of ruins, repainted my five Ringwraiths, four hobbits and most of my Uruk-hai scouts. Granted there’s still a lot more to be done but I am feeling very optimistic about how far I may get with this. I would very much like to go all the way to the fires of Mount Doom, but there is no guarantee of that. Still, I have stepped into the road, so let us see where it sweeps me off to!