The Black Riders reach Sarn Ford and drive off the Rangers
It is evening in The Shire and a Shadow seems to fall across the silent rivers and streams of the South Farthing. An Evil comes to the West upon a dark wind.
The Ringwraiths arrive at the southern most reaches of The Shire, only to find it defended by a remnant of The Dúnedain.
Nine Riders in Black headed by the Lord of the Nazgûl emerged from the dark woods through which the North Road had taken them.
The Greenway forked in two directions, one branch took the North Road to Bree and the other turned Westward toward the South Farthing along the southern border of The Shire.
The Nine Riders took the westward way until they came to a small river… the Brandywine. The Nazgûl had reached Sarn Ford, which crossed the small river at a low point in the stream that stretched out flat and shallow. The Black Riders waited upon the southern shore, which formed the lower border of The Shire. They sat like shadows, silent and waiting, a deeper shade of black against the night that surrounded them. Finally their leader raised his hand and they began to cross the ford.
No sooner had the Nine reached the other side, then a loud cry was heard from men on horseback, who leaped out of the woods and down to the rivers edge.
These riders were defenders of The Shire, hooded and clocked in grey, they were grim faced and proud of bearing. They wore no badge or token save only a broach of sliver upon each breast, shaped like a rayed star. They were Rangers of the North, a remnant of The Dúnedain, that defended those who didn’t even know of their existence or the thankless task they undertook. These Rangers would have it no other way, being content in the knowledge that these little folk might live in peace and sleep soundly behind unlocked doors.
However, times were now becoming darker and the Rangers of the North were no longer able to stem the tide of darkness surrounding The Shire.
The Rangers fought valiantly under the bright night stars, but they were outnumbered and their horses unmanned against such deadly foes. The Rangers had no choice but to retreat and flee these malefic servants of Shadow. They rode eastward into the trees, until they came through the woods to the Greenway and then fled north.
Five of the Nazgûl rode hard on the heels of the Rangers, driving them ever onward before them. The Witch-king road in the forefront, his deadly sword flashing red in the darkness.
The remaining four riders continued on westward, entering The Shire just before dawn.
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