The Black Riders Attack Buckland and Bree on this Dark September Night
As dusk deepens in Crickhollow, three of the Black Riders wait in the deserted lane, while to east on the outskirts of Bree more of the servants of Mordor wait in the shadows.
A long and deadly night slowly descends on the innocent lands of the West.
Buckland lay nestled between the Brandywine River and the dark edges of the Old Forest.
As evening fell over Bucklebury Ferry and the long shadows of September began to stretch out across Buck Hill, three dark horsemen made their way through the gloomy silence along the lane to Crickhollow. Only a few miles northeast of Brandy Hall, this lonely corner of The Shire was seldom visited and very quiet. The three riders in black reached the end of the lane, just as full night fell. They dismounted from thier black steeds, waiting in the darkness. The house was set back from the lane with large bushes and trees out front. The the wind addled trees, the Black Riders could discern light behind shuddered windows.
The house stood silent as slow mists crept up from the river banks and filled the dells along the hollow. A sinister quiet filled the lane. Three Shadows, deeper then the night enter the small wooden gate the surrounded the front of the house. One went to the door as the other two took up position at each corner of the house. The stood still as stones, while night went slowly one. The house and the quiet trees seemed to be waiting breathlessly.
Far away a cock crowed as a faint stir of leaves sigh across the front of the house in Crickhollow. It was the cold hour before dawn and the Ringwraith that stood sentential by the door moved forward. In the utter blackness of night, in dark without moon or stars a drawn blade gleamed, as if a chill light had been unsheathed. He whispered words in the Black Speech with a shuddering hiss and a blow was heard, soft but heavy, and the door shuddered.
At a second blow the door yielded and fell back, with timbers burst and lock broken. The black figure passed swiftly in. The soon realized the the house was empty. The Ring was gone!
Nearby a horn rang out and the sound of high hysterical voices cried out into the night. The three dark figures fled the house and mounted their black steeds once more. They broke in to a gallop as they hammered away into the darkness. The sound of horns blowing and small voices rang out in alarm. The three Black Riders rode hard along the North Road to the Gates of Buckland. There was no power in this tiny land the could stand against them. They road down the gates and headed east along the road.
“Let the little people blow! Sauron would deal with them in hos own time.”
For now they road east along the road to pick up the trail of the Ring! Within the hour the came upon the fourth rider who had been watch the road and they galloped off into the darkness.
On this same evening, at just about the same hour, four dark figure stood just inside the East Gate of Bree. Only a few hours earlier on of their number had stood upon the road only a few hundred yards away, over the inert shape of a halfing. It was believed to be one of the four the had fled from the land of Shire only days before. It had coming spying and was almost captured for it’s trouble. The four black shadows spoke quietly to each other in the Black Speech. Finally, as silent ast stones they m0oved westward along the road to the Inn of the Pracing Pony.
In the darkest hour of night, they crept up along the north wing of the old Inn to the windows that came low to the ground. The sound of tinkling glass and broken shutters, disrupted the quiet just before dawn. Four black figures entered the rooms of the four hobbits and in silent unison drew their swords. They waited a moment in the small room and then attacked the beds of the halfings with savage ferocity. They shrieked with menacing displeasure, when it was discovered, that the little people had once again eluded them.
They fled the the rooms of the Inn as the night passed, pausing only to break the gates of the stable and drive the pack animals out into the night. They drove the poor beasts filled with terror before them as they rode like a gale toward the East Gate of Bree.
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