Chapter Two Preface: Welcome to The Black Arrow, a tale from the Kingdom of Dale. This story is played out on my Middle-earth mod. I've been meaning to do a story for a while, and now's the time. I need to play through to get a better idea of balance, along with considering which units to add. So now's the time to play! At first, I'll be controlling everything, but as time goes on, I may recruit some Lords and Ladies of Dale to help govern the civilization. Let's fire up the mod: Our fearless leader is Brand, grandson of Bard the Bowman. He'll be helping us on our quest to forge The Black Arrow, a group of fearless soldiers ready to face the evil plains of Mordor and stop the Easterlings. We'll get 2 in all cities thanks to being Mannish. Because Brand's a Trader, we get a bonus 50% from trade routes and make 15% more . Finally, Brand's Warrior lineage means we have +50% GG emergence and free Combat I for Archery, Mounted, and Melee Units (which never expire in Middle-earth!) We're playing the small map of Middle-earth on Prince, with v. 0.4 of the Middle-earth mod. But enough narrative talk. Let us begin! The Black Arrow Chapter One: Elder Days Long have the people of Dale dwelt in the shadow of the Lonely Mountain. But we have settled under its arms near the River Running. Our people have formed a village that will be the most prosperous in the North - the City of Dale! Our kingdom will extend far across Wilderland, a kingdom that will be unmatched. I order the men to get together a workforce equal to daunting tasks. My scouts have reported prosperous resources to our north and south. Strange beasts roam the northern borders, but they are not threatening and their furs are valuable. To the south, corn grows in abundance. These men will form a Worker who shall be able to harness the true value of these resources. I have ordered our scribes and loremasters to study Farming, which will provide us with the ability to till the land around us. In the mean time, we have met our neighbor that dwells in Mirkwood - Oropher, King of the Woodland Ream, is forming a host of Elves under his allegiance there. Oropher seems cautious towards us, and he greets me with a query. "Welcome to Greenwood. Peace will not be in Middle-earth unless our enemy Sauron is overcome. Do you seek war with Mirkwood?" "No, my friend Oropher, there shall be peace in our time!" Oropher bows. "I have many archers to train. I take my leave." What's the Elf doing in those woods? I wonder. But the Men of Dale will happily trade with the Woodland Realm, so I return to my kingdom. Shortly we meet our neighbor to the east, Durin and the Longbeard Dwarves. They live in the Iron Hills, where they will be strongly defended. They would best be friends rather than enemies. "I slept alone, until in the deeps of time and the awakening of that people I came to Azanulbizar, and in the caves above Kheled-Zâram. Durin the Deathless greets you. Why have you come to greet me?" Durin asks. "We seek peace with the mighty Dwarves." I answer with a bow. "Good. The men of Dale will make excellent friends. If you happen to see any gold, do not hesitate to send it our way. We have plenty of iron here." Durin says. "I shall let you know." With Durin off, the men of Dale set out to accomplish our goals. My master scribe Girion reports that we have discovered the secrets of Farming: And I order him to begin researching hunting, which will enable us to corral the beasts to the north and utilize their hides for the warmth and prosperity of Dale. Our ultimate goal is to obtain the power of Archery, allowing us to defend our borders in case the Elves of Mirkwood get power hungry. Our researchers are wise men, and it does not take Girion long to finish his studies. "My Lord Brand, we have finished our studies of hunting. No foul beasts will be able to stand before our hunters. We can seek out new lands with our scouts, and we have developed woodland fighting abilities." I congratulate him on his wisdom and direct his attention to bow-crafting. The men of Dale soon finish their band of Workers and we have a choice. What will be the next great project of our city? After consulting with my commander, Bain, I decide to build a force which should repel anyone seeking to take down our beautiful city. Unfortunately we notice something dangerous to our southern borders. A large band of Wild Wargs has been spotted nearby. Wargs are difficult to deal with. We will need some strong warriors if we are to take them down, for our plans for expansion are all to the south. We will also need to develop a band of settlers in order to expand our kingdom. I retire to my chambers, considering the possibilities that lay ahead of us.