'Harding's interest in the state of Wildermore is not surprising, for he is Aldor of the Northmarch. It falls within his command, and if something has happened to its people it is his duty to know. My interest in Wildermore is more personal than that, <name>.
'I was born in the town of Dunfast, a small village in the forest of the Whitshaws. As a young boy, I must have climbed to the top of every sturdy tree within a mile of the village; the view from the heights is well-known to me, and much-beloved: green fields and sunny hillsides, the crystal-blue waters of the Isingmere, the bounty of well-tilled farm-fields.
'You can see little enough of that from my map, <name>, but the words and symbols stir my heart and make me think of home. Speak to Horn for more practical guidance, and to discuss our next steps. I tread too easily upon steps of memory, as minstrels are wont to do.'
The men sent by Harding into Wildermore never returned, and now he wants you to see what has happened within the borders of that land.
Horn is standing by Gléowine on the porch outside the Mead Hall of Harwick.
You should speak with Horn about your journey into Wildermore.
- Gléowine: 'Forgive me my musings, friend. I am an old man and a minstrel to boot, and both are given to wandering the hedgerows of memory. Horn can give you more practical guidance.'
- Horn: 'This then is our quest: to investigate the disappearence of Harding's men, the ones he sent into Wildermore. He gave us the names of two: Wídfara, a rider of no small skill, and Léodwig, Harding's own son.'
- Horn traces out a course on Gléowine's map.
- 'We will ride north out of Harwick, and follow the road through the Wold until it turns west. That turning will bring us into Wildermore. This area here, do you see it? The land is called "Writhendowns," and the first settlement we should investigate is this one here, Scylfig, located at its northern bounds.
- 'What do you think of this course? I am ready to take if you are, <name>.'
The town of Scylfig is located in the Writhendowns, in Wildermore, west of the Wold.
Your companions have agreed that it is time to begin your search for Harding's men in Wildermore. You will begin with the town of Scylfig.
- You have arrived in Scylfig, and should search for Wídfara and Léodwig
Wídfara may be within the town of Scylfig, in the Writhendowns area of Wildermore.
If Wídfara is within Scylfig, you should find him and learn why he has not returned to the Wold.
- Wídfara: 'Yes, I am Wídfara, and I am a rider of Harding's, Aldor of the Northmarch. I am in this land at his request, but have fallen prey to some difficulties and could not yet make my return.'
- Wídfara laughs sourly and gingerly rubs his wounded leg.
- 'This land is besieged, stranger! If you have not heard yet of the terrible apparition called Núrzum, you soon will. All of Wildermore trembles at his name, and they are not wrong to fear him! He slew my horse Windfoot, and no one will give me a new one with which to return to Harwick. It does not matter, with my leg in this state.
- 'There is little we can hope to do against Núrzum, stranger, but other foes in the Writhendowns are less imposing. If you explore this land and fight the mounted foes near the White Hand camp in the south-east, explore the haunted fishing village to the north-west, and keep them away from Thrymm Red-beard's training camp to the east, I will tell you more of this terrible foe.'
The White Hand has established a camp in the south-east corner of the Writhendowns. The abandoned fishing village can be found to the north-west of Scylfig. Thrymm Red-beard's training camp is to the east of Scylfig.
Wídfara has agreed to tell you more of what happened in Wildermore if you help the people of the Writhendowns by facing down their foes near three significant locations.
- (Fushaum-dorám) The White Hand camp is crawling with Enemies. How did they come to be here?
- This fishing village (Fiskworth) seems to be abandoned. What secrets does it retain?
- (Thrymm Red-beard's Camp) Thrymm's Training Camp is packed with supplies and men eager for battle. But Is it enough?
Wídfara is in Scylfig, in the Writhendowns.
You have done as he asked, and should now return to Wídfara to hear more of his tale.
- Wídfara: 'Thank you for doing some good in the Writhendowns, my new friend. These people have experienced much hardship, and I fear I may have given speed to some of the dangers that threaten them.
- 'I was riding in the High Knolls with my companions when a blizzard closed in. The snow was blinding and the wind fierce, and I dismounted to seek some measure of shelter. No sooner had my boots touched the ground than a great darkness fell upon me, and a tremendous shape towered over my poor horse Windfoot. I stumbled away, falling into a great drift of snow. It saved my life.'
- Wídfara stares straight ahead, his expression haunted.
- 'Above the tumult, I could hear the sound of Núrzum at feast. He made a meal of my poor Windfoot, and only when he had finished and moved away among the crags did I see that my companions were missing. Of Léodwig there was no sign, but I don't think Harding's son was spared. I made my slow way by foot back here to Scylfig, but if he were alive he would have done the same. That is my tale. I hope only that Núrzum is not drawn here by my presence, to threaten the people of Scylfig.'
Corudan is in Scylfig.
Corudan listened to Wídfara's tale, and may have some thoughts about it.
- Horn: 'Wídfara weaves a frightening tale. From where did Núrzum come, and what can we do about him?'
- Corudan: 'I listened to Wídfara's tale, as did you, but it raises more questions than we had before! This creature Núrzum must be of enormous size if he can overpower a horse of Rohan. He must be clad in thick fur to move comfortably in the midst of such a snowstorm as Wídfara related. Whether his attack was caused by need or sport is unclear to me, but the size of his appetite is less mysterious: it is large, and not easily sated.
- 'I believe Núrzum to be a large snowbeast of the sort that frequents the Misty Mountains. How he came to this area of Rohan I cannot guess.'
- Corudan looks up from his musings with a puzzled expression.
- 'Where is Gléowine? I have not seen him since we arrived. If dangers such as this Núrzum stalk Wildermore, we should stay together for safety. I hope Gléowine has not thought to leave Scylfig.'
It is Corudan's hope that Gléowine remains still within Scylfig.
Corudan wants you to find Gléowine if he remains in Scylfig.
- Gléowine: Gléowine appears to be in a great deal of distress, and his eyes are full of sadness.
- 'There is no fool like an old man thinking to rediscover the joys of his youth, <name>. What happened to Wildermore in the years since I left her? The land of my childhood was a sunny place of fields and blue rivers, not this den of relentless sorrow! It was not home to such terrors as this monstrous Núrzum, bringing death so quickly and without warning! What happened to the land I remember?'
- Gléowine hastily wipes the tears away.
- 'Ah, pay no attention to an old, sad man, <name>. I will not despair. My concern must not be that these troubles have happened to my childhood homeland. It must be that these troubles could move south and threaten the rest of Rohan. We will help the people of Wildermore, and by helping them we will help even Théoden King, though he did not ask for nor trust such help. Thank you for this talk, my friend. I just needed to hear these things aloud.'
Horn is in Scylfig with Corudan and Wídfara.
You have comforted Gléowine and should now speak with Horn in Scylfig.
- Gléowine: 'Thank you, my friend. I just needed to hear my doubts aloud to know they are not as important as they seemed inside my head.'
- Corudan: 'So Gléowine is fine after all? I am relieved.'
- Horn: 'So Gléowine's time to himself helped him find some measure of peace? I am glad.'
- Horn's expression grows distant, and he seems to be speaking more to himself than to you.
- 'Sometimes that is all it takes, is it not? Time to think. It could be like that for any one of us, only to return renewed and with greater purpose. I hope it is so.
- Horn seems to notice you are looking at him expectantly, and he turns slightly red.
- 'Ah, yes. I am glad Gléowine is feeling better. What should... what should we do now?'