Chapter 3: Rescue

Haldor contemplates the bleak land around him. To the north and the east, a chain of mountains which indeed resembles the Misty Mountains. The cavernous hillscape to the northwest could probably be Carn Dum. To the west, a large plain stands where once was the forest of Ossiriand. And to the south...

If Haldor still had a heart, it would beat very fast. No doubt about it... to the south he can distinguish the forest of Rhudaur. His homeland... Now he has a goal... return home and try to get accepted by his people.

On his way, Haldor finds a strange building. Upon inspecting the inside, he discovers a hidden trap door... and calls for help within. Haldor carefully opens the trap door and enters the dark tunnels below... and the trap door closes itself! Sounds like he's trapped inside...

The tunnels are really dark, and Haldor is wondering what nasty creatures he will find inside. Suddenly, something hits him from behind. Haldor turns around and sees... nothing. Before the dagger stabs him from behind, he turns around again and manages to distinguish a dark figure cloaked in invisibility. Haldor casts a mana bolt and a lightning bolt... and the cloaked figure falls on the ground. The twin daggers and the well-filled purse leaves no doubt: Haldor has entered a thieves' hideout!

A down staircase... and the cries for help become louder. Haldor descends carefully... and enters a huge room full of treasures!

"Welcome to the Assassin's Lair!" booms a man clothed in black. "I'm the Assassin Lord, and these are my men."

"Please help me! I will reward you for your help!" shouts a man chained to the wall. His clothes tell that he is a rich merchant, captured by the thieves for his rare goods. The Assassin Lord hits him in the face.

"Shut up!" roars the Assassin Lord. "You!" pointing at Haldor. "You seem to be powerful... you could join us and work for me. You could even make profit with us. If you refuse my offer... my men will kill you promptly. So what do you decide?"

"I will never join a bunch of assassins!" replies Haldor, as he prepares his freezing spell. The Assassin Lord is hit by the powerful spell and stops moving. Haldor knows he doesn't have much time... the Assassin Lord has to die quickly. Fire bolt, lightning bolt, mana bolt... and the Assassin Lord goes down. Now all the assassins scream in anger and rush to avenge their master. Haldor not only has to fight for his life but must also protect the merchant's life from the assassins' murderous frenzy.

After the last thief falls to the ground, a hidden staircase appears to the place where the Assassin Lord was standing.

"Come, here's the way out." says Haldor to the merchant.

"Thank you very much. I said I would reward you for your help. As you see me, I'm on my way to Minas Tirith to open a Rare Goods shop there. If you go to Minas Tirith, I will give you good prices for my wares there. And take this gold... you deserved it."

"Minas Tirith? I've never heard of that city before... Where can it be found?" asks Haldor. But the merchant is already gone... "Nevermind, I'll find that city when the time is right. But for now, let's go home."