29th - Ashforth
Moira walked through the gates of Ashforth at the head of her men, their tattered colours the ghosts of battles past. Each of the men marching in her wake carried a compact bow of horn and sinew, an empty quiver and a sword strapped across each back, a heavy knife at each belt. Their leather tunics were ragged and dirt-streaked, the armour of bandits and raiders, but underneath they were reinforced with strips of horn and a mesh of steel wire, flexible and resilient.
In the weeks since they'd marched north with the Guides they'd fought their way clear through Sirion to the eastern shores of Glinmar, and though it had cost thirty one men their lives, they'd fought their way back again to rendezvous with the advancing allied armies. Eleven times they'd unsheathed their swords in as many days, ranging from skirmishes to pitched battles, and each time they'd walked from the field with honour.
Word of their successes spread through the city and a crowd had gathered by the time they turned into the market square, men cheering and women rushing forward with favours and kisses for the dusty heroes. Moira knew their raid had been a small thing in the grander scheme, but as she saw the pride on the faces of the burghers she couldn't help but feel her men and the other Guides had achieved something special.
Never again would Elven mothers sleep soundly in their beds, no matter that the walls of Parm or Sir Temple or Avamar lay within a day's march of their homesteads. The Guides would range where they willed and Darton help those foolish enough to stand in their way.