November of S.R. 1419
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Design of the Shire Calendar
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Phases of the Moon
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Frodo and his companions wake in the narrow gatehouse that guards the Brandywine Bridge, over which they entered the Shire yesterday evening after their travels of more than thirteen months. Having learned that bands of Men are terrorizing the Shire, they determine to ride straight to Hobbiton from which the new ‘Chief” rules — whom they presume is Lotho Baggins.
Upon reaching Frogmorton in the evening, they are arrested by the First Eastfarthing Troop, a large crowd of Shirriffs that is not permanently stationed in the town. Finding the local inn closed, they resign to spending a second night in a guardhouse.
On their second morning in the Shire since their return two evenings ago, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin again wake in a guardhouse — this time in Frogmorton at the post of the First Eastfarthing Troop, a crowd of Sherriffs who arrested them upon their arrival yesterday evening. After annoying the Sherriffs by delaying their start in the morning, then forcing them to walk in front of their ponies, the four finally leave them behind at the Three-Farthing Stone and continue toward Hobbiton on their ponies.
They come to Bywater at dusk and find many houses ruined or burned or replaced with other structures. A dozen Men with clubs attempt to bar their way, but are dissuaded and scattered by their threat of the Hobbits' swords. As they plan their response, Frodo insists — and will be obeyed — that they slay no Hobbits in the coming engagements; and though Pippin and Sam mention that they might seek safety, Merry is determined to force a confrontation, and blows the Horn-cry of Buckland on the great horn that Éomer and Éowyn gave him upon his departure from Rohan two and a half months ago.
More than a hundred Hobbits assemble at their call, and Pippin rides for the Tookland to summon more from his clan, who have been violently resisting the incursion of Men upon their lands. In the late evening a gang of twenty men approach the bonfine the Hobbits have lit in the main street of Bywater, and Merry confronts them at the head of more than two hundred armed Hobbits; their leader is brought down by Hobbit archery and the rest surrender. As night settles in, Merry sets guards around the perimeter of Bywater, Sam retrieves his father from near Hobbiton, and Frodo and Sam spend the night with the Cottons.
Battle of Bywater. Frodo and Sam wake at Farmer Cotton's in Bywater to the news that the Tooks have killed or routed from their lands all of the Men that had been guarding it, that the Thain has moved south with some of his kin against the men in the Southfarthing, and that Pippin will soon return with the balance of the clan's forces.
Around ten in the morning Merry brings news from his scouts that nearly a hundred men are moving east toward Bywater, burning as they come. When Pippin arrives with a hundred Tooks, Merry deems his forces sufficient to ambush the Men; thanks to his leadership, in the ensuing Battle of Bywater more than seventy men are killed against a balance of nineteen Hobbit fatalities.
Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin then proceed with two dozen Hobbits to Bag End where they find Saruman the wizard has ensconced himself as ruler of the Shire. After the wizard attempts and fails to stab Frodo, he is slain by his servant; and with the death of Saruman historians reckon the final end of the War of the Ring.
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