photo 3 They have arrived at long last! Tested to the edge of their endurance by the hard, unforgiving road, they rest in the rooms of the Marriott inn. The next morn they set out from their rooms in search of the sages of Middle-Earth knowledge.

First off was the panel featuring the players of the re-telling of the Hobbit. Graham McTavish, the Blustery Dwalin, Sylvester McCoy, Radagast of the Woods, and Manu Bennett, that Evil Pale Orc Azog.

Then the sights and sounds of the gathering overwhelmed them, and DragonCon had them in it’s sharp talons. They visited Ed Asner, the Patriarch of the floating balloon house. They tarried among the different different vendors, (noticing that The One Ring’s booth was VERY busy, way to go Ringers), and eventually ended up at “An Evening in Bree” — where there was a marriage proposal!

Bree, City of Men and Hobbits! All the free peoples of Middle-earth had traveled from the corners of the realm to bless this rustic city with their culture and kin. There were hobbits a plenty, men in shining mail, elves in cool thought, and dwarves grumbling into their mugs. Even the closely guarded female dwarves were there, taking a break from their merchant duties among the mountain paths.

There was song and dance, after which the guests of honor arrived to inscribe mementos, well wish followers, and judge the varied garments of the festival based on cut and craftsmanship. There was even a mockup of the dreaded fire drake Smaug! So real it had mothers grasping their children, and armed folk clutching their hilts in angry remembrance.

Last on the list was picking up a tabletop re-telling of the beloved Hobbit story from the fine storytellers at Cryptozoic. Tis a fine game that the company will play without ceasing.

They have arrived, but the true adventure is just beginning.

Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of “Cryptozoic’s Lost Tales” on The Road To Dragon Con!

Doug Brochu.