The One Ring: The Darkening of Mirkwood
Head of the Council of Elders of Woodland Hall
The Woodmen of the forest have no king. Each house has a council of Elders, and important decisions are voted on by everyone who meets beneath the roof of the Great House. In time of need, the Woodmen follow the traditions of their ancestors and elect a war-leader, but he who is chosen remains in charge only for the duration of the threat – he is no chieftain or lord.
Ingomer Axebreaker of Woodland Hall, then, is no more important than any of the other old men who sit on the dais near the council fire. His words are given no more weight, his wisdom is not counted as any greater than the rest – but everyone east of the Great River knows that Ingomer rules the Hall. He is an old warrior, in his sixtieth summer, but he is still canny and brave. Few among the Woodmen are as respected as he is, and non have as much support among all four Houses of the people.
If the Woodmen of the forest ever chose a king, then they would likely name Ingomer Axebreaker. He fears that day, for Ingomer knows that one king leads to another, and that the Woodmen are too widely scattered for another, lesser king to rule them all without resorting to violence. Ingomer may have the respect and wisdom to bring Mountain Hall together with Rhosgobel, or into agreement with the sons of Balthi, but he doubts his heirs could ever do the same.
Ingomer’s first son vanished in the forest when he was seven years old. His second son Iglund is his heir. Jokes about Iglund’s stupidity are bandied about Woodland Hall but never where Ingomer can hear them.