The Mithril Knights - Initiation

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The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby erinhue » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:06 pm

Upon the shores of the sea sits a building that looks lonely and weather beaten. But, in truth, inside lies the history of the Mithril Knights along with many reminders of the rich history of this Guild. Those that have petitioned to join the Guild have been summoned to this remote place in order that they might swear their allegiance and take the Oath that has lived through the Ages of Middle Earth...

Lord Erinhue of Belfalas, Warrior/Bard and Battle Captain in the Order of The Mithril Knights walked through the high ceilinged entrance hall and made his way down to the kitchens. As Guild Herald, he was responsible for organizing and overseeing the preparations for the initiation ceremony to be held there in three days. He would not have had it any other way. Who better to prepare a celebration in Dol Amroth then Belfalas' favorite son.

The entire lower wing devoted to the kitchens was like a hive of active bees. Carts laden with supplies were arriving. Erinhue checked the contents against one of his many lists and saw to it that the vendors were paid. As the last cart trundled away he went into the main kitchen.

“Hail Allidas, what fine poisons are you stewing up for the feast.”

Erinhue smacked the chubby Master Cook on the shoulder and peered into the bowl the man was vigorously stirring.

“Nothing that cast iron stomach of yours couldn’t handle.”

Allidas responded with a chuckle. He set the bowl down on a nearby countertop and wiped his hands on a checkered towel. He retrieved his own set of lists and the Master Cook and the Master Bard sat down to compare notes.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Cock-Robin » Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:04 pm

Brondgast was making the journey to Dol Amroth in human form on the back of his friend Meneldor the Swift. The two prospective initiates were making the journey, the Eagle flying down the Anduin. Meneldor was reflective. The last time he was making this journey in that direction, he was looking for answers and any excuse to stay, when everything was screaming to him to go to the West where his brethren were awaiting on Taniquetil.

Brondgast was enjoying the view as they journeyed down, first crossing over Greenwood the Great, then finding Anduin. Turning south, they traveled down, stopping at Caras Galadon to rest.

This was the first time the Beorning had been to Lothlorien. It was silent, the Lady had left years ago, and the songs were no more. But there was a lingering magic to the place.

Meneldor lifted up his voice in a lament for the days that were past:

The mallorns still drop their leaves,
But no song greets them as they fall.
The Lady is gone,
And with her, the magic of Lothlorien.

Some enchantment remains,
But fading into mist,
The mist of legend.

Where are the songs,
The holy songs,
Which graced this blessed land?

The songs linger,
But fade into the past.
Soon, men will forget
And tales will be looked on with disbelief.

So must it be,
As the songs are now sung
In the distant West,
As they will be,
Until the final day,
The Dagor Dagorath,
When songs will be heard once again,
old and new.


This was the first leg of their journey to Dol Amroth and their initiation.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby erinhue » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:27 pm

“Lord ‘Hue,” Allidas spoke as he looked down at one of his lists. “ I hear that two of the initiates are um somewhat different. One is a Beorning and the other is an …an eagle?”

“Not just any old eagle, my friend.” Erinhue laughed. “Meneldor is the last of the Great Eagles left in Middle Earth.”

Allidas gasped in wonder then a puzzled expression formed on his face.

“I suppose the Beroning will be attending in human form, no trouble there, but what, if I might ask, am I to prepare for a giant eagle? Where are we going to put it?”

“Him.” Erinhue corrected. “Knowing him, Meneldor would not want you to go to any trouble on his account. The halls have high vaulted ceilings and you could race horses in the Grand Hall. Give him a place at the end of the table opposite the entrance, that way he can take all the space he might need.”

The Guild Herald stopped and thought for a moment.

“Fish” he declared after a few moments. “Yes that’s it. Fish and lots of it. I don’t think he would want it cooked, but bake some just in case. Hmmm.” Erinhue’s brow wrinkled in thought once again. “What to do?” he muttered to himself. In a moment Allidas was treated to a brilliant version of the bard’s starbright grin. He looked towards the ceiling and called out “Agarak, would you give us a hand here?”

The dragonharp was not in view but a questioning note echoed down from the rafters. In another moment an odd looking container appeared. It was large, made of porcelain and resembled two bath tubs fused together. One half was filled with crushed ice chips, the other with the clear blue water from the Bay of Belfalas.

“Excellent as ever” Erinhue said to the unseen dragonharp. He turned his smile on the Master Cook once again.

“Here we are, Allidas, the perfect solution. Set a platter of baked fish towards the end of the table and then set this tub there on the floor. Put several pounds of fish on ice and fill the other tub with live ones. “

Allidas returned the smile. “Yes, I understand. That way the great birdy can have his choice of fresh, cooked or swimming around to catch for himself.”

“You’re a good man, Allidas.” Erinhue stood up, shook the cook’s hand and left the kitchens. There was still so much to do.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Cock-Robin » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:03 am

It was near dawn, and Brondgast was laying on his back beneath the Great Mallorn, where Galadriel and Celeborn had their home in days past. He was looking at the stars wheel by, and there was still an enchantment to them. Not as powerful as when the Lady was there, but there was still a magic about them.

Meneldor was perched atop the tree, his head under his wing. He had been dreaming of Lorien's namesake across the Sea. He saw the Lady, and in his dream, flew to her like his heart would burst if he delayed. As he landed, he was silent. Words would not come, he was so in awe of Galadriel.

"Welcome, Meneldor the Swift." she said. "You are on a great journey to receive the reward of your deeds, which the Eagles here have been proclaiming."

Meneldor hid his head, his kind's manner of blushing.

"There is nothing to be ashamed of, Eagle-Lord." she said. "Praise that is given for a deserved deed is not to be refused. Remember that as you continue in your journey, and know my blessing is upon you."

With that, Meneldor woke up. "I will remember, milady." he said softly. The stars were beginning to fade as the first glimmers of dawn began to show in the East. Earendil, the Morning Star, was above, shining down upon him. He lifted off from the tree and landed beside Brondgast.

"Are you ready for the next step in our journey? We will stop at Minas Anor, where King Elessar has his throne."

"I am ready." said Brondgast. "I got little sleep, but for some reason, I don't feel it, as if I was rested by looking at the stars above."

"The blessing of the Lady still lingers here, even though the songs are dimmed. Get on and we will depart this blessed realm."

"By the Stone, I will live up to this honor."

"The Stone?"

"I will speak of it later." said Brondgast. "It is a treasure of the Beornings from long ago, and our deepest secret." He got on, and Meneldor took off, it was always a wrench to leave this blessed realm. He flew due south, following the Anduin.

Soon, they passed between the Argonath, their raised arms seeming to welcome them to the realm of Gondor. As they flew over Tol Brandir, he screeched a greeting to the sentinels there, and on Amon Hen and Amon Lhaw. Horns were sounded in response, as Rauros thundered beneath them.

"We make a short detour, where we will not land. I wish to show you the remains of Mordor, where I rescued Samwise, one of the Ringbearers from the ruin of the land."

They saw the ruins of the Black Gate, and Mount Doom, but Meneldor did not linger there. He turned towards Ithinlien and Osgiliath, which was even then being rebuilt. Mindolluin and Minas Anor, the great white city, was looming before them. He would not fly directly up to the Citadel, knowing the custom, but landed before the gates to announce himself.

"Meneldor the Swift, together with Brondgast of the Beornings to meet with the King before we head to Dol Amroth to be received into the Mithril Knights." the Eagle said.

The sentinel at the Gate said "You will be announced, my lord." A messenger was sent to speedily go to the Citadel.

Brondgast did not dismount, but looked in awe upon the City. He was not used to such dwellings. Meneldor waited, then took off, soaring upwards, passing circle after circle of the City, The White Tower gleamed at the foot of Mindolluin, as the Eagle circled upwards, finally descending, landing beside the White Tree.

Horns were blown, and an honor guard of the Citadel approached, and behind them was Elessar and Arwen, hand in hand.

Meneldor bowed, and Brondgast knelt. The King raised Brondgast and looked up at the Eagle. "You need not bow, Lord Meneldor." he said. "You have done great deeds, as has your companion. Both are worthy to enter our ranks." Meneldor was awed. He had seen the King twice, once in the stone of Annuminas, next in the stone of Amon Sul, but in person, he was even more majestic, the last true king of Numenor.

"My king. It seems the Elder Days have revived, the blessing of those days has descended upon the kingdom."

"For a short time, in the lives of men." said Arwen. "Welcome to Minas Tirith. Both of you are free to stay overnight before you are received into our fellowship. A dwelling will be prepared for you, Brondgast, and Meneldor, there is no dwelling in which you can fit here."

"To remain here beside the White Tree will be enough, my lord and lady."

"So be it." said the King.

There was much more ceremony before the day ended, but they would stay the night before the last leg of their journey.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Cock-Robin » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:46 pm

Brondgast had been assigned a room, which was actually the same room Gandalf and Pippin had shared during the War. The Beorning was grateful for this, as this had been the first time in what seemed like ages that he was able to sleep in a real room in a real bed. He put down his gear and undressed for bed. He had been asked not to transform while in the Citadel, so he complied. He was in control of it anyway.

He went to bed, but had a fitful night of sleep, with a dream. He was remembering in his dream a time which was just as important as his first transformation. About something that would make a Beorning a leader. His father Grimbeorn was speaking, telling him about it.

Many have tried to claim it over the years, but none have succeeded for centuries.

They tried and failed?

They tried and died. Died in a horrible way, and what was left of them wasn't worth burying. We finally left it in the care of Tharanduil. Even Beorn didn't dare try.

Then, it is futile for any to try to claim it, father?

That was the mistake of the others. They tried to claim it. No, none must try that. If any would bear it, it must claim you!


Brondgast woke up suddenly, in a cold sweat, heaving great gasps of breath. He hadn't remembered that conversation with his father for a long time. Why should it show up now? The stories had terrified him. He turned around and tried to get back to sleep. It brought him back to the same dream of the same conversation. He had asked his father,

Then, who does it usually claim?

From what I have heard, it is one with the spirit of a dragon, the only Beorning who could bear it...and live. Bar was the first, and there were others. And they were great Beornings, who did deeds even greater than your grandfather.


Brondgast woke up, staring at the ceiling. Who could ever live up to that legacy? He didn't realize those questions dared not be asked, for they could be answered in a way that was simply...terrfying.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Cock-Robin » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:00 pm

Meanwhile, Meneldor slept, his head under his wing, beside the White Tree. A Great Eagle and the descendant of Telperion seemed fitting, as it seemed the Elder Days had awakened in the Citadel.

He was awakened by Arwen calling to him. Elessar was at her side. "Meneldor, what is wrong?" He awakened, and looked questioningly at the Queen. "You seemed to be weeping." Elessar said "Such sorrow is not fitting when you are about to enter into such an honor that few men do."

Meneldor looked at the Tree. The Moon had risen, and was shedding its light upon it. The Tree was not Telperion, it shed no light itself, but the Moon's light awakened a distant memory in the Tree, and it reflected the light of the Moon.

"Did you ever see Telperion in its glory?" said Elessar.

"Only in my dreams." said Meneldor. "When I and my brethren were called to the Mount by Manwë, the Trees were already dark, so I missed that glory. As for what my sorrow was about, it is hard to relate here."

"That's another reason we woke you, Lord Meneldor." said Elessar. "Will you bear us to the top of Mindolluin? There we can talk."

"With a good will, Sire." said Meneldor. "Carrying two is more difficult than bearing one small hobbit, Ringbearer Samwise, but I can bear it there and back. Please mount and I will take you there." he saw both were wearing cloaks, which was good, for it was a tall mountain that Minas Anor was built upon.

They mounted and Meneldor backed away from the Tree and spread his great wings. He took off an circled higher and higher, going round the White Tower, then upwards to the summit of Mindolluin, where he had been when he was still searching.

Finally, he alit atop the mountain,and Aragorn and Arwen dismounted. They stood in silence for a while, looking over the city. Meneldor, however, was looking westward, straining his eyes to see what couldn't be seen with mortal eyes.

"What do you see, Lord Meneldor?" said Arwen.

"It is what I am trying to see." said the Eagle. "Though I go to be initated into the Mithril Knights, it seems my fate ever to be torn in two. I have been upon another mount, the mount of Meneltarma." he looked towards Elessar, who was the last of the Numenoreans. "Upon that holy mount, I received counsel from the Three Witnesses of Manwë. But it is still another mount that always calls me, the mount of Taniquetil, where Thorondor and my kin ever dwell. In a way, I live in two places at once. I have found my purpose here among the Mithril Knights, but I am of Aman as well, and the call often tugs at me so hard, it hurts.

I was tempted, my lord, sorely tempted before the battle with the dragon. I almost forsook my quest, fleeing mortal peril to the West, which is my true home. Turning back was a wrench to my heart, going to despair and darkness, setting aside my hope.

When I was here last, and the City saw me as I wandered, I was looking for any reason to stay, and not go on to rejoin my brethren, where I would stay until the last great battle, the Dagor Dagorath, where evil will finally be vanquished. I heard later the Elves sang a song of my journey and my sorrow.

"Sing it for us,if you will." said Arwen.

Meneldor closed his eyes and sang softly:

The Last Eagle, the Lone One,
He searches far in many lands,
For the path the Valar set him.

But what does he seek? He knows not,
Yet his cry is heard in the land.
The last of Thorondor's brood,
Servants of Manwë,
His heart is empty,
Sorrow follows him.

Memories of the Onodrim
And their long search
And their long sorrow
Are revived in the Eagle's search.

Elbereth, Kindler of the Stars,
Guide him in his search.
Show him the hidden path
Though long be his travels.

He seeks renown,
A name of his own,
Though many are his deeds to date.
But something he lacks,
And so he flies,
Never resting, no place to call home.

The dooms of Mandos drive him from behind,
The call of Manwë draws him from ahead,
And so he calls, so he flies,
For a purpose, ere he follows his kin
To the Utter West.
Such is the fate of the Lone Eagle.


"And I found my purpose, among the Mithril Knights, and so found my true name, Sorontel, Last-Eagle, so the Elves named me, so is my name among my brethren in the holy eyrie of Taniquetil. The eyries here do not welcome me any more. So you see the conflict within me. To stay or to go, and I am torn.

Arwen looked on the Eagle lovingly. "I have made my choice, forsaking the West for my love, the choice of Luthien. But yours is another choice.

"I understand, too, Lord Meneldor." said Elessar. "Although you will be under oath to me as a Mithril Knight, I will not hold you. Stay as long as you will, and if the call becomes too fierce for you to resist, then come to me, and you will be dismissed with my blessing. Such a dispensation I grant you for the love we bear you, and for the deeds you have already done, making yourself worthy to join our ranks."

"It will be long, if ever." said Meneldor, bowing to Elessar. "I have much to do here, many more deeds, so Manwë and Varda told me when I appeared to them unclad, before the time of the funeral of Dirk the Daring. I will not forsake you until that fateful day."

"Unlike me, it will be your fate, as you say, to live in two places at once, and be torn between them." said Arwen. "May you find your way, and find peace within yourself."

"Such is my wish as well." said Elessar. "Thank you for sharing yourself with us. Never have we had others like you. But it is the time for the age of Men, and so at the end, the Elves and Eagles must depart, to wean us from our dependence on the past, except in memory."

"And so Beren and Luthien, incarnate again, shine forth in their glory, for a short time. May you be blessed as well." said Meneldor.

The two got back on Meneldor's back, and he sailed from Mindolluin's heights to the Citadel, where the Tree was waiting.

"I bid you both a good night. I now rest before the rest of my journey." said Meneldor.

"Good night." said Elessar. Arwen kissed him on the beak. "A blessed night under the stars of Varda." They left for their home and bed, and Meneldor took one last look at the scion of Telperion, before he faded into sleep once again, soaring in the dreams of a Great Eagle.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Claymore » Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:04 pm

Djazi left Esgaroth for Dol-Amroth the day after the funeral. Meneldor and Brondgast would leave later but as they would be flying they would probably arrive days if not weeks in advance anyway even if they took detours. Djazi did not mind so much. It gave him a chance to see Middle-Earth in spring’s glory and to reflect on what had happened these last few months.

Only six months before he’d been one of the many miserable fighting slaves in Fahlan’s Arena. Now half a year later he was a free man and on his way to become initiated into one of the most well-respected Orders of Middle-Earth. No man coul have prayed for a more fortunate turn of fate. And yet it had not come without sacrifice.

First and foremost of course there was the death of Baran, his elder brother in all but blood. Baran who had given him the tools to survive North of Harad and to escape and whose stories had set his feet on the path he was walking now.

Second though no less worthy was Dirk’s sacrifice, a sacrifice that had allowed the Knights and Djazi to prevail in their fight with Mauglar and made it possible for Djazi to make this journey to Dol Amroth now.

Though those two sacrifices were the biggest there were other, subtler sacrifices, and Djazi was only now realizing the extend of them.

WHen he’d finally shaken Fahlan’s pursuit those many months ago he’d decided to go North. He could have gone South. He could have gone beyond the Haradian Desert and gone back to the savannas of his birthland. He might have found other Tribes like his own and joined them. He could have found survivors of his own Tribe though he suspected those chances would have been non-existent. He could have tried to to revive his Tribe and make them flourish again in the lands where the Hunter had first found them.

But he’d gone North and in doing so he’d given up on those futures. He might go back one day. But he’d found a new sort of family in the North and he did not think he would stay. If he ever got around to revive his Tribe it would be a different one to the one he’d known. Lighter-skinned most likely, with some different traditions and they would learn to hunt different creatures. It was a bittersweet realization.

As Djazi looked back to the last six months he could not help but conclude though that for the most part he would still not change anything. He was happy for the most part and his future though probably still unpredictable had taken a definite positive turn. The only things he wished he could have changed were Baran’s and Dirk’s death but he refused to regret them.

Six months after the fact he could accept that there was nothing he could have done to avoid Baran’s death. He’d still been a slave then and helpless and he refused to feel guilty for something that had not been his fault.

It was harder to not regret Dirk’s death. The pain was fresher and despite the warming weather Djazi’s mind occasionally grew gloomy with thoughts of what-if. What-if he’d accompanied Dirk that early morning in Annuminas when the young Dunadan had left the Knights to meet his fate? What-if he’d brought Dirk’s wound to the attention of the other Knights?

It was difficult to push away those thoughts sometimes. Dirk had been a responsible adult in full possesion of his wits when he’d decided to leave Annuminas and the Knights behind while wounded. Djazi would dishonor Dirk’s memory if he took responsibility for the young man’s deeds. And dishonoring Dirk’s memory was the last thing Djazi wanted. And so he tried to push his regrets away and for the moment only to enjoy the now.

His journey to Dol Amroth was not without hiccups. He was a southerner travelling through lands that still remembered the trembling earth under the Mumakil’s huge feet, the pounding of Southern war-drums and the war-cries of Haradian warriors. As such he was not always welcomed in inns now that he was not travelling in the company of the Knights. Spring was well on its way however and the promise of summer could already be felt on some days. Djazi didn’t mind as much as he had when he had made the reverse journey in winter a few months ago. He was a good hunter and sleeping in fields of waving wheat during a balmy spring evening had a charm all of its own.

He made a good time but still he did not catch with Tempest. She had been gone already when he left Esgaroth. WHen he asked around Anorast told him she was gone for a mission to the East. When he’d asked if she would come back for his Initiation the old elf had shrugged.
“I don’t know,’He’d said. “Maybe.”
Djazi had pressed for more answers but the old elf would not or could not give them. So Djazi had asked at every inn he was allowed to stay at whether she had passed through, hoping she’d decided to attend his initiation after all and that she’s passed before him. So far though nobody had seen her and he suspected that the messages he’d painstakenly written down and left with some friendly innkeepers had not found their recipient.

It made his worry for her increase. He’d known she’d been hurting. Djazi had known Dirk for a few months. Tempest had known him for years and Djazi suspected that though his grief had been deep, Tempest’s was a great deal greater. And yet she’d gone on a mission the day after Dirk’s funeral and had left without saying goodbye to anyone. He feared for her mental state. He’d seen people react the same way after similar losses and more often than not they ended up dead before the year was out. He hoped of course that she would not share that fate but he knew that especially people like Tempest who had dark pasts to haunt their steps were likely to seek out death after such losses. Djazi decided that he would do his best to prevent that. Tempest was his mentor and though she’d originally taken the position purely out of a desire to keep an eye on him he suspected she’d come the care for him and he certainly had grown to care for her.
If she was not present at his Initiation he would head East himself afterwards.

It was with these thoughts in mind that he finally reached Dol Amroth a couple of weeks after he left Esgaroth.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Cock-Robin » Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:11 am

It was morning, and Brondgast went to the dining hall to get some breakfast. It was good, and then he got the summons to the throne room.

He went, and the doors opened to the Tower, and he was awed to see the splendor of the place. At the end was a great throne, with the King seated beside the Queen. The Beorning knelt down.

"Arise, Brondgast." said King Elessar. "You go now to Dol Amroth to be initiated into the Mithril Knights. I am pleased to have you among our ranks."

"Thank you, Sire." said Brondgast. "It has been my deslre all my life." He didn't tell of the dreams he had last night, but somehow, the king knew.

"I am certain you will find the answers to the questions that disturb you there." he said. He arose with the Queen and stepped down. He embraced the Beorning. "Come. The time for you and Meneldor to depart is at hand."

Brondgast followed them out, to see that Meneldor was awake. The Eagle's attention was fixed on the White Tree, and a song burst from him.

O Tree,
O White Tree,
Descendant of Telperion the Silver,
Long have you graced the City of Minas Anor.

May the memory of the days
When the Silver and the Gold
Brightened Aman,
be with you.

And the hope
Of the day when the Trees will be re-kindled
After the Last Great Battle,
The Dagor Dagorath,
When evil is vanquished forever,
Make your leaves shine with joy.


"You are a mighty singer, Lord Meneldor." said Arwen.
Meneldor bowed. "It is a pleasure of mine, to see a reminder of the Great Days." he said.


"We come to bid you farewell wherever you fare, until the eyries receive you at the journey's end." said Aragorn.

Meneldor bowed again. "It will be some time before that happens, but may the Tree ever bloom, and may your reign be long and blessed."

Brondgast's pack was already set there, and he mounted the Eagle. There was no more need of long goodbyes. With a screech, Meneldor spread his wings and took off from Minas Anor, circling the Tower, then departing to the south, following the Anduin for a way, then he turned southwest, the City receding in the distance.

"The last leg of the journey." said Meneldor.

Brondgast was silent. He was trembling at the thought of his disturbing dreams. Did he go to an honor, or to his death? He ever wondered. Something awaited him that would change his life forever.

The harbor of Dol Amroth was ever approaching, and soon, as Meneldor searched, he found the Guild Hall, where they would be initiated and inducted into the Mithril Knights. Circling down, he landed and Brondgast dismounted.

A joy and a dread came upon them both as they approached the Hall.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Tempest » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:55 am

Elbren had spent the later part of the morning in more consultations than he had anticipated, and by the time he had sent the last messenger away, he could tell by the slant of the sun’s rays through his window that it was mid-afternoon already. He sighed and rose wearily, resolving to take a short walk upon the battlements of Dol Amroth so that he could at least enjoy the fresh salt-air.

Looking out upon the swelling waves, he felt his heart strangely moved, and he recognized the longing for the sea that belonged to his kin. It was growing ever stronger within him, especially now that most of his fellow elves had departed Middle Earth. He turned away reluctantly. His time had not yet come; there was much left to do before he could sail away with a free heart from these shores. As he turned, he heard the far-off cry of an eagle, and he smiled. He was not the only one who had chosen to stay for the time being.

It had been weeks now since his return from the East, where he had found more questions and more dead-ends than the Mithril Knights had predicted. The dwarves of the Red Hammer had proved elusive, and the Knights of the Silmaril were even more slippery, so that all leads had eventually evaporated. Still, the contacts they had made were valuable, and Elbren felt confident that those he had left behind would uncover the trail again.

Upon his return, Elbren had much to deal with, including briefing each Mithril Knight who had traveled with the ill-fated, though successful, troop who had fought both the cold-drakes and the dragon of the North. It was a long, sorrowful process, due partially to the fact that by then, many of the party had dispersed, or were taking a long needed rest far from the cities. Elbren grieved that he had been unable to return in time for Dirk’s funeral, and he found many of the Knights who had accompanied his funeral train to be dispirited and exhausted.

But there was one who he had been unable to debrief: the Lady Tempest. Though he was not surprised by her abrupt departure, he feared her temperament, especially because he could read between the lines and guessed that she had not parted well with Erinhue. But now, after recent information had come to light, he was concerned for her safety. She had followed his original trail into the East, and from his reports, had much success. Perhaps too much, for she had disappeared suddenly, leaving no word with her contacts. All he had at this point were a few letters that she had written back to him, cryptic letters as well as a letter to her Knight in Training, Djazi. Remember this, Elbren quickly sent word to have the young initiate sent to his quarters. Perhaps Djazi’s letter would give more additional information to help piece together what had happened to his mentor.

The young Haradrim entered cautiously. He had only met with the leader of their Guild once when he was debriefed after their mission, and without Tempest’s presence, Djazi felt a little out of his league. He secretly wondered if he would be allowed to become a full member of the Guild, even though this had never been questioned openly.

Elbren must have seen the anxiousness on his face, for he welcomed him warmly and dispersed any fears as quickly as he could. ”Djazi, it is my pleasure to welcome you again, and it will be an even greater pleasure to officially welcome you into the Mithril Knights at the ceremony. But it is not for these things that I have called you here. I have a letter for you from the Lady Tempest.”

Djazi’s face fell slightly. ”The lady is not here to give it to me herself?”

”Unfortunately, no. We were hoping that her letter to you might give us some information as to her whereabouts.”

Djazi nodded and proceeded to open the letter. He could not hide his disappointment, nor the growing concern he felt upon Elbren's words. So, it was true. She had vanished into the East as he had suspected, which also explained why his own letters to her had been left unanswered. But here, in his hand, was proof that she was alive, or at least, had been when she wrote it. Tempest’s tight, precise handwriting stared up at him from the page:

Djazi,

It is with greatest regret that I inform you that I will be unable to attend your initiation. I am sorry for my abrupt departure from Dirk’s funeral, but I think you, of all them, understand why I could not stay. I was wrong about you, all those months back when I warned the Knights about bringing a Haradrim to battle with us. You have proven your mettle, and you have proven most of all, that you have the heart of a Mithril Knight. Our guild will be the stronger for having you as one of us.

I have ventured East. I needed a distraction from our experience in the North. You understand. I find the land and people here not unlike they were before the War. There is much resistance to Elessar’s reign, and much resentment to the Western lords. The mood is ripe for trouble, and I have plunged myself into it. I have found what Elbren was looking for, but it is not exactly as he guessed.

I wish you well, my friend, and I am sorry that I cannot be there to support you when you need me. I am ever letting down those I love, so perhaps it is best I separate myself from them for a while. Here, they only remember me as the Dark Lady of Mordor. Perhaps, for now, that is best. I will send word if I can. Know that I am thinking of you at your Initiation. I can only hope that our paths cross again.

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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby erinhue » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:47 pm

The light of early dawn sifted into the darkened bedchamber waking Erinhue from sleep. He dressed quickly and had an even quicker breakfast then went out into the guild house courtyard. The generally unused axillary stables were being prepared for the steeds of the Knights coming to attend the initiation ceremony.

Fresh straw was being laid on the floors. Bails of hay, barrels of oats and bundles of sweet grass were being brought in to feed the all horses of the attendees. Erinhue inspected deliveries, signed vouchers and spoke with the Stable Master.

The bard took a few moments to spend with his own horse, Treble. The black and white steed at first refused the offered apple, showing his displeasure at being neglected. With a little apologetic coaxing, Treble accepted the offered treat then nuzzled his rider to show all was forgiven. That garnered the faithful horse another apple.

“Got no more time for you right now, boy” Erinhue said as he stroked the horse’s nose. “I promise we will go out for a ride this evening.” He gave the horse another pat and left the stables.

Squads of young Knights in Training were occupied in setting up the Grand Hall for the dinner preceding the ceremony. The Guild Herald stood watching the activity, but did not interfere. The trainees had been given their instructions and were eager to prove themselves to their mentors. Each one was well aware of what would take place in the next days, right in that very hall. Each one of them worked while dreaming of their own hoped for initiation.

Satisfied that all was going according to schedule, Erinhue headed for the Halls of Healing where the potion to be used in the ceremony was being prepared. His route took him past the armory where more young trainees were busy cleaning and polishing every thing in sight. As he passed one of the KiT’s called out to him.

“Lord Erinhue, may I speak with you a moment?” The young man’s tone was hesitant

“That is about all I have to spare, but it is yours” Erinhue replied.

“Um Sir, Um well it’s about your sword, sir.”

“What about it?”

“Well, sir, um, it is in the armory.”

“And?

“ Ah well sir, the thing is, it is in the armory. We didn’t think that you wanted to leave it there during the ceremony but, um but, well, ah…”

“Spit it out, lad, my moment is shrinking down to nothing.”

“ Yes sir, we wanted to move it, sir, but “ The trainee stopped here as a warm blush spread over his face. “I’m sorry, sir, but the fact is that none of us wanted to touch it.”

Erinhue burst out laughing.

“Can’t blame ya much for that, son. There are times I would rather not touch it myself.”

Holding up his left hand, Erinhue called out “Clarion. To me.”

The dutiful sword suddenly appeared and Erinhue plucked it from the air and slung it’s scabbard’s strap over his shoulder.

“There, that should solve the problem, right?”

The young man nodded, a dumfounded expression on his beardless face. Erinhue winked at him and continues on his way.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Cock-Robin » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:30 am

Meneldor and Brondgast had arrived at the Guild Hall. The smells of the food already being prepared in the dining hall were wafting over the complex, making them hungry. But Brondgast was preoccupied. He glanced with dread over at the armory, where something seemed to be calling to him.It was something only his ears could hear, and he wondered at it.

Meneldor was both excited and nervous as he would be the first, the only of the Great Eagles to be initiated as a Mithril Knight, where he would remain until the call of the West became too great that he would die if he didn't obey it. But that time was far off.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Claymore » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:13 pm

Djazi had spotted Brondgast and Meneldor in the crowd, one would have to be blind to miss the great Eagle. He however decided not to join them. Instead, after collecting a bowl of fish-stew and rice, he made his way to the back of the Guild-Hall.

Several of the younger Knights in Training hailed him. Most of them had not been old enough to fight during the War of the Ring and as such hadn’t learned to distrust Southerners quite as much or so viciously as the older generation. In the few days after his arrival in Dol Amroth and debriefing he had spend quite a few sunny afternoons sparring with them. It had felt good to train for the fun of it instead of training because doing otherwise would bring a whip cracking down one’s back.

Most of the other Knights in Training were of the same age as him or younger. A few were older. All were bright and eager, young people with the world ahead of them and at first Djazi had been surprised that he was of an age with them. He’d felt so jaded compared to them. But it also made him realize all over again that like them he had the future ahead of him and that he now had the freedom to actually do something with it. It made him smile.

“Djazi sit with us!”someone yelled. It was Aelwulf an older Knight in Training from Rohan.
Djazi shook his head and briefly showed the letter he held in the hand not clutching his bowl with food.
“Sorry, I have some reading to do,’he said.
Aelwulf nodded.

In reality he had already read Tempest’s letter once in Elbren’s office but he wanted to analyze the cryptic text better and he could not do that in the boisterous and nervous company of the other Knights in Training. He reached one of the spacious windows at the back of the Guild hall and sat down cross-legged on the broad windowsill. Then balancing his bowl on one knee and folding out the letter on the other he tried to decipher the meaning behind Tempest’s words.

At least she didn’t seem to be directly suicidal. There was a very strong tone of guilt and self-blame but there was no hint of active death-seeking so far. That eased his worry for her a great deal. Her mention of becoming the Dark Lady of Mordor again however made him shudder. Though maybe not suicidal it did make him suspect that Tempest was trying to punish herself in some way and that did not sit well with him. Though she had never told him her whole story she suspected she had suffered quite enough already without adding to it herself.

Djazi refolded the letter carefully and tucked it into his sash. Though there was no direct mention of what Tempest was doing exactly in the East he hoped that there were some clues that would help him find her. Because whether she felt guilty or not, he was going to find her. Whatever she was doing sounded dangerous and most likely she would need help. And he would be damned if he let another Knight fall without doing something to prevent it.

The ringing of a bell shook him from his thoughts. It was difficult to see over all the heads of the Knights and Knights in training but it seemed that somebody was standing on one of the tables at the beginning of the Guild Hall and was trying to get the occupants’ attention.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Tempest » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:47 pm

The sound of the bell, along with Elbren's presence, caused a respectful silence to fall upon the dining hall. The elf's eyes scanned the eager faces before him, registering each Knight and Initiate there. So many old friends along with the new faces, but he could not help but be aware of the empty seats among them, for those who were still fighting long from these halls, or those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice and would never be returning. He nodded at Brondgast and Meneldor who had but recently arrived, and he could not help but notice that Djazi had found a place in the far back, away from the others.

Elbren began his address:

"My fellow Knights, my friends, and those who have through hardship and battle come to join us this day, greetings and welcome!"

There was a chorus of response.

Elbren continued. "The Mithril Knights have a solemn obligation to serve the King and protect his lands, regardless of the cost, from the powers of darkness. Many have passed through these halls, loyal and true. Our enemies are great and tireless in their pursuit of evil ends, but we stand against them, and ever shall as long as the stones of the White Tower endure. Those who take the Oath will encounter dangers they had not known before, and some may even face death itself. The road will be long and fraught with woe. But one thing will remain: those who wear the symbol of the Mithril Knights will never walk alone on that road." He grimaced slightly as the thought of Tempest came to him. Was she not alone right now? Or had she joined Dirk among the honored dead?

The silence in the golden hall was heavy and breathless. Elbren shook the thoughts from him.

"I have just returned from the East, following the path of old enemies and perhaps new ones as well. There is much to do, and much will be required of you. The Oath is sacred and binding. It should not be taken lightly, but with sober introspection."

The upturned faces before him were so serious that Elbren suddenly found himself smiling. "But you will also never find a brotherhood more true. And since I am definitely not the elf to end a feast so grand with words of sorrow, I will leave you all in the very capable hands of our Guild Herald, our warrior bard, Lord Erinhue! He shall guide you through the Initiation. I look forward to shaking each of your hands as fellow Knights. May the light of Illuvatar shine brightly on you!"
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Cock-Robin » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:36 pm

Meneldor listened intently to what Elbren had to say. He had already sacrificed much to be where he stood right now, and he wasn't going to back out now. This was the purpose he had sought in his past journeys before he became an apprentice to the Mithril Knights. He had been enjoying the raw live fish that had been provided him, as he didn't like cooked food. And he had fasted during the entire journey, too focused on the journey to eat, and he was ravenous. But he wouldn't back away from this challenge. He wondered what Elbren had found in the East. He had been there himself for a while, in the company of the Ithryn Luin, especially developing a bond with Pallando the Blue. And he knew of a similar Oath that he had taken, the Oath of the Eagles. He recalled it in his mind.

To ever watch over Middle-Earth,
To see the works of Darkness,
And to battle them with the light.

To defend the Children of Illuvatar,
To defend the weak with our strength,
Until the day they become strong themselves.

By Manwë and by the One,
So shall I ever serve and never swerve
From the task that is before me.

By wing, by talon and beak,
By ever-seeing eyes,
So shall I do the work that Manwë has set for me.

As the Eagles watch from their home in Taniquetil,
I shall not let them down.
May they ever watch and succor me to the end!


He would not fail that Oath, or the Oath he was about to take.

Brondgast also listened. He had been through a lot. He had checked the stables before he entered the dining hall, and found that his beloved horse Thunder had been brought there, either by carraige or by action of Agarak, or maybe, knowing that horse, the horse had traveled alone, following his friend and master. But much was weighing on him. He still felt that call, similar and yet different from the call Erinhue often felt from Clarion, and wondered if it had anything to do with his nightmares.

There had been only eleven Dragon Warriors in the history of the Beornings, and had not been one for over a thousand years. And yet one had been needed in the day when his grandfather Beorn was young, and his kind was driven from their home in the Misty Mountains by the growing threat of orcs. Some had tried, and died to claim the Stone. He doubted if he would be the twelfth, as he felt himself unworthy for such an honor. The honor of becoming a Mithril Knight was enough,and he wondered if he could live up to the challenge.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby erinhue » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:32 pm

The Geat Hall of the Dol Amroth guild house was filled with respectfully silent anticipation as Erinhue stood up in his place at the long table.

“Hail, Well Met and Welcome to all my fellow Mithril Knights who have traveled from far and near to play witness to the induction of three who wish to join our ranks. You have all heard of their exploits in a training mission like no other. That story has been well told so I shall not tell it here.

I will say that I have traveled with them and fought with them against daunting odds and escalating peril and, if my word carries any weight, they are beyond worthy of the title Mithril Knight. Friends, I give you Meneldor the Swift, last of the Great Eagles in Middle Earth, Brondgast a son of Beorn and D’jazi of the Southron Lands. Good hearts and noble spirits all. As guild herald, I bid you make them welcome.”
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby erinhue » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:42 am

The assembled Knights listened to the words of their Guild Herald and burst into a hardy round of applause and shouted cheers of welcome. Erinhue turned to look at D’jazi and was pleased to note the expressional mix of surprise, embarrassment and mightily appreciative gratitude on his face.

Nodding slightly in acknowledgement when the young man happened to look his way, Erinhue went on with the ceremony. He cast a mischievous glance at the three initiates and then addressed the company.

“As you all know, our Master Cook, Allidas, has a very special, very secret spice that he only uses on occasions such as this.” A knowing chuckle and many smiling nods responded to this as Erinhue continued.

“That spice adds a rare and delightful flavor to the meal and…” the bard in him paused for dramatic effect, “… gives those who dine upon the seasoned delicacies the ability to experience the magic built in to all our Guild Houses.”

There was a roar of approval from the still seated Mithril Knights. There were some mystified expressions and some nervous shifting from the initiates.

Now that they have partaken of this wondrous feast it is time for these three to begin their journey of initiation”

There were more cheers, but Erinhue quieted them with a motion of his hands and turned towards Meneldor, D’azi, and Brondgast.

“My friends, you will now be taken to the Grand Armory where all manner of treasures and trophies, collected from our adventures over the ages are stored. There you will choose an item and bring it out of the armory. Take all the time that you need but choose wisely before you leave.”

Erinhue pushed back his chair and walked towards the hallway leading to the armory. The other Knights rose and followed him, forming ranks of three abreast. Meneldor, Brondgast and D’jazi were ushered to the front of the ranks directly behind Erinhue. The sound of unseen drums began to play a heartbeat rhythm as the Mithril Knights marched out of the Grand Hall.

When they reached the great doors of the armory, the Master of Arms tugged on a large silver ring that served as the door knob to open the doors.

One by one the initiates were told to enter the huge vault and make their choice. In a few short minutes, one by one in turn each exited to stand silent at the head of the ranks of Knights. The others smiled at their wonderstruck expressions when they came out of the armory. Each one of them had done this at their own initiations. Each one of them knew that the few short moments that they had waited outside had seemed like hours or even days to those who had stepped inside.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Cock-Robin » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:46 pm

Meneldor entered the Armory and looked around. He didn't think there would be anything he could use there or want, but he obeyed and looked anyway. There were all kinds of weapons there. Swords, some legendary, some not so, spears, he could have sworn he saw Aiglos, the spear of Gil-Galad there. There were battle-axes, armor,shields, helms, none of which would fit his feathered head, and would look silly on him anyway. He felt himself transported into ancient days, when these weapons had been used.

It was times he remembered, for as the Elves, his memory went back to the Elder Days. Each battle those weapons represented went before him. And many sad times, but glorious, in the battles before Angband and many, many other places. Each battle paraded itself before his eyes.

There were chests full of gold, jewels, tiaras, crowns. He remembered the days after the Battle of Five Armies, when Gwaihir and his cheftains, of which he was one, were awarded collars of gold, and the Lord had a golden crown. That crown sat atop a pillar, and he touched it lovingly with a wing, remembering his brethren who had departed to the West. He named each one one by one, ending with

Landroval,
Gwaeryn,
Gwaihir the Windlord.

But he knew he would lose the crown if he chose it, so he reluctantly turned away. It was best that it remain there in memory of the Great Eagles. There was one small wooden chest in the back that didn't interest him at all, and seemed to repel him anyway.

Of course, among the gems, there were three that would not be there, the Silmarils of Fëanor, which were drowned in fire, earth and water, and soared in air above. They would not be seen again until that last great day after the Dagor Dagorath.

He thought of his mentors, Idril, Dirk, and then Idril again, and his eyes alit upon a beryl, an elf-stone. He had been told by Elbren that of course, no cloak of the Mithril Knights would fit him, and would not even be of use to a cape, so they would fashion a mithril collar which he would wear, like in the days where he wore a golden collar.

He touched it, and knew this was what he would carry out. As he touched it, memory flowed into him, and he remembered where it came from. It was from Gondolin of old, which he had once guarded in ages past. He had seen this very elf-stone upon the breast of Idril Celebrindal as she dwelt there until she had to flee Gondolin with Tuor her beloved. She had worn it, but either by chance or design, left it behind when she sailed into the west with Tuor. It would be perfect for him. He would have it set in his mithril collar, where it would be a reminder of the days long past. He gently picked it up in his beak, and the days of Gondolin went through his mind, with the flight to Arvenien.

It, as far as he knew, had no power, except to bring to remembrance the Elder Days. His eyes were full of wonder as he stepped out of the armory with the stone shining from his beak, and stood silently before the assembled host. He seemed clothed with a certain nobility that the elfstone imparted as he held it. He would only discover later what the beryl was about, and why he was drawn to it.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Cock-Robin » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:17 pm

Brondgast entered the armory, trembling as to what he would find there. Something was still calling to him, and the call frightened him. Was it calling him to his death?

The light of torches transported him into ancient times, and the weapons were arrayed before him, but none seemed better than his own battle-axe which he bore in his human form. There was a feather left behind by Meneldor, which was left on a golden crown which stood atop a pillar, a pillar decorated with tales of the Great Eagles of the past, from Thorondor to the last of them, Meneldor the Swift. But he was no king, such crowns would be meaningless to him.

But the call led him on to the rear of the armory, he could no more resist it than stop breathing.Each item he passed told a story of where it came from, and it seemed years, nay centuries as he listened to each story. But they were not for him. At the end of the hall, his eyes alit upon a small wooden casket with the design of a bear on it. Even without that, he knew what was within. The Stone of Bar, which had been given the first Beorning by an Elven-Lord for saving his life from the hosts of Morgoth.

Tharanduil had told him of an incident, how one of the Knights of the Silmaril had sneaked into his realm and tried to steal it, and paid for it with his life. His ashes had lain beneath the casket where he had been consumed by the power of the Stone.

His trembling hands opened the casket, and there it lay, the Stone of Bar. His father's words to him returned to his memory.

They tried to claim it and failed?
They tried and died. Very few are able to bear it among us.
And who are those?
A rare kind even among us, the ones with the dragon spirit, fit to become a Dragon Warrior.


He reached out to touch it, but it came to life, blazing red, and he leaped back. He knew better than to claim it. He was told if any was worthy, it would claim him.

He was unworthy to claim it, he thought to himself. Gingerly, he crept back, to touch it, to touch it one last time before he went to pick up something else. He touched it softly, not willing to claim it. The Stone flamed forth, burning his hand, and Brondgast, willing or no, transformed into a bear, roaring with pain.

He saw the red form of a dragon arising from it like the explosion of a volcano it looked at him, then subsided, then the stone, set in a golden pendant, arose of its own accord, and looped itself over his neck.

He glowed red all over, and felt like he was on fire. This is my death, he thought to himself, but the red glow, the flame, went into him, became part of him, and he roared again, a roar, not of pain this time, but of power, that was heard outside of the armory in the entire Guild Hall and echoed outside in Dol Amroth.

Things happened all at once, throughout Middle-Earth. The four remaining Palantiri, of Minas Tirith, Orthanc, Annuminas, and Amon Sul, blazed red. The sword Orcrist, which lay on the tomb of Thorin Oakenshield, blazed bright.

Clarion screamed, and the eyes of Agarak blazed bright. The dragon-head arose and blue fire shot from its mouth, as it hissed "The Dragon Warrior! The Dragon Warrior has arissen again!"

In the land of the Beornings, they all trasnformed to bear form and roared in unison, as loud as possible, seeming to try and break the skies above them.

And the armory faded before him. He found himself in an ancient wood, surrounded by eleven others, Beornings in bear form, each wearing the pendant that he now wore.

They each laid a paw on him. "Welcome, Brondgast, last of the Dragon Warriors! Our number is complete!"

They then backed away, seating themselves. There were twelve seats, and one of them was vacant. "Come, take your place among us, last of the Dragon Warriors!" they chanted in unison.

"But I....I'm...not worthy." said Brondgast.

Bar stood forward. "That is proof that you are worthy to be among our number." he said. "If you thought you were worthy, it would be proof that you were not."

Brondgast could not argue, but took his place in the twelfth seat.

"From now on, you will be both here, and there, when you emerge from the armory. We shall be with you to counsel you as you go forth." said the eleven others. "Yours shall be a perilous path, as it was with us. Go, and take the path of your destiny."

The vision faded, and he was back in the armory. It had seemed centuries since he had been among his brothers. The Last of the Dragon Warriors paced outwards, still in bear form, and as he emerged from the armory, he looked SO different. The Stone of Bar, set in its gold pendant, shone brightly, and there was a fire in Brondgast's eyes that wasn't there before. The Dragon Warrior had arrived.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Claymore » Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:57 pm

Brondgast’s roar and Clarion’s shriek tore through the Guild Hall and Djazi had to cover his ears at the loudness. By the time the noise subsided almost everyone had their hands on their weapons and were eyeing the door of the Armory nervously. Then Agarak added to the general confusion by yelling about a Dragon Warrior. Djazi felt his heart freeze. Dragon warrior? One dragon had been quite enough already and Djazi would rather not face another any time soon. Not when the first one had cost them a Knight already. He was half of a mind to storm into the armory to see what had caused the Beorning to roar so and what this Dragon Warrior was. He was already extending his hand towards the doorknob when somebody took hold of his wrist however. He turned his head to look into the eyes of Erinhue. For once there was no twinkle in the Bard’s eyes and he looked deadly serious.
‘This is part of Brondgast’s Initiation, not yours.”Erinhue said. “It pains me to say it but whatever he is facing in there he will have to deal with it alone.’
DJazi hesitated then nodded reluctantly.

Luckily for them Brondgast didn’t let them wait for too long. When the door opened again though Djazi could not help but take a step back. He had seen Brondgast in his bear-form numerous times now but there was an air of threat about the usually familiar form that awakened a primal reaction in the young hunter. It made him want to find the nearest perch and shoot the predator before him down. The look in Brondgast eyes though reassured him. There was a new fire in them but underneath it they were just the same.

Djazi was about to approach the bear when he felt a gentle tug on his shoulder. He looked back and saw Erinhue nod at him.
“Go,”the Bard said. “I will deal with this. You still have you Initiation to finish.”
Djazi nodded and turned around to face the door. Around him the spectators cautiously approached the beorning, unsure of his reaction. Djazi took a deep breath and then, with one glance backwards to the hulking form, he entered the armory.

As soon as the door closed the hubbub died down. The Armory’s walls where thick and all sound was effectively shut out. Absolute silence reigned. Djazi looked around. The Armory was huge and was filled almost to overflowing with weapons and other artifarcts. Long racks of swords, stacks of shields, stands full with the bright mithril mail that earned the Knights their name. Djazi looked and felt almost overwhelmed. How was he supposed to find anything in this abundance?

He took another deep breath and began to count. In for eight counts, hold it for eight counts, out for eight counts. Slowly Djazi began to enter a slight meditative state, just like his tribe’s shaman had taught an eight year old boy one day, when Djazi had been bothering his grand-uncle while he’d been meditating.

Faintly at first and then growing more insistent as he slipped deeper into his meditation Djazi felt a tug. He followed it. He bypassed spears ( he had Tenga, the starstone spear would probably prove to be enough trouble on its own), swords ( he had Baran’s, it was enough) and shields ( what use was a shield to a scout and skirmisher?) until he stopped at the bow-rack. He already had a bow of course, one he’d made himself during his flight North. It was certainly not a bad bow but it was not the best either and Djazi knew he was a good enough archer that he could use a better one. He trailed his fingers on their backs, trusting the pull to tell him when he hit the right one.

Suddenly he felt to urge to close his hand and he looked down at the bow he was holding. It was a thing of beauty. It was made of black yew, polished perfectly smooth by age and strengthened with sinew and white horn. It had a double curve, elegant and yet speaking of considerable power, and was decorated with subtle elvish design. Djazi took it out of the rack.

There was quiver with a bundle of arrows nearby made of the same black yew and fletched with almost blindingly white feathers. Strangely though the organic components, wood, feathers, sinew and horn had withstood the wear of time in a perfect state the arrow heads had rusted away leaving only brown-red stains on the shafts.
Djazi smiled. He knew he had the perfect replacement. After he’d finished knapping Tenga he hadn’t had the heart to throw away the small flints that had resulted of the process. Like Tenga itself they had been razor sharp and had possessed the same springy steel-like quality. It had felt like a waste not to do anything with them. So he’d kept the bigger pieces and he knew now they were meant to be the arrow heads.

He picked the quiver up and tied it to his belt. Then he examined the bow a bit more closely There was writing on its belly and though it was faint it could still be read. It was in Elvish which was a language that Djazi did not understand but he could still distinguish two names. Belthronding at the top and Beleg Cuthalion at the bottom.

Djazi blinked. Baran had been a soldier, not a historian but he’d been a father as well and as such he had been well acquainted with the Legend of Turin Turambar. It had been one of the first stories he’d written down in the dust of their cell to teach Djazi to read. As such the young southerner knew very well who Beleg Cuthalion had been. The elf who’d left the protection of Doriath to help Turin after the young human had left the old elven Kingdom in guilt and shame. Beleg had been ill-rewarded. Killed by accident by the very same person he’d tried to help.

Djazi could not help but see some parallels between himself and Beleg. He too intended to leave safety to reach for a friend in need after said friend had left them out of guilt. He hoped fervently however he would not meet Beleg’s ultimate fate. He’d no intention of dying anytime soon and he didn’t want to know what his death by her hands would do to Tempest.

‘I hope you will bring me a better fate,”He whispered to the weapon. Then he shouldered the bow and made his way back to the Armory’s door.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Novice » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:00 am

The path through the dunes above the Bay of Belfalas took its final turning, and Lasse saw the unprepossessing building set on the green bluff before her.

For a moment, she questioned if could be the right place, and she reined in Piper to survey the area. Careful perusal determined the building was substantial, but it looked lonely and weather beaten, and built as it was of the local stone and settled comfortably to the gentle landscape of the sea shore that formed its backdrop, it had appeared smaller than it actually was. Surely the guild hall of the Mithril Knights would be grander than this? Certainly it should be bustling with people, if there was a ceremony of initiation being prepared for.

Well, whether or no, she would go down and see. Her business would not be put aside, and she'd been searching too long and had traveled too far to allow doubt to delay her. Lasse took a slow, deep breath and straightened in the saddle, her shoulders squared against her weariness.

"Come, girl, one last slope and we'll rest ourselves awhile."Piper nickered, and Lasse patted the horse's chestnut neck as she nudged her down the path.

As they came closer, a vibrancy that heralded habitation became apparent to both woman and horse. The mare picked up the scent of food and comfort, and would have cantered across the grass and through the great gateway into the courtyard had Lasse not held her back. Lasse had banished her doubts, but now she was here, she needed a moment to collect her thoughts; to plan how she could find the right person - whoever that would turn out to be - to find the answers she needed.

They clattered into the courtyard to find it unexpectedly quiet. A couple of scullery maids were drawing water at the well, and a young raggamuffin was carrying a large bucket of kitchen slops towards the midden heap, but none of them showed interest in her.

Lasse dismounted, and led Piper towards the water trough outside the stable, wondering where to go next. Should she intrude uninvited? Through the scullery, perhaps, where at least there seemed to be activity? Through one of the other, more formal doors, that probably led into a maze of unfamiliar corridors?

A solemn hum of anticipation seemed to vibrate from the walls, and Lasse was averse to stumbling into whatever formalities were taking place, so covered in the dirt of travel that the soft green of dirndle and cloak appeared dusty brown, and reeked of horse and sweat.

A burly lad, with his eyes on his boots and a dandy brush in his hand, shuffled out of the stable door. He startled to see Lasse, but immediately recovered and took Piper’s bridle, directing Lasse to the Great Hall where the initiation rituals had begun.

“The Lord Elbren is about to speak, ma’am, so you’d better hurry. I’ll take care of your horse. I’ll give her a brush, and there’s hay and oats laid on.”

Taken aback by the boy’s elevation of her status, Lasse shook her head. “Ah, no lad, you mistake. I’m not an invited guest. Is there someone I can speak with quietly? The major domo perhaps? Is there one who speaks for the Guild Master?”

She pushed back the tangled riot of brown and silver hair that had escaped both her thick braid and the kerchief. She had no intention of presenting herself in her dishevelled state, and unprepared, before a gathering which included Lord Elbren - and Eru knew however many other noble folk.

The boy looked blank for a moment. “Well, you can speak to Allidas, maybe. He’s Master Cook, and so is probably still in the kitchens. Everyone else has already found a place in the Great Hall, or is watching in the gallery above. The Lords Elbren and Erinhue are engaged in the rites of initiation – they cannot give you welcome until the festivities are done, good mother.”

Lasse started. “Lord Erinhue? Erinhue the Master Bard?”

“Aye, good mother, Warrior Bard and Guild Herald of the Mithril Knights.”

Lasse had met the Master Bard years before during her stay at the Lucky Fortune Inn when her search had first begun, and she knew him for an amiable and sympathetic man. He’d given her a place to sleep and food in exchange for a little work in the Inn while he was short-handed. Even if he did not remember her, she was confident he would help if he could.

She wasted no more time. She unstrapped the two saddle bags and hurried toward the scullery door, calling her thanks over her shoulder to the lad. Some hot water and soap, a comb, her spare shift – still clean, she hoped – and a clothes brush, followed by some pertinent enlightenment courtesy of Master Cook Allidas, and she’d be well-equipped to engage with the Knights.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Cock-Robin » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:35 pm

Brondgast was awaiting word from Elbren and of the Bard. He was anticipating the next stage of his initiation. He looked at Meneldor, with his elfstone, and Djazi with his legendary bow of black yew, with its quiver of arrows. He wondered what would come of it all.

Others were cautiously approaching him, not knowing what this newly-named Dragon Warrior would do. He nodded to them, indicating they need not fear him. Only evil ones need fear him. He had tried to transform back to a man, but couldn't, and probably wouldn't do so until the initiation was complete. The changes he felt from the Stone of Bar were working its magic on him, and he had to let it happen. It was all both exciting and bewildering to him.

He saw the Bard approaching him, and he bowed to him, bear style. He would receive his counsel, but he was interrupted by the sound of a door creaking open from the scullery.

He turned, and saw a lady cautiously entering, looking around apprehinsively. He had not yet met Lasse, but as their eyes met, something passed between them, a shared destiny. The ways of the Valar were mysterious at best, and he felt something developing between them.

He beckoned to her with a wave of his paw as Erinhue stood beside him. Opening his mouth, he gave a half growl, and was startled by something happening. The red stone of Bar, set in its golden pendant, translated his speech from the speech of bears to human speech. "Come, stranger, come and stand beside me. My initiation is not complete, but I feel we must talk. I, Brondgast, the last Dragon Warrior, will not harm you." His growls and half-roars were translated by the Stone, and the Beorning gained confidence as he spoke.

Gingerly, she approached Brondgast and Erinhue.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby erinhue » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:03 am

Like all the others assembled, Erinhue turned towards the opening door to see who would dare to interrupt the ceremony
Last edited by erinhue on Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Teltasarewen » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:06 am

A lone, hooded figure sitting astride a black horse paused momentarily the rider taking in the surroundings. After a long uneventful journey for which she was grateful for, she had arrived. The guildhouse of the Mithril Knights lay just ahead.

Shadowdancer pawed at the ground impatiently as smells of fresh hay and oats drifted to them on the slight breeze. She knew he had a weakness for them especially when he had not the opportunity to partake of such tasty morsels in quite some time."Alright my friend we are going. I will not hold you back any longer." Shadowdancer neighed softly as if to thank her making Telta smile.

Upon reaching the stables she found an empty stall and seeing he was fed she left him in the care of one eager young stable hand her thoughts already turned to the meeting ahead.

Telta entered the guildhouse the place strangely quiet. She was greeted by an unfamiliar but friendly face. "Are you here for the initiation?" Large deep set brown eyes tried peering into the shadow of the hood she still wore. She nodded. "You are late. They have already begun." Telta said nothing only waited for him to continue. She had always found it difficult to talk to strangers.

"Please follow me." He turned and she followed him. They stopped in front of a large door. "Could I have your name?"

"Teltasarewen." was all she said. "Please wait here." He entered the room closing the door behind him.

She waited for the man's return watching the occasional person busy with whatever task they had been assigned whisk passed her. She should have asked about Hue but the moment had already passed.

The elf heard footsteps and a familiar voice from within. "You are sure they said Teltasarewen?" "Yes Lord Erinhue. But that is all that was said. I've asked the quiet one to wait just outside." Erinhue chuckled at the man's apt description of the elf.

The door opened and the two stepped out. She pushed back her hood her long blonde hair spilling out. The eyes of the young man widen a little at the fair face of the elf.

"L..Lord Erinhue this is La..."

"Telta!" The man never finished the introductions as Erinhue spoke out his star bright smile greeting her his genuine happiness at seeing her making her feel welcome. She smiled back.

"Lord Erinhue."
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby erinhue » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:39 pm

“Telta.” Erinhue cried out in a mix of surprise and joy. “Telta, darlin’ It is all aces ta see you again. I sent out I don’t know how many messages to invite you but they all came back unanswered. Since I was your mentor I know that you are qualified and really are one of us in all but title. I wanted you to be here to finally get you initiated but I had given up hope.”

Erinhue took her hand, shook it and then pulled the startled elf into a warm embrace.

“It’s very good to see you again, ‘Hue." Telta replied when she was released from the hug. “I did not get any of your messages but I did hear about the Initiation Ceremony. To my knowledge there had not been one since prior to the Red Dawn adventure. When I heard about this one I came thinking that I might get a chance to finally take the oath.”

“And just in time you are, darlin’. You’re late for dinner but you are just in time to start your initiation.”
Erinhue stepped back and indicated the closed door of the Grand Armory.

“In just a sec, we are going to open that door and you are going to go inside. Once there take your time and look around. You are to choose one of those items to bring back into the hall with you. Now I couldn’t begin to tell you how much or what all is in there, just know that the Grand Armory contains the treasure of our Guild and trophies of all the battles and adventures the Mithril Knights have been involved across the Ages. Something in there has some message or meaning for you. You may touch, pick up and examine any and everything inside to help you make your decision. Once you have made your choice touch the item again and you will receive your message.”

Telta listened carefully and nodded her understanding when the bard had finished. The Master of Arms grabbed the door ring again and pulled the great door open. Telta stepped inside and the door closed behind her.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Teltasarewen » Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:14 am

A little startled from the sudden embrace she had found herself in she only nodded at Hue's instructions and once inside the door closed quietly behind her.

It took but a moment for her eyes to adjust to the darker interior of the room. Hue was not exaggerating when he said that the Guild Armory contained treasures of the Guild and trophies of all the battles and adventures of the Mithril Knights. She could not have imagined it.

Armour, shields, swords, bows and much more spread out in front of her proof of his words. Telta moved slowly forward taking in as much as she could searching for that which would become hers according to Hue. No that was Lord Erinhue here at the Mithril Knight Guild Hall Warrior Bard and a dear friend.

The elf gently passed her hands over the nearby weapons and names sprang forth in her mind. Names of people, places and even of weapons themselves. Names she did not recognize some she had heard of from her father in stories he had told long ago to her and ...

A shadow to her left caught her eye. She turned. There was nothing. She stood still senses alert listening, watching. Moments passed and all was still. But the feeling that she was not alone did not leave her.

She shook her head. "Telta you definitely need some sleep. Don't fall apart now. Now pull yourself together." She continued perhaps a little more wary then at first.

"Tas."

A slight catch caught her breath her heart suddenly heavy. She pulled her hand from the sword she had been touching as if burned. Looking around she called out. "Who is there?" The room was quiet.

Turning to the left she made her way through the narrow path from where she the voice had come making sure not to touch any of the items on either side of her.

"Tas."

She swung around. She was not hearing things the voice came from behind her. There ahead and to the left a faint light shone. Telta felt no fear as she silently edged her way to the area where the light came from. Rounding the corner she stopped the source of the light before her.

A candle sat upon a cloth covered table it's flame brighter than usual. The table was empty but for the candle and two knives one which was half drawn from it's scabbard.

Curious Telta picked it up and pulled it free. The knife was no longer than her arm. It was well balanced the handle fitting easily in her grip. There were no markings or ornate designs to speak of and upon examining the blade closely she found the metal unblemished the edge sharp. This knife had been well taken care of.

She returned it to the scabbard placing it upon the table once more. A second knife almost identical to the first lay just beside it. Without any hesitation she examined it also finding it in the same state as the first. They were in excellent condition as fine a blades as any here but she did not feel anything when she touched them. Reluctantly she put them down.

She turned from the table but not before Lord Erinhue's words came back to her. "Once you have made your choice touch the item again and you will receive your message."

Telta turned back. Touching the handle of each knife. She closed her eyes clearing her mind.

She did not see the light grow stronger around her or the shadow that had drawn her here take the shape of one that so closely resembled her. It reached out and gently touched her head.

"Tas." it said once more. A peaceful expression settled over her and she seemed to relax. Telta remained still for what seemed an age then the light faded along with the one that had called her but not before the fading shadow ebraced her and whispered in her ear. "Take care Tas." Telta smiled.

Tears escaped to roll unchecked down her cheeks. She slowly opened her eyes. A feeling of contentment she had not felt in so long spread through her. "Thank you Thal. I will not forget." she whispered to the quiet room.

Telta picked up the knives and looking around one last time she headed for the door her time here done.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby erinhue » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:29 pm

In mere moments after setting foot inside, Telta pushed open the armory door and stepped out into the hall way. Erinhue glanced at the knives that Telta had brought out with her. The ancient weapons suited her fighting style. Her mentor nodded his welcomed but needless approval of her choice.

He next turned to look at the newcomer now standing next to Brondgast.

“My Lady, forgive me but…”

Erinhue began an apologetic dismissal but something in the strangers face struck a chord of familiarity.

“Excuse me, Lady, but don’t I know you? I believe we two have met before, have we?”

“Yes Master ‘Hue, oh I mean Lord Erinhue,” Lasse replied, “For a time long ago I …”

“Yes that’s it.” Erinhue’s face brightened with recognition. “ Leaf, from the Lucky Fortune and yes it was long ago. Well this is a day for reunions.” Here the bard walked over and leaned in towards Lasse’s ear.

“It’s quite all right if ya call me ‘Hue, it is my name after all. We will have a nice chat a little later, this old bard has to get to work at his other job right now.”

Erinhue winked at her and jerked his head to indicate the gathered assembly.

The Guild Herald of the Mithril Knights took Lesse’s arm in his, and escorted her to the hallway that lead back to the feasting hall. There he snapped to attention. The gathered Knights did the same, The initiates lined up behind Erinhue and the others formed ranks of four behind Telta, D’jazi, Brondgast and Meneldor. Linked arm in arm with Lasse, Erinhue lead the procession back into the Gand Hall to the sound of booming drums.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Cock-Robin » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:46 pm

As they entered the Hall, Brondgast took Lasse aside, excusing himself to Erinhue for a few minutes. He was still in bear form, but was gaining more confidence with his new status as a Dragon Warrior and an initiate into the Mithril Knights. The next step was not yet, so he had time. He turned and faced Lasse, sizing her up. He was finally able to speak 'man-talk' while in bear form, or rather, the Stone was translating his bear speech.

He then spoke in the tongue of bears, the Stone of Bar translating.

Lasse, I am pleased you are here. As I said before, I am the Beorning Brondgast, the last of the Dragon Warriors, and almost to become a Mithril Knight.

I see you have come hoping you will be another to join our ranks. I am not yet fully intiated, but I am interested in, as Meneldor would say, taking you under my wing. I would ask you, do you want to become a Mithril Knight?

Are you prepared to count the cost? I have learned much I never knew. It costs us all to fulfill the journey to becoming a Knight.Some have paid the ultimate cost, like Dirk the Daring recently has.



He looked up at Meneldor, then back at Lasse.

My friend Meneldor has paid dearly as well. He is the last of the Great Eagles, his brothers already have left for the West, and he has laid aside his heart's desire to join them to aid us, and fulfill his destiny with us. That is part of the cost of following this path. There is no shame in turning back now. But if you really want to join our ranks, think hard and count the cost yourself. I would be honored to lead you in this path once I become a full-fledged Mithril Knight, with Erinhue's permission.

He looked over at Erinhue, who had been listening, awaiting his judgement.

Meanwhile, as he entered the Hall, Meneldor laid the beryl, the Elfstone of Idril Celebrindal before Elbren, so he could have it set into the mithril collar that would be fashioned for him when his initiation was complete. He still didn't know the significance of what he had chosen, but the elves in the room looked at it with awe.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby erinhue » Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:15 pm

The tables in the Grand Hall had been cleared and reset with dishes of sweet and savory foods to complete the meal. Seats had been brought in so that Lasse and Telta now had a place at the table. After some time passed with the gathered Knights enjoying the desserts, Erinhue signaled to the attendants for everyone’s chalice to be filled from special pitchers used only for such auspicious occasions.

The Guild Herald was served last and when his cup was filled, Erinhue stood and raise his silver mug. With his right hand he gestured to take in the entire Grand Hall.

“Tonight we gather here among the coats of arms of every soul to bear the title of Mithril Knight. When their initiation is complete our Master of Heraldry will design one for each one of our initiates, to be hung here in the Grand Hall. Tonight we drink in salute to them all.”

With enthusiastic cheers, the Knights all raised their glasses in salute and drank to the toast. When they lowered the cups the attendants rushed about making sure that everyone’s glass was filled again. Erinhue again was served last and again he raised his glass to make a toast.

“Tonight we remember those who have gone before, those who have fallen in service to our duty to be guardians of the peace in Middle Earth. They made the ultimate sacrifice and paid with their lives to preserve that peace. Tonight we drink to salute them all.”

Here, Erinhue turned towards the south wall of the hall, where the black shield of Dirk the Daring hung, still draped in its mourning cloth. All the gathered Knights turned in that direction, raised their glasses again and drank the toast in silence.
When all cups were again filled, Erinhue continued with his filled mug raised in the air.

“Tonight we welcome those who seek to join our ranks. These initiates have proved themselves in battle and have been deemed worthy to take the Quest of Initiation. Tonight we drink in salute to Brondgast, D’jazi, Meneldor and Teltasarwen.”

The Knights stood up in place and raised their cups high as they shouted the names of the Initiates. One by one they began to leave the hall. Each one made certain to walk behind the initiates and slap each one on the right shoulder as they left to seek their beds or some other entertainment.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby erinhue » Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:22 pm

When the company of Mithril Knights had left the Grand Hall, Erinhue turned to their unexpected guest.

“Leaf, darlin’” Erinhue called her by the nickname she had gone by in her time at the Lucky Fortune. “Olas here will show you to a room that you can call your own while you are here. Should you not wish to wait until morning, you will find me here in the Grand Hall for the rest of the night. We will be able to talk then.”

The young Knight in Training came and stood beside Lasse’s chair. When she arose he escorted her out of the Hall. When the echoed sounds of their footsteps faded away into the distance Erinhue turned to the initiates.

“Now, my friends, comes the true test as you undertake the Quest of Initiation. I will lead you to the Initiation Chamber where you will spend the night. You will take the item you carried out of the Armory with you. Once inside you will sit before a tapestry and dream.”

Erinhue then walked to an all but hidden door opposite to the exit leading to the armory and waited. Telta, D’jazi, Brondgast and Meneldor lined up behind him and followed the Guild Herald out of the Grand Hall. When Erinhue opened the door they could see another door, blue with the emblem of the Mithril Knights drawn out in gleaming silver at the end of a long hallway decorated with many paintings.

As they followed Erinhue down the long hall, Brondgast stopped to stand gazing at one of the paintings hung on the wall half way to the door. It was a depiction of the Battle of Five Armies. Prominent in the scene of battle was the huge ursine figure of Beorn in bear form. In the painting, Beorn was about to deliver a killing blow to an already gravely wounded Blog, son of Azog, commander of the Orc army.

Brondgast stood transfixed before the painting. He felt himself being drawn closer and closer to the scene in the painting. Just as he imagined he could hear the sounds of battle around him, Erinhue’s voice brought him back to the guildhouse hallway.

“Come along, Brondgast. You begin to feel the effects of another of those special spices I mentioned but your dreamquest does not begin here.” The bard came over to touch Brondgast who instantly felt as if he had been released from the painting’s spell.
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Re: The Mithril Knights - Initiation

Postby Cock-Robin » Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:59 pm

Brondgast was already wearing the Stone of Bar, and it would never leave his neck as long as he lived. He was still in bear form, and would be so until the initiation was over. Only then would the changes be complete. He would still be a Beorning, of course, but the changes were internal.

Meneldor picked up the elfstone he had laid before Elbren and followed Erinhue. He looked at the door, and wondered how he would ever squeeze through it. It was then that something happened that he was never after able to explain. It seemed that a mist surrounded him like a shroud. He walked through the mist and found himself in the hallway. It wasn't as if he had shrunk, or the door and the hall had enlarged for him, he was just there. He almost dropped the gem he was holding in his beak, he was so astonished. Erinhue just looked back and winked at him. "I told you that you'd find a way, my Eagle initiate!"

The Eagle was too amazed to speak, and he couldn't anyway, with the gem in his beak.

Brondgast had stood before the painting of Beorn at the Battle of Five Armies for what seemed like ages. He had heard the stories from his grandfather of how it went, but had not been born yet, and now he was witnessing it. The sounds of the battle, the screeches of the Eagles as they dived at the orc armies, and he could have sworn that Meneldor was among them. And he gasped as he saw, upon a little hillock, a little hobbit, seeming to be shrouded in mist, the Ring glowing on his finger, but he was laying unconscious, a stone having hit him on the head.

But what drew his attention was Beorn, grown to giant-sized in his wrath, about to deliver the killing blow to Bolg son of Azog. And something behind him. Eleven bears, almost transparent, standing around him on their hind legs, shielding him from the arrows that came at him like a storm. Of course, in Beorn's berserker rage, none would bite on him anyway. They were delivering their blessing to Beorn. His grandfather was not one of the Dragon Warriors, but he was worthy of their blessing.

The Stone around Brondgast's neck glowed brightly, as he raised up on his hind legs as well, to join them. It was then that Erinhue's voice snapped him out of the spell. He dropped down on all fours and shook himself all over. He was back in the hall. He looked over to the other three initiates, who were waiting for him. He then followed Erinhue and the others, but paused a moment and looked back over his shoulder at the painting. It was just a painting again. That spice the Guild Herald had spoken of was for another dreamquest, as he said. He turned back to follow.
Image

The Letter G




Meneldor, Warrior Bard, and Brondgast, Mithril Knights

Gwaeryn and Robin, The Expected Party

Meneldor, Alatar and Pallando, Darkness Reigns: The Resistance


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Cock-Robin
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