Shadow over Arnor

Pull out your pack and head on down to the Prancing Pony for some great Role Playing (try to stay in character)!

Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 11:47 am

Please don't post on this until I've finished, otherwise it'll mess up the story line! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Right, it's all done. It's up-to-date as of now. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 11:49 am

<b>INNKEEPER:</b><BR><BR>Arkaeth sighed when he saw the homely lights of Bree. The Dúnadan Ranger quickened his pace and headed down the small path that led out of the forest, and down into the vale. The stars shone over head, and the moon waxed in the dark sky. The night was quiet, save the occasional call of an owl. An eerie stillness hung in the air, and Arkaeth felt uneasy.<BR><BR>The Ranger had a good sense of danger, having been in many situations before. He had years of experience of living in the wilderness and fighting the enemy. He had dedicated his whole life to ridding the world of Sauron's minions, but even he knew that he alone could not do such a task.<BR><BR>He briskly walked down into the street, passing the small cottages. If anyone had been looking out their windows, they would have seen nothing, not even a dark shadow. Arkaeth was a master at hiding, and if he wanted to he could often just disappear from the untrained eye. That was one of his many skills as being a Ranger.<BR><BR>His boots squelched in the mud beneath his feet as he headed along to the inn. Up ahead he could see a collection of lights, and the sound of laughter and music drifted down the street to him. The Prancing Pony inn was one of Arkaeth's favourite rests.<BR><BR>Whenever he passed through Bree, he made a habit of stopping and having a rest. After years of sleeping in the cold and wilderness, resting at the Pony was a relief for him. Besides, he was able to catch up on all the news that passed through Bree. And he often had a few friends that shared their information with him.<BR><BR>Not that he was all too popular in Bree. It was well known that Rangers weren't to be liked. They were seen as rogues and troublemakers, who disturbed the tranquil peace of Bree-land. But that was far from it. If it weren't for the Rangers, Bree would have most likely become a ruin. Many an Orc band planning on raiding Bree in the night had been foiled by the Dúnadan, who patrolled the land.<BR><BR>The Ranger approached the inn, and nearly tripped over the cat that scuttled out. Grinning, he pulled back his hood and entered the common room. The locals sat around drinking at the bar, while the innkeeper served them beverages and gossiped. Arkaeth got a few unfriendly looks from the crowd, but most generally didn't seem to care.<BR><BR>Arkaeth made his way through the crowd, when he suddenly felt someone smack him on the back. Whirling around, he saw the ever cheerful face of Jon Goatleaf. The Breelander was one year his junior, and Arkaeth had known him when he was younger, before he had been forced to leave Bree.<BR><BR>Jon was one of the few Breelanders who treated Arkaeth with respect. Jon grinned, a pipe in his mouth. Arkaeth laughed. "Ah Jon! Good to see you!" he cried above the din of music.<BR><BR>Jon grinned. "You too, Arkaeth! How long has it been? Two months?"<BR><BR>"Three," Arkaeth smirked. "But I decided I would head back to Bree to see what the news is." He hid his worried look behind this simple story.<BR><BR>"Good!" Jon exclaimed. "Come and I'll get you an ale and you can tell me all about your travels!"<BR><BR>Jon tottered off and Arkaeth went to sit down at a table. Jon then came back with two foaming ales. He passed one to Arkaeth and took a sip of his.<BR><BR>"Ah!" he sighed. "There's naught better than fresh Bree brewed ale!"<BR><BR>Arkaeth nodded. "I can agree to that." he took out his pipe and lit it, the pipeweed smoke curling like a wreath around his head.<BR><BR>"Where you been this time?" asked Jon, excited. "The Misty Mountains?"<BR><BR>Arkaeth laughed. "Not this time, though I did pass by Rohan, if the name is familiar."<BR><BR>Jon shook his head. "No, sorry. Can't say it is. Oh wait, I think someone might have mentioned it once before. Horse men aren't they?"<BR><BR>"Riders," Arkaeth corrected. "They are superlative at riding."<BR><BR>"What were you doing there?" asked Jon.<BR><BR>"Oh, I was just meeting some friends of mine that I know," Arkaeth said casually.<BR><BR>"Anything new?" asked Jon. "Goblins and all?"<BR><BR>"Not at the moment," Arkaeth said. "Now, you can tell me what has been happening in Bree."<BR><BR>A bit disappointed that Arkaeth had seemed to close up with information, Jon began to relate to him what had been happening in Bree recently.<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>Riding up the Greenway, Halasìan, Dúnadan, Ranger of the North, was returning once again to the northlands after spending the last 6 years in Gondor. He had travelled there to see his friend Denethor II, and witness the birth of his second son, Faramir. He also was there when Ecthelion II died and Denethor assumed the Stewardship of Gondor. The years spent there were for the most part joyous for him, until the untimely death of Denethor's wife, Finduilas of Dol Amroth, last year. It seemed that part of Denethor died that day, and a hatred of the Shadow in the East filled the boy Boromir. For he blamed the shadow for his mother’s passing, and his mind turned to things of war, and a great swordsman he was already becoming. And what of the lad Faramir, whom his mother loved so? Yes, there seemed to be a darkening in Gondor that year. So Halasìan bade Denethor and his sons farewell, and went to Rohan to see his wife, but grievous was the meeting, so he decided to return to the north.<BR><BR>He would not make Bree by night fall, so he found a place in the grass to sleep for the night, and would rise early so he could make the Prancing Pony in time for breakfast.<BR><BR><b>HELIONA:</b><BR><BR>Almarian walked down the road dejectedly, beside her sleek black horse. "Well, Finduilas, that looks like it could be Bree. I hope father was right when he said they would be helpful."<BR><BR>The horse looked at her, and nuzzled her shoulder. "Yes, we'll be there soon, don't worry." The girl put a comforting hand on her horse's neck.<BR><BR>The two strolled quietly into Bree, and searched the streets, looking for the inn that Almarian's father had told her about. Finally, spying it, the white rearing pony sign over the door, she led Finduilas towards it. A small, fat, man came out to meet them.<BR>"Hello, I'm Willfrid Butterbur, the innkeeper. Would you like a room for the night?"<BR><BR>"Yes, and could you stable my horse, please?"<BR><BR>"NOB!" Almarian was practically deafened by the man's yell. "Ah, here you are! Stable this young woman's horse, and be quick, we've got customers waiting!"<BR><BR>The little hobbit rushed off with Finduilas, who looked slightly flustered. Almarian followed Butterbur into the Prancing Pony, which was crowded and warm.<BR><BR>Almarian looked around nervously. She had never been into an inn before. Noticing a Ranger sitting nearby with another man , she went and sat at the table next to them, waiting for the food she had ordered to be brought to her.<BR><BR><b>JON GOATLEAF:</b><BR><BR>Back in Bree Jon told Arkaeth of the local happenings. "Well, naught much exciting goes on around here; Matt Furfoot moved his family to Staddle, Geb Rushlight inherited his father's farm, and Rowlie Appledore got married. A few odd things have happened 'round here, though. Strange folks from the South, a place they call Dunn Land, or somethin' like that, they've been movin' up the Greenway. Odd folks, they talk funny and wear funny clothes. Look normal, though. A few of them, however, are squinty-eyed bundle, rude and violent. Ruffians, if I say so myself, and I do."<BR><BR><b>ELENDUR:</b><BR><BR>As Jon and Arkaeth talked, the door opened and a tall, weather beaten, man walked in. He paused and looked around. Seeing the two of them, he immediately walked over to the table and greeted then warmly.<BR><BR>"Arkaeth, my good friend, it has been too long. How have things gone for you these past years?"<BR>Arkaeth was taken aback for a second. He had not seen or heard of Elendur for over 5 years and was delighted to see his old friend. "Elendur! I had thought you dead. Where have you been for all these years?”<BR><BR>"In the East and the far South and many strange and troubling things have I seen which we should discuss later. As for now, I would like a pint of good ale and to know what has been going on here. for I have been on the road many a long day."<BR><BR>"That you shall have my friend. And let me introduce you to Jon Goatleaf who lives here in Bree. He will be able to tell you more of the local happenings since I, myself have just come from Rohan."<BR><BR>"Have you heard then of Halasian? For I heard that he was also on his way from the South. He was supposed to have messages from Aragorn."<BR><BR>"No, I have heard nothing from him or of him. But then, I just arrived here tonight myself."<BR>
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heliona
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Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 11:51 am

<b>INNKEEPER:</b><BR><BR>Arkaeth and Elendur listened to Jon Goatleaf, as he related to them, the news of Bree. Both of the men were drinking their ale, as the Breelander rattled on. Finally, Jon stopped and looked at them.<BR><BR>"So, what's this news that seems to be worrying?" he asked quizzically.<BR><BR>"What news?" asked Arkaeth, frowning.<BR><BR>"Well, you obviously seem to be hiding something." Jon said. "It's plain on your face."<BR><BR>Elendur frowned also. "Jon, I do not think these things should be discussed here. Not now, anyway. They are matters far beyond what you can do."<BR><BR>Jon's face darkened and he cried out indignantly. "What do you mean? While I may be just a simple Breelander, that does not mean I am foolish or cowardly!"<BR><BR>"No one is calling you a coward Jon." Arkaeth said softly. "Just these matters are troublesome. A little more than what may be known in Bree."<BR><BR>Elendur nodded to the hallway where the parlours were located. "We will discuss it later. But now let us talk of other things."<BR><BR>They began to talk again of the news of Bree, while Jon listened in carefully, his mind making plans...<BR><BR>*******************************************<BR><BR>Almarian sat at her table, eating the meal she had ordered. The home cooked meal was by far more welcoming than the trail rations she had been living on for the past days.<BR><BR>She looked around the common room. The room was slowly beginning to get crowded, as more and more locals and travellers began to fill it. She soon began to feel out of place at her table, as if she was taking up unnecessary room. She looked around, trying to see if there was a spare seat at another table. She was unsure about joining a group, not knowing anyone. But over her shoulder she spied another table, with three men sitting around.<BR><BR>Two of them seemed around her age, while one was by far older. She was about to get up and join them, when she sat down again. Although one of them seemed happy and harmless enough, the other two were rugged and looked like the type she should be cautious of. Sighing, she tucked her seat back in and began to continue eating her meal.<BR><BR>*****************************************<BR><BR>Arkaeth sat listening, as Jon and Elendur were debating the quality of the ale. "Bree ale is by far the more better choice!" cried Jon, taking a swig.<BR><BR>"Ah, so you think." laughed Elendur, but have you tried the wine and ale they make near Hun? ‘Tis but the finest!"<BR><BR>"What do you think Arkaeth?" Jon asked.<BR><BR>Arkaeth sighed. "Hmm, that is a tough one. I am myself partial to wine from the Sea of Rhûn. But I agree with you that nothing can better Bree ale!"<BR><BR>Elendur laughed and drowned it with a deep swig of his drink. He then stopped and looked at Arkaeth. The younger ranger seemed to have grown quiet and was looking into the crowd.<BR><BR>"What's the matter friend?" Elendur asked. "What are you looking at?"<BR><BR>Arkaeth frowned deeply, stroking his chin. "I'm not sure. I think I saw someone I knew. Well at least she looked like someone I knew."<BR><BR>"Who?" asked Jon inquisitively.<BR><BR>"That young woman over there." Arkaeth said, nodding at the lone woman sitting at a table eating.<BR><BR>"I think I knew her father. He was a leader of a company of rangers up north. They were slain two years ago. I think her name was Almarian. I'm not sure, I only saw her once when I last visited her father."<BR><BR>"Hmmm." Jon grinned. "Is she a Ranger too?"<BR><BR>"I suppose so." Arkaeth said. "I will talk to her later. I want to know how she managed to survive an Orc raid. And what happened to her father's band."<BR><BR>They continued talking ...<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>After a couple hours of sleep in the clean cool spring air, Halasìan was roused by a noise and the stirring of his horse Fleetwood. Standing up, a figure leapt up at him from the grass and attacked him, but Halasìan let fly with a large knife and hit the attacker in the neck, killing him quickly. He could not tell who or what it was in the dark night, but it seemed it was some sort of man of Dunland, only bigger and uglier, like an Orc.<BR><BR>"What evil breeds this?" he asked himself, and quickly searched the dead one for any information, and finds on the hilt of his sword the mark of Saruman. "Strange, but it could have been stolen too," he thought to himself as he mounted up and rode fast towards Bree.<BR><BR>Arriving early in the morning to Bree, he found the South-gate unlocked and the guard sleeping. He woke him and told him to be alert as there are strange things happening away south.<BR><BR>Taking Fleetwood to the stable, Halasìan gave him some fresh hay, and noticed a familiar looking horse in the barn. He then walked to the door of his all-night diner in Bree...The Prancing Pony.<BR><BR>Entering the Inn, Halasìan looked around and saw in the thick crowd few faces he knew, so he went over to a table that was only occupied by one person who was finishing their meal and asked, "Mind if I sit?"<BR><BR>A fair voice said, "Go ahead," as the last bite of meal was taken, and she looked up at him to reveal a young woman who looked strikingly familiar, yet older than he remembered.<BR><BR>"Almarian?.... I am Halasìan, who rode with your father for many years before going south ere years ago. You were but a girl of 12, as I remember your birthday. It was just before I left."<BR><BR>Almarian looked the man over, and remembered years past when he used to swordplay with her near the shores of Lake Evendim ere long ago, and smiled slightly. But quickly, a look of sorrow came over her eyes as she looked away, saying, "I remember."<BR><BR>Halasìan ordered an ale and looked over the crowd. He thought he recognised Elendur, who he had rode in the north with years ago, and a young man with him who was in his early 20's when he left....Arkaeth was his name if his memory served him correctly. It was hard to believe it was only 6 years since he had been gone from the north, but so much has happened in the south in that time, that it was hard thinking of time passing in the north also. He then spotted Jon Goatleaf and thought about how some things didn’t change much, like Jon, and the Prancing Pony.<BR><BR>Arkaeth looked over from his table, probably taking another look at Almarian, and noticed Halasìan was sitting there also. Halasìan waved at him slightly, when his ale was served. He asked the servant for a large room, so the collected bunch of Rangers could meet later on and talk in private. He sat back and took a slug of the good Bree ale.<BR><BR><b>HELIONA:</b><BR><BR>Almarian noticed Halasìan waving at the young man at the table near them. "Do you know him?" she asked curiously.<BR><BR>"Yes," he replied, "he is a Ranger named Arkaeth. In fact, he may have known your father." Halasìan stopped when he saw the haggard look on Almarian's face. He frowned, "I fear something has happened that I do not know about."<BR><BR>Almarian looked up from her plate. "Yes, my father is dead, but I do not wish to tell you more here." The man nodded in understanding. "But, how are you? You look well, but you seem worried. Is something wrong?" The young woman continued.<BR><BR>"There is something in the air, it does not feel right. I can sense evil brewing." Halasìan replied quietly.<BR><BR>Almarian’s eyes widened. "I have felt it too. I hurried here, hoping to find friends."<BR><BR>She looked across to the table where the two Rangers and man sat, and saw Arkaeth watching her. "I think they know too," she nodded at them.<BR><BR>Halasìan followed her glance. "Yes, we will talk with them, but later, when I have finished my meal."<BR><BR>Almarian smiled slightly at the older Ranger's wisdom, and felt slightly happier inside, that she had found a friend.<BR><BR><b>RADAGAST:</b><BR><BR>(Meanwhile, far, far from Bree, along the southern edges of Mirkwood, evil sat amid the tangled trees and shrubs amid the cool night air.)<BR><BR>Ortar cursed again, "And still we go on! Is Irgeroth mad? Now we're almost in the Hermit's Woods - I'm expecting to see the Brown Demon himself anytime now!" He then silenced his grumbling with a long swig of ale.<BR><BR>"You stupid fool - that's got to last us for awhile, you know!" spat his brother, Gultar. He tore another piece out of the roast deer he was eating and then went on, "We don't know how much longer we'll be on the road. It's bad enough that we're playing nursemaid to some pansy from the South, but we don't even get to eat or drink well until this job is over. Garn, things were better back in the old days!"<BR><BR>A cool voice interrupted him, saying, "You mean the days when you were fleeing Gondor with a price on your head? If you miss those days, I could arrange to send you back..."<BR><BR>Gultar nearly choked and then mumbled, "Sorry... master. My mistake."<BR><BR>The shadowy figure stepped into the moonlight, but little could still be seen of him. He wore a cloak of greys and greens that blended perfectly into the background, for Irgeroth had taken the cloak from the body of the first Elf he had slain. The leader of the company moved without a sound and sat down by the fire, across from Ortar and Gultar. The two brutes resumed eating and drinking in silence, not daring to meet the fiery eyes that lay under the dark cowl.<BR><BR>Soon after, another shape emerged from the darkness - this one clad in crimson robes hidden beneath a dark cloak. His footsteps were not as soft as Irgeroth's, and he moved as if not at ease in the woods. But he commanded great respect and radiated dignity and power from a far-off land. He sat near Irgeroth and ate in silence. The two had nothing to say to each other in the presence of untrusting ears and wagging tongues.<BR><BR>Ortar muttered, "Where is Bloodtooth, anyway? You'd think a half-Orc would go for some deer - ay, it's his loss!" He then tore another hunk of meat off a bone.<BR><BR>Irgeroth merely replied, "Yes, but this meat is cooked, and Bloodtooth would not eat of such things. He will return when called."<BR><BR>Silence hung in the air until Gultar hazarded a question, "Master, I feel I must ask you where are we going? You said to the west, but where? And why is this man from the South with us? And what do we need with the Half-Orc anyway?" He spat a mouthful of ale, saying, "Garn, this stuff is warm!"<BR><BR>Irgeroth sighed, saying, "You will get plenty of cold drinks where we are going - and, perhaps, other rewards. As I have said before, I can tell you little aside from this: Daran is from the South - a great power to the South, and Bloodtooth is more than just a random Orc I have met. If you two do your part, you will be well rewarded. Leave the problems of the great to be solved by others. If you follow orders, you will be rewarded."<BR><BR>Irgeroth then tossed a pair of gold coins at the duo, and they squabbled over them, for neither could simply take just one coin. Irgeroth laughed to himself. The Blood Crow’s plan was going perfectly so far, and idiots like Ortar and Gultar had their place while there was still some dirty work to be done...<BR><BR><b>INNKEEPER:</b><BR><BR>Arkaeth finished his mug of ale and placed it on the table in front of him. He looked back at the table, where he saw the young woman was now talking with another man. He looked at Elendur and nodded to the table.<BR><BR>"Look. Isn't that..?" he asked, before Elendur cut in.<BR><BR>"Yes. It is Halasìan. One of our finest Rangers." Elendur replied. "I thought I recognised him."<BR><BR>"Should we call him over?" asked Arkaeth. "This is not normal for him to suddenly appear like this. Nor you. Something must be afoot."<BR><BR>"Well, we certainly know that there is." Elendur said. "And Halasìan must know too."<BR><BR>"Come then." Arkaeth said. "Let us go meet him and Almarian."<BR><BR>Jon looked up at them. "What are you two doing? Leaving me here alone? Fine then, be so rude as to just get up and leave!"<BR><BR>Arkaeth laughed at Jon. "Do not worry, good friend. I just need to talk with these good gentlemen for a while. If you will excuse us."<BR><BR>Jon snorted as the two Rangers made their way over to the other table.<BR>
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heliona
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Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 11:53 am

<b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>After two weeks of solid marching and living on enough food to feed a small child, Wyoun reached the most northern point of the Ered Lithui, on the very edge of the Dagorlad. Night had fallen and two rabbits are roasting over a small fire. After setting some small warning traps around the camp, he came back to his meal. He would rest here tonight and tomorrow he would choose his next path.<BR><BR>(At this moment in time, some Ranger-types and other folk are in Bree catching up and having a few drinks and laughs, and a Dark Ranger, a Southerner, and his band are at the southern edge of Mirkwood.)<BR><BR><b>HELIONA:</b><BR><BR>Almarian followed the four Rangers into the parlour that Halasìan had reserved. A small fire was blazing in the fireplace. The men sat in the chairs that surrounded the fire and Almarian followed suit.<BR><BR>“So,” the young Ranger that Halasìan had named Arkaeth turned to Almarian, “I know you are Almarian. Tell me your tale. How did you escape the Orcs?”<BR><BR>Almarian took a deep breath, and began, “We had been scouting out towards the Ettenmoors, for my father, Anganaur, believed that Orcs were gathering there. We were following an Orc trail, and had dismounted to search the ground, when my horse, still inexperienced, shied and bolted. I yelled at my father that I was going after her, and ran off back up the hill we had just come down. She was being very flighty and it was a long time before I managed to catch her.<BR><BR>“I rode her back as quick as I could, as I could hear a commotion coming from the bottom of the hill, and I thought they may need help. When I reached the top of the hill, and looked down, I saw that the band had been set upon by hundreds of Orcs. The Rangers had been taken utterly by surprise, and, although they were fighting valiantly, they were being beaten badly. By the time I had got to the hill-top, only a few of the Rangers were left, one of whom was my father,” Almarian’s voice choked, and she got up to look out of the window. The others did not say a word. Finally, she turned round and continued. “He had his back against a large tree, and he and the others were fighting desperately. Soon, he was the only one left. I saw him stop swinging his sword, and look up at me. In that one glance, I knew it was over. He threw his sword high up in the air, and yelled “Namarie, Almarian!” as the Orcs overran him.<BR><BR>“Throughout the whole scene, which had in reality only lasted a few minutes, but had seemed like hours, I had stood, frozen, I couldn’t move. My father’s sword, which he had thrown, somehow landed at my horse’s feet. Taking it quickly, I mounted again and led the Orcs, for they had seen me silhouetted on the hill-top, towards a bog. There they sank. I stayed by my father and the other Rangers for a short a time as possible, for fear that there were more Orcs about, but long enough to bury them, and then I left, travelling back West, back towards Lake Evendim, around which I have spent the last two years, roaming around on my own.” They noticed that Almarian’s face was pale and withdrawn, and Halasìan went over to her and touched her arm tenderly.<BR><BR>Elendur asked gently, “Why did you not return to your family? Do you not have any?”<BR><BR>Almarian shook her head. “I have an aunt, my father’s sister. But I could not have stayed with her. She disapproved of my mother, I am told, and of my father taking me with him. I would have had no freedom with her, and would no doubt have been married off as soon as I came of age. They would not have approved of the lifestyle I wish to lead.”<BR><BR>Halasìan nodded in agreement. “Yes, Anganaur’s family never liked your mother, and would have only taken you on to ease their conscience. You are better off without them.”<BR><BR>Almarian smiled gently and said, “If it hadn’t been for my horse, Finduilas, I would have died that day, and many times after that, for she alerted me whenever there was danger. Sometimes I wonder whether that is a good thing,” she finished her tale, and turned to stare out the window again.<BR><BR>The older Rangers looked at each other in shock, that good men such as Anganaur and his band had been slaughtered by Orcs. “As for why I am here,” Almarian explained, “I have had this feeling that something is not right, as though someone was planning evil deeds. Remembering my father’s tales of Bree and this inn in particular, I travelled here to see if there was anyone that I knew, for I have kept apart from the other Rangers these past two years.” The young woman then turned back to them, looking at them questioningly.<BR><BR><b>ELENDUR:</b><BR><BR>"A sad tale, Almarian," said Elendur, "but, unfortunately, all too common with our people. I never knew your father, but I had heard of him from Arkaeth and from others. He had a good reputation. A man to be proud of."<BR><BR>"Thank-you for your kind words, Elendur, I only wish that I could have done more on that day. Someday I will!"<BR><BR>"Of that I have no doubt. Now, however, to other matters. As I told you, Arkaeth, I have just returned from the far East and South. Things do not go well there. I first journeyed east of the Sea of Rhûn and gathered intelligence for over 3 years. I found that the Easterlings are gathering in great numbers and holding councils. It is a very rare thing that these tribes get together and do this, being warlike and having little like for each other. No, there is something else that is compelling them.<BR><BR>“It took me quite along time to get close enough to them to find out that they have been receiving emissaries from the Dark Lord. He wishes them ready when he calls them to war. As soon as I confirmed this information, I set out West and South, for I wished to find Aragorn and tell him of these tidings.<BR><BR>“Long I travelled and finally passed over Dagorlad and into Ithilien, for there I was to meet with Gundor and we were to then head south to find Aragorn. When I reached the arranged meeting place, I beheld a sorrowful sight. Gundor had been ambushed and captured.<BR><BR>“He had been questioned for 3 days and had been put to cruel torment. When I found him, he was barely alive. Before he died, he told me that the attackers had been Orcs and a tall dark man who was called Irgeroth. Although he could not be sure, he thought him of Numenorean descent because of his countenance. Gundor told me that he had not told his attackers anything and then he died.<BR><BR>“I did not spend much time, fearing ambush myself. Rather than bury him I gave him to the river which shall watch over him. Then I hastened south. Ever inquiring for 'Thorongil' which is the name Aragorn was going by, I learned that to men's sorrow, he had last been seen going into the east to the Mountains of Shadow. There I followed, but very reluctantly.<BR><BR>“Of my adventures there I will tell no tales to darken tonight. I found him in the far Southeast and gave him my tidings. He counselled me that I should immediately head north to bring the information to Rivendell. He had another errand to do but said that when he returned he would have information about the Haradrim. This he said he would send north with Halasian as soon as he reached Rohan. We were to meet here and then go to Rivendell to bring the tidings to Elrond."<BR><BR>At this point Elendur paused, thinking . After a short time he said, " Never again do I wish to tread the ground of Mordor, but if I had to, to find the killer of Gundor, I would go to the Black Tower itself!"<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>Halasìan was grieved by the news of the death of so many he had rode with years ago, and especially of Anganaur, but thought it strange that Anganaur and an experienced company of Dúnedain would be surprised so by a common Orc band. But there seemed to be new evils about these days, and the Orcs seem to be using new tactics.<BR><BR>"You have your mother's spirit, and your father's skill, Almarian. And, as you did growing up, you will ride with me now, if you wish."<BR><BR>Turning to Elendur, Halasìan said, "It has been long since we rode together, though we rode near one another in the south, and now it seems we were brought together in a time of need."<BR><BR>Then looking Arkaeth in the eye long, Halasìan said, "You have learned much since I last saw you."<BR><BR>Halasìan then said to all, "Did any of you notice the large man with Orcish features sitting at the corner table in the Common Room? When I was resting along the Greenway ere a few hours ago, I was attacked by one such as him. He had a sword with the mark of Saruman. This was a puzzle to me.<BR><BR>“And of news of the South. As Elendur said, there are dark days growing all over. My friend of old, Denethor, has a shadow upon him, since his wife passed away last year, and he was willing to talk with me less after that. His sons are doing well, but they also are affected by their mother's passing.<BR><BR>“I, too, seeked the one who served in Rohan and Gondor for a time, who was unnamed but was called Thorongil in Gondor. Of his deeds and description, my spirit<BR>tells me this was Aragorn, but he had been gone from there two years before I arrived.<BR><BR>“They said he went east toward the Shadow when he left Minis Tirith. The one glimmer of good news was that I was in Rohan for Lady Theodwyn's wedding, and hoped to meet Aragorn there, as there was word he would come. But I saw my wife there, and not my son, and grievous was that time. I did not see Aragorn in Rohan before coming here."<BR><BR>Halasìan thought a bit, and looked over at Arkaeth, and walked with him over to the fire, and said quietly, "I see how you look at Almarian, and I know the thoughts of a young man. I was 30 years of age when I eyed a fair horse maiden of Rohan, and before long we were married, and a son was born, and great was the joy for awhile. But the life of a Ranger bodes not well for families, for their ways are hard, and they stay not in one place, and they wander long years in the wild places. For this reason the Dúnedain wanes, and when marriage happens, there are hardships. I say to you, Arkaeth, be not distracted by the presence of Almarian, for she will be riding into danger with us in days ahead, and all must be alert."<BR><BR>Arkaeth was a bit stunned by the words of Halasìan, and stood by the fire for awhile.<BR><BR><b>INNKEEPER:</b><BR><BR>Arkaeth looked at the fire, and then spoke. "I have no problem with Almarian joining our group," he looked at her as he spoke. "I am sure you know it will be a harsh journey filled with danger, but you seem to be able to take care of that. If you are half the Ranger your father was, then you will be a welcomed addition to our group. It just seems so saddening to put one so young through such trials."<BR><BR>"Thank you, Arkaeth." Almarian said. "While I may be small, I assure you that I am a valued asset. I will not let you Rangers down."<BR><BR>"Well said, Almarian." Halasìan said softly. "I think we will serve each other well in the time ahead. It will be filled with danger, but together we will overcome it. Elendur, what plans shall we make?"<BR><BR>The older man shifted in his seat and looked at them. "I think we should head for Imladris first, and hear Elrond's wise words on this matter. This journey is one we all wish to take, as we are all bound up somehow in it." Elendur said wisely.<BR><BR>Arkaeth frowned. "It is an interesting tale I must say. I have been patrolling the north for the last couple of months, since visiting my fiancée near Lake Evendim, and have been troubled by the sightings of Orcs and other dark creatures."<BR><BR>"Do you think that this Irgeroth is a servant of Sauron?" asked Almarian.<BR><BR>"I do not know," replied Elendur. "But the men of Numenorean race have been known to pay allegiance to him."<BR><BR>"That is indeed troubling," said Arkaeth. "I have heard many tales of Numenorean mages who work for Sauron, and their evil works. This Irgeroth could be after something for his dark lord?"<BR><BR>"Maybe so," Halasìan said. "But in any case, we must be careful. Spies are abroad, and I think this Irgeroth may know of you, Elendur."<BR><BR>"Me?" Elendur cried, surprised by this. "How would he know of me?"<BR><BR>"You said that you found Gundor," replied Halasìan. "No doubt that Irgeroth’s spies saw you meet the doomed man. He probably already knows of your plans, and has set spies out."<BR><BR>Arkaeth cursed. "Then what are we to do? That man in the inn that Halasìan mentioned could be a Half Orc. They are known to be in the service of mages. And I fear that Saruman, the Wizard of Isengard has legions of them. But that is not our problem now."<BR>"We must be careful!" Almarian whispered. "This Half Orc or whatever he is could be here to detain you, Elendur."<BR><BR>"I have said bef..." Halasìan began to speak, but was cut off by the sound of someone shouting.<BR><BR>A cry came outside their door, and a loud thump. Arkaeth leapt up and threw open the door. As he did so a large shape leapt out of the darkness and into the room.<BR><BR>The shape bowled over Arkaeth, knocking the man down. Arkaeth rolled and leapt up, his sword drawn. Elendur drew his blade and rushed at the being. Before it could do anything, it crashed to the floor, Elendur's blade embedded in its chest. The older man and Arkaeth made their way over to it, as the being gave a final gasp.<BR><BR>"Half Orc!" spat Arkaeth, wiping his chin. "He must have heard our plans!"<BR><BR>Almarian was pale, and she spoke softly. "Do you think there may be more?"<BR><BR>"I don't know," Halasìan said. "But after my recent attack, and now this one, I would be willing to bet that your friend Irgeroth has more associates out there waiting for Elendur."<BR><BR>"We must make plans quickly," Arkaeth said. "Come now..."<BR>
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heliona
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Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 11:55 am

<b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>It was not yet first light, but Wyoun had been up for an hour already, to take down the traps and put out the fire before any smoke could be seen. But now was the time to choose where to go next and what to do. If what he had heard in the dark land about a group known as the Blood Crows or Black Crows, who were believed to be Dark Rangers, was true, it might be worth finding one to help reek havoc. But where to start? Any way, they could wait. Stealth is what he needed at the moment, to keep away from seeing eyes.<BR><BR>For that reason, he packed his gear, and made his mind to dive down the Dagorlad and Dead Marshes, and head for the mid-point of the Emyn Muil, and scout its North-east edge to its most Northern point. By memory, there were many hiding places and Orc-holes, and other creatures that he may call on or slay.<BR><BR>At last, he headed out. The day wore on. At dusk, he had cleared the Dagorlad and the Marshes ,and had started to bend Westward when he came upon some tracks heading the same way about half a day old. They were made by a single human who was moving slowly and marking the ground in places, as if he was tracking someone. Guessing from the skill, Wyoun was on the tracks of a Ranger but what sort? The normal, or the Dark?<BR><BR>“If I keep going at this pace I will catch up to soon,” he thought to himself. So Wyoun bedded down for the night with the traps set, and ate some roots that he had dug up. He did not light his fire, the ground was too open and the Ranger was about. He went to sleep wondering what tomorrow would bring..<BR><BR><b>RADAGAST:</b><BR><BR>Ortar was in a fouler mood than usual on this rainy morning. He spat, "Rangers! What do you mean they know of us? Curses!"<BR><BR>Irgeroth ignored the man for a moment as he gave orders to Bloodtooth. The Half Orc slipped off quietly with far more stealth than an Orc should have. The Dark Ranger than replied to Ortar's rage, "Calm yourself - surely you don't fear a group of deluded rogues who still believe that the King will return?"<BR><BR>Ortar puffed up his chest and replied arrogantly, "No... no, of course I don't fear them. I've killed four men of Gondor - and my brother has killed three."<BR><BR>Irgeroth smiled and laughed. He hissed, "You stupid fool! You should fear them! Indeed, you should fear them almost as much as you fear me!"<BR><BR>Ortar went pale, and Irgeroth continued, "My sources have told me that many of the better known Rangers have headed west, and at least one of them - Elendur - knows of us."<BR><BR>Gultar spoke, "Wasn't he a friend of the guy we tortured? He said something about somebody with that name."<BR><BR>Irgeroth spun and him and snarled, "Yes, and if you had finished him when I commanded instead of using him for your sport, none would know of us!" He turned grim, "Consider yourself lucky that I only punished you in gold, Gultar, not in blood..."<BR><BR>The two thugs were silent. Daran had overheard everything, but kept to himself, sorting through a collection of documents that he kept with him in his bag. Not long after, Bloodtooth returned and spoke to Irgeroth in his own tongue.<BR><BR>The Dark Ranger listened and then said to those assembled, "We are being followed. There is a shadowy man not far back along our trail. He is headed this way, and thus he will have to be dealt with. I want no bloodshed unless needed! We are a band of mercenaries - nothing more. For now, keep to the sides of the path and walk slowly so that we will intercept him before we leave the cover of the eves of Mirkwood."<BR><BR>The others agreed and slinked off. Daran remained and spoke with Irgeroth, asking, "You said the Rangers know of us - will this hinder our plans?"<BR><BR>Irgeroth replied, "No, not really. Long we have played this game, and neither side has ever struck a heavy blow against the other. They may know of us, but they know not where we are headed, nor of our plans. By the time they are done talking, we will have safely reached our goal. Then, the end of the Rangers will be at hand..."<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>"Let’s clean this mess up." Halasìan said, "And search it for any useful info."<BR><BR>Closing the door after dragging the Half Orc carcass into the Parlour room and looking it over, Arkaeth re-joined the group by the fire.<BR><BR>"I agree with Elendur,” said Halasìan, “and say we ride to Imladris, and ride without much delay, For council there will be without the ears of spies of Irgeroth, or Saruman for that matter. The morning light is not far away, so rest some if you can, or we can leave now in the darkness. I had a couple hours rest on my way here, but could ride if need be." Almarian, Elendur, and Arkaeth agreed, and made ready to ride.<BR><BR>Halasìan noticed Almarian looking at the dead Orc, so he went over to her and embraced her, and asked her, "How many have you killed? Alas, I worried of the mind of Arkaeth, but it is me that has to think not of you as the little girl of old. You are a young woman now, and the spirit of your mother burns brightly in your eyes. Come, let’s make ready to go.” And maybe some of the pent up anger was released in Almarian as she kicked hard the dead Orc.<BR><BR>Halasìan and Arkaeth hauled the Orc carcass outside and tossed it into a fire pit that was burning with the night's garbage from the inn. They thought it appropriate. On the way back in, Halasìan spoke, "I spoke harshly and without thinking earlier, and misread your intentions toward Almarian. I realised not that you are betrothed to another. However, my words earlier on marriage still stand, though I know in my heart the future of the Dúnedain lies with ones as yourself."<BR><BR>And they went back into the Inn and the others.<BR><BR><b>HELIONA:</b><BR><BR>Almarian went out to the stables and began to bridle Finduilas. She did not use a saddle, as the mare's skin was delicate, and would have suffered from saddle-sores. "Well," she said, "it looks as though we are among friends now. Although how much good it will do us, no-one knows. Still, these are wise men, and we will do our best, won’t we. And, it is always best to not die alone."<BR><BR>Finduilas nuzzled her, as if to say, "Don't be so defeatist!"<BR><BR>Almarian chuckled, despite herself. "You're right! Come on, let's go!" She led the black horse out into the courtyard, where the other Rangers were waiting. She was so dark that, against the stable wall, she could hardly be seen.<BR><BR>She mounted swiftly, with the ease of long practise, and sat quietly, waiting to move off.<BR><BR><b>JON GOATLEAF:</b><BR><BR>"Going without me?"<BR>The Rangers turned to see Jon Goatleaf standing outside the inn.<BR><BR>"I heard all of you talking in the inn, and I know what's happening. You have to take me with you. I have been walled up in this town all my life, and I don't want to stay any longer."<BR><BR><b>ELENDUR:</b><BR><BR>The two older men looked at each other and Elendur said, "The road we follow will be very dangerous. You would be better off to stay here."<BR><BR>"If you will not take me then I will follow you."<BR><BR>After talking with Elendur for another minute, Halasìan said, "Very well, Jon, we can always use another hand. Get your gear and be quick!"<BR><BR>As they waited, Halasìan and Elendur discussed the best way to go. "I think we should make all haste along the road as far as the Midgewater." said the older Ranger, "There, if we are being followed, as I deem likely, we can go into the marshes and lose them."<BR><BR>Elendur shook his head with a slight frown on his face. "I agree that we will probably be followed. But I think the followers will be more of these Half Orcs or worse. If it were a normal foe, we should easily lose them in the marshes but these creatures will follow us by scent. My thought is that we go along the road as quickly as we can until we get to the Weather Hills. There it will be easier for us to find an easily defensible position if we are attacked."<BR><BR>After considering the idea for a short time, Halasìan said, "What you say makes sense, but my heart forebodes that no way will be safe, and we should look to our blades and bows."<BR>The two older Rangers then turned and looked at Arkaeth and Almarian. "Then we go as quickly as possible to the uplands?" asked the younger man.<BR><BR>"Yes, there will be pursuit and we know not the numbers we will face. Therefore, our best hope is in speed. Make sure your blades are keen and ready!"<BR><BR>Arkaeth turned in his saddle and saw the eager figure of Jon Goatleaf coming from the door. He was carrying his gear and went to the stables. Shortly, he came out mounted on a horse. He looked a little uneasy but then Almarian smiled at him and he grinned. "What a great night to start an adventure!"<BR><BR>Then the five then moved out of the courtyard.<BR><BR><b>RADAGAST:</b><BR><BR>(Meanwhile, far, far to the east...)<BR><BR>Daran and Irgeroth spoke in secret to each other, far from the prying ears and dim wits of Ortar and Gultar. The Lord of the South spoke to the Dark Ranger, "Do you think he will heed us? I have heard dark things about his kind - the Hermit of the Woods is bad enough, but he is worse, or so I have heard."<BR><BR>Irgeroth replied, "Show him no fear, and beware his voice! I have ensured a deal with him, and he will hear your offer. You need not fear him. I think he will listen, and thus the game will be set, and each side shall have the same number of pieces. Once the game begins, those of the West shall fall first, and then those of the East."<BR><BR>Daran nodded and continued, "But what of Bloodtooth - what part does he play, if I may ask?"<BR><BR>Irgeroth smiled and replied, "You may ask, and I will tell you a little - more than I would say to the other two. Bloodtooth is no ordinary Orc or Half Orc and he has far more power than most of his kind. He has an offer as well for the one we are seeing, but you are not competing with him. Orcs have little higher desires than those of pillaging - Bloodtooth cannot understand our hatred of those of the West. He will slay whom he is told to slay, as will those who follow him. We will be the ones to lead them - and he understands that."<BR><BR>The two then planned out the next day's travels. The dark stranger who was following them had kept to himself so far, and Bloodnose kept an eye on him. Confrontation was certain, but Irgeroth was not concerned; it would take far more than one wanderer to harm a Dark Ranger.<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>"Ok, lets ride!" said Halasìan, and they headed for the East Road out of town. The light was gathering in the eastern sky, and a low fog hung around Bree, though it looked like the day would break into sunshine later. Typical weather for a late spring morning in April in these parts.<BR><BR>They hoped to cover some distance today, but were ever on the alert for surprise attack, as is the way of Rangers.<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>Upon reaching the north Emyn Muil, Wyoun thought it strange that all was quiet. The tracks that he had been following went around an outcrop of large rocks. Climbing a ridge to the West, he came to a point where he could see the Ranger, he was alone.<BR><BR>Coming down and rounding the rock, he declared himself to the Ranger. "I am Wyoun, the foe of the West. Your weakness and your death is your lack of skill."<BR><BR>The Ranger straightened. "I am Val-kelborn, Ranger and Defender of the West, and your weakness and death, and the death of the scum and his band that I follow, is that you are nothing but murderers, and that you have not fled from me, and slew one of our brothers."<BR><BR>Battle was joined. The Ranger came in low with his gleaming sword, closing the distance with blinding speed. Wyoun dived, and rolled past and under the keen blade, coming out of the roll, and facing his foe who was on one knee, due to a severed Achilles tendon.<BR><BR>"Kill me and more will come for your bl..." Wyoun's knife flew through the air so fast that the Ranger never saw it coming.<BR><BR>Walking over to the dying man, he said, "And they will die like the pathetic fool that you are." He then put the knife in its secret sheath. Having dismembered and burnt the body, he sorted through the Ranger’s effects, taking a small strong and powerful bow and some rations.<BR><BR>Wyoun broke the Ranger’s sword, and threw the Ranger’s clothes on the fire. “Hmm, what a riddle, the story of the Dark Rangers may be proven true. This Ranger is travelling light, which means that he has come here in haste. It may be who ever he has been following has in their midst a fool who walks like a dumb Easterling, with a face stuffed with food. He must be close to this group. There is too much open ground between me and the southern edge of Mirkwood where they seem to be headed, and this one, if Dark Ranger he be, will have watchers posted and a scout out here some where,” he told himself.<BR><BR>So waiting till dusk, he then moved off. "This night will bring me some companions worthy of me, or death.... or both.” He did not stick to this path, as he am no fool, so he instead bent East to come at their scout or watches, for that was where he would have sent them. The furthest away from the borders of Fangorn and Lorien. But still he disliked heading into this land just as much, who knows where that old fool may be... a curse on him.<BR><BR><b>MCCAJUST:</b><BR><BR>Arlon watched the sun set behind the Weather hills as he finished his dinner of rabbit stew. He sharpened his axe with a whetstone as he pondered everything he'd seen over the past couple of days. He had seen a lot of activity on the roads including a lot of Rangers. In the distance he had seen carrion birds a few times signalling death. More than usual.<BR><BR>Arlon looked around for a suitable tree to spend the night in. Normally he wouldn’t, but he had had a nagging feeling that evil was afoot and although he did not under-estimate his fighting abilities he also did not over-estimate them. And he preferred not to be surprised on the ground. He found a tree with large branches and good leaf cover. He fell into an uncomfortable slumber as the stars moved across the skies.<BR>
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heliona
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Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 11:58 am

<b>RADAGAST:</b><BR><BR>Irgeroth laughed - a cruel, biting sound - as he heard the news of the battle between the Ranger and the shadowy man far off behind them. He stated, "So, our foes shall dig their own graves. A Ranger dead - no doubt the one who was trailing us for the past week, and a dark fool who has revealed his skills. Very interesting..."<BR><BR>Ortar listened uneasily, and Gultar snored loudly in his sleep. Daran also slept in silence. Irgeroth then spoke to Bloodtooth, "Keep an eye on this man - he may prove useful. We will continue on our way. If he should chose to follow us, bring him to me. Remember, he will underestimate you, Bloodtooth, and that shall be his weakness. When he falls, bring him before me and I shall pronounce his fate."<BR><BR>Bloodtooth nodded and slipped off in the same eerily quiet way he had done time and time before. Ortar fingered his sword nervously and sweated. He finally spoke, "Night is upon us and that man is still out there - who is to say what he will do?"<BR><BR>Irgeroth replied, "He will avoid the path, like I would, and come at our sentinels from the far side of the woods. And so, I have set no sentinels there. He shall be confused by this and perhaps think less of our abilities. Bloodtooth will then detain him for questioning." Irgeroth turned grim and said, "Since you are so concerned, why don't you join him? Just keep walking past that tree and you will find a good place to watch..." Irgeroth pointed to a squatting old oak with a broken crown.<BR><BR>Ortar was shaken, but he did as commanded and went off into the gloom. Irgeroth laughed to himself, "The fool will come running back to me at the first sign of conflict, and thus his purpose will be served."<BR><BR>He then shot down a large perching bird with a single well-placed arrow and cooked it over the fire, completely unconcerned with the stranger. But as he ate, he fingered an amulet about his neck, a gleaming orb hung by a golden chain, and strange fire seemed kindled in it.<BR><BR>The night grew thick with clouds scuttling overhead and not a sound was heard...<BR><BR><b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>On the road to Weathertop, insipid rays of pale sunlight finally began to edge their way, lethargically, through the early morning mists; clammy fingers of fog nestling and squirming deep into the valleys, settling like ash heaps.<BR><BR>Bryna's ill fitting garb now clung mercilessly to her skin, chaffing her raw. Tangled stresses of red-black hair torn loose from her cap, hung lamely in the sodden air like tendrils.<BR><BR>Apparently unaware of the dismal clime, Bryna rode frantically onwards. The harsh wheezing of the roan was the only sound to be heard within the dampening gloom. The eerie howls of the wolves, which had plagued her throughout the night, had long since disappeared with the dawn...but Bryna raced on.<BR><BR>At last she found the track she sought and allowed the flagging mare to slow to a trot. The roan's breathing remained slow and ragged, her flanks flecked with foam, her muzzle smeared with spittle. Staggering now, over the stone hewn path, the mare began to falter. Bryna urged her on. Weathertop was so close. The roan responded, eager to please, forcing her way through the narrow defile. On she went, diving down deep through the foggy dells and treacherous banks, alongside the mysterious man-made avenue of stone. Until, at the very edge of Weathertop, she fell, her knees buckled and crumpled beneath her. Bryna was hurled violently into a mossy bank leading up to the hill itself.<BR>Sluggishly, but unhurt, Bryna rose to her feet. The hill towered above her, looming through the deathly silence of the mist. Silence! She turned to look upon her mount. Silence! The roan had breathed her last.<BR><BR>Transiently, Bryna's eyes flickered with something akin to empathy, if not quite compassion - and then the moment evaporated as quickly as it had arrived. After all, the beast had served her well.<BR><BR>Bryna salvaged her packs from the lifeless mare and strode up the Western face. Halfway up the hill, Bryna found a grassy dell filled with the scent and colour of a myriad of wildflowers. The sun had grown braver now, and shafts of golden light seared through the mist. Today, at least, the sun would win its battle over the gloom.<BR>Bryna made her camp, careful as ever to conceal her position from unwanted eyes. Alone and horseless, with wolves on the prowl, Bryna should have feared her life. As always, Bryna remained unafraid. She opened a pouch from a cord looped around her neck, removing two objects; one a crumpled shred of paper, the other a jet black stone, as dark, empty and lacklustre as the eyes which now viewed upon it.<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>The deep night had come. Wyoun had been listening to some idiot snoring his life away, and another fool with his back to an old stump. “But where are the watches and the scout? You idiot, you have walked into a trap,” he chided himself. “Where is the scout? Behind me by now, waiting for me to make a move, and so I shall. This scout is very good, if we live out the night, we may one day talk as equals.”<BR><BR>Feeling on the ground for a stone, he lobbed it onto the foot of the fool against the stump. There was a pause and, in what the fool thought to be a quiet voice, "Bloodtooth, is that you? Is he out there?" Bloodtooth burned with rage, so soon he would have to spring his trap. He rushed in with but the faintest of a whisper. The stranger rolled left and broke into a run, then stopped, facing Bloodtooth. There was death in the strange man’s eyes but also a flicker of life and nobility.<BR><BR>Ortar had reached the others and they made their way over. Wyoun found a tree and put his back to it and raised his sword and cleared his mind of the anger that was there, for his allowing himself to be trapped. He would take what ever might come and if he went down, others would follow him.<BR><BR><b>RADAGAST:</b><BR><BR>Bloodtooth loomed near Wyoun, silent as always, his curved sword at the ready. Just as the two warriors prepared to begin their dance of death, Ortar swaggered closer.<BR>"Well, well - you're the sneaky rat Irgeroth spoke of! Why I should -"<BR><BR>"That's enough! Fool! You speak my name to strangers! That will cost you, Ortar - it will cost you dearly... But not now - later!"<BR><BR>Ortar turned pale and stammered as Irgeroth stepped out of the shadows and glided like a cloud of gloom to stand near Wyoun. The Dark Ranger looked over the wanderer for a long moment, and their fire-flecked eyes met and duelled in a contest of wills.<BR><BR>Irgeroth then laughed and stated, "Excellent! Both strength and nobility - a rare find in this place! Come, stranger, and warm yourself by our fire."<BR><BR>Wyoun did not move. Irgeroth seemed hurt, saying, "I know you don't trust me, but I don't kill random people on the road unless they give me good reason. Spooking Ortar is not a good reason, so again I ask you: will you come and join me. Perhaps we find words to speak to each other then. Or, you can stay out here in the cold spring night and perhaps talk to the Orc, if you'd like..."<BR><BR>Wyoun realised that this man was a snake yet somehow could be trusted on this one point. He decided that it would be easier to learn what he wished by talking with this man then merely sneaky after him. But would the two have anything to say to each other...<BR><BR><b>JON GOATLEAF:</b><BR><BR>As they rode out of Bree Jon was bombarding the Rangers with questions on what they do. Most of the questions were easily answered by : "Protecting the Hobbits and Breelanders", or "The fighting corps of the Dúnedain".<BR><BR>Arkaeth was too busy to talk much, so Halasìan answered most of the questions. Almarian often sighed: not the carefree sigh of one in love, but the vexed sigh of one being shadowed by the most annoying person in Middle-earth...<BR><BR><b>INNKEEPER:</b><BR><BR>The night drew near, and the sky slowly changed from bright hues of orange, to the dark shadows of night.<BR><BR>One by one, the stars came out, their soft light blinking in the darkened sky. Lonely bird cries carried with the wind, dying faintly in the distance.<BR><BR>The group decided to camp off the side of the road, in a small copse. Arkaeth knew it well, and lead the group to a small, but hidden clearing that he often camped at.<BR>They emerged into it, just as the last vestiges of light had left them. No sound came from the woods around them, and the only sound was that of their horse's soft breath.<BR><BR>"Is this where we are to camp tonight?" asked Halasìan.<BR><BR>"We should camp here." Arkaeth said. "Do you not agree Elendur?"<BR><BR>Elendur nodded. "I think this place should do us fine tonight. Going by what Arkaeth has told us, it seems safe and hidden. Agree?"<BR><BR>Halasìan nodded. "Yes. Ok, Jon would you care to make a fire?"<BR><BR>Jon nodded, seeming a bit scared by the dark woods. "I'll go collect the wood." He got up and made his way into the trees.<BR><BR>"Try not to make too much noise." Halasìan called softly after him. "Or get lost for that matter."<BR><BR>The rest sat down and unpacked their bedrolls and cooking utensils.<BR><BR>"What's for dinner?" Arkaeth asked, pulling out a small pouch with nuts and dried apple in it. He slowly began to munch on them, looking at the rest of them.<BR><BR>"Well, I thought it would just be trail rations." Halasìan said glumly.<BR><BR>Almarian sighed loudly. "Trail rations? You men are hopeless. Luckily for you, I made Jon pack some decent food. We should be able to enjoy a nice meal at least. Before we have to head into danger."<BR><BR>Elendur smiled. "Well, if you're offering food other than trail rations, then how can I refuse?"<BR><BR>Almarian shook her head. "Don't expect anything too fancy. I used to cook meals for father and the others, but I'm not an innkeeper, nor a housewife!"<BR><BR>The others nodded in agreement. They were about to speak when suddenly Jon came bursting into the clearing, a bundle of sticks trailing after him. His face was red, and he stopped, panting.<BR><BR>Halasìan leapt up. "What's wrong?"<BR><BR>Jon caught his breath and dropped the bundle of sticks. "I heard a noise, like someone was following me. Then, I had this peculiar feeling that I was being watched. I heard a twig snap, and turning around I saw no one. It was too dark. So I just ran here as fast as I could."<BR><BR>Arkaeth frowned, and drew his sword. "Elendur, you stay here with the other two. Halasìan and I will check it out. Just start the fire and act as usual."<BR><BR>Halasìan agreed. "Just act how you might be usually doing so. We'll see if we can find the source of Jon's fear."<BR><BR>Without a word, they dashed into the darkness...<BR><BR><b>WANDERING:</b><BR><BR>The whimsical and a rather overjoyed Legros Sestet had been taking a pleasant walk in the woods. Long had it been since he had seen this area. He loved the beauty of it all. However once Legros had been here and only once. He was rather lost and needed help. His forest had been under strange tidings. There were mysterious Dark Rangers about and he must not let his whimsical joy of the beauty overtake him. Now if only all his studies could find some Rangers to help him.<BR>He continued walking until he came across a distant sound by Weathertop. Ah finally some Rangers, thought the elf. Maybe they can tell me what has befallen my forest. Funny, I thought I'd stay away from Mirkwood and find adventure. Then I go to a wedding and hear of dark shadows. Adventure is where least suspected!. He continued to follow the sounds of the ranger not caring if he was spotted. I bear good intentions so they will not hurt me. He continued to follow with his Elven cloak's hood down and hair flowing.<BR><BR><b>HELIONA:</b><BR><BR>Almarian carried on sorting out the food that Jon had packed for them. She noticed Jon still looking bewildered and frightened. "Jon, come over here," she called to him. He came quickly, looking over his shoulder as he did so. Almarian told him quietly, "Don't worry. Whoever is out there, Arkaeth and Halasìan will discover them. Help me with the fire, and try to act natural!"<BR><BR>Jon looked at Almarian's confident face, and felt comforted. He began to pile more wood onto the fire, smiling nervously, and still looking round on occasion.<BR><BR>Almarian walked over to where Elendur was sitting, and spoke to him, quite loudly, asking what preference he had for dinner, although there was not much choice.<BR><BR>Elendur could see that she was trying to calm the Breelander down, and joined in, and soon they were laughing quietly, although the Rangers were still listening for any signs of trouble.<BR>
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heliona
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Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 11:59 am

<b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>Overhead, the starlight lattice blazed through the shadows of the woods. Bryna cursed them. Irritated she bit sharply on her lower lip. Ensuring concealment would take all her skill.<BR><BR>Deftly, threading her way through the tumult of savage branches and fallen debris, her dark form somehow managed to flit unseen through the remaining patches of darkness. Just one tell-tale crackle of a twig or the sharp whistle of a shifting branch may alert them to her presence.<BR><BR>The three men appeared distracted. Anxious and wary, but still she heard sound of laughter. She counted 5 horses....where were the other riders??<BR><BR>Silently, she padded closer. The flickering, smoky light of the campfire revealed the shapes surrounding it. Not three men. One a woman, one a youngish male, his portly physique more akin to the life of a civilian than a seasoned traveller - the other, dangerously grim and alert. It was however, the younger man that sent a momentary tide of apprehension through Bryna. An unexplained premonition of dread. Bryna shirked away the unfamiliar emotion and focussed on her target...<BR><BR>As she had surmised, the mare was an exquisite creature, likely of Rohan stock. Bryna had never had such an opportunity to acquire such a superb steed.<BR>Bryna could sense an unfailing tugging of urgency. Somehow, she knew her father had to be quite close, but still some distance she would have to travel. Then her wanderings would be at an end...but what then? She shrugged. First, she needed speed. She needed a horse. She had to have the black Rohan at all costs.<BR>These men-they were not common travellers. The woman too, looked dangerous. The presence of the civilian confused her, but she thought they could be rangers. She knew then, that she should find an easier target..but..<BR><BR>Her black eyes gleamed with desire - she knew the horse would have to be hers.<BR>Bryna silently backtracked through the woods, keeping the site in view, whilst listening intently for the other rangers. A short distance away from the group, she expertly scaled a darkened tree, and hid herself completely in the branches.<BR>Her eyes followed every movement of the group below; in the silence of the night, she could hear every word they uttered. She watched..and she waited..<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>The ride from Bree was fast and uneventful, and nothing suspicious was seen. <BR>I had to stop at the Forsaken Inn briefly in the morning to pick up some<BR>information and a kiss waiting for me there for when I got back north. The rest of the<BR>group rode ahead, and after my 5 minute delay I managed to catch up with them ere<BR>too long, as Fleetwood was itching to run. As we rode at a good clip, Jon<BR>was inquisitive of what all Rangers do, and I answered most of his questions, but<BR>it basically boiled down to us protecting the freedom of all peoples from the evils of<BR>Sauron and his minions, primarily in the north, but everywhere we are called. I<BR>could tell him stories, but we were on a hard ride and not relaxing at an inn, so that had to do.<BR><BR>As night fell, Arkaeth led us into a small wood thicket where we would camp for<BR>the night. Jon went to gather fire wood, and came back pale as a stray cloud<BR>revealed the half-waxing moon in the sky, causing some eerie shadows in the copse. <BR>Arkaeth motioned t me and we went to check out some movement in the bush the<BR>was heard.<BR><BR>“Let’s go find whatever.”<BR><BR>I said to Arkaeth as I drew my trusty 8” knife named Gaelrod and quickly rubbed some burnt wood charcoal from a previous fire on my face, seized up my grey Ranger cloak, and we were off into the night.<BR><BR>We searched, and found sign of where somebody had recently been. It looked like<BR>they had moved north a bit, then east, then curved around south and Southwest, heading back in the direction of our camp. Arkaeth, who was ahead of me about<BR>10 yards, stopped with his fist up which signalled me that he had heard something. <BR>I silently moved up next to him near a scrub cedar tree, and could see in the<BR>faded moonlight someone moving in the thick bush. A cloud obscured the moon completely and now we had starlight from the eastern sky, and did not see where the movement went to. I signalled to Arkaeth with my hands that there was something shadowing us from behind also but I did not see them. These two movements in the bush were certainly no Orcs, or Orcish men as they are not that stealthy, so we agreed that whoever they are, they were wise to the way of the wild. But were they together? We did not know.<BR><BR>We went forward slowly and silently toward where the movement up front we had seen, and we were heading in the direction of our camp. Arkaeth passed a tall, gnarly<BR>cedar tree and the track changed somewhat, and he stopped, looking intently at the<BR>track. I stood looking at Arkaeth, then the tree, and then I looked up into the tree, but could not see anything as the light changed quickly with each passing cloud over the moon. Arkaeth went slowly forward toward our camp about 20 yards, but I stood as stone and stared into the tree, looking for sign. My senses told me there was something in that tree, but as the light went from bright half-moonlight to some starlight, but I could see nothing. Long I stood and stared. After a time, Arkaeth came back up the track he followed, and signalled me with his hands that whoever it was had visited our horses, and backtracked. Since we were within earshot of the camp, and could hear them carrying on normally in the distance, and the smell of cooking food was making its way through, we decided to return to camp.<BR><BR>Coming quietly into camp, Arkaeth secured the horses and kept them close to our<BR>camp. I told the others, “Whoever it is that is out there, they are wise in stealth. There are two, though only one was seen, and then only briefly.”<BR><BR>I then looked back from where we came into camp, and said, “I have half a mind to take my dwarf-axe and go back and fall that tree. I know they were up in it, though I could not see them.”<BR><BR>Arkaeth then said, “They checked our horses, though we were careless and carrying on as such, and did not hear them, but for our companion Jon here. And whoever it is had blundered in their otherwise quiet movement and let as twig snap.”<BR><BR>Elendur, Almarian, and Jon listened to all Arkaeth and I said, and finally, Elendur said, “We rode far today, and we were careless when setting camp, but now we need to keep quieter and listen hard, for we know we are not alone. But whoever it is that shadows us know we are here, so there is no need to dowse the fire or keep completely silent. Everyone must choose their words carefully when they speak, and if anything else need to be communicated, we use our hands.”<BR><BR>Everyone nodded in agreement, and Elendur set the watch for the night as<BR>Jon and he would be first, then Almarian would relieve Jon after two hours, then Arkaeth would relieve Elendur in two hours, then I would relieve Almarian in two hours. This way new eyes and ears were changed, and each would watch part time with someone else, as was standard for a Ranger company.<BR><BR>Elendur seemed to be the de-facto captain of our assorted crew, as he was<BR>though Halasìan’s junior, he rode most constantly with the Rangers over the<BR>years, and was wisest in all their customs, whereas Halasìan was of mixed blood<BR>through the generations, and though years of experience in many lands and cultures<BR>taught him well in the ways of the wild, at times he would make rash decisions that most often would do well for him and those he rode with, at times they would bode ill. So Halasìan was content to have some direction from Elendur.<BR>The moonlit clouds in the west sank away and the company prepared for a watchful night Elendur and Jon set their watch and checked their horses, and the others bedded down for the night until their watch time.<BR><BR><b>HELIONA:</b><BR><BR>Bryna watched and waited silently, until the people by the fire were occupied with changing watch. She climbed down the tree and crept closer to the sleek black mare. Soon, the horse became aware of her, and began to move uneasily. Bryna quietly calmed her with a few whispers. She noticed that the horse was still wearing her bridle. Bryna smiled. That would aid her in catching her.<BR><BR>Slowly she slinked closer to the mare. She knew that she was in the horse's confidence as her hand crept towards her bridle. She kept one eye on the three by the fire, but they seemed to not have noticed.<BR><BR>Bryna's hand closed on the wary mare's bridle, and, as soon as she had got her grip, and the horse realised what was happening, she reared up, flailing her hooves, and nearly stoving in Bryna's head.<BR><BR>Elendur and Jon had just woken Almarian to change watch when Almarian heard Finduilas' whinny of fright and saw the figure clinging desperately to her bridle.<BR>She stood up in a flash. "She's going to get herself killed if she's not careful!" she commented about the cloaked figure, as Finduilas was lethal with her hooves.<BR><BR>Jon looked at her, puzzled. "That's not a girl!"<BR><BR>Almarian grunted back at him. "Yes, it is! I know one when I see one!" She leapt across the fire, drawing her sword with a ring of steel as she did so, for she could see that the girl was gaining an advantage over her horse.<BR><BR>Almarian closed in on the girl so fast that she could not move, and brought her sword down swiftly, it whistling as she did so. She could hear Jon cry out, and Elendur gasp behind her. But her sword flew true, missing the girl's hand by a hair's breadth, cutting the reins which she clung onto. Finduilas reared up, shook her head, and spun away.<BR>The girl fell to the ground. Almarian put her sword to her neck. "So, are you going to tell me why you were trying to steal my horse?" she said coldly.<BR><BR>Arkaeth and Halasìan were awake now, having heard Jon's cry. Arkaeth and Jon stoked the fire, and Halasìan and Elendur approached the girl on the ground, coming up behind Almarian, looking grim and silent.<BR>
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heliona
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Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 12:02 pm

<b>WANDERING:</b><BR><BR>A fair and beautiful Silvan elf male entered from the trees. His hood was now up and his exquisite silver hair was hidden from its true length. He wore a carefully sewn Elven cloak of a light bluish hue. It was radiant yet seemed as if it blended with all that could and ever will surround it. He had a faint aura of power to him yet he was not in the least bit intimidating to the group for he walked out of the woods with his arms wide open in a sign of friendship. He was obviously not to hurt them.<BR>"Ahhh, finally some rangers... wait what ever is the matter?" He seemed to see the horse and the girl that had tried to steal it.<BR><BR>"Oh dear, I am afraid I have arrived at a bad time." The company seemed to ignore him but he continued talking anyway for he had learned that someone always listens.<BR>"Well anyway, my name is Legros Sestet. I am an elf from the Mirkwood region and I have came to find the aide of some rangers. You see there has been some strange things and some new Rangers in that area." The company started to listen still keeping an eye on the girl.<BR><BR>"I am not quite sure where, or if they still are there, but we all have felt them and many have seen their work. They are skilled yet wicked. We sense much evil in them. I have came to ask for your help or any knowledge of who these villains are. I had fought many a dark creature who had been friendly years past. Things are changing I tell you. And it is for the worst. It will start with my people and soon be yours. I ask you with the permission of my people for your help. I would like to aid you in whatever you wish to do as well if that is no bother to you. The rangers have long been close to us for they too know and love the wild. My brothers will you at least hear my plea. I know that only the Dúnedain can help us. So I ask of you please." The elf waited.<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>I, Halasìan went over and listened to the elf who had came out of the wood. It appeared that Almarian had the situation under control near the horses, with the aid of Elendur. I said to Legros, "Come, sit with us friend. It seems you were the shadow behind us as Arkaeth and I searched the wood. And that must be the one that was up the tree."<BR><BR>Since the party was awake and it was early morning, ere an hour past midnight, they sat by the stoked fire, and Almarian had the horse thief bound, and they stood. We counselled with Legros that we were bound for Rivendell, and other words would have to wait for those safe walls. Their attention then turned to the horse thief. I then asked the dark-eyed girl, "And what of you? What is your name? From where do you come? and why do you try to steal one of our mounts?"<BR><BR>She stared at the cold, hard face of Halasìan, and finally after losing the battle of the eyes, she said, "I am Bryna, I wander, and I have no horse."<BR><BR>In a slightly controlled fury, Almarian pulls Bryna close to her by the bonds and growls, "You touch my horse again, and I'll kill ya."<BR><BR>Arkaeth stood and said to Almarian, "Easy now....."<BR><BR>And they sat and discussed what to do with Bryna, and rested once again.<BR><BR><b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>The coarse bristly twine now saturated with congealed blood still tore savagely into Bryna's dark brown wrists. Almarian had not been mild and sweet tempered where any threat to Finduilas had been concerned.<BR><BR>Obstinate and sullen, Bryna glowered at her bindings; dimly aware of Almarian's ceaseless vigilance. The female Ranger's eyes had been glazed with pure venom.<BR>And an elf! Bryna's flesh crawled as though a horde of voracious red ants was gnawing holes through her spine.<BR><BR>Common travellers. Pah! Inwardly she cursed her own inanity. Why had she been so reckless? No- she had not been so foolhardy..she had underestimated the mare. A grave mistake - but far from predictable.<BR><BR>Her lack of experience with the pure steeds of Rohan had been her downfall. The almost hypnotic manipulation she held over most creatures had been totally ineffectual on the mare.<BR><BR>Now - time was disappearing. Still, she felt the obscure urgency, nagging her onwards. And - what was that name? 'Rivendell'- the word rang malevolently through the air the moment Halasìan had uttered it. The name incensed her!<BR><BR>Best they slay her now than she leave for Rivendell. Somehow, she sensed they would not kill her now. They did not know her purpose. She, herself, did not know the whole.<BR><BR>No - they would not kill her now - they would leave her to the elves. Baleful and glowering still, Bryna began to scheme her escape.<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>It came to be Halasìan's watch, but Almarian did not want to leave her captured horse-thief, so she stayed and watched also. Halasìan looked at Bryna, and said,<BR>"You thirsty? Here's some water."<BR><BR>And Bryna took it and gulped it down quickly, and passed the cup back. Halasìan then asked her, "You are part Haradian, no? I knew a Haradian once when I was in the south of Gondor. High-spirited people they are, and I see you are, going by your eyes."<BR><BR>Bryna glared at Halasìan as he walked away. She thought to herself, "So he knows of the Haradians in Gondor? He must like running in the rough."<BR><BR>Halasìan went over to Elendur, and they looked toward the sky. The darkness was starting to give way to the gathering light in the east. Halasìan said to him, "We have well over 200 miles to come to Rivendell, and we will have an unwilling passenger without a horse. I say we have need to make haste, and unneeded baggage will slow us down. Why don’t we leave the horse-thief here?"<BR><BR>Elendur thought of the words, and stared out toward the sunrise.<BR><BR><b>INNKEEPER:</b><BR><BR>Arkaeth awoke, before the sun had begun to rise. He found Halasìan and Elendur sitting quietly around the dying fire, wondering what to do with the recent horse thief Bryna.<BR><BR>Arkaeth grabbed a mug of steamy coffee from Almarian, thanking her. "What seems to be the news with your friend?" he nodded to Bryna.<BR><BR>Almarian's face darkened. "Halasìan seems to want to leave her behind. I cannot agree more."<BR><BR>Arkaeth frowned. He strode over to Halasìan and Elendur. <BR><BR>"Greetings, Arkaeth. Waken early, I see?" they said.<BR><BR>Arkaeth nodded, and then looked at Bryna. "What are we to do with her?"<BR><BR>"I am for leaving her behind." Halasìan said grimly.<BR><BR>"What?" Arkaeth cried. "Like this? Surely not. I can sympathise with Almarian about the horse incident, but don't you think that is too harsh?"<BR><BR>"She's a Haradian, Arkaeth." Elendur said lightly. "If you were in a circumstance like this amongst her people, they would not think twice before unleashing pain upon you."<BR><BR>Arkaeth set his jaw. "Yes, I know. I have seen it happen as well. The people of Harad are skilled at brutality and torture, like Orcs they have little mercy. But, I do not think we should leave her here. Maybe we can just give her a days worth of rations and set her loose. I doubt she will be able to keep up with us to cause any more trouble."<BR><BR>Elendur frowned. "We'll wait until everyone has woken, then we will decide what is to be done."<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>He waited until the last of the group had made their way back to the fire, and then followed himself. There was a tree across from the Dark Ranger. Wyoun put his back to it. Looking around he saw two men sleeping and remembering the tacks, he said, "One of your party is not here. Tell him to reveal himself. As for me, I am called Wyoun, and I am from a small town deep in Harad. I have heard reports from where I have just come from that there is a group known as Bloodcrows or the likes, and that they are Dark Rangers. If they truly exist, then I will try to join their numbers, as an apprentice. A warrior’s salute I give to you, Bloodtooth, though I have no love for you - never have I met anyone like you, and for that I respect you. As for the rest of you, I know not your names. It is not my way or up-bringing to be rude to friend or foe, but here in this group Ii deem that there are some fools, and if you wish to know more just ask me." Wyoun then waited for the last member to reveal himself.<BR><BR><b>RADAGAST:</b><BR><BR>Irgeroth looked over Wyoun, his eyes flecked with an eerie, cold fire, and the stranger then knew that this Dark Ranger had far more power than most mortal Men.<BR><BR>Bloodtooth loomed in the shadows nearby, while Daran awoke, perhaps startled by the noise. Gultar slept on, snoring to himself.<BR><BR>The Dark Ranger then asked, "You wish to join the Blood Crows - an interesting proposition. I know some of their ways, and I have contacts within their ranks, but I cannot say where they are now, or what plans they have." The last part was lies, of course, but Wyoun did not know that.<BR><BR>He continued, "I will speak to them about admitting you into their organisation, but first you must answer this question with complete honesty: whom do you serve?"<BR><BR>Wyoun was hesitant, of course, and Irgeroth pressed him for details, "They will not take anyone - surely you must realise that - and none become a Blood Crow simply out of desire to advance their own interests." He then placed his hand upon the crystal about his neck and again asked, "Whom do you serve? From the looks of it, you have a trace of the Shadow about you, but you do not seem to be directly in His service. Tell me the truth!"<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>Halasìan said to the group, "I say leave her here, as I think she would prefer it. I consider it not cruel, as I would leave her one of my waterbottles, and I have some dried meat she can have. It's just that she may thieve another on the east road, and that is the only reason I see for bringing her along. Either way, we need to make ready and ride."<BR><BR><b>ELENDUR:</b><BR><BR>Elendur spoke. "You are right, Halasìan. If we leave her she will just waylay the next group on the road. No, I think we need to take her to Imladris with us even though I feel that she may slow us down. She will ride in front of me and we will go as best we can."<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>"This I got to see." Halasìan said, "You best tie her down to your horse if you have her in front of you. If you get tired of her, she can ride with me."<BR><BR>And they all readied to ride with haste, and Bryna was in front of Elendur on his horse. We rode east on the East road with Weathertop standing tall in the sunrise horizon.<BR><BR><b>MCCAJUST:</b><BR><BR>Arlon steadily made his way towards the bridge crossing the river before the Trollshaws forest. The Weathertop hill far-off to his right.<BR><BR>Although he was a loner he was worried about the strange occurrences he had seen the past couple of days and was eager for news from other regions. He had decided to make for Rivendell in the hope of being granted entrance and council.<BR><BR><b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>Elendur's grey soon began to trail behind the others; the irksome burden of two riders began to tell with every motion.<BR><BR>Before long Halasìan slowed to a standstill beside Elendur, “Time to give your mount a rest, I trust.” Halasìan untied the apparently sleeping Haradrim thief and half dragged her to his horse, and threw her across its broad back, beginning to tie her down.<BR><BR>In an instant, before Halasìan had time to blink, Bryna bit fiercely into the flank of the horse, making it rear with frenzy, tearing itself away from Halasìan's loose grip on the bridle. The horse pivoted in its fear and galloped off wildly. Somehow, still tied, Bryna clung on desperately, her ankles and knees digging into the flesh of her mount.<BR>The horse, half crazed with fear and pain, tore past through the riders ahead and thundered off ahead through the trees.<BR><BR>Elendur roared, “The thief! Catch her! Almarian! Jon! Arkaeth! After her now! Halasìan, quick, behind me!”<BR><BR>Halasìan leapt behind Elendur, and the horse galloped off in the chase. Almarian and Arkaeth were momentarily confused, but Jon was after her like a hurricane.<BR><BR>The road twisted and turned like a foaming rivulet running down a steep mountain side. At every turn, Bryna felt that surely she would be flung to her death. This idea had been her worst yet. The rough stone and wiry grass beneath the horse, passed by with a sickening blur..every jolt and muscle ached with the exertion of keeping hold of the horse. Her wrists and ankles still burned painfully, her hands and legs felt achingly numb, yet still she dug herself into her mount, her knees and ankles barely aware that they were doing it.<BR><BR>She could hear the resounding roar of Elendur echoing in the distance, the confusing tumult of hooves behind her. And still the horse ran. Close behind was another mount, she could almost smell it's choking breath as Jon struggled to catch the berserked horse she rode.<BR><BR>The civilian. Ah! To be caught by the civilian! Bryna took a last gamble, she dug her knees fiercely into the horse's side and steadied herself, then again she bit the raw bloodied flesh of the horse's flank. The horse reared, again screeching in pain; it's eyes rolled madly. Bryna's binding began to tear loose, she slid down the back of the horse, her hands grasped the loose mane, her feet now trailing along the path, dragged by the ferocious gait of the horse.<BR><BR>Jon cursed. Halasìan's horse was fresher and younger than his, and half mad with pain and fright. Desperately it raced along the path, disappearing around the bend up ahead.<BR><BR>Bryna's boots were shredded by the stony path below, the stone now slicing through to flesh. Grimly, she gritted her teeth and held on. “Just stay in there!” she thought, “Do this right at least!”<BR><BR>The steed ran on and on. Dimly, she could still hear the sound of pursuit behind her. They were close on her trail. Her hold would not last much longer; the horse veered off, storming now along a grassy slope, leading down a steep bank to a stream. Bryna released her grip, and fell to the ground. The pain tore through her body, she could hear the crunch of bone. Even so, she lurched herself violently, rolling desperately down the sharp bank to the waterside. The horse, now free of its load, careered faster, off into the woods ahead, steam flaring from its nostrils.<BR><BR>Bryna continued her roll until she hit the stream. There she lay, half hidden in weeds and water, the sharp icy cold of the brook, numbing the pain in her back and her wrists.<BR><BR>She held her breath, and tucked her head below the shallow waters as Jon came thundering past along the bank, following the tracks and the sound of the riderless horse ahead.<BR><BR>Moments later, she heard more cursing and bellows as a stream of riders filed past into the wood. She waited till the noise dimmed into the distance, and then backed her reluctant body back towards the bank. Her elbow screamed in pain; but she doubted the bone was broken; her boots were split and ragged; her feet smeared with blood. And her hands - seared with the numbness of the ropes and the icy cold water. But - she had so little time.<BR><BR>Fortunately, the cords around her wrists had become looser with time and the reckless ride. There was now some movement between her wrists and twine. Her wrists were thick, but her hands quite slender; hence so skilled at thievery. She knew she could loosen her bonds. Frantic now, for signs of their return, she began to work her hands free. So numb, she could feel little pain, but blood flowed thickly down her wrists. At last, she was loose. She could hardly feel her hands on her dagger, no less as she struggled to cut the bonds around her feet. Why had the rangers not relieved her of her<BR>weapon? Luck was indeed with her.<BR><BR>Still, she could not hear the sound of the rangers return. Maybe they had decided to leave her for dead..or maybe the horse had run farther than even she had expected.<BR>Roughly, she dragged her screaming body forward along the stream. The tracks of her senseless roll down the bank were hidden by the wiry grass, springing back into place. She followed the stream bed, every footstep an agony, with each stone piercing her ragged feet.<BR><BR>The stream was narrow and followed along between two deep clefts in the hillside. The stream would hide her tracks, but she was still in view. She carried on, each step racked in misery. Faintly, she could hear the sound of hooves.<BR>In desperation, Bryna looked around for a place to hide. Further up the stream, she espied a huge tree, branching out above the stream. Bravely, she staggered on; the noise of pursuit quite plain behind her now.<BR><BR>On reaching the tree, somehow, with the strength, only known of sheer desperation, Bryna hauled herself onto the branch and upwards into the tree. Cunningly, she hid herself deep into its young foliage. Exhausted, she watched for the next turn of events.<BR><BR>Almarian and Arkaeth, with Legros sat behind him, now rode slowly into view, Jon behind them his head hung down as if in shame. They rode back up the hillside and onto the track above.<BR><BR>Almarian turned around: “Jon, what's wrong - you were magnificent - believe me, it's not your fault she got away.”<BR><BR>Halasìan and Elendur closed up behind him, “Nay Jon, it's I who am ashamed.” Halasìan barked. “I, who managed to let a lone horse thief trick me. I thought she was asleep - so dead she lay in my arms.” Jon looked up with sympathy, but still he looked abashed.<BR><BR>Halasìan soothed his frightened mount, his eyes still blazed with fury. “More importantly - do we track the accursed wretch down now or leave her for the wolves?”<BR><BR>Almarian said, “I agree! She cannot be far from the trail. When did you lose her Jon?” Her eyes remembered all too vividly the close attack on Finduilas.<BR><BR>“Listen all, listen,” Legros cried, “She is naught but a common thief. She is more likely half dead from the fall from the horse. She will be too weak to follow us now. And if she does appear - I will cut her cursed throat myself. But there is a far greater evil abound. Dare I say, we should not waste time hunting her down, but go at once to Rivendell. Your horse too, Halasìan, is gravely in need of attention. We have wasted enough time.”<BR><BR>“You're right, friend elf,” Arkaeth uttered, “though I hate to admit it! I would love to strangle the wretch myself.”<BR><BR>Halasìan looked on his trembling mount and had to agree with the elf. “Come, let us make haste for Rivendell, and hope and pray the wolves have a gristly meal of it tonight.”<BR><BR>As the noise of the Rangers disappeared into the still of the day, Bryna allowed herself to breathe easily again. She swore she would avoid those cursed Rangers like the plague.<BR>
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Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 12:04 pm

<b>ILUVATAR:</b><BR><BR>It had been a few weeks since Zenogais arrived in Middle Earth. He travelled from the Grey Havens and should soon be coming up on Bree. At night his speed was remarkable as he travelled in his wolf form, by day he travelled as a weary old man in tattered grey garments. He hoped he would not be mistaken for Olòrin the Istari.<BR>His mission was clear. He was a Maiar who took the form of a great white wolf and was sent to find a group of heroes and aid them in their quest against an evil that has been stirring in the lands.<BR><BR>Zenogais was now on his way to Bree to question the whereabouts of the heroes and to see if they passed through recently. It was growing dark now and although he didn't much need it, he decided to rest until midnight. Afterwards he would set out again until he came to Bree.<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>Halasìan was a bit pissed that the Haradian tried to steal his beloved black mare, Fleetwood. She was a wild filly running free in the Emnats of Rohan, she no more than two or three years of age. Ere 6 years ago when I travelled to the south, I spotted her and I tracked her. After much time and hardship, like being dragged up the Entwash for a mile or so, I subdued her to my will, but only barely, as she still has a high spirit. I'm sure she did not take kindly to getting bit, and she took off like she did on me those years ago.<BR><BR>Halasìan spoke to Fleetwood, "You Ok girl? I knew you wouldn't let her ride you. Come, drink here from this stream, then we ride again."<BR><BR>Halasìan then said to Arkaeth, "All would have been better if we left the wench at camp. Now she is worse off, as is Fleetwood. Let her rot....lets go to Rivendell."<BR><BR>And they set out again east down the Great East Road, though not as fast, as both Fleetwood and the other horses were tired from the run and chase. Halasìan said to the others, "We should make it halfway to the Last Bridge by nightfall, but I am for resting briefly along the way, and ride through the night to close the distance between here and Rivendell, and make a three day ride into a two day ride. What you say all?"<BR><BR>Almarian agreed, as did Legros, but Arkaeth and Elendur discussed between them the merits of Halasìan's counsels as we started to ride.<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>For a long time Wyoun locked eyes with the Dark Ranger. In some strange way he felt remotely akin to him. "The truth you say, I have never meet a man who ever cared for the truth, but as you have asked it and there is some long seeing about you and a dark wisdom too. Ok, yes you see aright. I have the Shadow of the East on me, I was under the care and training of a black Numenorean. His name I know not, but he himself said that he served the great darkness who is to return. As for myself, I have served myself in serving this Numenorean. This final command was I given: to be a thorn to the west. You say that they will not take just anyone. Well I am not just anyone, I am nobody to no-one, I am Wyoun of Harad, I am Wyoun slayer of an Elf-lord, I am Wyoun the hunted of Rangers - who have never come close to catching me, I am Wyoun the young and brave. They can take me and train me or they can kill me. There, you have kindled my fire, and it will not go out but by my death. I am loyal to the death. Once my loyalty is given, it is never taken back. Now I have said my part, but I am not blind. For the long seeing runs in my blood, there is another power here with you. Bring him forward and give me your judgement. I AM WYOUN.<BR><BR><b>HELIONA:</b><BR><BR>Of her own accord, Finduilas rode close to Halasìan's mount, Fleetwood. Almarian smiled gently, "She has a mothering soul! She mothered me these past few years, and I've no doubt that she fully intends to take care of Fleetwood as well!"<BR><BR>Halasìan smiled back at Almarian. "How did you get her? I know you did not have her when I last saw you."<BR><BR>"Just after you left, I was practising my newly learnt swordplay in the woods, and I came across her, injured. She was very young, and frightened. I managed to bandage her up where she was, and soon she trusted me enough to follow me back to the camp. Soon, when we left, she followed us, and has been with me ever since!"<BR><BR>Almarian looked at the bite mark on Fleetwood's shoulder. "I hope I never see that thief again, or she will wish she had never been born!"<BR><BR>Halasìan smiled. "Your mother's spirit is very strong in you, but, be warned, do not let it control you. Take heed of your father's advice and keep a cool head."<BR><BR>Almarian looked at the older Ranger fondly. "You always were good at telling me off without making me feel guilty!"<BR><BR><b>ELENDUR:</b><BR><BR>Elendur road near, smiled and said, "Well should you listen to the elder folk here, for we have gone many years in the wilderness and have gained much insight and knowledge. Thus may you live longer!"<BR><BR><b>RADAGAST:</b><BR><BR>Irgeroth smiled at Wyoun's words, for the fire of truth was in them - an evil fire, but truthful nonetheless. The Dark Ranger then asked of Wyoun, "You are indeed powerful, my friend, and you are a foe of the West. Both of these facts bode well in your favour, but there is one more question that you must answer. Do you serve Him - the Power of Bara-dur - or do you serve yourself and those who are loyal and fight by your side above all others?" <BR><BR>Irgeroth awaited Wyoun's reply, for this would be the greatest test of all...<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>Wyoun thought for a moment. The fire was raging in his heart. “It would only take one of these fools to be his servant, and get word back to him, and he would hunt me to the ends of Middle-Earth. I would almost welcome that, but I fear him not, and the die of my life is cast what ever way it goes.” <BR><BR>Wyoun had been striving in a mental contest with the Dark Ranger from the time they had met. He hoped that he had enough strength to hide these thoughts, but he was past caring. Finally Wyoun spoke, "I have, but I do not any longer. I do not serve fools. He is a power unto his own. His own counsel will he take, he wastes his best strength in folly, this is not the way of the future. So I am left with nothing, and no master and no family that I know of. If you say that I am powerful, then it is because I learn, and am teachable." He could not keep up this contest with this man. Wyoun wavered and fell..<BR><BR><b>INNKEEPER:</b><BR><BR>Arkaeth was quiet. Over the past few days he had been noticeably silent. He hardly talked, as he was lost in thought. His chin showed a growth of stubble on his weathered face, and he seemed not to care. The young man did not worry about his outward appearance. His thoughts often trailed off to his fiancée, and how he was forced to be away from her. He wished it was not so, but it was the life of a Ranger.<BR> <BR>At least now he had friends to talk with, instead of his normal lonesome journeys. Although Arkaeth sometimes fought with other Dúnedain, he was mostly active on his own. He preferred to be alone in his travels, as he trusted his own skills. But now it was better to have more than just himself to rely on. The people he was with were skilled, and he could trust them...<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>We rode quickly east along the Great East Road, and the trees grew taller and thicker as evening approached.<BR><BR>Elendur was riding close to me as Almarian pulled just a little ahead, while Arkaeth rode about 3 lengths ahead and watched. Elendur asked me, "So, what was so important that you had to stop at the Forsaken Inn the day we left Bree?" <BR><BR>I felt my breast pocket in my vest, and said, "This will have to wait until we get to Rivendell. That is why we should ride through the night." <BR><BR>Elendur looked at me for awhile, and then said, "Agreed, though we would need to take a rest of an hour or so, preferably near water so the horses can refresh." <BR><BR>So we rode until dark, and went off the north side of the road to a small creek that fed the Hoarwell River downstream, and we were close, but out of sight from the road, and we rested. For we were not yet to reach the Last Bridge, which I estimated was about 40 miles away from where we rest.<BR><BR><b>ELENDUR:</b><BR><BR>The party rested for about two hours and then began to ride at a more moderate pace along the road. <BR><BR>"Why do we not go faster if we are in such a hurry?" asked Jon. <BR><BR>"We cannot go at full speed all of the time or the horses will not survive." replied Elendur. "It will be better to go at this pace since we have no danger at the moment. We have almost 7 leagues to the Last Bridge and if we do have to move quickly the horses will be rested and be better able to carry us." <BR><BR>"But I thought that we needed to get to Rivendell as soon as we could." <BR><BR>Almarian now spoke. "That is true, Jon, but if we lose the horses, it will be a long, slow walk. Better to ease them while we may!" She sighed and looked at the other Rangers who nodded in agreement. She thought: It was a mistake to take him with us. I do not agree with Elendur and Halasìan in this. <BR><BR>A short while later she dropped back to where the two older rangers were riding. "I fear that Jon will be a great burden to us," she whispered. "Why did you allow him to come?" <BR><BR>"There really was very little choice." Halasìan said. "It was either take him or have him follow us." <BR><BR>Elendur nodded and said, "It would have been much worse if he was out there on his own following us. He would either be waylaid or else attract unwanted attention to us. At least, with him here, we can control what he does." <BR><BR>"Yes, I suppose you're right." she replied. "But if he keeps up with the inane talk, I might kill him myself." <BR><BR>Both Elendur and Halasìan looked at her and smiled as she moved forward to catch up with Arkaeth. <BR>
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Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 12:06 pm

<b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>Heading south on the Greenway road just outside of Bree were two Dwarves.<BR><BR>"Dungle, I don’t know why you had to go and kill that squinty-eyed fellow and go and get us both kicked out of that Inn like that. I was enjoying that mug o’ beer. The first bit o’ quiet that I get in weeks and you have to wreck it on me!!! And I don't care if you think that he smelled kind of Orcish. Dumbhead should be your name. And, any way, on top of that, I think that you smell like an Orc on heat." <BR><BR>Steaming with rage, Dungle turned on Bungle. "Me, an Orc on heat, ye say. Well, you are filth that Orcs pass out their bums." <BR><BR>With that, the identical brothers lunged at each other. The fight was tame, compared to most that they had had in the past. There were feet, knees, headbutts, and fists flying everywhere. Time past, and then some more did. At last they both just stopped, got up, and started walking again. The cuts, black eyes, bloody noses, cracked ribs, and busted lips would heal. Dungle turned to Bungle, "Nice day for a walk, brother." "Yes, lovely." They walked on...<BR><BR><b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>The dusky twilight shadows had now evaporated into the dark emptiness of night. Alone, in the eerie stillness, Bryna remained - close to the spot where she had flung herself off the mare Fleetwood. Lying securely in the middle of a sprawling chestnut tree, she had slept through most of the day. The soreness of her limbs had made movement slow and unwieldy. She had, however, managed to catch three small Blackfish from the stream with naught but her bare hands; her fine-honed skill compensating for her impaired condition. The effort had taxed her though – she would not be fit to travel for a couple more sunsets. <BR><BR>Down below from her treetops perch, Bryna suddenly heard a faint rustle of leaves, the mildest crunch of deadened branches underfoot. She froze - her dark glare penetrating the blackness for the merest hint of movement. There. Near, what daylight knew as the grassy bank, below a thicket.. a black shape slunk along. Bryna strained her eyes in the gloom. And there – another. Abruptly, a bloodcurdling howl sliced through the murkiness of the night. The wolves had come.<BR><BR><b>RADAGAST:</b><BR><BR>Irgeroth watched Wyoun slump to the ground. He waited a moment longer and then sighed heavily, taking a seat on a nearby rock. He spoke to the unconscious form, "You are indeed powerful, but you still have much to learn..." <BR><BR>The Dark Ranger then snapped at Ortar, "Quickly take this man to the fire and keep an eye on him. When he awakes, give him food and drink. He will not harm you - of that I am certain." <BR><BR>Ortar swallowed hard and nervously obeyed his master. Irgeroth then went to Daran and spoke to him, saying, "This man could be a valuable asset to us, if his loyalty can be assured. For now, tell him nothing of our greater plans. In time, he may earn the right to know. First, we will have to see what shape he is in when he returns to the world of the living." <BR><BR>Daran agreed and said, "I will trust your judgement in this, for I do not know the ways of your kind. Still, he has not said all, though I sense that he has already told you much more than he wished. Trust him not! At least not yet..." <BR><BR>Irgeroth flashed a wicked smile and said, "Don't worry - I trust no one!" <BR><BR>Later that night, Wyoun stirred and came to. Irgeroth was already waiting for him. The Dark Ranger spoke, "You have impressed me, Wyoun, with your will power. For that, I grant this token of the Blood Crows." <BR><BR>Irgeroth then handed Wyoun a strange ring. It was of black metal and adorned with carvings of feathers - crow feathers, to be precise. A ruby was set in its centre. Oddly, the ring seemed to fit the finger of whoever wore it, and Wyoun took it for his own. He then replied, "So, you are one of them, aren't you?" <BR><BR>Irgeroth said, "It would be better to say that I represent them and their interests, and the latter is more pressing right now. If you wish to join us, you must promise to tell no one of what you have seen until I give you permission to do so. Even if you don't take this oath, speaking of such things may prove unpleasant in the long run." <BR><BR>Wyoun nodded and Irgeroth went on, "Right now, I will simply tell you that we are heading westwards, over the Anduin and past the fields and groves south of Lorien. We will then pass around the southern horn of the Misty Mountains and skirt Fangorn. I can tell you know more." <BR><BR>Wyoun said nothing, but simply asked, "I will agree to your terms." <BR><BR>Irgeroth smiled and stated, "Then I suggest you get some sleep, for we have a long march in the morning."<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>Wyoun past the night in deep thought. No one had ever given him anything for nothing, yet this ring was wonderful and had something about it. He thought to himself, “And this man I now believe may indeed be a Dark Ranger himself, and by the gift of the ring he is just trying to lower my guard, but I do not think so. As for Bloodtooth, it is the way of his race to trust no one, but he was so unlike any of his race that I have ever encounter before.” The rest, he cared not for, but his loyalty given, he would defend or kill any that Irgeroth commanded to, for this man was wise, powerful, and had a type of honour and nobleness of blood about him. <BR><BR>Two hours before dawn, Wyoun got up, nearly fully recovered.. Bloodtooth and Irgeroth were across the camp talking. They both looked at him and continued their very low conversation.. Wyoun spent some time on his sword and in the practice of moving silently. His hidden knife he did not remove. Wyoun then packed his gear and smelt, then ate some cold meat that was laying near the dead fire.<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>The night had past almost without incident. In the deep of night, Dungle had for some reason had a dream about fighting a legion of Orcs, and in the ensuing battle he gave himself a bloody nose, which woke him up. He had sat bolt upright on his bed roll, "Um, what? That'll fix em!"<BR><BR> But that was many hours ago and they were on the road again now, after having had some breakfast, and a fight because Bungle could not explain the dried blood on his brother’s face. Dungle had said that Bungle had tried to kill him in his sleep, to which Bungled replied that if he had tried to kill him in his sleep, he would be dead by now.<BR><BR>They finally agreed that this was true, but not before Dungle gave his brother a bloody nose to match his. They were making good progress and Bungle sang himself a song, "I am good, I know I am, nobody tells me, but I know it’s true...."<BR><BR> Dungle looked at his brother and shook his head, thinking that he may have to beat some sense into his younger brother before the end of the day. They walked on together, and in their hearts loved each other in their own way.<BR><BR><b>WANDERING:</b><BR><BR>The elf had let down his hood and his beautiful silver hair was flowing lightly in the breeze. He had a calm sense of peace in him. He spoke to the group <BR>"I hope for a safe road to Rivendell. Yet I tell you the shadows in Mirkwood will be looking for us. We must be wary. At times I feel dark things taking place far away. I dream I see black crows or maybe Ravens talking to each other as if they were but not birds. They feast on pools of blood. I know not what it means but there is something distant, growing. The sooner we get to Rivendell the better off we shall be. I fear that this force will soon enough meet us."<BR>he was still calm. He sensed fear, or maybe treachery among the group. He had heard the name Jon back far away for thus were the skilled ears of elves. He was not the type to intervene but he need keep a good eye out. If being attentive can prevent a good knife in the night he would do so. Yet he figured he was misinterpreting the situation. <BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>The brothers made camp, tomorrow they would cross the Greyfold. The day had been mostly uneventful except for the three or four fights that they had with each other all of which Bungle lost. But it was just on sundown when they spied an Eagle flying swiftly across the sky from NW toward Lorien, Fangorn or Mirkwood, this was the gem in Bungles day for he truly loved these great birds. <BR>they had caught some rabbits earlier in the day and where now cooking them for their dinner...<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>We rode on towards the Last Bridge and daylight, and the shadows in the wood were strange in the waning moonlight. Arkaeth for the most part rode just ahead of Almarian, and Elendur and I rode together about 5 lengths back. As the moon set and there was some hours before morning light, Arkaeth dropped back, and said to Elendur, <BR>"I am going to ride behind for a bit. Almarian will ride point for awhile." <BR>Elendur nodded in agreement, and Arkaeth dropped back behind about 5 lengths behind Legros and Jon. I rode up ahead next to Almarian and said, <BR>"You be alert now. Though the road has been fairly quiet, danger can strike at the most unsuspecting times." <BR>Almarian glanced over at me and her eyes shone as her mother's did when I last saw her. As I dropped back a few lengths, It was then I realised that her mother had given up her spirit to her daughter at birth, and she lives still with the spirit of Anganaur, who passed to Almarian through the sword. I know now that Almarian will be an able and wise woman, if the stray moves of youth do not rebel against the spirits of her parents, and she is met with early death. No, I sense she will do well. It was then that she pulled up Finduilas and held her fist in the air, and we all pulled up quickly. Almarian whispered, <BR>"Do you see it?" <BR>We all stared down the road in the direction that Almarian pointed, but we could see nothing. She whispered, <BR>"Its there, I can see it." <BR>And she started to move slowly ahead. I was starting to think the girl was being a little too cautious, when I saw what she saw. Almarian stopped her horse, and grabbed a long, thin silvery woven strand that crossed the road at roughly the neck level of a typical Ranger. Its strength was enough to slit the neck of a rider who rode even at average speed. Elendur went to one end of the strand, while I went to the other end. It was skilfully tied at both ends, and we wondered who was responsible. Arkaeth looked at the strand as we cut it down and he gathered it up in his hand. He had a stunned look on his face, wondering if he would have been able to see it if he was riding point, or if he would have just rode into it. He said, shaken, <BR>"I wouldn't have seen it." <BR>I remounted Fleetwood and said also, <BR>"I wouldn't have seen it either." <BR>"Nor I" said Elendur. <BR>I looked over at Almarian who was still surprised that she saw it, she said, <BR>"I don’t know if I would have saw it, but for it being at my eye level." <BR>Jon and Legros watched all this closely, and a look of recognition was on Legros's face. <BR>I said to Almarian as we started riding slowly down the road, <BR>"I think it was more than that. You have a keen eye in the dark, and you will only hone this skill. Tell me, what made you stop us? You didn't really think about it, you just did it, right? You are a fine Ranger already, Almarian." <BR>And we went a little farther, and stopped for a quick rest before sunrise.<BR>
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Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 12:08 pm

<b>WANDERING:</b><BR><BR>It is our silent attackers. They watch us as they saw me leave Mirkwood. I was not followed too closely but I know they were there, distant and haunting. I know not a name but I warn you all that it is growing. Soon they will be bold enough to strike bluntly and it is then I will be of help. They know not what powers and skills I have. They believe I bluff but my masters were great and thus am I. Never shall they regret looking down upon the sole heir of the Sestet family riches. My parents sit at home now not afraid for they only got the best for me. I will help you all go where you wish, at least as far as Rivendell. There we shall find more and if we are lucky, a name."<BR>The people looked at the blue cloaked fair elf. He was obviously rich from the quality of the cloak and the runes upon it. Yet they doubted his power was as how he spoke. Yet they too would not underestimate a person. He did not care if they believed him. The followers seemed too uncaring about his leaving. They were underestimating him and would regret it in due time.<BR><BR><b>JON GOATLEAF:</b><BR><BR>After travelling for weeks they finally made it to the Last Bridge. <BR>Arkaeth stops to examine the surroundings. <BR>"There is no token on the bridge. Master Elrond is not expecting us." <BR>From his seat on his horse Jon asks Arkaeth: <BR>"Where are we, friend? I know this is the Last Bridge, from your conversation, but what is this river, and the forest beyond?" <BR>"The river is Mitheithel, or Hoarwell I should say. The forest is called the Trollshaws, or in Old Westron, Yfelwood, and it is home to a good number of Trolls." <BR>"Trolls? That's just old wives' tales. Trolls are just as real as a hairless Dwarf!" <BR>"I'm afraid you have much to learn about the ways of the world, friend Goatleaf," said Arkaeth, "Trolls, and Goblins as well, are as real as you or I." <BR>"Well, I'll believe you when I see one," says Jon.<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>The brothers had made good time. <BR>They had crossed the GreyFlood many hours ago. They had gone all day without a fight, but one was brewing, because for the whole day Bungle had not stopped yapping about the greatness of the Eagles. They were just passing through a lightly wooded area, and Dungle was just about to belt Bungle a good one, when they both stopped dead still. <BR>At that moment two groups of Orcs crashed through the woods. <BR>They were lead by a great Half-Orc each. The brothers turned and charged catching the Orcs off guard completely. The fighting was very fierce but the brothers tired not, and fought on. Soon it was the brothers and the captains. Bungle killed his first. The Orc was not too bad with his slashing blade. Time and time again, axe and sword clashed, steel on steel, and sparks flew. The Orc's blade nicked Bungle above his left eye. The blood flowed. "You bleed good, tonight I feed on dwarf meat. Hahaha." At that, Bungle lost it. "Not this dwarf you won’t, you cross-eyed maggot-breeding scum." The Orc raised his sword and brought it down with all his strength at Bungle’s head. At the last moment Bungle moved, and the sword thudded into the ground and stuck there. The two locked eyes. Bungle whispered, "You’re dead," and the Orc’s head left his neck. Bungle looked over towards where Dungle was. It was great. The Orc had his back to him. He heaved back on his axe and let it fly. It sailed through the air. The Orc moved. The axe kept on going and nearly took Dungle’s head off. Both Orc and dwarf were shocked, but the Orc recovered first, due to Dungle’s great rage.<BR>The great Orc kicked Dungle in the guts and winded him, and then chased after Bungle, who, for some unknown reason, started squealing like a pig and yelling for help. Dungle got his breath back and yelled, “I hope he kills you, you dunghead!” and then raced after and killed the Orc as it chased his brother. That done, they beat up each other. After some time, they searched the bodies of twelve Orcs but found nothing of interest except a bit of cloth with a white hand on it. This they packed away. And they put many miles behind them and the bodies. At night fall they made camp and got a fire going. That night they heard wolves, and guessed that they were eating their fill.<BR><BR><b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>Bryna gagged and retched. The foul, rancid stench of rotting carrion and animal sweat permeated the air. Her head still swam blearily. A dull ache clenched and pounded the base of her skull as if she were being held in an iron-hand grip; she could feel a warm, glutinous fluid matted into her scalp. Groggily, she opened her eyes. Orcs! Orcs Everywhere! Mystified and anxious now, Bryna desperately tried to focus her thoughts… <BR>-------- <BR>She remembered the wolves – dark slinking forms circling the tree, now and then the menacing glint of yellow, feral eyes or the grim white fangs shining through the darkened night. The spine quivering howls resonating through the foliage. Then, the great, shadowy creature extending it’s rapier claws up the trunk, it’s jaw wide open and menacing; it’s blood-red tongue lolling as if the wolf were laughing in it’s play. Her memory of pleasured pain, as her lacerated foot thrust a cruel blow into it’s smiling muzzle, splitting the bone asunder, the wolf yelping in bemused pain. Savage and fierce in response the remaining wolves had leapt at the tree, stripping away bark and ancient tree limbs, with the malicious ease of children tearing away legs and wings from agonised insects. <BR>Mesmerised, Bryna could only observe the inevitable devastation of her hide-out by the perpetual ripping and slashing motion of sharp claws searing through wood. Heart in her mouth, lungs caved in apprehension, Bryna had waited, prepared for her fate. A fearful crack had then split through the air with a deafening thunder. The wolves interrupted from their sport had backed away despondent and resentful, lips curled defiantly at the intruders. Orcs! Crimson slits for eyes penetrated the gloom of the night. The lead Orc thrashed air and wolf alike with a bloodied whip. Before Bryna had even comprehended her further predicament, thick, hairy, claw-like hands dug into her ankles and tore her viciously from her mutilated hideaway. Gleaming, bloodied wolf teeth had pounced into her flesh, before, yet again the Orcs drove the hideous creatures away from her marginally gored torso. The lead Orc had turned to Bryna, its slavering fangs encrusted in a thick blackish blood; its nauseating, acrid odour pervading her nostrils like burning sulphur. Bryna, defiantly scrambled up on her feet, her dagger bared savagely. A sure clean death by wolves would have been preferable to torture, and worse, by these fell beings. She would die fighting…she would..…then, then….there was only sharp raw pain and blackness; a deep enveloping void cocooning her into impenetrable dark. <BR>------ <BR>They had not killed her yet then. Just a savage blow to the back of her skull. Why? Would she be an item useful for the Orcs dark pleasure and torment maybe? She had no idea where she was –some darkened cave or hide-out she surmised. Bryna felt a deep hunger; she had been unconscious for days perhaps? At her side was a black viscous liquid, and a charred vole or rabbit. Warily, she tasted the liquid - fiery and burning it tore down her throat. Bryna gagged and spluttered – but the fluid seeped downwards as if a forest fire raged deep within her, burning through every muscle and sinew. The liquid was brackish and foul, but she felt her strength enlivening. Ravenously, Bryna tore through her food, and then turned to look at her captors. The nearest Orc was watching her with dark gratification, fangs drooling, it’s blood-red, lynx-like eyes, calmly menacing. At his side hung her dagger, and round his thick, black leathery neck, hung her pouch with the jet-black stone. The Orc leered closer, she could feel it's warm, fettid breath on her skin, ‘Shall we play now?’ ... the words sent shivers like ice shards..deep into Bryna’s soul.<BR><BR><b>WANDERING:</b><BR><BR>Legros Sestet had been through these lands many a time. He knew the reality of Trolls and such but if they decided to attack Legros could at least handle them. He feared for the member Jon who had little experience of the wild and thus could be a wild card in battle. He could die or fight very well, there was little in between yet the odds pointed that Breelanders would not fight that well. He would protect his friends. <BR>"We must be careful." That was all he said to his friends<BR><BR><b>RADAGAST:</b><BR><BR>As the others reached the Last Bridge, Irgeroth and his band had arrived the Anduin River, and they walked like ghosts under the sky. Long had they worked to evade the eyes of the Elves that walked the lands between Lorien and Mirkwood, and they had succeeded in passing unnoticed. <BR>The Dark Ranger was in the lead, Daran followed. Flanking them were Gultar and Ortar. Wyoun brought up the rear, and Bloodtooth scouted far ahead for the company. <BR>It was past sunset now, and the skies in the west were lit afire with streamers of crimson and gold clouds. The first stars of night winked into being and their cold light reflected the cold evening. <BR>As they approached the River, Irgeroth cautiously led them down a crumbling bank that was less steep than most. Far downstream, great granite cliffs would rise up and surround the Anduin, but here the walls were not as steep and were still carpeted with patches of grass and gnarled willows that huddled in the lee of large stones. The party made their way down the banks into the darkness that lay within the deepening riverbed. <BR>The river roared loudly and the failing sunlight flickered here and there on the foam. A small shore of gravel and mud lay along the river's edge, and a shadow stood there, waiting. It was in the shape of a man, but it moved not and seemed to blend into the darkness. <BR>Irgeroth approached the shadow and revealed an amulet that hung about his neck. It was small and relatively hard to notice, and it was composed of little more than a small ruby set upon a black steel crow feather. To any but the shadow, it would have meant nothing. <BR>The ghostly figure nodded at the sight of the amulet, he stepped aside and walked upstream a short distance. A boat was hidden in the hollow of a mouldering rock, and it was large enough to take the party across the River in two trips. The shadow said not a word, but merely pointed at the boat and then stepped aside. <BR>Irgeroth's party then crossed the Anduin, and the shadow rode the boat in the second trip. He then hid the vessel on the far side of the River should Irgeroth need to return in haste across the River. <BR>The Dark Ranger and his allies then disappeared into the scrublands, invisible to the eyes of their foes and friends alike...<BR>
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heliona
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Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 12:10 pm

<b>WANDERING:</b><BR><BR>Legros waited acknowledgement of his warning but all his friends seemed to ignore it. He sighed and walked on.<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>The brothers put many miles, fights and laughs behind them, but they had meet no more Orcs, although the sounds of wolves was growing in number, and mainly at night. <BR>"Dungle, I do not like wolves. No way, I do not like'em. Can we make for the mountains and cut through that big forest on the other side?" <BR>"Ok, Bungle, but we will make camp here tonight, and travel there in the light of day. I don't much like'em too brother."<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>Wyoun was totally amazed at what had just transpired. He could hardly wait to get accepted by the Bloodcrows, and start his training, may be even under Irgeroth, if he proved to be one of them. And he was sure that he was, no matter what he said. “And a powerful member of their number too, I can feel it.”<BR><BR><b>HELIONA:</b><BR><BR>Almarian heard Legros' advice, but she was too deep in her own thoughts to acknowledge it. She was wondering how she had managed to see the rope. She noticed Halasìan watching her, and thought that he perhaps knew more about herself than she did. <BR>Almarian knew that her talent had increased the respect that the others had for her, but she wished to know what this "talent" had in store for her. <BR>She remained alone, aside from the others, deep in thought, although her senses were finely tuned to Finduilas' reactions and to her surroundings. <BR><BR><b>ELENDUR:</b><BR><BR>Elendur looked at the others and said, "It was fortunate for us that Almarian is so sharp in her lookout abilities. It is a very fine line and it would seem to me that it was put here for our coming." <BR>Halasian moved forward examining the line. " I have not seen this before but my heart tells me it comes from the servants of the enemy." <BR>"I would agree but it also appears to have some Elvish quality and that troubles me. What do you think, Legros?" <BR>The elf came forward and looked carefully at the material. "Definitely a tool of the enemy ," he said, "but made to look Elvish. There are more than Orcs about, let us move as quickly as we may."<BR><BR><b>WANDERING:</b><BR><BR>The elf looked at the rope one more time before they left. It seemed from Mirkwood or of perhaps Elven make though. <BR>"I think it may be from Mirkwood but I am not sure. The fine fibres do look like Elven origin. If so then this is proof it is the work of the same enemy I warned you about." Legros signalled for them to advance farther. <BR>"We must be very careful. As I said, there are worse things than Orcs. Let us only hope we reach Imladris before they find us. The next trap we may not be as lucky."<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>And we moved warily down the east road after out short rest.<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>We moved quietly but quickly, and no incidents happened since the wireline across the road. The horses were tiring so we stopped for the time and rested ourselves too. We wanted to make it to Rivendell, but the going slowed with the danger and it seemed the road was made longer.<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>Daylight came and the Rangers with Jon and Legros stopped to rest their horses, and would hope that they could reach Rivendell in 2 days, because they would not be able to push their horses much more. The sun broke over the horizon, and the warmth felt good. Almarian laid out on the grass covered in morning dew and stretched, and went to sleep. She has grown into a beautiful woman. Arkaeth sat away from the others and stared down the road. I went and stood and worked the stiffness out of my bones and leaned against a tree, and kind of snoozed while standing. Elendur and Jon talked about things I couldn't make out, and Legros was looking at the trees and toward the sunrise. I hoped this would be a good day, and we would make many miles. I thought of my wife, and wondered where my son was. For he went to Dol Amroth to live by the sea, and cared for me not. He had good reason, as I was never around when he grew up. One day I was there and he was a small boy on my knee, the next time I see him he is a young man, and hated me. It was my fault. Word had it that he took to the sea, and sailed in a ship that any man of Numenor proud. Maybe I see him sometime and he won’t hate me so much....<BR><BR><b>RADAGAST:</b><BR><BR>Irgeroth and his company had now entered the scrublands that bordered the eastern edge of Fangorn Forest. All had gone well so far, but the Dark Ranger was nervous. He had heard legends of strange things that lived in these woods - things that looked like trees and fought like giants. He doubted all such legends, of course, and he would rather take his chances with the ghosts of old-wives tales than with the Riders of Rohan. Still, he was uneasy as the day went on and sunset came again. <BR>The trees loomed up on the edge of the woods, and they seemed to lean outwards over the nearly lost dirt path. There was something strange in the air - a sort of energy or power that seemed dormant for the moment. The wind was still, yet the leaves rustled on the trees now and again, as if the limbs moved on their own. <BR>Irgeroth passed through the scattered trees that lined the edge of the woods, and Daran and Wyoun followed. Bloodtooth paused for a moment, but he went on. But Ortar and Gultar slackened their pace as the trees towered overheard. <BR>Gultar said, "Master, there is something evil about these woods. Must we take this path?" <BR>Irgeroth replied, "Nay, it is not evil, but a sleeping power - one that I sense is ancient and no longer concerned with the world. We should be able to pass it by without harm, but do nothing to anger it!" <BR>Ortar said, "Uh, what would anger the woods?" <BR>"Do I have all the answers? Just don't cut down the trees with those firewood axes you have." <BR>The dark company said no more as they passed into Fangorn...<BR><BR><b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>The rhythmic motion of Orc feet tramped on and on into day and night, seldom stopping, seldom resting. Bryna was carelessly tossed from Orc to Orc as the horde marched Southwards towards Tharbad and the Greyflood. <BR>Bryna barely cared; she was cold and numb, the spark in her eyes had faded beyond recognition. Now a mere plaything for the Orcs, her glazed eyes saw nothing but the incessant advancing feet. <BR>Even the downy meadows bursting with fragrant wildflowers and the thick heady perfume of yellow gorse, formed naught but a vague impression upon her. Dimly, she could sense the proximity of her jet-stone. That, at least, kept some semblance of humanity left in her vacuous soul.<BR><BR><b>MCCAJUST:</b><BR><BR>Arlon was weary after travelling non-stop in the direction of Rivendell. He was in a hurry to get to Rivendell but even his dwarven stamina was depleted and he had to rest. He estimated that he was just over a day's travel away from his destination. Soon he hoped to receive news and maybe offer assistance in addressing the evil that he felt was brewing if he could trust his instinct and the strange things that he has seen.<BR><BR><b>WANDERING:</b><BR><BR>Legros Sestet glared at the sun in the distance. It was so beautiful. the truth of the day was in the glowing sphere. It was the beginning of so much. the new day would be a good one like any other. Yet Legros sat and wondered if perhaps the events that transpired in the day would not be as good. He could only hope. He need just be ready and hope everyone is going to reach Rivendell. <BR>"I do long to see Imladris again. It is so beautiful a place. Many a tale can be sung there and many a poem left echoing in its halls. Oh I say it is a gorgeous place indeed!" <BR>Legros felt so much as if he did not know his companions. He was like the thread trying to pierce the eye of a needle. The group of friends he wanted to enter was tight and solid with such a small space to fill. Only skilful hands could enter such a thing and many grow tired in the process. He was always used to being so liked and it was different of him to feel so alone with these people.<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>Bungle turned to his brother, "Before we go to the mountains I have to do something."<BR>"What?” complained Dungle.<BR>"Um, number twos," groaned Bungle. <BR>"I should give you two punches in the nose. Well, what are you waiting for? Hurry up." <BR>Bungle walked a little way of the road. And Dungle walked over behind some trees. After a short while, Dungle heard an all too familiar sound.. It was Orcs at play and they were coming fast, all fifteen of them, of which their leader was a massive brute. They were tossing a human to and from each other as they went. They were drawing level with him when it came, and it came as clear as a bell. <BR>A gruff dwarven voice, "Orcs, die you!"<BR>The Orcs dropped their package hard on the ground. It did not move. They spun around, expecting to see a group of dwarves, but all that they saw was a lone half-naked dwarf with his pants around his ankles, waving a mighty axe. Then he fell over. They laughed in their evil way and advanced on Bungle, who was now doing up his belt. <BR>Then in a rage, with fire and death in his eyes, he fell on the Orcs and they were caught in the Hammer of the Ironhead twins. <BR>It was a slaughter; the brothers had won, but were badly hurt. <BR>Bungle cut the bonds off the human, "Hey, brother, it’s a young human male." Dungle slapped his brother in the back of the head and said “It's got breasts." "Wow, I never heard of a man with breasts that’s.…ouch," cried Bungle, as Dungle poked him in the eye. "A human with breasts is a woman!!" yelled Dungle. <BR>"Oh, yes like mum, now I remember..." whispered Bungle.<BR>They then made a great fire and stripped the Orcs and burnt the bodies. The brothers tended their wounds, and then the wounds of the young lady, and lastly they put a special dwarf ointment on her feet and bound them with clean bandages. The night passed, and in the morning the lady stirred. She would soon return to the land of the living and the world of the hurt. The brothers waited and watched.<BR><BR><b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>Bryna opened her eyes to see a strange dwarf with an incredibly bulbous nose, grinning down at her. She blinked. Was she so far gone - she was hallucinating? The orc had turned into a Dwarf?? She turned her gaze, to see another dwarf, surely his double and there, behind, a smoking stack of foul matter. <BR>‘What do you want with me?’ she murmured. <BR>‘She’s awake, she’s awake’ Bungle clapped his hands and danced a jig around Dungle. Unfortunately, he struck Dungle’s chin with his foot and tripped. The next minute, the bloodied brothers set upon each other with an unusual ferocity. Dungle emerged the victor, squashing Bungle down and restraining him with an armlock. Bungle squealed for mercy. Dungle rapt in the glory of his battle prowess, loosened his grip, to find Bungle had leapt on his back and was now trying to ride him as a pony. The battle raged on until Bungle chortled uproariously, and the two brethren dissolved into fits of hearty laughter. <BR>Bryna stared at them, dumbstruck. <BR>‘Are you well lady-man? ‘ giggled Bungle. <BR>‘Yes, how are you?…we killed the orc scum…look they’re dead – all burned…you’re free,’ laughed Dungle hopping on each leg in turn for the sheer hell of it, until he lost balance, toppling over and unintentionally rolling into the still smouldering ash-pile. <BR>‘I’m on fire, I’m on fire’ he yelped, cartwheeling away from the mound, Bungle slapping him with a rag to douse his fiery behind. <BR>Most people would have been on the floor, sides aching with laughter at the riotous pantomime. Bryna was too far locked within the terror of her mind to even smile. ‘My amulet?’she whispered darkly ‘where is the pouch?’ <BR>Dungle stopped (his pants now de-flamed and full of holes) and stared at Bryna in pity and remorse for his own foolery. He had no dwarf-potion to remedy a tortured soul. <BR>Bungle silently handed her a pouch, he had recovered from the orcs and was going to keep for himself. The stone inside was dull but smooth and pretty and felt warm to touch. The scrap of paper showed a diagram of a dagger and a map of some kind – but he knew not where, and could not read the inscriptions. <BR>Bryna grabbed the pouch and secured it around her neck. She still clasped the pouch as tightly as a child smothering a favourite toy. She backed away uncertainly from the seemingly insane dwarves. Her body somehow felt wholesome and she could see her feet had healed. She must have been out cold for days for such healing, yet she didn’t feel hungry. <BR>Dungle and Bungle looked at each other and shook their heads, almost banging them together ‘You need to be made better –yes? You still sick. We will take you to great medics,’ Before Bryna could move, Dungle and Bungle gathered her up, half carrying her and set off walking at a fair pace. If Bryna had guessed the proposed ‘medics’ were healers at Rivendell, she would have been hysterical. As it was, her mind confused, her spirit crushed, she allowed the Dwarves to sweep her away, her hand still cradling her pouch.<BR>
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heliona
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Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 12:13 pm

<b>HELIONA:</b><BR><BR>Almarian awoke sometime later, when the morning sun shone onto her face. She looked around and stretched. She saw Halasìan on watch, and Elendur and still conversing. Legros appeared lost in thought. Arkaeth was off to one side, deep in thought. <BR>Almarian stood up, and walked over to the young Ranger. Sitting down beside him, she said, "Tell me about her." <BR>Arkaeth started, and looked at her, puzzled. <BR>"Your fiancee. It is her you are thinking about, is it not? Perhaps speaking about her will ease your pain." Almarian looked at Arkaeth, her face full of compassion. "You can trust us, you know. You're not alone anymore." <BR>Arkaeth smiled slightly, and nodded, and began his tale.<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>Halasian discussed their progress with Elendur and they checked the horses hooves for any possible damage. Arkaeth was looking depressed, and Almarian went and sat with him, and they talked. The morning sun was quickly warming the air, and it felt good. We chewed trail rations and wanted dearly to make it to Imladris without further incident. We were ready to ride, but we didn't want to disturb the nice conversation that Almarian and Arkaeth were having. Jon was wondering if we were ever going to get to Rivendell, and probably wished he never left the comforts of Bree. Legros decided to come and talk with Elendur and I, and we talked much of the ways of elves and men.<BR><BR><b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>The morning shone fair and clear. Arlon crossed a quaint wooden bridge into another meadow and followed the path around to the right, parallel to the woodland edge. He passed a profusion of spring grasses and meadow flowers such as Scabious, Ox-eye Daisy, Wild Carrot, and Green-winged Orchid. A winding hedgerow partly followed the trail with mature trees giving patches of seclusion and tranquillity. Arlon’s heart began to lift, the terror of the evil he had seen began to dissipate with the scent-laden air. <BR>In places boardwalks has been provided across wet hollows. Alder and willow trees replaced the oaks and the hazels, with patches of wild garlic and fragrant bluebells. Arlon smiled, the sun now pleasantly warm on his face. He knew Imladris was close by. The path carried on, now descending into the woodland, dappled with sunbeams and echoing with the harmony of a songbird chorus. Red headed Chiffchaff tip-tapped incessantly in search of their grubs, and a stream of red and yellow butterflies danced and whirled above his head. <BR>‘Whoa,’ Arlon was snapped from his reverie by the firm command. Three elves silently emerged from the shadows of the tree trunks, their arrows aimed direct for his throat. <BR>‘Don’t move,’ the lead elf affirmed, stepping closer towards him, her bow still held in readiness to fire.<BR>Her fair glance, though radiant to behold, also spoke of grim danger. <BR>‘I can see you carry a weapon of elven craft, but I know you not for friend or foe. You are in the territory of Imladris now. Tell us your purpose!’<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>The day and night had past swiftly for the brothers, for they were in need of great speed for the sake of the lady... there seemed to be a deep fever that would not leave her no matter what they did, also for her sake the keepted the fighting down to a minimum, they got it down to a fine art, so that if a fight was brewing they would put her down softly on the ground walk away get stuck into it and come back pick her up and be on their way. <BR><BR>It was now the third night of their trip to Rievendell, yesterday they had rounded Tharbad and for the speed of it followed the Mitheithel, they were now coming up on the LastBridge. <BR>From time to time the young lady would wake from the fever and mutter a few words, at these times the brothers would try to get some of her history from her without any luck, but tonight as they stoped for an hour or two, for a quick bite, and to give some water to the lady and them selves. <BR>On this their second stop for the night, they lady stirred and a brilliant thought came to Bungle, he went to they lady and gave her some water, he was very worried about her as was his brother even though he did not show it... Bungle lend over her and asked the lady for her name... he did not hold much hope and after a while he walked away, fore she had spoken no word and then he hard a whisper "Bryna"... Bungle was so happy he ran back and to ask her if that was really her name but she passed out again, he then ran over to his brother shouting "Bryna Bryna Bryna" , when he had reached Dungle he was promptly slapped in the head..." what are you talking about?" bungle was to happy to care about the slap and said" that’s her name, I asked her and that’s what she said to me... she is a princess..." Dungle closed his eyes for a moment and wondered if he pinched him self, if he would wake up and find this to be a dream... but he knew that it was no dream.." look you dummy, it's probable then name of her dog, and did she say that she was a princess?" " on,"replyed Bungle "but I can tell, and that is her name." After a moment Bungle went on " brother are you really going to take her to him to fix up, you know how unhappy he was with you for starting all of those fights with me..." at that Dungle erupted " me start the fights, if you don’t go and look after that girl, we will have one last fight right here and now... and yes he will help us, well at the very least he will help her." at that Bungle walked back to Bryna, happy with him self and singing his song " I am good, I know I am, know body tells me, but I know it's true..." <BR>A little later they were on there way again, hours later they crossed the LastBridge, if they had of been going at an easy pace, they would have seen the track's of a party that had crossed not that many days ago. <BR>The made a wide arc around the TrollShaw, it cost them time, but it would do them know good to attacked by troll's while carrying the young lady or the Princess as Bungled called her, and under the surface Dungle too loved their young charge and if anyone tyred to harm her they would feel the deep bite of the keen blade of his axe. <BR>They keep on going... Dungle called back to his brother who was singing a song to Bryna, "we should dump her here and go and see that big forest that we were going to... " Bungle just keep on singing and on the inside he smiled, be cause he, of all the people in the world he knew that this was his brothers way of sharing his love for the human girl they had rescued only a few days ago... <BR><BR><b>RADAGAST:</b><BR><BR>"Master, this place is cursed! How can we go on?" asked Ortar. <BR>Irgeroth made no reply. The Dark Ranger was standing silently between two great trees, and his cloak lent him the aspect of a shadow carved from the passing night. Or had the night passed, or was already mid-morning? There was no way to know in the eternal gloom of Fangorn. <BR>Ortar spoke again, "Master? What is it that you see?" <BR>Again, there was no reply. <BR>Gultar whispered, "I think he's lost and just won't tell us!" <BR>Irgeroth did not move, but merely said, "I heard that..." He waited awhile longing before turning back to the silent party. A look of concern could be seen on his face, but it quickly passed. <BR>Irgeroth walked back to the group and stated, "This place is unnatural somehow. I am beginning to believe the legends told of the walking trees of Fangorn. There was a path here, but it is gone now, yet it has not been lost by the hands of Men, Elves, or even Orcs. No... something else swallowed the path..." <BR>The others stirred uneasily, and even Wyoun and Bloodtooth did not seem pleased to hear his words. Irgeroth's eyes narrowed and he whispered, "So, it is true..." <BR>He pointed behind the party and said, "Look at the path we have made so far in these woods!" <BR>They turned and gasped, for it seemed that the trees had somehow moved in behind them. Although they had found a way into the woods that was free of trees, it had vanished as if it never had existed. <BR>Gultar screamed, "The trees! The trees are alive! By Mordor, we are doomed!" He ran from the party, seeking that path that no longer was. He reached a large tree that was not there before and walked around it, clasping it and shaking it. All the while, he was muttering and moaning about the "demon woods." <BR>Irgeroth hissed, "Silence yourself, or an arrow will do it for you!" <BR>Gultar spun around to see the Dark Ranger aiming an arrow for his head. The brute gasped and whined, a pathetic sight, and didn't know what to do. <BR>His master said, "So the trees move - so what? They will not harm us if we don't harm them, for why should they? It is not as if the woods would seek to eat us! Keep your voices down and lay no axe to a tree! Let the trees wander as they may. It does not concern us!" <BR>Gultar was still trembling, but he slowly walked back to Irgeroth. The Dark Ranger said nothing, but resumed seeking for the lost way through the woods.<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>Halasìan, Almarian, Elendur, Arkaeth, Jon, and Legros rode at comfortable speed throughout the day toward Imladris. Almarian talked much with Arkaeth, and Elendur and Halasìan talked much with Jon and Legros as they rode.<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>As the group stoped for another break and so that the Dark ranger stopped to study the ground... Wyoun left the group and went to a small pool of water. <BR>He knew that there were eyes on him, but he cared not, he kep his back to the others and grabed some old dry twigs and stuck them into the ground so that they came out over the water, he then tied them together at the top with some fine thread and hung the end of it over the water with light bit of metal tied into its middle. <BR>it spun wildly for a while and then stoped, and he looked close at the metal to see a red dot on one end, he made a mental note as to the direction it was pointting. <BR>He then rescued the thread and metal and stowed them away. <BR>He then called the Dark ranger aside and in a lowered voice told him the major compass directions and then walked off without a word, to rejoin the group... and await the words of Irgeroth, Wyoun hoped that the ranger would make the most of this infomation, to bolster the faith of the others in him and his leadership.<BR><BR><b>SNOWDOG:</b><BR><BR>The group cover much of the road through the day without incident. As night fell, they all slept easily in a grass field under the night sky. One would watch and rotate in shifts, so all wre well rested. <BR>"We should make the Ford of Bruinen today if all goes well." <BR>Halasìan said as he dozed off to sleep......<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>The brothers mached on, Bryna was sinking deeper and deeper into the feaver.... <BR>For the first time in their lives they did not fight with each other, they doubled their pace eventhough their whole body was in utter pain. <BR>Sometimes on the march Bungle would start to weep and curse the orcs " they tryed to kill my princes... " to which Dungle would often yell at his brother about how stupid he was, but know one ever seen the tears that Dungle cryed. <BR>Dungle hoped to make RivenDell in three days if they could just maintain this pace, even if they die at Elronds door...<BR><BR><b>RADAGAST:</b><BR><BR>Irgeroth was impressed by Wyoun's abilities and knew that his skills would prove to be most useful in the future. It was reassuring to him to have allies that were not as foolish as Gultar and Ortar. <BR>The Dark Ranger led the party onwards through the gloom of Fangorn. The air was heavy and humid, and the filtered sunlight lit the trees and mossy rocks in gloomy hues. There were animal sounds or bird calls, and nothing seemed to move in the woods. But the trees did not stay root in one place forever - that Irgeroth already knew. Yet as he looked ahead through the endless pillars of tired trees, nothing stirred. There was only a faint rustling of boughs and leaves, but there was no wind. <BR>The dark party walked onwards as the day lengthened...<BR><BR><b>WANDERING:</b><BR><BR>Legros Sestet was glad to have such a cheerful conversation with his wonderful comerades. They talked much on that trip. He really did miss a long chat.<BR><BR><b>MCCAJUST:</b><BR><BR>Arlon eyes followed the shaft of the arrow to the beautiful face of the elf behind it. <BR>He knew he had reached the outer limits of Rivendell. <BR>"Well met, fair elves." He replied." I come in peace to seek answers and to offer my services as a warrior and defender of justice. I have for past weeks sensed a lot of evil in the air but I know not its origin, I was hoping to find the answers here in Rivendell. Your eyes are keen. My axe is of Elvish origin and has served me well in my travels. I appeal to you to please grant me entrance and council." <BR>Arlon looked calmed and composed although inside he knew that the elves could kill him where he stood.<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>The brothers with their dieing package were now nearing The Ford.... and still they push each other onwards....<BR><BR><b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>Slowly and deliberately, Eleanorae lowered her bow, and for a few moments studied the dwarf intently. His stance was calm and fearless, though he had stood within seconds of death. She knew the dwarf not, yet her keen mind sensed his intentions were truly honourable. <BR>‘Well spoken, one who would be ‘elf-friend’,’ her stern face suddenly melting into an impulsive smile. ‘And welcome. My name is Eleanorae, and here meet Floringel and Valabour.’ The two elves nodded briefly but remained alert and guarded, although now their bows were now withdrawn. <BR>‘Well met Eleanorae’ replied the dwarf, somewhat relieved that the elves had drawn back. <BR>‘Floringel and Valabour shall lead you to Imladris,’ Eleanorae continued ‘and there you may see if Elrond shall grant you audience. Unfortunately, I cannot permit you to travel without blindfold. The ways we are now forced to take are ancient and secret. Forgive us, if we seem wary and distrusting of strangers, for even the boundaries of Rivendell have been blighted by a great evil and darkness, and we also have a great shame within our people.’ <BR>‘But…the evil that you speak of, interests me greatly…I would that you tell me more…indeed…I would hear more of any strangers you have met on your journey, good or ill….there is one indeed in particular…but later…. For now you have travelled long and hard and although I see our air invigorates you, you will soon be need of rest.’ <BR>‘If you wish to travel on to Imladris, as my heart wishes you to, I plead that you suffer the humility of the blindfold, and place trust that we will do you no harm’<BR>
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Postby heliona » Fri May 26, 2000 12:15 pm

<b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>Bryna stirred and looked down. Sweet scented grasslands bedecked in a profusion of buttercups, wild daises and ragwort, swayed unsteadily. The heady air seemed fresh and intoxicating and surged deep through her lungs. Confused, and still slightly feverish, she tried to steady her thoughts, but the ground still rolled over and over beneath her. Blinking, she tried harder to focus. Her hands and feet ached with a strong calloused grip. Images of the dwarves flooded back into her memory, and with it she heard the delighted cackle of Bungle, who dropped Bryna with a sudden glee. <BR>‘Dungle, Dungle, the fever’s breaking, my princess has awakened’, he sang merrily as he performed an impromptu somersault over Dungle’s head <BR>Dungle, ducked and avoided the blow to his head, and heaved a sigh of relief. Hopefully now he wouldn’t have to carry the human burden any longer. <BR>Bryna looked up at the two dwarves suspiciously, her mind half seeing orcs disguised as dwarves, or wolves disguised as rangers’…‘Where are you taking me,’ she muttered almost incoherently, ‘What princess?' <BR><BR><b>HELIONA:</b><BR><BR>They left early, and the mood of the company was more light-hearted, for they knew that they were nearing their destination. <BR>Almarian rode beside Arkaeth in front of the others. They were continuing their conversation from earlier. “She lives by Lake Evendim. I met her a few years ago when I was passing through. She was beautiful. Her name is Inrae,” Arkaeth stopped when he saw the look on Almarian’s face. “Do you know her?” <BR>She hesitated. “Yes. When I was very small, I used to play with my cousins. Inrae used to look after is. Although her attention was generally focused on the boy of the moment.” Arkaeth’s face fell and Almarian looked uncomfortable. “Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned it.” <BR>Arkaeth slowly shook his head. “No, it’s all right. I suppose I would have found out sometime. Often I wonder if she will wait for me.” <BR>Almarian put her hand on his arm. “If she loves you, she will wait. If she does not, then she does not deserve you.” <BR>Arkaeth put his hand on top of Almarian’s delicate hand. “Thank you. I hope someday you find someone that you deserve. You are a very beautiful woman. Promise me you will not settle for someone weaker than you.” <BR>Almarian looked up into Arkaeth’s eyes. “I promise.” She smiled gently. <BR>Arkaeth looked away from her large grey eyes and stared at the road ahead. She followed his gaze, and asked, “Have you ever been to Rivendell? I’ve heard so much about it. I can’t wait to get there!” <BR>Legros heard her, and stepped up beside Finduilas. “If you wish to hear tales about Rivendell, I would be glad to tell some. I never tire of it!” The young Ranger smiled at the Elf, and nodded eagerly.<BR><BR><b>MCCAJUST:</b><BR><BR>"Thank you for your trust Eleanorae" Arlon said as he made a small bow." I will wear the blindfold for I understand your reasons and wouldn't have it any other way." <BR>Arlon stood as Valabour blindfolded him and then he was guided off. A feeling of calm overtook him and he felt his weariness melt away as they walked away from Eleanorae<BR><BR><b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>Eleanorae watched as the dwarf, Floringel and Valabour disappeared through the trees. ‘I wonder who he is and what evil has befallen him?’ she murmured to herself. <BR>Smiling to herself, at the thought of a dwarf once more in Imladris, she travelled a short way ahead. ‘Eleanorae’ the shout alerted her to the presence of five more elves advancing swiftly towards her. <BR>‘Elavanar,’ she cried to one, ‘What news have you?’ <BR>Lightly running through the trees, Elavanar reached her, his eyes glowing with anger, ‘We think we have found her Eleanorae, in the company of two dwarves close to Trollshaws. There’s also a company of rangers heading this way. The rangers don’t appear to be much threat -in fact we believe Legros is with the rangers –but why would she return with two dwarves?’ <BR>‘Fate is with us, Elavanar,’ Eleanorae smiled again, but this time her expression was grim. Was she right to have trusted the dwarf? She had sensed his honour though, and knew Valabour and Floringel would manage him well. She should at least have got his name. <BR>Cursing, she cried out, ‘Come let us find her, before she escapes us once more. Leave two of our number here to check on those rangers, though I trust they will be friends if it is indeed Legros who travels with them.’ <BR>Two elves slipped away into the shadows, as Eleanorae, Elavandar and the remaining elves moved out towards Trollshaws.<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>Bungle grabed Bryna by the hand ever so softly, the care and worries of many years rested on his old hands... " you is da princes, Bryna you are me'princes, and were taking you to see the Master of the House... we meet him once, um, but Dungle upset him a little by stating arguments with me and every one else around the place...." <BR>At that Dungle roared at his brother " me stated no fights, how would you know you was always talking to the tree's and the animals as if they could understand you..." <BR>well they can understand me ..... he told me that they could and i recon that he realy does love us deep down and would have forgotten all the trouble you caused, and plus me princes needs healing in her soul not only of the flesh..."<BR>on this they both agreed <BR>and with out an other word they started off Bungle grabed Bryna's hand and pulled her along"do not worrie, he is a good man and as i said he knows us, and he gave us a mission to bring any funny stuff to him that we find to him ..... hehehehe not that you are funny but he can help you and we will speak for you ....." Dungle shot his brother an angery look the first talking that i'm going to do, is to tell him to lock you up and throw away they key..." <BR>they picked up the pace...<BR><BR><b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>~A Princess?~ The irony almost brought a dark smile to Bryna’s lips. She was certain of that at least. Her vision clouded again, ~man of the house..man of the house?~ It meant nothing…but these brothers confused her even more. She had caught an exchanged look between them, and yet they seemed to be trying to help…! ‘If only I could think, there was something…something I had to do’ she murmured softly, but the orcs had crushed her mind and cast her spirit adrift of purpose. Lamely, she allowed the brothers to lead her on.<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>The trio had reached the Ford, but were not prepared for what happened next... <BR>On there approach they became aware of the approach of three elves, their leader was a tall strong looking female warrior... <BR>Their bows were bent and each elf had a throat for a target... <BR>Dungle stepped forward.... the female's bow tensed a little more" stay" she cried. <BR>"What is this outrage, am I an my brother not known here, and also to your master Elrond, who is our friend, explain your self lass?" <BR>The lead elf keep her aim on Dungle, but her eyes looked with those of Bryna's, " yes we know thee, master Dungle and good Master Bungle, but it is the human that we have come for and why she should be found in your company, you two are free but she will come with us, and you will go to Master Elrond and await his call...." <BR>Up until then the brothers had not drawn their axes, but they did so now, and to everyone’s surprise Bungle spoke with a clear powerful and royal sounding voice.... <BR>"You say that we are free, but that the human is not." He drew himself up and continued, "WE are not free and nor is the girl, but also I add that you three are not free.... nor is the whole of middle earth, were it so arrayed to do this girl harm, now I know not what she has done either good or evil, but while my brother and I live she will never be free... <BR>But now you must decide what price she is worth to you, I have told what I am willing to pay.... we three will come before good Master Elrond freely, but if by force then their will be great blood shed this day..." <BR>The fire of the IornHeads was alight..... <BR>Then the female elf warrior spoke.<BR><BR><b>ELEANORAE:</b><BR><BR>Out of earshot, Eleanorae whispered quickly to Elavanar, ‘Go and find Legros and those rangers if you can, just in case we need their aid. The Iorn –heads can be brutal when roused though they seem gentle as suckling-lambs most times, and I fear that they or ourselves could be hurt in this affair –somehow, the half-beast has flurried their minds.’ <BR>While Elavanar slipped off through the brush, Eleanorae called out to the brothers ‘Master Bungle, Dungle, my dispute is not with you. It would fare ill with me if but one hair of your heads was pulled….but please listen for you do not know who you have sworn your allegiance too. The one named Bryna is one of our own –in kind – and has broken with the will of Imladris and of Elrond himself, and if we do not have her back, great ill will befall us for she means to betray us all. If you love Elrond, then give her up. I swear she will not be harmed until she is brought before Elrond for justice.’ <BR>Bryna glanced up and her face darkened with fury, her mind rekindled with sudden recognition. ‘Bungle, Dungle, she lies, I mean no harm – I do not know what Eleanorae says. I have never been to Imladris and I would not harm these folk – do not forsake me now, I beg of you!’<BR><BR><b>MOS:</b><BR><BR>Doubt is ever a powerful agent, and now it called for blood and it cared not who's blood it got, for it can not be stayed by any amount, and it now worked on the brothers even at their very hearts, but most deep in Bungle who loved to find good in all people. <BR>AS ever Dungle looked for the worst, thus they were a fine balance when together, but master doubt now called them to battle and disbelieve each other. <BR>A war of words had broken out between the two about the girl who's side Bungle took and the elves who's side Dungle took. <BR>Bungle cried " you are the spawn of a stone troll's festering pile of dung..." <BR>Dungle went to reply, but could not get the word stone out off his head, at first he thought it was because of the many blows he had received to his head... but then after a while it came to him and he yelled at the top of his voice, which made all present jump..."STONE.... that’s it the girl has a funny stone and I know funny and I know stones... and I did not like the look of it." <BR>Dungle turned to Bryna "come on girl I think that we had better talk to Master Elrond... I will stand for you.... if you will." <BR>Bungle with a lowered voice tried to defend Bryna, but all that he could muster was " let her alone...." he then turned a sad face and a wounded heart towards the Bryna.<BR>
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Postby Radagast » Fri May 26, 2000 1:17 pm

(OOC: All hail Heliona - the Sexy One! Great job for moving this thread! You're one of a kind, girl! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>)<BR><BR>Hours slipped past and still Irgeroth the Dark Ranger and his followers tramped on through Fangorn, heedless of the falling night. The air had grown cold and hinted of forgotten winters that never seemed far from the Misty Mountains whose grey-white heads loomed to the north. Darkness clung to the trees in a wavery veil and the trees seemed to scuttle behind the party. Branches pawed at people, roots lay in the path to trip those passing by, and countless trunks rose like pillers in a great fence, hemming in the company.<BR><BR>Though the others stumbled, nothing hinder Igeroth's passage. It was if the woods respected him enough to let him pass - or they feared him. Either way, he marched onwards. Soon, he would skirt the rocky edges of the feet of the Misty Mountains and then draw near the last stage of his mission...<BR>
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Postby Eleanorae » Fri May 26, 2000 6:49 pm

<b>Bryna</b> barely acknowledged <b>Bungle</b>In one lightning-swift movement, faster than a venomous cobra-strike, <b>Bryna</b> hurled her dagger at <b> Eleanorae</b> , and leapt through the shell shocked dwarves and elves, before disappearing through the tree and meadowlands.<BR><BR><b> Eleanorae</b> had instantly dropped to the floor, her face ashen with shock. Crimson blood streamed from the gaping wound on her neck, the dagger still half embedded within it. <b> Bungle </b> gathered <b> Eleanorae</b> in his arms, tears of surprise and anguish spilled from his eyes, rolling down the end of his bulbous nose and splattering upon the fallen elf as salty rivulets.<BR><BR>For long moments no-one moved. The savage attack had paralysed them into a temporary panic and disbelief. <b> Halindel</b>, the remaining elf was young and inexperienced. Desperately, he ran to Eleanorae’s side and tried to staunch the dramatic red fountains of blood erupting from the gash. <BR><BR>‘<b> Bungle, Dungle</b>, get help fast, <b> Halindel</b> cried ‘I fear she is dying. <b> Elavanar</b> can not be too far, and <b> Legros</b> may be able to aid us for his healing skill is renown’<BR><BR><b> Dungle</b> raised his War-Axe in horror and anger, with a mood to wreak catastrophic vengeance on the vile human he had befriended for so long. He made for the trees until <b>Bungle</b> held him back. ‘We’ll get aid for <b> Eleanorae</b> first, and then..then we shall seek our revenge brother. For once - the brethren were in grim agreement.<BR>
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Postby Eleanorae » Sat May 27, 2000 5:22 am

<b>Bryna</b> trembled with the unexpected shock of her deed. To date, murder was not on her list of achievements. She had panicked…she was a fool, for sure. Now the whole <b> Elven</b> army would seek her out and her escape would be nigh on impossible. <BR> <BR>The horror of being confronted by <b> Eleanorae</b> once more had drove her back into reality, the <b> Orcs</b> dispelled to the depths of her mind. The fate of certain death at the hands of <b>Elrond</b>, as she thought, fired her into reason. Fortunately, the well-intentioned dwarves had provided impressive healing prowess. <BR> <BR>‘Simple fools, but useful for I would have surely died without their aid’ she thought as her feet fair flew through the grassy trails, adrenaline pumping through her body. She turned slightly in her flight, not hearing the inevitable sound of pursuit. Silence! So – she had a lifeline at least. <BR> <BR>It was imperative now that she reached the ones known as the <b> Blood Crows</b>. Her map of the hidden groves through <b> Rivendell</b> and <b> Lorien</b> may aid their leaders and help find her half-elven father <b> Malebranche</b>. <b>Malebranche,</b> she knew was one of their league, and many of their number she had met in the darkened alleys of Gondor and particularly, Harad. As she raced, the heat of the dark elf-stone burned through the leathery covering. Her thoughts drifted to the impression of the dagger, <b>Jadeclaw</b>, from whence she had prised her stone from it’s mountings underneath the dim-witted merchant’s nose…. <BR> <BR>Out of the trees and meadowland, a pungent aroma of herbs and lavender wafted by, as she passed by a high hedgerow. Following the meandering path of the hedge, she almost ran through a garden, before she saw an unkempt hovel before her, almost obliterated in clambering ivies and suckling plants. The plants did not interest her, neither did the wild garden of strange and exotic herbs, but she stopped in sudden awe nonetheless, her eyes glittered with dark excitement. A tremendous beast stood before her, it’s coat as glossy as satin; the dark loose mane cascaded along it’s flanks…it’s eyes watched her advance.. <BR>
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Sat May 27, 2000 10:03 pm

ooc: I will start posting again on this soon I just need more time to refresh myself on what I missed and what is happening.
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Postby the mouth of sauron » Sun May 28, 2000 10:20 pm

(ooc, yes you have done a great job there lady H <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> )<BR><BR>Wyoun made his way up the line to Irgeroth's side, "master we have travled for some time now, and I think that I have proven myself in some small way, but I need to know something of what is going on, and of what your plans for me are, I need to know before we go on." <BR><BR>
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Sun May 28, 2000 11:44 pm

ooc: If I have time tommorrow I promise to catch up and post again.
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Postby heliona » Mon May 29, 2000 10:44 am

Legros and Almarian were still at the front, and were approaching Rivendell, when Almarian and Legros stopped, and looked at each other. "Do you hear something?" Almarian asked.<BR><BR>Legros looked somewhat amazed, but nodded. "Fighting," he paused. "It is coming from over there," and he pointed.<BR><BR>The others rode up behind them. Almarian looked at Elendur. "I think we should take a look," he advised.<BR><BR>Almarian helped Legros up onto Finduilas, and they Rangers galloped off in the direction of the sound. Soon, they came upon two Dwarves and two Elves, one of which was injured and was supported by the other.<BR><BR>"Eleanorae!" Legros cried, and he jumped off Finduilas and rushed to the stricken Elf's aid. The Rangers dismounted slowly, for the Dwarves looked threatening, and listened to their tale. Almarian's face grew grimmer with every word. "The horse-thief!"<BR><BR>
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Postby Radagast » Mon May 29, 2000 2:56 pm

Irgeroth pulled Wyoun aside and spoke to him behind a vast tree and out of sight of the others. The Dark Ranger said, "You have proven yourself trustworthy, and thus you can now know the truth. We are traveling to meet with Saruman the White. Daran wields great military might, and Saruman is looking for men and weapons to add to his own. In doing this, we will balance the stage so that there are now three sides. Saruman, at Isenguard, can strike at Gondolin and Rohan from the rear, while Sauron will enter their realms from the East. The lands of the cursed Men of the West will fall, and then the Elves will be burned with their precious forests!"<BR><BR>Irgeroth loomed closer, and a fire was in his eyes as he continued; "And then, my friend Wyoun, Saruman's forces will meet with those of Sauron's, and they shall do battle in the ruins of the cities of our enemies. Regardless of which side survives, it will then be our time to rule... And you shall be there with me, Wyoun, and there shall be kingdoms, fortresses, and armies at your command."<BR><BR>Wyoun was shocked by this, but he said nothing for the chance for his own power was at hand...<BR>
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Postby the mouth of sauron » Tue May 30, 2000 4:24 am

Wyoun took his place back in line as the small troop mached on, the fire in the darkranger and in the want to be darkranger was alight and would not be quenched until their's was was the only power in the whole of ME, and Wyoun was ready to receive all the teaching the BloodCrows could pass on.... they pressed on.
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Postby the mouth of sauron » Tue May 30, 2000 4:41 am

the brothers made their way over to the wounded elf....
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Postby Snowdog » Thu Jun 01, 2000 4:19 pm

<b>Halasian</b>, hearing that the horsethief was loose, got pea ohed and rode quickly after the squirmy bich. <BR>"<i>I'll show her what I do to ones who try and steal from me!</i>"
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Postby Eleanorae » Sat Jun 03, 2000 6:27 am

<b>Bryna</b> stepped closer to an awesome beast of unsurpassed majesty and grandeur. It was a dark horse, as black and impenetrable as the depths of the earth below; it's eyes flashed with fire.<BR><BR>As she neared, the horse beared a host of harsh white teeth, and bit into her arm like a set of white-hot pincers. <b>Bryna</b> winced in agonised pain and withdrew sharply, but she feared to give up, her need was too great. It would not be long before she heard the inevitable noise of pursuit, once the shock of her crime had diminished.<BR><BR>Inevitably, she reached into her pouch and brought out her elf-stone. As she raised the stone high into the air, the surrounding light seemed to be sucked thirstily into the gem, crackling wildly, a smell of lightning penetrated the atmosphere and a silvery blue glow emanated from the area. <BR><BR><b>Bryna</b> could not look upon the stone for fear it consumed her, it's touch had turned to ice and the darkness within it grew and grew with an unearthly coldness, striking chords of fear and terror so dreadful that even the stony heart of <b> Bryna</b> was sickened and marred. <BR><BR>The wild horse gazed upon the stone with impunity, it's eyes sinking into the blackness. Once, the great horse blinked and then the flow of darkness spread outwards from the stone and poured into the creature, the emptiness filling every pore, every orifice. It's eyes altered from crimson, to misty-purple to become one with the jet black of the stone. It's eyes were now dead and soulless. <BR><BR>The stone itself now began to warm, and once more it was naught but a dark-stone gently heating the palm of <b>Bryna's</b> hand.<BR><BR>She found, the beast now allowed her to mount, and as soon as she alighted upon it's back, the horse galloped off through the woods and valleys with an unimagined fury of pace.<BR><BR>
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Postby Eleanorae » Sat Jun 03, 2000 7:07 am

'<b>Halindel</b>,'<b>Legros</b> urgently beckoned the young elf to his side, 'Fetch me some <b>Purple Hawkstrife</b>, you'll find it growing by most reeds and flowing waters. It will stop the bleeding.'<BR><BR>'Wait!' <b>Bungle</b> cried, 'I have some herbs here, that may be as you describe, for we use them in our ointments,'<BR><BR>Bungle hastily ran to his pack, still brushing away the tears from his face, and produced a plethora of fragrant herbs and grasses. <b>Legros</b> rifled through the herbs, quickly selecting a long stemmed herb, with pinky-purplish flowers in whorled clusters on the end of each leafy spike. This he soaked in a bowl of cold, clear water brought from a stream by <b>Halindel</b>. Next, he carefully eased the embedded blade from <b>Eleanorae's</b> neck.<BR><BR>A thin film of sweat coated his fore-head with the sheer effort of his patient gentleness, <i>one clumsy move ...</i> <b>Legros</b> dreaded the thought. With steely concentration, he continued steadily. As the dagger ascended, his warm healing powers surged through the wound knitting together the torn veins, sinew and shreds of muscle, left in the wake of the blade.<BR><BR>At last, the blade came free and <b>Legros</b> staunched the flow of blood with his poultice of <b>Purple Hawkstrife</b>. The herb, as predicted by <b>Legros's</b> skill rapidly clotted the flow and carefully he bandaged the wound.<BR><BR><b>Eleanorae</b> opened her eyes for a moment, and in it she smiled her gratitude at <b>Legros</b>. Her face still lit with beauty though deathly pale she looked.<BR><BR>At that moment <b>Elavanar</b> and the remaining elves sped into the grove and <b>Elavanar</b> cried out in grief fearing his sister dead.<BR><BR>
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Postby Snowdog » Sun Jun 04, 2000 4:53 pm

Coming upon the place where he heard a horse cry out, <b>Halasian</b> rode with speed to that spot. He had tired of this horsethief/murderers existance, and was determined to take matters into his own hands. He saw the horse trail, and sped off in pursuit of <b>Bryna</b>.
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Postby the mouth of sauron » Sun Jun 04, 2000 8:57 pm

Dungle keep his voice to a dull roar... for the sake of their wounded friend, " come on you lot, she ain't dead... were not far from the doors of master Elrond and he can help her best and us."<BR><BR>They all looked at this grumpy dwarf giving orders, and then went and made a make shift stretcher and laid the elf maid on it ever so carefully, and started on the way... they had not gorn far when they heard a fight erupt behind them, it was the brothers, someone asked if they should go and break it up... but a slight chuckle escaped the maidens lips and she whispered " they I come soon enough, it's their way of comforting each other..."<BR>"Comforting, if were ever in a battle then I want them on my side... um, I think" said Legros. The rest burst out laughing.<BR><BR>The others had walked of Dungle turned to his brother "and for crying out loud would you stop crying like a baby..." Bungle answered this with a monstrous head butt that busted Dungle's nose.." I’m not crying I just got something in my eye." and then the fight was on for young and old, it went on for ages at the end Bungle held his hand up for Dungle to stop " thank you brother I think it's out now.."<BR>" Your welcome brother, yes it looks fine, well we better catch up to the others, they probable get lost with out us.." and with that they ran to catch the rest...<BR>
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Postby Radagast » Tue Jun 06, 2000 4:45 pm

They had arrived.<BR><BR>It was late evening at Nan Curunir - The Wizard's Vale, and the first stars of night sparkled in the velvety, blue sky as lacy wisps of clouds floated amid the mountain peaks. The wind was chill here in the dark arms of the Misty Mountains, and snow could be seen in long drifts amid the cliffs and rocky walls that frowned down upon the dark company. Ahead, the stark walls of the Ring of Isenguard hid much of the heart of the Vale from sight, as did the veils of Saruman the White, the great Wizard and Chief of the White Council.<BR><BR>Irgeroth lead his men onwards, his keen senses aware that various eyes were upon him - Saruman would not leave the paths to his fortress unguarded. But if his minions had wished to harm the Dark Ranger, they would have already tried to do so, thus the Wizard must already be expecting him. High above, a raven cried twice and circled back to Isenguard, and the howl of wolves echoed in the wind.<BR><BR>Alone among the party, Ortar and Gultar seemed frightened, for such is the way of cowards when faced with a power far greated than their own. They trembled and walked with their faces downcast, as if seeking to hide from the eyes of the Wizard. Now and then, one would stop and search the woods franctically, terrified at what might lie there. But Irgeroth gave them no heed, and he quickened his step, marching in haste down the road and into the deeper shade of the valley.<BR><BR>If it had been dark on the last hill, it was stygnian before the Gates. The stony, smooth walls of Isenguard loomed above, and the party seemed like insects before the gates of hell. There were no guards or gatewardens, and the vast doors were sealed shut, daring the outside world to challenge their great strength. There was a long moment of silence, broken only by the howling wind and wolves.<BR><BR>Irgeroth walked up to the gate and called out his name. Again he called, and then once more. The wind cried back, the only answer to his words.<BR><BR>Then, the Gate began to open. Slowly, the massive doors swung wide, each moving on silent hinges, and a long tunnel was revealed that led through the great outer walls. Beyond, the gloom of evening could be seen. Eager not to be left outside, they made their way through the tunnel and into Isenguard itself. <BR><BR>The Vale was bowl shaped, hollowed out by some power greater than any that had ever since been seen in this area of the world. Its smooth floor, once full of trees and brush, was now a flat expanse of stone and machinary. Long, paved roads ran inwards from all sides of the Vale to meet at one point - Orthanc.<BR><BR>Orthanc, the Tower of Saruman and a stronghold even back in the early years that live now only in tales, loomed over the empty plains like a dagger of black stone. It was vast and smooth-flanked, and its four parts joined on each side into a great monument to a forgotten race. It towered five hundred feet over the Vale, and nothing dared compete with its lordship. Below its summit, the four pinnacles split into gaping horns of ebony teeth that scraped the icy clouds. Between them was a modest space with a flat floor with inlaid runes - a walkway or an observatory over the lands below.<BR><BR>Irgeroth headed towards Orthanc, and the party passed between the mighty pillars that lined the roadways. Each column was linked to the next with heavy chains, and this confining way ran up to the Tower itself. The company made decent time acrosst the Vale, but the emptiness made it hard to estimate distance, and the Tower always seemed closer than it actually was. Only when the party stood at its knees in its awesome shadow was its full size recognized.<BR><BR>Between two of the main pinnacles, a great door was set, and above was a balcony. Many windows looked out with dark eyes upon the steps at the entranceway, but there seemed to be no signs of life. Irgeroth set foot upon the steps while the others muttered and grew worried that they were not welcome.<BR><BR>Then, the doors opened. An old man stepped out to greet them, and his face was one of wisdom and compassion. Old he was - ageless, in fact - but he had an aura of power about him. He had a high forehead and keen eyes that pierced deep. His long hair and beard were mostly white, yet thin streaks of black could still be seen. He was clad in a white, hooded robe, and a heavy black staff lay in his right hand, while a ring lay upon the other. The figure stood motionless at the top of the stairs for a moment, and then he spoke.<BR><BR>"Greetings, friends, for I at least know some of you already by name. Irgeroth and Bloodtooth, it is good to see both of you again. I trust that the others are those who you mentioned to me in your letters?"<BR><BR>Even as the Wizard spoke, all were amazed by his Voice. It was a delight to the ears and made all others sounds seem uncouth in comparison. It revealed great wisdom, patience, and compassion, and soon Ortar and Gultar felt as if they had always know the Wizard and counted him as a friend.<BR><BR>Irgeroth and Daran were not so easily impressed, but they were wise enough not to challenge Saruman. Bloodtooth and Wyound said nothing, and their faces were tense as if they wrestled with the power of the Voice. Irgeroth said, "It is as you requested, Saruman. I have Daran here, and we can speak of these things in your Tower. I also have the others - knowledge for knowledge, as you requested."<BR><BR>Saruman replied, "Excellent! Then I welcome you to Orthanc..."<BR>
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