The Hunt for the Bride

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

Postby TinuvielUndomiel » Thu Sep 15, 2005 8:54 pm

The Groom's Hunt

"Tinu," a still-weakened voice called out, "I...I need you!"

Tinu covered her face once more as the tears flowed unceasingly down her pale cheeks.

Taking a breath, her voice cracked, "I cannot help you further. I cannot see your WIFE." Oh, how that word hurt her... "I betrayed my adopted sister that day, wished evil upon her. For all I know, I am the cause of your misery. I care not for her any longer. For Ages she has stolen those I have loved and dealt them heavy blows--from eternal heartache to their untimely deaths. I must find a place away from her, where she will never be welcome."

She looked at the hobbit, wishing she could do more to help him.

"I would do anything to help you... anything but this. I have done what I have come to do: to save you from harm. You now have the strength you need to finish YOUR task. You still have Anorast and Leslie, perhaps even others, as well as one of the Maiar."

Hobbituk's face wore a look of disbelief.

"Yes, Maelan, I believe he said his name was. He is here even now, watching us. With a Maia on your side, you do not need a sorrowful elf who would only get in the way of true love." It took her every ounce of restraint to avoid sobbing at the last two words. But she remained more composed than she had been in a while, the tears streaming silently without her wracking sobs.

Her heart was already home and she yearned to follow it there.
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Postby Cerridwen » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:44 pm

Here There Be Dragons


Tryn had decided to take his friends high into the air, far enough up that they might only be mistaken for large birds of prey when spotted at a distance. Truth be told, the ravens and eagles and other carrion-eating birds were already wheeling about, untold fathoms below the circling dragons.
The birds knew the smell of war, and would not waste the opportunity to gorge themselves and their young.
Tryn's burning gaze raked the battlefield, easily picking out the ranks upon the field. He was searching for one soul, one spark, among the thousands assembled. He had been tutored in the histories of the peoples of this realm, as he had been in the peoples of his own. It mattered little to him why this battle was being fought. It mattered only that the Sword's bearer had issued summons.
As his father's son, he was duty-bound to answer... at least until his father could take matters into his own very capable talons, and set things right in truth.
He sought the spark of magic that would tell him which soul among this multitude was that bearer.
He soon found her. Through her eyes he identified which of the multitude were against her. He relayed this information to his companions, but told them to hold back until he'd settled on what he was going to do about it.
It was simple, in theory. A dragon's primary advantage over rank and file soldiers is that he may attack from the air, and with fire if he so chooses. Had Tryn been in command of four other youngsters of his maturity, there would be less of a problem... but he was not himself impervious to physical attack, or some forms of magical attack for that matter. Several of his companions were less so. Rhys did not even have command of his fire yet, and he was the least patchy of their little bunch. Most of his hide was still fluff, and he was therefore the most vulnerable.
Tryn immediately assigned him scout duty, hoping to keep him out of harm's way. Serun's fate for shoving the younger one into the Gate's field of influence, and therefore in the realm of the Mortals, would be nothing compared to what would become of Tryn if Rhys was not safely returned to his den.
Keep out of range of any darts they might have, he instructed his younger friend. Under no circumstances are you to close and fight... and if you must light fires in their midst, you are to do so at a distance.I mean for you to keep us apprised of their movements, and especially if they have any kind of aerial flanking on us.
Fire spells are among the first things an apprentice magician learns. For a young dragon, they are that much easier. And, just because he neither saw nor sensed any sort of winged combatant anywhere near didn't mean there were none, or that none would come.
As for the twins, Serun and Cadri had more command of their fire than Rhys but neither of them were as well-protected as Tryn was.
We will be too fast for them to put a mark on, if we come from high enough, Serun told him.
Tryn offered a mental nod of consent. No closing, no grappling, he said. Approach from different sides, and you won't be in my way. The twins agreed.
That left himself and Cerna.
I take it you mean for us to grapple? his sister interjected.
Tryn offered her one of his rare grins, all toothy and predatory. He snapped experimentally. Only if you really want to get yourself all sticky with them. Father told me once that mortal flesh is better when they've had wine.
Or if they're fat, Cerna replied wryly, grinning in return.
The twins had flown off to wait for his signal. He did not sense that any of their targets knew what they were in for yet. It would happen quickly enough that they might surprise the enemy enough to buy some time.
He hoped so, as he and three others folded their wings and began to stoop in silence upon their quarry.

When they hit, it was from four sides. When fires began erupting in the midst of the army and monsters out of a nightmare began raking the ranks with streams of fire, it caused no small stir among the soldiers. When the black one streaked in with an unearthly shriek and barrelled through the ranks at ground level, all chaos broke loose. A mottled, brownish one grasped soldiers off of horseback in its talons and dragged them along the ground before winging away into the air to let them fall, screaming, to the merciless earth.
The ranks went from a stir to a boil, in very short order.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:10 pm

Tale Of The Warriors Of Light meets Here There Be Dragons
Heather didn't see them coming, but her warrior sense felt the approach of her ememy behind her. She waited, letting him get closer... He made a strangled sound and she spun around, ready to fight, but the man stood as if frozen, staring at a terrifying sigt behind her and to her left. She turned her head to see the great shape, even as she felt the wind from it's wings. She looked around as three more dragons began to raze the dark army. The assasin looked back at her as her smirk changed into a preditory smile and with a war cry unlike anything anyone had ever heared before, she charged him. He was dead before he knew what hit him. The dark army was scattering in panic and she began cutting down any soldiers who tried to run toward the city.
A few made it past her though and were quicky dispached by the soldiers poring from the city gates.
The Rangers and Gondorian soldiers in Osciliath pored onto the field of battle from the river side when the dark army began to scatter.
The fight was short lived, but bloody with only a few soldiers from the Dark army escaping into the hills.
Heather trembled from the remaining adrenaline and the horrific slaughter before her. She had tried so many times to remove herself from war, yet war seamed to draw her to it.
Healers and soldiers were searching the bodies for their fallen and any enemy men who may still be alive.
There was a rush of wind behind her as not four, but five dragons of varying size landed before her and greeted her with bows which she returned.
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Postby Cerridwen » Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:30 pm

Tale of the Warriors of Light

"Dragon Master," Tryn greeted, as he dipped his head. "It is our honor to protect and serve you."
The peredhel dipped her own head in acknowledgement. "We give you our thanks... I, and my companions."
Tryn acknowledged the tall fellow, and the regal-looking fellow that had come to flank her.
Tryn dipped his sinuous neck again. "My companions are Rhys, Cadri and Serun. This is my sister, Cerna. I am known as Tryn."
You are also known as foolish, Cerna scolded, for his ears alone.
I'll bear it as a reasonable consequence, he returned.
You'll need mending soon, she said. I'm amazed that leg will carry you, and that you were even able to land.
So was he, but that was not the material point.
"Do you require... ah, shelter? Provision? We cannot thank you enough, and so we offer what hospitality we may."
Tryn considered. Rhys would need someplace to keep him occupied, and as safe as they could make him. The gate had closed from this side, and he didn't know how it might be reopened. He imagined Father would figure that out. He hoped it would be soon. He imagined it would be soon that they would all turn up missing from their dens.
He'd think about it later. His concern was to keep his friends safe here, until someone with bigger talons and keener wits could come take care of things.
"Someplace dry and reasonably cool," he answered. "And your kind permission to hunt your lands and lakes."
"Only spare the livestock," the King muttered gruffly, himself a little in awe of these creatures.
"We can limit ourselves to fish, if it please you," Tryn returned.
The King nodded. "That would be well. I am not sure what passes for livestock where you are from..." he trailed off, obviously wanting to ask another question, but Cerna beat him to it.
"Good sirs, I ask your pardon," she interjected in a clipped tone, then shoved Tryn onto his side. You need mending, and you need it now, she hissed at him in their own tongue.
You aren't being helpful! he returned, nearly shrieking in pain. The twins had herded Rhys a little away, though he tried desperately to see what the matter was.
"I require room," Cerna said, addressing herself to the Dragon Master. She stole a quick nip to Tryn's snout, muscled him onto his side, and loosed an eerie, greenish fire onto his left rear flank.
Tryn screeched.
Every man within twenty paces of them dropped his weapons and clapped his hands over his ears.
It was over within a dozen heartbeats. Cerna removed herself from her brother and nibbled at his neck ridges. He heaved a sigh, willing his eyes to uncross.
That should hold for long enough that someone can do a proper job with you, she observed sunnily.
I am not grateful, he grated at her, from between his teeth.
Cerna returned her attention to the Dragon Master. "My brother requires healing. I have done what I can for his injury, but it will not hold forever."
"Injury?" the Lady Heather repeated, stunned. "I... of course."
Don't you bite her, Cerna told him.
Tryn swallowed. I'll try not to, but I won't promise anything. It's... there's a spear's head in there, or it would have bled more.
Cerna wrinkled her nose. I don't care to think what Father would do with you if he learned you had bitten the Dragon Master, under whatever provocation.
Tryn swallowed again, and his wings quivered slightly.
"Can you stand?" the peredhel asked.
"At your command, Dragon Master."
"Can you fly?"
"I can, Dragon Master."
"Very well. Your Majesty, if you will see that these noble creatures are given their pick of one of the ruins in Your Majesty's fine city, and if you will advise me as to their location, I will personally see that this one is properly mended."
"My Lady."
"You are very kind, Dragon Master" Tryn hedged, "but I would not have you touch me, upon pain of doing you unwitting hurt. The blade is deep..."
These creatures fascinated her. She shook her head. "I am practised in the ways of removing steel from a warrior's flesh. You will do me no hurt, my good sir."
Tryn still didn't believe her, but held his peace.
One of the soldiers was approaching, to fulfill the King's orders. Rhys looked as though it was finally sinking in what he'd gotten himself into.
Am I permitted to eat tonight? he asked, in a very small voice.
Cadri chortled, and nipped him playfully. Oh come now, what on earth do you think would become of us if it was known we allowed you to starve?
I am very sorry, he said. Insurmountably sorry.
You mean incomprehensibly.
That too. And I am, he insisted, as he tagged after his friends on their way to the city gate.
It's alright, Tryn consoled him, as he heaved himself to his three good feet. It's Serun as will roast for shoving you through the world-gate. Serun and me together, and you'll likely suffer no more than having to deal with the stench of our scorched hides for the weeks following our demise.
You seem very cheerful about that, Serun observed, obviously failing to find the humor in it.
Tryn shrugged, and limped with as much dignity as he could as he came following the rest of them.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Mon Oct 24, 2005 9:30 pm

Tale Of the Warriors Of Light

Heather's concern was tangable as the bedraggled group headed back to the city. The king, true to his word found a suitable set of ruins for the dragons to shelter in, as Heather headed to the libraries, despite concerns that were raised about her own injuries. One of the healers followed her, still protesting.
The half elven turned suddenly, her odd clothes, loose tresses and flashing green eyes were a frightening sight.
"I am fine. I suffered only a few minor scrapes, but that dragon is injured far worse. If I do not do my best to heal him, then I have failed this city. They just saved all our lives. If I can help him, I will; before I concern myself with my own scrapes." She could feel his pain now, if she concentrated, but dragons were so diffrent from humans, elves, dwarves, that she knew that without some more understanding, she could not heal him. "Besides, I am the only healer here who can use powers. Do you want to do major surgery on a dragon, then bandage him up like a hurt puppy?"
The healer turned pale.
"That's what I thought. You woulden't survive five minutes." Heather turned back to the stacks of books and parchments. Thus began her hunt for anything about dragons. There was very little to be learned, for few people had ever survived an encounter with one, let alone been on friendly terms with one. She rubbed her tired eyes and sat back, trying to deside what to do. She finally got up and headed to the dragons' temprorary lair. "Tryn?"
"Yes, Dragon Master?"
"Please. You may call me by my given name-Heather. How are you feeling?"
"I am-"
"He is in a lot of pain." Cerna inturupted.
"I can sense it. I'm a half elven healer. You said that the blade is deep. Can you tell me how deep?"
The dragon painfully shook his head.
Heather pursed her lips in thought, then brushed her hair back from her face.
"I am going to touch the wound. I will be careful to cause you as little pain as possible but dragons are very different from the creatures I'm used to healing."
He hissed and turned his head away.
She grinned almost playfully.
"If you need to flame something, I can and have raised my shields, though do try to give me a warning so I can strengthen them just before the blast."
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Postby Cerridwen » Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:10 pm

Tryn did his best not to blanch at her suggestion that he loose fire on her.
"I would not purposefully do you hurt, Dragon Master... but I do not know this 'given name' business... Who has given you this name, 'Heather'?"
She smiled briefly. "It is the name I was given when I first came into the world... a long time ago," she replied. She sensed that the spear head was deep, and it included a bit of the shaft as well. The nearest thing she could liken his anatomy to was a horse's or a cat's, and the spear had lodged between the hip socket, in the meat running from the joint to his tail.
She explored the wound with her gift, being careful to map out whether any of the major vessels would be in danger when she extracted the blade and the bits of shaft. As she examined the dragon's flank, she noted the irregular patches of glossy, black scales interspersed with lighter, grayish patches that were really very like cloth or fluff. The spear had gotten into his flank by glancing past one of the glossy, hard patches of Tryn's hide, and embedding through one of the softer patches. The dark blood seeped out of the wound, but did not gush. She hoped this meant that nothing major had been torn in his flesh.
As she probed gently at the torn place with her fingers, she felt rather than heard him snake his head around to inspect her work. It startled her a little, to turn and see him staring over her shoulder. His gaze met hers briefly before he returned his attention to the place between his forepaws.
Forgive me, he apologized softly. I did not mean to intrude.
She didn't offer a reply. She had none for a patient being interested in what she was doing with his torn flesh.
After a few moments, she was satisfied that she could remove the blade and shaft, albeit in pieces. She informed Tryn of this, whereupon there was an almost-silent, hissing exchange between him and the one he had called Cerna. The one called Cerna seemed amused, if it could be called that, and Heather got the sense that she was amused at her sibling's discomfort.
You may dig, Dragon Master, Cerna told her smugly. I will see that he does not do you any accidental hurt.
Heather chose not to comment with anything beyond a gracious nod. She opened her bag, and rummaged through it. Cerna had given her leave to dig, and it would be digging that she would be about today.
She applied some pressure to the tear, and felt Tryn's subtle tension at the touch. She allowed little fingers of her magic to go deeper into his body, to ease the pain of the procedure, and was gratified when the subtle tension eased.
It was not until she actually got hold of the jagged shaft itself and tugged gently that Tryn did anything.
The screech he loosed was piercingly shrill, and she sensed rather than saw the speed at which he snaked his head around, jaws parted to bite. As quickly as Tryn reacted though, his sister was quicker. She had been tense and ready for his response, and she caught his head neatly in her smaller teeth, and held him still.
Continue, she informed the lady healer, her tone as eerily calm as anything Heather had ever heard. Heather shook herself and tried to still her hands so that she could remove the jagged pieces. Tryn shrieked again, his claws digging into the stone of the floor he rested upon. It sounded pitiful.
We prefer speed to cleanliness, Cerna informed her. We heal well from such things. Do what you must do, but with speed.
Heather stopped her work and gazed incredulously into those keen, reptilian eyes. She found Cerna to be perfectly serious.
I cannot hold him forever. He is bigger than I am, and he will not let me hold him long if it becomes very bad for him.
Heather steeled herself and nodded once. She assured them both that she would be as quick as she could. She wanted to spare them all an ordeal, but Tryn ended up scorching the wall nearly to cinders before it was over, and scoring the stone floor with his claws until it looked like someone had given chisels to a flock of mad stonemasons and loosed them on that corner of the room.
When Heather at last produced the blade itself, and set her gift to closing the wound so that it would not sour, Tryn went limp with relief. It was only after the lady healer had finished her work and moved away a bit that Cerna released Tryn from between her teeth.
"That should heal well enough," Heather told them. "But if it does not, please send for me. I cannot tell you how grateful we all are for your help, so any of us will be happy to make you comfortable in any way we can."
Cerna accepted the thanks on Tryn's behalf, and exchanged a gracious nod with the lady healer before Heather took her leave. He waited until the two-legger was out of sight and sensing before he put his nose between his foreclaws and sniffled. Cerna gave his neck ridges an affectionate nibble and cooed soothingly. There was silence for a few moments. Then,
If Father does anything worse to me after this is over, I'll die.
Cerna chuckled and curled up next to him. I'll do the fishing until you're mended, she assured him.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:35 pm

Heather made her way back to her own rooms, stopping only to check on Nevon's state. It was unchanged. Someone had seen her coming and had prepared a bath for her and layed out a fresh set of clothes.
Sore and exausted, she emersed herself up to her neck in the hot water with a sigh. After soaking the battle grime away for a while, she began checking her wounds. There were only red spots where the cuts had been. Bruses did not heal as quickly, no matter how much healing she had done. She drew a deep breath then slipped down, letting her head go under the water. She untangled her long wet curls with her fingers, taking out the braids as well. She had to surfice three times to acomplish this, but when she had she allowed her body to relax and continue to soak. When she caught herself nodding off, she stood up, dried off and dressed. She was asleep the instant her head touched the pillow, before she could even pull up the coverlet.
Last edited by PatriotBlade on Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby prmiller » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:39 pm

Horses were found for the wandering Bard. Sympathetic hands help Parm and
Willum up on steeds, whilekind-hearted guardians are enlisted, no doubt by
the hand of Lady Heather, to. accompany and protect the least-likeliest of warriors. Parm and Willum were heading home.
It was necessary now. His health was nearly spent, and Willum had aged twice-over. At last they were homeward bound...and the stories that would come, but only after many, many days of rest.
Parm had finished his journey. He was not really sure if he had been of much
help, but deep in his memory he carried a legacy. Someday, someone would
help him pull it all out, and the stories would be written. For now, there was
a family in great distress that needed healing: his own.
The story was drawing to an end.
Parm was going home.
Last edited by prmiller on Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Variations on a theme: winter here in Calgary...and elsewhere?

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Postby Hobbituk » Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:32 pm

Hobbi stared at Tinu in disbelief. His every instinct told him to go to her, to hold her. To stop the pain and hurt she was going through, taking the pain away forever. Yet, he knew he could not. He knew that he was the cause of the pain and that it was only his presence that was preventing her from healing. Why did Maelan bring her into this? Everything was so complicated.

Tinu was walking away once more and Hobbi knew of nothing he could say to bring her back. He shed one more painful tear for his friend, a love that could have been. He was dimly aware that there were others watching him. Tinu had said something about companions? Hobbi turned back towards the road, which led up to the castle. He knelt down and picked up a rock in his right hand. He looked around a little more until he found a large stick, which looked a likely club in his Hobbit hand. Armed as best he could he walked back towards the road.

“Where are you going?” said a voice behind him. One of Tinu’s companions, Hobbi could not remember what names she had given them. He could barely remember his own name at this point.

“To die again,” whispered Hobbi, “You may join me if you too tire of life. Or not. It makes no difference.” He added simply.

The journey seemed to take no time. Hobbi felt strong once more, the amulet’s power had invigorated him. He was feeling strong now, stronger than he had ever been. He was angry too, he knew what he needed to do and in his mind he dared anyone to stand in his way.

Soon he reached the courtyard. It was as empty as the first time he had entered it in the company of the Orcs, but this time it felt different. There was a deep smell of blood and decay, which now drowned out the smell of seaweed and salt water. Had Hobbi been in such a situation six months ago he would have retched at best, or just outright fainted in shock. He was a changed Hobbit now. He was halfway across the courtyard when a figure appeared, emerging from within the castle. On it’s shoulder was a bird. Hobbi recognised the newcomer instantly.

“Kuti!” he hissed. That evil-minded cretin. Hobbi remembered the treatment of the last few months. He remembered the barbed words the pitiful Gondorian had spoken to him. The deeds he had done, working for that son of a whore Leonir. When Hobbi thought back through the events of the last few years he recalled that everything had been perfect until Kuti’s arrival at The Lucky Fortune Inn… oh so long ago now. Kuti was the cause of it all, it seemed so obvious now. Kuti was ultimately responsible for all the evil that happened. Kuti deserved to die.

The bird, Nilrem, took to the air. Kuti stopped, hesitating, unsure of what to do. His expression was almost that of a mischievous Hobbit-child caught thieving a cookie. This only served to infuriate Hobbi all the more,
“You!” he shouted, putting as much hatred and bile into that one simple word as he could possibly manage.

Kuti did not say anything; he did not even go for his sword. Nilrem circled overhead. Hobbi took another step forward, holding up his club in his left hand and waving it threateningly. Eventually Kuti spoke,

“Look,” he said, “I know well that you wish me dead and that is understandable…”
“Understandable?” gasped Hobbi with disgust, “You say understandable? You?”
“I have had my fill of this Herbert,” he continued, his voice was little more than a croak, “I just wish to leave here and do no more harm. Let me pass.”
Hobbi could not believe his own ears,
“Do you know what I wish Kutibboh?” he spat, “Do you know what I wish you little piece of filth? I wish that I was sat on a bar stool at The Lucky Fortune Inn with a pint of beer and my bloody wife by my side! That’s what I wish you cretin, and because of you… because of you… that is something I can never ever have.”
The venom in his voice was not lost on the Gondorian. His eyes were wide, hesitant and unsure of what to do. Finally he reached for his sword. He drew it slowly; the noise of the metal sliding in the scabbard was long and uncomfortable. He held the blade aloft,
“You have suffered enough. I do not wish to kill you…” he began. Hobbi interrupted,
“Do your best. I have died already once today, death holds no more fear for me.”

Hobbi took yet another step forward and Kuti followed suit squaring up to the Hobbit. Were it not for the seriousness of the situation it would have looked comical. The tall and powerful man of Gondor with his large sword against the diminutive Hobbit armed only with a wooden stick and a small rock. Suddenly Nilrem gave a loud cry, which distracted both of them; they looked upwards in time to see Nilrem launch into a dive. She was aiming for the Hobbit.

Time appeared to slow down. Nilrem’s cry echoed all around the courtyard as she swooped down, vicious claws and beak pointing at Hobbi’s eyes. There was no time to think, Hobbi swung his club as the bird came near. There was a dull sound as it collided and then the world was covered in an explosion of brown feathers. Slowly the feathers settled until the eyes of both Hobbi and Kuti were on the still lifeless body which lay half way between them. Nilrem the falcon was dead.

Hobbi’s eyes widened as he realised what had happened. He looked upwards and locked his gaze with that of Kuti. The Gondorian looked stunned, his mouth gaped and his shoulders sagged. There was an eerie silence and nothing moved for what seemed to be an eternity. Eventually Kuti moved again. He straightened up, his grip clenching tight on his sword, his eyes narrowing and his lip curling. He did not speak, but instead raised the sword above his head. He emitted a blood curling cry of rage and charged at Hobbi ready to crush the Hobbit in the same way the Hobbit had crushed Nilrem.

Instinctively Hobbi drew his right arm back and with all his strength threw the rock in his hand as hard as he could. By chance the rock caught Kuti on the side of the head. He did not slow in his charge, but instead lost his footing, stumbled right past the Hobbit and skidded head first into the rock of the ground. He lay there still. Unconscious but still breathing.

Hobbi was breathing heavily. His mind was processing the events of the last couple of minutes.
What had he done?
What he had to?
Then why did it feel so wrong?

He looked for the last time on the body of the dead animal,
“I’m sorry.” He said, before turning and entering the castle of Leonir once more.
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Postby TinuvielUndomiel » Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:16 pm

Tinu could sense the hobbit's dilemma. He was her friend and did not wish her this pain, yet he was bound by an unbreakable oath to save his wife. She could never be what Lurea was to the hobbit, not even now that he knew the truth about Culanir's child with the sorceress elf. She simply could not compete.

And suddenly, as a warm glow filled her being, the elf realized that she did not want to vie for the position that Lurea held. Tinu had only ever acted out of love for others, except for when she stood before the witnesses to the wedding. And that one time of selfishness in her entire existence could be explained by her imitation of Lurea in order to win back the hobbit's love.

You have nothing to be ashamed of, Tiruvalotë, Maelan whispered, a soft ruffle of feathers tickling her ear. And now it is time for you to come home. Your mission in MiddleEarth is finally complete and eternal rest awaits you in the West.

Tinu smiled at the message meant only for her. Perhaps the others thought her mad for her whims of temper--first tearful and hopeless, now smiling and at peace. But she cared no longer, for she was going home.

Oblivious to the hobbit's actions now, she turned to her friends. There was nothing more to do for Hobbituk--he was healed and strengthened by the amulet.

"Goodbye, my friends," she spoke softly, the light that had always been within her now glowing with the fierceness of a forest blaze. Tinu hugged each of them, wishing them luck in the journey.

"May Eru protect you as you enter this danger and as you return back to safer lands. Maelan assures me that he will aid as he is allowed, but that evil elsewhere may take him from you at any moment," Tinu's face grew troubled for a moment, but her smile reappeared as though it were the sun peering through dissipating storm clouds. "I have faith in you, my friends."

With her goodbyes said, she did not stay to hear their responses. They did not need her to slow their progress any longer.

A small boat, half buried in small stones, caught her eye. After quickly releasing the boat from its grave, Tinu pulled it to the shore and stepped into the boat, pushing off with the long oars.

Waving goodbye to her friends and to the last love of her long life, the elf and her boat disappeared over the horizon, never to be seen in MiddleEarth again.
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Postby Hobbituk » Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:30 pm

Morg sat for a long time with his back to the wall of the cavern. His head hurt terribly, but he was used to dealing with pain. His life had contained little else. He was just taking a breath, recouping his strength; it was time to take his revenge. He eventually felt the fog and dizziness begin to evaporate and he knew he was ready again. Bracing his back against the cold and smooth stone surface he put the weight of his body on his legs and climbed to his feet.

It suddenly struck Morg that the stone of these passageways was indeed smooth with little coarseness at all. Strange, he thought, perhaps water had flowed through these tunnels at some point? He decided he would give it some more thought as he searched.

Morg looked around the cavern once more. Seven archways leading into blackness. The three to his immediate right appeared to lead downwards. The next two were flat and only one (the one he had come down) led back up towards the great hall. He scratched his chin thoughtfully as he considered which would be the best path to take. If these chambers had once contained water then it was possible that the lower tunnels would be flooded, it could be dangerous to head further down into the earth. On the other hand, he knew Leonir’s sort. That kind of megalomaniacal fool liked drama. He was clearly the sort of ponce that would go for the theatrical. He would be in the lowest chamber; there was no doubt about that.

Morg looked at the three downwards-leading doorways. He sniffed each one, pacing back and forth several times. He decided to take the one that the troll has disappeared into, which was the leftmost one. Around the doorway was blood from the trolls injuries and as Morg walked onwards he saw that there was a trail of blood for some distance. The darkness grew thicker as he descended deeper and deeper.

Back in the cavern the torches he had lit earlier slowly began to burn themselves out until there was just one left. The shadows grew further and further across the cavern stretching around the walls and the ceiling. Then the final torch fizzled out leaving the pitch black once more. Nothing happened for a short while.

Soon another light appeared in one of the doorways, the one which led upwards. There was the patter of light feet and then into the cavern came another figure. It was Hobbi. He had wandered for a long while in the labyrinth of the castle reaching dead end after dead end. Each time he had encountered some impassable obstacle he had simply sighed and turned back. He not grow impatient or angry, he was beginning to have little of either of these emotions left and he was saving them for what was surely to come. Eventually he found the path leading down. He had lit a torch and had now found his way to the cavern. He examined the doorways as he decided which path to take. The first he saw had blood all around it. Even though Hobbi was in a grim and determined mood, he did not have the courage or will to enter that tunnel. Instead he took the next one, a slightly steeper gradient but less ominous.

There was a feeling in Hobbi’s stomach which made him sure of one thing. The end was coming, there would not be long now. Finally this dreaded journey would come to an end.
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Postby Guruthostirn » Sun Dec 17, 2006 2:52 pm

Anorast stood quietly, looking in the direction where Tinuviel had disappeared. Once again, one for whom he had cared had left forever. It was beginning to be a bit depressing. One of these days, the elf thought, he'd find a love that would last. One that would not be destroyed by war and strife, broken by pain, shattered by tears. Silver pressed into skin as Anorast gripped his sword hilt, anger growing within him. Though his own torments were destined to continue, the elf knew of one torture that could be ended. And now the old elf would not rest till the end came.

Turning away from the ocean Anorast strode off in the direction Hobbi had taken. Keen eyes picked out the tiny footprints, and soon the old elf was running, not even aware whether he was being followed. Focused entirely on the faint trail Anorast was completely unaware of his surroundings, ignoring the small dead bird or the body beside it, barely noticing as he plunged into darkness. The trail vanished, but Anorast never wavered, guided instead by instinct and the direction of an invisible companion.

Within moments light sparkled ahead of him. There was the small hobbit, striding down into darkness. No word was spoken as the elf slowed next to Hobbi, matching his speed, walking a half-step behind, waiting for what would come.
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Postby Leonir » Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:13 am

Leonir was growing impatient. It was taking far too long to repair the orb, even with the aid of the powerful child. With the help of the Darkness Within, he siphoned more of the Weatherspeller's energy, draining her to the point of unconsciousness once more. Yet even with these powers, the cracks fused slowly. Though Leonir was vain and sure of himself, he was not yet comfortable that all foes had been dealt with properly. It was aggravating not to see their movements, to anticipate their every puny move.

The Darkness Within prodded him with thoughts that burned as fiery irons: 'You cannot lose the Weatherspeller with your carelessness. I feel her hopeful rescuers drawing nearer--the hope and determination is sickening. You must stop their ascent toward Lurea.'

Leonir growled in response. He had a strong desire to throw the orb, but that would accomplish nothing constructive...and would likely lead to more pain brought on by the growing Darkness. It fed on Lurea's power and now threatened to burst out of his body. However, Leonir was confident that the Darkness needed him yet--why else would it be nagging him and not complete the necessary tasks itself?

Suddenly, an idea occurred to the dark, disfigured elf. He smirked as he shared the thought with the Darkness. He received a mental pat and the pain lessened somewhat.

"Yes, the company that arrives to rescue the princess may indeed be deceived..."

Still smirking, Leonir turned back to the Weatherspeller's only child and resumed his insincere posture so that she would continue to cooperate.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Sat May 26, 2007 10:51 am

Here There Be Dragons/Dragons' Quest

Heather's eyes snapped open. She turned onto her back and lay there trembling. She stared up at the ceiling and focused on her heartrate as she calmed her breathing. She could still hear her elven name called on an eery wind that whisled through her mind. She turned her gaze to the open window and watched a breeze play with her sun-drenched curtains for a few minutes before she carefully got to her feet and made her way to a wash basin where she calmly splashed the night sweat from her face. She patted it dry as she walked to the window and looked out without really seeing the city. Instead, she slowly replayed the night vision in her mind.

Lurea at the wedding, dancing with Hobbie; they were happy. The guests were all smiles and laughter. Thenthe guests began to disapear in a strange greyness that drained all color from the scene. A keening wail rose from the bride as she too vanished. The healer watched an abreviated version of her journey, then a dark figure apeared on the horizen of her mind.
He grinned evily. "You are too late, Makahianiel."
"No!" her dreamself, again suddenly clad in the red and black of a dragon master answered him.
"You can not save her. You are too far behind the others. You will watch them all die, Makahianiel."
"I don't have to save her, just stop you."
He laughed again. "Look, Healer Makahianiel."
She looked in the direction he was pointing. A purple pool formed betwen them, it's surfface cloudy. It began to swirl slightly, clearing a round area where Heather could now see Lurea in her dark cell, unconcious and frail. Before the dark figure knew what she was doing, she had reached out with her gift to touch her friend's mind.
He waved his hand and the pool vanished, along with Heather's conection to Lurea, but not before she had learned some important information.
He could tell by the look on her face that he hadn't been quick enough and he growled at her to cover his fear. "So you see, Makahianiel that she will not last much longer and you do not know where the rest of your friends are. None of you can save her."
Heather smiled but said nothing.
He hissed like an animal and before the healer could react, lunged at her. Deformed, clawed hands ripped her open from throat to hip. Her line of sight changed, as if she were standing behind herself as she gasped and collapsed into a pool of he own blood.
"You will die alone, Makahianiel, Healer Of The Wilds," he said in a mocking tone. "if you presue this quest. You are already alone. Parm has left with Willum and the girl with whom you had been traveling has not been seen all day. You are the last of the questers. You are alone, Makahianiel..."

Heather shook the vision from her head and took a cleansing look over the White City, gleaming in the morning sun. So Parm was taking the hobbit lad back home to the shire. Good. They would be safer there. She didn't feel alone or discouraged. That had been his goal, but he had failed and accedentally given the healer an important piece of information, that the other questers would need to defeat him. She smiled to herself and turned away from the window. She donned her red and black Dragon Master outfit and buckled on her sword belt. She was about to sling the dragon katana across her back when she caught her reflection in the mirror. With a frown, she combed her fingers through her dark curls, then left her tresses loose for the time being, but tucked a leather thong into a pocket to tie them back later.
Everyone moved out of her way as she walked through the palace. She stopped in the Houses Of Healing to check on the wounded from the battle. Most were on the mend and the healers no longer required her assistance. She moved through the soldiers, speaking to several to encourage them, but steadilly making her way to the back wall where there were rooms for long term patients. She gently eased one door open and stepped into the darkened room. The only light came from a small oil lamp on a table in one corner. The window had been heavilly curtained. An empty chair was beside the bed.

The green eyed healer sighed sadly and dropped the katana to the floor beside the chair as she sat down. Fighting back tears, she gently clasped the hand of the comatose elf that lay in the bed.
"Well, Nevon..." she began huskilly, searching for the words. "I don't know why I keep coming here; why I keep hoping. I think we've said everything that we had to say. I'm not sure what I'm looking for, I guess." She paused to collect her thoughts. "Well, it doesn't matter if I tell you, but I feel that I should. I'm leaving soon. I have to finish the quest. My friends have left me, but I don't feel alone." She chuckled as she continued. "Funny thing is, I've felt alone for most of my life, even when I wasn't, and now I truely am. I had a vision last night. I saw myself die, but I'm not afraid. I have to catch up with the other questers, but I promise to come back and say good-bye before I leave." She reached out and brushed a whisp of his blond hair from his brow. "I have to go check on the dragons right now, but I'll come back for a while this evening."

With another sad sigh, she stood up, slung the katana back into its place across her back, then slipped out of the room. She made her way to see the dragons.

"Good morning, Cerna. How is our patient doing?" she asked as she ducked under an arch.

"Good morning, Lady Heather. He is healing." Cerna answered.

"I'm glad to hear it. Would you allow me to look at the wound?" the healer asked Tryn.

He rumbled deep in his chest, but consented.

Heather was pleased at the lack of infection and the rate of the creature's healing. Satisfied, she sat down against a stone wall and wondered where she should begin.


"There is something on your mind." Cerna stated flatly.

"Yes." The green eyed half elf rubbed her face and brushed her hair back. "I had a vision last night and I must get back to the quest. I'm far behind the rest of the questers, but I have to catch up because I have some important information for them."

"How soon will you leave?" Tryn asked. She could feel his golden eyes on her.

"In the morning. I'm going to be seeing to things today and will make sure that you'll be taken care of until your father comes for you."

"Then we should be staying with you."

Heather met his gaze and shook her head. "No. I am going into the teeth of danger. I had a vision of my death. I can't take you with me now that I know that you are youngsters. I won't knowingly take youngsters into danger."

"Our father would not like us to leave the Dragon Master to face danger."Cerna spoke gently. "And Besides, he will be drawn to you, not us here in the city. We should stay with you."

"We can carry you instead of your horse and you will have a better chance of catching up with your friends." one of the younger dragons chimed in, but fell silent at twin glares from the two older beasts.

The healer was shaking her head again.
"But the..."

"We will follow you, Makahianiel." There was an edge in Tryn's voice, and the healer thought that she'd rather not meet their father in a bad mood.

"I can't ask.." Heather's voice was cracking. "I can't ask that of you."

"You are not asking." The young female dragon lowered her nose to look the healer in the eye. "We are coming."

Heather suddenly burst into laughter. "I should have known. I told someone that I wasn't alone, even though it looked like I was."

Before the young dragons could answer, a breathless messenger interupted them. "M'lady Healer! Come quick! To the Houses of Healing!"

The half elf leapt to her feet and met the young man under the arch. "What is it? Tell me what's happened, Lad!"

The young man was trembling and gasping from exertion, but heather lent him a little of her strength as she listened to his excited speech. "He's awakened! He's asking for you! You must come quickly!"

"Rest here, Lad. I'll go." She eased the young man into a sitting position on the ground then turned to the dragons. "I'll be back shortly, friends!"
Last edited by PatriotBlade on Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The_Viridian_Vagrant » Sat May 26, 2007 1:21 pm

Dragon's Quest/The Warriors of Light

The dreams had revealed much to the awakened elf. Repetitive images of eagles and hulking monsters were the only parts of his dreams he did not understand. He had been granted visions of the identities of his captors from months earlier, and as well he was granted answers as to why he was punished so. The sorcerers that plagued his mind and magically burned his eyes were disciples of an ancient and dormant magical avatar. They could summon the flames of balrogs and dragons to do their bidding, and as such were able to place the curse on Nevon's eyes. The burning was over, however, and he was relieved of the pain, but at a terrible cost. Indeed, Nevon was sad, but he was also alive, and as such his fondest of memories began to visit him as he sat and awaited the return of the half-elven healer he had once called his love.

A small smile sat on his lips as he remembered the White City in it's glory days. How he had befriended the son of Beorn the shapshifter, Ozzworth. He remembered the troubled and enigmatic Taerom, a dark elf with a history he himself would never know. They were gone, and long ago he had dealt with that loss, but Nevon smiled and remembered the adventures they all had together. Most of all, he remembered Heather... her voice would always echo through his head, the only voice that could make him shiver with happiness when she would whisper "Nievellathan".

It was a strange thing, having one's world flipped upside down. Once strong bonds become loosened, and one is left with his/her own wits and skills to save them. The mind-link he once shared with Heather was long gone, and he had to wonder what it would take to bring it back. Obviously their feelings for eachother had changed and so their minds saw fit to part ways. 'First the heart, then the mind,' Nevon thought to himself, 'that's what it takes'.

Heather arrived to the small room in the houses of healing, expecting to find an irate and determined-to-leave elf. She was somewhat taken aback when she arrived.

Nevon was sitting up straight against the wall behind the cot. Heather couldn't tell where his gaze was set because of the thin gauze bandage covering his eyes, but he stared straight ahead, not even moving the slightest as the healer entered the room. His hands were clasped tightly, and he bit his lip. The healer had to wonder what worries were now pulsing through the elf's tormented mind.


"You are awake," she said, coming to the chair she had just visited earlier and sitting down by Nevon's side.

"Awake is one word for it," said the elf, still not moving his head. It was shocking how much his voice had changed. Before the coma his voice was a trembling mess of anger and sadness. What shocked Heather now was the complete gentleness in his voice, as if he were singing a child to sleep.

Nevon lifted his left arm and reached out as if to grab heather's hand. Her hand was already resting on the bed by his elbow, but he padded his hand around looking for it. Heather's eyes widened and she quickly took his hand and leaned over him.


"Nevon," she said, "Can you see?"

Nevon lowered his head in shame and shook it slowly. Before Heather could say anything he laughed lightly.

"Do you remember the day we met?" he chuckled again, shaking his head. "I was such a brash young elf. I hardly knew you, but after you fixed one of my wounds I kissed you." Sighing sheepishly he turned his head away. "Things sure have changed. I used to have such power for an elf my age. You know, I was awake when you were here today."

Nevon turned in Heather's direction, mulling over the words he had been wanting to say.

"The days of us questing together are over I'm afraid," he said with a shrug. "I've done some bad things in the past, Heather, and its not up to you to forgive me of my deeds. I don't know what I'm called to do, but I must redeem myself." His voice started taking on a determined edge. "You, however, are called, Makahianiel. You may see doom in your future, but I see otherwise. Blindness offers a remarkable insight, you'd be surprised. You're destined for greatness, and I have no doubts about your path."

Nevon nodded, hoping he got the words right. He released Heather's hand and left it at that, leaning back against the wall.

"As for me, I may not be destined to become a great man. But maybe I still have a chance to become a man."

##------->
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Postby PatriotBlade » Sat May 26, 2007 5:39 pm

Here There Be Dragons/Dragons' Quest/Tale Of The Warriors Of Light

Heather sat in silence for several minutes. Nevon was wondering if she would ever speak.

"I've learned a long time ago that greatness isn't nessisarily what people do; it's what's inside, what makes a person do what they do that makes them great. I've had my time. If I die, I'm not afraid." She reached out and caught his hand angain. "I am glad to see you awake. Now your true greatness can shine through."

They fell silent again, each one not sure what to say.

Nevon heard a sniffle and realised that Heather was fighting back tears.
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Postby The_Viridian_Vagrant » Sat May 26, 2007 9:04 pm

Nevon spent a great portion of the silence deep within his thoughts. He came out of it in a flash when Heather took back his hand. Her words struck home and he caught the lump in his throat before it choked him.

Heather sniffled.

The lump in his throat was too hard to swallow past at this point.

Reaching out a shaking hand, he felt the air for Heather's face...


##------->
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Postby PatriotBlade » Sun May 27, 2007 8:03 pm

Tale Of The Warriors Of Light/Dragons' Quest

Their link had been broken years ago, but the healer could still read him well. She closed her green eyes against the threatening tears and leaned closer to him till his flooundering hand cupped her cheek. She tried to smile, but she knew he'd be abe to tell the diffrence.

He was gently feeling her face and remembering; he remembered how she had looked all those years ago, how she had hardly changed, so now he was learning to see her through his hands. He felt the corners of her false smile and knew she was trying to be strong for him. A tear finally slipped through her closed eyes and trickled down her face. It caught in his fingers and he pulled away, rubbing it between his thumb and fingertips. He knew her. He had been with her through many typs of tears, and he found himself uncontiously smelling the tear. Grief for him, guilt for her part in what had happened, joy for their tentitive new bond, sorrow for having to leave him again, hope... Hope for their future.

When he drew his hand away, Heather finally lost all composure. She could no longer hold back her tears and began to cry in earnest, her body sagging until she rested her forhead on the back of his hand that she had clasped.

He murmured something that she didn't catch, then she felt him begin to stroke her hair. He stopped when his hand encountered the hilt of the katana.

Heather held her breath, unsure how to act or what to say. She finally lifted her head slightly and caught a glimse of his face. It was unreadable.
"Nevon?"

He didn't respond.

"Nievellathan?"

"You are the Dragon Master now. I can touch the sword again, but I cannot fight with it. It is yours now."

"Only for the remainder of this quest. It will be in your hand again before you know it."
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Postby The_Viridian_Vagrant » Sun May 27, 2007 10:04 pm

"You are the Dragon Master no. I can touch the sword again, but I cannot fight with it. It is yours now."

"Only for the remainder of this quest. It will be in your hand again before you know it."

Nevon nodded and smiled softly, staring in what he hoped was the direction of her face. He retracted his hand to her soft neck and cupped her cheek.

"And perhaps one day I'll hold you again, too," he said softly and leaned close to kiss her on the forehead. "Before you know it."

The elf leaned back against the wall once more and raised a hand to stop Heather from speaking another word.

"I can't keep you here any longer. You must go, Dragon Master. Go, and rid the world of the evil that affects you and the rest of us. I'll be fine." Nevon smiled and tossed his legs over the side of the bed. "Just as soon as I find a walking stick."

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Postby PatriotBlade » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:18 am

Dragon's Quest

"I-I'll see to it."

He triedd to call to her, but she was gone. She ran through the city, then around the gleaming walls until she was was on a vagely familiar path. When she reached a small clearing, she remembered gathering herbs here, long ago. She cast about until she found what she was looking for; A young tree, just the right height to be used as a staff for Nevon. She had forgotten to bring any tools, so she used the dragon sword to cut down the small tree and trim it's branches.

She turned to head back when a sweet smell stopped her. She looked down at the herb she had unwittingly stepped on. She plucked the crushed plant and it gave her an idea. She rushed back to her old rooms and began to pore through her store of plants, combining certain ones, including the one she had just found, into a small bag. She then rummaged in her belongings for a Beryl stone that she had once treasured. Once she found it, she carefully wrapped a lenth of wire around it a few times, then sewed it to the outside of the little bag. She found another leather thong and strung some of the beads on it before also attatching a blue feather. She then took the items she had collected to the healers.


"This wood needs to be smoothed and treated to make it a propper staff. Use this thong to attach the sashet near the top. When it is ready, it is to be given to Lord Nevon with my love. I leave with the dawn."

She spent the rest of the day, preparing for her journey. She consulted with the young dragons, visited the libraries, and saw to provisions. The king sent her maps to take with her, for which she was greatful.

As the sun began to peek over the mountains, the healer and five dragons took to the sky.

The first person she wished to find was Hobbie. He needed to know, and was probably the one closest to finding Lurea.
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Postby TinuvielUndomiel » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:39 pm

Yes, it was right for her to be going home, Tinu thought as the western wind caressed her glowing cheek. Even Maelan had told her that her part in the story was over...Hobbituk had no more need for her aid, even if she could have assisted him with her meager remaining gifts.

So why did some small part of her cry out, "Go back!"?

Slowly, she turned her head back to the east, her hair waving before her eyes until the glimmering waves were replaced by the verdant behemoths she knew as a young elf. The trees awoke to her touch, the touch of the Keeper of the Valaindil, and they whispered to her of a promise made long ago.

Tinu closed her eyes as her hand gingerly, and hesitantly, touched the gnarled trunk of one tree in the wood. It was here that Lurea and she had laid upon the ground, their hands intertwined.

Opening her eyes, the past played before her: there she was, in a gown of gossamer dew--young, innocent, unbroken. Next to her was the charming Lurea, the one elf who could make Tinu laugh on her darkest days in Lothlorien. At this moment, Lurea turned over onto her side, smudging a bit of dirt across her cheek as she pulled the auburn strands aside to look at Young Tinu.

"You know I'd do anything for you, my dear Tinu. I know it was your doing that I was taken in here and protected from those in Diadron who would harm me. Without your friendship, I am only half a creature, seeking my other part. Promise me that we shall always be friends and sisters, no matter what evil tries to part us?"

Young Tinu's cheeks colored as she passionately replied, "Of course, Ture! Please, never doubt my loyalty to you, just as I will never doubt your loyalty to me. We are not sisters of blood, but we are sisters as have never been made before. I would go to the ends of this world and into the next, all for you!"

The two girls, one elf and one half-elf, hugged and cried happily, brushing away one another's tears and laughing at one another. Lurea jumped up and, grabbing Young Tinu's hand, pulled the elf into the woods on what would be one of many little adventures they had shared.

Tinu braced herself against the very tree the two ghosts had been sitting under, clinging to the earthiness of the ancient trunk. Had she really ever forgotten their pact? How could she have tried to leave Middle Earth when she knew that she could not step onto the shore of her first home with a promise broken?

She found herself back in the small boat, now facing the east. The strength of the ancient elf gathered itself and for the first time in Ages, the weariness and suffering were wiped from her mien. It was time to find others to help in this final battle for her adopted sister, even if it meant her own death.
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Postby Leonir » Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:44 pm

Finally, the orb was whole once more.

A dry, humorless laugh slithered out of Leonir as he saw the hobbit and his elven companion trying to make their way through the dark halls of his domain. They were still several days away from Lurea, even if they knew where they were going. One obstacle they faced was the spiraling staircases that seemingly went nowhere--only one of these would actually lead them to the Princess of Diadron, the others dropped off into blackness and the mouths of ravenous creatures best left unnamed. Not that they would even get that far, he growled to himself and his Master.

First, he decided to look for the Bard and the magical dragonharp that the Master desired. He nearly threw the orb upon the stone floor when a grey fuzziness was all that could be seen.

"The orb is not whole--it cannot see all," he grumbled to himself as the princess's daughter played with sparks in her tiny, delicate hands, blissfully unaware of his near violence. He sneaked a look at her, to make sure that she had not noticed and was satisfied. It would not do to upset such a powerful creature.

"Though you cannot see the Bard, I can sense that he draws nearer," the Master snarled, tearing out small fibres of the evil elf's brain, making the world blindingly white for an agonizing moment.

"What would you have me do?" Leonir gasped as he tried to recover. "Those who you called to do your bidding have left--all that are left are the child and some brainless foot soldiers with little power other than their strength." He winced as the Power Within screamed, leaving him with trickles of blood running down over his lips. Leonir wiped at them with his arm as it answered, "Wait until the Bard is on the island...you will no longer have need of the orb then."

Leonir bowed his head, thinking about the others who were on their way to save Lurea. He suddenly recalled the dragon riders and the healer and grinned. This one would be easy, as the dragons were still aloft.

Chanting softly and holding his arm in the air in the direction of Melda, so that he could slowly siphon off her power, his eyes were alight with dark energy.

As the dragons flew on toward the island, still quite far away, the sky grew dark and wisps of cirrus morphed suddenly into threatening cumulus. The black sky erupted into unearthly lightning that struck near the dragons, causing them to swerve erratically in their path. Just as Leonir was about to strike the dragon bearing the healer, Melda appeared at his side and interrupted, "What are you doing to the pretty dragons?"

Turning on his heel, his cruel features melted into a benign smile for the child's sake.

"The dragons hurt your mother long ago and must be punished. Don't you agree?" he simpered. She tilted her head and thought for a moment. "I suppose so," she replied. "Can I help?"

Leonir and the Darkness Within smiled. Perhaps it would not be difficult at all to convert this child...

****************************************************

Leonir had not forgotten the hobbit and the elf. After teaching the child how to manipulate the world through the orb, he left her unsupervised as he planned his next step. He did not need the orb for the moment, as the pair could not have moved far.

Chanting once more, he easily cast the spell. Even the Darkness was impressed with the simplicity of the spell for something that could solve many problems. Leonir had learned from the Master's mistakes and would not repeat them, though it was yet to be seen if he would succeed where his Master had failed.

****************************************************

As Hobbituk and Anorast stumbled through the dark, a bright light suddenly appeared at the end of one hallway, lighting their way.

Silently, they looked at one another, and ran cautiously toward the light. Soon, they discovered that the light emanated from a room, but the door was closed.

"Do we enter?" whispered Hobbituk. Anorast stood at the door for a moment and listened. He nodded.

They tried the door knob--locked, of course. Anorast held up a hand and counted down 5...4...3...2...1. At one, they hit the rotting wooden door together and it gave in, although it made a great cracking sound. Quickly, they ran into the room and found Lurea, tied to a granite slab, unconscious. The light that they had seen was coming from her body, which glowed more brightly the closer they came to her.

Hobbituk gasped as he saw his wife upon the rock, not sure how to react or what to do in his shock. Anorast pulled out his knife and sliced the restraints.

"Hobbi, help me lift her. We need to get her out of here quickly, before anyone comes in response to our breaking in." Anorast gently lifted the limp sorceress and, with Hobbituk's help, he placed her over his shoulder.
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Postby Hobbituk » Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:00 pm

Hobbi froze, completely unable to move. Lurea was right there in front of him, so close he could almost touch her. He had almost forgotten how beautiful she was…how utterly perfect… so radiant… almost glowing.

She was glowing, Hobbi suddenly realised, with a light that was growing ever brighter until it became painful to stare at her. Meanwhile Anorast had run forward and slashed the cruel ropes which binded her to the cold stone. The sudden violence of the blade against twine was enough to snap Hobbi out of his trance. He moved forward to help Anorast lift Lurea, though even as he leaned towards her he could see Anorast needed no help. She appeared to be light as a feather, and equally lifeless. Even so, he moved forward, arm outstretched. His fingers brushed against her one of her delicate pale wrists. The glowing light exploded and everything went white.

There was silence, just for a heartbeat. Then there was noise. A lot of noise.

“Two pints of your finest ale and a bowl of hog lumps, barkie!” roared a loud and merry voice. Hobbi heard the thud of tankards being slammed down on oak tables and his nostrils were overwhelmed with the strong smell of smoke and beer. Other voices followed. There was laughter, there were voices raised in fierce debate, others in song. Nearby there was the hushed conversation of Elven travellers. It all seemed so familiar, but Hobbi had no idea where he recognised these sounds and smells from. Or when.

The senses of sound and smell were finally joined by vision and he realised where he was. It was “The Lucky Fortune Inn”. He was finally home and it was as if he had never been away. Customers filled every table, the door swung back and forth as new people entered and others left. Hobbi found that he himself was perched on the rail which had been installed purely so he could see over the top of the bar and serve customers. From behind him wafted the fragrances from the kitchen, one of which was like an old friend… his famous stew. How long had it been since he had last made some? How long had it been since he had last tasted some? Indeed, how long had it been since he had tasted anything at all?

The rumblings from his stomach were quickly forgotten, however, when the next thing he noticed was a familiar face. Leoba, of all people, wandering past carrying a tray of drinks over to a table as if nothing had ever changed. He recognised others too… there was Telta…and Rho…Aerin hurried past carrying bed linen and heading in the direction of the guest rooms, she gave him a fleeting smile. Hobbi saw good old Scribbles sat at a table surrounded by regulars. She was telling some tale of derring do which had them all fascinated… she caught his eye and broke off her story to give him a friendly wave.

“Hey Buddy, ya look like you’re in a world of your own!” boomed a voice from off to one side. There was no mistaking that voice. Hobbi turned and saw his best friend, Erinhue, stood proud and tall next to him. He was exactly as Hobbi always pictured him in his mind - broad smiles and majestic posture. Hobbi recalled with sudden shame the last time he had seen him, when he had blamed Erinhue for the misfortune which had occurred. His face reddened.
“Hue…”
“Well don’t look so surprised, I was only down in the cellar changing a barrel for five minutes! Ya look like ya haven’t seen me in months!”
“Well I -” Hobbi began and then stopped. Someone else had caught his eye. In a corner, sat on her own, was Tinu. Sweet, unassuming, loving Tinu. The quiet elf whose love had given him new life. The details seemed confused and muddied now but he knew that part at least. How Hobbi yearned to take her in his arms and thank her for all she had done for him. Now he had the chance. He leapt from the bar rail and made to head in Tinu’s direction, when he was stopped by a hand on his shoulder. He knew immediately who the hand belonged to. It could be no other. It was HER.

He span around as quickly as he could but in his mind it took forever. Eventually, though, he was facing Lurea. She was stood in the kitchen doorway. Not dressed in the magnificent wedding robes she had been wearing on that fateful day, oh so long ago, but in her plain dress and apron that she always wore when working at the Lucky Fortune Inn. Despite these unremarkable clothes, to Hobbi in that moment, no-one in the history of the world had ever looked quite so ravishingly perfect. Her arm was still on his shoulder and she gazed at him with deep and unmistakable love in her eyes. She leaned forward and with a mischievous grin, spoke softly,
“Hello you…”
No other words were needed as their lips met in a kiss so wonderful Hobbi could almost not bear it. It was familiar and foreign. It was pain and pleasure. It was breathtaking.

All thoughts of dungeons, islands, monsters, kidnappings and villains now seemed like a bad dream from which he had just awoken. Hobbi was back in the land of the living and not a moment too soon.

“You are aware none of what you are seeing is real, I take it?” said a voice.

It was an ugly voice. A growling gutteral voice which contained no compassion, no empathy, no love. It did not belong in this world of friends and lovers. It was a voice Hobbi knew well and wished he did not. Hobbi’s eyes, which had been closed as he had shared his intimate moment with his one true love, snapped open. Lurea’s eyes looked back at him, but they were now cold and frozen. She was not moving. Hobbi looked to his left and saw that the rest of them… Hue, Scribbles, Aerin… they were all frozen in place. Unmoving.

The cruel voice spoke again, “I’m sorry, did I break the spell?”

Hobbi spun around to face the tall broad figure of Morg, the Uruk
“What have you done?” he hissed angrily.

Morg smiled. At least, it may have been a smile. He certainly opened his mouth and bared his teeth but smile or not it was as threatening as any of his other expressions,
“I’ve done nothing, save perhaps unsettle the balance of the enchantment you and your…friend…are under.”
“My friend?” Hobbi asked, momentarily thrown.
Morg pointed a long black finger lazily in one direction, “There…” he said.

At a table sat Anorast, frozen like all the others, but with one difference. His eyes were completely white.

“If you are wondering…your eyes look the same. I’m afraid it is part of the sorcery.”
“I do not understand…” gasped Hobbi, “What is happening?”
Low and rasping, Morg gave a short laugh, “You pathetic mortals. You have a tremendous capacity for wandering into situations you are not prepared for. Look…”
Morg raised his other hand and before Hobbi could move, he placed it on the hobbit’s forehead. Once more, there was a flash of white and Hobbi was back in the dungeon. Anorast still held Lurea in his arms, but he was still frozen and his eyes still like a winter storm.
“I do not know what it is your friend here is seeing. My connection to the dark magics allowed me to enter your illusion…but the minds of elves are malicious and labyrinthine… I would not willingly tread there. If he cannot break free, he will stay here as a statue until the world falls to darkness,” again Morg bared his fangs in a perverse smile, “The way things are going, that shouldn’t be too long.”

“Why are you helping us?” Hobbi snapped, “Just kill me and spare me your tricks.”

“We want the same thing Halfling,” Morg growled, “But you can not help me achieve my ends until you are free from your illusions.”

“Well now I am free, tell me what you want from me.” Hobbi’s suspicions were no less, but his interest suddenly peaked. Morg was many things, but a liar was not one of them.

“Free? No little Halfling you are not yet free. This little scene is a fallacy too. You are still in the dream world and until you are out of it, you are of no use to me whatsoever.”
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Postby PatriotBlade » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:38 am

Dragons’ Quest

Though the weather was fair, the wind rushing around the dragons as they flew was bone chilling. The dragons themselves did not feel it, but to Heather, riding on Cerna’s back, it was practically frigid. She had worn several layers of clothing and had wrapped herself in a blanket, but the wind was biting through it all. The healer clung to a thin saddle that Cerna had helped a tanner in the city to make and watched the landscape race past her, far below and through watery eyes. She was also thankful that before leaving the city, she had been able to form bonds with all five young dragons, making it possible to communicate with them without trying to shout over the wind.

They had made amazing progress over the last day and a half, surprising even her young companions. The healer’s spirits were higher than they would have been if she’d gone on foot, and hope was beginning to bud in her heart that she may actually be able to help.


“That’s not good…” One of the younger dragons thought-spoke.

Heather glanced around and spotted the darkening clouds.
“No, it’s not, and it wasn’t even there a few minutes ago.”

“The air smells of magic.” Tryn was studying the terrain below and ahead.

A sudden streak of lightning cut through the sky, barely missing the youngest of the five dragons.

Heather screamed and nearly lost her hold on a strap of the saddle.


“Hold tightly, Lady Heather!” Cerna twisted around to heard the younger creatures after Tryn, who was making for a large clearing slightly to the east of them. “Go, you lot! Quickly!” Another bolt of lightning streaked through the space Cerna had filled only seconds before, and the thunder was deafening as it rolled among the thickening clouds.

Heather screamed again and buried her face against Cerna’s neck. The healer felt as if her stomach had leapt into her mouth as the female dragon went into a steep dive. Rain began to pelt them then – freezing cold and stinging where it struck the healer’s exposed skin.

When they reached the clearing and slipped under the shelter of the surrounding trees, the half-elf slid stiffly to the ground and settled, shivering against Cerna’s warm side. Heather drifted to sleep as her body began to warm up.

The storm lasted until deep into the night and Tryn decided to wait for morning, not because the dragons needed the light, but because Heather did, and she knew what she was looking for. Also, he noted the way the three younger dragons were sleeping and realized that they were exhausted from trying to keep up the pace he’d been setting. They’d been brave and well behaved by not complaining, but he resolved to be more careful of them for the rest of the time they spent in the air.

They set out again as the purple morning sky started turning orange.

Heather, well rested and warm, steeled herself for another bone chilling ride. She needed to find another group of questers soon, and share her information with them if she intended to be of any assistance.
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Postby prmiller » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:57 pm

Final Journeys

It has been months since Parm had been able to leave Imladris...for anything.
Arahn had been banished, which was a mercy, for he had gone hopelessly insane.
The Ents cared for him. Keeping him in Fangorn Forest, blocking his wandering
paths with well-placed guardians of oak and elm. In some dark, wretched way, Arahn had been blessed by having no more memory of what he had done, for his last spell, the Summoning, hoping for the summoning of the mind of the great spell-weavers, had indeed summoned something...it had summoned every memory of every Numenorean on the day of the Great Flood...and had burned his mind
almost into oblivion, save one sliver of sanity, that gave him the presence of
mind to know he was human, needed sleep, food, and clothing.

The trial, however, had irrevocably humiliated Parm and the disgrace of his
only son's transgressions against the most sacred of laws in Imladris had ripped
his soul in two. Then, to add further horror to the pain, Parm was told that his wife had gone missing, last seen as a prison of a company of rampaging orcs. His daughters, in grief, and hating their father even
more for his inactivity, pilgrimaged to the Shire, the Grey Havens...and out
into the West.

Parm was alone.
Truly, utterly alone.
That was months ago.

Winter sullenly slipped into spring, spring relented to summer, but with summer,
came Anessil, who was, it was believed, to be of a noble house in Thranduil's court,
but no one really...knew. She was gifted, like the Istari, Rhadaghast, to talk to
animals, particularly birds, although sparrows seemed uncomfortable chatting
with her for any length of time...something about the edge of her voice in
Sparrowtongue.

Annesil had attended the trial, and had been stunned at how Parm,
carefully articulated the ways in which Arahn had deceived them
all and had taken possession of dark arts and forbidden powers,
to his own ruin and eventual insanity.

Though tears unheedingly trickled down his cheeks, he explained each
offense, and outlined each deception, the greatest of all being his supposed
need to travel south to the palaces of Osgiliath, to find some information that
would help retrieve that purloined "bride". That had been years ago!

Parm was no longer sociable. He stepped away at the slightest hint of any social
affair and was silent to the point of presumed muteness...until Anessil.
Something in her raven-dark eyes and hair teased at Parm's crusty exterior,
and had found chinks, cracks, and unattended portals, into his soul. Her voice!
The nightingales could sing in harmony with her, the larks were jealous of her
trills, and it was this gift of music that wore away at Parm's resistent spirit.
It was summer when that now most beloved of days had dawned.

Parm was rewriting one of the silly ballads of Bilbo into more epic meter, when
Anessil, slipped up beside him, and found a melody to weave into the words. Parm
did not dismiss her, as he had once done with the High King of the Elves,
who had come to check on a parchment Parm had been restoring. Anessil,
mimicked the cardinal's bright tune and had softened it into the timbre of a tune
fit for a cheery ballad. Parm ceased writing. He did not sit back, though he
rested his quill on the quillstone, set nearby where other quills lined across
it like obedient servants of scribecraft.

Like the tiniest freshet of water, that discovers a weakness in the wall of the
mightest of sandcastles, a hum, then a definite note, thrummed in Parm's chest,
as he found the counterpoint harmony to Anessil's tune. He did not look at her,
but focused, instead, on the words before him. The freshet grew to a cheering
trickle, and then, a gush of music: Anessil's voice floating with pure abandon
on the surface of Parm's rich river of melody.

The music attracted the other residents of Imladris, who had not heard music of
this sort ever in their lives...and loved it even as a parent in the newly-
discovered antics of a toddling child. In clusters of three or four, stood the
shining presence of the Rivendell Elves, at the doorway of Parm's apartment.
When the song had ended, there was no applause, but contented sighs, and a
an "ah" that was echoed up and down the hallways of Imladris.

Parm was in love.

Would there be more?

No one held Parm to a calendar. The Valar had seen to that.
Parm was now nearing 700 and his gift of time was nearing its end.
Twice that year, the visions that had abjured him to be
faithful in prosecuting his son, had added a further dimension: he was being
allowed to age as other men, who were in the human years of their fifties.
His body was no longer protected from aches and pains, his face, no longer
seemingly ageless, his body, no longer able to fight battles with great
monsters. He was getting old...and would soon die...as other men his age
and not much older. However, for this loss, he would gain other fitting gifts.
They shall be revealed when you are at great need, then, once known
they are yours to command as you deem, for as long as you walk through
the time remaining to you.



Parm wanted to have Anessil to join him, but he was reluctant...and still
very much in pain...until he heard of friends far away needing help.
Perhaps, on such a quest, the old Parm would be found and the new,
gentrified Parm would truly die away, and the adventurer/poet would be
revived.

That was in the summer.
It was now the cusp of fall into winter, and Parm was tired again from all the
memories, all the disappointments, and the grey, rainy days that dominated
Middle Earth like an disapproving martinet.

Parm stretched from his work...it was time for a walk.
...and maybe...she... might be about...maybe... .
Last edited by prmiller on Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Variations on a theme: winter here in Calgary...and elsewhere?

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Postby prmiller » Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:50 am

Final Journeys

Anessil was also tired. She had spent much of the early morning training
several elf-lords the grammar of Swan-speech and brushing up a young
elf maid on her Aerish, the honorific form used by Eagles when addressing the
Istari and other royals.

She had even received a very special gift: a feather from one of the Eagle
lords, new-molting. It was almost as long as her torso with arms extended.
It shimmered in the sunlight, and as she allowed it to skim across the air,
it gave off an almost musical hum.

It was in the midst of that activity that Parm had found her.

"That is certainly quite the feather you have, there, m'lady."
"Ah! Master Parm. The manuscripts must either be finished, or you are
as weary of the sudden press of responsibilities upon you as I am, and
in need of a respite."
"Yes. I do need a walk, and yes, the manuscripts, are, at last, nearing
completion."
"Your new fixative was a success then?"
"You have heard?"
"No, Master Parm, I smelt it. It has a ... distinctive ... pungency."
Small could not restrain a chuckle. "Yes, it has...that...to be sure."
"Master Parm, may I ask you about a certain matter that has been ...
in my dreams?"
"I am no Dream-Counselor, m'lady, but you may ask."
"Why do I continue to see you in a cave of many mirrors?"
Parm felt his pallor change. His stomach roiled and he rubbed his hands
as one my try to wringe out a wet rag.

"...ah. That...".
"I have ventured too far already, forgive me."
"No, no, no, m'lady...it is more memory than pain. It is from a place some
distance from here, where I was about ready to be trapped forever in my
own madness."
"Who would do such a thing?"
Parm grew even more silent.
Suddenly he looked up, sighed, and looked steadily into the eyes of the
most beautiful woman he had ever known... beyond his own first beloved...
"My son," he replied, plainly.

Anessil's hand flew to her mouth in honest dismay and shock.
"The Valar protect us!"
"I believe they did...through my friends, there."
"How could your son...."
"...Arahn..." assisted Parm,
"...yes, Arahn... how could he have caused such a thing?"
"You were at the trial, were you not?"
"I grieve to say i was."
"Then, m'lady Annesil, it was the bitter fruit of Arahn's secretive research."
"Did he know what it would actually do to you?"
"Yes, he did. In fact, he counted on it to keep me from ever returning home
sane enough, or strong enough, to stop him. For only he knew that I had
sealed up and hidden those documents he had uncovered. I had learned
of the scope of the powers hidden there, but was forbidden to destroy, for
it was the legacy of the Numenoreans, as as you know, we here, at Imladris,
especially in the Scriptorium, are blood-bound to destroy no document that
is part of the history of Arda. Not one. No matter how pernicious and evil
it may be: even shadows must remain, or the light has no attraction."

That was the most Parm had spoken to anyone on anything for nearly a
year or more. The sudden flood of information seemed to cascade from him
as something more cathartic than vengeful.

"I am so sorry, Annesil. You heard more than I ought to have said."
"What drove Arahn to hurt you so?" The audacity of the question was as bold
as the lancet of a surgeon. The infection in Parm's soul was needing to be
expunged.

"Parm, please...you can speak now. There are none here to judge nor evict you."

"Arahn loved me so much, that his desire to have me as his ever-near father,
drove him to hate anything that keep me from him. If he could not have me,
then neither could anyone else. He would not share his love for me to others.
We had seen it from time to time when his sisters would interrupt us when we
were in deep conversation. He did not crave affection so much, as mental
intimacy, the fellowship of souls. He loved my poetry. He saved every little note
and jotting I made. He treasured them. That was my undoing. I thought...to
my great humiliation ... that he was keeping them as a kind of game. So, I
made a cipher game for him, to encourage his linguistic skills.

"First there was the Shire Cipher. You know that one. change every vowel in
the word to the one next to in line in the alphabet. Then the Middlemarsh
Maze, which was my favorite...I'll show it to you later...until, in some
moment of pride at my own linguistic skill, I drew him in to learn the ancient
texts of the Lost Lands.

"It was then that the toy became the tool and the tool became the weapon.
Arahn learned, but not from me, mind, about ancient texts kept here and in
other repositories. His love for me was slowly transferred to his love for what
he could learn from me. In my arrogance, I thought I could guide him into
paths of scholarship that would give Imladris a fresh dimension of learning:
the dark arts mastered by a pure soul. How wrong I was.

"One day, one terrible day, Arahn discovered manuscript that I had not even
known existed. It was written in such a way that his training in ciphers had
alerted him to a deeper level in the text. Hours and hours, days and days
he pored over it, we learned later in court, and from its depths, it was revealed
that a passageway existed that would make the pilgrim into apprentice and
apprentice into master. Unknown to any of us, a means to leave here, in
Imladris, and appear in the ancient reliquaries of Lond Daer, where my
prison was being prepared.

"Arahn discovered, as you recall, the "Ardarian: the Chronicles of Arda"...
the pseudo-title for the darkest book of power. It was a book from the Second
Age, from the lost island of Numenor itself.It had been penned by,
then stolen and hidden from, Melkor, himself. "

At the sound of that name, the sky become momentarily dark, and a few
heads looked up as though thunder had echoed in their souls. Even
Annesil paled slightly.

"Yes. It was true, as we learned all too late."

"Then Arahn learned the Summoning words, didn't he?"
"Yes."
"Before 'The Words of Ward and Warning' and 'The Mind Prison' Commands.?"
"Yes. Then, when he had believed he had me where his powers would ensnare
me, my friends intervened, both to his rage and downfall. He uttered the
fateful Summoning Words and...and..."
At this Parm felt tearfully silent.
"My dear Parm."
"...and he was lost to us...forever...or so we thought."
"He seemed cogent at the trial."
"Yes, he did. But not until he performed one last act of loving vengeance.
Remember, he loved me deeply, please remember that. After the verdict had
been pronounced, he completed the last phrase of the Summoning Command,
thinking that with this in his possession, with ultimate power, he could cleanse
our memories of him, and he would escape...to...wherever he had planned."
"I remember that dreadful night."
"As do we all, m'lady....as do we all."

A deeper, more resonant voice broke in.
It was the head of the White Council...
"Annesil. Parm has given you enough for today. Return to your students, please."

Annesil bowed, left hurriedly, but not without one swift, meaningful glance back.
The White Council leader looked long and deeply into Parm's eyes.
"The Valar have spoken. You are to be purged of all their graces within you, so
that you might age and die as other mortals, and pass into the Undying Lands
to live with them as their love had originally intended.
"Your span of life shall be 50 years...no more, no less...unless you wish to
shorten it at your own hand and to your own enduring peril."

"As for your word-craft, what you have learned shall remain with you for the
present, but like all mortals, you, too, shall fade in memory and skills.

"Not all is to be sorrow and loss, however. At the end of your fiftieth year,
a great sleep shall come upon you, even as twilight gives way to evening,
and you shall pass from this world into theirs as gently as a bird glides from
sea to shore. It is their last gift to you, but I not the only gift. There are, I believe
more that are to be given you, but when and how and of what nature they are
that will be revealed to you."

"As for your work here, Master Parm, it is finished. There are people, however
in the Shire, who greatly desire, and yearn for your presence among them.
The request comes from an old friend of yours, Willum, I believe. He has
become a great man in the Shire, and a friend of the King and mine as well.
He would like you to take up the post of Inn-Host, at the Silver Trout Inn.

"What do you say to that?"

Parm was numb at the news, but felt a tremendous lightening of his spirit as well.
How good to be among the hobbit folk, whose simple, carefree lives, had been
the delight of Istari and Gondorian royalty alike.

"Sir," Parm responded, "I accept my fate, my legacy, and my new posting."

"You may leave after Yule..."he smiled, "We love gifts, too, you know."
Last edited by prmiller on Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Variations on a theme: winter here in Calgary...and elsewhere?

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Postby prmiller » Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:11 am

Final Journeys

Willum Took stretched as he rose from a bench he had been sharing with
Gerrol Ivy and Berrin Chubb across from him.

"Say Gerrol," squeaked Willum as his stretched went to its fullest extension,
"Let's help Farmer Proudfoot with that stretch he has been clearing south of
Dingle's Pond! It's so fresh outside today!"

"Sound's like a great idea, Willum. Right after a second pint and meat pasty!
Gotta keep our strength up!"

"Well, you get your strengthenin' and meet me there! I can almost feel some of
the blackberries callin' me."

"Blackberries!" Gerrol and Berrin exclaimed. "Now?"

"Yeah, inside a tent he has built...for growing new plants it's for. Warm as
summer, cheery as spring! He keeps a special furnace going, with special
coal-earth, called "peat". Great stuff. Nice odor."

"I'm in with ya!"Gerrol cried
"Same ta me!" Echoed Berrin.

The threesome gave the innkeeper two silver pennies, which more than
covered the second breakfast and elevenses they had enjoyed.

Gerrol's father was a blacksmith. Gerrol was nearly twice the strength as his
father, and nearly double his girth, and had the disposition of a cow. It took
a lot to get him stirred into anger, but not much to excite his love of food.
Gerrol was apprenticed to his father's brother, Yorris, who had lived most of
his life in the northern reaches of the shire. He had even gone as far west
as Forlindon. It was there he had learned some excellent techniques by the
anchor-makers at the harbors there.

A ploughshare made by Yorris Ivy was as strong as a winter freeze. Yorris had
passed on the skills to his son, Gerrith, and Gerrith was eager to train Gerrol.
All Gerrol needed was a few more years on him before Gerrith would round him
up and get him into the smithy. However, Gerrol was certainly capable of find
fuel for the smith-fires and carting in the smith-ware that flowed into the
Ivy Smithy day after day.

Gerrith Ivy was well off...not wealthy, mind you...but comfortable, and did not fear any future financial storms.

Berrin Chubb, however, was child of the earth. The Chubbs were renowned for
their excellent radishes, carrots, beets, rutabagas...and their prized potatoes.
A Chubb-grown potato almost seemed to have double-rich flavor. While Gerrol
was strong by lineage, Gerrol always gave way to Berrin. Berrin's brawn came
from the farmer's toil. Oh, yes...he was a Hobbit, all right, fond of beer and
baccy, pies and pasties like the next man...especially berry tarts! But the Chubbs
had drilled into Berrin's head long ago: "...and where do the breakfasts come
from? The sweat of someone's brow! Work hard, eat hard, play hard, but work
come first."

Berrin, was, to be sure rather round, but when Rosalin Proudfoot had slipped
and was emperiled by a falling keg of beer, Berrin had snatched it and placed it
on the counter, as though it had been a serving tray of soup. No one doubted
Berrin's physical skills, but he was a bit slow...and still got lost figuring out the
bill, especially if the numbers had to be carried to the third column.

Willum, was an inventor. Over the months of his being with Master Parm, the
Bard had noticed Willum innovative skills. A rock became a fulcrum, an anchor,
a pillow, and bed warmer. Willum's eyes and hands were a remarkable pairing.

Only yesterday, when poor flustered Rosalin could not figure out how to keep the
flies out of the inn, as a result of the rip in the screen, Willum had taken needle
and thread and repaired the rip, and while had created a pattern to enhance
the beauty of the screen...hence the silver pennies. A workman, went the
saying, was worthy of his hire.

The threesome were about to leave the inn, when the postman from
Michel Delving arrived.
"Master Willum!" he cried. "You have a letter, sir! All the way from Rivendell,
no less! I think it's from Master Parm! He lettering is almost unmistakable!"

The postman's rising inflection with each sentence made the Hobbits wonder
if he could ever say anything with a flatter tone. They would be disappointed...
"I can read it for you, if you like...".
"I know my letters, good fellow," Willum's tone edged, with a slight remonstrance.
"Meaning no disrespect, sir. The Shire is filled with folks who are read to as
much as those who read. Hard to tell which from either, if you take my
meaning."
"I do, good courier, now here is a brass trout (the current slang for the day-to-day
currency) for your pond." With that, Willum produced a well-worn copper coin,
an acceptable gratuity in this case.

"Well open, it you goose!" Berrin gave Willum a good-natured cuffing, but sent
Willum stumbling forward a bit more than he wished...forward into the
prominent belly of the prosperous farmer who just stepped in for a bite. Lord
Mayor SamWise the Ninth. There was sputtering, apologizing, more cuffing,
a explanations flying about, until Rosalin piped in.

"Lord Mayor, your pie is getting dreadful cold here!"
At that the Lord Mayor extricated himself and waddled over to the special
table set for him. All was forgiven...and about to be forgotten, had it not
been for the letter. In his haste to get to plate and pie, the Lord Mayor
had inadvertently snatched hold of Willum's letter, which he eyed with
increasing awe and interest.

"Maahster Willum..." he intoned. "Is this a missive from Ihm-lah-drisss!
His pronounciations were always heavily drawn out and eye-rollingly
pretentious.

"Yes, M'Lord." Willum replied, hoping there would be swift resolution. He
was wrong.

"Might I inquire as to the nature of this most auspicious of gifts of
calligraphed excellence?"

"I have no idea, yet, M'Lord. It has only just arrived."
"Well, we shall have to learn about it, then, shan't we? After all, interregional
affairs are the concern of any good mayor, are they not?"

Willum muttered, "If only you'd inherited Gamgee graciousness...."
Then in a louder voice, "Most prudent, sir. Most prudent."

The exchange of lettered gentlemen stunned Gerrol.
"Where'd you get all fancy with your speech making?"
"That's Parm, too. I bet!" Berrin chimed in.
Willum nodded sharply and repeatedly.
"Come's in handy for ya, that's for certain!" Gerrol whistled. "Friends of
Lord Mayors and Rivendell Rangers!"

"Well, Master Willum, shall we explore the depths of this communication,
you and I?"
"I'd be honored, sir."

With that, shuffled over to the Lord Mayor's table, where a mug had
magically appeared, thanks to Rosalin, and a slice of mutton with cheese
and scone.

The letter opened, the Lord Mayor and Willum scanned and muttered aloud,
the following, and to Willum's delight, the Lord Mayor added not further
annotations. He simply read this:

"Mae Govannen, Willum.

It has been a long time since I have kept any words going between us.
That was, as we had somewhat agreed, a good idea, considering the
new venture I was to take on, here at Imladris."

The letter described in careful, articulate, and precise language the
nature of Parm's disappearance, silence, and current situation.

"I am prepared to see you this coming spring. I look forward to seeing the
Shire in flower.

May the stars shine bright on our meeting.

Till then,
Your servant,
Parm "

The Mayor was struck mute with awe.
In fact, the entire inn had become one great ear, taking in all that had been
transpiring at the Lord Mayor's table.
Last edited by prmiller on Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby prmiller » Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:16 am

Final Journeys

Tinula, Valaniel, Aravel...all gone.
Arahn...insane.
Parm...sentenced to die.

It was grimmer than the worst of tragedies, more melodramatic than
a Shire Festival Farce, and every bit true.

Parm was alone.

He felt it keenly today.
Annesil felt it, too.

This both fascinated and also concerned Parm...no, actually it worried him.
Some was especially wrong, when Parm was certain that Annesil's face looked
harsher than he had ever seen it as she approached some sparrows on the waxberry
trees outside her apartment window. It was as if the birds were encroaching and
she was defending this plot of her own.

The Parm saw, what he wished he had not seen.
As Annesil turned from the window, a few black feathers fluttered out from
underneath Annesil's robe. They had not been in the aparments, the birds of
blackname and deed. It mattered not to any Crebain, what master owned them,
so long as their comforts were assured....asssured...assured...
Parm awoke from a sudden nap and remembered he had work elsewhere.

"Curious. Black feathers...wonder what that all portends?"
Last edited by prmiller on Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Hobbituk » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:51 pm

“What now?”

Hobbi had continued to fight the illusions. His only weapon against them was his mind and he knew it was nothing special. It was a Hobbit’s mind… simple, uncomplicated. The vision of The Lucky Fortune Inn had just been the beginning. Once he had broken through that barrier, he was back in the cavern with Lurea… but there was more. Vision followed by vision followed by brain-crushingly painful headaches. In one he was back in the Shire, wandering across the hills with his Grandfather. In another he was in Rivendell, composing songs by the fire. After that they became more abstract; dreams of swimming through lakes of liquid silver… or flying above miles of forests in a rainstorm. Each one felt so real. More challenging still, each was better than reality.

It was becoming harder and harder. Without the help of Morg, Hobbi knew he would not make it. The Orc marched ahead of him, sometimes in physical form, sometimes as an object of pure light and everything in between. Morg’s grating voice broke through every dream with his cutting remarks,

“Faster. We do not have time for this, weak minded creature.”

“I… can’t… they’re never ending…” Hobbi gasped.

“Keep digging. Only you can dig your way out of this, my only job was to hand you the shovel… and maybe shout a few encouraging slogans.”

“An Orc with a sense of humour. Just what I need.”

“What you need is a sword in your gut, to teach you not to be so bloody flippant and at any other time I would be happy to oblige, but r…”

Morg’s voice halted abruptly. There was silence in the Hobbit’s mind and in front of him was only blackness. He could feel the stone of the cavern beneath his feet. Was he now out of the dream world? Had he escaped? It did not feel like a dream, but it did not feel like reality either. With a nagging feeling of dread, he realised what it reminded him most of. It reminded him of being dead.

“Morg…?” he called out in a wavering voice. He could not believe how much he longed to hear that foul beast’s gutteral sniping once again.

There was no reply. Eventually, somewhere in front of him a faint pinprick of light appeared. Slowly it became more defined, growing in size and becoming brighter. He felt an urge to walk towards it, but he was unsure. What if this was death, come for him at last once and for all?

“So, do I ‘go into the light’ or not?” he mused aloud, noticing as he did so that there was none of the now familiar echo of the underground stone that he had grown used to. Hobbi also became aware, without knowing quite how he knew, that he was no longer stood on stone. It felt, to his increasing panic, as though he were stood upon thin air. He decided it might be best not to think about that too much, for fear of breaking whatever spell was holding him up.

His musings were unanswered and so, with nothing more constructive to do, he began to walk towards the light. As he got nearer he saw that the light was in fact a ball of glimmering white, the size of a Hobbit’s head, floating towards him. By the time he had worked this out he knew it was too late to avoid it. The ball of light was going to hit him directly in the head. Hobbi held his hands up in front of his face, knowing even as he did so that it was a laughable futile gesture.

The world turned a brilliant white and then he was in a room. It was like no room he had ever seen. Colourless, sterile and empty but for a table in the centre. There was a strangeness to the table which Hobbituk could not quite place his finger on. He realised it was made of no material he had ever seen before. Not wood or stone…not even marble. It was thin and smoothly shaped. It looked like white Ice, poured like water over the shape of a what a table should look like. Yet there was no coldness to it. The entire room seemed to be of a similar design. Whatever …or wherever…it was, Hobbi knew it was not Middle-Earth.

“Have you come to play?” enquired a small young voice from behind him.

Hobbituk whirled around to find himself face-to-face with… the girl. Fiery red hair, bright eyes greener than the grass of the Shire, beauty beyond her short years. It was Lurea’s… daughter. She wore a magnificent long dress, as green as those impossibly large, grown-up eyes. She smiled at him with an innocent playfulness.

“What is your name please?” she said, turning her chin up and jutting out her bottom lip as though she were a Hobbit child playing at being a Shirrif watching the borders of the Shire.

“My…my… name is Herbert…” he said, so completely thrown by the situation he found himself using his real name. “Wh…what is yours?”

The girl smiled, “I’m Melda. I’m a princess.” she said matter of factly, “Do you like my dress?”

Some of Hobbi’s confidence returned and it occurred to him that for all the unnaturalness of the situation there was something unnervingly real about the whole thing. Perhaps there was something to be gained here.

“Nice to meet you Melda. That is a very lovely dress.”

Melda giggled, “The elf gave it me. He is very silly though.”

“Silly?” asked Hobbi, despite the eeriness of Melda, her childishness made it difficult to dislike her.

“Do this! Do that!” Melda shouted, suddenly making her voice deeper in mimicry of Leonir, “He makes everyone do what he wants but he’s not so clever Mr Herbert.”

“Really?”

“Oh no. He thinks I am a little girl, but I’ve already learnt how to pinch his magic without him knowing.” she giggled again, this time with a shrug of her shoulders like she had been up to mischief.

“Oh…” said Hobbi, “And why would you do such a thing Melda?”

Melda frowned thoughtfully, “I think he’s probably not a very good person. Anyhow, I like you. I watched you in the Orb,” her face turned suddenly stern, “You shouldn’t have killed the birdie though.” she rebuked him.

“You’re right, I shouldn’t have,” agreed Hobbi, “That was a bad thing to do and I wish I hadn’t.”

“The elf is never sorry to kill. He likes it. He says death is his friend.”

“Well, you were right, he is not a good elf. Look, I want to help you. I want to get you and your mother away to somewhere…nicer. But for that I might need your help first. Can you tell me where he is?”

“I can do better than that, I can lead you there. First I had to get you out of his dream world though. You could have been in there a very very long time. Till you were as dead as the birdie.”

“I’m not in the dream world anymore?” Hobbi wondered aloud.

“No. This is my place. I’m not sure…exactly…where it is. It’s another world, I think a long time in the future…but I decided for it to be my palace. I come here in my head when I don’t want to look at real things anymore,” Melda gently brushed her tiny hand through her red locks, before proudly adding, “I brought you here too. I’m quite clever.”

“You are. Can I go back now though? There’s so much to do.”

“Ok…” sighed Melda, “I should prob’ly go too. He might notice I’m not in my head anymore.”

“So how do I find you?”

“I’ll leave you breadcrumbs…” Melda giggled again.

“Wha…” but before Hobbi could ask what that meant, there was a flash and he was suddenly back in the cavern, holding his torch before him.

“You’re back,” Morg’s voice snapped Hobbi back to reality, “I lost you in the labyrinth of your mind. Almost severed your head from your body just to save you from the torment.”

Something about the way Morg said that last bit told Hobbi that not only was he deadly serious, but that it was meant to almost be a…friendly gesture.

“Erm… thank you.”

“Whatever. I looked ahead while you were away with the faeries. It might be difficult. There are staircases leading in many different directions. We might never find our way through.”

“Well, let’s go and have a look anyway,” said Hobbi, “See if I can spot any…breadcrumbs.”
Last edited by Hobbituk on Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TinuvielUndomiel » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:46 pm

When Tinu finally arrived at the mainland, just as dusk was painting a deep violet across the sky, she considered her meager options of travel. The boat might be useful for a time, but it would take longer to reach Erinhue and the others, since they were likely to be found further inland. Her horse had been released long ago; Tinu would not go back on the
promise of freedom, even for this quest. Her feet were still strong and nimble, but even they would not be sufficient, for time was short.

A gentle breeze tickled her ear and the soft voice of Maelan whispered, "I am sending you a friend of mine. You must find Erinhue and the Dragonharp before the Evil One, or all will be lost in MiddleEarth. No more can I help you in this quest, for the Valar are calling me home, but before I go, I will remind you that only a mortal can save Lurea. You must find him and bring him before the Evil One, so that the ancient Evil may be finally vanquished."

"Who is this mortal?" Tinu inquired as the invisible feathers began to fade away.

"It is too soon for you to know," was the echo that caressed her ear.

Tinu closed her eyes, wishing that the Maia could have told her more, but then she chastised herself. It was the way of the Maiar and she should never expect anything else.

Suddenly, a magnificent horse trotted out from the nearby woods. It was too dark to properly see the true hue of his coat, but Tinu suspected that it was a deep, glossy chestnut. His intelligent eyes spoke to her, as many creatures spoke wordlessly, and she gently mounted the beast. She knew that no saddle or bridle would ever touch him and she treated him with the respect due to such a creature.

Leaning forward, Tinu whispered, "We must find the Bard. Run as fast as you can, for the fate of the world may rest upon our success or failure."

The horse nodded and soon they were flying through the trees, on a nearly impossible mission, for they knew not where the Bard had stopped.

*****************************************

Meanwhile, in a small Inn, the last hospitable place this far south in Lebennin, the Bard was drinking his sorrows away. He had just watched the last glint of the sun fade away on the mouth of the Anduin and had drunk a toast to it.

He stood and reeled to the right, raising his tankard. The few patrons in the pub awaited his next toast and prepared to stifle their laughter. Who was this sad man that sat on his stool day after day, telling drunkenly slurred tales about a hobbit and an elf's marriage? Many thought him mad, perhaps a wanderer who had lost his mind. For months he had stayed at the Inn, entertaining anyone who would listen with his incredible tales.

"To my fellow--" Erinhue started, but abruptly ended as his eyes rolled up into his head and he fell into a heap on the stone floor.

As he lay in his drunken dream-like state, a stately auburn-haired woman appeared before him, her face indistiguishable due to the backlighting of her figure.

He squinted and asked, "Lurea?"

The other patrons laughed at the man who lay on the floor, speaking to the air, but he did not hear them.

"No, I'm Melda," the figure said simply, in a child-like manner. She stepped forward, her youthful face now apparent and the scale of her height corrected. The young girl's head barely reached Erinhue's chest as he stood up and reached forward to touch the long hair that was a mixture of Lurea's and Culanir's reds.

The girl smiled and pointed to Agarak.

"The bad elf wants your Dragonharp, so I made sure that you slept here...I told the dragon to be quiet, very quiet. The elf cannot find him if he's quiet. But I can," she proudly announced. "The hobbit needs your help now, so it's okay to stop hiding. An elf is coming...she is very old and wants to help. Get your horse ready because she will be here soon. I have to go now, before the bad elf notices. Bye!"

She giggled as her small figure faded back into the walls of the Inn. The dream state ended and Hue awoke on the cold floor.
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