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 prmiller » Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:55 am

<b>Tale of the Warriors of Light</b><BR>Willum had never seen anything so wondrous in his life!<BR>Lady Heather and Master Parm had powers about them that<BR>they did not even know. Willum had heard ancient, ancient tales<BR>about how Eru would find worthy souls and give them, unbidden<BR>great gifts of power. Naturally, the tales were told in a way as<BR>to warn young hobbits of being greedy, for those so gifted would<BR>lose them because they would no longer use these gifts nobly,<BR>but become spoilt and cruel. Then Eru would have to withdraw<BR>the gifts of power and usually this would also result in such<BR>persons ending up in the Houses of Shadows.<BR><BR>He hoped that such would not happen to Lady Heather and<BR>Parm. Even so, as Lady Heather sat, stroking SilverTongue, he<BR>was in awe of her. Of course she was beautiful. Who could <BR>deny that? Of course she was kind - well, at least to him and <BR>Parm and Nessa. <BR>Nessa! He had completely forgotten how she was doing! He<BR>looked over to her bunk and saw her looking asleep, but he<BR>had no idea if she had awakened by the commotion of <BR>SilverTongue or had slept through it all. Women could be so<BR>odd that way. That's how they caught hold of secrets. Just like<BR>Bessie Withywindle. Who could forget that awful day? <BR>His second cousin from Staddle had come for a birthday party<BR>and stayed the night. Together he and young Master Boffin,<BR>whom everyone called "Dusty" and the Brandybuck twins and<BR>Avery Dingleberry, had gathered in Willum's room to go raid<BR>Farmer Bolger's blackberry bushes. They were the pride of<BR>East Farthing. When they were ripe (like today) they almost<BR>fell off as you picked them. Of course, they only planned to get<BR>a few handfuls, not much, you know, but the very next day...bang!<BR>The door to Willum's room burst open and Great GrandUncle<BR>Roary Brandybuck strode in, with his great big voice and <BR>declared: "Bessie tells me you've been a -thiev'n!" <BR>After many protests, promises and paddles, each of the culprits<BR>was brought to justice. Each of them glared at a triumphant <BR>Bessie, who had, she said, 'Just gotten up for a swallow of<BR>something.' and had heard the whole thing. <BR>Willum had become suspicious of "seemingly sleeping" women<BR>from then on. <BR>SilverTongue was such an amazing bird, though. Strange that<BR>it always came to Parm and not to Lady Heather. Yet, there it<BR>lay, enjoying every stroke of Lady Heather's strong, yet gentle<BR>hands. <BR>Even as Willum looked, it was not long before the heat of the<BR>brazier, the weight of the day's adventures, and the contentment<BR>from a bit of something which he had found to help him over the<BR>excitement of seeing Parm's note, all worked to cause him to<BR>sleep. Head nodded. Eyes strained to keep awake. The soft<BR>pillow beckoned. Willum answered with a little sigh, then a <BR>smile.<BR><BR>Parm smiled affectionately at his little friend, until he, too,<BR>found his own head tilt down and he slipped into the embrace<BR>of slumber. His last image was of Lady Heather holding<BR>SilverTongue. He thought he heard a song... .<BR>
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Postby Nessamelda » Tue Jan 13, 2004 5:15 am

<b>Tale Of The Warriors Of Light</b><BR><BR>After Heather had taken over her self appointed task of tending the horses, Nessamelda had gone to bed early. She could sleep just about anywhere, and indeed the gently rolling motion of the barge on the water as it made its way along the wide slow flowing river was restful to her.<BR><BR>She was startled into wakefulness by the cawing of Silvertongue as he landed on the rail of the barge. Unsure of the hour and a little peeved at being woken from her sleep, she wrapped her cloak around her against the misty chill of the night air. <BR><BR>She could hear Parm's words through the door as he read out the message aloud<BR>"<i>She who is of elf-kind knows the ancient words needed for your key</i>?" <BR><BR>Nessamelda shivered a little. Magic worried her. The magic she had seen in her youth was that wrought by Saruman, and had been perilous to those that she loved. So she lay in her bed while the others discussed the letter and mused to herself: ""She who is of Elf-kind"? Does that mean Heather? Or some other helper that we are to meet mysteriously on the way to Lond Daer? And if it is Heather, does she know what words are talked of here?"<BR><BR>She looked out into the dark night passing them slowly by as the river slowly carried them towards the destination where the mystery would be revealed.<BR><BR>"And I do not like the sounds of the forces of great evil - haven't we been beset by enough on this journey already? And if the evil cannot be fought with the aid of a blade or by spilling blood how are we to defend ourselves from it?" <BR><BR>Then she stopped the train of thought and laughed at herself a little. Her complaints would get her nowhere.<BR><BR>"I suppose I am at least allowed to bang the evil on the head with a blunt instrument! Or would that bring down the doom of the age upon our heads too? Why cannot the elves be more plain with their aids and their warnings?!. It would make me happier if I knew from whom this sage advice came and what their aims are in giving them. But I suppose we should be grateful that aid is come to us and that we have a few clues to puzzle out, rather than struggling completely in the dark."<BR><BR>"And what of Alfirin" she added softly to herself. "We have had no word of how she fares. We know she served the darkness once; she knows where we are travelling to. We have had no word from her since she disappeared....."<BR><BR>Once more she huddled herself into her blanket and appeared to sleep.
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Postby Hidden_Ring » Sat Jan 24, 2004 11:43 pm

<b>Followers of the Tangled Thread (and oh how tangled it is)</b><BR><BR><i>The creeping sun was rising swiftly over the greenish brown fields, illuminating the four travellers that had stopped for the night. One figure could be found sitting up gazing at the lands before them while the rest were taking their rest by the steep hills of the last slopes of the Misty Mountains. Their campsite was sheltered by a large pillar less than a mile from the river Isen. The western arm of Nan Curunir had proved an excellent camp to shelter them from the brief but cold winter storm that traveled across the lands of the Rohirrim. Breathing softly on the embers of a dying fire, the elf that sat awake during the night set to work stirring the fire to life again, building it up with small branches and splintery piece of wood that had been salvaged from a fallen tree from nearby without going near the living trees of the Watchwood of Isengard.<BR><BR>Looking over at the remaining members of the traveling company, Orion reflected that he had little experience traveling with a young woman like Deore. She was quite curious about journeys that he or Declynn had made, asking for tales of adventures they had had or sights they had seen. Elana had been far less insistent, but a keep ear and eye could detect that she was just as eager to hear the stories. Then there was Declynn, the Ranger... quite amiable to Deore and knowledgable about their path. But she also was a little withdrawn from the group. </i>"....And who could blame her? She has her reasons...."<i> Stepping away from the fire and looking back towards the west and the north, thinking back about the things that had happened...<BR><BR>Declynn's companions Pompero and Drake had indeed provided them with supplies and assistance. Drake found them two horses for use by Elana and Deore, fine strong steeds capable of long journeys and carrying heavier burdens. Pompero was all the Declynn had led the rest of the group to believe. His skill with healing was the equal of anyone from the Houses of Healing in Minas Tirith. Herb infusions and preserved packets of athelas were stored among baggage that was carried primarily on Kemenroch, the large toffee-tan draft horse with white socks that Orion rode bareback. The two mens' willingness to help them on the journey south had raised their dim hearts. Shortly after the company had agreed on their path, it seemed that Donaldo had struggled with his bond while they slept. The remains of the cords he had been tied were found by a sharp edged rock on the ground. Many stamped hoof prints belonging to Kemenroch were also found nearby the abraded cords, revealing the massive horse had saved them all from a knife in the dark. The abused thief's prints led off into the wild, and none truly had the devotion to chase him down.<BR><BR>Setting his mind back upon the present and a little to the future, the white blond elf nudged each of his friends awake. Crawling from under the warm woolen blankets they were supplied with, the three ladies took to warming themselves by the fire while Orion sat near, on an old weather lump of rock with a broke black tip, almost like a raggedly trimmed fingernail.</i> <BR><BR>The time has come which we have long delayed. We must soon make a few very hard choices my friends. Which way should we turn our path now? And what do we do for food? The lembas are still quite unspoiled and there should be plenty and to spare. But the other foods are running lower, and we may have to go to a town here to purchase more. <i>Orion cast a brief eye to Elana, then to Deore, and a flood of understanding passed from his eyes to their's: Despite the years since the War of the Ring, the people of Rohan still dreaded and hated the half Orcs that had plagued them so harshly.</i> More importantly, what path shall we take? The West road to curve by Minas Tirith? There IS another road I believe we could take, although I don't know if you would be willing to walk it Elana. It's said to be cleared of its shadows now and that the way is no longer shut. But I will let everyone decide.<BR><BR><BR><BR>((OOC: I don't know how much time has passed but I'm willing to move time ahead a bit, about 2 months forwards from the date of the Wedding, that is to say about the end of January. I'm not sure what time frame the other groups are working with. Let me know in the OOC and if this jump is too fast, I'll edit it.))
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Postby erinhue » Wed Jan 28, 2004 7:32 pm

<b>Four Elves and a Master Bard</b> found their desperate pursuit of the hobbit groom and his stolen bride hindered in the very first stages of that frantic flight. The water of the river rose up from its murky bed to challenge their crossing of the Last Bridge. A fledgling power displayed a glimpse of its maturing and the river water was repelled and returned to its rightful place allowing the hunters to cross over to the land beyond.<BR><BR>What should have been a wide stretch of pleasant meadow and gently rolling fields beyond the riverbanks had transformed to what proved to be a veritable obstacle course. Some unfriendly power had turned its will against them and twisted nature to its purpose, the purpose of delay. Every hard won yard was plagued with hazards that made progress slow and at times brought it to a frustrating halt.<BR><BR>The sweet grass had been replaced with grasping vines and nettled weeds overgrown into a tangle that was all but impenetrable for mile upon mile. They were forced to hold their horses to no more than a cautious walk or risk ruining damage to the animals, for any careless speed would have them trip and break their legs in the net like masses.<BR><BR>This snare was soon traded for another as the very ground beneath them became a sucking bog with mud so thick it took all energy just to forge ahead another step. Malice rained down on them in stinging, blinding force leaving them soaked and freezing in the icy winds that followed.<BR><BR>Their frustrating progress slowly forged a way into the mountains, which must be crossed if they were to have any hope of catching what they pursued. The best rout was forsaken in favor of one more difficult but with the promise of making up some time lost in their misfortunes. This too became a lesson in disorder and dismay when the stone that walled the mountain conduit collapsed and thundered down atop them.<BR><BR>Only the power of the dragonharp let them hold on to their lives but their passage all around was blocked by rock and stone and Agarak would not respond to Erinhue’s demands that it clear the way ahead. Time wasted in bitter search for a way out was compounded when they found their only choice was to clear a way themselves.<BR><BR>A gloom had fallen over the small company and the bard was full at fault. Early in the journey, Erinhue spoke little but would answer any comment or query put to him. Now he had become sullen and silent barely acknowledging the others when he rode near them. Most always he was ahead in his frustrated eagerness or behind locked in his own despair. The four elves talked in whispers, when the spoke at all, and even then grew silent when the bard rode beside them.<BR><BR>With much effort and further deflation of the spirit, they were finally able to clear a way and move on along the pass. The fallen rock and stone was only a few feet thick as if the slide had only the sole purpose of stopping them in their tracks. From then on what ever power had opposed them seemed now determined to aid their cause. <BR><BR> Signs of a one sort and another let them know that their effort had not been in vain. The one they were pursuing, Hobbituk and some others could not be far ahead of them now and all the tiring frustration of the trail turned to renewed hope and the five took to their journey with renewed speed and vigor. <BR><BR> In two days time the sharp eyes of the elves could make out a rough camp up ahead. Erinhue spoke some words into Treble’s ear and the painted stallion shot forward on the road with the four elves close behind. The end of their long road was just ahead.<BR>
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Postby Declynn » Thu Jan 29, 2004 11:13 pm

<BR><b>Followers of the Tangled thread…</b><BR> <BR><i>The time in Bree had been a great one seeing Drake and Pomporo again had lifted her spirits. Both men were shocked by Deore’s appearance, but after the indicial shock they returned to their regular humor or attitudes. Drake was just like what she had described, a dwarf in a mortal man’s body. He was bossy, grumpy, and hot tempered when he learned she would be leaving soon. Pomporo of course was in attitude the sweet old man he usually was, he asked frequent questions about Leslie’s health which was the only thing that could make the old wizard angry. If any harm came to Leslie or herself the sweet old man would probably become a very angry wizard. <BR><BR>The two provided supplies and horses, and Declynn picked up a few extra short swords for Elana and Deore just incase, the blades were a bit lighter in weight then most for easier use, and Declynn hoped neither would mind having blades incase. Then the day came when they left for the road, Declynn had to stop and wonder if the Breelanders celebrated every time she left there. <BR><BR>Some time into their journey Donaldo had escaped and Declynn debated to herself whether letting that monster go or not was a good idea or not. Then she thought about if he ever came back it would only give her a reason to kill him for trying to do harm. Besides she was a lady of the land sooner or later she would be bound to run into him again, so sooner or later she would take him to the proper authorities to be dealt with. <BR><BR>During the entire trip what had taken Declynn off guard was Deore’s curiosity for stories of adventures. It usually took Declynn a moment to remember an adventure that wasn’t too painful too remember. She had started to speak of how Leslie and herself had met. But even that tale was painful for her, and when she spoke of Rohan and the war of the ring when the story had occurred the look Elana gave made her think twice about the tale. Usually Declynn spoke of more better adventures, she even spoke of Leslie’s adventures, but kept some stories of Leslie at bay as well. She told them of her meeting a ranger in Mirkwood, and how she was tricked into wearing a gown something she never liked to do. But such stories as the plague or certain parts about her and Leslie’s lives were not mentioned. No one wanted to hear how she became the Black Ranger of Bree, or how she could do some things either.<BR><BR>Mostly Declynn kept to herself, not because of Deore which might have been the impression, but because she usually kept to herself. Most people just did not understand her nor were they willing to except what she had become. Sadly the impression she might have given Elana and Deore was she did not like them, she would’ve gladly righted that impression, but was worried that sooner or later one of them would remember, therefore she preferred to be separated incase. <BR><BR>Finally one morning Declynn was stirred awake with a light nudge something about it reminded her of the man she once cared for and a soft whisper came from her lips.</i><BR><BR>“….Aram…?”<BR><BR><i>Then she stirred awake not sure if she had been dreaming of him, or had merely felt something of him in the early hours of the morning. She opened her eyes and looked around before noticing Deore’s curious look, and cursed herself for opening her mouth in her drowsiness. She sat up, got up, and went to the fire trying to warm her hands and hoping that if anyone had heard the name they would not ask who he was. She quickly turned her attention to Orion as he addressed the group.</i><BR><BR>“The time has come which we have long delayed. We must soon make a few very hard choices my friends. Which way should we turn our path now? And what do we do for food? The lembas are still quite unspoiled and there should be plenty and to spare. But the other foods are running lower, and we may have to go to a town here to purchase more.”<BR><BR><i>There was a brief silence as Orion looked from Elana to Deore and who could blame their reluctance to go anywhere near Rohan. She hid a soft grown herself at the suggestion of going there. She tried to remain impassive about where they went but she could hear herself preying not to go to Rohan. For during the plague Rohan had felt a blunt end of the plague’s wraith as Gondor had, and both people hated and feared her. Some even blamed her for the plague, and then there was the field of screams… a large plain that echoed to Edoras. During the plague many frightened villagers fled to Edoras for protection some never reached it’s safe walls. Much pain and suffering lied there for the screams echoed to Edoras so that the people could hear the suffering of those beyond but could do nothing to stop it for fear of the plague’s spread. Declynn felt almost certain they would pass threw that plain and she could still hear the screams inside her head as if all that pain was happening all at once. Shaking the thoughts and worries from her mind she heard Orion continue.</i> <BR><BR>“More importantly, what path shall we take? The West road to curve by Minas Tirith? There IS another road I believe we could take, although I don't know if you would be willing to walk it Elana. It's said to be cleared of its shadows now and that the way is no longer shut. But I will let everyone decide.”<BR><BR><i>Declynn gave a funny yet curious look to Elana and Orion trying to think of this shadowed passage that was now clear. The way Orion had said it made her wonder. Then she thought a moment before it began to click. She had remembered hearing horrible stories back before and during the war of the ring. She then understood, then Elana and Deore looked to her wondering what she thought. Swallowing hard Declynn said.</i><BR><BR>“I shall leave it up to you, I am just here to help…”<BR><BR><i>Declynn then waited for their answers not sure what else to say.</i><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby prmiller » Sun Feb 01, 2004 7:15 am

<b>Tale of the Warriors of Light</b><BR>Parm at last fell into a deeper slumber. As he slept, he saw faces: Erinhue, Aerin,<BR>nienor_niniel, Leoba, Alandriel and Matrim. The smiling faces of Turea_Lurea and<BR>Hobbituk moved through a dream mist. The faces of the famed bards Scribbles and<BR>Rholarowyn, it was if a roster of faces moved in and out of his dreams to remind<BR>him of the vastness of his quest. Then the questions: How were they? Where were<BR>they? Would they ever, ever meet again? So much had happened to him. What had<BR>happened to them?<BR><BR>Now Alfirin was gone. Parm's brows knitted deeply with guilt. She had opened her<BR>heart to him and he had doubted. She had come with friendship and he had rewarded<BR>her courage with suspicion. This was not the way of souls that he had been taught,<BR>that the Valar had painstakingly taken time to teach him. He had allowed his all too<BR>human side to conquer the Istari heritage rising within him to tutor him.<BR><BR>The dream images shifted again. He stood before a strange slash in a hillock, as if it<BR>were a door that had shifted to one side and opened slightly. It was easy to enter,<BR>after the roots and tangles had been removed by the artful skill of...someone...beside<BR>him. It was the form of Lady Heather, but not Lady Heather. She had changed in some<BR>way, gaining greater authority and skill.<BR><BR>Willum's shadowy form was nearby. Parm saw a massive staircase leading downward.<BR>It was remarkably preserved, yet, as in all dreams, it seemed to tilt and sway. Parm<BR>and the others moved in dreamlike unison down, down, down into a growing bluish<BR>glow. They gaped in wonder at the archway that drew larger and larger as they <BR>approached. It was filligreed in rich patterns, shimmering with a bluish glow. Above<BR>them, a shaft of light came from some portal that opened out into the world. <BR><BR>Elvish work in a Numenorean ruin. The juxtaposition of cultures surprised them, but<BR>not nearly as much as the nature of the door. It was solid stone, banded in a metal<BR>none of them had ever seen. In the center was a circle shape. There were star shapes<BR>made of gemmy-bright material, arranged in certain places. No amount of prying or<BR>violence would have had an effect. At first Willum approached, but was repelled by <BR>some hidden force. Lady Heather tried, and while she was able to touch the door,<BR>a sudden flash of light from the center of the door, sent her staggering back. The<BR>light was also accompanied by a burst of music, like a hundred voices in sharp<BR>harmonies. Parm's eyes widened. It was Aravel's song! It was the song she had<BR>sung to him for years and years just before he would sleep. <BR><BR>He clutched his staff, held it before him horizontally and began to hum, then sing a single note. It resonated in the dark, and then began to cause his staff to vibrate<BR>and then glow. Brighter and brighter the staff grew until a compact beam of light burst from the staff and struck the center of the door. A pattern emerged. The<BR>same pattern as the strange key Parm had received. For some reason, it was with him<BR>in the dream. He reached in and placed it in the same strange position as the image<BR>before him. The key pulled out of his hands and fastened onto the design. The music<BR>continued and grew in strength and beauty. The door did not open, it merely changed<BR>from a solid form to a transparent archway. Willum could not enter, but Lady Heather<BR>knew what to do, as if awakened from a distant dream. She strode to the door, placed<BR>her hands on it and sang an ancient song. It was both her voice and not her voice.<BR>Part of her was startled by her skill, while another part merely shrugged off the<BR>awesomeness of the situation and continued with the song. The transparent door<BR>shimmered and seemed to get thinner and less corporeal. The voices of Parm and<BR>Lady Heather stopped once the door had vanished and allowed all of them to pass<BR>through. <BR><BR>Inside, in a magnificent colors, were massive murals. In the panel to the right,<BR>closest to them, Parm was startled to see an image of himself, but asleep, with a<BR>the special key in his hand. As they moved from right to left around the room, they<BR>saw various scenes chronically their journey. The room was breathtakingly vast,<BR>and as they moved from panel to panel, certain truths emerged. He saw his children, and Aravel. He saw the ceremony of marriage and his journey to the realm of the Valar. He saw scenes from the terrible war of the ring and then he saw her,<BR>and knew it to be her. His mother. Parm had, indeed, been orphaned, but by the will of the most mighty of all Istari, Saruman the White. It was clear to all, Parm was of Istari heritage, but also the child of a human mother. This room, this entire room was<BR>a history, for him! Yet as, Willum and Lady Heather walked beside him, they<BR>commented on how beautiful the murals were and not more. It was as if their minds were kept from seeing what he saw. <BR><BR> Parm could not speak. The words he wanted to say seemed to choke in his mouth<BR>like the dryness of sand. He had sung, but could say nothing else to his friends. As<BR>Parm approached a mural composed of words, they shimmered with the same light<BR>as the archway:<BR>Blessed child, blessed and curséd<BR>turned away by humankind,<BR>born of love, conceived by prideful,<BR>heir of power, art and mind.<BR>Music born, and music tutored,<BR>purged through pain from all that binds,<BR>given gifts he must not squander<BR>to repeat the tale he finds.<BR>Servant he, and servant ever,<BR>pledged to care, to guide and aid,<BR>warrior of light and music<BR>all received by sorrows paid.<BR>Not so mighty, he is tempted,<BR>not so strong, no others need,<BR>not so pure, no rage can sully<BR>not so wise he should not heed.<BR>Step into the robes set for you.<BR>Take the mantle you must bear,<BR>Love has been born deep inside you,<BR>Yet one truth you must beware:<BR>All will die if you are vengeful,<BR>All will fade if anger wins,<BR>All will leave if you cruel,<BR>All will wither from these sins.<BR>Soon these words will fade and falter<BR>then an image you will see.<BR>Step inside and wear the wonder<BR>Be the one long meant to be.<BR><BR>Even as Parm read the last few lines, the letters began to falter in places and<BR>fade away to reveal what looked to be a mirror. Parm watched the image<BR>before him. It was, indeed, himself, but not himself. The face was no longer etched<BR>in fear, but had eyes that shone with love. The robes were simple and of no<BR>particularly lavish pattern, but hemmed with a kind of silvery cloth. His hair,<BR>as white as ever, was neither thinner nor thicker in amount. The staff was no longer<BR>the one he had received in Valinor, but a thing of simple, yet exquisite beauty. <BR>The tip reminded Parm of the fully-leaved glory of Nimloth the Fair. Around the base<BR>of this tip, were repeated etchings of the symbol of the Bard's Guild. He smiled at<BR>this. He loved his Guild and it was obvious he was to remain in it. The staff itself<BR>was neither smooth, nor rough, but seemed to be like the simple branch of a tree,<BR>lovingly sanded and smoothed, with friendly golden wood color. <BR><BR>The figure within strode forward, and an arm beckoned Parm to enter.<BR>To the exclamations of Lady Heather and Willum, Parm stepped into the picture.
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Postby Hobbituk » Tue Feb 03, 2004 7:14 am

<b>The Groom's Hunt</b><BR><BR>For a while, Hobbi had sulked and mooched about the camp saying little if anything to his two companions. However, soon Telta had finished preparing the meal and the smell of her stew was such that Hobbi suddenly felt his spirits lifted. Telta was dishing the food out into wooden bowls, Bryttar was laying on his back not far from the fire and so Hobbi made his way over and sat himself down by them. Telta smiled warmly and handed him a bowl, glad to see that he was looking a little more sociable, "I hope you enjoy it," she said, "I regret that out here in the wild there are not the desired ingredients!"<BR>Hobbi smiled, "Your stew is always good Telta".<BR>Bry let out a low whistle and a small chuckle, "Someone is in a better mood!" he laughed.<BR>Hobbi tasted the stew and it was good indeed, he enjoyed the moment as a spoonful slowly melted on his tongue and soothed his throat, "Well, I suppose I realised there was no sense in sulking. We have had our first signs since this journey began that we are on the right track. I should be grateful."<BR><BR>As they ate, the trio discussed their plans for the next day. Hobbi was anxious to know what direction the others thought they ought to take. Bryttar of the three of them knew the land best as they were not so far north of Rohan and suggested that they might make for the small village of Estwick to pick up supplies. Hobbi was about to agree when suddenly something caught his eye. Telta was not facing Hobbi or Bry but instead facing back westwards towards the mountains with her mouth open. Bryttar also caught sight of this look, "What is it Telta?" he asked, "What do you see?"<BR>For a moment Telta did not speak, then she smiled and looked around, "We are about to have company my friends!"<BR>"Who?" asked Hobbi suddenly cautious.<BR>"Someone who I could not be happier to catch sight of in all the world!" teased the elf.<BR>"Who is it Telta?" grinned Bryttar, amused by her sudden mischeviousness.<BR>"Tell us." begged Hobbi straining to see beyond the clearing but only catching sight of small silhouettes in the distance.<BR>"None other than the Master Bard himself Erinhue and some companions."<BR>"The Master Bard huh?" said Bryttar, impressed, "Such a man would be welcome company indeed! What say you Hob?"<BR><BR>But Hobbi no longer sat with them. He was on his feet staring towards the West as if he had seen a ghost.<BR>"What's wrong Hob?" asked Bryttar.<BR>"We should go. Now." said Hobbi finally.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Tue Feb 03, 2004 11:40 pm

<b>Tale Of The Warriors Of Light</b><BR><i>Parm awoke from his dream at Heather's gentle but persistant shaking of his shoulder.</i> "Parm, we've arrived. It is time for us to go ashore and go on afoot. Awake, Friend!"<BR><i>It was still overcast and cold as the foursome looked over the bare, gray landscape ahead of them.<BR>Heather didn't say a word, though her green eyes reflected the questions that haunted her thoughts. She set Willum into Araondoiel's back and the hobbit lad held on to the saddle horn. Ness was quiet and broody, but no amount of rain, cold or bad vibes from his traveling companions could curb the spirit's of the group's youngest member as he leaned over and asked Parm a question.</i> "What way are we going now?"
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Postby erinhue » Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:01 am

What should have been a few days ride had stretched out into an arduous journey. Some force oppose them but the <b>Four Elves and the Master Bard</b>had weathered every spate of difficulty and were now within long sight of their goal.<BR><BR>There was a camp not far ahead and that could only mean that at long and final last they had caught up with the groom. As they drew nearer it became clear that the hobbit was no longer alone.<BR><BR>There were two others, Telta might have been one of them but those faces hardly registered in Erinhue's mind. He saw only one face and the expression it wore made him take pause. He had not thought about what to say or do once the journey ended. He only knew that he had to find Hobbituk and help him, and somehow make ammends.<BR><BR>When they walked their horses into the campsite clearing Hobbie stood his ground and Erinhue remained in the saddle even as the elves dismounted. The two one time great friends stared at each other and for one of the few times in his life Erinhue had no idea what to say. After a too long awkward silence the bard said the only thing he could. "Please, let me help."
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Postby Hobbituk » Wed Feb 04, 2004 8:08 am

<b>The Groom's Hunt</b><BR><BR>After Hobbi's urgent request that they flee, both Telta and Bry only stared at him dumbfounded. Hobbi felt himself physically shaking, he did not understand why he should be so fearful of this encounter but he knew he would not remain and wait for his old friend to barge in again like a wounded Oliphaunt. Both Telta and Bry were on their feet now, "Hobbi...what's wron-" began Bryttar before he was cut off by Telta, "Hobbi. I think I understand why you do not want to see him but we could use his help!"<BR>Hobbi suddenly felt his anger grow and surge and he snapped at Telta, "Help? Him! If we were to allow it he would only make things worse I am sure."<BR>"Hobbi, please," pleaded Telta anxiously, "I have an idea of what you are feeling but.."<BR>"You know <i>nothing</i> of how I am feeling." he said finally, "If you will not come with me then I will go myself." He turned ready to pack his things and ride away, but then Bryttar spoke,<BR>"Telta, who are the others with the Bard?"<BR>Telta looked worn by her confrontation with the Hobbit, "Oh, some other old friends. Tinu, among others."<BR>Hobbi paused. A feeling he could not quite place flooded through him. He did not know exactly what it was, perhaps the connection to his wife, but right at that moment he desperately wanted to see Tinu's face,<BR>"Tinu?" he asked, turning to Telta and speaking more softly.<BR>"Tinu." confirmed Tetla with a cautious nod.<BR>Bryttar was looking from elf to Hobbit, trying to decide what was being communicated between the two, "So we will stay and wait?"<BR>"We will wait." said Hobbi at last.<BR><BR><BR>It was not long before the approaching group came near. They rode upon fine horses and although they were obviously tired and worn, in Hobbi's eyes they appeared like they were having a jaunty ride through the countryside on a summers day. It seemed that whilst Hobbi had been cold, wet and hungry in the wild Misty Mountains, they had been warming and cosy, travelling at a relaxed pace. Hobbi saw Tinu first and his heart was warmed. His mind leapt back to their last encounter when they had spoken of her objection during the Wedding ceremony and he had felt at the time that he had crushed her heart. She had looked so devastated at the time, no matter what he had tried to say. She looked little better now.<BR>Then his attention was grabbed by the leader of the party. Erinhue. His oldest friend, his greatest ally and his betrayer. Hobbi expected to see the usual casual grin and swagger of the Bard, but it was not to be found and as the Bard and the Hobbit locked eyes Hobbi felt a pang of great compassion.<BR>Erinhue opened his mouth to speak and as he did so, it seemed like it was taking the normally verbose man great effort,<BR>"Please, let me help." was all he said and Hobbi struggled to stop his heart from melting. He felt like collapsing to the ground in tears and begging for Erinhue to solve his troubles...but that would do no good. He could not forgive the Bard. The man had betrayed him and because of him Hobbi was left without the one thing in his life that had had meaning above all other things, his love.<BR>Hobbi curled his lip, "Do what you want. As is your way." was all he could manage before turning and walking away.<BR><BR>He left the clearing and sat down in the mud by the river. He put his head in his hands and tears erupted as he sobbed deeply for the first time since the Mountains.
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:10 pm

<BR><b>Four Elves and a Master Bard</b><BR><BR><i>Almost the entire trip, Leslie had remained quiet. She had also felt awkward amongst the group and now even more awkward that they had found the ones her companions talked about. She didn’t know anyone here, and now she felt like she should leave. As they neared the group, she sat more to the back of the group to hopefully remain out of sight and mind. But still she could plainly hear what Erinhue said, and the one called Hobbituk’s reply. Leslie looked at the other elves in her group with a questioning look, sure they had told her much, but she had never found out that Erinhue and Hobbituk were at odds with each other. However the others of her group looked ahead at the party they had found, so her questions would for now go unanswered. Due to the tension in air things seem to take a moment or so longer to do, but soon enough Leslie saw the others dismount and she followed suit staying back and watching the others of her group as well as the group they had been looking for.</i><BR><BR>
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Postby Teltasarewen » Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:41 pm

<BR><b>The Groom's Hunt</b><BR><BR>Telta went about preparing some stew as Hobbi paced back and forth silently only looking their way occasionally before resuming his pacing. He was silent and Bryttar thought it best to leave him alone for the time being. They knew he was not happy about remaining where they were and she wasn’t sure that he would sit still for it much longer.<BR><BR>Their reasoning with him only seemed to upset him more so they grew silent and watched as he paced back and forth in his frustration. Telta knew as did Bryttar that he was right every moment spent did widen the distance between them and Lurea but it was for his own good that they waited.<BR><BR>Telta had kept a wary eye on him when he went to Matilda. She was not entirely sure that he wouldn’t just take off. But short of tying him down to prevent him from leaving there was not much they could do. Although looking at Bryttar his eyes following Hobbi’s every move he might just do that.<BR><BR>Whether it was hunger that brought Hobbi to the fire or something else it did not matter. She dipped him out a bowl of the aromatic stew smiling, glad to see that a change had come over him. her apology for it’s lack of ingredients was met by a smile and a compliment from him. His mood had indeed changed. <BR><BR>Filling a bowl for Bryttar and herself she sat back and listened as Bryttar suggested their next move. His idea to head for Estwick was sound enough as she had pointed out their supplies were not overly abundant.<BR><BR>She took a bite of her hot stew and froze. <i>"What is it Telta? What do you see?"</i> Bryttar asked. She had spotted something moving in the distance. She swallowed and a grin spread over her face. "We are about to have company my friends!" She was genuinely happy to see who it was heading their way.<BR><BR>Teasing she kept their identities secret for a bit longer. Finally giving in she said "None other than the Master Bard himself Erinhue and some companions." <BR><BR>Hobbi practically jumped to his feet backing away from the oncoming company. Telta looked at him. He had she thought grown pale. <i>"We should go. Now." </i> The last word was stressed loudly. <BR><BR>As glad as she was to have them there how could she have forgotten Hobbituk‘s urgent need to get away from Hue. Rising to her feet she spoke to the retreating Hobbit "Hobbi. I think I understand why you do not want to see him but we could use his help!" When he snapped at her almost accusingly it stung. Telta closed her eyes covering the hurt she felt. She did know a little of what he was feeling as she had left her broken heart back at the Lucky Fortune with one she thought she would never see again. <BR><BR>But Bryttar’s curiosity as to the other identities had Hobbi questioning her to make sure he had heard right. Her answer decided for him that they would stay. The reason at the moment did not matter. <BR><BR>Erinhue and his group approached and she could feel the tension build in Hobbi. Hue looked so lost. It was the first time she had seen him at a loss for words. Four words was all he managed to say and for a moment Telta thought Hobbi would welcome his help. But it was not to be as his retort seemed cold and uncaring. <BR><BR>Hobbi walked away and Hue remained rooted to the spot. These were her friends and they had been the best of friends. It was hard to see them like this. She reached out hesitantly touching Hue’s arm wondering if he would be angry with her as had Beliran. “Please stay Hue. We need you...Hobbi needs you.” <BR>
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Postby Guruthostirn » Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:29 pm

<b>Four Elves and a Master Bard Meet the Groom's Hunt</b><BR><BR><i>Throughout the journey from the ruins of the LFI Anorast stayed to himself mostly. Among the travelers the elf really only knew Tinu. He chatted with Leslie and Fala, who he'd met several times before, and occasionally tried to start up a conversation with Master 'Hue. But the Bard was sunk into his own worries, and replied little. After a few attempts, Anorast let him be in peace, and contented himself for most of the rest of the journey to hunting for dinner, usually with the sling he kept hidden on his belt.<BR><BR>After crossing the mountains, it was not long before the small party ran into another group of searchers. Anorast couldn't remember it clearly, but he did recall hearing about an incident between Master 'Hue, and one of the people they met, the hobbit Hobbituk, 'Hue's partner in the LFI. As they met each other, Anorast could feel the tension from the other members of his party, and those of the other group, the fellow bards Telta and Bryttar, neither of which Anorast knew well. The old elf felt helpless and useless as the old friends confronted each other again, with Hobbi leaving. Anorast wished he could do something, but all he could do was watch, and wait. He was here mainly to fight, and he would leave the other members of the groups to themselves.
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Postby prmiller » Sat Feb 14, 2004 6:25 am

<b>Tale of the Warriors of Light</b><BR>Shouts and exclamations thundered around Parm. The image in front of him vanished and the mirror became hard as rock. Parm<BR>stumbled against it and fell. He felt a hand on his shoulder<BR>shaking him...awake.<BR>Lady Heather did not notice the mood in which Parm awoke<BR>from his dream at her gentle but persistant shaking of his shoulder. He was angry. Something very important was about<BR>to happen. He had been dream-voyaging. <BR>He had heard about it in hushed whispers at Imladris. It was what great elf-lords and elf-ladies could do...and also Istari.<BR><BR><i>"Parm, we've arrived. It is time for us to go ashore and go on afoot. Awake, Friend!"</i><BR>He tried to look up at her with a friendlier face, but she had<BR>turned aside to help Willum rid himself of the last shreds of<BR>drowse.<BR>It was still overcast and cold as the foursome looked over the bare, gray landscape ahead of them. Parm felt no freshness in<BR>the morning.<BR><BR>Heather didn't say a word, though her green eyes reflected the questions that haunted her thoughts. Parm caught the glint.<BR>She must have sensed something in his dream!<BR><BR>The moment passed, and as she set Willum into Araondoiel's saddle, the hobbit lad held on to the saddle horn. Parm caught Lady Heather's prolonged gaze at Nessa, whose characteristic quietness had mingled with a broodines. Despite the greyness<BR>of the day and the spirit within Nessa and Parm, it seem that<BR>no amount of distress could upset the group's youngest member. Parm caught Willum's motion. Parm stepped nearer<BR>as Willum leaned over and asked the Bard a question.<BR><b> "What way are we going now?" </b><BR><BR>Parm swallowed hard, curbing the rising fury within him. He<BR>had been about to go somewhere, somewhere of consequence.<BR>This storm of anger both surprised and terrified Parm. It was<BR>the warning that had come to him that shook him the most.<BR>He turned and smiled. <BR>"Master Willum, we are travelling on to find a locked door.<BR> Lady Heather, Nessa and you are part of the key to unlock it."<BR><BR>Nessa was startled and was about to exclaim something<BR>when she thought the better of it, closed and clenched her<BR>mouth shut. Lady Heather's curious glint, now registered rising<BR>curiosity.<BR><BR>The barge masters waved their farewells to the travellers as<BR>they headed toward a set of low hills. Over the hills was a clear<BR>view of the sea. Willum was delighted and squealed with<BR>the excited pitch of a child with a new toy. Nessa and Lady<BR>Heather exchanged glances, but if any words passed between<BR>them, Parm did not hear them, for he had seen what the dream<BR>had shown him: the curious shadow shape ahead, showing<BR>a possible cleft in the terrain. <BR><BR>Parm spurred his horse forward, and the others followed<BR>wordlessly, all except for Willum, who was composing some<BR>kind of discovering-the-sea-for-the-first-time song. What they<BR>all failed to notice was Silvertongue's absence, for even as<BR>they had arrived, he had taken off, carrying a wildflower in his<BR>beak, which he had plucked from the embankment. Aravel<BR>must be told. This he knew. Parm's life depended on it.<BR><BR>Parm was about to enter into the most horrible trap of his life...and he believed he was going to find his destiny. If death is the destiny of all souls, Parm was taking himself and his friends to meet it.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Sun Feb 15, 2004 10:28 pm

<b>Tale Of The Warriors Of Light</b><BR><BR><i>Heather was a little leary of where Parm was leading them with such furvor, but she said nothing and swung up behind the hobbit lad. The elven mare senced her mistress' mood and kept a steady pace a few steps behind Parm. The elven healer remained in silent thought as Willum composed his cheerfull, distracting song. Something was bothering her. She had senced Parm's change in mood, as soon as they had stepped onto solid ground again. Part of her felt bad for waking him, but another, quieter, but more persuasive voice kept telling her that his attitude was wrong and that the old man was losing his edge, maybe even on the verge of going mad. As soon as the thought entered her head, she drove it out ferociously, but the seed of doubt had been planted, and she watched Parm a little more closely.<BR>As they rode along, the little voice creapt back unoticed and began to put down Nessa. <BR>"She's not nesisary. She keeps getting in the way. Humans should never acompany higher beings on their quests, they always end up dead-like Alfirin."<BR>"We don't know that she's dead." she reasoned with herself.<BR>"No matter, she's not helping anymore."<BR>"We don't know that she isn't. Her sacrifice was to help us."<BR>"Was it? Or was it just a way for her to get back to her master without losing your trust, and cause this group even greater harm, because she knows things about you."<BR>"Not much, because she wouldn't really try to get to know us. I actually feel sorry for her."<BR>"She knows more than you think. And what's all this "us" and "we"? You don't need all this baggage to rescuse Turele. That is what you set out to do, right?"<BR>"It doesn't matter if we find her or someone else does, just as long as she's rescued, and I say we, because this is a group effort."<BR>"Is it? Or is it "Master" Parm trying out his new-found power? Or is it poor Nessa's attempts at heroics? You don't need them."</i><BR>"Get out of my head!"<BR><i>Ness looked at her with an odd expression, for the healer had blurted out the last comment. With a slight blush of embarrassment, she was releaved to realise that it had been spoken in elvish, not the common tongue.</i><BR>"... Shinning and blue, you cannot... Oh, that's not workin'!"
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Postby prmiller » Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:56 am

<b>Tale of the Warriors of Light</b><BR>It was Willum that noticed it first. As he sang his silly song,<BR>certain notes began to make the crystal pendant glint with<BR>light. He experimented with a few notes going up and down<BR>the scale in a song. Whatever name you gave the note he sang<BR>he did not know, but when he kept singing it over an over the<BR>crystal pendant glinted with light. <BR><b>Master Parm! Look! Look!</b><BR><BR>Willum sang his little song and then concentrated on the one<BR>note. The pendant glowed with light.<BR><BR>Parm pressed his lips together in understanding. He hummed<BR>a few musical phrases, and then began to sing along with<BR>Willum. Parm's note was higher, but in harmony to Willum's.<BR>They found the chord and sang it together. This time the light<BR>from both pendants not only glinted, but glowed and a brief<BR>beam of light appeared before them.<BR><BR>"Lady Heather, I trust you can sing?"<BR><BR>She nodded slowly, her eyes showing both curiosity as well<BR>as concern. What was Parm doing?<BR><BR>"Join along with us...please?"<BR><BR>Nessa, needed no prompting, she saw what had been <BR>happening and together, she and Lady Heather found their<BR>own notes. Nessa's was a lovely lower note, rich and full.<BR>Lady Heather found an ethereally high note, like the song of<BR>a meadow bird. <BR><BR>At Parm's signal they sang together. At first the crystals glowed<BR>and then, without warning, a sphere of light appeared around<BR>them. Inside, they felt safe and even cheerful. A beam of light<BR>burst from the very centre of the sphere and lit an area ahead<BR>of them with a curious silver-blue light. <BR><BR>To Willum it was simply wonderful! To Nessa it was terrifying. Lady Heather's characteristic stoicism shattered to reveal an<BR>expression of unveiled alarm. Parm felt a coldness shiver<BR>through him. What had he done? What were they to do?<BR><BR>In that same instant, a screeching, screaming blackness <BR>descended on them. <BR><BR>"Sing! Keep the notes going!" Parm shouted.<BR><BR>Once more the sphere appeared, but this time, it shielded them.<BR>As the dark shape of horror dove toward them, it was repelled<BR>by bursts of light against it.<BR><BR>Again and again it dove. On and on the company sang, note<BR>just single notes but a melody, a melody they were following<BR>with Parm...and Lady Heather, who seemed to remember it<BR>from ages past. She sang with a confidence and tenderness<BR>that brought tears to their eyes. She was the song and the song<BR>wove about her, hugging itself to her. It was love and truth, <BR>light and joy, faith and hope. It was a wonder of music and it<BR>had unassailable power. Nothing could thwart it. Nothing.<BR><BR>The shadow-beast came again and again, but now it seemed<BR>more like a tree's shadings and less corporeal. It shredded<BR>and ripped apart until all that remained were the last echoes<BR>of anger. It had come to kill. Death with its single mission.<BR>Parm and his company had been the target. However, Willum's<BR>discovery had saved them all. Parm sensed that this had not<BR>been intended or expected. <BR><BR>"My dear hobbit lad! You have saved us from certain death! I<BR>do not believe there was any power among us that could have<BR>saved us all from the clutches of that shadow-fiend! You are<BR>our hero of the hour!"<BR><BR><b>Eh. Master Parm, I am simply a hobbit boy. But I like the word<BR>'hero'. I like it a lot!"</b><BR><BR>They all laughed at Willum's refreshing honesty. <BR><BR>When the laughter died away, they all agreed among themselves<BR>that they needed to find the source of the silver-blue light. Only<BR>Nessa seemed hesitant.<BR><i>"Master Parm. I have seen magics used and misused. I have<BR>seen power abused and people hurt and lives ruined. I am <BR>coming only because I trust you. I see you have a pure heart,<BR>but I think that even you must be careful. Do not become too<BR>confident with the powers you have discovered. They can all<BR>too quickly turn in on themselves and wound the bearer."</i><BR><BR>"I understand your words, Nessa. With our combined vigilance,<BR>I hope we will be safe. However, we are at a stage of our journey<BR>where we are obviously getting too close to finding out what<BR>our enemies want to hide from us. These ancient ruins hold<BR>important treasures, not just for our wealth, but for our souls.<BR>We have come to see that together we are strongest. Not one of<BR>us can say that we do not need the other. We have seen that<BR>with our own eyes. I need you. I trust you. I depend on you, too.<BR>I will do all within my heart to keep that trust. I shall not seek<BR>to betray you."<BR><BR>Nessa nodded slowly and meaningfully. She reined her steed<BR>and along with Lady Heather and Willum, they joined Parm<BR>and rode ahead to the doorway of the next stage of their<BR>adventure. The trap has been set. It had caught them, but<BR>the ones seeking to snare them had not anticipated the gifts<BR>given them to protect them from harm, all from a hobbit lad's<BR>song. <BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Nessamelda » Mon Feb 16, 2004 3:57 am

<b> Tale of the Warriors of Light </b><BR><BR>After her outburst at Parm, Nessa rode in silence for a while, thoughts churning in her mind. She had to hold the reins of her horse very tight to stop her hands trembling. Always she had loved singing in harmony, her strong alto voice lending depth to a group of singers - she was no soloist but as one of a group of singers she excelled, holding her own part without bending from its true note. For a brief moment she had rejoiced at the feeling of being part of such a group again as the three bards plus Willum had blended their voices together. But the power that the voices had called with their musical weaving was strange to her - frightening and yet attractive too. For a second she had felt a surge of - of life, was the only way that she could explain it. While she was scared by that feeling, yet she wished she could feel that sense of belonging, of vitality, of wholeness once again. It was seductive....<BR><BR>She reined Myre in and looked back at Parm who was riding with Willum directly behind her. (Heather was leading the way).<BR><BR>"Master Parm" She smiled this time, and her voice was free of anger now, but not altogether free of worry. "I am sorry - I spoke too harshly just then. It was my own fears driving me... "<BR>She turned and urged Myre on to follow Heather. But Heather had stopped, puzzled and was staring at the path ahead of them.<BR><BR>"What is it Heather? Another threat?" asked Nessamelda softly, for she had come to trust the part-elven woman's instinct for danger.<BR><BR>Heather shook her head, although a little uncertainly, and pointed to the path, where, out of season in this cold time of year, the flickering satin wings of multi-coloured butterflies were dancing, caught by a frosty gleam of winter sunlight.<BR><BR>"Pretty..." said Nessamelda and then stopped. The strange child, Isabeau, that they had met some weeks earlier in their travels had been accompanied by one such. And yet here were a hundred or more of the exotic beauties.
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Postby prmiller » Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:53 am

<b>Tale of the Warriors of Light</b><BR><b>Master Parm! Oh, look! Look! They're beautiful. It's like<BR>spring has followed us here. I wish I could catch one 'em, just<BR>ta hold it close and say to Daisy, 'See? I can catch a fluttery<BR>thing!' Just one..."</b><BR><BR>He slipped off his horse to draw nearer to them.<BR><BR>"Willum!" Parm commanded. "Stop where you are. Now!"<BR><BR>The rest of the party looked at Parm quizzically. Yet, ever so<BR>slowly a dawning realization came to Lady Heather.<BR><BR>"Willum. Heed Master Parm and come back to us. Please?"<BR><BR>Nessamelda, however, was uncertain about all this. Even so,<BR>she remembered, and she did not like the memories that<BR>began forming in her mind. Isabeau? Isabeau! What did<BR>this cluster of butterflies portend? <BR><BR>Parm felt a shiver of cold. It sparked through him with angry<BR>power like a slap on the face. Why was he here? He did not<BR>want to go on. He wanted a hearth. He wanted warm stew with<BR>Arahn and pleasant walks with Tinula and Valaniel. He wanted<BR>to sing old ballads with his beloved Aravel. He wanted...home.<BR>His shoulders slumped with an agony of longing that he had<BR>not allowed himself to feel for some time. Oh how yearned for<BR>an end to it all, to find Turelie_Lurea. He wanted to see her<BR>lovely face and Hobbi's warm smile. He missed them so much!<BR>He missed nienor_niniel and chocolate. He wanted to see<BR>Master Erinhue again. He ached to laugh at Matrim's jokes and<BR>sly wit. He wanted to hear Scribbles and enjoy her many, many<BR>songs.<BR><BR>Memories, memorie, memories. Why were they coming to him?<BR>And now? Why? Why? Why?<BR><BR>The questions, the feelings, the memories...why now?<BR>
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Postby Nessamelda » Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:41 am

<b>Tale of the Warriors of Light</b><BR><BR>Nessamelda walked forward slowly to the flittering creatures, pulled to the dreams and memories that they they left swirling in their trails. <BR><BR>She saw her home and family, her sisters (foster sisters really, but they were as close as blood kin to her, although she resembled them neither in looks or temperament). Bridwyn was sitting by the hearth spinning, her little girl at her side, singing softly a song, as she rocked a cradle with her foot. Nessamelda put out her hand to this vision of domesticity and contentment, and Bridwyn smiled at her, but shook her head softly, looking down and away. <i>It is not your path</i> a voice whispered firmly but gently behind Nessamelda. <i>You know this is not for you. For you there will be another way...</i><BR><BR>The butterflies cascaded about her head, a whirl of colours. The dream faded.<BR><BR>Nessamelda turned around and looked at Parm. He was suddenly looking very tired.<BR>"They call to me of home and hearth and yet they tell me that I cannot return there!" She said, puzzled. "This is another riddle, I fear. I wish, for once that Alfirin was here. She has more skill at unravelling this sort of thing than I am. And she seemed to know something of this Isabeau that owns these pretty spinners of illusion. And isn't past spinning an illusion of her own" she added suddenly, thinking of the power of Alfirin's ring.<BR><BR>The butterflies suddenly whirled as a group, as if one mind directed them and gathered about Parm, flickering and dancing in and out of his vision, their colours hypnotic...he heard a voice, the voice of a girl, talking urgently but calmly:<BR><i>She is caught in a high place, your friend. She walks a line that is so fine that one single step will take her tumbling - for now she holds her balance. She bid me warn you....</i><BR><BR>The voice stopped. Parm turned his head, trying to see who spoke. A child laughed behind him....but there was no-one there. <BR>"Who is it that you speak of? What warning?" Parm could guess the who at least - it must be Alfirin!...The voice resumed from his other side. <BR><i> She had no time to say. The task she has been sent on is a threat to you and yours. She does not wish to harm...but I would say - do not trust her when you meet her for I do think that she now trusts herself. And I will watch your children....</i><BR><BR>The butterflies soared up into the air flying higher and higher until they were almost out of sight, the seabreeze taking them away inland. Parm realised suddenly that they were heading back towards the place that his heart lay, in the direction of Rivendell. <BR><BR>.....<BR><BR>Valaniel and Aravel were sitting quietly on a terrace by the edge of the river. Aravel looked up from her book at her daughter's cry of delight. On her finger was sitting a large irridescant orange butterfly, gently flapping its wings in the winter sun.
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Postby prmiller » Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:35 pm

<b>Tale of the Warriors of Light</b><BR>A warning? A warning!<BR>Parm's stomach lurched. His heart seemed to freeze inside.<BR>How could he warn them? What could he do?<BR><BR><b>Master Parm? What's ailin' ya? Ya seem far away, like.<BR>You're here, but the rest is off on a lonely journey somehow?</b><BR><BR>"Ah, Willum. I have dire news. My family in Imladris, in Rivendell,<BR>is in great danger. I do not know how to warn them, to prepare<BR>them."<BR><BR><i>Good Master Parm</i> responded Lady Heather, <i> have you<BR>so quickly forgotten the powers that are within you now? If<BR>you can dream-quest, as I sense you have, you can reach<BR>Aravel's heart with your own. Draw on your gifts, dear Parm.<BR>They are not magic. They are your right, your heritage. Use<BR>the authority given you to reach Aravel's heart with your own.<BR>Sing to her.</i><BR><BR>Parm's eye's widened both with realization and joy. Nessa <BR>merely smiled. She was happy to see Parm find hope, but<BR>a little nervous as to how it would come about.<BR><BR>Parm nodded his thanks to Lady Heather, moved off<BR>a little way from the group, clutched his staff, and filled his mind<BR>with the music he had received from Valinor. It surged within<BR>him now, and in his mind he gathered the notes and then<BR>put words to them sending them to Aravel:<BR><BR>A dawn is coming black with fear<BR>and you must guard our precious loves,<BR>be brave as hawks, who seeing clear,<BR>avoid the storms, just like the doves.<BR>Make powers rise within your soul<BR>to build for all a guarding wall,<BR>though spears may strike and make a hole,<BR>keep firm your place for naught shall fall.<BR>I join my heart with yours and fight<BR>whatever horrors rise to strike,<BR>for we are warriors of light<BR>and share a cause and hope alike.<BR>Beloved, hear my song to you,<BR>be thus forewarned and action take,<BR>though I am leagues away, I , too,<BR>shall likewise preparations make.<BR><BR><BR>Parm let the notes of the song echo through his heart. and<BR>mind. Until, fading like the light that wrapped itself around him,<BR>of which he had been oblivious, all faded. In its place, though,<BR>Parm's face took on a new resolve. He had used the gifts <BR>within him. He must have faith that the message was received<BR>and his family warned.<BR><BR>Aravel had powers Parm could not guess. Yet, she was not<BR>without her own fears in the face of foes who had roots in<BR>evil stretching back before the coming of the Ages of Middle<BR>Earth. She possessed neither ring nor staff, but she had<BR>within the virtues of her own kind, as well as the added skill<BR>of drawing on the wisdom and powers of those more suited<BR>to the task of combatting such evil.<BR><BR>Aravel shivered. The butterfly before her suddenly shimmered,<BR>and in its place Aravel perceived a carrion crow. Thin and dim<BR>upon the air came a song. She shut her eyes to hear it. She<BR>opened her heart to receive it. A single tear spilled from her<BR>eyes, closed in meditation. Tinula saw the tear. Valaniel saw<BR>the tear. Arahn sensed the warning. It was enough. What<BR>had to be done, was done. Now it was time to prepare.<BR>Yet the attack had to come. But where? When? How?<BR>Even the mightiest storm can sweep down almost without<BR>warning.<BR><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby PatriotBlade » Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:51 pm

<b>Tale Of the Warriors Of Light</b><BR><BR><i>Just as the others minds were filled with memories, Heather too saw flashes of her past, but Doubt was still clinging to her, scewing her reccolections. She nearly cried, and forcefully pushed the unwanted thoughts and memories out of her mind, but the damage was done. She would probably miss any further warning signs, as her mind and judgment would be couded with doubt and sad memories. She forced back the tears and forced a smile as Parm sent his message, not even remembering her own advice to him.<BR>The darkness that watched, frowned, concerned that the healer was not as damaged as was nessisary. He would cross that bridge when he came to it, and kill whatever minion had failed.</i>
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Postby Nessamelda » Wed Feb 18, 2004 12:24 am

<b> A Warrior of the Light encounters the Grooms Hunt, Four Elves AND the Master Bard..</b><BR><BR>Alfirin rode aimlessly, letting the horse choose its path, little caring about the direction that she headed in as long as it was vaguely West and Northward- enough to persuade any casual observers that she had at least made a start on her appointed task...but sufficiently slowly that warning might reach Parm. Alfirin knew little enough of Isabeau and her motives, but what little she had seen and heard suggested that she would do all that she could to protect innocent children from harm. Hopefully if Alfirin delayed enough,then at least Parm's family might be saved from whatever it was that the Witch King had in mind...but she dared not delay too much or she feared that her fate would be unpleasant. She could not disobey outright. Besides she persuaded herself, if she outright refused the task, then He would just find another tool to use - one that would perhaps be more eager and more efficient.<BR><BR>She reached the river, after perhaps an hour or so, and slipped ungracefully off the beast, leading it to drink and then walked along the edge looking for a path in the right direction.<BR>Suddenly Alfirin heard a noise. Ahead of her sat a most unlikely sight. A hobbit, sitting in the mud by the cold rushing water, his head in his hands, weeping. Neither one wished to be observed, but Alfirin's involuntary expression of surprise caused Hobbi to look up.<BR><BR>He did not recognise her at first through his tears. Alfirin recognised the hobbit however, and was caught in a sudden dilemma. Was he alone? Should she warn him of the danger that was abroad? - Estwick was not far away, on the main route East and if he was heading in that direction he faced certain death. But in her current state she did not wish to stop and talk... any turning from her path would be dangerous both for her and for any that she tarried with. There was no possibility of evading him though - no cover along the river here for any distance. She waited, to see if would recognise her.
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Postby Nessamelda » Wed Feb 18, 2004 5:55 am

<b>Tale of the Warriors of Light</b><BR>Even though Parm's message was not for her, Nessamelda could feel his power as he shaped his warning to Aravel in the way that he knew best, in song and rhyme. <BR><BR>Nessamelda had heard of this skill in her studies of old tales and lays-<i>osanwe</i> they called it in the high tongue - the great elf-lords and the Maiar could talk to each other, mind to mind. But for most mortal men the gift of language had meant that their skills in such communication had disapeared from lack of use; they preferred the seductive powers of words, which could be twisted, and turned and used to paint things as they were not. But this lack of skill among both elves and men proved dangerous. An open mind, which did not know how to protect itself, could be laid wide open to a greater. And one with malicious intent could read therein all secrets, and find the key to persuading his victim to his own cause. Thus had Melkor laid his snares and traps for the elven kings of old. And although Nessamelda was unaware of this, so had Alfirin been caught long ago. <BR><BR>But for those who knew the skill, they could hold their mind closed - and once this barrier, this <i>avanir</i> was erected, no other mind, no matter how powerful could prize it open. This too Nessamelda had read. But she had no knowledge as to how this could be done, although at this moment she greatly wished she could act to shut all others out. The thought of another being able to read her private hopes and memories filled her with dread.<BR><BR>She shivered and tried to quell the fear of magic, the fear of power that she did not understand. She hoped she could trust Parm. He had always been her friend.<BR><BR>She took a deep breath, and turned towards him. "What will you do Parm? . Do you return to your family, or do we go on?"<BR><BR>The watcher in the darkness laughed silently, only too aware of Nessamelda's thoughts. He liked the irony of that. It amused him greatly. Her mind was indeed wide open to him, and he could see the strings to pull. Each step that Parm took in using his power widened the rift between Nessamelda and the others.
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Postby prmiller » Wed Feb 18, 2004 7:35 am

Parm stroked his beard once, sighed, and then looked at Nessa with a tenderness reserved for a sister or close friend.<BR><BR>"Nessa, we must go forward. Before we go another step, though,<BR>I must tell you this: I am bound by strong warnings to use the<BR>gifts that I discover within for the good of those around me. If<BR>I should ever turn them toward harm, my life, as you see it here<BR>with you, ends. Aravel has spent long hours helping me through<BR>years of bitterness and teaching me how to be a friend. I shall<BR>always be that for you -- do not fear me. Fear, rather, that I will<BR>make unwise choices in crises that will not help you. I miss<BR>Alfirin deeply. She touches a part of my heart in a way that few<BR>friends have. I admire her fire and passions, in the same way<BR>that I admire your inner kindness and goodness, especially<BR>with the beasts in your charge. Even my own horse liked to<BR>walk close to you for he sensed that caring spirit in you.<BR><BR>So, as we step out on this road, Nessa, be assured of this: I<BR>will loyal to this group of friends, to my death, if need be."<BR><BR>With that, Parm turned to the rest, and with a relaxed and bright<BR>smile, urged them on to the place that still glowed silvery-blue.<BR><BR>Seething in shadows, dark beings shredded the air in fury. How<BR><i>did</i> Parm do it?! How could they break joy? How could they<BR>extinguish love? It was as if they had been asked to teach a<BR>snowflake to dance on a lava flow. It seemed not only<BR>impossible, but almost irrational to attempt. Yet, somewhere,<BR>a mind of malevolent malice narrowed its eyes in vengeful<BR>cunning, and plotted. <BR>Parm would suffer. <BR>Parm would know pain. <BR>Parm would wish for death and have that final release<BR>denied him in exchange for more suffering.<BR><BR>Lady Heather seemed like a good place to start. She understood Parm best and cared for him in ways Parm could not ever repay. Yes.<BR>The door of opportunity was drawing near. There was plenty of<BR>time. She is so...vulnerable.<BR>
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Postby Turelie_Lurea » Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:17 am

<b>Groom's Hunt</b><BR><BR>Tinu could not dismount until the hobbit had fled. She was frozen upon Alagos, the Hobbit Protector searing its marks upon her breast, but the spell could not be broken until he left her sight.<BR><BR>So many feelings poured into her mind, sticky and bittersweet. He was without Lurea and this gladdened her, but seeing his misery left her to believe that he would not desert his wife, not even for another beautiful elf. And with his misery, hers was doubled, for she could not stand to see such a happy creature torn down by woe. His eyes betrayed a gleam of happiness at her coming, but she knew it was for her connection to his wife. What else could it be?<BR><BR>Tinu held her face against her snowy steed, hiding the tears that burned her cheeks once more. Why had she come? Why was she tormenting herself again and again?<BR><BR>"You are the one chosen to aid this hobbit," a voice upon the wind spoke. Brushing away her tears with the horse's mane, the elf looked around, wondering who had spoken. But everyone in the party was still and silent after Erinhue had tried to speak with Hobbi, the air awkward and tense. The refreshing sound of the voice returned.<BR><BR>"Do not doubt your importance, <i>mellon</i>. The fate of Middle Earth may well rest upon your actions, for if you do not complete your task, none may continue and those meant to fight the Darkness will never have a chance."<BR><BR>"But why?" Tinu whispered, gazing into the heavens. "Why me?"<BR><BR>The voice was gone and with it, the sole comfort upon the air. Looking toward the earth once more, her eye caught Anorast staring at her.<BR><BR>Was she going mad? She looked around, her cheeks burning more with each acknowledged glance from the other creatures of excellent hearing: Fala, Telta, and Leslie. A feeling similar to that she had experienced at the wedding resurfaced and the elf had a strong desire to turn around and head for the Inn, where she knew she could be of help and far away from the hobbit who did not love her.<BR><BR>Besides, what else could they think of the pitiful elf who sought to steal the groom on his wedding day, from her young playmate no less! Perhaps some of the blame for the kidnapped bride was hers, for she had brought an evil hue to the proceedings. Perhaps evil had been called by her act?<BR><BR>Yes, it all made sense, Tinu thought. She more or less summoned evil with her one word to the pastor and that was why she could not bolt, why some voice spoke to her now. It was her conscience! Any other voice would prove her to be insane and so she clung to this belief with her frail and shattered soul.
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Postby Turelie_Lurea » Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:17 am

<b>A Marriage of Evils</b><BR><BR>"Get up!"<BR><BR>The elf's eyes, swollen from tears shed, managed to open as though they were not bruised, the cheekbones shadowed by deep hues of green and yellow. This time, she held her tongue to her cheek, biting down so that she would not speak back to the rasping voice that had been taunting her for over a month. How long exactly she had been held in the stony cell, she did not know, for she was not allowed to see the sun's light, nor even the fickle moon's glow. <BR><BR>Her body involuntarily shuddered slightly as the tormentor's fist rammed into the granite wall. It was time for the daily ritual of humiliation and deprivation. Little did she know about him, but that his name was Leonir and that he spoke the language of her people, the Diadronians. In fact, he chose to curse and demean her in her native language, telling her that she was not fit to wear royal garments, that HE should be the one in them. The first time he spoke of such a thing, the elf laughed. Would he really wish to wear a gown, especially one so restrictive to movement? But quickly her mirth faded and she learned to say nothing. The only time she had been hit was when she mocked him and long ago she wisely chose to keep her mouth shut.<BR><BR>Her wedding gown still clung to a slender frame, though it hung in soiled and stained tatters, nearly indecent in its coverage. The stone's touch chilled her and she constantly wished for a cloak, even one for the warmest summer evening. Yet she was to have no extra cloth and was to wear the gown that was most reminiscent of her old life of luxury and happiness, so that she would understand how Leonir felt. How he felt, Lurea could not understand, for she knew nothing about his past, except that he blamed her for his situation.<BR><BR>Food came for her and she ate, though she imagined it fit only for orcs. Spitting it out in disgust had only given her a slap, yet she knew that her body needed some form of sustenance, no matter the quality. Besides, eating was a comforting habit, something she could control.<BR><BR>The hideously disfigured creature she had grown accustomed to having near limped into the dimly lit room. Never was she to see his face fully, nor to closely observe his features. She knew not what sort of creature he was, so disfigured was he, but his breath stank of putrid substances and so she thought him an orc experiment gone wrong. <BR><BR>"Why do you eat so slowly, so daintily? You are a pig's daughter and so you should eat like one!" <BR><BR>He pushed her face into the brownish slop and the elf slowly lifted her head from it, pretending nothing had happened, still chewing through what had once been meat. <BR><BR>Lurea imagined herself as a child in Diadron, before the Kingdom fell to Grehir, eating all sorts of royal delights. The yellow pieces were delicately steamed squash in a buttery dressing, the meat was tender lamb that warmed the body, the brown clumping goo was her mother's favorite gravy, a substance that tended to find its way across everything on her plate. There would be no dessert, as Nenya, Elanor, and Lurea found the delicately spiced pie cooling upon a windowsill earlier in the day and ate it near the waterfall they loved. Later, the two siblings would tell their father who took the pie, whispering as though it were a secret among the three of them. He would be patient and wise as always, though weak in disciplining his children, especially the curious and beautiful Turelie, who he could deny nothing.<BR><BR>"...Do you hear nothing, you royal pig?" <BR><BR>Disgusted, though partly satisfied by dunking the Princess's still pristine face into the slop, Leonir trudged out, limping over his right leg, giving Lurea time to dream of happier times.
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Postby prmiller » Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:34 am

<b>Tale of the Warriors of Light</b><BR>Arahn was furious! <BR>"Why, mother?! Why must we cower? Why must we hide?<BR>I am so tired of father going here and there, here and there.<BR>Does he care so little about us that he is not here for us? For <BR>now? He was to take me with him to meet Master Erinhue<BR>so that I could be a Mithril Knight! He promised! I am nearly<BR>15 and I may never see another day if what you say is true!<BR>I hate him! I hate him! I hate him!"<BR><BR>Arahn grabbed the branch of a tree and in his fury it broke off<BR>in his hand. <BR><BR>"Does the tree deserve this punishment? Do your guardians<BR>and tutors and guides deserve this ingratitude? Have they<BR>not spend hour upon hour listening to you tell them your mind?<BR>You will never have Parm as a father of flesh and blood! Never! Your parents were ripped apart by orcs. Yes, you brutish boy! Your parents laid down their lives to save yours. <BR><BR>Your sisters? Do you careabout them? You complain that you<BR>do not understand each other? Is it any wonder when you <BR>realize that each of you have come from families torn apart<BR>by the violence of creatures who care more for pain than conquest to rule? <BR><BR>How well do you know Valaniel? She watched her mother die horribly. Shall I tell you how? Are you brave enough to hear the horrors she has witnessed? Are you ready to hear what she<BR>sees on those nights when the dark dreams slip through?<BR><BR>Tinula? Have you ever asked Tinula to tell her story? She brims<BR>with it, but cannot speak it. It cuts at her heart and stabs at her<BR>soul. She looks to you for love and support and what do you give her? Sharp rebukes about her "silly girlish ways"! You are the only brother she has ever known, since her own was devoured<BR> in front of her to satisfy an orc's appetites! Did you know that?<BR>Did you care to ask? I can see by your averted gaze that you<BR>have not! <BR><BR>A Mithril Knight? You? Be grateful Lord Erinhue does not send you to the stables to clean stall of the pack horses! You care<BR>only for your safety, your future. My darling Parm has made you<BR> a son of his heart. He loves you in ways you cannot guess or even imagine! I am greatly saddened by you Arahn! If you <BR>to persist in this, I would even begin to feel shame.<BR>This selfishness, this self-centredness reveals that the dark<BR>core inside of you, what I have sensed has been there, has, at<BR>last, been revealed.<BR><BR>Oh, Arahn. Foolish, headstrong, rash, Arahn. We are all, <BR>all of us, on the brink of great dangers if what your father<BR>has Dream-spoken to us is any hint.<BR> We cannot but wait for the lightning to strike, and when it does, we dare not rail against those who have done all in their power to help us. As for you, take out your anger on the leather needing<BR>pounding and the metal that needs beating. Then, when your<BR>fury is all spent, come back, humbled, and help to do your part<BR>to make us become a family of a united heart."<BR><BR>It was the longest and the most heated conversation they had<BR>ever had. Arahn's face, once scarlet with rage, became crimson<BR>with shame. He had found a chest to sit on, and put his head<BR>in his hands. A little sob burst from him. Aravel's prolonged<BR>rebuke had served to rip away the sham of Arahn's strutting<BR>pride and had shown him why it was that his father had kept<BR>putting off his esquireship to Lord Erinhue: he was not ready.<BR><BR>"I...I am sorry, mother."<BR><BR>"No doubt you are. You have every reason to be. Are there any<BR>other arrows needing to be strung and struck into my heart?"<BR><BR>"No mother. I am unstrung. I am sorry. Will you please forgive<BR>me?"<BR><BR>" I do, and will do more. I suggest you go find the armorsmith<BR>and ask if there is any work you can do along with him to<BR>pound out the rage still seething in you. You and I both know<BR>it is still there. Silenced, yes, but not expunged. Go now, and<BR>know you are forgiven, but also being sent to bring forth fruits<BR>fitting your repentence."<BR><BR>Tinula had overheard much of the conversation from a bower<BR>where she would not be seen. However, as Aravel turned to<BR>walk off, she turned and looked directed at and seemingly into,<BR>the cranny in which Tinula had hidden. Aravel sadly shook her<BR>sad and a sad frown creased her placid face. <BR><BR>Darkness settled over the hearts of Parm's family. The message<BR>had warned them, but the reaction to it was something he had<BR>not in his wildest dreams expected. Even so, it was not at all<BR>surprising to those who watched over this family as Parm's<BR>and Aravel's special guardians. For them, they had seen it<BR>as something needing to be purged out of them, like an<BR>infected pustule. Any physic would have predicted such pain,<BR>but also added, the healing that would result would make the<BR>pain ebb away, replaced with the calm of wholeness.<BR><BR>Leagues away, Parm sensed the slapping waves of anger,<BR>but then a calming, soothing wind to still the waters of passion.<BR>
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Postby PatriotBlade » Thu Feb 19, 2004 2:53 pm

<b>Tale Of The Warriors Of Light</b><BR><BR>If her her companions had known her better, they would have realised that the healer was being quieter than usual. Normally, she would have hummed along with Willum, or she would have chatted with Nessa or Parm, but now that Doubt had done his damage, a new voice began to play with her mind as she rode along in silence, her eyes not really on the road ahead.<BR><i>"Why aren't you back in Gondor, going through the libraries of Minas Tirith at your liesure, or talking with your Love? Oh, that's right. You ran from him and a luxurious home because you were too stuck up to fall in love again. You never really admited to yourself that you loved another, as you loved Hassan. Or did you really love him. You let him die, after all."<BR>"I couldnot have saved him even if I had been there."<BR>"So you say. And why weren't you there in the first place? Yes... You had abandoned him too, so that you could travel as a free woman, even though you weren't. You were tired of being tied down and pregnant. You even let all those innocent babies die. Eru blessed ou, but you couldn't even carry one to full term. You couldn't handle it any more. You left him alone in the night. It's always about you, isn't it?"</i> Guilt was doing his job very well, so far. She was on the virge of breaking down into sobs as all the old questions were thrown back into her face.<BR><i>"No! No, that wasn't my intent!"<BR>"Weather that was your intent or not is debate able, but let me get back to my list. Not only did you leave your husband, but you started falling for that elven knight, even before Hassan was killed. And why weren't you there for your husband in those last moments, even if you could do nothing?"<BR>"I was sick, injured in a battle to save Gondor."<BR>"But you weren't supposed to be there. If you had stayed with your husband, he would not have started his journey to the Gray Towers and been attacked-he would still be here with you and maybe you would be happy. You have brought this misery upon yourself with your discontenment!"<BR>"No! Leave me alone! Leave me!"<BR>"Yes, I will leave you, to wallow in your self pity and your pride. You are pathetic! Look what the Prophesied One has been reduced to! Nothing! It's a wonder that you still have your powers."</i><BR>As her mind twisted and grieved, writhing from the attack, the only outward sign of her trauma was the single tear that escaped her green eye and slowly fell down her cheek, as she moved about and reacted to the world around her. If they had stopped and mad camp, she would have performed the tasks atomaticly, though her mind was shrinking further and further within itself..
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Postby prmiller » Sun Mar 07, 2004 7:50 am

<strong>Tale of the Warriors of Light</strong><BR>It was time to discover the secrets of Lond Daer.<BR>It was time to shrug off the pain, doubtings, fears<BR>and anxiety that hung, like rags, on their souls.<BR>Parm sensed, for the first time, an unsettling darkness<BR>from Lady Heather. It was not unexpected, but it was one<BR>more reason why Parm again took the lead to move their<BR>company forward. Willum was not at all hesitant to do so.<BR><BR><strong>Master Parm, what will we find in Lond Daer? </strong><BR><BR>"From what I have read, dear Willum, it is a kind of ruin,<BR>with treasures from the ancient realm of Numenor. It is also<BR>where we will find what that interesting key you have kept<BR>for us, will unlock. Our amulets have shown us the door. <BR>Look, it glows still!"<BR><BR>True enough, the path along which they walked glinted with<BR>from hidden stones, now alight with a strange blue-white<BR>glow, as if the amulets were, in some way, linked to them.<BR><BR>The closer the company moved to find the doorway, a second<BR>phenomenon also became apparent: they could hear a gentle<BR>musical thrum, like the constant plucking of a low note on<BR>a harp. On and on they moved, seeming to almost glide along<BR>the path. Nessa, for some reason, had acquired a kind of<BR>regal glow about her, no doubt from the shimmering power of<BR>the amulet. She was unaware of it herself, but as she looked<BR>at the others, they each had a kind of shimmering light playing<BR>about them. <BR><BR>They came to the crest of a hill and noticed stone steps leading <BR>down into darkness. However, it was not darkness now, but a gentle<BR>and inviting glow made the possible blackness of the cave a less<BR>threatening grey. Parm led them down, down, down the stairs until<BR>they all stood, in silent awe, before a massive wall with ornate<BR>carvings in the face. <BR><BR>Parm placed his hand on it, "Mellon", he breathed. Nothing.<BR><BR>It seemed as if the lore of old stories did not apply to all<BR>situations. Willum walked up to it and was fascinated by the<BR>arrangement of shining stones on the wall. He withdrew the special<BR>key and with a few trial attempts, found the correct combination.<BR>The massive wall shuddered, then began to open, revealing a widening opening on the right. <BR><BR>There was no darkness, no malevolent odors. The music, though,<BR>stopped. The light, however, now played along the walls.<BR>Parm gripped Lady Heather's hand, for she had now drawn close to<BR>Parm, less for protection and more out of sensing the Bard was<BR>becoming more and more overwhelmed.<BR><BR>"It...it's from my dream!"<BR><BR>"Yes, Master Parm, right from your dreams. We must go on. <BR>Our adventure awaits." She smiled, faintly, but her eyes were grim.<BR><BR>Nessa, for some reason was less hesitant than Willum to go in.<BR>To Willum, though, holes, caves and underground places were not fearful things at all to him. Mysteries, however, were. <BR>This was a mystery, a very great mystery.
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Postby prmiller » Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:14 am

Each of the travellers, especially Parm, could not help<BR>but feel a sense of awe. They had entered a vast chamber.<BR>Simply carved pillers supported roofs that we frescoed<BR>with astonishing art work. The history of Lond Daer was<BR>displayed before them. None of them took the initiative<BR>to provide commentary about what they saw, but each knew<BR>that they were probably the first, in generations to see<BR>all this.<BR><BR><strong>If this isn't enough to make me the grandest teller of<BR>tales from Grey Havens to Bree!</strong>Willum exclaimed, after<BR>a drawn out whistle.<BR><BR>"Indeed, master hobbit!" Lady Heather remarked. "You would<BR>be in much demand." The lilt in her voice was cheerful,<BR>but also cautious.<BR><BR>"Wh..what is all this?" queried Nessa. Each word seemed<BR>laboured, strained. <BR><BR>"This, dear Nessa, is an archives and meeting hall. Look<BR>how there are tables spread about along the sides. And the<BR>shelves. Are there...documents on them?"<BR><BR><strong>How did they light this hall? We are hardly in from the<BR>door, but it seems as if the light from outside travels<BR>far inside here.</strong><BR><BR>Parm sighed heavily. "I have answer for you, Willum. None<BR>at all. We may have to fashion make-shift torches."<BR><BR>"Wait, Master Parm." Lady Heather interjected. I have an idea." She closed her eyes as if searching for words.<BR>Then in a simple, clear voice, spoke two strange words.<BR>Ancient words. Parm recognized only one: "Light".<BR><BR>Slowly at first, then more strongly, the filligree on the<BR>ceiling began to glow, first it was a soft white light,<BR>then it mellowed to a gentle golden hue, almost as if <BR>a thousand lamps had been lit above them. All around them<BR>could be seen. <BR><BR>Parm noticed one panel was precisely what he had seen in<BR>his dream. It was a gigantic mirror. However, as he strode<BR>toward it,nothing out of the ordinary was seen reflecting<BR>back at him. At first. The light above them seemed to<BR>dim perceptively before this huge wall of glass. Then Parm<BR>saw it. Another figure was beside him. He whirled around.<BR>No one. When he returned to look back into the mirror,<BR>there was an expressionless gaze meeting his own eyes. <BR>It was neither rebuking, warning or welcoming. It merely<BR>looked, as if waiting for something.<BR><BR>"Who are you?" Inwardly Parm groaned at the obviousness of<BR>the query.<BR><BR>"I am the Hall-Master. I am here to welcome all. I have<BR>been given all the lore of Lond Daer."<BR><BR>"How is it you are here?"<BR><BR>"I am fashioned from ancient skills, created from gifts<BR>long since lost to the world above and beyond. I also<BR>know who you are, Parm, Bard of Imladris. Your presence<BR>here has been anticipated from ages before. She, who is<BR>of your heart, Aravel, knows this and the time for you to<BR>know your whole tale has come. Behold."<BR><BR>The others drawn to Parm's voice, now saw the mirror<BR>ripple to become a living mural. Briefly, but selectively,<BR>scenes relevant to Parm's past played out before them.<BR>Some were breathtakingly beautiful, others horrific and<BR>cruel. Tears of both awe and sorrow stood out on the<BR>eyes of those viewing these images. Parm stood, clearly<BR>transfixed. From time to time, Willum looked up at him<BR>with growing wonderment.<BR><BR>There was the first Bard's gathering at which Parm had<BR>been inducted into the great Guild. SilverScribe and<BR>Erinhue, Matrim and Alandriel, nienor_niniel and Lith<BR>all appeared and disappeared. Parties, gatherings and<BR>celebrations flickered into view and them faded. Suddenly<BR>Parm saw...it. The dark being. The horror of the<BR>kidnapping and...who! Parm saw the scattering of his<BR>friends and the battle one group had with a malevolent<BR>creature of great power.<BR><BR>Now they saw themselves, travelling here and there. Now<BR>into Tharbad and out of it, striding on barges and then<BR>off them, drawing nearer to Lond Daer. With a brilliant<BR>flash, the images cleared away. In their place, the<BR>foursome was reflected in the mirror. In front of them<BR>their guide now appeared.<BR><BR>"Now you have seen what was needed to be seen. Now you<BR>must also, together, see this. Look to your amulets."<BR><BR>At that instant, the gems about their necks did not merely<BR>glow, they gleamed. The light from them played about their<BR>bodies and merged to light the gem about Parm's neck.<BR><BR>"If you seek for greatness, pilgrims, you will not find it<BR>here. You are no more or less than what you have always<BR>been. There is no magic, only the authority to use the<BR>gifts you have always had. There are no spells, only the<BR>knowledge to draw upon what has always been within you.<BR>You are no greater than the least and yet you have powers<BR>that evil hearts fear. Together you are strongest. You<BR>have always known this, now believe it.<BR><BR>Willum, you will face a great test. You will need to make<BR>a serious choice.<BR><BR>Lady Heather, your ancient bloodlines, your knowledge of<BR>ancient lore must be awakened. Let go of your sorrows.<BR>Embrace your future legacies.<BR><BR>Nessamelda, your heart will be sorely tried, but you must<BR>remain strong. The others will need your secret skills.<BR><BR>Parm, step beyond me, through this door to receive the<BR>staff the Valar set here for you from ages past. It will<BR>help you merge the music and light. Do not attack, defend.<BR>Do not harm, protect. Do not seek power, serve.<BR><BR>Look, the door is before you all."<BR><BR>As they looked, a portion of the mirror melted away to<BR>reveal an ornately-carved door. Parm hesitated.<BR><BR><strong>Master Parm! Are you sure this is not some evil<BR>bewitchment. The last trap? The danger Aravel spoke of?<BR></strong><BR><BR>Lady Heather, placed her hand gently on Willum's shoulder.<BR>"If there were truly evil in this place, Willum, it would<BR>have a far different feel to it. However, Master Parm, I<BR>think we should all go with you."<BR><BR>"Well, if the others are going, I see no sense staying<BR>outside." Nessa commented tonelessly.<BR><BR>With that, the four travellers moved to the door. As they<BR>approached it opened. A warm, welcoming light met them.<BR>Rich, fragrant aromas swirled about them. Fruity and full.<BR>There was no music, but they felt as if it they have <BR>stepped into a song. <BR><BR>Before them, was a crystal stand. Placed into was a staff<BR>almost identical to the one Parm carried, except for one<BR>noticeable difference: a place for some sort of gem had<BR>been made. Parm reached into his robe and withdrew the<BR>white jewel given to him at Tharbad by old family friends.<BR>He set it into place. <BR><BR>In that instant, the crystal stand seemed to shimmer and<BR>almost fade. A gentle voice, caressing the air was heard.<BR>"At last, my lord,<BR>you come to claim,<BR>the gift prepared<BR>for you by name.<BR>Take now this staff<BR>and serve all well,<BR>eschew the path<BR>where light once fell.<BR>Become what you<BR>were meant to be<BR>a child of Valar--<BR>across the Sea."<BR><BR>Parm's own staff leapt from his grasp. In a stunning<BR>pas de deux, the two staves met and whirled about each<BR>other. Light, music, song, ancient words, intoxicating<BR>fragrances whirled about them and before them. <BR><BR>Then, as if guided by unseen hands, Parm received his<BR>new staff, the imbedded jewel gleaming subtly. The golden<BR>light dimmed as if guiding them out. <BR><BR>"Parm, have you seen your face? It's as if you have bathed<BR>in the cleanest of waters. Your robes are repaired and<BR>the wounds you once had are gone. You have been healed of<BR>old hurts and lingering fears." Lady Heather spoke, almost<BR>breathlessly.<BR><BR>"I still feel very much the same. In fact, I feel a little<BR>sleepy. I need a long nap."<BR><BR><strong>Aye! I'm all for that, and a great meal.</strong><BR><BR>Near at hand, the guiding image appeared.<BR><BR>"All is readied for you. Look beyond you."<BR><BR>The great hall was now festooned with light and the<BR>murals on the walls had come alive with cheering throngs.<BR><BR>Tables were filled with food and drink. Not far beyond,<BR>small curtained chambers appeared.<BR><BR>Feasted and cheered, they all went to their chambers<BR>and slept long and gladly, dreaming rich and happy<BR>dreams.<BR>
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prmiller
I am Parm: Servant of Eru, Bard of Imladris

 
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