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 » Fri Nov 05, 2004 7:09 am

As relentless as the waves driving Parm and his friends to the shores
of the Kingdom of Gondor, were the waves of consequence, cresting
and crashing upon Arahn, for the stunning and draconian choices he
had made to reach his father, so that he might hurt him to bring him back.

It was the desperate bid of an adolescent; brilliant as his own father had
been hailed to be. Arahn had stepped into the dark world of hidden
knowledge, guarded secrets, and forbidden lore. He had found, like
threads on a web, ways leading him into places where he knew he should not be.

The Great Council was convening. Who was in attendance was irrelevant.
It was why. Messages had been sent out to wise and sober hearts, cool
and balanced minds, tender and empathetic souls. Some wore robes to
mark the solemnity of the day, others wore simple ensembles, jeweless
and marked with little embroidery or finery. All were there to decide
Arahn's and ultimately, his family's fate.

Aravel was in attendance, but Tinula and Valaniel had been taken by a
wise attendant to another part of Imladris. There were crafts to distract
them, warders to keep them from idly wandering to halls where they ought not to be.

All those who needed to be in attendance now sat. Arahn was brought in.
One look at his face nearly upended them all -- it was completely without
regret or defiance. It was impassive, like a pool of water that has lain
still through the night. Neither distressed nor about to become distressed.

One of Arahn's tutors, rose, lifted a parchment and addressed the Council
with an air of thinly veiled grief. Here was the son of one of Imladris'
beloved scribes and bards. "The charges thus laid before you, Arahn,
son of Parm, awaits your reflections and further considerations on this

Arahn did not really hear the words, but he saw the face that rose and
spoke as he rose, it was the chief librarian, who had no idea how his
kindness would be exploited. "Arahn, I have always believed, is not an
evil lad, but he has been seduced by a promise for something dear to
him: to have his father return. This motivation, above all others you may
entertain here, this single push of the heart, drove Arahn to create the
deceptions that blinded us all. His wrongdoing falls on us as well. Where
were we when Arahn tottered on the brink of plummeting into the abyss
of his dark choice? We may feel hurt and betrayed, but we should also
be shamed that a mere lad could deceive us so convincingly to gain
access to a power none of us would have conceived it possible to control and ultimately use. If there is a great punishment awaiting Arahn,
then let us, in good heart, take a considerable portion of it ourselves. We
are the ones who sit in this council, but it is we, ourselves, brothers and
sisters, who are to be judged. Mark this, and mark this well."

The silence that followed was thick with possibilities. Arahn could not
believe his ears. The man whom he had deceived to gain access to the
forbidden vaults had all but called for his exonaration. The day, however,
was not over yet.

Not too far from the center of the council, a tall, slender woman rose.
Her eyes were brighter than stars, and her gaze was icicle-sharp. She
was the daughter of one of the great elf-lords, and had shown remarkable wisdom in many cases of arbitration between men and elves,
or dwarves and hobbit or other factious pairs. "Has Arahn full knowledge of the consequence of his deed? Has Arahn been brought to grasp the
colossal scope of his singular deed? Have you feared to chasten for
fear of losing the father of the chastened? Have you feared Parm's
wrath against you should you punish his only son, yet not his son in body, but in heart and covenant only? I believe some of these deathly-cold questions have been raised and discussed among you in some private chambers or in whispers out on out-of-the way balconies, but consider this: Arahn has used forbidden lore to harm another. It was deliberate, premeditated, and calculated to bring about the kind of harm that was intended. A penalty of death is excessive, to be sure, yet banishment, or a period of lengthy and strict parole is well within our bounds to consider. Do not let sentiment dim the darkness of this deed. Do, however, remember: a precedent-setting case is before us. My vote is not for execution, but for a punishment of considerable severity to match
the weight of Arahn's crime."

The color had left Arahn's face by now. He had not considered that his
deed would be classed as a crime, comparable to assassination or
a deed of egregious shame. He had hoped for a severe reprimand at the
least, and some period of parole at the most. Penalty of death? Execution? Banishment? These consequences had not entered his mind at all, and now that one word was out on the table for all to consider: banishment. Would others concur?
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Postby Arahn.of.Imladris! » Sat Dec 04, 2004 5:35 am

Arahn had not only been listening to the things said about him, but he
was also trying to think about what to say to these great and wise
people gathered before him. He felt angry. Yet, he kept that anger hidden
in the same way that he had hidden it from his own father and mother.
He thought of all of that the reasons that went through his mind the first
time he found the book that had started him searching for the lore he

Suddenly, Arahn heard someone ask him a question directly. "We need
to know, young man, what happened that began this journey into

Arahn felt color rise in his cheeks. He was livid with fury at the way the
council member asked him the question. Inwardly he raged: "What hypocrites! Why had they even kept the forbidden books in the first place? Why had they appointed an archivist to take care of them? Why, of all things, had they chosen that very archivist to be my tutor?"

With his new-found powers, he redirected his anger into new directions.
He began a new line of thinking: "Why not cloud their minds, and keep
them from wanting to punish him? Why not find the weakest mind among
them and create dissension?"

Arahn smiled benignly, and as he explained his actions to the council,
with another part of his mind, he began to search out a tiny crack, a
chink in the seemingly unbreakable wall of resistance set against him.
The more and more Arahn spoke, he discovered how easy it was to do
this second task also.

At the same time, a third voice began to speak within him:
"Child. Step away from this path you are on. Not all is lost. Not all is over.
Even now, mercy is possible. Even now, you will be kept from a worse
fate. You are young, naive and untrained. Do not think that your inner
work, even now, has not been sensed by others. Trust the mercy that
is being offered."

Arahn coughed. It was the only distraction he could think of to gain some
time to think. He asked for some water. An attendant brought a flagon
and cooled chalice to him. As Arahn picked up the flagon, he started
trembling, almost imperceptively. He knew he was frightened, more
frightened than he had ever been. Had others noticed? Had others been
aware of his new project?

"Arahn of Imladris, we know you are full of fear, even now, and we wish
to say this: If we sense a contrition within you, and understand what
brought you to direct hurtful power against your father, then we can do
more for you than you think possible. Be warned, young Arahn, we have
powers that you do not know, and skills that you could not guess. Work
with us, and this council will be lest punative and more constructive. Heed
these words, young one. You are walking the edge of a precipice."

Arahn suddenly felt a new surge of emotion. It was an unexpected grief.
A tear formed in the corner of his eye and slipped, unchecked,in a
gleaming path down the side of his face.

To the wise eyes in the room, this was the first hopeful sign.
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Postby prmiller » Sat Dec 04, 2004 6:33 am

Aravel rose from a chair near the council table. She looked into Arahn's
eyes with the piercing gaze he had ever seen, then she walked away,
out of the room. Arahn's face became a mask of confusion. With a child's
reflex, he started from the chair. A strong cough from one of the council
members reminded Arahn of his place. Arahn took his place again on
the chair that faced these seemingly impassive faces.

With a slight rustling, the Archivist of Imladris rose. "Arahn. I know what
you did. I know where you went, what you read and how often. I did not
think you would go further than that. Both you and I know that you wove
deceits around you. You entered the Deep Chamber and did so from
knowledge that I did not know you possessed. We all believe, Arahn, that
you are being used like a glove on an evil hand, to bring more than
just harm to your father, but to bring great evil into the very domain of
Imladris itself. I have always known of your thirst for knowledge. This
new work of yours is beyond thirst, beyond lust. It is far darker and more
evil than we have ever experienced here among us. You must, if you wish to be free of these unseen chains of shadow, tell us all that you have done. Bring your deeds into the light, Arahn, or you will surely be
more than banished from Imladris. You will be the unwitting prey of a
power far greater than you have ever heard or known. You could not have possibly taken the lore you read and have done what we know you
have done. We must know what you did from the day you found the
Deep Chamber to the day you were summoned here to this council."

As the Archivist sat down, heads nodded in sage agreement. Hard eyes
softened. Stony faces now showed more gentle looks and a few eyes
were wet with tears. The Council Head stood now and looked into Arahn's
eyes. His face showed both an authority and compassion that made Arahn briefly gasp in amazement. He walked to where Arahn sat and as
he moved near, an attendant brought a chair, upon which the Council
Head sat, at a gentle angle next to Arahn. Similarly, the light grew softer
near Arahn and the lights about the Council Table dimmed so that all were covered by a soft shade.

"I am here." He spoke. "Tell me all. You have no need to fear."

Arahn felt a tremendous, ripping and tearing in his mind, and just as
suddenly it ended.

"It all began," Arahn spoke hoarsely, "when I wanted to go to the
Scriptorium to write a letter to my father, and saw a new book on
the dias of the Archivist. Curiosity pulled me over, and what I found
there fascinated me. It told me of ancient powers that the Numenoreans
had mastered and had used to build their fledgling kingdom from simple
beauty to breathtaking glory. I do not know how or why, but I found my
heart yearning to be able to talk to others from afar, without a palantir.
I wanted to Dreamtalk. That is how it began, sir. Then things changed.
I cannot tell you how, but suddenly, I knew I could do this. I discovered
an entry on the edge of a page. It was a little diagram showing the
ancient doors, deep, deep down beneath Imladris. At first I had not
noticed it, but it was as if it had been covered by some dust, and when
I blew it away, the little map appeared. It almost looked like it had been
written in blood. I took a small knife from the kitchens, and I cut away
the page, so that it would not be missed."

"It was, Arahn. The Archivist knew it in an instant, but hoped you would
confess to this misdeed. We have much parchment, but the ancient lore
on the that page is of far more value to us than the age of the paper
itself. We do not cherish antiques, we cherish knowledge. Now, continue."

Arahn swallowed hard. His mind seemed like it was on fire. Like someone, somewhere was hoping to dissuade him from speaking further.
"I...I...remember a night when there was a dream that I thought was
reality. A figure came to me and showed me a place where a key was
hidden. When I awoke, I standing in the very place that the figure had
been. When I depressed the small stone in the wall, I found the key.
After that, it was just a matter of time before I found the words in the
books of the Deep Chamber than gave me the information I needed."

From the folds of his cloak, the Council Head drew out a parchment
with strange words written on it. "Arahn. Please read this."

Arahn stared for the longest time at the paper. "I...I'm sorry, sir, but I

"The words on this parchment are the very words you found in that book
you found in the Deep Chamber. This confirms to us that you were given
knowledge you could not possibly have known on your own. This is one
of several clues we have gathered that have revealed to us, that the
kidnapping of the bride of young master Hobbituk was the result of an
ancient hatred between his bride and the one who claims to be her
true betrothed. We stand between the feuding furies of two great
houses, two great powers.

"Arahn, you are not the natural son of Parm. You were a foundling. In fact, after much searching, we discovered the dark truth: you are
descended in a crooked, but traceable line, of one of the dallyings of one of the great kings, deceived to take up the Rings of Power from Sauron.
For some reason, that bewilders even us, you have been spared from
vengeful harm. It is as if an ancient Istari wove great and powerful words
of guarding about you to bring you into Parm's life and into our own.
Arahn, you have, deep within you, the Istari ability to move through
time and space, as though in a dream, to where they desire to be. Only
instead of bringing good, someone has found a way to make this gift
serve more evil purposes. There you have it, young one. You are
more ancient in years than you know, and gifted in ways that will rival
your adopted father. All this has been kept from you until now, for it is
now that all the pieces of your puzzle have been brought together.

"Arahn, you must let us work along with you. Trust us to help you. We
have no desire to end your life, but we will put to death the control that
has come upon you from another. To do that, we need to be elsewhere
and do other things."

As the Council Head spoke these words, the lights went up on the
Council Table. It was empty. All the members had left quietly, all
save Aravel, who sat on a chair at the farthest edge.

"Now you know, dear one. Now you know."
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Postby Marius_Brendar » Wed Dec 15, 2004 9:59 am

Meanwhile at the Inn...

“Anyway,” Aliana said airily, taking a piece of what looked like ham, “I have to look out for you now, whether I like it or not.”

“Oh?” he raised an eyebrow. How was this injured maiden planning on looking out for him? Granted, when she is well, she would make a formidable foe, but wounded? Perhaps when wounded she became a wildcat... Marius tried to keep his thoughts out of the boudoir, but it was difficult in his fevered state of close proximity to her. She continued on, thankfully not noticing the brief look of lust upon his face.

“You saved my life, of course. So there is a debt between us,” she said, “a debt that can only be repaid in blood.”

'A debt that can only be repaid in blood...' Marius recalled those words with a chill down his spine. Did she realize what she invoked with this? Perhaps to her the words were simply what warriors said to one another... to him, well, it meant that she was destined to be by his side until the debt was repaid.

And maybe by the end, she won't want to be apart, the voice deep within him murmured. Pushing it deeper still, Marius refused to acknowledge that his heart was becoming involved with this infuriating woman... and not just desiring to know her for one passionate night.

“Now… we really ought to make some sort of contingency plan, shouldn’t we? I don’t care to become wolf-dinner anytime soon.”

Ali broke his reverie, but it was not unwelcome.

"Yes, that sounds like a fine idea. First we need to find some way to keep you mobile... hobbling away from a foe will never do." He winked. The old Marius was back, though still weakened from the blood loss. Alandriel's cloth was absorbing the toxins and he felt less heady; his capabilities were returning rapidly.

"What about this?" He held up a sturdy branch, just light enough for her to carry, but sturdy enough to hold up her frame. She nodded and he cut the smaller branches off, smoothing it so that her hands would not be roughened by the jagged bark.

"I can do that on my own, thank you very much," she grumbled. He realized that she saw that things were very much the same between them again, now that the moment of tenderness and worry was over. Deep down, he was sorry to let it go, but near the surface, he rejoiced. The more she despised him, the less likely he would be to lose his heart.

As Aliana stood and put her weight upon the branch, he couldn't help but notice her lithe, slender body and how graceful it moved, like a trained warrior in her prime upon the battlefield. For a moment, his breath was taken away and he could not come up with a decent retort. When he finally found words again, they were nothing special.

"Where should we go? By now, those that hunt Lurea and her captor are long gone... the trail would be cold. There is not much we can do here at the Inn... Aerin seems to have it covered, what little that can be done in such destruction. I doubt that it will be rebuilt until Erinhue returns, so my efforts are no longer needed. Now is the time for women's work."

Aliana glared at him, "What do you mean, 'women's work'? You make it sound as though it were something beneath a man."

He blinked. "Well, I..."

"You think that cleaning is a woman's duty only! What do you do out on the battlefield? Do you wait for your sisters to clean up your mess? Oh, wait, I forgot, you don't care. You just leave everything as it is and don't concern yourself with how or when it will be fixed." Her face grew an alarming shade of red as she ended, breathless.

Marius opened his mouth, but closed it again quickly. He could not deny that he did not think of such trivialities...

At that moment, a shadow fell upon them. Drawing his sword, Marius leapt before Aliana, forgetting for a moment that she was angry with him and liable to beat him with her walking stick.

"Who are you and what do you want?" Marius growled at the stranger.
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Postby Orodben » Wed Dec 15, 2004 6:03 pm

Orodben had been tracking the pack of wargs for days. He had managed to eliminate most of them, but one had eluded him. He had no idea where the pack had come from – they had no riders, and seemed to merely be hunting. He had been sorely afraid that the escaped one had caused havoc somewhere, and when he followed its tracks into a clearing he was shocked. Destruction and disorder met his eyes. This ruin used to be the Lucky Fortune Inn, but what had happened? The place had always been one of happiness and welcome, protected by some magical force he knew not. How could it have met such a calamitous end?
He shifted his gaze slightly, and drew a sharp breath. The last warg lay on the ground beheaded, near a fair maiden and a warrior, both of whom seemed to be wounded. How had they escaped death? The warrior handed the maiden a stick to lean on as he watched. The two seemed to be trading words in a rather heated manner. It was his duty as a Ranger to see if they needed help.

"Who are you and what do you want?"

The warrior, who looked to be a man of Rohan, snarled at him and had a sword at his throat in a split second. Keeping his hands well away from his daggers and bow, Orodben stepped back.
“Forgive me for startling you, but you looked as if you might need assistance. I have been tracking this pack of wargs for days, and must thank you for slaying the last one. I have bandages and herbs in my packs, if you and the lady would accept my help.”
He paused for a moment, then could hold his curiousity in no longer.
“At least, could you tell me what foul occurrence caused the Inn to be leveled? I thought nothing could ever harm it.”
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Postby Hobbituk » Sun Dec 19, 2004 3:03 pm

The Groom's Hunt

The new sensation of this sea-scent was pervasive throughout the entire Island. As Hobbi was led from the beach at the head of the column of Orcs and towards the great stone castle, it seemed as if the whole place was made up of the salt of the sea itself. It seemed unfitting for such a miserable and desolate place, but in areas there were places of lush greenness as if there had been a sudden surge of growth in recent times. They saw no one as they passed through the land between the stony beach and the great monument on the horizon. Hobbi kept his eyes open and alert and his muscles stretched and tense in case an opportunity would present itself. He felt oddly excited. He was certain that his wife was somewhere on this quite small island and he was sure he would see her soon. How on earth he would manage to secure an escape, mount a rescue and get them both safely back to the mainland was a great riddle. He was a changed Hobbit, yes, but still just a Hobbit.

Kuti had left his horse back on the other shore, it being too dangerous to carry it across on the rickety boats they had been forced to use in order to traverse the ocean. This meant that he was now travelling on foot for the first time and was struggling to keep up with the troop of Orcs. Morg seemed to be pushing onwards to the castle faster than ever, he seemed most impatient to reach their destination whereas Kuti himself would rather delay. He was in no rush to be brought forth before Leonir again. The memory of his last meeting with his employer was not a pleasant one. Annoyingly, Hobbituk was also pressing forward too. The leading Uruks had him held on the end of a three foot rope bound with his arms behind his back right at the front and he seemed to be keeping at the head of the column without struggle or exertion.

They soon came to a road of smooth pebbles and loose shale, which wound it’s way up the side of the hill and towards the castle. It was a steep road and the stones slid about underfoot causing one or two of the orcs to lose their footing and fall to the floor, where they were soon trod on by the ones behind. Morg now led the group. Eventually they came to the entrance to the castle. A loud grating sound alerted them to the vast portcullis being lifted as they approached. Still they saw no-one.

"“Seems our hosts are not eager to be seen" muttered Morg to an out-of-breath Kuti who had just managed to reach the front of the group.
"“Does …not… surprise me",” panted Kuti, "“From what I… gathered… at our last meeting. He is somewhat of a …showman".”
"“Theatrics!"” snorted Morg, "“Just what I wanted. A bloody mummer. You lot,”" he called to his soldiers, "“I want ten of you with me. The rest of you wait here until we signal".”

Through the gates they marched and in through an already wide-open oak doorway. They were now in a great hallway. Like the rest of the Island it was infused with the smell of sea and salt. The stone on the walls and floor was slimy and in places seaweed was littered around. Small molluscs clung to the walls, though Hobbi did not know what these strange shapes were or that they were indeed animal. Only one door led from the hall, a long and windy corridor eventually brought them to another large oak door. This one however was shut fast. Kuti tried the handle, it was locked.
"“Maybe we should go back to the hall, see if there is another passageway?”" he said, turning to Morg.
“"Maybe you should get out of my way".” He growled, thrusting an arm out and sweeping the Gondorian back against the wall of the passage. He then seemed to tense his muscles before launching a powerful kick at the door. In a shower of dust and with a great crack the door fell away.

Slowly now, they made their way into the room beyond. It was much longer than it was wide, with six columns on each side bearing the high roof. At the far end of this great hall was a raised dais. Upon the dais was an old wooden chair and upon the chair sat a figure.

“"Enter friends".” he called to them, though from the tone of his voice it seemed the word friend was used in more the tone one would use when saying enemy.
Last edited by Hobbituk on Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Sun Dec 19, 2004 7:54 pm

Tale Of The Warriors Of Light
Heather sat in the lead skiff, watching the land she knew so well grow closer. Soon she would be standing on dry ground and then... She didn't want to think about that yet.
A small knot of men had gathered on the beach and were watching her party approach. That was why she was in the lead skiff and would be the first to light and speak to the people, to smooth over their fears and possably buy, barter and trade for the needed supplies for their treck. This was not the part she was dredding. She didn't like being the leader, responsible for the welfare of all these people.
When the wooden boat bottom scraped the sand she alighted and strode toward the group of men alone, most of her weapons clearly visible, but none drawn. She greeted them in the Gondorian tongue and waited for their responce.
One of the men stepped forward and greeted her with a startling familiarity. She grew excited as she greeted him in return, recognition lighting up her troubled features. The speak quickly and quietly together then return to their groups after a brief hand embrace for old time's sake.

"That was an old friend and former knight of Minas Tirith, like myself. He will join us and help us get the supplies we need!"
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Postby Leonir » Wed Dec 29, 2004 12:07 pm

“Enter friends.”

Leonir's smile curdled upon his lips as he spoke the word that meant nothing to him. He did not have friends... sometimes he had allies, but more often than not, they were his servants, doomed to serve the old Master and now him.

Ritarae, the enormous cat of Mordor, licked her lips as Morg entered the long hall, her tail whisking a cyclone behind her as she anticipated the attack.

"Not yet, my dearest," Leonir purred to her. "Wait."

As the mud-splattered and bloodied crew came nearer, he saw the diminuitive groom. This set him into a terrible fit of hysterical laughter, the mirthless sound echoing hollowly against the stone walls, sending chills in the souls of all those who heard it (save the Mordorian feline who fed upon it as well as the fear that it invoked).

"You-- you are the one *I* am to fear? A hobbit?! The mighty groom of the powerful and magnificent Lurea?! If I can silence her, you should be no more trouble than an infant. Do you have any words before my servants take you to your chambers?"

When he mentioned 'chambers', the hobbit knew he did not mean cozy quarters like he had at Imladris... it most likely meant a torture chamber filled with unseen horrors and worse yet, agonies beyond his understanding.

Leonir changed his form suddenly as he shifted upon his uncomfortable stone throne, moving from the shadowy creature to one that had a definite form, still terrible and unnerving, but much more tangible.
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Postby prmiller » Sun Jan 02, 2005 9:08 am

Parm was glad, at last, to be finished the voyage to seemingly friendly
shores. He was particularly relieved to see how welcomed and welcoming
Lady Heather was. This maid of many mysteries constantly impressed
Parm. She had a heart aching to be loved and forgiven, and resolve in
battle that was harder that the strongest of Gondorian swords. At times,
her eyes showed a tenderness and concern that seemed to dispel the
darkest of shadows, and looks that would wither a mallorn to a mere
shrub. Willum, true to form, was munching on a hunk of bread, well-
toasted, Parm sniffed, and slathered in butter. Where the lad had made
this creation was anyone's guess, but from the bemused grins of the
sailors, it was not hard to surmise.

"Willum, my lad. We are in the country of legends."
"But Master Parm, sir. Where are we to go now?"
"That will be up to Lady Heather. However, once we are inside the
archives of Gondor, we will be arming ourselves for the next leg of
our adventure. You had been be well-provisioned by that time!"

Willum and Parm chuckled a bit more loudly than natural. Both felt a
growing dread, but from what, neither could say. Lady Heather was
cloaked again in a shroud of mystery that Parm could not penetrate.
There was something else. Parm's staff had begun to glow, not softly,
but almost with a kind of sheen, like warning or suggestion of caution.

Closing his eyes, Parm held tightly to the staff.
The image of a hall in Imladris came to his mind.
Aravel was standing and she was speaking...far away, yet audibly.
"My love. I cannot send you any more aid.
Arahn needs me here. He has entered into his own perils.
He believes himself to be free. He is unfettered, but hardly free.
Keep your mind on your journey.
You must trust Lady Heather.
Keep hope alive in Willum.
You will need his strength.
Farewell, dear one.
I cannot come again.
At least for now...."

The thought and image faded. Parm felt weary, but also felt a new
resolve grow within him. He would do all in his power to learn of the
plight of Turelie-Lurea. He offered a silent prayer for Hobbituk and
then, squeezing Willum's shoulder, sighed and remarked:
"We need a landing meal...something hot, I think. Like a stew."
"...and cake?"
"Oh, yes, Master Willum...and cake!"
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Postby PatriotBlade » Sun Jan 02, 2005 8:39 pm

Tale Of The Warriors Of Light
The night was cool, but not yet cold with winter's bite, but the odd party was warm as they prepaired to set out at dawn then next day. Heather and her friend, whom she had introduced as Holden, were talking quietly over her map. She was releaved to not be leading this expedition alone, yet she was, for all decisions would probably fall to her, Holden simply advised.
He had noticed the dragon sword at her back and gave her a questioning look at dinner, but she had given a slight shake of the head and he let it go.
They finished marking the trails and bid each other good night. Holden had offered her a place by his fire, but she politely refused, choosing instead to stay with her friends.
The ship that had brought them had been provissioned and had turned to follow the waves back to their home harbor, with tales of mysterious warrior women, miniature children, rangers from the north and an old wizard.
Morning came faster than any of the party desired, but within an hour of sunrise, they were well on their way, Holden and his oldest son in the lead with Heather.
The healer kept an eye out for Parm, Willum and Ness, calling halts when she thought they needed it. Holden's son, a strong twenty year old offered to carry the hobbit lad on his shoulders after their noontime break.
The youngster refused at first, but was later convinced to do it for a little while at a time.

"We have made good time today, Master Parm."
The old man looked up to see that Heather had dropped back to walk between himself and Nessa for a while to talk.
"Tomorrow we will take the pass to go around the forbidden vally. We should get there in about three or four days instead of five or six."
They talked for a while and no plant that could possably be needed was left behind as the healer walked with them. Nessa finally plucked up the courage to ask a question.
"Where did you learn Gondorian?"
"I was once a knight of Minas Tirith, Long ago, but I grew restless and moved on. That has been my curse-no contentment in any place until I reach the White Shores. Idris and I fought together for a while before I left and I was told that all knights never cease to be knights, so if I was ever in need, I was to call on them."
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Postby Hobbituk » Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:47 pm

The Groom's Hunt

From the moment Leonir began to speak, Hobbi’s head had been hung, staring straight at the floor.
"You-- you are the one *I* am to fear? A hobbit?! The mighty groom of the powerful and magnificent Lurea?! If I can silence her, you should be no more trouble than an infant. Do you have any words before my servants take you to your chambers?"
The words were obviously meant to belittle and unsettle the Hobbit but he was not now afraid. It was too late for that. He lifted his head. He saw now for the first time, the large creature sat just behind Leonir’s chair. He was enshrouded in shadow but it appeared to be some enourmous cat grown beyond all comprehension so that it were almost the size of a shire pony. His gaze drifted back to Leonir, calmly seated and seemingly waiting for something. Hobbi did not speak, he simply continued to take in his surroundings. By the time he realised he had been given an opportunity to voice his opinions, Leonir had apparently been stricken with another thought.
"“Incidentally",” he said icily, "“Tell me, Kuttiboh. Why is that you bring me a prisoner when I requested you bring me a corpse?”"
Kuti stood forward. He was afraid, very afraid thought Hobbi.
“"My lord, we attempted to kill him, …it was not possible! He is …protected by an amulet given to him by the Bard Erinhue".”
Leonir raised an eyebrow, "“Strange. I had not heard of this taking place, how peculiar!"” he suddenly laughed, though it was a dry humourless laugh, "“Well my low-witted friends, it is no great magic though it is an old one. A simple charm. It can be undone without difficulty. It prevents one from delivering a killing blow. A simple cut, without treatment would have allowed him to bleed to death".”
Hobbi looked at Kuti he had gone crimson. He looked at Morg, but Morg seemed to be paying no attention to what was being said. His eyes, full of anger, were on Leonir. A distant rumble of a growl came from him, but no words did he speak.
"“So then little Halfling",” said Leonir turning again to the Hobbit, “"What have you to say?”"

Hobbi suddenly realised he had been invited to speak once more. Many possible replies hovered before him like pictures. Outright defiance to excuses and begging for mercy were all possibilities. In the end, he elected to speak his thoughts,
“"What would I say to you? I have lived an utterly miserable existence. A father who did wish to know me, a brother who sought to kill me and a family almost entirely set against me. For a brief time a ray of supreme light shone into my life and illuminated the darkest shadows of my memory. On the happiest day of my life, YOU came and extinguished that light. What would I say to you? Only one thing…

Where is my wife you filth?”"

A blow to the back of his head sent everything black. He was not unconscious but his vision was temporarily gone and his head swam. He felt rough hands grab him and begin to drag him. A blurred picture appeared in time to tell him that he was being taken away from the main hall and down a corridor. Shortly a door was opened and he was thrown in without care. All was black once more.

Back in the hall Kuti, Morg and the ten Orcs stood facing Leonir,
“"So, my faithful servants..."…” began Leonir, but he was interrupted by a sudden cry of rage from Morg.
"“How DARE you?"” he snarled, "“You presume to order me and my legions away from our home! You cause the deaths of almost half of them. They were cretinous little runts but they will not be replaced easily. Who do you think you are?”"
Kuti looked at Morg incredulously, slowly he began to edge away.
Leonir looked half amused, "“But you came when commanded?”"
"“I came because you used the authority of my previous Lord. Of Saruman the White. I came to see what manner of leader you were and whether we might do business. But now, now that I see you I realise you are nothing more than some petty Baron with a taste for the torture of unimportant halflings. I tell you, I will not let this journey have been in vain.”"
With that he moved and it seemed to Kuti that within a heartbeat he was upon the dais and had his hand at Leonir’s throat trying to choke the life out of him. Kuti then saw the creature, the enourmous cat leap and hit Morg directly in the chest knocking him to the ground. One of the other orcs gave a cry of attack and they surged forward to help their leader. Kuti saw other minions of Leonir enter the hall and surge forward to attack the Orcs whilst Leonir was nowhere to be seen. Kuti turned to run, get out as quickly as possible. He was almost out of the hall when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned and Leonir’s face was so close to his that Kuti could smell his fowl breath,
“"Going somewhere you coward?"” he hissed, “"You come with me!"”
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Postby Leonir » Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:47 pm

A Marriage of Evils

Leonir wanted to laugh at the diminuitive creature who insulted him with words. It was too comical to him that a hobbit would demand things from him. However, he did not have time to find pleasure in the situation... he still needed to deal with the treacherous Morg and the creatures too ratty to be called anything other than inferior minions.

He nodded to one of the captors, who used its gnarled staff to hit the hobbit on the head. Hobbituk would be well-guarded until other business was attended to. Then, Leonir would have fun at the hobbit's expense.

As Morg came toward him, suddenly incensed, Leonir remained motionless. He had foreseen this creature's actions, using the power that spread within him like a tumor. It would be an excellent game for the Kitty of Mordor, whose stomach growled with thunder. She purred with anticipation, knowing what her master intended for her, the purr rumbling the ground like an earthquake.

As Morg leapt forward, Leonir snapped his finger and Ritaerae lunged forward, her reddish-gold eyes glowing with embers. Releasing a blood-curdling yowl, she landed upon Morg's chest, and began devouring a finger upon his left hand. But worse yet, she fed upon his fear and fury, and began draining him of his life essence, purring as she stole it from him. The combination of the soul and flesh devouring sent a silven sheen through her fur, as though lightning coursed through it. The surging orcs grew pale and backed away as they saw this horrendous spectacle, not knowing how to help their leader.

"Stop her, you fools!" Morg sputtered beneath her charged fur. A few leap forward, closing their eyes as Rita's fur grew blindingly white. Blindly, they stumbled forward. She left Morg then, knowing fully well that he was not hers... fate had other plans for him. But the orcs... she could wipe them out the way a child stamps upon an anthill. Her enormous paws slashed at them and she licked her paw, enjoying the tang of fear.

More minions of Leonir descended upon the hall, slashing throats of the mutinous orcs; some they offered mercy and asked if they wished to change their allegiance. Few chose this, for they were faithful to their leader, Morg. The hall took on a blackened crimson sheen with the slaughter.

Through all of this, Leonir watched and calculated the motions of all. Out of the corner of his eye, the coward Kutibboh was inching toward the door.

"Going somewhere you coward? You come with me!"

Leonir brusquely clamped his powerful hand around the back of Kuti's throat, clenching it so tightly that Kuti could only squeak in response. He led him in this manner down the hall and into a labyrinth of chambers, each hall looking identical to the last.

Finally, they came to a door like the others... only this one glowed with a fiery light. Leonir pounded twice upon the door and then spat upon it; the spittle sizzled as though it were boiling upon the stone surface. The door opened and inside lay a still, silent Lurea, her eyes open as though she were awake, though a vacant gaze was placed upon Kuti--her eyes souless but no less piercing. The grey skies had blackened into a night squall and they drew Kuti into them until he too grew emotionless.

Leonir released him and Kuti fell into the chair beside the stone tablet that the Weatherspeller lay upon.

"Since your earlier task was apparently too challenging for you, I have something much simpler," Leonir mocked the man. "I want you to stay here and guard her. If she moves, you will report to me through Mindspeak. Do whatever you like to her, but I warn you, do not leave this room. If you do, you will not be able to return without me, for only I can open this door. Only part of my body--whether it is blood or spittle--will allow this door to open. And if you leave this room..."

Leonir's eyes flashed dangerously, turning the same colour as Rita's as she fed. Calling upon the evil within, he spoke in a garbled language much akin to the screeching of the Nazgul, and grew in height. He looked down upon the cowering Kuti and glared.

In a moment, he was at his regular height and he left the room, the door slamming with a very final blow.
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Postby TinuvielUndomiel » Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:36 pm

The Groom's Hunt

Despite not trusting Leslie, the newest addition to their party, Anorast and Tinu urged their horses onward. Soon after Leslie joined them, Tinu applied a soothing balm to Matilda, so that she would be able to keep up with them. Speaking a few words of healing, Tinu made sure that even the pony Matilda could match the speed of the elves' horses.

They spoke little on their journey, following the few clues that they had to go on. When something new appeared, none spoke, only nodding at the discovery and the proof that the hobbit was trodding on.

The Hobbit Protector grew heavier upon Tinu's chest, but she spoke not of it. It was enough for her that the hobbit lived.

The others: Erinhue, Telta, Fala, the Rohirrim... none were seen behind them. Tinu could only imagine that they had decided to turn back. She wept for Erinhue, knowing that the kind man would be blaming himself still for the tragedy that occurred at the conclusion of the ceremony. However, she could not imagine that he had given up so easily. Perhaps the evil that had stolen Lurea had murdered him and the rest of Lurea's friends... but this was too terrible for Tinu to bear to think of, so she hoped that they had turned back to help Aerin rebuild the Lucky Fortune Inn.

After a month of tracking, they came upon Osgiliath and a band of slaughtered Ithilien Rangers. Their blood was still warm; the captain's life ebbing away slowly after strangulation.

"Orcs," Anorast pronounced grimly. It was the first word that had been spoken since the last sign of the hobbit's prints, a week ago. Tinu's eyes grew misty, thinking of the homes that would be cold and cheerless without these men.

"I wish we had time to give them the honor they deserve," she said softly, her voice slightly husky with the thickness in her throat. Anorast placed his hand on her shoulder and gave her a look of compassion; he was pained as well.

Yet they moved on, leaving the brave warriors to the foul vermin that steal from the dead.

Soon, the tracks ended... at the mouth of the Anduin.

"What do we do now?" Leslie asked, squinting in the bright sun. "They could have gone anywhere from here."

"Not just anywhere... it would have to be somewhere close," Tinu said, her sky-blue eyes seeing well into the distance.

"How are you sure about that?" Leslie queried. Tinu was hesitant, but after a month of travelling with the elf, she had a better understanding of her character. She did not appear to be an evil minion.

"The Hobbit Protector still hangs heavily. If he were not near, it should be light once more." She swallowed the fear that came with the thought that trailed behind her words... if it is light, he is dead and our journey is for nought.
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Postby Hobbituk » Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:43 pm

The silence was tangible as Kuti was left alone in the room with Lurea, the echo of the slammed door the only sound apart from the crackling of a small and dim torch in it's bracket on the wall.

He stared at Lurea as she stared back unblinkingly. A thousand thoughts were rushing through his mind not least of which was that he fervently wished he were somewhere else a long long way away.

There appeared to be no life behind those beautiful eyes. He remembered the first time he had ever seen her, back at The Lucky Fortune Inn. She was perhaps the most lovely thing he had ever seen, she looked so delicate and so graceful yet it was always clear that she was a creature of power. Now, whilst she had lost none of her beauty she appeared to be bereft of power. She looked weak and frail and helpless. Kuti was suddenly hit with an intense pang of guilt, it was partly because of HE that she was here. He was to blame. The information he had supplier to Leonir, the work he had done for him.

Lurea showed no recognition or indeed any movement at all to indicate she remembered him. An urge overcame him. He took a step towards her and then knelt down so that his head was on a level with hers. Without quite knowing why, he lifted an arm and placed his hand gently on her pale cheek. It was cold and dry. Her breath smelled sweet and her eyes seemed large and innocent. Kuti almost felt that he might cry. Leaning forward he gently brushed his lips against hers, just for a second. He pulled away hurriedly as for the first time she blinked,
"Kutibboh?" she said in a weak faltering voice, "Kuti...who...what...why are you here?"

Kuti took to his feet, resistance flowed back into him and he turned his back to her so that she might not see the expression on his face.

"I am your gaoler." he replied as stiffly as he could manage. Then he turned and opened the door, stepping through, closing it behind him before finally sinking down to the hard stone floor and sobbing into his hands.
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Postby Leonir » Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:05 pm

A Marriage of Evils

Leonir smirked as he left Kuti. Surely he would not fail in this simple errand, he thought.

You are a fool, Leonir. You are more of a fool than Kutibboh. He will betray you, as he betrays others. He has no allegiance to any but himself, the Voice Within snarled.

"Silence! I know what he will and will not do. He WILL complete this simple task and if he doesn't..." Leonir trailed off, clenching his fists until he felt blood run down his arms.

The Voice was silently mocking him still when he arrived before Hobbi's chamber, just a few turns down the labyrinthine halls. However, once he entered the door, it stopped, for it too wanted the torture of the hobbit, the creature who would surely have aided Culanir long ago in rescuing Lurea from it.

The hobbit was in steel chains that bit into his roughened skin, but a servant had scoured the layers of dirt and matted blood from his skin, replacing his tattered clothes with fabric that was little better; cloth that was at least free of orc-stench.

"Did you really think you would be able to rescue her from me?" Leonir snarled as he jerked the hobbit's head back roughly to meet his eyes.

The dark elf shifted his eyes over to the servant, who stepped forward now with the red-orange brand, the symbol that was scorched into the arms of his minions.

"Well? Speak now, or forever hold your peace," Leonir laughed mirthlessly, thinking of the irony with a new groom before him. "Answer all my questions and you just may live to see a long life... hold your tongue and you shall find what pain can be in Hell."

Of course, Leonir was not going to release the hobbit even if he answered every question... but it sounded good to the arrogant elf.
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Postby Hobbituk » Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:27 pm

Hobbi glared at Leonir with hate,
"You pathetic, sad little creature. Do you think I am impressed with this?" he glanced around, "You are so small! As "Dark Lord's" go I've known pigs that were more intimidating. You have questions? Then ask. I have no secrets!"

Hobbi gritted his teeth. He was struggling to remain calm and retain his belligerent attitude. Maybe Leonir would grow angry kill him outright and end all his pain. That would be better than torture. He licked his lips and shifted his position against the unformfortable chains that bound him,

"I promise Leonir, that one hour soon I will stand over your cold lifeless body and spit on it. In the meantime, do your worst...though..." and here he stopped thoughtfully, "You might at least tell me who the heck you are and what it is you want with my wife?"

Kuti had not been sat long when he remembered what Leonir said about him being unable to return to the room if he left it. He began to panic. He knew if Leonir found him here he would probably meet the same fate as the Hobbit and...the elf. He clambered to his feet and wandered down the corridor. It was time to get out.
The place was a labyrinth and it would have been impossible for him to find his way out had he not thought to remember every turn they had made as Leonir had led him to Lurea's cell. Soon he was back at the main hall, which was now a battlefield. Morg's soldiers that had been stationed inside had now joined the others and were now battling fiercely against Leonir's minions. Several surrounded the cat and had managed to back it into a corner but she seemed to be having no great problem in cutting them down with her huge claws and devouring them one by one.

Kuti could see that Morg himself was having difficulty against close to twenty goblins at the far end of the hall. He was swinging his great exotic broadsword and felling them in huge numbers, but he appeared to be having trouble with a wound on his left hand and the goblins were gradually closing in. Morg saw Kuti and cried, "Fight here you cowardly Tark! You want money? I have as much as you need." but Kuti was too shaken and sprinted from the hall before one Leonir's orcs might take notice of him.

Eventually he paused in the courtyard to get his breath. He looked up suddenly as a great flurry of movement and a gust of wind attracted his attention to a nearby railing. There, sat looking at him without expression was his faithful Falcon, Nilrem.

"Nilrem!" he cried, "It is good to see you...I have been better."
The falcon cocked her head slightly.
"Leave?" said Kuti, "Yes we must. Get out of here...Go a long way...Buy a farm...get me a wife...settle down."
Nilrem spread her wings in agreement.
"But wait..." said Kuti suddenly, "To do so have none...we must..." and here he paused turning back to the great chasm which was the entrance to the castle, "We must go back inside. Help Morg. Get reward. It's the only way."

Nilrem made a strange noise, one that Kuti had not heard before though he knew it meant she disagreed.
"Do as you wish." replied Kuti. He then turned, drew his sword and began to run back towards the hall.

With a look of what could have been despair and resignation, Nilrem spread her wings and flew after him.
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Postby Leonir » Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:58 pm

A Marriage of Evils

"Pathetic? Sad? SMALL?!" Leonir drew himself up to his full 7 foot frame and roared belligerently. He was tempted to kill the weakling himself, right now. How dare he call him such things?! The Voice Within raged within, but drew dangerously calm.

No, do not kill him yet. Give him the answers he wants and then continue on. Cut his tongue out if he continues thus. We may yet need him.

Taking a deep breath, Leonir sat upon a chair next to the hobbit and spat upon him.

"YOU should not be talking about other being small; you're hardly bigger than a rabbit yourself! As for standing over my dead body... that shall never happen. There is no way for you to best me... I have the power of Sauron at my fingertips! I am the future ruler of Diadron and one day, you will know me as your King. No man or beast shall ever rule MiddleEarth again... the elves, the Dark Elves, shall take over what is ours. My... sister," he spat, "half, to be exact, your WIFE, will be given exactly what she deserves... a place upon the refuse. For she is the Queen of Garbage. She feasted while I struggled in the shadows, thrown from my high position for the face I was born with."

At this, Leonir lunged into the light, the shadows around him melting, revealing a grotesque mask-like face, contorted into a sardonic grimace. He went on, not fearing the hobbit at all, not caring what he gave away.

"For this I was banned from the throne. But she, SHE, and her brother Nenya, were spoiled and beloved, while I was forced to live in obscurity. My own mother never saw my face... she was told that I was stillborn. Now, Lurea, the beloved Turelie of our people, will pay. Her powers will be drained from her until she is no more than a husk, her beauty sapped dry until she is a hideous wench, her mind and sanity stolen, her spirit irrevocably broken. Then, I will sell her to the highest bidder and they can have their way with her. Her life will be pain and ugliness, as mine as been these past Ages. With her powers now, combined with those from a being that I made a pact with, I will be able to take Diadron from Nenya, without a large army. From there, I will defeat all those who oppose me in MiddleEarth!"

Leonir stopped for a moment, breathing hard. Why did he have to wait so long for all of this to come to fruition? He wanted it all NOW! His mind went into a secret place within him and conferred with the Voice Within for answers.
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Postby Hobbituk » Sun Jan 16, 2005 12:24 pm

As this sudden burst of information came forth from Leonir, Hobbi suddenly felt incredibly overwhelmed.

her brother? he thought, how could her own flesh and blood do such a thing?

Then an image came to his mind of his own brother. Of the way he had been treat by both him and his father. The favouritism Harold had been shown. The encouragement to be stronger, to dominate the wills of others and to surpass his elder brother in all ways save compassion and art. Hobbi did not know where it came from, but he felt sudden empathy with Leonir. After all, were they not the same? The favoured child nurtured and cared for whilst the other was neglected and pushed away.

As quick as this emotion came, Hobbi shook it off. No, he told himself, They were different. Very different...but maybe, maybe there was something here he could use? Some way of appealing to Leonir? If he were indeed kin of Lurea, then surely he must have at least a shred of her better nature...

"Lurea never told me she had a brother," said Hobbi softly turning to look at Leonir, trying to ignore the great uncomfort he was in, "I suppose there was a lot she never told me. About her...past. I knew nothing of Diadron. Nor of Nenya. It was always this big secret. I pretended for so long it didn't matter."

He let out a sigh and paused. Leonir was looking at him but Hobbi could gauge whether he were listening or merely about to backhand him for insolence.

"You know, the first thing to happen after you took her away? I heard a little about her past from someone who should not have spoken on it. Something so hurtful about Lurea and what she had done that I thought I might die," he looked down, "Ha. I very nearly did actually."

Still Leonir said nothing, so Hobbi continued,

"Leonir. I know nothing about you, but I do know how you feel. My brother Harold was a nasty piece of work. He treat me as you have been treat by others. I also know what betrayal at the hands of Lurea feels like. Believe me."
Once more he lifted his head and looked straight into Leonir's eyes. Those eyes were powerful and his gaze was terrible to behold, yet Hobbi did not break the connection,
"Yet I still love her. With all my heart. There is nothing she could do which I could not forgive. As her brother, can you not do the same?"
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Postby Leonir » Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:16 pm

A Marriage of Evils

The hobbit was stronger than he had anticipated... and there seemed to be an emotion akin to empathy in his eyes. This softened his icy heart, only enough to make it drip a few drops of truth and sincerity, something that had never happened before. For once, he had a willing ear, a confidante, and he eagerly took advantage of it.

But then, the hobbit asked him to forgive Lurea's evils, as he, the hobbit, had forgiven her. Leonir's eyes grew blindingly white with the fire within him that had just been fanned.

"I am her HALF-brother!! What little good she inherited was from our father... her mother, the sorceress wench who killed my mother so that she might breed with a noble elf lord and taint the noble line, is who she takes after, the one whose path she follows. Forgive her? With her birth, I was forgotten even in my father's mind--he, the one who tossed me out to be murdered, but at least he felt remorse for that. When SHE came into the picture, I was forgotten... the witch placed a spell upon my father, that he might forget me and concentrate on his 'living' children," Leonir snarled.

You are losing control... do not let the hobbit unsettle you. You are far superior to him, the Voice chided. He nodded and took a deep breath, waiting until his voice lost its waver.

"The witch told you nothing of her heritage?" Hobbituk shook his head and Leonir laughed mirthlessly.

"Why am I not surprised? Surely she is ashamed of her part in all of this. Or perhaps she figured that the more you knew of her past, the more likely it would be that you would find out about her inconstancy." Hobbi's eyes grew wide.

"Oh, yes, her inconstancy. For all these years, she has kept much secret... I have read into her soul and seen all that she has hidden from those she claims that she loves. You do realize that there is only one love in her heart--herself. And for herself, she has done much... in order to keep you, she has lied to you, just as she has lied to all of her thousands of lovers. But this lie... oh, yes, this one," Leonir laughed, sincere humor bubbling to the surface of his cold, emotionless face, "This lie was the biggest of them all."

Leonir closed his eyes and was suddenly silent. He was 'calling' to a guard with his mind, ordering him to bring the small prisoner to Hobbi's chamber. All Hobbi could see was the rapid flickering beneath the scarred eyelids of clammy white.

The door flung open and there stood a child, a girl, of exquisite beauty, of eyes an uncanny emerald green with grey storms flitting through. Her hair was a fiery red, her head aflame with golden wisps like flames licking the air around her. Though she was young, no more than ten years of age, there was a worldliness, a knowing that only elves bear. She looked upon the hobbit in chains with curiousity, but she did not stare as a human child would. Searching deep into the eyes that now canvassed her with disbelief, she smiled.

"You know my mother," she said simply.
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Postby Hobbituk » Sun Jan 16, 2005 1:41 pm

"No..." replied Hobbi almost without hesitation, but he knew deep down that his reply was a lie.

He looked at the creature before him and as he stared at her it seemed as if various pieces of a puzzle were sliding together before his eyes, yet still many pieces were missing and try as he might he could not connect them and uncover the true picture.

One thing was certain, this child could only be the daughter of Lurea. The eyes gave it away. Deep and yet cloudy like the sea before a storm. Her gaze was wise and also seemed kind and good natured, she had a strength in her that Hobbi had missed. It was the strength that Lurea had.

Hobbi's breathing grew quicker, his shoulders heaving against his manacles. He shut his eyes in the hope that this would block out the sight of the truth. The truth that Lurea had kept from him.
"No!" he cried, "It is a lie! An Illusion you have conjoured!"
Then out of the depths of his mind, from where they had been lurking since the day he had been captured by Morg and Kuti, came the ghosts...
So little Hobbit! they laughed and jeered at him, this is a turn up for the books now isn't it?
"Go away please..." whispered Hobbi aloud, "Please..."
No, my love. This is far too perfect...the elven whore conceived a daughter. Conceived with a man far stronger...far braver...far more of a MAN that you could ever hope to be...poor little Hobbit...
"Not true...." pleaded Hobbi, again outloud, not caring how it appeared, "Not true, not true..."
True my love! the voices within him grew louder, almost angry, Think of it little Hobbit, that day in the pool, when your cares were gone and you realised you truly loved her...her thoughts were on her child. The child brought forth from her love of the redheaded human! Everytime you kissed her...she thought only of her child...and CULANIR. The day you proposed...her thoughts dwelt with HIM...the day you were wed, that oh so magical day. As she spoke the words, as you took her hand, she could not have cared less for YOU little Hobbit!

Then he felt it. The sharp pain which began in his chest as his heart beat so fast it could beat no faster. It spread out through the rest of his body. His teeth felt like they were shaking, his eyes were sore and wet. His hands could not move.

His eyes snapped open once more and he looked upon Lurea and Culanir's daughter again,

"Please..." he murmured, "I...loved her so much..."

Everything faded now. It all seemed to grow dim around him and the world appeared to slip away. He seemed dettached from his own body and to be hovering above, away from all his cares. Finally.

With that he slumped forward, hanging in the chains which bound him. Lifeless.
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Postby Leonir » Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:30 pm

A Marriage of Evils

Meldamorë stoicly stood before the slumped hobbit, her face betraying no emotion.

"This was my stepfather?" She asked of Leonir, her impossibly large eyes questioning. "My mother married a hobbit? Why?"

Leonir drew her toward him and she did not flinch. She was unafraid and unaware of the danger in such close proximity.

"Ah, my dear, that is quite the question. Your mother betrayed your father and so she was relegated to hobbits... no other man or elf would have her. That should teach you that you should never leave your class."

She nodded and turned to look upon the dead hobbit. "What is to be done about him now?" she asked in childish innocence.

Leonir glanced at the guard who had brought the child into the room. "He shall be tossed out. It's too bad, for he was quite entertaining. I was nearly ready to release him from his chains so that he might sing and dance as his people are wont to do. You might have had a show today, m'dear, but I'm afraid that you have killed him."

"I?" She replied, her eyes suddenly stricken.

"Yes, for you are your mother's daughter--a killer of men, elves, and hobbits. You will, like your mother, drive them mad so that they fling themselves to their deaths when you reject them. It is the price of beauty and cruelty, both traits that you and your mother have," he grinned cruelly, returned to his facade of a handsome face, so that she would not be frightened of him.

"Oh." The girl was unsure whether or not she wanted this power; for now, she was disturbed by the dead hobbit. Noticing her furtive glances toward the body, Leonir called to the guard.

"Dump him into the woods. The beasts that reside there will feed upon him... he will be our daily sacrifice to them for today, though he is small."

The guard grunted and released the hobbit's limp limbs from the manacles, then tossed him over a shoulder as though the hobbit were no heavier than a sack of onions.

"What a weakling this one is," he complained to another of Leonir's minions, who followed him down the crumbling, rocky staircase.

"Yeah, he sees a child... didn't even have the decency to faint first," the goblin laughed, dancing upon the steps until he tripped.

"Serves you right, you fool. Didn't the Master tell you to watch your step here? These stairs weren't built yesterday, you know," the guard chided his friend, if beasts such as these have friends. The goblin scowled.

"So where do we dump the body?" The impish goblin asked as they reached the ground.

"Somewhere in the Dark Woods... I don't want to get too near; Jeluk dropped off the last sacrifice too close to the darkness and he never came back," the guard shuddered.

Looking around them, the two creatures grew more and more frightened by every noise. A branch snapping before them stopped them completely.

"What was that?" asked the goblin, his greenish face now a sickly jaundice.

"I don't know, but I'm not sticking around to find out!" The guard dropped Hobbituk's body upon the nettles, the hobbit's face down into the mud that had been trying to swallow the calloused feet of the funeral procession, and made his way back up the crumbling steps with the goblin following closely behind.

A ghostly wind wound through the trees that devoured any light that dared to enter the forest. Hobbituk's long tresses were lifted by the breeze, as though it were testing for life. Satisfied, it slowly returned each curl to the hobbit's shoulders and left his lifeless form.
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Postby Hobbituk » Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:04 pm

Kuti had now joined the battle in the great hall. With a great cry of rage (and fear) he had rushed from the doorway and attacked the nearest Orc. The Orc was unfortunately highly trained and skilled and would have made mincemeat of Kuti had he not had the element of surprise. His first blow lopped off the orc's hand and after that a quick swing seperated it's head from his body. A goblin suddenly came from behind and bundled into him. By the time he had managed to roll and look upwards towards his attacker, the creature was above him axe raised about to bring it down and crush him. There was a sudden flurry of wings and the goblin cried out in pain as Nilrem swooped down on the Goblin's face tearing mercilessly at it's eyes.

Kuti found his feet once more and looked around. If he were to get something out of this then he needed to assist Morg...if he wasn't already dead. He took in the scene carefully. The great cat was charging through ranks of orcs indiscriminately taking no care whether she was slaughtering Morg's soldiers or Leonir's. She was feasting upon them as she went and seemed merely to be enjoying herself.

Both sides were now heavily depleted in numbers. A cavetroll burst forth from one of the doors on the east side of the hall, but seven or eight of Morg's Merciless set upon it immediately. Arrows, axes and swords flourished and shone briefly and then with a huge groan and cry of pain the Troll collapsed and hit the ground, dead. Those orcs had no time to celebrate though as three more Trolls crashed through the same door swinging clubs wildly.

Kuti saw Morg stood alone upon Leonir's chair on the dais. He was surrounded by many Goblins all attempting to hack away at him. He was swinging with his sword but his movements were slower than Kuti had ever seen them. With sudden determination Kuti raised his sword once more and charged at the Goblins. These were smaller and weaker than the orc he had killed, but still they were fast and clever.

Kuti used his height to his advantage, raining heavy blows down upon them until they broke through the Goblin's defence and he was able to knock them aside. Morg took advantage of the distraction to descend from the chair and despatch those nearest to him. Nilrem swooped down amongst the Goblins, pecking at their flesh and scratching at their eyes with her claws.

Soon the Goblins were either dead or fleeing to other points of the hall-turned-battlefield. Morg slid his sword back into the scabbard which hung from his back and then gripped his left hand as if in pain.

Kuti took a step towards him, wiping a bloody sleeve across his brow to mop the sweat on his forehead.
"You well?" he panted.
Morg looked at Kuti as if seeing him for the first time, "You came back then Tark? Ha, the Gold sickness is indeed strong within you."
Kuti ignored him but instead began to cut a piece of cloth from his black coat.
"What are you doing?" grunted Morg curiously.
"Going to bind that hand of yours," said Kuti, "What happened?"

To Kuti's surprise Morg did not resist but instead allowed the Gondorian to wrap the cloth around his hand where the finger was missing.
"That bloody cat took a taste to me..." said Morg, "Speaking of which..."

Kuti looked up and to his utmost horror saw that the creature was now bounding towards them. Morg however did not appear afraid and instead drew his sword,
"C'mon little kitty...time for you to taste real Orc steel..." he murmured.
Wide eyed, Kuti grabbed Morg by the shoulder, "Are you mad? We should get into the labyrinth," he cried indicating the nearby doorway, "Save your energy for Leonir!"

Morg turned looking furious at the idea of fleeing but seeing that Kuti spoke wisely he turned and ran towards the labyrinth. Kuti, Nilrem and the great cat followed closely behind.
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Postby Turelie_Lurea » Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:35 pm

A Marriage of Evils

A tender touch upon her cheek. A man's warm breath. Quivering lips that met hers tentatively.

Lurea's first thought was: Hobbi, my love! But her eyes saw, for the first time in weeks, and they did not see the hobbit she loved.

"Kutibboh? Kuti...who...what...why are you here?" She wanted to weep at the familiar face, one that she suddenly sensed was torn as well. He turned from her, but even in her weak state, she could sense that he was unhappy.

"I am your gaoler," he replied, holding as much emotion from his voice as possible. Lurea wept for him, though she knew his character and knew that under ordinary circumstances that he was deplorable. But there was something different in the man now, something lamentable.

He left the room, and the haze of Leonir's power was restored, dragging her back into the dreams of hostility and fear. Meldamorë, her Dark Beloved, appeared to her in this bleary world smeared with shades of grey.

"Mother! He is dead," the cold face said to her, eyes lifeless and hollow.

"My child, where are you?" Lurea screamed, following her in the amorphous gloom.

"He is dead," the emotionless child repeated and continued into the darkness, disappearing once more.

"But who?" Lurea asked, fearing the worst. "Who, Melda?"

Suddenly, before her lay the lifeless body of Hobbituk, his face besmirched with mud and scars.

"No..." the sorceress whispered, barely able to speak, her throat was so tight. "No... it can't be... NO! Not my Hobbi, not my love, not HIM!!--" She choked, unable to breathe suddenly. Then, her throat loosened and she screamed.

"Noooooooo," she wailed, her agony and rage ringing through the corridors of the labyrinth, the pain of Ages conglomerated into one impassioned sound. Her eyes flashed open and she stood from the stone tablet, no longer in the nightmares Leonir used to imprison her.

"He will never get away with this," she growled, colour returning to her face, fists clenching.

She ran to the stone door to open it, assuming that it would be as easy for her to leave as it was for Kuti. However, the moment she touched the door, she was thrown back and her head hit the wall. Bleeding profusely from the head, her eyes weakly moved toward the door, and she held out her hand as though someone were there, and whispered, "My beloved," before she fell into unconsciousness.
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Postby erinhue » Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:01 am

THE GROOM'S HUNT( now inclucing 4 Elves and a Master Bard)

The pale disk of the moon hung in the blackened sky, trepidation splayed across its aged face. The night was quiet but far from still as the weary company tracking Hobbituk made camp. In distant places evil walked, the righteous perished, and the innocent were foully corrupted. A great terror bided time and those few set on the different paths against it were confounded in the dark.

The discovery of Hobbie’s faithful steed Matilda did little to calm overwrought fears for the hobbit-groom’s well being. Later, Tinuvial had cried out as though struck by some unseen hand and the gem at her breast blazed for a brief instant and then went dark and dull. This sure sign of disaster prompted them to blind hurry that led them to the very mouth of the Anduin. The trail ended there, and the disheartened company reluctantly makes camp if not to sleep then at least to rest and think.

Agarak opened its jeweled red eyes to see that they still wandered the wilderness. Foolish beings that did not know when or where their comfort lay, better they should all return to the warmth and comfort of the Lucky Fortune and take ease. This pointless wandering had gone on longer than Agarak cared to note and from what it could sense, the company could more than do with the rest.

The Bard had proved poor company for this journey. He was ill humored and unresponsive, not himself at all and that irritated Agarak no end. It changed his aura and that was irritating. He had stopped playing the harp all together and that was most irritating. If it was going to be bothered by the doings of these beings the Bard considered friends and be bumped along hanging from a saddle pummel, or shoulder strap, the least its Bard could do was to provide it with some attention and entertainment.

A faint ripple ran over its strings as the dragonharp stirred itself from its apparent self-imposed dormancy. They were persistent, these friends of the Bard, perhaps it was time to take an interest in them and their quest. These others were not like the Bard. He was of Mankind, these others were First Born, always interesting to observe. Although none of the company was in direct line with the illuminated eyes of the little dragon, Agarak exerted a minimum effort and looked them lazily over.

The tall elf with the white hair had the most interesting aura. It was a unique mix of dark and light forces. There was great power there, more than the elf dare use, and Agarak momentarily wondered, if he knew how to properly access what was available to him. He had been injured when they began, but his wounds had healed well on the trail. This was due in part to the power reflected in his aura. Agarak pushed enough to learn his name and realized that the elf was aware of its gentle probing. Ahh, this Anorast could prove to be worth further scrutiny.

The elf women were somewhat more familiar curiosities, each one held some sort of secreted force. It would not remain hidden should Agarak choose to push hard enough to unveil its nature, but the entity that was the dragonharp was not particularly motivated to explore. One of the elven females wore the jewel fashioned at the Bard’s request and that fact was enough to satisfy any mild uncertainties as to threat or loyalty in that quarter. They looked extremely discomforted; one appeared to be in some mild distress. They would all do better returning to the Inn.

The thought triggered recollection of why they were out in the wild. They could not return to the Inn, it had been destroyed. There was a wedding and then horror. Something dark had invaded. Enemies from the long past had returned to stir up old animosities and awaken something ahead of its true time.

The Bard was different. His dark attitude was an unacceptable personal irritation that also threatened the delicate balance in his particular metaphysical structure. The harp’s apparent sleep had in truth been spent in a continuous struggle to maintain a wavering balance with the spirit of the sword. The Bard’s deepening depression was empowering the spirit of the blade creating a looming menace that Agarak could not allow to gain free rein.

There was a deliberate malevolence behind all recent events and Agarak recognized it as something encountered long ago and many times before, but one time in particular. It had taken on a different form but this same force had threatened the Bard before, threatened the Light before and had been defeated, temporarily. Its reoccurrence now and in this manner was perhaps a sign. Perhaps this was the way things should unfold. It was hard to understand, all that came from the Bard was deep depression, guilt, and anger turned inward. It was that last that posed the true danger.

Enough, the entity that answered to the name Agarak decided. By edict it was not to interfere directly, except to prevent the bard’s serious detriment. This current and protracted mood was indeed a serious detriment, one that was becoming more injurious and dangerous by the day. Something had to be done, and it would be.

There was much to think about and little time for it.. For the first instance in its long existence, Agarak was uncertain of what action to take. There was the immediate situation with this darkness returned and also its long term purpose in regards to the Bard’s nature to consider. Perhaps there was no cross-purpose to these two dilemmas, perhaps the solution to one was root cure for the other.

The harp’s strings shivered imperceptibly. Too much of much importance needed careful weighing and deliberation, none of which could be done with the Bard in his current irksome frame of mind. Using the soul deep connection between them Agarak studied the bard in an attempt to learn what would lift the shade that had enveloped him.

The Bard’s dreams were a jumbled rehashing of the events of that disastrous day. Calling upon its own recollections to sort out the chaotic images and disjointed thought, Agarak soon had some answers. What the Bard wanted most was the forgiveness of his hobbit friend. This concept of forgiveness was confusing, but it was all-important to the Bard. Unfortunately this was something that was beyond the dragonharp’s power to obtain. It could only come from the hobbit himself.

Next was a deep-seated yearning to have had events transpire in some different fashion. This too was beyond the dragonharp’s power. What had been done could not now be undone. Agarak pushed again insinuating itself into the man’s troubled dreams to ask the question, “What else would you have done?”

There was one thing more to be found in the dark dreams of the Bard , one solution by which he might be able to forgive himself and shake the encroaching danger that threatened to gain control though his harsh self condemnation.. What the Bard saw as his one saving grace surfaced in the form of two simple words, “Find Lurea,”

This request the dragon harp could easily grant although time was needed to better weigh the wisdom in such action. Lurea was in the very heart of the darkness, and there was no time.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Sun Jan 23, 2005 3:25 pm

Tale of the Wrriors of Light
True to her guess, three days later as twilight deepened, the small group was sitting in the brown grass at the base of the back wall of Minas Tirith, except for the two Gondorians and Lady Heather, who were combing the wall for the secret door. A pecular bird call was heard and they all gut up to move toward the sound.
In the waning light, Parm could see three figures standing infront a secion of the wall- Section. The city was built of many stones, except for theis section which looked like it was one large piece of granite. About five feet over heather's head was a smaller piece of granate, fitted into a hole in the senter of the larger slab.
The healer was stripping her back and weapons into a pile on the ground, as was Holden.
The Gondorian knight braced his back against the wall just under the smaller stone and cupped his hands to give Heather a boost.
"I've never been so glad for you being half elf." he said jokingly as she took a couple steps back to get a jogging start.
"Ha! Funny."
They used her momentum to get her lifted to his shoulders, where she could reach the door to better examine it.
She stepped down into his cupped hands, then back to the ground. "I need a grapling hook, rope and a pully."
The rangers looked at her with odd expressions, whish in the growing darkness were easy to ignore.
Holden's son threw the grapling hook four times before it caught the top of the wall. With one of the heithline ropes slung across her chest and the pully tied about her waist, she began to scale the wall, going up the rope hand over hand. She stopped at the little door and tied one end through two holes she had found in the stone before she continued to upward struggle.
All was silent for a long time and some of the waiting party began to wonder about her. The end of her rope ploped to the ground causing Parm and Ness to jump.

"She's comming down." Holden said, watching the way it moved.
Coming down was easier than going up and in moments she was standing on the ground again, her face flushed and her arm muscles trembling from the strain, though by this time no one could see for the darkness.
"Everyone needs to pull to raise the door, then Star Song will give me a boost to climb through and open the larger gate. Once I'm through, you'll need to let the rope go and close the smaller door behind me."
Her plan worked just as it should and when the larger stone was lowered by chains to make a slight ramp, three figures waited to greet them instead of one.
Holden rushed forward and embraced his old comrades, then introduced his son and the rest of the group.
there was a sound from above and the grapling hook with the pully still attached fell to the ground.
the healer walked over to the center of the ramp and undid the rope from the smaller stone. The horses were brought in and the rest of the party shown to their quarters as she picked up her things. Once she was safely inside the stone was again raised, really only vissible if one knew to look for it.
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:45 pm

Four Elves +Master Bard/Groom's Hunt?

Watching Tinu’s reaction it didn’t take much to know the base facts especially as a long term traveler of the lands. There were many that would have good enough reason not to trust people, but right now this was a mild disappointment. After all she may have been better off searching for her friend Declynn rather then try to help. But shoving the idea aside she was not about to turn back now due to mistrust as it stood by now Declynn’s tracks had long since gone cold and tracking her would take even longer. The obvious statement "We must make haste if we wish to keep up." Did not include her, but she did not care if anything she could continue on following the tracks and keep herself separated from them if Tinu truly wished it. But since Leslie was not the ordinary elf and was always considered more mortal then elf it did not restrict her from being far more straight forward as she cleared her throat, and pointed a thumb behind her towards the way she came.

“I’ve left markers for the others to follow by since they had to get ready. They are following but since it is a slightly larger group they won’t catch up too quickly. But if you truly wish to leave ‘we’ can leave now, though judging by those tracks we’d need to be careful. With that number of orc tracks some may have remained behind to guard the path, or set traps for anyone following. And as it is dark we’d need to be especially careful as frustrating as that sounds. Or hopefully this group isn’t smart enough to do those things…”

The way Leslie spoke was a flat tone she used often to drive her point home inside her words were. “I’m no fool I can tell you don’t like my being here, but regardless I’m going to help Hobbituk with or without your help, so you mise well accept the help.” Giving a brief greeting to Anorast she turned back to Angel to get her ready.

It had been almost a month of traveling though guessing the other two didn't want to know or understand her all that much she mainly kept to herself. All the while Leslie still left 'markers' as she called them for Erinhue and the others to follow by just incase they had not turned back. Finding the poor soldiers that lay dead stung deep; knowing that husbands, fathers, and sons would never return home again and that their families would wait in vain for their return. Before leaving the scene Leslie left another marker just beyond the death if any of the other group followed then they too would soon see the horrifing sight as well. Leslie pressed on with Tinu and Anorast, but unfortunately the tracks soon grew to a dead end at the Anduin river. Looking around she couldn't find any trace or know where they had gone, turning back she asked.

"What do we do now? They could have gone anywhere from here."

"Not just anywhere... it would have to be somewhere close."

Not with all Leslie's tracking skills could she learn where Hobbituk had been taken yet somehow Tinu knew. "How are you sure about that?"

"The Hobbit Protector still hangs heavily. If he were not near, it should be light once more."Tinu answered.

Hobbit protecter? It was something she had never heard of though there were many mystical items in the lands, but the only one that sounded remotely close was the protection stone she had given Declynn for her sixtenth birthday, though it wasn't a 'hobbit' protector... Nodding slowly she turned back to the Anduin river tracing the last few steps taken.

"They could have taken a small boat across the river, or sailed down river... But either is only a guess...."
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Postby erinhue » Wed Jan 26, 2005 8:59 pm

The Sea, the Sea is calling
I can’t but hear its voice
The ocean spray calls me away
And I have little choice
But pay heed to the voice that hearkens
For then will my heart rejoice

A voice sang in his dreams, a voice that Erinhue finally recognized as his own. It came to him drifting over other words, other actions from the too near past that troubled his fitful sleep. Anorast was not prepared to admit defeat, but the entire party knew it. They were lost and hopelessly so. It was obvious that Hobbie had somehow crossed the Anduin, but they had no idea where and less about where he might have gone once he managed to get across.

For days into weeks, a month or more they traveled over mountain and through wood away East from the ruins of the Lucky Fortune Inn. That seemed so long ago and so very far away that it could have been a different life, a life where he had been happy, a life with Aerin.

Even that small comfort was withheld. He could not think of his beloved nor picture her sweet face but to think of Hobbie and poor stolen Turelie and their happiness denied. Again and again he heard his own voice speaking in jovial over confidence,
“Not ta worry, Hobbie, m’lad, nothing’s gonna go wrong. I won’t let it.”
The echo mocked him now in the depths of his despair.

The Sea, the Sea is calling
And ye must hurry, else
The boon that is sought will be thwarted
And lost is both sought and self.

A strange voice had picked up the song, it’s high quality tenor a counterpoint for his own warm baritone. As the bard acknowledged the source, Agarak appeared in his dream in its true form, a towering flame-gold dragon with an immense wing span and blazing fire red eyes. Erinhue stood before the entity revealed and had he been able to see himself within his dream he would have seen his own figure outlined in white flame.

The dragon arced its long neck and lowered its head, bringing the flame red eyes to a level with the sea gray eyes of the Bard. Erinhue stared into the depths of that inifinite wisdom and saw something of affection and even sympathy. Without words, all that lay within his heart came flowing from him, rage and pain and sorrow and guilt all absorbed in the depths of wisdom.

The flood of raw emotions was no more than clinically familiar and bordering distasteful to the entity known as Agarak, but one thing it did not miss, and that was how much all this meant to the Bard. There was nothing more important to him than this quest and no amount of darkness or despair was going to keep him from its full completion.

To do that would put him in direct conflict with the true source of the darkness that had inflicted the happy gathering and that could not be defeated without the use of great power. The Bard would not be dissuaded and any attempt at diversion would simply prolong the process and increase the danger posed by the Bard’s own disposition.

Years of duty and close association had bred grudging affection for its charge. Mortal sentiment was foreign to Agarak, but the depths to which the Bard felt the emotions that he felt were deep enough to touch the dragon spirit’s heart. Agarak would grant the Bard anything within its considerable power in that moment and in that moment it was decided. The guardianship of the Bard and his development had been left to its care and determination. Perhaps the time had come.
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Postby Son_of_Legolas » Sun Feb 13, 2005 9:40 pm

Tale of the Warriors of Light

Among the ranks of soldiers who frantically pushed effort into doubling the barricades of the White City's mighty walls was a young man. His leather armor was torn, ripped, and pierced. Compared to all the other knights, he looked like a mere commoner. He worked feverishly, pressing boards and clamps to the doors and thinner parts of the white stone walls.

Men passed him and had to double check to see if their senses were mocking thier judgement. The young man wore a black ribbon over his eyes that even covered his ears. He could obviously see through the ribbon, for he maneuvered around the clutter of men like wind through an alleyway. It was as if he was hiding something from anyone else...

Someone help me! He hollared, shoving a large chuck of wood under the already nailed beams of the main door. A few strong men came along and grabbed the wood and together they shoved it hard into the wood. The beam creaked and groaned under the pressure, but they kept pushing. Once the large chunk of wood was nice and secure the young man released his hold of it and moved the back and lifted a nearby mallet to smash some stakes into the ground, holding the it firm against the door.

On the last smash of the hammer, the young man felt woozy, the hammer fell listlessly from his grasp and he fell onto his back. Two knights rushed to his aid.

"His wound again?" said one.

"Aye, the damn thing won't stop bleedin on 'im," said the other.

"Well, wouldn't it be wiser if he just stayed in the healer's quarters? He overexerts himself too much."

"That would indeed be wise, but the poor lad just won't stop. He insists that he helps, and won't explain why. Jos' a traveller, he said, wanting to do 'is part. I even asked for the lad's name, but he said he couldn't remember. The poor lad can't remember a thing in 'is life."

"Amazing," gasped the other one, looking at the young man's ribbon. "And what do you suppose he needs this ribbon for?"

"Aye, that...he never did explain that one..."

"Should I take a look?" the young knight raised a hand to the young man's eyes and loosened the ribbon. Looking to the other knight, and seeing him shrug he proceeded to press his thumb on the young man's eye and he began to lift the lid open. Suddenly two hands seized his wrist and began to bend the bone furiously.

Releasing his grip, the young man kept his eyes closed and tightened the ribbon once more.

"I...I'm sorry," said the knight, looking down on him, shaking. The young man stood to his feet again and looked down on the knight.

It's alright. he said, smiling. He lowered a hand and helped the knight to his own feet. The other knight hoisted himself and clapped a hand on the young man's shoulder.

"Tis too bad we didn't have a lad like you for a leader, m'friend." said the older knight.

An overwhelming sense of deja vu swam over the young man. He remembered the same awkward embrace from the same man, but didn't know why and where.

Th...thank you....what was the knight's old leader's name? Nevon?

"Yeah, that was it. How'd you know?" said the older knight, astonished.

Uh, oh...just heard one of the other knights talking about him is all. The young man patted the older knight again and the two knights went back to their business.

He lifted his tunic and took a look at the ribs on his side. The bandage covered his enire side, from stomach to spine. blood dripped underneath...a lot of blood, and he couldn't do anything to stop it. He still felt the urge, though, the urge to protect the white city. Picking up a long beam and a mallet, he ran up the angled chunk of wood he had just installed to the upper part of the door.

'Nobody's coming into this city,' he thought, and went back to work.

##------->_____ _________
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Postby PatriotBlade » Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:04 pm

Tale Of The Warriors Of Light
The tired group was led through the darkened halls, their number dwindling as they were escorted to their rooms. Heather was the last , for she would go to her old quarters. She hesitated outside the guilded door. nevon had built these rooms for her. a new wave of guilt washed over her already tired soul. She leaned her forehead against the door jam as she fished for a velvet pouch in the bottom of her herb bag. It bore the seal of Gondor-the White Tree ebroidered on the fabric with silver thread. She looked at the key and then at the door, wondering if she really wanted to go inside.
"No one has entered since you left, except him, just before his journey and the healers for certain herbs that you had stored, but they couldn't get around here." Her escort looked uncomfortable. "And the cook insisted on coming here once a week at least to clean it for you. she said that a healer's rooms must always be ready."
Heather smiled for the first time since entering the city. "Good old Rose. How is she doing? I always loved talking with Ambrose."
"She passed excactly one year ago, but the young cook she trained kept the old woman's traditions."
The healer nodded greatfully for the information and took a deep, calming breath.
Nothing had been chanced, except for a slight depleation of rare herbs, as the young man had said. Once the war was over, she would send for some more. She crossed the office/room of healing and entered the inner door to her actual bedroom. She walked around reliving memories, tears burning her tired eyes. She un slung the dragon Kantana sword and looked at before laying it on the bed. She had dropped her pack and was removing the rest of her visible weapons when the young man quietly cleared his throat.

"Did you need something else?"
He shifted nerviously on his feet. "The king said that you would be tired, but that if you would please, he wanted to show you something."
With a tired sigh she nodded and strapping her elven sword back around her waist and pocketing her room key, she followed him yet furthur into the halls, to the throne room. The young man bowed out after announcing her. The king was not the same man she had known as King. It was the young prince, now a man. He was not sitting on the throne at the top of the marble stairs, but instead he sat comfortably on the stairs themselves, not very high up and stood to greet the woman who had not changed for all the years of her long absence.
She bowed in greeting as the young king walked purpously toward her.
"Hello, Young One."
"Hello, M'lady. I know that you are tired, but there is someone whom I thought you would want to see."
"Lead me there, Sire.
They walked to a balcolny and looked down at the city.
"I know that you have elven sight. There is a man, helping to renfore the main gate. An elf, rather."
Her heart skipped a beat and she looked down, focusing on that far away spot. He looked different, but none the less... "When? How?"
"He set out to seek a way to the White Shores, where he thought you had gone, but he never made it and about a year afer his journey began, he had returned, with no memory, no weapons, and a wound that will not heal."
"If he is wounded-" [i]she began, acusingly.

"We have tried to keep him a bed, but he will have none of it."
"He never did," she frowned. "I am too weak now, but if you can get him to come to the houses of healing tomorrow... I must see him."
"I thought you would." the young king nodded and turned away. "I will get him there for you, as soon as you ave slept and eaten."
"Thank you, Sire."
"Thank you M'lady. Good night."
No escort came to lead her back to her rooms. She didn't need one. she walked through silent, shadowy halls to her rooms and collapsed across her bed.
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Postby Son_of_Legolas » Wed Feb 23, 2005 7:31 pm

Tale of the Warriors of Light

Heat pulsed painfully through the young man's hand as he dropped the mallet listlessly after the final crack against the wooden stake. He, himself, fell back onto his bottom and leaned against his newly fastened pillar that added a substancial barricade for all the previously installed posts against the gate. He absent mindedly rubbed his palm with his thumb and through his head back to look up into the rising sun that peaked over the city walls once more.

Once again, the young man was reminded of a familiar past he had with this city, but still could now conjure the life he had when he could remember. He could feel sweat begin to pool in the bandage that covered his eyes, so he slipped it off and wiped the droplets from his skin with the back of his sleeve, being sure to keep his eyes closed. A shadow cast over him, and without thinking, the young man opened his eyes to see who it was. His majesty, the young King of Gondor stood over him, not looking down. He caught himself and lowered his head to quickly re-tie the bandage.

"You're to report to the healer's quarters."

The young man looked up at his King and saw that a look of concern was mixed with excitement on his face.

I have no need for healing, your majesty, there's still much work to be done out here.

"Yes, I understand. However, you were requested to be in the healer's quarters this morning, and the rest of the men will continue your work. If it pleases you, once you are finished you may return to your work here."

The young man nodded and watched his young King walk back toward the heart of the city. Again, a strange hint of familiarity aired about the young King. The young man stood and cracked his back, then walked back to the tower where the healer's quarter's lay near the base of the stairs.

A single knock and he walked in. On the foot of one of the healer's beds sat a beautiful young woman. Her back was to him, but he could easily recognize beauty when he saw it. The thin, yet recognizeable points on her ears told the young man that she was an elf or half-elf. He walked toward her and straightened his back and cleared his throat.

You have requested that I pay my visit to the healer's quarters m'lady?

The healer turned her head and immediatly the young man was overwhelmed by another pang of familiarity. He felt like he knew this woman, really knew this woman. He took another nervous step forward and bent to one knee.

Have we...met, before?

##------->Nevon Greenleaf?
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